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New Zealand Where is it? • New Zealand is a country in the south-western Pacific Ocean. • It is located about 2000 km from Australia, in between Australia and South America. • It is made up of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, and many smaller islands nearby. • In total size it is a little bigger than 陕西 (shan3xi1) province, although it has only one tenth of the population. (Shanxi = about 40 million, New Zealand = about 4 million). What’s it like there? • The South Island is larger than the North Island, but has less people living on it, because it is very wild, and has many mountains. • Most of the population live on the North Island, where the land is a bit flatter, although the North Island is also famous for it’s volcanoes. • The capital city of New Zealand is called Wellington, and it is located at the bottom of the North Island • text(1) pg4 Milford Sound Who Lives There? • New Zealand is mostly made up of white people of European origin, about 80%, but also has the descendants of the native island people, the Maoris, who make up about 15% of the population. • New Zealand also has a large Asian population, and many island people from the surrounding Pacific ocean islands live there. • People from New Zealand are called Kiwis. • People from New Zealand are called Kiwis because of a strange bird that is only found there, called the Kiwi. • It is small and cannot fly, because it has no wings. text(2)pg4 History • The first people to live in New Zealand were island people from Polynesia. • The Polynesians originally came from the mainland of Asia, and spread out through the islands of the Pacific Ocean around 2000 years ago. • Polynesian people descended from them today live in a large area in the Pacific Ocean, and they have similar culture and language. Polynesians • The Polynesians were very skilled at navigating (finding their way) at sea. • These skills allowed them to travel long distances over the ocean, and to spread out to very isolated places, such as Hawaii and Easter Island, and also to New Zealand. • There is some evidence to suggest that they even travelled as far as South America. • The vegetable sweet potato (gan1shu3) first came from South America, but has been grown in the polynesian islands for over a thousand years. • This suggests that someone brought sweet potatoes from South America to Polynesia. • This would have been a very difficult voyage to make in a canoe, many thousands of kilometres, demonstrating the sailing skills of the polynesians. • Some people have suggested that it was the South Americans who took the sweet potato to Polynesia, and that they also had a strong effect on polynesian culture. • Although most scientists think this is wrong, one famous man from Norway called Thor Heyerdahl tried to prove it. • He made a raft using ancient South American methods, and with some of his friends sailed it from Peru to the Tuamotu Islands in Polynesia. • The journey took about three months, and they travelled about 8000 kilometres. • The raft eventually crashed on a reef near the islands, but all of the men got to shore safely. • Thor Heyerdahl wrote a book about the expedition called Kon-tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft. • text(3) pg10 Captain Cook • Even though he was not the first explorer from Europe to discover these places, Captain Cook is important to the history of countries like New Zealand and Australia because he claimed them for the British. • This meant that they became British colonies, and adopted many of the customs and social habits of the British. • Cook made 3 voyages, and explored Australia, New Zealand, parts of North America, and Polynesia. • Captain Cook died on his third voyage, when he was killed by the native people of Hawaii. • Once New Zealand had been mapped by Captain Cook, it was visited often by European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships. • Whaling ships travelled all over the world hunting whales, because the oil from there bodies was valuable, and was used as a fuel for lamps and candles. • Sealers hunted seals for their skins, as the fur was used to make clothing. • Christian missionaries also settled in New Zealand, converting most of the maoris to Christianity. • Missionaries are important to the history of many countries, because they try to change the religion and culture of the society they are visiting. • In the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples to go out and convert people to Christianity, so many Christians believe that it is their job to convince as many people as possible to convert to Christianty. • This also means the missionaries tried to change the customs of people if they thought that they were doing things which the Bible was against. eg. not wearing any clothes. Treaty of Waitangi • In the early 19 century, the British started to th get worried by the fact that the European settlements in New Zealand were becoming dangerous, and the French were becoming interested in New Zealand. • The French had many settlements in Polynesia, often made up of missionaries trying to convert the polynesians to christianity. • Today these places form French Polynesia, a number of islands such as Tahiti which are still French territory. • The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement between the British Government and the Maori natives of New Zealand. • It gave the Maori people rights as british subjects, and the ownership of land, but meant that the British were in charge of the country. • It was signed by many Maori chiefs in 1840, but the meaning of the treaty was not clear in some parts, and so even today there is disagreement about what it means, and