Table of Contents
List of Tables
THE New Zealand Official Year-Book is the annual compendium of information on the history, geography, legislation, and the economic and social development of the country. In its pages are comprehensive facts and figures on New Zealand's social and economic characteristics and progress.
In this, the sixty-fifth issue, the customary intensive revision of basic material has been made. The chapter on history, constitution, and administration has been supplemented by a section on New Zealand's international activities. A new subsection has been formed for the marketing of primary produce in the farm production section.
The chapter on working conditions now contains a comprehensive summary of the work of the Court of Arbitration. Supplementary material added to the miscellaneous section includes general notes on art galleries, museums, and libraries, with additional information on newspapers.
Substantial revision has been made to the text of the sections dealing with customs tariff and revenue, minerals and mineral production, Government revenue and expenditure, taxation, wages and wage-rates, industrial disputes, industrial accidents, and Island Territories.
A special article deals with the history of grassland research in New Zealand, which is an important aspect of the country's pastoral economy.
The set of photographs illustrates some of the tourist attractions of New Zealand.
I desire to express my appreciation to officers of this and other Government Departments for their assistance in preparing material and to the Government Printer and his staff for cooperation in the printing of this volume. My thanks for their comprehensive contribution to the production of the Year-Book are extended to Mr J. B. McKinney, M.A., ADMIN, PROF., Editor of Publications, and members of the Editorial Branch and Statistical Draughting Unit of the Department of Statistics.
Department of Statistics,
1 July 1960.
J. V. T. BAKER,
Table of Contents
AREA AND BOUNDARIES.—The administrative responsibilities of New Zealand devolve over a large area, the land territories of which consist principally of a number of islands of varying size in the South Pacific Ocean, together with a large tract in the Antarctic Ocean. While the two largest and most important islands, the North and South Islands of New Zealand, are separated only by a relatively narrow strait, the remaining islands or island groups are very much smaller and in general are widely dispersed over a considerable expanse of ocean.
The boundaries of New Zealand inclusive of its most outlying islands and dependencies range from the northern limit of the 8th degree of south latitude to south of the 60th degree of south latitude, the complementary extremes of longitude with origin Greenwich being from the 160th degree of east longitude to the 150th degree of west longitude.
The precise boundaries as they now exist were originally defined in the relevant proclamations, letters patent, and legislation mentioned in the pages immediately following; general statements are contained in the description next presented relating to those areas over which New Zealand exercises jurisdiction or administrative responsibility. In all instances the measurement of longitude refers to the number of meridians east or west of Greenwich.
In proceeding from north to south, the first area, including the Tokelau Islands some 300 miles north of Western Samoa or 2,300 miles approximately north by east of Wellington (the capital of New Zealand), extends from the 8th to the 10th degrees of south latitude and from the 171st to the 173rd degrees of west longitude. The second area encloses the Cook and associated islands distant from Wellington in a north-easterly direction approximately 2,100 miles (Southern Group) to 2,800 miles (Northern Group and Niue). The Southern and Northern Groups are bounded on the east and west by the 156th and 167th degrees of west longitude respectively, and on the north and south by the 8th and 23rd degrees of south latitude. Niue Island is situated in latitude 19° 02' south and longitude 169° 52' west.
Then follows a third zone covering the Trust Territory of Western Samoa, which is some 2,000 miles distant to the north-north-east from Wellington, and contained within the 13th to the 15th degrees of south latitude and the 171st to 173rd degrees of west longitude.
Farther south, and slightly north by east from New Zealand, a matter of roughly 1,000 miles from Wellington, are situated the Kermadec Islands. These islands lie between the 29th and 32nd degrees of south latitude and the 177th and 180th degrees of west longitude.
New Zealand as defined after the extension of boundaries in 1863 constitutes the fifth and principal area. Its boundaries extend from the 33rd to the 53rd degrees of south latitude and from the 162nd degree of east longitude to the 173rd degree of west longitude.
The sixth area relates to the Ross Dependency which consists of the coasts of the Ross Sea with adjacent islands and territories between the 160th degree of east longitude and the 150th degree of west longitude, and south of the 60th degree of south latitude.
Jointly with the United Kingdom Government and the Government of Australia, New Zealand is responsible for the administration of the Trust Territory of the Island of Nauru. The administrative appointments for Nauru are made by the Australian Government, but New Zealand appoints a representative to the British Phosphates Commission, which controls the working of the phosphate deposits.
For statistical purposes, the following classification of the administrative area of New Zealand is the most convenient, the actual areas being also given. It should be noted also that statistics for “New Zealand” refer to the group of islands shown in (a) only, unless it is expressly stated that the other islands as a whole or in part are included.
|New Zealand:||Area in Square Miles|
|(a) Exclusive of Island Territories—|
|Uninhabited (areas in parentheses)||263|
|Three Kings (3). Snares (1).|
|Solander (1/2). Antipodes (24).|
|Bounty (1/2). Auckland (234).|
|Total New Zealand, exclusive of Island Territories||103,736|
|(b) Island Territories—|
|Tokelau Islands, comprised of||4|
|Fakaofo Island, Nukunono Island, Atafu Island.|
|Cook and associated islands, comprised of—|
|Mitiaro. Manuae and Te-au-o-tu.|
|Total New Zealand, inclusive of Island Territories||103,930|
|Ross Dependency||(Estimated) 160,000|
|Trust Territory of Western Samoa||1,133|
The total area of the foregoing groups exclusive of the Ross Dependency and the Trust Territory of Western Samoa is 103,930 square miles. Elsewhere in this issue—viz., in the section on land tenure, settlement, etc.—the aggregate area of New Zealand appears as 66,390,700 acres—i.e., 103,736 square miles. The latter area does not include the Cook and associated islands or the Tokelau Islands.
The relevant Proclamations, defining from time to time the administrative area of New Zealand, are briefly referred to in the following paragraphs.
The Proclamation of British sovereignty over New Zealand, dated 30 January 1840, gave as the boundaries of what was then the colony the following degrees of latitude and longitude: On the north, 34°30'S.lat.; on the south, 47° 10'S.lat.; on the east, 179° 0' E. long.; on the west, 166° 5'E. long. These limits excluded small portions of the extreme north of the North Island, and of the extreme south of Stewart Island.
In 1842, by Letters Patent, and again by the Imperial Act 26 and 27 Vict., c. 23 (1863), the boundaries were altered so as to extend from 33° to 53° of south latitude and from 162° of east longitude to 173° of west longitude. The minor islands mentioned earlier were thus brought within the extended boundaries of New Zealand, being assigned to the appropriate province on the occasion of the 1847 Proclamation dividing the country into two provinces. The number of provinces was increased in later years, though all were finally abolished in 1875. By Proclamation bearing date 21 July 1887 the Kermadec Islands were declared to be annexed to and to become part of the then colony of New Zealand.
By Proclamation of 10 June 1901 the Cook Islands, and all the other islands and territories situate within the boundary lines mentioned earlier, were included as from 11 June 1901.
The Territory of Western Samoa was formerly administered pursuant to a mandate conferred upon His Britannic Majesty, to be administered on his behalf by the Government of New Zealand, and confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 17 December 1920. Following the replacement of the League of Nations by the United Nations, a draft Trusteeship Agreement for Western Samoa was prepared by the New Zealand Government and submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations late in 1946. This draft agreement replaced the original mandate and thus brought the Territory within the framework of the international trusteeship system established under the United Nations Charter. Under the new agreement the New Zealand Government assumed direct responsibility for the administration of Western Samoa. The agreement was approved by the General Assembly on 13 December 1946. Moves have been made towards self-government for Western Samoa, and attainment of independence is tentatively set at 1 January 1962. On 1 October 1959 a form of Cabinet government was established in Western Samoa. Western Samoa is comprised of two large islands, Upolu and Savai'i, and the small islands of Manono, Apolima, Fanuatapu, Namu'a, Nu'utele, Nu'ulua, and Nu'usafe'e.
By Order in Council of 30 July 1923 under the British Settlements Act 1887 (Imp.), the territories between 160° east and 150° west longitude, and south of latitude 60° south were brought within the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Government. The region was named the Ross Dependency. From time to time laws for the Dependency have been made by regulations promulgated by the Governor-General of New Zealand. The Dependency was normally uninhabited. However, part of the Dependency became in 1956-57 the base for the New Zealand expedition to the Antarctic, and occupancy of the base camps has continued through into 1960 while scientific research, survey, and exploration have been further developed.
By Imperial Orders in Council of 4 November 1925 the Tokelau Islands (consisting of the islands of Fakaofo, Nukunono, and Atafu, and the small islands, islets, rocks, and reefs depending on them, a total area of only four square miles) were excluded from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, and placed under the administration of the Governor-General of New Zealand. In accordance with a provision of the second of these Orders in Council, the Governor-General's authority and power in connection with the administration of the islands were, by New Zealand Order in Council of 8 March 1926, delegated to the Administrator of Western Samoa.
By the Tokelau Islands Act 1948, which came into operation on 1 January 1949, the Tokelau Islands were declared to form part of New Zealand. This Act emerged as the result of an agreement between the United Kingdom and New Zealand Governments.
GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES.—Coast Line.—Since the combined length of the North and South Islands extends just over a thousand miles, and since the width of neither Island exceeds 280 miles at its broadest point, New Zealand possesses a very lengthy coast line in proportion to its area. With the exception of the low-lying North Auckland Peninsula, the New Zealand landmass lies along a south-westerly and north-easterly axis, parallel to the direction of its mountain chains.
By reason of the latter fact the coast line is, on the whole, not greatly indented; and, as a consequence, New Zealand is not well endowed with natural harbours. In the North Island, Auckland and Wellington are the only two safe natural harbours of which the fullest commercial use can be made. On the east coast of the North Auckland Peninsula several deep and sheltered harbours exist, but as production from the hinterland is limited they are of little economic consequence at present. In the South Island the Marlborough Sounds and the West Coast Sounds form perfect land-locked harbours, but owing to their situations and to the rugged nature of the terrain they have—with the exception of Queen Charlotte Sound—little or no commercial utility. Where vital localities have not been endowed with ideal harbours it has been necessary to improve existing facilities by dredging and by breakwater construction, etc. In this manner efficient ports, capable of accommodating overseas vessels, have been formed in Lyttelton, Otago, and Bluff harbours. On the west coast of both Islands the strong ocean drifts and high seas cause shoaling at river mouths and harbour entrances, while on the east coast of the South Island similar circumstances prevail, due to the large quantities of shingle brought down by the rivers being spread along the coast by ocean currents. The mountainous nature of the country makes the haulage of goods to and from the better equipped natural harbours both costly and difficult, and the construction and maintenance of further ports at various points along the coasts of both Islands has been necessary, either by dredging river mouths or by harbour-construction work.
Mountains.—The mountainous nature of New Zealand is one of its most striking physical characteristics, less than one-quarter of the land surface lying below the 650 ft. contour. In the North Island the higher mountains occupy approximately one-tenth of the surface; but, with the exception of the four volcanic peaks of Egmont (8,260 ft.), Ruapehu (9,175 ft.), Ngauruhoe (7,515 ft.), and Tongariro (6,458 ft.), they do not exceed an altitude of 6,000 ft. Of these four volcanoes only the first named can be classed as dormant. Ruapehu was particularly active from March 1945 to the end of that year, being responsible for considerable deposits of volcanic ash over a very wide area, while spectacular activity was exhibited by Ngauruhoe in 1949 and again in 1953 and 1954. In both cases violent eruptions alternated with quieter periods. Other volcanoes include Mount Tarawera and White Island, each of which has, upon one occasion within historical times, erupted with disastrous consequences. Closely connected with the volcanic system are the multitudinous hot springs and geysers.
The mountain system of the North Island runs generally in a south-west direction, parallel to the coast, from East Cape to Cape Turakirae, and includes the following ranges from the north: Raukumara. Huiarau, Ruahine, Tararua, and Rimutaka. This chain is flanked on the west between the Huiarau and Ruahine by the Ahimanawa, Kaweka, and Kaimanawa ranges, while west of the Kaimanawa is the National Park volcanic group comprising Mounts Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. The Hauhangaroa and Rangitoto ranges run in a northerly direction from the National Park group. In the east the Colville and Moehau ranges parallel the length of the Coromandel Peninsula. Mount Egmont forms the only country above 4,000 ft. on the west coast of this island.
The South Island is much more mountainous than the North, but shows fewer manifestations of recent volcanic activity. Along almost the entire length of the Island runs the massive chain known as the Southern Alps, which attains its greatest height in Mount Cook (12,349 ft.), while no fewer than seventeen peaks exceed 10,000 ft. West and north-west of the main portion of the Southern Alps are the Victoria, Brunner, and Lyell ranges and the Tasman Mountains, the Victoria range being flanked by the Paparoa range. To the north run the St. Arnaud and Raglan ranges, while to the north-east are the Spenser Mountains and the Kaikoura and Seaward Kaikoura ranges, the two latter ranges running parallel to the east coast. The south portion of the Southern Alps breaks up into a misceilany of ranges dominating the mountainous Fiord and north-western Southland regions.
As might be expected, the higher mountains of the South Island have exerted a greater influence on the economic development of the country than those of the North Island. For many years the Southern Alps were an effective barrier to communication by land between the east and west coasts, while their climatic effects on the Canterbury plains and Otago plateaux determined the types of cultivation undertaken. Moreover, the existence of much elevated open country led to the development of pastoral holdings on a large scale. While the mountains in the North Island are not as high nor as extensive as those of the South Island, in the early days they effectively isolated various portions of the coastal plains and valleys. Their effect on climatic conditions, however, is considerably less, the rainfall being more evenly distributed. Owing to this more even distribution of the rainfall, and to the existence of considerable areas of lower relief, the foothills of the mountain systems were heavily wooded, and so proved a hindrance to agrarian development.
In the 1931 issue of the Year-Book a list was given, not claimed as exhaustive, of 223 named peaks of 7,500 ft. or more in altitude. Below is a list of the peaks restricted to the four largest volcanic cones in the North Island and to mountains of a minimum height of 9,000 ft. in the South Island. The list has been compiled from various sources, and does not purport to be free from omissions.
|Mountain or Peak||Height (Feet)|
|Elie de Beaumont||10,200|
|De la Beche||10,058|
Glaciers.—In keeping with the dimensions of the mountain system, New Zealand possesses, in the South Island, a glacial system of some magnitude. Of the glaciers the largest is the Tasman, which, with others of comparable size, rises in the more elevated area surrounding Mount Cook. Flowing down the eastern slope of the range, the Tasman Glacier has a length of 18 miles and a width of 1¼ miles. In common with other glaciers on the eastern slope, of which the more important are the Murchison (11 miles), the Mueller (8 miles), the Godley (8 miles), and the Hooker (7¼ miles), its rate of flow is slow, while its terminal face is at an altitude of somewhat over 2,000 ft. On the western slope of the range, owing to the greater snow precipitation, the glaciers are more numerous and descend to lower levels, while the steeper slope gives them a more rapid rate of flow. The two largest of these are the Fox and the Franz Josef, with lengths of 9¾ miles and 8½ miles respectively, and terminal faces at altitudes of 670 ft. and 690 ft.
As will be realized, these glaciers are an important tourist attraction, and as such have definite economic significance. Moreover, those glaciers on the eastern slopes which feed rivers utilized for irrigation and hydro-electric purposes are valuable in that they help to ensure a steady volume of water throughout the year.
Rivers.—Of the numerous New Zealand rivers few are of sufficient length or volume to be navigable. Moreover, owing to the high relief of the country, they are mostly swift-flowing, while, as mentioned previously, nearly all are obstructed at their mouths by bars. For the purpose of internal communication, therefore, they are of little economic utility, and only in two or three isolated instances have they been thus consistently used. With improved roading conditions, however, their traffic has become negligible even in these cases.
As sources of hydro-electric power New Zealand rivers are of considerable importance, since their rapid rate of flow and dependable volume of ice-free water make them eminently suitable for this purpose. At the present time the Waikato and the Mangahao in the North Island and the Waitaki, Cobb, Clutha, and Waipori in the South are used for major hydro-electric schemes. The characteristics just mentioned are also important for purposes of irrigation, but, owing to the country's reliable rainfall, there are few areas other than in Canterbury and Otago where the rivers are so utilized.
In the 1932 Year-Book appears an account of the rivers of New Zealand, and below is given a list of the more important ones. For purposes of uniformity, the length of a river is taken to be the distance from the mouth to the farthest point in the system, whether this should happen to bear the same name or that of an affluent, and is inclusive of the estimated course of a river flowing into and emerging from any lake in the system.
|Flowing into the Pacific Ocean—||Miles|
|Waihou (or Thames)||95|
|Waiapu (from source Mata River)||75|
|Waipaoa (from source Waipapa Stream)||70|
|Wairoa (from source Hangaroa River)||85|
|Mohaka (from source Taharua River)||95|
|Flowing into Cook Strait—|
|Flowing into the Tasman Sea—|
|Waikato (from source Upper Waikato River)||270|
|Wairoa (from source Waiotu Stream)||115|
|Hokianga (from source Waihou River)||45|
|Flowing into Cook Strait—||Miles|
|Aorere (from source Spee River)||45|
|Takaka (from source Cobb River)||45|
|Waimea (from source Wai-iti River)||30|
|Flowing into the Pacific Ocean—|
|Waiau-uha (or Waiau)||105|
|Rangitata (from source Clyde River)||75|
|Waitaki (from source Hopkins River)||135|
|Clutha (from source Makarora River)||210|
|Flowing into Foveaux Strait—|
|Aparima (Jacobs River)||70|
|Waiau (from source Clinton River)||135|
|Flowing into the Tasman Sea—|
|Waiho (from source Callery River)||20|
|Buller (from source Travers River)||110|
The discovery in 1861 that the beds of numerous rivers in the South Island contained extensive deposits of alluvial gold was of considerable importance in the economic development of the country. Not only did it lead to an increase in population and in wealth, but, through the following of the numerous streams to their sources, it also led to the rapid exploration of large tracts of remote country. The exploitation of these deposits has been carried on with varying degrees of success up to the present time by both manual and mechanical means, but the amount of gold now extracted is comparatively small.
A further factor in connection with the rivers is that, owing to the very successful acclimatization of fresh-water fish, notably trout, many of them now provide exceptionally fine fishing.
Lakes.—In considering New Zealand's numerous lakes a distinction can be made, especially from the scenic viewpoint, between the lakes of the two Islands. Surrounded by extremely rugged country the larger lakes of the South Island are distinguished by the grandeur of their alpine settings, while those of the North Island, situated on a volcanic plateau, are of interest by reason of the neighbouring thermal activity. Owing to the excellence of their fishing, the North Island lakes possess an added tourist attraction. In both Islands the larger lakes are situated at high altitudes, and their consequent remoteness renders them unsuitable as a means of communication. In their functions as reservoirs the lakes of both Islands are of vital importance for the maintenance of the streams draining them and as a means of flood prevention. More especially is this the case where hydro-electric schemes are involved, Lakes Waikaremoana and Taupo in the North Island, and Lakes Coleridge. Pukaki, Tekapo, Wanaka, Hawea, and Wakatipu in the South Island, being of particular significance in this respect. A series of narrow man-made lakes have been produced in connection with hydro-electric development along some of the rivers.
An article on the lakes of New Zealand will be found in the 1932 Year-Book. Some particulars of the more important are given in the following table.
|Lake||Length, in Miles||Greatest Breadth, in Miles||Area, in Square Miles||Drainage Area, in Square Miles||Approximate Volume of Discharge, in Cubic Feet Per Second||Maximum Height Above Sea Level in Feet (Range in Brackets)*||Greatest Depth, in Feet|
|* The range in lake levels is not available for all lakes.|
|Te Anau||38||6||136||1,275||9,730||686 (15)||906|
GEOLOGY.—An article on the geology of New Zealand is contained in the 1940 and earlier editions of the Year-Book. For more detailed information the reader is referred to the bulletins of the Geological Survey, and the many papers that have appeared in the Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
EARTHQUAKES.—An article on earthquakes in New Zealand appeared in the 1942 and earlier issues of the Year-Book.
Seismicity and Earthquake Distribution.—A comparison between the records of destructive earthquakes in New Zealand and those in other seismic countries shows that the seismicity of New Zealand, on the whole, is surprisingly high. However, this is due to the occurrence of a large number of earthquakes of the semi-destructive type (M.-M. 7) with comparatively few major destructive shocks (M.-M. 8-12).
During the period 1835-1959, 82 destructive earthquakes are known to have occurred in New Zealand, 62 of which were of the semi-destructive type (not exceeding intensity M.-M. 7). Of the remainder 14 were of intensity M.-M. 8-9 and 6 of intensity M.-M. 10-12.
The total number of earthquakes of all intensities, and the maximum intensity, reported felt in New Zealand in each of the years 1924 to 1959 were as follows.
|Year||Number of Earthquakes Reported Felt||Maximum Intensity of Heaviest Shock|
|R.-F. Scale||M.-M.* Scale|
|* Modified Mercalli Scale of 1931, which is now used for recording earthquake effects in New Zealand.|
|1947||233||8 +||7 +|
Abnormally large numbers of shocks occurred in 1929-30, due to aftershocks of the Buller earthquake of 17 June 1929.
Summary of Earthquake Activity in New Zealand During the Year 1959.—Although there were more felt earthquakes than in 1958, no unusual activity occurred during 1959, which was more comparable with 1957 in respect of earthquake frequency and maximum intensities.
The most important earthquake in 1959 occurred on 22 May, in which intensities up to M.-M. 6+ caused some structural damage in the Picton-Blenheim area. Intensities up to M.-M. 5 were experienced at Wellington, Farewell Spit, and Collingwood. The shock was perceptible at most places between Taumarunui and Banks Peninsula. Its epicentre was near lat. 41° 0' S., long. 174° 2' E., at shallow depth. The instrumental magnitude was 6.0.
On 3 June a shock of magnitude 5½, at a depth of 125 miles under the North Island, was felt extensively in the southern part of the North Island and at Nelson and Blenheim. No intensities above M.-M. 4 were reported. The epicentre was near lat. 39° 0' S., long. 174° 9' E.
During the latter part of July there was a series of earthquakes in the Kawerau region, one of which reached intensity M.-M. 5 on 24 July. This shock was centred near lat. 38° 0' S., long. 176° 8' E., at very shallow depth. Series of shocks also occurred in the same region during April and September. At least one shock on 7 April reached M.-M. 5 at Kawerau.
On 7 November a shock of magnitude 4½, centred at shallow depth near Cobb Power Station, was felt there with intensity M.-M. 5-6. It was also felt at Nelson (M.-M. 2), but was not reported from any other places.
Other earthquakes reaching intensity M.-M. 5 during the year occurred on 3 February (Farewell Spit), 18 July (Foxton), and 16 December (Taihape).
In all, 107 shocks were reported felt during 1959; 83 in the North Island and 31 in the South Island. Seven of these were felt in some part of both Islands.
Regional Distribution.—New Zealand earthquake statistics over the past hundred years or so show that certain parts of the country are subject to almost continuous seismic activity with occasional destructive shocks, while other parts are more or less free from seismic disturbances. By combining early earthquake records with the more precise data of later years it is possible to divide the country roughly into four seismic regions. These regions are classified below, in order of seismicity.
All areas of the North Island cast and south of an approximate line from the vicinity of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty to the vicinity of Hawera in South Taranaki, and all areas of the South Island north of an approximate line from the vicinity of Hokitika on the West Coast, through the region of Lake Coleridge, to Banks Peninsula:
South Auckland, western Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Taranaki (except the southern portion):
Areas of the South Island, south of the boundary of region I:
Areas north of Auckland.
The following table shows the average frequency of earthquakes in each of the four regions defined above.
|Region||Average Number of Earthquakes Per Year (1921-1940)||Average Number of Destructive Shocks Per Decade (1835-1940)||Relative Seismicity Based on Destructive Shocks|
|Minor Shocks (R.-F. 8)||Major Shocks (R.-F. 9, 10)|
The boundaries between the seismic regions are not well defined, since one region generally merges more or less imperceptibly into another. Further, seismic frequency is not uniform. This leads to the number of shocks being considerably above the average in some years and below it in others. The normal irregularity is increased by the occasional occurrence of earthquake swarms in certain regions. Probably the most notable swarm in New Zealand was that which occurred in the Taupo region in the latter half of 1922. The number of minor local shocks in this swarm was so great that only the stronger ones, or those affecting the adjacent region, were used in determining the average frequency of region I. Major earthquakes occur chiefly in the eastern and southern parts of region I.
Deaths Due to Earthquakes.—During the period 1848-1959 the number of deaths recorded in New Zealand as due directly or indirectly to earthquakes was 284. Of these, 255 were due to the Hawke's Bay earthquake of 3 February 1931.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE.—The collection of weather information and the provision of weather forecasts and climatic data for diverse interests in aviation, shipping, agriculture, Government Departments and the general public are functions of the New Zealand Meteorological Service. By arrangement with the administrations concerned the Service performs similar functions for British territories in the Pacific.
Weather reports for use in forecasting are made at about 110 places within New Zealand and 50 in Pacific Islands and collected by telegraph and radio, along with measurements of winds at upper levels made at eight radar wind-measuring stations and of temperatures made at seven radiosonde stations. Daily observations are made for climatological purposes at about 150 places in New Zealand and 60 in the islands. Rainfall measurements are made at a total of about 1,200 places within New Zealand and 80 outside the country.
A general description of the climate of New Zealand is contained in the 1942 and earlier editions of the Year-Book.
Detailed climatological statistics are published annually in the Meteorological Observations. Work on this publication ceased during the war years, and this has delayed the appearance of recent issues, the latest available being that for 1956. Current statistics appear monthly in a climatological table included in the New Zealand Gazette.
The following table provides a brief summary of the main climatological elements for selected locations.
CLIMATOLOGICAL AVERAGES (OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS)
|Station||Altitude||Average Annual Rainfall*||Average Number of Rain Days||Average Bright Sun-shine†||Air Temperature, Degrees Fahrenheit|
|Mean Daily Maximum||Mean Daily Minimum|
* Rainfall averages refer to standard period (1921-1950).
† Revised sunshine normals refer to period 1935-1955.
‡ Normals relate to present site.
|Te Paki, Te Hapua||200||56.7||169||2,150||72.8||59.2||65.9||57.0||45.9||52.0|
|Ruakura, Hamilton||13 i||459||161||2,070||74.6‡||55.9‡||65.5‡||51.7‡||37.1‡||44.7‡|
|Onepoto, Lake Waikaremoana||2,100||76.9||183||68.1||47.6||58.0||42.0||37.7||45.0|
Brief Review of 1959:Year.—Rainfall was below average by up to 30 per cent in and west of the Southern Alps, also in North Otago, Marlborough, and Taranaki. Elsewhere it was mainly close to normal. However, in parts of North Canterbury and in Coromandel and the Whangarei - Bay of Islands area it was up to 30 per cent wetter than usual.
Temperatures were close to average over the North Island and in Canterbury and North Otago. Over the remainder of the South Island they were about a degree warmer than usual. The average positive departure over the whole country was half a degree, making 1959 the coolest year since 1953.
Sunshine was below average over the North Island except between Levin and Wellington, where it was close to normal. The deficiency amounted to over 200 hours in eastern districts from Waihi to Napier, and also in the Bay of Islands. Most of the South Island was favoured with somewhat more sunshine than usual, and the surplus exceeded 200 hours in Westland. However, in the Nelson provincial district and in most inland districts of the South Island sunshine was close to normal.
Seasonal Notes.—January and February were both dry months in the South Island, and in parts of Nelson and Marlborough a serious shortage of feed developed. January was also a very warm month, with departures from average of mainly about three degrees. It was the sunniest January on record in parts of Westland, Otago and Southland, but unusually cloudy in the Auckland and Hawke's Bay provincial districts. A southerly storm from 21 to 23 February was associated with unusually cold temperatures for the time of the year and snow fell on the ranges of both islands.
Good rains in the middle of March provided some relief in Marlborough and Nelson. It was a wet month in Northland and mid-Canterbury. March was chiefly memorable for a tropical cyclone which passed close to North Cape on the evening of the 14th, causing widespread damage over the northern half of Northland. Many buildings, including five churches and three halls, were destroyed by the wind; and power and telephone services were completely disrupted over a wide area.
April was wetter than usual over most of the Auckland provincial district, and the persistence of damp conditions adversely affected the lambs. Elsewhere it was mainly regarded as a good month for growth and for stock, especially as in the South Island it was 1-2 degrees warmer than usual.
The next month was one of the coldest and wettest Mays on record. Winds from a southerly quarter brought persistent cloud and rain, particularly to eastern and southern districts. Widespread gales were reported over the North Island from the 26th to the 28th. Many falls of snow were reported, the worst being in Southland from the 24th to the 26th and in the North Island high country from the 25th to the 30th. Temperatures were below normal by 3-5 degrees in the South Island and by 2-4 degrees in the North Island. In the South Island conditions were particularly severe for stock, especially for young sheep.
By contrast, the winter months of June to August were unusually dry and sunny over most of the South Island and the southern half of the Wellington provincial district. Generally conditions were very favourable for stock. A spell of south-easterly weather from 23 to 26 July brought snow to low levels in the South Island and well down on the hills of the North Island and caused some lambing losses in Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa. However, August proved to be a particularly favourable month for lambing, on account of the absence of prolonged spells of cold wet weather.
September was a mild month and rather too dry in Canterbury, affecting pasture growth. By contrast, October was cooler than usual by 1-3 degrees, except in the Auckland provincial district. It was also marked by an unusually high frequency of southerly to easterly winds, with some heavy falls of rain in eastern districts of the North Island. The dried-up pastures of Canterbury received good rains about mid-month. A late snowfall caused some losses of lambs in the South, but generally it continued to be a good season for lambing.
November and December were both somewhat warmer than usual, with rainfall well below average in central districts from Marlborough to Taranaki and Hawke's Bay, affecting crops. November was also unusually windy, with strong north-westerly gales on several occasions. It was particularly cloudy in the Taranaki-Manawatu area. On the other hand, December was unusually cloudy in Canterbury and parts of Otago. December was also rather wet in the Hauraki Plains -Coromandel area and in parts of Otago. In many districts it was regarded as a good month for stock.
The observations from which the following summary was compiled for the year 1959 were taken at 0900 hours New Zealand Standard Time—i.e. 2100 hours Greenwich Mean Time.
|Station||Temperatures in Shade—Degrees Fahrenheit||Bright Sunshine (Hours)||Rainfall|
|Mean Daily Maximum||Mean Daily Minimum||Approximate Mean Temp.||Extremes for 1959||Extremes*|
|Maximum and Month||Minimum and Month||Absolute Maximum||Absolute Minimum||Total Fall (Inches)||No. of Rain Days|
|* Highest and lowest temperatures for duration of records.|
|Te Paki, Te Hapua||66.8||52.4||59.6||79.2 Feb.||29.0 Jun.||82.8||27.0||2,132||63.10||193|
|Auckland||66.2||53.2||59.7||80.2 Jan.||36.9 Jun.||90.4||31.5||2,042||49.72||174|
|Tauranga||65.5||48.6||57.0||83.2 Feb.||28.8 Jun.||91.9||22.5||2,135||51.52||141|
|Ruakura, Hamilton||65.5||45.9||55.7||84.4 Jan.||22.2 Jun.||94.4||14.2||1,905||47.96||176|
|Whakarewarewa||63.2||45.0||54.1||83.3 Jan.||24.4 Jun.||98.0||21.3||1,815||54.94||146|
|Onepoto, Lake Waikaremoana||58.3||45.1||51.7||85.2 Jan.||31.3 Jun.||88.1||22.2||80.75||201|
|Gisborne||66.0||47.5||56.8||95.0 Jan.||26.0 Jun.||99.8||25.9||2,057||41.19||163|
|New Plymouth Airfield||63.3||48.4||55.9||83.8 Jan.||30.6 Jun.||86.0||28.0||2,005||54.10||168|
|Napier||65.4||48.6||57.0||95.0 Jan.||30.8 Jul.||96.5||27.5||2,178||36.46||122|
|Wanganui||63.2||48.9||56.0||81.8 Mar.||30.2 Jun.||88.0||28.6||2,029||40.59||123|
|Palmerston North (D.S.I.R.)||63.3||47.0||55.2||84.2 Jan.||27.8 Jun.||87.0||21.2||1,716||37.08||156|
|Waingawa, Masterton||63.2||43.9||53.5||91.5 Jan.||26.0 Jul.||95.4||19.5||1,923||34.42||158|
|Kelburn, Wellington||60.0||49.3||54.6||83.1 Jan.||34.8 May||88.0||28.6||2,076||40.88||137|
|Nelson Airfield||62.3||44.1||53.2||84.1 Jan.||23.0 Jun.||92.0||21.0||2,523||29.68||99|
|Blenheim||64.9||44.8||54.8||88.1 Jan.||24.9 Jun.||94.6||16.1||2,512||19.62||91|
|Hanmer||60.8||38.7||49.8||89.5 Jan.||17.0 Jun.||97.0||8.2||1,894||55.23||135|
|Hokitika South||59.7||44.0||51 9||75.8 Jan.||27.3 Jul.||84.5||25 0||2,116||87.83||167|
|Lake Coleridge||60.9||39.9||50.4||91.0 Jan.||20.0 Jun.||97.0||100||31.21||100|
|Christchurch||62.0||43.6||52.8||92.1 Jan.||22.3 Jun.||95.7||19.3||2.109||23.43||93|
|Timaru||61.5||43.1||52.3||91.6 Mar.||25.1 Jun.||99.0||19.8||1,987||19.84||106|
|Milford Sound||58.1||43.5||50.8||79.8 Jan.||29.2 May||81.8||23.1||209.43||185|
|Queenstown||60.4||40.9||50.7||93.2 Jan.||23.0 May||93.4||19.2||1,983||28.07||127|
|Alexandra||62.8||40.0||51.4||97.0 Jan.||190 Jun.||99.0||11.0||2,213||11.42||88|
|Musselburgh, Dunedin||58.9||44.7||51.8||88.3 Jan.||27.5 Jun.||94.0||23.0||1,796||28.71||176|
|Invercargill Airfield||57.8||41.5||49.6||84.5 Jan.||25.3 May||90.0||190||1,724||39.55||198|
For 1959 the mean sea level pressure values in millibars at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time were; Auckland 1016-9, Wellington 1015-7, Nelson 1016.0, Hokitika South 1016.3, Christ-church 1014.8, and Dunedin 1013.9.
Normal Seasonal Temperature Pattern.—A feature of the seasonal pattern of temperature for New Zealand is the near symmetry about either the hottest summer months or the coldest winter months. In other words the summer-winter decline is an almost identical reversal of the winter-summer rise. This shows up clearly when temperatures for 100 climatological stations are averaged month by month. The first two months of the calendar year, the summer months of January and February display the same average temperature, that of 61.3°F. This temperature is the highest average for any month, being approached by only the December average of 59.2°r. Once February is past a decline sets in, the estimated average New Zealand temperature falling by 2.5°F from February to March to give a March average of 58.8°F. Thereafter, successive inter-monthly temperature drops of 4.4°, 5.4°, 4.2°, and 1.2°F finally produce a July average of 43.6°F, which makes this month the coldest of the year. Progressing through and past July the temperature steadily rises, the increments being successively, 1.8°, 3.4°, 3.8°, 3.2°, 3.4°, and 2.1°F, finally returning to the January mark of 61.3°F.
ESTIMATED NORMAL NEW ZEALAND TEMPERATURE (°F)*
|Calendar Month||Mean Temperature|
|* Based on temperature normals for 100 climatological stations.|
The following diagram illustrates the seasonal temperature pattern.
FLORA OF NEW ZEALAND.—Those desiring information on the flora and plant covering of New Zealand are referred to the article which appeared in the 1940 and previous issues of the Year-Book. For more detailed information the following works may be consulted: “Manual of the New Zealand Flora”, 2nd ed., by T. F. Cheesman, 1925; “Students' Flora of New Zealand”, by T. Kirk, 1889; “Vegetation of New Zealand”, 2nd ed., by L. Cockayne, 1928; “New Zealand Plants and Their Story”, 3rd ed., by L. Cockayne, 1927; “Plants of New Zealand”, 6th ed., by R. M. Laing and E. W. Blackwell, 1951; “Handbook of the Naturalized Flora of New Zealand”, by H. H. Allan, 1940; “New Zealand Native Plant Studies”, by W. C. Davies, 1956; “New Zealand Ferns”, 5th ed., by H. B. Dobbie and M. M. Crookes, 1953; “Handbook of the New Zealand Mosses”, by G. O. K. Sainsbury, 1955; “Introduction to the Grasses of New Zealand”, by H. H. Allan, 1936; “Grasslands of New Zealand”, 2nd ed., by E. B. Levy, 1955; “Pasture Plants and Grasses of New Zealand”, 7th ed., by F. W. Hilgendorf and J. W. Calder, 1952; “Weeds of New Zealand”, 5th ed., by F. W. Hilgendorf and J. W. Calder, 1952; “Poisonous Plants of New Zealand”, by H. E. Connor, 1951; “Trees of New Zealand”, 4th ed., by L. Cockayne and E. P. Turner, 1958; “New Zealand Trees and Shrubs and How to Identify Them”, by H. H. Allan, 1928; “Forest Flora of New Zealand”, by T. Kirk, 1889; “Forest Trees and Timbers of New Zealand”, by H. V. Hinds and J. S. Reid, 1957; “Exotic Forest Trees in New Zealand”, by G. C. Weston, 1957; “Forest Fungi”, by M. E. Lancaster, 1955; “The Marine Algae of New Zealand, Part I: Myxophyceae and Chlorophyceae”, by V. J. Chapman, 1956.
FAUNA OF NEW ZEALAND.—A brief article on the fauna of New Zealand is contained in the 1940 and earlier editions of the Year-Book. Other publications dealing with this topic include: “Native animals of New Zealand”, by A. W. B. Powell, 1947; “Animals of New Zealand”, 4th ed., by F. W. Hutton and J. Drummond, 1923; “Introduced Mammals of New Zealand”, by K. A. Wodzicki, 1950; “New Zealand Birds”, 2nd ed., by W. R. B. Oliver, 1955; “New Zealand Birds and How to Identify Them”, 4th ed., by P. Moncrieff, 1952; “Birds of New Zealand”, by A. M. Bailey, 1955; “Focus on New Zealand Birds”, by G. J. H. Moon, 1957; “Moas of Australia and New Zealand”, by W. R. B. Oliver, 1949; “Treasury of New Zealand Fishes”, 2nd ed., by D. H. Graham, 1956; “Fresh Water Fishes of New Zealand”, by G. Stokell, 1955; “Sea Anglers' Fishes of New Zealand” and “Big Game Fishes and Sharks of New Zealand”, by A. W. Parrott, 1957 and 1958; “Shells of New Zealand”, 3rd ed., by A. W. B. Powell, 1957; “Manual of New Zealand Mollusca Plus Atlas”, by H. Suter, 1913 and 1915; “Insects of Australia and New Zealand”, by R. J. Tillyard, 1926; “Butterflies and Moths of New Zealand” plus Supplement, by G. V. Hudson, 1928 and 1939; “Bibliography of New Zealand Entomology, 1775-1952”, by D. Miller, 1956; “New Zealand Beetles and Their Larvae”, by G. V. Hudson, 1934; “Native Insects”, by D. Miller, 1955; “Aphids of New Zealand”, by W. Cottier, 1953; “New Zealand Neuroptera”, by G. V. Hudson, 1904; “Fragments of New Zealand Entomology”, by G. V. Hudson, 1951; “Acalyptevate Diptera of New Zealand”, by R. A. Harrison, 1959; “The Earthworm Fauna of New Zealand”, by K. E. Lee, 1959.
EARLY HISTORY: General.—When New Zealand was discovered by Europeans in 1642 it was found to be inhabited by a race of Polynesians called Maoris, who had migrated to these islands many centuries previously. At what time the discovery of New Zealand was made by the Maoris, and from what country they came, cannot be stated accurately, for being an unlettered people they had only oral records of their history. The origins of the Maori people prior to their final migration are even more obscure, but in accordance with the general tradition of the Polynesian race it would seem that from Asia they migrated eastward by way of Malaysia to the Pacific. According to their mythology their Pacific home was the island of Hawaiki—the position of which is now unknown—and from there, many generations ago, one of their chiefs, after a long voyage, reached the northern island of New Zealand. Returning to his home with a glowing description of the country he had discovered, this chief persuaded a number of his people to set out in a fleet of double canoes for the new land. This migration was followed by others, and from comparisons of the tribal legends it has been possible to obtain a definite knowledge of the subsequent division and history of the numerous tribes after their occupation of New Zealand. On their arrival the Maoris found inhabitants on the east coast of the North Island of similar racial origins to themselves. Known to the Maoris as Morioris, “inferior people”, this race was driven to the South Island and to the Chatham Islands, where it was practically exterminated by disease and by invading Maoris early in the nineteenth century. The Morioris are now extinct. Of their history nothing is known, and their origins remain a mystery.
