Quick Facts • Youngest country on earth • Last major landmass to be discovered • Population: 4 million people • Comparable in size to Colorado • Warmest months: Dec.-Feb. • Coldest months: June-Aug.
Maori People • 1st inhabitants of New Zealand (Aotearoa) • Came to NZ about 1,000 years ago from Polynesian islands • Maoris • Expert hunters and fishermen • Cooked using a “umu” or earth oven built over a pit • Constructed a “pa” or fortified village to protect from other people Example of an Earth oven Maori Greeting
British Colonization • Tasman (Dutch) went to NZ 1st but only spotted it • Captain Cook also went to NZ • Before 1840, mostly whalers, sealers, and missionaries went to NZ and lived in coastal areas • Europeans (Pakeha) brought disease and Maori people began to see a decline in their numbers • Treaty of Waitangi (1840): New Zealand became a British colony • Great increase in the number of British migrants coming to NZ
New Zealand Political Life Today • Heavily influenced by its colonial heritage • Member of the British Commonwealth • An association of nations consisting of the United Kingdom and several former British colonies that are now sovereign states but still pay allegiance to the British Crown • Is a nuclear-free zone • Wants to become a republic
Culture of NZ • Rugged individualism and a strong sense of fairplay and teamwork • Mateship is important • Rugby and yacht racing are popular • Hiking, mountaineering, and kayaking Photo credit: www.northland.org.nz