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Introduction

New Zealand is a small island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Its geographic isolation, maritime location, relatively recent geological formation, and continuing tectonic activity have created diverse and unique ecosystems.

This chapter sets the environmental context for Environment New Zealand 2007. It presents a high-level overview of:

  • the key biophysical factors that interact to shape New Zealand’s environment

  • the New Zealand people, including where we choose to live and how we interact with the environment

  • environmental values and how these have changed over time

  • the economic value of New Zealand’s environment

  • New Zealand’s environmental legislation and governance.

New Zealand is a small island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean.

Source: Nature’s Pic Images.