World Country New Zealand

About the world country New Zealand, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: Two major Polynesian islands and numerous smaller ones in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of Australia. Size: 103,736 sq. mi. (268,676 sq. km.). Population: 3,150,000 (9% Maori and 2% Pacific islanders) plus 60 million sheep and 8 million cattle.

Who Really Rules: "New Zealand," says the Wall Street Journal, "is the closest thing there is to a pastoral welfare state." Though an industrial nation, New Zealand has an economy dominated by the raising of livestock and the export of wool, meat, and dairy products. Until 1973, when the United Kingdom joined the European Common Market, New Zealand was "England's farm." Today exports suffer as a result of Common Market import restrictions.

Both major political parties, National and Labour, support the government's social democratic programs, and the society is considered one of the world's most egalitarian. Although New Zealand appears to have overcome social forms of discrimination, ethnic Polynesians (including the native Maoris) remain at the bottom of the economic ladder.

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