New Zealand Country Profile

Page 1 of 7

New Zealand Country Profile

By | April 2010
Page 1 of 7
Peter Megna
The Global Challenge
Professor Buck
August 12, 2009

Country Profile: New Zealand

Legend has it that a long time ago a demigod named Maui fished New Zealand from the sea. Fact has it that New Zealand was the last major land mass on earth to be discovered, making New Zealand the youngest country on earth. Being the last land discovered attests to its remoteness. New Zealand can be found in the South Pacific Ocean east and a little south of Australia. The mainland is a little over 166,000 square miles of land, or roughly the same size as Colorado. (CIA World Fact Book) The first New Zealanders, the Maori, migrated from their ancestral Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki around 800 A.D. The original Maori immigration was followed about 1,000 years later by extensive European migration. (NewZealand.com) In 1840, the Maori chieftains entered into a pact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent nation in 1907. (Nations Online) Today, New Zealand is an independent nation within the British Commonwealth. It has no formal constitution but adopts a series of legal documents in its place. The constitutional head of state is the British Monarch but plays no active role in the administration of New Zealand's government. Primary governance lays with an elected parliament and their nominated leader, the prime minister. (CIA World Fact Book) In modern time it would be fair to say that New Zealand is a developed country, particularly in the science field. According to a report from the New Zealand Ministry of Education, students enrolled in public education receive a science course each year of enrollment. To graduate, a student most...