17 Peculiar Facts About New Zealand

1. May the Force Be With You During the 2001 census in New Zealand, it was revealed that over 53,000 people stated their religion as “Jedi” or “Jediism”. For those who haven’t heard the term before, it is related to the Star Wars movies. Surprisingly, during that year, there were fewer Buddhists than “Jedis” in New Zealand.

2. Human Population Percent New Zealand has a very small percentage of people compared to the wildlife on the island. In fact, only 5% of the island’s population is human, while the rest is animals. It is said that for every person, there are five sheep, making it the highest sheep-to-human ratio in the world!

3. Two of the Biggest Movie Directors live in NZ Peter Jackson, the famous director of “The Lord of the Rings,” has a large house on the island with hobbit houses and tunnels in the garden. James Cameron (director of “Titanic,” “Avatar,” and many more) also lives on the island and has a house at Lake Ferry where he has stated he gets the most inspiration for his work.

4. The Long Name With 85 Letters Have you ever visited Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotam-ateaturipukakapikimaungahoronuku-pokaiwhenuakitanatahu?  This 85-letter-long name is a Māori name and is one of the world’s longest place names.

5. Cheesus Christ! New Zealand is known for its insane production of cheese and dairy products. A dairy farmer produces approximately 100 kg of butter and 65 kg of cheese per person in the country each year.  In 2022, New Zealand produced approximately 375 thousand metric tons of cheese, and as you can guess, cheese is one of the country’s largest export commodities.

6. The Official Wizard of New Zealand Are wizards real? In New Zealand, the answer is yes. Ian Brackenbury Channell was officially recognized as a wizard by the prime minister in 1990. In 2021, Ian’s contract as the country’s wizard came to an end, and his annual salary of $16,000 was withdrawn. Ian earned an impressive amount of $368,000 by performing rain dances and magically keeping the city of Christchurch safe.

7. One of The Three official languages is Sign Language New Zealand has three official languages. One of them, and the most popular English, the second is the traditional Māori language. In 2006, the third official language, sign language, was recognized. Today, over 25,000 people use sign language on a daily basis, and the language was included to ensure that individuals with hearing impairments can live as normal and communicative lives as everyone else.