Interesting Facts about New Zealand |
4th May 2011
Written by: c/o Emigration New Zealand
Moving to New Zealand
Statistics, Numbers and Facts
A Useful Education?
Children in New Zealand's secondary schools spend more time than the OECD average learning mathematics,
science, technology and physical education. They spend less time learning foreign languages, arts and religion
than children in other countries.
Top Value Qualifications:
The graduates from New Zealand's universities who tend to earn the highest salaries are those qualified in
sciences, engineering and management & commerce. Creative arts, food, hospitality and personal services
graduates tended to have lower salaries.
Another Rainy Day?
The highest rainfall in a year in New Zealand was a drenching 18.4 metres (60 feet) in 1997-1998 at Cropp River
on the west of the South Island. By contrast, the lowest rainfall was a miserly 167 mm (6.6 inches) in
1963-1964 at Alexandra, Central Otago.
Head of State:
New Zealand's Head of State is Queen Elizabeth. 'God Save The Queen' and 'God Defend New Zealand' are New
Zealand's two official national anthems. Although they have equal status, 'God Defend New Zealand' is sung at
100% of sporting occasions.
Part of the ceremony at which immigrants become New Zealand citizens involves singing 'God Defend New Zealand'.
Everyone at the ceremony sings it together, so you don't have to sing on your own.
A Sporting Nation:
According to the most recent numbers from SPARC and the NZRU, the most popular sports in New Zealand, measured
by club memberships, are as follows:
>> Rugby Union: 136,059
>> Golf: 132,063
>> Netball: 123,069
>> Soccer: 105,000
>> Cricket 102,759
18% of New Zealand's export earnings and 9% of New Zealand's economy, as measured by GDP, are dependent on
tourism. Tourism supports more than 10% of New Zealand jobs.
For each person who lives here, New Zealand produces 100 kg of butter and 65 kg of cheese each year.
Christmas in New Zealand follows soon after midsummer's day. Many northern hemisphere traditions prevail in NZ,
including tinsel-covered pine trees and christmas cards portraying snow & reindeer. The pohutukawa tree
comes into peak-bloom in late December and is known as New Zealand's Christmas tree.
94% of those in jail in NZ are males.
50% are Maori.
36% are European.
12% are Pacific People.
Seeing The Wood:
30% of New Zealand's land is forested. Forestry accounts for 12% of New Zealand's exports. This is expected to
increase as more plantations mature.
>> 24% of New Zealand families have only one parent.
>> Over 40% of Maori children live in one-parent families.
>> 17% of NZ European children live in one-parent families.
>> 26% of children in both the US and UK live in one-parent families.
>> 14% of children in Germany live in one-parent families.
In The Real Deep South:
It's a fact: at 41.2o South, Wellington is the most southerly capital city on the planet. Cities on similar
latitudes in the Northern hemisphere are Barcelona, Istanbul and Chicago.
City Of Firsts:
The City of Dunedin is home to:
>> New Zealand's oldest university.
>> New Zealand's first newspaper.
>> New Zealand's first botanic gardens.
Bad For Your Health:
>> Since 1990, total tobacco consumption in NZ has fallen by over one-third.
>> One in five deaths in New Zealand is caused by tobacco smoking.
According to the 2006 census:
>> 18% of New Zealand's adult population classed themselves as regular smokers.
Older surveys had found that:
>> 50% of Maori, 30% of Pacific Islander and 20% of European people smoke.
Latest annual road deaths for every 100,000 of population show that New Zealand's roads are getting safer.
Road Deaths Per Year:
>> UK: 5 per 100,000 people
>> Australia: 8
>> NZ: 9
>> Canada: 9
>> United States: 14
>> Spain: 15
Not so many years ago, New Zealand's stood at 13. The major reason for more deaths in NZ compared to the UK is
fewer multi-lane highways in NZ.
One fact about New Zealand that is a relief to all Kiwis is that New Zealand's sheep are free of scrapie.
Scrapie is a brain disease similar to BSE that is present in sheep in many other countries. It's thought BSE
was caused by scrapie jumping the "species barrier" from sheep to cows. Cattle in NZ are free of BSE.
As a precaution against the spread of vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) people from the UK are not
permitted to donate blood in New Zealand.
New Zealand's (and Australasia's) highest mountain is Aoraki Mount Cook. It is 3,754 metres (12,316 ft) high.
The mountain formerly appeared on maps as Mount Cook. In 1998, the mountain was officially renamed Aoraki Mount
Cook to incorporate its Maori name. The renaming was part of a settlement in which the Crown also returned
ownership of the mountain to the Ngai Tahu tribe, who then gifted it back to the New Zealand nation. Aoraki
translates from the Ngai Tahu language as "cloud piercer".
