Australia and New Zealand Population Patterns • The People – The Aborigines are Australia’s earliest people, and one of the world’s oldest surviving culture. – They makeup only 2 percent of Australia’s population, with approximately 315,000 people. • Made up of several different groups that live in specific regions. – The Arrente have lived in central Australia for about 20,000 years – The Palawa have lived on the island Tasmania for 32,000 years • They feel a direct relationship to the landscape, and believe in Dreamtime. – The Maori lived in New Zealand and survived by hunting, fishing and raising crops – The Europeans began sailing around Australia and New Zealand in the late 1500’s, and began colonizing the region. • Today most of the area’s people are of British descent. – In recent years, an increasing number of East and Southeast Asians have moved to the region for economic opportunities. • Density and Distribution – The regions physical geography results in the uneven distribution of its people. • In Australia most of the population lives in the southeastern, eastern and southwestern coasts, while in New Zealand most of the populations lives along the coast. – Most of the population that lives along the coast lives in towns or cities. • Sydney and Melbourne are Australia’s largest cities and are also the regions major commercial ports. • Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington are New Zealand’s largest cities. History and Government • Early Peoples – The earliest settlers migrated across land bridges during the Ice Age. • The early Aborigines led a nomadic life, using well traveled routes to reach water and food. • They lived and traveled with their clan, carrying very little and using boomerangs to hunt with. – As trade began to increase so did migration between islands. • Between 900 and 1300 the Maori began to leave Polynesia and settled in New Zealand • They lived in villages and grew traditional root crops. • European Exploration – Beginning in the 1500’s, Europeans began exploring vast stretches of the South Pacific. • The British sailor James Cook had the most well known exploration. • He undertook three voyages between 1768 and1779, and claimed eastern Australia for Britain. • He also circles Antarctica and produced records and maps of these regions. – In 1788, Great Britain was becoming over crowded and started sending convicts to Australia. • In 1850, Great Britain had stopped this practice and free settlers were arriving to establish farms and settlements. • The new settlers introduced livestock to the region, and they began exporting wool to Britain. – At the same time, European nations were establishing settlements in New Zealand. • This region offered fishing and rich soil – The arrival of the Europeans had a disastrous affect on the native population in Australia. • Many Aborigines were removed from their land and then denied of their basic rights • Disease and violence steadily reduced the Aborigine population. • In the 1800’s many Aborigines were placed on reserves – The native population in New Zealand also endured hardships. • The Maori social structure was weakened when new farming techniques were introduced by the British • In the 1800’s, the Maori tried to fight British rule, however, during the 15 years of fighting many Maori were killed and much of their land was lost. • Independence – Both Australia and New Zealand were able to achieve their independence for Great Britain peacefully. – In 1901, the Australian states formed to together to form the Commonwealth of Australia. • The new country was a dominion within the British Empire. • This government was a blend between a U.S. style federal system with a Britishstyle parliamentary system. – In 1907, New Zealand became a self- governing dominion. • Has a British parliamentary system. – Following WWII, the two countries have forged economic and political ties with the U.S. • The Aborigines and the Maori have gained recognition and become politically active. Culture • Education and Health care – Education varies throughout both regions. • Both countries provide free compulsory education, and the region enjoys a literacy rate above 99 percent. • However, students in the remote areas of the region turn in assignments via mail, and communicate with teachers by two- way radio. • • – Generally, the region enjoys access to quality health care and other social services. – There are remote regions that have a difficult time gaining health care. • Modern technology allows doctors to consult with patients by radio. – Most of the native population suffers from poverty, malnutrition and unemployment. Language and Religion – English is the language spoken by the majority of the population in both regions. • Australian English is a unique balance between old Aboriginal language and modern English. – In New Zealand, Maori is also spoken is also spoken in certain areas. – The indigenous people’s religious traditions focus on the relationship between humans and nature. • Believe that all natural things have spirits and are interrelated. – Europeans eventually brought Christianity to the region, and it is the most widely practice religion in both regions today. The Arts and Leisure – The people of the region have traditionally used art, music, dance and storytelling to pass on knowledge. – The region’s sports and leisure have been greatly influenced by its colonial heritage • Participate in activities like cricket, tennis, boating, fishing and waterskiing. Oceania Population Patterns • Many Peoples – People first began to migrate to the region more than 30,000 years ago. • As migrants continued to arrive they settled into three major groups. – Melanesia • Located in the southwestern Pacific, Melanesia is mixture of independent island countries and French- ruled countries. – This includes the independent countries of Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Solomon Islands, and the French-ruled country of New Caledonia. • Even among groups living on the same island the cultures are vastly different – Micronesia • This region is located in the western Pacific, and consists of the independent countries of the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Kiribati. – Also the