New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
- Capital: Wellington
- Dialing code: +64
- Population: 4.433 million (2012)
- Government: Unitary state, Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary system
- Official languages: English Language, Maori language, New Zealand Sign Language
- Demonym: New Zealander; Kiwi (colloquial)
- New Zealand comprises two main landmasses:
1. The North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui,
2. The South Island, or Te Waipounamu
- There are also numerous other smaller islands.
- It is situated some 1,500 kilometers (900 mi) east of Australia.
- Māori were the first to arrive in New Zealand, journeying in canoes from Hawaiki about 1,000 years ago.
- A Dutchman, Abel Tasman, was the first European to sight the country.
- In 1840 the British Crown and Māori signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony.
- The building where the treaty was signed has been preserved and, today, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are a popular attraction.
- New Zealand has a temperate climate with moderately high rainfall and many hours of sunshine.