New Zealand Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

New Zealand: Political System

According to DISEASESLEARNING.COM, New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about New Zealand politics, and acronyms as well.

Since New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth, the English king or queen is formally the country’s head of state. A governor general assumes the rights and duties of the head of state on a representative basis. The head of government is a prime minister who is elected by parliament. The parliament has 120 members. The former upper house was abolished in 1950.

In 1996, proportional representation based on the German model was introduced in New Zealand.

The Treaty of Waitangi, which the British Crown signed with the indigenous people of New Zealand in 1840, is the founding charter of New Zealand. To this day, the treaty has triggered the most heated political discussions. The English version and the version translated into Te Reo Maori differ.

The official name of the country is:

New ZealandAotearoa (in Te Reo Maori)

= land of the great white cloud

The white cloud does not refer to clouds in the sky, but to the rising water vapors in the area of the volcanic belt on the North Island.

New Zealand has close political ties with the following countries:


Dependent Territory of New Zealand

Cook Islands

Self-governing monarchy associated with New Zealand.


Self-governing territory associated with New Zealand.

New Zealand partly takes over the jurisdiction on behalf of the mother country England.

National anthem

New Zealand has two more or less equal national anthems, which is quite unique in the world. On the one hand there is the English national anthem “God Save The Queen” and the following one, composed by Thomas Bracken (1843-1898) and set to music by John Joseph Woods (1849-1934) in 1875, which in 1977 became the second official national anthem was declared. Incidentally,

“God Defend New Zealand” was played in public for the first time in Dunedin in 1876:

In English In the English translation
God of nations at Thy feet,In the bonds of love we meet,

Hear our voices, we entreat,

God defend our free land.

Guard Pacific’s triple star,

From the shafts of strife and war,

Make her praises heards afar,

God defend New Zealand.Men of every creed and race,

Gather here before Thy face,

Asking Thee to bless this place,

God defend our free land.

From dissension, envy, hate,

And corruption guard our State,

Make our country good and great,

God defend New Zealand.Peace, not war, shall be our boast,

But, should foes assail our coast,

Make us then a mighty host,

God defend our free land.

Lord of battles in Thy mighty,

Put our enemies to flight,

Let our cause be just and right,

God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,

May Thy blessings never cease,

Give us plenty, give us peace,

God defend our free land.

From dishonor and from shame,

Guard our country’s spotless name,

Crown her with immortal fame,

God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be,

Freedom’s ramparts on the sea,

Make us faithful unto Thee,

God defend our free land.

Guide her in the nation’s van,

Preaching love and truth to man,

Working out Thy glorious plan,

God defend New Zealand.

God of the Nations at your feetIn the covenant of love we meet.

Hear our voices, we ask,

God, defend our free land.

Protect the three stars of the Pacific from

arrows, discord and war.

Hear the prayers in the distance

God, defend New Zealand!Men of all faiths and races,

gather here at his feet,

begging to bless the place.

God defend our free land.

From differences of opinion, envy and hatred.

And protect our state from corruption.

Make our country good and great,

God, defend New Zealand!Peace and not war should be our pride.

Gathered here at Your feet

But should enemies approach our coast,

let us receive them mightily.

God defend our free land.

Almighty God of Struggle,

Make our enemies flee,

Make our cause just and right

God, defend New Zealand!

Let our love for you grow

May the praising of you never stop

Give us much, give us peace

God, defend New Zealand!

From dishonor and shame,

save the flawless name of our country.

Crown it with undying glory

God defend New Zealand!

May your mountains stand forever.

Peace walls on the sea.

Let us believe in you

God, defend our free land.

Do it for the benefit of the nation.

Preach love and truth.

Fulfill Your Glorious Plan

God Defend New Zealand.

National flag

The national flag of New Zealand was officially introduced on June 12, 1902. Based on flag descriptions by, the Union Jack, the flag of the former colonial power Great Britain, is located in the upper left part of the flag and symbolizes the bond with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and New Zealand as well as New Zealand’s membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. The four stars symbolize the “Southern Cross” zodiac sign.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in New Zealand.

