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New Zealand Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only New Zealand hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in New Zealand. If you're going to New Zealand save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in New Zealand online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to New Zealand, and rent a car in New Zealand right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the New Zealand related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

Here you can book a hotel virtually anywhere in New Zealand, including such popular and interesting places as Queenstown, Gisborne, Wellington, Wanaka, Taupo, Dunedin, Hastings, Napier, North Island, Christchurch, Lower Hutt, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Waiheke Island, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Hamilton, Invercargill, Auckland, Kaikoura, Nelson, Tauranga, Porirua, South Island, etc.

How to Book a Hotel in New Zealand

In order to book an accommodation in New Zealand enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found New Zealand hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on New Zealand map to estimate the distance from the main New Zealand attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of New Zealand hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in New Zealand is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in New Zealand is waiting for you!

Hotels of New Zealand

A hotel in New Zealand is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in New Zealand hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in New Zealand are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some New Zealand hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most New Zealand hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in New Zealand have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in New Zealand
An upscale full service hotel facility in New Zealand that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury New Zealand hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in New Zealand
Full service New Zealand hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in New Zealand
Boutique hotels of New Zealand are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. New Zealand boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in New Zealand may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in New Zealand
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of New Zealand travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most New Zealand focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in New Zealand
Small to medium-sized New Zealand hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded New Zealand traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service New Zealand hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in New Zealand
A bed and breakfast in New Zealand is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, New Zealand bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical New Zealand B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in New Zealand
New Zealand hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many New Zealand hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in New Zealand
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized New Zealand hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in New Zealand lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in New Zealand
New Zealand timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in New Zealand often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of New Zealand on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in New Zealand
A New Zealand motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of New Zealand for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of New Zealand motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

Why HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined is the leading hotel metasearch engine founded in 2005, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. It is widely recognized as the world's best hotel price comparison site and has won many of the most prestigious tourism industry awards. The site operates in over 40 languages, handles 120 different currencies and aggregates more than 2 million deals from hundreds of travel sites and hotel chains. The number of users counts more than 300,000 people a year with over $1,000,000,000 in estimated total cost of hotel reservations.

The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option in New Zealand at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on New Zealand hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.

The HotelsCombined's advanced technology allows to instantly find the available New Zealand hotels and process the offers of all leading travel websites, including Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda.com and many others (AccorHotels.com, AirAsiaGo.com, Amoma.com, AsiaTravel.com, BestWestern.com, Budgetplaces.com, EasyToBook.com, Elvoline.com, Expedia.com, Getaroom.com, Hilton.com, Homestay.com, Hotel.de, HotelClub.com, HotelsClick.com, HotelTravel.com, Housetrip.com, ihg.com, Interhome.com, Jovago.com, LateRooms.com, NH-Hotels.com, OnHotels.com, Otel.com, Prestigia.com, Skoosh.com, Splendia.com, Superbreak.com, Tiket.com, etc.). Due to the fast and easy-to-use search system you get the rates on available New Zealand hotels and book a preferable hotel on a website providing the lowest price.

All New Zealand Hotels & Hostels Online

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Travelling and vacation in New Zealand

New Zealand
Aotearoa (Māori)
Blue field with the Union Flag in the top right corner, and four red stars with white borders to the right.
A quartered shield, flanked by two figures, topped with a crown.
Flag Coat of arms
  • "God Defend New Zealand"
  • "God Save the Queen"
A map of the hemisphere centred on New Zealand, using an orthographic projection.
Location of New Zealand within the Realm of New Zealand
Capital Wellington
 / -41.283; 174.450
Largest city Auckland
Official languages
  • 96.1% English
  • 3.7% Māori
  • 0.5% NZ Sign Language
Ethnic groups (2013)
  • 74.0% European
  • 14.9% Māori
  • 11.8% Asian
  • 7.4% Pacific peoples
  • 1.2% Middle Eastern, Latin American, African
  • 1.7% Other
Demonym New Zealander
Kiwi (informal)
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Dame Patsy Reddy
• Prime Minister
Bill English
• Chief Justice
Dame Sian Elias
Legislature Parliament
(House of Representatives)
Stages of Independence from the United Kingdom
Responsible government
7 May 1856
26 September 1907
• Statute of Westminster adopted
25 November 1947
• Total
268,021 km (103,483 sq mi) (76th)
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
4,789,090 (123rd)
• 2013 census
• Density
17.5/km (45.3/sq mi) (205th)
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
• Total
$173.2 billion (67th)
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
• Total
$169.9 billion
• Per capita
Gini (2014) 33.0
HDI (2015) Increase 0.915
very high · 13th
Currency New Zealand dollar ($) (NZD)
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
• Summer (DST)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the left
Calling code +64
ISO 3166 code NZ
Internet TLD .nz

New Zealand Listen/njˈzlənd/ (Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses-the North Island (or Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (or Te Waipounamu)-and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that later were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands. In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a Dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.7 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Since the 1980s, New Zealand has transformed from an agrarian, regulated economy to a market economy. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently Bill English. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a governor-general, currently Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

New Zealand: Etymology

Brown square paper with Dutch writing and a thick red, curved line
Detail from a 1657 map showing the western coastline of "Nova Zeelandia"

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt, supposing it was connected to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand.

