About New Zealand - Welcome to 'Godzone'

New Zealand is a country made up of 3 islands, sitting in the South Pacific. It was originally settled by Polynesians (Maori) in the early part of the 2nd millennium, who traveled here from Polynesia.

More recently it became a British Dominion in the early 1840's. It is now self-determining but we still consider the Queen of England to be our Head of State. We are a democracy, with free elections held every 3 years.

We have a world-renowned image of being "clean" and "green" and we consider our country to be free from the over-population and pollution of other Western countries. This is a reputation we are justly proud of.

There are 5 main metropolitan areas in New Zealand, with Auckland being our biggest city, having a population of just over 1.3 million inhabitants (almost 1/3 of the country’s population). Somewhat close to a 1/3 of the inhabitants are not native to the city. Auckland is a thriving multicultural environment with almost every cultural group represented and celebrated at various festivals throughout the year.

Auckland celebrates its cultural diversity at every opportunity, from ethnic markets every Saturday and Sunday morning to full blown multi-cultural or culture specific festivals. The country is predominantly Caucasian, with a strong Pacific Island cultural influence; we consider ourselves part of the South Pacific. We are free from racial tensions and corruption is almost unknown. We are relatively crime/violence free therefore relatively safe in comparison to our neighbours.
Although the biggest city you are never more than 10 minutes drive to a beach or 30 minutes to the native forests that surround Auckland, and just as in most cities, there is an exodus from down town at the end of the working day and on weekends, to enjoy sport, swimming, bathing, bushwalking and picnics. In the other major metropolitan areas, these facilities are even closer and more accessible.

There are facilities for almost every kind of educational, sporting and recreational requirement, imaginable. We are surrounded by sea so it is no wonder that we are great sailors, both in the competitive and in the recreational sense; boating of all sorts is popular, accessible and inexpensive; as is fishing (river and sea) and hunting.
New Zealand was founded on the concept of equality. Our political history focused on state socialism. All residents have access to almost free healthcare and almost free education. Education is totally free up to tertiary level, and providing High School the student’s academic standards are good enough, everyone has access to tertiary education. Residents are entitled to student loans to fund their tertiary/trade education at approx 9% interest New Zealand has arguably the best education and healthcare system in the world.

We have a mainly primary industry export-based economy therefore we are very outward-looking in attitude. We have a very good skill base and a world-wide reputation for innovation and lateral thinking. A cynic might say our young graduates are our most successful export.
New Zealand is a fantastic place to live, the climate is temperate, services are reliable, facilities are second to none and the education system is outstanding. We live here because we like it, and thousands of new arrivals have said the same thing, after all, being such a new country, just about everybody is only first or second generation.

Home ownership is a big part of the New Zealand psyche, and most people aim to own a home; for security of tenure; to be the master of one's own domain; renovate to improve one's living environment and likewise improve the value of the asset (we have no capital gains tax) and it is not unusual for people to upgrade every few years. Depending on one's income, mortgages are fairly easy to obtain and range up to 85% of property value and from approx 6% interest per year. Some lenders do not require Residence as an application criteria. These photos are some random views of our biggest city, Auckland, known as the Queens City....if this is urban imagine how beautiful the country is!!