Not UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}, the one next to it. The semicolon, or as ''Website/TheOnion'' and Creator/JonStewart called it, "Australia's UsefulNotes/{{Canada}}".[[note]]Culturally, they have a point. Economically, it's more like Australia's UsefulNotes/{{Ireland}}.[[/note]] Alternatively, given the inhabitants' love of Rugby Union and the significant presence of sheep, "Wales in the South Pacific" may also be a fair description.

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, ''[[TheTheTitleConfusion the]]'' North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui ("the fish of Māui"[[note]]The name comes from a Maori legend in which demigod Māui, from his South Island canoe, fished the North Island up from the sea. The island's shape does roughly resemble a fish, if UsefulNotes/{{Wellington}} is the head and East Cape and Taranaki are the fins.[[/note]]) and ''the'' South Island or Te Waipounamu ("the waters of greenstone"[[note]]known outside New Zealand as jade[[/note]]), along with a batch of other islands, including the Hauraki Gulf islands near UsefulNotes/{{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 UsefulNotes/{{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 UsefulNotes/{{Auckland}} (the largest), UsefulNotes/{{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 [[UsefulNotes/TheCommonwealthOfNations Commonwealth Realm]], i.e. a parliamentary democracy that recognizes the [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor British Monarch]] as head of state. The overall structure is a like that of [[UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem 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 [[UsefulNotes/PoliticalSystemOfGermany 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 given that she lives in UsefulNotes/{{London}}).

Māori, New Zealand Sign Language, and English (the de facto language) are its three official languages. There are also a significant number of people speaking Samoan, French, Hindi, and Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese), with extra languages likely to be found on signs in airports and other touristy places, as well as parts of Auckland.

New Zealand was one of the last landmasses settled by humans: Māori only migrated to New Zealand in the late 1200's. Dutchman Abel Tasman was the first European to sight the country in 1642, but who was driven off by Māori before he could land. Dutch cartographers subsequently named the country New Zealand after the Dutch Province of Zeeland. Europeans (mostly Brits, although there was one abortive attempt by the French) first began settling in the country in the early 1800's.

New Zealanders (or Kiwis) view Captain James Cook similarly to how Americans view UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus. This is because Cook's crew were the first Europeans to land in New Zealand and Cook produced the first accurate maps of the country (well, nearly accurate: he drew Stewart Island as a peninsula and Banks Peninsula as an island!)

The founding document of New Zealand is the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed in 1840 between the British and representatives of Māori iwi and hapu (tribes and subgroups). This is viewed as the founding of New Zealand as a country. There is much controversy in what the Treaty actually said, as two versions were signed, one in te reo Māori and one in English, and the two said slightly different things about whether or not the Māori gave up their sovereignty to the British Crown and exactly how much of New Zealand the Māori were entitled to. Ever since the 1990s various iwi have been compensated for land or resource rights that were determined to have been inappropriately taken from them, and various national landmarks (such as Mount Cook) have been symbolically given back to the nearest iwi...which then promptly gifts the landmark back to the Crown.

Disputed land sales were also the leading cause of the New Zealand Wars, in which British imperial forces and Crown-supporting Maori (kūpapa) fought disenfranchised Maori iwi. Although massively outnumbered (estimates of 18,000 British and kūpapa against a peak of 5,000 Maori) the local Maori were surprisingly (to the British) resilient, making use of fortified villages called pa and guerrilla warfare to vex Imperial forces. This era saw the rise of many colourful and distinct characters such as Te Kooti, a religious leader and warlord who started New Zealand's Ringatū religion (which still exists today, with around 16,000 followers); Hone Heke, who cut down the flagstaff at [[WretchedHive Kororareka]]; and Gustavus von Tempsky, the eccentric adventurer who founded the [[ForestRanger Forest Rangers]].

The Treaty is also why there are dedicated Maori language TV channels and radio stations: te reo Maori has been determined to be a "treasure" of the Maori people, and therefore it is the obligation of the Crown to protect and promote it. Some of the strongest anti-republican sentiment is among the Maori, as their existence as a political community is based on their relationship with the Crown; in a "Republic of New Zealand", they'd be just another ethnic group.

