Missionary Spotlight-Facts

ET staff writer
ET staff writer
01 February, 2003 1 min read

Area: 104,534 square miles. New Zealand comprises the North and South Islands (separated by the Cook Strait), and numerous smaller islands.

Environment: Mountainous, with stunning scenery (Mount Cook 3,764 metres) and large coastal plains. North Island has three active volcanoes. The climate is temperate, with strong local variations. There is a wide variety of wildlife.

Population: 4 million, with 75% living on North Island and 80% in the cities.

Life expectancy: Men 75 years, women 81 years.

Ethnic groups: New Zealand European 73%, Maori 10%, other European 5%, Pacific islander 4%, Asian and others 8%. There are many immigrants.

Official languages: English and Maori.Literacy: 99%.

Capital: Wellington. Main cities: Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin.

Economy: Half the land is suitable for farming and a further quarter is forested. Over the last 20 years the economy has prospered, as it has moved from agricultural to mixed free market. New Zealand is self-sufficient in power (60% hydroelectric; with its own coal and natural gas). Inflation is low. Exports include forestry and dairy products, meat, fish, and manufactured goods; Australia, USA, Japan and UK are trading partners. Tourism is also important.

Religions: Protestant 38%; Non-religious 35%; Roman Catholic 13%; Cults (especially Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists) 11%; Buddhist/Chinese religions 1%; Hindu 1%; others 1%.

Protestant denominations: Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, various Pentecostal, Brethren and others.

History: Captain James Cook discovered New Zealand in 1769. From 1840 it was a British colony. In 1907 it became an independent dominion, with the English monarch remaining titular Head of State. There are political tensions between the indigenous Maori and white New Zealanders.

ET staff writer
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