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New Zealand Information
The majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-Māori Polynesians. English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages, with English predominant. Much of New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers. Early European art was dominated by landscapes and to a lesser extent portraits of Māori. A recent resurgence of Māori culture has seen their traditional arts of carving, weaving and tattooing become more mainstream. Many artists now combine Māori and Western techniques to create unique art forms. The country's culture has also been broadened by globalisation and increased immigration from the Pacific Islands and Asia. New Zealand's diverse landscape provides many opportunities for outdoor pursuits and has provided the backdrop for a number of big budget movies.
New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; these have less autonomy than the country's long defunct provinces did. Nationally, executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. The Queen's Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); and the Ross Dependency, New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
New Zealand Facts:
New Zealand Capital:Wellington
Official languages:English (98%), Māori (4.2%), NZ Sign Language (0.6%)
Ethnic groups:78% European/Other, 14.6% Māori, 9.2% Asian, 6.9% Pacific peoples
Demonym:New Zealander, Kiwi (colloquial)
Area:268,021 km2 (74th) 103,483 sq mi
New Zealand Currency:New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2 and notes have values of $5 , $10 , $20 , $50 and $100)
Time zone:UTC +12 (DST +13)
Location:Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Geographic coordinates:41 00 S, 174 00 E
Ports and terminals:Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington
New Zealand Population:December 2010 estimate: 4,393,500 (123rd)
2006 census: 4,027,947
New Zealand Map:
Weather New Zealand:
Immigration New Zealand:
Passports and Visas:
If you want to immigrate to New Zealand, or visit us, then you should read through the following information about what you need, what you can bring into the country, and additional costs.
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.
You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:
- A New Zealand citizen or Resident Permit holder
- An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport
- An Australian resident with a current Australian resident return visa
- If you are a citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand
Currently travellers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor's Visa for stays less than three months. You do require:
- A passport that is valid for at least three months after your departure from New Zealand
- An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter
- Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay - approximately NZ$1000 per month per person
To find out if your country qualifies for a visa waiver, check out the Visiting New Zealand section of the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site. You'll find a list of all eligible countries and other useful visa information. Your travel agent, airline or nearest New Zealand Embassy will also be able to advise you if you require a visa.
British citizens and other British passport holders who have evidence of the right to live permanently in the United Kingdom may be allowed to stay for up to six months.
Visitor's Visa Applications:
If your country is not on the visa waiver list or you wish to stay longer than three months you will need to apply for a Visitor's Visa. You can download application forms from the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy.
Study and Work Visas:
The New Zealand Immigration Service also has information on work, business or student visas. If you want to study in New Zealand, check out the Web sites of the New Zealand Independent English Language Schools and Education New Zealand Trust.
If you're thinking about living permanently in New Zealand, read the Migration section of the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site. It contains a brief summary of immigration requirements and information on obtaining a residence application pack.
No vaccinations are required to enter New Zealand.
New Zealand Transport:
Road transport in New Zealand
The State Highway network, which provides the backbone road traffic infrastructure connecting New Zealand towns, is administered by the New Zealand Transport Agency. The majority of roads and streets are managed by city or district councils. Some roads are under the control of the New Zealand Department of Conservation, airport authorities, port authorities, and others.
New Zealand has left-hand traffic on its roads.
New Zealand has a State Highway network of 10,895 km (5,974 km in the North Island and 4,921 km in the South Island, as of August 2006) of which 170 km are motorways. These link to 82,000 km of local authority roads, both paved and unpaved. The state highways carry 50% of all New Zealand road traffic, with the motorways alone carrying 9% of all traffic (even though they represent only 3% of the whole State Highway network, and even less of the whole road network).
Public transport in New Zealand:
Public transport in New Zealand exists in many of the country's urban areas, and takes a number of forms. Bus transport is the main form of public transport. Two major cities, Auckland and Wellington, also have suburban rail systems which have been gaining more patronage and new investment in recent years. Some cities also operate local ferry services. There are no remaining tram (i.e. light rail) systems active anywhere in New Zealand (except for some museum systems), though trams (and their horse-drawn pedecessors) once had a major role in New Zealand's public transport.
