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New Zealand Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: New Zealand
    abbreviation: NZ

    Data code: NZ

    Government type: parliamentary democracy

    Capital: Wellington

    Administrative divisions: 93 counties, 9 districts*, and 3 town districts**; Akaroa, Amuri, Ashburton, Bay of Islands, Bruce, Buller, Chatham Islands, Cheviot, Clifton, Clutha, Cook, Dannevirke, Egmont, Eketahuna, Ellesmere, Eltham, Eyre, Featherston, Franklin, Golden Bay, Great Barrier Island, Grey, Hauraki Plains, Hawera*, Hawke's Bay, Heathcote, Hikurangi**, Hobson, Hokianga, Horowhenua, Hurunui, Hutt, Inangahua, Inglewood, Kaikoura, Kairanga, Kiwitea, Lake, Mackenzie, Malvern, Manaia**, Manawatu, Mangonui, Maniototo, Marlborough, Masterton, Matamata, Mount Herbert, Ohinemuri, Opotiki, Oroua, Otamatea, Otorohanga*, Oxford, Pahiatua, Paparua, Patea, Piako, Pohangina, Raglan, Rangiora*, Rangitikei, Rodney, Rotorua*, Runanga, Saint Kilda, Silverpeaks, Southland, Stewart Island, Stratford, Strathallan, Taranaki, Taumarunui, Taupo, Tauranga, Thames-Coromandel*, Tuapeka, Vincent, Waiapu, Waiheke, Waihemo, Waikato, Waikohu, Waimairi, Waimarino, Waimate, Waimate West, Waimea, Waipa, Waipawa*, Waipukurau*, Wairarapa South, Wairewa, Wairoa, Waitaki, Waitomo*, Waitotara, Wallace, Wanganui, Waverley**, Westland, Whakatane*, Whangarei, Whangaroa, Woodville
    note: there may be a new administrative structure of 16 regions (Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wanganui-Manawatu, Wellington, West Coast) that are subdivided into 57 districts and 16 cities* (Ashburton, Auckland*, Banks Peninsula, Buller, Carterton, Central Hawke's Bay, Central Otago, Christchurch*, Clutha, Dunedin*, Far North, Franklin, Gisborne, Gore, Grey, Hamilton*, Hastings, Hauraki, Horowhenua, Hurunui, Hutt*, Invercargill*, Kaikoura, Kaipara, Kapiti Coast, Kawerau, Mackenzie, Manawatu, Manukau*, Marlborough, Masterton, Matamata Piako, Napier*, Nelson*, New Plymouth, North Shore*, Opotiki, Otorohanga, Palmerston North*, Papakura*, Porirua*, Queenstown Lakes, Rangitikei, Rodney, Rotorua, Ruapehu, Selwyn, Southland, South Taranaki, South Waikato, South Wairarapa, Stratford, Tararua, Tasman, Taupo, Tauranga, Thames Coromandel, Timaru, Upper Hutt*, Waikato, Waimakariri, Waimate, Waipa, Wairoa, Waitakere*, Waitaki, Waitomo, Wanganui, Wellington*, Western Bay of Plenty, Westland, Whakatane, Whangarei)

    Dependent areas: Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau

    Independence: 26 September 1907 (from UK)

    National holiday: Waitangi Day, 6 February (1840) (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty)

    Constitution: no formal, written constitution; consists of various documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand Parliaments; Constitution Act 1986 was to have come into force 1 January 1987, but has not been enacted

    Legal system: based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for Maoris; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Sir Michael HARDIE BOYS (since 21 March 1996)
    head of government: Prime Minister Jenny SHIPLEY (since 8 December 1997) and Deputy Prime Minister Wyatt CREECH (since NA August 1998); note—the coalition government of the National Party and the New Zealand First Party was dissolved on 18 August 1998
    cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general for a three-year term; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

    Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives—commonly called Parliament (120 seats; members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies to serve three-year terms)
    elections: last held 12 October 1996 (next must be called by October 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NP 34.1%, NZLP 28.3%, NZFP 13.1%, Alliance 10.1%, ACT 6.17%, UNZ 0.91%; seats by party—NP 44, NZLP 37, NZFP 17, Alliance 13, ACT 8, UNZ 1

    Judicial branch: High Court; Court of Appeal

    Political parties and leaders: National Party or NP [Jenny SHIPLEY]; New Zealand First Party or NZFP [Winston PETERS]; New Zealand Labor Party or NZLP (opposition) [Helen CLARK]; Alliance (a coalition of five small parties—New Labor Party [Jim ANDERTON], Democratic Party [John WRIGHT], New Zealand Liberal Party [Frank GROVER], Green Party [coleaders Jeanette FITZSIMONS and Rod DONALD], and Mana Motuhake [Sandra LEE]); United New Zealand or UNZ [Peter DUNNE]; Conservative Party (formerly Right of Centre Party) [Trevor ROGERS]; ACT, New Zealand [Richard PREBBLE]; Christian Coalition (a coalition of the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage Party) [Rev. Graham CAPILL]; Mauri Pacific Party (composed of members who broke away from the NZFP) [Tau HENARE]

    International organization participation: ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, C, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MONUA, MTCR, NAM (guest), NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMOP, UNOMSIL, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador James Brendan BOLGER
    chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Josiah Horton BEEMAN
    embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
    mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, FPO AP 96531-1001
    telephone: [64] (4) 472-2068
    FAX: [64] (4) 471-2380
    consulate(s) general: Auckland

    Flag description: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)