New Zealand is a group of islands in the South Pacific with a population of 4.5 million. It consists of three main Islands and several smaller islands. The main islands are named North Island, South Island and Stewart Island in English, or in the native Maori language Te Ika-a-Maui, Te Waipounamu, and Rakiura respectively. The islands were first settled by the indigenous Maori people around the 13th century AD and wasn't discovered by Europeans until Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted the country in 1642. He named the country Nieuw Zeeland after his home province in Holland. The islands were then re-discovered in 1769 by English explorer James Cook, who extensively mapped the country and English settlement of New Zealand began shortly after. The country was officially formed in 1840 with the signing of the treaty of Waitangi, an agreement between the indigenous Maori people and the English settlers. In the early days New Zealand used English pound sterling coins as currency, and for a short period during the gold rush of the late 1800s, Traders tokens were tolerated by the government as currency due to a shortage of low value official currency. New Zealand began minting their own coins in 1933 and then in 1967 switched from pounds and pennies to the current system of dollars and cents.
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