23 Facts About South Island


South Island, officially named, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island.

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South Island is shaped by the Southern Alps which run along it from north to south.

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In some modern alliterations of Maori legends, the South Island existed first, as the boat of Maui, while the North Island was the fish that he caught.

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South Island has no separately represented country subdivision, but is guaranteed 16 of the electorates in the New Zealand House of Representatives.

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The South Island Party fielded candidates in the 1999 general election but cancelled its registration in 2002.

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On 13 October 2010, South Island Mayors led by Bob Parker of Christchurch displayed united support for a Southern Mayoral Council.

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South Island economy is strongly focused on tourism and primary industries like agriculture.

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South Island is a major centre for electricity generation, especially in the southern half of the island and especially from hydroelectricity.

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Today, the Deloitte South Island Index is compiled quarterly from publicly available information provided by NZX, Unlisted and Bloomberg.

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South Island saw the final use of steam locomotives in New Zealand.

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South Island is separated from the North Island by Cook Strait, which is 24 kilometres wide at its narrowest point, and requires a 70 kilometres ferry trip to cross.

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The dramatic landscape of the South Island has made it a popular location for the production of several films, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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South Island has 15 named maritime fiords which are all located in the southwest of the island in a mountainous area known as Fiordland.

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Much of the higher country in the South Island was covered by ice during the glacial periods of the last two million years.

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South Island has ten national parks established under the National Parks Act 1980 and which are administered by the Department of Conservation.

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South Island has contributed to the Arts in New Zealand and internationally through highly regarded artists such as Nigel Brown, Frances Hodgkins, Colin McCahon, Shona McFarlane, Peter McIntyre Grahame Sydney and Geoff Williams.

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South Island has ten daily newspapers and many weekly community newspapers.

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South Island has seven regional stations that broadcast only in one region or city: 45 South TV, Channel 39, Canterbury Television, CUE, Mainland Television, Shine TV, and Visitor TV.

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Large number of radio stations serve communities throughout the South Island; these include independent stations, but many are owned by organisations such as Radio New Zealand, New Zealand Media and Entertainment, and MediaWorks New Zealand.

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Southern Police District with its headquarters in Dunedin spans from Oamaru in the North through to Stewart Island in the far South covers the largest geographical area of any of the 12 police districts in New Zealand.

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Correctional facilities in the South Island are operated by the Department of Corrections as part of the South Island Prison Region.

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At cricket, the South Island is represented by the Canterbury Wizards, Central Stags, and Otago Volts in the Plunket Shield, one day domestic series, and the Super Smash.

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North vs South match, sometimes known as the Interisland match is a longstanding rugby union fixture in New Zealand.

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