Cycling in New Zealand:
Rail transport in New Zealand:
There is a total of 3,898 km of railway line in New Zealand, built to the narrow gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in). Of this, 506 km is electrified. The national network is owned by state-owned enterprise New Zealand Railways Corporation division KiwiRail Network. The national network consists of three main trunk lines, seven secondary main lines and during its peak in the 1950s, around ninety branch lines. The majority of the latter are now closed. Most lines were constructed by government but a few were of private origin, later nationalised. In 1931, the Transport Licensing Act was passed, protecting the railways from competition for fifty years. The transport industry became fully deregulated in 1983.
Between 1982 and 1993 the rail industry underwent a major overhaul involving corporatisation, restructuring, downsizing, line and station closures and privatisation. In 1993 the network was privatised, and until 2003 the national network was owned by Tranz Rail, previously New Zealand Rail Limited. The Government agreed to take over control of the national rail network back when Toll Holdings purchased Tranz Rail in 2003. In May 2008 the Government agreed to buy Toll NZ's rail and ferry operations for $665 million, and renamed the operating company KiwiRail.
Water transport at New Zealand
The two main islands are separated by Cook Strait, 24 km wide at its narrowest point, but requiring a 70-km ferry trip to cross. This is the only large-scale long-distance car / passenger shipping service left, with all others restricted to short ferry routes to islands like Stewart Island/Rakiura or Great Barrier Island.
New Zealand has 1,609 km of navigable inland waterways; however these are no longer significant transport routes.
Airports in New Zealand:
There are 113 airports in New Zealand (2002 est.). The main international airport is Auckland Airport, which handled about 11 million passengers in 2005. Christchurch Airport around 6 million passengers per year and Wellington Airport around 5 million passengers per year.
With paved runways:
10,000 ft (3048 m) or more: 3
8000 ft to 9999 ft (2438 m to 3047 m): 2
5000 ft to 7999 ft (1524 m to 2437 m): 10
3000 ft to 4999 ft (914 m to 1523 m): 28
under 3000 ft (914 m): 5 (2002)
With unpaved runways:
5000 ft to 7999 ft (1524 m to 2437 m): 2
3000 ft to 4999 ft (914 m to 1523 m): 26
under 3000 ft (914 m): 39 (2002)
1 (2002), Auckland, Mechanics Bay
Petroleum products 160 km; natural gas 1,000 km; liquified petroleum gas (LPG) 150 km.
Trams in New Zealand:
Some moves are proceeding to extend tram use in New Zealand again. In Auckland, the MOTAT line was extended in 1996/7 to reach a second site of the museum, and the former Auckland Regional Council promoted the creation of an Auckland waterfront tram line, originally with MOTAT vehicles, but will initially operate former Melbourne trams. This is now being completed with the support of the new Auckland City Council. While in Christchurch, the city loop is being extended in several small stages starting late 2000s. While these proposals are all officially heritage / tourist lines, there is some investigation into later extension / conversion for normal transport use.
New Zealand Bus:
NZ Bus, formerly Stagecoach New Zealand, is New Zealand's largest bus company, operating in Auckland, Wellington and Whangarei, with a fleet of around 1,000 vehicles. It owned 96% of Fullers Ferries in Auckland but has sold this shareholding. It is owned by Infratil.
Flights to New Zealand:
Geography of New Zealand:
New Zealand is long (over 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) along its north-north-east axis) and narrow (a maximum width of 400 kilometres (250 mi)), with approximately 15,134 km (9,404 mi) of coastline and a total land area of 268,021 square kilometres (103,483 sq mi) Due to its far-flung outlying islands and long coastline, the country has extensive marine resources. Its Exclusive Economic Zone, one of the largest in the world, covers more than 15 times its land area.