New Zealand: Known People

Visual artist

  • William Hodges(1744-1797) He was a painter on James Cook’s second voyage to the Pacific in 1772-75. Back then it was a widespread custom to take painters on board for documentation. Hodges produced an extensive collection of landscapes from the South Seas. He later died impoverished in England.
  • Gottfried Lindauer(1839-1926) The Bohemian Gottfried Lindauer is famous for his Maori portraits, which depict Maori personalities with facial mokos and tattoos. He came to New Zealand in 1873.
  • Charles F. Goldies(1870-1947) The colonial painter portrayed Maories, among others. Some of his portraits are world famous.
  • Colin McCahon(1919-1987) painter who painted large-scale religious modern landscapes. McCahon is considered a classic modern painter in New Zealand.
  • Len Lyeartist who mainly dealt with kinetic objects. His estate is in the Grovett Brewster Gallery in New Plymouth.


  • Tha Feelstylehip hop musician from Auckland with Samoan roots; they sing in English and in Samoish.
  • Scribehip hop musician from Christchurch.

Other contemporary musicians are:

  • Che-Fu
  • Shapeshifter
  • Fat Freddy’s Drop
  • Golden horse
  • Big Runga

Natural scientist

  • Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)The New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford has a great name in science. He was born on August 30, 1871 in Spring Grove, North Island. Among other things, he is the father of Rutherford’s atomic model, he also gave the alpha and beta particles their names and introduced the half-life. The physics of alpha particles was a focus of his research throughout his life. In 1908 he had received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1931 he was ennobled and thus Lord Rutherford of Nelson. He died on October 19, 1937. He found his final resting place in Westminster Abbey in London, near the resting place of Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
  • Peter Henry Buck, Te Rangi Hiroa (1877-1951)The well-known anthropologist, who was born in Urenui in Taranaki as the son of an Irish immigrant and a Maori woman of the Ngati Mutunga tribe, was trained as a doctor. In his later life he devoted himself to researching the Maori and Pacific peoples. He wrote the book “Vikings of the Southsea”.He later became director of the anthropological Bishop Museum in Hawaii. He was held in high regard among both Maori and whites.

Politicians and rulers

Ä€pirana Turupa Ngata (1874-1950)

He is considered a great Maori of the Ngati Porou tribe. Known as a land reformer and politician, Ngata was loyal to the English crown all his life. When he graduated from law school in 1866, he was the first Maori to successfully graduate from a university. He was involved in the government several times, at times as a minister. He was not insignificantly responsible for the fact that many Maoris voluntarily went to war in Maori battalions during World War II. The reasoning was that Maoris owed this to the state if the state granted them citizenship. Parallels to the arguments of the whites cannot be mistaken. The New Zealanders moved to war in South Africa during the First World War, as this was the first time they were recognized as a nation.

Helen Clark (born 1950)

Helen Clark is a Labor Party politician and, since December 1999, the 37th Prime Minister and the first woman in New Zealand to hold this post. In the election on November 8, 2008, she lost her office to John Key of the right-wing liberal National Party. She then resigned from the office of party chairman

John Key (born 1961 in Auckland)

The former investment banker from the right-wing liberal National Party achieved around 45% of the vote with his party in the election on November 8, 2008, replacing Helen Clark as Prime Minister. Key’s mother Ruth emigrated in 1939 as a Jew from Vienna, first to London and later to New Zealand. Key completed an economics degree in the city of Christchurch on the South Island and then went to Harvard in the USA. Back in New Zealand he worked for a trust company, and around 1995 he moved to an investment bank in Singapore as head of foreign exchange trading. In 2001, through intervention by the National Party, John Key was persuaded to return to New Zealand, where he soon entered parliament and took over the chairmanship of the party in 2006.

Writer and poet

  • Katherine Mansfield (1880-1923)left New Zealand forever in 1908 and is one of New Zealand’s best-known writers.
  • Janet Frame (1924-2004)was viewed as schizophrenic in psychiatry while winning a writer’s award at the same time. She was even nominated for the Nobel Prize.
  • Keri HuluneThe writer wrote the book “The Bone People”.
  • Alan DuffThe writer wrote the book “Once we were warriors”.

