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New Zealand: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
etymology: Dutch explorer Abel TASMAN was the first European to reach New Zealand in 1642; he named it Staten Landt, but Dutch cartographers renamed it Nova Zeelandia in 1645 after the Dutch province of Zeeland; British explorer Captain James COOK subsequently anglicized the name to New Zealand when he mapped the islands in 1769
Government typeparliamentary democracy (New Zealand Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
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
Dependent areasCook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
Independence26 September 1907 (from the UK)
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)
ConstitutionConstitution Act 1986 (the principal formal charter) adopted and effective 1 January 1987; amended 1999, 2005, 2014 (2016)
Legal systemcommon law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of New Zealand
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Dame Patricia Lee REDDY (since 28 September 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Simon William "Bill" ENGLISH (since 12 December 2016); December 2016; Deputy Prime Minister Paula BENNETT (since 12 December 2016); note - Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008) resigned effective 12 December 2016
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 70 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies, including 7 Maori constituencies, by simple majority vote and 50 directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms)
elections: last held on 20 September 2014 (next to be held by September 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - National Party 47%, Labor Party 25.1%, Green Party 10.7%, NZ First 8.7%, Maori 1.3%, ACT Party .7%, United Future .2%, other 6.3%; seats by party - National Party 60, Labor Party 32, Green Party 14, NZ First 11, Maori 2, ACT Party 1, United Future 1
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
Political parties and leadersACT New Zealand (Rodney HIDE)
Green Party (Russel NORMAN and Metiria TUREI)
Jim Anderton's Progressive Party (James (Jim) ANDERTON)
Mana Party (Hone HARAWIRA)
Maori Party (Tariana TURIA and Dr. Pita SHARPLES)
New Zealand First Party or NZ First (Winston PETERS)
New Zealand Labor Party (Phil GOFF)
New Zealand National Party (John KEY)
United Future New Zealand (Peter DUNNE)
Political pressure groups and leadersWomen's Electoral Lobby or WELother: apartheid groups; civil rights groups; farmers groups; Maori; nuclear weapons groups; women's rights groups
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), ICCt, 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, SICA (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Timothy John GROSER (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 328-4800
FAX: (1) (202) 667-5227(1) (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: Honolulu (HI), Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mark GILBERT (since 9 February 2015) 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
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
National symbol(s)Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars), kiwi (bird), silver fern; national colors: black, white, red (ochre)
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 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