is quite broad, including prominent candidates for local and central government office as well as those who achieved such office. Formed in 2002, the Virginian Railway (VGN) Enthusiasts, a non-profit group of preservationists, authors, photographers, historians, modelers, and rail fans has grown to over 850 members as far from the VGN tracks as New Zealand, Australia, including U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East. A group of retired railroaders calling themselves "The Virginian Brethren" meet weekly, share tales of the VGN, and answer questions posed by members of the online group. thumb 220px right Jane Campion (File:Jane Campion.jpg) '''Jane Campion''' (born 30 April 1954) is a filmmaker screenwriter and director from New Zealand. Campion is the second of four women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Impact and reception ''An Angel at My Table'' was the first film from New Zealand to be screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Special Jury Prize. In addition to virtually sweeping the local New Zealand film awards, it also took home the prize for best foreign film at the Independent Spirit Awards and the International Critics' Award at the Toronto Film Festival. The film not only established Jane Campion as an emerging director and launched the career of Kerry Fox, but it also introduced a broader audience to Janet Frame's writing. Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
they adopted the style of architecture fashionable when they left England, though by the latter half of the century, improving transport and communications meant that even quite remote parts of the Empire had access to many publications, such as The Builder magazine. This enabled colonial architects to stay abreast of current fashion. Thus the influence of English architecture spread across the world. Several prominent 19th century architects produced designs that were executed by architects in the various colonies. For example Sir George Gilbert Scott designed Bombay University (University of Mumbai) & William Butterfield designed St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide. In the Carboniferous and Permian, New Zealand and New Caledonia were on the periphery of Gondwana, which included Africa, South America, Antarctica, India, New Zealand and Australia. Paleomagnetic data locate New Caledonia originally near the South Pole. In the Triassic and early Jurassic, Gondwana moved northward, warming the eastern margin. New Caledonia separated from Australia and New Zealand during the breakup of the super-continent, separating from Australia at the end of the Cretaceous (65 MYA (mya (unit))) and probably completing its separation from New Zealand in the mid-Miocene. However, as with any plate tectonic process, the process was protracted and in this region it also was exceptionally complex. Many questions remain to be resolved. Grandcolas, Philippe; Murienne, Jerome; Robillard,Tony; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Jourdan, Herve; Guilbert, Eric; Deharveng, Louis. New Caledonia: a very old Darwinian island? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B (2008) 363, 3309–3317 doi:10.1098 rstb.2008.0122 Published online 2 September 2008 Evolution and history thumb 220px right Many current species in the vicinity of the Pacific Island region similar to New Zealand (File:Duvaucel's gecko.JPG)'s geckos, such as the Duvaucel's gecko, may have had their origins in New Caledonia. Over millions of years, these type of vegetation present in the islands, covered much of the tropics of Earth. The species of archipelago of New Caledonia are relicts of a type of vegetation disappeared, which originally covered much of the mainland of Australia, South America, Antartida, South Africa, North America and other lands when their climate were more humid (humidity) and warm. Although warm Cloud forests disappeared during the glaciations, they re-colonized large areas every time the weather was favorable again. Most of the Cloud forests are believed to have retroced and advanced during successive geological eras, and their species adapted to warm and wet gradually retreated and advanced, replaced by more cold-tolerant or drought-tolerant sclerophyll plant communities. Many of the then existing species became extinct because they could not cross the barriers posed by new oceans, mountains and deserts, but others found refuge as species relict in coastal areas and Islands. Some genera originated in the Gondwanian Antarctic flora. The most remarkable Gondwanian groups include the Cunoniaceae, the Myrtaceae, and the Proteaceae. Due to this fact, the islands share many plant families with the Valdivian forest of South America, New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia, in habitats of cloud forest and temperate rainforest. Angiosperm flora colonized New Zealand and New Caledonia during the Cretaceous with species such as ''Nothofagus'' and Proteaceae. There are some different names used in different parts of the world. ''Lock'', ''five-eighth'' and ''halfback'' are used in Australia, New Zealand and some surrounding countries. The same positions are known as ''loose forward'', ''stand-off'' and ''scrum half'' respectively in the Northern Hemisphere, where ''halfbacks'' refers to both the ''stand-off'' and ''scrum half''. Numbers 8 and 10 are both usually referred to as ''props'' but may sometimes called "Front Row Forwards". The operation of a round-the-world transpolar (Polar route) luxury charter flight in 1968 billed at the time as "the first commercial flight ever to cross both poles and touch down on all continents" arguably ranks as Modern Air's greatest achievement. On 22 November 1968, this saw CV-990A N5612 ''Polar Byrd I'', which had a special Polar Path Compass (PPC) system fitted for the polar (Polar route) trip, by Modern's electronics department headed up by Vincent De Ceasare become the first commercial jetliner to land on and take off from the Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
Nadia Raibin came up with the idea of an "opera band" mixing traditional opera with contemporary pop. One of the original five members, Nick Garrett (Nick Garrett (bass baritone)), a bass-baritone, left the group in August 2005 to pursue a solo career, shortly after the release of ''Defined''. Spatz, David, J., "One fewer voice but still in tune", ''The Record (The Record (Bergen County))'', September 30, 2005 (accessed via subscription 19 May 2010) Tenor Geoff Sewell left the group in February 2006 after his daughter Sienna was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sharp, Ron, "How we're fighting our child’s autism", ''The Independent'', 24 February 2009 This was just after the highly successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. Amici Forever have celebrated two No 1 albums with ''The Opera Band'' and ''Defined'' in Geoff Sewell's homeland of New Zealand. He was replaced with Brazilian Italian baritone Bruno Santino. On 20 September 2006 it was announced on the Amici Forever website that Jo Appleby would be leaving the group to pursue a career as a solo artist. Lucy van Gasse was introduced as the newest member of Amici in February 2007. '''Asphodeloideae''' is a subfamily of the monocot family (Family (biology)) Xanthorrhoeaceae in the order (Order (biology)) Asparagales. It has previously been treated as a separate family, '''Asphodelaceae'''. Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
: haka) is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment. The group of people performing a haka is referred to as a ''kapa haka'' (''kapa'' meaning ''row'' or ''rank''). The Māori word ''haka'' has cognates in other Polynesian languages, for example: Tongan ''haka'', 'hand action while singing
invaders in Montenegro (page 38) , June, 2010 and Albania
, in Market Street (Market Street, Sydney). As his business grew over the years, he moved to larger premises, and eventually had a million books in stock. As he had died childless and unmarried, the business passed to his sister, Marjory, who was married to John Forsyth. Since then, the Forsyth family has managed Dymocks. In 1922, the Dymock family purchased the site of the old Royal Hotel in George Street, and built the historic, Art Deco landmark Dymocks building, completed in 1930. In 1986
