New Zealand Country Guide
New Zealand is located to the southeast of Australia and, despite the great difference in the size of the territory – 268,021 km 2 , approximately 3% of the Australian territory -, it shows a great social and economic similarity with this neighboring country. It is also a former British colony, most of the population speaks English as well as the Maori, and the country is also a member of the Com-monwealth .
The territory is basically formed by the two largest islands, North and South. It is predominantly mountainous (with volcanoes and earthquakes), which facilitates the generation of hydroelectric energy (60% of the energy generated in the country), presenting narrow plains, where it concentrates the population. The predominant climate is temperate oceanic, a condition that favors the development of very dense vegetation, unlike Australia.
Like Australia, New Zealand has a high development in sheep farming. Agriculture is quite developed, due to favorable conditions (climate) and high investments (technology). Fruits and cereals are the highlights.
Logging and fishing complement the primary sector, which has a small share of mineral extraction due to the small territory and geological-mineral formation, conditions that contribute to the occurrence of minerals in small quantities.
This mineral condition in the country contributes to the strong dependence on mineral imports to supply the base industry. The agricultural processing industry, on the other hand, shows strong development, mainly in the slaughterhouses, dairy and textile sectors.
Its population is approximately 4.6 million inhabitants who live with a high quality of life (HDI of 0.915, 13th in 2017) and is concentrated on the North Island, mainly in the cities of Auckland (1 million inhabitants) and Wellington (400 thousand inhabitants), the country’s capital.
Ethnically, there is a predominance of British white descendants (colonizers), in addition to the Maori minority, native to the territory, who survived, in small numbers, the extermination promoted by the colonizer. Nowadays, they are fighting for greater recognition and participation in national political life.
In foreign policy, New Zealand has been engaged in a diplomatic duel with the United States, France and the United Kingdom to ban nuclear tests in the South Pacific, as well as the extinction of nuclear weapons ship routes throughout the region.