New Zealand, A member of the Commonwealth, is a large archipelago in the South Pacific, discovered by Tasman in 1642. It consists mainly of two large islands-the northern island or Ika-Namawi (833 km long) and the southern island or Tavaï-Pounamou, separated by the Cook Strait.
These islands are crossed, both from the North-East to the South-West, by large mountain ranges covered with forests where many extinct and active volcanoes can be seen (frequent earthquakes). Together they have about the breadth of Great Britain. There are rich gold mines, mainly in the South Island, in the Otago district, and coal in the North Island.