Table of Contents


The New Zealand Official Yearbook seeks to present as completely as possible within one volume a wide range of information on the administration and national economy of New Zealand, as well as on social aspects. In the selection and presentation of material there is kept in mind the use of the Official Yearbook not only as a standard reference work by the general public, but also as a source of material for students and research workers. Information on New Zealand is being increasingly sought by administrators and universities overseas, and the Official Yearbook now goes to over 60 countries. This is a natural development as international relationships grow and the Official Yearbook helps present New Zealand to the world in which this country has expanding interests.

In this the sixty-seventh issue there is a separate section on the tourist industry, which is of increasing world importance, and the bibliography has been made more comprehensive. Substantial rearrangement has been effected in a number of sections, notably population, vital statistics and education. Naturally, since it has become the first independent Polynesian state, Western Samoa is no longer part of New Zealand's island territories.

In line with the policy decision of the Department of Statistics to substitute statistical areas for provincial districts, some of the tables show the new classification; the main effect here is to show the former Auckland Provincial District as four statistical areas.

A special article summarises some of the economic problems posed for New Zealand in relation to Britain's negotiations for membership of the European Economic Community.

New Zealand's national parks are featured in the set of photographs.

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 Yearbook 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, Wellington,

6 August 1962.


The interpretation of the symbols used in the tables throughout this publication is as follows:

- nil or zero

.. figures not available

not yet available = space left blank

… not applicable

- - amount too small to be expressed


All values are shown in New Zealand currency,


Unless otherwise stated, a ton is a long ton (2,240 lb).


On occasions figures are rounded off to the nearest thousand or some other convenient unit. This may result in a total disagreeing slightly with the total of the individual items as shown in tables. Where figures are rounded the unit is in general expressed in words below the table headings, but where space does not allow this the unit may be shown as 000 for thousand, etc.


Figures for fiscal years ended 31 March (the fiscal year) are indicated in the text and headings of tables; otherwise figures are mainly for calendar years.


bd. ft.board feet
cu. ft.cubic feet
£(000)thousand pounds
£(m)million pounds
sq. ft.square feet
sup. ft.super feet

Chapter 1. Section 1 PHYSIOGRAPHY

Table of Contents

GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION — The islands of New Zealand have been shaped from the projecting crests of earth folds which rise as broad ridges from the floor of the South Pacific Ocean, 1,000 miles east of the continent of Australia. There are three main islands — North, South, and Stewart separated only by relatively narrow straits — with adjacent islets and a small group called Chatham Islands, 536 miles to the east. Dating from 1842 the administrative boundaries of New Zealand, exclusive of island territories, extend from 33 degrees to 53 degrees south latitude and from 162 degrees east longitude to 173 degrees west longitude. Inhabited outlying minor islands are Raoul Island in the Kermadec Group, 614 miles north-east of the Bay of Islands, and Campbell Island, 320 miles south of Stewart Island.

New Zealand is also responsible for the administration of three island groups in the south-west Pacific — the Cook Islands, Niue Island, and the Tokelau Islands. These are incorporated within the boundaries of New Zealand. The principal island of the Cook Group, Rarotonga, is 1,638 miles north of Auckland, and Niue to the west of the Cook Islands is a similar distance away. Lying to the north-west of the Cook Islands are the Tokelau Islands. In all, there are 23 islands scattered over a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean making up New Zealand's island territories. The territorial area reaches to within 8 degrees of the Equator and extends south to the Tropic of Capricorn, while in longitude it covers nearly 20 degrees (156 degrees west to 173 degrees west).

The Ross Dependency, some 1,400 miles to the south, has been under New Zealand's jurisdiction since 1923 and comprises the sector of the Antarctic continent between 160 degrees east and 150 degrees west longitude, together with the islands lying between those degrees of longitude and south of latitude 60 degrees south.

The administrative area of New Zealand can be classified as follows. In this volume, in general, New Zealand refers 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:

* Situated off North Island.

† Situated off South Island.

(a) Exclusive of island territories-Area in Square Miles
    North Island44,281
   South Island58,093
   Stewart Island670
   Chatham Islands372
   Minor islands -
     Inhabited -
       Kermadec Islands*13
       Campbell Island44
     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 territories103,736
(b) Island territories -Area in Square Miles
    Tokelau Islands, comprised of -
      Fakaofo Island, Nukunono Island, Atafu Island4
    Cook and associated islands, comprised of -
      Southern Group82
        Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Mangaia, Mauke, Atiu, Takutea, Mitiaro, Manuae and Te-au-o-tu.
      Northern Group11
        Palmerston, Pukapuka, Penrhyn, Suwarrow, Manihiki, Nassau, Rakahanga.
      Niue Island100
   Total island territories197
(c) Ross Dependency(Estimated)160,000
Total New Zealand, inclusive of island territories and Ross Dependency263,933

The total area of the foregoing groups, exclusive of the Ross Dependency, is 103,933 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. (Western Samoa, which had been administered as a trust territory since 1946, became an independent territory from 1 January 1962.)

The relevant Proclamations, defining from time to time the administrative area of New Zealand, are briefly referred to in Section 2.

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES: Coastline-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 coastline in proportion to its area. With the exception of the low-lying North Auckland Peninsula, the New Zealand land mass lies along a south-westerly and north-easterly axis, parallel to the direction of its mountain chains.

By reason of the latter fact the coastline 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 two safe natural harbours of which the fullest commercial use is made and the use of Tauranga harbour is expanding. On the east coast of the North Auckland Peninsula several deep and sheltered harbours exist, but production from the hinterland is limited. 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 and Ngauruhoe have been particularly active from time to time. 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 Turakirae Head, 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 Moehau Range parallels 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 17 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 Richmond Ranges, while to the north-east are the Spenser Mountains and the Kaikoura and Seaward Kaikpura Ranges, the two latter ranges running parallel to the east coast. The south portion of the Southern Alps breaks up into a miscellany 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 plateaus 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.

There are at least 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.

Mountain or PeakHeight (Feet)
Kaikoura Ranges- 
Southern Alps- 
   Cook   12,349
   Tasman   11,475
   Dampier   11,287
   Silberhorn   10,757
   Lendenfeldt   10,450
   David's Dome   10,443
   Malte Brun   10,421
   Torres   10,376
   Teichelmann   10,370
   Sefton   10,359
   Haast   10,294
   Elie de Beaumont   10,200
   Douglas Peak   10,107
   La Perouse   10,101
   Haidinger   10,059
   Aspiring   9,957
   Hamilton   9,915
   Glacier Peak   9,865
   De la Beche   9,815
   Aiguilles Rouges   9,731
   Nazomi   9,716
   Darwin   9,715
   Chudleigh   9,686
   Annan   9,667
   Low   9,653
   Haeckel   9,649
   Le Receveur   9,562
   Goldsmith   9,532
   Big Mac   9,511
   Conway Peak   9,510
   Bristol Top   9,508
   Walter   9,507
   Grey   9,490
   Green   9,307
   Hutton   9,297
   D'Archiac   9,279
   Ronald Adair   9,276
   Hochstetter Dome   9,258
   Earnslaw   9,250
   Nathan   9,200
   Barnicoat   9,183
   Sibbald   9,181
   Arrowsmith   9,171
   Spencer   9,167
   The Footstool   9,073
   Rudolf   9,039
   The Dwarf   9,025
Darran Range   
   Tutoko   9,042

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 1 1/4 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 (7 1/4 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 9 3/4 miles and 8 1/2 miles respectively, and terminal faces at altitudes of 670 ft and 690 ft.

As will be realised, these glaciers are an important tourist attraction, and as such have definite economic significance. Moreover, those glaciers on the eastern slopes which feed rivers utilised 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 utilised.

Following is a list of the more important rivers. 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.

RiverLength (Miles)

* Cook Strait is defined as follows: northern limit is a line between northern points of Stephens Island and Kapiti Island; southern limit is a line between Cape Palliser and Cape Campbell.

Flowing into the Pacific Ocean
   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
RiverLength (Miles)
Flowing into Cook Strait 
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
   Aorere (from source, Spee River)45
   Takaka (from source, Cobb River)45
   Waimea (from source, Wai-iti River)30

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 acclimatisation of freshwater 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.

Some particulars of the more important lakes are given in the following table.

LakeLength, in MilesGreatest Breadth, in MilesArea, in Square MilesDrainage Area, in Square MilesApproximate Volume of Discharge, in Cubic Feet per SecondMaximum Height Above Sea Level in Feet (Range in Brackets)*Greatest Depth, in Feet

* The range in lake levels is not available for all lakes.

Taupo25172341,2704,4901,172 (5)522
Rotorua7 1/2631203..920 (2)84
Rotoiti10313248852916 (2)230
Tarawera75 1/21472273981 (2)285
Rotoaira31 3/45502401,852 (3)..
Waikaremoana126211656232,015 (45)840
Rotoehu32317..968 (4)..
Rotoma3 1/42 1/44 1/212..1,036 (6)..
Okataina43425..1,018 (9)..
Okareka1 1/21 1/41 1/48..1,160 (4)..
Rotomahana41 3/43 1/227..1,116(22)..
Rerewhakaitu2 1/21 3/43....1,441 (4)..
Rotokakahi2 1/211 3/411401,298..
Ohakuri211/45 1/21,8505,540942..
Whakamaru13 1/21/232,1556,160742..
Maraetai4 1/21/21 1/22,3906,730618..
Arapuni101/252,6557,310363 (2)..
Rotoiti91 1/24714402,020 (6)250
Rotoroa5 1/2291459601,462 (5)499
Brunner5 1/25 1/215160..280357
Kaniere61 1/4611..429646
Sumner61 1/25 1/2130......
Tekapo113 1/2375503,0602,347 (25)620
Pukaki9 1/25325234,5201,640(30)..
Ohau113234602,3101,730 (9)..
Wanaka283749827,150915 (14)..
Wakatipu4831131,1506,1601,017 (7)1,239
Te Anau3861361,2759,730686 (15)906
Manapouri185551,78513,630608 (21)1,455
Monowai12111105495643 (13)..
Hauroko221 1/227 1/22251,100513 (6)..
Poteriteri181 1/2181601,05096..
Waihola41 1/432,200..(Tidal)52
Cobb31/43/4281982,650 (50)..
Waitaki31/22 1/23,75012,150753..
Roxburgh201/42 1/46,01217,270430..

GEOLOGY — In New Zealand, ancient rocks (intensely deformed and indurated Paleozoic and Mesozoic geosynclinal sediments and Paleozoic metamorphic and intrusive rocks) form a “core” which is buried, over about half the country, by geologically young (late Cretaceous and Cenozoic) sedimentary and volcanic rocks. In most parts of the country major unconformity separates these younger rocks from the older ones. The present structure has been developed by vigorous deformation during the Cenozoic era. A feature of the country's structure are the numerous lengthy, active, transcurrent faults. Volcanic activity continues; the largest accumulations of volcanic rocks are geologically very young (late Tertiary and Quaternary), and most of them lie in the central North Island.

A Descriptive Atlas of New Zealand contains geological maps of New Zealand and summaries of New Zealand's geology and landscape development. New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin 66, The Geological Map of New Zealand, 1:2,000,000 is a lengthier summary with a more detailed geological map and cross sections. Other Geological Survey bulletins and maps are mentioned in Section 17 of this Yearbook. Numerous geological articles are contained in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology, and Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

EARTHQUAKES: Geophysical Background — Earthquakes are geographically associated with active volcanoes and with major earth movements such as mountain building; these three types of disturbance are confined, for the most part, to certain limited regions of the world. Such disturbed regions, of which New Zealand is one, are evidently the site of some kind of development affecting the outer shell of the Earth. Little is yet known about the internal processes that give rise to these geophysical disturbances, nor are the relations connecting them understood in any detail.

Formerly earthquakes were believed to be caused by volcanic activity, but it is now recognised that volcanic earthquakes are restricted to small shocks in the immediate vicinity of the volcanism. In New Zealand, tremors of this kind are experienced in the zone of active volcanism that extends from Mount Ruapehu to White Island.

In some places geological faulting at the surface gives visible evidence that a major earth movement has occurred. Occasionally movement on a fault has been observed to occur simultaneously with an earthquake in the same vicinity. New Zealand provided one of the earliest examples of this to become generally known, when movement took place on the Wairarapa Fault at the time of the great Wellington earthquake of 1855. Such events as this have led to the idea that earthquakes in general are caused by fault movements, but it has proved difficult to find convincing evidence in support of this theory. It is noteworthy that there seems to be little earthquake activity along much of the Alpine Fault, which has been traced for 300 miles from Milford Sound to Lake Rotoiti and is classed by geologists as one of the largest and most active faults in the world. The nature of the connection between earthquakes and faulting is still somewhat obscure.

The great majority of the world's earthquakes occur at depths of less than 40 miles, and in many earthquake zones there are no shocks at any greater depth. A moderate number of New Zealand earthquakes are classed as intermediate in depth, i.e., originating at between 40 miles and 190 miles deep. The two deepest New Zealand earthquakes recorded so far occurred six minutes apart on 23 March 1960, with a common focus 370 miles deep under north Taranaki; this is about 80 miles shallower than the deepest earthquake known.

It is difficult to compare the degree of earthquake activity in New Zealand with that in other regions because of the many differences that arise in earthquake type and mode of occurrence. New Zealand and California are often regarded as roughly similar, with an activity very much less than, for example, Japan or Chile.

Regional Distribution — There are two separate regions of earthquake activity in New Zealand. The larger, northern region may be roughly defined as lying between latitude 36 1/2°S and 43 1/2°S. It thus includes the northern half of the South Island, and all the North Island apart from the North Auckland peninsula; but the area from Kaipara Harbour to the lower Waikato River should be excluded. The southern active region lies to the west of longitude 169 1/2°E, and incorporates Southland, western Otago, and southern Westland. Earthquakes have only occasionally been located in the parts of New Zealand lying outside these two regions.

Within the active regions the occurrence of shallow earthquakes is widely scattered. There has been a tendency, however, for the larger shallow earthquakes to lie towards the Pacific side of the northern active region and towards the Tasman side of the southern active region. Earthquakes with deeper foci are mostly confined to a narrow belt in the northern region, extending from the Bay of Plenty south-westwards to Tasman Bay.

The historical record is too brief to support a quantitative assessment of the frequency with which one might expect earthquakes to be felt at a given intensity in various parts of New Zealand. Considering the distances to which major earthquakes can be effective, in relation to the size of New Zealand, it would be imprudent to regard any part of the country, except perhaps the far north, as permanently exempt from the possibility of earthquake damage.

Outside the active regions there are many areas, however, where no damaging intensity has actually been experienced in historical times. Moreover, since the major shallow earthquakes on record have been rather widely distributed within the active regions, there appears to be no particular area of markedly intense seismicity.

The Hawke's Bay earthquake of 3 February 1931 resulted directly or indirectly in 255 deaths. The total of deaths that have been recorded as due to other earthquakes since 1848 is 29.

Seismological Observatory — Earthquake recorders are operated continuously at the following stations by the Seismological Observatory, Wellington: Apia and Afiamalu (Samoa); Raoul Island (Kermadecs); Suva (Fiji); Onerahi, Auckland, Karapiro, Tuai, Taranaki, Tongariro, Bunnythorpe, and Wellington (North Island); Cobb, Kaimata, Gebbies Pass, Roxburgh, and Monowai (South Island); Hallett Station and Scott Base (Antarctica). The installations at the following stations include instruments for recording distant earthquakes: Apia, Suva, Auckland, Wellington, Roxburgh, Hallett, Scott Base. At the Samoan and Antarctic stations preliminary readings are made locally and notified by radiogram. The analysis of records from all stations is carried out at the Observatory in Wellington.

The Observatory publishes regular reports of all significant earthquakes occurring in the New Zealand region; in a normal year there are about 200 such earthquakes, and about 100 of these are reported felt. The analysis involves using observations from stations in other countries as well as those from the local network, and the Observatory likewise contributes data to the international seismological agencies about distant earthquakes as well as large local ones. Details of tremors felt in New Zealand are supplied to the public and the press. In the study of felt earthquakes the instrumental results are augmented by “felt reports”; these are supplied by a large number of voluntary observers throughout New Zealand in response to a standard questionnaire issued by the Observatory.

Earthquake data are used by the Observatory for studying the fundamental characteristics of the Earth's crust in New Zealand, Antarctica, and the neighbouring oceanic regions, and also for contributing to geophysical knowledge of the Earth's deep interior.

Principal Earthquakes During the Year 1961 — No unusual seismic events came to notice during 1961. Two earthquakes were very widely felt in the North Island because of the rather great depth at which they originated. One of these, which was also the largest earthquake of the year (magnitude 6 3/4, Richter scale), occurred on 26 July at a depth of 140 miles beneath the Bay of Plenty; the other was of magnitude 6 and occurred on 4 February at a depth of 200 miles beneath the Te Aroha district.

Three earthquakes of shallow origin were fairly widely felt. The largest (magnitude 6 1/4) occurred on 28 December and was centred at sea about 80 miles to the south-east of Masterton; it caused slight damage in the Wairarapa. An earthquake (magnitude 5.4) centred near Dannevirke on 14 May was felt as far north as Kawhia. The third of these shallow earthquakes occurred near Lake Wakatipu on 4 July and was felt from Bruce Bay to Dunedin and Stewart Island.

WEATHER INFORMATION — 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 170 places in New Zealand and 60 in the islands. Rainfall measurements are made at a total of about 1,300 places within New Zealand and 110 outside the country.

Detailed climatological statistics are published annually in the Meteorological Observations. Current statistics appear monthly in a climatological table included in the New Zealand Gazette.

CLIMATE — Situated between 34°S and 47°S the main islands lie within the broad belt of strong westerly winds which encircles the hemisphere south of about latitude 35°S. Just to the north is the high-pressure ridge of the subtropics from which barometric pressure decreases southwards over New Zealand to the deep low-pressure trough located near latitude 60°S.

In the Australasian region there is no semipermanent anticyclone, as exists in subtropical latitudes in the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans. Instead, a continual eastward migration of anticyclones takes place, roughly at weekly intervals. Most of the centres pass over or to the north of the North Island. The low-pressure troughs which separate successive anticyclones are associated with deep depressions centred far to the south. A period of disturbed weather accompanies the trough with a change to cold southerly or south-westerly winds as it advances north-eastwards over New Zealand. Conditions improve again with the approach of the next anticyclone from the west. While this simple progression dominates the day-to-day weather, the situation frequently becomes much more complex. The troughs are unstable systems where depressions commonly form, some of which develop into vigorous storms that travel south-eastwards across New Zealand.

The anticyclones themselves continually vary in size, intensity, and rate of movement. Their tracks are furthest north in the spring, on the average, and reach their southern limit in late summer or early autumn when most of the centres cross central or southern New Zealand. At this time of the year, too, northern and eastern districts of the North Island occasionally come under the influence of deep cyclones of tropical origin.

The other main factors which influence the climate of New Zealand are, first, its position in the midst of a vast ocean, and second, the shape and topography of the country itself.

Australia, the nearest continent, is 1,000 miles to the west; Antarctica is 1,400 miles to the south. Hot air masses from the interior of Australia in summer, or freezing air masses from the Antarctic, which occasionally reach New Zealand, retain little of their original character after their long ocean passage. Thus, there is an absence of extreme variations of temperature. On the other hand, since abundant supplies of moisture are supplied by evaporation from the oceans, and depressions are frequent and vigorous, the average precipitation is high.

The chain of high mountains, which extends from south-west to north-east through the length of the country, rises as a formidable barrier in the path of the prevailing westerly winds. The effect is to produce much sharper climatic contrasts from west to east than in the north-south direction. In some inland areas of the South Island just east of the mountains the climate is distinctly continental in character, despite the fact that no part of New Zealand is more than 90 miles from the sea.

Winds — Winds from a westerly quarter prevail in all seasons, with a general tendency to increase in strength from north to south. However, considerable local modifications to the general air flow occur during its passage across the mountainous terrain. Approaching the main ranges the westerly flow turns towards the north-east and on descending on the eastern side swings towards the southeast. This results in an increased number of south-westerlies in Westland and a predominance of north-westerlies in inland districts of Otago and Canterbury, where strong gales from this quarter occur at times in the late spring and summer. Daytime sea breezes usually extend from the coast inland for 20 miles or more during periods of settled weather in summer. On the Canterbury coast, north-easterlies are almost as frequent as the predominant south-westerlies, mainly as a result of a persistent sea breeze. Cook Strait, the only substantial gap in the main mountain chain, acts as a natural funnel for the air flow and is a particularly windy locality afflicted by gales from the southeast as well as the north-west. This “funnel” effect is also in evidence about Foveaux Strait. North of Taranaki the general air flow is more south-westerly, and there is a noticeable reduction in windiness in the summer.

Rainfall — The distribution of rainfall is mainly controlled by mountain features, and the highest rainfalls occur where the mountains are exposed to the direct sweep of the westerly and north-westerly winds. The mean annual rainfall (see map) ranges from as little as 13 in. in a small area of Central Otago to over 300 in. in the Southern Alps. The average for the whole country is high, but for the greater part it lies between 25 and 60 in., a range regarded as favourable for plant growth in the temperate zone. The only areas with under 25 in. are found in the South Island, to the east of the main ranges. These include most of Central and North Otago, and South Canterbury. In the North Island, the driest areas are southern Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and Manawatu where the average rainfall is 30–40 in. a year. Of the remainder, much valuable farm land, chiefly in northern Taranaki and Northland, has upwards of 60 in. Over a sizeable area of both Islands rainfall exceeds 100 in. a year but, with the exception of Westland, this is mountainous and unoccupied, much of it being forest covered.

For a large part of the country the rainfall is spread evenly through the year, although its effectiveness in summer is, of course, much reduced. The greatest contrast is found in the north, where winter has almost twice as much rain as summer. This predominance of winter rainfall diminishes southwards. It is still discernible over the northern part of the South Island but, over the southern half, winter is the season with least rainfall, and a definite summer maximum is found inland due to the effect of convectional showers. The rainfall is also influenced by seasonal variations in the strength of the westerly winds. Spring rainfall is increased in and west of the ranges as the westerlies rise to their maximum about October, while a complementary decrease occurs at the same time in the lee of the ranges.

Areas which are exposed to the west and south-west experience much showery weather, and rain falls on roughly half the days of the year. Over most of the North Island rain can be measured on at least 150 days a year except to the east of the ranges where there are., in places, fewer than 125 rain days. Those areas of the South Island with annual rainfall under 25 in. generally have about 100 rain days a year. In the far south the frequency of rain increases sharply; in Stewart Island and Fiordland rain days exceed 200 a year. Over most of the country between 55 and 65 per cent of the rain days also qualify as wet days (0.10 in. or more). The percentage increases to over 70 in Westland, but in the low rainfall area of inland Otago there are only about 40 wet days a year compared with 100 rain days.

On the whole the seasonal rainfall does not vary greatly from year to year, the reliability in spring being particularly advantageous for agricultural purposes. It is least reliable in late summer and autumn when very dry conditions may develop east of the ranges, particularly in Hawke's Bay.

The highest daily rainfall on record is 22 in., which occurred at Milford Sound where the mean annual rainfall is 250 in. Other areas with considerably lower rainfall are also subject to very heavy daily falls; such areas are to be found in northern Hawke's Bay and in north-eastern districts of the Auckland Province. By contrast, in the Manawatu district and in Otago and Southland daily falls reaching 3 in. are very rare.