''Peraxilla tetrapetala''. The buds cannot open themselves but are visited by birds such as the tui (Tui (bird)) and bellbird (New Zealand Bellbird) which twist the top of the ripe bud. That action releases a mechanism which causes the petals to suddenly spring open, giving access to the nectar and pollen. However, when observing the native bees in the Canterbury (Canterbury, New Zealand) province in the South Island, the scientists were astonished to see the bees biting the top off the buds, then pushing with their legs, occasionally popping open the buds to allow the bees to harvest the nectar and pollen, and therefore aid in the pollination of the mistletoe which is in decline in New Zealand. Nowhere else in the world have bees demonstrated ability to open explosive bird-adapted flowers. Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
the two prosperous southern nations of Australia and New Zealand, with great honorary ceremonies occurring both from and to each of the nations as a sign of togetherness and strength during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Wyatt was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and starting playing golf at an early age in Richmond, British Columbia out of the Quichena Golf & Country Club. In 1983 she was the medalist at the 1983 Women's Western Junior Golf Championship and in 1984 she was the British Columbia Junior champion and ranked as the 2nd best junior golfer in Canada. From 1985-1987, she was the number one ranked player in Canada. In 1987, she was a member of the gold-medal winning team at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand. She attended Lamar University on a full scholarship and played on the Lamar golf team in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) for five years before graduating in 1988 with a degree in Graphic Design. Biography Haast was born at Bonn, Kingdom of Prussia. He received his early education partly in that town and partly in Cologne, and then entered the university of Bonn, where he studied geology and mineralogy. In 1858 he travelled to New Zealand to report on the suitability of the colony for German emigrants. He then became acquainted with Ferdinand von Hochstetter, and assisted him in the preliminary geological survey which von Hochstetter had undertaken. Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
France and New Zealand (New Zealand national rugby league team) both performing poorly. accessdate 2009-12-24 location London and New Zealand cut a swathe through the tournament, with several dominant performances setting up an obvious final clash. New Zealand's 49-6 semi-final dispatch of England, coupled with Australia only hitting the lead in their semi-final against Wales with 23 minutes remaining, had New Zealand installed as favourites in some quarters. However, it was Australia who prevailed in a tense, absorbing finale. Australia only led 18-12 with 15 minutes remaining, but a glut of possession saw them finish strongly - scoring four late tries to give the appearance of an easy victory. accessdate 2009-12-24 location London and New Zealand cut a swathe through the tournament, with several dominant performances setting up an obvious final clash. New Zealand's 49-6 semi-final dispatch of England, coupled with Australia only hitting the lead in their semi-final against Wales with 23 minutes remaining, had New Zealand installed as favourites in some quarters. However, it was Australia who prevailed in a tense, absorbing finale. Australia only led 18-12 with 15 minutes remaining, but a glut of possession saw them finish strongly - scoring four late tries to give the appearance of an easy victory. Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
on a cafe cold shelf (albeit in a somewhat different form to the Japanese original) as you are a BLT sandwich, or to find a butter chicken pie in the warmer as you are a steak & kidney pie. Distinctive New Zealand foods include: *'''ANZAC biscuits''' – plain hard biscuits made primarily from oatmeal bound with golden syrup. Originally made for and by ANZAC troops during the First World War. Also found in Australia. *'''Kiwifruit''' – a plum-sized green fleshed fruit, with fine black seeds in the flesh, originating from China, selectively bred in New Zealand, and first known to the home gardener as a ''Chinese gooseberry''. Now commercially farmed, with production centred on Te Puke but in many orcharding areas. New Zealand kiwifruit is in season from mid-March to September; outside the season it is imported from the northern hemisphere. Slices often served on pavlova (see below). *'''Kumara''' or sweet potato (''Ipomoea batatas'') – roasted in the same manner as potatoes and often served instead of or alongside. May also be deep fried like potato chips and known as '''kumara chips''' – nice served with sour cream but rarely done well as kumara cooks at a different temperature than potatoes, so it needs a skilled chef for the dish to be done perfectly. The "red" variety with its dark red purple skin is the most popular in New Zealand and is rather tart compared to the familiar Beauregard sweet potato found overseas (this variety is sold in New Zealand as "orange" kumara). *'''Pavlova''' or '''pav''' – a dessert cake made of whipped egg whites and sugar and slowly baked to have a crusty meringue-like outside but a soft marshmallow-like middle, topped with whipped cream and decorated with sliced fruit. Pavlovas can be very finicky to bake and are notorious for deflating if cooled too quickly, so don't expect the average New Zealand homemade pav to look like the picture. The dessert is also common in Australia, and there is much debate between the two countries as to where it was first invented! *'''Pies''' – New Zealanders eat large numbers of non-flakey pastry pies containing fillings such as beef, lamb, pork, potato, kumara, vegetables, and cheese that fit nicely in one hand (around 170 g 6 oz). They're so iconic in New Zealand that even McDonald's sells them (it's a long story), although their prices are a little on the steep side. Some companies now market ranges of "gourmet" pies and there is an annual competition for the best pie in a variety of categories. *'''Whitebait''' – the translucent sprat or fingerlings of native freshwater fish species that migrate from spawning in the sea each year. After being caught in coastal river mouth set or hand nets during the spring (September to November), this highly sought after delicacy is rushed to all ends of the country. Often served in "whitebait fritters" (a fried patty of whitebait in an egg-based batter), they may be seasonally available from a local fish and chip shop and are cooked without gutting or removing their heads, as they are tiny (2-7 mm broad). thumb A hangi being prepared. (File:Hangi prepare.jpg) Māori have their own distinctive cuisine: *The '''hangi''' or earth oven is the traditional way that Māori cook food for large gatherings. Meat, vegetables and sometimes puddings are slowly steam-cooked for several hours in a covered pit that has previously been lined with stones and had a hot wood fire burn down in it. *'''Kaimoana''' (sea food) – particularly shellfish gathered from inter-tidal rocks and beaches as well as '''crayfish''' (rock lobster, ''Jasus edwardsii'') and inshore fish caught on a line or with nets. Species such as '''paua''' (blackfoot abalone, ''Haliotis iris'') and '''toheroa''' have been overfished and gathering restrictions are strictly enforced, while '''green mussels''' (''Perna canalicula'') are commercially grown and sold live, or processed, in supermarkets. '''Warning''': While it is common to see people collecting shellfish, crustaceans and other ''kaimoana'', there are a number of rules, for example minimum sizes or daily catch limits, which are usually posted on signs at the approaches to the collecting area. These rules are strictly enforced; breaking them may net you a fine of up to $250,000 or up to 5 years in prison. If in doubt, check the Ministry of Primary Industries' (MPI) fisheries