Studying in New Zealand
New Zealand is a beautiful and unique country in the South Pacific, where exciting things are happening in Education. Its scenery sets it apart from the rest of the world while its people have a reputation for friendliness, strength and independence. There is abundant beauty and diversity in scenery, lifestyle and culture. From rolling green farmlands to barren volcanic desert areas, from golden beaches with clear blue water to majestic snow covered mountains, New Zealand offers a sample of every possible landscape within a relatively small country.
The closest country to New Zealand is Australia, 3 hours away by plane.
New Zealand's relative geographic distance from the rest of the world mean many unique plants and birds are found only in New Zealand – including the famous flightless bird, the kiwi.
New Zealand is a Southern Hemisphere nation, located in the South Pacific. The country is made up of two major islands:
1. North Island
2. South Island
New Zealand is similar in size to the United Kingdom or Japan but with a smaller population.
The New Zealand climate is temperate with relatively mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The varied terrain and long thin shape of the country (from 34 – 48 degrees latitude south) mean weather varies a lot between different regions – the far north is sub-tropical while the south can get icy wind flows from Antarctica.
There are four seasons:
Summer: December – February
Autumn: March – May
Winter: June – August
Spring: September - November
Winter temperatures range from 10 – 15o Celsius (43 – 59 o Fahrenheit); summer temperatures range from 20 – 30o Celsius (68 – 86 o Fahrenheit) However weather can quickly change – a cool rainy day can suddenly turn sunny and hot.
The mild climate is ideal for New Zealand's agricultural and horticultural industries, which are vital to the economy. It also means outdoor recreation is an important part of the New Zealand way of life.
New Zealand police have an impeccable reputation. They do not carry guns. The police are also responsible for traffic control and giving drivers alcohol test. You have the right to a professional interpreter if you have to go to court or are questioned by the police.
History and Politics
New Zealand was first settled by ancestors of the Maori people about 1,000 years ago.
The first European settlers arrived about 1800. New Zealand became a British colony 40 years later. In 1840 The Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori and Europeans, giving Maori the rights of British subjects. Today this treaty is generally considered the founding document of New Zealand as a nation.
New Zealand became an independent nation during the first half of the 20th century. It was the first country to allow women to vote in national elections and these days women often hold positions of leadership. – including in Prime Minister, Governor General and Leader of the Opposition. Helen Clark was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008.
Parliament buildings are in Wellington. Members of the public may walk in the grounds and tour the buildings. There is a public gallery from which people can observe the debates, which are also broadcast on radio and television.
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