New Zealand is one of the last lands on earth to be inhabited by man. New Zealand was settled by seagoing Polynesians perhaps 1,000 years before Dutchman Abel Tasman arrived in 1642. Later Capt. J. Cook claimed it fo Britain. Citizens nickname is now Kiwi. A flightless bird called Kiwi is known as the symbol of New Zealand. The population is about 3,3 million of which 150,000 are Maoris and the biggest ethnic group is European (about 80% of New Zealanders). The area of New Zealand is 269,057 sq.km. There are two languages, English and Maori, and three main religions, Anglican, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic, in New Zealand.
Poetry, oratory, music and dance are all part of the cultural legacy of the Maoris, but the greatest testimony of their mastery of the arts is sculpture. Fashioned from wood, bone, and stone, some pieces have survived almost a thousand years, from the first century after Maoris arrived in New Zealand.
Carving, the Ngati Porou trible believes, was the invention of the gods. Ancestors were a source of tribal strenght. they were often portrayed by the carver's blade.
Maori sculptures - known as taonga, or treasures - from the tanglibe links between the living, the revered ancestors, and the gods.
The cities wear the stamp of assertive selfawarenes, self-esteem. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand since 1865. It's population is about 325,700 people. Aucland is the biggest city in New Zealand and it is also the gateway to New Zealand. Christchurch in the South Island is also a big city. New Zealand is an island country. It consists of two big islands, North and South Island, and lots of small islands.
Large areas of the country are virtually unpopulated, notably the mountain reaches. New Zealand has a reputation as a land of lavish scenic beauty and huge sheep farms. But although more then 80% of the people live in urban-suburban settings along the coast and in the lower hills. A station in the outback can be run with few hands, and sheep farming generally is a family affair.
The climate in New Zealand is like the climate of the Northen Mediterian. There is not much difference between winter and summer. The seasons are the oposite way round in that part of the world.
There is very beautiful scenery in New Zealand - marvelous conglomeration of mountains, green hills, plains and sun- washed beaches.
Fiorland National park covers more than three million acres. Westerly winds blowing across the Tasman Sea carry the moisture up to Fiordland's mountains, making it one of the wettest places on earth.
Traveling in New Zealand you can feel a sense of isolation. To be isolated does not mean isolationist. In every way New Zealand is a world citizen, relying on international trade, deeply concerned about disarmament issues and strongly antinuclear.