Coming from tropical latitudes, the Maoris mainly confined themselves to the warmer North Island, and when discovered by Europeans were in a high state of neolithic civilization, with marked superiority in the arts of wood-carving and military engineering. Their principal social unit was the family group, and from combinations of the numerous groups were formed the sub-tribes and tribes. With highly developed social and ritualistic customs, their system of land tenure and methods of cultivation were communal within the sub-tribes. Inter-tribal and intra-tribal warfare was common, and as individuals they displayed exceptional courage and intelligence.
The immediate effect of European contacts on the Maoris was the outburst of a series of tribal wars waged with greater ferocity and a vastly greater loss of life than was customary in pre-European tribal engagements. The high mortality could, of course, be credited to the acquisition of a more lethal weapon, the musket. The advantage lay originally with the coastal tribes as a result of their earlier contact with Europeans, the wars continuing until all tribes were equally well armed. These wars were later followed by wars against the colonists, but after 1870 the story has been one of unbroken peace between Maoris and Europeans.
The introduction of European diseases and firearms, and the impact of European civilization on the traditional way of life and customs of the Maoris, had such an adverse effect that their numbers must have been reduced by over half during the nineteenth century. However, the virility of the race gradually asserted itself, and from the beginning of the twentieth century the Maori population has been rapidly increasing.
Other island groups, such as the Cook Islands, Niue Island, and the Tokelau Islands, had also long been inhabited by Polynesians from various successive migrations extending over considerable periods prior to their discovery by Europeans.
Discovery by Europeans.—On 13 December 1642, Abel Janszoon Tasman, a navigator of the Dutch East India Company, discovered the country to which he gave the name of Straaten Land, and which later became known as “Nieuw Zeeland”. Tasman had left Batavia on 14 August 1642, and, after having discovered Tasmania, he steered eastward and sighted the west coast of the South Island, described by him as a high mountainous country. Sailing north, he had the misfortune to come into conflict with the Maoris at Golden Bay, on the north coast of the South Island, so that though he continued his northward journey until he reached the northern tip of the country, he did not again attempt to land. His exploration was of necessity very cursory, for having explored only part of one coast he had no knowledge of the country's extent or shape.
There is no record of any European visit to New Zealand after Tasman's departure until Captain Cook sighted land on 6 October 1769, at Young Nick's Head. On his first voyage Cook spent six months exploring the New Zealand coast-line, and he completely circumnavigated the North and South Islands. His activities can be best described by saying “he found New Zealand a line on the map, and left it an archipelago”. Not only was Cook's ability shown by his cartographical accuracy, but also in his peaceful dealings with the truculent Maoris. He returned to New Zealand again in 1773, in 1774, and in 1777.
Several other explorers also visited New Zealand during the latter portion of the eighteenth century, amongst whom may be mentioned M. de Surville 1769, M. Marion du Fresne 1772, Captains Vancouver and Broughton 1791, Captain Raven 1792-93, Alejandro Malaspina and Jose de Bustamente y Guerra 1793, Lieutenant Hanson 1793.
The European discovery of many of the islands of the Cook group was made by Captain Cook in 1773. Rarotonga and Mauke were not officially discovered for another fifty years, although there were records of earlier visits by the Bounty under the control of the mutineers in 1789 and later, in 1814, by the Cumberland. Niue Island was discovered by Cook in 1774. The first recorded discovery of the Tokelau Islands was made by Quiros in 1606. Of the remaining islands of the group, Atafu was discovered in 1765, Nukunono in 1791, and Fakaofa in the 1840's.
European Settlement and Colonization.—So far as is known, the first instance of Europeans being left in New Zealand to their own resources occurred in 1792, when Captain Raven of the Britannia landed a sealing-party at Facile Harbour, on the west coast of the South Island, where they remained a little over twelve months before being called for.
In the years that followed, whaling stations sprang up along the coast, and a trade with New South Wales began not only in whale oil and seal skins, but also in flax and timber—to say nothing of the disreputable traffic in dried tattooed heads. Attracted to New Zealand were deserters from whaling vessels and escaped convicts from Australia, who, in the absence of any jurisdiction, soon became notorious for their extreme lawlessness. In 1814 Samuel Marsden, chaplain to the Governor of New South Wales, obtained permission to send two of his proteges, Kendall and Hall, to the Bay of Islands to consider the desirability of establishing a mission station. Later they returned to Sydney for Marsden, who arrived in New Zealand to preach his first sermon at the Bay of Islands on Christmas Day, 1814. Of the many admirable activities undertaken by the missionaries, their action in having the Maori language “reduced to a rational orthography” deserves special mention.
In 1825 three separate, but abortive, attempts were made to found colonies; however for some years the only settlements were those round the principal whaling stations, although a number of Europeans gradually penetrated inland and resided there permanently, many marrying Maori women.
The first body of immigrants under a definite scheme of colonization arrived in Port Nicholson in January 1840, there to found the town of Wellington, just one week before Captain William Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands as Governor to proclaim British sovereignty (see page 19). These settlers were brought out from England by the New Zealand Company, whose moving spirit was Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
It was hoped that, by producing a proper balance of capitalists and artisans, self-contained communities could be successfully established. However, owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the land-purchases, considerable difficulty was experienced in these initial settlements, and friction grew up not only between the settlers and the Maoris, but also between the Governor and the settlers. Before his death in 1842 Governor Hobson had transferred his capital from Russell to Auckland, but this transfer was of little assistance to the colonists, who had extended their settlements to Wanganui, New Plymouth, and Nelson.
Following the death of Hobson, the existence of the colony became precarious, for, through lack of funds and weak administration, Maori aggression became a real menace. To cope with the situation, the Colonial Office appointed Captain George Grey as Governor. Being well equipped with troops and funds, as well as being a man of vigour and perception, Grey soon restored order and won the confidence of both the settlers and the Maoris. During Grey's term two further organized settlements were made. In co-operation with the New Zealand Company the Free Church of Scotland sponsored the Dunedin Settlement of 1848, and the Church of England the Canterbury Settlement of 1850. These settlements, owing to their more favoured situations, their satisfactory land-purchase agreements, and their freedom from trouble with the Maoris, achieved a greater measure of success in carrying out the company's avowed aims.
After Grey's departure the question of relationship with the Maoris again came to the fore through the land-purchasing activities of the settlers—a situation aggravated by subsequent lack of consideration for the Maori system of land tenure. Following an incident at Waitara in the Taranaki district, where a dispute arose concerning land titles, war broke out in 1860 and lasted spasmodically till 1870. The recall of Grey did not solve the problem, as Grey, an autocrat, could not work with the elected Ministers, nor did his presence prevent the confiscation of land belonging to the Maoris, whether friendly or hostile. It was under the sympathetic administration of Sir Donald McLean as Minister for Maori Affairs that the dispute finally died down.
These hostilities were confined to the North Island; and, in the meantime, in 1861, large alluvial deposits of gold had been discovered in the South Island—leading to a tremendous influx of population and an alteration of the economic structure of the country.
No organized form of European colonization has at any time taken place in the Cook Islands, Niue Island, or the Tokelau Islands.
SUBSEQUENT HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT (1870 ONWARDS).—The discovery of gold, by its increase of wealth, allowed the South Island to obtain a lead in commercial and political development which it long maintained. Moreover with the subsequent agrarian expansion, especially in the development of the large pastoral holdings, the country ceased to be merely self sufficient agriculturally, but began to develop a substantial export trade, mainly in wool, which it has maintained to the present day.
These factors, together with freedom from strife with the Maori population, led after 1870 to a quickening in political activities. Under the leadership of Sir Julius Vogel a policy of extensive borrowing for railway and road construction was begun. The provincial system which really commenced in 1853 had largely outlived its usefulness; in fact, the parochialism of their assemblies had frequently proved obstructive, and in consequence the provincial system was abolished in 1875, local administration being provided for by the Counties Act and the Municipal Corporations Act of 1876.
Of great social significance was the passing in 1877 of the Education Act, making education free, compulsory, and secular, while the laying during that decade of the first cable between Australia and New Zealand was a major advance in communications. At this time party politics began to enter into the parliamentary system, and the slump conditions which prevailed in the “eighties” (due to a fall in the world price level) intensified the political atmosphere. By the abolition of plural voting in 1889, and the introduction of female suffrage in 1893, the way was opened for a practical expression of political convictions by all adult members of the community.
In 1891 Ballance, as Leader of the Liberal Party, became Premier, to be followed on his death in 1893 by Seddon, and during the next decade the legislative essays of this party evoked world-wide interest. The main aim of the legislation was social justice, and its principal manifestations were in land division, the establishment of the Court of Arbitration, and the introduction of old-age pensions. The policy of land division aimed at closer land settlement, and it was achieved by the compulsory subdivision of large estates, with subsequent loans to small independent farmers wishing to establish themselves. In inaugurating the Court of Arbitration the object was to eliminate strikes by giving labour a recognized bargaining status; and the enactment was in accord with the enlightened code of labour legislation passed at that time.
With the commencement of the refrigerated trade in 1882, the policy of closer settlement progressed rapidly, since the production of frozen meat and dairy produce for export encouraged more intensive farming. There thus arose a new farming class which in 1911, some five years after Seddon's death, was mainly responsible for the overthrow of the Liberal regime.
The policy of the succeeding Reform Party under Massey was one favouring agricultural production. Farming interests were given constant encouragement by a series of enactments of which the extension of rural credit was typical. Three years after the advent of the Reform Party the First World War 1914-18 broke out, leading to the formation of a Coalition Government and an Imperial commandeer of exports. War activities were marked by heavy casualty lists, in proportion to the population, and by enhanced cordiality in Imperial relations. One noteworthy outcome of the war commandeer was the precedent given for the establishment, after the war, of Control Boards to regulate the export of pastoral products.
Though the effects of the post-war depression during the period 1921-24 showed themselves in an increase in unemployment and slight wage reductions, no drastic legislation was necessary to stabilize economic conditions. During the following years the price level rose; and, from the administrative side, it was characterized by extensive public-works expenditure, with particular attention to hydro-electric schemes and highways.
Owing to the encouragement given to farming, pastoral production constantly expanded, so that New Zealand became one of the world's greatest exporters of pastoral produce. As a consequence, her national income was extremely sensitive to price fluctuations of these products; so that, with the advent of the depression in 1930, her economic position became extremely vulnerable. In order to produce balanced budgets, both public and private, various legislative remedies were attempted. In particular, enactments were provided for unemployment relief, for the suspension, in effect, of compulsory arbitration, for the establishment of a Reserve Bank, for a mortgage moratorium, for raising the exchange rate, and for reduction in interest rates and wages. With the recovery in price levels and consequent general economic revival, amendments were made to several of these Acts, removing the more stringent measures. The election of a Labour Government in 1935 led to a change in administrative policy, the preoccupation being mainly with social problems. Further amendments were made to the depression legislation, certain restrictive measures were removed, and other temporary adjustments made permanent.
The general climate of opinion and gradual maturity of outlook furnish the background in which certain distinctive trends appear in legislation passed from 1936 to 1957.
The first major influence was an attitude which forcefully rejected the human suffering and economic waste associated with a major depression. Evidence of this is implicit in the provision for a basic wage, and later for a minimum wage, employment-promotion legislation, amendments to workers' compensation, industrial conciliation and arbitration, mining, etc., legislation, the system of guaranteed prices for certain primary produce, the creation of farm industry reserves and the rationalization of production and marketing by the establishment of boards for certain items of primary produce.
The second major influence on legislation was conditioned by the outbreak of the Second World War, 1939-45. A vast body of legislation was placed on the statute book during the war period dealing with the control of manpower and materials, stabilization of prices, wages, and rents, conditions of employment and suspension of certain peacetime features of industrial activity, discouragement of some industries and diversion to or encouragement of other industries, provision for rehabilitation, etc.
A third dominant trend was the acceptance of the principle that society should take active steps towards the improvement of the working, living, and social circumstances of its members. Foremost in this category was the Social Security Act and its later extensions providing for monetary benefits such as age, superannuation, family allowances, sickness, and unemployment, and for removal of the fear of want; failure to obtain needed medical assistance and hospitalization by the deterrence of crippling costs was obviated by the provision of a system of medical benefits.
Other legislative enactments under this heading include the provision for paid annual holidays, joint family homes, reduction of working hours, extension of workers' compensation insurance, improvement in safety and health and welfare conditions in industry, and extension of educational facilities and opportunities.
A fourth approach to law-making resulting from maturity of outlook has been the increased participation by New Zealand in international affairs consequent on its acceptance of responsibility in the wider issues of the present era. Legislation authorizing participation in United Nations activities generally and in particular emergencies, such as army and navy service in Korea, Malaya, and elsewhere; the extension of New Zealand representation in overseas countries and with the United Nations; the greater frequency of Commonwealth consultation; extension of aid to less developed countries, e.g., to Greece, and participation in the Colombo Plan; all bear witness to this change in outlook.
Another influence on legislation presents some parallels to that last mentioned, but is more concerned with the domestic sphere. It is exemplified in the increasing interest taken in welfare and social development generally of both the rapidly growing Maori population and the inhabitants of New Zealand's island and trust territories, such as the Cook Islands and Western Samoa.
Contemporaneously with the expansion of the field of legislative interest, other economic and industrial development of the country has proceeded with marked impetus in recent years. Expansion and diversification of manufacturing and servicing industries have provided avenues of employment for the growing labour force. At the same time the basic industries of the country, those concerned with primary production, have increased output, assisted by the rapid application of technological improvements and research findings.
The history of New Zealand's island territories has been largely one of wise paternal oversight, particularly in the earlier periods, by the New Zealand Government and by the various missions established in the islands. More recently, successive Governments have in various ways encouraged the inhabitants to take an increasing share in the administration of their communities, thus paving the way for some form of self-government. Much attention has been paid to combating tropical diseases and to health problems generally; such island industries as citrus, orange, and banana growing have been fostered and encouraged in various ways, with outlets being found for produce available for export. By and large, however, their economy is necessarily one of a subsistence type only, with financial and other assistance provided from Government sources for the expansion of educational facilities and opportunities, public works such as roading, conservation of water supplies by reservoir construction, communication facilities, etc.
Owing to limitations of space, the foregoing is but a brief résumé of New Zealand history. For detailed information, reference should be made to the many excellent books dealing with the subject, of which the more recent ones are listed in the General Bibliography appearing in Appendix (c) of this volume, and others in earlier issues.
SOVEREIGNTY.—Following representations from Maori chiefs for protection from the prevailing turmoil and lawlessness caused by inter-tribal warfare and the rough element around the whaling stations, the New South Wales Government appointed, in 1832, Mr James Busby as British Resident at Russell. Owing to the failure to supply him with any means of exerting authority, his appointment was largely ineffective. Finally the disorder, and the friction between the two races, became so intolerable that even the missionaries, who were opposed to annexation, made representations for British sovereignty.
On 29 January 1840, Captain William Hobson, R.N., arrived at the Bay of Islands, empowered, with the consent of the Maoris, to proclaim the sovereignty of Queen Victoria over the Islands of New Zealand, and to assume the government thereof. Hobson formally read his commissions at Kororareka on 30 January 1840, and on 6 February of the same year a compact called the Treaty of Waitangi was entered into, whereby all rights and powers of sovereignty were ceded to the Queen, all territorial rights being secured to the chiefs and their tribes.
On 21 May 1840 Governor Hobson proclaimed British sovereignty in the case of the North Island by virtue of the Treaty of Waitangi, and in the case of the South Island and Stewart Island by right of discovery. New Zealand remained a dependency of New South Wales until 3 May 1841, when it was created a separate colony by Royal Charter dated 16 November 1840. The capital was at first transferred by Hobson from Russell to Auckland, but in 1865 it was again transferred, on this occasion to Wellington, where the seat of Government has since remained.
During Governor Grey's term, steps were taken to draft a constitution for the colony. An Act granting representative institutions was passed by the Imperial Parliament on 30 June 1852, and was published in New Zealand by Proclamation on 17 January 1853. Under it provision was made for the constitution of a General Assembly consisting of a Legislative Council and a House of Representatives. Provision was also made for the division of the country into provinces, each province having an elected Council and Superintendent. (The provincial system was abolished in 1875 and the Legislative Council in 1950.) In the first General Assembly of 27 August 1854 certain members of this body were associated with the permanent members of the executive but they did not hold any portfolios. It was not until 7 May 1856 that responsible government was actually established.
With the gradual development of the country's economy, the acquisition of political and administrative experience, and the increasing desire for self-reliance in political matters, the degree of self-government became more complete. In recognition of this and of a nascent sense of nationality, New Zealand was given the title of Dominion in lieu of Colony, the new title taking effect on 26 September 1907.
Of the constitutional events in recent years the passing by the United Kingdom Parliament of the Statute of Westminster in December 1931, was of major importance. The draft of this statute was submitted for the confirmation of the various Commonwealth Legislatures before its passage through the United Kingdom Parliament. The statute granted complete autonomy to the various self-governing member countries, but it did not automatically apply to Australia or New Zealand. In other words, its operation in the latter self-governing members of the Commonwealth was declared to require specific adoption by the Legislature of that country. It was not until 1947 that the New Zealand Government formally adopted the Statute of Westminster.
As far as the island territories are concerned, the Cook Islands were proclaimed a British protectorate in 1388, and in 1901 were annexed and proclaimed part of New Zealand under the Colonial Boundaries Act 1895. Niue Island is part of the Cook Islands, though separately administered, and became part of New Zealand in 1901 with the extension of boundaries to include the Cook Islands. The Tokelau Islands were placed under the protection of Great Britain in 1877, formally annexed at the inhabitants' request in 1916, and from 1925 were administered by New Zealand at the request of the United Kingdom Government. From 1949 they became part of New Zealand by virtue of the Tokelau Islands Act 1948.
NEW ZEALAND'S INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES.—Though in the nineteenth century Sir Julius Vogel and the Rt. Hon. R. J. Seddon had original views about the policy which Britain and New Zealand should pursue in the Pacific area - views which they announced with vigour - New Zealand did not acquire the right to conduct an independent foreign policy until the end of the First World War when the full nationhood of the “Dominions” was recognized. For some years after this, however, successive New Zealand Governments chose not to exercise this right and (pursuing a passive roll in the League of Nations and refraining from establishing diplomatic relations with foreign Governments, or with other members of the Commonwealth apart from Britain) preferred to make known any views on matters of foreign affairs only to the British Government and through the confidential channels of intra-Commonwealth consultation.
Few pressures existed in the 1920's and early 1930's to impel New Zealand towards enunciating an independent foreign policy. The population was mainly British in composition and comparatively few were concerned to distinguish between the interests of New Zealand and those of the Mother Country. Nor had they much cause to do so: New Zealand had established a fruitful economic partnership with Britain, upon which country nearly all her material and cultural links were centred; and New Zealand's surest protector against dangers which it was incapable of meeting alone was the Royal Navy. It was, moreover, realized that New Zealand in her own right could make little impact on world affairs whereas Britain was a great power capable of affecting the pattern of world events. New Zealand “foreign policy” therefore consisted chiefly in seeking to modify British policy in those few cases where New Zealand had a strong interest or a viewpoint rather different from that of Britain. A standing opportunity was provided by the system of confidential intra-Commonwealth consultation whereby Britain provided full information to the Dominions and sought their comments upon issues of international policy as they arose. In this way New Zealand tended to prefer a share of great power status to “independence” of foreign policy; this sufficed until the middle of the 1930's.
In practice, during the first sixteen years after the First World War the New Zealand Government on only a few occasions thought it necessary to make significant efforts to bring about a modification of British policy. This situation resulted chiefly from the factors earlier outlined which made for an identity of interest and viewpoint between Britain and New Zealand. In part also it arose because few problems directly affecting New Zealand remained to be settled; in part it was because of a considered reluctance to give advice when the main consequences of accepting that advice fell upon Britain, not New Zealand; in part it was because New Zealand Governments tended to approach problems pragmatically rather than on grounds of principle, and were conscious of having no expert New Zealand Department organized to collect and appraise the facts on equal terms with the British Foreign Office; in part it was because New Zealand Governments, supplied by the Foreign Office with very much the same information as that on which the United Kingdom Cabinet based its judgments, viewed problems from a similar standpoint to that of the British Government. In short, most New Zealanders thought of external affairs in terms of Imperial unity and relied on British leadership of the Empire.
The emergence of an independent New Zealand foreign policy is usually held to date from 1935. Some Ministers in the new Government were deeply interested in world affairs in general, and the Government's approach was influenced by theory and principle. In particular, they held strong views on the principle of collective security and upon the League of Nations as the embodiment of that principle. In its method of championing the principles of collective security, pressing for the restoration of the authority of the League of Nations and, at a time when the United Kingdom Government was pursuing the policy which came to be known as appeasement, urging positive League action over Abyssinia, Spain, and China, the Government came to depart from the pattern of the previous sixteen years: for, in addition to making its views known in confidential communications to the United Kingdom Government, it also stated them with vigour in the international forum of the Council and the Assembly of the League of Nations.
There was, however, no fundamental departure from the traditional policy of association with Britain. Moreover, the course that would be followed in the event of war was never in doubt. As early as 16 May 1938 a leading member of the Government had said “if the Old Country is attacked, we are too we will assist her to the fullest extent possible.” When war broke out the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. M. J. Savage, expressed New Zealand's position in terms that were as true in 1939 as they would have been in 1914:
“Behind the sure shield of Britain we have enjoyed and cherished freedom and self-government. Both with gratitude for the past, and with confidence in the future, we range ourselves without fear behind Britain. Where she goes, we go. Where she stands, we stand. We are only a small and young nation, but we are one and all a band of brothers, and we march forward with a union of hearts and wills to a common destiny”.
Until twenty-five years ago New Zealand sought to protect and promote its interests solely through its association with Britain; in the world situation that then existed, and given New Zealand's small power and influence, this was certainly more economical and probably more effective than any other method or foreign policy. For a short period from 1935 New Zealand used the League of Nations as a supplement to the British association.
But the Second World War changed the pattern of power in the world and made it necessary for New Zealand gradually to revise its foreign policy and its method of implementing that policy. Even though the basic attachment of New Zealanders to the Mother Country was little affected, the fact became manifest that Britain was no longer a power able to determine events on a world scale and that, since New Zealand interests could no longer be protected by British actions alone, it did not suffice to confine New Zealand foreign policy to occasional attempts to persuade the British Government to take note of New Zealand views. Japanese aggression and, later, the rise of Communist China forced New Zealand to face the reality of its geographical location in the Pacific and to develop an additional relationship with the only other friendly power capable of protecting New Zealand - the United States of America - with the least possible prejudice to its association with the United Kingdom. To contribute to Anglo-American harmony is therefore a major preoccupation of New Zealand foreign policy.
To be woven into any post-war policy was the now traditional New Zealand belief in the principle of collective security and international justice, especially as symbolised by, though not yet embodied in, the United Nations. This was by no means an easy task in a world where the divisions of the cold-war were reflected in competing regional alliances. There had to be a place, too, for belief in the ability of international co-operation to control armaments and to eliminate poverty, disease, and other economic and social causes of international tension.
During the war years New Zealand was admitted to the councils of the Allies and was expected to advance informed views. The Government honoured its responsibility and, having established in wartime the habit of participating in the making of international decisions, accepted it as natural that New Zealand should continue to participate in the development of a post-war world order and in subsequent international consultations. To this end New Zealand established (in effect from 1943) a professional Department of External Affairs and a career foreign service, and proceeded slowly to establish diplomatic missions in countries where New Zealand's interests merited protection. In particular, New Zealand sought increasingly to make its individual contribution to fostering good relationships with its neighbours in the Pacific and to increasing the measure of security and welfare in this area.
The threat to New Zealand's security, posed by the entry of Japan into the war at a time when the United Kingdom was fully committed in Europe, brought New Zealand into the closest relations with two of her Pacific neighbours, Australia and the United States. Recognition of the need for a greater measure of collaboration with Australia resulted in the signing in 1944 of the Canberra
Pact which provided machinery for continuing consultation between the two Governments. Upon the entry of Japan into the war both New Zealand and Australia looked principally to the United States for protection. Relations among the three countries thus entered a new phase. The close association of wartime found expression in peacetime in the Anzus Treaty, in which, for the first time, New Zealand and Australia entered into a treaty of alliance and mutual defence with a foreign country. While neither Australia nor New Zealand was in favour of a vindictive or onerously restrictive peace settlement with Japan, they both made clear during the negotiation of the Japanese Peace Treaty their apprehension at the possibility of future aggression in the Pacific. The Anzus Treaty, which came into force in April 1952, was designed to allay these fears at the same time as it achieved the aim of both countries to enter into a close relationship with the major Pacific power. The treaty gives an assurance of United States support in the event of an armed attack from any quarter in the Pacific and so constitutes New Zealand's major safeguard from aggression in the area.
Since the signature of the Anzus Treaty, New Zealand has become a member of another regional defence system, the South-East Asia Treaty Organization, SEATO. In joining SEATO, a body made necessary by the failure of the Great Powers to co-operate in carrying out the security functions entrusted to them by the United Nations Charter, New Zealand demonstrated further its new awareness of the international and strategic implications of i';s position in the South Pacific. In 1955, the Minister of External Affairs, the Hon. T. L. Macdonald, discussing New Zealand's foreign policy, said that the only possible threat to New Zealand's security could come from Asia, and in particular from the spread of Communist power in South-East Asia. “New Zealand's foreign policy grows”, he said, “from the need to reconcile geography and history, economic fact and strategic fact. In practical terms at present this means that, without weakening the many links which bind us to Britain and the whole Atlantic community, we must increase our concern with South-East Asia”.
This regional approach implied no weakening of the belief in the pre-eminent value of collective security organized on a world basis. New Zealand continued to place special importance upon its membership of the United Nations. It has been an active participant in the work of the General Assembly, has been a member of all Councils of the Organization, has provided troops to the United Nations Force in Korea and military observers in Palestine, Kashmir, and Lebanon, and has endeavoured to assist all efforts to attain the political and social objectives outlined in the Charter.
At the time of the formation of SEATO, New Zealand's interest in South-East Asia had already been expressed in social and economic terms. In 1950, New Zealand, along with a group of other Commonwealth countries, became a member of the Colombo Plan established to assist the countries of South-East Asia to improve their standards of living. To New Zealand, a pioneer in the field of social legislation and a country where wealth is spread throughout all levels of the population, the Colombo Plan has a special significance and contributions large by New Zealand standards (if small when measured against the potential need) have been made to it. Despite this new concentration on South-East Asia, New Zealand continued and developed its efforts (as will be seen later) to promote action on a world scale to deal with social and economic problems.
If, since the war, the facts of geography have had an important influence on New Zealand's attitudes towards foreign affairs, history and tradition continue nevertheless to mould its outlook. The historic links with the United Kingdom and with Western Europe and North America remain as strong as ever; and the economic links with the United Kingdom, New Zealand's best customer, remain strong. No situation is, however, constant. One of the key problems of external political, not merely economic, policy now presented to New Zealand grows out of the realization that while New Zealand must expand the volume and value of its exports of primary products if the standard of living of its rapidly increasing population is to be maintained and improved, the United Kingdom market may be capable of only a limited expansion. New Zealand's foreign policy is likely to continue the endeavour to reconcile geography and history, economic fact and strategic fact.
Department of External Affairs.—The External Affairs Act 1943 made provision for the appointment of a Minister of External Affairs* charged generally with the administration of external and foreign affairs, including relations with other countries, communications with other Governments, representation abroad, and representation of other countries in New Zealand. The Act also authorized the appointment of a Secretary of External Affairs and (superseding the High Commissioner Act of 1908) dealt with the appointment of High Commissioners and of overseas representatives.
* The portfolio was assumed by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Peter Fraser.
The functions of the Department were defined at its inception as follows:
To act as a channel of communication between the Government and other British and foreign Governments on matters relating to external affairs;
To assist in negotiating treaties and international agreements;
To direct New Zealand's overseas diplomatic posts;
To deal with foreign diplomats, and to issue exequaturs to foreign consuls.
The Act thus established the Ministry of External Affairs as the normal channel of communication with the Governments of other countries. As, however, the new Department was in fact still a part of the Prime Minister's Department, no change in procedure, apart from the use of the changed nomenclature, was necessary.
Dealings with overseas Governments usually involve considerable interdepartmental co-ordination. Since the Prime Minister's Department has always been regarded primarily as a department of co-ordination, an intimate relationship has existed between the two Departments. The Prime Minister has for two periods found it appropriate to assume the portfolio of External Affairs and the Departments have in any case been run as a unit. The staff is held in common and, though some officers are engaged on work peculiar to one Department, the work of the majority involves both departments. The Secretary of External Affairs is also Permanent Head of the Prime Minister's Department. In defence matters the two Departments have been closely associated. During the war, the Permanent Head was also Secretary of the War Cabinet. In that period the responsibility of the Prime Minister's Department for defence co-ordination was extended and developed; in discharging this responsibility the Permanent Head is now assisted by the Defence Secretariat of the Prime Minister's Department. This Secretariat works closely with the Defence Division of the Department of External Affairs, and the head of that Division is chairman of the body which co-ordinates military and civilian intelligence.
In the formulation and application of external affairs policy, close association with other Government Departments is necessary. Defence planning, for example, entails close liaison with the Service Departments, participation in the Colombo Plan with the Treasury and with the many Departments which supply experts and training facilities, consular questions with the Department of Labour, and legal questions with the Department of Justice. Moreover, the Department is a clearing house for a wide variety of material provided by overseas posts for other Departments. As well as fulfilling its major function of acting as a channel of communication with other Governments, the Department thus also acts as a co-ordinating centre for other Government Departments. The Department and its network of posts overseas also performs numerous services on behalf of Departments which are without overseas representatives of their own.
In the Official Section at the end of the Year-Book the diplomatic and other New Zealand representatives overseas are listed, as well as the official representatives of other countries in New Zealand.
New Zealand in the Commonwealth.—Despite the new emphasis in New Zealand's approach to international affairs resulting from its consciousness of the realities of its geographical position in the South Pacific, membership of the Commonwealth remains the central feature of its policy. Intimate association with the United Kingdom is the historical basis, and remains an important principle of New Zealand's external relations. The tics between New Zealand and the United Kingdom are embodied in the close association of the Commonwealth, membership of which has given New Zealand an international status that such a small and isolated community could not otherwise claim.
Although one of the oldest members, New Zealand, unlike some of its fellow members, did not seek to hasten the process of constitutional transition within the Commonwealth. At the Imperial Conference in 1930 the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. G. W. Forbes, stated that “we have felt that all times within recent years we have had ample scope for our national aspirations and ample freedom to carry out in their entirety such measures as have seemed to us to be desirable”. There was little interest in the adoption of the relevant provisions of the Statute of Westminster enacted in 1931 to give legal endorsement to the transformation that had taken place in the relationship between Britain and the Dominions. It was not, in fact, until 1947 that the necessary formalities were completed in New Zealand by the passing of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act.
Since that time there have been many changes in the Commonwealth association both in constitutional respects and in numbers. Whereas at the beginning of the war there were only five members, there are now ten and it is expected that more will join within the next few years. With the entry of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, the Federation of Malaya, and Ghana, the Commonwealth has become an entity embracing several continents and its relationships have taken on a new scope and emphasis. New Zealand, itself a country where two races live side by side, sees in the Commonwealth a special opportunity for multiracial co-operation and understanding.
New Zealand has as yet exchanged representatives with only five of the ten members of the Commonwealth: Australia, Canada, India, the Federation of Malaya and the United Kingdom.
The importance New Zealand attaches to the Commonwealth association has been given practical expression in its membership of a number of Commonwealth organizations including the Commonwealth Air Transport Council, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Board, the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, the Imperial War Graves Commission, the Commonwealth Institute, the Commonwealth Economic Committee, and the Commonwealth Scientific Office.
New Zealand in the United Nations.—It has been noted earlier that the first significant expression of an independent New Zealand foreign policy occurred in the League of Nations and was directed to supporting the principle of collective security. Support for this principle later and through the United Nations has remained a cornerstone of New Zealand's foreign policy.
The purposes which motivated the policy in 1935 were strongly held beliefs, rather than a set of principles developed from any careful assessments by a national foreign service. The beliefs were nevertheless a reflection of widely held concern over world events, a concern which the succeeding years were to reinforce. It was, therefore, perhaps understandable that at San Francisco in 1945 New Zealand should argue so forcibly, if unsuccessfully, to eliminate the veto and to strengthen the collective security provisions of the United Nations Charter.
Despite its physical isolation New Zealand has felt unable to regard with unconcern the fate of other small countries helpless to defend themselves against a powerful aggressor and thus liable to be picked off one by one.
Other small countries are for the most part more vulnerable than New Zealand, but New Zealand's relative security depends in the first instance on the preservation of these more vulnerable countries from attack. The United Nations does not, it is true, offer a complete guarantee of New Zealand's or any other small country's security against aggression. Nor has it yet achieved agreement on disarmament; but New Zealand Governments have acted upon the conviction that the United Nations, and it alone, contains the rudiments of a universal collective security system, and that it is through the United Nations, and not through its abandonment in favour of some other alternative, that an effective and comprehensive collective security system may eventually be developed and agreement on disarmament achieved.
New Zealand has recognized that this objective must be a long term one, and that the United Nations in its present form must be buttressed by regional defensive alliances. It has not taken the doctrinaire view that all multilateral diplomacy must be conducted within the United Nations. In general, however, New Zealand has regarded the United Nations as the natural centre of international diplomacy unless there were, in special cases, good reasons to work outside it.
Within the United Nations the expression of this policy has taken several forms. New Zealand has sought to remove the causes which might produce the need for recourse to collective security action. Its representatives have urged that the Assembly be used as a place for harmonizing relations between nations: they have voiced the need for restraint in the pursuit of national objectives; they have consistently sought and supported responsible action in aid of an effective international organization; they have reiterated the need for the early adoption of a broad programme of supervised disarmament. At the 1958 session of the General Assembly the Prime Minister also stressed the value of an agreement for the cessation of nuclear tests, under effective international control, as a separate first step. Subsequently New Zealand co-sponsored a resolution urging that every effort be made by the nuclear powers to reach an early agreement of this kind at talks in Geneva and that no further tests be held while these negotiations were in progress.
New Zealand has at the same time advocated adequate and timely preparations in case aggression should occur, and has upheld the principle of an International Police Force. When occasion has arisen New Zealand has been prepared to play its part: troops were provided to the United Nations Force in Korea and military observers to the United Nations Observer Groups in Palestine, Kashmir, and Lebanon. New Zealand representatives in the United Nations have also strongly supported the principle that all members must bear their proper share of the cost of international action to meet aggression, e.g., the cost of supporting the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East.
To maintain the peace is the primary purpose of the United Nations, and for New Zealand the search for effective guarantees of international peace and security continues to be the first object of membership. It is not, however, the only object, nor is a system of collective security (or disarmament) the only means of giving effect to it.
The state of economic, social, and general political relations goes far to determine the urgency of the need for a collective security system. For New Zealand, geographically isolated and with limited direct diplomatic relations, the United Notions is inevitably one of the most important forums available, not only to influence the course of international events, but also to secure the friendship and understanding of the world community. For any country, its international reputation is a valuable asset. If New Zealand is better known and commands more influence in international affairs than some other small states similarly situated, this is in some measure, at least, due to New Zealand's record of active participation in the United Nations, a vital if controversial organization.
Economic and Social Council.—New Zealand's interest in these questions - as well as the recognition by other countries that New Zealand has special experience to offer - is illustrated by its membership of the Economic and Social Council (an elective body of eighteen members of the United Nations) from 1947 to 1949 and its re-election in 1958 for a further term for the period 1959 to 1961. New Zealand is also a member of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), of the Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and of the Social and Statistical Commissions. In the past New Zealand has also designated representatives on the Fiscal Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women.
In undertaking these responsibilities New Zealand may to some extent be regarded as “taking its turn”. In few cases, however, are the considerations in favour of representation so simple. New Zealand certainly shares with others an interest in ensuring that economic and social conditions are such as to permit ordered political progress. It is concerned to ensure that, where political principles are in issue, the beliefs which New Zealanders hold as essential should be recognized and, if possible, accepted by the world community. Sometimes there are strong reasons of self-interest; the weight of advantage received, in terms of professional benefit, and the contribution made are evenly balanced in the case of technical bodies such as the Statistical Commission. On the other hand some organs which were first designed to meet the emergency of post-war conditions, such as UNICEF, have developed programmes, e.g., the supply of milk powder and fish liver oil, which are of economic interest to New Zealand.
The biggest single task now facing the Economic and Social Council is to promote and direct programmes for economic development in under-developed countries. New Zealand has always recognized the need for economic development and made its contributions to the appropriate funds, e.g., the Expanded Programme for Technical Assistance, and now the Special Fund. It has been concerned, however, to ensure that international programmes in this field should be effective and realistic.
At present New Zealand representatives in the United Nations are called upon to deal with questions of economic development in three different fields. One is in the Economic Committee of the General Assembly, where the economic work of the Organization is subject to general review; the second arises out of New Zealand's membership of ECAFE. In this setting, the detailed study of development programmes is closely related to the work of the Colombo Plan, and provides a significant counterpart to New Zealand's growing political interest in Asia.
Finally, within the Economic and Social Council, New Zealand is associated with activities affecting the lives and welfare of a considerable proportion of the world's population; moreover, the Council is responsible for the general direction of assistance programmes running at present at the rate of about S60 million a year.
Specialized Agencies.—It is the responsibility of the Economic and Social Council under the Charter to co-ordinate the activities of the Specialized Agencies through consultations and recommendations. New Zealand is a member of all the Agencies except the International Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization. As a contributor to their budgets, it is concerned to ensure that activities are not duplicated and that the Secretariats of the United Nations and of the Agencies work closely together on matters of common interest. New Zealand has also been concerned to ensure that on political and administrative matters the policies of the Agencies are adjusted to those of the United Nations. As in the case of the different organs and subsidiary bodies of the United Nations, so with the Specialized Agencies, New Zealand's reasons for membership have ranged from motives of self-interest to its conviction of the value of international co-operation. In some cases non-membership would place New Zealand at a distinct disadvantage. Membership of the Universal Postal Union is essential to facilitate the efficient international movement of mails to and from this country. Similarly the International Telecommunications Union regulates international radio, telephone and telegraph traffic, and the need to belong to this body is universally accepted. The World Meteorological Organization is the medium for setting standards and encouraging the free interchange of meteorological information. Wartime experience emphasized the fact that few countries have as direct an interest in international civil aviation as New Zealand; although the only international airline registered in New Zealand flies only regional routes. New Zealand is closely concerned with the efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organization to foster the planning and development of international air transport and to ensure proper standards for the development of airways, airports, and air navigation facilities.
No clear line can, however, be drawn between the “technical” Agencies and others, and some degree of technical advantage is to be derived from membership of all the Specialized Agencies. Although its own health standards are high. New Zealand has nevertheless drawn benefits, particularly in its Island Territories, from its membership of the World Health Organization. Each in its own field - the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations, and the recently formed International Atomic Energy Agency - constitutes an important international medium for the free interchange of knowledge and experience.
On occasion the Specialized Agencies provide the forum for advancement of a New Zealand interest. The FAO has played a prominent part in the formulation of measures to encourage the establishment of a stable international market for agricultural commodities, particularly in the enunciation of principles to govern the disposal of surplus commodities. At its Ninth Session in 1957 the Conference adopted a resolution sponsored by New Zealand which recommended that FAO develop further ways of disposing of surplus products without impinging on existing or future channels of trade.
The International Labour Organization, which was established in 1919 in association with the League of Nations, became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946, although retaining its autonomy. New Zealand is a member State with the Department of Labour as the liaison agency of the Government. New Zealand representatives regularly attend the annual International Labour Conference.
As well as the Commonwealth organizations mentioned earlier some regional organizations, particularly the South Pacific Commission, are of particular importance to New Zealand. Since the establishment of the Commission in 1947, New Zealand's Island Territories have derived much benefit from its work on fisheries, co-operatives, control of the rhinoceros beetle, and research upon filariasis.
New Zealand and the South-East Asia Treaty Organization.—New Zealand, together with other countries concerned at the deteriorating security situation in South-East Asia, followed with close attention the development of the Indo-China crisis during the first half of 1954. After a United States plea on 29 March for “united action” by the free world to resist further Communist expansion in South-East Asia, the following month the United Kingdom and French Governments made known their agreement with the United States that consideration should be given to the establishment as soon as possible of a collective security system in the area. In New Zealand the Minister of External Affairs stated on 14 April that the Government welcomed this proposal, and was prepared to participate in discussions for this purpose.
