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Australia-Oceania :: New Zealand
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of New Zealand
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Location of New Zealand
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Map of New Zealand
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of New Zealand
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Introduction ::New Zealand
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The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.
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Geography ::New Zealand
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Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
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41 00 S, 174 00 E
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total: 267,710 sq km
country comparison to the world: 75
land: 267,710 sq km
water: NA
note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands
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about the size of Colorado
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0 km
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15,134 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
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temperate with sharp regional contrasts
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predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains
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lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m
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natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone
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arable land: 5.54%
permanent crops: 6.92%
other: 87.54% (2005)
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2,850 sq km (2003)
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397 cu km (1995)
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total: 2.11 cu km/yr (48%/9%/42%)
per capita: 524 cu m/yr (2000)
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earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
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deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species
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party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation
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almost 90% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world
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People ::New Zealand
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4,213,418 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
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0-14 years: 20.7% (male 447,174/female 424,522)
15-64 years: 66.5% (male 1,404,143/female 1,399,530)
65 years and over: 12.8% (male 244,986/female 293,063) (2009 est.)
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total: 36.6 years
male: 35.8 years
female: 37.4 years (2009 est.)
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0.935% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
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13.94 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
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7.05 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
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2.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
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urban population: 87% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 4.92 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 192
male: 5.53 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 80.36 years
country comparison to the world: 18
male: 78.43 years
female: 82.39 years (2009 est.)
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2.1 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
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0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
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1,400 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
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fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
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noun: New Zealander(s)
adjective: New Zealand
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European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asian 5.7%, Pacific islander 4.4%, other 0.5%, mixed 7.8%, unspecified 3.8% (2001 census)
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Anglican 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterian 10.9%, Methodist 2.9%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9.4%, other 3.3%, unspecified 17.2%, none 26% (2001 census)
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English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
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total: 19 years
male: 19 years
female: 20 years (2006)
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6.2% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 38
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Government ::New Zealand
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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
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parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
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name: Wellington
geographic coordinates: 41 28 S, 174 51 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
note: New Zealand is divided into two time zones - New Zealand standard time (12 hours in advance of UTC), and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time)
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16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast
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Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
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26 September 1907 (from the UK)
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Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)
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consists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand parliaments, as well as The Constitution Act 1986, which is the principal formal charter; adopted 1 January 1987, effective 1 January 1987
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based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for the Maori; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Bill ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
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unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 69 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, and 51 proportional seats chosen from party lists; serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 8 November 2008 (next to be held not later than 27 November 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NP 44.9%, NZLP 34%, Green Party 6.7%, NZ First 4%, ACT New Zealand 3.7%, Maori 2.4%, Progressive 0.9%, UF 0.9%, other 6.6%; seats by party - NP 58, NZLP 43, Green Party 9, ACT New Zealand 5, Maori 5, Progressive 1, UF 1
note: results of 2008 election saw the total number of seats increase to 122
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Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; High Court; note - judges appointed by the governor general
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ACT New Zealand [Rodney HIDE]; Green Party [Jeanette FITZSIMONS]; Maori Party [Tariana TURIA and Pita SHARPLES]; National Party or NP [John KEY]; New Zealand First Party or NZ First [Winston PETERS]; New Zealand Labor Party or NZLP [Phil GOFF]; Progressive Party [James (Jim) ANDERTON]; United Future or UF [Peter DUNNE]
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Women's Electoral Lobby or WEL
other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups
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ADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, NAM (guest), NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Roy N. FERGUSON
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: New York, Santa Monica
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chief of mission: Ambassador William P. McCORMICK
embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490
consulate(s) general: Auckland
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blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation
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while not an official symbol, the Kiwi, a small native flightless bird, represents New Zealand
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Economy ::New Zealand
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Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income has risen for nine consecutive years and reached $27,900 in 2008 in purchasing power parity terms. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, helping fuel a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for economic managers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08; international capital inflows attracted to the high rates further strengthened the currency and housing market, however, aggravating the current account deficit. The economy fell into recession in 2008. In line with global peers, the central bank has cut interest rates aggressively; the new government is responding with plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure.
