Table of Contents


THE 1924 number of the Year-book, while on the same general lines as the 1923 number, is considerably larger, partly owing to the inclusion of new matter and the extension of existing sections, and partly through the reprinting of certain articles from former issues.

The articles—five in number—which have been reproduced in this issue will all be found in Section I. They relate to the rivers, lakes, geology, flora, and fauna of New Zealand, and are in each case the work of recognized authorities on the respective subjects. The list of mountains, given in Section I, has been revised and largely extended by Mr. T. A. Fletcher, Secretary of the New Zealand Alpine Club, and the article on seismology has also been considerably extended by Dr. C. E. Adams, Government Seismologist.

The section on “Population" has been entirely re-written, and contains much new matter. Statistics of the 1921 population census are given in the form of an appendix at the end of the book.

Another section which has been largely recast is that devoted to “Morbidity,” the tables in the portion relating to cases in public hospitals being presented in a much improved form for purposes of comparison with back years. Bankruptcy is no longer included in the section on “Justice,” but now forms a separate section (xxxi).

In the “Trade" section the subsection relating to Imperial Government supplies has been omitted on account of the completion in 1922 of the disposal of the produce concerned. In its stead appears a new subsection dealing with “Trade of Ports,” and including statistical and other information on the subject of the recently inaugurated system of port tonnage statistics.

Other items which might be mentioned are the extension of the Water-power section, and the inclusion in the section on “State Aid to Settlers, Workers, and Local Authorities” of informative matter relating to the schemes of advances, and of tables of half-yearly instalments of principal and interest payments on advances. In the “Miscellaneous" section, which contains the usual summary of legislation (in 1922), are short articles on the Wellington municipal milk-supply and the Main Highways Act. This section also contains the voting figures for the general election and licensing polls of 1922.

Several new diagrams have been added, and, in addition to the maps published in the 1923 number, others have been added showing the distribution of sheep and the location and area of forests. The armorial bearings of the Dominion are given as a frontispiece.

Government Statistician.

Census and Statistics Office,
Wellington, N.Z., 15th December, 1923.



THE Dominion of New Zealand consists of two large and several small islands in the South Pacific. These may be classified as follows:—

  1. (a.) Islands forming the Dominion proper, for statistical and general practical purposes:—

    • North Island and adjacent islets.

    • South Island and adjacent islets.

    • Stewart Island and adjacent islets.

    • Chatham Islands.

  2. (b.) Outlying islands included within the geographical boundaries of New Zealand, as proclaimed in 1847:—

    • Three Kings Islands.

    • Antipodes Islands.

    • Auckland Islands.

    • Bounty Islands.

    • Campbell Island.

    • Snares Islands.

  3. (c.) Islands annexed to New Zealand:—

    • Kermadec Islands.

    • Manahiki Island.

    • Cook Islands.

    • Rakaanga Island.

    • Niue (or Savage) Island.

    • Pukapuka (or Danger) Island.

    • Palmerston Island.

    • Suwarrow Island.

    • Penrhyn (or Tongareva) Island.

The Proclamation of British sovereignty over New Zealand, dated the 30th January, 1840, gave as the boundaries of what was then the colony the following degrees of latitude and longitude: On the north, 34° 30' S. lat.; on the south, 47° 10' S. lat.; on the east, 179° 0' E. long.; on the west, 166° 5' E. long. These limits excluded small portions of the extreme north of the North Island and of the extreme south of Stewart Island.

In April, 1842, by Royal Letters Patent, and again by the Imperial Act 26 and 27 Vict., c. 23 (1863), the boundaries were altered so as to extend from 33° to 53° of south latitude and from 162° of east longitude to 173° of west longitude. By Proclamation bearing date the 21st July, 1887, the Kermadec Islands, lying between the 29th and 32nd degrees of south latitude and the 177th and 180th degrees of west longitude, were declared to be annexed to and to become part of the then Colony of New Zealand.

By Proclamation bearing date the 10th June, 1901, the Cook Group of islands, and all the other islands and territories situate within the boundary-lines mentioned in the following schedule, were included:—

A line commencing at a point at the intersection of the 23rd degree of south latitude and the 156th degree of longitude west of Greenwich, and proceeding due north to the point of intersection of the 8th degree of south latitude and the 156th degree of longitude west of Greenwich; thence due west to the point of intersection of the 8th degree of south latitude and the 167th degree of longitude west of Greenwich; thence due south to the point of intersection of the 17th degree of south latitude and the 167th degree of longitude west of Greenwich; thence due west to the point of intersection of the 17th degree of south latitude and the 170th degree of longitude west of Greenwich; thence due south to the point of intersection of the 23rd degree of south latitude and the 170th degree of longitude west of Greenwich; and thence due east to the point of intersection of the 23rd degree of south latitude and the 156th degree of longitude west of Greenwich.

By mandate of the League of Nations the New Zealand Government also now administers the former German possession of Western Samoa; and, jointly with the Imperial Government and the Government of Australia, holds the League's mandate over the Island of Nauru.

By Imperial Order in Council of the 30th July, 1923, the coasts of the Ross Sea, with the adjacent islands and territories, were declared a British settlement within the meaning of the British Settlements Act, 1887, and named the Ross Dependency. The Governor-General of New Zealand is appointed Governor of the Ross Dependency, and vested with the administration of the dependency.


The total area of the Dominion of New Zealand, exclusive of the territories administered under mandate, is 103,862 square miles. The areas of the principal islands are as follows:—

 Square Miles.
North Island and adjacent islets44,131
South Island and adjacent islets58,120
Stewart Island and adjacent islets662
Chatham Islands372
        Total Dominion proper103,285
“Outlying" islands284
“Annexed" islands293
    Grand total103,862


The mountainous character of New Zealand is one of its most striking physical characteristics. In the North Island 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 extinct. Other dormant volcanoes include Mount Tarawera and White Island, both of which have, in recent years, erupted with disastrous consequences. Closely connected with the volcanic system are the multitudinous hot springs and geysers.

The South Island contains much more mountainous country than is to be found in the North. Along almost its entire length runs the mighty chain known as the Southern Alps, rising to its culmination in Mount Cook (or Aorangi, “the Sky-piercer,” in Maori nomenclature). No fewer than sixteen peaks of the Southern Alps attain a height of over 10,000 ft. Owing to the snow-line being low in New Zealand, many large and beautiful glaciers exist. The Tasman Glacier (Southern Alps), which has a total length of over eighteen miles and an average width of one mile and a quarter, is the largest. On the west coast the terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier is but a few hundred feet above sea-level.

The following list of named peaks over 7,000 ft. in height has been compiled by Mr. T. A. Fletcher, secretary of the New Zealand Alpine Club. Some of the elevations shown are only approximate.

Mountain or Peak.Height (Feet).
* Not available.
North Island
Kaikoura Ranges
    Mitre Peak8,532
    St. Bernard7,416
St. Arnaud Range
Spenser Range
    Faerie Queen7,332
Southern Alps
    David's Dome10,443
    Malte Brun10,421
    Elie de Beaumont10,200
    Douglas Peak10,178
    La Perouse10,101
    De la Beche10,058
    The Minarets10,058
    Glacier Peak9,865
    Grey Peak9,800
    Aiguilles Rouges9,731
    Haeckel Peak9,649
    Conway Peak9,510
    Hochstetter Dome9,258
    Bristol Top9,167
    The Footstool9,073
    The Dwarf9,025
    Nun's Veil8,975
    Bell Peak8,950
    Priest's Cap8,761
    Aurora Peak8,733
    Meteor Peak8,701
    Vampire Peak8,600
    Aigrette Peak8,594
    Dilemma Peak8,592
    Unicorn Peak8,394
    Maunga Ma8,335
    Eagle Peak8,300
    Coronet Peak8,265
    Percy Smith8,249
    Malcolm Peak8,236
    Blair Peak8,185
    Louper Peak8,165
    The Anthill8,157
    Dun Fiunary8,147
    Glacier Dome8,047
    Graceful Peak8,000
    Lean Peak8,000
    Raureka Peak8,000
    Observation Peak7,862
    Cadogan Peak7,850
    Du Faur Peak7,800
    Turret Peak7,800
    Copland Peak7,695
    Turner's Peak7,679
    St. Mary7,656
    Sibyl Peak7,625
    Edith Peak7,600
    Madonna Peak7,600
    Baker Peak7,600
    Novara Peak7,542
    Proud Peak7,540
    Lyttle's Peak7,386
    Panorama Peak7,075
Two Thumbs Range
Darran Range
Barrier Range
    Oblong Peak*
The Remarkables
    Double Cone7,688
    Ben Nevis7,650


The hot springs of the North Island form one of the most remarkable features of New Zealand. They are found over a large area, extending from Tongariro, south of Lake Taupo, to Ohaeawai, in the extreme north—a distance of some three hundred miles; but the principal seat of hydrothermal action appears to be in the neighbourhood of Lake Rotorua, about forty miles north-north-east from Lake Taupo. By the destruction of the famed Pink and White Terraces at Lake Rotomahana during the eruption of Mount Tarawera on the 10th June, 1886, the neighbourhood was deprived of attractions unique in character and of unrivalled beauty; but the natural features of the country—the numerous lakes, geysers, and hot springs, some of which possess remarkable curative properties in certain complaints—are still very attractive to tourists and invalids. The vast importance of conserving this region as a sanatorium for all time has been recognized by the Government, and it is dedicated by Act of Parliament to that purpose.

There are also several small hot springs in the South Island, the best-known being those at Hanmer.

A full account of the springs in the Rotorua, Te Aroha, and Hanmer districts was given in the 1905 number of the Year-book, with analyses of the waters of some of the principal springs.


The following account of the rivers of New Zealand, supplied by R. Speight, Esq., M.Sc., F.G.S., Curator of the Canterbury Museum, is reproduced from the 1914 Year-book.

