New Zealand is a beautiful and sparsely populated multicultural nation with a population of approximately 3.5 million people. Most New Zealanders are of British or European descent, with approximately 18% of the population having Maori or Pacific Island origins. There are also large numbers of other nationalities in New Zealand and recently, increasing numbers of people from Asian countries have taken up residence in New Zealand.
The dramatic and varied landscapes draw visitors from all over the world. There are high snow-clad mountains, fiords, large forests, lakes, lush plains, surf beaches and quiet coastal inlets. In New Zealand the tourist and recreational areas are often only one or two hours' drive from major cities and can be accessed without great expense.