The clarification of the situation in Indo-China, as a result of the cease-fire agreements reached at Geneva on 21 July 1954, gave fresh impetus to the proposals for a collective security arrangement. After a further period of consultation, eight countries - the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the United States, France, the Philippines, and Thailand - announced on 14 August that they had agreed to attend a conference in the Philippines in September to consider the establishment of a system of collective defence for the area. On 8 September in Manila representatives of the eight Governments signed the South-East Asia Collective Defence Treaty. At the same time they agreed on a Pacific Charter setting out the principles upon which the signatories undertook to base their policies for maintenance of peace and stability in the treaty area. The Minister of External Affairs, the Hon. T. C. Webb, led the New Zealand delegation to the Manila Conference and signed the treaty on behalf of New Zealand. The implications for New Zealand of the new agreement were reported to Parliament when the Minister returned from the conference, and the treaty was ratified by New Zealand on 19 February 1955 and entered into force for all the parties on that date.
New Zealand and the Colombo Plan.—Under the Colombo Plan, New Zealand, with Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, has joined with the countries of South and South-East Asia to help them improve their standards of living. The Colombo Plan is not, as its name implies, a unified plan - it is rather a series of separate plans drawn up and administered by each country in the region; the assistance required and made available is negotiated on a bilateral basis. The Plan had its origin in, and took its name from, a meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers held in January 1950 in Colombo to exchange views on world problems, particularly on the economic needs of the countries of South and South-East Asia. The meeting established a Consultative Committee to “survey the needs, to assess the resources available and required, to focus world attention on the development problems of the area, and to provide a framework within which an international co-operative effort could be promoted to assist the countries of the area to raise their living standards”. Since then the Consultative Committee has met consecutively in Sydney, London, Colombo, Karachi, New Delhi, Ottawa, Singapore, Wellington (1956), Saigon, Seattle, and Jogjakarta (1959).
A foundation member of the Plan and an active participant at every meeting, New Zealand has done its utmost, within the scope of its limited resources, to make significant grants of capital and technical assistance to the countries of the area.
Capital Assistance.—By 31 March 1960, New Zealand had appropriated a total of £9,315,000 for capital and technical assistance. Of this, £5,734,722 had been transferred to the governments concerned or used at their request to buy equipment. Most of New Zealand's capital aid has been given in the form of direct transfers of overseas funds, but in some cases it has been possible to supply equipment manufactured in New Zealand.
Contributions of capital aid during 1959 included the transfer of the amount of £250,000 allocated to Malaya for the establishment of an agricultural faculty at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur; a grant of £200,000 to Pakistan to assist with the purchase of machinery for a sugar mill at Jaipur Hat in East Pakistan; £100,000 to India to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, which had previously received £1,000,000; £5,500 to Vietnam for the purchase of equipment for a veterinary laboratory and £70,000 to assist with the construction of new buildings and the provision of equipment at the Faculty of Science of the University of Saigon; and £50,000 to the Philippines to establish a number of trade training centres.
Technical Assistance.—By 31 December 1959 New Zealand had spent £1,276,015 on technical assistance, and 681 students had come to New Zealand to take training courses under the Technical Co-operation Scheme of the Plan. During 1959, the number of Colombo Plan students currently in New Zealand reached a record total of 264. The main fields in which training has been provided are education, particularly university studies, engineering, health, and agriculture. In May 1959 arrangements were made for an agricultural mission from Laos to visit New Zealand. This was the first technical assistance given by New Zealand to Laos, although a grant of £20,000 had been provided earlier for the purchase of equipment and road and water transport for mobile veterinary dispensaries in Laos.
At the end of 1959 there were 30 experts from New Zealand in South and South-East Asia, including 10 English language teachers in Indonesia.
General Aims.—It is clear that, as New Zealand has assumed the international responsibilities appropriate to an independent country, its foreign policy has changed in emphasis and scope. The foundations of New Zealand's pre-war position in international affairs - its identification with Britain and its membership of the Commonwealth - have been modified and extended to meet the demands of an international situation greatly changed from that of 1939. As a country of predominantly European settlement, New Zealand retains its traditional loyalties to the United Kingdom and a sense of identity with Europe and of involvement in its destiny. As a Pacific power, it has sought security in friendship and formal defensive arrangements with Australia and the United States of America; at the same time it has developed its associations with Asian countries. As a country concerned with the preservation of world peace and the organization of defence against aggression it has placed prime importance upon development of the United Nations as an agency for peaceful settlement of international disputes and for the achievement of collective security. Pending the establishment of a broadly based United Nations security system, however, New Zealand has been prepared, in respect of South-East Asia, to participate in a protective grouping concerned with the defence of a single area. Moreover, while it sees aggressive Communism as the greatest threat to individual liberty at the present time, it is well aware of the powerful stirrings of other forces - the yearning for political emancipation, the antagonism to systems of racial discrimination, the demand of under-privileged countries for a greater share of the world's prosperity, for social advancement and opportunity. New Zealand's actions in the international field are designed to take account of these forces and, where possible, to assist the people of other countries in their striving for a better life. The limits of what it is able to do are those imposed by its size and capacity; its disposition is towards peaceful and friendly relations with all nations and (whatever the modifications which the needs of national security may impose) it is to that ultimate goal that its foreign policy is directed.
CONSTITUTION OF NEW ZEALAND: General.—New Zealand is a monarchical state; it is also a constituent member of the Commonwealth. It is in this context that the preamble to the Royal Titles Act 1953 is significant whereas it is expedient that the style and titles at present appertaining to the Crown should be altered so as to reflect more clearly the existing relationships of the Members of the Commonwealth to one another and their recognition of the Crown as the Symbol of their free association and of the Sovereign as the Head of the Commonwealth
Constitutional elements besides that of the titular head, the Monarch, can be reviewed under the categories of legislative authority, the executive and administrative structure, and the judiciary. This division is a convenient one, even though there is no absolute line of demarcation between the three phases (e.g., legislation may and often does arise through the day to day experience of those responsible for administration and execution of policy, or through difficulties or anomalies made explicit in the course of dispensing justice or interpreting law). Conversely, in the exercise of the powers and functions of industrial and other tribunals, commissions, authorities, etc., both administrative and judicial elements may be discerned.
THE MONARCH.—The New Zealand Parliament in the Royal Titles Act 1953 gave its assent to the use of the Royal style and titles as follows: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Her Other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
While the seat of the Monarch is normally in the United Kingdom, the Queen is represented in New Zealand by the Governor-General appointed by the Crown on the advice of Her New Zealand Ministers. The Governor-General has however an official existence, even in the country to which he has been appointed, only in the absence of the Queen from that country. In the island territories the Crown is represented by the Resident Commissioner or Resident Agent, and in the trust territory of Western Samoa by the High Commissioner. These officials carry out the constitutional functions of the Crown, but they also possess in varying degree certain executive and legislative powers, being responsible to the New Zealand Government for the administration and good government of the islands concerned.
Many powers held by the Monarch (or her representative) comprise but the means of giving effect to the public will. In New Zealand the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Ministers, which cannot be constitutionally ignored. Despite the long-term trend for powers to be assigned directly to Ministers without any necessity for vice-regal consultation, there are still many phases of Government which require Royal participation.
The Queen (in her absence the Governor-General) gives consent or approval prior to a Minister taking office or the formation of a Ministry; summons and prorogues Parliament; delivers the Speech from the Throne at the opening of a session; gives the Royal Assent to measures which have passed all stages in the House of Representatives, without which they have not the force of laws; makes appointments to most important State offices; confers knighthoods and other honours, etc.; and also provides that background of stability, continuity, and experience in many facets of government which is so desirable whenever there are sweeping changes in the dominance of political parties.
Besides those duties associated with the constitutional role, the Royal personage or representative makes an important contribution to the ceremonial life of the nation. This was particularly well illustrated during the sojourn of the Royal visitors to New Zealand in 1953-54. Both as the symbol of the nation and in virtue of her identification with the life and interests of her people, the Queen becomes the focus for all State occasions, as does the Governor-General in her absence.
LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY.—The supreme law-making body with power to legislate for the whole country is the General Assembly which now consists of the Governor-General and the House of Representatives, the former Legislative Council having been abolished since the close of 1950.
The powers of Parliament to make laws are legally untrammelled. This was not always so, for prior to the adoption by New Zealand of the Statute of Westminster in 1947 there was incapacity to make laws on certain matters which conflicted with United Kingdom statutes extending to New Zealand. There was also some doubt as to New Zealand's power to make laws possessing extra-territorial validity.
Although they do not limit the legal powers of Parliament as stated above the provisions of the Electoral Act 1956 creating reserved sections in that Act are of great constitutional significance. The Act provides that certain of its sections may not be repealed except by a 75 per cent majority of the House of Representatives or following a referendum. These sections are those relating to—
(a) The constitution and order of reference of the Representation Commission; (b) The number of European electoral districts and the basing of their boundaries on the total population; (c) The fixing of the tolerance within which the Commission must work at 5 per cent; (d) The age of voting; (e) The secret ballot; (f) The duration of Parliament.
This innovation is not legally effective in the sense that it does not prevent a subsequent Parliament from repealing it. since one Parliament cannot bind its successors. It should not be thought, however, that the new provision is a mere gesture. It records the unanimous agreement of both parties represented in Parliament that certain provisions have a fundamental character in the system of Government and should not be altered at the whim of a bare majority. Considered in this light the provision creating reserved sections introduces something in the nature of a formal convention which could not constitutionally be ignored.
While the law-making function is the prerogative of the members of Parliament, it must be remembered that, as in most democracies, laws are passed because of their acceptability to the majority party in Parliament—i.e., the Government party. Furthermore the initial acceptance will have probably been made in the deliberations of Cabinet.
With the increasing range and complexity of the statutory field, the multifarious concerns of a modern twentieth century government, and the necessity of conserving time for consideration of more important issues, much of the detailed procedural steps and other amplifying matter must become the subject of Orders in Council or of regulations made under the authority of some statute, rather than being incorporated in the statute itself. In this form of what has been termed legislation by delegation, the power to originate and sanction regulations rests with that comparatively small proportion of the majority party in Parliament individually known as Members of the Executive Council (or of Cabinet) and who collectively, together with the Governor-General, comprise the Executive Council. The same individuals, excluding the Governor-General, in New Zealand are members of the Cabinet, provided that each is the holder of a portfolio.
Cabinet may and often does function in a deliberate sense as well as in an executive or administrative sense. However regulations, etc., though originating in Cabinet and becoming effective in the proceedings of the Executive Council, still remain subject eventually to the sovereign will of Parliament as a whole.
Meeting of Parliament—Parliament is summoned, prorogued, or dissolved by Proclamation issued by the Governor General. A session is that period between the summoning of Parliament and its prorogation. Its length varies, but it usually occupies the months from June to November. When Parliament is prorogued all the business on hand lapses, and if this is to be proceeded with in the next session it must be re-introduced.
The course of a session may be interrupted by an adjournment.
Parliamentary Privileges.—While in session these include freedom of speech and freedom from arrest, and also the right to engage in secret debate, if required, etc.
The Party System.—There are two political parties represented in Parliament in New Zealand at present: National and Labour. At any General Election these parties, together with any other political parties which may be desirous of so doing and also those standing as independents, state their respective policies before the electors. Each party normally puts forth one candidate for each of the eighty electorates into which the country is divided. The party which wins the majority of seats, although not necessarily the majority of votes, at the General Election forms the Government. The leader of the elected members of the majority party becomes the Prime Minister, who makes Ministerial appointments from elected members of his party. The leader of the minority party in Parliament becomes the Leader of the Opposition. The effectiveness of the party system relies largely on the general agreement that the majority party is to govern and the minority is to criticize—so that there is ample time allocated for debate on Government measures in Parliament. While party control is exercised by national and local organizations outside Parliament, within the latter it is maintained by the respective party Whips.
Parliamentary Procedure.—The House of Representatives has its Standing Orders, which govern its procedure and which are administered by Mr Speaker in the exercise of his control of the House. Mr Speaker's rulings on interpretation of the Standing Orders are followed in a similar manner to judicial decisions in the ordinary courts of law. The main means by which Parliament does its work is through the system of debate and Committees. The election of a Speaker is the first business of a new House after the members have been sworn. A Chairman of Committees is elected as soon afterwards as is convenient. Twenty members, inclusive of the Speaker, constitute a quorum.
Parliamentary Functions and Control.—The Parliament controls the Government in power in the last resort by its power to pass a resolution of no confidence in the Government, or to reject a proposal which the Government considers so necessary that it is made a matter of confidence, and thus force the Government to resign.
Financial control is exercised by the fact that expenditure of public money must be authorized by the House of Representatives in the form of an Appropriation Act, which authorizes or grants money to the Government for the purposes approved. The authority for the raising of revenue by taxation or borrowing must also be given by Parliament. The functions of Parliament are of course the passing of legislation and taking action to make available finances or funds as required for State expenditure, while it also controls the Government. Legislation can be initiated from any member of Parliament, but in practice almost all Bills are introduced by the Government in power as a result of policy decisions taken in Cabinet, sometimes at the instigation of those Government Departments which will be responsible for their administration when the Bills become law. The chief exceptions are private Bills, which are designed for the particular interest or benefit of a person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not, and local Bills which relate largely to matters of local (as distinct from central) government business. The process of passing a public Bill is as follows: it receives a formal first reading on introduction, is then printed, and after some time it is given a second reading as a result of a debate on its general merits or principles. It may then be referred to one of the Select Committees, for consideration in the closest detail, before being considered by the whole House sitting in Committee During these stages members have opportunities to suggest amendments which may be incorporated in the Bill if the majority so decide. The Bill is then reported to the House, and later read a third time, and passed; debate rarely occurs at these stages. The final stage is to send the Bill to the Governor-General for the Royal Assent and, unless provision is made for commencement on another date, it then becomes law. The Bills providing for receipt of moneys, such as the Finance Bill, and expenditure of moneys, such as the Appropriation Bill, are initiated only by a Minister of the Crown, normally the Minister of Finance.
Duration of Parliaments.—Quinquennial Parliaments, instituted under the Constitution Act, were abolished by the Triennial Parliaments Act 1879. which fixed the term at three years. General elections have been held at three-yearly intervals since 1881, with a few exceptions. The term of the nineteenth Parliament was during the First World War extended to five years by special legislation, and that of the twenty-fourth (1931-35) and subsequent Parliaments to four years under the Electoral Amendment Act 1934. By the Electoral Amendment Act 1937 the three-year term was restored, but on account of war conditions the term of the twenty-sixth Parliament was extended to four years by the Prolongation of Parliament Act 1941. The Prolongation of Parliament Act 1942 extended the term still further to one year from the termination of the war, but with a proviso for a motion to be moved in the House of Representatives each year after the year 1942 either approving the continuation of the House or fixing an earlier date for its expiry. During the 1943 session a motion in favour of dissolution was carried, and Parliament was dissolved on 30 August 1943. Since “then the duration of Parliaments has been of three years, with the exception that the twenty-ninth Parliament was dissolved after the expiration of approximately twenty months. The three-year limit was re-enacted in the Electoral Act 1956, this being one of the reserved provisions referred to on page 29.
Number of Representatives.—The number of members constituting the House of Representatives is eighty—seventy-six Europeans and four Maoris. They are designated “Members of Parliament”. The number was originally fixed by the Constitution Act as not more than forty-two and not less than twenty-four, and the first Parliament called together in 1854 consisted of forty members. Legislation passed in 1858 fixed the number of European members at forty-one; in 1860, at fifty-three; in 1862, at fifty-seven; in 1865, at seventy; in 1867, at seventy-two; in 1870, at seventy-four; in 1875, at eighty-four; in 1881, at ninety-one; in 1887, at seventy; and in 1900, at seventy-six. Since 1867 there have been four Maori representatives, and provision for this number was retained in the Electoral Act 1956. In 1952 the boundaries of the Maori electoral districts, which had remained unaltered since 1867, were changed by Proclamation so as to give a greater degree of equality of population among the four districts (in effect the Southern Maori Electoral District now includes a considerable area of the North Island).
Qualifications of Members.—Under the Electoral Act 1956 every registered elector of either sex, but no other person, is qualified to be a parliamentary candidate. It is provided, however, that a person shall not be so elected who is disqualified as an elector under any of the provisions of the Act (see under “Franchise” post); or is an undischarged bankrupt; or is a contractor to the public service of New Zealand to whom any public money above the sum of £200 is payable, directly or indirectly (but not as a member of a registered company or incorporated body), in any one financial year. Although women have had the vote since 1893, they were not eligible as Parliamentary candidates until the passing of the Women's Parliamentary Rights Act 1919. Prior to 1936 a public servant was prohibited from being elected, but this prohibition was removed by the Political Disabilities Removal Act 1936. The present law is that if a public servant is elected to Parliament he vacates his office forthwith and he cannot resume employment in the Public Service within twelve months of ceasing to be a member of Parliament unless he had previously been a public servant for at least five years.
Salaries, etc.—In accordance with the recommendations contained in the report (issued in 1959) of the Royal Commission upon parliamentary salaries and allowances, the Prime Minister's salary, as from 1 July 1959, was increased to £4,250 with a tax-free allowance of £1,500 for the expenses of his office and the Ministerial residence. In addition, while travelling on official business he receives £4 4s. per day to meet expenses, and by virtue of his office is entitled to free cars, secretarial assistance, and free postage. The salary of each Minister holding a portfolio is £2,800 with a tax-free expense allowance of £450, and that of each Minister without portfolio £2,200, with £350 tax-free expense allowance. Where the office of Minister of External Affairs is held by a Minister other than the Prime Minister the expense allowance is increased to £615. Any Minister not occupying a Ministerial residence receives an allowance in lieu at the rate of £300 per annum. This allowance or the assessed value of the residence where one is provided is subject to income tax. Previously Ministers did not receive an expense allowance as such, but the Commissioner of Inland Revenue allowed a deduction from salary of £250 as an expense allowance. Ministers also receive an allowance of £4 4s. per day when travelling on official business within New Zealand.
The Civil List Amendment Act 1936 made provision for the appointment of Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, an innovation in executive control in New Zealand. The rate of salary attachable to such position is now £1,700, with the same house provision or allowances, and travel allowance while on official business, as for Ministers. An expense allowance of £400 is also payable. Since the general election of November 1954, no appointments or reappointments have been made.
The Civil List Act 1950 provided that, on a recommendation of a Royal Commission, the salaries and allowances of Ministers and Members of Parliament may be fixed by Order in Council, in which event the salaries and allowances so fixed will be payable instead of those specified in the Civil List Act 1950. In conformity with the recommendations of the Royal Commission issued in 1959 the honorarium paid to members of the House of Representatives is now £1,400 per annum. Members are also paid an allowance to provide for expenses incurred in connection with parliamentary duties ranging from £275 per annum to £605 per annum, subject to the classification of electorates by the Representation Commission into the five classes of (a) a Wellington electorate, being a wholly urban electorate in or near Wellington or Lower Hutt, or (b) a wholly urban electorate other than a Wellington electorate, or (c) a substantially urban electorate, or (d) a substantially rural electorate, or (e) a wholly rural electorate; a special additional allowance of £100 per annum is paid to the member for Southern Maori and a special additional allowance of £50 per annum to the members representing the other three Maori electorates (for details see Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Order 1959). Payment to members is subject to certain deductions for absence not due to sickness or other unavoidable cause. In addition to the honorarium, members are entitled to certain privileges in respect of railway and other forms of travel, a stamp allowance of £5 a month, etc. The Civil List Amendment Act 1955 provides that a Royal Commission shall be appointed to fix parliamentary salaries and allowances within three months after the date of every General Election.
Part V of the Superannuation Act 1947, as amended by the Superannuation Amendment Act 1955, and consolidated in 1956, introduced a contributory superannuation scheme for members of the House of Representatives. The scheme now provides for a minimum retiring allowance of £350 per annum for a member with service of nine years (or eight years if a member has served throughout the duration of net less than three Houses of Representatives), the allowance increasing by £50 per annum for every year's service in excess of that period until a maximum allowance of £700 per annum is reached after fifteen years' service.
A member must be fifty years of age before he qualifies, on ceasing to be a member, to receive the allowance. The annual contribution, which is compulsory, is £140 per annum, but a member may if he so desires receive a refund of his contributions upon ceasing to be a member.
In the case of a male member dying and leaving a widow surviving she becomes entitled during her widowhood to receive an annuity of two-thirds of the retiring allowance to which her husband was entitled at the time of his death.
Both the Speaker and Chairman of Committees hold office until a dissolution and receive payment until the first meeting of a new Parliament. The Speaker's remuneration is £2,400 per annum, in addition to which he receives an expense allowance of £600 and residential quarters in Parliament House. The honorarium of Chainman of Committees is £1,825, and an allowance of £500 per annum to cover expenses incurred in connection with his parliamentary and official duties is also paid.
The Leader of the Opposition is paid a salary of £2,200 with an expense allowance of £490. In addition, a secretary and typist are provided by the State and an allowance of £215 is payable for travel, outside his electorate. His stamp allowance is £12 10s. per month.
The Chief Whip of each party receives a salary of £1,450 per annum, and the Junior Whip of each party receives a salary of £1,430, together with the appropriate expense allowance in each case in accordance with the classification of his electorate.
ADMINISTRATION AND EXECUTIVE RESPONSIBILITY.—After the election of a new Parliament, the Prime Minister, who is the leader of the majority party in the elected members, is given the task of selecting the members of the Executive Council (i.e., the new Ministry). Each of those members of Parliament to form the Government is entrusted by the Prime Minister with responsibility for administration of a specified field or aspect of government. This field is entitled a portfolio e.g., all relevant matters relating to Customs would be allocated to one member, who is henceforth known as the Minister of Customs. He may also have other portfolios and the supervision of one or more Government Departments in which the activities carried out, though important, either do not rank as portfolios or are subsidiary aspects of the field—in these cases the Minister's responsibility will extend to being in charge of the named Department. One or other of the appointed Ministers in this way is responsible for the direction of activities and executive acts of each of the Government Departments and offices, etc., embracing the entire range of State activities. Thus arises the concept of Ministerial responsibility.
In the legal sense those members of Parliament who have been appointed Ministers, together with the Governor-General, comprise the Executive Council; for purposes of prior and informal discussion on executive or administrative action and deliberation on proposed policy, they, with the exclusion of the Governor-General and of those Ministers without portfolio, become what is known as Cabinet.
Executive Council.—The powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Governor-General and the Executive Council under the present system of responsible government are set out in Royal Letters Patent and Instructions thereunder of 11 May 1917, published in the New Zealand Gazette of 24 April 1919. The Royal Powers Act 1953 provides that the statutory powers conferred on the Governor-General may be exercised either by Her Majesty the Queen in person or by the Governor-General. In the execution of the powers and authorities vested in him the Governor-General must be guided by the advice of the Executive Council; but, if in any case he sees sufficient cause to dissent from the opinion of the Council, he may act in the exercise of his powers and authorities in opposition to the opinion of the Council, reporting the matter to Her Majesty without delay, with the reasons for his so acting.
In any such case any member of the Executive Council may require that there be recorded in the minutes of the Council the grounds of any advice or opinion that he may give upon the question.
A point of interest is that the Civil List Act 1950, in section 6, provided that no person shall be appointed a Minister or a member of the Executive Council unless he is a member of Parliament and that a person who ceases to be a member of Parliament cannot continue to be a Minister or a member of the Executive Council for more than twenty-one days. This gave statutory recognition for the first time to what had long been the convention.
At January 1959 the Executive Council consisted of sixteen members in addition to the Governor-General. Two members, exclusive of His Excellency or the presiding member, constitute a quorum.
Under the Civil List Act 1950 and its amendments His Excellency the Governor-General receives a salary of £6,500 per annum, and an allowance of £5,000 per annum for the salaries and expenses of his establishment (exclusive of the Official Secretary), plus all expenditure incurred in respect of the transport to and from New Zealand and the travel within or outside New Zealand of the Governor-General and his family and staff.
Cabinet.—There is a close relationship between the Cabinet, in itself not a legal entity, and the Executive Council, a statutory body. While the Executive Council consists of all Ministers, and is presided over by the Governor-General, membership of Cabinet may or may not extend to the entire Ministry. Proceedings of Cabinet are not attended by the Governor-General. Where certain Cabinet decisions have to bear the imprint of legal form to become effective, the juridical acts are taken by others—the Crown, the Executive Council, a Minister of the Crown, a Statutory Commission, and the like. The preliminary review of proposed policy or of current administrative developments which takes place in the informal discussion atmosphere of Cabinet meetings implies both deliberate or selective and administrative procedures on the part of this body. Consequently, as a result of the device of Cabinet, general agreement can be reached on any proposed line of action by either an individual Minister, or by the Government as a whole, which enables (a) the Executive Council confirmation to proceed smoothly and expeditiously, (b) the Minister in introducing legislation into the House of Representatives or on other occasions to be confident that his measure will have the unqualified support of the Government no matter what divergences of opinion may have individually been apparent before the general agreement in Cabinet was made, (c) a consistent and agreed upon course of action or attitude to be followed on any particular issue. Thus the concept of collective responsibility of the Government is introduced and exemplified in the workings of Cabinet.
Complex questions and/or related problems may be initially considered by committees of Cabinet composed of those Ministers primarily concerned. Some executive action may be undertaken by these committees within the lines of established Government policy. Their work is subject to periodical report to and overall supervision by the entire Cabinet. On occasions also ad hoc committees may be established to review or investigate particular questions of the moment and to present their conclusions and recommendations to Cabinet for decision or for authority to take executive action. The decisions of Cabinet which require executive action, although notified to all concerned, are usually made effective through the agency of the Minister concerned.
Cabinet deliberations being investigatory or preliminary to action in other organs of Government are naturally informal, while anonymity as to the individual advocacy or opposition to some concerted line of action or area of general agreement is preserved in the form of recording system adopted. A small Cabinet secretariat is set up for the purpose of achieving co-ordination, continuity of action, and review, and to enable the smooth functioning of the work of Cabinet.
In brief, the functions of a Cabinet have been described as (a) the final determination of the policy to be submitted to Parliament, (b) the supreme control of the national executive in accordance with the policy prescribed by Parliament, (c) the continuous co-ordination and delineation of the activities of the several Departments of State.
Government Departments.—The Minister as the political head of a Department of State may in fact have several Departments under his control. There are however some forty-four different Departments with separate functions in New Zealand. Each of these has a permanent head who is responsible for the work and administration of the Department. He is of course responsible to the Minister in charge of the Department, while he also acts as adviser to the Minister on all matters within his appointed competence. Besides ensuring that the Ministerial policy and directions communicated to him are effectively put into practice, his functions as the adviser include assessing the consequences of any executive action resulting from his departmental activity, evaluating the merits and demerits, whether political, social, or financial, of various modes of action, and making suggestions for improvements and for new policy measures as derived from departmental experience in the day to day execution of policy.
Departments can be broadly classified according to the administrative or regulatory, developmental, or social nature of their activities. Within the first group are the servicing sub-group, such as the Legislative, Prime Minister's Office, External Affairs, Printing and Stationery, Law Drafting, Valuation, Statistics, and Audit; the finance sub-group—Treasury, Customs, Inland Revenue; the regulatory sub-group—Public Service Commission, Internal Affairs, Island Territories, Labour, Marine; the defence and law and order sub-group—Navy, Army, Air, Justice, Crown Law, and Police; the publicity and research sub-group—New Zealand Broadcasting Service, Tourist and Publicity, Scientific and Industrial Research.
In the second group are the transport and communications sub-group, such as Transport, Post Office, and Railways; the developmental—Ministry of Works, Agriculture, Lands and Survey, Mines, Electricity, Maori Affairs, and Industries and Commerce; the commercial—Public Trust, Government Life Insurance, State Advances Corporation, and State Fire and Accident Insurance.
The third group comprises the Education, Health, and Social Security Departments.
This broad division serves merely to indicate in which field the dominant activity or purpose of the particular Department is engaged on or concerned with. Most Departments have servicing, informative, and regulatory functions, and many are equally regulatory and developmental in nature.
In addition to the system of direct administration in the form of Government Departments, there are other activities over which the State exercises some ultimate measure of control or ownership, though divorced in varying degrees from immediate supervision. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (the central bank), and one trading bank, are entirely State-owned, although the actual administration is quite independent, subject in the case of the Reserve Bank to the proviso that the Governor or Board of Directors is to give effect to any resolution of the House of Representatives in respect of the bank's functions or business.
Further instances of this principle are shown by the National Airways Corporation, which, although owned by the State, is administratively self-contained, and by the Tourist Hotel Corporation. In certain other avenues the type of administration is in between the normal departmental form and that evident in the corporation type; of such is the National Roads Board, which, though determining policy to a large degree, yet makes use of departmental administrative structures for implementation of policy.
Some administrative organizations have also quasi-judicial functions. Examples of this class are the Price Tribunal, Transport Charges Authority, Licensing Control Commission, and Local Government Commission.
JUDICIARY.—The hierarchy of Courts in New Zealand comprises the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the Magistrates' Court. Apart from these Courts of general jurisdiction there are other Courts dealing with specific fields. In the latter category are the Court of Arbitration, concerned with awards and general orders governing wage determination and conditions of employment in industry; the Compensation Court dealing with workers' compensation; and the Land Valuation Court, which settles land valuation disputes and compensation claims where land is taken for public works. For further details refer to Section 8 (Justice) of this issue.
ELECTORAL PROVISIONS.—The law on these matters is now contained in the Electoral Act 1956. Following each population census, which is normally taken every five years, New Zealand is divided anew into seventy-six European electorates. In addition, there are four Maori electoral districts, three in the North Island and one covering a portion of the North Island together with the whole of the South Island, where the Maori population is comparatively small. The Governor-General may at any time by Proclamation alter the boundaries of the Maori electoral districts, but, as in the case of European electoral districts, any alterations are to come into force at the expiry of the Parliament existing when the Proclamation is issued.
The Government Statistician is required to supply population figures to the Surveyor-General as soon as possible after the census. The population used as the basis in obtaining the quota for each European electoral district is defined in section 2 (1) of the Electoral Act 1956.
The term “European population” means total population with the following exceptions:
Persons residing on board ship, whether as passengers or members of the crew or otherwise:
Persons residing temporarily as guests in any licensed hotel:
Persons residing temporarily in any naval, military, or air force camp, station, or establishment:
Persons residing as patients or inmates in any hospital:
Persons in respect of whom reception orders under the Mental Health Act 1911 are in force:
Persons detained pursuant to convictions in any penal institution.
After the population figures are supplied by the Government Statistician it is then the responsibility of the Representation Commission to define new electoral districts for Europeans. The Commission is constituted by virtue of section 15 of the Electoral Act 1956 and comprises seven members. Four of these, the Surveyor-General, the Government Statistician, the Chief Electoral Officer, and the Director-General of the Post Office, are official members. Two are unofficial members, being persons nominated by the House of Representatives, one nominated to represent the Government, and one to represent the Opposition. The seventh member is appointed, on the nomination of the official and unofficial members of the Commission or a majority of them to be the Chairman of the Commission. The Chairman and unofficial members cease to be members on the date on which the first periodical census is taken after the date of their appointment.
The Commission determines the number of electoral districts in the North and in the South Islands so that the number of districts in the North Island bears, as nearly as possible, the same proportion to the number of districts in the South Island as the European population of the North Island bears to the European population of the South Island. Once this is done the next step is to determine the population quota for electoral districts in each Island by dividing the European population of each Island by the number of districts in that Island. In applying the quota, provision exists for an allowance by way of addition or subtraction of 5 per cent of the quota where districts containing the exact quota could not be formed consistently with consideration of topography, community of interest, communications, and existing electoral boundaries.
When the boundaries have been provisionally determined, maps are prepared illustrating the proposed electoral districts, and descriptions of each electoral district are published in the New Zealand Gazette. A time limit of one month is given thereafter in which objections to the proposed boundaries may be lodged. These objections are then considered by the Representation Commission and a final decision reached on boundaries which then become the new electoral districts.
In addition to determining new European electoral districts the Representation Commission is also charged with the responsibility of classifying them for the purpose of allowances as provided by section 14 of the Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Order 1959. Under this section provision is made for an allowance based on the size, topography, and transport facilities of the electorate, the nature of its roads, the distribution of its population, and all other considerations that the Commission deems relevant.
The Act provides that all general elections and by-elections shall be held on a Saturday and for both European and Maori elections to be held on the same day. Polling hours in all electorates are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Act provides that, if at any time Parliament is dissolved before it has been two years in existence, the main and supplementary rolls used in the previous general election, together with a further supplementary roll, may be used if in the opinion of the Chief Electoral Officer it is impracticable to print new main rolls. The same rolls, together with a further supplementary roll, are to be used for any by-election occurring before the next following general election.
Provision is made for the voting at elections and licensing polls by servicemen serving overseas, who are or will be of, or over the age of, twenty-one years before the date of the election or poll, whether or not registered as electors of any electoral district. Each such serviceman shall be qualified to vote as an elector of the electoral district in which is situated his usual place of residence before he last left New Zealand.
FRANCHISE.—Since the abolition of plural voting in 1889 and the introduction of women's suffrage in 1893, every person 21 years of age or over (with certain obvious exceptions) has had the right to exercise one vote and one vote only in the election of members of the House of Representatives. The present law relating to electors and elections is contained in the Electoral Act 1956, and a note of some of the more important provisions of this Act is given below.
Qualification for Registration as Elector.—To be qualified for registration as a parliamentary elector in New Zealand a person must have attained the age of 21 years and must (a) be a British subject or Irish citizen, (b) be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, (c) at some period have resided continuously in New Zealand for at least a year, and (d) except in special cases have resided continuously for three months or more in the electoral district in respect of which application for registration is made, and not have subsequently resided for three months or more in any other electoral district.
The Act defines what is meant by the term “ordinarily resident”. To be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, a person must be or have been actually resident in New Zealand with the intention of residing there indefinitely. If he is absent from New Zealand he must have had, ever since he left New Zealand, an intention to return to reside there indefinitely, and (except in the case of a public servant or the wife or husband of a public servant) must not have been absent from New Zealand for more than three years.
This new requirement that an elector must be ordinarily resident in New Zealand is an important departure from the previous position. Prior to 1957 any British subject who had been in New Zealand for a year was entitled to register and to vote, even though his residence might have been of a temporary nature and although he did not associate himself with the New Zealand community. Conversely, a New Zealander absent from New Zealand for more than a year lost the right to vote. Broadly speaking, the new qualifications restrict the right to vote to permanent residents, the test laid down being similar to the legal concept of domicile.
The following persons are disqualified from registration as electors: (a) Those in respect of whom reception orders under the Mental Health Act 1911 are in force, (b) those detained pursuant to a conviction in any penal institution, and (c) those whose names are on the Corrupt Practices List for any district. These qualifications and disqualifications apply alike to Maoris and Europeans.
Registration of Electors.—A system of compulsory registration of electors has been in operation in respect of Europeans since 1924 and was introduced in respect of Maoris in 1956. Every person qualified to be registered as an elector of any district must, if he is in New Zealand, apply for registration within one month after the date on which he first becomes qualified to be registered as an elector. He must also apply for registration within three months after the issue of every Proclamation proclaiming the names and boundaries of electoral districts or within such later period as may be provided by Order in Council. Qualified electors who are outside New Zealand may apply for registration if they wish.
A European is not entitled to be registered as an elector of a Maori district and a Maori (other than a half-caste) is not entitled to be registered as an elector of a European district. A half-caste Maori may choose to be registered either for a Maori or European district, and special rules are laid down to govern a change from one to the other.
Voting at Elections.—Voting at parliamentary elections is by secret ballot, a method which was first introduced in New Zealand in 1870. Recognition of the fundamental character which the secret ballot has attained in New Zealand was given in the Electoral Act 1956, which included the section providing for this method of voting among the reserved sections which may be repealed only by a 75 per cent majority vote or following a referendum.
In general, only those persons whose names are lawfully on the main and supplementary rolls of electors compiled prior to an election may vote at that election. The following classes of persons whose names are not on the roll are however entitled to vote—
Those who have applied for registration between writ day and polling day and have satisfied the Registrar that they became qualified for registration not earlier than one month before writ day;
Those who are qualified for registration and were at the last preceding election registered in that district or, where boundary changes have intervened, in some other district in which their then residence within the first-mentioned district was then situated;
Those who are qualified for registration and have since the last election and before 6 p.m. on writ day applied for registration in that district, or where boundary changes have intervened, in some other district in which their then residence within the first-mentioned district was then situated;
Servicemen outside New Zealand, if they are or will be twenty-one years of age or more on polling day and their place of residence before they left New Zealand is within the district.
Special Voters.—A vote is normally cast by the elector at a polling booth within his district. An elector may, however, vote as a “special voter”, either at a polling booth outside his district or by post, in the following cases:
If his name does not appear on the main roll, or any supplementary roll for the district or has been wrongly deleted from the roll;
If he will be outside New Zealand on polling day;
If he is or will be absent from the district on polling day;
If he will not be within two miles by the nearest practicable route of any polling place in the district during the hours of polling;
If he will be travelling during the hours of polling under conditions which will preclude him from voting at a polling place in the district;
If he is ill or infirm;
If, in the case of a woman, she is precluded from attending at a polling place by reason of approaching or recent maternity;
If he is a “lighthouse keeper or a member of a lighthouse keeper's staff, or if she is the wife of a lighthouse keeper or of one of his staff;
If he has a religious objection to voting on the day of the week on which polling day falls;
If he satisfies the Returning Officer or Deputy Returning Officer that on any other ground he cannot vote at a polling place in the district without hardship or undue inconvenience.
These latter conditions replace the former classes of absentee, postal, and declaration voters, including servicemen outside New Zealand.
Local Authority Elections.—For the system of local government administration a modified form of franchise exists, a rate paying qualification being necessary for the exercise of votes on financial issues. Further reference to the local government franchise will be found in Section 31 of this Year-Book.
GENERAL REVIEW.—A population census was taken as for the night of Tuesday, 17 April 1956, in New Zealand, while a census of the Island Territories was conducted by the Department of Island Territories for the night of Tuesday, 25 September 1956.
The minor islands (see page 2), other than the Kermadec Islands and Campbell Island, were uninhabited at the date of '.he census. The Ross Dependency, situated in Antarctic regions and normally uninhabited, had a population of 166 males at the 1956 census date, and 146 males at 31 March 1959, these men being members of scientific expeditions.
The 1956 census population of geographic New Zealand (i.e., excluding Island Territories) was 2,174,062, inclusive of 137,151 Maoris.
For the Island Territories 1956 census figures were: Cook Islands and Niue Island, 21,387; Tokelau Islands, 1,619; Trust Territory of Western Samoa, 97,327. The total census population of New Zealand and Island and Trust Territories was 2,294,395. Armed Forces personnel overseas at the time of the census and not included in the population numbered 2,162 (Europeans 1,972, Maoris 190).
The following table gives a complete summary of New Zealand population.
|* Includes population of the inhabited minor islands—i.e., Kermadec Islands, 10 (males); and Campbell Island, 10 (males).|
|(a) Exclusive of Island Territories—|
|Europeans||30 June 1959||1,093,762||1,083,245||2,177,007*|
|Maoris||30 June 1959||78,437||75,682||154,119|
|Totals, New Zealand (excluding Island Territories)||1,172,199||1,158,927||2,331,126*|
|(b) Island Territories—|
|Tokelau Islands||30 June 1959||826||976||1,802|
|Cook Islands||31 December 1958||9,028||8,626||17,654|
|Niue Island||30 June 1959||2,324||2,435||4,759|
|Totals, New Zealand (including Island Territories)||1,184,377||1,170,964||2,355,341|
|Trust Territory of Western Samoa||30 June 1959||53,751||50,796||104,547|
|Ross Dependency||31 March 1959||146||146|
INCREASE OF POPULATION.—Since the commencement of European settlement in New Zealand the European population has in every year shown an increase, though the rate of increase has fluctuated considerably. As will be seen later in this Section, the movement of Maori population has followed a different course. Census records since 1901 are quoted in the succeeding table and include Maoris.
|Date of Census||Numbers||Intercensal Numerical Increase||Intercensal Percentage Increase||Average Annual Percentage Increase|
* Excludes New Zealand Armed Forces personnel overseas.
† Includes New Zealand Armed Forces personnel overseas.
