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About NewZealand
New Zealand is an island country located in the Pacific Ocean in the Southern Hemisphere consisting of the main islands The North Islandand. The South Island in addition to a group of smaller islands including the Chatham Islands and the Stewart Island or Rakiura Island. Cook Islands and Niue are island nations in free association with New Zealand. They have complete autonomy being independent nations even though they aren’t viewed by the United Nations as separate from New Zealand.
The residents of these islands are considered citizens of the state of New Zealand. New Zealand also governs the territory of Tokelau. The Ross Dependency is New Zealand’s territorial claim on the frozen continent of Antarctica. Wellington is the capital of the country while Auckland is the largest and most populated metropolis.
New Zealand is a democracy and constitutional monarchy under the symbolic leadership of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth the Second. The parliamentary leader, the Prime Minister, holds the actual power of government who is appointed by the nominal Head of State, the Governor General and who acts as the categorical Head of State.
The government is a democracy and thus the Parliament is democratically elected. The country is a member of the British Commonwealth, which is an association of fifty three nations that were previously British colonies many of which still recognize the British monarch as their own as a result of which they accept ‘God Save The Queen’ as their national anthem. New Zealand also accepts ‘God Defend New Zealand’ as a national anthem effectively giving it two national anthems.
The people of New Zealand are of European and Asian ancestry with percentages of the population belonging to the indigenous Polynesian or Maori people as well as people of Polynesian descent who are not of the Maori culture.
Culture of NewZealand
The culture of New Zealand is a fairly recently developed one as New Zealand was on of the last regions of the world that human civilization touched. It is a fascinating blend of contributing threads from its population of people of varying ancestries. It is a mélange of American, British, Australian; European as well as liberal splashes of Polynesian (chieflyMaori) and Asian influences.
Festivals celebrated here are as far ranging and varied as Diwali, Christmas, the Chinese New Year and a grand Polynesian festival the Pasifika. A nation that considers religion a private matter it is exceeding peaceful and accepting of different ways of life. The Maori ways, which had been fading due to the introduction then spread of Christianity in the early half of the nineteenth century, have seen a rise in the last few decades.
As showcased in the Lord of the Rings movies New Zealand is lush with greenery and has snow capped mountains that dip down to the ocean. The flora and fauna of the land are almost exclusively unique to it and cannot be found in any other part of the globe. A richly bio diverse region consisting of a large percentage of endemic flora and fauna such as forests, home to rare birds like the kiwi, kakapo, kaka, kea parrot and takah? and a multiplicity of endemic insects. The nation is highly sensitive to ecological issues and spearheads projects to save its precious variety of endangered species.
History of New Zealand
Seven hundred years ago, the Polynesians discovered a Maori culture, near Australia. By the 18th century, this newly ‘discovered’ land attracted the attention of explorers, missionaries and traders. The famous Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840, witnessed an understanding between the British Empire and the Maori chiefs. This not only made the land a part of the Empire, but also declared the Maories as having equal rights as the British citizens thereafter. However, the British were not the only ones, there were Europeans and Asians too who ahd filtered in and settled on the land. However, sadly, war and the ‘take-over’ of most of the Maori or New Zealand's land by the Europeans, saw the Maori’s becoming impoverished gradually.
In the light of the 1930s, the economy of New Zealand was once again regulated and the native Maori culture saw a renaissance. This change came with the immigration of the natives to the cities, in large numbers. However, with the passage of time things changed once more. In the 1980s, the economy of New Zealand was affected by a number of liberal social policies and the Foreign policy became more independent.
The Maori people of New Zealand have a distinct culture of their own. The language based evidence proves that the Moriori were in fact the mainland Maori natives who had ventured and settled in the east. The natives explored and exploited the game in New Zealand, which comprised of the large flightless bird called the moa. In time, the Maori culture was largely affected by the regional differences that crept in. 
Soon, they developed and furthered the art of horticulture and differences increased in the name of competition for land and other resources. 
The traditional Maoris passed down the native history orally, by way of narratives and songs. There were elders within the tribe who memorized and recited tribal genealogies and song compositions. The first ever map of New Zealand is credited to sea farer and adventurer Captain James Cook. The Dutch explorer Tasman is believed to have first arrived in New Zealand with his crew and anchored at the northern end of the islands. Later, the British naval captain James Cook visited the islands and from the trun of the eighteenth century, the islands were visited by the British, French and Americans.
