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Two islands, one land!

New Zealand is a country of two large islands (called the North and South Islands), and many very small islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa in the Maori language, or the Land of the Long White Cloud. New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation, being separated from Australia to the northwest by the Tasman Sea, some 2,000 kilometres (1,250 mi) across. Closest neighbours to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. The population of New Zealand is mostly of European descent, with Maori being the largest minority. Non-Maori Polynesian and Asian peoples are also significant minorities, especially in the nation's cities.

Pure Nature

Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world, and its island biogeography New Zealand has extraordinary flora and fauna. About 80 percent of the New Zealand flora only occurs in New Zealand, including more than 40 endemic genera. The main two types of forest have been dominated by podocarps including the giant kauri and southern beech. The remaining vegetation types in New Zealand are grassland of grass and tussock, usually associated with the sub-alpine areas, and the low shrublands between grasslands and forests.

British, Irish, and Maori

Contemporary, Pakeha New Zealand has a diverse contemporary culture with influences from British, Irish, and Maori cultures, along with those of other European cultures (such as Dutch, Dalmatian, and Polish) and - more recently - Polynesian (including Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, Cook Islands Maori, Tahitian, and Hawai'ian) and Southern and Southeast Asian (Indian, Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, and Japanese) cultures. There were many people from Scotland amongst the early British settlers and elements of their culture persist; New Zealand is said to have more pipebands than Scotland. Cultural links between New Zealand and the UK are maintained by a common language, sustained migration from the UK and the fact that many young New Zealanders spend time in the UK on their "overseas experience (OE)".






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