In no fewer than five of the ten censuses covered by the above table the figures are disturbed by the absence overseas of Armed Forces. Increase during the intercensal period preceding the census is thus diminished and in the period following is augmented by the return of such personnel. Numbers of Armed Forces personnel overseas at the respective dates were: 1901, 2,500 (approx.); 1916, 44,000 (approx.); 1945, 45,381; 1951, 1,894; and 1956, 2,162.
It will be noted that the growth of population has been substantial in each period. The lowest rates are those of 1926-36, a result of the great economic depression, and of 1936-45, which included six years of war.
Sources of population increase are threefold—viz., enlargement of territory, excess of arrivals over departures, and excess of births over deaths or natural increase. The first is inapplicable to New Zealand, the second is dealt with later in this Section, and the third is discussed in the Section relating to vital statistics. One aspect of the latter may, however, be given here. This is the reproduction index which, though not free from error, is a convenient indication of the growth or decline of a population. It is based on female children born (gross rate) and probably surviving to maturity (net rate). A net rate of 1.0 indicates a stationary population; above unity a rising population and below unity a falling population.
Reproduction rates during the latest five years were as follows, the figures relating only to the European population.
|Year||Gross Rate||Net Rate|
POPULATION PROJECTIONS.—An indication of future population growth, including Maoris, in New Zealand is given by the detailed projections for the period 1961-80 and the provisional projections for the five-yearly points 1985-2000 set out in the following table.
Projections of future population almost always involve an element of uncertainty owing to incomplete knowledge of the factors underlying changes in fertility, mortality, and migration levels, coupled with the difficulty of accurately forecasting the future course of the factors which are known to affect these components of population change. It should be understood, therefore, that these projections merely show the effect of the assumptions stated below the table on the future growth of the existing population. The assumptions, however, have been adopted only after careful studies of trends in the patterns of fertility, mortality, and migration and, in the light of available current information, are regarded as those most likely to produce realistic projections over the length of the projection period.
NEW ZEALAND POPULATION PROJECTIONS
|Year||Assuming Net Immigration of|
|5,000 per Year||10,000 per Year|
Assumptions.—The two projections are linked to actual population numbers in 1959. The assumptions on which the more detailed projections for 1961-80 depend are as follows:
Birthrates for each quinquennial age and marital status (“married” and “not married”) group of females will continue at the average 1952-56 level.
The proportion of married females in each quinquennial age group will, in the future, vary in accordance with the rate of variation in the 1951-56 intercensal period.
Mortality rates for each quinquennial age group, male and female, will be maintained at the level shown by the New Zealand Life Tables, 1950-52.
Future net immigration will be at the rates of either 5,000 or 10,000 persons per annum, the age and sex distribution being based on the average 1937-58 pattern.
The provisional long-term projections for 1985-2000 are linked to the earlier projections. They are based on the following assumptions:
The rate of natural increase of population, excess of births over deaths, for the period 1980-2000 will be 15 persons per 1,000 living.
Net immigration will be as assumed for the period 1960-80.
The following diagram presented on a ratio scale shows the growth of actual population from 1880 to 1959 and projections through to 2000.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.—In the following summary of certain selected countries the two most recent census years are quoted together with the annual average percentage increase of population during the respective intercensal periods.
|Country||Census Period||Average Annual Percentage Increase|
* Including Newfoundland.
† European population.
‡ Including Hyderabad, but excluding Kashmir, Jammu, and the tribal areas of Assam.
§ Excluding full-blooded aborigines.
|England and Wales||1931-51||0.46|
|Republic of Ireland||1951-56||−0.45|
|Union of South Africa†||1946-51||2.18|
|United States of America||1940-50||1.36|
NOTE.—Minus sign (—) denotes a decrease.
It is seen that Ceylon and Canada have the highest annual rates of increase. Both rates have increased substantially since the previous intercensal periods, the main factor in Ceylon being a fall in the death rate, and in Canada the increase in immigration.
The third highest rate of increase is that shown for Australia, 2.46 per cent. New Zealand (2.31 per cent), and the Union of South Africa (2.18 per cent) show the next highest rates of increase. On the other hand, European countries show the lowest rates of increase—Hungary and the Republic of Ireland actually show a decrease—with the United Kingdom countries recording very low figures.
SEX PROPORTIONS.—The figures for the census of 17 April 1956 show that males outnumber females by 9,333 in the European population, 3,027 in the Maori population, and 12,360 in the total population. Females per 1,000 males were: European, 991; Maori, 957; total population, 989. Net increase of population from migration adds to the male preponderance, but the major source of population increase is the excess of births over deaths, and this results in a female preponderance. Females per 1,000 males at the last five censuses have been—
|1945 (including Armed Forces abroad)||991|
|1951 (including Armed Forces abroad)||989|
|1956 (including Armed Forces abroad)||989|
|1956 (including Armed Forces abroad)||987|
There are marked differences in the sex proportions of the population of different parts of New Zealand. The following observations relate to the census of 1956 and give the number of females per 1,000 males.
In the aggregate of cities and boroughs the ratio was 1,060, in town districts, 962; and in counties, 887. For the provincial districts ratios were—
|Otago (Otago portion)||1,009|
|Otago (Southland portion)||935|
Female preponderance in towns does not appear to have a direct relation to the size of the towns. Of the fifteen urban areas which comprise the largest centres of population, ten had ratios higher than the average for all cities and boroughs, but five were below the average, and of these Hutt, fifth largest urban area, even had an excess of males.
METHOD OF COMPILATION.—In common with almost all countries, the chief instrument in compiling population data in New Zealand is the census, which in this country in normal times is taken quinquennially. The details of the distribution of population, together with analyses of various population characteristics compiled from census data, will be found in the official publications compiled after each census.
The basis adopted for the census, and virtually throughout population statistics in New Zealand, is that of the population present, which may be defined as the population present at the place of enumeration at the time of the enumeration.
All references to New Zealand relate solely to geographic New Zealand—i.e., Island Territories are omitted except in the first table where their inclusion is specifically stated. Though Cook Islands, Niue Island, and Tokelau Islands are constitutionally part of New Zealand, for geographical reasons they are administered separately.
Maoris are included in all population data unless the contrary is stated. Maori-Europeans who are in half or greater degree of Maori origin are included with Maoris. For some purposes the population division into European and Maori is necessary or desirable and “European” is used, conveniently if not altogether accurately, as referring to all population other than Maori, a usage long established in New Zealand.
ENTERCENSAL RECORDS.—The intercensal statements of total population, prepared from the records of vital statistics and of external migration, have been, by virtue of the favourable position of New Zealand in this respect, relatively accurate. Discrepancies have in fact been so slight that no revisions of the intercensal figures between 1951 and 1956 were necessary.
The following population figures exclude members of New Zealand Armed Forces who were overseas, and also members of the Armed Forces of other countries who were in New Zealand.
|—||Population (Including Maoris) at End of Year||Increase During Year||Mean Population for Year|
|Years Ended 31 March|
|Years Ended 31 December|
The figures given in the preceding table show the population inclusive of Maoris. The following table shows the population exclusive of Maoris.
|—||Population (Excluding Maoris) at End of Year||Increase During Year||Mean Population for Year|
|Years Ended 31 March|
|Years Ended 31 December|
DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION.—Detailed population statistics are compiled for each census. Preliminary figures for the 1956 census for provincial districts, urban areas, counties, cities, boroughs, town districts, extra-county islands, and shipping were published in “Interim Returns of Population and Dwellings, 1956 Census”. Final figures for these have been published in Census, Vol. I, “Increase and Location of Population” and in the “Report on Population, Migration, and Buildings, 1955-56”. In addition to these, Vol. I shows figures for subdivisions of counties into (a) ridings and (b) townships, localities, etc.
North and South Islands.—In 1858 the North Island had a larger population than the South, but this position was reversed at the succeeding enumeration, and the South Island had the larger population (exclusive of Maoris) at each census from 1861 to 1896. In 1901 the North Island was found to have slightly the larger total and since then has steadily increased its lead.
The following table gives the population of the North and South Islands as disclosed by each census since 1901.
|Census Year||Population (Excluding Maoris)||Proportions Per Cent|
|North Island||South Island||Total||North Island||South Island|
|* Includes Maori half-castes (total, 4,236) living as Europeans.|
The natural increase of European population (i.e., excess of births over deaths) for the North Island during the 1951-56 intercensal period was 103,999, and the total net increase 163,113. For the South Island the natural increase was 45,832, and the total net increase 50,002. The population of the North Island has increased at a greater proportionate rate than the South Island between the 1951 and 1956 censuses. Inclusive of Maoris, the North Island increase was 183,495, or 13.97 per cent, and the South Island increase 51,095, or 8.17 per cent.
At the 1956 census the North Island population was 1,497,364, inclusive of 131,894 Maoris, and the South Island population 676,698, inclusive of 5,257 Maoris.
At 31 March 1959, the North Island population was 1,610,009, inclusive of 147,154 Maoris, and the South Island population 716,120, inclusive of 5,489 Maoris.
Provincial Districts.—The approximate areas and the estimated populations, inclusive of Maoris of the various provincial districts are given in the next table.
For the guidance of overseas readers it is necessary to explain that there have been no provinces in New Zealand since 1875. Provincial districts are simply the former provinces, but they have no functions and are now merely historic divisions serving as useful units for a primary geographical break-down. There is no Southland Provincial District and the “Southland portion of Otago” has little resemblance in area to the former Southland Province.
|Provincial District||Area (Square Miles)||Estimated Population 1 April 1959|
The foregoing table illustrates the wide disparities in the size of the provincial districts, whether measured by area or by population.
Urban and Rural Population.—On 17 April 1956 somewhat over two-fifths (43.3 per cent) of the population of New Zealand (excluding Maoris) were included in the five principal urban areas—Auckland, Hutt, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—and over one-half (57.7 per cent) in all the urban areas. In the following table urban population means the population in cities and boroughs, while rural population covers counties, all town districts, and extra-county islands. It will be observed that there was a marked slackening in the rate of the urban drift between 1926 and 1936, but the 1945 figures, due no doubt to wartime influences, disclosed a substantial increase in the urban population, whereas the rural population for the first time recorded a decrease. In the 1945-51 period a substantial gain was recorded in the rural population, but it was insufficient to prevent further deterioration of its ratio to total population. This drop in the ratio of rural population has continued in the period 1951-56.
|Census||Population||Percentage of Total|
* Figures exclude military and internment camps.
† Figures include Armed Services in New Zealand at census date and internment camps, but exclude members of the United States Forces present in New Zealand and also enemy prisoners of war.
‡ Inclusive of Maori half-castes (3,221 in 1916 and 4,236 in 1921) living as Europeans, as they cannot be distinguished separately for these two censuses.
Another conception of urban and rural population is presented in the next table. For this purpose urban population has been taken as that enumerated in cities, boroughs, or town districts with a minimum population of 1,000. Migratory population is excluded.
|—||Including Maoris||Excluding Maoris|
|Urban: towns of—|
|25,000 or over||338,213||701,948||337,221||690,231|
|Totals, New Zealand (excluding migratory)||1,401,001||2,169,614||1,337,384||2,032,532|
|Urban: towns of—|
|25,000 or over||24.14||32.35||25.21||33.96|
|Totals, New Zealand||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00|
Some apparent anomalies, where the numbers exclusive of Maoris exceed those inclusive of Maoris, arise from the transfer of towns to other population categories.
An important characteristic of the distribution of urban population in New Zealand is what may be termed its decentralization. In place of one great metropolis containing a huge proportion of the population, the more highly urbanized portion of the community is localized in four widely separated centres. An interesting feature is the wide gap which has long existed between the four major centres and the next largest towns.
Urban and rural communities are not evenly distributed. The South Island, for example, contains proportionately more rural population than does the North Island.
RECENT MOVEMENTS IN TOWNS AND COUNTIES: Urban Areas.—These are statistical conceptions and not administrative units. Their purpose is to provide definite, stable, and comparable boundaries for the larger centres of population. In addition to the central city, they include neighbouring boroughs, and parts of counties which are regarded as suburban to the centre of population.
Urban areas were formed in 1917 and, except for two additions and one deletion, remained unaltered until 1951, when a revision of boundaries was made and the new areas used in the 1951 census. From census records and maps, revised population figures were prepared on the basis of the new boundaries. In the case of European population the figures were revised for each census back to 1911, and on the basis of population including Maoris the revision was possible back to the 1926 census. The most significant change resulting from this revision was the division of the former Wellington Urban Area, plus additional areas to the north, into the two adjacent urban areas of Hutt and Wellington. The two areas in a sense form a single conurbation, and for some purposes it may still be convenient to use a combined figure. However, the extent and pattern of development in the Hutt Valley have been such as to establish it as a centre complementary to Wellington but no longer suburban to it. In Auckland the boundaries were extended considerably, but in most other cases it was found that little change was necessary.
|Urban Area||Population (Including Maoris)||Population Increase 1951-56|
In the twenty years covered by the table all urban areas have consistently recorded increases in population. In the last five years Auckland has had the greatest numerical growth, while Hamilton and Hastings have had the highest proportionate increases.
Wellington Urban Area's increase of nearly 4 per cent between 1951 and 1956, compared with under 1 per cent in the previous intercensal period, resulted mainly from housing development in the Titahi Bay and Porirua areas. The rate of growth of Hutt Urban Area slowed down in the last intercensal period. For Hutt and Wellington Urban Areas combined the increase rate was 7.71 per cent, a rate exceeded by all urban areas except Dunedin.
Of particular interest is the marked increase in the Maori population in urban areas during the last twenty years. In Auckland the number of Maoris increased from 1,863 in 1936 to 11,361 in 1956. In the fifteen urban areas there were 5,371 Maoris in 1936 as compared with 22,825 in 1956.
The next table contains the population (Maoris included) of the fifteen urban areas as estimated for 1 April 1959. The component parts of the five largest centres of population are given in detail, while for the remaining ten areas totals only are quoted. In most of the ten cases the urban area comprises the central city plus the urban portion of the adjoining county. At 1 April 1959 the five largest urban areas had a total population of 961,800, this being equivalent to 41.35 per cent of the New Zealand total. The total for all urban areas at the same date was 1,283,000, or 55-16 per cent, of the total population of New Zealand.
|Urban Area||Estimated Population (Including Maoris) 1 April 1959|
|East Coast Bays Borough||8,190|
|Glen Eden Borough||4,740|
|New Lynn Borough||8,360|
|Mount Albert Borough||25,700|
|Mount Even Borough||18,650|
|Mount Wellington Borough||14,650|
|One Tree Hill Borough||13,100|
|Mount Roskill Borough||25,600|
|Remainder of urban area||42,020|
|Lower Hutt City||52,800|
|Upper Hutt Borough||14,550|
|Remainder of urban area||12,410|
|Remainder of urban area||14,940|
|Remainder of urban area||43,430|
|Port Chalmers Borough||3,040|
|West Harbour Borough||2,210|
|St. Kilda Borough||6,850|
|Green Island Borough||5,010|
|Remainder of urban area||7,940|
Counties.—The following table gives the estimated population (including Maoris) of individual counties at 1 April 1959, together with the approximate area of each. It should be noted that “Administrative Counties” do not include boroughs or town districts independent of county control, but include town districts which form parts of counties.
|Administrative County||Estimated Population (Including Maoris) 1 April 1959||Approximate Area, in Square Miles|
|Bay of Islands||12,920||823|
|Great Barrier Island||300||110|
|Totals, North Island counties||580,990||43,683|
|Totals, South Island counties||267,310||58,913|
|Grand totals, all counties||848,300||102,596|
During the year ended 31 March 1959, eight counties had estimated increases in population of 750 or over. Waitemata with 3,100 had the largest increase, followed by Waimairi 2,700, Manukau 2,200, Hutt 1,600, and Rotorua 1,150. All these counties reflect urban housing development on the fringes of cities and large towns, and, in the case of Waitemata and Manukau where both industrial and residential expansion is taking place, greater increases were shown than in the 1957-58 year. In Hutt County there is concentrated house building at Wainuiomata. Rotorua County's growth continues to stem from farming, forestry, and electricity development. Other substantial county increases are seen in Waipa 960, Matamata 800, and Makara 750. The completion of a Mormon college, the development of industry, especially in Te Rapa locality, and housing expansion from Hamilton account for the increase in Waipa County. Matamata County's increase again springs largely from the growth of the milling township of Tokoroa, and Makara's from continued housing development in Titahi Bay and the Porirua Basin.
Counties which showed reduced gains in the 1958-59 year compared with the previous year are Waikato, Taupo, Paparua, and Tauranga. Factors contributing to this were the reduced numbers on the Meremere power station project in Waikato, and slightly decreased housing development in Taupo and Paparua accompanied by a decrease in the numbers at Wigram Air Force Station in Paparua County, and reduced numbers at Wairakei Public Works Camp in Taupo County. The reduced gain in Tauranga County is explained by a boundary change involving the transfer of 385 persons to Tauranga Borough.
The only county that gained during the year by a boundary change was Whakatane which received 106 persons from a reduction in the boundaries of Murupara Town District. The most marked losses through boundary changes occurred in Marlborough County, which lost 1,300 to Blenheim Borough, and Taumarunui County, which lost 1,264 to Taumarunui Borough; these explained the net decline in population of the two areas in 1958-59, of 1,140 in Marlborough and 1,090 in Taumarunui.
Apart from losses caused directly by boundary changes, the decreases in county population were minor. The greatest loss, 410, was recorded in Tuapeka County, the result of a further reduction in the number of power station construction workers.
Boroughs.—Similar information as in the case of counties is now given for cities and boroughs.
|Borough||Estimated Population (Including Maoris) 1 April 1959||Approximate Area in Acres|
|East Coast Bays||8,190||3,850|
|One Tree Hill||13,100||2,430|
|New Plymouth (City)||25,400||4,257|
|Palmerston N. (City)||38,500||6,943|
|Lower Hutt (City)||52,500||11,010|
|Totals, North Island cities and boroughs||1,014,060||229,959|
|Totals, South Island cities and boroughs||443,460||121,501|
|Grand totals, all cities and boroughs||1,457,520||351,460|
Six cities and boroughs had estimated increases in population of 1,000 or over in the year ended 31 March 1959. Of these, two owed most of their increase to boundary changes (Taumarunui gained 1,264 from Taumarunui County and Blenheim 1,300 from Marlborough County), while Hamilton City gained 708 of its 1,600 increase from Waikato County. Consistently high gains have occurred in Mount Roskill, Auckland City, and Christchurch City since the 1956 census, though in the case of the last two, the gains (1,200 and 1,600 respectively) were less in 1958-59 than in the previous two years. Mount Roskill continues to be an expanding residential and industrial area of greater Auckland.
Eleven slight decreases were estimated during the year, one in the North Island, Newmarket (50), and 10 in the South Island; apart from a loss of 50 in the St. Kilda Borough, none of the South Island boroughs lost more than 20 persons during the year.
Town Districts.—As stated earlier, the population of independent town districts—i.e., those contained in section (a) of the following table—is not included with that of the county in which the town district is located, but the population of dependent town districts—section (b)—is included in that of the respective parent county.
|Town District||Estimated Population (Including Maoris) 1 April 1959||Approximate Area, in Acres|
* Parent county shown in parentheses.
|(a) Town Districts Not Forming Parts of Counties|
|Totals, North Island||9,150||8,848|
|Totals, South Island-||3,560||3,110|
|(b) Town Districts Forming Parts of Counties*|
|Russell (Bay of Island)||620||1,066|
|Te Kauwhata (Waikato)||720||1,290|
|Te Karaka (Waikohu)||390||700|
|Totals, North Island||5,360||9,143|
|Totals, South Island||1,440||2,113|
No town district lost its identity during the year ended 31 March 1959, and there was only one boundary change involving transfer of population; this was the transfer of 106 persons from Murupara Town District to Whakatane County. The largest gains were again estimated for Kamo (80), and Kihikihi (60), dormitory suburbs of Whangarei Borough and Te Awamutu Borough respectively.
Extra-county Islands and Migratory Population.—In addition to the populations quoted for administrative counties, cities and boroughs, and independent town districts, the New Zealand totals include migratory population and persons located on islands not within the boundaries of any county. The two latter categories comprised an estimated total of 7,599 people as at 1 April 1959.
Of the islands concerned, Waiheke, with an estimated population of 2,240 as at 1 April 1959, was the only one of any size.
AGE DISTRIBUTION.—The following table shows the estimated age distribution of the population at 31 December 1958 and of the mean population for the year 1958. The figures are based on the 1956 census data and brought up to date from statistics of births, ages of persons dying, and ages of persons arriving in or departing from New Zealand.
|Age in Years||Estimated Numbers Excluding Maoris||Estimated Numbers, Maoris|
|Age Distribution at 31 December 1958|
|5 and under 10||114,800||110,000||224,800||12,260||11,740||24,000|
|10 and under 15||103,700||99,300||203,000||9,640||9,240||18,880|
|15 and under 20||82,500||78,300||160,800||8,080||7,800||15,880|
|20 and under 25||67,800||64,700||132,500||6,440||6,500||12,940|
|25 and under 30||72,000||66,900||138,900||5,500||5,540||11,040|
|30 and under 35||77,800||71,500||149,300||4,530||4,530||9,060|
|35 and under 40||73,100||72,200||145,300||3,520||3,550||7,070|
|40 and under 45||67,800||69,000||136,800||3,050||3,090||6,140|
|45 and under 50||66,700||65,000||131,700||2,720||2,400||5,120|
|50 and under 55||59,000||56,700||115,700||2,180||1,790||3,970|
|55 and under 60||49,200||48,500||97,700||1,520||1,300||2,820|
|60 and under 65||37,600||42,300||79,900||1,100||900||2,000|
|65 and under 70||31,200||37,600||68,800||740||610||1,350|
|70 and under 75||26,180||31,630||57,810||475||405||880|
|75 and under 80||18,500||22,880||41,380||265||215||480|
|80 and over||13,890||18,370||32,260||215||225||440|
|Totals, adults (21 and over)||646,570||653,580||1,300,150||30,835||29,665||60,500|
|Totals, minors (under 21)||442,036||422,578||864,614||46,127||44,509||90,636|
|Grand totals, all ages||1,088,606||1,076,158||2,164,764||76,962||74,174||151,136|
|Age Distribution of Mean Population, Year 1958|
|5 and under 10||114,100||109,200||223,300||12,030||11,530||23,560|
|10 and under 15||100,300||95,900||196,200||9,400||9,040||18,440|
|15 and under 20||80,500||77,100||157,600||7,980||7,690||15,670|
|20 and under 25||66,700||63,600||130,300||6,330||6,410||12,740|
|25 and under 30||72,300||67,200||139,500||5,430||5,460||10,890|
|30 and under 35||77,200||71,500||148,700||4,410||4,420||8,830|
|35 and under 40||71,800||71,600||143,400||3,480||3,500||6,980|
|40 and under 45||67,700||68,600||136,300||3,020||3,020||6,040|
|45 and under 50||66,100||64,300||130,400||2,710||2,360||5,070|
|50 and under 55||58,000||55,700||113,700||2,110||1,740||3,850|
|55 and under 60||48,400||48,000||96,400||1,520||1,280||2,800|
|60 and under 65||36,900||41,900||78,800||1,070||870||1,940|
|65 and under 70||31,400||37,500||68,900||740||610||1,350|
|70 and under 75||26,200||31,340||57,540||470||395||865|
|75 and under 80||18,450||22,570||41,020||270||215||485|
|80 and over||13,550||17,890||31,440||215||230||445|
|Totals, adults (21 and over)||640,90||648,300||1,289,200||30,395||29,140||59,535|
|Totals, minors (under 21)||433,313||414,970||848,283||45,225||43,609||88,834|
|Grand totals, all ages||1,074,213||1,063,270||2,137,483||75,620||72,749||148,369|
Note.—The age stated is the age last birthday.
DENSITY OF POPULATION.—The relation of population to area, which is commonly referred to as “density of population”, is a subject of much interest and a source of serious misconceptions. Generally speaking, a dense population must depend upon land-utilization or industrialization. In New Zealand there is a great area of high mountainous country, particularly in the South Island, while there are also large areas of water or of broken, swampy, or hilly country which is either incapable of effective use or which can be used profitably only for pastoral purposes, afforestation, or the like.
Most of the land that can still be brought into occupation requires special methods or heavier capital expenditure to develop it. The Departments of Lands and Survey and Maori Affairs are grassing annually quite large areas of what was, until recently, regarded as useless land. The development of unimproved land for farming purposes can be expected to continue steadily, but the accompanying growth of mechanization in farming tends to stabilize the size of the labour force engaged in farming operations.
While industrial development has made very marked growth in New Zealand over the years, and extensive further development appears certain, there are factors unfavourable to the growth of industry to a point where dense populations could be supported—not the least of which are a lack of mineral resources, relative smallness of the home market (even with an expanded population), and distance from export markets.
Within New Zealand there are wide variations in density of population. The North Island, with an area of 44,297 square miles, had a population density of 33-80 persons per square mile at the 1956 census date, and the South Island, with an area of 59,439 square miles, had a population density of 11.38 persons per square mile at the same date.
The following table provides comparative density figures on a provincial district basis.
|Provincial District||Area, in Square Miles||Persons Per Square Mile|
MAORI POPULATION.—The first official general census of Maoris was taken in 1857-58, and others occurred in regular sequence from 1874 onwards. Owing to inherent difficulties the earlier census records make no pretence towards complete accuracy.
According to census records the Maori population suffered a period of almost unbroken decline from 1858 to 1896. The following causes no doubt contributed to this decline—warfare amongst the tribes and with the European settlers; the susceptibility of the Maori to epidemic and other diseases introduced with the white race; and the mental outlook of the Maori under the new conditions.
During the last fifty years, however, the Maori population has increased continuously, at first steadily and of later years at a fairly rapid rate. In fact, the vitality exhibited by the Maori race in recent years is a most outstanding feature. The rate of natural increase of the Maori population is more than double that of the European.
A statement of Maori population is now given for each census from 1901 to 1956.
|Year||Maori Population||Intercensal Increase||Intercensal Increase||Average Annual Increase|
* Includes members of Armed Forces overseas at census date.
|Number||Number||Per Cent||Per Cent|
The average annual percentage increase from 1951 to 1956 was 3.47, which is considerably higher than the corresponding figure for the European population—viz., 2.24 per cent. The natural increase ratios for the year 1959 shown below afford a better illustration.
Of the 137,151 Maoris at the 1956 census, 131,894 were in the North Island. Auckland Provincial District contains the bulk of the Maoris, particularly in the Auckland Peninsula and Waikato-Bay of Plenty regions. In the South Island Maoris do not attain any numerical significance. Maoris have always been residents in rural communities and this is still substantially true. A marked change has, however, taken place during and since the war as a result of employment conditions. As late as the 1936 census only 8,249 Maoris (10.02 per cent) dwelt in cities, boroughs, or independent town districts. By the 1956 census the comparative figure was 33,424 (24.37 per cent). The largest concentration is in Auckland Urban Area, where 11,361 Maoris were enumerated. The total Maori population at 1 April 1959 was 152,643.
Numbers of persons wholly or partly of Maori blood as disclosed by the censuses of 1951 and 1956 are set out in the following table.
|Counted in the Maori population—|
* This category, first introduced in 1956, covers those cases of “Maori—other races” mixtures where there is half or more Maori blood involved; it accounts for the decline in most classes counted in the population other than Maori.
† Includes Maori-Arab.
|Counted in the population other than Maori—|
|Maori-Syrian or Lebanese||73||27†|
In 1956 there were recorded in New Zealand some 162,458 persons wholly or partly of Maori origin, compared with 134,842 in 1951.
EXTERNAL MIGRATION.—Statistics of external migration have been recorded in New Zealand since 1860. Since 1 April 1921 they have been compiled from individual statements obtained from each person entering or leaving New Zealand.
Including crews of vessels, 170,427 persons from overseas arrived in New Zealand during the year ended 31 March 1959 which, compared with 1957-58, shows an increase of 3,437. During the same period 160,098 persons departed. This figure, compared with the corresponding one for 1957-58, shows an increase of 9,693.
In addition to the figures just quoted there were also 26,045 through passengers and tourists on cruising liners, who called in at New Zealand in the course of their voyages.
The excess of total arrivals over total departures for 1958-59 was 10,329, compared with an excess of 16,585 during 1957-58.
The numbers of arrivals and departures during the last eleven years are given in the table following. Crews of vessels, through passengers, tourists on cruising liners and members of the Armed Forces, etc., have not been taken into account in this table.
|Year Ended 31 March||Arrivals||Departures||Excess of Arrivals Over Departures|
A substantial increase of 9,583 was recorded in arrivals for 1956-57, and this was attributable, in part, to the fact that the Olympic Games held in Australia in November 1956 stimulated traffic both to and from New Zealand. This high level of arrivals has been maintained; 1957-58 showed an increase in the number of arrivals of 3,611, which continued in 1958-59 when a further increase of 3,982, or 5 per cent, was shown.
From 1 April 1953, departures showed a steady increase year by year until 1957-58 when a slight drop of 305 occurred. However, 1958-59 showed a large increase of 9,398, or 15 per cent, on the 1957-58 figure.
In the ten-year period ended 31 March 1959 the net gain from passenger migration was 120,553, while if movement of crews is taken into account this is increased to 122,469.
Classes of Arrivals and Departures.—The following table gives an analysis of all classes of arrivals during the last five years, including through passengers, tourists on cruising liners, and crews. In classifying arrivals or departures as permanent the commonly used international rule is applied—i.e., residence or absence of one year or more.
* Includes 856 persons on working holidays. Information not known for earlier years.
|Immigrants intending permanent residence||19,453||20,878||23,030||26,254||24,852|
|New Zealand residents returning||20,211||21,915||25,046||23,640||27,623|
|Theatrical, entertaining, etc.||629||696||879||850||764|
|Others, officials, etc.||1,386||1,943||2,941||2,950||3,675*|
|Through passengers and tourists on cruising liners||11,005||8,264||20,718||31,468||26,045|
The succeeding table gives a similar analysis of departures.
|New Zealand residents departing—|
|Temporary residents departing||23,603||25,657||29,181||31,640||33,997|
|Through passengers and tourists on cruising liners||11,005||8,264||20,718||31,468||26,045|
Ages.—The following table gives the age-distribution of immigrants and emigrants for the twelve months ended 31 March 1959.
|Age, in Years||Permanent Arrivals||Permanent Departures||Excess of Arrivals Over Departures|
|60 and over||480||904||1,384||226||353||579||805|
Of the permanent arrivals during the year 1958-59, 21 per cent were under fifteen years of age, 44 per cent under twenty-five years, 71 per cent under thirty-five years, and 85 per cent under forty-five years. Permanent departures represented a similar age distribution, with, percentages of 19, 44, 72, and 85 respectively.
Origin.—The following table shows for the last three years the birthplaces of immigrants intending permanent residence and of New Zealand residents departing permanently.
|Country of Birth||Immigrants Intending Permanent Residence||New Zealand Residents Departing Permanently|
* Includes arrival of Hungarian refugees, 617 in 1956-57, 451 in 1957-58; and 49 in 1958-59.
|England and Wales||8,861||10,507||9,995||2,058||1,858||2,755|
|United Kingdom (other or undefined)||359||310||298||88||40||82|
|Cook Islands and Niue||504||498||474||48||25||50|
|Other Commonwealth countries in the Pacific||83||81||77||27||48||40|
|Other countries within the Commonwealth||455||506||509||88||81||133|
|Totals, Commonwealth countries||18,894||21,514||20,979||8,445||7,386||10,015|
|Republic of Ireland||463||652||492||127||91||147|
|United States of America||315||371||467||192||157||198|
|Totals, other countries||4,127||4,738||3,870||772||720||969|
Assisted Immigration.—Various systems of assisted immigration have been in force since 1871, with the exception of the period 1892 to 1903 (inclusive). Assistance to immigrants was largely suspended between 1927 and 1947, and only 50 immigrants received financial assistance during the ten years ended 31 March 1946.
To alleviate the shortage of staffs in mental hospitals the Government decided in 1946 to recruit labour in the United Kingdom, and the number of arrivals under this scheme totalled 240 (al females).
In July 1947 a comprehensive assisted-passage scheme was introduced by the Government. Under this scheme financial aid was granted to certain categories of immigrants. Eligibility was confined to single residents of the United Kingdom (with no dependants) between the ages of twenty and thirty-five years who were suitable for, and willing to accept employment in, a wide variety of productive and servicing occupations. All assisted immigrants were required to enter into a contract with the New Zealand Government that they would engage in approved employment for two years after their arrival in New Zealand.
A scheme of child migration from the United Kingdom was in operation from June 1949 to May 1953. Arrivals of British children between the ages of five, and seventeen years totalled 169 in 1949-50, 107 in 1950-51, 99 in 1951-52, 87 in 1952-53, and 68 up to terminating date during 1953-54.
In May 1950 a new immigration policy was announced by the Government, the main changes being as follows:
The existing scheme in regard to unmarried British immigrants, including nominations, to continue, but with an extension of the age limit from thirty-five to forty-five years of age.
Extension of the free-passage scheme to certain categories of married British immigrants with up to two children.
The acceptance of a number of single non-British men and women between the ages of twenty and thirty-five years. Dutch, Danish, Swiss, Austrian, and German nationals were selected.
At the end of 1958, it was decided to cut back assisted immigration by limiting male workers from the United Kingdom to skilled tradesmen, experienced farm workers, and experienced workers required in essential industries. At the same time, the recruitment of German, Austrian, Danish, and Swiss migrants was terminated.
The number of assisted immigrants (exclusive of displaced persons and Hungarian refugees) arriving in New Zealand since the reintroduction of the scheme in 1947 was as follows.
|Year ended 31 March 1947||158||158|
|Year ended 31 March 1948||1,140||1,140|
|Year ended 31 March 1949||1,527||1,527|
|Year ended 31 March 1950||2,532||2,532|
|Year ended 31 March 1951||2,873||55||2,928|
|Year ended 31 March 1952||3,849||1,100||4,949|
|Year ended 31 March 1953||4,872||2,709||7,581|
|Year ended 31 March 1954||5,611||688||6,299|
|Year ended 31 March 1955||3,880||452||4,332|
|Year ended 31 March 1956||4,732||391||5,123|
|Year ended 31 March 1957||4,172||252||139||30||4,593|
|Year ended 31 March 1958||4,070||245||44||69||106||45||4,579|
|Year ended 31 March 1959||4,343||141||36||35||92||31||4,678|
In the preceding migration tables assisted immigrants are included in the totals of “Immigrants intending permanent residence”.
Displaced Persons.—Commencing with the year 1949-50 the Government agreed to accept drafts of displaced persons from Europe, who were brought to New Zealand in shipping provided by the International Refugee Organization. These settlers were chosen by a New Zealand Selection Mission, and arrivals totalled 941 in 1949-50, 978 in 1950-51, and 2,663 in 1951-52, made up of young single men and women, widows with one child, family groups, orphans, and a number of elderly people. This scheme was brought to an end with the arrival in April 1952 of the final two displaced persons accepted by the Government.
HUNGARIAN REFUGEES.—Following the uprisings in Hungary, the Government agreed to accept a quota of 1,000 Hungarian refugees. This quota was subsequently increased to 1,300. The first draft arrived by air in December 1956 and a total of 1,117 had arrived by 31 March 1959.
OTHER REFUGEES.—Apart from displaced persons, New Zealand has accepted and continues to accept refugees from Europe and the mainland of China. In 1958, it was decided to offer resettlement opportunities to 20 “hard core” refugee families from Europe who, because of handicapped persons in each family unit, were unacceptable elsewhere. These families arrived during 1959. Further similar refugee groups from Europe and China are being accepted.
PASSPORTS.—Authority for the issue of passports in New Zealand and by New Zealand representatives overseas is contained in the Passports Act 1946 and the Passport Regulations 1946.
New Zealand passports are issued by the Department of Internal Affairs at Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch. United Kingdom, Canadian, Australian, and Indian passports are issued by the respective High Commissioners for those countries. The representatives of New Zealand at London, Washington, New York, San Francisco, Ottawa, Canberra, Paris, The Hague, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and New Delhi are authorized to issue and renew New Zealand passports.
Entry into New Zealand.—Apart from British subjects and the wives of British subjects arriving from Australia, no person sixteen years of age or over may land in New Zealand unless in possession of a valid passport or other recognized travel document. Exemption (which is additional to the requirements of the Immigration Restriction and Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Acts) may be granted by the Minister of Internal Affairs. With the exception of nationals of those countries with which New Zealand has concluded agreements for the mutual abolition of visas, all aliens require a British visa.
People born in the Cook Islands and the Tokelau Islands are British subjects and New Zealand citizens. They require to obtain formal exit permission from the Resident Commissioner if they wish to proceed to New Zealand.
Citizens of Western Samoa are New Zealand protected persons. If they wish to visit New Zealand as temporary visitors for periods of up to three months they must obtain prior permission from the High Commissioner for Western Samoa. Those desiring to enter New Zealand for longer periods than three months are required in addition to make prior application to the Secretary of Labour, Department of Labour, Wellington.
A British subject who is the master or a member of the crew of the vessel in which he arrives does not need to produce a passport.
Departure from New Zealand.—All persons leaving New Zealand, with the exception of British subjects travelling to Australia or making the round trip to New Zealand's island territories, should be in possession of a valid passport or other travel document.
IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION.—The legislation respecting the restriction of immigration into New Zealand is contained in the Immigration Restriction Act 1908 and its amendments, and the Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Act 1919.
The Immigration Restriction Act is administered by the Department of Labour, while the Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Act is administered by the Department of Justice.
Subject to certain exemptions, the following classes of persons are prohibited from landing in New Zealand:
Persons not of British birth, unless in possession of permits issued by the Department of Labour. (Note.—A person is not deemed to be of British birth by reason that he or his parents or either of them is a naturalized British subject, or by reason that he is an aboriginal Native or the descendant of an aboriginal Native of any dominion (other than New Zealand), colony, possession, or protectorate of Her Majesty.)
Idiots or insane persons.
Persons suffering from contagious diseases which are loathsome or dangerous.
Persons who have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment or other form of detention for one year or more.
Persons who are considered by the Attorney-General to be disaffected or disloyal, or of such a character that their presence in New Zealand would be injurious to the peace, order, and good government of the country.
To obtain permits to enter New Zealand as permanent residents, application must be made by the intending immigrants themselves to the Secretary of Labour, Wellington. The application must be made in the prescribed form and must be supported by documents duly attested in the country of origin, in which country the applicant must have resided for at least twelve months prior to the date of application. Each application is considered individually on its own merits.
Provision is made in the law to permit persons covered by clause (1) above to pay temporary visits to New Zealand for the purposes of business, pleasure, or health. Temporary permits are normally restricted to some period not exceeding six months, but may be extended if the proper authorities consider that the circumstances warrant such action. A deposit may be required in respect of such temporary permit, and is returned on the departure of the visitor if the conditions of the temporary permit have been complied with. A deed to be entered into by some approved person or persons resident in New Zealand guaranteeing to pay all expenses that may be incurred by the Crown or any public body for the visitor's maintenance, relief, arrest, or detention in New Zealand or his deportation therefrom may also be required.
Provision is also made whereby, under certain conditions, students may be allowed to enter New Zealand temporarily.
Restricted Immigrants.—When persons who are lunatic, idiotic, deaf, dumb, blind, or infirm arrive in New Zealand and are likely to become a charge upon the public or upon any public or charitable institution, the master, owner, or charterer of the ship by which such persons came to New Zealand may be called on to enter into a bond of £100 for each such person, guaranteeing payment of any expenses which may be incurred for their support and maintenance by or in any such institution within a period of five years.
Declaration by Persons Arriving in New Zealand.—Every person of and over the age of fifteen years who lands in New Zealand must, unless exempted by the Minister of Immigration, make and deliver to an officer of Customs a declaration giving the following particulars: Name, age, marital status, occupation, birthplace, nationality, race, particulars of children under fifteen years of age arriving with him, residence, etc.
NATIONALITY AND NATURALIZATION.—The basic nationality law is the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 as amended by the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Amendment Act 1959. The original Act came into force on 1 January 1949 and was enacted following a conference of nationality experts of Commonwealth countries in February 1947 to discuss the basis of new nationality legislation. The scheme of the legislation accepted by Commonwealth Governments is the “common status” of all British subjects, namely, that in each Commonwealth country all persons are recognized as British subjects who possess citizenship under the citizenship laws of any of the members of the Commonwealth. (Note.—The Act stales that “British subject” and “Commonwealth citizen” have the same meaning.)
Upon the commencement of the Act, New Zealand citizenship was automatically conferred on the following classes of British subjects: (a) those born in New Zealand; (b) those naturalized in New Zealand; (c) those ordinarily resident in New Zealand throughout the whole of the year 1948; (d) those whose fathers were British subjects born or naturalized in New Zealand; and (e) women married before the commencement of the Act to men who become citizens under the various provisions of the Act.
