“”I believe we were all glad to leave New Zealand. It is not a pleasant place ... the greater part of the English are the very refuse of society. Neither is the country itself attractive.
New Zealand ("Australia's Canada") is a
little country in the South Pacific Third World nation world super-power. It is best described by this equivalence relation: New Zealand is to Australia, as Canada is to the United States. Some have described New Zealand as "like charmingly crap Britain in the 1950s." Others refer to it by its cleverdick nickname "Godzone," as in "God's Own Country," etc. New Zealand is a notably awesome place to live and consistently outranks the United States by nearly every metric despite (or perhaps on account of) being some orders of magnitude smaller.
The former Prime Minister was a woman who claims to be an agnostic, however as a liberal (therefore possibly communist) woman, she is more than likely an atheist who is bad at mathematics. She would like this site, especially all the Christianity articles. Now the power has shifted to the right and the National Party, led by John Key, holds parliament. Key is also an atheist (or "weak atheist" if you prefer), stating in a live interview, when asked if he believed in God, "I don't believe in life after death, so in the traditional sense of the world no, but I have no conclusive proof either way." Although it should be noted that the "right-wing" in New Zealand are still considered "flaming liberals" in the United States.
The Lord of The Rings was filmed in New Zealand. It's also the home of bungee jumping.
There actually is an Old Zealand (or Zeeland as it's usually spelled these days) in the Netherlands, but New Zealand seems to be more popular. Neither one has any relation to Denmark's Zealand, or to Sealand, which is a tiny island in the North Sea that claims to be a real country, despite only having a population of 27.
For many years New Zealand was regarded as a social laboratory, resulting in an extremely progressive governmental structure. New Zealand has no written constitution, meaning that elected politicians who are (vaguely) accountable to the people decide on the laws, not politically appointed and unaccountable old judges.
New Zealand has a parliamentary system of governance with Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting held every three years. Voters have two votes, the first to elect the preferred Prime Minister and ruling party, the second vote is the preferred party to hold the electoral seat of any given district. While there are two large parties, Labour and National, if any smaller party breaks the 5% threshold of votes they get a share of the seats in parliament (5% will get you around six of the ~120 seats in parliament) and potential influence over decision making. Additionally, small parties may enter parliament by winning an electoral seat, which also removes the requirement of the 5% to gain further seats. They abolished their upper house, the appointed "Legislative Council", in 1951.
The minor parties that presently have seats are the New Zealand Green Party, the largest minor party; the NZ First Party, which revolves around the personality cult of its slightly criminal leader Winston Peters, which is populist in approach (generally a bunch of rabble-rousers who just scream "enough of this sort of thing!") with a core constituency of people with grey hair; the Maori Party, which promotes the rights of the indigenous Maori people; the Mana Party, which does the same from the far left-wing angle; the ACT Party, far-right but traditionally libertarian; and the United Future Party, headed by a political dinosaur, Peter Dunne. The latter three parties only have the one seat each and could effectively hold the government to ransom due to several lone wolf coalition deals.
New Zealand's national religion is Rugby Union, and the national team, the All Blacks, have a curious ability to win every game in the four years in between world cups and then choke at the main event. The curse of the All Blacks was lifted in 2011 when they won the world cup in their own country, further confirming their superiority over all other nations.
New Zealand is also home to Brian Tamaki, a televangelist who has founded Destiny Church, arguably New Zealand's first "mega-church" in the tradition of the United States model. In 2012 Tamaki announced plans to build his own community complete with schools, businesses and a university causing many to consider Destiny Church a cult.
Graham Capill, founder of the Christian Heritage political party and currently serving time for the rape of a twelve year old girl, also hails from New Zealand, demonstrating that extreme religious hypocrisy is a worldwide phenomenon.
It is also the birth place of the banana creationist Ray Comfort.
 Seditious liberal activities
New Zealand also takes part in many seditious liberal activities such as the Kyoto Protocol, the UN, and peace-keeping efforts, and did not participate in the totally awesome bad-ass Iraq War. Additionally, although firearms are still legal with a license, New Zealand has strict gun control and almost non-existent gun crime (less than 0.002 gun crime-related deaths per 100,000 people). Go figure, eh?
 Nuclear free status
During the 1960s New Zealand saw a series of protests on the issue of nuclear weapons. During the late 1970s there was great opposition to visiting United States nuclear warships and French nuclear tests in the Pacific. In 1984, the opposition Labour party won the election and signed nuclear-free legislation into law, which included a ban on nuclear weapons and visiting nuclear-powered ships were not allowed into New Zealand waters. The Americans tested New Zealand's resolve on this issue by requesting a visit by the USS Buchanan to which the New Zealand government refused. The States then broke off all visible military and intelligence ties with NZ.
 Sacre bleu!
New Zealand's Rainbow Warrior Greenpeace ship had been active in protesting French nuclear tests in the Pacific, much to the consternation of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys. In 1987 two French secret service agents bombed and sunk the ship while it was moored in Auckland harbour, killing one man. The French agents were caught and sentenced to 10 years each. France then used its European influence to threaten New Zealand's trade in the area, and France boycotted New Zealish products. Not to be outdone, New Zealand boycotted French products, however both countries looked to mediation by the United Nations. The United Nations gave France a spanking and a $13 million fine.
 Current status
New Zealand's anti-nuke legislation still stands and has never been challenged by any successive governments since. Only recently, in the last 15 years, has the United States slowly been rebuilding shared intelligence with New Zealand.
 Pro-nuke all along?
In a display of
batshit craziness ultimate badassery, it is legal for any NZ high school to keep a pound of uranium and/or thorium for experiments. Seriously.
 The Lost Continent!
New Zealand is a volcanic creation in just the right place on the Pacific Ring of Fire to well up from a failed rift. Like Iceland but older. However, there is an entire submerged continental shelf it's on called Zealandia. No foolin'. Check that other wiki. New Zealand and New Caledonia are the bits that are visible above water, but it's a (sub)continent all right.
 Notable New Zealanders
- Sir Edmund Hilary - first man to conquer Everest
- Peter Jackson - movie director
- Helen Clark - number three at the UN
- Lord Ernest Rutherford - discoverer of the atomic nucleus
- Jonah Lomu - the first global superstar of Rugby Union. Lots of other rugby players.
- Phar Lap - A really fast horse
- Ace McWicked
- Flight of the Conchords
Ace's sisterThat chick who auctioned off her cherry to pay her schooling fees.
- Russell Crowe
- Nicole Kidman, has some connection with the place.
Kidding though. Auckland and Wellington are both world-class cities, not bad for a tiny isolated place. HamiltonWhich one?, however...
- ↑ Voyage of the Beagle, chapter 18. 
- ↑ Other examples include Wales to England, Portugal to Spain and Finland to Sweden.
- ↑ BBC: Why New Zealand is a lifestyle superpower 15 May 2010
- ↑ http://crooksandliars.com/nonny-mouse/greatest-nation-earth-isnt-us
- ↑ http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7084397/Live-chat-Prime-Minister-John-Key
- ↑ Statistics New Zealand: QuickStats About Culture and Identity
- ↑ TVNZ: Destiny Church town plan draws cult accusations 6 January 2012
- ↑ NationMaster: Murders with firearms (most recent) by country
- ↑ Wikipedia: Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior
- ↑ Letting off a nuke will cost you a million. And probably mass murder charges.