New Zealand claims to be the first country to give the vote to women in 1893. At the time, however, New Zealand was not a "country" in the sense of an independent nation-state, but merely a self-governing British colony. Other sub-national territories gave women the vote before 1893, including the American state of New Jersey in 1790, the Australian colonies of South Australia in 1863 and Victoria in 1864, and the Wyoming Territory in the U.S. in 1869 (which became the state of Wyoming in 1890). Despite this, New Zealand is still the first modern independent sovereign state to give the women the vote.

Kiwis served under the British in UsefulNotes/TheSecondBoerWar. They were also a part of the ANZAC forces in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, sent to Gallipoli with the Australians. Their greatest accomplishment was the taking of Chunuk Bair. If you see soldiers with hats that look like Scoutmasters or like a lemonsqueezer, those'd be the New Zealanders.

New Zealand's UsefulNotes/RugbyUnion team, the All Blacks, have long been ambassadors to the rest of the world. They have notably popularised the haka, a traditional Māori dance, which they perform before each match. Perhaps because of this notable example, there is a common misperception overseas (as well as for many in NZ) that all haka are war dances. This is by no means true, and even the haka the All Blacks have traditionally performed before matches is in fact a celebratory dance, rather than a peruperu (challenging/war dance). Nevertheless, the unfamiliarity overseas and among some New Zealanders with the facial and vocal expressions common in a haka mean people from overseas often find a haka intimidating. Ka Mate, the haka usually performed by the All Blacks, has seen some controversy due to copyright claims by the iwi from whom it originated. However, origins aside, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBQyxjP6hK8 it is a glorious thing to behold.]]

New Zealand set itself up proper thanks to farming (especially exporting meat overseas once refrigeration got going), hence why [[MundaneMadeAwesome sheep]] also have Kiwiana status. The old saying goes that there are 20 sheep to every New Zealander, although this figure hasn't been accurate since the mid 1980s - changing economic conditions and increased immigration means there are now only 7 sheep to every New Zealander. As a consequence of this and the prevalence of sheep farming in Australia as well, good-natured ribbing about [[BestialityIsDepraved bestiality]] occurs in both countries.

New Zealand for some reason is [[http://worldmapswithout.nz/ frequently omitted from maps]].

!!New Zealand in fiction
* ''Series/TheAlmightyJohnsons''
* New Zealand [[NationsAsPeople is a character]] in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''
* ''Film/BadTaste''
* ''Film/BlackSheep2007''
* ''Literature/TheBonePeople''
* ''Boy''
* ''WesternAnimation/BroTown''
* ''Film/{{Braindead}}''
* ''Digital Magic''
* ''Film/EagleVsShark''
* ''Music/FlightOfTheConchords'' (not technically shot in New Zealand but pretty much about it)
* ''ComicStrip/FootrotFlats''
* ''Go Girls''
* ''The New Zealand Wars Trilogy''
* ''Film/HeavenlyCreatures''
* ''Film/HuntForTheWilderpeople''
* ''VideoGame/TheNewZealandStory'' (although very loosely, apart from the place names)
* ''Film/OnceWereWarriors''
* ''Series/OutrageousFortune''
* ''Film/OutOfTheBlue''
* ''Owls Do Cry''
* Music/AmandaPalmer, after writing "Map Of Tasmania," was asked by a Kiwi fan "where's our fucking song?" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6kUAn_mzQA This]] is what she came up with.
* ''Film/ThePiano''
* ''Film/TheQuietEarth''
* ''Film/{{Rain}}''
* ''Series/SevenPeriodsWithMrGormsby''
* ''Sione's Wedding''
* ''Film/SleepingDogs'' (1977 movie)
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' [[Webcomic/TeamFortress2 webcomic]] "Blood in the Water": In this case New Zealand is sunk to the bottom of the ocean and kept in a glass dome. Then [[spoiler:the Sniper's biological parents]] broke the dome while sending him into space, but instead he ended up in Australia.
* ''Series/TopOfTheLake''
* ''Series/TheTribe''
* ''Series/{{Tracker}}''
* ''Series/UnderbellyNZLandOfTheLongGreenCloud''
* ''Film/{{Utu}}''
* ''Weather Child''
* ''Film/WhaleRider''
* ''Film/WhatWeDoInTheShadows''

!!Famous Kiwis

New 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.