Aotearoa (often translated as "land of the long white cloud") is the current Māori name for New Zealand. It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa originally referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui (the fish of Māui) for the North Island and Te Waipounamu (the waters of greenstone) or Te Waka o Aoraki (the canoe of Aoraki) for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North (North Island), Middle (South Island) and South (Stewart Island / Rakiura). In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907, this was the accepted norm. The New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, and names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used, or both can be used together.

New Zealand: History

One set of arrows point from Taiwan to Melanesia to Fiji/Samoa and then to the Marquesas Islands. The population then spread, some going south to New Zealand and others going north to Hawai'i. A second set start in southern Asia and end in Melanesia.
The Māori people are most likely descended from people who emigrated from Taiwan to Melanesia and then travelled east through to the Society Islands. After a pause of 70 to 265 years, a new wave of exploration led to the discovery and settlement of New Zealand.

New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands. Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi (tribes) and hapū (subtribes) who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture. The Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862, largely because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases also contributed. In 1862, only 101 survived and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.

Map depicts the western and northern coast of Australia (labelled "Nova Hollandia"), Tasmania ("Van Diemen's Land") and part of New Zealand's North Island (labelled "Nova Zeelandia").
An early map of Australasia during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (c. 1590s–1720s). Based on a chart by Joan Blaeu, c. 1644.
=An engraving of a sketched coastline on white background
Map of the New Zealand coastline as Cook charted it on his first visit in 1769–70. The track of the Endeavour is also shown.

The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642. In a hostile encounter, four crew members were killed and at least one Māori was hit by canister shot. Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769 when British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline. Following Cook, New Zealand was visited by numerous European and North American whaling, sealing and trading ships. They traded European food, metal tools, weapons and other goods for timber, Māori food, artefacts and water. The introduction of the potato and the musket transformed Māori agriculture and warfare. Potatoes provided a reliable food surplus, which enabled longer and more sustained military campaigns. The resulting intertribal Musket Wars encompassed over 600 battles between 1801 and 1840, killing 30,000–40,000 Māori. From the early 19th century, Christian missionaries began to settle New Zealand, eventually converting most of the Māori population. The Māori population declined to around 40% of its pre-contact level during the 19th century; introduced diseases were the major factor.

A torn sheet of paper
The Waitangi sheet from the Treaty of Waitangi.

In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip assumed the position of Governor of the new British colony of New South Wales which according to his commission included New Zealand. The British Government appointed James Busby as British Resident to New Zealand in 1832 following a petition from northern Māori. In 1835, following an announcement of impending French settlement by Charles de Thierry, the nebulous United Tribes of New Zealand sent a Declaration of the Independence to King William IV of the United Kingdom asking for protection. Ongoing unrest, the proposed settlement of New Zealand by the New Zealand Company (which had already sent its first ship of surveyors to buy land from Māori) and the dubious legal standing of the Declaration of Independence prompted the Colonial Office to send Captain William Hobson to claim sovereignty for the United Kingdom and negotiate a treaty with the Māori. The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840. In response to the New Zealand Company's attempts to establish an independent settlement in Wellington and French settlers purchasing land in Akaroa, Hobson declared British sovereignty over all of New Zealand on 21 May 1840, even though copies of the Treaty were still circulating throughout the country for Māori to sign. With the signing of the Treaty and declaration of sovereignty the number of immigrants, particularly from the United Kingdom, began to increase.

Black and white engraving depicting a crowd of people
A meeting of European and Māori inhabitants of Hawke's Bay Province. Engraving, 1863.

New Zealand, still part of the colony of New South Wales, became a separate Colony of New Zealand on 1 July 1841. The colony gained a representative government in 1852 and the first Parliament met in 1854. In 1856 the colony effectively became self-governing, gaining responsibility over all domestic matters other than native policy. (Control over native policy was granted in the mid-1860s.) Following concerns that the South Island might form a separate colony, premier Alfred Domett moved a resolution to transfer the capital from Auckland to a locality near the Cook Strait. Wellington was chosen for its central location, with Parliament officially sitting there for the first time in 1865. As immigrant numbers increased, conflicts over land led to the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s and 1870s, resulting in the loss and confiscation of much Māori land.