The South Island is the largest land mass of New Zealand, and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps. There are 18 peaks over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), the highest of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3,754 metres (12,316 ft). Fiordland's steep mountains and deep fiords record the extensive ice age glaciation of this south-western corner of the South Island. The North Island is less mountainous but is marked by volcanism. The highly active Taupo volcanic zone has formed a large volcanic plateau, punctuated by the North Island's highest mountain, Mount Ruapehu (2,797 metres (9,177 ft)). The plateau also hosts the country's largest lake, Lake Taupo, nestled in the caldera of one of the world's most active supervolcanoes.
The country owes its varied topography, and perhaps even its emergence above the waves, to the dynamic boundary it straddles between the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates. New Zealand is part of Zealandia, a microcontinent nearly half the size of Australia that gradually submerged after breaking away from the Gondwanan supercontinent. About 25 million years ago, a shift in plate tectonic movements began to contort and crumple the region. This is now most evident in the Southern Alps, formed by compression of the crust beside the Alpine Fault. Elsewhere the plate boundary involves the subduction of one plate under the other, producing the Puysegur Trench to the south, the Hikurangi Trench east of the North Island, and the Kermadec and Tonga Trenches further north.
Climate of New Zealand:
New Zealand has a mild and temperate maritime climate with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10°C in the south to 16°C in the north. Historical maxima and minima are 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in Rangiora, Canterbury and −21.6 °C (−6.9 °F) in Ophir, Otago. Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to almost semi-arid in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland. Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year and Auckland the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average in excess of 2,000 hours of sunshine. The southern and south-western parts of the South Island have a cooler and cloudier climate, with around 1,400–1,600 hours; the northern and north-eastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest areas of the country and receive approximately 2,400–2,500 hours.
Biodiversity of New Zealand:
New Zealand's geographic isolation for 80 million years and island biogeography is responsible for the country's unique species of flora and fauna. They have either evolved from Gondwanan wildlife or the few organisms that have managed to reach the shores flying, swimming or being carried across the sea. About 82 percent of New Zealand's indigenous vascular plants are endemic, covering 1,944 species across 65 genera and includes a single family. The two main types of forest are those dominated by broadleaf trees with emergent podocarps, or by southern beech in cooler climates. The remaining vegetation types consist of grasslands, the majority of which are tussock.
Before the arrival of humans an estimated 80 percent of the land was covered in forest, with only high alpine, wet, infertile and volcanic areas without trees. Massive deforestation occurred after humans arrived, with around half the forest cover lost to fire after Polynesian settlement. Much of the remaining forest fell after European settlement, being logged or cleared to make room for pastoral farming, leaving forest occupying only 23 percent of the land.
The forests were dominated by birds, and the lack of mammalian predators led to some like the kiwi, kakapo and takahē evolving flightlessness. The arrival of humans, associated changes to habitat, and the introduction of rats, ferrets and other mammals led to the extinction of many bird species, including large birds like the moa and Haast's eagle.
Other indigenous animals are represented by reptiles (tuataras, skinks and geckos), frogs, spiders (katipo), insects (weta) and snails. Some, such as the wrens and tuatara, are so unique that they have been called living fossils. Three species of bats (one since extinct) were the only sign of native land mammals in New Zealand until the 2006 discovery of bones from a unique, mouse-sized land mammal. Marine mammals however are abundant, with almost half the world's cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and large numbers of fur seals reported in New Zealand waters. Many seabirds breed in New Zealand, a third of them unique to the country. More penguin species are found in New Zealand than in any other country.
Since human arrival almost half of the country's vertebrate species have become extinct, including at least fifty one birds, three frogs, three lizards, one freshwater fish, four plant species, and one bat. Others are endangered or have had their range severely reduced.However New Zealand conservationists have pioneered several methods to help threatened wildlife recover, including island sanctuaries, pest control, wildlife translocation, fostering, and ecological restoration of islands and other selected areas.
