New Zealand is an independent island country in the British Commonwealth, located in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (commonly called the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands.
New Zealand is notable for its geographic isolation: it is situated about 2,000 km (1250 miles) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and its closest neighbors to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. During its long isolation New Zealand developed a distinctive fauna dominated by birds, a number of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and the mammals they introduced. One surviving bird species, the kiwi, has become a national symbol.
The majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority. Asians and non-Māori Polynesians are also significant minority groups, especially in urban areas. The most commonly spoken language is English.
New Zealand and Atlantis, despite being on opposite sides of the world, had similar ecological details. Both were land masses isolated from the rest of the world by seas, both had bat species who spent more time scurrying on the ground than flying, and both had been home to large flightless native birds (moas in New Zealand, honkers in Atlantis). Natural philosophers such as John Audubon and Edward Harris often considered this curiosity and wondered if it was significant. 
New Zealand had been fighting alongside the British Empire during World War II, when JapanconqueredHawaii in early 1942. After the fall of Port Moresby, New Zealand found herself under threat from Japanese expansion. Although the country was not attacked directly like Australia was, the US did have a difficult time getting supplies to the beleaguered nation.
By the 22nd century, New Zealand along with Australia had joined together in a political alliance called the Anzac Federation. Altough they were able to afford to send a team to Mimas, a moon of Saturn, for the Sixty-sixth Winter Games. They weren't wealthy enough to have their athletes train there in the low-g environment prior to the Games.