U.S. territories of Guam and the Mariana Islands. – Polynesia • It is located in the central Pacific Ocean and consist of three independent countries, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu, and other island groups, known as French Polynesia. – This includes Tahiti, Polynesia’s largest island. • The largest population of Polynesia lives on the Samoan island. – Asians • Chinese traders and South Asian workers settled parts of Oceania during the 1800’s. • Density and Distribution – Oceania spans a very vast area, but much of the area is unsuited for human habitation. • The population is unevenly distributed amongst the countries. • Papua New Guinea has an approximate population of 5.9 million people, while Nauru only has a population of 10,000. • Most of the islands population lives on the coasts. – The population of Oceania is expanding rapidly because of its young population. • It is growing at rate of 2.3 percent – Oceania is made up of 25,000 islands, but only totals 551,000 square miles. • Population density varies greatly throughout the region. • Although Papua New Guinea has the largest population, it only has a population density of 33 people. History and Government • Early Migrants – Asian migrants were the first to settle Oceania, and they did so by traveling in family groups and settling along the coasts. • They survived by eating fish, turtles and shrimp • Eventually they planted root crops and raised small animals. – They used well built canoes to expand trade amongst the islands. • They developed a monetary system, a long string of shell pieces, to make trade easier. • In Papua New Guinea this system is still used in particular circumstances. • European Colonization – When Europeans began to arrive in the 1800s, they developed commercial plantations. – The Europeans also brought with them disease that depleted the native population. • Brought in workers from other areas to make up for the shortage. • This mix of cultures led to violent ethnic conflicts – During the late 1800s and early 1900s, several European nations and the United States fought to control parts of the region. • They wanted to acquire new sources of raw material – WWI and WWII drastically altered the History of Oceania. • Following the first World War, Germany lost many of its Pacific colonies to Japanese rule. • The Pacific Islands of Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal were battle grounds to some of the wars most fierce fighting. • Following the fall of the Japanese Empire, many of the South Pacific countries were turned over to the United States as trust territories. • Since the 1970s, most of these islands have become independent countries. Culture • Sports and Leisure – The regions western- style resorts attract tourists from around the world where they enjoy the traditional sport of surfing. • Canoe racing or spear fishing are very popular, and where American traditions persist baseball is very popular. • The French also introduced cycling and islands to the regions they controlled • Language and Religion – Due to the vast distance between the islands, groups developed many different languages without interference. • There are 1,200 different languages spoken in Oceania – As Europeans began to colonize they brought with them their various languages. • French and pidgin English are widely spoken throughout the region. – Various forms of Christianity are practiced throughout the South Pacific islands, but Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in Oceania • Education and Health Care – Both education and health care varies greatly throughout the region. – Until the 1970s, missionaries were responsible for primary education in many parts of the region. – However, today secondary schools and universities are common in parts of Oceania. – Literacy rates also vary throughout the region. • Fiji enjoys a literacy rate of 93 percent, while only 57 percent of women and 71 percent of men in Papua New Guinea can read. – Many parts of the region suffer from poor economies and low standards of living. • Many islands lack adequate resources, such as fresh food and electricity. – Living conditions have improved in recent with the help of foreign nations. The Economy Economic Activities • Agriculture – Agriculture is by far the South Pacific’s most important economic activity • Australia is the world’s leading producer of wool • Despite the importance of farming, only 5 percent of Australians work in agriculture. – Because of the dry climate, much of the country’s land is devoted to livestock. • Livestock in this region need large areas of land to find enough vegetation to eat. • As a result, Australian ranches are gigantic and can be as large as 6000 square miles. – Less than 10 percent of Australia’s land is suitable for growing crops. • Irrigation, fertilizers and modern technology have helped Australia make best use of land. – In New Zealand, more than half the land is used for farming. • The soil in this region is amongst the most fertile, and allow farmers to grow various crops. • Ranchers raise sheep, cattle and red deer, and livestock in New Zealand outnumbers people 20:1. – Other islands have very fertile soil due to volcanic ash and ample rainfall. • The most common cash crop grown in these areas is copra, or dried coconut meat. • Mining and Manufacturing – A variety of mineral deposits exist through the South Pacific • Australia is a leading exporter of various minerals including, diamonds, gold and iron ore. • However, mining these minerals is hindered by several different issues – High transportation costs and Aboriginal land rights limit mining. • Outside of Australia, there are very few significant mineral resources. – New Zealand has a large aluminum smelting industry, while Papua New Guinea has deposits of gold and copper. – The regions major producers of manufactured goods are Australia and New Zealand. • Of the manufacturing activity that takes place, food processing is the most important. • The consumer product industries generally manufacture products for home consumption – The rest of the South Pacific is less industrialized, and are limited to small scale enterprises. • Service Industries – Several service industries have emerged as major contributors