Actors, directors

  • Anna PaquinThe New Zealand actress received the Oscar in 1993 at the age of 11 for her role in “The Piano”.
  • Peter Jackson (born October 31, 1961)Director (including “The Lord of the Rings”)


  • Sir Edmund Hillary (born July 20, 1919 in Tuakau near Auckland, died January 11, 2008 in Auckland)Probably the world’s best known personality from New Zealand is Sir Edmund Hillary. On May 29, 1953 at 11:30 am local time, he was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest (8,850 m) together with the Nepalese Tensing Norgay (1914-1986). In addition to numerous other honors, Sir Hillary represented New Zealand as ambassador to India from 1985 to 1989. Until shortly before his death he was again in Nepal to take care of the aid projects he initiated there. He was an honorary citizen of Nepal. There is also a portrait in his honor on the New Zealand 5 dollar bills. Hillary was buried on January 22, 2008 in St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Auckland as part of a state funeral. On his coffin lay the ice ax he and Norgay had used when they climbed Everest.
  • Michael Campbellwas born on February 23, 1969 in Hawer. The professional golfer won the 105th US Open in June 2005.
  • Jonah (Tali) Lomu (born May 12, 1975)joined the team as one of the youngest “All Black” players.


  • Jean Batten (1909-1982)The New Zealand pioneer aviator rose to fame in 1934 with her solo flight from England to Australia.
  • Lorraine Downeswas the first New Zealander to be elected Miss Univere in 1983.
  • Walter Boldonwas the last New Zealander to be executed in 1957 in Mt. Eden Prison in Auckland.
  • Sir Peter Blake (1948-2001)Blake was born on October 1, 1948 in Auckland, North Island, and was a yachtsman and environmentalist. He won a number of important ocean regattas – twice the America’s Cup. In 1995 Blake was ennobled by the British Queen for his services to yachting. He also campaigned strongly for environmental protection in sensitive living spaces. He was murdered by river pirates on December 6, 2001 during an expedition in the Amazon Delta.

New Zealand: animals


There are no native mammals on New Zealand except for two bat species. However, a number of animals that were introduced by the Maori or later the Europeans live here today. These include the opossum, weasels, cats, dogs, rabbits and rats, which represent a great danger, especially for the ground-breeding or flightless birds in the country.


Rabbits are divided into several genera and species, in the rabbit family (Leporidae). The introduction of rabbits into New Zealand and other countries has been proven to be a mistake. They are now considered a major nuisance.

Short-tailed bat

The short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculato) with a wingspan of 25-30 cm is the only bat in the world that nests on the ground.


The genus of opossums (Didelphis) belongs to the opossum family (Didelphidae) and is divided into six species. The marsupial, introduced from Australia, is a major plague in New Zealand. In the absence of natural enemies, it can reproduce without restriction. Every year, numerous ground-nesting animals and trees fall victim to the animal, which is a serious threat to the country’s vegetation.

Sheep and cattle In

addition, farm animals such as sheep and cattle, which were not naturally found in New Zealand, were introduced.

Seals Seal

populations are gradually recovering from the carnage to which they were exposed in the early 19th century. However, with the seals, the population of sharks, including the white shark, is increasing.


The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) can be between 11 and 17 m long and dive to a depth of 1,000 m in the sea. In addition, a number of other whale species cavort in the sea around New Zealand


The weasel is understood to be 11 predators from the genus Mustela, in the marten family (Mustelidae). In Europe you can find the mouse weasel and the ermine. In New Zealand and Australia the ermine or short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea) was introduced and had developed into a serious ecological problem here.

Introduced Wildlife

Wildlife such as roe deer, deer, and wild boar were introduced to hunt. But there are also large deer farms whose products are also exported to Europe.


There are around 30 species of reptiles in New Zealand, the Tuatara being a very special one. This reptile (Sphenodon) belongs to the order Sphenodontia, the family (Sphenodontidae) and to the genus of the bridge lizards. It is a living fossil from prehistoric times as it has practically changed little for 200 million years. Today, however, the reptile only exists in protected reserves. It becomes approx. 60 cm long and weighs up to 500 g and takes approx. 13 years to become sexually mature. The tuatara can live up to 60 years. Snakes and scorpions are not found in New Zealand – in contrast to Australia with its numerous extremely poisonous snakes



A smaller number of New Zealand’s birds are flightless because they have forgotten how to fly in the absence of natural predators. So z. B. the Kiwi, Kakapo, Takahe or Weka.


