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location

The population is generally divided between the two main islands, the North and South. Roughly 3/4 of the population live on the North Island, with 1 in 3 living in Auckland. The following table outlines the major cities:

 main urban areas
Auckland1 050 000Invercargill52 000
Wellington329 000New Plymounth48 520
Christchurch318 000Nelson50 000
Hamilton153 000Whangarei44 180
Napier/Hastings112 000Wanganui41 210
Dunedin112 000Gisborne31 480
Palmerston North75 000Timaru27 640
Tauranga76 000Kapiti27 380
Rotorua55 000Blenheim23 637


ethnicity
Roughly 73 percent of New Zealand's population, of approximately 3.7 million, are of European (mainly british) descent. A further 11-12 percent belong to the Maori people, a pacific island group who arrived in New Zealand around 1200 AD. Four percent belong to other pacific island ethnicities, while other minorites, especially Asian, make up the rest.
 
Approximately 96 percent of the Maori live in the North Island. There are more Samoan people living in Auckland than in Samoa, and about 3/4 of the Niuean population live there also, making it the largest concentration of Polynesians in the world.
religion
New Zealand is predominatly Christian, with the most common denominations being Anglican, at 22 percent, Presbyterian, at 16 percent, and Roman Catholic, at 15 percent. Non-religious people and athiests account for 21 percent, and other minorities, including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and other Christian denominations, include Ratana, a Maori religion, account for the rest.
 
Churches are common all over the country, with mosques, temples and synogogues being found in many main centres.
language
The official languages of New Zealand are English and Maori, although only less than 5 percent speak Maori fluently, and much less as a first language. Almost 100 percent of New Zealanders speak English, and other Polynesian, European, and other languages are spoken by small minorities.

Some Maori Words
kia ora hello
haere-mai welcome
kai food
haere-ra goodbye
More

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