- a country in the S Pacific, SE of Australia, consisting of North Island, South Island, and adjacent small islands: a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 103,416 sq. mi. (267,845 sq. km). Capital: Wellington.
- an independent dominion within the Commonwealth, occupying two main islands (the North Island and the South Island), Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, and a number of minor islands in the SE Pacific: original Māori inhabitants ceded sovereignty to the British government in 1840; became a dominion in 1907; a major world exporter of dairy products, wool, and meat. Official languages: English and Māori. Religion: Christian majority, nonreligious and Māori minorities. Currency: New Zealand dollar. Capital: Wellington. Pop: 4 365 113 (2013 est). Area: 270 534 sq km (104 454 sq miles)
from Dutch Nieuw Zeeland, literally “new sea land,” but chiefly a reference to the Dutch province of Zeeland. Discovered 1647 by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and originally named Staaten Landt; the name was changed the following year by Dutch authorities. Nation in the southern Pacific Ocean containing two principal islands — North Island and South Island — and several small outlying islands. Its capital is Wellington, and its largest city is Auckland.