New Zealand

island country in the southwest Pacific Ocean

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu)—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.


  • After its great bust in the 1880s, New Zealand ceased to see itself as an embryonic replica of Britain, an 'Infant Hercules', and accepted a more modest role as an exemplary paradise, 'the world's social laboratory', a title also claimed by South Australia.
    • James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939 (2009)
  • The first thing you notice about Mumbai is the first thing you notice about every place the British once occupied, which is how much of themselves they left there. The United States spent over a decade and trillions of dollars in Iraq, and the only physical evidence that remains is a concrete embassy compound, some airstrips, and a sea of steel shipping containers. Maybe because they never considered that they might leave, the British built entire cities out of stone, with railways to connect them. And they did it with reliably good taste. Too often lost in the hand-wringing over the evils of colonialism is the aesthetic contribution of the British Empire. The Brits tended to colonize beautiful places and make them prettier. Bermuda, New Zealand, Fiji, Cape Town—notice a theme? Style wasn’t an ancillary benefit; it was part of the point. Behind every Gurkha regiment marched a battalion of interior designers.
    • Tucker Carlson, “Tucker Carlson's Diary: The Aesthetic Merits of British Colonialism" Spectator, March 3, 2016
  • I believe we were all glad to leave New Zealand. It is not a pleasant place. Amongst the natives there is absent that charming simplicity which is found at Tahiti; and the greater part of the English are the very refuse of society. Neither is the country itself attractive.
  • Before the Polynesians first set foot here in the thirteenth century, at least eleven species of moa lived here. Moa were enormous ratites, sometimes weighng up to 440 pounds and growing 9 feet tall. Furthermore, the island was inhabited by dozens of other unique bird species, including an eagle with a wingspan of almost 9 feet that hunted moas. Within a few centuries, the moas, and consequently also the eagle, all went extinct.
  • New Zealand was colonised initially by those Australians who had the initiative to escape.
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