New Zealand Population: 4,545,627


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The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand sometime between A.D. 1250 and 1300. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Great Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. That same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both world wars. New Zealand's full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.

    Consists of two main islands and a number of smaller islands; South Island, the larger main island, is the 12th largest island in the world and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps; North Island is the 14th largest island in the world and is not as mountainous, but it is marked by volcanism

  • New Zealand lies along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire
  • almost 90% of the population lives in cities and over three-quarters on North Island; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world
Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Australia
Geographic coordinates: 41 00 S, 174 00 E
Area: total: 268,838 sq km
land: 264,537 sq km
water: 4,301 sq km

note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

Size comparison: almost twice the size of North Carolina; about the size of Colorado
Land Boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 15,134 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: temperate with sharp regional contrasts
Terrain: predominately mountainous with large coastal plains
Natural resources: natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone
Land use: agricultural land: 43.2% (2011 est.) arable land: 1.8% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 41.1% (2011 est.) forest: 31.4% (2011 est.)
other: 25.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 7,210 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity volcanism: significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (2,797 m), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul Island, Tongariro, and White Island; see note 2 under "Geography - note"
Current Environment Issues: water quality and availability; rapid urbanisation; deforestation; soil erosion and degradation; native flora and fauna hard-hit by invasive species; negative effects of climate change
International Environment Agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation
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Nationality: noun: New Zealander(s)
adjective: New Zealand
Ethnic groups: European 71.2%, Maori 14.1%, Asian 11.3%, Pacific peoples 7.6%, Middle Eastern, Latin American, African 1.1%, other 1.6%, not stated or unidentified 5.4% (2013 est.) note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one ethnic group
Languages: English (de facto official) 89.8%, Maori (de jure official) 3.5%, Samoan 2%, Hindi 1.6%, French 1.2%, Northern Chinese 1.2%, Yue 1%, other or not stated 20.5%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official) (2013 est.) note: shares sum to 120.8% due to multiple responses on census
Religions: Christian 44.3% (Catholic 11.6%, Anglican 10.8%, Presbyterian and Congregational 7.8%, Methodist, 2.4%, Pentecostal 1.8%, other 9.9%), Hindu 2.1%, Buddhist 1.4%, Maori Christian 1.3%, Muslim 1.1%, other religion 1.4% (includes Judaism, Spiritualism and New Age religions, Baha'i, Asian religions other than Buddhism), no religion 38.5%, not stated or unidentified 8.2%, objected to answering 4.1% (2013 est.)

note: based on the 2013 census of the usually resident population; percentages add up to more than 100% because respondents were able to identify more than one religion
Population: 4,545,627 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 19.62% (male 457,071 /female 434,789)
15-24 years: 13.16% (male 307,574 /female 290,771)
25-54 years: 39.58% (male 902,909 /female 896,398)
55-64 years: 12.06% (male 266,855 /female 281,507)
65 years and over: 15.57% (male 327,052 /female 380,701) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.9 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 30.5 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 22.4 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 4.5 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 38.1 years
male: 37.2 years
female: 39 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.77% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 13.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 7.6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 86.5% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 1.01% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 1.557 million Auckland
411,000 WELLINGTON (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 27.8 years (2009 est.) note: median age at first birth
Maternal mortality rate: 11 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.4 years male: 79.2 years
female: 83.6 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.01 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 3.03 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 2.8 beds/1,000 population (2013)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,700 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <100 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 30.8% (2016)
Education expenditures: 6.3% of GDP (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 19 years male: 18 years female: 20 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 12.7% male: 12.4% female: 13% (2017 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: New Zealand
abbreviation: NZ
etymology: Dutch explorer Abel TASMAN was the first European to reach New Zealand in 1642; he named it Staten Landt, but Dutch cartographers renamed it Nova Zeelandia in 1645 after the Dutch province of Zeeland; British explorer Captain James COOK subsequently anglicized the name to New Zealand when he mapped the islands in 1769
Government type: parliamentary democracy (New Zealand Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Capital: name: Wellington
geographic coordinates: 41 18 S, 174 47 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April