In a country like New Zealand, with marked variations in topographic relief and with a plentiful and well-distributed rainfall, the rivers must necessarily form characteristic features of the landscape. Mountains, however, exert an important influence on their adaptability to the necessities of commerce, reducing their value on the one hand while increasing it on the other. Owing to the steep grades of their channels few of the rivers are fitted for navigation except near their mouths, but to compensate for this disability they furnish in many places ideal sites for power plants, which will in all probability be so utilized in the near future that New Zealand may become the manufacturing centre of the Southern Hemisphere. No country south of the Equator, except Chile and Patagonia, possesses such stores of energy conveniently placed, which cannot become exhausted until the sun fails to raise vapour from the neighbouring seas—a contingency to be realized only when life on the earth is becoming extinct.

The only part of the country which possesses rivers capable of being used for navigation is the North Island. The relief is not so marked as in the South, and many streams flow in deep beds, with somewhat sluggish current. There are flowing into the Tasman Sea rivers like the Waikato, Wairoa, Mokau, and Wanganui, which served the Maoris as important means of communication, and which are decidedly useful for the purposes of modern transport. The first-mentioned of these is by far the most important. Rising in the snows of Ruapehu, and receiving numerous affluents from the western slopes of the Kaimanawa Range, it pursues a northerly course for twenty miles with all the features of a mountain torrent till it enters Lake Taupo. Almost immediately on leaving this it plunges over the Huka Falls, formed by a hard ledge of volcanic rock, and then runs first north-east and then north-west till it reaches the sea, the amount of water discharged exceeding 800,000 cubic feet per minute. In certain parts of its course the valley is gorge-like in character and picturesque rapids obstruct its navigation, but in its lower reaches it widens out and flows for long distances through marshes and shallow lakes, and empties into the sea by a wide estuary, which is unfortunately blocked by a bad bar. It receives on the west a large tributary, the Waipa—itself also navigable for small steamers, and a river which may ultimately play no small part in the development of the south-westerly portion of the Auckland Province.

The Northern Wairoa shows features which resemble those of the Waikato. It rises in the hilly land of the North Auckland Peninsula, and flows south as a noble stream till it enters Kaipara Harbour, a magnificent sheet of water with many winding and far-reaching arms, but with its utility greatly discounted by the presence of a bar which, though with sufficient depth of water for vessels of moderate size, is frequently impracticable. The total estimated discharge from the streams running into the Kaipara Harbour is about 500,000 cubic feet per minute, of which the Wairoa certainly contributes one-half.

The Mokau River, which enters the sea about sixty miles north-east of New Plymouth, is navigable for a considerable distance in its lower reaches. Here it is flanked by limestone bluffs, clad with a wealth of ferns and other native vegetation, forming one of the most picturesque rivers of the country. Higher up, as in the Waikato, there are fine falls, which may ultimately be used for power purposes owing to their proximity to one of the important agricultural districts of the North Island.

The last of the four principal navigable rivers on the west coast is the Wanganui. This river gathers its initial supplies from the western flanks of the volcanic ridge of the centre of the Island, from which numerous streams run west over the Waimarino Plain in somewhat open channels till they coalesce and form the main river. Other tributaries, such as the Tangarakau and the Maunganui-te-ao, subsequently add their quota, and the river then flows in a southerly direction in loops and windings depressed far below the level of the coastal plain, between high papa bluffs clad with rich vegetation, till it reaches the sea as a deep tidal stream, the amount of its discharge being estimated at over 500,000 cubic feet per minute. Through the greater part of its course it has a characteristic trench-like channel, with a fairly even gradient, and with only slight interruptions from rapids. At low water these are most troublesome, but at times of high river-level they are passed without serious difficulty. This fine stream affords communication into a country difficult of access by road or railway, and it may be taken as typical of other smaller streams to the west, such as the Waitotara, the Patea, and the Waitara, which are navigable to a less extent, principally owing to the obstructions of timber in their channels; while the rivers lying more to the east and with courses parallel to the Wanganui—e.g., the Rangitikei and the Wangaehu—are more rapid and have little adaptability to the needs of transport. Further east still, in the neighbourhood of the Ruahine Mountains, the rivers become true mountain torrents, with steep grades and rapid currents.

On the other coast of the North Island the only streams capable of being used for navigation except just at their mouths are those running into the Firth of Thames—the Piako and the Waihou. But no account of our navigable rivers would be complete without a reference to the “drowned rivers” which characterize the northern parts of the Island. The Kaipara may be taken as a typical case of such, for the harbour merely represents the depressed and sunken lower reaches of the Wairoa and other streams. A further notable case is the Hokianga River, which runs for twenty miles between wooded hills and receives numerous tributaries from them, tidal for a considerable part of their courses, and allowing water communication to be used for at least fifteen miles from the point where actual discharge into the open sea takes place.

The remaining rivers of the North Island of any importance rise in the mountain axis that stretches from near Wellington towards the eastern margin of the Bay of Plenty. Towards the southern end, where it lies close to the shore of Cook Strait, the rivers from it are short and swift, the only exception being the Manawatu, which has cut a deep gorge in the mountain barrier and drains an extensive basin lying on the eastern flanks of the Ruahine Range to the north, and of the Tararua Range to the south, as well as a considerable area of country on the slopes of the Puketoi Range, its headwaters in this direction reaching nearly to the east coast of the Island. The Manawatu has an estimated discharge of over 600,000 cubic feet per minute, and judging by this it must be considered the second-largest river in the North Island. Although the Manawatu is the only stream which has succeeded up to the present in cutting through the range at its head, several of the rivers flowing west have eaten their way far back, and in future ages will no doubt struggle with the Manawatu for the supremacy of that tract of land lying to the east of the range. Remarkable changes are likely to occur in the direction of drainage, especially if the earth-movements now in progress in the neighbourhood of Cook Strait continue for any lengthy period.

The southern part of the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges is drained by the Hutt River, which flows into Wellington Harbour, and by the Ruamahanga and its tributaries, flowing through the Wairarapa Plain. Most of these include within their basins some amount of papa country as well as steep mountain-slopes. While in the former they run in deep narrow channels, but when free from it they spread at times over wide shingly beds in a manner more characteristic of the streams of the South Island.

Several large rivers rise in the Ruahine Mountains and their northerly extensions. The chief of these flowing into Hawke Bay are the Ngaururoro, Mohaka, and Wairoa, the first being noteworthy for the enormous amount of shingle it has brought down; while further north the Waipaoa runs into Poverty Bay and the Waiapu into the open sea, both draining an extensive area of rich papa land. From the north-western side of the range the Whakatane and the Rangitaiki, two considerable streams, flow into the Bay of Plenty.

The chief factor which determines the characters of the rivers of the South Island is the great mountain mass of the Southern Alps, with its extensions and semi-detached fragments. Its general direction is parallel to the west coast of the Island, and nearer to this coast than to the eastern one; it also lies right athwart the path of the wet westerly winds which prevail in these latitudes. The moisture collected during their passage across the Tasman Sea is precipitated in the form of rain on the coastal plain and the hills behind it, while the mountain-tops intercept it chiefly in the form of snow, the amount of annual rainfall varying from about 100 in. at sea-level up to over 200 in. near the main divide. The eastern slopes of to range receive less rain, and are increasingly drier as the coast is approached, but there the amount is slightly augmented by moist winds coming from the open ocean to the east. In the higher mountain valleys on both sides of the range lie numerous glaciers, either of the small cliff type or large ones of the first order, the most notable being the Tasman, Hooker, Mueller, Rangitata, Lyell, and Ramsay on the east, and the Franz Josef and Fox on the west. The chief large rivers of the central district of the Island rise from the terminals of the glaciers and issue from the ice as streams of considerable volume. They reach their highest level in spring and summer, for not only does the heavier rainfall of that time of the year serve to swell them inordinately, but the snow and ice are melted under the combined influence of the rain itself and of the strong sun-heat. Although they are almost always more or less turbulent and dangerous to the traveller who attempts to ford them—in the warm months of the year they are liable to sudden and serious floods, and formerly they frequently blocked communication for weeks at a stretch—now, however, many of the worst streams have been bridged, and communication is thus easier and less precarious.

The general form of these valleys is of a fairly uniform type. Their heads are usually amphitheatre-like in shape, and for some distance they are occasionally covered by old moraines, and the course of the stream is impeded by huge angular blocks washed out of these or shed from the steep slopes; at times, too, the rive is flow through deep and somewhat narrow gorges. Lower down the valleys open out, with even steep sides, nearly perpendicular at times, and with flat floors covered by a waste of shingle, over which the rivers wander in braided streams. The sides are clad with dense bush for a height of approximately 2,500 ft., that merges into a tangle of subalpine scrub, to be succeeded after another 1,000 ft. by open alpine meadow, gradually passing upward into bare rock and perpetual snow.

After leaving the mountains the streams cross the narrow fringe of aggraded coastal plain, and cut down their channels through old glacial drifts which furnished in former times rich leads of alluvial gold. The mouths of these rivers are usually blocked by shallow bars, but after heavy floods a channel may be scoured out, only to be closed, when the river falls, by the vast quantities of drift material moved along the beach by the heavy seas and the strong shore currents which sweep the open coast. It is only where it is possible to confine the river-mouths and direct their scour that open channels can be permanently maintained, and even these entrances to the river are at times extremely dangerous to shipping.

The chief rivers which flow from the central portion of the Southern Alps to the Tasman Sea are the Taramakau, Hokitika, Wanganui, Wataroa, Waihao, Karangarua, Haast, and Arawata. All rise in glaciers, and their valleys are remarkable for their magnificently diversified bush and mountain scenery. Occasionally lakes, ponded back behind old moraines or lying in rock-bound basins and fringed with primeval forest, lend charm to the landscape, and make a journey along the Westland Plain one of the most delightful in New Zealand from the scenic point of view.

