Political Status: Constitutional democracy with Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state; formally independent since 1947.
Area: 104,454 sq. mi. (270,534 sq. km).
Population: 4,619,036 (2012E—UN); 4,327,944 (2012E—U.S. Census).
Major Urban Centers (2006C): WELLINGTON (179,466), Auckland (404,658; conurbation 1,414,700), Christchurch (348,435), Manukau City (328,968), Hamilton (129,249), Dunedin (118,683). Following the 2011 earthquake, the population of Christchurch declined significantly.
Official Languages: English, Maori.[Page 1041]
Monetary Unit: New Zealand Dollar (market rate November 5, 2012: 1.21 dollars = $1US).
Sovereign: Queen ELIZABETH II.
Governor General: General Sir Jerry MATAPARAI, named by Queen Elizabeth II on March 7, 2011, to succeed Sir Anand SATYANAND, effective August 31.
Prime Minister: John Phillip KEY (National Party), named by the governor general to form a new government following the parliamentary election of November 8, 2008, and sworn in ...