Describing New Zealand

New Zealand is usually thought to consist of the North Island and the South Island. The National Anthem (English first verse) refers to "Pacific's triple star". This is a reference to the third major island, Stewart Island or Rakiura as it was originally named (although the Maori name was Te Punga o Te Waka a Maui). In fact New Zealand is comprised of many islands some off shore and some in rivers and lakes. Others, although forming part of the Realm of New Zealand, are not part of New Zealand proper. The Cook Islands are self governing, others such as Chatham Island are administered by Zealand. Of this last group only the latter has a permanent population although many others host visitors for science, conservation, meteorological and tourism reasons. The Cook Islands is a self governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand. The latter has responsibility for the defence and foreign affairs of the Cook Islands although it is becoming increasingly independent so far as foreign affairs is concerned. Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand although they have the status of Cook Island nationals which is a privilege not given to New Zealand citizens. Some of the "off shore" islands are part of the Ross Dependency in Antarctica.

The New Zealand constitution is a complex combination of acts of parliament, court decisons and practices and the Treaty of Waitangi. The country is a monarchy, the British Queen being the formal head of state, governed by a unicameral parliament which has a maximum elected life of three years. The Queen is represented in New Zealand by a Governor-General.

All of the above details and other matters are demonstrated in the web links provided under the "Resources" tab on this site and in the book "How to Retire in New Zealand" by Les Johns available directly from this site.

The two tourist promotions for the South Island and the North Island provide excellent descriptions of the country and its attractions. Tourism is well supported by the Government and the New Zealand Tourism Guide.The mountains and winter sports opportunities are well known and of international reputation.The rugged scenery also makes the country a favourite for film makers both "home grown" and from Hollywood.

Unfortunately New Zealand is a very remote place. This makes adhering to the "golden rule" - visit before you settle - very difficult. It does not make the rule any less valid.

Other Considerations

It is again the case that all matters relevant to Australia in this section are of importance with respect to New Zealand also. Another look at that section but using references for New Zealand, will be useful

The links under the "Resources" tab of this site together with the information in the book "How to Retire in New Zealand" by Les Johns will save intending retirees much research time. Undirected web browsing can be addictive and interesting but it can also lead down many blind alleys of dubious relevance.