New Zealand's largest lake is Lake Taupo, extending to 616 square kilometres (or 238 sq miles). This makes it
almost identical in size to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia and slightly smaller than Singapore. Lake Taupo
formed in the crater left behind after a supervolcano erupted 26,500 years ago.
The Shaky Isles:
Until the earthquake in Christchurch in February 2011, the last fatal earthquake in New Zealand had been on the
West Coast of the South Island in May 1968. Three deaths resulted at that time. 169 people were killed in
Christchurch in February 2011.
A Nation of Drinkers?:
Compared with some other countries, New Zealanders are not heavy drinkers. The average New Zealander
>> 5% less alcohol than the average Australian.
>> 12% less alcohol than the average Briton.
>> 30% less alcohol than the average German.
>> 40% less alcohol than the average Irish.
The biggest contributors to New Zealand's Tourism earnings, accounting for 64% of all money spent, are:
>> Australians 26%
>> British 15%
>> Americans 10%
>> Japanese 8%
>> Chinese 5%
In 2008 - 2009 tourists spent over NZ$6 billion in New Zealand
"New Zealanders who go to Australia raise the IQ of both countries." Former NZ Prime Minister Robert Muldoon,
who made this superbly cutting comment, did not provide any numbers to back it up. Unfortunately, therefore, we
cannot claim it as a true New Zealand fact.
The top ten countries New Zealand imports from are:
3. United States
New Zealand's top ten export markets are:
2. United States
5. United Kingdom
10. Hong Kong (SAR)
New Zealand currently has free trade agreements with:
Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand
Negotiations are in progress with:
Belarus, Gulf States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE), India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Peru,
Russia, USA, and Vietnam
Currently New Zealand generates about 10% of its electricity geothermally from volcanic heat. Another 55% of
the country's electricity is generated from water flowing through hydroelectic dams. Wind-power accounts for
less than 5% of electricity needs, although this is planned to increase significantly in the years ahead. By
2025, the plan is that 90% of New Zealand's electricity will come from renewable sources.
Bungy jumpers leap from vertigo-inducing heights with only a length of rubber tied to their ankles saving them
from certain death.
The world's first commercial bungy (or bungee) jump took place in Queenstown, NZ in 1988.
Operated by AJ Hackett, who has since added jumps in France, Germany, Macau, Malaysia, Bali, and Australia to
his repertoire, the first jump was a 43 metre leap from Queenstown's Kawarau Bridge.
>> With 2.5 million cars for four million people, including children, New Zealand's car ownership rate is
one of the world's highest.
>> New Zealanders make only about 2% of their journeys by bus and fewer than 1% by rail.
Where Have All The Sheep Gone?
From the early 1980s, when NZ was home to over 70 million sheep, the population has declined to around 39
million in 2008. This means the oft-quoted statistic, that NZ has 20 sheep for each human, is wrong! Nowadays
it's only about 9 to 1. This decline hasn't stopped NZ from cornering 50% of all international trade in
Unlike the human population, the majority of New Zealand's sheep are based on the South Island, where there are
more than 20 sheep for every human!
NZ roads don't need to be salted so cars rust very slowly.
>> Around a fifth of cars are less than seven years old.
>> Around two thirds of cars are between seven and 16 years old.
>> Around a sixth of cars are more than 16 years old.
Little known amongst facts about New Zealand is that 22% of its residents were born overseas. This compares
with 24% in Australia, 20% in Canada, 12% in the USA and 8% in the UK.
New Zealand Facts:
New Zealand is one of the top five dairy exporters in the world. The top five countries supply around 90
percent of dairy products on the international market. There are over nine million beef and dairy cattle in
God Save The Queen:
To become a New Zealand citizen, you must swear an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth.
New Zealand's school students reported better relations with their teachers than the average for students in
the OECD. New Zealand's students also reported more pressure to achieve good results is applied by their
teachers than the OECD average.
More Happy Families:
For New Zealand families who have children;
41% have one child
36% have two children
23% have more than two children.
Due to the moderating effect of the ocean, summer and winter temperatures in most NZ locations differ by less
than 10 oC.
The most continental climate is found in Central Otago, inland from Dunedin on the South Island.
Here the temperature reaches 24 oC on an average day in summer while in winter it falls to -2 oC on an average
Rainfall is a semi-arid 350 mm a year. In comparison, annual rainfall in other New Zealand locations is:
>> Christchurch 635 mm.
>> Wellington 1250 mm.
>> Auckland 1200 mm.
Many of New Zealand's stone fruit crops, such as peaches and apricots are grown in Central Otago.
Great advice anout the country of New Zealand
We have more articles being added regularly www.simplyshipinternational.com
Our thanks to Statistics New Zealand who provided us with many of the
facts and figures used on this page