With these interactions, many Maori natives converted to Christianity, and this change is largely credited to the Musket Wars and European contact. More and more European settled on the islands all through the early nineteenth century, mainly in the north. Although the Europeans bought land from the natives, basic misunderstandings about the concepts of land ownership led to conflict between the natives and the foreigners. 
The famous Treaty of Waitangi synonymous with the land was drawn up to persuade the native Maoris to give up their sovereignty and control to the British Crown. Even though there was a little initial resistance, more than five hundred Maori natives eventually did sign and accept the treaty. The Treaty gave the British total control over the Maori lands and possessions. However, the exchange and the true meaning and the intent of both parties within the treaty still remains an issue.
Why Visit New Zealand?
The advantage New Zealand has over any other country is that it boasts having virtually all of Natures attractions in one small package. So, when visiting New Zealand, you can do and see more things in 2 weeks (by car, bus, motorhome or train), than in any other country. Why? Because New Zealand has everything from warm, sun-drenched beaches to cold snow cappedmountains and glaciers. You can walk up the side of active volcanoes, swim with dolphins and be captivated by endless valleys of rain forest. You will be awe-inspired by the impressive fiords of the Deep South west and staggered by the wild and rugged beauty of the west coast. All these attractions are no more than a few hours drive from each other. From huge sweeping mountains and rivers to tranquil, Glacier-fed lakes, when visiting New Zealand, your Itinerary is only restricted by your timetable and imagination. The only complaint visitors have about their NZ holiday is that they haven’t set aside enough time. Along with it’s beauty, New Zealand is also a great place to visit for people seeking adventure and an adrenaline rush. The adventurous can try dozens of activities including Bungee Jumping, rock climbing, skiing, Snow boarding, windsurfing, hang gliding, sky diving, parachuting, river rafting, jet boat riding, mountain climbing, jet skiing, cave-rafting, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking and much more.
Weather and Climate of NewZealand
New Zealand has a temperate climate in the south island and sub-tropical climate in the North Island and the nature of the terrain, the prevailing winds and the length of the country lead to sharp regional contrasts. Maximum daytime temperatures sometimes exceed 30°C and only fall below 0°C in the elevated inland regions. Generally speaking, rainfall and humidity is higher in the west than the east of the country due to the north-south orientation of the mountain ranges and the prevailing westerly/north westerly winds.
Part situated in the Roaring Forties, unsheltered areas of the country can get a bit breezy, especially in the centre, through Cook Strait and around Wellington. The winds seem to be stronger around the equinoxes. In the winter, southerly gales can be severe but they also bring snow to the ski-fields and are usually followed by calm clear days.
New Zealand is one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to forecast the weather. Although the weather is changeable, there is certainly more sunshine and warm temperate temperatures to enjoy in summer. It is not uncommon, especially on the South Island, to experience four seasons in one day.
New Zealand is a small country surrounded by ocean. A complicating, but often beneficial factor on the day to day weather, is the steep mountain range running down the spine of New Zealand orientated in a southwest-northeast direction. These mountains often shelter eastern parts of the country from an onslaught of westerly winds and rain.
The weather is mostly influenced by fast moving weather systems in the strong westerly winds, which are often referred to as the roaring forties, that predominate over southern parts of the country and seas to the south. There tends to be a seven day cycle associated with these westerlies as a cold front sweeps over the country associated with a couple of days rain, somewhere over the country. Often though these westerlies are disrupted by large high pressure systems or by storm systems.
During the summer and early autumn months from about December to April, the westerlies tend to move south giving more settled weather. Always be prepared for a change though. Also, during this time, random weather systems from the tropics can make their presence felt, mainly over the North Island, with a period of warm wet windy weather.
In the Winter, May to August, the weather tends to be more changeable. Cold fronts often bring a period of rain to western areas followed by a cold wind from the south bringing snow to the mountains and sometimes to near sea level over eastern parts of the South Island. When the weather turns cold and wet in the east, to the west of the mountains it will be fantastic. At this time of the year it is not uncommon for high pressure systems and clear skies to park over the whole country for long periods bringing crisp frosty nights and mornings followed by cool sunny days.
In spring, from August to November, the westerly winds are typically at their strongest – these are called the equinoctial westerlies. It tends to rain more in western areas, and especially on the South Island, at this time, while in the east, warm dry winds can give great cycling weather. Once again though, a cold front and its accompanying south winds can give you a taste of winter at any stage.
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