Religion in New Zealand
New Zealand has the principle of religious freedom and, although there is no state religion, many people, due to historical tradition, are Christians, that is, Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, etc. The Russian community organizes Orthodox churches.
About 33% of the population consider themselves atheists.
Plant and Animal World in New Zealand
The flora of New Zealand has undergone significant changes over the past century and a half. Due to violent anoropogenic influence, the country was transformed from a wooded country into a huge pasture. Now only 29% of its territory (7.9 million hectares) is occupied by forests, of which 6.4 million hectares are occupied by natural preserved forests and another 1.5 million hectares are artificial plantations, consisting mainly of pines. Once widespread forests of New Zealand agathis are now preserved only in reserves in the north of the North Island. There are also birches here.
Nevertheless, the uniqueness of the flora of the islands is not in doubt. More than 75% of the plants are endemic, that is, they are not found anywhere else on the globe. Local forests of natural origin are characterized by a large number of tiers, as well as an abundance of vines, epiphytes and tree ferns, which is not quite common in temperate forests.
Endemism is also characteristic of most representatives of the animal world. There are practically no placental mammals and predators here, which made it possible to preserve a huge number of rare species – mainly birds. There is a case when one single cat, which belonged to the lighthouse keeper, completely destroyed the entire endemic species of birds that lived exclusively on the island where the lighthouse was located.
Only here were found the remains of extinct moa, or dinornis, giant flightless birds, some species of which reached 3.6 m in height. They were completely exterminated, probably several centuries ago. The forests are still inhabited by flightless kiwis, nocturnal birds similar in size to a chicken, which are depicted on the emblem of the country, and are universally loved and admired.
Minerals in New Zealand
Although New Zealand’s mineral deposits are plentiful, they are rather shallow and therefore of little economic importance. The only exception is the natural gas fields discovered in the early 1970s on the shelf off the southwestern coast of the North Island. A number of coal deposits, which are used quite intensively, and gold deposits that are being developed, can be noted.
Banks in New Zealand
Banks in New Zealand are open from 09:00 to 16:30 from Monday to Friday. Credit cards are accepted everywhere: VISA, Mastercard, Bankcard, American Express, Diners Club.
Currency can be exchanged at airports, bank branches and specialized exchange offices.
Import and export of foreign and national currency is not limited (the declaration is required if the amount exceeds 10,000 NZD).
Money in New Zealand
The internal currency of the country is the New Zealand dollar (NZ $), equal to 100 cents. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars, as well as coins in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, 1 and 2 dollars.
Rate: 10 New Zealand Dollar (NZD) = 6.17 USD (28.05.2022)
Political State in New Zealand
According to politicsezine, New Zealand is an independent parliamentary democracy and is part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Therefore, formally, the head of state is the Queen of England, represented, as in other Commonwealth countries, by the Governor General. The real executive power is vested in the cabinet, which is appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister from among the members of parliament.
The legislature is the parliament, elected every three years on the basis of mixed proportional representation.
Population in New Zealand
According to the latest census, New Zealand’s population is 3.52 million. Most of them are represented by English-speaking New Zealanders. About 10% are indigenous (Maori), and less than 5% are Polynesians.
New Zealand has two official languages – English and Maori.
Cuisine in New Zealand
The cuisine of New Zealand mixes the traditions of nearby lands. Meat and seafood (oysters and mussels) are equally respected. However, lamb is especially popular. New Zealanders, like no one else, know how to cook it. With the general influence of the national cuisines of the Pacific region, English culinary traditions are still strong in New Zealand. The regular dish is fish and chips. As for local specialties, they include: kumara (sweet potatoes, fried or baked), kiwi and all kinds of food cooked on an open fire. Barbecue in New Zealand is extremely popular.
Shops and restaurants in New Zealand can offer you food and dishes from all over the world. Many cafes and restaurants are licensed, that is, they can sell alcoholic drinks, and in others you can bring something with you.