Chapter 8: New Zealand
New Zealand is a small, open economy in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, population approximately 5 million. It is situated about 1500 kilometres across the Tasman Sea to the east of Australia’s southern coastline. Like Australia, New Zealand is a developed country with membership in both the OECD and other major international organizations. As at the 2013 national census, the large majority of the New Zealand population is of eclectic European ethnicity, culture and tradition with a significant level of integration between the European background and indigenous Maori populations. New Zealand’s largest ethnic minorities comprise immigrants from Asia and the Pacific. New Zealand had the sixth highest per capita income in the world during the 1950s and 1960s. High demand for its agricultural products in particular, mainly from the United Kingdom and the United States, resulted in achievement of one of the highest standards of living until the 1960s. Since then New Zealand’s ranking in terms of per capita income has fallen to the lower end of the OECD countries. Moreover, New Zealand’s economic progress is sometimes compared with that of Australia to assess its relative performance. This comparison supports the impression of a decline in New Zealand’s economic standing within the Australasian region.
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