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Bauer_(cyclist) Jack Bauer]] (''Not a joke!'')
* Creator/ZoeBell
* Gina Bellman of ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' and ''Series/{{Coupling}}'' fame
* Creator/KeishaCastleHughes
* Creator/RussellCrowe (born in NZ, moved to Australia, now the Kiwis [[TookALevelInJerkass aren't sure whether they want him back]])
* Neil and Tim Finn, founding members of [[Literature/StrangerThanFictionTheLifeAndTimesOfSplitEnz Split Enz]] and Music/CrowdedHouse
* Music/FlightOfTheConchords
* 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)
* Creator/PeterJackson
* [[Music/{{Kimbra}} Kimbra Johnson]], better known simply as Kimbra
* Phil Keoghan, host of ''Series/TheAmazingRace''.
* Creator/LucyLawless
* Creator/MelanieLynskey
* Maori pro wrestler Wrestling/ManaThePolynesianWarrior
* Creator/TemueraMorrison
* Creator/SamNeill
* Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, [[SomeCallMeTim better known]] by her {{stage name|s}} of Music/{{Lorde}}
* Pat O'Connor, who simultaneously held the the Wrestling/NationalWrestlingAlliance and Wrestling/AmericanWrestlingAssociation World Heavyweight Titles during the territorial era.
* Creator/AnnaPaquin: Born in Canada, lived in New Zealand from ages 4 to 13 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".
* Music/{{Ulcerate}}
* Charles Upham
* Creator/KarlUrban
* Music/KeithUrban -- was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia and is more associated with the latter.
* Creator/TaikaWaititi
* Music/StanWalker
* [[WebVideo/ThatDudeInTheSuede William DuFresne]]
* Pro wrestling tag team [[Wrestling/TheSheepherders The Sheepherders[=/=]The Bushwhackers]]
* Political satirist John Clarke, who now works/lives in Australia, but first became famous for his character Fred Dagg, an AffectionateParody of New Zealand sheep farmers. Also wrote and produced ''Series/TheGames'' for Australian tv.
* [=Rose McIver=]
* Too many rugby players to count
* Lydia Ko (born in South Korea but raised from infancy in NZ), golf star who was the top-ranked women's professional twice before leaving her teens

!!New Zealand in Animation
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brotown}}''. New Zealand's first prime time animated show.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' features a TV-movie that's set in a big athletic event in New Zealand.
* ''WesternAnimation/SparkleFriends''
* Creator/FreelanceAnimatorsNewZealand, a studio in Auckland, did a number of episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/TazMania''. They also helped out on some stuff for [[Creator/WaltDisneyAnimationUnits Walt Disney Animation Australia]] as well.
* Creator/{{WETA}} has spearheaded NZ's digital special effects industry, particularly with ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy.

!!Films/series shot in New Zealand

As 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 [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings multi-million dollar franchise]] that did so didn't hurt either.

* ''Film/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'': ''The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe''
* ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys''
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' (from ''[[Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm Ninja Storm]]'' onwards; Creator/{{Disney}}, who was forced the series on them against their wishes when they acquired the channel Creator/{{Freeform}}, moved production to NZ from UsefulNotes/LosAngeles so as to spend minimal money on it and this stuck when Saban reacquired it. Funnily enough the series was banned in NZ at the time because it was too violent.)
* ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand''
* ''Series/TheTribe''
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''

!! See also:
* NewZealandMedia
[[AC:The New Zealand flag]]
->Like UsefulNotes/{{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).