macrohistory & world report

New Zealand

Map of New Zealand

New Zealand (capital Wellington, 1,444 miles or
3,234 kilometers east-south-east of Australia's capital, Canberra)

World Factbook as of November 2014: " Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes – but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder – and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector... The government plans to raise productivity growth and develop infrastructure, while reining in government spending."

Economic growth rate
2013: 2.5%
2012: 2.7%
2011: 1.4%

Public Debt
2011: 33.7% of GDP
2010: 25.5% of GDP
2009: 29.3% of GDP

Import/export ratio
2011: 116.7%, favorable balance (exports in cash value above imports)
2010: 106.6%, favorable balance.

Exports "dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery."

Unemployment rate
2011: 6.5%
2010: 6/5%
2009: 7.35%
2008: 4.2%.

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 86th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

Health expenditures
2009: 9.7% of GDP

Value Added Tax: 15%

Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
2005: 1%


Gender Gap:The World Economic Forum lists New Zealand as sixth in the world in the elimination of a gender gap. 

Labor force in agriculture
2006: 6%

Living in an urban area
2010: 86%

Net migration rate
2012: More arriving than leaving. A net gain of 2.26 persons per 1,000 population

Ethnic groups
New Zealand Caucasian 74.5%, Maori 9.7%, other Pacific islanders 3.8%, Asians and others12%. <


About 1,600 kilometers (1000 miles) southeast of Australia. Cooler than the tropics of Pacific islands to the north. Includes the islands of Antipodes, Auckland, Bounty, Campbell, Chatham and Kermadec Islands. Predominately mountainous, with coastal plains. Capital: Wellington.


New Zealand moved from a British colony to an independent dominion in 1907. It remains a parliamentary democracy. Its chief of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Parliament is unicameral, with 120 seats: 70 members are elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies; and 50 proportional seats are chosen from party lists. Members serve three-year terms.

New Zealand has been named in the top ten countries in freedom of the press.

Recent History

December 24, 2004: In response to a ruling by the U.N. Human Rights Committee, New Zealand's Immigration Service has reversed a position regarding a Samoan couple's right to residency in New Zealand.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.