New Zealand is a beautifully diverse country that comprises two main islands and around 600 smaller islands. The island country is located in the south-western Pacific Ocean and is part of the continent of Oceania.

Population estimate (2019): 4,776,361

Capital City: Wellington

Currency used: New Zealand Dollar

Gross National Income per capita (2012) (PPP international $): 30,750

Time zone: GMT + 12

Population growth rate (2019): 0.80%

Total fertility rate per woman: 2.02

Languages: English, Maori and New Zealand sign language are the official languages.

Key ethnic groups: 74% of European descent, 14.9% Maori, 11.8% Asian.

Religion: 44.3% Christian, 2.1% Hindu, 1.4% Buddhist, 1.1% Muslim, 1.4% “other religions”, 38.5% no religious affiliations.

Literacy: 99%

Climate: New Zealand has a varied climate with weather that can change unexpectedly. As most the country lies close to the coast temperatures are mostly fairly mild. The north of the country has a subtropical weather during the summer, but temperatures generally decrease the further south you go, with lows of -10ºc observed in the most southern part. Summer in New Zealand is from December to February, during which the average daytime temperature is 20-25ºc. Winter is from June to August where the average daytime temperature is 12-16ºc.

Health statistics:

Life expectancy at birth (2016): 80/84 (male/female)

Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years: 81/51 (per 1000 population, 2016)

Total expenditure on health per capita (2014): $4,018

Number of doctors per 1000 population: 3.0

Nursing and midwifery personnel density (per 1000 population, 2016): 11.2

Neonatal mortality rate (per 1000 live births, 2017): 3.9

Maternal mortality ratio (per 100.000 live births, 2015): 11

Births attended by skilled health personnel (2013): 96.3%

Top 10 causes of death:

Coronary heart disease: 5,719 people / 21.84% of total

Stroke: 2,543 / 9.71%

Alzheimers/Dementia: 2,090 / 7.98%

Lung disease: 1,763 / 6.73%

Lung cancers: 1,679 / 6.41%

Colon-rectum cancers: 1,347 / 5.14%

Diabetes mellitus: 870 / 3.32%

Influenza & pneumonia: 863 / 3.30%

Breast cancer: 693 / 2.65%

Prostate cancer: 652 / 2.49%

Healthcare system

New Zealand has a very well developed healthcare system, comprising public and private sectors offering high standards of care. Within the public system, all permanent residents have access to a range of health services that are publicly financed through taxes. The publicly funded services include preventive care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, primary care provided by private practitioners (excluding optometry, adult dental services orthodontics and physiotherapy), prescription drugs, mental health, dental care for school-children, home help, disability support services and hospice care. The majority of hospital care is provided by public hospitals, although private hospital care is also available. All emergency and intensive care is provided at public hospitals, where services are delivered by consultant specialists and house surgeons. 

Private healthcare is mainly provided by private outpatient specialist consultants and private hospitals. A number of private health insurance packages can be obtained from various types of organisations, including non-profits and for-profit companies. They are primarily used for covering cost-sharing requirements, elective surgeries in private hospitals, private specialist consultations, and usually ensure faster access to treatment. Approximately ⅓ of the population in New Zealand has some type of private insurance.