List of cities in New Zealand:
- Hamilton Urban Area
- Napier-Hastings Urban Area
- New Plymouth
New Zealand Resorts / New Zealand Hotels:
- Auckland Waterfront Apartments, Auckland
- Bavaria B & B Hotel, Auckland
- Conquistador Apartments, Auckland
- Emerald Inn, Auckland
- Earnscliff Mansion, Auckland
- Austria Motel, Bay Of Islands
- Paihia Beach Resort, Bay of Islands
- Tapeka Del Mar, Bay of Islands
- Peppertree Villa, Blenheim
- Bangor Country Estate, Canterbury -
- Stoneleigh Lodge, Canterbury
- Aldeburgh B & B, Christchurch
- At The Beach B & B, Christchurch
- Chateau Blanc Suites Apartment Hotel, Christchurch
- Chateau on the Park, Christchurch
- Eliza's Manor, Christchurch
- Elm Tree House B & B, Christchurch
- Windsor Hotel, Christchurch
- Muri Beachcomber, Cook Islands
- South Seas Beach and Garden Bungalows, Cook Islands
- Pacific Resort and Villas, Cook Islands
- Terrace Downs High Country Resort, Darfield
- Doone Cottage, Doone
- Barnett Lodge, Dunedin
- Castlewood, Dunedin
- Montrose, Dunedin
- Weheka Inn, Fox Glacier
- Westhaven Motel, Fox Glacier
- Gunyah Country Lodge, Gunyah
- Woodland Glen Lodge, Hokitika
- Fyffe Country Lodge, Kaikoura
- Lakeland of Taupo, Lake Taupo
- Tekapo Scenic Resort, Lake Tekapo
- Zealand Edgewater Resort Hotel, Lake Wanaka
- Swansdown Cottage, Marlborough
- Matarangi Manor, Matarangi
- Whitestone Cottages, Methven
- Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook
- Athenry Lodge, Nelson
- Kanuka Hill Lodge, Nelson
- Pen-y-bryn Lodge, Oamaru
- Kamahi Cottage, Otorohanga
- The Cottage, Paihia
- Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, Pauanui Beach
- Waikawa Bay Seafront Apartments, Picton
- Tapeka Del Mar, Russell
- Shearwater Inn, Stewart Island
- Southsea Hotel, Stewart Island
- Bellini’s of Queenstown, Queenstown
- Blue Peaks Apartments, Queenstown
- Blue Peaks Lodge, Queenstown
- Brunswick Luxury Apartment, Queenstown
- Gardens Parkroyal, Queenstown
- Glebe Apartments, Queenstown
- Mountvista Boutique Hotel, Queenstown
- Nugget Point Resort, Queenstown
- Pear Tree Cottage, Queenstown
- Shotover Lodge, Queenstown
- The Stone House, Queenstown
- Stoneridge Estate , Queenstown
- Trelawn Place, Queenstown
- Treetops Luxury Lodge Rotorua
- Tapeka Del Mar, Tapeka
- Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau
- Te Anau Hotel and Villas, Te Anau
- Village Inn Hotel, Te Anau
- Matuka Lodge, Twizel
- Poor Knights Lodge, Tutukaka
- The Estate, Waiheke Island
- Beach House, Waiwera
- Minaret Lodge, Wanaka
- Duxton Hotel, Wellington
- Kauri Trees B & B, Wellington
- Richmond Guest House, Wellington
New Zealand Tourism:
The vast majority of tourist arrivals in New Zealand come through Auckland Airport which handled over eleven million passengers in 2004. Popular destinations include Kaikoura, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves, Milford Sound and Queenstown. Many tourists travel large distances through the country during their stays, typically using coach lines or hire cars.
The country is internationally seen as a top holiday destination, shown by receiving awards like being voted most favourite destination by the readers of the Condé Nast Traveler magazine (specialising in luxury travels) in 2008, though it slipped to second place in 2009, and was also named the best overseas holiday destination in a 2007 The Daily Telegraph poll, the United Kingdom's largest such poll. Since the start of a 2000 advertising campaign by Tourism New Zealand, there has been a 61% increase in the number of Britons coming to New Zealand.
