An English Speaking Country - New Zealand (41233)Посмотреть архив целиком
An English Speaking Country - New Zealand
Реферат по английскому языку выполнила студентка 1 курса Факультета управления и психологии Отделения психологии Михайлусенко Екатерина
Кубанский государственный университет, Кафедра иностранных языков для естественных специальностей
New Zealand stretches 1600 km from north to south it consists of two large islands around which are scattered a number of smaller islands, plus a few far-flung islands hundreds of km away. New Zealand's territorial jurisdiction extends to the islands of Chatham, Kermadec, Tokelau, Auckland, Antipodes, Snares, Solander and Bounty (most of them uninhabited) and to the Ross Dependency in Antarctica.
The North Island (115,000 sq km) and the South Island (151,000 sq km) are the two major land masses. Stewart Island, with an area of 1700 sq km, lies directly south of the South Island. The country is 10,400 km south-west of the USA, 1700 km south of Fiji and 2250 km east of Australia, its nearest large neighbor. Its western coastline faces the Tasman Sea, the part of the Pacific Ocean which separates New Zealand and Australia. With a total land mass of 268,000 sq km, altogether New Zealand's land area is greater than that of the UK (244,800 sq km), smaller than that of Japan (377,800 sq km), and just a little smaller than that of Colorado in the USA (270,000 sq km). With only 3,540,000 people, and almost 70% of those living in the five major cities, that leaves a lot of wide open spaces. The coastline, with many bays, harbors and fiords, is very Ion relative to the land mass of the country.
A notable feature of New Zealand's geography is the country's great number of rivers. There's a lot of rainfall In New Zealand and all that rain has to go somewhere. The Waikato River in the North Island is New Zealand's longest river, measuring in at 425 km. Also in the North Island, the Whanganui River is the country's longest navigable river, which has made it an important water-way from historic times down to the present. New Zealand also has a number of beautiful lakes; Lake Taupo is the largest and lakes Waikaremoana and Wanaka are two of the most beautiful.
Flora and Fauna
As is the case for most Pacific islands, New Zealand's native flora & fauna are, for the most part, not found anywhere else in the world. And, like other Pacific islands, NZ's native ecosystem has been dramatically affected and changed by plants and animals brought by settlers, mostly in the last 200 years. Wild pigs, goats, possums, wallabies, rabbits, dogs, cats and deer have all made their mark on the native' wildlife, and blackberries, gorse, broom and agricultural weeds have infested huge areas of land.
New Zealand is believed to be a fragment of the ancient southern continent of Gondwanaland which became detached over 100 million years ago allowing many ancient plants and animals to survive and evolve in isolation. As a result, most of the NZ flora & fauna is indigenous/endemic. It has the worlds largest flightless parrot (kakapo), the only truly alpine parrot (kea), the oldest reptile (tuatara), some of the biggest earthworms, the smallest bats, so me of the oldest trees, and many of the rarest birds, insects, and plants in the world. The first Maoris brought some rats and the now extinct Maori dog (kuri) with them but the only indigenous mammals at that time were bats.
Much of New Zealand's unique flora & fauna has survived, but today over 150 native plants -10% of the total number of native species - and many native birds are threatened with extinction.
Government and Politics
The governmental structure of New Zealand is modeled on the British parliamentary system, elections being based on universal adult suffrage. The minimum voting age is 18 and candidates are elected by secret ballot. The maximum period between elections is three years, but the interval can be shorter for various reasons, and the government of the day can call an early election. Voting is not compulsory, although on average more than 80% of those eligible to vote do so.
The difference between the UK's Westminster system and the NZ model is that New Zealand has abolished the upper house and governs solely through the lower house. Known as the House of Representatives, it has 120 member's seats. The government runs on a party system. The party that wins a majority of seats in an election automatically becomes the government and its leader. The prime minister. The two main parties are the National (conservative) and Labor parties.
Like the UK, New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy. The traditional head of state, the reigning British king or queen, is represented by a resident governor-general, who is appointed for a five-year term. An independent judiciary makes up another tier of government.
