The culture of New Zealand is largely inherited from British and European custom, interwoven with Maori and Polynesian tradition. An isolated Pacific Island nation, New Zealand was comparatively recently settled by humans. Initially Māori only, then bicultural with colonial and rural values, now New Zealand is a cosmopolitan culture that reflects its changing demographics, is conscious of the natural environment, and is an educated, developed Western society.
Māori culture has predominated for most of New Zealand's history of human habitation. Māori voyagers reached the islands of New Zealand some time before 1300, though exact dates are uncertain. Over the ensuing centuries of Māori expansion and settlement, Māori culture diverged from its Polynesian roots. Māori established separate tribes, built fortified villages (Pā), hunted and fished, traded commodities, developed agriculture, arts and weaponry, and kept a detailed oral history. Regular European contact began approximately 200 years ago, and British immigration proceeded rapidly during the nineteenth century.
Being an island nation with a history of long isolation and having no land mammals apart from bats, the birds of New Zealand have evolved to include a large number of unique species. Over the 65 million year isolation from any other land mass New Zealand became a land of birds and when Captain James Cook arrived in the 1770s he noted that the bird song was deafening. Māori and European settlement has been the cause of a huge decline in the numbers of birds and the extinction of about one third of the original bird species.
New Zealand birds were, until the arrival of the first humans, an extraordinarily diverse range of specialised birds. In New Zealand, the ecological niches normally occupied by mammals as different as rodents, kangaroos and moles, were filled by reptiles, insects, or birds. The only terrestrial mammals were three species of bat (of which two survive today).
Flightless birds are birds that cannot fly but they can run and/or swim instead of flying, but they did evolve from flying ancestors. There are about 40 species in existence today, the best known being the ratites (ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea and kiwi) and the penguins. Some birds evolved flightlessness in response to the release from predation, for example on oceanic islands, although this is likely not the case for the ratites as evolutionary origins suggest a continental biogeographical providence.]citation needed[
Two key differences between flying and flightless birds are the smaller wing bones of flightless birds and the absent (or greatly reduced) keel on their breastbone. (The keel anchors muscles needed for wing movement.) Flightless birds also have more feathers than flying birds.
New Zealand (//; Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous 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 nations 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 isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life; most notable are the large number of unique bird species. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions.
Polynesians settled New Zealand in 1250–1300 CE and developed a distinctive Māori culture. Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to sight New Zealand in 1642 CE. The introduction of potatoes and muskets triggered upheaval among Māori early during the 19th century, which led to the inter-tribal Musket Wars. In 1840 the British and Māori signed a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire. Immigrant numbers increased sharply and conflicts escalated into the New Zealand Wars, which resulted in Māori land being confiscated in the mid North Island. Economic depressions were followed by periods of political reform, with women gaining the vote during the 1890s, and a welfare state being established from the 1930s. After World War II, New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty, although the United States later suspended the treaty. New Zealanders enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world in the 1950s, but the 1970s saw a deep recession, worsened by oil shocks and the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community. The country underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free trade economy; once-dominant exports of wool have been overtaken by dairy products, meat, and wine.
New Zealand English (NZE, en-NZ) is the dialect of the English language used in New Zealand.
The English language was established in New Zealand by colonists during the 19th century. It is one of "the newest native-speaker variet[ies] of the English language in existence, a variety which has developed and become distinctive only in the last 150 years". The most distinctive influences on New Zealand English have come from Australian English, English in southern England, Irish English, Scottish English, the prestige Received Pronunciation, and Māori. New Zealand English is similar to Australian English in pronunciation, with some key differences. One of the most prominent differences is the realisation of /ɪ/: in New Zealand English, as in some Scots and South African varieties, this is pronounced as /ɘ/.
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules gradually changed with the purpose of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. It is frequently cited as the toughest, most physically demanding of team sports.
In rugby league points are scored by carrying or kicking the ball down the field, until it can be moved past the opponents' designated goal line and touched to the ground; this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring. The opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side gaining points by preventing their progress up the field by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may also be awarded for penalties, and field goals can be attempted at any time during general play.
The New Zealand national rugby league team has represented New Zealand in rugby league football since intercontinental competition began for the sport in 1907. Administered by the New Zealand Rugby League, they are commonly known as the Kiwis, after the native bird of that name. The team's colours are black with white and the players perform a haka before every match they play as a challenge to their opponents. The New Zealand Kiwis are the current World Cup-holders and won the Four Nations competition in 2010, making them the second strongest international rugby league team behind arch rivals and current Four Nations winners Australia. Since the 1990s players for the team have been largely sourced from clubs in Australasia's National Rugby League with the occasional player from Europe's Super League. Before that players were sourced mostly from clubs in domestic New Zealand leagues.
The team first played in a 1907 professional rugby tour which pre-dated the birth of rugby league football in the Southern Hemisphere, making it the second oldest national side after England. Since then the Kiwis have regularly competed in international competition, touring Europe and Australia throughout the 20th century. New Zealand have competed in every Rugby League World Cup since the first in 1954, reaching the final of the past three tournaments. In 2008 New Zealand made history by winning the World Cup for the first time. They also contest the Baskerville Shield against Great Britain, and play an annual ANZAC Test against Australia.
New Zealanders, colloquially known as Kiwis, are citizens of New Zealand. New Zealand is a multiethnic society, and home to people of many national origins. Originally composed solely of the indigenous Māori, the ethnic makeup of the population has been dominated since the 19th century by New Zealanders of European descent, mainly of Scottish, English and Irish ancestry, with smaller percentages of other European ancestries such as French, Dutch, Scandinavian and South Slavic. New Zealand has an estimated resident population of around 4.37 million as of August 2010.
Today, the ethnic makeup of the New Zealand population is undergoing a process of change, with new waves of immigration, higher birth rates and increasing interracial marriage resulting in the New Zealand population of Māori, Asian, Pacific Islander and multiracial descent growing at a higher rate than those of solely European descent, with such groups projected to make up a larger proportion of the population in the future.
The Great Spotted Kiwi, Great Gray Kiwi, or Roroa (Apteryx haastii) is a species of kiwi endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. The Great Spotted Kiwi, as a member of the Ratites, is flightless. It is the largest of the kiwi. The rugged topography and harsh climate of the high altitude, alpine, part of its habitat render it inhospitable to a number of introduced mammalian predators, which include dogs, ferrets, cats and stoats. Because of this, populations of this species have been less seriously affected by the predations of these invasive species compared to other Kiwi. Nonetheless, there has been a 43% decline in population in the past 45 years, due to these predators and habitat destruction. This has led it to be classified as vulnerable. There are less than 16,000 Great Spotted Kiwis in total, almost all in the more mountainous parts of northwest Nelson, the northwest coast, and the Southern Alps. A minority live on island reserves.
This kiwi is highly aggressive, and pairs will defend their large territories (49 acres) against other kiwi. Great Spotted Kiwi are nocturnal, and will sleep during the day in burrows. At night, they feed on invertebrates and will also eat plants. Great Spotted Kiwi breed between June and March. The egg is the largest of all birds in proportion to the size of the bird. Chicks take 75 to 85 days to hatch, and after hatching, they are abandoned by their parents.
Pakistani New Zealanders, also known as Pakistani Kiwis, are New Zealanders of Pakistani descent or to someone who has immigrated to New Zealand from Pakistan. Pakistani Kiwis are predominantly Muslims and mostly descend from a Punjabi background.