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New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.
See the fact file below for more information on the New Zealand or alternatively, you can download our 20-page New Zealand worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
History of New Zealand:
- Historically, New Zealand was one of the last landmasses ever settled by humans.
- It was first settled, according to historical evidence, between 1250 and 1300 by Eastern Polynesians who ventured through the southern Pacific islands.
- Once Polynesians had settled, a Maori (Eastern Polynesian) culture developed.
- The first Europeans to reach New Zealand were the Dutch, led by Abel Tasman in 1642 – and it was not a pleasant first encounter!
- James Cook visited the island in 1769, and on behalf of England, mapped nearly the entire New Zealand coastline.
- Following Cook’s encounter, many Europeans began taking an interest in New Zealand, often trading Maori food, artifacts, and water in exchange for muskets, potatoes, and tools.
- Once Christian missionaries began settling in New Zealand,the Maori population began to decline, and diseases largely contributed to this.
- The Colony of New Zealand was formed on July 1, 1841, and in 1856, it became self-governing in all areas apart from native policy, which was granted in the mid 1860s.
- By 1907, New Zealand was proclaimed as a Dominion within the British Empire, and in 1947 it adopted the Statute of Westminster, which confirmed that Britain no longer made decisions without the consent of New Zealand’s officials.
Geography of New Zealand:
- New Zealand is world-renowned for being a breathtakingly beautiful country with a rugged, earthy landscape.
- Geographically, it is composed of two islands – the North Island and the South Island, along with several smaller islands.
- Its shape is long and narrow, and contains varied topography.
- Due to its geographic isolation for 80 million years, there are many endemic animals and plants that live there.
- About 82% of New Zealand’s plants are endemic, meaning they are only found in a particular location.
- Before humans came to New Zealand, the island was full of birds, including the kiwi, weka, and other flightless birds.
- Some trees you’d find in New Zealand include the podocarp, southern beech, and the kauri tree.
- Birds are the most important of New Zealand’s fauna, but you would also find black swans, frogs, and bats.
- New Zealand has an absence of predatory animals, which makes it a paradise for birds (most of whom are flightless).
- Due to New Zealand’s proximity to both warm and cool ocean currents, a large variety of fish are found in its waters, including tuna, marlin, sharks, snapper, red cod, and flounder.
- On the left is a picture of an endemic flightless bird – the kiwi – which is both a national icon, and a beloved bird in New Zealand culture.
- You may also spot a penguin or two (likely the yellow-eyed penguin or the blue penguins).
Culture and Trade in New Zealand:
- New Zealanders, also referred to as “kiwis” have a distinct and fascinating culture and way of life.
- 96% of people living in New Zealand speak English as their native language; it is difficult for many English speakers from the Northern Hemisphere to tell the difference between an Australian and a New Zealand accent.
- New Zealand society is one of the most secular in the world, meaning they are very separate from religion.
- In the beginning, New Zealand people weren’t known for being highly intellectual, but rather a more industrious people who lived ruggedly and wildly.
- Traditional carving and weaving are widely practised, not only by the Maori people, but New Zealanders as a whole.
- Many of the major sports in New Zealand have British origins, with popular sports being rugby, golf, tennis, and cricket.
- Cuisine is heavily influenced by Polynesia, Europe, and Asia, and dishes include lamb, oysters, kumara (sweet potato), and fish.
- Due to its isolated location, New Zealand relies heavily on trade.
- New Zealand exports food and wood, and trades with Japan, Australia, the U.S, the U.K, and China (with whom they have a free-trade agreement with).
- Tourism also makes up a large chunk of New Zealand’s economy, and it is estimated to bring in roughly 13 million New Zealand dollars per year.
- New Zealand is often marketed as a “clean, green” thrill-seeking playground, with plenty of rugged, outdoor activities.
New Zealand Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about New Zealand across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use New Zealand worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- New Zealand Fact File
- Definition Matching
- New Zealand Wordsearch
- James Cook Profile
- Coloring Page
- New Zealand Crossword
- Mountains in the Alphabet
- New Zealand Scavenger Hunt
- Postcard from New Zealand
Link/cite this page
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Link will appear as New Zealand Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 2, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.