note: New Zealand has two time zones: New Zealand standard time (UTC+12) and Chatham Islands time (45 minutes in advance of New Zealand standard time; UTC+12:45)
etymology: named in 1840 after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victorious general at the Battle of Waterloo
Administrative divisions: 16 regions and 1 territory*; Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Chatham Islands*, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington, West Coast
Dependent areas: Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
Independence: 26 September 1907 (from the UK)
National holiday: Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)Anzac Day (commemorated as the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)
Constitution: history: New Zealand has no single constitution document; the Constitution Act 1986, effective 1 January 1987, includes only part of the uncodified constitution; others include a collection of statutes or "acts of Parliament," the Treaty of Waitangi, Orders in Council, letters patent, court decisions, and unwritten conventions amendments: proposed as bills by Parliament or by referenda called either by the government or by citizens; passage of a bill as an act normally requires two separate readings with committee reviews in between to make changes and corrections, a third reading approved by the House of Representatives membership or by the majority of votes in a referendum, and assent to by the governor-general; passage of amendments to reserved constitutional provisions affecting the term of Parliament, electoral districts, and voting restrictions requires approval by 75 percent of the House membership or the majority of votes in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2014 (2018)
Legal system: common law system, based on English model, with special legislation and land courts for the Maori
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor-General Dame Patricia Lee REDDY (since 28 September 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Jacinda ARDERN (since 26 October 2017); Deputy Prime Minister Winston PETERS (since 26 October 2017)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor-general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor-general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor-general; note - Prime Minister ARDERN heads up a minority coalition government consisting of the Labor and New Zealand First parties with confidence and supply support from the Green Party
Legislative branch: description: unicameral House of Representatives - commonly called Parliament (usually 120 seats; 71 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies, including 7 Maori constituencies, by simple majority vote and 49 directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 3-year terms)

elections: last held on 23 September 2017 (next to be held by November 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party - National Party 44.5%, Labor Party 36.9%, NZ First 7.2%, Green Party 6.3%, ACT Party 0.5%; seats by party - National Party 56, Labor Party 46, NZ First 9, Green Party 8, ACT Party 1; composition - men 74, women 46, percent of women 38.3%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 5 justices, including the chief justice); note - the Supreme Court in 2004 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final appeals court judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general upon the recommendation of the attorney- general; justices appointed until compulsory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; tribunals and authorities; district courts; specialized courts for issues related to employment, environment, family, Maori lands, youth, military; tribunals
Political parties and leaders: ACT New Zealand [David SEYMOUR] Green Party [James SHAW] Mana Movement [Hone HARAWIRA] (formerly Mana Party) Maori Party [Che WILSON and Kaapua SMITH] New Zealand First Party or NZ First [Winston PETERS] New Zealand Labor Party [Jacinda ARDERN] New Zealand National Party [Simon BRIDGES] United Future New Zealand [Damian LIGHT]
International organization participation: ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF, SICA (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): Southern Cross constellation (four, five-pointed stars), kiwi (bird), silver fern;
national colors: black, white, red (ochre)
National anthem: name: God Defend New Zealand
lyrics/music: Thomas BRACKEN [English], Thomas Henry SMITH [Maori]/John Joseph WOODS

