The Geography of New Zealand

The Geography of New Zealand

New Zealand Geography

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 land: 268,021 sq km water: NA note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

Area - comparative: about the size of Colorado

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 15,134 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate: temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Terrain: predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Aoraki-Mount Cook 3,754 m

Natural resources: natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

Land use: arable land: 5.54% permanent crops: 6.92% other: 87.54% (2005)

Irrigated land: 2,850 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards: earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species

Environment - international agreements: party 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 - note: about 80% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world

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