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Over 2000 kilometres from the nearest major landmass, New Zealand was one of the last places on earth to be colonized by humans. It is blessed with a unique fauna and flora and wealth of different environments ranging from snow-capped alpine peaks, to dramatic jungle-clad fjords, volcanoes, rolling hills and golden beaches. A fiercely independent and innovative nation has emerged from a tough and troubled history to lead the world in taking steps such as giving women the vote and banning nuclear powered or armed vessels from their waters. This title captures the scenic beauty and biological riches of New Zealand, as well as the fascinating history of the intrepid Polynesian, European and Asian peoples who have settled there. A handy guide for the informed tourist, it also serves as a brief and accessible guide to the workings and history of the land's government and economy, in addition to regional attractions and a selection of towns and cities.