Tourism New Zealand, the country's official tourism agency, is actively promoting the country as a destination worldwide. Recent activities include a NZ$7 million campaign in China, concentrating on Shanghai, and cooperating to produce a New Zealand tourism layer for Google Earth, the first country to receive such a treatment.
Public concern over the environmental impacts of air travel may threaten tourism growth in New Zealand, as almost all tourists fly long distances to reach New Zealand. However, Ministry of Tourism data predicts a four per cent annual growth in tourist numbers in New Zealand, with 3.2 million tourists annually to be reached in 2014.
It is however unclear how New Zealand's carbon-neutral policy will affect future tourism - with some researchers arguing that the carbon emissions of tourism are much higher than generally considered, that their offsetting or mitigation will be very difficult, and that this poses a serious threat to the country's major source of foreign income.
Periodic campaigns are also directed at New Zealanders, urging them to travel within New Zealand instead of overseas, due to a perception by the tourism industry that too many New Zealanders are travelling to Australia or other countries instead of domestically. Perhaps the best known slogan is "Don't leave town until you've seen the country". However, due to lack of competition, fares for some domestic flights can be higher than those for flights to, for example, Australia.
Domestic tourism was worth NZ$7.6 billion (including transport costs) in the year ending March 2007, a growth of 9.1 per cent on the year before. Domestic tourism itself was growing by 1 to 1.5 per cent a year in the recent years, as noted by the Ministry of Tourism.
Tourist activities in New Zealand:
Direct flights from Australia to Queenstown have also boosted overseas winter tourism. Ecotourism is also become an increasing segment of the tourism market, and both tourism spends and trip duration are relatively high, due to the remote location of the country attracting few short-trip visitors.
Education in New Zealand:
Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16, with the majority attending from the age of 5. There are 13 school years and attending public schools is free. New Zealand has an adult literacy rate of 99 percent, and over half of the population aged 15 to 29 hold a tertiary qualification. In the adult population 14.2 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher, 30.4 percent have some form of secondary qualification as their highest qualification and 22.4 percent have no formal qualification.
New Zealand Universities:
- The University of Auckland
- University of canterbury
- Lincoln University
- Massey University
- University of Otago
- Victoria University of Wellington
- The University or waikato
Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology
- Auckland Institute of Technology
- Aoraki Polytechnic
- Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
- Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
- Eastern Institute of Technology
- Laidlaw College
- Manukau Institute of Technology
- Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
- Northland Polytechnic
- The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
- Otago Polytechnic
- Southland Polytechnic
- Tai Poutini Polytechnic
- Tairawhiti Polytechnic
- Taranaki Polytechnic
- UNITEC Institute of Technology
- UCOL- Universal College of Learning
- Waikato Institute of Technology
- Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic
- Wellington Polytechnic
- Wellington Institute of Technology
- Western Institute of Technology
Colleges of Education:
- Christcbuwh College of Education
- The University of wsikato School of Education
- Wellington College of Education
Private Tertiary Establishments
- International Pacifica College
- Auckland Institute of Studies
- Carey Baptist College (Auckland)
- Crown Institute of Studies (Auckland)
- Whitecliffe college or Art and Design (Auckland)
Culture of New Zealand:
The largely rural life in early New Zealand led to the image of New Zealanders being rugged, industrious problem solvers. Modesty was expected and enforced through the "tall poppy syndrome", where high achievers received harsh criticism. At the time New Zealand was not known as an intellectual country. From the early 20th century until the late 1960s Māori culture was suppressed by the attempted assimilation of Māori into British New Zealanders. In the 1960s, as higher education became more available and cities expanded urban culture began to dominate. Even though the majority of the population now lives in cities, much of New Zealand's art, literature, film and humour has rural themes.
