About New Zealand
About New Zealand
New Zealand, Maori Aotearoa, island country in the South Pacific Ocean, the southwesternmost part of Polynesia. New Zealand is a remote land—one of the last sizable territories suitable for habitation to be populated and settled—and lies more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Australia, its nearest neighbor. The country comprises two main islands—the North and South Islands—and a number of small islands, some of them hundreds of miles from the main group. The capital city is Wellington and the largest urban area Auckland; both are located on the North Island. New Zealand administers the South Pacific island group of Tokelau and claims a section of the Antarctic continent. Niue and the Cook Islands are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand.
Polynesians settled in New Zealand in 1250-1300 AD and developed a distinctive Maori culture. Europeans first made contact in 1642 AD.
The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642. Four of them and one Maori were killed. Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769 when British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline.
Following him, several ships cruised near New Zealand trading food, metal tools, weapons, and other goods for timber, food, artifacts, water, and, on occasion, sex. Europeans introduced potatoes, diseases, and animals. The introduction of weapons resulted in Musket Wars between the Maori tribes encompassing over 600 battles between 1801 and 1840. Between 30,000 and 40,000 Maori were killed. Their population declined 40% during the 19th century.
The Treaty of Waitangi that claims sovereignty for the British Crown was signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840. New Zealand, originally part of the colony of New South Wales, became a separate Crown colony in 1841. Following concerns that the South Island might form a separate colony, the crown transferred the capital from Auckland to Wellington due to its harbor and central location. The parliament officially sited over there for the first time in 1865.
As immigrant numbers increased, conflicts over land led to the New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, resulting in the loss and confiscation of much Maori land. From then on, notable dates include:
1893: the country became the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote.
1894: New Zealand pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions.
1907: New Zealand declared itself a Dominion within the British Empire.
1947: the country adopted the Statute of Westminster, making New Zealand a Commonwealth country.
New Zealand’s cultural influences are predominantly European and Maori. Immigrant groups have generally tended to assimilate into the European lifestyle, although traditional customs are still followed by many Tongans, Samoans, and other Pacific peoples. Maori culture suffered greatly in the years of colonization and into the 20th century, and many Maori were torn between the pressure to assimilate and the desire to preserve their own culture. However, since the 1950s there has been a cultural renaissance, with a determined effort to preserve and revive artistic and social traditions. The culture of the pakeha (the Maori term for those of European descent) has come to incorporate many aspects of Maori culture. The biennial Te Matatini festival, first held in 1972, celebrates Maori culture, especially the traditional dance and song performances known as kapa haka. The festival is held over several days, each time in a different region of New Zealand, and culminates in the national kapa haka championship.
New Zealand’s climate is determined by its latitude, its isolation, and its physical characteristics. There are few temperature extremes.
A procession of high-pressure systems (anticyclones) separated by middle-latitude cyclones and fronts cross New Zealand from west to east year-round. Characteristic is the sequence of a few days of fine weather and clear skies separated by days with unsettled weather and often heavy rain. In summer (December–February), subtropical highs are dominant, bringing protracted spells of fine weather and intense sunshine. In winter (June–August), middle-latitude lows and active fronts increase the blustery wet conditions, although short spells of clear skies also occur. Because of the high mountain chains that lie across the path of the prevailing winds, the contrast in climate from west to east is sharper than that from north to south. Mountain ranges are also responsible for the semi-continental climate of Central Otago.
Contemporary New Zealand has a majority of people of European origin, a significant minority of Maori, and smaller numbers of people from the Pacific Islands and Asia. In the early 21st century, Asians were the fastest-growing demographic group.
New Zealand was one of the last sizable land areas suitable for habitation to be populated by human beings. The first settlers were Polynesians who traveled from somewhere in eastern Polynesia, possibly from what is now French Polynesia. They remained isolated in New Zealand until the arrival of European explorers, the first of whom was the Dutch navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. Demographers estimate that, by the time British naval captain James Cook visited the country in 1769, the Maori population was not much greater than 100,000. They had no name for themselves but eventually adopted the name Maori (meaning “normal”) to distinguish themselves from the Europeans, who, after Cook’s voyage, began to arrive with greater frequency.
New Zealand is predominantly an English-speaking country, though English, Maori, and New Zealand Sign Language are official languages. Virtually all Maori speak English, and about one-fourth of them also speak Maori. The Maori language is taught at a number of schools. Other non-English languages spoken by significant numbers of people are Samoan, Hindi, and Mandarin Chinese.
New Zealand is nominally Christian, with Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian denominations being the largest. Other Protestant sects and Maori adaptations of Christianity (the Ratana and Ringatu churches) constitute the remainder of the Christian population. About one-third of the population does not claim any religious affiliation. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism have small but growing numbers of adherents. There is no established (official) religion, but Anglican cathedrals are generally used for state occasions.
Health and welfare
New Zealand has one of the oldest social security systems in the world. Noncontributory old-age pensions paid for from government revenues were introduced in 1898. Pensions for widows and miners followed soon after, and child allowances were introduced in the 1920s. In 1938 the New Zealand government introduced what was then the most extensive system of pensions and welfare in the world, which included free hospital treatment, free pharmaceutical service, and heavily subsidized treatment by medical practitioners.
Education in New Zealand is free between ages 5 and 19; it is compulsory between ages 6 and 16. In practice, almost all children enter primary school at age five, although many of them have already begun their education in preschools, all of which are subsidized by the state. Education is administered by the Ministry of Education. Elected boards of trustees control all of the primary and secondary state schools. There are also more than 100 private primary and secondary schools, most of them run by the Roman Catholic Church or some other religious group. They may apply to receive state subsidies and must meet certain standards of teaching and accommodation. Universities, polytechnics, and private training establishments make up the higher-education sector. There are eight universities—including the University of Otago, Dunedin (1869), the University of Canterbury (1873), the University of Auckland (1883), and Victoria University of Wellington (1899). There are some two dozen polytechnic institutes, among them Open Polytechnic, which provides certificate- and degree-level education via distance learning throughout New Zealand and in other countries.
Types Of Visa
Valid passport with at least 6 months validity at the time of arrival in New Zealand and old passport, if any
Two recent photographs of 35mm x 45mm, with white background
Visa application forms and a covering letter demonstrating the purpose of the visit.
Round trip itinerary along with air tickets
Bank statements of last 6 months and International Credit card copies with statements
Employers need to submit job confirmation letter along with salary slips of the last three months and an original leave letter from the organization
- All Indian travelers require a valid visa to enter New Zealand.
- New Zealand is offering E-Visa to Indian citizens. The entire process can be completed online. The original passport, however, has to be sent to the visa application center for verification.
- The usual processing time is 20 days, however, would vary as per individual case. Visa issuance is mostly done in a much shorter time, however, this can vary based on a specific case.
TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS
- Visit the set of The Hobbit
- Trek the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
- Visit Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound
- Eat the famous Fergburger
- Go Whale Watching Kaikoura
- Hike the Tongariro Crossing
- Bungy Jump in Queenstown
- Swim with the dolphins at The Bay of Islands
- Visit the geothermal pools of Wai-O-Tapu
- Gawk at the Moeraki Boulders
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