website: www.fish.govt.nz or with a local. Rules may be seasonal or all-year catch limits set by MPI, or they may be that certain areas are reserved solely for ''tangata whenua'', or a combination. At times areas may have a prohibition against them for health reasons. Drink Alcoholic New Zealanders have a reputation for enjoying their beer, with the average Kiwi drinking 71 litres per year. Although there are now only three major breweries, there are many regional brands, each with their own distinctive taste and staunch supporters. International brands such as Heineken, Guinness, Carlsberg and Budweiser are also available. The New Zealand wine industry has developed into a significant export industry. The nation is now known internationally as one of the top producers of Sauvignon Blanc; over 70% of the country's grape harvest of the variety. The Hawke's Bay region is well known for its Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and more recently Viognier varieties. Marlborough is the largest wine producing region and famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. Waipara in North Canterbury specialises in Riesling and Pinot Gris, while the Wairarapa and Central Otago specialise in Pinot Noir. Many vineyards now offer winery tours, wine tasting and sales from the vineyard. The minimum legal purchase age for alcohol in New Zealand is 18, and can only be supplied to under-18s via a parent or legal guardian. It is universal policy for bars and retailers to ask for photo identification from any patron who looks under the age of 25, and the only forms of identification accepted are a passport, New Zealand driver licence, or a Hospitality Association of New Zealand (HANZ) 18+ card. National alcohol trading hours are 08:00 to 04:00 the next day for on-licences (bars, pubs, restaurants) and 07:00 to 23:00 for off-licences (liquor stores, supermarkets), although there may be local restrictions. All off-licences must close and there are restrictions on alcohol sales at on-licences all day Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and before 13:00 on Anzac Day (25 April). If you are planning to go to a winery on these days, you may be out of luck. Take care when and where you indulge in public. New Zealand has recently introduced liquor ban areas – that means alcoholic drinks cannot be consumed or even carried in some streets, such as city centres and popular beaches, at certain times of the day or night. Police can instruct you to empty bottles and arrest you if you do not comply. Non-alcoholic Coffeehouses are a daytime venue in many of the larger cities and tourist destinations. The café culture is notable in downtown Wellington, where many office workers have their tea breaks. Most coffee styles, cappuccino, latte, espresso short black, long black, flat white, vienna etc., are usually available. Flat whites are probably the most popular. Cappuccinos are usually served with a choice of cinnamon or chocolate powder sprinkled on top. Its usual to request which one you want. Fluffies are a small frothed milk for children, sprinkled with chocolate powder. Tap water in New Zealand is regarded as some of the cleanest in the world; it is safe to drink from in all cities, most come from artesian wells or freshwater reservoirs - however, some are from rivers which can be chlorinated to be made safe but do not taste very nice. Some of the water in Auckland comes from the Waikato river, a long river that has its source in Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island. But by the time it reaches Auckland, it has been treated so that the quality is no worse than that of the Thames in London or the Hudson in New York. Auckland water is also drawn from run-off reservoirs in the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges. Tap water in places such as Christchurch and Hastings is not chlorinated at all as it is drawn from the pure artesian aquifers of the Canterbury and Heretaunga plains. Bottled water is commonly available if you prefer. '''L & P''' (''Lemon & Paeroa'') is a sweet carbonated lemonade style drink said to be "world famous in New Zealand". It is a sold in a brown plastic bottle with a yellow label similar to the traditional brown glass bottles it used to be sold in. While originally manufactured in its namesake, Paeroa in the Waikato, it is now manufactured in Auckland by Coca-Cola. Sleep New Zealand offers a wide range of accommodation. International quality, '''luxury hotels''' can be found in the major cities. New Zealanders seem to have perfected the art of the top-dollar home-stay. Hosted '''luxury lodges''' are the top-end equivalent of the bed-and-breakfast market and New Zealand has upwards of 40 internationally recognised lodges. Per capita, that's probably the highest in the world. They tend to be situated away from cities and can be difficult to get to, though some are right in the heart of the major centres. At the very top-end, helicopter transfers and private jets help the luxury traveller move between the lodges they've chosen for their visit. '''Motels''' of a variety of standards from luxury to just adequate can be found on the approaches to most towns. Most New Zealand motels feature kitchenettes usually with cooking utensils, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery so the traveller can reduce the cost of eating-out by self-catering from their motel bedroom. Heating can be a problem in winter though - while an increasing number of motels have their ceilings and walls insulated, double glazing is still uncommon. Small-scale central heating is also uncommon, and most motel rooms are headed by plug-in electric heating or gas heaters. '''Bed and Breakfasts''' are popular with visiting Brits and Swiss as well as '''homestays''', '''farmstays''' and similar lodgings - some of which are in the most unlikely places. These can be a good choice if the traveller wants to benefit from local insider tips from the resident hosts, and many visitors welcome the opportunity to sample the rural life. For uniquely New Zealand accommodation, there are Māori homestays and tourist-catering "marae stays. There is a wide range of '''backpackers (Hostels)''' accommodation around these islands, including a 50 strong network of '''Youth Hostels''' (these cater for independent travellers of any age) that are members of the Youth Hostels Association. There are also two marketing networks of independent Hostels: BBH with 280+ listings and the much smaller Nomads network. Commercial '''camping''' grounds are strategically and conveniently located, as well as camping sites within all of the national parks. If you are travelling into the backcountry, the 'Department of Conservation ("DOC") has many back-country huts that can be used under a permit system. ''Freedom camping'' outside of recognised and marked camping areas is decreasingly available. It used to be common to find a tent or hammock pitched for the night in many picnic areas or in a grove of trees off the road or anywhere else there wasn't a "No Camping" sign. Due to growing local concerns about both rubbish and human waste not being disposed of properly together with moteliers resenting their falling incomes, many local authorities are now introducing tough restrictions with on-the-spot penalty notices being issued. Always dispose of all waste properly and leave your camping spots exactly as you found them (if not in better condition). Please respect this privilege and avoid leaving more ammunition for the people who want to restrict Freedom camping even further. TIA, DOC and the i-SITE network of information centres have produced a useful on-line map resource featuring over 1500 pay and free sites and based on Google maps . Many visitors travel around New Zealand in hired minibuses and vans, including self-contained '''campervans''', that can be driven by anyone who holds an ordinary car driver's licence. New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world after the UK to develop a dense '''WWoOF''' network. "Willing Workers on Organic Farms" pioneered the concept of travellers ("WWoOFers") staying as volunteers on farms and receiving food and accommodation in exchange for half a days