Otázka: The Commonwealth of Nations
I would like to speak about The Commonwealth of Nations. At first I would like to tell you something about Basic facts of The Commonwealth of Nations. The second part will be about more specific information. The third part about New Zealand one of the member the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Commonwealth is a name for countries which were part of the British Empire before they became independent. This group of states works together on many important matters, like business, health and the fight against poverty. Now there are 53 member countries of theCommonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II of theUnited Kingdomis the official head of the Commonwealth. She is also head of state of a lot of the countries of the Commonwealth; A Governor General takes care of the day-to-day matters of theCommonwealth of Nations. But, theUnited Kingdomor the Governor General does not have any direct or indirect control over these countries. In fact, all the 53 members are independent countries with their own governments.
These countries have come together to form an association with some common aims:
– To increase economic cooperation among the member countries.
– To encourage democracy in the member countries.
– To ensure that member countries follow human rights
The total population of all the 53 countries of the Commonwealth is 1.975 billion. This is about 31 % of the population of the whole world. The four largest Commonwealth nations by population are theRepublicofIndiaat 1.1 billion,Pakistanat 160 million,Bangladeshat 140 million andNigeriaat 137 million.Tuvaluis the smallest member, with only 11,000 people. These 53 countries cover an area of 12.1 million square miles. This is about 21 % of the total land area of the world. The three largest Commonwealth nations by area areCanadaat 3.8 million square miles,Australiaat 3.0 million square miles, andIndiaat 714 thousand square miles.
New Zealandis located in south-west Pacific Ocean, south-east ofAustraliaand consist of two large islands -NorthIslandandSouth Island- and many small islands. It covers an area of 268 675 sq km. The capital city isWellington(326 900).New Zealandis divided into 93 counties, 9 districts and 3 town districts.New Zealandis larger thanGreat Britain. This country is rolling, hilly and mountainous, there is very little flatland and lowland areas only around the coast. All the larger cities -Auckland(910 200),Christchurch,Hamiltonand Manukau lie onNorthIsland. The South Island has the highest mountains, the Southern Alps (Mount Cook,3 764 m). OnNorth Islandlies the biggest lake – Taupo. There are many glaciers and fjords.New Zealandis one of the first countries to see the Sun at the beginning of each new day. This country is also located in an earthquake zone.
The population is 3 407 277 inhabitants and the main ethnic groups are: Europeans (mostly British 87 %), Maoris (12 %), and other Polynesians. The density of population is quite low. Almost 80 per cent of the population lives on theNorthIsland. The Maori language is the official Language onNew Zealand. New Zealanders are known as KIWIS.
This country has a very pleasant and healthy climate with plenty of sunshine with warm summers and mild winters.
It is a constitutional monarchy. As well asAustraliaNewZealandfollows the British pattern. This country is the member of Commonwealth with the Queen Elizabeth II as the head represented by the Governor-General. The executive power has the Prime Minister and his Cabinet and the legislature is made of two chambers Parliament.
The first settlers of New Zealandwere Polynesian tribes – the Maoris – who migrated from the south Asian mainland and settled these islands during the 14th century. The first European to see New Zealandwas the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman, who discovered its western coast in 1642. Between 1769-77 this country was explored by James Cook. Colonization begun in 19th century. The Maori people were guaranteed protection of their lands. In 1852Britain granted there self-government but there was a strong Maori resistance against it. Many conflicts between the British settlers and the Maoris led to war between 1860-70 and in 1867 Maori got four seats in NZ Parliament. There are no differences in basic legal, education and politic rights between the Europeans and Maori in this time.
New Zealandis a rich agricultural country. The green farmlands are very good for growing vegetables and fruits. So this country is specialized in a sheep breeding. There are five sheeps to one person. The industry is closely connected with agriculture. They are producing wool, food-stuff industry produced meat, butter and cheese. The main natural resources are natural gas and coal. The living standard is one of the highest in the world.
Interesting places and curiosities
New Zealandis world known for its wildlife.
There are many hot springs and geysers and also a lot of volcanic activity at Rotorua district.
Kiwi – a bird and it isNew Zealand’s national symbol.
Possum – a small marsupial animal with a long tail