The two-party system has traditionally made it difficult for other parties to gain much power. Nevertheless, in the 1993 election the Alliance party, composed of the Greens and other groups including Labor groups and former National Party MPs, gained 18% of the vote. Election results in
1993 were so close that the National Party was only voted in by a majority of one seat, ahead of the Labour Party, and the smaller Alliance and NZ First parties, which both had two seats.
After a referendum in 1993 to assess the public's ideas on a number of electoral reforms, New Zealanders voted overwhelmingly for proportional representation. The government has introduced the MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) electoral system, which is a limited form of proportional voting based on the German electoral system.
Under MMP, electors have two votes: an electorate vote and a party vote. Of the 120 parliamentary seats, 60 are general electorates, where the candidate who receives the most electorate votes in an electorate is voted in direct1y as the member of parliament. A further five MPs represent five Maori electorates, chosen by Maori voters using their electorate votes. The remaining 55 'list' seats are allocated according to the percentage of the party vote received from a list of candidates nominated by political parties. A party must have at least 5% of the party vote or win an electorate seat to get its allocation of proportional list seats
It remains to be seen how the new system will affect the existing political power base. The big winners from the changes are the largest minor parties, such as the Alliance, but small parties will still have difficulty gaining seats. The two main parties will continue to dominate parliament, but majority governments may become a thing of the past.
The New Zealand and Australian flags are very much alike. With the British flag in the top left-hand corner, the New Zealanders show the stars of the Southern Cross in red on a blue field.
Population and People
New Zealand's population of around 3,5 million is comprised of 78.3% New Zealand Pakeha, 13% New Zealand Maori and 5% Pacific Island Polynesian, while 1.3% are Chinese, 0.9% are Indian and 1.5% are 'Other'. Europeans are the only group declining, percentage-wise, while Maori, Polynesian, Chinese, Indian and 'Other' peoples are on the rise.
Many of the islands of the Pacific are currently experiencing a rapid population shift from remote and undeveloped islands to the 'big city' and Auckland is very much the big city of the South Pacific, with the greatest concentration of Polynesians on earth. It sometimes causes a great deal of argument, discussion and tension and much of it is not between the recent Pacific immigrants and the Pakeha population but between the islanders and the Maori, or among the various island groups themselves.
Asian migration is also increasing. As well as a sizeable Indian community, mostly from Fiji, New Zealand has been attracting migrants from East Asia, many of whom have migrated under New Zealand's recent immigration incentives to attract skilled people and especially finance to the country. Over the last 15 years or so the economic situation has led to a mass exodus to Australia and further a field, though improving economic conditions has seen a slowing of emigration.
With only about 12.6 people per sq km, New Zealand is lightly· populated by many countries' standards but it is much more densely populated than Australia with its stretches of empty country and 2.2 persons per sq km. The South Island once had a greater population than the North Island but now the South Island is the place to go for elbow room-the entire population of the South Island is barely more than that of Auckland. The nation's capital is Wellington but Auckland is the largest city. Altogether the population of the 15 largest 'urban areas' comes to nearly 70% of NZ's population-Auckland alone has 28% of the entire population. Despite its rural base, New Zealand is in fact very much an urban country.
The most common religion in New Zealand is Christianity. The 'big three' denominations are Anglican (Church of England) with 25% of the population, Presbyterian with 18% and Roman Catholic with 16%. Many other denominations also have followings, with Methodists, Baptists. Mormons, Brethren, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, Assemblies of God and Seventh Day Adventists all well represented, along with various other faiths including Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Baha'is. The Ratana and Ringatu faiths, also with significant followings, are Maori adaptations of Christianity.
There are also a significant number of people (16.7%) who have no religion.
New Zealanders place a high value on education, and virtually the entire population is literate. By law, education is mandatory and free for all children between the ages of six and 15; in fact most children enter school by the age of five, and many also have attended preschools before that, all subsidized by the state. Correspondence school is available for children who live in remote places.
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