218. New Zealand (Listen and Read)

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218. New Zealand
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New Zealand is a country that is located in the South Pacific ocean.
The country is made up of two large islands,
the North Island and the South Island,
which are separated by a narrow channel of water.
Although New Zealand has many beautiful mountains and forests,
much of the land is used for farming.
In fact, New Zealand has almost 70 million sheep, but only 4 million people!
New Zealand's farms are also famous for their delicious fruit, especially apples and kiwi fruit.
About 10% of the people who live in New Zealand belong to an ethnic group called the Maori.
The Maori came to New Zealand by boats from small Polynesian islands.
They arrived about 1000 years ago,
and lived by farming, hunting, and fishing.
About 200 years ago, many more people came to New Zealand.
These people were from the British Isles,
and they came to New Zealand to begin farms.
Today, most of the people of New Zealand are descended from people who came from Britain.
During the 19th century, some wars started between the Maori and the British settlers.
After years of fighting, the two sides signed a treaty to end the wars.
Today the Maori have achieved equal rights,
but there are still some disagreements about land ownership.
In recent years, many more people have come to New Zealand,
mostly from Asian countries and from other Pacific Islands.
There are three large cities in New Zealand.
Auckland is the largest city, with more than 1 million people.
It is located in the northern part of North Island.
The capital city of New Zealand is Wellington.
It is located in the southern part of the North Island.
The largest city of the South Island is Christchurch.
The cities of New Zealand are very modern and clean.
Many tourists enjoy visiting the cities of New Zealand,
but they also enjoy the beautiful countryside.
New Zealand is an excellent place for outdoor recreation, such as climbing or walking.
Most of New Zealand has a mild, or temperate, climate.
The summer is not very hot, and the winter is not very cold.
Because New Zealand is in the southern part of the world,
summer begins in December and winter begins in June.
The South Island is cooler than the North Island,
but both islands have similar amounts of rain.
This rain gives the fields and forests of New Zealand a beautiful green colour.
Each year, many tourists visit New Zealand,
to experience the beautiful countryside and the interesting cultures of its people.
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