World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Map of Australia and South Pacific


New Zealand
Travelling Guide
New Zealand Travelling Guide

General background: The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years the government has sought to address longstanding native Maori grievances.

Area comparative: About the size of Colorado.

Climate: Temperate with sharp regional contrasts.

Terrain: Predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains.

Population: 3,908,037 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: New Zealand European 74.5%, Maori 9.7%, other European 4.6%, Pacific Islander 3.8%, Asian and others 7.4%

Religions: Anglican 24%, Presbyterian 18%, Roman Catholic 15%, Methodist 5%, Baptist 2%, other Protestant 3%, unspecified or none 33% (1986)

Language: English (official), Maori (official)

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Wellington

Legal system: Based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for Maoris; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

Economic overview: Since 1984 the government has accomplished major economic restructuring, transforming New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes (but left behind many at the bottom of the ladder), broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. While per capita incomes have been rising, however, they remain below the level of the four largest EU economies, and there is some government concern that New Zealand is not closing the gap. New Zealand is heavily dependent on trade - particularly in agricultural products - to drive growth, and it has been affected by the global economic slowdown and the slump in commodity prices. Thus far the New Zealand economy has been relatively resilient, achieving about 3% growth in 2001, but the New Zealand business cycle tends to lag the US cycle by about six months, so the worst of the downturn may not hit until mid-2002.

Communication/Telephone system: Excellent domestic and international systems.

Places of interest: New Zealand is a country of rare seismic beauty: glacial mountains, fast-flowing rivers, deep, clear lakes, hissing geysers and boiling mud. There are also abundant forest reserves, long, deserted beaches and a variety of fauna, such as the kiwi, endemic to its shores. Any number of vigorous outdoor activities - hiking, skiing, rafting and, of course, that perennial favorite, bungee jumping - await the adventurous. You can swim with dolphins, gambol with newborn lambs, whale-watch or fish for fattened trout in the many streams.

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