New Zealand is an island in the Pacific Ocean, located hundreds of miles from Australia, its nearest neighbor. It is filled with one of the most diverse groups of plant and animal life in the world, thanks to the remoteness of the island. Although many are extinct due to the arrival of humans, the country is still home to many unique species.
New Zealand has a high standard of living, with the country exporting a number of agricultural products to both North American and European countries. The culture of the islands is based on Maori and British cultures, with Maori actually being one of the official languages. However, English is the language that is actually used by most citizens. New Zealand has its own government with councils and territorial authorities, although the head of state is still Queen Elizabeth II. She is represented by a Governor-General, as in other former British colonies such as Canada.
New Zealand is a member state of the United Nations, as well as the Commonwealth of Nations which is composed of mostly former British Empire territories.