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New Zealand: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
CapitalWellington Wellington
geographic coordinates: 41 18 S, 174 47 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
note: New Zealand has two time zones - New Zealand standard time (12 hours in advance of UTC), and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time)
Administrative divisions16 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
ConstitutionConstitution Act 1986 (the principal formal charter) adopted and effective 1 January 1987; amended 1999, 2005 (2013)
Dependent areasCook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Lt. Gen. Sir Jerry MATEPARAE (since 31 August 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Simon William ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Flag descriptionblue 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
Independence26 September 1907 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 justices including the chief justice )
note - the Supreme Court in 2004 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London, as the final appeals court
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the attorney-general; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; tribunals and authorities; district courts; specialized courts for issues related to employment, environment, Maori lands, and military
Legal systemcommon law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori
Legislative branchunicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 70 members elected by popular vote in single-member constituencies including 7 Maori constituencies, 50 proportional seats chosen from party lists; serve three-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 November 2011 (next to be held not later than November 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - National Party 48%, Labor Party 27.1%, Green Party 10.6%, NZ First 6.8%, Maori 1.4%, ACT Party 1.1%, Mana 1%, United Future 0.6%, other 3.43%; seats by party - National Party 60, Labor Party 34, Green Party 13, NZ First 8, Maori 3, ACT Party 1, Mana 1, United Future 1
note: results of 2011 election saw the total number of seats decline to 121
International organization participationADB, ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayWaitangi 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)
Political pressure groups and leadersWomen's Electoral Lobby or WEL
other: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups
Political parties and leadersACT New Zealand (Rodney HIDE)
Green Party (Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI)
Mana Party (Hone HARAWIRA)
Maori Party (Tariana TURIA and Dr. Pita SHARPLES)
New Zealand National Party (John KEY)
New Zealand First Party or NZ First (Winston PETERS)
New Zealand Labor Party (Phil GOFF)
Jim Anderton's Progressive Party (James (Jim) ANDERTON)
United Future New Zealand (Peter DUNNE)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeparliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Government - note
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Michael Kenneth MOORE (since 5 August 2010)
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 328-4800
FAX: (1) (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: New York, Pago Pago (American Samoa), Santa Monica (CA)
National anthemname: "God Defend New Zealand"
lyrics/music: Thomas BRACKEN (English), Thomas Henry SMITH (Maori)/John Joseph WOODS
note: adopted 1940 as national song, adopted 1977 as co-national anthem; New Zealand has two national anthems with equal status; as a commonwealth realm, in addition to "God Defend New Zealand," "God Save the Queen" serves as a national anthem (see United Kingdom); "God Save the Queen" normally is played only when a member of the royal family or the governor-general is present; in all other cases, "God Defend New Zealand" is played
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars); kiwi (bird), silver fern
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d' Affaires Marie C. DAMOUR note - also accredited to Samoa
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