Since the commencement of the Act, New Zealand citizenship may be acquired in the following ways: (a) by birth in New Zealand; (b) by descent; (c) by registration; and (d) by naturalization.
Citizens of other Commonwealth countries acquire New Zealand citizenship by registration. The requirement is three years residence reducible to 12 months at the Minister's discretion. A British woman married to a New Zealand citizen maybe registered without any residential qualification. Applicants for New Zealand citizenship by registration must satisfy the Minister that they are of good character and have an adequate knowledge of English and of the duties and responsibilities of New Zealand citizenship.
The principal conditions governing the grant of naturalization to aliens under the 1948 Act are that the applicant shall satisfy the Minister of Internal Affairs (a) that he has resided in New Zealand for a period of five years, (b) that he is of good character and has a sufficient knowledge of the English language, (c) that if his application is granted he intends to reside permanently in New Zealand, (d) that the applicant gives a year's notice of his intention to apply, and (e) that the applicant possesses a sufficient knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of New Zealand citizenship. There is discretionary provision for the Minister to allow residence in other Commonwealth countries to be reckoned for the purposes of the first condition, but in such cases a minimum of two years' residence in New Zealand is essential.
Naturalization granted to a married man does not automatically confer New Zealand citizenship on his wife and children, if they are aliens. These dependants may apply to be registered as New Zealand citizens after the head of the family has been naturalized. An alien woman marrying a British subject does not acquire her husband's nationality on marriage, but may apply to be registered as a British subject and New Zealand citizen. Acquisition of citizenship by naturalization or registration automatically confers the status of a British subject, and the two methods of acquiring citizenship are differences in legal procedure only.
A British woman marrying an alien does not lose her nationality under the present Act.
Alien adults acquiring New Zealand citizenship by naturalization or registration, and alien minor children over sixteen years of age acquiring it by registration, are required to take the oath of allegiance. The Minister may also at his discretion require persons other than aliens acquiring New Zealand citizenship to take the oath of allegiance. Recognizing the importance both to this country and to the new settlers themselves of their acquisition of New Zealand citizenship, the Government decided that ceremonies should be held at which applicants should, in an atmosphere of dignity and solemnity, take the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty and be presented with their certificates of naturalization or registration as New Zealand citizens. Local authorities agreed to arrange such ceremonies. The first was presided over by the Mayor of Wellington on 24 May 1955. During the 1958-59 year there were 60 such ceremonies.
New Zealand citizens are liable at the discretion of the Minister to deprivation of New Zealand citizenship if they voluntarily acquire a foreign nationality by any formal act other than marriage; or if they voluntarily exercise the privileges or perform any of the duties of a foreign nationality possessed by them. In addition, persons naturalized or registered as New Zealand citizens are liable to deprivation if citizenship was obtained by fraud or false representation.
The numbers of naturalizations, registrations, etc., during the year ended 31 March 1959 were as follows.
|Country of Birth||Certificates of Naturalization (Aliens and British-protected Persons) -||Certificates of Registration as a New Zealand Citizen (British Subjects. Irish Citizens, British-protected Persons, and Aliens)||Certificates of Registration as a New Zealand Citizen—Minor Children (British Subjects and Aliens)|
|Republic of India||1||27||22||15||1|
Of the certificates of registration granted to adult males, 215 were to British subjects or Irish citizens who acquired New Zealand citizenship by virtue of one year's residence in the country immediately preceding the date of application, and 9 to British subjects generally resident outside New Zealand who were registered as New Zealand citizens by virtue of their close associations by way of descent, residence, or otherwise, with New Zealand.
The certificates of registration granted to adult females were 108 to British subjects who acquired New Zealand citizenship by virtue of one year's residence in the country immediately preceding the date of application, 56 to British wives of New Zealand citizens, 4 to British subjects generally resident outside New Zealand who were registered as New Zealand citizens by virtue of their close associations by way of descent, residence, or otherwise, with New Zealand, and 402 to alien women married to New Zealand citizens by birth or naturalization.
Certificates of registration granted to minor children were 339 (197 males, 142 females) to children of New Zealand citizens by naturalization or registration, and 27 (14 males, 13 females) who lodged applications independently.
REGISTRATION OF ALIENS.—The registration of aliens in New, Zealand is provided for by the Aliens Act 1948. The Aliens Amendment Act 1957 transferred, from 1 April 1958, the administration of the principal Act from the Police Department to the Department of Justice.
The number of aliens on the New Zealand register at 1 April 1959 was 27,975, comprising 17,467 males and 10,508 females. This is not the complete number in New Zealand, as certain classes are not required to register, including the following: (a) children under sixteen years of age; (b) persons holding diplomatic status, consuls, or employees of embassies, legations, and consulates who are resident in New Zealand solely for the purpose of performing official duties; (c) certain temporary visitors to New Zealand; (d) Western Samoans, except in special circumstances. Under the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, though not possessing the status of British subject (or, in alternative phraseology, Commonwealth citizen), is nevertheless not classed as an alien and is not required to register.
The following table shows the numbers on the register at 1 April 1958 and 1 April 1959.
|Country of Nationality||1 April 1958||1 April 1959|
|United States of America||689||359||1,048||752||369||1,121|
The number of aliens on the register at 1 April 1959 shows an increase of 333 as compared with twelve months earlier. A substantial increase during the year was shown by Netherlands (512), while other increases of note were recorded for United States of America (73), Denmark (60), and Germany (48). Decreases were shown by several countries, the largest being China (92), Greece (69), Poland (66) and Czechoslovakia (37).
Tables showing for aliens registered at 1 April 1956, ages, occupational groups, and geographical location by countries of nationality, will be found on pages 44-47 of the 1957 Year-Book.
STATISTICS OF THE 1956 CENSUS.—The following is a complete list of publications containing the results of the Census taken for the night of 17 April 1956.
Volume I—Increase and Location of Population.
Volume II—Ages and Marital Status.
Volume III—Religious Professions.
Volume IV—Industries and Occupations.
Volume VI—Birthplaces and Duration of Residence of Overseas-born.
Volume VIII—Maori Population and Dwellings.
Volume IX—Dwellings and Households.
Volume X—General Report (including details of War Service, Dependent Children and Usual Place of Residence).
Appendix A. Census of Poultry.
Interim Returns of Population and Dwellings.
The appropriate Sections of this Year-Book contain data on industrial distribution, occupational status, poultry, home garden production, incomes, and dwellings.
The pages following give details relating to Marital Status, Dependent Children, and Religious Professions. Additional information on Age Distribution, Racial Origins, Birthplaces, Duration of Residence of Overseas-born, and Overseas War Service was given on pages 56-65 of the 1958 Year-Book.
MARITAL STATUS.—The marital status of persons aged 16 years and over as returned at the census of 1956 is summarized in the following tables.
|Age (Years)||Never Married||Married||Legally Separated||Widowed||Divorced||Not Specified||Total|
|90 and over||66||221||6||484||6||1||784|
|Not specified adults||166||346||10||41||14||208||785|
|90 and over||149||117||1,006||3||2||1,277|
|Not specified adults||165||653||6||162||17||24||1,027|
The proportional distribution of the population aged 16 years or over according to marital status is given in the following summary.
The most noticeable point is that the proportion of married people has increased considerably since 1951, at the expense, generally, of the “never married” group.
A contributing factor to the decrease in the proportion of the “never married” group is the low birth rate which ruled during the nineteen thirties. The age group of 16 years to 24 years inclusive is affected, the total numbers here increasing only from 244,932 in 1951 to 254,384 in 1956, or less than 4 per cent, against an increase of over 8 per cent for the 16 years and over group as a whole.
It should be pointed out, however, that within this age group of 16 years to 24 years the percentage of those returned as “married” did increase from 21.6 in 1951 to 22.9 in 1956, with a decline in the “never married” percentage from 77.9 to 76.8.
DEPENDENT CHILDREN.—Married men, widowers, and widows were asked at the census in 1956 to state the number of their living children under 16 years (including step-children and children adopted by them). Married women, divorced and legally separated persons were not asked to supply the information as this would have created the risk of duplication of children counted.
The numbers of persons having dependent children, including Maoris, are shown with comparative figures from the 1951 census. The category “nil” includes those cases where members of the family were 16 years of age and over, as well as those cases where there were no children in the family
|Number of Dependent Children under 16 years||1951 Census||1956 Census|
|Married Men||Widowers||Widows||Married Men||Widowers||Widows|
|9 and over||818||7||15||988||12||21|
The numbers of dependent children in each of the three groups in 1956 were: dependent on married men, 684,846; dependent on widowers, 5,131; and dependent on widows, 12,862; a total of 702,839 dependent children out of a 1956 census total of 720,190 children under 16 years of age. The difference is accounted for mainly by the exclusion of children whose parents were legally separated; those whose parents where divorced and had not remarried; children who had lost both parents; and ex-nuptial children (the last two classes excluding cases of adoption).
Comparable numbers of dependent children in the three groups in 1951 were: dependent on married men, 562,401; dependent on widowers, 5,621; and dependent on widows, 12,108; a total of 580,130 out of a total of 596,876 children under 16 years.
Between the 1951 and 1956 censuses the total number of dependent children of married men increased from 562,401 to 684,846, a rise of 21.8 per cent. The number of married men increased by 49,842, or 11.5 per cent. Those recording “nil” dependent children increased by only 4.7 per cent, while those with dependent children increased by 16.8 per cent.
Married men with two children recorded the largest numerical increase, rising from 79,155 to 92,899, this representing a 17.4 per cent increase. The greatest percentage increase however, was recorded by married men with four children, this group increasing from 21,118 in 1951 to 28,080 in 1956 a rise of 6,962, or 33 per cent.
The next table shows within each group, the average number of dependent children, firstly for all persons within the group, and then for persons with dependent children in that group.
|Average Number of Dependent Children||1951 Census||1956 Census|
|Per person with dependent children||2.29||2.38|
|Per person with dependent children||2.06||2.09|
|Per person with dependent children||1.96||2.01|
The most significant point from the table is the marked rise in the average number of dependent children of married men. This is a reflection of the sharp increases recorded, since 1951, in the numbers of married men having from two to seven dependent children.
RELIGIOUS PROFESSIONS.—The following summary presents the main religious professions returned at the 1956 census, with comparative figures for 1951 being given also.
|Religious Profession||Number of Adherents|
|1951 Census||1956 Census|
|Church of England||726,626||780,999|
|Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)||264,555||310,723|
|Latter Day Saints||10,008||13,133|
|Church of Christ||11,937||10,852|
|Seventh Day Adventist||6,159||7,219|
|Eastern Orthodox Catholic||1,007||2,728|
|Dutch Reformed Church||264||829|
|Commonwealth Covenant Church||659||813|
|Assemblies of God||475||747|
|Society of Friends||593||721|
|No religion (so returned)||11.475||12.651|
|All other religious professions||4,903||5,462|
|Object to state||137,597||173,569|
The four main churches - Church of England, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Methodist - retained the adherence of the great bulk of the population, although their combined proportion has fallen from 82.2 per cent of the total population in 1951 to 79.9 per cent in 1956. All four churches have increased in numbers, though only the Roman Catholic Church increased its ratio to total population - 13.6 per cent in 1951 to 14.3 per cent in 1956.
The large increase in the numbers recorded as “Protestant (undefined)” may have resulted from the wording of the questionnaire. Formerly the public were asked not to use indefinite terms such as “Protestant” or “Catholic”, but in 1956 no such request was made and it would appear that many persons used these terms without any further indication of their religious profession.
The category recorded as “Object to state” represents those persons availing themselves of the special statutory right of objecting to answer a question on this subject. The proportion of the population in this class increased from 7.1 per cent in 1951 to 8.0 per cent in 1956. It is probable that the “not specified” group includes a number of persons objecting to the question.
The proportional distribution according to number of adherents is as shown below.
|Religious Profession||Percentage of Total Population|
|Church of England||37.47||35.92|
|Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)||13.64||14.29|
|Latter Day Saints||0.52||0.61|
|Church of Christ||0.62||0.50|
|No religion (so returned)||0.59||0.58|
|Object to state||7.09||7.98|
|All other (including not specified)||3.94||4.07|
STATISTICS OF WORLD POPULATION.—The area and estimated population of the continents and some of the principal countries of the world at 1 July 1958 are shown in the following table. (Source: United Nations Population and Vital Statistics Report for July 1959 and Demographic Year-Book 1958.)
|Continents and Countries||Area||Population|
* 1959 Estimate.
† 1957 Estimate.
|Sq. miles (000)||(000)|
|Republic of Ireland||27||2,853|
|Federal Republic of Germany||96||52,150|
|Federation of Malaya||51||6.499|
|Union of South Africa||472||14.418|
|Federation of Nigeria||339||33,043|
|Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland||484||7,650|
|United Arab Republic||457||29,202|
|United States of America||3,022||174,231|
Table of Contents
IT is desirable that a complete coverage of the vital statistics of a country as a whole should be available, and the statistical data presented in this subsection cover the entire population of New Zealand. Europeans and Maoris are dealt with separately in later subsections.
For many years the standard of registration of vital events for Maoris was subject to elements of inaccuracy and incompleteness due to several factors. However, with the introduction of the medical and related benefits under the social security legislation, which covers Maori and European alike, certain information was essential for the claiming of benefits, and a gradual improvement has been effected. Since 1 April 1952 all Maori marriages have been solemnized in the same manner and registration effected in the same way as European marriages. As regards births and deaths, however, separate registers for Maoris and Europeans are used, and in the case of Maoris the information required is not as detailed as that for Europeans. It is probable that the standard of registration of Maori vital events is now very little inferior, if at all, to that of Europeans.
BIRTHS.—Registration of Maori births is somewhat less accurate (although improvement has been manifest in recent years) than those of the European population. For instance, owing to the extensive time lag in the receipt by the Registrar-General of a considerable number of registrations, the statistics of Maori births relate to the number of registrations received during the year, whereas the European figures cover actual registrations effected during the year.
|Year||Numbers||Rates Per 1,000 of Mean Population|
The inclusion of Maoris raises the level of the birth rate all through the period covered, but in no case does it reverse the trend of the rate for New Zealand, exclusive of Maoris. In an international comparison for the quinquennium 1954-58 the inclusion of Maoris raises New Zealand's position from tenth to seventh in a total of twenty-seven countries covered.
NATURAL INCREASE.—The birth and death rates of the population are not subject to violent fluctuation, and consequently the natural-increase rate—i.e., excess of births over deaths—shows, in the period covered by the next table, a slow decline between 1948 and 1951 and a recovery to a relatively high rate in 1958, and 1959, when the totals were over 40,000. The following table shows the numbers gained by natural increase, together with the rate per 1,000 of mean population, for the last eleven years.
|Year||Numbers||Rates Per 1,000 of Mean Population|
In the ten years to 31 December 1959 New Zealand has gained by natural increase of the population a total of 356,304 comprising 310,027 Europeans and 46,277 Maoris.
MARRIAGES.—The following table shows the numbers of marriages celebrated during each of the last eleven years. Maori marriages are included.
|Year||Numbers||Rates Per 1,000 of Mean Population|
DEATHS.—The effect of including Maoris is to increase slightly the total death rate for New Zealand, as is seen in the following table, except for the latest year.
|Year||Numbers||Rates Per 1,000 of Mean Population|
Although the Maori death rate was consistently higher than the European rate, the continuous decline of the former has now brought it to a position of equality with the European rate. The net result now is that the inclusion of Maoris does not raise the general death rate much above the European rate. Countries with lower death rates (in 1958) than New Zealand included Israel, 5.9; Netherlands, 7.5; Canada, 7.8; Australia, 8.5; and Union of South Africa (European population only), 8.6.
Total Deaths by Causes.—Although the incidence of different diseases as causes of death varies considerably as between the Maori and European sections of New Zealand's population, the only important disease to show a marked influence on the general death rate by the inclusion of Maoris is tuberculosis. The average death rate for the total population from tuberculosis (all forms) for the five years 1954-58 was 119 per million of mean population as against 89 for the European death rate. New Zealand has for many years had a comparatively low tuberculosis death rate for the European section of its population, but when Maoris are included the latest triennial international figures available (principally 1954-56) show New Zealand to be ninth out of a total of 31 countries. With Maoris excluded, New Zealand's position would be sixth for the same period.
Total deaths for the years 1955 to 1958, according to the Abbreviated List of the Sixth (1948) Revision of the International Classification of Causes of Death, are contained in the following table. Comparative tables for the European and Maori population separately may be found by reference to Section 4D and Section 4E respectively.
|Causes of Death||Number of Deaths||Rate Per Million of Mean Population|
|Tuberculosis of respiratory system||256||208||226||168||120||95||101||73|
|Tuberculosis, other forms||37||30||28||32||17||14||13||14|
|Syphilis and its sequelae||31||23||33||22||14||11||15||10|
|Dysentery, all forms||6||4||1||7||3||2||3|
|Scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat||1||1||..||1||1||.||..||..|
|All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic||96||93||105||91||45||43||47||40|
|Malignant neoplasms, including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues||3,171||3,153||3,213||3,192||1,483||1,444||1,439||1,396|
|Benign and unspecified neoplasms||39||48||45||40||18||22||20||17|
|Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system||2,325||2,316||2,519||2,628||1,087||1,061||1,128||1,150|
|Chronic rheumatic heart-disease||241||222||255||271||113||102||114||119|
|Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart-disease||4,899||5,177||5,342||5,377||2,291||2,372||2,393||2,352|
|Other diseases of the heart||760||753||770||808||355||345||345||353|
|Hypertension with heart-disease||663||561||573||461||310||257||257||202|
|Hypertension without mention of heart||124||145||130||144||58||66||58||63|
|Ulcer of stomach and duodenum||176||179||207||170||82||82||93||74|
|Intestinal obstruction and hernia||102||134||180||152||48||61||81||66|
|Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of the newborn||151||139||154||132||71||64||69||58|
|Cirrhosis of liver||72||68||75||56||34||31||34||24|
|Nephritis and nephrosis||178||131||160||158||83||60||72||69|
|Hyperplasia of prostate||144||169||150||135||67||77||67||59|
|Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium||34||31||44||31||16||14||20||14|
|Birth injuries, post-natal asphyxia, and atelectasis||329||326||369||287||154||149||165||126|
|Infections of the newborn||31||51||55||63||14||23||25||28|
|Other diseases peculiar to early infancy, and immaturity unqualified||302||283||302||364||141||130||135||159|
|Senility without mention of psychosis, ill-defined, and unknown causes||175||152||108||117||82||70||48||51|
|All other diseases||1,792||2,039||2,076||1,977||838||934||930||865|
|All other accidents||653||610||731||669||305||279||327||293|
|Suicide and self-inflicted injury||187||199||215||220||87||91||96||96|
|Homicide and operations of war||23||11||15||24||11||5||7||10|
TOTAL INFANT MORTALITY.—The establishing of the vital statistics of New Zealand on a total basis by the inclusion of Maoris has the greatest influence upon the infant-mortality rate. The infant-mortality rate of the European population of New Zealand was the lowest in the world for a long period, and recently has declined to a particularly low level. The Maori rate, on the other hand, always a high one, has not shown any noticeable improvement until recent years. It is also subject to violent fluctuations owing to the ravages of certain epidemic diseases, which have relatively very little effect on the European rate. The European, Maori, and total infant-mortality figures for the last twenty-one years are given in the next table.
|Year||Numbers||Rates Per 1,000 Live Births|
The inclusion of Maoris not only places the infant-mortality rate for New Zealand on a considerably higher level, but also replaces the general downward movement by a much more fluctuating trend.
It also has a considerable effect on the position occupied by New Zealand among the countries of the world. In the quinquennium 1953-57 New Zealand's infant-mortality rate (exclusive of Maoris), with an average of 20, was the second lowest of 34 countries for which reliable figures were available, whereas the inclusion of the Maori population relegated it to fifth place, below Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, and Norway.
(NOTE.—The term European, used in the context of this subsection, means the population exclusive of Maoris.)
REGISTRATION.—The law as to registration of European births is embodied in the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951, a consolidation of the then existing legislation. The provisions generally as to registration are that a birth may be registered within two months without fee. After two months and within six months a birth is registrable only after a statutory declaration of the particulars required to be registered has been made before the Registrar by the parent or some person present at birth, and on payment of the prescribed fee. A birth may be registered after six months only upon the direction of the Registrar-General, who may authorize registration in any case within two years after the date of birth. An information for neglect to register must be laid within two years of date of birth. In cases of neglect or refusal to give the Registrar information in respect of any birth the Registrar-General may at any time within two years after the birth of the child authorize some person to give the Registrar the information required to enable him to register the birth, and to sign as informant the entry in the register, upon which the Registrar shall register the birth.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, power is given by the Act for the Registrar-General to register an unregistered birth which occurred in New Zealand, irrespective of the time that may have elapsed. Satisfactory evidence on oath, and such other proof as the Registrar-General may deem necessary, are required. This provision does not, however, relieve any person from liability to prosecution for failure to register in the proper manner.
Although two months are allowed for the registration of a birth, it is compulsory to notify the birth to the Registrar within a much shorter interval. The occupier of any premises in which a child is born is to give notice to the Registrar according to the best of the knowledge and belief of the occupier of the fact of the birth, the date on which it occurred, the name and address of the mother or father of the child, and of such other particulars as the Registrar-General may require. Any such notice is to be in writing, signed by the occupier and endorsed by some other person, if any, in attendance at the confinement, and is to be delivered or posted to the Registrar within forty-eight hours after the birth if in a borough, or seven days in any other case. Births are to be registered by the Registrar whose office is nearest to the place of birth.
Particulars required to be registered are: date and place of birth; name and sex of child; names, ages, and birthplaces of parents; occupation of father; maiden name of mother; date and place of parents' marriage; and ages and sex of previous issue (distinguishing living and dead) of the marriage. The father of an ex-nuptial child is not required to give information, nor is his name entered in the register unless at the joint request of the mother and himself, or unless he subsequently marries the mother. A child born out of New Zealand but arriving before attaining the age of eighteen months may be registered within six months of arrival. The Registrar-General may authorize registration of such a child who is over eighteen months but under three years of age. Additional information required on notification of birth—but not registration—includes (a) weight of child at birth, and (b) period of gestation of mother. These particulars are required for statistical purposes.
Birth statistics are compiled from the records of the Registrar-General. The births covered by a year's statistics are those registered during the year irrespective of the year of birth. The figures do not include still-births, except where specified on pages 79 and 80. A special classification of still-births is given on pages 85-86.
Registration of Maori Births.—Registrations of the births of Maoris are effected with the Maori Registrars in the various districts set up for this purpose. Statistics relating to the births of Maoris will be found in Section 4E.
NUMBERS AND RATES.—The long-term trend of the birth rate in New Zealand was downward until recent years. A reference to the diagram on page 78 and to the table on page 76, indicates this trend very clearly. After the pioneering days of the nineteenth century, when the population consisted very largely of young immigrants faced with the raising of a family, the birth rate began to decline appreciably. A further migration wave at the turn of the century reversed the trend temporarily, but in 1909 the downward movement was again resumed. With minor fluctuations in the earlier stages and in the years influenced by the First World War this decline continued until 1936. In that year a slight upward movement began, and by 1940 some of the deficit had been made up by the gradual rise. This was accelerated during the Second World War (with minor fluctuations) until successive record high totals (as regards the numbers of births) were established in 1945-47. In 1948 a decline in births was shown with a further recession in 1949. The decreases were not large, and in 1950-52 increases were again in evidence. A very small decrease was shown in 1953. Increases followed in the next six years, the total exceeding 50,000 for the first time in 1956. The numbers and rates of births (children born alive) for each of the last twenty years are given in the following table.
|Year||Number||Rate Per 1,000 of Mean Population|
Comparisons of birth rates over a series of years or between different countries are usually made on the basis of the “crude” rates—i.e., the number of births per 1,000 of the mean population, irrespective of sex or age.
The “crude” rates do not permit of allowance being made for variations in the proportion of women of the child-bearing ages, and it is advisable and of interest to supplement the table of “crude” rates with a computation of the legitimate birth rate per 1,000 married women of 15 and under 45 years of age, or the total birth rate per 1,000 of all women of these ages. The following table gives both rates for each census year (on the basis of the births registered in that year and the population as at the census) from 1901 to 1956 together with the “crude” rate for the year.
|Census Year||Birth Rate Per 1,000 Women 15 and Under 45 Years||“Crude” Birth Rate|
* Per 1,000 married women.
The legitimate rate per 1,000 married women between the ages of 15 and 45 fell steadily at each census date from 1901 to 1936, the figure registered in the latter year being equal to a decline of 44 per cent. Considerable improvement was, however, effected in 1945, with further slight improvement in 1951 and 1956, but the latter rate shows a fall of 28 per cent on the 1901 figure. The rate on the basis of all women between the ages of 15 and 45 did not exhibit such a large fall, the 1936 figure being 35 per cent lower, but again substantial improvement was shown in 1945, 1951, and 1956, the latter rate being equivalent to an increase of 11 per cent. The proportion of married women in the child-bearing ages is now much higher than in former years; in fact the percentage in 1901 was 43.3 as compared with 67.1 in 1956.
The “crude” birth rates have fluctuated more than the refined rates, but the decline in 50 years has not been great, the 1956 figure being equal to a fall of 6 per cent on the 1901 rate.
A study of the figures for successive censuses reveals considerable changes in the age constitution of married women within the child-bearing ages. As the birth rate varies with age, the change in age constitution over the period is a factor which should be taken into account.
NATURAL INCREASE.—The long-term decline of the birth rate in New Zealand was accompanied until recent years by a decrease in the death rate. Nevertheless, the norminal rate of natural increase of population has fallen from 29.32 per 1,000 of mean population in 1880 to 16.01 in 1959. Acceptance of this figure without consideration of the effect of the changing age constitution will give an erroneous view of the present margin of increase and of the probable trend of population growth in the future.
|Year||Numbers||Rate Per 1,000 Mean Population|
|Births||Deaths||Natural Increase||Births||Deaths||Natural Increase|
The natural increase rate provides a useful guide to population increase and a further method is that of the net reproduction index, which is based on female children born and probably surviving. Details of gross and net reproduction rates for recent years will be found in Section 3 of this issue.
The movements that have taken place since 1880 are well illustrated in the accompanying diagram, which shows the rates at annual intervals.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.—An international comparison of birth and natural increase rates is made in the following table. New Zealand's position is higher on the basis of natural increase than it is on that of the birth rate. The rates, which are the average of the five years 1954-58, are taken from the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics issued by the United Nations.
|Country||Rates Per 1,000 of Population|
|Union of South Africa||24.9||16.4|
|United States of America||24.7||15.3|
|Republic of Ireland||21.1||9.0|
SEXES OF CHILDREN BORN.—With the exception of one year (1860), there has always been a preponderance of males in the number of children born in New Zealand. The proportions are usually shown by stating the number of births of male children to every 1,000 female births. This number has been as high as 1,113 (in 1859), and as low as 991 (in 1860), but little significance can be attached to any figures prior to 1870, on account of the comparatively small number of births. It is a popular idea that the proportion of male births tends to increase considerably in war years, but the experience in this country does little to bear out this theory, the average over the six years 1940-45 being 1,057, as against that of 1,050 for the preceding ten years. Figures taken out some years ago prove that the masculinity rate for first births is distinctly higher than for subsequent births. The extreme range since 1870 has been from 1,016 male per 1,000 female births in 1878 to 1,081 in 1923. Rates for the last five years are given below.
|Year||Number of Births of||Male Births Per 1,000 Female Births|
MULTIPLE BIRTHS.—The number of cases of multiple births and the proportion per 1,000 of the total (live births only) during the last five years are shown in the following table.
|Year||Total Births||Total Cases||Cases of Twins||Cases of Triplets||Multiple Cases Per 1,000 of Total Cases|
* Includes three cases where triplets would have been recorded had not one child been still-born.
Counting only cases where both children were born alive, there were 620 cases of twin births registered in 1958. There were also eight cases of triplets.
The total number of confinements resulting in live births was 53,138, and on the average one mother in every 85 gave birth to twins (or triplets).
When still-births are taken into account, the total number of confinements for the year 1958 is increased to 53,926, and the number of cases of multiple births to 659. On this basis the proportion of mothers giving birth to twins or triplets is increased to one in 81.
The incidence of multiple births has not varied greatly in recent years, as may be seen from the following summary.
|Year||Cases of Twins||Cases of Triplets||Total Multiple Cases||Rate Per 1,000 Confinements|
|Both Born Alive||One Born Alive, One Still-born||Both Still-born||Total||All Born Alive||One Born Alive, Two Still-born||Two Born Alive, One Still-born||All Still-born||Total|
|Average of five years||600||40||11||651||6||..||1||..||7||658||12.9|
The proportion of multiple births has been consistently high during recent years. The record rate of 14.2 per 1,000 confinements was experienced in 1944.
The likelihood of still-births occurring is much greater in cases of multiple births than in single cases. This is exemplified in the following table. The figures in respect of multiple cases include all cases where one or more of the children were still-born.
|Year||Still-birth Cases Per 100 of Total Cases (Including Still-births)|
|Single Cases||Multiple Cases|
|Average of five years||1.53||7.94|
During the five years 1954-58 there were 3,002 cases of live twin births (including ex-nuptial), and of these in 963 instances, or 32.1 per cent, both children were males; in 959, or 31.9 per cent, both were females; and in the remaining 1,080, or 36.0 per cent, the children were of opposite sexes.
The eight cases of triplets in 1958 comprised one of three males, three of three females, two of two males and one female, and two of one male and two females.
AGES OF PARENTS.—Information as to the relative ages of parents of legitimate living children whose births were registered in 1958 is shown in the following table.
|Age of Mother, in Years||Age of Father, in Years|
|Under 21||21 and Under 25||25 and Under 30||30 and Under 35||35 and Under 40||40 and Under 45||45 and Under 50||50 and Under 55||55 and Under 65||65 and Over||Total Cases|
* Including 19 legitimate cases where twins would have been registered had not one child been still-born.
† Including 8 cases of triplets.
|21 and under 25||120||3,412||6,767||1,821||290||73||18||7||3||..||12,511|
|25 and under 30||2||571||7,404||6,499||1,570||338||100||19||21||1||16,525|
|30 and under 35||2||31||947||4,609||3,117||990||281||79||26||4||10,086|
|35 and under 40||1||7||126||719||2,049||1,396||522||140||61||4||5,025|
|40 and under 45||..||1||10||60||185||561||402||136||40||9||1,404|
|45 and over||..||..||..||..||3||19||40||17||13||1||93|
|21 and under 25||2||18||52||15||3||1||..||..||..||..||91|
|25 and under 30||..||7||88||87||21||6||2||..||..||..||211|
|30 and under 35||..||..||13||56||40||20||3||..||..||..||132|
|35 and under 40||..||..||4||22||36||30||10||4||3||..||109|
|40 and under 45||..||..||..||..||2||8||6||2||..||..||18|
|45 and over||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..|
PREVIOUS ISSUE OF PARENTS.—Information as to the previous issue of the existing marriage, required in connection with the registration of births in New Zealand is useful not only for record purposes, but also as providing valuable data for statistical purposes. Tables are given in the annual Report on Vital Statistics containing detailed information as to number of previous issue in conjunction with (1) age of mother and (2) duration of marriage. The table under the first heading for the year 1958 is here summarized.
|Age of Mother, in Years||Number of Previous Issue||Total Legitimate Cases|
|0||1||2||3||4||5||6 and Under 10||10 and Under 15||15 and Over|
* This number represents 49,897 single cases and 590 multiple cases.
|21 and under 25||5,833||4,392||1,737||496||112||30||2||..||..||12,602|
|25 and under 30||3,709||5,366||4,348||2,067||811||283||152||..||..||16,736|
|30 and under 35||1,419||2,013||2,700||2,039||1,113||539||381||14||..||10,218|
|35 and under 40||571||776||1,076||976||759||438||497||41||..||5,134|
|40 and under 45||163||156||209||250||191||161||248||42||2||1,422|
|45 and over||8||7||15||10||14||8||18||11||2||93|
In computing previous issue, multiple births have been given their full significance, the numbers at the head of the columns relating to children born alive. In the following table this procedure has been followed not only for the previous issue, but also for children covered by the 1958 registrations, who are also taken into account in the computation of the averages.
|Age of Mother, in Years||Total Mothers||Total Issue||Average Issue|
|45 and over||93||528||5.68|
It should be stressed that the averages are no more than they purport to be—viz., the average number of children (including those registered in 1958) born up to the present time to those mothers of legitimate children whose births were registered during the year. They do not purport to represent, nor do they represent, the average issue of all women of the ages shown. Furthermore, they include issue born to the existing marriages only. The averages for recent years were as follows: 1953, 2.51; 1954, 2.54; 1955 and 1956, 2.58; and 1957, 2.60. In 1915, the earliest year for which reliable comparative figures are available, the average issue was 3.11. This fall in the average issue of women giving birth to children is some indication of the tendency towards smaller families. The 1943 average, for the first time since these figures were compiled, reversed the trend, and a further increase was recorded in 1944, but with the increase in the proportion of first births in the three following years the average declined. A slight improvement has been noted for each year since 1948.
FIRST BIRTHS.—Of a total of 283,395 confinements resulting in legitimate births during the six years 1953-1958, the issue of no fewer than 85,460, or 30 per cent, were first-born children. In 37,199, or 44 per cent, of these cases the birth occurred within twelve months, and in 63,017, or 74 per cent, within two years after the marriage of the parents. In the remaining 26 per cent of cases where there was any issue to the marriage two years or more had elapsed before the birth of the first child.
Statistics of first births indicate that the proportion occurring within one year after marriage is gradually increasing, the rate rising from 40.42 per cent in 1952 to 44.93 in 1958, although a small decrease was noted for 1957. There has been little fluctuation during the same period in the proportion of first births occurring within two years after marriage. The steady decline in the marriage rate in recent years has been accompanied by a marked downward movement in the actual proportion of first births to total births.
|Year||Total Legitimate Cases||Total Legitimate First Cases||Proportion of First Cases to Total Cases||First Cases Within One Year After Marriage||First Cases Within Two Years After Marriage|
|Number||Proportion to Total First Cases||Number||Proportion to Total First Cases|
|Per Cent||Per Cent||Per Cent|
|Totals for six years||283,395||85,460||30.16||37,199||43.53||63,017||73.74|
The period of time elapsing before the birth of the first child has varied considerably during recent years mainly as a result of war and post-war influences. The following table compares the 1958 figures with those for earlier years, and illustrates the movement in the duration-of-marriage factor in first births.
|Duration of Marriage, in Years||Proportion Per Cent of Total First Births|
|Under 1 year||50.06||46.25||38.47||42.64||44.93|
|1 and under 2 years||26.64||26.79||26.30||30.56||28.64|
|2 and under 3 years||10.43||10.24||11.28||11.56||10.89|
|3 and under 4 years||5.51||6.16||7.88||5.95||5.54|
|4 and under 5 years||3.03||3.96||7.18||3.30||3.22|
|5 and under 10 years||3.36||5.49||7.36||5.05||5.55|
|10 years and over||0.97||1.11||1.53||0.94||1.23|
For the years covered by the foregoing table the average duration of marriage before the birth of the first child was—1924, 1.76 years; 1934, 1.85 years; 1944, 2.22 years; 1954, 1.87 years; and 1958, 1.86 years.
An item of interest extracted from the birth statistics is a table of first births occurring to mothers in different age groups, expressed as a proportion per cent of the total first births. A comparison has also been computed on this basis for the years, 1924, 1934, 1944, 1954, and 1958.
FIRST BIRTHS, BY AGE OF MOTHER
|Age of Mother, in Years||First Births, Proportion Per Cent at Each Age Group to Total First Births|
|20 and under 25||38.16||40.39||41.79||47.71||47.76|
|25 and under 30||32.59||32.79||29.54||27.79||24.96|
|30 and under 35||14.68||13.10||14.61||10.39||9.55|
|35 and under 40||5.33||3.79||5.36||3.92||3.84|
|40 and under 45||1.59||0.99||1.34||1.02||1.10|
|45 and over||0.10||0.04||0.03||0.09||0.05|
The figures of average ages of mothers at the birth of their first child are as follows for the above years: 1924, 26.39; 1934, 25.90; 1944, 25.18; 1954, 25.32; and 1958, 24.87.
EX-NUPTIAL BIRTHS.—The numbers of ex-nuptial births registered during each of the years 1948-58, with the percentages they bear to total births registered, were as follows.
|Year||Number||Percentage of Total Births|
The long-term trend in the rate of ex-nuptial births is indicated by the movement in the proportion of ex-nuptial births per 1,000 unmarried women—i.e., spinsters, widows, and divorced women—at the reproductive ages. The figures for each census year from 1911 to 1956 are as follows,
|Census Year||Unmarried Women 15 and Under 45 Years of Age||Ex-nuptial Births||Ex-nuptial Birth Rate Per 1,000 Unmarried Women|
Included in the total of 2,689 ex-nuptial births in 1958 were thirty-eight cases of twins, the number of confinements being thus 2,651. From the following table it will be seen that of the 2,651 mothers 937, or 35 per cent, were under twenty-one years of age.
|45 and over||3|
The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1930 directed the omission of the word “illegitimate” from the register when the birth of an ex-nuptial child is registered. The word “illegitimate” appearing in any entry made prior to the passing of the Act is deemed to be expunged and deleted, and must also be omitted from any certified copy of an entry.
The Legitimation Act.—The Legitimation Act of 1939 stipulates that every ex-nuptial child whose parents have intermarried shall be deemed to have been legitimated from birth by reason of such marriage. The Act requires the parents or surviving parent of any person legitimated under the Act to register with the Registrar-General the particulars of the birth of that person, showing that person as the lawful issue of the parents. Application for registration must be made within three months after the date of the marriage.
Where the Registrar-General has reason to believe that any person has been legitimated under the terms of the Act, and no application for registration has been made within the prescribed time, he may require the responsible parents or parent to make an application within a specified period of not less than seven days after receiving notice to do so. Any failure to comply with the notice requiring application for registration within the time specified renders the person or persons responsible liable on summary conviction to a fine of £5. If no application for registration is made within the appropriate time specified in the Act or in the notice received from the Registrar-General, application for registration of the particulars of the birth of any legitimated person may be made by that person, or by one of his parents, or by any other person.
The number of legitimations of Europeans registered in each of the last five years, and the total since the Act of 1894 came into force, are shown in the following table.
|Year||Number of Children Legitimated|
|Previously Registered||Not Previously Registered||Total|
|Totals from 1894 to 1958||15,727||3,294||19,021|
ADOPTIONS.—The Adoption Act 1955 consolidated and amended the provisions regarding the adoption of children formerly contained in Part III of the Infants Act 1908 and Part IX of the Maori Affairs Act 1953. The Births and Deaths Registration Act contains provision for the registration of adopted children. The Registrar of the Court by which any adoption order is made is required to furnish to the Registrar-General particulars of the order, including the full name and place of birth of the child, as well as the full names and addresses of both the natural and the adopting parents. An entry is made in the prescribed form in the register of births, particulars of the adopting parents being given in lieu of those of the natural parents. If the child's birth has previously been registered in New Zealand a note of the adoption order is made on the original entry. An amendment to the Infants Act in 1939 extended the age at which a child might be legally adopted from under fifteen years to under twenty-one years.
The adoption of a Maori child is required to be registered in the same manner as that of a European child.
The Adoption Act 1955 requires interim orders to be made in the first instance, and for these to remain in force for six months before adoption orders become effective. This legislative change would account for the low total of 887 recorded in 1956.
The following table shows the number of adoptions (exclusive of Maori children) which have been registered during the last five years.
Of the 1,671 adoptions registered in 1958, 580 were children under the age of one year, 662 were between one and five years, 206 were between five and ten years, and 223 were aged ten years or over. In addition, 246 Maori children (115 males and 131 females) were adopted in 1958.
Statistics of adoptions registered have been available in New Zealand since 1919, and these indicate that the numbers are considerably influenced by the economic condition of the country, the lowest total, 329, being recorded in 1931. The highest total prior to 1940 occurred in 1921, when 584 adoptions were registered, this, no doubt, being the result of influences operating after the First World War.
STILL-BIRTHS.—The registration of still-births was made compulsory in New Zealand as from 1 March 1913. Although it is necessary to effect a birth-registration entry for a still-born child, no entry is made in the register of deaths. The Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 stipulates, however, that a medical practitioner or a midwife in attendance at a confinement where a still-birth occurs must furnish a certificate stating to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the cause of the still-birth. Particulars of causes of still-births will be found in Section 4D relating to deaths. A still-born child is defined as one “which has issued from its mother after the expiration of the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy and which was not alive at the time of such issue”. Still-births are not included either as births or as deaths in the various numbers and rates shown in this subsection and in that relating to deaths. The rate of 1.50 per 100 total births in 1958 is the lowest rate recorded since the registration of still-births was made compulsory in 1913.