to national economies. • However, many of the countries in Oceania are too small to support anything other than tourism. • Recent developments in air travels have boosted tourism in the South Pacific. Transportation and Communications • Transportation – Australia and New Zealand have well developed road and rail systems, and have highways and subways along their costal areas. • However, there are very few roads in the Outback – Most of Oceania is too small, poor and rugged to develop road or rail systems. • Some governments are working to improve systems. – Various obstacles make air and water travel very important to the region. • They move imports and exports, and bring travelers. • Communications – The geographical obstacles that hinder travel, also make communication very difficult. – As technology has advanced, communication within the region has increased. • Cellular, digital and satellite communication and internet is becoming more common. Trade and Interdependence – As transportation and communication improved, the area has experienced an increase in trade with the rest of the world. – Agriculture and mining products are the regions greatest sources of export income. – The U.S. and the U.K. were Australia’s primary trading partner through much of the 1900s. • In recent years they have expanded to include Asia. • Have joined the Asia- Pacific Cooperation forum, and are looking to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. People and Their Environment Human Impact on Resources • Unusual Animals – The continent of Australia is home to many unique species. • There are 144 different species of marsupials that call Australia home. – Includes kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and the duck- bill platypus • The Tasmanian devil calls the Australian island of Tasmania its home. – Many of these species have been threatened by the introduction of nonnative animals. • These new animals have multiplied and taken over the habitats of Australia’s native species. • This has led to several of Australia’s native species to become endangered, and even extinct. – In recent years they have made efforts to reverse this trend. • Using electric fences to keep out nonnative species, encouraging hunting and trapping and introducing natural predators. – New Zealand also finds its self home to many unique animal species. • Seabirds flourish here without mammalian predators. • New Zealand’s surprising and unique species is the penguin. – New Zealand has implemented predator- control techniques and establishing island sanctuaries as a way to protect their native species. • Forest, Soil and Water – The protection of forest, soil and freshwater resources is a major concern throughout the South Pacific region. – Much of Australia has been left exposed to erosion due to the clearing of forests for farms and cities – This problem has been compounded by the problems of over grazing and drought. – The region has worked hard to reduce deforestation, particularly in the countries that have valuable timber resources. – Australia's freshwater sources have become threatened, due to the regions drought, salt, irrigation and agricultural runoff. • The use of water for agriculture and growing city populations has reduced freshwater supplies. – Australia‘s most pressing environmental problem is the increase risk of soil salinity • Major cause of this problem has been the replacement of native vegetation with pastures and other shallow- rooted crops. – Many of Oceania’s small island have very limited supplies of freshwater • Agriculture runoff and inadequate sanitation further threatens these limited supplies. – The oceans surrounding this region are also being threatened by pollution. • Great Barrier Reef in particular is seeing the affects of increased tourism and pollution. • The result is coral bleaching, or the breakdown between the coral and the algae that feeds it. – The regions marine life is also being affected by pollution • Key parts of the ocean’s food web are being destroyed. • The Nuclear Legacy – During the 1940s and 50s countries with nuclear capabilities used areas of the South Pacific to test nuclear weapons. • Unknown at the time, the testing has had a major effect on the regions environment. – People on the Marshall Islands were exposed to massive doses of radiation after the U.S. exploded a bomb in 1954. – Although testing has stopped, the affects still remain. • There are still areas that remain off-limits to human settlement. • In recent years the U.S. has provided millions to decontaminate exposed areas and set up trust funds for blast survivors and their families. – Nuclear weapons have also had a lasting impact on politics in the region. • A strong antinuclear activist group became a major factor in regional politics • 1985 New Zealand passed a law banning nuclear powered ships and those with nuclear weapons form entering its waters. – Because of this the U.S. withdrew from a defense agreement with New Zealand. • An international outcry led to an early halt on French plans to conduct nuclear tests in French Polynesia. • Challenges for the Future – Australia and Oceania are threatened by the world’s atmospheric and climate changes. – During the 1970s, scientist found a in the ozone layer above Antarctica. • Between 1975 and 1993 this hole grew dramatically, and by 93 the hole covered more than 9 million square miles. • By 2006 the hole reached 10.6 million square miles – The loss of the ozone maybe behind the rise in various problems throughout the world. • Has been a rise in skin cancer, cataracts and other conditions caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays. • The gradual rise in Earth’s temperatures. – The South Pacific region is very sensitive to the El Nino- Southern Oscillation. • Can cause both droughts and powerful cyclonic storms. • These weather patterns are believed to be increasing in frequency and severity, possibly due to global warming. – If global warming continues causing polar ice caps to melt, many of Oceania’s islands would become flooded. – Animal life in the region could also be drastically affected if global temperatures rise. • Could cause cold water species to die off, also affecting life-forms that feed on them.