The 21 Amazing Facts About New Zealand

New Zealand
Amazing Facts of New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places to visit. If you haven’t been there, plan a holiday and see what makes this place so awesome.

Discover 21 incredible facts about New Zealand that highlight its uniqueness. There’s much to explore and learn from its vibrant culture and traditions.

1. New Zealand was first discovered by Europeans in 1642 when Dutch sailor Abel Tasman arrived. He left New Zealand after several of his crew were killed by Maoris, and it was not until 1769 that English Captain James Cook arrived and mapped the land.

2. New Zealand was the first major nation to have universal suffrage. In 1893, it became legal for all male and female citizens of New Zealand to vote.

Recommended read: The New Zealand Dollar – Currency

3. Until 1901, New Zealand was governed as a part of the territory of New South Wales. When Australia federated in 1901, New Zealand was offered a place as one of their states. This is one of the 21 Amazing Facts of New Zealand. New Zealand refused and is now its own country with no ties (other than economic and commonwealth) to Australia.

4. Queen Elizabeth II is officially Queen of New Zealand. She is represented in New Zealand by a Governor-General, who ratifies all laws put before them by the elected parliament of New Zealand.

5. In New Zealand, a kiwi is not a fruit but a native flightless bird. It has become a slang term for a New Zealander. Kiwis call the fruit “kiwifruit,” also known as Chinese gooseberries.

Moa-The Extinct Bird – 21 Amazing Facts of New Zealand

Moa- The Extinct Bird - astounding facts
Moa-The Extinct Bird

6. Another native bird of New Zealand (the Moa) was one of the most giant birds in history – standing up to 3.6m (12 feet) tall and weighing 300kg. Unfortunately, they were hunted to extinction by the Maoris by the end of the 1500s.

7. When the Europeans arrived in New Zealand, it was already inhabited by the Maori people – Eastern Polynesian settlers who arrived between 800 and 1300. Oral tradition says that they came from Hawaiki; its location is unknown.

The solid linguistic connection to Cook Island Maori might suggest that they originated from that region of the Pacific.

8. Another group of settlers (who most likely came from the same group as the original Maoris) settled on the Chatham Islands.

They were called the Morioris, and they were pacifists. In 1835, groups of Maoris moved to the Chatham Islands and wiped out nearly all of the Morioris – leaving only 100 by 1862. The last full-blooded Moriori (Tommy Solomon) died in 1933.

9. New Zealand was the first country to have its three top positions of power held simultaneously by women: The Prime Minister (Helen Clark), the Governor-General (Dame Silvia Cartwright), and the Chief Justice (Sian Elias).

10. New Zealand is one of only three countries with two official (and of equal standing) national Anthems. The first is God Save the Queen (the English National Anthem), and the other is God Defend New Zealand.

The other two countries with two anthems are Denmark and Canada, which both have a Royal Anthem and a State anthem.

Early Naval Vessels

Early Naval Vessels - 21 Amazing Facts of New Zealand
Early Naval Vessels

11. Wellington, the Capital City of New Zealand, is the southernmost capital city in the world.

12. New Zealand was forced out of the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States) alliance in the 1980s when it outlawed nuclear arms and power.

To this day, there are no nuclear power stations in New Zealand, and a law change would be required before one could be built. New Zealand retains its military ties with the United Kingdom.

13. New Zealand has one of the most liberal media arenas in the world. Distinctly, left-wing versus right-wing press is less evident than in other nations.

14. New Zealand is a plastic nation – almost all personal financial transactions are made with a card – credit or otherwise. Most shops offer EFTPOS, and cash is seen less and less. Most taxis now allow you to pay without money through this system.

15. New Zealand has a stronghold on the international trade in sheep meat. There are presently around 9 sheep for every human in New Zealand. (NZ population 4.5 million).

5 Dollar with Sir Edmund Hillary

5 Dollar with Sir Edmund Hillary
5 Dollar with Sir Edmund Hillary

16. Over 1/3 of New Zealand comprises protected parkland and marine reserves.

17. New Zealand is a reasonably liberal nation, with homosexual marriage (Civil Union) being legal and prostitution, soliciting, and brothel-keeping being legal. The driving age is 15, the consensual sex age is 16, and the drinking age is 18 (even minors accompanied by adults are allowed alcohol in restaurants).

18. New Zealand was the last major landmass to be populated (except the Polar Regions).

19. Lake Taupo, one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations, was the source of the largest known eruption in the world in the last 70 thousand years. It had a Volcanic Explosively Index of 8. It released over 530 cubic kilometres of magma.

20. New Zealander and Nobel Prize Winner Ernest Rutherford is known as the father of nuclear physics for his orbital theory of the atom.

21. Sir Edmund Hillary – the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, was a New Zealander born in Auckland and can be seen on the New Zealand $5 bill.

Any other known facts, do share!

About the author

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur has been an integral voice in the New Zealand gaming landscape for years.

As a senior writer for PokiesMobile NZ, Kamal brings rich experiences from her diverse background.

Born in India and later migrating to New Zealand, she effortlessly blends her cultural insights with a deep love for gaming.

Kamal is renowned for her in-depth game analysis, player strategies, and knack for spotting industry trends.