Thunderstorms — Thunderstorms are not numerous. Their frequency is greatest in the north and west where thunder is heard on 15 to 20 days a year; east of the ranges the figure is five or less.

Hail — Hail is most frequent in the south-west where it is reported on about 20 days a year, but for the greater part of the country it occurs on about five days a year or less. Most of the hailstones are small, but occasionally large stones cause local damage to glasshouses, and to orchards and market gardens, chiefly in Canterbury and Hawke's Bay.

Frost — It is well known that local variations in frostiness are considerable, even within quite small areas. On a calm, clear night the cold air in contact with a sloping surface gravitates slowly downhill to collect in valleys and depressions, and it is these “Katabatic” drifts which are mainly responsible for local temperature variations at night. Gently sloping ground with a northerly aspect tends to be least

affected by frost. Favourable sites in coastal areas of Northland are free of frost, although further inland light frosts occur frequently in the winter months. At Albert Park, Auckland, the screen minimum thermometer (4 ft above the ground) has registered below 32° F only once in nearly 50 years, yet across the harbour at Whenuapai Aerodrome there are eight screen frosts per annum on the average. Excluding the uninhabited mountainous areas, the most severe winter conditions are experienced in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Plains of inland Canterbury, and on the central plateau of the North Island. Even in these areas night temperatures as low as 10° are rarely recorded. Elsewhere over the North Island the winters are very mild and pastures maintain continuous growth. In both Islands sheep and cattle remain in the open all the year round.

Snow- The majority of New Zealanders rarely see snow except on the mountains. The North Island has a small permanent snow field above about 8,000 ft on the central plateau, but the snow line rarely descends below 2,000 ft even for brief periods in winter. In the South Island snow falls on a few days a year in eastern coastal districts and in some years may lie for a day or two even at sea level. In Westland it does not lie at sea level. The snow line on the Southern Alps is around 7,000 ft in summer, being slightly lower on the western side where the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers descend through heavy bush to within 1,000 ft of sea level. In inland Canterbury and Otago, where there are considerable areas of grazing lands above 1,000 ft, snowfalls are heavier and more persistent and have caused serious losses of sheep during severe winters in the past. However, only rarely does the winter snow line there remain permanently below 3,000 ft.

Relative Humidity — Humidity is commonly between 70 and 80 per cent in coastal areas and about 10 per cent lower inland. It varies inversely to the temperature, falling to a minimum in the early afternoon when temperature is highest and frequently lying between 90 and 100 per cent during clear nights. As the following table shows, the diurnal variation is greater than the difference between summer and winter.

StationMean Relative Humidity
3 a.m.3 p.m.3 a.m.3 p.m.
 per cent
Auckland (Mechanics Bay)85639074
Ohakea Aerodrome87628972

Very low humidities — between 20 and 30 per cent or lower — occur at times in the lee of the Southern Alps where the Föhn effect is often very marked. In summer the hot, dry “Canterbury Norwester” is generally a most unpleasant wind. Cool south-westerlies are also at times very dry when they reach eastern districts. In Northland the humid mid-summer conditions are inclined to be rather oppressive though temperatures rarely reach 85°. Dull, humid spells are generally not prolonged anywhere, but their frequency shows a marked increase in the south.

Sunshine — The sunniest areas are to be found locally near Blenheim, Nelson, and Whakatane, where the average duration of bright sunshine exceeds 2,400 hours per annum. Napier and the rest of the Bay of Plenty are only slightly less sunny. A large portion of the country is favoured with at least 2,000 hours. Even Westland, despite its high rainfall, has 1,800 hours. Southland, where sunshine drops sharply to 1,700 hours per annum, lies on the northern fringe of a broad zone of increasing cloudiness. Four hundred miles further to the south at Campbell Island the sunshine has the extremely low value of 650 hours per annum. A pleasant feature of the New Zealand climate is the high proportion of sunshine during the winter months. To eliminate the effect of varying day-length the summer and winter sunshine at a few selected stations have been expressed as a percentage of the possible sunshine.

 per cent
New Plymouth5347

As these figures indicate, there is a marked increase in cloudiness in the North Island in winter, but little seasonal change in the South Island, except in Southland.

Temperature — Mean temperatures at sea level decrease steadily southwards from 59°F in the far north to 54° about Cook Strait, then to 49° in the south. With increasing altitude, temperatures drop about 3° per 1,000 ft. January and February, with approximately the same mean temperature, are the warmest months of the year; July is the coldest. Some temperature statistics for selected places are included in the following table. Highest temperatures are recorded east of the main ranges, where they rise to the nineties on a few afternoons in most summers, usually in association with a north-westerly Föhn wind. The extremes for New Zealand (measured in a standard thermometer screen) are 101° at Ashburton and—3° at Ophir (Central Otago).

As is to be expected, there is a small annual range of temperature (difference between mean temperature of the warmest and coldest months). In Northland and in western districts of both Islands the annual range is about 15°F. For the remainder of the North Island, and east coast districts of the South Island, it is 17°–19°. Further inland it exceeds 20° in places, reaching a maximum of 25° in Central Otago where there is an approach to a continental type of climate.

Climatological Averages — The following table provides a brief summary of the main climatological elements for selected locations.

StationAltitudeAverage Annual RainfallAnnual Averages ofAir Temperature (Degrees Fahrenheit)
Rain Days (0.01 in. or more)Bright SunshineMean Temp.Mean Daily MaximumMean Daily MinimumMean Annual
 ftin. hours       
Te Paki, Te Hapua19056.81872,14459.172.759.557.445.97830
Ruakura, Hamilton13145.91681,98255.273.956052.537.38523
Onepoto, Lake, Waikaremoana2,11076.9196 51.668.347.752.237.48330
New Plymouth16061.21662,11056069.455.255.943.37832
Palmerston North (D.S.I.R.)11039.01721,81454.871.153.354.63908227
Waingawa, Masterton34038.01722,06153.774.353.350.73608925
Kelburn, Wellington41549.21582,01254.167.751.354.741.67934
Nelson Airfield635.91252,41452.970.953.253.733.78223
Hanmer Forest1,27045.31431,91150.473.147.947.928.38915
Hokitika South12108.81941,85551.765.952.851.23607627
Lake Coleridge1,19533.0118..50.870.848.449.23008818
Milford Sound16253.3193..50065048.650.234.37727
Musselburgh, Dunedin531.01671,73451.666.750.351.636.98628
Invercargill Airfield042.81991,66149.


Averages of rainfall, 1921–50; rain days, 1950–59; sunshine, 1935–60; temperature, various periods-all exceeding 10 years.

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°F. 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.

Calendar MonthMean Temperature

* Based on temperature normals for 100 climatological stations.


The following diagram illustrates the seasonal temperature pattern.

Brief Review of 1961:Year — Rainfall was below average in western districts from Milford Sound to Waitomo (mainly by 10–15 per cent) and above average in eastern districts from North Otago to Gisborne (mainly by 20-40 per cent). 1961 was the third successive year with this general distribution. It was also below average by about 15 per cent in northern Northland and the Taupo — eastern Bay of Plenty area, and in the Marlborough Sounds by 25 per cent.

Temperatures were above average by up to 1 1/2°F in northern and most western districts of the South Island. In remaining districts of both islands they were mainly above average by 1/2 to 1 degree, but in a few inland areas they were very close to average. The mean positive departure for the country as a whole was about 3/4 degree, and it was the eighth successive year with a positive departure of at least 1/2 degree.

Sunshine was above average by more than 50 hours in most western districts of the North Island, in northern districts of the South Island, and in inland Canterbury. The greatest surplus of about 200 hours occurred about Cook Strait. In most of Southland and coastal Otago and in eastern Northland sunshine was below average by 50 to 150 hours.

Seasonal Notes — January was the third successive month of unusually cloudy, wet weather in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay owing to the comparatively high frequency of winds from an easterly quarter. In these districts many crops were seriously affected by the wet weather. A large number of thunderstorms were reported in the North Island from 18 to 23 January, with some severe local flooding causing disruption of road and rail services at times.

February and March were drier than usual over the Auckland provincial district, and in some areas dairy production suffered. They were also comparatively cloudy months, and March was cool over the South Island.

April was a sunny month with some spells of settled weather suitable for harvesting. May was not as wet as usual in many districts, thus providing mainly favourable conditions for stock. However, in some western and northern districts of the North Island the ground was too dry after four to eight months of below-average rainfall. By contrast, in Canterbury it was cloudy, wet, and cold, adversely affecting the health of young sheep.

The winter of 1961 was very different from that of 1960, as it was marked by somewhat colder temperatures than usual in the South Island, and at times considerable snow. A heavy fall to low levels between 27 and 30 June affected especially Southland and west Otago, with up to a foot of snow in some areas. July was unsettled, and much too wet and cloudy in the South Island. Serious flooding in the third week affected widely separated areas, especially the Waikato — Thames Valley area, New Plymouth, inland South Canterbury, and a considerable part of Otago. In August the main feature was a southerly storm which raged over the southern half of the North Island from 4 to 10 August with disruption of all forms of transport. In the centre of the Island the heaviest snowfall for many years blocked the Desert Road, and at this time heavy losses of Iambs were reported from west of the Ruahines and in eastern districts of the North Island.

September, like August, was marked by an unusually high frequency of southerly to easterly winds, with cloudy, wet conditions in Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and Manawatu. In the South Island it was also a cold month. However, in Auckland and Taranaki conditions were favourable for farming.

The weather changed at about the beginning of October and the last three months of the year were rather exceptional. Barometers remained unusually high over New Zealand, and the weather was warm and for the most part also sunny and very dry. The total rainfall for October-December was the lowest in more than 50 years of record for a number of stations in the southern half of the North Island and also in Marlborough and Canterbury. These stations included Marshlands (Blenheim) 0.95 in., Hastings 1.24 in., Christchurch 1.4 in., Palmerston North 2.7 in., Ashburton 2.7 in., Wellington 4 in., New Plymouth 6 in. Sheep lost condition in many districts and dairy production also suffered.

Summary of Meteorological Observations for 1961 — The observations from which the following summary was compiled for the year 1961 were taken at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time, i.e., 2100 hours Greenwich mean time.

StationAir Temperature (Degrees Fahrenheit)Bright Sunshine (Hours)Rainfall, Total Fall (Inches)No. of Rain Days
Mean Daily MaximumMean Daily MinimumApproximate Mean Temp.Extremes for 1961Extremes*
MaximumMonthMinimumMonthAbsolute MaximumAbsolute Minimum

* Highest and lowest temperature for the duration of records.

Te Paki, Te Hapua66.852.159.577.8Feb28.8Jul82.827.02,07548.20178
Ruakura, Hamilton66.,14244.05155
Onepoto, Lake Waikaremoana..45.1..82.1Feb30.9Jul88.122.2..80.66178
New Plymouth63.250.556.879.8Jan34.0Jun86.028.02,17253.34120
Palmerston North (D.S.I.R.)63.947.455.784.8Dec27.9Jul87.021.21,84837.06142
Waingawa, Masterton63.744.053.985.6Dec23.5Jul95.419.52,08049.00152
Kelburn, Wellington60.349.254.880.5Jan33.8Jul88.028.62,19840.85145
Nelson Airfield62.845.153.985.4Jan24.4Jul92.021.02,52232.9998
Hanmer Forest61.538.950.290.9Jan18.0Jul97.08.22,04749.06133
Hokitika South60.244.652.476.5Jan28.0Jul84.525.01,89893.33171
Lake Coleridge60.340.150.287.0Feb20.0Jun97.010.0..35.95115
Milford Sound58.644.451.580.9Jan29.0Jul81.823.1..227.69181
Musselburgh, Dunedin58.144.951.588.1Feb27.0Jul94.023.01,59328.59155
Invercargill Airfield57.741.349.581.0Dec24.1May90.019.01,51244.12201

For 1961 the mean sea-level pressure values in millibars at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time were: Auckland 1017.3; Kelburn, Wellington 1016.0; Nelson Airfield 1016.3; Hokitika South 1016.8; Christchurch 1014.8; and Dunedin 1014.5.


Table of Contents

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 at least 300 years previously. It is generally accepted that the Maoris came originally from South-East Asia, whence, as proto-Polynesians, they moved eastwards from island to island until they reached the eastern Pacific, where they settled the islands now known collectively as Polynesia. From Polynesia the ancestors of the Maori sailed south-west in ocean-going canoes to reach New Zealand and these voyages were probably spread over several generations, perhaps several centuries. Oral Maori history and genealogy support the view that there was a final wave of migration of considerable magnitude about A.D. 1350. Adapting themselves to a new physical environment, in isolation from the outside world, the Maoris produced forms of social and economic organisation and material culture which were significantly different from their Polynesian prototypes.

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 civilisation, 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 subtribes and tribes. They had highly developed social and ritualistic customs, and their system of land tenure and methods of cultivation were communal within the subtribes. 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 civilisation 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 Staten 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, near Gisborne. On his first voyage Cook spent six months exploring the New Zealand coastline, 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, and 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 50 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 1840s.

European Settlement and Colonisation — 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 12 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. 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 protégés, 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 colonisation 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 20). 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 organised settlements were made. In cooperation 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 organised form of European colonisation 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 increasing the wealth of the South Island, allowed it 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 the provincial assemblies had frequently proved obstructive, and in consequence the 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 recognised 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 stabilise economic conditions. During the following years the price level rose; and from the administrative side, the period was characterised 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 since 1936.

The first major influence was a humanitarian attitude reinforced by a progressive economic policy. 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 rationalisation 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, stabilisation 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 by the provision of a system of medical, pharmaceutical, hospital, maternity, and other related benefits.

Other legislative enactments under this heading include the provision for paid annual holidays, 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 authorising participation in United Nations activities generally and in particular emergencies, such as military 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., 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 territories, such as the Cook Islands.

Contemporaneously with the expansion of the field of legislative interest, the 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 fruit, 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 reading, 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 Yearbook, and others in earlier issues.

SOVEREIGNTY — Following representations from Maori chiefs for protection from the prevailing turmoil and lawlessness caused by 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, RN, 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 Legislatures of those countries. 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 1888, 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 Right 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 recognised. For some years after this, however, successive New Zealand Governments chose not to exercise this right and (pursuing a passive role 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 1920s and early 1930s 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, realised 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-Common wealth 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 1930s.

In practice, during the first 16 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 organised 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 16 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 Right 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”.

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 cooperation 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 Organisation, SEATO. In joining SEATO, a body made necessary by the failure of the Great Powers to cooperate 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 its 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 organised 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 Organisation, 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.

New Zealand's geographical position and that of its island territories, the Cook, Niue and Tokelau Islands, also gives this country a direct interest in political, social, and economic developments in the South Pacific. This is reflected not only in New Zealand's membership of such regional organisations as the South Pacific Commission, but also in a wide and growing range of contacts with island people and an increased sense of involvement in their problems. The evolution of self-government and nationalism in the South Pacific reached a new stage when Western Samoa became the first independent Polynesian state on 1 January 1962. New Zealand's own colonial past and her liberal tradition of friendship for emergent peoples, together with the large number of Polynesian people who have settled in this country, mean that the islanders tend to look to New Zealand for leadership and encouragement. In particular, Western Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji already look to New Zealand as an important export market and as a source of administrative and technical assistance. Inevitably, New Zealand is going to be increasingly affected by what happens in the South Pacific region.

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 arises out of the movement towards political and economic integration in Europe and especially the possibility of Britain's membership of the European Economic Community. 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. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent, however, that the United Kingdom market is capable of only a limited expansion. The development of new markets in Asia and other less developed countries is hindered by low income levels as well as by consumption patterns in which the type of foodstuff exported by New Zealand does not figure prominently. 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 authorised 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 functions of the Department were defined at its inception as follows:

  1. To act as a channel of communication between the Government and other British and foreign Governments on matters relating to external affairs.

  2. To assist in negotiating treaties and international agreements.

  3. To direct New Zealand's overseas diplomatic posts.

  4. 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 coordination. Since the Prime Minister's Department has always been regarded primarily as a department of coordination, an intimate relationship has existed between the two Departments. The Prime Minister has for three 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 coordination 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 coordinates military and civilian intelligence.

* The portfolio was assumed by the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Peter Fraser.

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 coordinating 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 Yearbook 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 ties 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 Right 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, (of whom one, South Africa, withdrew from the association in 1961), there are now 13 and it is expected that more will join within the next few years. With the entry of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, the Federation of Malaya, Ghana, Nigeria, Cyprus, Sierra Leone, and Tanganyika, 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 cooperation and understanding.

New Zealand has as yet exchanged representatives with only the following 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 organisations, 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 Consultative Council, 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.

* The New Zealand High Commissioner in India is also appointed High Commissioner in Ceylon.

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.

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 alternative, that an effective and comprehensive collective security system may eventually be developed and agreement on disarmament achieved.

New Zealand has recognised 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 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 harmonising 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 organisation; they have reiterated the need for the early adoption of a broad programme of supervised disarmament. At the 1961 session of the General Assembly the New Zealand representative, Mr A. D. McIntosh, deplored the continuing arms race and the resumption of nuclear tests, and reiterated New Zealand's concern to see the early application of disarmament machinery and the conclusion of an international treaty to bring about the permanent cessation of nuclear weapons tests. Subsequently, New Zealand supported the establishment of a new Disarmament Committee to undertake urgent negotiations with a view to reaching agreement on general and complete disarmament under effective international control.

New Zealand has at the same time advocated adequate and timely preparations in case aggression should occur. When occasion has arisen New Zealand has been prepared to play its part: troops were supplied 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 an equitable 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 and the United Nations' operation in the Congo.

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 Nations 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.

Economic and Social Council-New Zealand's interest in economic and social 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 18 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. The New Zealand representative, Mr Foss Shanahan was, in fact, elected President of the Council for 1961. New Zealand is also a member of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), the Technical Assistance Committee, the Statistical Commission, and the Commission on International Commodity Trade. In the past New Zealand has also designated representatives on the Social and Fiscal Commissions 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 recognised 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 underdeveloped countries. New Zealand has always recognised the need for economic development and made its contributions to the appropriate funds, e.g., the Expanded Programme for Technical Assistance and the Special Fund. It has been concerned 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 Organisation 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, as a member of the Technical Assistance Committee of 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.

Specialised Agencies — It is the responsibility of the Economic and Social Council under the Charter to coordinate the activities of the Specialised Agencies through consultations and recommendations. New Zealand is a member of all the Agencies except the International Development Association. 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 Specialised Agencies, New Zealand's reasons for membership have ranged from motives of self-interest to its conviction of the value of international cooperation. 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 telegraphic traffic, and the need to belong to this body is universally accepted. The World Meteorological Organisation is the medium for setting standards and encouraging the free interchange of meteorological information. Wartime experience emphasised the fact that few countries have as direct an interest in international civil aviation as New Zealand; New Zealand is closely concerned with the efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organisation 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 Specialised 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 Organisation. Each in its own field — the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, and the International Atomic Energy Agency — constitutes an important international medium for the free interchange of knowledge and experience.

On occasion the Specialised 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. The FAO's interest in the disposal of surplus foodstuffs was increased in December 1961 when the United Nations approved the establishment of a World Food Programme to be administered jointly by FAO and the United Nations. New Zealand has been elected to the inter-Governmental Committee charged with the responsibility of supervising the Programme.

New Zealand's accession to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Finance Corporation will not only allow this country to participate in measures designed to increase the stability of international trade and promote the economic development of the underdeveloped areas of the world. It will also serve to strengthen New Zealand's own economic position by providing access to more varied sources of capital.

As well as the Commonwealth organisations mentioned earlier some regional organisations, 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, cooperatives, control of the rhinoceros beetle, and research upon filariasis.

New Zealand and the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation — 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 — Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States — 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 treaty was ratified by New Zealand on 19 February 1955 and entered into force for all the parties on that date.

The work of SEATO is directed by the Council of Ministers, which consists of the Foreign Ministers of all member governments and meets annually at the seat of government of a member country. The 1959 Council Meeting was held in Wellington. Council members are represented permanently at the headquarters of the Organisation in Bangkok, usually by their Ambassadors to Thailand. There is an international Secretariat headed by a Secretary-General. On the military side, joint planning is carried out in a Military Planning Office under the direction of Military Advisers from each member country who normally meet bi-annually.

In guiding the principal civil activities of the Organisation, the Council Representatives are advised by a Permanent Working Group and by three specialist committees — the Committee of Security Experts, the Committee of Economic Experts and the Committee on Information, Cultural, Educational, and Labour Activities — which meet periodically and to which all member countries send representatives.

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 a single plan, but a series of separate plans drawn up and administered by each country in the region; the external assistance required and made available to help implement these plans 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 cooperative 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, Jogjakarta, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur (1961).

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 1962 New Zealand had appropriated a total of £11,315,000 for capital and technical assistance under the Colombo Plan. Of this, at 31 December, 1961, £6,632,567 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 appropriate cases it has been possible to supply equipment manufactured in New Zealand.

Among the capital-aid grants during 1960 were a further £45,000 for the Akkarayankulum irrigation tank in Ceylon, £5,000 for educational materials sent to Laos, and the provision of surveying equipment for North Borneo. Grants of £150,000 were made in 1961 for the Jaipur and Lucknow milk schemes in India, and assistance was also given to Malaya for a Civil Service Training Centre. A sum of £60,000 was also set aside for land-development projects in Malaya. Substantial capital aid, combined in most cases with the provision of New Zealand technical personnel, was being considered for Pakistan's Jaipur Hat sugar mill, an artisan training centre and other projects in Burma, an agricultural faculty at the University of Northern Sumatra in Indonesia, further assistance for dairy projects in India, and a pasture-improvement project in Nepal. New Zealand has assisted regional projects in providing launches at a cost of £35,000, for the Mekong River Development Scheme, as well as equipment for the Tonle Sap tributary project, and is giving £100,000 annually for 10 years to the Indus Water Scheme in India and Pakistan.

Technical Assistance — By 31 March 1961 New Zealand had spent a total of over £1,750,000 on technical assistance, and 882 students had come to New Zealand. The number of Colombo Plan students in New Zealand had risen by 31 March 1961 to 297, the largest number ever here at any one time. At that date there were also 43 New Zealand experts overseas, including 12 English language teachers in Indonesia.

During the year progress was made with overcoming the serious shortage of teaching facilities and hostel accommodation that had previously limited the number of places New Zealand could offer to Asian students. In September 1960 the Prime Minister announced that the Government had decided to build a dairy technology unit and hostel at Massey College so that more students could be brought to New Zealand for agricultural training. Other projects to help increase New Zealand's capacity to train students announced during the year were the purchase of Warwick House in Christ-church to provide more places for Colombo Plan students and the opening of an English Language Institute at Victoria University of Wellington. The Institute, which began classes in March 1961, provided practical training in English in 1961 for 33 teachers of English from Indonesia and for 20 Vietnamese students. The latter went on to university courses in 1962. In succeeding years it is planned to widen considerably the scope and extent of the Institute's classes.

