New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands.
With a thousand years of human settlement, New Zealand has a colourful and dramatic history, dominated by the relationship between Maori and Pakeha (Europeans).
New Zealand was the last landmass on earth to be discovered, making it the youngest country. Since the first people arrived a thousand years ago many cultures have made New Zealand home.
Auckland is New Zealand's largest urban area with a population of just over a million people. It is not, however, the capital, although it was at one time, until the capital moved to Wellington. Auckland is the centre of commerce and industry, and is perhaps the most vibrant, bustling and multicultural city in New Zealand. Auckland is the biggest Polynesian city in the world, and this cultural influence is reflected in many different aspects of city life.
New Zealand is one of the top holiday destinations in the world with its clean green natural image, scenery, Lord of the Rings film setting, adventure, culture and value for money.
New Zealanders have a unique and dynamic culture, with European, Maori, Pacific and Asian influences. It’s a culture that celebrates the many different lifestyles we live, and the stories we have to tell.
New Zealand society is diverse, sophisticated, and multicultural, and the honesty, friendliness, and openness of Kiwis will impress you. And the great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural, and artistic landscapes are so close to each other!