New Zealand - Infrastructure, power, and communications

New Zealand's transport network is relatively modern. Of its 92,075 kilometers (57,086 miles) of roads, about 60 percent are paved, and over US$225 million was spent on road construction and maintenance in 1999. Most major cities and towns are linked by bus services and some by rail, but the private car is the predominant mode of transport. There are 3,973 kilometers (2,463 miles) of railways running the length of the country, although these now mostly carry freight rather than

Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
New Zealand 216 990 508 1.3 203 N/A 282.1 476.18 700
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Australia 293 1,376 639 43.6 286 48.6 411.6 477.85 6,000
Papua New Guinea 15 97 24 N/A 1 N/A N/A 0.49 2
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

passengers. In North Island about 500 kilometers of the railway network is electrified. Large train/truck/car ferries link the North and South Islands with frequent services.

Throughout the country there are 111 airports, with 44 of these having paved runways. Domestic air services are predominantly provided by 2 airlines: Air New Zealand and Qantas New Zealand (which bought out Ansett New Zealand in 2001). Air New Zealand flies to at least 21 destinations in Australia, Asia, North America, Europe, and the Pacific Islands. In 2000, 24 international passenger airlines and at least 4 freight-only airlines flew into New Zealand. In addition to commercial flying, New Zealand is a global leader in the number of aviators per capita who pilot small, privately-owned aircraft: there is roughly 1 pilot for every 430 people, and 1 aircraft for every 1,170 people. At least 5 ports in the country can service large international shipping.

New Zealand's system of utilities is extensive and modern. Large hydroelectric dams, mainly in South Island, generate about 65 percent of electricity. Most of the rest is generated by fossil fuels, although 6 percent comes from geothermal plants, and small amounts from wind, wood, and biogas. Gas is piped from oilfields in the west of North Island, mostly to larger population centers.

The telephone system is modern and extensive with 96 percent of New Zealand households having a telephone in 1996. In 2000, about 30 percent of New Zealanders also had a cellular phone. As part of the privatization program of the 1980s, the telephone system was sold to a consortium of American companies. Currently, Telecom is the largest operator, but other companies have entered this very lucrative market.

In 1999 there were at least 80 Internet service providers in New Zealand and in the following year over 1 million Internet users; around 52 percent of the population had some sort of Internet access. In 2000 there were 46,000 .nz domain names, although some New Zealand websites also used generic names such as .com and .org.

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