Commonwealth Aid Scheme — New Zealand participates in two cooperative aid programmes for Commonwealth members. Under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Scheme New Zealand offers each year 10 two-year scholarships for post-graduate study, three one-year administrative fellowships, and three one-year prestige fellowships. The New Zealand contribution to the Special Commonwealth African Aid Plan of £100,000, under which Commonwealth countries outside Africa provide bilateral assistance to African members, will enable up to 45 African students to study in New Zealand at any time, and about 10 New Zealand experts to work in Africa, as well as providing for small capital or equipment grants in appropriate cases.

The other form of technical aid, the sending of New Zealand experts to Asia, is also being expanded, and in the middle of 1961 there were 41 New Zealanders on assignment, compared with 33 in 1960. Twelve of the experts, comprising an English language team, are giving instruction in English teaching in training colleges and universities in 11 Indonesian cities. Another team consisting of 12 surveyors is working in Malaya on rural land-development schemes.

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. New Zealand's growing involvement in the problems of the South Pacific region and its close ties with the island peoples are giving rise to a new recognition of the importance of the role it will have to play in this area in the future. New Zealand is in a unique position to encourage the growth of a regional consciousness in the South Pacific which is essential if the problems of the area are to be seen and tackled as a whole. At the same time it has developed its association with Asian countries. As a country concerned with the preservation of world peace and the organisation 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 underprivileged 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. 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 constitutionally be 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 in 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:

  1. The constitution and order of reference of the Representation Commission.

  2. The number of European electoral districts and the basing of their boundaries on the total population.

  3. The fixing of the tolerance within which the Commission must work at 5 per cent.

  4. The age of voting.

  5. The secret ballot.

  6. 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, 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 forward one candidate for each of the 80 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 criticise — so that there is ample time allocated for debate on Government measures in Parliament. While party control is exercised by national and local organisations 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 authorised by the House of Representatives in the form of an Appropriation Act, which authorises 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 20 months. The three-year limit was re-enacted in the Electoral Act 1956, this being one of the reserved provisions referred to on page 30.

Number of Representatives — The number of members constituting the House of Representatives is 80 — 76 Europeans and four Maoris. They are designated “members of Parliament”. The number was originally fixed by the Constitution Act as not more than 42 and not less than 24, and the first Parliament called together in 1854 consisted of 40 members. Legislation passed in 1858 fixed the number of European members at 41; in 1860, at 53; in 1862, at 57; in 1865, at 70; in 1867, at 72; in 1870, at 74; in 1875, at 84; in 1881, at 91; in 1887, at 70; and in 1900, at 76. 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” later); 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 12 months of ceasing to be a member of Parliament unless he had previously been a public servant for at least five years.

Salaries, etc. — Section 27 of the Civil List Act 1950 provides that on the recommendation of a Royal Commission the Governor-General may from time to time, by Order in Council, fix the salaries and allowances to be paid to the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Crown or members of the Executive Council, to Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, and to the Speaker and Chairman of Committees and other members of the House of Representatives, and that a Royal Commission shall be appointed for this purpose within three months after the date of every general election of members of Parliament.

In accordance with the recommendations contained in the report (issued in 1961) of the Royal Commission upon Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances, the Prime Minister's salary, as from 1 July 1961, was increased to £4,750 with a tax-free allowance of £1,600 for the expenses of his office and a 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 Deputy Prime Minister's salary is £3,350 with a tax-free expense allowance of £600. The salary of each other Minister holding a portfolio is £3,150 with a tax-free expense allowance of £550, and that of each Minister without portfolio £2,500, with £450 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 £730. Any Minister not occupying a Ministerial residence receives an allowance in lieu at the rate of £300 a year. 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, and in addition are entitled to free cars, secretarial assistance, and free postage.

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 £2,250, with the same house provision or allowances, and travel allowance while on official business, as for Ministers. An expense allowance of £450 is also payable. After the general election of November 1954 no appointments were made until 1960, and the two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries became Ministers in January 1961.

The honorarium paid to members of the House of Representatives is now £1,550 a year. European members are also paid an allowance to provide for expenses incurred in connection with parliamentary duties ranging from £370 to £550 a year subject to the classification of their electorates by the Representation Commission into the four classes of (a) a wholly urban electorate, or (b) a substantially urban electorate, or (c) a partially urban and partially rural electorate, or (d) a predominantly rural electorate. An expense allowance of £675 a year is paid to the member for Southern Maori, and an expense allowance of £600 to the members representing the other three Maori Electorates. A sessional accommodation allowance is paid at the rate of £2 10s. for each day on which a member is in Wellington to attend the sittings of Parliament, or of a Select Committee of Parliament. The sessional accommodation allowance is not payable to any member in respect of any day unless the attendance of the member in Wellington necessitates his absence from his home overnight on the night immediately before or immediately after the said sittings, or on both of those nights. (For full details see Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Order 1961.) 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, and certain other concessions regarding telegrams and telephone services. If a member is defeated at an election he continues to receive salary only to the end of the month following the month in which the election took place.

Part V of the Superannuation Act 1947, as amended by the Superannuation Amendment Act 1955, consolidated in 1956 and amended in 1961, introduced a compulsory contributory superannuation scheme for members of the House of Representatives. The scheme now provides that a retiring allowance shall be payable to a member after nine years' service and the attainment of 50 years of age, and shall be calculated at the rate of one thirty-second of the basic salary for a member as at the date of his ceasing to be a member, for each year of service with a maximum of two-thirds of that basic salary, or alternatively the member may elect to take a variable retiring allowance so as to secure a level income, or he may elect to receive a refund of his contributions. The annual contribution is 10 per cent of an ordinary member's salary, and the Government subsidises the fund by an equal amount. In the case of a male member dying and leaving a widow surviving she becomes entitled during her widowhood to receive an annuity of half of the retiring allowance to which her husband was entitled at the time of his death, or £130 a year, whichever is the greater.

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 £2,700 a year in addition to which he receives an expense allowance of £675 a year and residential quarters in Parliament House. The honorarium of the Chairman of Committees is £2,100 a year and an allowance of £100 a year to cover the expenses incurred in connection with his official duties is also paid. In addition he receives the appropriate electorate allowance to which he is entitled.

The Leader of the Opposition is paid a salary of £2,600 a year with an expense allowance of £550 a year. In addition, a secretary, a messenger, and a 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. In addition, the Leader of the Opposition is entitled to an official residence on the same basis as a Minister, or to an allowance of £300 a year in lieu thereof. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition receives a salary of £1,700 a year in addition to his appropriate electorate allowance and the sessional accommodation allowance where this is payable.

The Chief Whip of each party receives a salary of £1,625 a year, and the Junior Whip of each party receives a salary of £1,600 a year, together with the appropriate expense allowance in each case in accordance with the classification of his electorate and where applicable a sessional accommodation allowance.

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.

Executive Council — In the legal sense those members of Parliament who have been appointed Ministers, together with the Governor-General, comprise the 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 21 days. This gave statutory recognition for the first time to what had long been the convention.

At January 1961 the Executive Council consisted of 16 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 Executive Council and the Cabinet. There are, however, significant differences in membership and functions.

The Council consists of all Ministers and is presided over by the Governor-General. Cabinet may or may not comprise all the Ministers, including a Minister without portfolio; the Governor-General is not a member. The Council (a statutory body) is one of the instruments for giving the imprint of legal form to policy determined by Cabinet (which is recognised only by constitutional convention).

Cabinet has been described as the directing body of national policy whose nature is more easily explained by analogy than by definition. It determines the policy to be submitted to Parliament. In it is vested the supreme control of national policy within the limits of Parliamentary approval. It coordinates and delineates the activities of the several Departments of State.

The juridical acts which are necessary to give legal force to certain of the decisions of Cabinet 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 atmosphere of Cabinet meetings, implies both deliberative or selective and administrative procedures on the part of this body.

Cabinet discussions are informal and confidential, anonymity being maintained as to the individual advocacy or opposition to particular proposals. The Cabinet system enables general agreement to be reached on any line of action proposed by either an individual Minister or by the Government as a whole. As a result the Executive Council confirmation can proceed smoothly and expeditiously. In Parliament a Minister can be confident that his legislative or other proposals will have the unqualified support of the Government no matter what divergences of opinion may have been apparent before general agreement was reached in Cabinet. A consistent and agreed course of action on any particular issue can be determined. The work of Cabinet thus exemplifies the concept of the collective responsibility of the Government.

Certain questions are 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, ad hoc committees may be established to review or investigate particular questions and to present their conclusions and recommendations to Cabinet.

The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the servicing of Cabinet and its committees to ensure their smooth functioning. It is its purpose also to assist in the coordination and review of the work of the 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 44 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 subgroup, such as the Legislative, Prime Minister's Office, External Affairs, Printing and Stationery, Law Drafting, Valuation, Statistics, and Audit; the finance subgroup — Treasury, Customs, Inland Revenue; the regulatory subgroup — Public Service Commission, Internal Affairs, Island Territories, Labour, Marine; the defence and law and order subgroup — Navy, Army, Air, Justice, Crown Law, and Police; the publicity and research subgroup — Tourist and Publicity, Scientific and Industrial Research.

In the second group are the transport and communications subgroup, 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 the field of the dominant activity or purpose of the particular Department. 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 organisations 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 76 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:

  1. Maoris:

  2. Persons residing on board ship, whether as passengers or members of the crew or otherwise:

  3. Persons residing temporarily as guests in any licensed hotel:

  4. Persons residing temporarily in any naval, military, or air force camp, station, or establishment:

  5. Persons residing as patients or inmates in any hospital:

  6. Persons in respect of whom reception orders under the Mental Health Act 1911 are in force:

  7. 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, 21 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 of all the members of the House of Representatives 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Servicemen outside New Zealand, if they are or will be 21 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:

  1. 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.

  2. If he will be outside New Zealand on polling day.

  3. If he is or will be absent from the district on polling day.

  4. If he will not be within 2 miles by the nearest practicable route of any polling place in the district during the hours of polling.

  5. 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.

  6. If he is ill or infirm.

  7. If, in the case of a woman, she is precluded from attending at a polling place by reason of approaching or recent maternity.

  8. 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.

  9. If he has a religious objection to voting on the day of the week on which polling day falls.

  10. 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 GOVERNMENT — In 1876, following the abolition of the provinces, local government assumed the form it still basically retains. The Counties Act of 1876 divided the country into 63 counties, with provision for administration by elective councils having powers considerably less than those enjoyed by the Provincial Councils. In the same year the Municipal Corporations Act provided for the incorporation of the 36 boroughs then in existence and for the creation of new boroughs.

A description of the development of counties, boroughs, and town districts follows.

Counties — Counties are now constituted under the Counties Act 1956, which consolidated earlier legislation relating to counties and road districts. In general, the county organisation makes provision for the primary needs of a scattered population within a large area. With increasing settlement the original 63 counties were gradually subdivided until in 1920 the maximum of 129 was reached, although the number of councils formed and actively functioning never exceeded 126. Since 1955 the number of counties has been reduced by amalgamations and mergers under the Local Government Commission Act 1953. At April 1961 there were 121 counties constituted, of which 119 were actively functioning, Sounds and Fiord being the two sparsely populated counties in which the Counties Act is not wholly in force.

County councils may appoint county town committees for the purpose of advising the councils on the administration of county towns. The Counties Amendment Act 1959 amended the conditions for the constitution of county towns to provide that any part of a county not being part of a dependent town district in which there are not less than 60 houses with average density of not less than one house to every 3 acres may be constituted a county town.

The provisions relating to the persons eligible to act on a county town committee were also amended. The Act now provides that a member of the county council representing the riding in which the county town is situated, and any county elector having a residential or rating qualification in respect of an address or property within the county town, is eligible for appointment to the county town committee. Under the old legislation only ratepayers having a qualification in respect of property situated within the county town were eligible.

Boroughs — Dealing with the needs of a concentrated population, the borough organisation is concerned with a wide range of functions of a purely local nature. With the growth and centralisation of population the number of boroughs, despite numerous amalgamations of adjacent boroughs, steadily increased until 1955 when the total was 146. In April 1961 the total was 143.

Under the Municipal Corporations Act 1954 for the constitution of a borough there must be a population of at least 1,500 with an average density of population of at least one person per acre. A borough containing a population of 20,000 or more may be proclaimed a city, although the corporation remains unaltered.

Town Districts - The town district represents a form of local government intermediate between the county and the borough. It implies a certain concentration of population and the presence of interests which, from their purely local nature, cannot be satisfactorily met by the county organisation. In its early stages a town district usually remained subject to county control, although such control was practically confined to the main and county roads in the town district; in such circumstances it was known as a dependent town district. The Town Boards Amendment Act 1908 enabled town districts on reaching a population of more than 500 to become independent. On attaining its independence a town district becomes in all respects a separate entity, and, apart from its smaller population, is not essentially different from a borough. The constitution and powers of town districts have been brought into closer relationship to boroughs over the years, and independent town districts are now constituted under the Municipal Corporations Act 1954. The Act required that the area should not be more than 2 square miles, within which no two points are more than 4 miles distant and with a density of population of not less than one person to the acre. No new dependent town districts can be constituted. The number of town districts in April 1961 was 27 (15 independent and 12 dependent).

General Powers — Local authorities in New Zealand derive their powers from the Acts under which they are constituted, and also from special empowering Acts. In addition to legislation providing for particular types of local authority or for individual local authorities, there are several statutory measures which are more or less applicable to all local authorities, such as the Local Elections and Polls Act 1953 and the Local Authorities Loans Act 1956. For most harbour boards, there is in addition to the general Harbours Act a special Act for each board, which is subordinate to the general Act. Certain types of local authority — urban drainage boards, transport boards, the Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority, the Christchurch-Lyttelton Road Tunnel Authority, and the Waikato Valley Authority — derive their principal powers from special constituting Acts.

Local authorities have general powers of entering into contracts for any of the purposes for which they are constituted; of selling and leasing land; and of taking or purchasing any land which may be necessary or convenient for any public work.

The Local Authorities' Emergency Powers Act 1953 confers on local authorities certain powers (e.g., in respect of rescue, first aid, provision of relief and welfare, distribution of foodstuffs, information and advice to public, etc.) in emergencies arising from earthquake, fire, or flood, or in time of war from enemy action or from the action of enemy sympathisers.

Number of Local Authorities — Since the inception of the county system there has been a great expansion of local government throughout New Zealand. With the growth of population there has been a steady increase in the number of counties, boroughs, and town districts, while entirely new types of districts have been created to cater for special services. Geographically, New Zealand is divided into 121 counties, which comprise its total area, except for certain small islands which are not included within the boundaries of the adjacent counties. Administratively, boroughs and independent town districts, which are contained within the areas of the several counties, are regarded as separate entities. From an administrative point of view, therefore, the fundamental districts are counties, boroughs, and independent town districts. Upon this foundation a considerable superstructure of districts of other types has been erected. These overlapping districts may be divided into two broad classes, viz: (1) Districts formed from parts of counties, e.g., road districts; and (2) those which are composed of a group of adjacent districts of other types united for a common purpose, e.g., electric power districts.

The number of local authorities actively functioning at 1 April 1961 was 981 made up as follows: County councils, 119; borough (including city) councils, 143; town councils (independent), 15; town councils (dependent), 12; road boards, 3; river boards (2 boards also have the power of land-drainage boards), 10; catchment boards, 13; land-drainage boards, 40; electric power boards, 41; water-supply board, 1; urban drainage boards, 5; transport boards, 2; local railway board, 1; electric power and gas boards, 2; milk boards (including 33 where the board is a borough council), 44; nassella tussock boards, 2; harbour bridge authority, 1; road tunnel authority, 1; valley authority, 1; plantation board, 1; underground water authorities, 3; rabbit boards, 208; fire boards (including 176 where the board is a borough or county council, etc.), 236; harbour boards (including 19 where the board is a borough or county council, etc.), 40; and hospital boards, 37. In addition to the 981 local authorities, there were 21 district councils of the National Roads Board constituted under the National Roads Act 1954. These district councils of the National Roads Board, although not local authorities in the strict sense of the term, are nevertheless intimately connected with certain aspects of local government, and have power to make recommendations of considerable importance.

Local Government Commission — The Local Government Commission Act 1961, which replaced the Local Government Commission Act 1953, set up a Local Government Commission which is a permanent institution deemed to be a Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908.

The Act provides that the Commission shall consist of a Chairman who is a barrister or solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand and two other members having a special knowledge of local government.

The functions of the Commission are to carry out investigations, prepare reorganisation schemes, and make recommendations and reports for the purpose of ensuring that the system of local government in any locality will best provide for the needs and continued development of the locality, that local authorities have such district boundaries and such functions and powers as will enable them to provide most effectively and economically essential or desirable local government services and facilities, and that the provisions of the Act and of other Acts in relation to local government are effectively implemented. Reorganisation schemes may provide for the union of adjoining districts, the merger, constitution, or abolition of districts, the alteration of boundaries, the conversion of a district into one of a different kind, the transfer of functions of one local authority to another or the dissolution of a local authority.

The Act provides for the appointment of a Local Government Appeal Authority whose function is to sit as a judicial authority to determine appeals made from decisions of the Commission. Any decision finally approving a scheme of reorganisation of districts may be appealed against only by the following parties:

  1. The local authority of any district to which the scheme relates;

  2. Any person or body having statutory authority to make decisions or recommendations in respect of the union, merger, constitution, alteration, or abolition of any district to which the scheme relates; and

  3. The Minister, in any case where the scheme affects only one local authority, or only one local authority and an adjoining area that does not form part of a district, or does not affect any local authority.

Franchise — The franchise in local government is a variable one, differing materially in certain respects as between urban and country districts. Prior to the passing of the Local Elections and Polls Amendment Act 1941 the county franchise was based solely on property qualification, with a differential voting power according to the value of property possessed, whereas in boroughs and town districts every adult possessing the necessary residential qualifications was entitled to be enrolled as an elector for the election of the local-governing authority. On any proposal relating to loans or rates, however, a ratepaying qualification was, and still is, necessary.

An amendment passed in 1944 extended the franchise in counties and road districts to include a residential qualification on the same lines as for boroughs, but did not interfere with the multiple voting power conferred by a property qualification. One vote only is allowed in boroughs and town districts, but it is possible, by virtue of property qualification, to have a vote in more than one district. The 1944 amendment introduced compulsory registration of electors for boroughs and town districts, all adult persons not entitled to enrolment by virtue of a property qualification being required to make application for enrolment within a prescribed time. The Act also removed the disability which prevented persons in the employ of local authorities from becoming members thereof. The Local Elections and Polls Amendment Act 1946 provided that all general elections of local authorities were to be held on the third Wednesday in November of the year in which such elections were due, instead of in May as previously. The 1950 amendment altered this to the third Saturday in November. It also abolished the provisions of the 1946 amendment that any person could be entered on the local authority roll whose name appeared on the parliamentary roll with an address in that authority's district provided he or she had a residential qualification, and that, if not so entered, he or she could vote by declaration. The Local Elections and Polls Act 1953, which consolidated and amended previous Acts and amendments, provided that future elections were to be held on the third Saturday in November, commencing 1956, and every third year thereafter. The 1961 amendment has altered this to the second Saturday in October 1962 and on the same date in every third year thereafter. The 1953 Act also extends the compulsory enrolment of residential electors to counties and road districts in addition to boroughs and town districts (for which provision had been made in 1944). Power is also given to make regulations to give full effect to the Act. Details of the franchise as it affects each type of local district are now given.

Counties — Any person of 21 years of age and over who possesses either of the following qualifications is entitled to be enrolled on the county electors roll:

  1. Rating qualification, which may be held by any person whose name appears in the valuation roll as the occupier of any rateable property within a riding of the county. One vote is allowed where the rateable value does not exceed £1,000, two votes where the value is greater than £1,000 but not in excess of £2,000, and three votes where the value exceeds £2,000.

  2. Residential qualification, which may be held by a person who is or has the status of a British subject or is an Irish citizen, and who has resided for one year in New Zealand and has had permanent residence of not less than three months in the riding of the county to which the roll relates.

Boroughs — Any person of 21 years of age and over who possesses any of the following qualifications is entitled to enrolment:

  1. Freehold qualification — meaning the beneficial and duly registered ownership of a freehold estate in land of a capital value of not less than £25 situated in the borough, notwithstanding that any other person is the occupier thereof.

  2. Rating qualification, which may be held by any person whose name appears in the valuation roll as the occupier of any rateable property within the borough.

  3. Residential qualification, which may be held by a person who is or has the status of a British subject or is an Irish citizen, and who has resided for one year in New Zealand and who has had permanent residence during the last three months in the borough to which the roll relates.

Town Districts — The franchise is the same as for boroughs, except that for county electoral purposes in dependent town districts the county qualification is necessary.

Rabbit Districts — Where the rates of the district are based on the acreage and rateable value of land occupied by the ratepayer, the franchise is the same as that exercised for county council elections. Where the franchise is based on stock ownership, from one to five votes are allowed according to the number of stock units owned.

Other Districts — Road districts, river districts, land-drainage districts, water-supply districts, and the local railway district all have a franchise similar to that of counties except that the residential qualification applies to road districts only.

Districts composed of a grouping of districts of other types united for a common purpose have a franchise as for the component districts. Such districts are urban drainage districts, electric power districts, harbour districts, hospital districts, urban transport districts, and catchment districts. In some cases — e.g., the Auckland Metropolitan and Hutt Valley Drainage Boards — the members are appointed or elected by the territorial local authorities included in the district.

In addition to elected members, the constitution of harbour boards provided in most cases for certain nominated or appointed members (representatives of the Government, the waterfront industry, and the payers of harbour dues), but the Harbours Act 1950, which consolidated and amended previous legislation, provides that every harbour board shall now consist of members elected by the electors of constituent local authorities only.

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING — The Town and Country Planning Act 1953 provides for the making and enforcement of regional and district planning schemes, and the detailed procedure to be followed in each case is amplified by the Town and Country Planning Regulations 1960. The Government administers the Act through the Minister of Works who may delegate his authority to the Commissioner of Works.

Regional Planning Schemes — Regional planning schemes must be preceded by a comprehensive survey of the natural resources of the areas concerned, and of the present and potential uses and values of all lands in relation to public activities or amenities. Regional schemes envisage the conservation and economic development of natural resources by classification of lands according to their best uses and by the coordination of all such public improvements, utilities services, and amenities as are not limited to the territory of any one local authority. For the purposes of every regional planning scheme proposed to be prepared there is a Regional Planning Authority consisting of representatives of the several councils whose districts are wholly or partly within the region. Every local authority within the region other than the constituent councils may be represented by an associate member but is not entitled to a vote. Regional planning schemes are required to be reviewed at intervals of not more than 10 years.

District Schemes — Every district scheme is required to have for its general purpose the development of the area to which it relates (including where necessary the replanning and reconstruction of an area already built on) in such a way as will most effectively tend to promote and safeguard the health, safety and convenience, the economic and general welfare of its inhabitants, and the amenities of every part of the area. The council of every city, borough, county, and independent town district must provide and maintain a district scheme whether or not a regional planning scheme including its district has been prepared or become operative.

While a district scheme is being prepared a council may refuse its consent to the carrying out of any development that would be in contravention of the scheme and falls within the definition of a “detrimental work”, but the owner or occupier affected may appeal against such a decision to the Town and Country Planning Appeal Board. The Minister can require the council to exercise these powers where the development would or might adversely affect Government works or the public interest, and local authorities have similar rights in respect of their works. Any appeal proceedings lie against the Minister or the local authority concerned.