Farther north glaciers are absent, but the heavy rain feeds numerous large streams and rivers, the most notable being the Grey and the Buller, the last being in all probability the largest on the west coast, the amount of its discharge being estimated at nearly 1,000,000 cubic feet per minute.

The general features of the rivers which flow into the West Coast Sounds are somewhat similar, except that few rise in glaciers, and there is no fringe of plain to the mountains. The valleys have steeper sides, waterfalls and lakes are more common, and are ideally situated for power installations. One of the large rivers of this area is the Hollyford, which flows into Martin's Bay; but the largest of all is the Waiau, which drains the eastern side of the Sounds region, receives the waters of Lakes Te Anau, Manapouri, and Monowai, and enters the sea on the south coast of the Island.

The rivers on the eastern slope of the Alps present features similar to those of the west coast in their upper courses, but the valleys are broader and flatter, floored from wall to wall with shingle and frequently containing large lakes of glacial origin. In those cases where lakes do not now exist there are undoubted signs that they occurred formerly, having been emptied by the erosion of the rock-bars across their lower extremities and filled at the same time by detrital matter poured in at their heads.

The largest of all these rivers is the Clutha; in fact, it discharges the greatest volume of water of any river in New Zealand, the amount being estimated at over 2,000,000 cubic feet per minute. The main streams which give rise to this river flow into Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, and have their sources in the main divide to the north of the ice-clad peak of Mount Aspiring and in the neighbourhood of the Haast Pass. After flowing as a united stream for nearly thirty miles it receives from the west a tributary nearly as large as itself called the Kawarau, whose discharge has been accurately gauged by Professor Park at 800,000 cubic feet per minute. This great volume of water is due to the fact that the Kawarau drains Lake Wakatipu, which serves as a vast reservoir for the drainage of a considerable area of mountain country, including snow-clad peaks at the head of the lake. The united streams continue in a south-easterly direction, and their volume is substantially increased by the Manuherikia on the east bank as well as by the Pomahaka on the west. The course of the Clutha lies through the somewhat arid schist region of Central Otago, gorge alternating with open valley and river-flats; but some ten miles or so before it reaches the sea it divides, only to reunite lower down and thus include the island known as Inch-Clutha. It almost immediately afterwards enters the sea, but its outlet is of little use as a harbour owing to a shifting and dangerous bar. Portions of its course are navigable to a very limited extent, but it is more important commercially, since it has yielded by means of dredging operations great quantities of gold; in fact, it may be regarded as a huge natural sluice-box, in which the gold disseminated through the schists of Central Otago has been concentrated through geological ages into highly payable alluvial leads.

The following large rivers belong to the Otago and Southland District, but do not reach back to the main divide—the Jacobs, Oreti, and Mataura; and forming the northern boundary of the Otago Provincial District is the Waitaki, which drains a great area of alpine country, and includes in its basin Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki, and Ohau. Its main affluents are the Tasman and the Godley, rising in glaciers of the same name near the axis of the range where it is at its highest. As the river approaches the sea it crosses shingle-plains, through which it has cut a deep channel Hanked by terraces, which rise bench-like for some hundreds of feet above the present level of the river. Its general features are similar to those of the rivers of Canterbury farther north, except that a larger proportion of the course of the latter lies across the plains and uninterfered-with in any way by the underlying harder and more consolidated rocks. The four principal rivers which rise in glaciers are the Rangitata, Ashburton, Rakaia, and Waimakariri; while further north are the Hurunui and Waiau, snow- and rain-fed rivers rising in the main range beyond the northerly limit of glaciers; and there are other streams which do not reach beyond the outer flanking ranges, and are almost entirely rain-supplied.

All these rivers carry down enormous quantities of shingle, but in former times they carried down even more, and built up the wide expanse of the Canterbury Plains by the coalescing and overlapping of their fans of detritus, the depth of shingle certainly exceeding 1,000 ft. Subsequently, when conditions, climatic or otherwise, slightly altered, they cut down deep through this incoherent mass of material, forming high and continuous terraces. Nowhere is the terrace system more completely developed than at the point where the rivers enter on the plains, for there the solid rock that underlies the gravels is exposed, and by the protection that it affords to the bases of old river flood-plains or former terraces it contributes materially to their preservation in a comparatively uninjured condition. The valleys of all these rivers are now almost treeless except in their higher parts, but there the mixed bush of Westland is replaced by the sombre beech forest; it is only in exceptional cases that the totara, which forms an important element of the bush on the hills to the west, crosses the range and covers portions of the sides of the valleys on the east.

Both the Hurunui and the Waiau have cut down gorges through semi-detached mountain masses of older mesozoic rock, a result probably accelerated by the movements of the earth's crust; and farther north, in the Province of Marlborough, the Clarence, Awatere, and Wairau have their directions almost entirely determined by a system of huge parallel earth-fractures, running north-east and south-west, and the rivers are walled in on either side by steep mountains for the greater part of their length. The Clarence Valley is the most gorge-like of the three, since it lies between the great ridges known as the Seaward and Inland Kaikouras, which reach a height of about 9,000 ft. The last river of the three, the Wairau, flows for a considerable distance through a rich alluvial plain, and enters Cloudy Bay by an estuary which is practicable for small steamers as far as the Town of Blenheim. The most important of the streams on the southern shores of Cook Strait are the Pelorus, Motueka, Takaka, and Aorere, great structural faults being chiefly responsible for the position and characteristic features of the valleys of the last two.

An important commercial aspect of our rivers is their use not only as drainage channels, but as a source of water for pastoral purposes. Hardly any area is without water for stock or with a subsoil wanting in moisture necessary for successful cultivation. Only in Central Otago and on the Canterbury Plains were there formerly wide stretches of arid country, but the deficiency in the water-supply has been remedied by well-engineered systems of races, tapping unfailing streams at higher levels, and distributing a portion of their contents far and wide, so that the districts mentioned are rendered highly productive and absolutely protected from the serious effects of drought. It is, however, the rich alluvial flats and well-drained terrace lands bordering on the rivers that contribute specially to the high average yield per acre year after year for which this country has such a world-wide reputation.

From the brief summary given above it will be evident also that the country possesses enormous stores of energy awaiting exploitation. A beginning has been made in some places, such as at Waipori in Otago, at Lake Coleridge in Canterbury, at the Horohoro Falls in Auckland, and at a few other places where there are minor installations. These owe their development to their comparative nearness to centres of industry, but they represent an infinitesimal portion of the energy available, and the value of our vast store will be more truly appreciated when our somewhat limited reserves of coal show signs of failure or become difficult to work—unless, indeed, some new form of power is disclosed by the researches of science in the near future.

A list of the more important rivers of New Zealand is given, with their approximate lengths, the latter being supplied by the Department of Lands and Survey.


Flowing into the Pacific Ocean—
    Waihou (or Thames)90
Flowing into Cook Strait—
    Manawatu (tributaries: Tiraumea and Pohangina)100


Flowing into Cook Strait—Miles.
    Wairau (tributary: Waihopai)105
Flowing into the Pacific Ocean— 
    Clarence (tributary: Acheron)125
    Waiau (tributary: Hope)110
    Waimakariri (tributaries: Bealey, Poulter, Esk, and Broken River)93
    Rakaia (tributaries: Mathias. Wilberforce, Acheron, and Cameron)95
    Waitaki (tributaries: Tasman, Tekapo, Ohau, Ahuriri, and Hakataramea)135
    Wanganui (tributaries: Ohura, Tangarakau, and Maunganui-te-ao)140
Flowing into Tasman Sea— 
    Waitara (tributary: Maunganui)65
    Waikato (tributary: Waipa)220
    Clutha (tributaries: Kawarau, Makarora, Hunter, Manuheri-kia, and Pomahaka)210
Flowing into Foveaux Strait— 
    Waiau (tributaries: Mararoa, Clinton, and Monowai)115
Flowing into the Tasman Sea— 
    Cleddau and Arthur20
    Haast (tributary: Landsborough)60
    Hokitika (tributary: Kokatahi)40
    Taramakau (tributaries: Otira and Taipo)45
    Grey (tributaries: Ahaura, Arnold, and Mawhera-iti)75
    Buller (tributaries: Matakitaki, Maruia, and Inangahua)105


For the 1915 Year-book Mr. Speight supplied an article on the lakes of New Zealand. The article is here reproduced.

Lakes are features of the landscape which are usually attributable to the filling-up of hollows formed by faulting or warping, or by volcanic explosions, or by the irregular accumulation of material round volcanic vents, or to the interference with river-valleys by glaciers. Seeing that all these agencies have operated on an extensive scale in New Zealand in comparatively recent geological times, it is not surprising that its lake systems are well developed. The remarkable group of lakes, lying in the middle of the North Island, as well as isolated enclosed sheets of water in other parts of the Auckland Province, are due to volcanic action in its various forms, while those in the South Island are to be credited to the operations of glaciers. We have therefore two distinct types of lake scenery, one for each Island. The relief of the land near the volcanic lakes is not by any means marked, and they therefore rarely have bold and precipitous shores, and their scenic interest depends partly on the patches of subtropical bush which grows luxuriantly in places on the weathered igneous material, and partly on their desolate and forbidding surroundings, everywhere reminiscent of volcanic action, where the softening hand of time has not reduced the outpourings of the eruptive centres to a condition favourable for the establishment of vegetation. The thermal activity which is manifested in numerous places on their shores adds to their interest. In the South Island the lakes lie in the midst of splendid mountain scenery, with amphitheatres of noble peaks at their heads, crowned with perpetual snow, and clad at lower levels with dark primeval beech forest, which affords an appropriate setting for the waters at their base, rendered milky-white at times with the finest of sediment worn from solid rocks by powerful glaciers, and swept down to the quiet waters of the lake by turbulent glacial torrents.


