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About New Zealand

Science & Technology
Sporting Legends
Social
The Land

What's so special about New Zealand?

Because New Zealand is a nation with a proven record in virtually every field of endeavor - science, technology, manufacturing, sport, and social issues. It's a safe country to live in as well, with stable political and social systems; a secure place to invest for your future.

New Zealand is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. A newly-released report shows that New Zealand is statistically equal - in first position - to Australia and Mexico, and well ahead of the United States in 7th position.  

New Zealanders - 'Kiwis' as we call ourselves after the unique flightless bird that is our national symbol - have what we refer to as a "can do" attitude. What others may see as a problem or stumbling block, we see as a challenge to overcome. It's a national trait often alluded to as the "number 8 wire mentality" - a reference to the fencing wire with which New Zealand farmers can reputedly fix anything!

New Zealand has produced a range of world-renowned achievements and personalities way out of proportion to our modest population of just under four million. And we often succeed in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds - who would have thought such a small nation could beat the apparently limitless resources of the United States to win the Americas Cup - and then prevent them taking it back?

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Who was the first person to split the atom? Not an American, but a Kiwi - Sir Ernest Rutherford in 1919. He also identified the three main elements of radiation - alpha, beta and gamma rays - and was first to realize an atom has a dense nucleus surrounded by orbiting electrons.

Step forward eight decades and meet Alan MacDiarmid - awarded a Nobel chemistry prize in 2000 for discovering (with two others) that plastics can conduct electricity - an astounding discovery which has led to the entirely new scientific field of molecular electronics, one which promises to revolutionize all aspects of technology in the coming years.

Now jump back again - to March 1903 and New Zealand aviation pioneer Richard Pearse, who some believe achieved powered flight nine months before the Wright brothers!

In more recent years there have been a raft of technological innovations, big and small, many of which have made their mark worldwide - the Hamilton jetboat , Powerbeat batteries , Trimble Navigation (now based in the US), Jade e-commerce software , Reel Two categorization, search and retrieval software (also US based now). Bungy jumping ? That's a Kiwi invention. Woolrest sleepers , spreadable butter? Yes, Kiwi as well.

Often these advances have crossed over into other areas - most notably illustrated by New Zealand's recent success in becoming the first nation to successfully defend the America's Cup outside the United States.

SPORTING LEGENDS

Teamwork has been a hallmark of New Zealand sports over the years, and New Zealanders have excelled in wide range of sports:

  • Our national rugby football team - the All Blacks - are one of the world's pre-eminent rugby sides, and have been for decades.

  • Kiwi Scott Dixonn is currently wowing the Indy Car fraternity. Last year he became the youngest ever driver to win a race; this year he set the fastest lap in eight years at the Indianapolis Speedway, and qualified fourth for the great race.

  • New Zealand is the only country in the world to take the America's Cup from the US and then successfully defend it.

  • We have produced a formidable array of world-beating track and field athletes - John Walker, Peter Snell and Jack Lovelock to name a few.

  • Rob Waddel has turned the rowing world on its head, winning both the World and Olympic single sculls titles.

  • We have also produced Olympic medallists in a huge range of other sports - boxing, running, swimming, kayaking, board sailing, shooting among them.

We've produced our share of golfing and squash heroes, and so too in motor sport. Any follower of Formula One knows McLaren - set up by Aucklander Bruce McLaren - has been one of the top performing teams for more than three decades. More recently, the late John Britten took the motorcycling world by storm with the revolutionary hi-tech racing machine that bears his name. Built in true "number 8 wire" style, the bike was made almost entirely from carbon fiber - even down to its homemade wheels!

SOCIAL

New Zealand has a proud history of social achievement.

We were the first nation in the world to give women the vote, and the first to establish a system of social welfare. Our stable, democratic political environment has done much to help give Kiwis a standard of living we can be proud of.

Ours is a diverse culture. Most New Zealanders are of either European or native Maori descent, although in recent years migrants from around the world - predominantly from the Pacific and Asia - have flocked to settle here. There's a reason for this: like America early last century, New Zealand is regarded by many as a land of opportunity.

THE LAND

Physically, New Zealand is a remarkable Pacific island nation (sometimes referred to as the world's best kept secret). A compact country, in just a few days' driving you can see everything from mountain ranges to sandy beaches, lush rainforests, glaciers and fiords, active volcanoes, sparkling harbors and cosmopolitan cities. (Visit www.purenz.com .)

New Zealand's flora and fauna is unique. Isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years before being settled by man, New Zealand developed some rather unusual species, particularly a range of flightless birds.

The best known is the kiwi, but also flightless are the weka and the endangered kakapo , and the world's largest parrot - the cheeky and inquisitive kea. It's in New Zealand you will find the only true living relative of the dinosaurs, the Tuatara. We have families of trees which date back to the dinosaur era too, massive giants unlike anywhere else in the world.