Study in New Zealand

About New Zealand

In 1840, French navy captain Charles Lavauds plans to claim the land for France, were hurriedly intercepted with the signing of the British-initiated Treaty of Waitangi. The Maori ceded governorship of their country to Britain in exchange for protection and guaranteed possession of their lands. But relations between the Maori and pakeha, although harmonious in some regions, soured in others. Causes were varied and complex, but the most common feature was disagreement over land. A total of five wars were sparked off between Maori and colonial forces in the Maori strongholds of Taranaki, Waikato and the East Coast. Fighting eventually died down and though there was no formal resolution to any of the skirmishes, the pakehas certainly claimed victory.

By the late 19th century the situation had calmed down and the discovery of gold started to bring much prosperity to the land. This and the introduction of wide-scale sheep farming meant that New Zealand became an efficient and mostly self-reliant country. Sweeping social changes such as womens suffrage, social security, the encouragement of trade unions and the introduction of childcare services, cemented New Zealands reputation as a country committed to egalitarian reform.


New Zealand was given dominion status in the British Empire in 1907 and granted autonomy by Britain in 1931; independence, however, was not formally proclaimed until 1947. Internationally, New Zealand was hailed during the mid-1980s for its anti-nuclear stance. This included a ban on nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed vessels from its waters, putting it at odds with the US, and its opposition to French nuclear testing in the Pacific. France controversially tried to counter this, to much outrage but little penalty, by blowing up the Greenpeace vesselRainbow Warrior as it sat in Auckland Harbour.

Today agriculture and tourism are the economic mainstays and there is also a growing film industry. The Maori population is now increasing faster than the pakeha and resurgence in Maoritanga (Maori culture) has had a major and lasting impact on New Zealand society. In spite of concerted efforts towards cultural integration between the Maori and pakeha, the New Zealand governments clumsy attempt to offer financial reparations has resulted in an upsurge of militant Maori protests over land rights. The issue of reconciliation remains at the top of the political agenda. Of New Zealands population around 4 million, 76% are NZ European (pakeha) mainly of British descent, 14% are NZ indigenous Maori, 5.5% are Pacific Island Polynesians and about 4.5% are Asian.

Many Pacific islands are experiencing a rapid population shift from remote and undeveloped islands to the big city. Auckland is very much the big city of the South Pacific, with the greatest concentration of Polynesians on earth. Asian migration is also increasing due to recent immigration incentives and there are also sizeable Indian and East Asian communities in Auckland.


With only about 14 people per sq km, NZ is lightly populated by most countries standards, except perhaps its bigger, emptier neighbour Australia with just 2.3 people per sq km. Although it once had a greater population than the North Island, the South Island is now the place to go for elbow-room - its has barely more inhabitants than Auckland. In fact, despite its rural base, 70% of New Zealanders live in urban areas - Auckland alone has 29% of the entire population.

Why study in New Zealand?
Universities and colleges in New Zealand
Student visa requirements
Embassy in India

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