Home to the cast and crew of Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the serene environment became a perfect landscape for the Hobbit’s amazing journey written by J.R.R. Tolkien. No surprise that the acclaimed director, Peter Jackson, was born at the shores of Pukerua Bay. Maybe he knew all along that New Zealand was bound to be the world of LOTR. New Zealand has now adopted the title, “ Home of the Middle Earth” to boost tourism in the country.
For those interested to work here, take a look at this country’s profile and see whether you might fancy living like a character in Tolkien’s novel.
Geography and Climate
There are two primary seasons summer and winter. Summer lasts from December- February and winter starts in June and ends in August. Slight difference in climate is resulted fro the combination of the mountainous geography and prevailing westerly winds.
New Zealand has a total land area of 270,534 sq. kms comprising of two main islands (the North and South Islands) and several smaller islands. New Zealand is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,600 kilometres (995 miles) south-east of Australia. It is similar in size to Colorado and somewhere in between the size of Japan and the United Kingdom.
New Zealand’s geography includes spectacular landscapes incorporating the vast mountain chain of the Southern Alps the volcano region of the North Island, fiords, glaciers, lakes, rainforests and extensive grassy plains.
New Zealand is an independent state of the Commonwealth. The Governor General, Her Excellency Right Honorable Dame Silvia Cartwright, is the Queen’s representative in New Zealand. The democratic government operates under the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) Parliamentary system of 120 seats (of which 67 Members of Parliament are from geographic areas and 53 from political parties). The coalition partners, Labour Party and United Future leads the Government. The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the Right Honorable Helen Clark.
Overseas trade has become a major factor in the economy. Back then, their main importer was United Kingdom, selling mainly agricultural products. After 25 years their trading partners have widened and included dominant Asia. New Zealand has developed its agriculture and manufacturing industries to suit the needs of niche markets. Dairy and meat exports still make a large contribution to New Zealand's economy. However, industries such as forestry, horticulture, fishing, manufacturing and tourism have become increasingly significant. Australia is now the number one merchandise export market, accounting for 18% of the value of New Zealand's exports in 2001. The United States has increased its share to become our second largest export market (15%), followed by Japan (13%) and in fourth place the United Kingdom (5%).
The New Zealand currency is the New Zealand dollar. One dollar is equal to 100 cents (50c, 20c, 10c, 5c). New Zealand banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Dollars. As of now the current exchange rate is as follows 1 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) = P 35.1385. 1 NZD = 0.5198 Euro 1 NZD = $ 0.5198
Christianity is the religion widely professed in New Zealand. The main denominations are Anglican, Presbytrian, Roman Catholic and Methodist.
English is widely spoken in New Zealand although Maori is used as the official language. The use of the two languages resulted to a remarkable New Zealand accent and the emergence of an English local vocabulary.