Useful Notes: New Zealand
Not Australia, the one next to it. The semicolon, or as The Onion and Jon Stewart called it, "Australia's Canada".note New Zealand (Aotearoa, "The Land of the Long White Cloud" in Māori) was a former British colony, becoming fully independent in 1947, although it had been a self-governing Dominion since 1907. Residents of New Zealand are called New Zealanders or Kiwis (named after the bird). The word Pakeha is often used to identify New Zealanders of European descent, although it sometimes is also used to refer to non-Maori New Zealanders, or just non-Māori, generally. NZ consists of two major landmasses, the North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui ("the fish of Māui"note ) and the South Island or Te Waipounamu ("the waters of greenstone"note ), along with a batch of other islands, including the Hauraki Gulf islands near Auckland, including Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island; the Chatham Islands off to the southeast; and Stewart Island immediately below the South Island. The atoll group of Tokelau, north of Samoa, is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. There are also two Pacific Island nations, Niue and the Cook Islands, who are self-governing but are in "free association" with New Zealand, which mostly means that New Zealand manages their external affairs. Cities include Auckland (the largest), Wellington (the capital), Christchurch (the South Island's largest city), Hamilton, Tauranga, the twin cities of Napier and Hastings, Palmerston North, and Dunedin. New Zealand is a Commonwealth Realm, i.e. a parliamentary democracy that recognizes the British Monarch as head of state. The overall structure is a like that of Britain's, with a few major differences:
- Parliament is elected by a mixed-member proportional system (MMP) every three years (give or take), which boils down to this: There are 120 seats in parliament. People get two votes: one vote to choose their local representative, of which the 71 districts each send one; and one vote for a party, which is tallied together with all the other votes cast across the country, which tally is then used to divvy up all 120 seats proportionally. After all the 71 local representatives take their seats, the remaining 50 are filled by representatives form each party's list. Of the 71 district seats, 64 are general district seats (16 in the South Island, 48 in the North) and seven are reserved for Māori MPs: Māori voters can choose whether they wish to enroll with the election of their administrative district's representative, or with the election of their Māori district's representative.
- If you're German or familiar with German politics, it works basically the same as the Bundestag.
- Until 1993, the traditional First Past the Post system used in Britain was used, in which there were 99 districts and 99 seats: 95 general (25 South and 70 North) and four Māori.
- The New Zealand Parliament consists solely of one House, the House of Representatives; the Legislative Council was abolished in 1951.
- There is a Governor-General to serve as the monarch's viceroy, who discharges the (almost entirely ceremonial) daily duties of the head of state in the name of the Queen (rather than, you know, having her do it herself, which would be a pain giving that she lives in London).
New Zealand in fiction
- The Almighty Johnsons
- Bad Taste
- Black Sheep (2007)
- The Bone People
- Bro Town
- Digital Magic
- Eagle Vs Shark
- Flight of the Conchords (not technically shot in New Zealand but pretty much about it)
- Footrot Flats
- Go Girls
- Heavenly Creatures
- The New Zealand Story (although very loosely, apart from the place names)
- Once Were Warriors
- Outrageous Fortune
- Out Of The Blue
- Owls Do Cry
- New Zealand is a character in Axis Powers Hetalia
- Amanda Palmer, after writing "Map Of Tasmania," was asked by a Kiwi fan "where's our fucking song?" This is what she came up with.
- The Piano
- The Quiet Earth
- Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby
- Sione's Wedding
- Sleeping Dogs
- Team Fortress 2: In this case New Zealand is sunk to the bottom of the ocean and kept in a glass dome. Then the Snipers biological parents broke the dome while sending him into space, but instead he ended up in Australia.
- Top Of The Lake
- The Tribe
- Underbelly NZ: Land of the Long Green Cloud
- Weather Child
- Whale Rider
Famous KiwisNew Zealand has produced several famous actors, musicians, and others, but since it's also a fairly small country, many famous Kiwis move away when they make it big, either to Australia, the UK, or the United States.
- Jack Bauer ( Not a joke!)
- Zoe Bell
- Gina Bellman of Leverage and Coupling fame
- Russell Crowe (born in NZ, moved to Australia, now the Kiwis aren't sure whether they want him back)
- Neil and Tim Finn, founding members of Split Enz and Crowded House
- Flight of the Conchords
- Sir Edmund Hillary - first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest (currently residing on the back of the five dollar note)
- Kate Sheppard - an advocate for women's suffrage who made it possible for women to vote in New Zealand (currently residing on the back of the ten dollar note)
- Peter Jackson
- Kimbra Johnson
- Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race.
- Lucy Lawless
- Melanie Lynskey
- Maori pro wrestler Mana The Polynesian Warrior
- Temuera Morrison
- Sam Neill
- Ella Yelich-O'Connor, better known by the stage name Lorde
- Anna Paquin: although born in Canada and currently living in the USA, she has identified herself as a New Zealander occasionally in the past
- Keith Park
- Ernest Rutherford - the "father of nuclear physics".
- Charles Upham
- Karl Urban
- Stan Walker
- William DuFresne
- Pro wrestling tag team The Sheepherders/The Bushwhackers
- Political satirist John Clarke, who now works/lives in Australia, but first became famous for his character Fred Dagg, an Affectionate Parody of New Zealand sheep farmers. Also wrote and produced The Games for Australian tv.
- Rose McIver
New Zealand in Animation
- Bro'Town. New Zealand's first prime time animated show.
- Rocket Power features a TV-movie that's set in a big athletic event in New Zealand.
- Sparkle Friends
- Freelance Animators New Zealand, a studio in Auckland, did a number of episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and Taz-Mania. They also helped out on some stuff for Walt Disney Animation Australia as well.
- WETA has spearheaded NZ's digital special effects industry, particularly with The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Films/series shot in New ZealandAs New Zealand has a similar climate to Great Britain or the West Coast of North America, but with less development and some really dramatic landforms (due to being a relatively young landmass geologically), it is becoming increasingly popular to shoot films there. A certain multi-million dollar franchise that did so didn't hurt either.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Hercules The Legendary Journeys
- The Lord of the Rings
- Power Rangers (from Ninja Storm on- funnily enough the series was banned at the time because it was too violent)
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand
- The Tribe
- Xena: Warrior Princess
The New Zealand flag
Like Australia to the west, New Zealand also adopted the "blue ensign" as its flag, featuring the Union Jack at the canton. At the fly side is their own take on Crux Australis, one of the most famous constellations in the southern hemisphere, colored red and with only the four cardinal stars (Epsilon is missing) as a distinguishing mark from the Australian version, as approved by Māori chiefs in 1834 (although it would not be legalized as the national flag until 1902).