help for each night they stay. The Nelson Tasman region in the South Island is particularly rich in WWOOFing possibilities. HelpX which is similar to WWOOF but is not restricted to just organics, originated and has its largest country network in New Zealand. '''Couchsurfing''' is also popular in New Zealand with most major centres sporting active forums and groups as well as having hosts all around the nation. Learn For many years, New Zealand schools and universities have educated foreign students from the countries of Southeast Asia and education has now become a major source of export earnings for the country. In recent years, English language schools have been established for students from the region, particularly South Korea and China, but also many other countries. Education in New Zealand is compulsory from age 6 to 16 years, though almost all children begin attending school at age 5 and often stay at school for thirteen years, until 17 or 18 years old. ''Primary school'' lasts six years (Years 1–6); ''intermediate school'' lasts two years (Years 7–8), and ''secondary school'' lasts five years (Years 9–13). Depending on the area, these may be separate schools, two of the schools may be combined (a ''full primary'' or a ''Year 7-13 secondary''), or all three may be combined (an ''area school'' or ''campus''). Secondary schools are also called ''high schools'' or ''colleges''. A ''college'' does not refer to universities in New Zealand unlike in some other countries, though some specialised single-subject tertiary training-centres may also be called ''colleges''. Primary and secondary compulsory schooling is ''free'' for New Zealand and Australian citizens and residents at ''state schools'' (i.e. public government-funded schools) from their fifth birthday until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19, although quasi-voluntary donations and ''fees'' are requested to cover extra-curricular activities and consumable materials. ''State integrated schools'' are former private schools that have since become part of the state system, usually because they've run into financial difficulty. Catholic schools make up two-thirds of all state-integrated schools (more students equals more teachers and buildings equals higher costs - draw your own conclusion), with other religious denomination and education philosophies also featuring. They charge ''attendance dues'' to cover the cost of keeping the still privately-owned school land and buildings up to scratch. ''Private schools'' are separate from the state system and charge tuition fees to cover the school's costs. Tertiary education is state assisted, with part of the tuition costs funded by the state. International students who are not Australian citizens will need to pay for their education; in some cases this includes a national profit margin. The Ministry of Education has established a ''Code of Practice'' that New Zealand educational institutions enrolling ''international students'' need to abide by. This ''Code of Practice'' includes minimum standards for the pastoral care of international students. Primary school students, or those age 10 or under, need to either live with a parent or else board in a school hostel. Additionally, older students, who are under age 18, may live in home-stays, temporary accommodation or with designated caregivers. Where the institution arranges accommodation for students older than age 18 the code of practice applies to their accommodation situations also. New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and refugees can receive financial assistance through loans and allowances, to pay the tuition fees and to attend tertiary education at ''Universities'', ''Polytechnics'', ''Whananga'' (Māori operated universities polytechnics) and ''Private Training Providers''. Overseas students will need to pay the full tuition fees and their own living costs while studying at a New Zealand institution. Overseas students need to have a student visa and a reasonable level of cash to spend in order to undertake a course of study at a New Zealand based educational institution. Visas are generally valid for the duration of the course of study and only while the student is attending the course of study. New Zealand educational institutions will inform the appropriate immigration authorities if a student ceases to attend their enrolled courses, who may then suspend or cancel that student's visa. Educational institutions often also exchange this enrolment and attendance data electronically with other government agencies responsible for providing student assistance. Work To work in New Zealand you need to be a citizen or current permanent resident of either '''New Zealand''' or '''Australia''', or else have a New Zealand residence visa, work visa, working holiday visa, or another appropriate visa which permits you to work. Students on student visas can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week. Citizens of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau are New Zealand citizens and don't need any permits to live and work in New Zealand. If you are intending to work in New Zealand you should obtain a work visa. You will also need to have a ''New Zealand bank account'', as most employers pay using electronic banking rather than in cash; an ''Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Number'', as ''withholding tax'' and or ''income tax'' will be deducted from your wages by your employer; and a '''tax declaration form (IR330)''', as tax will be deducted at the ''no declaration'' rate of 45% unless you have an IRD number and tax code. More information about New Zealand's tax system, including appropriate forms, can be obtained from Inland Revenue Te Tari Tāke. (The Maori naming department clearly didn't think that one through.) You should have your IRD number 8-10 working days after you apply. You will need to fill in the IRD number application form (IR595), and provide a photocopy of a passport or New Zealand birth certificate. It is possible to apply for the IRD number, then call the department around a week later to request the number by phone, however this will depend on the workload of the processing centres at the time. Calling the IRD requires several forms of ID, it is ideal to be able to provide your passport number and full address when requested. Your new IRD number will be nine digits long grouped into sets of three digits (e.g. 123-456-789), although older numbers have only eight digits (e.g. 23-456-789). New Zealand operates a ''simplified'' tax system that tends to collect more tax than people need to pay, because of the use of the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) deduction system. Your employer will work out how much tax you need to pay and deduct it from your wages, giving you the after-tax amount in your bank account and sending the tax deductions onto Inland Revenue. The obligation is then on the worker to claim overpaid tax back, rather than declaring their income and paying any extra tax. Be careful though, if you choose to work in New Zealand and you stay more than 183 days in any 12-month period, your ''worldwide income'' could be taxed. New Zealand has ''double taxation'' agreements with several countries to stop tax being paid twice. Being a foreigner means that your New Zealand income is subject to local income tax at the fullest levels. Although many people believe that they can collect all their tax back when they leave the country, this is not true. It may be the case that filing an income tax return may result in a small refund if working for only part of the year; however, this is not likely to be the case. If you are a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident, or hold a resident visa, your employer will automatically start taking 3% of your wages each week in KiwiSaver, the government's retirement savings scheme. If you don't want KiwiSaver, make sure you fill in a New employee opt-out request (KS10) and give it to your employer within 8 weeks of starting your job. More information about KiwiSaver can be found on the KiwiSaver website, otherwise the CFLRI's Sorted website has a very good plain English guide to KiwiSaver. As of 