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New Zealand:
Government

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Country name
Definition
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
Government type
Definition
parliamentary democracy
Capital
Definition
name: Wellington
geographic coordinates: 41 28 S, 174 51 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in March
note: New Zealand is divided into two time zones, including Chatham Island
Administrative divisions
Definition
16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast
Dependent areas
Definition
Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
Independence
Definition
26 September 1907 (from UK)
National holiday
Definition
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840); ANZAC Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)
Constitution
Definition
consists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand Parliaments, as well as The Constitution Act 1986, which is the principal formal charter; adopted 1 January 1987, effective 1 January 1987
Legal system
Definition
based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for the Maori; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage
Definition
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
Definition
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Helen CLARK (since 10 December 1999); Deputy Prime Minister Michael CULLEN (since July 2002)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Legislative branch
Definition
unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (120 seats; 69 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, and 51 proportional seats chosen from party lists; to serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 17 September 2005 (next to be held not later than 15 November 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - NZLP 41.1%, NP 39.1%, NZFP 5.7%, Green Party 5.3%, Maori 2.1%, UF 2.7%, ACT New Zealand 1.5%, Progressive 1.2%, other 1.3%; seats by party - NZLP 50, NP 48, NZFP 7, Green Party 6, Maori 4, UF 3, ACT New Zealand 2, Progressive 1
note: results of 2005 election saw the total number of seats increase to 121 because the Maori Party won one more electorate seat than its entitlement under the party vote
Judicial branch
Definition
Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; High Court; note - judges appointed by the Governor-General
Political parties and leaders
Definition
ACT New Zealand [Rodney HIDE]; Green Party [Jeanette FITZSIMONS]; Maori Party [Whatarangi WINIATA]; National Party or NP [John KEY]; New Zealand First Party or NZFP [Winston PETERS]; New Zealand Labor Party or NZLP [Helen CLARK]; Progressive Party [James (Jim) ANDERTON]; United Future or UF [Peter DUNNE]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Definition
Women's Electoral Lobby or WEL
other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups
International organization participation
Definition
ADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, NAM (guest), NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador Roy N. FERGUSON
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador William P. McCORMICK
embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490
consulate(s) general: Auckland
Flag description
Definition
blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant with four red five-pointed stars edged in white centered in the outer half of the flag; the stars represent the Southern Cross constellation
Government - note
Definition
while not an official symbol, the Kiwi, a small native flightless bird, represents New Zealand


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