Facts About New Zealand

New Zealand Basic Facts

  • Official Name: New Zealand/Aotearoa (Maori)
  • Form of Government: Parliamentary democracy
  • Capital: Wellington
  • Population: 4,545,627
  • Money: New Zealand dollar
  • New Zealand is a remote, mountainous group of islands in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
  • The two main islands, North and South Islands, are separated by the Cook Strait.
  • It’s nearest neighbor is Australia, 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away.

Fun Facts About New Zealand

  • New Zealanders are also known as “Kiwis”.
  • 86 percent of the New Zealand population lives in cities.
  • More people live in the city of Auckland on North Island, than the whole population of South Island.
  • The Maori named the country, Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud.” The Maori culture is widely respected by New Zealanders and many parcels of land under dispute were returned to the Maori in 1998.
  • Rugby is the favorite sport and nearly everyone cheers on the national team, the All Blacks.
  • Many Kiwis also enjoy cricket.

History Video About New Zealand Maori People

YouTube video

History of New Zealand

Around 1,000 A.D., the Maori people arrived by canoe from islands in Polynesia. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman visited the islands in the 1600s. New Zealand was given the name Nieuw Zeeland after a region in the Netherlands.

The British established settlements and in the 1860s there was a 12-year war against the British for control of North Island. Peace was restored to the islands in the 1870s.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote. The country became a dominion of Britain in 1907 and gained its independence from Britain in 1947.

Map of New Zealand

Color in New Zealand on this map!

New Zealand Flag Activity

Flag from HERE

HERE is a fun printable New Zealand flag coloring sheet!

Famous New Zealand Landmarks

YouTube video

New Zealand Landmarks:

Important New Zealand Persons