In the period before a district scheme becomes operative, any change of use of land that detracts or is likely to detract from the amenities of the neighbourhood is required to have the prior consent of the council. Where an application is made to the council for consent, the applicant and every person who claims to be affected by the proposed use has a right to be heard by the council and may appeal to the Appeal Board against the council's decision.

When completed and recommended by the council, copies of a district scheme are submitted to the Minister of Works and to adjoining councils and to local authorities within the area covered by the scheme for consideration, particularly in relation to their public works. When the Minister and each local authority is satisfied that all public works have been provided for in the scheme and have certified accordingly the district scheme is publicly notified for inspection for three months. Any owner or occupier of land affected may object to any provision of the scheme, and the Minister, other local authorities, professional, business, sporting or other such organisations, may also object to the scheme on grounds of public interest. In the event of an objection not being sustained by the council the objector may appeal to the Appeal Board whose decision is final.

The Minister of Works may prepare and obtain approval for a district scheme in any case where a local authority under an obligation to prepare such a scheme fails to do so after being notified in writing. The costs and expenses incurred by the Minister are recoverable from the local authority, or they may be deducted from any moneys payable to the local authority by the Crown.

When a district scheme has been finally approved and made operative the council and all local authorities having jurisdiction in the district are bound to observe, and enforce observance of, the requirements of the scheme. The provisions of an operative regional planning scheme are also obligatory, but a constituent council has a right of appeal to the Town and Country Planning Appeal Board where a provision of a proposed or operative district scheme conflicts with the regional scheme.

Operative district schemes may be altered at any time, and must be reviewed when any part of the scheme has been operative for five years. The procedure to be followed in the preparation, recommendation, and approval of an alteration or review of a scheme is the same as that for a new scheme commencing at the point where the scheme is ready to be recommended by the council.

Where a district scheme is operative the local authority may take under the Public Works Act 1928 any land in its district if in accordance with the scheme it considers it is necessary or expedient to do so for the proper development or use of the land, or for the provision or preservation of amenities, or for the improvement of areas that are too closely subdivided or are occupied by decadent buildings.

Chapter 3. Section 3 POPULATION

Table of Contents

CENSUS OF POPULATION — A census of population is taken every five years. 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 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.

A population census was taken as for the night of Tuesday, 18 April 1961, in New Zealand and some figures are given in this section. The 1961 census population of New Zealand, excluding island territories, was 2,414,984. Armed forces personnel overseas at the time of the census and not included in the New Zealand population numbered 2,559, inclusive of 304 Maoris.

The minor islands (see page 1), other than the Kermadec Islands and Campbell Island, were uninhabited at the date of the census. The Ross Dependency had a population of 198 males at the 1961 census date, these men being members of scientific expeditions.

A census of the island territories was conducted by the Department of Island Territories for the night of Monday, 25 September 1961, and the census figures are shown below.

The following table gives a complete summary of New Zealand population.

TerritoryDate of CensusMalesFemalesTotal

* Includes population of the inhabited minor islands, i.e., Kermadec Islands, 10 (males); and Campbell Island, 9 (males).

† Preliminary census figures.

New Zealand:    
  (a) Exclusive of island territories:    
    Europeans18 April 19611,128,4061,119,4922,247,898*
    Maoris18 April 196184,97082,116167,086
Totals, New Zealand (excluding island territories) 1,213,3761,201,6082,414,984
  (b) Island territories:    
    Tokelau Islands25 September 19618749961,870
    Cook Islands25 September 19619,4708,89918,369
    Niue Island25 September 19612,4002,4684,868
Totals, island territories 12,74412,36325,107
  (c) Ross Dependency18 April 1961198198

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, and the Maori population has increased continuously since 1896. Census records since 1901 are quoted in the succeeding table and include Maoris.

In no fewer than six of the 11 censuses covered by the table the figures are disturbed by the absence overseas of armed forces. Their departure and return affect intercensal increases. 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; 1956, 2,162; and 1961, 2,559.

It will be noted that the growth of population has been substantial in each period. The lowest rates are those of 1926–36, which included some years of economic depression, and of 1936–45, which included six years of war.

Date of CensusTotal PopulationIntercensal Numerical IncreaseIntercensal Percentage IncreaseAverage Annual Percentage Increase

* Excludes New Zealand armed forces personnel overseas.

† Includes New Zealand armed forces personnel overseas.

March 1901*815,85372,6469.771.89
April 1906936,304120,45114.762.75
April 19111,058,308122,00413.032.52
October 1916*1,149,22590,9178.591.50
April 19211,271,664122,43910.652.27
April 19261,408,139136,47510.732.06
March 19361,573,810165,67111.771.13
September 1945*1,702,298128,4888.160.83
September 19451,747,679173,86911.051.11
April 1951*1,939,472237,17413.932.37
April 19511,941,366193,68711.081.91
April 1956*2,174,062234,59012.102.31
April 19562,176,224234,85812.102.31
April 1961*2,414,984240,92211.082.12
April 19612,417,543241,31911.092.13

The reproduction index, though not infallible, 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; and a higher rate a rising population.

Reproduction rates during the latest five years were as follows, the figures relating only to the European population.

YearGross RateNet Rate

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES — The annual average percentage increases of population during the respective intercensal periods are given in the following table for certain selected countries.

CountryCensus PeriodAverage Annual Percentage Increase

* European population.

† Including Hyderabad, but excluding Kashmir, Jammu, and the tribal areas of Assam.

‡ Excluding full-blooded aborigines.

NOTE — Minus sign (—) denotes a decrease.

New Zealand1956–612.12
England and Wales1931–510.46
Northern Ireland1937–510.48
Republic of Ireland1951–56−0.45
South Africa*1946–512.18
United States of America1950–601.75

INTERCENSAL RECORDS — Intercensal statements of total population are prepared from the records of vital statistics and of external migration and are relatively accurate. Discrepancies have in fact been so slight that revisions of the intercensal figures between 1951 and 1956 and between 1956 and 1961 were not 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.

YearTotal Population at End of YearIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
MalesFemalesTotalNumericalPer Cent
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.

YearPopulation (Excluding Maoris) at End of YearIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
MalesFemalesTotalNumericalPer Cent
Years Ended 31 March
Years Ended 31 December

POPULATION PROJECTIONS — An indication of future population growth, including Maoris, in New Zealand is given by the detailed projections for the period 1963–80 and the less elaborate calculations 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.

As at 31 MarchAssuming Net Immigration of
5,000 per Year10,000 per Year

Assumptions — The two projections are linked to actual population numbers as at 31 March 1961. The assumptions on which the more detailed projections for 1963–80 depend are as follows:

  1. Birthrates for each quinquennial age and marital status (“married” and “not married”) group of females will continue at the average 1952–56 level.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 long-term projections for 1985–2000 are linked to the earlier projections. They are based on the following assumptions:

  5. 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.

  6. 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 1961 and projections through to 2000.



DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION — Detailed population statistics are compiled for each census. Final figures for the 1961 census for statistical areas, urban areas, counties, cities, boroughs, town districts, county towns, extra-county islands, and shipping are published in this volume.

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, excluding Maoris, of the North and South Islands as disclosed by each census since 1901.

Census YearPopulation (Excluding Maoris)Percentages
North IslandSouth IslandTotalNorth IslandSouth Island

The natural increase of European population (i.e., excess of births over deaths) for the North Island during the 1956–61 intercensal period was 121,852, and the total net increase 159,369. For the South Island the natural increase was 50,101, and the total net increase 51,618. The population of the North Island increased at a greater proportionate rate than that of the South Island between the 1956 and 1961 censuses. Inclusive of Maoris, the North Island increase was 187,421, or 12.52 per cent, and the South Island increase 53,501, or 7.91 per cent.

At the 1961 census the North Island population was 1,684,785, inclusive of 159,946 Maoris, and the South Island population 730,199, inclusive of 7,140 Maoris.

Statistical Areas — Statistical areas are now being used in preference to provincial districts. Auckland Provincial District has been split into four areas; Northland comprises the northern counties from Mangonui to Otamatea; central Auckland, the counties from Rodney to Franklin (including islands in the Hauraki Gulf); East Coast, the area north of Wairoa; while South Auckland — Bay of Plenty comprises the remainder of the provincial district. Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, and Wellington statistical areas are the same as the provincial districts of the same names.

In the South Island only minor changes have been made in the provincial district boundaries to give better statistical areas. These are the transfer of Amuri and Cheviot counties from Nelson to Canterbury statistical area, and the transfer of all that area of Grey county north of Grey River from Nelson to Westland.

It is ultimately intended to drop statistics for provincial districts completely.

In the table following, the approximate areas and the total populations of the new statistical areas are shown.

Statistical AreaArea (Square Miles)Total Population 1961 Census (18 April)
Central Auckland2,155514,507
South Auckland — Bay of Plenty14,187349,624
East Coast4,19546,478
Hawke's Bay4,260114,470
      Totals, North Island44,3001,684,785
      Totals, South Island59,440730,199
      Totals, New Zealand103,7402,414,984

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 or borough, they include neighbouring boroughs and town districts and parts of counties which are regarded as suburban to the centre of population.

Urban areas were defined 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 centre of population and it is preferable at times to treat them as such. However, the extent and pattern of development in the Hutt Valley have been such as to establish it as a centre complementary to Wellington. In Auckland the boundaries were extended considerably, but in most other cases it was found that little change was necessary. For the 1961 Census, three new urban areas were defined at Whangarei, Tauranga, and Rotorua and comparable figures have been compiled for past years.

Urban AreaTotal PopulationPopulation Increase 1956–61
New Plymouth21,05724,92328,29232,3874,09514.47
Palmerston North27,82032,90837,77543,1855,41014.32

In the period covered by the table all urban areas have consistently recorded increases in population. In the years 1956–61 Auckland had the greatest numerical growth, while Rotorua, Tauranga, and Hamilton had the highest proportionate increases.

The lowest percentage increase was recorded by Dunedin (5.67 per cent) which, with eight of the other 17 urban areas, had a percentage increase lower than the average for the 18 urban areas together.

Auckland Urban Area, with a total population now of 448,365, took well over a third of the total increase in population in the 18 urban areas.

Wellington and Hutt Urban Areas together have slightly under 250,000 population.

The next table contains the total population of the 18 urban areas as at the 1961 census. The component parts of the five largest centres of population are given in detail, while for the remaining 13 areas totals only are quoted. In most of the 13 cases the urban area comprises the central city or borough plus the urban portion of the adjoining county. At 18 April 1961 the five largest urban areas had a total population of 1,023,410. this being equivalent to 42.4 percent of the New Zealand total. The total for all urban areas at the same date was 1,439,802, or 59.6 per cent of the total population of New Zealand.

Urban AreaTotal Population 18 April 1961
Auckland city143,583
East Coast Bays borough9,501
Takapuna borough20,394
Devonport borough10,976
Northcote borough5,183
Birkenhead borough7,283
Henderson borough3,959
Glen Eden borough5,174
New Lynn borough8,779
Newmarket borough1,860
Mt. Albert borough25,990
Mt. Eden borough18,348
Mt. Roskill borough29,938
Onehunga borough16,313
One Tree Hill borough12,846
Ellerslie borough4,406
Mt. Wellington borough16,031
Howick borough6,393
Otahuhu borough8,775
Papatoetoe borough17,924
Manurewa borough10,984
Papakura borough7,997
Remainder of urban area55,728
Lower Hutt city53,044
Upper Hutt borough16,861
Petone borough9,891
Eastbourne borough2,653
Remainder of urban area16,539
Wellington city123,969
Tawa borough7,204
Remainder of urban area19,371
Christchurch city151,671
Riccarton borough7,372
Lyttelton borough3,400
Heathcote county6,070
Remainder of urban area51,997
Dunedin city73,245
Port Chalmers borough3,120
West Harbour borough2,292
St. Kilda borough6,626
Green Island borough5,159
Mosgiel borough6,456
Remainder of urban area8,105
New Plymouth32,387
Palmerston North43,185

Over two-fifths (42.4 per cent) of the total population are included in the five principal urban areas and nearly three-fifths (59.6 per cent) in the 18 urban areas.

Counties — The following table gives the total population of individual counties at 18 April 1961, 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 and county towns which form parts of counties.

Administrative CountyTotal Population 18 April 1961Approximate Area, in Square Miles
North Island:
   Bay of Islands12,795823
   Great Barrier Island243110
   Hauraki Plains5,695233
   Hawke's Bay21,0521,668
   Waimate West2,88583
   Wairarapa South3,038440
     Totals, North Is. counties586,52343,690
South Island:
   Golden Bay3,6721,011
   Mt. Herbert62766
   Chatham Islands487372
   Stewart Island542670
     Totals, South Island counties270,42658,912
     Grand totals, all counties856,949102,602

Waitemata county, with a 1961 census population of 53,136, has the largest county population, followed by Waimairi county with 39,610. Most of those counties showing considerable gains of population are adjacent to large cities, the most significant percentage population increases being recorded in the counties of Halswell, Makara, Waitemata, Waimairi, Hutt, and Manukau.

Considerable rates of expansion were recorded in a group of counties in the South Auckland — Bay of Plenty area including Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga, Matamata (which includes the county town of Tokoroa), and Waipa and Waikato (both of which adjoin Hamilton).

Boroughs — Similar information as in the case of counties is now given for cities and boroughs.

BoroughTotal Population 18 April 1961Approximate Area, in Acres
North Island:
   East Coast Bays9,5013,850
   Glen Eden5,1741,244
   New Lynn8,7791,393
   Auckland (city)143,58318,493
   Mt. Albert25,9902,430
   Mt. Eden18,3481,477
   Mt. Roskill29,9384,604
   One Tree Hill12,8462,430
   Mt. Wellington16,0314,075
   Hamilton (city)42,2126,576
   Te Awamutu5,4251,202
   Te Kuiti4,4921,668
   Te Aroha3,0602,783
   Mt. Maunganui5,0913,475
   Te Puke2,2981,047
   Gisborne (city)21,7693,610
   Napier (city)24,5793,955
   Hastings (city)23,3833,211
   Havelock North3,6221,165
   New Plymouth (city)29,3685,722
   Wanganui (city)33,3166,185
   Palmerston N. (city)41,0147,190
   Upper Hutt16,8612,165
   Lower Hutt (city)53,04411,004
   Wellington (city)123,96918,226
   Martin borough1,4221,070
     Totals, North Island cities and boroughs1,081,427239,966
South Island:
   Nelson (city)23,9718,419
   Christchurch (city)151,67126,178
   Timaru (city)24,8213,668
   Port Chalmers3,120954
   West Harbour2,2922,181
   Dunedin (city)73,24513,942
   St. Kilda6,626463
   Green Island5,1591,818
   Invercargill (city)35,6058,995
     Totals, South Island cities and boroughs455,224122,865
     Grand totals, all cities boroughs1,536,651362,831

Naseby, with a population of 154, is the smallest borough in New Zealand, while Christchurch city, with a population of 151,671, retains its place as the city with the greatest population within city council boundaries.

Several small boroughs have lost population between 1956 and 1961 while, out of 33 boroughs with populations of 10,000 or more in 1961, only three lost population during the 1956–61 period, namely Devonport, Mount Eden, and Onehunga, which all are among the inner boroughs in the Auckland Urban Area.

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 DistrictTotal Population 18 April 1961Approximate Area, in Acres

* Parent county shown in parentheses.

(a) Town Districts Not Forming Parts of Counties
North Island:
   Totals, North Island10,3028,855
South Island:
Totals, South Island2,8372,719
     Grand totals13,13911,574
(b) Town Districts Forming Parts of Counties*
North Island:
   Kohukohu (Hokianga)1941,020
   Rawene (Hokianga)471280
   Russell (Bay of Islands)5691,066
   Mercer (Franklin)234890
   Te Kauwhata (Waikato)7571,290
   Ohaupo (Waipa)3291,281
   Kihikihi (Waipa)1,026523
   Te Karaka (Waikohu)472700
   Patutahi (Cook)2441,275
   Kaponga (Eltham)518558
   Normanby (Hawera)528260
   Totals, North Island5,3429,143
South Island: 
   Edendale (Southland)607696
   Totals, South Island607696
      Grand totals5,9499,839

Murupara town district, in the Kaingaroa Forest area, more than doubled its population in five years, thus reflecting the continued growth of the timber and allied products industry. Both Murupara and the nearby borough of Kawerau were created to serve the industry in the Bay of Plenty area.

County Towns — The populations of county towns were compiled for the first time at the 1961 census and are shown in the table following, with the parent county in parentheses. The populations of county towns are included in the administrative county populations shown previously.

Porirua (9,614), Wainuiomata (8,043), and Tokoroa (7,104) are the largest county towns in New Zealand.

County TownTotal Population 18 April 1961Approximate Area in Acres
North Island:
    Awanui (Mangonui)139139
    Kerikeri (Bay of Islands)280386
    Moerewa (Bay of Islands)75796
    Paihia (Bay of Islands)448356
    Te Kopuru (Hobson)582484
    Kaiwaka (Otamatea)3182,120
    Maungaturoto (Otamatea)565710
    Ruawai (Otamatea)590789
    Leigh (Rodney)163199
    Wellsford (Rodney)1,1361,368
    Green Bay (Waitemata)1,192471
    Kelston West (Waitemata)2,546974
    Titirangi (Waitemata)4,4992,299
    Glenfield (Waitemata)5,6834,642
    Beachlands (Manukau)465564
    Bucklands and Eastern Beaches (Manukau)1,950426
    Mangere Bridge (Manukau)4,0281,360
    Mangere East (Manukau)4,8671,152
    Pakuranga (Manukau)1,5971,358
    Raglan (Raglan)1,019919
    Rotowaro (Raglan)527131
    Kawhia (Otorohanga)324234
    Piopio (Waitomo)457366
    Whitianga (Coromandel)610868
    Whangamata (Thames)393271
    Waihi Beach (Ohinemuri)545517
    Tirau (Matamata)604143
    Tokoroa (Matamata)7,1041,057
    Athenree (Tauranga)83199
    Greerton (Tauranga)4,681997
    Katikati (Tauranga)9952,046
    Maketu (Tauranga)5091,455
    Ngongotaha (Rotorua)1,6261,242
    Takapau (Waipawa)558690
    Otane (Patangata)394199
    Porangahau (Patangata)22594
    Urenui (Clifton)265449
    Oakura (Taranaki)283256
    Okato (Taranaki)369252
    Midhirst (Stratford)347180
    Waitotara (Patea)14959
    Otamatea (Waitotara)349195
    Putiki (Wanganui)349215
    Ratana (Rangitikei)42452
    Bulls (Rangitikei)1,217995
    Ashhurst (Oroua)641298
    Foxton Beach (Manawatu)819980
    Himatangi Beach (Manawatu)81144
    Rongotea (Manawatu)369115
    Sanson (Manawatu)325132
    Tangimoana Beach (Manawatu)18694
    Waikanae (Horowhenua)1,0932,418
    Waitarere (Horowhenua)232261
    Paekakariki (Hutt)1,6821,518
    Plimmerton-Paremata (Hutt)2,968670
    Wainuiomata (Hutt)8,0433,553
    Porirua (Makara)9,6142,486
    Takapuwahia (Makara)373350
    Titahi Bay (Makara)5,8761,523
   Totals, North Island88,51348,516
South Island:
    Havelock (Marlborough)290209
    Kaikoura (Kaikoura)1,328700
    Waimangaroa (Buller)338264
    Karoro (Grey)428275
    Hornby (Paparua)5,6601,226
    Sockburn (Paparua)4,7952,661
    Akaroa (Akaroa)632420
    Leeston (Ellesmere)791394
    Southbridge (Ellesmere)476534
    Andrewville (Geraldine)324147
    Winchester (Geraldine)24771
    Fairlie (Mackenzie)844231
    Brighton (Taieri)886276
    Fairfield (Taieri)914310
    Middlemarch (Taieri)240263
    Waldronville (Taieri)50657
    Benhar (Bruce)27792
    Stirling (Bruce)243127
    Owaka (Clutha)404241
    Clinton (Clutha)462292
    Kaka Point (Clutha)9082
    Ranfurly (Maniototo)849880
    Wanaka (Lake)360456
    Balfour (Southland)246114
    Grassmere (Southland)1,246167
    Waikiwi (Southland)1,961530
    Ohai (Wallace)967275
    Tuatapere (Wallace)872460
Totals, South Island26,67611,754
Totals. New Zealand County Towns115,18960,270

Extra-county Islands and Shipboard Population — In addition to the populations quoted for administrative counties, cities and boroughs, and independent town districts, the New Zealand totals include shipboard population and persons located on islands not within the boundaries of any county. The two latter categories comprised a total of 8,245 people at the 1961 census.

Of the islands concerned, Waiheke, with a population of 2,060, was the only one of any size.

Urban and Rural Population — 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 three intercensal periods since 1945, the urban and rural populations have both increased numerically but the rural proportion has continued to decrease. A greater increase would be shown in the urban population if it included the substantial population gains recorded in urban counties such as Waitemata, Manukau, Hutt, Makara, and Waimairi, all of which are on the outskirts of main centres of population.

CensusPopulationPercentage of Total

* Figures exclude military and internment camps.

† Figures 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.

Excluding Maoris:
Total Population:

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. Shipboard population is excluded. The numbers of towns making up the populations shown are given in parentheses after the populations.

Size of CentreTotal Population

* Figures in parentheses are the numbers of towns included in each category.

Borough and town district with population of-
     1,000–2,499104,360 (63)65,931 (40)56,117 (33)
     2,500–4,99986,408(23)158,605(47)136,605 (39)
     25,000 or over338,213 (4)701,948(11)782,956 (12)
Totals, urban798,170(113)1,357,783(136)1,533,881 (134)
Totals, New Zealand (excluding shipboard)1,401,0012,169,6142,409,419
     25,000 or over24.1432.3532.50
Totals, urban56.9762.5863.66
Totals New Zealand100.00100.00100.00

Urban and rural communities are not evenly distributed. The South Island, for example, contains proportionately more rural population than does the North Island.

