This is a small, very rational little country near (but much more sane than) Australia. They have no kangaroos, or wallabies.

New Zealanders were the first to fly - Richard Pearce built and flew an aeroplane many months before the Wright Brothers. But Americans love revisionist history.

New Zealanders were the first to climb Mount Everest - Sir Edmund Hillary did it first, even though other people are trying to prove an American did it before him. But Americans love revisionist history.

Oh, and New Zealanders were the first to give women the vote.

I'm not patriotic. Honest, I'm not.


pusher may be interested to know that Richard Pearce did in fact exist, and did fly. Forgotten Silver was a hoax, and a fabulous one at that.
New Zealand is a small country in the Pacific Ocean with two main Islands, called (very imaginatively) the North Island and the South Island there are also a number of offshore islands, which combine to give New Zealand the world's largest Exclusive Economic Zone (area of the ocean we have exclusive rights to fish/mine/etc) of any country in the world. We also have a permanent Antarctic station.

Because New Zealand is oriented north-south on the globe, there is a great range in climate, from sub-tropical microclimates in the far north to cold and damp climates in the south. The prevailing wind is from the West, i.e. from Australia.

The indigenous population are the Maori, a polynesian race with a rich culture and language. The Maori langauge, which is written in a sub-set of English characters, has been undergoing a revival over the last 20-30 years. After initial conflict with the Maoris lead to the Maori land wars the English Crown signed the Treaty of Waitangi with many of the Maori chiefs in 1840 . The Treaty of Waitangi was systematically broken over a period of a century, almost entirely by the government, but recently there has been a movement to reverse many of these changes. Waitangi Day, the New Zealand national holiday celebrates this treaty. New Zealand is no longer an English colony, but rather a member of the British Commonwealth, with the Queen of England as the Head of State and an elected parliment. The Queen of England is represented locally by the Governer General, who is nominated by the Prime Minister.

The seat of government is no longer in Waitangi, but in Wellington. Other population concentrations include Auckland, Chirstchurch and Dunedin.

The New Zealand national symbol is the Kiwi, a flightless nocturnal bird. Like most Maori birdnames, the word Kiwi is onomatopoetic. History has shown that it is bad luck to name an airline after a flightless bird.

Kiwifruit, a large hairy gooseberry grown in bulk in the northern parts of New Zealand are sometimes called Kiwi's, but their original name was Chinese Gooseberries, but when we tried to sell them to the Americans in the 1950's they wouldn't buy anything Chinese, so we renamed them. Kiwifruit remain a major export industry.

sources:

www.govt.nz - official information
http://www.govt.nz/aboutnz/treaty.php3 - Treaty of Waitangi

New Zealand is named after Zeeland, a province in The Netherlands. How, and when it got this name is unclear.

Contratry to popular belief, New Zealand was not named by the first European discoverer Abel Janszoon Tasman (1642), a renowned Dutch navigator. Tasman named the country "Staten Landt", a name that was later changed to Zelandia Nova (as it appears on maps around 1643-1645); a reference to Zeeland*.

Tasman did name certain landmarks in NZ, e.g. Cape Maria van Diemen was named after the spouse of Anthony van Diemen; Governor General of Batavia.

And now I want a Steinie...

*ref: http://www.mapforum.com/9nz.htm

olineham may be interested to discover that he is yet another person to be fooled by Peter Jackson's 'forgotten silver' documentary.

The documentary by New Zealand director Peter Jackson (currently directing the highly anticipated Lord of the Rings trilogy), is a complete farce, and makes fun of the insecureities that many New Zealanders have that they are being somehow oppressed by bigger counties like the US and Australia. Among other amasing revelations, the documentary shows how the first colour motion picture film was invented by a New Zealander - made with eggs (which he stole). In fact, not only did we beat the Wright brothers to powered flight, but one of our film directors (who somehow nobody knew of untill now) died during the filming of a Ben Hur sized epic, and the entire set was lost somewhere in New Zealand's lush forests. Fortunatly, Peter Jackson and his crew were able to track it down for us, and had so many people believing him that he was forced to make a public apology to the country.

I guess we don't like looking like idiots either.

New Zealand is also a great place to live, and a beautiful place to visit. Yay for us.

New Zealand, that little place that many of you consider to be further on "Down under", under Australia. The small country that is heading down the path that America has and the same path that Australia has done.

Having lived here in the South Island of New Zealand all my life and observing the changes that have been occurring it seems that we are on the brink of either making a final fatal decision or trying to right the damage we have already caused. Some say that New Zealand is a rational Country, I guess time will tell. New Zealand is not oppressed by Australia and America it just risks falling into the same mindset. Not only does New Zealand have a vast area of protected National Parks it has a marketable image as being clean and green. This is true to an extent but we are currently being visited by a Royal Commission looking at Genetic Engineering. This issue is of a similar scale to the anti-nuclear campaign that resulted in New Zealand taking on an anti-nuclear status.

