Australia and New Zealand

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
– 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
• They lived in villages and grew traditional root crops.
• European Exploration
– Beginning in the 1500’s, Europeans began exploring vast stretches of the South
• 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
• This region offered fishing and rich soil
– The arrival of the Europeans had a disastrous affect on the native population in
• 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.
– 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
• 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
• The Aborigines and the Maori have gained recognition and become politically
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.
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
– 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
• It is growing at rate of 2.3 percent
– Oceania is made up of 25,000 islands, but only totals 551,000 square
• 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
– The Europeans also brought with them disease that depleted the native
• 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.
• 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
– Living conditions have improved in recent with the help of foreign
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
– 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
– 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
• 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
• Of the manufacturing activity that takes place, food processing is the most
• The consumer product industries generally manufacture products for home
– The rest of the South Pacific is less industrialized, and are limited to small scale
• Service Industries
– Several service industries have emerged as major contributors to national
• 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
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
– The oceans surrounding this region are also being threatened by pollution.
• Great Barrier Reef in particular is seeing the affects of increased tourism and
• 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
– 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
• 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
• 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
– 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
• 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