AGE DISTRIBUTION — The following table shows the estimated age distribution of the population at 31 December 1960 and of the mean population for the year 1960. 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 Group in YearsExcluding MaorisMaorisTotal Population
As at 31 December 1960
Under 5133,983127,519261,50216,29315,98732,280150,276143,506293,782
5 and under 10118,000113,900231,90013,11012,36025,470131,110126,260257,370
10 and under 15113,100107,800220,90010,61010,28020,890123,710118,080241,790
15 and under 2086,70082,700169,4008,4008,15016,55095,10090,850185,950
20 and under 2572,60069,700142,3006,9506,92013,87079,55076,620156,170
25 and under 3068,70065,100133,8005,7305,87011,60074,43070,970145,400
30 and under 3576,80070,600147,4004,9504,9009,85081,75075,500157,250
35 and under 4075,90073,000148,9003,7903,8407,63079,69076,840156,530
40 and under 4568,30069,600137,9003,1703,2206,39071,47072,820144,290
45 and under 5067,60067,000134,6002,7702,6205,39070,37069,620139,990
50 and under 5561,50059,900121,4002,4001,9704,37063,90061,870125,770
55 and under 6051,70050,600102,3001,6401,3703,01053,34051,970105,310
60 and under 6540,50043,90084,4001,2009802,18041,70044,88086,580
65 and under 7030,80037,90068,7007606201,38031,56038,52070,080
70 and under 7525,82032,63058,45052044596526,34033,07559,415
75 and under 8018,52023,64042,16025022047018,77023,86042,630
80 and over14,70020,18034,88018020038014,88020,38035,260
   Under 14343,383328,519671,90238,08336,77774,860381,466365,296746,762
   Under 16383,983367,419751,40241,77340,33782,110425,756407,756833,512
   Under 21468,483447,819916,30249,98348,29798,280518,466496,1161,014,582
   21 and over656,740667,8501,324,59032,74031,65564,395689,480699,5051,388,985
   16 and under 2184,50080,400164,9008,2107,96016,17092,71088,360181,070
   65 and over89,840114,350204,1901,7101,4853,19591,550115,835207,385
Mean Population for Year 1960
Under 5132,038125,804257,84215,91515,58331,498147,953141,387289,340
5 and under 10116,800112,600229,40012,88012,17025,050129,680124,770254,450
10 and under 15110,800105,900216,70010,35010,02020,370121,150115,920237,070
15 and under 2085,50081,500167,0008,3208,08016,40093,82089,580183,400
20 and under 2570,70068,100138,8006,8106,81013,62077,51074,910152,420
25 and under 3069,40065,300134,7005,6805,80011,48075,08071,100146,180
30 and under 3577,00070,800147,8004,8704,8109,68081,87075,610157,480
35 and under 4075,00072,700147,7003,7003,7607,46078,70076,460155,160
40 and under 4567,90069,300137,2003,1503,2006,35071,05072,500143,550
45 and under 5067,30066,500133,8002,7602,5505,31070,06069,050139,110
50 and under 5560,80059,000119,8002,3601,9304,29063,16060,930124,090
55 and under 6050,90049,900100,8001,5901,3502,94052,49051,250103,740
60 and under 6539,70043,30083,0001,1809702,15040,88044,27085,150
65 and under 7030,80037,70068,5007506101,36031,55038,31069,860
70 and under 7525,86032,34058,20050043593526,36032,77559,135
75 and under 8018,48023,41041,89026021547518,74023,62542,365
80 and over14,46019,65034,11019021040014,65019,86034,510
   Under 14339,338324,904664,24237,29535,99373,288376,633360,897737,530
   Under 16377,938361,804739,74240,87539,46380,338418,813401,267820,080
   Under 21460,938440,904901,84249,00547,33396,338509,943488,237998,180
   21 and over652,500662,9001,315,40032,26031,17063,430684,760694,0701,378,830
   16 and under 2183,00079,100162,1008,1307,87016,00091,13086,970178,100
   65 and over89,600113,100202,7001,7001,4703,17091,300114,570205,870

SEX PROPORTIONS — The figures for the census of 18 April 1961 show that males outnumber females by 8,914 in the European population, 2,854 in the Maori population, and 11,768 in the total population. Females per 1,000 males were: European, 992; Maori, 966; total population, 990. Net increase of population from migration adds to the male preponderance, but in the excess of births over deaths there is a female preponderance, with the lower death rate for females more than offsetting the masculinity of live births. Females per 1,000 males at the last five censuses have been:

* Including armed forces abroad.


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 1961 and give the number of females per 1,000 males.

In the aggregate of cities and boroughs the ratio was 1,049; in town districts, 963; and in counties, 905. For the statistical areas ratios were:

Central Auckland1,017
Hawke's Bay1,011
East Coast991
South Auckland — Bay of Plenty947

Female preponderance in towns does not appear to have a direct relation to the size of the towns. Of the 18 urban areas which comprise the largest centres of population, 10 had ratios higher than the average for all cities and boroughs, but 8 were below the average, and of these Hutt, fifth largest urban area, even had an excess of males.

New Plymouth1,077
Palmerston North1,074

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 utilisation or industrialisation. 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 mechanisation in farming tends to stabilise 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 38.03 persons per square mile at the 1961 census date, and the South Island, with an area of 59,439 square miles, had a population density of 12.28 persons per square mile at the same date.

The following table provides comparative density figures on a statistical area basis from 1926 to 1961 censuses.

Statistical AreaArea, in Square MilesPersons per Square Mile
Central Auckland2,155109.64123.43154.03177.27238.75
South Auckland-Bay of Plenty14,18710.2312.6414.4417.3724.64
East Coast4,1958.028.849.009.8611.08
Hawke's Bay4,26016.5118.0718.5621.4126.87
Totals, New Zealand103,74013.6215.1716.4618.7023.28

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. All persons with half or more of Maori blood are defined as Maoris.

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.

Since 1896, 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 1961.

YearMaori PopulationIntercensal IncreaseIntercensal IncreaseAverage Annual Increase

* Includes members of armed forces overseas at census date.

 NumberNumberPer CentPer Cent

The average annual percentage increase from 1956 to 1961 was 4.03, which is considerably higher than the corresponding figure for the non-Maori population, viz, 1.99 per cent. The natural increase ratios for the year 1961 shown below afford a better illustration.

Death rate9.038.27
Natural-increase rate16.5038.14

Of the 167,086 Maoris at the 1961 census, 159,946 were in the North Island. 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 1961 census the comparative figure was 57,411 (34.4 per cent). The largest concentration is in Auckland Urban Area, where 19,847 Maoris were enumerated.

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. This information is not yet available for the 1961 census.


* 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.

Counted in the Maori population:  
  Full Maori76,91888,440
    Maori — other Polynesian374775
  Maori — other races*820
Counted in the population other than Maori:
  Maori-European quarter-caste18,42125,108
  Maori-Syrian, Lebanese, or Arab7327
  Maori — American Indian3
  Maori — West Indian136

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 are compiled from individual statements obtained from each person entering or leaving New Zealand.

Including crews of vessels, 206,428 persons from overseas arrived in New Zealand during the year ended 31 March 1961 which, compared with 1959–60, shows an increase of 23,191. During the same period 204,481 persons departed. This figure, compared with the corresponding one for 1959–60, shows an increase of 24,043.

In addition to the figures just quoted there were also 36,386 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 1960–61 was 1,947, compared with an excess of 2,799 during 1959–60.

The numbers of arrivals and departures during the last 11 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 MarchArrivalsDeparturesExcess 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, with increases of 3,611 in 1957–58, 3,982, or 5 per cent, in 1958–59, 5,729, or 7 per cent, in 1959–60, and 16,861, or 19 per cent, in 1960–61. The arrivals include many New Zealanders returning from travel overseas.

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, while 1959–60 showed an increase of 12,508, or 17 per cent, and 1960–61 an increase of 18,454, or 21 per cent.

In the 10-year period ended 31 March 1961 the net gain from passenger migration was 109,984, while if movement of crews is taken into account this becomes 109,420.

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.

† Includes 1,431 persons on working holidays.

‡ Includes 2,480 on working holidays.

Immigrants intending permanent residence23,03026,25424,85220,29421,424
New Zealand residents returning25,04623,64027,62332,52643,890
    On business3,7124,0253,6554,2414,963
    Theatrical, entertaining, etc.8798507649431,091
    Educational purposes227220233247252
    Others, officials, etc.2,9412,9503,675*5,3076,466‡
    In transit8521,0049191,025853
Through passengers and tourists on cruising liners20,71831,46826,04535,63736,386

The succeeding table gives a similar analysis of departures.

New Zealand residents departing     
Temporary residents departing29,18131,64033,99738,07742,566
Through passengers and tourists on cruising liners20,71831,46826,04535,63736,386

Ages — The following table gives the age-distribution of immigrants and emigrants for the 12 months ended 31 March 1961.

Age, in YearsPermanent ArrivalsPermanent DeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures
60 and over4707691,239267450717522

Of the permanent arrivals during the year 1960–61, 22 per cent were under 15 years of age, 47 per cent under 25 years, 72 per cent under 35 years, and 84 per cent under 45 years. Permanent departures represented a similar age distribution, with percentages of 19, 49, 74, and 86 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 BirthImmigrants Intending Permanent ResidenceNew Zealand Residents Departing Permanently

* Includes arrival of 49 Hungarian refugees.

   Commonwealth Countries
England and Wales9,9957,3926,9822,7553,2823,469
Northern Ireland501314347107108137
United Kingdom (other or undefined)298193158827081
New Zealand3,9043,7894,2855,0606,6597,909
Cook Islands and Niue474339507503735
Western Samoa157206158504145
Other Commonwealth countries in the Pacific -7788261405595
Other countries within the Commonwealth509471512133163104
Totals, Commonwealth countries20,97916,67217,96810,01512,27113,655
   Other Countries
Republic of Ireland492325291147202155
United States of America467439514198176219
Totals, other countries3,8703,6183,4529691,1471,191
At sea-33-11
Not specified -311111
Grand totals24,85220,29421,42410,98513,42014,848

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 10 years ended 31 March 1946.

To alleviate the shortage of staff 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 (all females).

In July 1947 a comprehensive free and assisted-passage scheme was introduced by the Government. Under this scheme certain categories of immigrants were given free passages to New Zealand provided they had served in the United Kingdom armed forces (including the Merchant Navy) during the Second World War, while others selected under the scheme were required to contribute only £10 towards the cost of their fares. Eligibility was confined to single residents of the United Kingdom (with no dependants) between the ages of 20 and 35 years who were suitable for, and willing to accept employment in, a wide variety of 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 17 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:

  1. The existing scheme in regard to unmarried British immigrants, including nominations, to continue, but with an extension of the age limit from 35 to 45 years of age and abolition of the requirement of £10 contribution towards cost of fare.

  2. The extension of the free-passage scheme to certain categories of married British immigrants with up to two children — later extended to up to four dependent children.

  3. The acceptance of a number of single non-British men and women between the ages of 20 and 35 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. Married workers accepted in these categories were limited to those with not more than two children. At the same time, the recruitment of German, Austrian, Danish, and Swiss migrants was terminated.

In 1960 steps were taken to increase the recruitment of skilled workers required for the expansion of essential industries. These steps included the acceptance of married men in approved categories with up to four dependent children. In March 1961 the Government announced a plan to bring to New Zealand in 1961–62 up to 5,000 assisted immigrants. Changed economic conditions later led to steps being taken to reduce the intake of assisted immigrants.

The numbers of assisted immigrants (exclusive of displaced persons and Hungarian refugees) arriving in New Zealand since the reintroduction of the scheme in 1947 are as follows.

Year ended 31 March 1947158-----158
Year ended 31 March 19481,140-----1,140
Year ended 31 March 19491,527-----1,527
Year ended 31 March 19502,532-----2,532
Year ended 31 March 19512,87355----2,928
Year ended 31 March 19523,8491,100----4,949
Year ended 31 March 19534,8722,709----7,581
Year ended 31 March 19545,611688----6,299
Year ended 31 March 19553,880452----4,332
Year ended 31 March 19564,732391----5,123
Year ended 31 March 19574,17225213930--4,593
Year ended 31 March 19584,0702454469106454,579
Year ended 31 March 19594,343141363592314,678
Year ended 31 March 19602,36090253913222,549
Year ended 31 March 19612,217122---2,231

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 Organisation. 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 uprising 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 finally arrived, the last of them reaching New Zealand during the year ended 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. In 1959 it was decided to accept a further 100 “hard core” families. These were selected and arrived during 1960. A further 100 refugee families were being selected early in 1962.

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 and renewed within New Zealand by the Department of Internal Affairs at Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch and overseas by the representatives of New Zealand at London, Washington, New York, San Francisco, Ottawa, Canberra, Paris, The Hague, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Djakarta, Geneva, and Apia. United Kingdom, Canadian, Australian, and Indian passports are issued and renewed in New Zealand by the respective High Commissioners for those countries.

Entry into New Zealand — Apart from British subjects and the wives of British subjects arriving from Australia, no person 16 years of age or over may land in New Zealand unless he is in possession of a valid passport or other recognised travel document. Exemption from the passport requirement (which is additional to the requirements of the Immigration Restriction and Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Acts) may be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Minister of Internal Affairs. A British subject who is a master or a member of the crew of the vessel in which he arrives does not need to produce a passport.

With the exception of nationals of those countries with which New Zealand has concluded agreements for the mutual abolition of visas, every alien landing in New Zealand requires a British visa.

Persons born in the Cook Islands and the Tokelau Islands are British subjects and New Zealand citizens. They are required to obtain formal exit permission from the Resident Commissioner or Administrator respectively if they wish to proceed to New Zealand.

Departure from New Zealand — Every person leaving New Zealand, with the exception of a British subject 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.

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, except in the case of persons who are of British birth and wholly European, who may travel to New Zealand without prior application. 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 12 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 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.

Subject to certain exemptions, the following classes of persons are prohibited from landing in New Zealand.

  1. Idiots or insane persons.

  2. Persons suffering from contagious diseases which are loathsome or dangerous.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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 15 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 15 years of age arriving with him, residence, etc.

NATIONALITY AND NATURALISATION — The basic nationality law is the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 as amended. The original Act came into force on 1 January 1949 and was enacted following a conference of nationality experts of Commonwealth countries m 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 recognised as British subjects who possess citizenship under the citizenship laws of any of the members of the Commonwealth, (NOTE — The Act states 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 naturalised 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 naturalised 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 naturalisation.

Citizens of other Commonwealth countries acquire New Zealand citizenship by registration, aliens by naturalisation.

Before granting New Zealand citizenship to an alien or to a citizen of another Commonwealth country (other than to a woman married to a New Zealand citizen, or to a minor) the Minister is required to be satisfied that the applicant — (a) has resided in New Zealand for the prescribed period, (b) is of full age and capacity, (c) is of good character, (d) has a sufficient knowledge of the English language, and of the responsibilities and privileges of New Zealand citizenship, (e) intends to reside in New Zealand, or to enter or continue Crown service under the New Zealand Government. The residential qualification for naturalisation is five years, for registration three years reducible to one year at the discretion of the Minister.

A British or an alien woman married to a New Zealand citizen, in the first case shall, and in the latter case may be registered as a New Zealand citizen without any residential qualifications. Such an applicant must satisfy the Minister that she is of good character and has a sufficient knowledge of the English language and of the responsibilities and privileges of New Zealand citizenship.

Minor children may be registered at the discretion of the Minister.

Irish citizens acquire New Zealand citizenship by registration under the same conditions as citizens of Commonwealth countries.

A British woman marrying an alien does not thereby lose her nationality under the present Act. Naturalisation granted to a married man does not automatically confer New Zealand citizenship on his wife and children nor does the act of marriage of an alien woman to a British subject confer her husband's nationality on her. Such wife and children acquire New Zealand citizenship by registration.

Acquisition of citizenship by naturalisation or registration automatically confers the status of a British subject, and the difference is procedural only.

Alien adults acquiring New Zealand citizenship by naturalisation or registration, and alien minor children over 16 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. Recognising 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 naturalisation 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 1960–61 year there were 71 such ceremonies, at which 1,571 persons took the oath of allegiance.

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 naturalised or registered as New Zealand citizens are liable to deprivation if citizenship was obtained by fraud, false representation, or the concealment of any material fact.

REGISTRATION OF ALIENS — The registration of aliens in New Zealand is provided for by the Aliens Act 1948, which is administered by the Department of Justice

The number of aliens on the New Zealand register at 1 April 1961 was 27,294, comprising 16,649 males and 10,645 females. This is not the complete number in New Zealand, as certain classes are not required to register, including the following: (a) children under 16 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. 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 numbers of naturalisations, registrations, etc., during the year ended 31 March 1961 were as follows.

Country of BirthCertificates of Naturalisation (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)
British Commonwealth of Nations2381706880
Ireland, Republic of9422
Western Samoa71-
Other countries2583385

The certificates of registration granted to adult females included 137 to British wives of New Zealand citizens and 426 to alien wives of New Zealand citizens.

The following table shows the numbers on the register at 1 April 1960 and 1 April 1961.

Country of Nationality1 April 19601 April 1961
Russia (U.S.S.R.)73471206744111
United States of America8123561,1689183921,310
Other countries1076216911056166

The number of aliens on the register at 1 April 1961 decreased by 349 as compared with 12 months earlier. During the year increases were shown by United States of America (142) .Yugoslavia (79), Italy (26), and Germany (25). Decreases were shown by several countries, the largest being China (159), Poland (99), Denmark (65), and Netherlands (61).

Tables showing for aliens registered at 1 April 1961, ages, occupational groups, and geographical ocation by countries of nationality follow.

Country of NationalityAge Groups in Years
Under 2121–2425–2930–3435–3940–4950–5960 and overTotal

* Includes one not specified for age. Includes two not specified for age.

† Includes two not specified for age. Includes two not specified for age.

Russia (U.S.S.R.)4124319132167
United States of America123178485611621483100918
Other countries41921271919812129
Totals, males6261,5572,9423,9932,4842,1261,2611,65816,649†
Russia (U.S.S.R.)22510781044
United States of America2726405356815455392
Other countries310913101681685
Totals, females3621,0082,1452,3341,5111,4431,02082110,645*
n.e.c: not elsewhere classified
Occupational Major GroupMalesFemalesTotal

* Details according to individual countries of nationality are available from the Department of Statistics.

Architects, engineers, surveyors71172
Nurses and midwives12182194
Clergy and related members of religious orders36452416
Artists, writers, and related workers601575
Draughtsmen and science, and engineering technicians, n.e.c.13315148
Directors, managers, and working proprietors, not including proprietors on own account in wholesale-retail trade1,011631,074
Stenographers and typists1228229
Other clerical workers393305698
Commercial travellers, and manufacturing agents87491
Salesman, shop assistants, and related workers402230632
Farmers and farm managers1,135151,150
Farm workers n.e.c.1,051391,090
Fishermen and related workers5151
Loggers and other forestry workers6868
Drivers, road transport3021303
Workers in transport and communication occupations, n.e.c.801191
Spinners, weavers, knitters, dyers, and related workers150251431
Tailors, cutters, furriers, and related workers185731916
Leather cutters, casters, and sewers (except gloves and garments) and related workers113152265
Precision instrument makers, watchmakers, jewellers, and related workers76278
Tool-makers, machinists, plumbers, welders, platers, and related workers1,967332,000
Electricians and related electrical and electronic workers36427391
Carpenters, joiners, cabinet makers, coopers, and related workers1,20261,208
Painters and paperhangers4042406
Bricklayers, plasterers, and construction workers, n.e.c.408408
Compositors, pressmen, engravers, bookbinders, and related workers12226148
Millers, bakers, brewmasters, and other food and beverage workers50752559
Chemical and related process workers741387
Tobacco preparers and tobacco product makers3483117
Craftsmen and production process workers, n.e.c.11974193
Stationary engine, excavating and lifting-equipment operators, and related workers6262
Packers, labellers, and related workers195170
Waterside workers and related freight handlers3807387
Labourers, n.e.c.2,880322,912
Housekeepers, cooks, maids, and related workers256580836
Waiters, bartenders, and related workers105113218
Building caretakers, cleaners, and related workers9729126
Launderers, drycleaners, and pressers9451145
Service, sport, and recreation workers, n.e.c.593594
Occupation ill-defined or not classified5555091,064
Workers not reporting any occupation5296,3856,914
Other occupational groups552176728

* Details according to individual countries of nationality are available from the Department of Statistics.

Urban Area   
New Plymouth152109261
Palmerston North307203510
Totals, urban areas12,3017,97220,273
Provincial DistrictMalesFemalesTotal
Hawke's Bay460278738
    Otago portion1,1907891,979
    Southland portion454225679

STATISTICS OF THE 1956 AND 1961 CENSUSES — Publications containing the results of the census taken for the night of 17 April 1956 are included in the list on the page preceding the Index of this Yearbook.

The only volume so far released for the 1961 census is the Interim Returns of Population and Dwellings.

The following pages give details for 1956 census relating to Marital Status, Dependent Children, and Religious Professions. 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 Yearbook.

MARITAL STATUS—The marital status of persons aged 16 years and over as returned at the census of 1956 is summarised in the following tables.

Age (Years)Never MarriedMarriedLegally SeparatedWidowedDivorcedNot SpecifiedTotal
90 and over66221648461784
Not specified adults166346104114208785
Totals, 1956200,617482,9335,47527,8597,747657725,288
Totals, 1951194,701433,0916,66327,1787,0391,239669,911
90 and over1491171,006321,277
Not specified adults165653616217241,027
Totals, 1956151,613482,1436,71479,0208,715225728,430
Totals, 1951153,199431,1767,80371,8357,891686672,590

The proportional distribution of the population aged 16 years or over according to marital status is given in the following summary.

Marital Status19511956
Never married29.1222.8027.6920.82
Legally separated1001160.760.92

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 stepchildren 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 Years1951 Census1956 Census Number
Married MenWidowersWidowsMarried MenWidowersWidows
9 and over8187159881221
Not specified589341263542144

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 Children1951 Census1956 Census
Married men-
    Per person1.301.42
    Per person with dependent children2.292.38
    Per person0.210.18
    Per person with dependent children2.062.09
    Per person0.170.16
    Per person with dependent children1.962.01

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.

Religious ProfessionNumber of Adherents, 1956 Census
Church of England780,999
Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)310,723
Protestant (undefined)47,999
Salvation Army14,122
Latter Day Saints13,133
Church of Christ10,852
Christian (undefined)7,662
Seventh Day Adventist7,219
Christian Scientist3,992
Jehovah's Witness3,844
Eastern Orthodox Catholic2,728
Undenominational Christian1,765
Apostolic Church969
Dutch Reformed Church829
Commonwealth Covenant Church813
Assemblies of God747
Society of Friends721
Liberal Catholic385
No religion (so returned)12,651
All other religious professions5,462
Object to state173,569
Not specified16,252

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 fell from 82.2 per cent of the total population in 1951 to 79.9 per cent in 1956. All four churches 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 ProfessionPercentage of Total Population
Church of England37.4735.92
Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)13.6414.29
Protestant (undefined)0.742.21
Salvation Army0.700.65
Latter Day Saints0.520.60
Church of Christ0.620.50
No relic on (so returned)0.590.58
Object to state7.097.98
All other (including not specified)3.954.08

STATISTICS OF WORLD POPULATION — The area and estimated population of the continents and some of the principal countries of the world at 1 July 1960 are shown in the following table. (Source: United Nations Population and Vital Statistics Report for July 1961 and Demographic Yearbook.)

Continents and CountriesAreaPopulation

* 1958 Estimate.

† Former Belgian Congo.

‡ Includes Alaska and Hawaii as 49th and 50th States of the Union in 1959.

 sq. miles 
North America9,359265,000
South America6,870140,000
Totals, world52,2362,971,800
Selected Countries  
    United Kingdom9452,539
    Republic of Ireland272,834
    Federal Republic of Germany9653,373
    Eastern Germany4116,213
    New Zealand1042,372
    Federation of Malaya516,909
    South Africa47214,929
    Congo (Leopoldville)†90514,150
    Federation of Nigeria33934,296
    Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland4848,330
    United Arab Republic45730,641
North America-
    United States of America‡3,615180,670
South America-

Chapter 4. Section 4 VITAL STATISTICS


GENERAL — Summary tables of births, deaths, natural increase, and marriages are presented in this subsection.

BIRTHS — The following table shows the numbers of births and the rates for the last 11 years.

YearNumbersRates per 1,000 of Mean Population

The inclusion of Maoris raised 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 1956–60 the inclusion of Maoris does not alter New Zealand's position of sixth in a total of 28 countries covered.

