countryaah, New Zealand's isolated location and modest home market
have periodically created financial problems. The business
sector is mainly based on smaller industrial enterprises and
the service industries. In the second half of the 1980s, a
liberal market economy policy was introduced, in which much
of the political control of business development was
abolished, and in 2005, New Zealand ranked at the top of the
World Bank's ranking list, in the “business-friendly
economy” class, ahead of Singapore, USA, Canada and Norway.
Although agriculture comprises a relatively small share
of GDP (below 10%), agriculture is still very important for
the country's economy. Agricultural products comprise a
large proportion of the export value, while much of
industrial production is based on the processing of
agricultural products. Over 90% of lamb meat, about 80% of
the beef, and about 3/4 of sheep
meat exported. New Zealand alone accounts for 40% of world
trade in sheep and lamb meat and around 30% of world wool
production. The most important export products of economic
value are dairy products such as cheese, milk powder, butter
After all agricultural subsidies were removed in the
1980s, there has been a widening of production. The number
of sheep has been declining, while deer and goats have been
new focus areas. The most important agricultural crops are
wheat, barley and peas, which are mainly grown on the
Canterbury plain in Christchurch. Fruit is an important
export product and is grown at Nelson furthest north on the
South Island and at Napier and Auckland on the North Island.
New Zealand produces approx. 1/4 of
the world's kiwis; otherwise apples and pears are grown. The
country is also a significant exporter of wine.
Agriculture is scientifically and efficiently run, and
the farms are large and specialized. In total, half of the
country's land is used as grazing land.
The country's 200 mile economic zone is the world's
fourth largest, and has an area of approx. 13 times larger
than the land area. The zone mainly includes nutrient-poor
deep-water areas, and therefore the marine catches are
relatively small in relation to the size of the area.
However, marine species are an important export product
since 90% of the catch value is exported. Aquaculture with
mussel, salmon and oyster farming comprises a significant
part of the production value.
There are strong restrictions on foreign participation in
the country's fishing. Over half of the commercial fishing
quotas are controlled by the indigenous people of Maori.
About 30% of the total area is covered by forest. Of
this, around 1/5 planted. New
Zealand has a climate suitable for the operation of forest
plantations which are mainly located on the North Island.
Almost all harvesting takes place in the newly planted
Natural gas is extracted at several fields in the
Taranaki region. The largest of them, the Maui field on the
continental shelf, is expected to run empty in 2006. A new
larger production area near New Plymouth is expected to
become operational in 2006. Natural gas is used both for
fuel production for cars and in gas power plants. The
country has large coal reserves, but most of it is of low
quality. The most valuable deposits of coal are found on the
west coast of the South Island. The oil reserves are
relatively small and 80% of consumption must be imported.
Otherwise, iron sand and smaller quantities of gold, as
well as limestone and sand, are used for the building
industry. Along large parts of the west coast, the sand
contains titanium magnetite or ilmenite, from 1968 utilized
at the Glenbrook steel mill.
Primary energy consumption in 2016 was estimated at 879
peta joule (PJ), with an import share of 25 per cent. 40 per
cent of energy consumption was based on renewable energy,
while fossil energy consumption was distributed on oil, 34
per cent, natural gas, 21 per cent and coal, 6 per cent. Per
capita consumption was 186 GJ.
In 2017, the generation of electrical energy was 42 TWh.
New Zealand's power generation is based on a high proportion
of renewable energy, which in 2017 accounted for 82 per
cent, distributed on hydropower, 59 per cent, geothermal
energy, 17 per cent and wind power, 5 per cent. Gas power
and coal power accounted for 15 and 3 per cent respectively.
The large dependence on hydropower periodically leads to
power shortages during drought periods. As much as 2/3 of
the hydropower is produced on South Island (South Island),
while the largest hydropower plants on the North Island
(North Island) are located on the Waikato River. All
geothermal power plants are located in the North Island.
The industry primarily includes companies that process
agricultural products, factories that produce various
consumer products for the domestic market, car repair shops,
larger sawmills, cellulose and paper mills. A small domestic
market and competition from import goods are hampering
industrial development. There is an oil refinery at
Whangarei north of Auckland, a steel mill at Glenbrook south
of Auckland, an aluminum plant at Bluff furthest south, a
larger integrated cellulose and paper mill in Kinleith and
an integrated sawmill and cellulose mill at Whirinaki near
Napier. The industry also includes the production of a
number of niche products where New Zealand has comparative
advantages. These include the development of new technology
in food technology and the production of products for
outdoor activities such as climbing equipment, camping
equipment and mountain bikes.
The tourism industry is an important contributor to the
development of the country's modern economy. New Zealand,
with its clean and safe image, is an attractive tourist
destination. Natural areas that include high mountains,
glaciers, lakes, forests, fjord landscapes, volcanoes, hot
springs and beaches are alluring to foreigners who spend an
average of 21 days in the country. In the period 2000–2004,
more than 2 million foreigners visited the country each
New Zealand's foreign trade has been hit by EU import
restrictions, and the UK's share of its exports in
particular has fallen. As the European market has subsided,
New Zealand has focused on other markets, especially
Australia, Japan and the United States. The most important
export goods come from livestock farming. New Zealand is one
of the world's largest exporters of sheep meat, wool, butter
and cheese. In addition, fruits and vegetables, fish,
minerals, chemicals, wood products, metals and metal
products are exported. Imports mainly include machinery and
transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum
The most important trading partner is Australia, with
whom the country has a financial cooperation agreement.
Other important trading partners are the United States,
Japan, China and the United Kingdom.
Foreign trade as a percentage by country 2003
Exports by percentage by main product groups 2003
|Foods and live animals
|hence meat and meat products
|dairy products, eggs
|fruits and vegetables
|Wood products, cork
|Machines and transport equipment
Imports by percentage by main product groups 2003
|Foods and live animals
|Petroleum and petroleum products
|Paper and stationery
|Clothes and accessories
|Machines and transport equipment
|including office machines and computer equipment
|telecommunications and audio equipment
|Basic industrial products
Transport and Communications
New Zealand has a very high car density compared to the
population. In Auckland, the traffic problems are so great
that they hamper the economy. The country's total road
network is approx. 95 000 km. The total railway network is
3912 km (2001), of which 500 km is electrified. There are 13
major ports of which the most important are Auckland,
Tauranga, Wellington, Lyttelton (Christchurch) and Port
Chalmers (Dunedin). The islands are linked by ferry services
between Wellington, Picton and Lyttelton.
More than 90% of foreign trade is by ship, but the
country's own trading fleet is relatively small. Much of the
traffic between North and South Island is by air, and the
airline network is well developed both at home and abroad.
There are international airports in Wellington, Auckland and