New Zealand Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

New Zealand – geography

New Zealand is a mountainous country with an extremely rich and varied nature. The South Island is dominated by one longitudinal mountain range, Southern Alps, with Mount Cook (3765 m), the country’s highest mountain. Large areas are uninhabited and rather untouched natural landscapes, but many plains at different heights are used for sheep grazing.

Both the landscapes of the South and the North Island are formed during the alpine folding in the Tertiary period, but strongly transformed by subsequent ice ages. Thus, the southwest coast of the South Island is a large fjord landscape with characteristic, steep profiles, high waterfalls and U-shaped valleys formed by ice age glaciers, and in many places other ice age landscapes are seen. As the country lies on the border between two tectonic plates, it is characterized by frequent earthquakes and other tectonic activity. On the North Island are several active volcanoes and areas characterized by hot springs, geysers, sulfur lakes and other volcanic activity. On the South Island there are only hot springs.

The climate is generally mild; the largest part of the country is located in the temperate zone, only the northernmost part of the North Island has subtropical climate. Large parts of the country receive abundant rainfall, in many places as year-round rain. The natural conditions for agriculture are favorable, for grass crops, which grow all year round. On windy mountain sides the precipitation can be very heavy; Milford Sound on the west coast of the South Island gets almost 6000 mm a year, and the west side of the Southern Alps has rainforest and glaciers.


New Zealand. Tongario National Park in New Zealand. In the area are several high formations (Ruapehu, 2796 m), some of which emit gas and steam, and others are regularly in eruptions. With its network of hiking trails and cabins, the park is a favorite tourist destination and also New Zealand’s most visited winter sports resort.

When Britain joined the EC in 1973, it had a profound effect on both the pattern of trade and the New Zealand identity; for 100 years the old motherland had been an all-dominating market and the cultural “home”, but with the EC’s customs barriers, the great geographical distance to Britain also became noticeable economic, political and emotional barriers. This led to a harsh transformation process that equipped the country for the realities of the world market and opened up opportunities for SEA Asia and Oceania, and a redefinition of the country’s identity is underway. Among other things. the abolition of the formal status of monarchy (with Elizabeth II as head of state) is being discussed, and in the same process, traditional Maori values ​​and customs have gained increasing importance. New Zealand was hit hard by the economic crisis in Asia in 1997, as the country primarily exports to Japan and SEA. Together with the economic redistributions that have taken place in connection with privatization and the abolition of social benefits and agricultural support, this has led to a greater emigration within certain occupational groups.

Agriculture. The soil is generally fertile and suitable for growing a wide variety of crops. In the sparsely populated country, however, only 3.4% are under plow; barley and wheat are the main crops. On the other hand, 74% of the area is used, more than DKK 11 million. ha, for grazing of 39 mill. sheep and 10 million. pieces of cattle (2004). No other country has so many livestock in relation to the population. The average farm size is 222 ha (in Denmark 54 ha), and very large farms are not nearly as important as in Australia. The operation is modern, thoroughly mechanized and highly productive. By the end of the 1980’s, New Zealand had completed a comprehensive agricultural reform, which abolished the significant support schemes that otherwise characterize the countries’ agriculture. This led to major upheavals with many mergers, further streamlining and closure of the least profitable farms. Among other things. the sheep herd has declined (there were 61 million sheep in 1989), and the cattle herd forward. However, New Zealand remains the world’s second largest producer of wool and lamb (after Australia) and the largest exporter of dairy products. Exports of agricultural products amount to approximately 50% of total merchandise exports.

Forestry is of limited importance. approximately 20% of the land is covered by forest or natural shrub vegetation. Most native tree species were felled in the early years of European colonization, and the local, slow-growing species have been replaced in fast-growing species by fast-growing species such as the Douglas fir.

Energy and industry. During the 1970’s, the annual production of mineral raw materials increased dramatically as oil and natural gas discoveries began to be exploited on the North Island. In addition, small deposits of a large number of minerals are exploited. With its large mountain areas and abundant rainfall, the country has significant potential for electricity generation by hydropower, and 56% of electricity consumption comes from here. In total, 29% of the country’s energy consumption is covered by renewable energy, in addition to hydropower, wind power is used and mainly on the North Island geothermal energy from the active subsoil.