Registration of Maori births is somewhat less accurate (although improvement has been manifest in recent years) than those of the European population. 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 by the Registrar-General during the year, whereas the European figures cover the actual registrations effected during the year. Registrations of persons of half or more Maori blood were made in a separate register until the end of 1961, but since 1 January 1962 registration is the same for all races.

DEATHS — The effect of including Maoris is to increase slightly, except for the latest years, the total death rate for New Zealand, as is seen in the following table.

YearNumbersRates 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 below the European rate. (This is partly a result of differences in the age composition — see subsection 4C.) The net result now is that the inclusion of Maoris reduces the general death rate to slightly lower than the European rate. Countries with lower death rates (in 1960) than New Zealand included Israel, 5.7; Netherlands, 7.6; Canada, 7.8; South Africa (European population only), 8.6; and Australia, 8.6.

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 rising trend with only minor fluctuations. The following table shows the numbers gained by natural increase, together with the rate per 1,000 of mean population, for the last 11 years.

YearNumbersRates per 1,000 of Mean Population
195834,7605,57440,33416.2637.57 .17.65

In the 10 years to 31 December 1961 New Zealand has gained by natural increase of population a total of 379,572, comprising 328,513 Europeans and 51,059 Maoris.

MARRIAGES — The following table shows the numbers of marriages contracted during each of the last 11 years. Maori marriages are included, but separate figures are not available.

YearNumbersRates per 1,000 of Mean Population


(NOTE—In the first part of this subsection the statistics are confined to Europeans. The term European, used in the context of this subsection, means the population exclusive of Maoris. Statistics for Maoris are given at the end of this subsection.)

REGISTRATION — The law as to registration of births is embodied in the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951. Under the 1961 Amendment Act which came into force on 1 January 1962 European and Maori births are no longer registered separately. 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 authorise 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 authorise 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 48 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 18 months may be registered within six months of arrival. The Registrar-General may authorise registration of such a child who is over 18 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 multiple births are discussed. A special classification of still births is given later in this subsection.

NUMBERS AND RATES — The numbers and rates of European births (children born alive) for each of the last 20 years are given in the following table.

YearNumberRate per 1,000 of Mean Population

“Crude” rates of the number of births per 1,000 of the mean population, irrespective of sex or age, do not take account of the variations in the proportion of women of the child-bearing ages. Refined rates are provided by computations of the legitimate birthrate per 1,000 married women of 15 and under 45 years of age, or the total birthrate per 1,000 of all women of these ages. The following table gives for Europeans 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 YearBirthrate per 1,000 Women 15 and Under 45 Years“Crude” Birthrate
Married WomenTotal Women

The percentage of married women in the child-bearing ages was 67.1 in 1956 compared with 43.3 in 1901 but 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 birthrate varies with age, the change in age constitution over the period is a factor which should be taken into account.

NATURAL INCREASE — Recent increases in the birthrate have tended to result in a rise in the rate of natural increase, as shown in the following table for the European population.

YearNumbersRate per 1,000 Mean Population
BirthsDeathsNatural IncreaseBirthsDeathsNatural 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 1901 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 birthrate. The rates, which are the average of the five years 1956–60, are taken from the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics issued by the United Nations.

CountryRate per 1,000 of Population
BirthsNatural Increase
Puerto Rico32.725.8
New Zealand25.316.3
South Africa24.816.2
United States of America24.415.1
Republic of Ireland21.19.3
Germany (Western)17.26.1
United Kingdom16.85.2

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.

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 latest five years are given below for the European population.

YearNumber of Births ofMale 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 latest five years are shown in the following table.

YearTotal BirthsTotal CasesCases of TwinsCases of TripletsMultiple Cases per 1,000 of Total Cases

* Includes two 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 624 cases of twin births registered in 1960. There were also six cases of triplets.

The total number of confinements resulting in live births was 54,799, and on the average one mother in every 87 gave birth to twins (or triplets).

When still births are taken into account, the total number of confinements for the year 1960 is increased to 55,550, and the number of cases of multiple births to 685. 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 varied greatly in recent years, as may be seen from the following summary.

YearCases of TwinsCases of TripletsTotal Multiple CasesRate per 1,000 Confinements
Both Born AliveOne Born Alive, One Still BornBoth Still BornTotalAll Born AliveOne Born Alive, Two Still BornTwo Born Alive, One Still BornAll Still BornTotal
Average of five years62542106776 768412.8

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.

YearStill-birth Cases per 100 of Total Cases (Including Still Births)
Single CasesMultiple Cases
Average of five years1.447.76

During the five years 1956–60 there were 3,126 cases of live twin births (including ex-nuptial), and of these in 1,052 instances, or 33.6 per cent, both children were males; in 983, or 31.5 per cent, both were females; and in the remaining 1,091 or 34.9 per cent, the children were of opposite sexes.

The six cases of triplets in 1960 comprised one of three males, one of three females, one of two males and one female, and three 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 1960 is shown in the following table for the European population.

Age of Mother, in YearsAge of Father, in Years
Under 2121 and Under 2525 and Under 3030 and Under 3535 and Under 4040 and Under 4545 and Under 5050 and Under 5555 and Under 6565 and OverTotal Cases

* Including 44 legitimate cases where twins would have been registered had not one child been still born.

† Including 6 cases of triplets.

Single Births
Under 218312,4831,174267648124,830
21 and under 251544,0177,1631,95233373289113,730
25 and under 30125816,8906,4721,612279902218315,979
30 and under 35388784,7123,2548712656333710,121
35 and under 40101127242,1851,4264981636135,182
40 and under 45310542255064001164551,364
45 and over11420492110106
Multiple Births
Under 21610132132
21 and under 25124592622114
25 and under 304909420321214
30 and under 35118246154158
35 and under 402y31208373
40 and under 451244112
45 and over
Grand totals1,0047,17016,40414,3977,7813.2271,3464001671951,915

PREVIOUS ISSUE OF PARENTS — 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 1960 is here summarised.

Age of Mother in YearsNumber of Previous IssueTotal Legitimate Cases
0123456 and Under 1010 and Under 1515 and Over

* This number represents 51,312 single cases and 603 multiple cases.

Under 213,4571,1712072524,862
21 and under 256,1884,9311,92361715527313,844
25 and under 303,2614,8514,4182,30186931817516,193
30 and under 351,2111,9002,6682,2071,2046104651410,279
35 and under 405607311,0221,0937594795545525,255
40 and under 451381622032581801482483811,376
45 and over1310'4161314197106

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 1960 registrations, who are also taken into account in the computation of the averages.

Age of Mother, in YearsTotal MothersTotal IssueAverage Issue
Under 214,8626,5621.35
45 and over1065164.87

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 1960) 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: 1954, 2.54; 1955 and 1956, 2.58; 1957, 2.60; 1958, 2.62; and 1959, 2.63. In 1915, the earliest year for which reliable comparative figures are available, the average issue was 3.11.

FIRST BIRTHS — Of a total of 296,969 confinements resulting in legitimate births during the six years 1955–1960, the issue of no fewer than 87,717, or 30 per cent, were first-born children. In 39,040, or 45 per cent, of these cases the birth occurred within 12 months, and in 65,045, 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. There has been little fluctuation during die same period in the proportion of first births occurring within two years after marriage. The decline in the marriage rate in recent years has been accompanied by a downward movement in the actual proportion of first births to total births.

YearTotal Legitimate CasesTotal Legitimate First CasesProportion of First Cases to Total CasesFirst Cases Within One Year After MarriageFirst Cases Within Two Years After Marriage
NumberProportion to Total First CasesNumberProportion to Total First Cases
   per cent per cent per cent
Totals for six years296,96987,71729.5439,04044.5165,04574.15

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 1960 figures with those for earlier years, and illustrates the movement in the duration-of-marriage factor in first births.

Duration of Marriage in YearsProportion Per Cent of Total First Births
Under 1 year50.0646.2538.4742.6445.96
1 and under 2 years26.6426.7926.3030.5629.49
2 and under 3 years10.4310.2411.2811.5610.58
3 and under 4 years5.516.167.885.955.49
4 and under 5 years3.033.967.183.303.06
5 and under 10 years3.365.497.365.054.42
10 years and over0.971.111.530.941.00

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 1960, 1.75 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 1960.

Age of Mother, in YearsFirst Births, Proportion Per Cent at Each Age Group Age of Mother, in to Total First Births
Under 207.558.907.339.0813.70
20 and under 2538.1640.3941.7947.7151.34
25 and under 3032.5932.7929.5427.7921.99
30 and under 3514.6813.1014.6110.398.17
35 and under 405.333.795.363.923.78
40 and under 451.590.991.341.020.93
45 and over0.

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 1960, 24.50.

EX-NUPTIAL BIRTHS — The numbers of ex-nuptial births registered during each of the years 1950–1960, with the percentages they bear to total births registered, were as follows.

Year1 NumberPercentage 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 YearUnmarried Women 15 and Under 45 years of AgeEx-nuptial BirthsEx-nuptial Birthrate per 1,000 Unmarried Women

Included in the total of 2,911 ex-nuptial births in 1960 were 27 cases of twins, the number of confinements being thus 2,884. From the following table it will be seen that of the 2,884 mothers 1,202, or 42 per cent, were under 21 years of age.

45 and over2

The Legitimation Act—The Legitimation Act 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 numbers of legitimations of Europeans registered in each of the latest five years were as follows: 1956, 545; 1957, 555; 1958, 526; 1959, 620; and 1960, 569.

ADOPTIONS — The Adoption Act 1955 sets out the provisions regarding the adoption of children. The Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 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 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 15 years to under 21 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 latest five years.


Of the 1,880 adoptions registered in 1960, 770 were children under the age of one year, 665 were between one and five years, 205 were between five and 10 years, and 240 were aged 10 years or over In addition, 362 Maori children (181 males and 181 females) were adopted in 1960.

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.

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 the 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 4C relating to deaths. A stillborn 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 1.43 per 100 total births in 1960 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 latest five years were as follows.

YearMalesFemalesTotalMale Still Births per 1,000 Female Still BirthsPercentage of Still Births to—
Living BirthsAll Births

Masculinity is in general much higher among still births than among living births, the rate for still births in 1960 being 1,104 males per 1,000 females as compared with 1,056 for living births.

The percentage of ex-nuptials among still-born infants was in 1960, 6.20, and among infants born alive, 1.72.

Of the living legitimate births registered in 1960, 29 per cent were first births, while of legitimate still births 34 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 806 European still births in 1960, there were 81 Maori still births registered, comprising 46 males and 35 females.

FOETAL DEATHS — 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.

MAORI BIRTHS — Maori births became registrable as from 1 March 1913. Until the end of 1961 Maori registrations were entered in a separate register, which did not, however, make provision for as many particulars as is the case with registrations of Europeans.

The number of births of Maoris registered during 1961 was 7,770 (3,967 males, 3,803 females). The Maori birth rate in 1961 was almost twice the European birth rate (25.53 per 1,000). Registrations of Maori births in each of the last 11 years were as follows.

YearNumber of Maori BirthsRate per 1,000 of Mean Maori Population

For registration purposes a Maori was 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 were made in the register of Maori births or Maori deaths. All registrations in respect of persons possessing less than half Maori blood had to be made in the European register.

These provisions were repealed at the end of 1961 and commencing on 1 January 1962 the separate registers for Maori and European births were abolished. Registration particulars are now the same for all races.


(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. Deaths of Maoris were recorded separately up to the end of 1961, but under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1961 the procedure has been the same as for Europeans from 1 January 1962. 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, authorise 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 still birth.

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, there are any suspicious circumstances.

Where the death of any person ours 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'.he Civil Aviation Act 1948, or as the result of any occurrence on board any such aircraft during its operation, the death may be registered 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 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 from 1940 onwards 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.

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 20 years for the European population.

YearNumberRate 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 is probably due, among other things, to improvements in medical techniques and expansion of health services. This progress has been reflected, for example, in a relatively low incidence of serious outbreaks of the more important epidemic diseases 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, but the rates have fluctuated in recent years.

The death rates of males and females for the last 11 years are shown separately in the next table.

YearDeaths per 1,000 of Mean PopulationMale Deaths to Every 100 Female Deaths

DEATHS OF MAORIS — Registrations of deaths of Maoris during each of the last 11 years have been as follows.

YearNumberRate per 1,000 of Mean Maori Population

In 1960 Maori deaths made up 6.5 per cent of all the New Zealand deaths registered. There is considerable variation in the proportion of Maori to total deaths at different ages, however, and whereas at preschool, school, and early working ages the Maori proportion is substantial, in old age the Maori percentage is small. The following are the 1960 proportions: Ages one to four years, 30.6 per cent; five to 14 years, 19.4 per cent; 15 to 24 years, 21.8 per cent; 25 to 44 years, 17.2 per cent; 45 to 64 years, 7.9 per cent; 65 years and over, 2.4 per cent.

The crude death rate for 1960 was the second lowest ever recorded for Maoris and indeed was lower than that recorded for Europeans. These two figures do not represent the real levels of mortality in the two races as the respective populations differ so greatly in their age compositions. The Maori population has a much higher proportion of those at younger ages who do not contribute many deaths to the total and conversely relatively few persons at older ages where the rate of dying is high. The effect of this is to produce a very deflated crude rate.

In the following table a comparison of age-specific rates is made for the two races for the year 1960.

By applying the Maori death rates at each age to the European population of this age, it is possible to arrive at the number of deaths which would have occurred in the European population had the Maori rates applied. This figure divided by the total European population produces a Maori rate which is adjusted to the age structure of the European and which is directly comparable with the European crude rate. The adjusted Maori rates computed on this system are entered in the following table and show in a true comparison Maori mortality to be approximately twice that of the European. At no age in either sex is the Maori rate less than twice the European and, for females of adolescent and early working years (15–25), the Maori rate is four times the European. It is at these ages that tuberculosis exacts a heavy toil among Maori women. At all higher ages the Maori excess is higher among females than among the males.

RaceAll Ages Rates per 10,000 Mean PopulationAge-specific Rates per 10,000 of Population at Ages
Crude RateMaori Rate Adjusted to European PopulationUnder FiveFive and Under 1515 and Under 2525 and Under 4545 and Under 6565 and Over
Both Sexes

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 1960 were as shown in the following table.

Age, in YearsMalesFemalesTotal
Under 1205125330
1 and under 5503989
5 and under 1017724
10 and under 159918
15 and under 20171431
20 and under 25201535
25 and under 30241236
30 and under 35241438
35 and under 40212344
40 and under 45293160
45 and under 50493079
50 and under 55414687
55 and under 60385189
60 and under 65424587
65 and under 70543488
70 and under 75333568
75 and under 80431760
80 and under 85241640
85 and under 90231841
90 and under 957310
95 and under 1004610
100 and over134

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES — An international comparison of death rates is made in the following table. They are the average of the five years 1956–60 and are taken from the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics issued by the United Nations.

CountryRates per 1,000 of Population

* European population only.

Puerto Rico6.9
South Africa*8.6
New Zealand*9.0
Costa Rica9.3
United States of America9.3
Germany, Federal Republic11.1
United Kingdom11.6
Republic of Ireland11.8

DISTRIBUTION OF DEATHS OVER THE YEAR — An examination of the total number of deaths registered in each quarter of the period 1950–60 gives the following averages: March quarter, 3,831 : June quarter, 4,505; September quarter, 5,411; and December quarter, 4,474.

A classification according to month of death shows that in 1960 the months during which the greatest number of deaths occurred were July, August, and September, with totals of 1,982, 1,903, and 1,734 respectively. Excluding December (a proportion of deaths occurring in that month not being registered till January) February had the least number of deaths, 1,328, followed by March and January with 1,369 and 1,430 respectively.

The lowest number of deaths on any one day, again excluding December, was 28, this number occurring on 27 November. The greatest number (84) occurred on 21 August.

AGE AT DEATH — The deaths of Europeans registered during the year 1960 are tabulated below according to age.

Under 1 month453351804
   1–2 months483381
   3–5 months583694
   6–11 months5358111
   1 year483886
   2 years252348
   3 year162137
   4 year181331
   5–9 year6248110
   10–14 year372865
   15–19 year8930119
   20–24 year8434118
   25–29 year7336109
   30–34 year10958167
   35–39 year141104245
   40–44 year202135337
   45–49 year354189543
   50–54 years513298811
   55–59 year7453971,142
   60–64 year9325811,513
   65–69 years1,1337701,903
   70–74 years1,4441,1442,588
   75–79 years1,7161,5393,255
   80–84 years1,3891,4232,812
   85–89 years7439111,654
   90–94 years239371610
   95–99 years4379122
   100 years123
   101 years112
   102 years11
   103 years123

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 birthrate over the period; and the great increase in the proportion of old people in the community.

Age, in YearsNumber of DeathsPercentage of Total
Under 19249901,0081,0907.576.936.035.58
1 and under 53272051992022.681.441.191.03
5 and under 1016798871101.370.690.520.56
10 and under 1510510864650.860.760.330.33
15 and under 202221511201191.821060.720.61
20 and under 253152471581182.581.730.950.60
25 and under 303372701421092.761.890.850.56
30 and under 353372901911672.762.031.140.86
35 and under 403743202752453.072.241.651.25
40 and under 454783623283373.922.531.961.73
45 and under 506404725225435.253.303.122.78
50 and under 557947986978116.515.594.174.15
55 and under 608811,1451,0211,1427.
60 and under 651,0031,4611,5031,5138.2210.238.997.75
65 and under 701,0771,6972,1701,9038.8311.8812.989.75
70 and under 751,1711,7722,5362,5889.6012.4115.1713.26
75 and under 801,2421,5562,3163,25510.1810.8913.8616.67
80 and over1,8052,3403,3785,20714.8016.3820.2126.68

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. The female rate for the various age groups is now lower than the male rate in all instances, with the exception of the one and under Ave years group. The increase in the death rate (per 1,000 of European population) at successive age groups from 15 years onwards is well exemplified.

YearUnder 1*1 and Under 55 and Under 1515 and Under 2525 and Under 3535 and Under 4545 and Under 5555 and Under 6565 and Under 7575 and Over

* Per 1,000 live births in this case.

(rates per 1,000 of mean European population)
Both Sexes

The average (arithmetic mean) age at death of European persons of each sex at 10-yearly intervals since 1901 and during each of the last four years was as follows.

age (years)

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 tables are based on the 1956 population census, together with mortality statistics for 1955–57. As the pattern of mortality among non-Maoris has stabilised in recent years, these latest life tables give an accurate statistical summary of current mortality experience.

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.

Exact Age (Years)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.

Life TableLife Expectancy (Years)
Males AgedFemales Aged

Prior to the Second World War the New Zealand non-Maori population was probably the longest lived of any national population group in the world. This pre-eminent position has not beer 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 the for selected overseas countries. In all cases the expectancies are the most recent available.

CountryPeriodLife Expectancy at Birth (Years)

* Non-Maori population.

† White population.

New Zealand*1955–5768.8873.88
England and Wales195667.7673.36
South Africa†1945–4763.7868.31
United States of America195667.373.7

The expectation of life at various ages for the Maori population is shown below. These expectations are taken from Maori Life Tables, 1955–57.

Exact Age (Years)Life Expectancy (Years)

Life expectancy at birth for a Maori male increased by 3.18 years in the interval 1950–52 to 1955–57, with that for females increasing by 2.80 years. This was a substantial increase in a short period and is evidence that, although Maori life expectancy is relatively low, it is improving at a fast rate. In this interval between the construction of the first and second sets of Maori life tables the improvement was not so spectacular at higher ages, however.

The expectation of life of Maoris is much shorter than that of the European population. A comparison at age 0 shows a life expectation which is 11.65 years longer for European males and 15–20 years longer for European females.

DEATHS BY CAUSES — Although the incidence of different diseases as causes of death varies considerably 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 1956–60 was 84 per million of population, compared with 63 for Europeans alone. 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 (1957–59) show New Zealand to be ninth out of a total of 35 countries. With Maoris excluded, New Zealand's position would be seventh.

Total deaths for the years 1957–60, classified according to the Abbreviated List of the sixth and seventh (1948 and 1955) revisions of the International Classification of Diseases, are contained in the following table. (The 1955 revision of the International Classification was adopted in New Zealand in 1958.)

Causes of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per Million of Mean Population
Tuberculosis of respiratory system22616811897101735141
Tuberculosis, other forms28321917131487
Syphilis and its sequelae33221714151076
Typhoid fever31111
Dysentery, all forms16153
Scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat11 
Whooping cough1983431
Meningococcal infections2218111110855
Acute poliomyelitis26113
All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic1059111610547405044
Malignant neoplasms, including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues3,2133,2973,3393,2901,4391,4421,4301,384
Benign and unspecified neoplasms4537344020161517
Diabetes mellitus286286240280128125103118
Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system2,5192,6062,5702,5371,1281,1401,1011,067
Non-meningococcal meningitis3546504216202118
Rheumatic fever1710868433
Chronic rheumatic heart disease25527123421411411910090
Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease5,3425,3055,6155,7792,3932,3212,4052,431
Other diseases of the heart770808922827345353395348
Hypertension with heart disease573461470407257202201171
Hypertension without mention of heart13014412310958635346
Ulcer of stomach and duodenum20717017715993747667
Intestinal obstruction and hernia18015114615881666366
Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of the newborn15413415214169596559
Cirrhosis of liver7556615434242623
Nephritis and nephrosis16015811912872695154
Hyperplasia of prostate15013513714067595959
Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the Puerperium4431362420141510
Congenital malformations277354343353124155147149
Birth injuries, post-natal asphyxia, and atelectasis369318294336165139126141
Infections of the newborn5567615225292622
Other diseases peculiar to early infancy, and immaturity unqualified302333373377135146160159
Senility without mention of psychosis, ill-defined, and unknown causes10811711817348515173
All other diseases2,0761,9632,0302,035930859870856
Motor-vehicle accidents407405362356182177155150
All other accidents731684683736327299293310
Suicide and self-inflicted injury21522020423096968797
Homicide and operations of war152525257111111

CAUSES OF EUROPEAN DEATHS — 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 Organisation, and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death has world-wide application.

The Seventh (1955) Revision of the Classification was applied to New Zealand in 1958. Like the Sixth Revision, this assigns the cause of death to the underlying cause. This is 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.

The statistics for tuberculosis, cancer, puerperal causes, and violent causes, which are of special interest and significance, are discussed later in this subsection. Certain diseases (cholera, plague, smallpox, typhus, and typhoid fever) are not listed in the table below as there were no deaths from these causes in the years shown.

Causes of DeathNumbersRates per Million of Mean Population

* Less than one.

