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New Zealand Geography Profile 2018

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LocationOceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Geographic coordinates41 00 S, 174 00 E
Map referencesOceania
Areatotal: 268,838 sq km
land: 264,537 sq km
water: 4,301 sq km
note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands
Area - comparativealmost twice the size of North Carolina; about the size of Colorado
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline15,134 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatetemperate with sharp regional contrasts
Terrainpredominately mountainous with large coastal plains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 388 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,724 m
Natural resourcesnatural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone
Land useagricultural land: 43.2%
arable land 1.8%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 41.1%
forest: 31.4%
other: 25.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land7,210 sq km (2012)
Population distributionover three-quarters of New Zealanders, including the indigenous Maori, live on the North Island, primarily in urban areas
Natural hazardsearthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
volcanism: significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (2,797 m), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul Island, Tongariro, and White Island
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - noteconsists of two main islands and a number of smaller islands; South Island, the larger main island, is the 12th largest island in the world and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps; North Island is the 14th largest island in the world and is not as mountainous, but it is marked by volcanism; almost 90% of the population lives in cities and over three-quarters on North Island; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018