note: adopted 1940 as national song, adopted 1977 as co-national anthem; New Zealand has two national anthems with equal status; as a commonwealth realm, in addition to "God Defend New Zealand," "God Save the Queen" serves as a national anthem (see United Kingdom); "God Save the Queen" normally played only when a member of the royal family or the governor-general is present; in all other cases, "God Defend New Zealand" is played
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Timothy John GROSER (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-4800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5227
consulate(s) general: Honolulu (HI), Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Scott P. BROWN (since 27 June 2017) note - also accredited to Samoa
embassy: 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington
mailing address: P. O. Box 1190, Wellington; PSC 467, Box 1, APO AP 96531-1034
telephone: [64] (4) 462-6000
FAX: [64] (4) 499-0490
consulate(s) general: Auckland
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Over the past 40 years, the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy, dependent on concessionary British market access, to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes, but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. Per capita income rose for 10 consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, fueling a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for policymakers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007 and 2008. The higher rate attracted international capital inflows, which strengthened the currency and housing market while aggravating the current account deficit. Rising house prices, especially in Auckland, have become a political issue in recent years, as well as a policy challenge in 2016 and 2017, as the ability to afford housing has declined for many. Expanding New Zealand’s network of free trade agreements remains a top foreign policy priority. New Zealand was an early promoter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and was the second country to ratify the agreement in May 2017. Following the United States’ withdrawal from the TPP in January 2017, on 10 November 2017 the remaining 11 countries agreed on the core elements of a modified agreement, which they renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In November 2016, New Zealand opened negotiations to upgrade its FTA with China; China is one of New Zealand’s most important trading partners.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $189 billion (2017 est.) $183.4 billion (2016 est.) $176.1 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $201.4 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2017 est.) 4.1% (2016 est.) 4.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $39,000 (2017 est.) $38,600 (2016 est.) $37,900 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 21% of GDP (2017 est.) 21.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 20.2% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 57.2% (2017 est.) government consumption: 18.2% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 23.4% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0.3% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 27% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -26.1% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 5.7% (2017 est.) industry: 21.5% (2017 est.) services: 72.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: dairy products, sheep, beef, poultry, fruit, vegetables, wine, seafood, wheat and barley
Industries: agriculture, forestry, fishing, logs and wood articles, manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, real estate services, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 1.8% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 2.655 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 6.6%
industry: 20.7%
services: 72.7% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.7% (2017 est.) 5.1% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 36.2 (1997)
Budget: revenues: 74.11 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 70.97 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 36.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): 1.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 31.7% of GDP (2017 est.) 33.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March note: this is the fiscal year for tax purposes
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.9% (2017 est.) 0.6% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$5.471 billion (2017 est.) -$4.171 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $37.35 billion (2017 est.) $33.61 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: dairy products, meat and edible offal, logs and wood articles, fruit, crude oil, wine
Exports - partners: China 22.4%, Australia 16.4%, US 9.9%, Japan 6.1% (2017)
Imports: $39.74 billion (2017 est.) $35.53 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum and products, mechanical machinery, vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, textiles
Imports - partners: China 19%, Australia 12.1%, US 10.5%, Japan 7.3%, Germany 5.3%, Thailand 4.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $20.68 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $17.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $91.62 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $84.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $84.19 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $70.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $16.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $18.03 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $80.05 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $74.35 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $74.42 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar - 1.416 (2017 est.) 1.4341 (2016 est.) 1.4341 (2015 est.) 1.4279 (2014 est.) 1.2039 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 42.53 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 39.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 9.301 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 23% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 58% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 20% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 31,480 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 26,440 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 108,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 51.8 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 115,100 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 169,100 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 1,782 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 56,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Natural gas - production: 5.097 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 5.182 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 33.7 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 37.75 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 6.4 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 142 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent domestic and international systems; mobile and P2P services soar; LTE rates some of the fastest in the world; investment and development of infrastructure enable network capabilities to propel the digital economy, digital media sector along with e-government, e-commerce across the country (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 30 per 100 and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership 142 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 64; the Southern Cross submarine cable system provides links to Australia, Fiji, and the US; satellite earth stations - 8 (1 Inmarsat - Pacific Ocean, 7 other)
Broadcast media: state-owned Television New Zealand operates multiple TV networks and state-owned Radio New Zealand operates 3 radio networks and an external shortwave radio service to the South Pacific region; a small number of national commercial TV and radio stations and many regional commercial television and radio stations are available; cable and satellite TV systems are available, as are a range of streaming services (2019)
Internet country code: .nz
Internet users: total: 3,958,642
percent of population: 88.5% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 123 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 39
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 23 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 84
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 33 (2013)
under 914 m: 48 (2013)
Pipelines: 331 km condensate, 2500 km gas, 172 km liquid petroleum gas, 288 km oil, 198 km refined products (2018)
Railways: total 4,128 km
narrow gauge: 4,128 km 1.067-m gauge (506 km electrified) (2018)
Roadways: total 94,000 km
(2017) paved: 61,600 km (includes 199 km of expressways) (2017)
unpaved: 32,400 km (2017)
Merchant marine: total 111

by type: general cargo 15, oil tanker 6, other 90 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Auckland, Lyttelton, Manukau Harbor, Marsden Point, Tauranga, Wellington
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Military branches: New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF): New Zealand Army, Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Air Force (2019)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription; 3 years of secondary education required; must be a citizen of NZ, the UK, Australia, Canada, or the US, and resident of NZ for the previous 5 years (2018)
Military expenditures: 1.1% of GDP (2017) 1.13% of GDP (2016) 1.11% of GDP (2015) 1.13% of GDP (2014) 1.12% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Ross Dependency)
Illicit drugs: significant consumer of amphetamines
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