New Zealand is an island country located in the Pacific Ocean, and is made up of two separate islands. New Zealand has a very strong market economy, with dairy products, meat, forestry products, and fruit making up its top exports.
New Zealand has a temperate climate that can result in cold winters, and sub-tropical weather in the summer. Due to its proximity to the ocean and large mountain ranges, the weather in New Zealand can be very different between the North and South of the country. New Zealand experiences winter from July to August, while December to February are the hottest months.
New Zealand is 13 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+13), and business hours in New Zealand are quite common, with 9-5, 40-hour work weeks being the norm.
Language is an interesting aspect of New Zealand culture. Although English is by far the most widely spoken language in the nation, the two other official languages are Māori; spoken by less than 5% of the population, and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).
As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, New Zealand’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. However much like Canada, her role is mostly ceremonial. The democratically elected Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government and maintains executive power. Bill English is the current Prime Minister as of December 12th, 2016, having taken office not through election, but because the previous Prime Minister resigned.
New Zealand is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It currently has over 11 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in force, and has concluded (or is in negotiations for) eight more FTAs.
For more information about New Zealand’s trade agreements, visit https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/free-trade-agreements/