Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Zealand

New Zealand - Oceania.

new zealand tourismNew Zealand Flag image courtsey:

A Part of the Greater Oceania

Oceania denotes the mid-south part of the Pacific Ocean with numerous scattered islands. There are about 25,000 islands in this area including Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand is a ‘small’ and ‘young’ nation- small as it has only a combined area of about 268680 Sq. K M- comparable to Britain, and ‘young’ as it has only a short history of about 700 years of human inhabitation. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington, Oak Land, Hamilton, Christ Church are the main cities. Though small in size the nation’s principled stand on ecology, non-proliferation of atomic weapons, and international as well as domestic affairs makes New Zealand a leader as well as model for all peace loving, and ecology-friendly people of the world.

Bold women and model men.

In gender equality New Zealand leads other nations by leaps and bounds; it has already implemented reforms several ‘advanced’ nations can’t even think of. It is the first nation in the world which granted equal voting rights to women. The British Queen - even though ceremoniously- is the head of this New Zealand. Its Governor General (Sylvia Cartright), Prime Minister (Helen Clark), Speaker (Margaret Wilson) and Chief Justice (Sean Alias) like these there are no center of power not accessible to its women and they have creditably managed these posts; inviting accolades from all parts of the world. These are reforms even the most ‘advanced’ nations can’t even dream of.

No pretensions.

new zealandNew Zealand Map courtsey:

New Zealand has no pretensions to pronounce about its sovereignty and it still shows its lenience to the British Crown. To understand the frank and no-nonsense approach to sovereignty that should be read with the hypocrisy of the so called big and ‘sovereign’ nations who claim to be sovereign letting its own people to starve. New Zealand by God’s grace is not led by propagandists; matured political decisions and foreign policies has been the norm for this tiny nation of islands.

A country of long white clouds!

New Zealand is comprised of two large and several small islands in the Oceana Region at the southern part of Australia. The Tasman Sea divides the two nations; there is a distance of about 2000 KM between these two countries. The indigenous people of New Zealand call their land ‘Aotearoa’ (ao = cloud + tea = white + roa = long) meaning long white cloud. No one is sure how such a beautiful name came to be called. Maoris the original inhabitants forms a miniscule minority (they constitute less than 15% of the present day population) owing to the influx of Europeans, but their culture and welfare are well cared after.

A paradise almost lost!

new zealand vacationNew Zealand image courtsey:

The Maori culture is the basis of New Zealand’s heritage; their ancestors were Polynesians who brought along with them a unique and beautiful life-style when migrated to this uninhabited land as fishermen and hunters. The early history of New Zealand is marred by blatant exploitation of the innocent tribes. The Maoris loved art and they decorate their boats, tools, weapons and houses with beautiful images, they decorate their own body lavishly with heavy ornaments. Incessant migration of Europeans worked havoc in a society; their land was looted, their culture was adulterated and they were driven out from their villages many perished in newly introduced diseases while many died in confrontation with the migrants who had guns.

The Empire interferes.

In1839 the British Government took charge of the New Zealand administration and ever since much of the wrongs committed have been corrected. An agreement signed between Britain and Maori chieftains (Waitangi agreement; to commemorate this event every 6the of February is celebrated here as Waitangi Day) gave supreme power to the British Crown over New Zealand and brought an end to the repression of the tribals by unscrupulous migrants. The present day government is sensitive not only of the rights of the tribals but the whole ecology of the nation as well.

A tourists’ paradise.

travel to new zealandNew Zealand image courtsey:

Government’s stringent measures have made New Zealand one of the most unpolluted places on the earth. New Zealand Nuclear Free, Disarmament and Arms Control Act 1987 is a model act for every nations. This act bans entry of nuclear powered ships or nuclear arms in that nation’s sea limit. With size comparable to Great Britain and with just 4 million it is one of the least crowded place on earth, giving tourists with enough privacy and leisure. Its vast meadows, scenic mountain chains and steaming volcanoes all are fit not for thrill seekers who demand nothing but sheer pleasure. There are much more for those who seek rest and recuperation as well as. Its sweeping coastlines and well identified fjords have been ideal for honeymooners.

An Eden Garden.

Before human migration 75% of the land of the present day New Zealand was pristine forests there were no beings of the mammalian groups excluding bats. The isolated geography of New Zealand made it a haven numerous endemic species of animals, insects and birds (much of them like Moa became extinct due to human interference) kiwi, kakapo, taka he (all flightless birds), many types of frogs, spiders, weta (deinacrida rugosa - largest insect in the world belonging to the grass-hopper group about six inches in length) they too are facing extinction. Katipo a poisonous spider is also peculiar to New Zealand.

The economy.

Since 1990 New Zealand has opted for a free market and the bureaucratic impediments that bound the nation backwards have been unshackled now it has matured in to a modern economy still it continues to be heavily dependent on agriculture, horticulture and fishing as well as lumbering. Telecommunications, railway and even radio have been privatized for increased efficiency. In Human Development Index New Zealand stands 19th among world nations. About 65% of its GDP comes from services sector while that of industry is less than 28%. The strange thing remains that New Zealand although a strong ally of the west remains the first nation which signed a free trade agreement with China (2004).

Mineral resources.

new zealand travelNew Zealand image courtsey:

Only 5% of the land is used for agriculture and 30% of the land area remains as forest, these forests are virtual gold mines as rich timber is available in abundance, the government is against over exploitation of the forest and they are well protected for. New Zealand is rich in mineral resources like natural gas, iron ore, coal, river-sand, gold, lime-stone, silver etc. It has proven deposits of oil also making it a safe bet in any sort of energy crisis; its rivers give abundance of hydel power.

Sports and games.

People of New Zealand are a game loving lot; rugby remains as the prime attraction, but cricket is also a very prominent game (New Zealand cricket team is a power to reckon with), foot ball, bowling, golf, kayaking, cycling all are very popular games played here. It would be worthwhile to remember that it was New Zealand which hosted the first Rugby World Cup in 1987. New Zealand’s National Rugby Team ‘The All Blacks’ is a world winner.

Its people.

New Zealand’s total population is about 4 million; of which 80% are of European origin (the Maoris call them Pakohas and they are comprised of the British, Irish, German, and Italian ancestry). Christianity is the main religion but other religions like Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism etc also exist. The Maoris constitute the biggest group among the minorities (about 15% of the total population, they enjoy special privileges under the law framed exclusively for their protection and well being). There are schools to educate Maori culture and Maori TV is engaged in protecting and educating this culture. Among various minorities there are people of Asian ancestry most of them are Buddhists but there are people who follow Hindu trait also. It is a pleasant thing to note that they all live in very cordial atmosphere. Of all the good aspects of this nation this truly secular government approach seems to be the most notable.

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