New Australia And New Zealand

1160 Words Feb 26th, 2016 5 Pages
New Zealand is located in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It is made up of two main islands, called the North and South islands, and several smaller islands. The smaller islands are made up Stewart Island, Waiheke Island, Chatham Island, Great Barrier Island, and several more uninhabited islands. New Zealand’s capital is Wellington. At the start of 2013, the population of New Zealand was estimated to be around 4.5 million people. The indigenous people of New Zealand are called the Maori, and their name for their country is Aotearoa, which means “The Land of the Long White Cloud” (whitireia.ac.nz). New Zealand is approximately 270,500 square kilometers in land area, which is similar in size to Japan or the British Isles.

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A democratic election, which is the voting system that forms the government, is held every three years. Also, to make it unlikely that any political party will obtain a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives, New Zealand uses a Mixed Member Proportional voting system. This means that the winning political party must form a coalition with one or more of the political parties. Additionally, a system of “responsible government” is used. “This means government can only be made up of Ministers who are first elected members of the House of Representatives. The government can only stay in power while it has a majority of members in the House of Representatives” (govt.nz).

New Zealand has three major languages. The first language is English. Although it is not an official language of New Zealand, it is the language most predominantly spoken. New Zealand has two official languages. They are Maori and sign language. Maori was declared an official language in 1987. “Maori is only used in New Zealand and nowhere else in the world. Despite its official status, the language continues to struggle against being lost” (tourism.net). Sign language is the language used by many deaf people. In April 2006, New Zealand was the first country to declare sign language as an official language.

“New Zealand’s national flag is a blue ensign with the Union Jack in the upper hoist-side quadrant
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