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$116.7 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
$116.5 billion (2007 est.)
$112.9 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$128.5 billion (2008 est.)
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0.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
3.2% (2007 est.)
2% (2006 est.)
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$28,000 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
$28,200 (2007 est.)
$27,600 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 4.4%
industry: 25.7%
services: 69.9% (2008 est.)
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2.25 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
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agriculture: 7%
industry: 19%
services: 74% (2006 est.)
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4.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
3.6% (2007 est.)
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NA%
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lowest 10%: %NA
highest 10%: %NA
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36.2 (1997)
country comparison to the world: 83
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22.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
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revenues: $54.41 billion
expenditures: $55.93 billion (2008 est.)
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24.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
22.1% of GDP (2004 est.)
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4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
2.4% (2007 est.)
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5% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 51
8.25% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 64
12.83% (31 December 2007)
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$13.7 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 44
$17.85 billion (31 December 2007)
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$99.91 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 22
$117.8 billion (31 December 2007)
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$164.4 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 34
$200.1 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 57
$47.45 billion (31 December 2007)
$44.94 billion (31 December 2006)
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dairy products, lamb and mutton; wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef; fish
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food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining
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-2.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
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42.4 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
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39.24 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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65,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
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154,100 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
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34,260 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
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147,600 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
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60 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
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4.275 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
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4.276 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 137
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
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33.98 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
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$-11.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$-10.63 billion (2007 est.)
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$30.8 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
$27.29 billion (2007 est.)
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dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery
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Australia 23.1%, US 10.1%, Japan 8.4%, China 5.8% (2008)
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$32.45 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$29.05 billion (2007 est.)
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machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics
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Australia 18.1%, China 13.2%, US 9.5%, Japan 8.3%, Singapore 4.7%, Malaysia 4.4%, Germany 4.3% (2008)
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$11.15 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$17.25 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$59.08 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
$51.44 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$72.92 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
$70.94 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$NA
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New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.4151 (2008 est.), 1.3811 (2007), 1.5408 (2006), 1.4203 (2005), 1.5087 (2004)
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Communications ::New Zealand
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1.75 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
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4.62 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
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general assessment: excellent domestic and international systems
domestic: combined fixed and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 150 per 100 persons
international: country code - 64; the Southern Cross submarine cable system provides links to Australia, Fiji, and the US; satellite earth stations - 8 (1 Inmarsat - Pacific Ocean, 7 other)
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AM 124, FM 290, shortwave 4 (1998)
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41 (plus about 700 repeaters) (1997)
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.nz
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2.007 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 32
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3.047 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 58
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Transportation ::New Zealand
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120 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 50
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total: 41
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 79
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 45 (2009)
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condensate 331 km; gas 1,838 km; liquid petroleum gas 172 km; oil 288 km; refined products 198 km (2008)
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total: 4,128 km
country comparison to the world: 39
narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (506 km electrified) (2008)
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total: 93,576 km
country comparison to the world: 49
paved: 61,564 km (includes 172 km of expressways)
unpaved: 32,012 km (2006)
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total: 13
country comparison to the world: 108
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 2, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 3 (Australia 1, Germany 1, South Africa 1)
registered in other countries: 5 (Antigua and Barbuda 2, Cook Islands 1, France 1, UK 1) (2008)
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Auckland, Lyttelton, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei
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Military ::New Zealand
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New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF): New Zealand Army, Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Air Force (2009)
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17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription (2008)
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males age 16-49: 1,009,298
females age 16-49: 997,134 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 837,553
females age 16-49: 825,981 (2009 est.)
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male: 31,461
female: 29,809 (2009 est.)
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1% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
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Transnational Issues ::New Zealand
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asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Ross Dependency)
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significant consumer of amphetamines
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