New Zealand

Migrate to New Zealand

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 Jacinda Ardern. 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.

Migration to New Zealand began with Polynesian settlement in New Zealand, then uninhabited, about 1250 to 1280. European migration provided a major influx following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Subsequent immigration has been chiefly from the British Isles, but also from continental Europe, the Pacific, The Americas and Asia.

Climate

New Zealand's climate is predominantly temperate maritime with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) in the south to 16 °C (61 °F) in the north. Historical maxima and minima are 42.4 °C (108.32 °F) in Rangiora, Canterbury and −25.6 °C (−14.08 °F) in Ranfurly, Otago. Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to almost semi-arid in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland. Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year and Wellington the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average of more than 2,000 hours of sunshine. The southern and south-western parts of the South Island have a cooler and cloudier climate, with around 1,400–1,600 hours; the northern and north-eastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest areas of the country and receive about 2,400–2,500 hours. The general snow season is early June until early October, though cold snaps can occur outside this season. Snowfall is common in the eastern and southern parts of the South Island and mountain areas across the country

Language

English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by 96.1% of the population. New Zealand English is similar to Australian English and many speakers from the Northern Hemisphere are unable to tell the accents apart. The most prominent differences between the New Zealand English dialect and other English dialects are the shifts in the short front vowels: the short-"i" sound (as in "kit") has centralised towards the schwa sound (the "a" in "comma" and "about"); the short "e" sound (as in "dress") has moved towards the short-"i" sound; and the short-"a" sound (as in "trap") has moved to the short-"e" sound.

After the Second World War, Māori was discouraged from speaking their own language (te reo Māori) in schools and workplaces and it existed as a community language only in a few remote areas.It has recently undergone a process of revitalisation, being declared one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987,and is spoken by 3.7% of the population. There are now Māori language immersion schools and two television channels that broadcast predominantly in Māori. Many places have both their Māori and English names officially recognised.

Religion

Christianity is the predominant religion in New Zealand, although its society is among the most secular in the world. In the 2013 census, 55.0% of the population identified with one or more religions, including 49.0% identifying as Christians. Another 41.9% indicated that they had no religion. The main Christian denominations are, by a number of adherents, Roman Catholicism (12.6%), Anglicanism (11.8%), Presbyterianism (8.5%) and "Christian not further defined" (i.e. people identifying as Christian but not stating the denomination, 5.5%). The Māori-based Ringatū and Rātana religions (1.4%) are also Christian in origin. Immigration and demographic change in recent decades have contributed to the growth of minority religions, such as Hinduism (2.1%), Buddhism (1.5%), Islam (1.2%) and Sikhism (0.5%). The Auckland Region exhibited the greatest religious diversity.

Education

Primary and secondary schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16, with the majority attending from the age of 5. There are 13 school years and attending state (public) schools is free to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents from a person's 5th birthday to the end of the calendar year following their 19th birthday. New Zealand has an adult literacy rate of 99%, and over half of the population, aged 15 to 29 holds a tertiary qualification. There are five types of government-owned tertiary institutions: universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, specialist colleges, and wānanga, in addition to private training establishments. In the adult population, 14.2% have a bachelor's degree or higher, 30.4% have some form of secondary qualification as their highest qualification and 22.4% have no formal qualification. The OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment ranks New Zealand's education system as the seventh best in the world; with students performing exceptionally well in reading, mathematics and science.



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