Tuberculosis of respiratory system14616312185747178573933
Tuberculosis, other forms1421171310710865
Syphilis and its sequelae1728181410813865
Dysentery, all forms1314*1*2
Scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat11**
Whooping cough2721131*
Meningococcal infections161610879S543
Acute poliomyelitis502512412*
All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic77847196933840334442
Malignant neoplasms, including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues3,0513,1103,1923,2203,1581,4921,4891,4931,4771,424
Benign and unspecified neoplasms43433531362121161416
Diabetes mellitus215271273232266105130128106120
Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system2,2562,4572,5502,5172,4661,1031,1761,1931,1541,112
Non-meningococcal meningitis31243135261511151612
Rheumatic fever7855 3422
Chronic rheumatic heart disease17120121819716884961029076
Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease5,0235,1855,1665,4765,6002,4562,4822,4172,5112,526
Other diseases of the heart707716747851761346343350390343
Hypertension with heart disease546557443447393267267207205177
Hypertension without mention of heart1401261401181046860665447
Bronchitis38446243351645018822 i203237203
Ulcer of stomach and duodenum1772021671701558797787870
Intestinal obstruction and hernia1261641431321496278676167
Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of newborn9910092103824848434737
Cirrhosis of liver64705259503134242723
Nephritis and nephrosis1191421431071145868674951
Hyperplasia of prostate1651441321361408169626263
Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the Puerperium2035222719101710129
Congenital malformations255240316307319125115148141144
Birth injuries, post-natal asphyxia, and atelectasis271307257243286133147120111129
Infections of the newborn44414945352120232116
Other diseases peculiar to early infancy, and immaturity unqualified241256273322330118123128148149
Senility without mention of psychosis, ill defined, and unknown causes143961111111627046525173
All other diseases1,9161,9181,8501,9241,885937918865882850
Motor-vehicle accidents294336353308290144161165141131
AH other accidents525662610611665258317285280300
Suicide and self-inflicted injury194209211198222951009991100
Homicide and operations of war101314181856788

Tuberculosis — Since 1945 there has been a remarkable decline in the death toll from tuberculosis among Europeans. In 1951–55 the rate was only half that of the previous quinquennium, and during 1956–60 the rate halved again.

The following table shows the average annual number of deaths from tuberculosis and the death rate per million in each of the five quinquennia since 1936.

QuinquenniumRespiratoryNon-respiratoryAll Forms
Average Number Dying Each YearAverage Annual Rate per MillionAverage Number Dying Each YearAverage Annual Rate per MillionAverage Number Dying Each YearAverage Annual Rate per Million

The steep decline in tuberculosis other than respiratory has been largely due to the decrease in tuberculosis involving the meninges and central nervous system, there being but four deaths from this cause in 1960 as compared with a total of 51 in 1936. In 1960, 74 of the 84 deaths recorded were of the respiratory system, five of the genito-urinary organs, four of the meninges, and one of the thyroid gland. The 1960 rates per million of population were: respiratory, 33.4; non-respiratory, 4.5.

The latest triennial figures available show New Zealand to be in seventh place out of 38 countries for which respiratory tuberculosis rates were available. The New Zealand European rate was 5.8 per 100,000. The countries with lower rates than New Zealand were: Netherlands, 3.4; Iceland, 3.8; Denmark, 4.1; Israel, 4.7; Australia, 5.3; Canada, 5.4.

The following table shows the number of deaths from tuberculosis in 1960, classified according to sex and age groups. Of those dying from this cause in 1960, persons under the age of 45 years formed 18 percent.

Age, in YearsMalesFemalesTotal
Under 5123
5 and under 10
10 and under 1511
15 and under 20
20 and under 2511
25 and under 30
30 and under 3511
35 and under 40224
40 and under 45235
45 and under 50538
50 and under 55527
55 and under 60314
60 and under 659211
65 and under 701111
70 and under 757310
75 and under 80729
80 and over369

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 lifespan. 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 the increasing age of the population.

This is illustrated by the following figures.

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.




The most striking disease phenomenon of the last thirty years has been the steady rise, particularly among males, in cancer involving the respiratory organs.

The following table compares the mortality of Europeans from respiratory tuberculosis and respiratory cancer at intervals of five years and shows clearly how in the male sex the saving of human life from one form of disease has been largely offset by an almost equivalent rise in another form of disease affecting the same organs.

YearTuberculosis of the Respiratory SystemCancer of the Lung, Bronchus, Pleura, and Trachea
Number of DeathsRate per MillionNumber of DeathsRate per MillionNumber of DeathsRate per MillionNumber of DeathsRate per Million

In 1960 there were 3,158 deaths from cancer in New Zealand, a proportion of 142 per 100,000 of mean population. While the crude male rate has shown very little significant movement there has undoubtedly been a fall in the female rate over the last ten years.

A summary for the latest 11 years of numbers and rates, both crude and standardised, is given in the following table:

YearNumber of Deaths from CancerCrude Death Rate per 100,000Standardised Death Rate per 100,000*Number of Deaths from CancerCrude Death Rate per 100,000Standardised Death Rate per 100,000*

* Standard population used for standardised rates — England and Wales, 1901.


Standardised rates are adopted to eliminate the distorting effect of the changes which take place over a period in the age constitution of the population. The standardised rate for males has risen from 98.6 in the five years 1951–55 to 102.3 in 1956–60. This would indicate that there has been a real increase in the death toll in the male sex. The corresponding figures for females, 86.3 in 1951–55 and 82.8 in 1956–60, indicate that there has been a decline in the death rates of over 4 per cent during the ten-year period.

A summary showing the location of the disease in deaths from cancer during 1960 is given in the following table.

Site of DiseaseNumbersRates per Million of Mean Population
Buccal cavity and pharynx421759381527
Intestine, except rectum153184337137167152
Trachea, and of bronchus and lung not specified as secondary3305438429649173
Cervix uteri37877939
Other and unspecified parts of uterus59595327
Bone and connective tissue131528121413
All other and unspecified sites343407750308368338
Leukaemia and aleukaemia7170141646364
Lymphosarcoma and other neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic system9657153865269

There is considerable variation in the numbers and rates for different sites in males and females. The site principally involved in the male is the lung and bronchus and one male cancer death in every five is of this site. Cancer of the stomach is much more common in the male than the female but the situation is reversed in cancer involving the intestines. The leading site in the female is the breast, with 18 per cent of the total cancer deaths among women.

While cancer is undoubtedly increasing in numerical incidence it is not doing so out of proportion to the population exposed to the cancer risk. The following table shows the movement in the standardised death rates per 100,000 of the population in selected sites averaged over the latest three quinquennia.

Buccal cavity and pharynx3.492.502.471.121.091.16
Large intestine10.039.248.5112.8211.2810.25
Biliary passages and liver1.402022.141.832.332.25
Trachea, lung, and bronchus10.7916.4620.621.692.272.75
All parts of uterus9.719.018.19
Ovary, Fallopian tube, and broad ligament6.015.366.12
Bladder and other urinary organs2.733003.261.130.971.09
Skin (including melanoma)2.612.382.301.631.491.70
Brain and other parts of nervous system3.153.603.962.222.563.01
Lymphosarcoma and reticulosarcoma2.092.593.221.241.511.70
Hodgkin's disease1.521.371.420.650.890.90
Leukaemia and aleukaemia4.885.265.433.583.684.47
All sites95.0698.57102.2786.5486.2782.83

The upward trend in the total male cancer death toll can be ascribed chiefly to the increase in lung and bronchus cancer, already commented upon. The total female rate has declined appreciably in recent years.

Stomach cancer is clearly on the decline in both sexes and this is in accordance with the experience in several other countries. Some changes in the conditions of living are thought to underlie this drop in incidence.

The large intestine, another leading site, shows declining rates in both sexes. In the female breast and also the uterus, two of the leading sites, the downward trend is unmistakable. There is a tendency for cancers such as leukaemia and lymphosarcoma to increase slightly and again there has been evidence of this in countries throughout the world.

A classification according to sex and age groups for 1960 is now given.

Age, in YearsMalesFemalesTotal
Under 5131427
5 and under 10151833
10 and under 158715
15 and under 209615
20 and under 255510
25 and under 3011718
30 and under 35151328
35 and under 40194463
40 and under 45296392
45 and under 507169140
50 and under 55106109215
55 and under 60149135284
60 and under 65187160347
65 and under 70233183416
70 and under 75283224507
75 and under 80262203465
80 and over247236483

Ninety per cent of the deaths from cancer during 1960 were at ages 45 years and upwards, and 59 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.

CAUSES OF MAORI DEATHS — The Maori is subject to infection, both respiratory and other types, to a much greater degree than is the European. The most noteworthy example is tuberculosis, especially of the respiratory system, where, despite the reductions effected over recent years, the Maori rates are still four times those of the European population. In pneumonia and other conditions of the respiratory system the Maori rates exceed the European three or fourfold and much the same state of affairs is disclosed for gastric and intestinal infections.

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 Europeans. These diseases are generally described as being of a degenerative nature and include cancer, diabetes, vascular lesions of the brain, arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart conditions, and kidney disease. Relative to the European the Maori population is an extremely young one, and when allowance is made for the low numbers who would be likely to develop these conditions, it becomes apparent that the Maori has an unfavourable health record in these diseases also. This position is revealed when age-specific rates are compared in various disease categories and when age-adjusted rates are calculated which show what the death rate would have been in the Maori had the Maori population been of the same age structure as the European. These rates have been published and discussed for a comprehensive list of diseases in Maori-European Standards of Health, one of a series of special reports issued by the Department of Health. The comparison in this report is for the period 1954–58.

In addition to the greater susceptibility to disease processes the Maori has high accident and homicide rates. Maori children have accident rates more than double those of the European child; at older ages there are high Maori fatality rates in road accidents.

Maori deaths for 1958 to 1960 are compared in the following table, grouped according to the Abbreviated List of the 1955 Revision of the International List.

Causes of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per 10,000 of Mean Maori Population Maori Population
Tuberculosis of respiratory system4733233.172.141.44
Tuberculosis, other forms15671.010.390.44
Syphilis and its sequelae4340.270.190.25
Typhoid fever1110.070.060.06
Dysentery, all forms310.200.06
Scarlet fever and streptococcal sore throat10.06
Whooping cough26−70.130.390.13
Meningococcal infections8340.540.190.25
Acute poliomyelitis10.07
All other diseases classified as infective and parasitic2020121.351.300.75
Malignant neoplasms, including neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues1051191327.017.728.26
Benign and unspecified neoplasms2340.130.190.25
Diabetes mellitus138140.880.520.88
Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system5653713.773.444.44
Non-meningococcal meningitis1515161.010.971.00
Rheumatic fever5360.340.190.38
Chronic rheumatic heart disease5337463.572.402.88
Arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease1391391799.369.0211.20
Other diseases of the heart6171664.124.614.13
Hypertension with heart disease1823141.211.490.88
Hypertension without mention of heart4550.270.320.31
Ulcer of stomach and duodenum3740.200.450.25
Intestinal obstruction and hernia81490.540.910.56
Gastritis, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis, except diarrhoea of the newborn4249592.833.183.69
Cirrhosis of liver4240.270.130.25
Nephritis and nephrosis1512141.010.780.88
Hyperplasia of prostate310.200.06
Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the Puerperium9950.600.580.31
Congenital malformations3836342.562.342.13
Birth injuries, post-natal asphyxia, and atelectasis6151504.113.313.13
Infections of the newborn1816171.211.041.06
Other diseases peculiar to early infancy, and immaturity unqualified6051474.043.312.94
Senility without mention of psychosis, ill-defined, and unknown causes67110.400.450.69
All other diseases1131061507.626.889.39
Motor-vehicle accidents5254663.503.504.13
All other accidents7472714.994.674.44
Suicide and self-inflicted injury9680.610.390.50
Homicide and operations of war11770.740.450.44

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 organisations (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).

The infant-mortality rate of the European population of New Zealand is among the world's lowest, and recently has declined to a particularly low level. The Maori rate has shown a noticeable improvement in recent years. European, Maori, and total infant-mortality figures are given in the next table.

YearNumbersRates per 1,000 of Mean Population

In the quinquennium 1955–59 New Zealand's infant-mortality rate per 1,000 births (exclusive of Maoris), with an average of 19.8, was the fourth lowest of 36 countries for which reliable figures were available, whereas the inclusion of the Maori population, with a rate of 56.7, relegated it to sixth place, below Sweden, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, and Australia.

A progressive reduction in 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. Similarly, there have been reductions in the Maori mortality rate at the same period of life, but the rates are still comparatively high. The next table contrasts the mortality rates per 1,000 live births for European and Maori infants.

Under One MonthOne and Under Twelve MonthsTotal Under One YearUnder One MonthOne and Under Twelve MonthsTotal 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 five-year period 1941–45, with those for the five years, 1956–60 the European neo-natal mortality was reduced by 31 per cent over the period in contrast to a much lower reduction in the Maori of 11 per cent; for those aged between one and 12 months the European reduction of 39 per cent was less favourable than that in the Maori at 58 per cent.

Birth injury and prematurity are two conditions 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, and greater frequency of child bearing, 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 underlie 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.

Particulars of deaths of European infants under one year of age for each of the years 1951–61 are shown in the following table.

YearNumberRate per 1,000 Live Births

In the following table New Zealand's European infant-mortality rate is shown in comparison with that of other countries. The figures are taken from the United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1960. 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 17 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1955–59, as compared with New Zealand's 20 for the same quinquennium. In the case of the United States of America, South Africa, and New Zealand the European population only has been taken into account.

CountryQuinquenniaDeaths Under 1 Year Per 1,000 Live Births

* White population only.

New Zealand*1955–5920
United Kingdom1955–5924
United States of America*1955–5926
South Africa*1955–5929
China (Taiwan)1955–5934
Republic of Ireland1955–5935
Germany, Federal Republic1955–5937
Germany, Eastern1955–5945

The male rate of infant mortality is considerably above the female rate, the average for New Zealand over the five-year period 1956–60 being 21.8 male deaths per 1,000 male births and 17.5 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 11 years.

YearUnder 1 Day1 Day and Under 2 Days2 Days and Under 1 WeekTotal Under 1 Week1 Week and Under 2 Weeks2 Weeks and Under 3 Weeks3 Weeks and Under 1 MonthTotal Under 1 Month1 Month and Under 12 MonthsTotal Under 1 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 1956–60 the death rate for children under one month of age was 53 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 60 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 1956–60, however, indicate that, whereas this group recorded a decrease of 31 per cent from the 1941–45 rate, the one-month-and-over group declined by 39 per cent.

PeriodDeaths per 1,000 Births
Under 1 YearUnder 1 MonthBetween 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 European Infant Mortality — The principal causes of infant mortality over the last 10 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) and Seventh (1955) Revisions of the International List.

Number of DeathsCauses of Death
Tuberculosis, all forms14222111
Congenital syphilis1111
Enteric fever and other salmonella infections21
Dysentery, all forms —–11
Whooping cough464211621
Meningococcal infections51077989522
Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis after the first four weeks of life967973777984107879170
Pneumonia of the newborn30222428213526313029
Gastro-enteritis after the first four weeks of life261012161014109166
Diarrhoea of the newborn151323351
Congenital malformations151205163208196186165223231226
Birth injury146118127110144143135123119151
Asphyxia and atelectasis164174152110137128172134124135
Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)38343740403926504332
Immaturity unqualified191191162198162143176132167164
Other and undefined causes131129136152164166167213228244
Causes of DeathRates per 1,000 Live Births

* Less than 0.1.

Tuberculosis, all forms*0.1******
Congenital syphilis****
Enteric fever and other salmonella infections**
Dysentery, all forms**
Whooping cough0.10.10.1***0.1**
Meningococcal infections0.**
Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis after the first four weeks of life2.
Pneumonia of the newborn0.
Gastro-enteritis after the first four weeks of life0.
Diarrhoea of the newborn*0.1*0.1*0.1*0.1*
Congenital malformations3.
Birth injury3.
Asphyxia and atelectasis3.
Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)
Immaturity unqualified4.3413.
Other and undefined causes2.

Causes of Maori Infant Mortality — The next table shows the principal causes of death of Maori infants by numbers and rates for the latest ten years.

Causes of DeathNumber of Deaths
Tuberculosis, all forms4795212721
Congenital syphilis1111
Enteric fever and other salmonella infections1 1
Dysentery, all forms12321211
Whooping cough3984551252
Meningococcal infection353434224
Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis, after the first four weeks of life1231491011011171111329514585
Pneumonia of the newborn71284361212106
Gastro-enteritis after the first four weeks of life38644838532640374143
Diarrhoea of the newborn32411424
Congenital malformations18283622182628322827
Birth injury19263219313531333127
Asphyxia and atelectasis29212522172031282023
Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)4755311
Immaturity unqualified42414043403229433427
Other and undefined causes49715543535058595471
Causes of DeathRates per 1,000 Live Births
Tuberculosis, all forms0.
Congenital syphilis0.20.2—-0.20.2
Enteric fever and other salmonella infections0.20.1
Dysentery, all forms0.
Whooping cough0.
Meningococcal infection0.
Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis, after the first four weeks of life23.527.318.217.720.118.019.913.820.311.5
Pneumonia of the newborn1.
Gastro-enteritis after the first four weeks of life7.311.
Diarrhoea of the newborn0.
Congenital malformations3.
Birth injury3.
Asphyxia and atelectasis5.
Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)
Immaturity unqualified8.
Other and undefined causes9.413.

PERINATAL MORTALITY — 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 112. 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 births (still births plus live births), while the death rate for the first week of life is calculated per 1,000 live births. Statistics for Europeans only are given in the following table.

YearStill BirthsDeaths Under 1 WeekPerinatal Mortality

The combined rate has shown some slight 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 806 European still births registered during 1960 classified (a) according to maternal causes and (b) according to foetal causes.

Causes of Still-BirthNumber of Cases
(a) Maternal Causes   
Chronic disease in mother516
Acute disease in mother112
Diseases and conditions of pregnancy and childbirth533487
Difficulties in labour162339
Other causes in mother112
(b) Foetal Causes   
Placental and cord conditions138131269
Birth injury12820
Congenital malformation of foetus5668124
Diseases of foetus and ill defined causes141116257
Totals, all causes423383806

PERINATAL MORTALITY AND PREMATURITY — Approximately three out of every four European 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 1960 are set out in accordance with the International List of 1955.

Causes of DeathUnder 1 Day1 Day and Under 1 Week1 Week and Under 2 Weeks2 Weeks and Under 3 Weeks3 Weeks and Under 1 MonthTotal Under 1 Month
Congenital malformations445015189136
Injury at birth363631177
Injury at birth with prematurity4823374
Post-natal asphyxia and atelectasis3022355
Post-natal asphyxia and atelectasis, with prematurity5026379
Pneumonia of newborn11111317
Pneumonia of newborn, with prematurity3611112
Disorders arising from maternal toxaemia5139
Disorders arising from maternal toxaemia, with prematurity8917
Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis)104317
Haemolytic disease of newborn (erythroblastosis), with prematurity65112
Haemorrhagic disease of newborn167
Haemorrhagic disease of newborn, with prematurity156
Diarrhoea of newborn11
Diarrhoea of newborn with prematurity
Ill-defined diseases peculiar to early infancy75214
Ill-defined diseases peculiar to early infancy, with prematurity472875
Immaturity with mention of any other subsidiary condition11
Immaturity, unqualified110503163
Pemphigus neonatorum
Umbilical sepsis1113
Umbilical sepsis with prematurity
Other sepsis of newborn11
Other sepsis of newborn, with prematurity11
External causes
Other causes81033226

A total of 163, or 20 per cent, of all neo-natal deaths are directly attributed to immaturity, and a further 277 deaths are associated with it. The principal conditions of early infancy with which immaturity is associated are: (1) asphyxia in 79 cases (9.8 per cent of all neo-natal deaths); (2) diseases peculiar to early infancy in 75 cases (9.3 per cent); and (3) birth injury in 74 cases (9.2 per cent).

In the case of still births, out of 806 in 1960 there were 470 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 are providing essential basic data for further studies on prematurity.

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 latest 20 years is shown in the following table. The rate for 1960 was the lowest ever in this country.

YearRate per 1,000 Live Births
EuropeanMaoriTotal Population

A survey of the European 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 1960 of 0.34 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, and toxaemia. 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.

The Maori death rate from puerperal causes, while not as low as the European, has also fallen steadily to the lowest rate of 0.67 in 1960.

Details of deaths from deliveries and complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium for the three years 1958 to 1960 are shown in the following summary for the total population.

Causes of DeathNumber of Deaths Live BirthsRate per 10,000 Live Births
Toxaemias of pregnancy9731.481.130.48
placenta praevia110.160.16
Other haemorrhage of pregnancy40.66
Other complications arising from pregnancy1120.160.160.32
Abortion without mention of sepsis or toxaemia4450.660.650.80
Abortion with sepsis2420.330.650.32
Abortion with toxaemia10.16
Delivery complicated by placenta praevia or antepartum haemorrhage1110.160.160.16
Delivery complicated by retained placenta110.160.16
Delivery complicated by other post-partum haemorrhage120.160.32
Delivery complicated by disproportion or malposition of foetus210.320.16
Delivery complicated by prolonged labour of other origin10.16
Delivery with trauma3320.490.480.32
Delivery with other complications of childbirth120.160.32
Sepsis of childbirth and the Puerperium120.160.32
Puerperal phlebitis and thrombosis120.160.32
Puerperal pulmonary embolism1520.160.810.32
Cerebral haemorrhage in the Puerperium10.16
Mastitis and other disorders of lactation110.160.16
Totals, including septic abortion3136245.115.823.82
Totals, excluding septic abortion2932224.785.173.50

A summary of European maternal mortality from all puerperal causes, in triennial periods since 1936, is now given.

Causes of Death1936–381939–411942–441945–471948–501951–531954–561957–591960
Puerperal sepsis44463012634
Eclampsia and other toxaemias94805862423020202
Septic abortion685861332071282
Accidents, haemorrhage, and other mortality91135941107349355215
Total maternal mortality29731924321714189678419
Maternal mortality, excluding septic abortion22926118218412182557617

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 latest years classified according to the Intermediate List of the 1955 Revision of the International Classification. Falls on board ship and from horseback are included as transport fatalities.

Causes of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per Million of Mean Population
Motor-vehicle accidents405362356177155150
Other transport accidents664438291916
Accidental poisoning21344391418
Accidental falls21327529593118124
Accidents caused by machinery463640201517
Accidents caused by fire and explosion of combustible material35192815812
Accidents caused by hot substance, corrosive liquid, steam, and radiation161011745
Accidents caused by firearms181219858
Accidental drowning and submersion143123143635360
All other accidental causes126130119555650
Homicide and injury purposely inflicted by other persons (not in war)242525111110
Totals1,113 1,0701,117487458470

The number of deaths recorded from all accidental causes in 1960 was 1,092, corresponding to a rate of 4.59 per 10,000 of population.

Drownings are a leading cause of accidental death in New Zealand. Included in the preceding table for 1960 are 27 deaths from drowning due to the capsize of small boats and 19 deaths involving principally the larger type of boat. The year 1960 shows a slight rise in the death rate from external causes.

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 11 years are as follows.

YearDeaths Due to AccidentRate per 10,000 of Mean Population
RailwayTramwayMotor VehicleAircraftRailwayTramwayMotor VehicleAircraft

* 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 one was a Maori, and seven were registered as unidentified bodies.

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.

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, but there were improvements in 1959 and 1960.

The figures given in the above table for deaths from motor-vehicle accidents 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 1960 there were 16 deaths from such accidents, bringing the total number of deaths in cases where a motor vehicle was involved up to 356. The corresponding figure for 1959 was 362.

Non-transport Accidents — The 1955 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 1958, 1959, and 1960 according to this classification.