The registrations of European still-births during each of the years 1954-58 were as follows.
|Year||Males||Females||Total||Male Still-births Per 1,000 Female Still-births||Percentage of Still-births to—|
|Living Births||All Births|
Masculinity is in general much higher among still-births than among living births, the rate for still-births in 1958 being 1,320 males per 1,000 females as compared with 1,061 for living births.
The percentage of ex-nuptials among still-born infants was in 1958, 5.86, and among infants born alive, 1.79.
Of the living legitimate births registered in 1958, 30 per cent were first births, while of legitimate still-births 32 per cent were first births. Statistics over many years indicate that there is a considerably greater probability of still-births occurring to mothers having their first confinement than to those having subsequent confinements. In addition to the 819 European still-births in 1958, there were 113 Maori still-births registered, comprising 54 males and 59 females.
FOETAL DEATHS.—Section 20 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 stipulates that in the case of a foetal death where the child has issued from its mother after the twentieth week, and up to and including the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy, a medical practitioner or a midwife who was in attendance at the confinement shall sign and supply a certificate stating to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the cause of the foetal death, and such other particulars as may be required by the Registrar-General. A foetal death is not required to be registered as in the case of a still-born child.
MARRIAGE may be solemnized in New Zealand either by a person whose name is on the list of officiating ministers under the Marriage Act, or before a duly appointed Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Marriages. A licence must be obtained from a Registrar of Marriages before a marriage by an officiating minister can be solemnized. Marriage by an officiating minister may be solemnized at any time between 6 o'clock in the morning and 8 o'clock in the evening. Marriage before a Registrar can be solemnized at any time during the hours the office of the Registrar is open for the transaction of public business.
Notice of intended marriage must be given to a Registrar of Marriages by one of the parties to the proposed marriage. In the case of a person under twenty-one years of age, not being a widow or widower, the consent of parents or guardian is necessary. Consent of the Court may also be given in cases of refusal by any person whose consent is required.
The system of notice and licence has operated in New Zealand since 1855. Officiating ministers and Registrars are required to send to the Registrar-General returns of all marriages solemnized, and as the returns come in they are checked off with the entries in the Registrars' lists of notices received. In case of the non-arrival of a marriage return corresponding to any entry in the list of notices, inquiries are made with a view to obtaining the return if the marriage has been solemnized.
Marriage is forbidden between persons within certain degrees of relationship, any such marriage being declared void. The prohibition applies whether the relationship is by the whole blood or by the half-blood, and whether the relationship is nuptial or ex-nuptial. The present law on this matter is contained in the Marriage Act 1955.
Section 34 of this Act provides that proxy marriages may be authorized by a Magistrate in New Zealand of any person who is resident in New Zealand to any person who is outside New Zealand, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the person who is outside the country is unable to come to New Zealand by reason of the existence of a state of war or armed conflict, or by reason of the conditions of his service as a member of the armed forces of any Commonwealth country, or of any country for the time being allied with any Commonwealth country.
Any New Zealand citizen who intends to be married in a country other than New Zealand according to the law of that country, and who desires to obtain a certificate for the purpose of complying with the law of that country, may give notice to the Registrar-General who, upon receiving the notice, shall make such searches and inquiries and give such notices as may be prescribed under the Act. If no caveat is entered within fourteen days of the receipt by the Registrar-General, a certificate may be issued, after proper notices have been given that no lawful impediment to the marriage has been shown to the Registrar-General to exist.
Any New Zealand representative who has attended the marriage of a New Zealand citizen in a country other than New Zealand, and is satisfied that the marriage has been solemnized in accordance with the formalities of the law of that other country, may give a certificate and forward a duplicate copy to the Registrar-General, who shall bind the duplicate in a special register kept by him for the purpose.
Since 1933 the minimum age for marriage has been sixteen years of age. No marriage shall be deemed to have been unduly solemnized, however, by reason only of an infringement of the minimum age.
The Maori Purposes Act 1951 stipulated that after 1 April 1952 every marriage to which a Maori is a party shall be solemnized in the same manner, and its validity shall be determined by the same law, as if each of the parties was a European.
As a result of this legislative change, marriage statistics from the year 1952 are inclusive of Maoris and Maori marriage figures as a separate feature have lapsed. Figures quoted in this subsection for years prior to 1952 are all exclusive of Maoris.
Particulars regarding divorce will be found at the close of this subsection.
NUMBERS AND RATES.—The movement of the marriage rate over a lengthy period of time may be observed from the statistical summary appearing towards the end of this Year-Book. The numbers and rates of marriages during each of the last twenty years are here given.
|Year||Number||Rate Per 1,000 of Population|
* Inclusive of Maoris.
Both the marriage rate and the number of marriages in 1946 were the highest on record. The main reason for this was the return from overseas of many thousands of men in the most prolific marriage age groups. An appreciable decline, however, in both the number of marriages and in the marriage rate took place in 1947 and 1948 and continued until 1951. Separate figures for European marriages are not available after 1951. It will be noted, however, that the marriage rate for the total population decreased each year from 1952 to 1957, with a small increase in 1958.
Comparison with Other Countries.—Marriage rates for certain countries for 1958 are given below (these particulars have been taken from the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, issued by the Statistical Office of the United Nations).
|Country||Rate Per 1,000 Mean Population|
|United States of America||8.3|
|Republic of Ireland||5.3|
MARITAL STATUS.—The total number of persons married during the year 1958 was 36,610 of whom 32,424 were single, 1,599 widowed, and 2,587 divorced. The figures for the five years 1954 to 1958, showing the sexes separately, are given in the table following.
|Year||Single||Widowed||Divorced||Total Persons Married|
The position is more easily seen by studying the percentages given in the next table.
Reference to the divorce statistics at the end of this subsection will show that there has been a steady decline from 1946 to 1957. In 1958, however, a substantial increase was recorded, the figure for that year being the highest since 1949. However, the number of decrees absolute in the period 1954-58 was 7,608 as compared with 4,907 in the five years 1936-40, an increase of 55 per cent. The large number of divorced people remarrying is therefore not surprising. The number of widowed persons remarrying, which was 39 per 1,000 in 1940, rose to 44 per 1,000 in 1958.
The relative marital status of bridegrooms and brides for each of the five years 1954 to 1958 is next given.
|Year||Marriages Between Bachelors and||Marriages Between Widowers and||Marriages Between Divorced Men and|
|Spinsters||Widows||Divorced Women||Spinsters||Widows||Divorced Women||Spinsters||Widows||Divorced Women|
The relative proportions of divorced men and divorced women remarrying during the last three years has changed but little compared with ten years earlier. During the three years 1938-40 the number of male divorcees remarrying was 2,066, as compared with 2,169 females, which gives a rate of 95 males for every 100 females. In 1956-58 the respective numbers were 3,621 males and 3,680 females, and the corresponding rate 98 males for every 100 females. In the case of widowed persons remarrying, however, there has been a marked change in the figures. In the three-year period 1938-40, 2,420 widowers remarried but only 1,619 widows, whereas in 1956-58 there were 2,484 widowers and 2,339 widows who remarried, the number of widowers per 100 widows being 149 in the former period and 106 in the latter period.
AGES OF PERSONS MARRIED.—Of the 36,610 persons married in 1958, 7,945 or 22 per cent were under twenty-one years of age; 13,110, or 36 per cent, were returned as twenty-one and under twenty-five; 7,549, or 20 per cent, as twenty-five and under thirty; 4,640, or 13 per cent, as thirty and under forty; and 3,366, or 9 per cent, as forty years of age or over. The following table relates to the year 1958.
|Age of Bridegroom, in Years||Age of Bride, in Years||Total Bridegrooms|
|Under 21||21 and Under 25||25 and Under 30||30 and Under 35||35 and Under 40||40 and Under 45||45 and Over|
|21 and under 25||3,436||2,924||349||44||5||2||2||6,762|
|25 and under 30||1,442||2,437||990||236||69||19||3||5,196|
|30 and under 35||271||601||639||360||133||49||23||2,076|
|35 and under 40||55||121||227||215||147||81||38||884|
|40 and under 45||7||35||71||93||127||107||66||506|
|45 and over||14||22||54||107||137||211||857||1,402|
There have been some considerable changes in the proportions of persons marrying at the various age periods. To illustrate the extent to which these figures have varied a table is given showing since 1920 the proportions of men and women married at each age group to every 100 marriages.
|Period||Under 21||21 and Under 25||25 and Under 30||30 and Under 35||35 and Under 40||40 and Under 45||45 and Over||Totals|
* Inclusive of Maoris.
A perusal of the above table reveals the fact that greater proportions of marriages are now being solemnized at the younger and, to a lesser extent, at the older age groups. This became very marked in the 1950-54 period, and was mainly due to the fact that the outbreak of war induced a number of earlier marriages which resulted in fewer unmarried people entering the middle age groups.
For many years the average age (arithmetic mean) at marriage for both males and females, more particularly the latter, showed a tendency to increase. However, in recent years there has been a tendency towards a slight fall. The figures for each of the years 1949-58 are as follows.
* Inclusive of Maoris.
The average ages of bachelors and spinsters at marriage are considerably lower than those shown in the preceding table, which covers all parties and is naturally affected by the inclusion of remarriages of widowed and divorced persons. The average ages of grooms and brides for each of the last five years according to marital status were as shown below.
The foregoing figures give the average age at marriage, but these do not correspond with the modal or popular age, if the age at which the most marriages are celebrated may be so termed. The modal age for brides (21) has remained unchanged for very many years, but in the case of bridegrooms the most popular age has varied, and for recent years it has been 23 or 24.
Marriages of Minors.—Of every 1,000 men married in 1958, 81 were under twenty-one years of age, while 353 in every 1,000 brides were under twenty-one.
In 1,241 marriages in 1958 both parties were given as under twenty-one years of age, in 5,225 marriages the bride was returned as a minor and the bridegroom as an adult, and in 238 marriages the bridegroom was a minor and the bride an adult.
The proportion of minors among persons marrying has been increasing over a fairly long period, and in the table below figures are given for the last five years. In the latest year (1958) one bride in every three was under twenty-one years of age, the proportion for grooms being one in twelve.
|Year||Age, in Years||Totals|
|16||17||18||19||20||Number||Rate Per 100 Marriages|
MARRIAGES BY MINISTERS OF VARIOUS CHURCHES.—Of the 18,305 marriages registered in 1958, Church of England clergymen officiated at 4,598, Presbyterians at 4,591, Roman Catholics at 2,768 and Methodists at 1,425, while 3,591 marriages were solemnized by Registrars.
The following table shows the proportions of marriages by ministers of the largest churches and before Registrars in each of the years 1952-58.
|Church||Percentage of Marriages|
|Church of England||25.40||25.04||26.21||25.63||25.88||24.63||25.12|
The foregoing figures must not be taken as an exact indication of the religious professions of the parties married, as it does not necessarily follow that both (or even one) of the parties are adherents of the Church whose officiating minister performed the ceremony, and persons married before Registrars may belong, in greater or lesser proportion, to any or none of the churches. Of the total population (inclusive of Maoris) at the general census of 1956, 35.9 per cent were recorded as adherents of the Church of England, 22.3 per cent Presbyterian, 14.3 per cent Roman Catholic, 7.4 per cent Methodist, and 20.1 per cent of other religions or of no religion, or who objected to state their religious profession.
NUMBER OF OFFICIATING MINISTERS.—The number of names on the list of officiating ministers under the Marriage Act was (January 1959) 3,114, and the churches to which they belong are shown hereunder.
|Roman Catholic Church||724|
|Church of England||546|
|Presbyterian Church of New Zealand||495|
|Methodist Church of New Zealand||348|
|Ratana Church of New Zealand||170|
|Associated Churches of Christ||41|
|Latter Day Saints||39|
|Seventh Day Adventist||37|
|Assemblies of God||29|
|Commonwealth Covenant Church||19|
|Liberal Catholic Church||16|
|Evangelistic Church of Christ||11|
|Churches of Christ||10|
|Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Conference||10|
|Spiritualist Church of New Zealand||9|
|Church of God||9|
|United Maori Mission||5|
|Church of Te Kooti Rikirangi||4|
The Ratana Church of New Zealand, the Ringatu Church, the United Maori Mission, and the Church of Te Kooti Rikirangi are Maori organizations.
DIVORCE AND NULLITY.—The first New Zealand enactment relating to divorce was passed in 1867, and a brief historical account of the development of the legislation on this subject was given in the 1931 issue of the Year-Book. The present law is contained in the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act 1928 and its amendments and a rÉsumÉ of its principal provisions is now given.
Grounds for Divorce.—These are set out as follows:
Adultery since the celebration of the marriage;
Wilful and continuous desertion for three years or more:
Habitual drunkenness for four years, coupled with (wife's petition) failure to support or habitual cruelty, or with (husband's petition) neglect of, or self-caused inability to discharge, domestic duties;
Conviction for attempted murder of petitioner or of any child of petitioner or respondent or for an offence under section 197 of the Crimes Act 1908 against petitioner or any such child;
Conviction for murder;
Insanity and confinement as a lunatic for seven out of ten years preceding the petition;
Insanity for seven years, and confinement for three years immediately preceding the petition;
Insanity and confinement as a lunatic for the five years immediately preceding the petition;
Failure for three years or more to comply with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights;
Separation under an agreement, written or verbal, which has been in full force for not less than three years;
Separation by decree of judicial separation or separation order (or their equivalent in any country), which has been in force for not less than three years;
Parties living apart for not less than seven years and unlikely to be reconciled;
Husband guilty of rape, sodomy, or bestiality since marriage.
In cases based on separation of the parties, whether by order or agreement or otherwise, the Court must dismiss the petition if the respondent opposes it and the Court is satisfied that the separation was due to the wrongful act or conduct of the petitioner. In these cases, and in cases where the ground is failure to comply with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights, the Court has in any event a discretion whether or not to grant a divorce. In practice, however, where the petition is not opposed the Court rarely exercises this discretion against a petitioner.
Jurisdiction.—The court has jurisdiction in divorce only in cases where the petitioner is domiciled in New Zealand. In petitions based on grounds (i) above, the petitioner must have been domiciled in New Zealand for at least three years at the time when the petition is filed.
Under the common law a married woman takes her husband's domicile and is incapable of acquiring a separate domicile while the marriage subsists. As a result of a series of statutory amendments, however, a wife who is living in New Zealand apart from her husband has in effect the capacity to acquire a separate domicile for the purposes of the divorce and nullity law as if she were unmarried.
Overseas Divorces.—The common law relating to the recognition of overseas divorces was clarified and extended by an amendment in 1953, and further extended in 1958. New Zealand Courts will recognize divorces granted in any country by Courts exercising jurisdiction there on the basis of the domicile of either party in that country, or of the residence in that country of the wife for at least two years, or of the domicile of the husband in that country before a desertion or separation, or that either party was a national or citizen of that country.
Nullity.—The first New Zealand legislation on the subject of nullity was enacted in 1953. It replaces and extends the common law on this topic.
The Court has jurisdiction to make a decree of nullity of marriage if either of the parties is domiciled in New Zealand when the petition is filed or if the marriage was solemnized in New Zealand.
A petition for a nullity decree may be presented in the case of either a void or a voidable marriage. Void marriages are those which are of no effect whether or not a decree is obtained. Voidable marriages are those which are valid unless and until a decree is obtained.
The following are the cases in which a marriage is void by the law of New Zealand:
Where at the time of the ceremony either party to the marriage was already married;
Where, whether by reason of duress or mistake or insanity or otherwise, there was at the time of the marriage an absence of consent by either party to marriage to the other party;
Where the parties are within the prohibited degrees of relationship as set out in the Marriage Act 1955;
Where the marriage was not solemnized in due form.
A marriage is voidable in New Zealand on the following grounds:
Incapacity or wilful refusal of the respondent to consummate the marriage;
Mental deficiency of either party within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1911, although that party was capable of consenting to the marriage;
Venereal disease (of the respondent) in a communicable form;
Pregnancy of the respondent by some person other than the petitioner.
In cases (b), (c), and (d) the facts alleged must have existed at the time of the marriage and proceedings must be instituted within a year of the marriage. Furthermore the Court must be satisfied—
That the petitioner was at the time of the marriage ignorant of the facts;
That marital intercourse with the petitioner's consent has not taken place since the discovery of the existence of the grounds for a decree.
With the exception of inability to consummate the marriage there was no ground on which a marriage was voidable before the passing of the 1953 amendment.
A decree of nullity in a voidable marriage puts an end to the marriage from the date of the decree only and not from the date of the marriage. The principal effect of this is to ensure the legitimacy of any children of the marriage.
Statistical Data.—Figures showing the operations of the Supreme Court in its divorce jurisdiction during recent years are as follows. A number of the decrees granted in any year relate to petitions filed in earlier years.
|Year||Dissolution or Nullity of Marriage||Judicial Separation||Restitution of Conjugal Rights|
|Petitions Filed||Decrees Nisi||Decrees Absolute||Petitions Filed||Decrees for Separation||Petitions Filed||Decrees for Restitution|
A marked increase in divorce was witnessed during the later years of the war and the immediate post-war years. The peak year was 1946, when 2,133 decrees absolute were granted. In the next eleven years, 1947-57 inclusive, decreases in numbers were recorded every year with the exception of 1949 and 1952 so that by 1957 the number of decrees absolute granted was less than two-thirds of the 1946 total. However, 1958 showed a heavy increase, a little more than 25 per cent over 1957 in the number of decrees absolute granted, and was the highest number recorded since 1949.
The passing in November 1953 of the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Amendment Act was expected to have some effect on divorce statistics, more particularly as regards petitions and decrees for restitution of conjugal rights.
For the first four years after the passing of the above Act, the number of decrees absolute granted showed evidence of a persistent downward trend. However, a reversal of this trend occurred in 1958. This could, perhaps, be related to the increase since 1955 in the number of petitions filed and decrees nisi granted. The expected change has materialized in the number of petitions and decrees for restitution of conjugal rights.
The divorce ratio was equal to one for every eleven marriages solemnized in 1953 and 1954, one to every twelve in 1955 and 1956, while for 1957 and 1958 the ratio was one divorce to every 12.5 and 10.5 marriages respectively.
The next table gives the grounds (dissolution or nullity cases) of petitions and decrees during 1957 and 1958.
|Grounds||Petitions Filed||Decrees Absolute Granted|
|Husbands' Petitions||Wives' Petitions||Husbands' Petitions||Wives' Petitions|
* Not available.
|Drunkenness with cruelty, failure to maintain, etc.||..||2||16||10||1||..||12||7|
|Non-compliance with order for restitution of conjugal rights||2||3||1||2||5||6||2||3|
|Separation for not less than three years||437||455||612||591||277||357||455||454|
|Separation by Court order||*||*||*||*||*||22||*||103|
|Living apart for not less than seven years||81||67||73||64||57||80||43||68|
|Presumption of death||..||..||..||1||..||..||..||1|
The figures shown for decrees absolute cover all such granted during the year, whether the antecedent decree nisi was granted in the same or in a previous year.
Over the five-year period 1954-58 inclusive, the average percentage of decrees absolute granted on wives' petitions (83.0) was greater than the percentage granted on husbands' petitions (74.8). It is interesting to note that, for the first time since 1952, the number of decrees absolute granted in 1958 on husbands' petitions was greater than the total granted on wives' petitions.
In 495 of the 1,751 cases where decrees absolute were granted during 1958 there was no living issue of the marriage. The number of living issue was 1 in 445 cases, 2 in 406 cases, 3 in 211 cases, and 4 or more in 194 cases.
The table which follows shows the duration of marriage in all cases for which decrees absolute were granted in the five years 1954 to 1958.
|Duration of Marriage, in Years||Husbands' Decrees Absolute Granted||Wives' Decrees Absolute Granted|
|5 and under 10||221||204||217||184||228||286||234||255||242||275|
|10 and under 15||184||155||140||164||227||161||163||174||203||228|
|15 and under 20||116||123||105||106||129||116||138||113||96||134|
|20 and under 30||112||110||120||125||153||112||112||127||110||132|
|30 and over||43||49||57||40||64||36||50||36||40||51|
The number of living issue affected by the decrees absolute of their parents during each of the last five years was as follows: 1954, 2,300; 1955, 2,294; 1956, 2,365; 1957, 2,269; and 1958, 2,737.
(NOTE.—The term European used in the context of this subsection means the population exclusive of Maoris.)
REGISTRATION.—The law as to registration of deaths is embodied in the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951. Particulars required in the registration of a death include date, place of residence and domicile, name, occupation, sex, age, cause of death, birthplace, duration of residence in New Zealand, whether cremated or not, marital status, living issue of married persons, race (European or Maori), medical attendant by whom certified, particulars as to burial, and, in the case of married males, age of widow.
Every death occurring in New Zealand is required to be registered within three days after the day of the burial. There is a penalty up to £10 for neglect, the funeral director in charge of the burial being solely responsible for registration. When an inquest is held the Coroner becomes responsible for registration, the time allowed being three days after the conclusion of the inquest. The Coroner may, in writing, authorize an agent to attend to registration on his behalf. Registrations must not be effected before the conclusion of the inquest.
Where the Coroner decides not to hold an inquest the funeral director is responsible for registration of the death.
The law does not impose any limit of time after which a death may not be registered as it does in the case of a birth. Although it is necessary to effect a birth-registration entry in the case of a still-born child, no entry is made in the register of deaths. The principal Act stipulates, however, that a medical practitioner or a midwife in attendance at a confinement where a still-birth occurs must furnish a certificate stating to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the cause of the stillbirth.
Provision is made for the registration of the death of a person whose body is removed for anatomical examination under Part II of the Medical Act 1908, or is removed for burial outside New Zealand.
Any person burying, or permitting or taking part in the burial of the body of any deceased person without a certificate of cause of death signed by a duly registered medical practitioner, or a Coroner's order to bury the body, renders himself liable to a fine of £50. Burial at sea of a person dying in New Zealand is prohibited except on the authority of a Coroner.
It is incumbent upon a medical practitioner to give the certificate of cause of death to the person required to supply information for the purpose of registering the death (the funeral director in charge of the burial). The practitioner is required to report forthwith to the Coroner any case where, in his opinion, the death has occurred in any circumstances of suspicion.
The Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1955 provides that—where the death of any person occurs outside New Zealand and the death takes place on board a New Zealand ship within the meaning of the Shipping and Seamen Act 1952; or on board an aircraft registered in New Zealand pursuant to the Civil Aviation Act 1948 or as the result of any occurrence on board any such aircraft during its operation—the Registrar-General may authorize any Registrar to register the death in accordance with the provisions of the Act relating to the registration of deaths taking place in New Zealand.
Deaths of Members of the Forces While Overseas.—The Registration of Deaths Emergency Regulations 1941, which superseded 1940 regulations of similar title, required the Registrar-General to compile a War Deaths Register of persons of New Zealand domicile who died while out of New Zealand on service in some capacity in connection with the Second World War. Members of the New Zealand Naval Forces were excluded from the regulations, special provision having previously been made in their case. The present legislative authority, the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951, requires the Registrar-General to compile a register containing particulars of all persons who have died while out of New Zealand on service with any Commonwealth force within the meaning of the Army Act 1950 and who at the time of their deaths were domiciled in New Zealand. Deaths registered in the War Deaths Register were not taken into account in arriving at the number and rate of deaths in New Zealand, nor were deaths of visiting overseas servicemen or prisoners of war in New Zealand. Deaths of New Zealand servicemen which occurred in New Zealand were, however, included.
Registration of Maori Deaths.—Registration of the deaths of Maoris are effected with the Maori Registrars in the various districts set up for this purposes. Statistics relating to the deaths of Maoris are not included in this subsection, but are fully covered in Section 4E.
NUMBERS AND RATES.—The following table shows the number of deaths and the death rate per 1,000 of the mean population during each of the last twenty years.
|Year||Number||Rate Per 1,000 of Mean Population|
New Zealand has had for many years a favourable death rate. The fact that the death rate is still comparatively very low, despite the older age constitution of the population, is probably due, inter alia, to improvements in medical techniques, expansion of health services, etc. This progress has been reflected, for example, in a relatively low incidence of serious outbreaks of the more important epidemic diseases (which were much more prevalent in the early years of colonization) and in a remarkably low infant-mortality rate.
The general trend of the death rate in New Zealand was for many years downwards, reaching its lowest level during the depression years of the early “thirties”. After that an upward trend was in evidence for some years, the figures recorded during the war years being the highest for a long time. It is possible that the absence overseas of considerable numbers of men of early adult age, at which mortality experience is the most favourable, would have some effect on the rates established. The strains of wartime would also have some effect on deaths in the older age groups; in fact, the high rate of 1942 disclosed a sharp rise in deaths resulting from diseases of the heart and nervous system. For four years following 1945 a downward trend was again in evidence and, although small increases were recorded in 1950 and 1951, the 1952 and 1953 rates again showed decreases; the figure of 8.84 for 1953 being the lowest recorded rate since 1936 (8.75). A contributing factor to the slight rise in the rate recorded in 1954 was the registration during the year of the deaths of the victims of the Tangiwai railway disaster.
The death rates of males and females for the last eleven years are shown separately in the next table.
|Year||Deaths Per 1,000 of Mean Population||Male Deaths to Every 100 Female Deaths||Male Rate Expressed as Index Number of Female Rate (= 100)|
COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.—An international comparison of death rates is made in the following table. They are the average of the five years 1954-58 and are taken from the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics issued by the United Nations.
|Country||Rates Per 1,000 of Population|
* European population only.
|Union of South Africa||8.5|
|United States of America||9.4|
|Republic of Ireland||12.1|
DISTRIBUTION OF DEATHS OVER THE YEAR.—An examination of the total number of deaths registered in each quarter of the period 1948-58 gives the following averages: March quarter, 3,703; June quarter, 4,304; September quarter, 5,213; and December quarter, 4,318.
A classification according to month of death shows that in 1958 the months during which the greatest number of deaths occurred were July, August, and May, with totals of 1,973, 1,820, and 1,754 respectively. Excluding December, a proportion of deaths occurring in that month not being registered till January, February had the least number of deaths, 1,260, followed by January and November with 1,376 and 1,409 respectively.
The lowest number of deaths on any one day, again excluding December, was 23, this number occurring on 9 February. The greatest number (81) occurred on 14 July.
AGE AT DEATH.—The deaths registered during the year 1958 are tabulated below according to age.
|Under 1 month||436||296||732|
The following table indicates the changes that have occurred since 1930 in the age distribution of persons dying. The movement in the proportions of deaths occurring at the different age groups is very striking. The results of three main factors are illustrated—viz., health measures, which have achieved an immense saving of young life; the fluctuations in the birth rate over the period; and the great increase in the proportion of old people in the community.
|Age, in Years||Number of Deaths||Percentage of Total|
|1 and under 5||327||205||199||231||2.68||1.44||1.19||1.21|
|5 and under 10||167||98||87||116||1.37||0.69||0.52||0.61|
|10 and under 15||105||108||64||67||0.86||0.76||0.38||0.35|
|15 and under 20||222||151||120||146||1.82||1.06||0.72||0.77|
|20 and under 25||315||247||158||134||2.58||1.73||0.95||0.71|
|25 and under 30||337||270||142||161||2.76||1.89||0.85||0.85|
|30 and under 35||337||290||191||175||2.76||2.03||1.14||0.92|
|35 and under 40||374||320||275||260||3.07||2.24||1.65||1.37|
|40 and under 45||478||362||328||317||3.92||2.53||1.96||1.67|
|45 and under 50||640||472||522||573||5.25||3.30||3.12||3.01|
|50 and under 55||794||798||697||777||6.51||5.59||4.17||4.09|
|55 and under 60||881||1,145||1,021||1,057||7.22||8.02||6.11||5.56|
|60 and under 65||1,003||1,461||1,503||1,444||8.22||10.23||8.99||7.59|
|65 and under 70||1,077||1,697||2,170||1,955||8.83||11.88||12.98||10.28|
|70 and under 75||1,171||1,772||2,536||2,658||9.60||12.41||15.17||13.98|
|75 and under 80||1,242||1,556||2,316||3,175||10.18||10.89||13.86||16.70|
|80 and over||1,805||2,340||3,378||4,725||14.80||16.38||20.21||24.85|
During the earlier period covered by the next table the fall in the death rate was common to all ages and to both sexes. In more recent years, however, there have been some fluctuations in the rates for the higher age groups. Of special significance are the low rates recorded in the childhood and early adult life age groups in recent years, and the high percentage reduction effected during the entire period. The female rate for the various age groups is now lower than the male rate in all instances. The increase in the death rate (per 1,000 of population) at successive age groups is well exemplified.
|Year||Under 1*||1 and Under 5||5 and Under 15||15 and Under 25||25 and Under 35||35 and Under 45||45 and Under 55||55 and Under 65||65 and Under 75||75 and Over|
|* Per 1,000 live births in this case.|
The average (arithmetic mean) age at death of persons of either sex at ten-yearly intervals since 1901 and during each of the last four years was as follows.
There has been a striking upward movement in the average age at death since 1901. A noticeable feature is that in the earlier years the age for females was considerably lower than that for males, the margin gradually narrowing until virtual equality was reached in 1927-28, since when the female average age at death has been higher than the male.
EXPECTATION OF LIFE.—Life tables depicting the pattern of mortality over the age span of life for the non-Maori* component of New Zealand's population have been constructed at various times since 1880. The most recent table is based on the 1951 population census, together with mortality statistics for 1950-52. As the pattern of mortality among non-Maoris has stabilized in recent years, this latest life table still gives an accurate statistical summary of current mortality experience.
* A table showing the expectation of life of the Maori population is given in Section 4E.
Life tables contain a measure of the degree of longevity of the population called the “expectation of life”. The expectation of life at any age is the average remaining lifetime for persons of this age assuming that mortality rates at each age continue at the level shown by the life table. The life expectancy at selected ages at the present time, for the non-Maori population in New Zealand, is shown in the table below. The overall longer span of life enjoyed by females, compared with males, is evident, as is the improvement in life expectancy once the first year of life is survived.
LIFE EXPECTANCY FOR NON−MAORI POPULATION, SELECTED AGES
|Exact Age||Life Expectancy (Years)|
Improvement in non-Maori life expectancy since 1880, for both sexes, has been most striking for the younger ages, but has been relatively small for the advanced ages. Progress in medical science, coupled with improved social conditions, has resulted in substantial reductions in mortality among infants and children from infectious diseases; on the other hand, diseases of middle and old age are less amenable to control. It is unlikely, therefore, that increases in life expectancy in the future will occur on the scale of the past, but will be quite small and will happen very slowly. The table below displays the life expectancy revealed by each life table compiled since 1880 for the three exact ages of 0, 20, and 60 years.
IMPROVEMENT IN NON−MAORI LIFE EXPECTANCY SINCE 1880
|Life Table||Life Expectancy (Years)|
|Males Aged||Females Aged|
Prior to the Second World War the New Zealand non-Maori population were probably the longest lived of any national population group in the world. This pre-eminent position has not been maintained, however, although New Zealand still takes a very high place in the international ranking list. The table below compares the life expectancy at birth for the non-Maori population with that for selected overseas countries. In all cases the expectancies are the most recent available.
LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH, SELECTED COUNTRIES
|Country||Period||Life Expectancy at Birth (Years)|
* Non-Maori population.
† White population.
|England and Wales||1956||67.76||73.36|
|Union of South Africa*†||1945-47||63.78||68.31|
|United States of America||1956||67.3||73.7|
INFANT MORTALITY.—Over a long period of years New Zealand has been renowned for its low rate of infant mortality, a fact attributable partly to such matters as climate, virility of the race, comparative absence of densely settled areas, etc., and partly to legislative and educative measures—the latter conducted by the State as well as by various organizations (one of the most important of these is the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children which was founded in 1907).
Particulars of deaths of infants under one year of age for each of the years 1949-59 are shown in the following table.
|Year||Number||Rate Per 1,000 Live Births|
In the following table New Zealand's infant-mortality rate is shown in comparison with that of other countries. The figures are taken from the United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1958. It is interesting to observe that the distinction of having the lowest infant-mortality rate in the world belongs to Sweden, which achieved the phenomenally low ratio of 18 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1953-57, as compared with New Zealand's 20 for the same quinquennium. In the case of the United States of America, the Union of South Africa, and New Zealand the European population only has been taken into account.
|Country||Quinquennium||Deaths Under One Year Per 1,000 Live Births|
|New Zealand (excluding Maoris)||1953-57||20|
|United States of America (excluding coloured population)||1953-57||27|
|Union of South Africa (excluding coloured population)||1953-57||31|
|Republic of Ireland||1953-57||37|
The male rate of infant mortality is considerably above the female rate, the average for New Zealand over the five-year period 1954-58 being 22.2 male deaths per 1,000 male births and 17.1 female deaths per 1,000 female births.
The rates per 1,000 births for the two sexes combined at different ages during the first year of life are now given for each of the last eleven years.
INFANT-MORTALITY RATES, 1948-58 (PER 1,000 LIVE BIRTHS)
|Year||Under One Day||One Day and Under Two Days||Two Days and Under One Week||Total Under One Week||One Week and Under Two Weeks||Two Weeks and Under Three Weeks||Three Weeks and Under One Month||Total Under One Month||One Month and Under Twelve Months||Total Under One Year|
Infants who die in the first year of life may be grouped roughly into two main classes—viz., those dying within one month of birth and those surviving the first month of life but dying before the first anniversary of their birth. Deaths amongst the first class, called neo-natal deaths, are due principally to pre-natal and natal influences. The second group covers those infants who have succumbed in the main to causes arising from post-natal influences such as the various epidemic diseases, diseases of the respiratory system, faulty feeding, and other environmental factors.
The next table shows that, whereas in the quinquennium 1951-55 the death rate for children under one month of age was 50 per cent lower than in the quinquennium 1881-85, the rate for children who had survived the first month of life was only approximately one-tenth as high as in the “eighties”. In other words, whereas formerly over sixty children out of every 1,000 who survived the first month of life died before reaching one year of age, now only six such deaths occur. While the decline in the under-one-month group has been progressive for some years, it was among infants who had survived the first month of life that the most marked reductions were achieved. In the “thirties”, however, the reduction of this rate was arrested, and in the quinquennium 1941-45 an increase was recorded for the first time. For some years it had been considered that any further substantial decrease in the total infant-mortality rate would have to be achieved in the under-one-month group. The figures for 1951-55, however, indicate that whereas this group recorded a decrease of 26 per cent from 1941-45, the one-month-and-over group declined by 36 per cent.
|Period||Deaths Per 1,000 Births|
|Under 1 Year||Under 1 Month||Between 1 and 12 Months|
The accompanying diagram further illustrates the reduction in the infant-mortality rate that has taken place over a long period, and the relatively steady low rate of recent years.
Causes of Infant Mortality.—The principal causes of infant mortality over the last ten years, showing both numbers and rates per 1,000 live births, are shown in the following table. The classification is according to the Sixth (1948) Revision of the International List.
|Causes of Death||Number of Deaths|
|Tuberculosis, all forms||5||..||1||4||2||..||2||2||1||..|
|Enteric fever and other salmonella infections||..||3||..||..||..||..||2||..||..||..|
|Dysentery, all forms||1||..||..||..||..||..||1||..||..||..|
|Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis after the first four weeks of life||85||53||96||79||73||77||79||84||107||87|
|Pneumonia of the newborn||26||22||30||22||24||28||21||35||26||31|
|Gastro-enteritis after the first four weeks of life||17||15||26||10||12||16||10||14||10||9|
|Diarrhoea of the newborn||3||3||..||1||5||1||3||2||3||3|
|Asphyxia and atelectasis||111||128||164||174||152||110||137||128||172||134|
|Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)||30||50||38||34||37||40||40||39||26||50|
|Other and undefined causes||137||122||131||129||136||152||164||166||167||213|
|Causes of Death||Rates Per 1,000 Live Births|
|* Less than 0.1.|
|Tuberculosis, all forms||0.1||..||*||0.1||*||..||*||*||*||..|
|Enteric fever and other salmonella infections||..||0.1||..||..||..||..||*||..||..||..|
|Dysentery, all forms||..||..||..||..||..||..||*||..||..||..|
|Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis after the first four weeks of life||1.9||1.2||2.2||1.7||1.6||1.6||1.6||1.7||2.1||1.6|
|Pneumonia of the newborn||0.6||0.5||0.6||0.5||0.5||0.6||0.4||0.7||0.5||0.5|
|Gastro-enteritis after the first four weeks of life||0.4||0.3||0.6||0.2||0.3||0.3||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.1|
|Diarrhoea of the newborn||0.1||0.1||..||*||0.1||*||0.1||*||0.1||*|
|Asphyxia and atelectasis||2.5||2.9||3.7||3.7||3.3||2.3||2.7||2.5||3.3||2.4|
|Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)||0.7||1.1||0.9||0.7||0.8||0.8||0.8||0.8||0.5||0.9|
|Other and undefined causes||3.1||2.6||2.9||2.8||2.9||3.1||3.3||3.3||3.2||3.9|
Some remarkable changes are disclosed by the next table, which gives the infant-mortality rates for various groups of causes in quinquennial periods commencing with the years 1872-76 and for 1957-58. It would appear that diseases which can be combated openly, such as epidemic diseases, respiratory diseases, and diseases due to faulty nourishment, etc. (i.e., diseases of the digestive system), have shown a definite response to the strenuous campaigns launched against them. If a comparison be made between the averages of the first and last five-yearly periods given—i.e., 1872-76 and 1952-56—it is found that the general infant-mortality rate shows a decline of 81 per cent, while even greater decreases are recorded for tuberculosis (99 per cent), convulsions (100 per cent), gastric and intestinal diseases (98 per cent), epidemic diseases (97 per cent), and respiratory diseases (81 per cent). The rate for epidemic diseases still continues to decline, and it is interesting to note that over 46 per cent of the total under this heading in the years 1952-56 was due to meningococcal infections, with 17 per cent assigned to influenza, and 16 per cent to whooping-cough. During the five-year period 1952-56 there were only two deaths from streptococcal sore throat and no deaths at all from scarlet fever or diphtheria. In 1957-58, 40 per cent of deaths from epidemic diseases were due to influenza, 31 per cent to meningococcal infections, 13 per cent to whooping cough, 7 per cent to both infectious encephalitis and chickenpox, and 2 per cent to other epidemic diseases.
The increase shown for malformations and the decrease for tuberculosis are probably somewhat less than is indicated by the figures. In the earlier years covered by the table the latter heading included all deaths from hydrocephalus, many of which were no doubt due to congenital hydrocephalus, which is now included among the malformations. A proportion of the deaths from hydrocephalus in the earlier years would also probably be due to meningitis. The following table shows quinquennial average death rates of infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births. To enable the comparison with past years to be maintained, the infant deaths for 1950 onwards have been re-assembled to conform to the former classifications for the purposes of this table—i.e., influenza deaths have been included under epidemic diseases, while both pneumonia and diarrhoea of the newborn have been included under respiratory and gastric and intestinal diseases respectively, and not as diseases of early infancy.
|Period||Epidemic Diseases||Tuberculosis||Infantile Convulsions||Respiratory Diseases||Gastric and Intestinal Diseases||Malformations||Early Infancy||Other Causes||Total|
|* Less than 0.1.|
It is convenient to consider still-births and deaths in the first week of life together, as they are largely the result of common causes. The combined group is termed perinatal mortality. The term is particularly appropriate when we consider how deaths in the newborn crowd closely towards the day of birth. This is clearly shown in the table on page 103. Still-births, deaths in the first week of life, and perinatal deaths (still-births plus deaths in the first week), are shown in the following table. The still-births and the perinatal mortality rate are calculated per 1,000 total live-births (stillbirths plus live-births), while the death rate for the first week of life is calculated per 1,000 live-births.
|Year||Still-births||Deaths Under 1 Week||Perinatal Mortality|
The combined rate has shown a steady improvement, due principally to the reduction in the stillbirth rate. It is observed that a considerable proportion of the live-born babies who would previously have been still-births would be delicate, immature infants with a high risk of dying in the first week of life. Consequently the death rate for the first week has not changed noticeably.
CAUSES OF STILL-BIRTH.—A still-born child is defined in New Zealand as one “which has issued from its mother after the expiration of the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy and which was not alive at the time of such issue”.