1 April 2014, the minimum wage for those aged 18 and over is $14.25 per hour. Be careful as some unscrupulous employers like to pay foreigners below the minimum wage. Seasonal work such as fruit picking and other agricultural work is sometimes formally available for tourists - and always available illegally. More information about legal seasonal fruit picking work can be found at Pick NZ. With the Christchurch rebuild shifting into high gear, there is always demand for construction trade jobs (bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, glaziers, etc.) in the Canterbury area. If your profession is listed on the Canterbury Skills Shortage List and you are prepared to work on the rebuild, you may be able to get a one-year or three-year Essential Skills temporary work visa. You may also need to register as a Licensed Building Practitioner, especially if you want to do work affecting the structure or weather-tightness of a building. New Zealand has a number of reciprocal Working Holiday Schemes, which allow people between 18 and 30 to travel and work in New Zealand for up to one year and vice versa. At present young citizens of a number of countries from Europe, South America, North America and Asia can apply. These schemes are enormously popular and in many instances participants can apply to stay in New Zealand longer once they have completed their one year stay. Information on all the various schemes and application details. Stay safe The emergency telephone number in New Zealand is '''111'''. Ambulance, Fire, Police, Coastguard and Marine and Mountain Rescue can all be rapidly contacted via this one, '''FREE, ''emergencies only''''' number. This number (or 112 or 911) also works from mobiles - even when there is no credit available and even if no SIM card is present at all! If you make a hoax or frivolous call to 111 (and emergency services are not deployed), your phone account will be charged $6.90. If actual emergency services are deployed, you will be prosecuted for wasting emergency services' time – a false fire callout alone is a $1,150 fine. Dial * 555 to report non-emergency traffic incidents from mobiles. Due to their isolation, the Chatham Islands are not connected to the 111 network and have their own local emergency number: '''+64 3 305-0111'''. While you can dial this number from your mobile, it won't work as the Chatham Islands have no mobile phone reception. Full instructions are on the inside front cover of every telephone book. 0800 161 610 - Deaf emergency fax (connects to police) 0800 161 616 - Deaf emergency textphone TTY (connects to police) 0800 764 766 - Poisons and hazardous chemicals emergency 0800 611 116 - medical advice ("Healthline", run by the Ministry of Health) 0800 808 400 - railway emergencies (KiwiRail Network) Crime and security While difficult to make international comparisons, the level of crime in New Zealand is similar to other western countries. Dishonesty offences, such as theft, are by far the most frequent crime. Much of this crime is opportunistic in nature, so travellers should take simple, sensible precautions such as putting valuables away out of sight or in a secure place and locking doors of vehicles, even in remote locations. Violent crime in public places is associated with alcohol or illicit drug consumption. Rowdy bars or drunken crowds in city centres, or groups of youths in the suburbs, are best avoided, especially late at night and in the early morning. New Zealanders can be somewhat lacking in a sense of humour when their country or their sporting teams are mocked by loud or drinking tourists. There are occasional disturbing high profile media reports of tourists being targeted in random violent robberies and or sexual crimes. These crimes tend to happen in isolated places, where the chances of the offender being observed by other people are low. While the chances of falling victim to such misfortune are low, you should still take the usual precautionary measures. Although crime statistics reflects an increase in violent crime, the increase is entirely explained by increased detection of domestic violence, a key focus area for police. Tourists are unlikely to be affected, as such crimes usually take place in the privacy of New Zealanders' own homes. The '''New Zealand Police''' is the national police force, and police officers are generally polite, helpful and trustworthy. Unlike in most other nations, New Zealand police officers do not routinely carry firearms; officers on the beat typically only carry batons, offender control pepper spray, and Tasers. Firearm-related incidents are typically left to the specialist Armed Offenders Squad (AOS, similar to SWAT in the United States) to deal with. Armed police or an AOS callout usually rates a mention in the media. Police regularly set up checkpoints all around an area, including all lanes of motorways, checking for drunk-driving, seat belt usage, child restraints, expired Warrants of Fitness and registrations, etc. If you fail the roadside breathalyser test, you will have to accompany the officer to a police station, or a roadside "Booze Bus" for an evidential breath test, blood test, or both. Being found with excess breath alcohol, or refusal to undertake testing will result in an arrest, appearance in Court, with a possibility of time in prison if you are a repeat offender, as well as a hefty fine and disqualification from driving. Fixed and mobile speed cameras as well as hand held and car speed detectors are used frequently. Police have no official discretion for speeding offences and will write tickets for all vehicles caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km h. In some locations, such as near schools, even exceeding the speed limit by only 5 km h will result in a ticket. Natural hazards '''Severe weather''' is by far the most common natural hazard encountered. Although New Zealand is not subject to the direct hit of tropical cyclones, stormy weather systems from both the tropics and the polar regions can sweep across New Zealand at various times of the year. There is generally a seven to ten day cycle of a few days of wet or stormy weather followed by calmer and drier days as weather systems move across the country. The phrase ''four seasons in one day'' is a good description of New Zealand weather, which has a reputation for both changeability and unpredictability. The phrase is also a popular Kiwi song. Weather forecasts are generally reliable for overall trends and severe weather warnings should be heeded when broadcast. However both the timing and intensity of any weather events should be assessed from your own location. You should always seek advice from the Department of Conservation when trekking in alpine areas. There are annual fatalities of both foreign nationals and New Zealanders caught unaware by the weather. There are other natural hazards you may encounter, though far more rarely: *'''Strong earthquakes''' - New Zealand, being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, sits astride a tectonic plate boundary and experiences large numbers (about 14,000 year) of small earthquakes every year, a few (about 200 each year) are noticeable and the occasional one causes damage and sometimes loss of life. The last ''big one'' causing serious loss of life was on 22 Feb 2011, 10 km south east of Christchurch. It was a 6.3 magnitude quake with a depth of only 5 km and 185 people were killed. The latest quake news is reported by GeoNet. In an earthquake, running outside the building is generally more hazardous than remaining inside and finding a covered spot underneath door lintles, under stairs or tables; buildings in New Zealand are built to high standards, and while they may be damaged in an earthquake, they should remain standing. :If you do feel a strong earthquake, remember ''Drop, Cover, Hold'': '''drop''' to the ground, '''cover''' yourself under a table or desk (or cover your head and neck with your hands if no table or desk is available), and '''hold''' on until the shaking stops. *'''Tsunami''' is a possible risk in coast parts of New Zealand. Warning of a tsunami from an overseas earthquake will be widely publicised via media. However, should