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New Zealand Geography

    Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia

    Geographic coordinates: 41 00 S, 174 00 E

    Map references: Oceania

    Area:
    total: 268,680 sq km
    land: 268,670 sq km
    water: 10 sq km
    note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

    Area—comparative: about the size of Colorado

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 15,134 km

    Maritime claims:
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: temperate with sharp regional contrasts

    Terrain: predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Cook 3,764 m

    Natural resources: natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

    Land use:
    arable land: 9%
    permanent crops: 5%
    permanent pastures: 50%
    forests and woodland: 28%
    other: 8% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 2,850 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by species introduced from outside

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

    Geography—note: about 80% of the population lives in cities

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)