The registration of still-births has been effected in New Zealand since 1913, but no information regarding the causes of still-births was required for registration purposes until 1947. As from 1 July 1952 a certificate of the cause of death in cases of intermediate foetal deaths—i.e., deaths after the end of the twentieth but before the end of the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy—was also required to be furnished. The certificates of causes of still-birth and foetal death provide for both maternal and foetal causes to be entered.
The following table shows the 819 still-births registered during 1958 classified (a) according to maternal causes and (b) according to foetal causes.
|Causes of Still-birth||Number of Cases|
|(a) Maternal Causes|
|Chronic disease in mother||6||5||11|
|Acute disease in mother||3||2||5|
|Diseases and conditions of pregnancy and childbirth||64||50||114|
|Difficulties in labour||28||22||50|
|Other causes in mother||3||3|
|(b) Foetal Causes|
|Placental and cord conditions||166||120||286|
|Congenital malformation of foetus||57||46||103|
|Diseases of foetus and ill-defined causes||125||98||223|
|Totals, all causes||468||351||819|
PERINATAL MORTALITY AND PREMATURITY.—Approximately three out of every four infants who die in the first year of life do so in the first month, and of those dying in the first month 50 per cent die in the first day of life and 85 per cent in the first week.
A principal factor in the loss of this new life is prematurity. This is seen in the following table, where causes of neo-natal deaths for 1958 are set out in accordance with the International List of 1955.
|Causes of Death||Under One Day||One Day and Under One Week||One Week and Under Two Weeks||Two Weeks and Under Three Weeks||Three Weeks and Under One Month||Total Under One Month|
|Injury at birth||31||22||3||..||..||56|
|Injury at birth with prematurity||37||27||3||..||..||67|
|Post-natal asphyxia and atelectasis||19||28||2||..||..||49|
|Post-natal asphyxia and atelectasis, with prematurity||54||26||..||1||..||81|
|Pneumonia of newborn||1||10||1||5||3||20|
|Pneumonia of newborn, with prematurity||2||6||3||..||..||11|
|Disorders arising from maternal toxaemia||3||3||..||..||..||6|
|Disorders arising from maternal toxaemia, with prematurity||5||7||1||..||..||13|
|Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)||26||7||1||..||1||35|
|Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis), with prematurity||5||6||1||2||..||14|
|Haemorrhagic disease of newborn||2||3||..||..||..||5|
|Haemorrhagic disease of newborn, with prematurity||..||2||..||..||..||2|
|Diarrhoea of newborn||..||..||..||..||2||2|
|Diarrhoea of newborn with prematurity||..||..||..||..||..|
|Ill-defined diseases peculiar to early infancy||5||5||..||..||..||10|
|Ill-defined diseases peculiar to early infancy, with prematurity||16||10||1||..||..||27|
|Immaturity with mention of any other subsidiary condition||9||2||..||..||..||11|
|Umbilical sepsis with prematurity||..||..||..||..||..||..|
|Other sepsis of newborn||..||..||4||..||1||5|
|Other sepsis of newborn, with prematurity||..||1||..||..||..||1|
A total of 132, or 18 per cent, of all neo-natal deaths are directly attributed to prematurity (immaturity) and a further 227 deaths are given as associated with it. The principal conditions of early infancy with which prematurity was associated were: (i) asphyxia in 81 cases (11.1 per cent of all neo-natal deaths); (ii) birth injury in 67 cases (9.2 per cent of all neo-natal deaths); and (iii) all other causes peculiar to early infancy in 38 cases (5.3 per cent of all neo-natal deaths).
In the case of still-births, out of 819 in 1958 there were 471 cases, or 58 per cent, where gestation fell short of full term.
It is not possible to assess what the reduction in perinatal mortality would be if every pregnancy were to go to full term, but there is no doubt that it would be considerable.
As a first step in the campaign to reduce this grave loss of new life, details of the birth weight and gestation period of all infants born alive or dead after 1 July 1952 were required to be furnished to the Registrars of Births and Deaths. These will provide essential basic data for further studies on prematurity. It will give a measure of the extent of the problem in different localities according to the age and parity of the mother and the occupation of the father, and it will enable cohorts of infants to be followed through their first year of life so that their mortality and morbidity experience may be shown according to their degree of maturity at birth.
CAUSES OF DEATH.—Since 1908 the classification of causes of death in New Zealand has been on the basis of the international classification. Almost all countries are member States of the World Health Assembly, and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death has world-wide application.
The sixth (1948) revision of the classification was applied in New Zealand to the deaths for 1950. At the same time a departure was made from the previous arbitrary rules of selection when more than one cause of death was entered on a certificate, to an assignment according to what is termed the underlying cause of death. This may be defined as (a) the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death, or (b) the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury. The responsibility for indicating the train of events is placed on the physician or surgeon signing the medical certificate of death.
The following table shows the numbers of deaths and death rates per million of mean population according to the Abbreviated List of 50 Causes (Sixth Revision, 1948).
The statistics for tuberculosis, cancer, puerperal causes, and violent causes, which are of special interest and significance, are discussed later on in this subsection. Certain diseases (cholera, plague, smallpox, and typhus) are not listed in the table below, as there were no deaths occurring from these causes in the years shown.
|Causes of Death||Numbers||Rates Per Million of Mean Population|
|* Less than one.|
|Tuberculosis of respiratory system||181||195||146||163||121||92||97||71||78||57|
|Tuberculosis, other forms||23||23||14||21||17||12||11||7||10||8|
|Syphilis and its sequelae||26||26||17||28||18||13||13||8||13||8|
|Dysentery, all forms||1||4||1||..||3||*||2||*||..||1|
|Scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat||2||1||1||..||1||1||*||*||..||*|
|All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic||52||85||77||84||71||26||42||38||40||33|
|Malignant neoplasms, including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues||2,878||3,077||3,051||3,110||3,189||1,464||1,534||1,492||1,489||1,492|
|Benign and unspecified neoplasms||39||35||43||43||37||20||17||21||21||17|
|Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system||2,250||2,281||2,256||2,457||2,550||1,144||1,137||1,103||1,176||1,193|
|Chronic rheumatic heart-disease||200||202||171||201||218||102||101||84||96||102|
|Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease||4,735||4,770||5,023||5,185||5,168||2,408||2,378||2,456||2,482||2,418|
|Other diseases of the heart||639||702||707||716||747||325||350||346||343||350|
|Hypertension with heart-disease||679||630||546||557||443||345||314||267||267||207|
|Hypertension without mention of heart||111||122||140||126||140||56||61||68||60||66|
|Ulcer of stomach and duodenum||168||172||177||202||167||85||86||87||97||78|
|Intestinal obstruction and hernia||134||93||126||164||144||68||46||62||78||67|
|Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of newborn||95||87||99||100||92||48||43||48||48||43|
|Cirrhosis of liver||52||70||64||70||52||26||35||31||34||24|
|Nephritis and nephrosis||203||160||119||142||143||103||80||58||68||67|
|Hyperplasia of prostate||121||142||165||144||132||62||71||81||69||62|
|Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium||25||22||20||35||22||13||11||10||17||10|
|Birth injuries, post-natal asphyxia, and atelectasis||220||281||271||307||257||112||140||133||147||120|
|Infections of the newborn||66||27||44||41||49||34||13||21||20||23|
|Other diseases peculiar to early infancy, and immaturity unqualified||265||254||241||256||273||134||127||118||123||128|
|Senility without mention of psychosis, ill-defined, and unknown causes||170||161||143||96||111||86||80||70||46||52|
|All other diseases||1,566||1,684||1,916||1,918||1,849||796||840||937||918||865|
|All other accidents||730||571||525||662||610||371||285||258||317||285|
|Suicide and self-inflicted injury||175||181||194||209||211||89||90||95||100||99|
|Homicide and operations of war||15||17||10||13||14||8||8||5||6||7|
TUBERCULOSIS.—The death toll from tuberculosis of the respiratory system has declined steadily for very many years. During the last ten years the fall has been particularly steep as is shown in the following average rates for the last five quinquennia: 1933-37,333 per million of population; 1938-42, 323 per million; 1943-47, 294 per million; 1948-52, 186 per million; 1953-57, 87 per million. The rate for 1958 of 57 per million is a reduction on the figure of 78 per million recorded in 1957.
The latest triennial figures available (1954-56) show New Zealand is in sixth place out of 31 countries from which death-rates from all forms of tuberculosis were compiled. The countries with lower rates than New Zealand were Denmark 6.3; Netherlands 6.6; Israel 7.6; Australia 8.5; and Canada 9.0. The New Zealand rate of 9.7 compares with 10.5 for the United States of America, 14.9 for England and Wales and 18.9 for Scotland. For the period 1947-49 New Zealand occupied second place.
In addition to the 121 deaths from tuberculosis of the respiratory system during 1958, there were 17 deaths from other forms of tuberculosis, comprising—
|Tuberculosis of meninges and nervous system||6|
|Tuberculosis of intestines, peritoneum, and mesentery||2|
|Tuberculosis of bones and joints||5|
|Tuberculosis of genito-urinary system||2|
|Tuberculosis of lymphatic system||1|
Deaths from tuberculosis of sites other than pulmonary have also declined greatly in recent years, the death rate from these causes having been reduced from 60 per million of population in 1943-47 to 14 per million in 1953-57. The principal contributory factor towards this reduction has been tuberculosis of the meninges and central nervous system. In 1943 there were 41 deaths from this cause, compared with only 6 in 1958.
The following table shows the number of deaths from tuberculosis in 1958, classified according to sex and age groups. Of those dying from this cause in 1958, persons under the age of 45 years formed 27 per cent.
|Age, in Years||Males||Females||Total|
|5 and under 10||..||..||..|
|10 and under 15||..||..||..|
|15 and under 20||1||..||1|
|20 and under 25||1||1||2|
|25 and under 30||1||3||4|
|30 and under 35||1||6||7|
|35 and under 40||5||5||10|
|40 and under 45||4||4||8|
|45 and under 50||4||7||11|
|50 and under 55||6||2||8|
|55 and under 60||8||3||11|
|60 and under 65||12||4||16|
|65 and under 70||10||4||14|
|70 and under 75||15||2||17|
|75 and under 80||10||2||12|
|80 and over||9||3||12|
CANCER.—A detailed report on cancer mortality and morbidity in New Zealand was issued in 1958 by the Medical Statistics Branch of the Department of Health. This report covers mortality from cancer from 1941 to 1955, and also surveys all cases reported to the National Cancer Register by the various cancer clinics established in New Zealand under the auspices of the British Empire Cancer Campaign Society. In addition to discussion of the total cancer picture in New Zealand, an analysis, with discussion, is made by specific sites broken down under the following subheadings: the age and sex of new cases registered, incidence, survival experience, treatment, stage of disease at time of diagnosis and period elapsing between first symptoms and diagnosis. Under each of these headings a comparison is made between the local figures and those available from other countries, while in the principal sites the New Zealand mortality is contrasted with that of generally 24 other countries of the world.
Attention is drawn to the transference, under the 1948 Revision of the International Classification, of Hodgkin's disease, leukaemia, etc., into the category of malignant diseases. This classification was introduced in 1950, and all cancer figures quoted for that and subsequent years include these conditions.
Cancer is annually responsible for more deaths in New Zealand than can be assigned to any cause other than diseases of the heart. While it is most prevalent in middle and old age, it exacts a heavy toll throughout the life-span. With the inclusion of Hodgkin's disease and leukaemia under the cancer heading, the disease assumes a very high position as a cause of death among children and adolescents. It is interesting to compare the decline in the death rate from tuberculosis with the rise in the cancer death rate. These rates are set out in the following table and diagram. The fall in the tuberculosis rate may be said to reflect the achievements of the public-health service, whilst the rise in the cancer rate portrays in general the increasing age of the population.
This is illustrated by the following figures.
|Period||Average Death Rates Per 10,000 of Population|
The relative movements in the death rates from cancer and tuberculosis are further illustrated in the following diagram, which shows the rates at five-yearly intervals since 1875, and annually since 1950.
In 1958 there were 3,192 deaths from cancer in New Zealand, a proportion of 14.93 per 10,000 of mean population. Figures in this table are all inclusive of Hodgkin's disease, leukaemia, etc. A summary for the last eleven years is given below.
|Year||Number of Deaths From Cancer||Recorded Death Rate||Standardized Death Rate*|
|* Standard population used for standardized rates—England and Wales 1901.|
A summary showing the location of the disease in deaths from cancer during 1958 is given in the following table.
|Site of Disease||Numbers||Rates Per Million of Mean Population|
|Buccal cavity and pharynx||42||30||72||39||28||34|
|Intestine, except rectum||149||219||368||139||206||172|
|Trachea, and of bronchus and lung not specified as secondary||335||52||387||312||49||181|
|Other and unspecified parts of uterus||..||45||45||..||42||21|
|Bone and connective tissue||16||10||26||15||9||12|
|All other and unspecified sites||356||365||721||331||343||337|
|Leukaemia and aleukaemia||73||64||137||68||60||64|
|Lymphosarcoma and other neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic system||80||62||142||74||58||66|
The standardized figures for recent years suggest that cancer, while undoubtedly increasing in numerical incidence, is not doing so out of proportion to the population exposed to the cancer risk. Improvement in diagnosis has been responsible for some of the numerical increase in the recorded deaths from cancer, though this factor has now become more stabilized. A classification according to sex and age groups for 1958 is now given.
|Age, in Years||Males||Females||Total|
|5 and under 10||11||10||21|
|10 and under 15||6||7||13|
|15 and under 20||7||6||13|
|20 and under 25||6||7||13|
|25 and under 30||13||8||21|
|30 and under 35||24||18||42|
|35 and under 40||21||48||69|
|40 and under 45||29||57||86|
|45 and under 50||63||81||144|
|50 and under 55||105||122||227|
|55 and under 60||127||140||267|
|60 and under 65||208||179||387|
|65 and under 70||247||199||446|
|70 and under 75||287||193||480|
|75 and under 80||282||198||480|
|80 and over||233||225||458|
Ninety-one per cent of the deaths from cancer during 1958 were at ages 45 years and upwards, and 58 per cent at ages 65 years and upwards. Approximately one death in every six of persons who die after the age of 50 years is due to cancer.
PUERPERAL CAUSES.—In point of numbers of deaths, puerperal accidents and diseases do not rank high among causes of death. Nevertheless, deaths from puerperal causes are of special importance and significance. The rate per 1,000 live births in each of the last twenty years is shown in the following table.
|Year||Proportion Per 1,000 Live Births|
A survey of the death rate from puerperal causes since 1872 shows that for a period in the early part of the twentieth century there was a tendency for the rate to decline. Then followed a definite upward movement, culminating in a rate of 6.48 per 1,000 live births in 1920, the third highest on record, this figure having been exceeded only in 1884 and 1885. Comparatively high rates persisted until 1931, since when the decline has been more or less steady. The efficacy of new drugs and methods of treatment is reflected in the extremely low rates recorded in recent years, the figure for 1956 of 0.40 being a new record. This low rate has been achieved mainly by a reduction in the number of deaths from septic abortion and puerperal sepsis. Deaths from complications of childbirth have also been few since 1949, but the 13 deaths in this category in 1957, as well as the 10 deaths attributed to toxaemic conditions, were the main factors in bringing the 1957 rate up to the highest since 1952.
It is generally conceded that in years of high birth rates the maternal-mortality rate tends to rise, probably due to the abnormally high proportion of first births in the total of births, upon which the death rate for these causes is based. In common with most countries for which recent figures are available, the reverse has been the experience in New Zealand during recent years. Possibly a contributory factor in this reversal has been the rise in the proportion of births taking place in institutions, more particularly in special annexes attached to the larger hospitals, where every facility for the care of the patient is more readily available.
Details of deaths from deliveries and complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium for the three years 1956 to 1958 are shown in the following summary.
|Causes of Death||Number of Deaths||Rate Per 10,000 Live Births|
|Toxaemias of pregnancy||6||7||8||1.19||1.35||1.48|
|Other haemorrhage of pregnancy||..||1||2||..||0.19||0.37|
|Other complications arising from pregnancy||..||3||..||..||0.58||..|
|Abortion without mention of sepsis or toxaemia||1||1||3||0.20||0.19||0.55|
|Abortion with sepsis||4||3||1||0.79||0.58||0.18|
|Abortion with toxaemia||..||1||..||..||0.19||..|
|Delivery complicated by placenta praevia or antepartum haemorrhage||1||3||1||0.20||0.58||0.18|
|Delivery complicated by retained placenta||1||2||..||0.20||0.39||..|
|Delivery complicated by other post-partum haemorrhage||1||2||1||0.20||0.39||0.18|
|Delivery complicated by disproportion or malposition of foetus||1||..||..||0.20||..||..|
|Delivery complicated by prolonged labour of other origin||..||2||..||..||0.39||..|
|Delivery with trauma||3||3||2||0.59||0.58||0.37|
|Delivery with other complications of childbirth||..||1||..||..||0.19||..|
|Sepsis of childbirth and the puerperium||..||1||1||..||0.19||0.18|
|Puerperal phlebitis and thrombosis||1||..||1||0.20||..||0.18|
|Puerperal pulmonary embolism||1||..||1||0.20||..||0.18|
|Other and unspecified complications of the puerperium||..||1||..||..||0.19||..|
|Mastitis and other disorders of lactation||..||1||..||..||0.19||..|
|Totals, including septic abortion||20||35||22||3.97||6.75||4.09|
|Totals, excluding septic abortion||16||32||21||3.17||6.17||3.90|
A summary of maternal mortality from all puerperal causes, in triennial periods since 1933, and for 1957-58, is now given.
|Causes of Death||1933-35||1936-38||1939-41||1942-44||1945-47||1948-50||1951-53||1954-56||1957-58|
|Eclampsia and other toxaemias||93||94||80||58||62||42||30||20||15|
|Accidents, haemorrhage, and other mortality||104||91||135||94||110||73||49||35||36|
|Total maternal mortality||327||297||319||243||217||141||89||67||57|
|Maternal mortality, excluding septic abortion||236||229||261||182||184||121||82||55||53|
In all four disease divisions there has been a steady downward trend in the numbers despite the fact that in the quarter century covered the total of confinements has approximately doubled. This position has been brought about by improvements in the standard of ante-natal care and obstetrical skill as well as advances in medical science.
DEATHS FROM EXTERNAL CAUSES.—Deaths from external causes, apart from suicide, claim approximately 6 per cent of the total deaths. The following table shows deaths from external causes for the three years 1956, 1957, and 1958 according to the Intermediate List of the 1948 Revision of the International Classification. It is necessary to refer to the detailed list of circumstances of accident or means of injury if a comparison with years prior to 1949 is required, as the inclusions under the headings below differ considerably from past practice—e.g., drowning from boats and ships or from horseback whilst crossing rivers are included below as transport fatalities, as also are falls on board ship and from horseback.
|Causes of Death||Number of Deaths||Rate Per Million of Mean Population|
|Other transport accidents||65||87||87||32||42||41|
|Accident caused by machinery||23||40||39||11||19||18|
|Accident caused by fire and explosion of combustible material||27||28||30||13||13||14|
|Accident caused by hot substance, corrosive liquid, steam, and radiation||11||8||13||5||4||6|
|Accident caused by firearm||8||15||17||4||7||8|
|Accidental drowning and submersion||102||107||81||50||51||38|
|All other accidental causes||106||101||108||52||48||51|
|Homicide and injury purposely inflicted by other persons (not in war)||10||13||13||5||6||6|
The number of deaths recorded from all accidental causes in 1958 was 964 corresponding to a rate of 4.51 per 10,000 of population.
Drownings are a leading cause of accidental death in New Zealand. Included in the above table as transport accidents are a further 41 deaths due to drowning. Thirty-five of these were from the capsize of small boats, whilst the remaining 6 deaths involved principally the larger type of boat.
Transport Accidents.—In classifying deaths attributable to transport accidents under the various subheadings shown in the following table the rule of assignment is that in fatalities due to collisions of railway trains and electric tram cars with motor vehicles, the death is assigned to the railway train or electric tram car as being the heavier and more powerful vehicle. In the case of collisions between motor vehicles and horse-drawn vehicles, the death is assigned to the motor vehicle.
The number and rate of deaths resulting from railway, tramway, motor vehicle, and aircraft accidents during each of the last eleven years are as follows.
|Year||Deaths Due to Accident||Rate Per 10,000 of Mean Population|
|Railway||Tramway||Motor Vehicle||Aircraft||Railway||Tramway||Motor Vehicle||Aircraft|
|* Less than 0.01.|
Deaths occurring as a result of the Tangiwai railway disaster were not registered till 1954, and consequently were not included in the 1953 totals. These deaths numbered 154, and of course account for the large increase in the number of deaths due to railway accidents shown for 1954. Of this number 1 was a Maori, and 7 were registered as unidentified bodies.
Deaths arising out of aircraft accidents fell off steeply after 1945. This was to be expected, since the figures included Air Force accidents in New Zealand as well as civilian casualties. In 1948 the crashing on Mount Ruapehu of a National Airways Corporation plane with the loss of 13 lives was the principal cause of the high figure for civil air transport accidents in that year. New Zealand's worst air disaster occurred in 1949, when 15 lives were lost in a crash at Waikanae. In recent years the wide use of aircraft in agricultural operations such as aerial topdressing has resulted in a number of deaths from aircraft accidents.
Deaths from motor-vehicle accidents recorded an appreciable increase up to 1930, but this trend was reversed during the depression years, largely owing to a great reduction in the number of motor vehicles on the roads during that period. With the advent of more prosperous times, the toll of the motor vehicle again mounted, although, fortunately, not in proportion to the tremendous increase in motor vehicular traffic on the highways. An appreciable drop, however, was experienced during the war years on account of there being less traffic on the roads owing to restrictions in use of motor spirits and rubber tires. Since the war the number of fatalities from motor-vehicle accidents progressively increased up to 1958, with the exception of small declines in 1952 and again in 1956. The year 1958 was a particularly bad year from the accident point of view, especially those involving motor-vehicles.
The figures given in the above table for deaths from motor-vehicle accidents (which do not include deaths of Maoris) are exclusive of accidents where persons have been killed in collisions between motor vehicles and trains or trams, these being assigned to the heavier vehicle. For 1958 there were 11 deaths from such accidents, bringing the total number of deaths in cases where a motor vehicle was involved up to 364. The corresponding figure for 1957 was 336.
Non-transport Accidents.—The 1948 Revision of the International List makes provision for non-transport accidents (excluding therapeutic misadventure in treatment, complications following vaccination or inoculation, and late effects of injury and poisoning) to be grouped according to the place where the accident or poisoning occurred. The following table shows the deaths, both numbers and rates, for each of the three years 1956, 1957, and 1958 according to this classification.
|Place of Occurrence||Number||Rate Per Million of Mean Population|
|Home (including home premises and vicinity and any non-institutional place of residence)||231||294||222||113||141||104|
|Farm (including buildings and land under cultivation, but excluding farm and home premises)||32||45||57||16||22||27|
|Mine and quarry||8||6||14||4||3||7|
|Industrial place and premises||23||18||28||11||9||13|
|Place for recreation and sport||7||5||6||3||2||3|
|Street and highway||14||24||9||7||11||4|
|Public building (building used by the general public or a particular group of the public)||8||10||10||4||5||5|
|Resident institution (homes, hospitals, etc.)||29||51||50||14||24||23|
|Other specified places||90||101||80||44||48||37|
|Place not specified||5||11||25||2||5||12|
One in every two fatal non-traffic accidents occurs in or about the home. The year 1957 was a very bad one for this type of mishap.
The chief killer in the home is falls, which exacts a heavy toll of the aged and infirm. Second comes asphyxia from regurgitation of foodstuffs and inhalation of other objects, or mechanically from pillows and bedclothes: this is the principal hazard of the first six months of life, though a proportion of these deaths is probably due to some undisclosed underlying respiratory infection. Almost all the home drowning fatalities are amongst toddlers between one and two years of age who fall into rivers, creeks, and ponds in the immediate home vicinity.
There were 134 deaths from non-transport accidents on farms in the period covered, while fatal non-transport accidents in industrial plants, factories, and workplaces totalled 69.
Further data regarding accidents will be found elsewhere in this volume (see Index). A later Section is devoted wholly to statistics of industrial accidents.
SUICIDES.—Suicidal deaths in 1958 numbered 211—males 155, females 56—the death rate per 10,000 of mean population being 0.99.
|Year||Number of Suicidal Deaths||Rate Per 10,000 of Mean Population|
The following table presents, for annual averages of various quinquennia, the suicide rate per 10,000 of mean population.
|Annual Average During||Males||Females||Both Sexes|
|1955-58 (4 years)||1.35||0.57||0.96|
The following table provides an international comparison of the suicide rates for various countries. The figures have been calculated from material in the United Nations Demographic Year-Book 1958.
|Country||Triennium||Rate per 100,000 of Population|
|Republic of Ireland||1955-57||2.5|
|Union of South Africa (coloured)||1954-56||2.8|
|United States of America (coloured)||1951-53||3.9|
|New Zealand (Maori)||1955-57||4.1|
|New Zealand (European)||1955-57||9.5|
|United States of America (white)||1954-56||10.1|
|Union of South Africa (white)||1954-56||11.0|
|England and Wales||1954-56||11.5|
UNLESS specially stated to the contrary, in the preceding subsections 4B and 4D, Maoris have been excluded from the statistical tables presented. The standard of registration of Maoris is still below that of the European section of the population of New Zealand. This is due partly to difficulties of language, educational status, etc., and partly to problems of access. This latter difficulty arises from the fact that the greater portion of the Maori population is resident in country districts not so well served with modern facilities as regards transport, medical, and nursing services, etc. Consequently registration of vital facts regarding the Maori race as a whole is not quite at the same high level of accuracy as obtains for the European population, but very considerable improvement has been effected in recent years.
MAORI BIRTHS.—In the successive Registration Acts special provision was made for exemption from the necessity of registration in the case of births and deaths of Maoris, though registration could be effected if desired. Section 20 of the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1912 (now Section 52 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951) empowered the making of regulations to provide for the registration of births and deaths of Maoris. Regulations were made accordingly, and Maori births and deaths became registrable as from 1 March 1913. The number of Registrars of Maori Births and Deaths in New Zealand is over 230, most of these being in the North Island, where over 96 per cent of the Maori population is located. Every Maori settlement of any size is within reach of one of these Registrars. Maori registrations are entered in a separate register, which does not, however, make provision for as many particulars as is the case with registrations of Europeans.
The number of births of Maoris registered during 1959 was 7,130 (3,672 males, 3,458 females). The Maori birth rate in 1959 was almost twice the European birth rate (46.28 per 1,000). Registrations of Maori births in each of the last eleven years were as follows.
|Year||Number of Maori Births||Rate Per 1,000 of Mean Maori Population|
For the purposes of the Maori Births and Deaths Registration Regulations 1935 a Maori is defined as “a person belonging to the aboriginal race of New Zealand, and includes a half-caste and a person intermediate in blood between half-castes and persons of pure descent from that race”.
Only registrations relating to persons possessing half or more Maori blood are made in the register of Maori births or Maori deaths. All registrations in respect of persons possessing less than half Maori blood must be made in the European register.
MAORI MARRIAGES.—From 1 April 1952 all Maori marriages have been subject to the ordinary laws affecting European marriages, and no marriage according to Maori custom subsequent to that date is held valid. As a result it is not now possible to distinguish marriages of Maoris from those of Europeans, and Maori marriage statistics as a separate feature have lapsed.
The Maori marriage figures for each of the ten years (1942-51) were given on page 99 of the 1955 issue of the Year-Book.
MAORI DEATHS.—Registrations of Maori deaths during each of the last eleven years have been as follows.
|Year||Number||Rate Per 1,000 of Mean Maori Population|
The rates for the two sexes are much more nearly equal for Maoris than for the rest of the population, the female rate being actually higher than the male in 1949. The total Maori death rate has shown considerable improvement during recent years. The rate in 1959 is the lowest rate ever recorded for Maoris, and indeed is lower than that recorded for Europeans. Further improvement in the infant mortality rate for Maoris could result in an even lower death rate in the near future.
Apart from mere numbers by sex, statistics of Maori deaths are not available prior to 1920, but annual tabulations are now made on the bases of age and cause of death. The ages of Maoris whose deaths were registered during the year 1958 were as shown in the following table.
|Age, in Years||Males||Females||Total|
|1 and under 5||55||44||99|
|5 and under 10||24||13||37|
|10 and under 15||14||16||30|
|15 and under 20||14||7||21|
|20 and under 25||22||18||40|
|25 and under 30||17||12||29|
|30 and under 35||12||15||27|
|35 and under 40||12||13||25|
|40 and under 45||25||18||43|
|45 and under 50||28||29||57|
|50 and under 55||43||29||72|
|55 and under 60||45||25||70|
|60 and under 65||47||33||80|
|65 and under 70||43||25||68|
|70 and under 75||44||23||67|
|75 and under 80||31||27||58|
|80 and under 85||19||14||33|
|85 and under 90||28||13||41|
|90 and under 95||5||5||10|
|95 and under 100||1||4||5|
|100 and over||..||2||2|
EXPECTATION OF LIFE.—Official life tables dealing with the Maori population have now been compiled. The investigation was based on the 1951 Census combined with the deaths for the three years 1950-52, and the (complete) expectation of life at various ages is given below.
The expectation of life of Maoris is much shorter than that of the European population. A comparison at age 0 shows a longer expectation of 14.24 years for European males and 16.55 years for European females.
A similar table to the above for Europeans will be found in Section 4D.
Causes of Maori Deaths.—With the exception of diphtheria and scarlet fever, epidemic and infectious diseases generally exact a much heavier toll proportionately among Maoris than among the European population, the most noteworthy examples being tuberculosis, particularly of the respiratory system, and typhoid fever. Other diseases of the respiratory system also show much higher rates for Maoris than for Europeans, and the same state of affairs is disclosed for diarrhoeal diseases and stomach complaints.
The rates set out in the following table are crude rates, i.e., the number of deaths attributed to the disease per 10,000 of the total Maori population. Taken at their face value the figures show the Maori as having a very low mortality from certain diseases which rank high as causes of death among the European population. These diseases are those which generally affect persons of more advanced ages, such as cancer, diabetes, vascular lesions of the central nervous system, arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease, and kidney disease. The Maori population has a comparatively small proportion of its total in the older age groups (3.4 per cent of the Maori total are at ages sixty and over as compared with a proportion of 12.9 per cent in the non-Maori), and if allowance is made for the low numbers who would be susceptible to these conditions, it is apparent that the Maori is affected in much the same proportion as the European. This position is revealed by the calculation of age-specific rates, which are the number of deaths from a disease in a specified age group per 10,000 of the population in that age group. It is unfortunate that both the absolute numbers of deaths as well as the population at risk in the older ages is too small to permit of the calculation, for the Maori, of standardized rates which smooth out these age-structure disparities.
The Introduction of the Sixth (1948) Revision of the International Classification of Causes of Death in 1950, together with the change to assignment according to the underlying cause of death, prevent accurate comparisons being made between the 1950 and subsequent mortality tabulations and those for earlier years. The following table shows the Maori deaths for 1956 to 1958 classified according to the Abbreviated List of the 1948 Revision.
|Causes of Death||Number of Deaths||Rate Per 10,000 of Mean Maori Population|
|Tuberculosis of respiratory system||62||63||47||4.49||4.40||3.17|
|Tuberculosis, other forms||16||7||15||1.16||0.49||1.01|
|Syphilis and its sequelae||6||5||4||0.43||0.35||0.27|
|Dysentery, all forms||3||1||3||0.22||0.07||0.20|
|All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic||16||21||20||1.16||1.47||1.35|
|Causes of Death||Number of Deaths||Rate Per 10,000 of Mean Maori Population|
|Malignant neoplasms, including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues||102||103||104||7.39||7.19||7.01|
|Benign and unspecified neoplasms||5||2||3||0.36||0.14||0.20|
|Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system||60||62||56||4.35||4.33||3.77|
|Chronic rheumatic heart-disease||51||54||53||3.69||3.77||3.57|
|Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart-disease||154||157||140||11.16||10.96||9.44|
|Other diseases of the heart||46||54||61||3.33||3.77||4.12|
|Hypertension with heart-disease||15||16||18||1.09||1.12||1.21|
|Hypertension without mention of heart||5||4||4||0.36||0.28||0.27|
|Ulcer of stomach and duodenum||2||5||3||0.14||0.35||0.20|
|Intestinal obstruction and hernia||8||16||8||0.58||1.12||0.54|
|Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of the newborn||40||54||42||2.90||3.77||2.83|
|Cirrhosis of liver||4||5||4||0.29||0.35||0.27|
|Nephritis and nephrosis||12||18||15||0.87||1.26||1.01|
|Hyperplasia of prostate||4||6||3||0.29||0.42||0.20|
|Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium||11||9||10||0.80||0.63||0.67|
|Birth injuries, post-natal asphyxia, and atelectasis||55||62||60||3.98||4.33||4.04|
|Infections of the newborn||7||14||17||0.51||0.98||1.15|
|Other diseases peculiar to early infancy, and immaturity unqualified||42||46||60||3.04||3.21||4.04|
|Senility without mention of psychosis, ill-defined, and unknown causes||9||12||6||0.65||0.84||0.40|
|All other diseases||123||158||113||8.91||11.03||7.62|
|All other accidents||85||69||74||6.16||4.82||4.99|
|Suicide and self-inflicted injury||5||6||9||0.36||0.42||0.61|
|Homicide and operations of war||1||2||11||0.07||0.14||0.74|
The 1957 Maori death-rate was the highest recorded since 1953. The influenza epidemic, as well as substantial increases in the totals for pneumonia and motor-vehicle accidents, contributed to the rise.
MAORI INFANT MORTALITY.—As regards infant mortality, the Maori rate is much higher and more variable than the European, principally owing to the ravages of epidemic diseases, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, and diarrhoeal diseases. The infant-mortality rate for the first year of life was 56.7 per 1,000 births in the case of Maoris for the five years 1955-59, as compared with 19.8 per 1,000 among European infants. There has been a substantial decrease in Maori infant mortality in recent years, the rate for 1956 being a record low figure. In 1957 there was a slight increase, but in 1958 a decrease brought the rate nearly back to that for 1956. The rate for 1959 remained almost the same as that for 1958. There has been a reduction of 25 per cent in the rate for the five years 1955-59 compared with the previous quinquennium.
The numbers and rates per 1,000 live births for the last eleven years are given in the next table.
|Number of Deaths Under One Year||Rate Per 1,000 Live Births||Number of Deaths Under One Year||Rate Per 1,000 Live Births|
The next table shows for the year 1958 the principal causes of death of Maori infants in the various subdivisions of the first year of life. The classification is according to the Seventh (1955) Revision of the International Classification of Causes of Death.
|Causes of Death||Under 1 Day||1 Day and Under 2 Days||2 Days and Under 1 Week||1 Week and Under 2 Weeks||2 Weeks and Under 3 Weeks||3 Weeks and Under 1 Month||1 Month and Under 2 Months||2 Months and Under 3 Months||3 Months and Under 6 Months||6 Months and Under 9 Months||9 Months and Under 12 Months||Total|
|Dysentery, all forms||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||1||..||1|
|All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic||..||..||..||..||..||..||1||2||3||1||2||9|
|Pneumonia, except of newborn||..||..||..||..||..||..||7||6||25||29||11||78|
|Intestinal obstruction and hernia||..||..||..||..||1||1||2||..||..||..||..||4|
|Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of newborn||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||1||1||9||7||18|
|Post-natal asphyxia and atelectasis||15||6||5||2||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||28|
|Infections of the newborn||3||6||6||2||1||..||..||..||..||..||18|
|Other diseases peculiar to early infancy||5||7||4||1||..||..||1||..||1||2||..||21|
Immaturity unqualified accounted for 39 infant deaths, but in a further 47 deaths due to diseases peculiar to early infancy, prematurity was an associated condition.
The great achievement in reducing the infant-mortality rate for the European population has been accomplished during the period after the first month of life up to the end of the first year. Conversely, the causes of the high Maori mortality rates are to be found in the same period of life. In recent years the Maori rate for the under one month group has been in the proportion of one and a half times that of the European, whereas in those between one and twelve months the Maori rate is over six times that of the European. This is indicated in the next table, which contrasts the mortality rates per 1,000 live births for European and Maori infants respectively for the last twenty-one years.
|Under One Month||One and Under Twelve Months||Total Under One Year||Under One Month||One and Under Twelve Months||Total Under One Year|
The principal causes of death of Maori infants responsible for the high mortality rates after the first month of life are diarrhoea and enteritis, broncho-pneumonia pneumonia and other diseases of the respiratory system.
Comparing the average rates for the first five-year period in the above table, 1938-42, with those for the last five years, 1954-58, it is seen that European neo-natal mortality has been reduced by 35 per cent over the period in contrast to a much lower reduction in the Maori of 23 per cent; for those aged between one and twelve months the European reduction of 38 per cent is only slightly less favourable than that in the Maori at 43 per cent.
Birth injury and prematurity are two diseases in the neo-natal group in which Maori rates are considerably higher than the European. Contributing towards this disparity is the higher proportion of Maori confinements outside of hospital as well as a reluctance on the part of many Maori mothers to seek ante-natal care.
The Maori infant who survives the first month of life is especially susceptible to gastro-intestinal disorders such as diarrhoea, colitis, and gastro-enteritis, and to respiratory conditions such as influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Certain environmental conditions and circumstances are known to underly these diseases, such as unsatisfactory feeding associated with the failure to seek or heed skilled advice from Plunket or District Nurses, and in many instances poor housing and sanitary conditions.
The above associations were confirmed in a special epidemiological survey conducted in 1954-55 of Maori households in the Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Gisborne, and Palmerston North Health Districts. The general scope of this survey was to study the circumstances of the death of every Maori infant that occurred in these areas between 30 June 1954 and 1 July 1955. A similar study was made of the home environment of a small sample of all Maori children born during the same period, and also, for comparative purposes, of a similar sample of European babies born.
COMPARISONS of healthiness of a community over a period of years which are based on death rates do not fully take into account the effect of the advance of medical science in recent years. It is common knowledge that many diseases regarded a few decades ago as incurable now show a fair proportion of recoveries. Similarly, the death rates in epidemics are in general much lower now than formerly, owing partly to the steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease, partly to the necessity of early notification in most countries, and partly to increased medical knowledge. Again, many diseases seldom if ever result fatally. Death-rate statistics are therefore supplemented by data relating to illness.
The principal source of statistics of illness in New Zealand, apart from that resulting in death, comes from the public hospitals, to which some 85 per cent of all hospital inpatients are admitted. Information concerning every person discharged from a public hospital is collected and tabulated in accordance with the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death, and published annually in the Department of Health publication Medical Statistics. Similar information was formerly published in the Annual Report on Vital Statistics issued by the Department of Statistics. Other morbidity statistics in New Zealand are those concerning certain notifiable diseases, shown in Section 5A, those about industrial accidents reported in Section 42B, those concerning benefits granted under the Social Security Act reported in Section 7A, those to sick members of Friendly Societies mentioned in Section 7E, and those about people in mental hospitals reported in Section 5C.
NOTIFICATION OF DISEASES.—The numbers of all notifiable diseases reported during the calendar year 1958 are shown in the following table; the total figures (including Maoris) are given month by month, with the totals for Maoris being shown in the last column.
|Staphylococcal pneumonia and septicaemia||..||..||..||..||1||2||6||4||4||5||3||2||27||8|
|Chronic lead poisoning||..||..||..||..||1||..||..||..||..||..||..||..||1||..|
Total notifications for each of the last five years for all cases and for Maoris for some of the notifiable diseases are shown in the following table. Attention is drawn to the fact that these figures are not considered to be a complete coverage of the incidence of these diseases as medical practitioners frequently overlook the necessity of notifying the Medical Officer of Health.
|* Not available.|
|Typhoid and paratyphoid fever||All cases||51||60||67||49||44|
|Pulmonary tuberculosis||All cases||1,651||1,640||1,565||1,530||1,425|
|Cerebrospinal meningitis||All cases||121||91||72||102||53|
|Puerperal fever and septic abortion||All cases||45||39||46||40||58|
|Food poisoning||All cases||370||198||184||384||285|
|Bacillary dysentery||All cases||438||457||201||165||438|
|Undulant fever||All cases||60||44||32||23||38|
|Infective hepatitis||All cases||*||*||*||1,443||1,893|
Diphtheria.—In 1958 the number of cases, 16, is the lowest on record.
Typhoid and Paratyphoid Fever.—In 1958 the incidence was much the same as in 1957.
Cerebrospinal Meningitis.—The notifications in 1958 showed a marked drop on the 1957 figures.