New Zealand Art:
As part of the resurgence of Māori culture, the traditional crafts of carving and weaving are now more widely practiced and Māori artists are increasing in number and influence. Most Māori carvings feature human figures, generally with three fingers and either a natural-looking, detailed head or a grotesque head. Surface patterns consisting of spirals, ridges, notches and fish scales decorate most carvings. The pre-eminent Māori architecture consisted of carved meeting houses (wharenui) decorated with symbolic carvings and illustrations. These buildings were originally designed to be constantly rebuilt, changing and adapting to different whims or needs.
Māori decorated the white wood of buildings, canoes and cenotaphs using red (a mixture of red ochre and shark fat) and black (made from soot) paint and painted pictures of birds, reptiles and other designs on cave walls. Māori tattoos (moko) consisting of coloured soot mixed with gum were cut into the flesh with a bone chisel. Since European arrival paintings and photographs have been dominated by landscapes, originally not as works of art but as factual portrayals of New Zealand. Portraits of Māori were also common, with early painters often portraying them as "noble savages", exotic beauties or friendly natives. The country's isolation delayed the influence of European artistic trends allowing local artists to developed their own distinctive style of regionalism. During the 1960s and 70s many artists combined traditional Māori and Western techniques, creating unique art forms. New Zealand art and craft has gradually achieved an international audience, with exhibitions in the Venice Biennale in 2001 and the "Paradise Now" exhibition in New York in 2004.
Māori cloaks are made of fine flax fibre and patterned with black, red and white triangles, diamonds and other geometric shapes. Greenstone was fashioned into earrings and necklaces, with the most well-known design being the hei-tiki, a distorted human figure sitting cross-legged with its head tilted to the side. Europeans brought English fashion etiquette to New Zealand, and until the 1950s most people dressed up for social occasions. Standards have since relaxed and New Zealand fashion has received a reputation for being casual, practical and lackluster. However, the local fashion industry has grown significantly since 2000, doubling exports and increasing from a handful to about 50 established labels, with some labels gaining international recognition.
Literature of New Zealand:
Entertainment in New Zealand:
New Zealand music has been influenced by blues, jazz, country, rock and roll and hip hop, with many of these genres given a unique New Zealand interpretation. Māori developed traditional chants and songs from their ancient South-East Asian origins, and after centuries of isolation created a unique "monotonous" and "doleful" sound. Flutes and trumpets were used as musical instruments or as signaling devices during war or special occasions. Early settlers brought over their ethnic music, with brass bands and choral music being popular, and musicians began touring New Zealand in the 1860s. Pipe bands became widespread during the early 20th century. The New Zealand recording industry began to develop from 1940 onwards and many New Zealand musicians have obtained success in Britain and the USA. Some artists release Māori language songs and the Māori tradition-based art of kapa haka (song and dance) has made a resurgence.
Radio first arrived in New Zealand in 1922 and television in 1960, while the number of New Zealand films significantly increased during the 1970s. In 1978 the New Zealand Film Commission started assisting local film-makers and many films attained a world audience, some receiving international acknowledgement. Deregulation in the 1980s saw a sudden increase in the numbers of radio and television stations. New Zealand television primarily broadcasts American and British programming, along with a large number of Australian and local shows. The country's diverse scenery and compact size, plus government incentives, have encouraged some producers to film big budget movies in New Zealand. The New Zealand media industry is dominated by a small number of companies, most of which are foreign-owned, although the state retains ownership of some television and radio stations. Between 2003 and 2008, Reporters Without Borders consistently ranked New Zealand's press freedom in the top twenty.
Sport in New Zealand:
New Zealand has competitive international teams in rugby union, netball, cricket, rugby league, and softball and has traditionally done well in triathlons, rowing, yachting and cycling. The country has performed well on a medals-to-population ratio at Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games. New Zealand is known for its extreme sports, adventure tourism and strong mountaineering tradition. Other outdoor pursuits such as cycling, fishing, swimming, running, tramping, canoeing, hunting, snowsports and surfing are also popular. The Polynesian sport of waka ama racing has increased in popularity and is now an international sport involving teams from all over the Pacific.