The largest sheet of fresh water in New Zealand is Lake Taupo, which is situated in the very heart of the North Island, at an elevation of 1,211 ft. above the sea. Its greatest length in a S.W.-N.E. direction is 25 miles, and its greatest breadth is about 17 miles, but its shape is somewhat irregular owing to a large indentation on its western side. Its area is 238 square miles, its greatest depth 534 ft., and it has a catchment area of about 995 square miles. About 60 per cent. of its water-supply comes from the Upper Waikato River, which drains the northern and eastern flanks of the central volcanoes as well as the western slopes of the Kaimanawa Range and its northern extensions. The lake discharges at its northeastern corner and forms the main Waikato River, which falls within a short distance over the Huka Falls, where the volume of water which passes over is estimated to reach an average of 5,000 cubic feet per second. The surroundings of the lake are picturesque, on the western side especially. Here it is bounded by cliffs of volcanic rock, generally between 100 ft. and 800 ft. in height, but at the Karangahape Bluffs they rise to over 1,000 ft. sheer. The northern shore is bold with promontories terminated with bluffs and intervening bays with gentler slope. The south side is generally fringed with alluvial flats, while the cast is bordered in places with pumice cliffs, and is somewhat uninteresting, but relieved from absolute monotony by the graceful extinct cone of Tauhara. About 20 miles to the south rise the great volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu, with their bush-clad foothills, forming a splendid panorama when seen from the northern shore of the lake.

To the south-east of the middle of the lake lies the island of Motutaiko, in all probability the summit of a volcanic cone on the line of igneous activity which stretches north-east from the central volcanoes towards Tarawera, White Island, Tonga, and Samoa. The formation of the lake itself is attributable either to a great subsidence after volcanic activity waned, or to a great explosion which tore a vast cavity in the earth's crust and scattered the fragments far and wide over the middle of the Island; and evidence of declining igneous action is furnished by hot springs in the lake itself and near its shore, especially at the north-east corner near Wairakei and on the southern shore near Tokaanu. Earth-movements have in all probability continued down to recent times, for an old shore platform or wave-cut terrace surrounds the lake, indicating that its waters were formerly at a higher level.

The lake forms an enormous reservoir of power conveniently placed for exploitation; it is estimated that the Huka Falls would develop up to 38,000 horse-power, and its central position renders it peculiarly suitable for supplying a wide district. Although the immediate vicinity does not hold out much hope for its utilization, the rich agricultural districts which lie at some distance will no doubt rely on it in the near future as a convenient source of mechanical energy.

To the south of Taupo, nestling in the hills between the great lake and the northern slopes of Tongariro, lies Roto-Aira, a beautiful sheet of water, 3 miles in length and with an area of 5 square miles. It discharges by the Poutu River into the Upper Waikato. The other lakes of this region are small in size and usually occupy small explosion craters on the line of igneous activity mentioned above.

A most interesting group of lakes lies in the midst of the thermal region to the north-east of Taupo. These comprise the following: Rotorua, Roto-iti, Roto-ehu, and Rotoma, which belong to a system lying to the north-west of the area, and Tarawera, Rotokakahi, Tikitapu, Okareka, Rotomahana, Okataina, Rotomakariri, and Herewhakaitu, which lie to the south-east. The former group is connected either directly or indirectly with the Kaituna River basin, and the latter with the Tarawera River basin, both of which discharge their waters into the Bay of Plenty. All these lakes occupy either explosion craters or depressions due to subsidences of the crust or hollows formed by irregular volcanic accumulations. They lie at an elevation of about 1,000 ft. above the sea. The largest is Rotorua, which is nearly circular in shape, except for a marked indentation on the southern shore. It is 32 square miles in area, 84 ft. deep, with flat shores; but in the middle, rather towards the eastern side, rises to a height of 400 ft. the picturesque and historical Island of Mokoia. The lake discharges at its north-eastern corner by the Ohau Creek into Lake Roto-iti, a shallow and irregular depression, which runs in turn into the Okere River. To the north-east lies the small lake of Roto-ehu, separated from it by low ground, and farther on lies the picturesque Rotoma, of still smaller size.

The largest lake of the south-eastern group is Tarawera, lying to the north and west of the mountain of the same name; discharging directly into it are Rotokakahi, Okareka, and Okataina, the last two by subterranean channels, while Tikitapu and Rotomahana are separated from it by comparatively narrow ridges.

All these lakes owe their interest to the thermal manifestations which occur in their vicinity, and to the remnants of beautiful bush which have survived the eruption of Tarawera in 1886. They are also noted for their fishing, being well stocked with trout. Their water is available for power purposes to a limited extent; and a small installation is placed near the low fall where the Okere River discharges from Lake Roto-iti.

Two small lakes of volcanic origin are situated on the peninsula north of Auckland: these are Takapuna and Omapere. The former lies close to the City of Auckland, and occupies a small explosion crater near the sea; while Omapere is between the Bay of Islands and Hokianga, in a shallow depression, which owes its origin to the obstruction of the Waitangi River by a lava-flow. It is three miles long by two wide, and is placed at a height of 790 ft. above the sea.

About forty miles from the east coast, in the Hawke's Bay District, lies the most important lake of Waikare-moana, twelve miles in length by about six miles and a quarter in breadth at its widest part, but with an extremely irregular outline; it has an area of twenty-one square miles. Its surface is 2,015 ft. above the sea, and it has a maximum depth of 846 ft. It discharges by the Wairoa River to the northern shore of Hawke Bay. This lake is most favourably situated for the development of water-power, and it is estimated that it would generate, owing to its admirable position, as much as 134,000 horse-power. A few miles to the northeast lies the small lake called Waikare-iti, which discharges into the large lake.

The only other inland lakes of any importance in this Island are those situated in the lower course of the Waikato River, the most noteworthy being Waikare and Whangape. The former has an area of nearly eleven square miles and has a depth of 12 ft.; the latter is smaller, with an area of only four square miles and a depth of 9 ft. These owe their origin to flooding of low-lying land alongside the river—in all probability attributable to a slight lowering of the land in this part of the country, with the consequent inability of the river to discharge its surplus water without a proper channel being maintained.

Along the coast-line, especially behind the fringe of dunes, numerous small lakes are found, such as Rotokawa, near Kaipara, and Horowhenua, near Levin; and a large sheet of water occurs near the mouth of the Wairarapa Valley, called the Wairarapa Lake. The lake is very shallow, and liable to remarkable variations in size owing to heavy floods from the neighbouring ranges. Between it and the sea is a considerable area of swampy ground in which are several small lakes, the largest of which, Lake Onoke, is separated from Palliser Bay by a narrow shingle-spit.


By far the great majority of the lakes of the South Island are dependent for their formation either directly or indirectly on the action of glaciers. They may be either small tarns high on the mountains or large lakes occupying considerable lengths of old stream-valleys which have been overdeepened by the excavating-power of ice during the Pleistocene glaciation, or lakes formed by the filling of hollows in the irregular heaps of debris laid down on a plain at the base of the mountains or in a wide open valley. Accumulations of debris may also assist the first two causes in the formation of lakes.

Included in the first class are numerous sheets of water from the size of small ponds upwards, found in all parts of the mountain region, but especially in the high plateau regions of western Otago, and to a limited extent in north-west Nelson. To the second group belong the large lakes of the eastern watershed of the Alps and a small number which drain west, such as Rotoroa and Rotoiti in the Buller Basin, while to the last must be assigned the majority of the lakes of Westland; but Brunner and Kanieri should perhaps be assigned to the second class.

Seeing that glaciation was not so intense in the northern portion of the Island, it is not surprising that the lakes of that region are small and few in number. Attention has, however, been drawn to Boulder Lake, in the valley of the Aorere River, since it might be used for power purposes in connection with the great deposit of iron-ore at Parapara. It is only 151 acres in extent, but it lies at an elevation of 3,224 ft., and is conveniently placed for the establishment of an electric-power plant. Farther south, near the head of the Buller, are two larger lakes—Rotoroa and Rotoiti—occupying ice-eroded valleys dammed at their lower ends by moraine. The former has an area of eight square miles, and the latter two and three-quarter square miles; their heights above the sea being respectively 1,470 ft. and 1,997 ft., and the latter being 228 ft. deep.

In the valley of the Grey River are two lakes of considerable size—viz., Brunner and Poerua. These are shrunken and separated parts of a former extensive sheet of water which was ponded back behind a great glacier moraine. Lake Brunner is five miles long by four broad, has an area of 15.9 square miles, is 280 ft. above sea-level, and 357 ft. deep. It is surrounded on two sides by high wooded granite peaks, and on the other two by low ground. It discharges by the Arnold River to the Grey, but a very slight change of level would turn it into the Taramakau.

Lake Kanieri, which lies in the basin of the Hokitika River at the base of Mount Tuhua, is a beautiful sheet of water. It is five miles long by one and three-quarters wide, has an area of eight square miles, is 422 ft. above sea-level, and 646 ft. deep. It owes its origin partly to the hollow formed behind an immense morainic dam, and partly to the erosive action of the valley glacier. Farther south on the coastal plain of Westland are numerous small and picturesque lakes, wooded to the water's edge, lying behind heaps of glacial debris or in ice-eroded basins. The most notable of these are Ianthe and Mapourika, both of small size, the former with an area of only two square miles, at a height of 80 ft. above sea-level, and with a depth of 105 ft., and the latter remarkable for the fine panorama of mountain scenery, with Mount Cook in the background, which can be obtained from the shore of the lake. Along this strip of coast-line there are numerous lagoon-like expanses of the water, cut off from the sea by areas of dune or of moraine, the chief of which is Mahinapua, which lies close to the Town of Hokitika. This is but 6 ft. above tide water, and has an area of one and a half square miles. The creek discharging from it is noted for the perfect reflections to be seen in the dark, peat-stained water.

