Predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains.
Temperate with sharp regional contrasts.
European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5% (2006 Census).
Protestant 38.6% (Anglican 13.8%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%), Roman Catholic 12.6%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9% (2006 Census).
Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector.
Unemployment rate 6.9% (2012 est.). The economy posted a 2% decline in 2009, but pulled out of recession late in the year, and achieved roughly 2% per year growth in 2010-12. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand.
Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm.
US Military Presence/Support