Located in Oceania, New Zealand sits comfortably in the South Pacific Ocean, just east of Australia and south of the South Pacific Islands. Our country is made up of two large islands known as the North and South Island. We also have hundreds of smaller islands, the most populated of these being Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island, and Waiheke Island.
New Zealand is a relatively young and small country with just under 5 million people, fondly called Kiwis. Our people are made up of over 213 ethnic groups, making us one of the most diverse countries in the world.
Māori are the indigenous people of Aoteroa. Our unique cultural customs began with the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Te Reo Māori, along with English and New Zealand Sign Language, are the official languages of New Zealand.
While official business is conducted in English; in the recent years, the use of Te Reo Māori has increased, particularly greetings.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy under England; however, the country governs itself through a parliamentary system. Headed by the Prime Minister, New Zealand’s Parliament consists of the Sovereign and the House of Representatives. The seat of Government is located in the capital city, Wellington.
Climate and Weather
New Zealand has a temperate climate but because of our geographical location, New Zealand weather is unpredictable. The far north offers a warmer climate as opposed to the south, where winters can be as cold as -10°C. The warmest months are January and February, with July being the coldest month of the year.
We have four seasons in New Zealand:
Summer | December – February
Autumn | March – May
Winter | June – August
Spring | September – November