In 1891 the Liberal Party, led by John Ballance, came to power as the first organised political party. The Liberal Government, later led by Richard Seddon, passed many important social and economic measures. In 1893 New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant all women the right to vote and in 1894 pioneered the adoption of compulsory arbitration between employers and unions.

In 1907, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, King Edward VII proclaimed New Zealand a Dominion within the British Empire, reflecting its self-governing status. In 1947 the country adopted the Statute of Westminster, confirming that the British Parliament could no longer legislate for New Zealand without the consent of New Zealand.

Early in the 20th century, New Zealand was involved in world affairs, fighting in the First and Second World Wars and suffering through the Great Depression. The depression led to the election of the First Labour Government and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state and a protectionist economy. New Zealand experienced increasing prosperity following the Second World War and Māori began to leave their traditional rural life and move to the cities in search of work. A Māori protest movement developed, which criticised Eurocentrism and worked for greater recognition of Māori culture and of the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1975, a Waitangi Tribunal was set up to investigate alleged breaches of the Treaty, and it was enabled to investigate historic grievances in 1985. The government has negotiated settlements of these grievances with many iwi, although Māori claims to the foreshore and seabed have proved controversial in the 2000s.

New Zealand: Government and politics

A smiling woman wearing a purple dress and matching hat.
Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand since 1952

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy, although its constitution is not codified. Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and the head of state. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General can exercise the Crown's prerogative powers, such as reviewing cases of injustice and making appointments of ministers, ambassadors and other key public officials, and in rare situations, the reserve powers (e.g. the power to dissolve Parliament or refuse the Royal Assent of a bill into law). The powers of the Queen and the Governor-General are limited by constitutional constraints and they cannot normally be exercised without the advice of ministers.

The New Zealand Parliament holds legislative power and consists of the Queen and the House of Representatives. It also included an upper house, the Legislative Council, until this was abolished in 1950. The supremacy of Parliament, over the Crown and other government institutions, was established in England by the Bill of Rights 1689 and has been ratified as law in New Zealand. The House of Representatives is democratically elected and a government is formed from the party or coalition with the majority of seats. If no majority is formed, a minority government can be formed if support from other parties during confidence and supply votes is assured. The Governor-General appoints ministers under advice from the Prime Minister, who is by convention the parliamentary leader of the governing party or coalition. Cabinet, formed by ministers and led by the Prime Minister, is the highest policy-making body in government and responsible for deciding significant government actions. Members of Cabinet make major decisions collectively, and are therefore collectively responsible for the consequences of these decisions.

A smiling man wearing a white shirt with a striped tie and black jacket.
Bill English, Prime Minister

A parliamentary general election must be called no later than three years after the previous election. Almost all general elections between 1853 and 1993 were held under the first-past-the-post voting system. Since the 1996 election, a form of proportional representation called Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) has been used. Under the MMP system, each person has two votes; one is for electorate seats (including some reserved for Māori), and the other is for a party. Since the 2014 election, there have been 71 electorates (which includes 7 Māori electorates), and the remaining 49 seats are assigned so that representation in parliament reflects the party vote, although a party has to win one electorate or 5% of the total party vote before it is eligible for these seats.

Elections since the 1930s have been dominated by two political parties, National and Labour. Between March 2005 and August 2006, New Zealand became the only country in the world in which all the highest offices in the land-Head of State, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice-were occupied simultaneously by women. The current Prime Minister is Bill English, since December 2016. His National Government won a third term in office following the 2014 election.

A block of buildings fronted by a large statue.
A statue of Richard Seddon, the "Beehive" (Executive Wing), and Parliament House (right), in Parliament Grounds, Wellington.

New Zealand's judiciary, headed by the Chief Justice, includes the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the High Court, and subordinate courts. Judges and judicial officers are appointed non-politically and under strict rules regarding tenure to help maintain judicial independence. This theoretically allows the judiciary to interpret the law based solely on the legislation enacted by Parliament without other influences on their decisions.

New Zealand is identified as one of the world's most stable and well-governed states, with high government transparency and among the lowest perceived levels of corruption. The country rates highly for civic participation in the political process, with 77% voter turnout during the most recent elections, compared to an OECD average of 68%.

New Zealand: Foreign relations and military

A soldier in a green army uniform faces forwards
Anzac Day service at the National War Memorial.

