New Zealand: Introduction

New Zealand is an island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands. The geography of New Zealand is highly varies, from snowcapped mountains to lowland plains. The government system is a parliamentary democracy with a Commonwealth realm. The chief of state is the Queen of the United Kingdom and the head of government is the Prime Minister. New Zealand has a free market economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. New Zealand is a member of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).