Much industry is linked to agriculture and the export of processed agricultural products. Auckland is the most important industrial city. Pga. New Zealand’s location and the small size of the local market, there is no real heavy industry, but the industry is otherwise versatile with iron and metal companies, car assembly plants, wood industry and petrochemical industry.


Approximately 75% of the population is pakeha, maori for ‘white man’, ie. descendants of European immigrants. approximately 14% are Maori, a Polynesian people;  95% of them live on the North Island, not least in the Auckland region, and are increasingly integrated into the European-dominated society. 5% are recent immigrants from Asia and 5% from various Pacific islands, including the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, all of which have home rule and whose residents are New Zealand nationals. There has also been large-scale immigration from Samoa, and Auckland is the city in the world with the most Samoan residents.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in New Zealand? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

There are only approximately 15 residents per km2, and 75% live on the North Island. Here are also the main cities, the capital Wellington and Auckland, both of which have a very large urban area. In total, 86% of the population lives in cities, of which almost half in the two urban areas.

Danish immigration. In 1872, the first Scandinavian immigrants arrived in the eastern part of the North Island, settling in a moraine-covered area. From being almost exclusively Scandinavian enclaves, who subsisted predominantly on sawmill work and railway construction, many British immigrants came in the years that followed. The capital of the area came to be called Dannevirke after the extensive work of building a road through the impassable bush, which is now lush pastures and one of the focal points for sheep breeding.

New Zealand – plant life

In the northernmost parts, the vegetation is subtropical with mangroves and remnants of kauriskov. On the west side of the South Island there is dense, temperate rainforest with southern beech (Nothofagus), tree fern, Christmas tree (Metrosideros) and southern genera of conifers such as Podocarpus and Dacrydium. On the drier east side, steppe-like vegetation dominates with tussock grass, partly as a result of deforestation. In the mountains there are many pillow plants, vegetable sheep (Raoulia) and other genera in the basket flower family. Most flowers are white, which is probably an evolutionary consequence of the lack of pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and other insects with color vision.

The lowland flora is predominantly associated with the Pacific area, while the mountain plants often have relatives in southern South America or belong to generally northern groups, such as buttercup, star and gentian. The plant geographical connection to Australia is relatively weak; eg eucalyptus is missing. At least 80% of the country’s native plant species are endemic, ie. that they are only found there, but the cultural landscape is today dominated by introduced European species.

New Zealand – wildlife

New Zealand has a distinctly poor native island fauna. Of native mammals, there are only two species of bats; the role of the missing rodents seems to have been taken over by the wetas, some large, non-flying grasshoppers. The amphibians are only represented by three seed species.

Among the reptiles, the endemic tuatara must be highlighted, and among the birds the endemic patch crows and kiwis as well as the extinct Moa in historical times.

Numerous animal species have been introduced or brought into New Zealand by man. The populations of deer and rabbits are sought to be limited by intensive hunting, and introduced trout species are fished in the rivers.

New Zealand – language

Official language is in addition to English, which is spoken by all as a mother tongue or second language, from 1987 the oceanic language Maori, which is the mother tongue of the indigenous people. New Zealand English has much in common in pronunciation and vocabulary with Australian English. Of smaller groups are spoken Samoan (approximately 5000) as well as Dutch (approximately 25,000) and Chinese (approximately 20,000). For culture and traditions of New Zealand, please check calculatorinc.

New Zealand – religion

The largest denomination is the Anglican Church, which has approximately 1/3 of the population; the other Protestant denominations, of which the Presbyterians are the largest, together make up approximately 1/3, about Catholic 20%. In the Protestant churches, the influence of the laity was already in the 1800’s. unusually wide; it quickly gave the churches great independence, and from this also sprang a “modern” view of mission among the Maori, marked by respect for their culture. There is an independent Maori Anglican denomination. The smaller Lutheran church is still characterized by the Danish politician DG Monrad’s efforts 1866-69.

The Protestant-Puritan doctrine of revival, which characterized colonization and put social engagement and personal piety above supreme theological innovations, is still the churches’ essential response to the progressive secularization in a country where as many as 34.7% of the population consider themselves non-religious. (2006).

New Zealand Geography