Penguins are among the flightless birds in the southern hemisphere. There are a total of 6 penguin species in New Zealand, including the blue penguin, which can grow up to 40 cm, and the yellow eyed penguin. The penguins live at relatively high latitudes, e.g. B. on Waiheke, an island near Auckland


The kea, a mountain parrot, can be found in the mountains of the South Island. Another parrot is the kakapo, an owl parrot and the largest parrot species in the world, as well as the kaka.


A national symbol of New Zealand is the kiwi, a flightless brown-gray night bird with an excellent sense of smell. It is about 30 cm tall, with a curved beak up to 18 cm long, with which it can peck worms and insects out of the ground. You can find it mainly in remote areas. The animals are unable to fly and have earned the New Zealanders the nickname “Kiwis”

Hoikio, giant eagle (extinct)

When the Maoris arrived, the giant eagle was not yet extinct. Its wings had a wingspan of up to 2.4 m and it could weigh up to 12 kg. It is believed that the bird became extinct about 500 years ago.

Moa (extinct)

The Moa (Dinornis giganteus) survived about 100 years longer than the Hokio and died out about 400 years ago. The flightless giant bird could grow up to 3 m high and weigh up to 250 kg. Before the Maoris came to New Zealand, the bird was common across the country. The Maoris hunted the meat-rich bird until it was extinct in the 17th century. You can see a skeleton of the bird in the Auckland Museum, for example.

Australian Gannet, Morus Serrator

The bird that dives into the sea in steep flights, nests in large colonies on rocky outcrops by the sea, e.g. B. in the Gannet Colony in Muriwai on the west coast near Auckland or at Cape Kidnapper near Napier.


The Albatross is one of the largest birds capable of flying. It can live up to 50 years. In New Zealand, albatrosses can be seen easily at Tairoa Head in Dunedin.


On the coasts of New Zealand you can find albatrosses and penguins as well as shearwaters and petrels

be crazy

Of the 35,000 to 40,000 spider species known worldwide, around 1,100 occur in New Zealand. Over 90% of this is unique to New Zealand.


The rare Katipo – a poisonous relative of the black widow – lives on the north coast near the ground between grasses and driftwood. The males and juveniles have white markings on both sides, but only the adult females are dangerous. A katipo bite can be very dangerous, so a quick visit to the doctor is advisable for treatment of symptoms of poisoning.

Whitetail Spider

This spider was introduced from Australia. The spider has now spread across the country and is quite common. Bites from her are the most common spider bites to treat in New Zealand. It was first found in New Zealand around 1840.


The family tree of this insect goes back about 200 million years. The insect can grow up to 10 cm long and 70 g in weight. This makes it the heaviest insect in the world. The weta belongs to the family of crickets.


With the exception of the Katipo, there are practically no poisonous animals in New Zealand.

Laticauda colubrina

The Laticauda colubrina the genus Laticauda – also called Banded Yellow-lip Sea Snake – forms a small feature, since it is present not only in the sea but also on land – where they “sunning”, mates and lays its eggs. The snake is between 90 cm to about 1.50 m long. The animal has a whitish-gray, bluish or blue-gray basic color with black-blue rings. Her head is colored exactly this way and hardly separates from the torso. Her lips are strikingly yellow. The food of this nocturnal snake consists mainly of fish and prefers eels. But the animal rarely makes its way into the cool waters of New Zealand and therefore can only be described as “native” to a limited extent


Sand flies

Vermin to beware of are the sand flies on the west coast and on the South Island, which transmit the skin disease leishmaniasis. However, according to the WHO, there are no known cases of this disease in New Zealand.


There is also the parasite Giardia, which occurs in water. Once in the body, this causes diarrhea. Therefore, you should only drink the water from the rivers and lakes of the hinterland, if at all, boiled

Wasps You should also be

careful of the wasps that can be found in large numbers.



New Zealand’s eels are among the largest in the world. They can be up to 2 m long and 25 kg in weight. Eel was and is a popular food fish among the Maoris. New Zealand’s eels swim to Tonga, Tahiti or Fiji to spawn. Their conspecifics in the northern hemisphere, however, swim in the Zaragoza Sea to spawn.

Giant squid

sailors have always reported about giant octopuses. In New Zealand, dead specimens of the giant squid are occasionally washed ashore. Even today, not much is known about the giant animals. In 1881 a specimen of 20 m in size was washed ashore in Wellington.

