Cruising to New Zealand


The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.


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; note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands


5,134 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


Temperate with sharp regional contrasts


Predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m


Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes (but left behind many at the bottom of the ladder), broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures.

Per capita income has risen for six consecutive years and was more than $24,000 in 2005 in purchasing power parity terms. New Zealand is heavily dependent on trade - particularly in agricultural products - to drive growth. Exports are equal to about 22% of GDP. Thus far the economy has been resilient, and the Labor Government promises that expenditures on health, education, and pensions will increase proportionately to output.


Airports: 117 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 46
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 71
Pipelines: gas 2,213 km; liquid petroleum gas 79 km; oil 160 km; refined products 304 km (2004)
Railways: total: 3,898 km
Roadways: total: 92,662 km

Merchant marine

Total: 13 ships (1000 GRT or over) 125,916 GRT/121,394 DWT
By type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 2, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 2
Foreign-owned: 4 (Australia 2, Germany 1, Isle of Man 1)
Registered in other countries: 6 (The Bahamas 1, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 1, UK 1, Vanuatu 2) (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Auckland, Lyttelton, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

American Samoa - Australia - Cook Island - Easter Islands (Chile) - Federation of Micronesia - Fiji - Guam - USA (Hawaii)  - Kiribati - Marshall Islands - Nauru - New Caledonia - New Zealand - Niue - Norfolk Island - Northern Mariana Islands - Palau - Papua New Guinea - Pitcairn Island - Samoa - Solomon Island - Tokelau - Tonga - Tuvalu - Vanuatu - Wallis and Futuna

Further Reading

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