) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.
Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a Dominion.
Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.7 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders.
The House of Representatives is democratically elected and a government is formed from the party or coalition with the majority of seats.