Ten fun facts about New Zealand

Ten fun facts about New Zealand

1. The kiwi bird and sweet fruit

The kiwi is a national symbol of New Zealand, both the bird and the people. The kiwi bird is a flightless species native to the country, and New Zealanders are affectionately known as "kiwis". The fruit, which is also known as a kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry, is a sweet, tart, and juicy berry that is widely enjoyed around the world.

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2. New Zealand Grants Universal Suffrage

In 1893, New Zealand became the first major nation in the world to grant universal suffrage, allowing all female and male citizens the right to vote. This groundbreaking move was made official in 1983, when voting was legalized for all citizens regardless of gender. This momentous decision was a major milestone in the fight for gender equality and has since been adopted by many other countries around the world.

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3. The Land of the Maori

In 1642, Dutch sailor Abel Tasman became the first European to discover New Zealand, but his crew was met with hostility from the Maori people, resulting in the death of several of his crew members. Tasman was forced to flee the country, and it wasn't until 1769 that Europeans returned to the area, this time led by Captain James Cook who mapped the land. This marked the beginning of a long and complex relationship between the Maori people and the Europeans.

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4. A Unique Country in the Commonwealth

New Zealand is a unique country in that it is officially part of the Commonwealth of Nations, with the Queen of England as its official head of state. This means that the Queen is represented in New Zealand by the Governor General, who acts as her representative and is responsible for upholding the laws of the country. The Governor General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and is responsible for ensuring that the government of New Zealand is functioning properly.

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5. New Zealand has two official anthems

New Zealand is one of only three countries in the world that have two official, equal-standing national anthems - the other two being Canada and Denmark. Both anthems, "God Defend New Zealand" and "God Save the Queen", are used to represent the nation and are sung at official events. The two anthems reflect New Zealand's unique history, with the first anthem being written in the 19th century and the second anthem being adopted in 1977.

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6. The Moa: One of History's Largest Birds Was Native to New Zealand

The Moa, one of history's largest birds, was native to New Zealand and could grow up to 12 feet in height and weigh up to 300kg. Unfortunately, the Moa was hunted to extinction by the Maoris in the latter half of the 1500's, marking the end of an era for this remarkable species.

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7. New Zealand Makes History with Three Women in Top Positions

New Zealand made history in 2005 when its top three positions were held simultaneously by women: Helen Clark, the Prime Minister; Dame Silvia Cartwright, the Governor General; and Sian Elias, the Chief Justice. This was the first time in the world that such a feat had been accomplished, and it was a major milestone for gender equality. Helen Clark was the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, and she served from 1999 to 2008. Dame Silvia Cartwright was the first female Governor General of New Zealand, and she served from 2001 to 2006. Sian Elias was the first female Chief Justice of New Zealand, and she has served since 1999. This remarkable trio of women made New Zealand the first country in the world to have its top three positions held by women.

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8. Wellington, New Zealand's Southernmost Capital City

Nestled at the bottom of the world, Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, is the southernmost capital city on the planet. Located on the southwestern tip of the North Island, Wellington is surrounded by the Tasman Sea to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the east. With a population of over 400,000, Wellington is the second most populous city in the country and is home to the country's government and parliament. It is also known for its vibrant culture, with a wide range of museums, galleries, and theatres, as well as its stunning natural beauty, with lush green hills and stunning views of the harbour.

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9. World's Largest Volcanic Eruption in 70K Yrs Hits NZ's Lake Taupo

New Zealand's Lake Taupo experienced the world's largest known volcanic eruption in the last 70,000 years, releasing an astonishing 530 cubic kilometres of magma and registering an explosivity index of 8. The eruption was so powerful that it caused a global cooling of temperatures, and the ash and debris from the eruption spread across the entire Southern Hemisphere. The eruption also created a large caldera, which is now filled with the lake. The eruption was so powerful that it is still visible in the geological record today.

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10. Sir Edmund Hillary's Home Country Honors Him with $5 Bill

Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander, made history when he became the first man to reach the summit of Mt Everest. His incredible feat of mountaineering is celebrated in his home country, with his face printed on the $5 bill. This is a fitting tribute to a man who achieved something that many thought was impossible.

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Short about New Zealand
Is an island country located in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean.


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