New Zealand is a beautiful country situated in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of two main islands, and is roughly the size of Japan, California or Great Britain. Our cities, scenery and cultures are vibrant and diverse. New Zealand has a multi-cultural population of 4 million and is home to people from the Pacific Islands, various parts of Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Indigenous Maori make uparound 14 percent of the population.
Most major religions are represented in New Zealand and Human Rights Legislation guarantees freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion, which is seen as a matter of personal choice. Major cities have churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and other centres of worship for most religions. Homestay families and student hostels can ensure that religious dietary requirements are respected.
New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, so January and February are the warmest months, autumn is from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November. The climate is temperate with relatively mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. It’s not sub-tropical, except in the far north. The weather varies a lot between different geographical regions.
For a satellite map picture of New Zealand and its weather visit the following website : home.nzcity.co.nz/weather
During 2005, new immigration regulations relating to a student’s ability to work whilst studying, and to post study work opportunities, were introduced. These student policy changes came into effect on 4 July 2005.