its importance to the government of New Zealand. • Before the treaty of Waitangi was signed, there were many wars between different Maori tribes, which were made worse by the guns that the maoris bought from European and American traders. • After the treaty was signed, even more maoris died from diseases such as smallpox and measles, which the native people caught off the settlers. • By 1900, the population of maoris in New Zealand was only a third of what it had been 60 years earlier. Land Wars • The Treaty of Waitangi was supposed to make sure that the land owned by the maoris was not lost to foreign settlers, but the government did not enforce the rules very strictly. • Many maoris got angry, and there were several wars between maoris and British soldiers and settlers. • The British had good soldiers, but the maoris were also trained as warriors, and so the wars were very fierce. • Eventually, the British won, mainly because their army was made up of professional soldiers. • The Maori warriors could not look after their families and farms while they were fighting, and so eventually they had to quit. • As a result of the wars, in 1863 the British government confiscated large amounts of maori land, severely affecting the maori tribes who lived there. Government • By this time the Government of New Zealand had been officially formed, giving New Zealanders the right to vote. • In 1863, the capital was moved from Auckland, the largest city, to Wellington. • In 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote, and in 1947 it was officially made an independent member of the British Commonwealth. Political System • text(4)pg17 • text(5)pg18 • Like other countries we looked at such as Britain and Australia, the political system in New Zealand has two main parties. • The National Party in New Zealand is similar to the Conservative Party in Britain, and the Liberal Party in Australia. • It is more interested in economic issues and business success. • The other main party is the Labour Party, which Australia and Britain also have. • It is more interested in the rights of workers and everyday people. • The Green Party is also an important part of New Zealand’s politics, even though it is small compared to the two main parties. • It is mainly concerned with environmental issues, which are very important to the New Zealand people. Foreign Relations and Trade • New Zealand supports environmental protection, free trade and human rights, and these things affect its foreign relations. • International trade is very important to the economy of New Zealand, because of it’s small population. • text(6)pg25 • New Zealand’s commitment to the environment has affected its relations with some countries, especially the US and France. • New Zealand was part of the ANZUS treaty with Australia and the United States, which was concerned with military issues. • This meant that after the Second World War, and during the Vietnam War, New Zealand and the US had very strong military connections. • However, as the people of New Zealand became more concerned with environmental issues, this relationship became troubled. • The main problem was with Nuclear power and weapons. • The French government had been testing nuclear weapons on some islands in the Pacific Ocean for many years, and the New Zealanders did not like that because they were against nuclear weapons, and they were worried that the ocean near their home would become polluted by radioactive materials. • The environmental group Greenpeace had been protesting against the French nuclear testing in the Pacific, and in 1985, the French government decided to bomb a Greenpeace ship which was in New Zealand. • French secret agents blew up the ship, and one man died, and the two french agents were caught and put into prison. • New Zealanders were very angry with France about the bombing, and also with other countries like the US who did not support them. • In 1987, New Zealand became a nuclear free zone. • This means that no nuclear weapons or nuclear materials are allowed on New Zealand territory. • Because the US military uses nuclear powered submarines and ships, they could not enter New Zealand waters, and so the ANZUS treaty was suspended by the Americans. Economy • New Zealand has a successful economy, which supports a good standard of living for people living there. • Farming produces a lot of New Zealand’s exports. • text(7)pg24 • text(8)pg22 • New Zealand’s natural energy resources help to make the economy successful. • text(9)pg24 Culture • Most New Zealand culture is derived from the British, and their colonisation, so the society is like Australia in many ways. • However, the British ways have been influenced by the strong maori culture, even though they are only a minority of the population, and the cultures of other people who have moved to New Zealand. • So the language that most people in New Zealand speak is English, but more and more people, especially maoris, want to learn the native maori language. • These days, there are maori schools where children can learn the maori language by using it every day, and maori language television stations. • Traditional maori culture can also be seen in the close relationships between extended family, as in other native people who come from tribal backgrounds. • Tribal maori tattoos, such as as those on the face, can also be seen today. Sport • Like Australia, sports popular in New Zealand came from the UK, especially rugby union and cricket, the two most popular sports in New Zealand. • Traditional maori culture can be seen at the start of rugby union games against other countries, when the New Zealand players perform the haka, a maori dance.
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