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torstai 20. lokakuuta 2016

New Zealand, Cool Facts #156

 <= 155. Tuvalu                                                                                                          157. Australia =>

1. New Zealand's Name 

First European in New Zealand
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to see New Zealand in 1642. Tasman called it Staten Landt, thinking that it was connected to a landmass of the same name in the southern tip of South America.

Dutch cartographers
In 1645 Dutch cartographers renamed the area Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland.
James Cook anglicized the name Nova Zeelandia to New Zealand. Cook mapped almost the entire coastline of New Zealand in 1769.

Maori names: 

New Zealand = Aotearoa (land of the white cloud)
North Island = Te Ika-a-Maui (the fish of Maui)
South Island = Te Waipounamu (the waters of greenstone)
Stewart Island = Rakiura

Cook's map of New Zealand
New Zealand from space

2. Sinking of the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior

French nuclear test in Moruroa
In 1985 Greenpeace's ship Rainbow Warrior was on its way to Moruroa in French Polynesia to protest against French nuclear testing.

Opération Satanique
Rainbow Warrior was then sinked in the port of Auckland by the French foreign intelligence service agents. France denied responsibility first, but as the truth was revealed it led to the resignation of the French Defense Mininster Charles Hernu. The agents had planted two bombs in the ship and it caused the death of the Portuguese-Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira.

French agents
The two agents pleaded guilty for manslaughter and they got a ten year sentence in prison, but they were freed after only two years by the French government.

Foreign relations 
This event worsened the relations between France and New Zealand. France apologized and paid compensation to New Zealand and to the relatives of Fernando Pereira. The foreign and defense policy of New Zealand changed after the event. New Zealand distanced itself from USA and built stronger relations with Australia and the small nations in the Pacific.

Nuclear weapon legislation
New Zealand banned all nuclear-powered or ships carrying nuclear weapons in its territorial waters in 1985. Two years later in 1987 New Zealand was declared a nuclear-free zone.

Fernando Pereira 
Sinking Rainbow Warrior

3. New Zealand's Military Presence 

Despite the small population New Zealand has had a strong global presence in military campaigns.

World War I
- New Zealand had a fighting force of about 103,000 people from the population of just over a million
- 18,500 soldiers died
- 41,000 soldiers wounded

World War II
- New Zealand played key parts in the naval Battle of the River Plate and the Battle of Britain air campaign
- USA had more than 400,000 military personnel stationed in New Zealand

Wars with New Zealand Forces

Second Boer War 1899-1902
World War I 1914-1918
World War II 1939-1945
Malayan Emergency 1948-1960
Korean War 1950-1953
Vietnam War 1955-1975
Gulf War 1990-1991
Afghanistan War 2001-2014

Peacekeeping missions with New Zealand Forces

Bosnia and Herzegovina
East Timor
Iran-Iraq border
Solomon Islands

NZLAV at Tekapo Military Camp

New Zealand and Australian military personnel boarding a US navy helicopter during a humanitarian aid mission to Solomon Islands in 2007
Royal New Zealand Navy ships in Cook Strait

4. Realm of New Zealand

The realm of New Zealand is the entire area in which the Queen of New Zealand is head of state. Cook Islands and Niue are in free association with New Zealand, it means that they are self-governing, but New Zealand takes care of their foreign affairs and defense. Tokelau is a dependent area, which is going towards free association. The Ross Dependency in Antarctica is an uninhabited area, that New Zealand has claimed. Most countries don't recognize territorial claims in Antarctica. 

New Zealand proper: 

North Island
South Island
Chatham Islands
Kermadec Islands

Areas in free association with New Zealand
Cook Islands (in free association since 1965) 

Niue (in free association since 1974) 

New Zealand territory 

Ross Dependency (in Antarctica) 

Realm of New Zealand

5. Geographic isolation 

Human settlement 
New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. It's estimated that New Zealand was settled by Eastern Polynesians somewhere between 1250 and 1300.

New Zealand's geographic isolation for 80 million years has influence the country's animals, plants and fungi. About 82% of New Zealand's vascular plants are endemic. It's estimated that there are about 2300 species of lichen-forming fungi and 40% of these are endemic.

An estimated 80% of the land was covered in forest before the arrival of humans. The forests were dominated by birds like kiwi, kakapo, weka and takahe, which evolved flightlessness because there were no mammalian predators. When humans arrived, the amount of forests declined and many animals became extinct like the moa and Haast's eagle.

More penguin species are found in New Zealand than in any other country. One third of the seabirds that breed in New Zealand are unique to the country. Almost half of the world's cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are reported in New Zealand waters. There are also a lot of fur seals.

Extinction facts since the arrival of humans
- 50% of the vertebrate species
- 52 birds
- 3 frogs
- 3 lizards
- 1 freshwater fish
- 1 bat

Penguins in New Zealand
Haast's eagle attacking moa
Possible migration routes


1250-1300 New Zealand was settled by Eastern Polynesians who developed their own Maori culture
1642 Dutch Abel Tasman visited New Zealand as the first European
1769 James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline of New Zealand
1800s Christian missionaries started settling New Zealand and converting the Maori people
1835 An independent Maori state was established before the islands became a British colony
1840 Treaty of Waitangi, Captain William Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand
1841 The Colony of New Zealand became separate from the colony of New South Wales
1845-1872 New Zealand Wars between the New Zealand government and indigenous Maori
1865 The capital city was removed from Auckland to Wellington 
1893 New Zealand became the first country to grant all women the right to vote
1898 New Zealand got free healthcare, primary education and the first general pensions scheme in the British Empire
1907 New Zealand became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire
1930s Great Depression affected New Zealand and led to the election of the first Labour government and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state and protectionist economy
1947 New Zealand gained full independence from Great Britain
1951 New Zealand joined Australia and USA in the ANZUS security treaty
1975 Waitangi Tribunal was set up to investigate the actions made by the British to the Maori people in the 1800s
1985 New Zealand banned all nuclear-powered or nuclear weapons carrying ships in its territorial waters
1987 New Zealand was declared a nuclear-free zone
2005-2006 New Zealand became the only country in the world in which all the highest offices in the country were occupied by women simultaneously (Head of State, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice) 

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