New Munster Māori: Te Waipounamu) is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises once main landmass—the South Island, Te Waipounamu—and Stewart Island. It was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Munster developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Munster's capital city is Nelson, while its most populous city is Christchurch.
In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Munster. In 1948 the Dominion was granted Commonwealth status along with New Zealand the previous year. Today, the majority of New Munster's population of just over 1.0 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians. Reflecting this, New Munster's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers. The official languages are English, Māori and New Munster Sign Language, with English predominant.
New Munster is a developed country with a "cradle to the grave welfare state" economy. The nation ranks highly in quality of life, healthcare, education pass rates are some of the highest in the world at 96% respectfully. Though it has been subjected to limited economic reforms its general poverty rate is less than 4.5%, it also has very restrictive immigration laws only allowing educated Asian and Europeans to immigrate.