On the eastern side of the main divide lie the great valley lakes which belong to the following river-basins: Hurunui—Lake Sumner; Rakaia—Lakes Coleridge and Heron; Waitaki—Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki, and Ohau; Clutha—Lakes Wanaka, Hawea, and Wakatipu; Waiau—Lakes Te Anau, Manapouri, and Monowai; Wairaurahiri—Lake Hauroko; Waitutu—Lake Poteriteri. These are all formed on the same plan; great glaciers have excavated the floor of a river-valley and have piled the debris across its lower portion, leaving a great hollow which was filled with water when the ice retreated. Even in those river-basins where no lakes now exist the traces of their former presence are evident; especially is this the case with the Waimakariri, Rakaia, and Rangitata Valleys. Besides these large lakes each valley has its quota of small ones, usually hidden away among the piles of moraine or ponded back behind shingle-fans. Among these small lakes should be noted the following: Tennyson, in the valley of the Clarence; Taylor, Sheppard, Katrine, and Mason, in the Hurunui; Pearson, Grassmere, and Letitia, in the valley of the Waimakariri; Evelyn, Selfe, Catherine, Ida, and Lyndon, in that of the Rakaia; Clearwater (or Tripp), Howard, and Acland, in the Ashburton; Alexandria, in the Waitaki; Lochnagar, Hayes, and Moke, in the Clutha. In the valley of the Waiau there are numerous lakes of small size hidden away in bush-clad valleys, the chief of which is Mavora, which discharges into the main Waiau by way of its large tributary, the Mararoa. On the west coast of this region are also many insignificant lakes as far as size is concerned, such as Lake Ada, a well-known beauty-spot on the Milford Sound track, while farther north the McKerrow, a lake of larger size, discharges into Martin's Bay.

The only other lakes in this Island that are worthy of mention are Waihola, which occupies the lower portion of the Taieri Plain, and drains to the sea by a deep winding gorge cut through a ridge of moraine-covered hills, the gorge being tidal for the greater part of its length; while on the coast immediately south of Banks Peninsula lie Lakes Forsyth and Ellesmere, both ponded back behind a great shingle-spit formed by the drift of material brought down the rivers and carried north under the influence of a strong shore current. Both are very shallow and liable at times to be invaded by the sea. Ellesmere is sixteen miles long by about ten broad, and Forsyth is about six miles long by one in breadth.

Among all these lakes three stand pre-eminent for their scenic interest—Wakatipu, Te Anau, and Manapouri. The first-named is walled in on both sides by steep mountains which rise at the head of the lake to over 8,000 ft. in the Humboldt Range, and to over 9,000 ft. in Mount Earnslaw. Te Anau has an uninteresting eastern shore, but its western shore is broken into three great arms, whose impressive scenery is strongly reminiscent of that of Milford Sound and George Sound; while Manapouri, with its many bush-clad islets and indented shore-line with innumerable sheltered coves and pebbly beaches, belongs to the same type as Dusky Sound, the most beautiful of all in the fiord region.

The lakes of Canterbury lie in a treeless area and owe their scenic interest principally to the background of snowy peaks, while Wanaka and Hawea are intermediate in character between them and the more southern lakes of Otago.

These lakes are enormous reserves of energy awaiting development. Estimates of the amount available are somewhat uncertain in their upward limits, seeing that modifications of proposed schemes may increase the possible power to a marked extent. The only one, however, which has been utilized in an adequate manner up to the present is Lake Coleridge. This is estimated to yield 10,000 horse-power, and if the scheme be developed to its full capacity the amount will probably reach 90,000. Lake Tekapo would furnish at least 400,000 horse-power; Pukaki, 70,000; Ohau, 100,000; Hawea, 90,000; Wakatipu, 100,000; Te Anau, 90,000; Manapouri, 420,000; and Hauroko, 80,000; and there are many lakes which could very easily be adapted for smaller installations. Especially is this the case in the fiord-region country, where the heavy and well-distributed rainfall produces an unfailing supply of water, where lakes are placed in ideal situations as reservoirs, and deep water and secure harbours provide ample facilities for the transport of manufactured products. When these are properly utilized the now wild and deserted region will become the home of industry in the Dominion, and one of the main centres of manufacture in the Southern Hemisphere.


The following is a summary of the statistics of the chief lakes of New Zealand:—

Lake.Length, in Miles.Greatest Breadth, in Miles.Area, in Square Miles.Drainage Area, in Square Miles.Approximate Volume of Discharge, in Cubic Feet per Second.Height above Sea-level, in Feet.Greatest Depth, in Feet.
    North Island.
Rotorua7 1/263215842091584
Rotoiti10 3/42 1/41426500913230
Tarawera6 1/26 1/41575..1,032285
Waikaremoana126 1/4211287722,015846
    South Island.
Rotoiti522 3/486..1,997228
Rotorua72 1/28146..1,470..
Kanieri51 3/4811..422646
Te Anau3361321,32012,660694906
Waihola4 1/21 1/83 1/32,200..(Tidal)..
Ellesmere1610107 1/2745..(Tidal)..


The following article on the geology of New Zealand was prepared by Mr. P. G. Morgan, M.A., F.G.S., Director of the Geological Survey, and published in the 1914 number of the Year-book. It is here reproduced.

The geological history of New Zealand is long and complicated, and is as yet by no means clearly deciphered. Since the beginning of the Palæozoic periods that portion of the earth's crust where New Zealand is shown on the map has many times been elevated and depressed. Sometimes the land and the neighbouring ocean-floor as a whole have risen or fallen; at other times movement has been more or less local. Thus from age to age the land has greatly varied in outline, and whilst in one period it becomes a continent, in another it nearly or quite disappears beneath the ocean. The actual surface has been almost equally variable, for the mountain-chains of early periods have been planed down by denudation, and new mountains have risen to take their places. In short, the story of the land has been one of incessant, though as a rule slow-moving, change, and if the student would rightly interpret that story he must ever bear in mind that New Zealand in the past has never been quite or even nearly the same as we see it now. With the scanty materials at hand he must endeavour to reconstruct the land as it existed during past ages. A rich field for original research is open to the New Zealand geologist. Little has yet been accomplished in comparison with what remains to be done. There are many absorbing problems—some of great economic importance, some of world-wide interest—awaiting solution by the patient scientific worker.


The oldest rocks in New Zealand appear to be those of western Otago, where over a large area is exposed a complex of gneisses and schists, intruded by granite and other igneous rocks. The gneisses in the main are altered granites and diorites, but some of the schists, at any rate, are of sedimentary origin. A pre-Cambrian age was assigned to these rocks by Professor F. W. Hutton, but Professor James Park considers them to be probably of Cambrian age, and includes them in his Maniototo Series.

Perhaps next in age to the western Otago gneisses and schists are the mica, chlorite, and quartz schists of Central Otago. In the absence of fossils, however, the age of these rocks is uncertain. Professor Hutton regarded them as pre-Cambrian, Professor Park assigns a Cambrian age, whilst Dr. P. Marshall considers them to be little, if at all, older, than the Triassic. Some schistose rocks in north, central, and western Nelson may be as old as, or even older than, the Otago mica-schists. The gneisses and schists on the western side of the Southern Alps may for the present be classed with the Nelson schists.

The oldest known fossiliferous rocks in New Zealand are the Ordovician argillites (“slates”), greywackes, and quartzites occurring near Collingwood (Nelson), and Preservation Inlet in south-west Otago. Ultimately these rocks may be found to have a considerable development in various parts of Nelson and Westland.

Rocks containing Silurian fossils occur in the Mount Arthur district, Nelson. They are principally altered limestone (practically marble), calcareous shale or argillite, sandstone, and quartzite.

At Reefton a small area exhibits quartzite, limestone, and slaty shale containing fossils believed to be of Devonian age. Elsewhere considerable areas have been assigned to the same period by Mr. Alexander McKay, but owing to the non-discovery of recognizable fossils definite proof of age is wanting. For a similar reason the age of most of the rocks placed in the Carboniferous period (“Maitai Series”) by McKay is uncertain. At Reefton the supposed Carboniferous rocks, which here contain many auriferous quartz-veins, are probably of Ordovician age. In the typical locality near Nelson the fossils found in the Maitai rocks indicate a Trias-Jura age, though possibly older rocks may be present also.

So far Permian rocks have not been satisfactorily identified in New Zealand. Park, however, considers his Aorangi and Kaihiku Series to be of Permian age.

During some of the Palæozoic periods it is conjectured that New Zealand formed part of or was the foreland of a large land-mass that extended far to the west. This land-mass possibly persisted to late Palæozoic times, and may have been the now-dismembered and all-but-lost continent known to geologists as Gondwana-land.

As yet the early and middle Mesozoic rocks of New Zealand have not been clearly separated by means of unconformities or fossil evidence. What may be called a Trias-Jura system is extensively developed in both the North and South Islands. The most fossiliferous localities are Hokonui Hills (Southland), near Nugget Point (Otago), Wairoa Valley, near the City of Nelson, Kawhia Harbour, and Waikato Heads, the two latter localities both on the west coast of Auckland. A broad belt of Trias-Jura or, according to Park, of Permo-Jurassic rocks extends through western Canterbury and Marlborough, and is continued as a somewhat narrower belt on the north side of Cook Strait from Wellington to the Cape Runaway district. Rocks of much the same age occur in the Mokau River watershed, in the Lower Waikato Valley, in the Coromandel Peninsula, and in North Auckland.

The supposed Jurassic rocks of Kawhia Harbour and Waikato Heads, mentioned above, may possibly be of Lower Cretaceous age. Admittedly Cretaceous rocks extend in a not-quite-continuous belt from Cape Campbell in Marlborough to the neighbourhood of Waipara in North Canterbury. At Amuri Bluff they are richly fossiliferous. Here and in several other localities the fossils include saurian remains. To the Cretaceous may also be assigned a somewhat extensive belt of rocks near the east coast of Wellington and southern Hawke's Bay. A continuation of this belt extends from a point north-west of Gisborne to the East Cape district.