you experience a very strong earthquake (over a minute long, or so strong you cannot easliy stand) you should move to high ground (35 m or more) or at least 1km inland as a precaution until an all clear is given. *'''Volcanic eruptions''' - New Zealand has a number of volcanoes that are classified as active or dormant. Only Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro (Tongariro National Park), White Island and the remote Kermadec Islands have been active recently. Volcanic activity is also monitored by GeoNet. *There are almost no poisonous or substantially dangerous animals. The katipo and redback are the only two '''venomous spiders''' and bites from both species are extremely rare. Serious reactions are uncommon and unlikely to develop in less than three hours, though you should always seek help at your nearest hospital, medical centre, or doctor. The white-tailed spider can also deliver painful bites but is not considered dangerous to humans. No large mammalian predators are present and there are no large predatory reptiles. Certain species of '''Weta''' (an insect, that looks a bit like a grasshopper or cricket) can deliver a painful but harmless bite. Fire brigade and civil defence sirens Outside the major cities, New Zealanders rely on volunteer firefighters to protect their community. As pagers have the tenancy to fail, sirens are still regularly used day and night to call out firefighters; they sound like British WWII air raid sirens, and make a wailing (up and down) sound. Some tourists have been caught unaware and have panicked upon hearing the fire siren, thinking New Zealand was about to be attacked by nuclear weapons. Some areas, especially those along the coastline, have a system of civil defence sirens. The sound signals are different from area to area - a continuous tone in one area may mean to evacuate while in another area it may mean all clear. The best advice is if you hear a siren go off and it make anything other than a wailing sound, tune your radio into Radio New Zealand National, Newstalk ZB, Radio Live, More FM or Classic Hits for further information. You'll know that you've hit one of them (and its a civil defence emergency) if you hear the Civil Defence sting, which sounds like a chorus of several different sirens. Stay healthy New Zealand has very high levels of ultraviolet radiation, around 40% more intense than you will find in the Mediterranean during the summer and, consequently, has high rates of skin cancer. Sun hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended, especially if you have white skin and or ginger hair! Smog is a perennial winter problem in many South Island towns and cities, especially Alexandra, Christchurch and Timaru. Like Los Angeles and Vancouver, these areas are affected by temperature inversion, whereby a layer of warm air traps cold air full of pollutants from vehicles and wood fires close to the ground. Be wary in these areas if you have any respiratory problems (including asthma). New Zealand has high and equitable standards of professional health care comparable with Sweden or Australia. Tap water is drinkable. Precautions should be taken against ''Giardia'' when tramping: do not drink water from rural streams without boiling it first. Risk may be lower in the highlands of the South Island, especially where streams are strong and come directly from melting snow in the mountain. While you will not need any special immunisations before travelling to New Zealand, it may pay to get a flu vaccination if you are travelling in the New Zealand winter season. Medical care Visiting the doctor will cost about $60-70 but varies between practices and localities. Appointments outside normal business hours may cost extra. Except in the case of accidental injury (see below), the New Zealand public hospital system is free of charge to Australian, British and New Zealand citizens but will charge other nationals for treatment received. Travel insurance is highly recommended. New Zealand is the only country in the world to have a universal, no-fault, accidental injury compensation scheme, run by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Even if you are just visiting, if you are injured while in New Zealand, ACC will pay the cost of your treatment and, if you're working, will cover up to 80 percent of any lost New Zealand earnings. To claim ACC, you only need to turn up at the doctor's surgery or Accident & Emergency; they will give you a claim form to complete which will then be sent to ACC on your behalf. There may be a part charge for treatment at a doctor's clinic. You ''can not sue'' any party, whether they were to blame or not, in relation to injury covered by ACC. ACC will not cover any incidental costs you incur, such as costs for changing travel arrangements or for relatives to come to New Zealand to assist in your care, as you will be expected to hold travel insurance for these costs. ACC coverage is limited to New Zealand, so you are liable for any medical costs relating to an injury once you leave the country. Any property damaged or lost in an accident is also not covered by ACC, but if another person was at fault you can claim via their insurance, or directly if they are uninsured (although you may need to claim through a court process if they refuse to pay). Land ambulance services are provided by Wellington Free Ambulance in the Greater Wellington area, and St John's Ambulance elsewhere. St John's will charge for non-ACC callouts - around $80 for NZ and UK citizens and $770 for everyone else. Wellington Free Ambulance is free to use (as the name suggests), but will casually hint you should make a donation to them in return. Prescription medication in New Zealand is generally referred to by its International Non-proprietary Name (INN) rather than any brand name. New Zealand has a single national drug-buyer, Pharmac, whose main aim to keep medicine prices low. It does mean subsidised drugs changing brands every five years (hence why drugs are known by their INNs), but it also means prescription drug shelf prices are among the cheapest in the OECD. On average, subsidised prescription medicines in New Zealand cost two-thirds of what they do in the UK and Australia, and one-third of what they do in the United States. Subsidised medications are available to New Zealand, Australian and UK citizens; a deductible of $15 applies for casual patients ($5 for enrolled patients). For those from other countries and those requiring unsubsidised medications, you will have to pay the full shelf price. On arrival at an Accident and Emergency department of a public hospital you will be triaged and treated in order of priority rather than order of arrival. Even treatment of a simple broken bone may involve a wait of several hours if more serious cases keep arriving. Children with a similar injury to yours will probably be treated before adults. If your illness or accident is minor, you may be advised to seek assistance from a doctor's clinic or after hours medical centre. This may cost you more than $100, but will prevent you waiting up to a whole day for treatment. Healthline, a free 24-hour hotline staffed by registered nurses, is available if you need advice on a medical condition. The phone number is 0800 611 116. Respect Social behaviour New Zealanders are generally warm and sociable, but will hold strangers at a distance. * New Zealand is a country where "please" and "thank you" can be used more than once in a sentence without being out of place, and where an initial refusal of an offer is part of a polite banter. You should follow up a politely refused offer, with "Are you sure?", etc. Criticisms and compliments are often understated. * If you wish to communicate with a New Zealander outside of a formal situation you are best to initiate the conversation. If you are unsure of the location of your intended destination ask a local. Your accent will trigger the local's desire to be helpful to tourists and they will normally offer to go beyond giving simple directions to help you. * New Zealanders will often ask many (sometimes probing) questions about your home country or culture. This is not meant to be offensive: it reflects a