New Zealand


New Zealand (Aotearoa Maori) is a state in the southwestern Pacific Ocean in Polynesia, located on two large islands (North and South) and a large number (approximately 700) of adjacent smaller islands. The population, according to Statistics New Zealand as of June 2017, is 4,793,700.

The capital of the country is Wellington.

The state is built on the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy and is among the developed countries of the world. In the XI-XIV centuries, the country was inhabited by immigrants from Polynesia, European explorers discovered the islands in 1642. The active development of land by Great Britain began in 1762. One of the main features of New Zealand is its geographical isolation. The nearest neighbors of the country: to the west - Australia, separated by the Tasman Sea (the shortest distance is about 1700 km); to the north are the island territories of New Caledonia (about 1400 km), Tonga (about 1800 km) and Fiji (about 1900 km).

The Kingdom of New Zealand includes Cook Island and Niue Island States independent of government but freely associated with New Zealand, as well as the Non-Self-Governing Territory of Tokelau and the Antarctic Ross Territory.


The name given to the Maori country before the first Europeans appeared here did not survive, but it is known that the North Maori island was called Te Ika-a-Maui (Maori Te Ika-a-Māui), which can be translated as "fish belonging to Maui". Maui is a demigod in the Maori legends, who caught a huge fish in the ocean, which after that turned into an island. South Island had two common names: Te Wai Paunamu (Maori Te Wai Pounamu) and Te Waka-a-Maui (Maori Te Waka a Māui). The first name can be translated as “jade water”, and the second as “boat belonging to Maui”, already mentioned above the demi god of Maori legends. Until the beginning of the 20th century, Severny Island was often referred to as the native inhabitants of Aotearoa, which can be translated as “the country of a long white cloud” (ao = cloud, tea = white, roa = long), and later this name became the generally accepted name in the language Maori for the whole country.

The first European navigator to visit the coast of New Zealand, the Dutchman Abel Tasman, called it “Staten Landt”, thinking that in the south New Zealand is connected to the island of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of the same name, located in southern South America. It was this name that was transformed by Dutch cartographers into the Latin Nova Zeelandia in 1645 in honor of one of the provinces of the Netherlands - Zealand (Dutch. Zeeland) and the Dutch name Nieuw Zeeland. Later, British explorer James Cook used the English version of the name, New Zealand, in his notes, and it was it that became the official name of the country. The Russian name, New Zealand, is an exact translation of a historically established name.

Early European cartographers called the islands Northern, Middle (present Southern) and Southern (Stuart or Rakiura). In 1830, the two main islands became known as the North and the South, and by 1907 these names had settled. In 2009, the New Zealand Geographic Names Board found that the names of the main islands had never been formally established. In 2013, they were officially named Northern (or Te Ika-a-Maui) and Southern (or Te Vaipounama). Names in Maori and English can be used interchangeably.