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Geography of New Zealand

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: 268,670 sq km
water: 10 sq km
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:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: temperate with sharp regional contrasts

Terrain: predominately mountainous with some large coastal plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Cook 3,764 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 9%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 50%
forests and woodland: 28%
other: 8% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 2,850 sq km (1993 est.)

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

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

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: about 80% of the population lives in cities

See also : New Zealand, National parks (New Zealand), Islands of New Zealand, Trees of New Zealand



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