New Zealand Economy

From an agricultural to an industrial state

While New Zealand was still a purely agricultural state in the 1980s, it has now developed into an industrial state that exports many goods. However, the agricultural products are still among the country’s most important export goods. Eight percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated through agriculture. Livestock breeding in particular plays a major role here. New Zealand was and is the land of sheep. Not so long ago there were seven sheep for every New Zealander, in the past there were even more, today the sheep are disappearing, but there are still many more than residents.

Keeping cows is also a problem for the environment

But now there are more and more cows because the dairy industry is growing. Not without problems, because the cows are a burden for the environment. In addition to wool, New Zealand also exports meat and dairy products, especially for the Chinese market. Milk or cheese from New Zealand are no longer so rare and this is everywhere in the world. There are also fruits, vegetables, fish and meat from lambs, sheep and cattle.

The industry

The industry processes the food. Then there is the wood industry, but also the manufacture of textiles, machines and chemical products. New Zealand is poor in raw materials, which is why many raw materials such as oil are imported. In addition, various consumer goods, but also cars and machines as well as chemical products. New Zealand trades with Australia, Japan, the USA, the EU, but increasingly also with China and Taiwan. Hydropower is an important energy supplier in Australia.

The country’s major ports are Auckland and Wellington, and there are also international airports here.

The tourism

The second most important industry in New Zealand is tourism. The New Zealand islands attract many people from all over the world. There are many national parks, forest areas, high mountains and everything is easily accessible for tourists. Then there are the wild coasts, the volcanoes and volcanic landscapes and the hot springs, not to forget the flora and fauna.

Adventure vacation or…

For a long time it was mainly young people with backpacks who came to discover the still unknown New Zealand. The center here is Queenstown, a city on the edge of the New Zealand Alps, where almost every sporting adventure can be booked. Because young New Zealand travelers are still around and they continue to seek adventure on their travels.

… hotel trip with the family

But families and luxury tourists are also increasingly appearing in New Zealand and finding their travel destinations. More and more expensive hotels are emerging alongside cheap youth hostels and accommodation for backpackers, as backpackers are called. New Zealand has something to offer for everyone. The classic camping holiday with a tent or caravan is of course always available in New Zealand.

New Zealand Economy

Typical New Zealand

British influence

Unlike Australia, the British heritage in New Zealand is still unmistakable and also defends itself against American influence. New Zealand is much less “Americanized” than Australia. The traces of the British ancestors are still visible everywhere. Starting with left-hand traffic, via the red London double-decker buses that are used for the tourists, the afternoon tea time and the feeling of religious affiliation with the Anglican Church, you are reminded of the former motherland, even if New Zealand is now politically completely independent. Victorian wooden houses transport visitors to the heart of English cities.

Everything far away

The experience that New Zealand is very far away from the rest of the world also shapes the everyday life of New Zealanders. Perhaps you don’t take yourself as seriously here as elsewhere and develop a friendly serenity with which you also meet visitors to the islands.

Neighbors can live far away

Those who live in New Zealand live far away from everything. The country has 4.5 million inhabitants, but is as big as Germany. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to drop by a neighbor so quickly. There is little public transport, especially in rural areas.

New Zealanders prefer the car

The New Zealanders just like to drive, it’s faster. However, there are few motorways, mostly small federal roads that connect the towns. In the big cities it is of course different. There is a rail system here, but this is also not nearly as well developed as in many European cities.


Even if New Zealanders like to live outside, they often shop inside. Large shopping centers are not uncommon either. However, this is especially true in the larger cities such as Auckland. In the country there are often small shops where you can buy the products for daily needs, which are called dairies in New Zealand and correspond to our ” mom and pop shops”, of which there are unfortunately not too many anymore. There are no regular opening times, each shop owner decides for himself.

Dressed up on the beach

How are New Zealanders and tourists to be distinguished on the beach? New Zealanders like to be outside and especially on the beach. But in the hot seasons you will find a lot of people there who are fully dressed. Sometimes they wear nose and neck protection. Bikini and swimming trunks are not required. Why this?

New Zealand in particular is affected by the ozone hole and, like in Australia, UV radiation is extremely high. Since New Zealanders are often outside, they are also increasingly exposed to the strong sun rays. Many people became sick and the number of skin cancers increased. So you have come to terms and often not only apply cream, but also wear some kind of protective clothing on hot days. Incidentally, teachers do not allow children outside if they are not appropriately dressed. But not only children have to protect themselves, adults too. If you buy sunscreen in New Zealand, it has at least a protection factor of 30, often even 50, or it is a so-called sun blockerthat doesn’t let the sun through.

Little pests – the sand flies

Many landscapes in New Zealand are beautiful, but there is a nuisance on almost every beach: sand flies. Without mosquito repellent, no New Zealander goes out of the house, or rather to the beach. The sand flies are quite small and look like our fruit flies, but their bite is tough and hurts like a violent mosquito bite.