New Zealand Research Paper

Topics: New Zealand, Māori, Cook Islands Pages: 7 (2105 words) Published: September 26, 2011

Summer finally came and my parents decided that our family was going to take a trip somewhere out of the country. They said we needed to experience a different culture. Before my family and I could start planning our trip, we had to decide where we would like to go. My family and I looked at many different countries and they all had their own unique culture that stood out. The one I liked the most, though, was New Zealand. New Zealand has an interesting history, a variety of land features and unique people.


The first people to find New Zealand were the Maori people. They first arrived in New Zealand in about the tenth century A.D.(“About”). Now, Maori people make up fourteen percent of the New Zealand population (“About”). The Maori people named New Zealand “land of the long, white, cloud” (“About”). Europeans first sighted New Zealand in the seventeenth century and by the early nineteenth century British settlers had arrived. New Zealand became a British colony in 1840 with the signing of the Waitangi Treaty (Smelt 19). The Treaty of Waitangi is very important to the New Zealand people. This agreement between the British Crown and the Maori Chiefs is the founding document of New Zealand (Shepard 51). In 1852 Britain allowed New Zealand to be self-governing. As people continued to migrate to New Zealand there was an increasing demand for the land. Conflict between settlers and the Maori eventually led to land wars in the 1960s. In the end, the Maori lost the war and their land (Smelt 24). New Zealanders have sought to modify capitalism by destroying privilege, expanding human opportunities through education, and providing secure employment, free medical care and inexpensive housing (“New” 247a).


New Zealand is located about one thousand miles southeast of Australia in the South Pacific (Gillespie 14). New Zealand consists of two large islands and several smaller ones surrounding it (“New” 245). The total area of New Zealand is about 267,710 square kilometers. Compared to other countries, New Zealand is the seventy-fifth country. New Zealand is about the size of Colorado (“About”). The climate in New Zealand is temperate with sharp regional contrasts because of its location in the ocean (“CIA”). New Zealand has extreme weather and summer drought (“New” 247b). The average temperature extreme New Zealand has experienced is eighty-five degrees in January and thirty-five degrees in July (Shepard 131). New Zealand has a variety of landscapes including glaciers, mountains, plains, hillsides, forests, volcanic plateaus, and miles of coastline with sandy beaches (“About”). There are at least twenty large lakes and many smaller ones in New Zealand (Smelt 10). From the south of Lake Taupo to White Island is a belt of geysers, boiling mud pools, and hot water springs (Smelt 11). Natural hazards in New Zealand include earthquakes and volcanic activity. Environment issues include deforestation, soil erosion, native flora and fauna (“CIA”). Only twenty eight percent of New Zealand is still forested, with most of the land having been cleared for cropping land and pasture (Gillespie 10). Natural resources include natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, gold and limestone (“CIA”).


New Zealand's separation from other landmasses about one million years ago allowed many ancient plants and animals to survive and evolve in isolation (“About”). New Zealand has flora and fauna, which are native there. Flora is a variety of unique plants and fauna is unique animals. They cannot be found anywhere else in the world...
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