14 - New Zealand
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14. New Zealand BASIC FACTS − New Zealand is located in the South Pacific – It lies 2.000 km from Australia − The population of New Zealand is about 4 million − Both English and Maori are official languages in New Zealand POLITICS − New Zealand is a part of the British Commonwealth − It is a constitutional monarchy − The head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom – Queen Elizabeth II − Her representative is the Governor General − The head of the government is the Prime Minister CITIES − The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington – It is in the south of the North Island − Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city • It is the economic centre of New Zealand • It is in the north of the North Island − Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand • It is the largest city on the South Island • It is on the east coast of the South Island − Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island • It is a university town • It is on the south east coast of the South Island GEOGRAPHY − New Zealand consists of two main islands and several minor islands − The North Island is warmer than the South Island − The South Island is more mountainous − The North Island is smaller than the South but has three quarters of the country’s population − Winter lasts from June to August and summer from December to February THE PEOPLE OF NEW ZEALAND − The Maori settled in New Zealand in the 13th century − There were no people there before that − The first Europeans started settling New Zealand in the 19th century WILDLIFE − There are a lot of unique animals in New Zealand − The most well-known is a flightless bird cal ed the kiwi – The kiwi is the symbol of the country − The kakapo is a parrot which can’t fly − The tuatara is a unique kind of reptile FAMOUS PEOPLE − The actor Russell Crowe comes from New Zealand − Edmund Hillary was a mountaineer who was the first to climb Mount Everest POPULAR SPORTS − Rugby Union is the most popular sport − Cricket is a popular summer sport − New Zealanders also enjoy basketball and tennis