The oldest known workable coal-seams in New Zealand probably occur in Cretaceous rocks. Much controversy, however, concerning the age of our coalfields has arisen. The late Sir James Hector, and with him Mr. Alexander McKay, considered that the coal-measures belonged to a Cretaceo-Tertiary system that extended from the Upper Cretaceous to the Middle Tertiary. For many years Mr. McKay was practically the sole exponent of this theory, but quite recently Dr. Marshall has advocated a very similar if not identical view. The truth, however, seems to be that the coal-measures concerning which there is a dispute are of two different ages. The Shag Point, Malvern Hills, and North Auckland coalfields are probably of Upper Cretaceous age. To these Park would add the Milton-Kaitangata coalfield and a small portion of the Green Island coalfield. The other coalfields, as mentioned below, are Tertiary.

Although there is certainly a palæontological break between the Upper Cretaceous (Waipara Series) and the Early Tertiary, the existence of an unconformity, as may be inferred from the previous paragraph, is a matter of doubt. The subdivision of the Tertiary strata, which are well represented in New Zealand, is still more or less tentative. To the Eocene may be assigned the bituminous coal-measures of the Grey, Buller, and Collingwood districts, and probably also some of the coal-bearing patches of central Nelson. Elsewhere Eocene rocks are not certainly known.

During the Early Eocene it is believed that New Zealand was again part of a continental area that extended far to the north, and was joined, or all but joined, to New Guinea and northern Australia. This continent may have included much of the area in the Pacific now studded with coral islands. Its former existence is inferred mainly from various features in our plant and animal life. According to Mr. T. F. Cheeseman, no less than 366 New Zealand plants are found also in Australia. More significant, perhaps, is the occurrence of many closely related species and genera in the two regions, for comparatively few of the 366 species are likely to have persisted since the Eocene. Many of our birds show marked affinities to Australian and Malayan species. In this connection an interesting line of support for a Tertiary extension of New Zealand to the north is afforded by the annual migrations of the New Zealand cuckoos and of the godwit.

During the Miocene period New Zealand subsided until little of the present land-surface was above water. Consequently, notwithstanding extensive denudation in later periods, Miocene strata are well represented in almost all parts of the country. They are typically developed in the Oamaru district (north-east Otago), and hence Hutton's name of “Oamaru Series” is generally applied to the Miocene strata of New Zealand. Miocene rocks are well represented in north Westland, an area in which a decided unconformity separates them from the Eocene coal-measures. They form much of the surface of the North Island, where the name “papa" is commonly applied to the calcareous claystones and argillaceous sandstones which there form a great proportion of the Miocene rocks. In many places the Oamaru Series is characterized by the development of a fairly thick, soft, fossiliferous limestone about the middle horizon. This marks the time of greatest subsidence, or rather the time when the Miocene sea was deepest. Owing to their calcareous nature, the Miocene rocks give rise to some of the richest agricultural districts in New Zealand. In places they contain, in their lowest horizon, seams of good brown coal. There are also brown coals of late Miocene age.

In many localities the Miocene rocks pass without unconformity into strata considered to be of Pliocene age. In the Hawke's Bay and Wanganui districts these are marine and highly fossiliferous. They give rise to much good agricultural and more especially pastoral land adapted to sheep-farming or dairying. In Nelson and north Westland the Pliocene strata are largely composed of river-transported material, and are known as the Moutere Gravels. These in places are of a poorly auriferous character. In Nelson the Moutere Gravels form a poor pastoral soil, but one well adapted for apple-culture.

Towards the close of the Miocene and during the whole of the Pliocene period many parts of New Zealand, more particularly in the South Island, were undergoing elevation. As a result the North and South Islands (then quite different in outline from their present configuration), together with most of the outlying islands now in existence, such as the Chathams, Auckland Islands, &c., must have formed one large land-mass, which probably was united to an Antarctic continent. Since many New Zealand plants* are identical with, or closely allied to, South American forms, and there are also some striking resemblances in bird and other forms of animal life, it is thought that this Antaretic continent formed a bridge, probably at no time quite complete, between New Zealand and South America. By this route, in all likelihood, came the now extinct moas or their ancestral forms. At the time of this continental extension the Southern Alps rose far above their present heights, and were covered with one vast snowfield that fed immense glaciers spreading far and wide over the lowlands to the east and the west. According to Park, during the Pleistocene there was one great sheet of ice over the whole of the present South Island, and over part of the North Island. Moreover, this ice-sheet was joined to the Antaretic ice. The extreme views of Professor Park are not shared by other New Zealand geologists, who, however, unanimously agree that a large area in the South Island was glaciated. The great ice-streams of Picistocene times gave rise to rivers that carried enormous quantities of gravel and finer material derived from the mountains beyond the ice-front, and in great measure built up the lowlands of Canterbury and Westland. In the latter district the gravels sorted by these streams are in many places richly auriferous, but a greater and more permanent source of wealth is furnished by the fertile soil of the Canterbury Plains.

In many parts of Otago, Canterbury, Westland, and Nelson evidences of past glacial action are afforded by huge moraines, perched blocks, ice-worn surfaces (roches moutonnees), rock-benches, rock-basins, and other tokens of glaciation. To ice-action, it may here be mentioned, we owe some of the most magnificent features of the western Otago sounds.

At or before the end of the Pleistocene period the mountains lessened in height, through both denudation and a well-marked subsidence of the land. The climate grew milder, and the lowland ice melted away. The mighty glaciers rapidly retreated, geologically speaking, and are to-day represented only by the comparatively modest valley and mountain glaciers of north-west Otago, Canterbury, and Westland, with which may be included the small but permanent snowfield and glacier on Mount Ruapehu. While the glaciers were retreating the rivers of Canterbury and Westland, swollen by the melting ice, were unusually active in transporting debris to the lowlands and the sea-coast. At this time, too, as well as at somewhat earlier periods, the volcanoes of the North Island furnished an abundant supply of fragmentary material, much of which was transported by the streams, and used in building plains and river-flats. Many of these are fertile, but in those districts where pumice abounded a more or less barren soil, difficult of utilization, has resulted. Thus the land gradually became much as we see it now. In recent times geological changes, such as the lowering of heights by denudation, the filling of lakes by sediment, the outward growth of coastal plains in some places, and the wearing-away of the shores in other places, have slowly proceeded, and are to-day, of course, still going on. Slow movements of the land are probably in progress, but these have not been certainly detected. In 1855, however, as the result of a violent earthquake, the northern shore of Cook Strait, near Wellington Harbour, was raised on the average at least 5 ft., whilst the southern shore near Tory Channel and towards the mouth of the Wairau River was almost correspondingly depressed.


In the preceding paragraphs little notice has been given to igneous rocks or to volcanic action. The oldest igneous rocks of New Zealand are probably represented by the gneisses of western Otago, which, as previously stated, are mainly metamorphosed granites and diorites. Plutonic rocks intrude many of the Palæozoic and Mesozoic strata, and some of the formations also show evidence of contemporaneous volcanic action. Of the more ancient Plutonic rocks granite is the most prominent. It occurs in many localities in Stewart Island, western Otago, Westland, and Nelson. It has, however, not been found in situ in the North Island, though in at least four localities boulders of granite, probably derived in all cases from ancient conglomerates, have been discovered. Ultra-basic igneous rocks, now largely altered to serpentine, occur in north-west Otago, Westland, and Nelson.

*According to T. F. Cheeseman's “Manual of the New Zealand Flora” (preface, page ix), 108 New Zealand plants extend to South America.

Throughout the greater part of the Tertiary periods volcanic action in New Zealand was probably more intense than in any former age. During the Late Eocene or Early Miocene period eruptions, at first principally of andesitic rocks and later of rhyolite, began in the Coromandel Peninsula, and with little intermission continued throughout Miocene and Pliocene times. These volcanic rocks contain the gold-silver veins which have yielded rich bonanzas at Thames and Coromandel, and are now being worked at the Waihi, Talisman, and other mines.

There are many areas of Miocene volcanic rocks in North Auckland, and near the City of Auckland numerous small volcanoes were in action during the Pleistocene. Some of these—for example, Mount Rangitoto—have probably been active within the last two or three thousand years. In Taranaki the beautiful cone of Mount Egmont was built up during Pliocene and Pleistocene times. It is in the central part of the North Island, however, that the most intense volcanic activity has been displayed. Volcanic rocks, and more especially the pumice ejected during the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene, cover large areas. Vulcanism has not yet ceased, for minor eruptions of fragmentary material still take place from Ngauruhoe, a typical volcanic cone near Ruapehu. The most striking evidence of volcanic action, however, is afforded by the numerous steam-vents, hot springs, and geysers found in a belt extending from Ruapehu to White Island (in the Bay of Plenty), itself a volcano in the solfataric stage. It is more than a coincidence that this belt is in line with the Southern Alps. Solfataric action is generally regarded as a sign of dying vulcanism, but that the subterranean forces are still capable of mischief was shown by the eruption of Tarawera, an apparently extinct volcano, on the 10th June, 1886. On this occasion over a hundred lives were lost.

In the South Island vulcanism is apparently quite dead, for the hot springs of Hanmer Plains and the western side of the Alps are due to many causes. During the Miocene, however, volcanic outbursts took place in many localities, in some on a grand scale. Banks Peninsula is formed mainly of basaltic and andesitic rocks, Lyttelton and Akaroa harbours are believed to represent ancient craters or centres of eruption. In the neighbourhood of Dunedin occurs a very interesting series of alkaline volcanic rocks. These were first described by the late Professor G. H. F. Ulrich, and in later years Dr. Marshall has given them exhaustive study.


