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NEW ZEALAND

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Cities of New Zealand
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ABOUT NEW ZEALAND 

New Zeland is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean comprising two large islands (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. In Māori, New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa, which is usually translated into English as the Land of the Long White Cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue, which are self-governing, but in free association; Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).
New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation, being separated from Australia to the northwest by the Tasman Sea, some 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) across. Its closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.
Elizabeth II, as the Queen of New Zealand, is the Head of State and is represented, in her absence, by a non-partisan Governor-General; the Queen 'reigns but does not rule', so she has no real political influence. Political power is held by the democratically-elected Parliament of New Zealand under the leadership of the Prime Minister who is the Head of Government.

  • Capital:
    - Wellington
  • Area:
    - Total: 268,680 km² (75th) 103,738 sq mi
    - Water (%): 2.1%
  • Independence:
    - from the UK: September 26, 1907
  • Official languages:
    - English, Māori, New Zealand Sign Language
  • Population:
    - September 2006 estimate: 4,151,6005 (124th in 2005)
    - 2006 census: 4,143,2796
    - Density: 15/km² (193rd) 39/sq mi
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