information for global expats

Expats in New Zealand

Expats in New ZealandNew Zealand: An Overview

New Zealand is a South Pacific Ocean archipelago that consists of two main islands, North Island and South Island. It is bounded on the west by the Tasman Sea, on the north and east by the South Pacific Ocean and on the south by the Southern Ocean. The nearest other territories are Australia to the west and New Caledonia and Fiji to the north. New Zealand is a parliamentary republic with a population of 4,537,000. Its GDP per capita is US$41,550, the 18th highest in the world.

▶ More

New Zealand was one of the last major land areas to be settled by humans. It was colonised by Polynesians at the end of their great period of expansion, in the late 13th Century. The settlers developed the distinctive Maori culture, which was divided into tribes and subtribes, which would sometimes co-operate and sometimes fight one another.

The first European explorer to reach the islands was Abel Tasman, a Dutchman, who landed briefly in 1642. Shortly afterwards, Dutch cartographers named the islands Nova Zeelandia, after the Dutch province of Zeeland ('Sealand'). This was later anglicised to New Zealand. The next visit was from British explorer James Cook, who mapped most of the coastline. After this, there was some trading activity with European and North American traders and whalers.

Muskets were also traded, and the resulting Musket Wars (1807-1842) between rival tribes led to the deaths of more than 30,000 Maoris. From the same time period, Christian missionaries began to convert the Maoris. In 1835 the Maoris declared independence, petitioning the British King William IV for protection. The British claimed the islands in the Treaty of Waitangi, signed on 6 February 1840, which contained guarantees that Maori lands would be left undisturbed. At this point, New Zealand was considered part of New South Wales; it became the Colony of New Zealand on 1 July 1841.

The first parliament in New Zealand met in 1854, and in 1856 the colony became self-governing in most respects. Immigration increased, especially from the British Isles, and the capital was moved from Auckland to the more central Wellington in 1865, in a move to prevent the possible secession of South Island. The New Zealand Wars, which ended in 1872, led to the confiscation of around 16,000km2 of Maori land.

In 1907, New Zealand became a Dominion within the British Empire, and in 1947, the UK Parliament lost its ability to alter legislation in the country as it adopted the Statute of Westminster. In the period after the Second World War, more Maoris have left their rural homelands and started to agitate for more rights. Many of the historical grievances that the Maoris had have now been settled, and they have guaranteed rights and freedom from discrimination.


Country Name: New Zealand
Coordinates: 43°25'S 171°00'E
Capital: Wellington
Capital Coordinates: 41°17'S 174°46'E
Other Main Cities: Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton
Population: 4537081
Area: 268021
Official Language(s): 95.9% English, 4.2% Maori, 0.6% NZ Sign Language
Ethnic Group(s): 74.0% European, 14.9% Maori, 11.8% Asian, 7.4% Pacific peoples, 1.2% Middle Eastern, Latin American, African, 1.7% Other
Demonym: New Zealander
Currency: New Zealand Dollar, NZD, $
GDP: $122.193 billion
Time Zone: NZST (UTC+12), NZDT (UTC+13)
International Dialling Code: 64
Internet TLD: .nz
Electricity Voltage: 230 Volts AC (50Hz)





We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.


Moving to New Zealand

If you are considering moving to New Zealand or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated New Zealand section including; details of immigration and visas, New Zealand forums, New Zealand event listings and service providers in New Zealand.

picture1 Read More

Living in New Zealand

From your safety to shoppingliving in New Zealand can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in New Zealand with relevant news and up-to-date information.

picture1 Read More

Working in New Zealand

Working in New Zealand can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in New Zealand, and general New Zealand culture of the labour market.

picture1 Read More



About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map

Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.