In the course of a short article it is impossible to give any adequate idea of what has been accomplished by geological workers in New Zealand, or what remains yet to be done before even the foundation for future work shall be securely laid. The important branches of geology in its application to agriculture and mining have hardly been mentioned, but elsewhere in this volume will be found references to the agricultural and mineral resources. For detailed information the reader is referred to the bulletins of the New Zealand Geological Survey; to Professor Park's “Geology of New Zealand,” which contains an excellent bibliography; and to the treatise on “New Zealand Geology,” by Dr. Marshall, as well as to many other publications too numerous to be here named. Finally, it may be mentioned that in each of the University Colleges excellent instruction in geology is being given by capable and enthusiastic teachers, so that in the near future we may expect increased progress in solving the many knotty problems of New Zealand geology.


The following article by the former Government Seismologist, the late Mr. George Hogben, C.M.G., M.A., F.G.S., has been revised and brought up to date by Dr. C. E. Adams, D.Sc., F.R.A.S., Government Astronomer and Seismologist, with the assistance of Mr. J. Henderson, D.Se., Mining Geologist.

The Wellington earthquake of 23rd January, 1855, received a full notice in Sir Charles Lyell's classic work “The Principles of Geology,” * and probably largely on that account the attention of the scientific world was attracted to this feature of the natural phenomena of New Zealand. But since that earthquake, during which the level of the land in the neighbourhood of Wellington Harbour was raised about 5 ft., there has been no shock in the New Zealand region proper which has at all approached the destructive phase. Indeed, of about 2,000 earthquakes recorded as having origins in or near New Zealand, that of 1848 is the only other earthquake comparable in intensity to that of 1855; and the average intensity of all the earth quakes thus recorded is between III and IV on the Rossi-Forel scale—or, in other words, just sufficient to make pictures hung on walls move a little, and to cause doors and windows to creak or rattle slightly. In about twenty instances the force has been sufficient near the origin to overturn some chimneys (for the most part badly constructed ones), and in a very few buildings to crack walls or ceilings of faulty design. In about fifty other earthquakes such phenomena have been noted as the stopping of clocks, without any damage. The great majority of shocks have passed unperceived by the ordinary observer, and have been recorded only by means of instruments.

Earthquakes are usually divided into the two classes of volcanic and tectonic earthquakes. The former are those that precede, accompany, or follow a volcanic eruption, whereas tectonic earthquakes are caused by deformation of the earth's crust. The latter are of far greater general importance than those due to volcanic action, which may, indeed, be considered an effect of the same stresses that produce tectonic earthquakes.

A volcanic eruption is in almost all cases preceded by earthquakes, which, although they may be extremely violent, are characterized by the sharpness and brevity of the shock and by the smallness of the disturbed area. The after-shocks of a severe earthquake of the so-called volcanic type continue for a relatively short period. Successive earthquakes of a series have nearly the same place of origin.

Volcanic earthquakes in the past were usually considered to be due to explosions within the mass of the mountain. This hypothesis has been discarded, or at least much modified, by most modern authorities. They are considered rather to arise from the formation of new fractures, from the reopening or extension of old fractures, from the sudden injection of lava into cavities or fissures, and from the displacement of rock-masses adjoining a fracture. Thus they are essentially of the same nature as “tectonic" earthquakes.

Tectonic earthquakes are caused by the deformations of the earth's crust, to which surface features are ultimately due. These deformations arise from the gradual shrinking of the central core or from changes in the load on the crust through denudation and sedimentation. Stresses accumulate in the solid rock until relieved by the formation of fissures, along which movements of adjacent earth-blocks take place. These earth-blocks may be of vast size, and fractures or faults separating them are rarely single planes of rupture, but consist of numerous subparallel breaks extending more or less continuously along elongated belts. Such fault-zones may be hundreds of miles long and many miles wide.

The connection between earthquakes and the formation, extension, or growth of faults is evident in the somewhat rare cases in which the displacement reaches the surface. It is also indicated by the elongated form of the area over which the shock is equally felt, and by the association of these areas with faults traceable on the surface by geological and topographical data. When movement occurs considerable areas of the fracture-plane must be affected, and, since shocks may originate from any part of this area, the seismic focus may be of large size. Again, the foci of successive shocks of a series may migrate to and fro along the fracture or shift to adjacent fractures. Similarly, earthquake series may migrate along a fault-zone.

* Tenth edition, 1868, vol. ii, p. 82. London: John Murray; New Zealand Government Gazette, Wellington, vol. 2, No. 14, 17th October, 1855, p. 116.

Westminster Review, vol. 51, 1849; Mr. Justice H. S. Chapman, “Earthquakes in New Zealand,” Trans. Aust. Assoc. Adv. Science, vol. 3, 1891; G. Hogben, “The Earthquakes of New Zealand,” p. 37; “Report of Selsmological Committee,” p. 505; New Zealand Government Gazette, Auckland, vol. 1, No. 27, 13th November, 1848. and vol. 1, No. 29, 20th November, 1848.

In New Zealand many great faults and fault-zones have been traced for long distances on geological and topographical evidence, but of these a few only have been active since European occupation. A notable zone extends north-east through the centre of the North Island from Mount Ruapehu to White Island. South of Ruapehu it has not been definitely traced on the surface, although from the positions of the foci of the groups of earthquakes it probably extends past Wanganui, across Cook Strait, and along the south-east shore of Tasman Bay to the South Island. The volcanic phenomena of the Rotorua-Taupo region, together with the recent remarkable earthquakes at Taupo, indicate that earth-stresses are still accumulating along this great fracture-zone.

Another important fault-system extends through North Canterbury, Marlborough, east Wellington, and Hawke's Bay. Its general course is north-east, parallel with the Taupo belt and the principal mountain-ranges of New Zealand. The Marlborough valleys, as well as the lowlands of the Hutt and Wairarapa districts, are directly controlled by fractures of this great system. In addition to many less severe shocks, the Wellington earthquake of 1855 was due to displacement along one of the major fissures. The southern end of the known active portion of the great fracture-belt is crossed by several important east-and-west faults; and the Hanmer earthquake of 1888 was due to the reopening of a fault extending in this direction along the upper valley of the Waiau-ua River.

The edge of the submarine plateau of which New Zealand is the most elevated portion lies about two hundred miles east of the North Island. Thence it extends north-eastward for hundreds of miles in a nearly straight line. The sea-floor to the east is several thousand feet lower, and the precipitous edge of the plateau probably is the scarp of a great fracture-belt. The most active seismic region of New Zealand is at or near the southern end of this submarine scarp, and here have originated several severe earthquakes.

Another submarine earthquake-zone, presumably also a fracture-zone, extends parallel with and some fifty miles from the east coast of the South Island, from opposite Christchurch to south-east of Dunedin. Numerous unimportant earthquakes have originated from this zone.

Another group of earthquake-foci occurs off the west coast of the North Island, opposite Raglan and Kawhia. This, like the other seismic zones, extends in a north easterly direction parallel with the main mountain-axis of the Dominion. Few earthquakes have been recorded from this locality, the principal being in 1882 and 1891.

The origins of the New Zealand region will be seen to arrange them-selves in groups as follows:—

Group I.—Earthquakes felt most strongly on south-east coast of North Island; the origins form a strip 180 miles from the coast, parallel to the axis of New Zealand, and to axis of folding of older rocks in Hawke's Bay. Chief shocks: 17th August, 1868; 7th March, 1890; 23rd and 29th July, 1904; 9th August, 1904 (intensity IX on R.-F. scale); 8th September. 1904; prob. 23rd February, 1863 (IX, R.-F.); &c.

According to the late Captain F. W. Hutton, F.R.S., the geological evidence-shows that New Zealand rose considerably in the older Pliocene period, and was then probably joined to the Chatham Islands. At a later period subsidence occurred, followed again by elevation in the Pleistocene period, with oscillations of level since. The seismic origins of this group are at the foot of a sloping submarine plateau, about two hundred miles wide, which culminates to the east-south-east in the Chatham Islands. This elevation is separated from the New Zealand coast by a trough from 1,000 to 2,000 fathoms in depth, which is widest and deepest between these origins and the mainland.

Group II.

  1. (a.) South-east of Otago Peninsula. Shocks: 20th November, 1872, &c.

  2. (b.) A strip south-east of Oamaru. Shocks: February, 1876; April, 1876, &c.

  3. (c.) Many short and jerky, but generally harmless, quakes felt in Christchurch, Banks Peninsula, and mid-Canterbury. Chief shocks: 31st August, 1870; 27th December, 1888 (VII, R.-F.); &c. Focus of 1888 shock, sixteen miles long, from west-south-west to east-north-east, twenty-four to twenty-five miles below surface being the deepest ascertained origin in the New Zealand region.

These origins form a line parallel to the general axis of the land. It is possible that the loading of the sea-floor by the detritus brought down by the rivers of Canterbury and Otago is a contributing cause of the earthquake of this group.

Group III.—Wellington earthquakes of January, 1855, and Cheviot earthquakes of 16th November, 1901, and of 25th December, 1922 (VIII, R.-F.).

The origin of the earthquake of 1855 was probably the fault that forms the eastern boundary of the Rimutaka Range and the western boundary of the Wairarapa Valley.

The origin of the Cheviot earthquake of 1901 was probably in or near the southern continuation of this fault.

The great earthquakes of October, 1848, probably came from the same region as those of January, 1855. The chief shocks of both series did extensive damage to property, and caused the formation of large rifts in the earth's surface; they are the only scismic disturbances since the settlement of the Dominion that can be assigned to degree X on the Rossi-Forel scale.

Group IV.