In 2003 a specimen with an eye 30 cm in diameter was washed up. With these dimensions it is one of the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. The giant squid was brought to Germany for conservation purposes, where it can be viewed today in the Stralsund Marine Museum.

Other fish are:

  • Terakihi
  • Gurnard
  • Warahou
  • Snapper
  • Kingfish
  • Ocras
  • Hectare dolphins


It is not true, as it is often said, that there are no sharks in New Zealand. Hai was and is on the traditional menu of the Maoris. In addition to the mako sharks, the white shark also occasionally swims around in New Zealand’s waters. If this happens, a warning is given immediately. In contrast to Australia, shark accidents (so far) hardly ever occur in New Zealand. But that can change with the increasing spread of seals.

Crayfish, New Zealand Lobster

These sea creatures are a delicacy and are abundant in the cool New Zealand waters.

Paua, abalone mussel

This giant mussel grows in seagrass near the coast. It is a popular eating clam, especially among the Maoris. On the world market, it is particularly valued by Asians. New Zealand and Australia currently cover most of the world’s needs as there is still a huge population here. However, the increasing demand in China should soon have a negative impact on these stocks.

New Zealand: plants

General, trees

New Zealand offers a unique flora, not least because about 20% of all plant species are endemic, i.e. only occur in New Zealand.

Ferns, tree ferns

The ferns with their innumerable forms are almost a symbol for the country. About 80% of ferns are unique to New Zealand. The tree ferns, which can reach heights of five or more meters, are also striking.

Kauri spruce

The most famous tree in the country is the Kauri spruce. It can live up to 60 m high and up to 2000 years old and reach a circumference of up to 13 m. The Maori have even given names to two of the largest kauris. The largest tree in the country with a height of 55 m and a circumference of 13.7 m is called “Tane Mahuta” (Lord of the Forest). Another with similar dimensions is the “Te Matua Ngahere” (father of the forest). The tree has gray bark and grows in the north of the country, especially on the west coast of Northland, on the Coromandel Peninsula and on Great Barrier Island. However, its stocks have shrunk considerably, and so it is now under strict nature protection.

Natural forest

Today only about 25% of the country’s area is natural forest, and thanks to the very rainy climate, an evergreen, dense rainforest. This consists of podocarps, stone slices, rimu, matai, kahikatea, beeches, lettuce trees and the nikau palm.

Kiwi tree

The kiwi tree is very famous in New Zealand – biologically correct it is a climbing plant and not a tree – although China is its actual country of origin.

The fruit of this tree is also a very popular food in Europe.

Kowhai, Rata and the Pohutukawa Tree

The flowering plants and trees include the Kowhai, Rata and the Pohutukawa tree.

On the North Island, the red tree in bloom is a symbol of the Christmas season, it grows along the coast.

Nikau palm

The Nikau palm is the most southerly growing palm in the world.

New Zealand beech, rimu, matai and tawa

You can also admire the New Zealand beech, rimu, matai and tawa here.

Useful plants, flax

This ubiquitous crop was used by the Maoris as a raw material for braiding and weaving. In the absence of fur animals, they made their clothing from the fibers. Feathers were partially woven into the fabrics to make warm waterproof capes.

In the years 1830-1930, flax was a coveted New Zealand export.

Medicinal and poisonous plants

Cabbage Tree (cabbage tree

Earlier it was the Cabbage Tree (cabbage tree ), which is actually a lily, but the m up to 15 can be high, used by the Maori for medical purposes. The tree still grows in the country, but a medical use there are hardly any.


This plant is very poisonous and occasionally poisons grazing animals, and in 2008 there were even

four deaths in humans from ingesting honey. The bees had added tutu pollen to the honey.

More plants

The Europeans introduced willow, chestnut, maple and especially spruce about 150 years ago. The Pinus Radiata, Douglas Fir and American Redwood are also not indigenous.

Other typical plants of New Zealand are the coprosoma, the club lily, the sticky seed, the New Zealand flax, the crested myrtle, the prickly nut, the shrub veronica and the zigzag bush.


The ubiquitous gorse, which was introduced from England as a hedge and pasture border, has become a veritable plague in New Zealand, displacing numerous other plants.

New Zealand Politics