Place of OccurrenceNumberRate per Million of Mean Population
Home (including home premises and vicinity and any non-institutional place of residence)259281287114120121
Farm (including buildings and land under cultivation, but excluding farm and home premises)645048282120
Mine and quarry1672731
Industrial place and premises303137131315
Place for recreation and sport61412365
Street and highway101921489
Public building (building used by the general public or a particular group of the public)10147463
Resident institution (homes, hospitals, etc.)515586222436
Other specified places96112111424847
Place not specified25202811912

One in every two fatal non-traffic accidents occurs in or about the home. The year 1957 was a particularly bad one for this type of mishap.

Falls are the chief cause of home fatalities, exacting a heavy toll of the aged and infirm. This is clearly illustrated in a special report on domestic accidents issued by the Department of Health in 1960. The second important cause of death in the home is asphyxia from regurgitation of food and inhalation of other objects, or mechanically from pillows and bedclothes; this is the principal hazard of die first six months of life, though a proportion of these deaths is probably due to some undisclosed 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 vicinity of the home.

Twenty of the 48 accidental deaths on farms in 1960 were caused by farm machinery (usually tractors). Further data regarding accidents will be found elsewhere in this volume (see Index). A later section is devoted wholly to statistics of industrial accidents.

Suicide — There were 222 suicidal deaths of Europeans in 1960 — 159 males and 63 females — the death rates per 100,000 of population being 14.3 for males and 5.7 for females. For Maoris there were eight suicidal deaths in 1960 — six males and 2 females, the death rates per 100,000 of population being 7.4 for males and 2.5 for females.

Rates per 100,000 of population showing the age distributions, averaged over the years 1958, 1959, and 1960 are shown next for the total population.


These figures show the typical increase in the suicide rates with increasing age and the fall in the female rate after the age of 75.

The next table presents the average, over three-yearly periods since 1921, of standardised European suicide rates per 100,000 of mean population.

Annual Average DuringMalesFemales

The male rate fell sharply after the depression years, while the female rate has remained fairly constant.

The following table provides an international comparison of suicide rates for various countries. The figures have been calculated from material in the United Nations Demographic Yearbooks.

CountryTrienniumRate per 100,000 of Population
Republic of Ireland1957–592.6
South Africa (coloured)1956–583.0
Northern Ireland1957–593.6
United States of America (coloured)1957–593.9
New Zealand (Maori)1957–594.7
South Africa (Asiatic)1956–588.9
New Zealand (European)1957–599.7
United States of America (white)1957–5911.1
South Africa (white)1956–5811.7
England and Wales1957–5911.7
Southern Rhodesia1957–5912.4
Germany, Federal Republic1957–5918.7

INQUESTS — An inquest may be held for the purpose of establishing: (a) The fact that a person has died; (b) The identity of the deceased person; (c) When, where, and how the death occurred.

All inquests are held in public, but under the Coroners Act 1951 there is power to exclude persons from an inquest and to prohibit the publication of any part of the evidence.

The next table classifies inquests for the latest five years according to the verdict returned and recorded in the Deaths Register of the Registrar-General.

YearDisease and Natural CausesAccidentHomicideSuicideTotal

In the above table the accident and suicide groups showed increases in 1960 of 34.05 and 14.50 per cent respectively compared with those for 1959. There was a notable decrease in the disease and natural causes group of 45, or 17.24 per cent, on the 1959 figure. Maoris are included in this table.


GENERAL — Marriage may be solemnised 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 solemnised. Marriage by an officiating minister may be solemnised at any time between 6 o'clock in the morning and 8 o'clock in the evening. Marriage before a Registrar can be solemnised 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 21 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 solemnised, 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 solemnised.

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 authorised 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 14 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 solemnised 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 16 years of age. No marriage shall be deemed to be void, 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 solemnised 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 for the total population. 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 Yearbook. The numbers and rates of marriages during each of the last 20 years are here given.

YearNumberRate per 1,000 of Population

* Total population. Prior to 1952 the figures are for Europeans only.


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 age groups of high marriage rates. An appreciable decline, however, in both the number of marriages and in the marriage rate took place in 1947 and 1948. The number continued to decline until 1951. Separate figures for European marriages are not available after 1951.

Comparison with Other Countries — Marriage rates for certain countries for 1960 are given below (these particulars have been taken from the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, issued by the Statistical Office of the United Nations).

CountryRate per 1,000 Mean Population
Puerto Rico8.5
United States of America8.5
New Zealand8.0
United Kingdom7.5
Republic of Ireland5.5

MARITAL STATUS — The total number of persons married during the year 1960 was 37,818, of whom 33,535 were single, 1,779 widowed, and 2,504 divorced. The figures for the five years 1956 to 1960, showing the sexes separately, are given in the table following.

YearSingleWidowedDivorcedTotal Persons Married

The position is more easily seen by studying the percentages given in the next table.

Per Cent

Divorce statistics at the end of this subsection show the numbers of decrees granted in recent years, the numbers varying from 1,400 to 1,900 a year. The number of widowed persons remarrying, which was 39 per 1,000 in 1940, rose to 47 per 1,000 in 1960.

The relative marital status of bridegrooms and brides for each of the latest five years is next given.

YearMarriages Between Bachelors andMarriages Between Widowers andMarriages Between Divorced Men and
SpinstersWidowsDivorced WomenSpinstersWidowsDivorced WomenSpinstersWidowsDivorced Women

The relative proportions of divorced men and divorced women remarrying during the last three years has changed but little compared with 20 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 1958–60 the respective numbers were 3,758 males and 3,890 females, and the corresponding rate 97 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 1958–60 there were 2,536 widowers and 2,445 widows who remarried, the number of widowers per 100 widows being 149 in the former period and 104 in the latter period.

AGES OF PERSONS MARRIED — Of the 37,818 persons married in 1960, 8,920, or 24 per cent were under 21 years of age; 13,886, or 36 per cent, were returned as 21 and under 25; 7,066, or 19 per cent, as 25 and under 30; 4,468, or 12 per cent, as 30 and under 40; and 3,478, or 9 per cent, as 40 years of age or over. The following table relates to the year 1960.

Age of Bride, in YearsAge of Bridegroom, in YearsTotal Bridegrooms
Under 2121 and Under 2525 and Under 3030 and Under 3535 and Under 4040 and Under 4545 and Over
Under 211,5182501811,787
21 and under 253,8863,110350388417,397
25 and under 301,3822,330904205541464,895
30 and under 3526259156330616230141,928
35 and under 40641432272161567232910
40 and under 45144371971249866513
45 and over722381001642339151,479
Total brides7,1336,4892,1719626684521,03418,909

The recent trend is for persons to marry at younger ages. The following table shows since 1925 the proportions of men and women married at each age group to every 100 marriages.

PeriodUnder 2121 and Under 2525 and Under 3030 and Under 3535 and Under 4040 and Under 4545 and OverTotals

* Total population. Periods prior to 1950 are for Europeans only.


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 1951–60 are as follows.

YearAverage Age at Marriage

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 latest five years according to marital status were as shown below.

YearBridegrooms Brides

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 22 to 24.

Marriages of Minors — Of every 1,000 men married in 1960, 95 were under 21 years of age, while 377 in every 1,000 brides were under 21.

In 1,518 marriages in 1960 both parties were given as under 21 years of age, in 5,615 marriages the bride was returned as a minor and the bridegroom as an adult, and in 269 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 available year (1960) one bride in every three was under 21 years of age, the proportion for grooms being one in 11.

YearAge, in YearsTotals
1617181920NumberRate per 100 Marriages

MARRIAGES BY MINISTERS OF VARIOUS CHURCHES — Of the 18,909 marriages registered in 1960, Church of England clergymen officiated at 4,773, Presbyterians at 4,878, Roman Catholics at 2,824, Methodists at 1,551, and clergymen of other churches at 1,419, while 3,464 marriages were solemnised by Registrars.

The following table shows the proportions of marriages by ministers of the largest churches and before Registrars in each of the years 1954–60.

ChurchPercentage of Marriages
Church of England26.2125.6325.8824.6325.1224.3725.24
Roman Catholic14.4015.0514.8415.1915.1215.2914.93
Before Registrars18.6418.2418.8218.8119.6219.7118.32

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 1961) 3,436, and the churches to which they belong are shown hereunder.

Roman Catholic Church797
Church of England596
Presbyterian Church of New Zealand545
Methodist Church of New Zealand355
Ratana Church of New Zealand170
Salvation Army167
Latter Day Saints79
Ringatu Church49
Associated Churches of Christ48
Seventh Day Adventist42
Congregational Independent35
Assemblies of God29
Jehovah's Witness24
Apostolic Church24
Commonwealth Covenant Church19
Liberal Catholic Church17
Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Conference15
Evangelistic Church of Christ13
Church of God13
Churches of Christ11
Church of Te Kooti Rikirangi11
Spiritualist Church of New Zealand8
Hebrew Congregations6
United Maori Mission5

The Ratana Church of New Zealand, the Ringatu Church, the United Maori Mission, and the Church of Te Kooti Rikirangi are Maori organisations.

DIVORCE AND NULLITY — 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:

  1. Adultery since the celebration of the marriage;

  2. Wilful and continuous desertion for three years or more;

  3. 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;

  4. Conviction for attempted murder of petitioner or of any child of petitioner or respondent or for an offence under sections 188, 198, and 199 of the Crimes Act 1961 against petitioner or any such child;

  5. Conviction for murder;

  6. Insanity and confinement as a lunatic for seven, out of 10 years preceding the petition;

  7. Insanity for seven years, and confinement for three years immediately preceding the petition;

  8. Insanity and confinement as a lunatic for the five years immediately preceding the petition;

  9. Failure for three years or more to comply with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights;

  10. Separation under an agreement, written or verbal, which has been in full force for not less than three years;

  11. 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;

  12. Parties living apart for not less than seven years and unlikely to be reconciled;

  13. 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 recognise 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 solemnised 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:

  1. Where at the time of the ceremony either party to the marriage was already married;

  2. 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;

  3. Where the parties are within the prohibited degrees of relationship as set out in the Marriage Act 1955;

  4. Where the marriage was not solemnised in due form.

A marriage is voidable in New Zealand on the following grounds:

  1. Incapacity or wilful refusal of the respondent to consummate the marriage;

  2. Mental deficiency of either party within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1911, although that party was capable of consenting to the marriage;

  3. Venereal disease (of the respondent) in a communicable form;

  4. 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 -

  1. That the petitioner was at the time of the marriage ignorant of the facts;

  2. 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.

YearDissolution or Nullity of MarriageJudicial SeparationRestitution of Conjugal Rights
Petitions FiledDecrees NisiDecrees AbsolutePetitions FiledDecrees for SeparationPetitions FiledDecrees for Restitution

The passing in November 1953 of the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Amendment Act had a marked effect as regards petitions and decrees for restitution of conjugal rights.

The next table gives the grounds (dissolution or nullity cases) of petitions and decrees during 1959 and 1960.

GroundsPetitions FiledDecrees Absolute Granted
Husbands' PetitionsWives' PetitionsHusbands' PetitionsWives' Petitions
Drunkenness with cruelty, failure to maintain, etc.16632
Attempted murder1
Non-compliance with order for restitution of conjugal rights321621
Separation for not less than three years408429553572318323436447
Separation by Court order16118394
Living apart for not less than seven years6694587571617961
Presumption of death
Sodomy, etc.

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 1956–60 inclusive, the average percentage of decrees absolute granted on wives' petitions (82.9), was greater than the percentage granted on husbands' petitions (75.9). It is of interest to point out that 1958 was the only occasion since 1952 in which the number of decrees absolute granted on husbands' petitions was greater than the total granted on wives' petitions.

In 502 of the 1,648 cases where decrees absolute were granted during 1960 there was no living issue of the marriage. The number of living issue was one in 385 cases, two in 349 cases, three in 217 cases, and four or more in 195 cases.

The table which follows shows the duration of marriage in all cases for which decrees absolute were granted in the five years 1956 to 1960.

Duration of Marriage, in YearsHusbands' Decrees Absolute GrantedWives' Decrees Absolute Granted
Under 561517665634439544860
5 and under 10217184228233237255242275245232
10 and under 15140164227207173174203228228241
15 and under 2010510612910211111396134123119
20 and under 30120125153133166127110132151150
30 and over57406458493640514647

The number of living issue affected by the decrees absolute of their parents during each of the last five years was as follows: 1956, 2,365; 1957, 2,269; 1958, 2,737; 1959, 2,655; and 1960, 2,678.



DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES IN NEW ZEALAND — The Public Health Act 1900 placed public health administration in New Zealand on an efficient 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 organisation. 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 after 1921 under 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 organisation.

During the years 1900 to 1920 there was an increasing public interest taken in health matters. As a result a number of voluntary health organisations 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 hearth organisation, 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 Public 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 physiotherapists.

Developments since the Second World War 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.

The Health Act 1956 consolidated and amended the law relating to public health.

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 ORGANISATION 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 bylaws 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 Director-Generals, and the work of the Department is divided among the following divisions: Public Health, Hospitals, Child Health, Nursing, Clinical Services, Tuberculosis, Health Education, Maternal Welfare, Dental Health, and Physical Medicine. There is also the Division of Mental Health, the activities of which are described in Section 5C. New Zealand as a whole is divided into 19 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 coordination 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 organises 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 organisation 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

Dangerous Drugs Act 1927

Dentists Act 1936

Dietitians Act 1950

Food and Drugs Act 1947

Hospitals Act 1957

King George the Fifth Memorial Children's Health Camps Act 1953

Medical Act 1908 (Part II)

Medical Advertisements Act 1942

Medical Practitioners Act 1950

Medical Research Council Act 1950

Mental Health Act 1911

Nurses and Midwives Act 1945

Occupational Therapy Act 1949

Opticians Act 1928

Physiotherapy Act 1949

Plumbers Registration Act 1953

Poisons Act 1960

Radioactive Substances Act 1949

Social Security Act 1938 (Part III)

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 1960 and 1961 is given in the following table.

NOTE —Minus sign (—) denotes a decrease.
Vote “Health”-£££
    General health services1,592,9071,681,97289,065
    Dental health1,042,3411,062,31419,973
    Departmental hospitals and institutions (other than mental health)562,489596,57934,090
    Mental health3,777,6324,106,441328,809
    Health education29,59624,094−5,502
    Medical Research Council107,623119,86612,243
    Homes for the aged479,035375,070−103,965
    Pensioners housing: Local authorities203,008207,6284,620
    Youth hostels8,3251,002−7,323
    Plunket Society subsidies128,113143,15715,044
    Miscellaneous grants and subsidies94,778111,31516,537
Vote “Public Hospitals”
    Grants to hospital boards17,204,75119,561,0852,356,334
Vote ”Medical, Hospital, etc., Benefits”19,886,95721,143,8611,256,904
Grand totals45,160,04249,179,4714,019,429

Information on hospitals is given in Sections 5B and 5C, while information on medical, hospital, and other related benefits, which are administered by the Department of Health, is given in Section 6A (Social Security).

PUBLIC HEALTH — 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 19 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 (cerebro-spinal meningitis)
    Dysentery (amoebic and bacillary)
    Encephalitis lethargica
    Enteric fever (typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever)
    Fulminant influenza
    Infective hepatitis
    Leptospiral infections
    Ophthalmia neonatorum
    Ornithosis (psittacosis)
    Pemphigus neonatorum, impetigo, or pustular lesions of the skin of the newborn infant
    Plague (bubonic or pneumonic)
    Pneumonic influenza
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
    Food poisoning
    Puerperal fever involving any form of septicaemia, sepsis, or sapraemia
    Relapsing fever
    Salmonella infections
    Septicaemia, sepsis, or sapraemia, in any form, following abortion or miscarriage
    Septicaemic influenza
    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)
    Undulant fever
    Yellow fever
    Hydatid disease
    Impaired hearing arising from occupation
    Phosphorus poisoning
    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

All forms of tuberculosis are notifiable under the Tuberculosis Act 1948.

Venereal Diseases: Venereal 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: The Food and Drugs Act 1947 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 standardised, 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 standardised 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.

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, cocaine, and marihuana 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 Department of Health. 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 1960 controls the distribution, use, labelling, and packing of all poisons and toxic substances. An important provision requires that before importing or putting on the market a new substance which might be toxic a proprietor must notify very full details to the Registrar of Poisons. 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. There is power to introduce special safeguards for certain dangerous chemicals used in horticulture. 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.

Hydatids Eradication: The Hydatids Act 1959 provides new and more positive methods of attack in the campaign for the eradication of hydatid disease. The Act is administered by the Department of Agriculture and set up a National Hydatids Council on which the Department of Health has representation.

Medical Advertisements Act 1942: This Act 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. 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.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH — The Factories Act 1946, section 78, gives to medical officers of health or other authorised officers of the Department of Health the same powers and authorities as inspectors of factories with regard to the health and welfare sections of the Act. Towards the end of 1956 the functions of the Division of Occupational Health became one of the functions of the Division of Public Health and, whereas they were previously discharged in the field by five district industrial medical officers, they are now discharged by all medical officers of health.

The objective of the programme is to work with labour, management, the medical profession, and other groups to assist in improving the health of the worker. In the promotion of this programme it is evident that clearly defined arrangements are necessary to avoid duplication of effort so far as the Department of Labour and some other Departments are concerned, there being very necessary joint activities in this field of worker health.

The principle arrived at is that the Department of Labour is responsible for accident prevention, hours of work, employment of women and children, etc., but calls to the attention of the Department of Health any health problems which the factory inspectors may encounter. The enforcement of statutes and regulations is undertaken by the Department of Labour. The suspension of workers on health grounds, approval of respirators and similar protective equipment, and the arrangements for medical examinations are undertaken by the Department of Health, which also investigates health hazards referred to it from the Department of Labour or disclosed as a result of investigations into notified occupational disease, complaints, surveys, etc. Resulting from this cooperation, clearly established codes of practice are developing, as are also a series of regulations dealing with health hazards, many of the latter being administered by the two Departments, each in its own sphere.

A somewhat similar understanding has been established with the Waterfront Industry Commission and New Zealand Railways, and illustrates the general pattern of arrangements between the Department of Health and other Government Departments or agencies concerned with particular aspects of workers' health.

Occupational Disease: The notifiable occupational diseases are scheduled in the Health Act 1956 and details of diseases notified are published annually in the report of the Director-General of Health.

Control of Health Hazards: An increasing number of specific health hazards are coming under formal control, namely lead processes, electroplating, spray painting, sand blasting (siliceous blasting agents in factories are prohibited), fumigation, aerial application of poisons, where in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Administration a special rating is required by pilots, and agricultural chemicals. The organisation of radiation protection is dealt with by the Dominion X-ray and Radium Laboratory, while a number of other specific hazards are currently receiving consideration.

Medical, Nursing, and First-aid Services: While there are no statutory obligations on industry to provide medical and nursing services, an increasing number of Government and private factories do provide such services, details of which are published in the annual report of the Director-General of Health.

To meet the needs of small plants the Department has developed and is developing industrial health centres with financial support from the Waterfront Industry Commission in the case of harbour areas, and the Workers' Compensation Board in the case of general industry.

Minimal first-aid requirements have been laid down by the Department, which generally endeavours to encourage both the development of medical and nursing services and the raising of first-aid standards throughout industry generally.

Pre-employment Examinations: Pre-employment medical examinations are required for young workers before entering factory employment.

Air Pollution — The air pollution provisions of Part V of the Health Act have been enforced since 1958. A senior chemical inspector is resident in Wellington with a deputy in Auckland.

The classes of process requiring registration were increased from 20 to 26 by the Chemical Works Order of 1960 and now include, for the control of odours, supervision of rending processes. Most registrable processes are governed by the requirement to adopt the best practicable means, but there are limiting standards for lead and acid gases. All new installations or extensions of these registrable processes require approval by the Department of Health.

Air pollution committees in Auckland and Christchurch, in association with the Air Pollution Committee of the Board of Health, have established surveys to determine the extent of air pollution in these cities and the need for further action.

TUBERCULOSIS — Legislation for the control of tuberculosis in New Zealand is provided for in the Tuberculosis Act 1948, which is administered by the Department of Health. The Act provides for notification and registration of tuberculosis cases; compulsory medical examination and hospitalisation of recalcitrant tuberculosis patients; Government financial and housing assistance to tuberculosis patients; worker's compensation to hospital and other institutional employees who contract tuberculosis in the course of their employment.

The Department's programme for control of the disease is based on adequate case-finding and notification procedures, the proper treatment and surveillance of notified cases, investigation and control of contacts. This calls for close coordination of the staff and services of hospital boards (which are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis) and officers of the Department of Health who deal with the social and epidemiological aspects of the disease. The latter involves supervision of tuberculosis families, tracing of contacts, and the maintenance of tuberculosis statistics.

Mass miniature radiography is now an established and important feature of the Department's case-finding programme and during the years 1957 to 1960, 990,978 persons were X-rayed in the nine mass X-ray units then operated by the Department. This resulted in the discovery of 1,319 active cases.

B.C.G. vaccination is also undertaken by the Department and, in particular, is offered to the contacts of registered cases, post-primary-school children, and hospital workers partly exposed to infection.

Over the past decade, the results achieved are marked by a steady decrease each year in new notifications together with a marked decrease in mortality.

CHILD HEALTH — The Division of Child Health 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 health 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 organisations 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 cooperation 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:

  1. Poliomyelitis Vaccination — Immunisation against poliomyelitis has been carried out by the Division's staff since 1956. The vaccine used was an injectable type but in August 1961 an oral vaccine was introduced. This oral vaccine is at present being confined to the vaccination of infants under 12 months, the injectable type still being used for other age groups.

  2. Diphtheria, Whooping Cough, and Tetanus Immunisation — Protection against these diseases is a routine procedure and a triple vaccine is used. It is preferable that immunisation be done by the family doctor, and the course of injections should be commenced as soon as possible after babies are three months old. Arrangements can be made for mothers who are unable to have the immunisation 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 immunise the child. Booster doses (against diphtheria and tetanus) are given after the child's fourth birthday or as soon as possible after the child commences school. Further booster doses (against tetanus only) are recommended at five-yearly intervals.

  3. Typhoid Inoculations — Maori children in the North Island are inoculated annually against the typhoid group of diseases.

  4. Health Education — Officers of the Division give advice whenever possible and give health education talks. They advocate the use of iodised salt and iodine rich foods to control goitre, and the consumption of milk to maintain nutrition standards.

  5. Health Camps are established to which children are admitted for convalescence or correction of malnutrition and emotional disturbances.

Health camps were originally established to cater for the needs of delicate and undernourished children in the age group of five to 12 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 organisation — 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 two part-time 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 HEALTH — The Division of Dental Health, which was instituted 1921, in 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 Health 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 one Assistant Director. A senior executive officer is responsible for the secretarial services. Also attached to the Director's staff is a dental research officer.

The service is organised in 16 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 13 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 birthrate 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 far 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 organisation 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 400 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 500 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 384,844 children under regular treatment by the school dental nurses during the year 1960–61. 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 unsavable, less than four for every 100 saved by conservative 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 — In addition to the service provided by a number of clinics controlled by the Department of Health, dental care for adolescents is 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, which has been available since 1946, is in effect a continuation of the treatment provided by the School Dental Service, and is continued until a patient has reached his 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 Schedule to the Social Security (Dental Benefits) Regulations 1960. 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 1961 there were 164,638 children enrolled for dental benefits, and the amount paid for thei