genuine interest in other people and cultures and a desire to gain first-hand knowledge. * If staying for more than a few days at someone's house, if they are younger than 35 it is considered polite to leave a token amount of money, say $20, to 'cover the power bill', especially if you are the guest at a shared flat apartment house. * In conversations, if you want to contradict something someone has said, be gentle. New Zealanders will often be happy to learn something new and incorporate it into their knowledge but will also defend strongly something they have direct knowledge of. * Some New Zealanders tend to swear a lot. Sometimes they may even use swear words to refer to friends. It generally isn't meant to be offensive. * New Zealand society is understood by New Zealanders to be classless and egalitarian. While in reality New Zealand is far from classless, talking about class and personal wealth isn't usually well received. New Zealanders, even wealthy New Zealanders, tend to behave in a somewhat frugal manner. * The majority of New Zealanders are generally open to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. New Zealand decriminalised homosexuality in August 1986, outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in February 1994, introduced de-facto relationships and civil unions in April 2005 and legalised same-sex marriage in August 2013. This was achieved in all cases through an acts of parliament which passed with support from Members of Parliament across all major political parties. While some homophobic attitudes do exist (mainly among religious fundamentalists and young uneducated males), even people who might not be comfortable with homosexuality tend to exhibit the common New Zealand pragmatic 'live and let live' attitude. Dress New Zealanders generally dress casually but still very conservatively, with a prevalence of wearing black or dark clothing. You will see men and women in suits in cities on weekdays only. * Wearing brightly coloured clothing will mark you as a tourist. In most cases this will be to your advantage due to New Zealanders wanting to be hospitable to tourists. However, being marked as a tourist may attract unwanted attention from less than savoury people. Use common sense if you are approached by a local. * New Zealand's weather can be very changeable, a cold front can make the temperature drop suddenly. Make sure you take a jacket or jumper with you at all times. Equally, if you hit a beautiful, sunny, warm day you may also need to cover up to prevent the harsh sun causing sunburn. * If going to an expensive formal restaurant for a meal you will not need to wear a suit and tie, but wearing jeans and t-shirts is frowned upon. Smart trousers, a collared shirt and dress shoes for men, and smart trousers or skirt and blouse for women would be typical. At all non-formal dining there will be an expectation of being tidily dressed. * If drinking in bars, check out what the locals are wearing before going. Wearing shorts and sandals may be acceptable in rural areas, but trousers and shoes are a minimum standard for most city bars and restaurants. Some nightclubs (but not all) will insist upon collared shirts and refuse entry to men wearing sports shoes. Women will generally be granted admission regardless of dress. * At most beaches, nudity is frowned upon. If you do wish to go nude (or topless for women) you will only be breaking the law if you cause offence to another person so walking away from the main beach to a quieter spot will usually get around any problems. Māori culture Māori cultural experiences are popular tourist attractions enjoyed by many people but, as with any two cultures encountering one another, there is room for misunderstanding. Some tourists have found themselves more confronted than they expected by ceremonial challenges and welcomes. These are serious occasions; avoid chatter and laughter. Have jokes and laughs later. There will be plenty of time to relax later when the hāngi is uncovered. Māori, Pākehā (Kiwis of European descent) and other New Zealanders (all-comers) are generally on good terms. National identity New Zealanders have a distinct and jealously guarded national identity. Although it has many similarities with other western cultures, it isn't a state of Australia, or still part of the British Empire (though it is a member of the Commonwealth). While Australia and New Zealand have close foreign policy ties, considerable inter-migration and overlapping cultures, saying New Zealanders are basically Australians will not gain you any Kiwi or Aussie friends. It is pretty much the same relationship as with Canadians and Americans or the Irish and Brits. In many ways, Australia and New Zealand have a similar outlook towards the other, with the same clichéd jokes being made. Despite the jokes about New Zealand, most Australians have a genuine affection for New Zealanders (and vice versa); the relationship between the two countries is often described as sibling-like, with the sibling rivalry to boot. This can be traced back to ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps), participation in two world wars (particularly the Gallipoli and North African campaigns), Korea, Vietnam, the Malaya Crisis, Solomon Islands, etc. When a disaster strikes one country, you will see charity collections for relief efforts underway in the other. Connect Telephone New Zealand has a well developed and ubiquitous telephone system. The country's legacy phone company, Spark, claimed in 2009 to have about 4,000 payphones in NZ which can be easily identified by their yellow and blue colours, but these numbers are now diminishing. All of them accept major credit cards and a variety of phonecards available from retailers. You may have to look hard for a payphone that accepts coins. There is an on-line directory of telephone subscribers. You can also call directory assistance on '''018''', although the operators may be a bit hard to understand if you're not Filipino. The international access code or prefix is '''00'''. (When using a mobile phone, like everywhere else, the plus symbol "+" can be used instead of the 00 prefix.) The country code for international calls to New Zealand is +64. When dialling from overseas, omit any leading '0' in the area code. There are five area codes: :'''03''' for all of the South Island, Stewart Island and the Chathams :'''04''' for Greater Wellington (excluding Wairarapa) :'''06''' for Taranaki, Wanganui (Wanganui (region)), Manawatu, the Central North Island south of Mount Ruapehu, Hawke's Bay, East Coast (East Coast (New Zealand)), and Wairarapa. :'''07''' for Waikato, Bay of Plenty and the Central North Island north of Mount Ruapehu :'''09''' for Auckland and Northland. You'll need to dial the area code if you are making non-local toll calls, even if the area code is the same (eg: you have to dial 03 when calling Christchurch from Dunedin, 07 when calling Hamilton from Tauranga, etc). Some of rules defining what is a local call and what is a toll call can be confusing e.g. calling Kaiapoi to Rolleston (37 km away) is a local call, but Kaiapoi to Rangiora (11 km away) is a toll call - if in doubt, include the area code. Freephone numbers start '''0508''' or '''0800''' and can not be connected from outside New Zealand. Collect (reverse charge) calls can be made by calling the operator on '''010''' (or '''0170''' for international calls) and following the instructions. The emergency number is '''111''', except in the Chatham Islands where it is '''+64 3 305-0111''' Mobile phones All major NZ mobile networks claim to have coverage "where 97% of NZers live, work and play", although this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Mobile telephone coverage is good near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that, outside these urban areas and especially away from the main highway system, coverage may be patchy. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call '''*555''' only to report '' '''Non-emergency''' traffic safety'' incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the ''Police''. All mobile phone numbers in New Zealand usually start with '''02''', usually followed by eight digits (there are some seven- and nine-digit numbers in the 021 range). There are currently three major mobile networks in New Zealand. New Zealand's mobile network is the fastest on the planet as reported by Ookla. class "wikitable" - ! Carrier !! GSM (2G) !! UMTS (3G) !! LTE (4G) - 2degrees 900MHz 1800MHz 900MHz (main frequency), 2100MHz (metro supplementary) Band 3 (urban), 28 (rural) - Spark - 850MHz (main frequency), 2100MHz (metro supplementary) Band 3 7 (urban), 28 (rural) - Vodafone 900MHz 1800MHz 900MHz (main frequency), 2100MHz (metro supplementary) Band 3 7 (urban), 28 (rural) *'''2degrees''' operates a relatively young 2G 3G network that covers most of the country, with coverage holes patched by Vodafone National Roaming. LTE (4G) coverage is gradually being rolled out. *'''Spark''' (formerly Telecom NZ) operates a 3G network nationwide (using the same frequencies as Telstra in Australia and AT&T in the US). LTE (4G) coverage is available in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, with more areas being introduced gradually. Spark no longer operates a 2G network; its CDMA network shut down in July 2012. **'''Skinny''' is a brand of Spark that provides the same service with a cheaper price. *'''Vodafone NZ''' operates a nationwide 2G 3G network and an LTE (4G) network in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, Queenstown, Wellington and other smaller centres, with more areas being introduced gradually. Vodafone also offer a '''visitor SIM''' specifically for travellers. SIM cards are widely available and no registration is necessary. Most airports and shopping malls have stores from all network providers available for purchasing access and getting information about their networks. SIM cards and recharge vouchers are also available in supermarkets and dairies. A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $20 credit from Vodafone costs around $30, prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees and Spark costs $5 while Skinny costs $2. Standard sim-cards, Micro-SIMs and nano-SIMs are available from all mobile providers, as are data-only plans for use in iPads or USB modems. Internet Some places offer free '''Wi-Fi''' to their customers. Often it may be available for a charge. Internet access is available in cyber cafés and there are generally many of these in the major cities. Some Internet (cyber) cafés may not be maintained properly, but there are places around that maintain a high level of security when it comes to their systems. If you have your own laptop, many cyber cafés allow wired and wireless access. It is slowly becoming more common to allow tourists to use their own laptops to access the Internet. Many public libraries have public Internet access. There may be a charge. The Auckland City Public Library allows for two 15 min sessions a day at no charge. Hourly rates for are usually in the range of $4-8, with cheaper rates of around $2-4 at cyber cafés within the main city centres. Some providers, such as the Christchurch City Library network, offer free access to some sites, usually ones of interest such as Google, BBC and CNN and those in the '''.nz''' top level domain. You can purchase vouchers for Wi-Fi access from many Starbucks cafés and many McDonald's fast food outlets have free Wi-Fi. It is becoming more common to be provided at hotels and motels using vouchers, but it is seldom free as part of your room rate. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available. Free Wi-Fi is not that common but the best free locations are at the libraries in many small and medium-sized towns. The airport at Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin have free Wi-Fi but Christchurch airport still charges a fee for wireless service in the terminals. Spark offers free Wi-Fi for its mobile customers through its payphone network across the country. Non-customers can buy access for $9.99 week after a free week trial. There is a data cap of 1GB day. New Zealand's internet speeds are comparable to other first-world nations, but don't expect light-speed internet accessing international sites; remember the country is separated from its nearest neighbour by 2200 km of water, and submarine cables aren't cheap to build and maintain. Most New Zealanders use ADSL broadband for their internet connections, with download speeds ranging from 15 Mbps to ~5Mbps in cities and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps. Cable internet is available in parts of Wellington and Christchurch, and VDSL broadband (70Mbps down 10Mbps up) is available in most towns. Fibre internet to the premises ("Ultra Fast Broadband" or UFB) with speeds up to 100Mbps down 50Mbps up is being rolled out in major towns and cities, although this won't be fully completed in some centres until 2019. If you go to a remote rural area, expect internet to be via 3G mobile broadband if it's available; via satellite or even dial-up if it's not. Mail thumb A typical New Zealand Post mailbox (File:New Zealand Post Modern Box.jpg) The national post office is '''New Zealand Post'''. If you are staying in one place for a while, you can rent a PO Box from them. NZ Post also offer overnight and same day courier services across New Zealand. ''Poste Restante'' is an inexpensive service for receiving letters and parcels while you are visiting New Zealand from overseas and available at Post Offices across the country. ''Counter delivery'' is available nationally at local PostShop and some PostCentre outlets if you need a short term mailing address for up to three months. Postcards cost 80c to send within New Zealand (2–3 days) and $2.00 to send internationally (3–10 days). Letters up to DL size (130mm × 235mm) cost the same as postcards within New Zealand and to Australia and the South Pacific, with letters to other destinations costing $2.50. Postal addresses are generally in the following format:- :''Recipient name'' :''Street address PO Box number :''Suburb RD number PO Box lobby :''Town Postcode'' Cope Consular assistance Most consulates are in the capital, Wellington (Wellington#Cope) but there are also others in Auckland (Auckland#Consulates), Christchurch (Christchurch#Consulates), Dunedin, Nelson (Nelson_(New_Zealand)#Consulates) and Queenstown (Queenstown (New Zealand)#Consulates). * Wikipedia:New Zealand Commons:Category:New Zealand Dmoz:Regional Oceania New Zealand
'''New Zealand''' ( south of the Pacific island areas (Pacific Islands) of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity (Biodiversity of New Zealand) of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Polynesians settled New Zealand in 1250–1300 CE and developed a distinctive Māori culture. Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to sight New Zealand in 1642 CE. History of New Zealand. Newzealand.com. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony (Colony of New Zealand). Today, the majority of New Zealand's population (New Zealanders) of 4.5 million is of European descent (New Zealand European); the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture (Culture of New Zealand) is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration (Immigration to New Zealand). The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant. The country's economy was historically dominated by the export of wool, but exports of dairy products, meat, and wine, along with tourism, are more significant today.
Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament (Parliament of New Zealand), while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet (Cabinet of New Zealand), led by the Prime Minister (Prime Minister of New Zealand), who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth II) is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General (Governor-General of New Zealand). In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils (Regions of New Zealand) and 67 territorial authorities (Territorial authorities of New Zealand) for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association (Associated state) with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica (territorial claims in Antarctica). New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.