New Zealand is a small country located in the south Pacific, consisting of two main islands, the North Island and South Island. Stewart Island and many smaller islands lie offshore.
New Zealand is an independent country which plays an active role in the United Nations and the Commonwealth. It boasts a modern, prosperous market-based economy, and depends heavily on exports. The main exports are agricultural products (meat, wool, dairy products), wood, tourism and oil. Its major export partners are Australia, United States, Japan, China and the United Kingdom.
New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fjords and lush rainforests.
Today over 4.7 million people inhabit New Zealand. Geographically, over three quarters of the population live in the North Island, with one third of the entire population living in Auckland. The other main cities Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton are where the majority or the remaining population dwell.
- New Zealand boasts the 4th largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world, covering 4,300,000 square kilometres (sq.km)
- New Zealand's estate includes 6,000,000 sq.km combining the EEZ and Extended Continental Shelf
- There are 1,200,000 sq.km of known sedimentary basins and 1,000,000 sq.km of known prospective basins