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New Zealand Government
Capital:
Wellington
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Administrative divisions:
13 regions; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne-Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Nelson-Marlborough, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast
Dependent areas:
Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
Independence:
26 September 1907 (from UK)
National holiday:
Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)
Constitution:
consists of a series of legal documents, including certain acts of the UK and New Zealand Parliaments and The Constitution Act 1986 which is the principal formal charter
Legal system:
based on English law, with special land legislation and land courts for the Maori; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Dame Silvia CARTWRIGHT (since 4 April 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Helen CLARK (since 10 December 1999) and Deputy Prime Minister Michael CULLEN (since NA July 2002)
cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: none; 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:
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, all to serve three-year terms)
elections: last held 27 July 2002 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NZLP 52, NP 27, NZFP 13, ACT New Zealand 9, Green Party 9, UF 8, other 2
Judicial branch:
High Court; Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
ACT New Zealand [Richard PREBBLE]; Green Party [Jeanette FITZSIMONS and Rod DONALD]; National Party or NP [Don BRASH]; New Zealand First Party or NZFP [Winston PETERS]; New Zealand Labor Party or NZLP [Helen CLARK]; Progressive Coalition [James (Jim) ANDERTON]; United Future or UF [Peter DUNNE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
ANZUS (US suspended security obligations to NZ on 11 August 1986), APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISET, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador L. John WOOD
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles J. SWINDELLS
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) 472-3478
consulate(s) general: Auckland
Flag description:
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
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