Early colonial New Zealand allowed the British Government to determine external trade and be responsible for foreign policy. The 1923 and 1926 Imperial Conferences decided that New Zealand should be allowed to negotiate its own political treaties and the first commercial treaty was ratified in 1928 with Japan. On 3 September 1939 New Zealand allied itself with Britain and declared war on Germany with Prime Minister Michael Savage proclaiming, "Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand."

A squad of men kneel in the desert sand while performing a war dance
Māori Battalion haka in Egypt, 1941.

In 1951 the United Kingdom became increasingly focused on its European interests, while New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty. The influence of the United States on New Zealand weakened following protests over the Vietnam War, the refusal of the United States to admonish France after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, disagreements over environmental and agricultural trade issues and New Zealand's nuclear-free policy. Despite the United States' suspension of ANZUS obligations the treaty remained in effect between New Zealand and Australia, whose foreign policy has followed a similar historical trend. Close political contact is maintained between the two countries, with free trade agreements and travel arrangements that allow citizens to visit, live and work in both countries without restrictions. In 2013 there were about 650,000 New Zealand citizens living in Australia, which is equivalent to 15% of the population of New Zealand.

New Zealand has a strong presence among the Pacific Island countries. A large proportion of New Zealand's aid goes to these countries and many Pacific people migrate to New Zealand for employment. Permanent migration is regulated under the 1970 Samoan Quota Scheme and the 2002 Pacific Access Category, which allow up to 1,100 Samoan nationals and up to 750 other Pacific Islanders respectively to become permanent New Zealand residents each year. A seasonal workers scheme for temporary migration was introduced in 2007 and in 2009 about 8,000 Pacific Islanders were employed under it. New Zealand is involved in the Pacific Islands Forum, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (including the East Asia Summit). New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and participates in the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

The New Zealand Defence Force consists of three services: the New Zealand Army; the Royal New Zealand Air Force; and the Royal New Zealand Navy. New Zealand's national defence needs are modest because of the unlikelihood of direct attack, although it does have a global presence. The country fought in both world wars, with notable campaigns in Gallipoli, Crete, El Alamein and Cassino. The Gallipoli campaign played an important part in fostering New Zealand's national identity and strengthened the ANZAC tradition it shares with Australia.

In addition to Vietnam and the two world wars, New Zealand fought in the Second Boer War, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Gulf War and the Afghanistan War. It has contributed forces to several regional and global peacekeeping missions, such as those in Cyprus, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sinai, Angola, Cambodia, the Iran–Iraq border, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands.

New Zealand ranks eighth in the Center for Global Development's 2015 Commitment to Development Index, which ranks the world's most developed countries on their dedication to policies that benefit poorer nations. New Zealand is considered the fourth most peaceful country in the world according to the 2016 Global Peace Index.

New Zealand: Local government and external territories

Map with the North, South, Stewart/Rakiura, Tokelau, Cook, Niue, Kermadec, Chatham, Bounty, Antipodes, Snare, Auckland and Campbell Islands highlighted. A map of Antarctica is inset and New Zealand's segment (the Ross Dependency) is also highlighted.
Realm of New Zealand

The early European settlers divided New Zealand into provinces, which had a degree of autonomy. Because of financial pressures and the desire to consolidate railways, education, land sales and other policies, government was centralised and the provinces were abolished in 1876. The provinces are remembered in regional public holidays and sporting rivalries.

Since 1876, various councils have administered local areas under legislation determined by the central government. In 1989, the government reorganised local government into the current two-tier structure of regional councils and territorial authorities. The 249 municipalities that existed in 1975 have now been consolidated into 67 territorial authorities and 11 regional councils. The regional councils' role is to regulate "the natural environment with particular emphasis on resource management", while territorial authorities are responsible for sewage, water, local roads, building consents and other local matters. Five of the territorial councils are unitary authorities and also act as regional councils. The territorial authorities consist of 13 city councils, 53 district councils, and the Chatham Islands Council. While officially the Chatham Islands Council is not a unitary authority, it undertakes many functions of a regional council.

New Zealand is one of 16 realms within the Commonwealth. The Realm of New Zealand is the entire area over which the Queen of New Zealand is sovereign, and comprises New Zealand, Tokelau, the Ross Dependency, the Cook Islands and Niue. The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing states in free association with New Zealand. The New Zealand Parliament cannot pass legislation for these countries, but with their consent can act on behalf of them in foreign affairs and defence. Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory, but is administered by a council of three elders (one from each Tokelauan atoll). The Ross Dependency is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica, where it operates the Scott Base research facility. New Zealand nationality law treats all parts of the realm equally, so most people born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Ross Dependency are New Zealand citizens.

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