New Zealand like Australia has had a record of terrible race relations. The Treaty of Waitangi signed in 1840 is not honoured by the New Zealand Government. Many tribal land cases have resulted as local iwi seek to illustrate how the treaty has been dishonoured by the taking of tribal land when the treaty guarantees The Maori people rights of sovereignty over their resources including land. These struggles continue and the current Labour government have sought to tokenistically show initiatives to change race relations in New Zealand through the :Closing the Gaps Policy" which seeks underlying assimilate Maori people further into a Pakeha-White New Zealand atmosphere. Forms of suppression still exist: there are a number of specially allocated Maori seats. While this seems fantastic it actually seems like a form of apartheid to me. The day when political parties can have increased number of ethnic representation and a broad range of age groups it will be great. The only party it seems at present that has policies that encourage the resurrection of Maori Language in schools and Maori culture are the Green Party: Http://www.greens.org.nz. The Greens are encouraging Maori members to stand for the election as well as young people, which is a first.

The South Island is experiencing some interesting press at the moment. Christchurch, New Zealand's third largest city has been recently stated as having the highest suicide rate in New Zealand. New Zealand has the highest suicide rate in the world. Not only does Christchurch have appallingly high levels of smog - air pollution, but now the highest suicide rate. This is rather frightening for the young people in Christchurch. New Zealand also has a problem called the "brain drain" a high number of qualified graduates leaving the country to get good employment and to avoid paying huge student loans up and above of around $50 000(NZ). The government have made a commitment to culling interest accrued during study, but once leaving university the interest piles up. Fees are increasing and government funding is not rising to meet the need, this is with a Labour government so imagine how much worse it could become with the right getting back in the National Party.

New Zealand is selling out to the big wigs of American culture. Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King etc, you know the rest have since the mid seventies pervaded our landscape. I remember the day the McDonalds in Nelson opened when I was 7, I went home and was violently ill, lets face a Childs stomach is just not designed for such processed crap.

New Zealand's government is opening up its markets currently to free trade agreements that allow great amount of overseas good into out ports. This is meaning that we support these nations such as Hong Kong who receive tonnes of clothing and textiles from China that are made in sweatshops. We are selling out to the mass culture that America exerts. New Zealand is full of activists and we have and probably will remain for sometime a nation protesting against the implantation of America culture. If we continue to achieve our goals of making the public aware of what the current government are doing and of the impact on our environment we will gradually increase awareness and create change. The country is looking at being GE Free, organic by the year 2020.

In responce to pusher:

Forgotten Silver was a hoax. But Richard Pearce was a real person, and did fly, but was not filmed. And there seems to be doubt over things like how far he flew, and if he did it before the Wright Brothers (they both flew in the same year).

Some more detailed info on Richard Pearce.

  • http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pearce1.html
  • http://www.auckland-airport.co.nz/pearse.html
  • http://www.infocus.co.nz/temuka/pearse.htm
  • http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/Gallery/Pearse/Pearse.html

New Zealand does too have wallabies. They live in the central South Island, and serve as the logo for the Waimate District Council. It has been suggested, and done that these animals serve as filling for meat pies. they are, rumour has it, quite tasty.

More than that, New Zealand has a lot of interesting things about it. It has a small population, a mere four million and not climbing, never destined to see the dizzy heights of five million.

New Zealand is an Aquarius, born on the sixth of February, 1840. This is the day that the treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Maori and Queen Victoria. Most people in New Zealand remain blissfully unaware of the ramifications of the Treaty.

Now, it is run by a Labour government headed by Helen Clark, who is popular, but likes to be in charge a little too much to make some people comfortable. Recent accomplishments of her governments include legalising prostitution and creating constitutional dilemmas.

There are three big cities in New Zealand. Auckland is the biggest, with 1.2 million people. It is large, austere and sinister; people who live there like it (some of them), and the people who don't live there don't.

The capital city is Wellington. It has 350,000 people, a heady mixture of hippies, public servants and students. It is renowned for its culture and being pretty. World famous director Peter Jackson is from Wellington.

Christchurch is the third biggest city. Mostly it's just smoggy.

A lot of tourists come to New Zealand to sample Maori culture, and to look at trees. There are a lot of native birds, but no mammals to speak of, save for some bats. New Zealand is famous for being the home of Sir Edmund Hillary, and the All Blacks. The national currency is the dollar, and the national colours are black and white, which is a slimming colour combination.

New` Zea"land (?).

A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

New Zealand flax. (a) Bot. A tall, liliaceous herb (Phormium tenax), having very long, sword-shaped, distichous leaves which furnish a fine, strong fiber very valuable for cordage and the like. (b) The fiber itself. -- New Zealand tea Bot., a myrtaceous shrub (Leptospermum scoparium) of New Zealand and Australia, the leaves of which are used as a substitute for tea.

 

© Webster 1913.

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