Poliomyelitis.—Cases again occurred sporadically throughout 1958. Vaccination of children against poliomyelitis was continued.
Hydatids.—There are two main sources of information about hydatid disease in New Zealand: patients admitted to public hospitals, and cases notified to the district offices of the Department of Health. A register of hydatid disease patients treated in public hospitals is kept by the Medical Statistics Branch, Department of Health. Reference to the register makes it possible to distinguish between new cases and readmissions. The number of new public hospital cases registered each year has been considerably greater than the number of cases notified to District Health Officers in the same year. This apparent discrepancy is caused through incomplete notification. A recent study showed that in some districts less than one-third of new cases treated in public hospitals had been notified to the District Health Office.
The following table, which includes Maoris, shows the number of new public hospital cases admitted, the number of public hospital cases readmitted, and the number of notifications for the ten years 1948-57.
|Year||Number of New Public Hospital Cases||Public Hospital Cases Readmitted||Total Public Hospital Cases||Notifications|
The number of deaths from hydatid disease in New Zealand for the years 1947-58 are shown below by site of disease. The figures include Maoris. The number of deaths has decreased quite sharply during the last two years, but it is yet too early to be sure that this trend will be permanent.
The educational activities of the Department of Health, carried out in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, were continued and farmers are more conscious of the need to control this disease.
Food Poisoning.—While the reported cases in 1958 were only about three-quarters of the 1957 notifications the number of outbreaks was about the same as the previous year. It is certain, however that while outbreaks involving numbers of people are generally reported there must be many sporadic cases and family outbreaks which are dismissed as “summer sickness” or “gastric 'flu”.
Infective Hepatitis.—During 1958 there were 1,893 cases reported, an increase of 450 over the total for 1957. This disease continues to gain ground and is becoming one of the most serious public health problems.
Bacillary Dysentery.—There were 438 cases reported in 1958 as against 165 the previous year. This disease is one of the most infectious diseases.
Tuberculosis.—With an intensification of case-finding by all tuberculosis workers in recent years the notification of tuberculosis has improved to a degree that enables a reasonable picture of the disease to be presented as it affects this country. Annual notifications are now on the decline. The Department of Health is continuing its efforts to reduce further both incidence and mortality. In fact the mortality per 100,000 has decreased from 28.3 in 1951 to 8.8 in 1958. The number of Public Health Nurses available for tuberculosis case-finding work has been increased, and hospital clinics in the charge of chest specialists have been provided to give a wide coverage. The responsibilities of the Department of Health in case-finding and domiciliary care are co-ordinated with those of the Hospital Boards, which are responsible for diagnosis and treatment.
Medical Officers of the Department of Health assist the Public Health Nurses in the examination of contacts and arrange tuberculin tests and X-ray examinations. There are at present some ten mass miniature X-ray units strategically sited throughout the country. In 1958 nine of these carried out a total of 234,548 chest X-ray examinations, and found that 1.76 in every thousand examined required supervision and treatment for tuberculous disease. In addition to tuberculosis, many other conditions of lungs and heart were discovered and where necessary were referred to the individual's private doctor for further investigation and follow-up.
As a contribution to prophylaxis, B.C.G. vaccination against tuberculosis, which was commenced in hospital staffs, contacts, and adolescents, is being maintained in these groups. During 1958 vaccinations were preformed in 19,295 persons after preliminary Mantoux testing, and the results of this activity should become manifest in the years to come.
The Department of Health maintains a Tuberculosis Register, which classifies all notified cases, and a clearer conception of the type, form, and extent of the disease is being obtained. The number of cases on the Register (inclusive of Maoris) at 31 December 1958 was 13,341, of which 12,263 were respiratory and 1,078 non-respiratory. The number of new cases notified in 1958 was 1,698, of which 1,096 were European and 602 Maori. Of the European cases, 928 were respiratory and 168 non-respiratory, and in the Maori cases the figures were 497 and 105 respectively. Some of these cases may have since been proved non-tuberculous and subsequently deregistered.
The total number of persons on the register at the end of 1958 amounted to 41.38 per 10,000 of the European population and 304.4 per 10,000 of the Maori population. The combined figure was 58.3 per 10,000.
PUBLIC HOSPITALS.—Detailed statistical information is supplied to the Department of Health about every patient, except normal maternity cases, discharged from or dying in public hospitals in New Zealand. The following tables have been compiled from that information for the years specified below.
Patients Treated.—The following table shows the number of patients treated in public hospitals for the years 1954-1958.
|Year||Remaining on 1 January From Previous Year||Admissions||Discharges||Deaths||Total Number of Indoor Patients||Remaining on 31 December|
* Does not include 314 normal maternity cases previously included in the total remaining on 31 December 1953.
† Does not include 7 patients in hospitals from which returns were not collected after 31 December 1954.
‡ Does not include 16 patients in hospitals from which returns were not collected after 31 December 1955.
Age and Sex of Patients.—The age and sex of patients discharged from or dying in public hospitals during 1957 are shown below.
|Under 1 year||4,431||3,392||7,823|
|1 and under 2 years||2,352||1,581||3,933|
|2 and under 3 years||1,880||1,378||3,258|
|3 and under 4 years||1,652||1,236||2,888|
|4 and under 5 years||1,781||1,326||3,107|
|5 and under 10 years||8,077||6,320||14,397|
|10 and under 15 years||5,524||3,990||9,514|
|15 and under 20 years||5,850||6,767||12,617|
|20 and under 25 years||5,203||7,780||12,983|
|25 and under 30 years||4,786||7,088||11,874|
|30 and under 35 years||4,173||6,394||10,567|
|35 and under 40 years||3,830||5,585||9,415|
|40 and under 45 years||3,918||4,898||8,816|
|45 and under 50 years||4,237||4,378||8,615|
|50 and under 55 years||4,136||3,771||7,907|
|55 and under 60 years||4,210||3,498||7,708|
|60 and under 65 years||3,853||3,300||7,153|
|65 and under 70 years||4,047||3,449||7,496|
|70 and under 75 years||4,068||3,236||7,304|
|75 and under 80 years||3,443||2,734||6,177|
|80 and under 85 years||2,092||1,712||3,804|
|85 years and over||1,129||1,100||2,229|
Although there is little overall difference in the totals of males and females, there is a well-defined pattern when figures for each sex are compared, age-group by age-group. In all ages under fifteen years there is a preponderance of males. This difference is common to most disease groups but is more marked in diseases of the digestive and respiratory systems, in congenital malformations, and in accidental injuries. For the ages between fifteen and fifty years there are more females than males. This age-group covers the child-bearing ages in women, and the higher proportion of female patients is a reflection of this fact. Apart from conditions associated with pregnancy, abortion, delivery, and the puerperium, female patients outnumbered male patients in both malignant and non-malignant tumours in allergic disorders and in diseases of the genito-urinary system. In the remaining age-group, that for ages over fifty years, the males once more predominate, particularly in diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems, and in infective and parasitic diseases.
Principal Diseases.—The following summary shows the principal diseases treated, together with the number of deaths and the fatality rate per cent in public hospitals in 1957. The disease headings are the sub-titles of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death. More detailed information is published annually in Medical Statistics.
It should be noted that the disease or condition for which a patient is admitted to hospital is not necessarily that which would rank as the cause of death in mortality statistics. Congestive heart failure, for instance, is comparatively highly ranked in hospital cases as the condition immediately affecting the patient, but is frequently only the consequence of some underlying disease, which would take precedence over congestive heart failure in the statistics of causes of death. Hospital returns show each disease for which the patient was treated while in hospital, but the classification for statistical purposes has been made on the basis of the principal disease for which the patient was admitted, regardless of what other unrelated diseases may have been present or developed during the stay in hospital. In mortality statistics on the other hand, the underlying cause of death is of paramount importance. In the summary below a patient admitted on account of an injury is classified according to the nature of the injury. Should the patient die, however, the death would be classified in the mortality statistics according to the cause of the injury—e.g., motor-vehicle accident, accidental fall, etc.
SUMMARY OF PRINCIPAL DISEASES TREATED IN PUBLIC HOSPITALS DURING 1957
|Diseases||Total Cases in Public Hospitals||Deaths in Public Hospitals||Fatality Rate Per Cent|
|Tuberculosis of respiratory system||2,570||124||4.8|
|Tuberculosis, other forms||625||25||4.0|
|Syphilis and its sequelae||134||16||11.9|
|Gonococcal infection and other venereal diseases||57||..||..|
|Infectious diseases commonly arising in intestinal tract||270||5||1.9|
|Other bacterial diseases||483||54||11.2|
|Spirochaetal diseases, except syphilis||73||.||..|
|Diseases attributable to viruses||1,529||38||2.5|
|Other infective and parasitic diseases||393||10||2.5|
|Cancer, malignant disease||6,922||1,768||25.5|
|Neoplasm of unspecified nature||119||9||7.6|
|Diseases of thyroid gland||776||14||1.8|
|Diseases of other endocrine glands||192||6||3.1|
|Avitaminoses, and other metabolic diseases||299||15||5.0|
|Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs||724||50||6.9|
|Disorders of character, behaviour and intelligence||1,061||11||1.0|
|Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system||2,825||1,331||47.1|
|Inflammatory diseases of central nervous system||539||85||15.8|
|Other diseases of central nervous system||1,492||180||12.1|
|Diseases of nerves and peripheral ganglia||351||3||0.9|
|Inflammatory diseases of eye||558||2||0.4|
|Other diseases and conditions of eye||2,209||5||0.2|
|Diseases of ear and mastoid process||1,446||9||0.6|
|Chronic rheumatic heart disease||336||69||20.5|
|Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease||3,656||1,073||29.3|
|Other diseases of heart||2,007||610||30.4|
|Diseases of arteries||755||212||28.1|
|Diseases of veins and other diseases of circulatory system||3,810||63||1.7|
|Acute upper respiratory infection||1,714||4||0.2|
|Other diseases of respiratory system||11,210||138||1.2|
|Diseases of buccal cavity and oesophagus||1,724||13||0.8|
|Diseases of stomach and duodenum||2,537||157||6.2|
|Hernia of abdominal cavity||4,023||53||1.3|
|Other diseases of intestines and peritoneum||4,060||218||5.4|
|Diseases of liver, gall bladder, and pancreas||3,224||153||4.7|
|Nephritis and nephrosis||488||88||18.0|
|Other diseases of urinary system||2,402||98||4.1|
|Diseases of male genital organs||2,391||142||5.9|
|Diseases of breast, ovary, Fallopian tube, and parametrium||1,219||3||0.2|
|Diseases of uterus and other female genital organs||5,945||7||0.1|
|Complications of pregnancy||2,452||6||0.2|
|Complications of the puerperium||1,112||7||0.6|
|Infections of skin and subcutaneous tissue||4,351||24||0.6|
|Other diseases of skin and subcutaneous tissue||1,894||14||0.7|
|Arthritis and rheumatism, except rheumatic fever||1,955||68||3.5|
|Osteomyelitis and other diseases of bone and joint||3,140||27||0.9|
|Other diseases of musculoskeletal system||2,065||5||0.2|
|Birth injuries, asphyxia, and infections of newborn||646||136||21.1|
|Other diseases peculiar to early infancy||1,143||116||10.1|
|Ill-defined symptoms referable to systems or organs||8,107||12||0.1|
|Senility and ill-defined diseases||1,228||215||17.5|
|Fracture of skull, spine, and trunk||2,222||136||6.1|
|Fracture of upper limb||3,195||11||0.3|
|Fracture of lower limb||4,022||317||7.9|
|Dislocation without fracture||719||6||0.8|
|Sprains and strains of joints and adjacent muscles||533||..||..|
|Head injury (excluding skull fracture)||4,614||94||2.0|
|Internal injury of chest, abdomen, and pelvis||285||29||10.2|
|Laceration and open wound of face, neck, and trunk||1,038||4||0.4|
|Laceration and open wound of upper limb||2,532||1||..|
|Laceration and open wound of lower limb||1,158||1||0.1|
|Laceration and open wounds of multiple location||132||1||0.8|
|Contusion and crushing with intact skin surface||1,126||3||0.3|
|Effects of foreign body entering through orifice||676||6||0.9|
|Injury to nerves and spinal cord without bone injury||123||..||..|
|Effects of poisons||1,163||18||1.5|
|Effects of weather, exposure, and related conditions||32||..||..|
|Other and unspecified injuries and reactions||850||9||1.1|
|Special conditions and examinations without sickness||2,037||..||..|
|Admissions for convalescent care, plastic treatment, and fitting of prosthetic devices||40||..||..|
Deaths in Public Hospitals.—The proportion of deaths in public hospitals to all deaths has increased over the last thirty years. Examination of the following table shows the trend.
|Year||Deaths in Public Hospitals||Total Deaths||Proportion of Deaths in Public Hospitals to Total Deaths|
|* Not available.|
Before 1935 the proportion of deaths in public hospitals to total deaths remained fairly constant between 29 per cent and 31 per cent. From 1935 to 1942 there was a gradual increase from 32 per cent to 39 per cent. At this stage a sharp upward trend can be seen, the 1943 figure increasing by 4 per cent to 43 per cent. For a decade the proportion remained fairly constant but in the last three years it has increased again.
Accident Cases: A summary is given below of accident cases treated as in-patients in public hospitals during 1957.
|—||Male||Female||Both Sexes||Percentage of All Accidents||Aggregate Stay (Days)||Average Stay (Days)||Aggregate Stay as Percentage|
|Other road vehicles||1,141||539||1,680||6.1||17,632||10.5||3.8|
|Complications due to non-therapeutic medical and surgical procedures||53||21||74||0.3||499||6.7||0.1|
|Therapeutic misadventure and late complications of therapeutic procedures||725||715||1,440||5.2||28,703||19.9||6.1|
|Late effects of injury and poisoning||227||86||313||1.1||10,679||34.1||2.3|
|Suicide and self-inflicted injury||147||192||339||1.2||5,869||17.3||1.2|
|Homicide and injury purposely inflicted by other persons||303||76||379||1.4||2,675||7.1||0.6|
Most cases come under the heading “Non-transport—Other accidents” which includes accidents caused by cutting and piercing instruments, machinery, falling objects, fire and hot objects, and so on. Of these most occurred in the home.
The second largest group is “Accidental falls”, which has an aggregate stay greater than any other group. This is due to the long periods spent in hospital by elderly people who have sustained serious falls.
Motor vehicle traffic accidents comprise the third largest group, and have the third largest aggregate stay. It is interesting to note that there were nearly four times as many admissions to hospital and nearly four times as many beds occupied by people injured in non-transport accidents as there were for motor vehicle traffic accidents.
DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES IN NEW ZEALAND.—Before 1872, when the first Public Health Act became law, there was no public health service in New Zealand; a few local authorities appear to have exercised a rudimentary form of negative sanitary government, but otherwise little seems to have been done.
In 1872 a Central Board of Health was set up in each province and power was given to each Central Board to set up Local Boards of Health as required. The abolition of the provinces in 1876 brought the disappearance of the Provincial Central Boards of Health and the establishment of one Central Board of Health for the whole colony.
The first period of public health administration in New Zealand came to an end in 1900. It is doubtful whether at any time during these twenty-eight years the administration of the 1872 Act and the later consolidating Act of 1876 was marked by much energy or thoroughness. Local Boards were hampered by lack of finance and by lack of zeal and knowledge. The powers of their Medical Officers (where appointed) were limited, and often the advice given by these officers was disregarded. The incidence of typhoid fever, a good index to the sanitary standards of a community, remained high throughout the whole of this period.
In 1900 the outbreak of bubonic plague in Australia stimulated the authorities to action. In that year a Bubonic Plague Prevention Act was passed which, later in the same year, was repealed and embodied in the Public Health Act 1900. Under this Act public health administration in New Zealand was put on a much more satisfactory basis. A separate Department of Public Health was set up under its own Minister; the country was divided into a number of health districts, and properly trained and qualified staff were appointed to administer the Act. In the years following the establishment of the Department steady progress was made in the building-up of a public health organization. Acts were passed dealing with the sale of food and drugs; the registration of medical practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and midwives, plumbers; the prevention of quackery; and the control of venereal disease. Sanatoria were established to help in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. Attention was given to problems of maternal welfare. Medical supervision of school children came into operation, at first under the control of the Department of Education, then in 1921 it was transferred to the Department of Health.
In 1909 a closer link between curative and preventive medicine was forged by merging the Hospitals and Charitable Aid Department into the Department of Public Health's organization.
During the years 1900 to 1920 there was an increasing public interest taken in health matters. As a result a number of voluntary health organizations were established with the objects of diffusing knowledge of infant welfare, first aid, and home nursing.
The 1918-19 influenza epidemic brought to light a number of defects in the public health organization, particularly the need for a simplification of existing health legislation and the need for a clear definition of the duties of local authorities, Hospital Boards, and the Department of Health. The result of this experience was the passing of the Health Act 1920 under which, with its amendments, the Department of Health operated until 1956.
Following the passing of this Act new health districts were created and the existing activities of the Department were expanded. Among the more important of the new activities of the Department were the establishment of a School Dental Service in 1920, the building-up of health education work, and, in 1937, the institution of the Medical Research Council. Registration was widened to include dentists, opticians, and masseurs.
After 1920 the interest of the general public in health matters continued to expand and was marked by the establishment of additional voluntary health organizations.
In 1956 a new Health Act, consolidating and amending the law relating to public health, was enacted. The Health Act 1956 repealed the 1920 Act and became effective on 1 January 1957.
Developments over the last decade included a more positive attack on tuberculosis marked by the passing of the Tuberculosis Act 1948, the establishment as a Government agency of the Dominion X-ray and Radium Laboratory existing at Christchurch, and the creation of the National Health Institute in Wellington. At the end of 1947 the Mental Hospitals Department ceased to be a separate Government Department, and became the Division of Mental Hygiene of the Department of Health. Occupational therapists and dietitians are further professional classes with legislation providing for national registration.
A more detailed outline of the development of public health services in New Zealand up to 1939 will be found in the annual report of the Department of Health for that year.
PRESENT ORGANIZATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES.—Local Authorities: Part II of the Health Act 1956 lays definite obligations on local authorities in regard to public health. Each local authority must either appoint its own Health Inspectors or contribute to the salary of an Inspector of the Department of Health. Each Inspector must hold a certificate of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (or certain equivalents) before he can be appointed. A local authority's responsibility in health matters is wide. It must promote and conserve the public health within its district—a function which includes regular inspections of its district; abatement of nuisances as defined in the Health Act; provision of efficient refuse, nightsoil, and sanitary services; protection and purification of water supplies; closing and demolition of insanitary buildings; registration and regulation of cattle saleyards; and the enforcement of certain minimum sanitary requirements for residences and business premises. It may also make by-laws dealing with public health matters.
Department of Health: The chief administrative officer of the Department is the Director-General of Health. He is assisted by two Deputy Directors, and the work of the Department is divided among the following Divisions: Public Hygiene, Hospitals, Child Hygiene, Nursing, Clinical Services, Tuberculosis, Health Education, Maternal Welfare, Dental Hygiene, and Physical Medicine. There is also the Division of Mental Hygiene, the activities of which are described in Section 5C. New Zealand as a whole is divided into fifteen health districts, each under the control of a Medical Officer of Health, a medical practitioner with special qualifications in sanitary science.
The Department is required to secure the preparation, effective carrying out, and co-ordination of measures necessary to promote public health. It administers all Acts relating to public health; it advises local authorities on public health; it must do whatever is possible to prevent, limit, or suppress disease; it promotes research into public health fields and the prevention and treatment of disease; it conducts health publicity and organizes and controls medical, dental, and nursing services paid from public funds. With the authority of the Minister, a Medical Officer of Health may exercise very wide powers in the event of an epidemic or serious outbreak of infectious disease, including the requisitioning of land and buildings, prohibition of public gatherings, and controlling the movements of cases and contacts of any infectious disease. Certain diseases, mostly infectious, but including some non-communicable, must be notified by medical practitioners. Provisions relating to quarantine are included in the Health Act; and extensive power is given to make regulations relating to the conservation and promotion of public health.
The Department's organization includes a Board of Health. The Health Act 1956 reconstituted the Board of Health and widened the scope of its functions. While the former Board of Health was principally concerned with water supply and drainage, the new Board, in addition to its responsibilities in relation to local authorities and their sanitary works, has the much wider function of giving the Minister authoritative advice on the broad aspects of public health policy and the relationship between the various health services.
In addition to the Health Act 1956, the following Acts are administered by the Department:
|Cemeteries Act 1908.||Medical Research Council Act 1950.|
|Dangerous Drugs Act 1927.||Mental Health Act 1911.|
|Dentists Act 1936.||Nurses and Midwives Act 1945.|
|Dietitians Act 1950.||Occupational Therapy Act 1949.|
|Food and Drugs Act 1947.||Opticians Act 1928.|
|Hospitals Act 1957.||Physiotherapy Act 1949.|
|King George the Fifth Memorial Children's Health Camps Act 1953.||Plumbers Registration Act 1953.|
|Children's Health Camps Act 1953.||Poisons Act 1934.|
|Medical Act 1908 (Part II).||Radioactive Substances Act 1949.|
|Medical Advertisements Act 1942.||Social Security Act 1938 (Part III).|
|Medical Practitioners Act 1950.||Tuberculosis Act 1948.|
A detailed report of the activities of the Department of Health is given in the annual report of the Director-General of Health (parliamentary paper H-31).
The net expenditure of the Department (excluding capital expenditure from the Public Works Account) for the years ended 31 March 1958 and 1959 is given in the following table.
|General health services||1,305,119||1,404,342||99,223|
|Departmental hospitals and institutions (other than mental hygiene)||497,362||519,466||22,104|
|Medical Research Council||104,039||104,872||833|
|Homes for the aged||296,849||209,539||−87,310|
|Pensioners' housing: local authorities||124,948||176,019||51,071|
|Plunket Society subsidies||121,777||120,956||−821|
|Miscellaneous grants and subsidies||41,738||90,520||48,782|
|Hospital Board subsidies||15,390,252||15,774,324||384,072|
|Social Security Act: Medical, etc., benefits (includes assessed salaries)||17,225,712||18,840,601||1,614,889|
NOTE.—Minus sign (—) denotes a decrease.
PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIVITIES.—This account covers measures relating to “preventive” medicine, as distinct from activities in “curative” medicine, which are dealt with elsewhere in this volume—see Section 5B (Hospitals) and Section 5C (Mental Hospitals). Information on medical, hospital, and other related benefits, which are administered by the Department of Health, is given in Section 7A (Social Security).
It is convenient to consider public health activities under headings which correspond generally to certain of the divisions within the Department of Health. These headings are—
|Public Hygiene.||Maternal Welfare.|
PUBLIC HYGIENE.—The Health Act places responsibility for the maintenance of the public health largely on the Department, but local authorities have powers and duties to perform in a number of sanitary and inspection services. Each of the fifteen health districts in New Zealand is under the control of a Medical Officer whose duties include the administration of all enactments relating to Public Health and who can provide local governing bodies with expert advice in this field. Public Hygiene is concerned more particularly with the control of infectious disease, environmental hygiene, food and drugs, poisons and addiction-producing drugs, and burial and cremation.
Disease: The control of disease is based on a system of notification which has long been in force. The present list of notifiable diseases is as follows.
|Notifiable Infectious Diseases:|
|Cerebro-spinal fever (cerebrospinal meningitis).|
|Dysentery (amoebic and bacillary).|
|Enteric fever (typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever).|
|Pemphigus neonatorum, impetigo, or pustular lesions of the skin of the newborn infant.|
|Plague (bubonic or pneumonic).|
|Puerperal fever involving any form of septicaemia, sepsis, or sapraemia.|
|Septicaemia, sepsis, or sapraemia, in any form, following abortion or miscarriage.|
|Smallpox (variola, including varioloid and alastrim).|
|Staphylococcal pneumonia of the newborn infant.|
|Staphylococcal septicaemia of the newborn infant.|
|Trachoma (granular conjunctivitis, granular ophthalmia, granular eyelids).|
|Other Notifiable Diseases:|
|Anchylostomiasis (hookworm disease).|
|Bilharziasis (endemic haematuria, Egyptian haematuria).|
|Chronic lead poisoning.|
|Compressed air illness arising from occupation.|
|Damage to eyesight arising from occupation.|
|Diseases of the respiratory system arising from occupation.|
|Impaired hearing arising from occupation.|
|Poisoning from any insecticide, weedicide, fungicide, or animal poison met with at work.|
|Poisoning from any gas, fumigant, or refrigerant met with at work.|
|Poisoning from any solvent met with at work.|
|Poisoning from any metal or salt of any metal met with at work.|
|Skin diseases arising from occupation. Tetanus.|
All forms of tuberculosis are notifiable under the Tuberculosis Act 1948.
Venereal Diseases: Venereal diseases, while scheduled infectious diseases, are only notifiable if the patient discontinues treatment before cure is effected. The Venereal Diseases Regulations 1941 give adequate powers for the examination and treatment of persons suspected of suffering from the diseases. Free treatment has been established in the larger cities and treatment is available to seamen at the main ports in accordance with the Brussels Agreement. Restrictions are also placed on the nature of the employment such persons may undertake if they are suffering from the diseases in a communicable form.
In the administration of the regulations, every precaution is taken to ensure the avoidance of publicity.
Environmental Hygiene is concerned with the provision and proper maintenance of public water supplies and sewerage systems, the disposal of refuse, the condition of dwellinghouses, the control of offensive trades, and the hygiene of premises in which food is manufactured and sold, including eating-houses. These matters are primarily the responsibility of the local authorities, but the Department of Health acts in a general advisory capacity. In the case of many of the smaller local authorities the necessary inspections are made by departmental inspectors on behalf of and by arrangement with the local authorities.
Food and Drugs: Legislation relating to the sale of food and drugs has been in force since 1908. The Act at present in force is the Food and Drugs Act 1947. It provides for the analysis, by analysts appointed under the Act, of any article of food or drink, or of any drug, which may be sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, and for the inspection of any place where there is any food or drug intended for sale. If any such article is proved to be unfit for human consumption heavy penalties may be inflicted on the person or persons responsible. Stringent measures are provided for the prevention of adulteration of food, drink, or drugs, and for the inspection of places where such goods are manufactured or packed. Control is also established over all utensils and appliances coming into contact with food and drugs.
Considerable progress has been made in implementing the purposes of the Act. All the common foodstuffs are standardized, and the labelling of packages is controlled by regulations, which are revised and added to as the necessity arises. Regular sampling of foods, particularly milk, is undertaken by departmental inspectors, and these samples are analysed in the Dominion Laboratory and its branch laboratories.
An important provision of the Act controls all kinds of publicity concerning any food or drug whereby a purchaser would possibly be deceived in regard to the properties of such food or drug, whether or not it is standardized by regulation. This matter is also covered by the Medical Advertisements Act 1942, which is referred to later.
The definition of “drug” includes medicines used externally or internally by man, anaesthetics, soaps, and disinfectants.
Any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, together with the cost of the sample, require any authorized officer to purchase a sample of any food and submit it for analysis.
A power contained in the 1947 Act enables any drug to be withheld from the public except when prescribed by a doctor, dentist, or veterinary surgeon.
Dangerous Drugs and Poisons: In order to carry out New Zealand's obligations under international conventions relating to addiction-producing drugs, the Dangerous Drugs Act 1927 was enacted. The dealing in and the use of prepared opium are prohibited, and the production, manufacture, sale, and distribution of other dangerous drugs are restricted to persons licensed by the Director-General of Health. The importation of these drugs is controlled by the Customs Department. Suitable regulations, the Dangerous Drugs Regulations 1951, are in force to give effect to the provisions of the Act, and are similar to the regulations in the United Kingdom and Australia.
The Poisons Act 1934 controls the proper labelling and packing of poisons, and in particular requires that all liquid poisons be packed in bottles of distinctive colour and shape. It is an offence to pack poisons in bottles that are ordinarily used for food, drink, or medicine. The Act also provides for the control of certain poisonous drugs by preventing their sale to the public except on the prescription of a doctor, a dentist, or a veterinary surgeon. Power to introduce special safeguards for certain dangerous chemicals used in horticulture is contained in the Poisons Amendment Act 1952. Labels for poisons in this “Deadly Poison” group must bear statements of the precautions to be taken in using the poison, the symptoms of poisoning, and the remedial treatment, and must be approved by the Director-General of Health. The whole of this legislation is being revised.
Hydatids Prevention: In January 1937 an amendment to the Dogs Registration Act 1908 came into force requiring local authorities to keep a supply of approved remedies for the care or prevention of disease in dogs caused by infection from the parasite echinococcus granulosus. At the time of registration every person registering a dog received a sufficient amount of arecoline hydrobromide to enable him to treat the dog every three months until the ensuing date of registration. This attempted control could not be effective while some dog owners evaded the dosing of their dogs and continued feeding them with raw meat (offal) infested with the parasite. In October 1959 the Hydatids Act was enacted to make better provision for the control, prevention, and eradication of hydatids. The Act set up a National Hydatids Council, under the Minister of Agriculture, to co-ordinate the work of local authorities and to appoint inspectors to promote, and where necessary, enforce hydatids prevention methods.
Medical Advertisements Act 1942: This Act, which repealed the Quackery Prevention Act 1908, came into force in January 1943. Under it the word “advertisement” is defined broadly, but does not include any advertisement or scientific matter distributed only to members of the medical and allied professions.
The Act set up a Medical Advertisements Board, which was given power as a quasi judicial body to examine statements made in any medical advertisement. The Board may require the claims or statements made or implied to be substantiated to its satisfaction. Subsequent publication of such an advertisement is prohibited until the Board has notified its decision, and the veto on publication becomes permanent if the Board decides the claim or statement has not been proved.
Regulations issued under the Act limit the claims which may be included in any medical advertisement, and include a list of diseases concerning which no advertisement may make a claim to cure.
Cemeteries: The law governing burial and cremation in New Zealand is found in the Cemeteries Act 1908 and its amendments of 1912, 1922, 1926, 1950, and 1953. The registration by local authorities of funeral directors and mortuaries operated by them is provided for in the Health (Burial) Regulations 1946.
Widespread provision for cemeteries has been made in the past by the reservation of areas of Crown land for this purpose, but apart from this the Cemeteries Act makes it clear that local authorities are charged with ensuring that in their districts there exists adequate provision for the disposal of the dead.
In most rural areas and in the smaller centres the local authority either acts as trustee or else has been delegated the power of appointing individual trustees to carry out the provisions of the Act. For some cemeteries established on Crown reserves trustees are appointed by the Governor-General. In the larger centres local authorities have acquired land for the establishment of cemeteries.
The law provides that cremation may be carried out subject to the conditions that the deceased was not known to have left any written direction to the contrary and that the cremation is effected in conformity with the regulations. The latter imposed stringent precautions against cremation being used for any criminal purpose. Crematoria have been established in Auckland (2), Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hastings, Wanganui, Nelson, and Palmerston North.
TUBERCULOSIS.—In the 1947-49 issue of the Year-Book (pp. 110-112) is given an account of the developments in the control of tuberculosis in this country, which led to New Zealand being one of the first countries to have special legislation dealing solely with this disease. In addition to giving the background to the Tuberculosis Act 1948, the account mentions the work of the Tuberculosis Division of the Department of Health and refers to the recommendations of the World Health Organization.
Briefly, the control of tuberculosis is based on—
Accurate notification and registration of cases:
Adequate supervision and classification of cases:
Segregation of active infectious cases:
Instruction and treatment of individual patients:
Rehabilitation of convalescent and arrested cases:
Supervision of the health of contacts:
Mass radiography and ready availability of chest X-rays:
B.C.G. vaccination in hospital staff, contacts, post-primary school children, and young adults.
The death rate has significantly decreased, and there is some evidence that the incidence of infection and morbidity is also falling.
The 1950 amendment to the Tuberculosis Act 1948 strengthened those powers relating to isolation, in certain cases, of persons likely to spread infection who refuse to undertake the necessary treatment.
CHILD HYGIENE.—The Division of Child Hygiene is responsible for the supervision of all measures for safeguarding the health of pre-school and school children, and also for ensuring a satisfactory environment at school. Priority is given to the health of the pre-school child.
The Division consists of a Director, who is a medical practitioner, with a staff of full-time and part-time medical officers. The Medical Officer of Health in charge of a health district is responsible, within the limits of the policy laid down and the instructions he receives, for the direction and control of all child hygiene work in his district.
An effort is being made to have every child examined in infancy and twice more before school entry. The examination of pre-school children is carried out by Medical Officers of the Division in Plunket Rooms in conjunction with Plunket nurses, and at kindergartens, day nurseries, and other pre-school organizations assisted by public health nurses.
The Division aims at giving each primary school child three physical examinations during primary school life. Each infant not recorded as having been examined at a pre-school clinic by a medical officer within the preceding calendar year is examined by the public health nurse, who selects those children who require examination by the medical officer. During the remainder of primary school life two other examinations are carried out by the public health nurse. These are in Standard 2 and Form II. As in the case of new entrants not seen by a medical officer at a pre-school clinic, the nurse refers any departure from normal for a special examination by the medical officer. Special medical examinations by the medical officer are also made whenever parents, teachers, the public health nurse, or the medical officer considers them to be necessary. The children found to be suffering from defects are kept under observation until the necessary treatment is obtained from the private practitioner or the hospital.
Mentally backward and feeble-minded children are given special attention, arrangements being made in conjunction with the Department of Education for their entry into a special school or other institution as may be necessary.
A start has been made on the more detailed medical examination of post-primary-school children. Physically handicapped children enrolled with the Correspondence School are also thoroughly examined.
Throughout its work the Division tries to secure the interest and co-operation of parents and family doctors, because only in this way can the work be made effective. With this object in view parents are invited to be present at the medical examination of their children, an opportunity of which the majority take advantage.
Prevention of Disease: The activities of the Division are not confined to the routine medical examination of school children. In addition, certain positive measures are taken to prevent disease and correct physical defects. The more important of these measures are—
Poliomyelitis Vaccination.—The campaign against poliomyelitis is now well under way and by 1959 poliomyelitis vaccination had been made available to all children aged two to sixteen years. It is therefore expected this will result in reduced incidence of this dread disease among children. The rate of acceptance in New Zealand, approximately 93 per cent of the children offered the vaccine, compares most favourably with other countries.
Diphtheria Immunization.—Protection against diphtheria is a routine procedure, and protection against whooping-cough is generally given at the same time by the use of a combined vaccine. It is preferable that immunization be done by the family doctor, and the course of injections should be commenced as soon as possible after the third month of infant life. Arrangements can be made for mothers who are unable to have the immunization done privately to attend with the infant at a departmental clinic. Where necessary in country areas the public health nurse will visit the home to immunize the child. Booster doses are given after the child's fourth birthday. If this booster dose has been missed it is given as soon as possible after the child commences school.
Typhoid Inoculations.—Maori children in the North Island are inoculated annually against the typhoid group of diseases.
Goitre Control.—The use of iodized salt and iodine-rich foods are advocated by the officers of the Division.
The Milk-in-schools Scheme aims at maintenance of nutrition.
Health Camps are established to which children are admitted for convalescence or correction of malnutrition.
Health camps were originally established to cater for the needs of delicate and undernourished children in the age group of five to twelve years. Now children suffering from minor emotional, psychological, and behaviour problems are also helped by the change in their environment which a camp provides. The service selects the children to attend the camps (which are maintained by an independent organization—the King George the Fifth Memorial Children's Health Camps Federation) and, as necessary, re-examines them before admission and after discharge. In the camps the children live under an orderly and disciplined routine, they eat plain, well-cooked food, and they get plenty of rest, fresh air, and sunshine. In practically all cases a child who attends a health camp benefits both physically and mentally. The opportunity is taken to impart health education by practising healthful living. There are six permanent and three summer health camps in New Zealand.
For children with emotional or psychological disturbances, and behaviour problems, Child Health Clinics have been established in the larger centres and elsewhere. These are staffed by a team consisting of a pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist, play therapist, and social worker. Children are referred to these clinics through the family doctor if there is one.
DENTAL HYGIENE.—The Division of Dental Hygiene, which was instituted in 1921, is concerned with the administration of the various dental activities of the Government, and in particular—(a) The national dental service, which comprises (i) the School Dental Service and (ii) the Adolescent Dental Service; (b) the Social Security (Dental Benefits) Regulations; (c) the Dentists Act 1936 and regulations; (d) dental bursaries; (e) dental research; (f) dental health education.
The Division of Dental Hygiene has at its head a Director (a dental surgeon) who is responsible to the Minister of Health, through the Director-General of Health. There is a Deputy Director and two Assistant Directors. A Senior Executive Officer is responsible for the secretarial services. Also attached to the Director's staff is a Dental Research Officer, who is seconded from the New Zealand Medical Research Council.
The service is organized in twelve units, each of which is controlled by a senior dental officer, who is directly responsible to the Director. These officers are: the Principals of the Schools for Dental Nurses at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, and the Principal Dental Officers in charge of the nine dental districts into which New Zealand is divided.
The School Dental Service is staffed by trained school dental nurses and the Adolescent Service by dental surgeons.
The School Dental Service.—Briefly, the functions of the Service are to improve the standard of dental health of school children (and of pre-school children) by affording them regular and systematic treatment at six-monthly intervals, commencing from the primer classes (or earlier where possible), and continuing through to the highest class of the primary (or intermediate) school. Thereafter they are eligible for enrolment in the Adolescent Service. At present an unprecedented increase in the school population is being experienced as a result of the unusually high birth rate of late years. Until the number of dental nurses can be increased proportionately, children are being transferred to the “adolescent” service at an earlier stage, in order to enable the dental nurses to maintain six-monthly treatment for the younger children. This is a temporary phase, pending the training of more dental nurses.
The other main function of the School Dental Service is health education—the instruction of the children and of the general public in the principles of oral hygiene and the prevention of dental disease. For this purpose there is within the Division an organization for health education, to which further reference is made under a later heading.
Two years are devoted to the theoretical and practical training of school dental nurses. Approximately four hundred student dental nurses are in training at the one time. The course is carefully graduated, and is in the hands of a staff of dental surgeons and dental tutor sisters. Private dental practitioners are represented on the examining board for the final examination. During the period of training, student dental nurses reside in hostels owned and controlled by the Department of Health.
On completing her training, a school dental nurse is posted to a school dental clinic, where she becomes responsible to the Principal Dental Officer of her district for the dental treatment of a group of approximately five hundred patients. She is visited at intervals by the Principal Dental Officer or one of his staff, who discusses current problems, and assists the dental nurse to maintain a high standard in the conduct of her work.
Dental treatment comprises fillings in both temporary teeth and permanent teeth, cleaning and scaling of the teeth, extractions where necessary, and sodium fluoride treatment. There were 344,546 children under regular treatment by the school dental nurses during the year 1958-59. The aim of the Service is to promote dental health by conserving the natural teeth and preventing dental decay. Only a small number of teeth have to be extracted as unsaveable, about four for every hundred saved by suitable treatment.
Orthodontic treatment is carried out principally in Wellington, where an orthodontic unit is established at the Children's Dental Clinic, which is associated with the School for Dental Nurses. Dental officers in field clinics undertake a limited amount of orthodontic treatment of a simple nature.
Adolescent Dental Service.—The original aim was to provide dental service for adolescents through the medium of a full-time salaried service, but while the present shortage of dental surgeons continues, progress towards this objective will be slow. In addition to the service provided by a number of clinics controlled by the Department of Health, dental care for adolescents is in the meantime being provided by private practitioners as a dental benefit under the Social Security Act, the practitioners being reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis.
Eligibility for dental treatment as an adolescent is contingent upon a person having undergone regular dental care up to within three months of the time of application, either at a school dental clinic or from a private dental practitioner.
Treatment of adolescents is in effect a continuation of the treatment provided by the School Dental Service, and is continued until a patient has reached his nineteenth birthday, or such earlier age as the Minister may from time to time appoint. For the present the maximum age has been fixed as the sixteenth birthday.
Treatment is essentially of a nature designed to conserve the natural teeth. Dental supervision of adolescents is on a basis of examination and treatment at six-monthly intervals. There is free choice of dentists, and dentists have the right to decline patients.
The treatment (other than treatment requiring special approval) which may be provided as dental benefits, and the fees payable, are indicated in the 1956 Schedule to the Social Security (Dental Benefits) Regulations 1946. Dentists are free to exercise their professional judgment, and, if in their opinion a case demands a form of treatment that is not provided for in the schedule, there is provision, with certain limitations, for such treatment to be approved as a charge on the Social Security Fund.
At 31 March 1959 there were 165,956 adolescents enrolled for dental benefits, and the amount paid for their treatment for the year 1958-59 was £929,694. A further 12,412 adolescents were enrolled at departmental clinics.
Dental Health Educat