South Pacific’s Gem

New Zealand

New Zealand

This fun postcard comes from Carolyn who is from New Zealand. Just in case you’ve never heard of it (fat chance,) New Zealand is an island nation located in the South Pacific, about 1500 km from Australia. Apparently Google Chrome does not know of the country’s existence as it constantly underlines “Zealand” and wants me to change it to “zeal and.” Because of the remoteness of the island, this land was one of the last places on the planet to be settled by humans (the Maoris) at some point between the years 1250 and 1300. The first non-Maori people to take note of the country was the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, in 1642. In 1840 the country became part of the British Empire and today, the majority of its citizens are of European descent (around 77%.) The country consists of 2 major islands, creatively named North and South Islands and a number of other smaller islands. The total land area of New Zealand comes to 268 021 square kilometers. With a population of just over 4.5 million, there is clearly a lot of space for everybody. The country enjoys one of the highest living standards in the world and also an amazing Human Development Index (HDI) ranking, at 6th place. It is also constantly ranked among the top countries in terms of ease to do business, transparency in government and low crime rates. Sounds like a pretty nice place! No wonder half the population of South Africa now call it home. Thank you Carolyn!