|Government||Representative parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy|
|Currency||New Zealand dollar (NZD)|
|Area||270,534 sq km|
|Population||4,347,000 (February 2009 est.)|
|Language||English, Maori, and New Zealand sign language|
|Religion||unspecified/none 43%, Anglican 17%, Roman Catholic 14%, Presbyterian 11%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9%, other 3%|
|Electricity||230V/50Hz (Australian plug)|
|Time Zone||UTC +12 (DST +13)|
New Zealand is known in the native Maori language as Aotearoa, often translated as The land of the long white cloud.
New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty which includes: jagged mountains, steep fiords, pristine lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic features. The islands are one of Earth's richest flora zones and is inhabited by some unique fauna, including many flightless birds such as the kiwi, which is the national symbol.
The Maori culture continues to play an important part in everyday New Zealand life, and there are abundant opportunities for the visitor to understand and experience the history and the present day form of Maori life.
The country is sparsely populated but easily accessible. New Zealand has modern visitor facilities, and developed transportation networks. New Zealand often adds an adventure twist to nature, and is the home of jetboating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.