New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is made up of two large landmasses, the North Island and the South Island, and a number of smaller islands. It is situated roughly one thousand five hundred kilometres, or nine hundred miles, east of Australia across the Tasman Sea. It is roughly six hundred miles, or one thousand kilometres, south of the Pacific Island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.
It is home to the indigenous Maori people who migrated to New Zealand from Polynesia sometime between 1250 and 1300 AD settling on the islands that would become New Zealand. The country has a vibrant Maori culture with the indigenous people granted immense respect by the New Zealand Government. New Zealand is shared by the Maori and New Zealanders of European-descent with both cultural groups having equal status as New Zealand citizens. However, the nation's colonial history was filled with cultural conflict between the British settlers and the Maori with numerous military conflicts. A dark and shameful part of this colonial history saw the Maori people treated as second-class citizens, in a similar fashion to other native peoples in British colonies across the world, and the Maori language was banned for many years. However, the modern nation is deeply committed to protecting the Maori people and their heritage as well as creating unity between all New Zealanders. Today, the majority of the New Zealand population is of European descent with the Maori sadly declining.
Due to its remoteness it was one of the last landmasses to be settled by humans and during its isolation it developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal and plant life. It's capital city is Wellington which is located in the far south of the North Island on the shores of the Cook Strait. The nation has a relatively small presence in diplomatic affairs on a global scale but a large diplomatic influence in Oceania and the Pacific Islands. It has dependent territories in the Pacific Ocean (Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands) and a national territory in Antartica (Ross Dependency).
New Zealand has maintained a strongly independent foreign policy for most of its history. The nation does not give in to political manipulation by other nations instead making its own decisions. Despite this strong stance of political self-determination it is a firm ally of the United States often taking part in joint taskforces with the US Army. Its troops primarily serve in a peace-keeping role but have been increasingly taking active combat roles in recent military conflicts acting alongside the United States. The nation has long had a reputation as a peace-keeper using its military forces to maintain order in war-torn countries rather than involving itself in invasions. It is also a major Australian ally with the two nations sharing a strong sense of military brotherhood that dates back as far as the First World with the ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps).
New Zealand also plays a major role in supporting developing nations. The most notable example of this role is its relationship with the developing nation of Tonga. New Zealand currently operates a major employment scheme that recruits seasonal workers from Tonga to work in industries such as horticulture and viticulture. It also supplies humanitarian aid to Tonga as well as assisting in the event of natural disasters. This support from New Zealand has had an immense positive impact in Tonga to such an extent that it has been able to dramatically progress as a nation. Money sent home from seasonal work in New Zealand and support from the country has allowed Tongan villages to construct public amenities, undertake public works such as road construction and has generally allowed the nation to improve the standard of living of its people. As a nation New Zealand has earned a reputation for being a peace-keeper and humanitarian champion.
New Zealander CharactersEdit
References in the GTA Expanded UniverseEdit
- New Zealand makes its first appearance in the Grand Theft Auto series during a Weazel News political segment in Brotherhood Rising. The New Zealand Consulate in Los Santos is featured briefly along with a shot of the New Zealand flag flying from a tall flagpole outside the consulate. The segment reveals that New Zealand is also a member of the Civilization Committee with a shot of the New Zealand flag flying from a flagpole outside the organization's headquarters. The US President and the New Zealand Prime Minister are seen in close discussion at the end of the news segment.
- The country is mentioned several times by Isaac Hayes. He becomes agitated when a patron at a local bar mistakenly identifies him as being Australian. Isaac, despite holding US Citizenship, is immensely proud of his birth country and immediately verbally assaults the unfortunate man for his mistake.
- New Zealand Army soldiers, identified by the New Zealand flag on their shoulder patches, briefly appear in a Weazel News segment on the Middle East. The soldiers are seen serving with US Army soldiers and are seen using American-made assault rifles during the course of news story.
- International flights from New Zealand are seen arriving at Los Santos International Airport when Isaac visits the globally famous airport on club business. He states that he traveled to the United States on an international flight operated by New Zealand's flag carrier airline.
- Isaac mentions that the New Zealand Police use the Cheval Fugitive as their standard patrol car. He makes the comment after noticing an LSPD patrol car watching him and Angus Martin at the Mirror Park Tavern.
- New Zealand was the first country outside the United States to recieve an official chapter of the Hells Angels MC. It now hosts a total of four chapters which will be reflected in the GTA Universe by four Angels of Death MC chapters. The country also hosts two chapters of the Outlaws MC. This will be reflected in the GTA Universe by two chapters of The Lost MC (The Lost MC is based on the Outlaws MC).
- New Zealand officially gained independence from Britain in 1902 as a Dominion in the British Empire. It became a fully independent nation in the British Empire which gave it self-governance but also allowed it to remain close to Britain. Despite this independence Britain retained a strong sway over New Zealand with the former colony maintaining a voluntary sense of commitment to the British Empire. The country again asserted its independence when it did not ratify the Constitution of Australia and refused to take part in the federation of Australia, along with Fiji, which would have seen it become a state of Australia. It is now a member of the British-led Commonwealth of Nations officially known as the Commonwealth of New Zealand.