  1. (a.) Region about twenty-five to thirty miles in length, and, say, ten miles or less in width, running nearly north north-east from middle of Lake Sumner, about twenty miles below the surface, whence proceed most of the severer shocks felt from Christchurch to the Amuri, and a large number of minor shocks. Chief earthquakes: 1st February, 1868; 27th August to 1st September, 1871; 14th September and 21st October, 1878; 11th April, 1884; 5th December, 1881 (VIII, R.-F.), when Christchurch Cathedral spire was slightly injured; 1st September, 1888 (IX, R.-F.), when upper part of same spire fell, and still more severe damage was done in the Amuri district.

  2. (b.) A small shallow origin not more than five to ten miles below the surface, a few miles south of Nelson. Earthquake: 12th February, 1893 (VIII to IX, R.-F.): chimneys thrown down and buildings injured.

  3. (c.) Origin in Cook Strait, north-north-east of Stephen Island, about ten miles wide, and apparently traceable with few interruptions nearly to mouth of Wanganui River; depth, fifteen miles or more. More than half the earthquakes recorded in New Zealand belong to this region; earthquake of 8th December, 1897 (VIII to IX, R.-F.), and other severer ones came from south-south-west end. Probably the first recorded New Zealand earthquake, felt by Captain Furneaux on the 11th May, 1773, belonged to this region.

  4. (d.) Taupo Earthquakes.—During June and July, 1922, earthquakes were almost continuous in the Taupo district. The shocks reached intensity VIII on the Rossi-Forel scale, and then gradually subsided. Conditions were practically normal by the end of the year. The shocks were restricted to a small area of country, and were felt most strongly at Taupo, Wairakei, and Oruanui. The disturbances were accompanied by loud rumblings. No effect appears to have been produced on the thermal activities of the region. Considerable subsidence was reported along the north side of Lake Taupo in a general north-easterly direction.

    Former smart shocks in this region were reported in September-October, 1897.

  5. (e.) An origin near Mount Tarawera, with a large number of moderate or slight shocks, most, but not all, volcanic and local in character—e.g., those of September, 1866, and those of June, 1886, which accompanied and followed the well-known eruption of Mount Tarawera.

These origins of Group IV, (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), are nearly in a straight line on the map; on or near the same line are the origins of earthquakes felt in the Southern Lake District (15th December, 1883, &c.), the volcanoes Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, Tarawera, and White Island. It is evident that this line, which, like the rest, is parallel or nearly so to the general axis, is a line of weakness or of unstable equilibrium. Hence the adjusting movements that have caused earthquakes may have from time to time relieved the pressure of the rocks that restrained overheated steam and other volcanic agents from bursting out, and so may have led to volcanic eruptions; just as the series of earthquakes in Guatemala and in the Caribbean Sea in April and May, 1902, were the signs of movements in the great folds of that part of the earth's crust, in the course of which, the pressure in the Antillean Ridge being relieved, the volcanic forces below Mount Pelée in Martinique, and Mount Souffrière in St. Vincent, caused the disastrous eruptions of that year.

Group V.—Off the west coast of the North Island near Raglan and Kawhia. Chief shock: 24th June, 1891 (VII to VIII, R.-F.). The line joining this origin to that of the earthquake of 1st February, 1882, is parallel to the other lines of origins (Groups I to IV); but we have no data to establish any connection between them.


Since 1888 there has been established in New Zealand a system of observing local earthquakes at selected telegraph-stations—about eighty in number—distributed throughout the extent of the Dominion.

Whenever a shock occurs and is felt by an officer in charge of one of these stations he fills up a form giving the New Zealand mean time of the beginning of the shock, its apparent duration and direction, and the principal effects observed by him. Some of the officers exhibit considerable care and skill in making up these returns, and the data have been used to determine principal origins of earthquakes within the New Zealand region.

All observers of earthquakes are cordially invited to forward their reports to the Government Seismologist, Hector Observatory, Wellington, giving all or any of the following particulars:—

  1. (1.) Time of beginning of shock (if possible, New Zealand time to nearest quarter-minute).

  2. (2.) Whether clock was verified by New Zealand time.*

  3. (3.) Apparent direction—e.g., S.E. to N.W., then N.E. to S.W.

  4. (4.) Apparent duration of shock.

  5. (5.) Effects in terms of the Rossi-Forel scale as under.

  6. (6.) Remarks: e.g., previous or subsequent tremors: spilling of liquids, with direction of overflow; rumbling before, during, or after shock.

The Rossi-Forel scale of earthquake intensities is as follows:—

  1. I. Microseismic shock: Recorded by a single seismograph or by seismographs of the same model, but not by several seismographs of different kinds; the shock felt by an experienced observer.

  2. II. Extremely feeble shock: Recorded by several seismographs of different kinds; felt by a small number of persons at rest.

  3. III. Very feeble shock: Felt by several persons at rest; strong enough for the direction or duration to be appreciable.

  4. IV. Feeble shock: Felt by persons in motion; disturbances of movable objects, doors, windows; creaking of ceilings.

  5. V. Shock of moderate intensity: Felt generally by every one; disturbance of furniture, beds, &c.; ringing of swinging bells.

  6. VI. Fairly strong shock: General awakening of those asleep; general ringing of house bells; oscillation of chandeliers; stopping of pendulum clocks; visible agitation of trees and shrubs; some startled persons leave their dwellings.

  7. VII. Strong shock: Overthrow of movable objects; fall of plaster; ringing of church bells; general panic, without damage to buildings.

  8. VIII. Very strong shock: Fall of chimneys; cracks in walls of buildings.

  9. IX. Extremely strong shock: Partial or total destruction of some buildings.

  10. X. Shock of extreme intensity: Great disaster; buildings ruined; disturbance of the strata; fissures in the ground; rock-falls from mountains.

The New Zealand returns are valuable not only in themselves, but as part of a world system of seismological observations; and the attention of observers is called to the fact that the reliable character of the record depends upon the individual accuracy of each observer. No shock, however slight, should be omitted. It is especially important that the first two questions should be answered accurately.

Three seismographs, all with photographic registration, are installed in New Zealand: two are Milne horizontal pendulums, and one is the new Milne-Shaw horizontal pendulum. One Milne and the new Milne-Shaw seismographs are installed at the Hector Observatory, Wellington, with their booms placed at right angles; and the other Milne seismograph is installed at the Magnetic Observatory, Christchurch.

The records of the New Zealand stations are sent to the General Secretary of the Seismological Committee of the British Association, to the Station Centrale Sismologique, Strasbourg, France, and to the principal observatories of the world, and thus form part of the general system of earthquake-observation being conducted throughout the world since 1890.

* A convenient means of verifying the time is provided by the wireless time-signals sent out every day, except Sundays and Government holidays, at 10.30 a.m. N.Z. time, by the Hector Observatory on a wave-length of 600 metres.


The accompanying diagram illustrates graphically the number and intensities of the earthquakes reported to the Seismologist in the years 1921 and 1922. These reports were supplied by officers of the Post and Telegraph Department, by private observers, and by the newspapers. Each vertical line represents the maximum effect of an earthquake, with the intensities according to the Rossi-Forel scale shown at the sides of the figure. It will be seen that two earthquakes in 1921, and four in 1922, reached intensity VIII on this scale. The figure also shows the distribution in time of the earthquakes.


Deaths due to earthquakes in New Zealand are fortunately very few. In the last seventy-five years seven have been recorded.

The shock of October, 1848, threw down a wall in Wellington, and three people were killed.

On the 24th January, 1855, a death occurred at Wellington recorded as “accidental death from the falling of a chimney.” The large earthquake took place during the night of the 23rd January, 1855.

On the 16th November, 1901, a child was killed by the Cheviot earthquake.

On the 12th April, 1913, a Maori was killed at Masterton by material falling from the post-office, due to an earthquake.

On the 7th October, 1914, a shepherd was killed by the Gisborne earthquake.


The following article on the climate of New Zealand has been prepared by the Dominion Meteorologist, Mr D. C. Bates.

The climate of New Zealand is spoken of in popular and general terms as equable, mild, and salubrious; but such a summary does not convey an adequate idea of variations that exist in a country stretching, as it does, north and south for nearly a thousand miles, and distinctly differentiated by lofty mountain-chains. Another fact which must also be borne in mind is that the greater part of the North Island is controlled by a different system of circulation from that which dominates conditions in the parts about Cook Strait and the South Island. The former is subject to ex-tropical disturbances, and the latter more to westerly or antarctic “lows,” which travel along the latitudes of the “forties,” with their prevailing westerly winds.


The climate of the Auckland Province, speaking generally, combines degrees of warmth and humidity agreeable by day and comfortable by night, North of Auckland City conditions are almost subtropical, and in summer balmy easterly breezes prevail, and are responsible for delightful conditions. In winter the winds are more north and west, while changes to the south-west or south-east mostly account for the rainfall. Cumulus clouds are frequently formed in the afternoons, and, while tempering the heat of the day, also cut down sunshine records somewhat, but add considerably to the beauty of the land- and sea-scape. Southward of Auckland the climate is more varied, the west coast experiencing more rain, while the central parts are warmer in the day and considerably colder at night. In the winter months frosts, which are unknown farther north, now and then occur in the hours of darkness. Eastward from Rotorua (the great health resort and centre of the thermal region) is to be found one of the most genial climates in the world, and Tauranga and Opotiki have charms all their own, especially for their weather and the fruits which ripen to perfection in these regions.

The monthly and annual means of the temperature, rainfall, and sunshine of Auckland and Rotorua are shown in the following tables:—

Month.Mean Temperatures for 56 Years.Mean Rainfall for 68 Years.Mean Sunshine for 11 Years.
Month.Mean Temperatures for 32 Years.Mean Rainfall for 35 Years.Mean Sunshine for 9 Years.


The Hawke's Bay Province is one of the richest in New Zealand, and is favoured with a pleasant climate, being sheltered from westerly winds, though occasionally they are of the warm and dry (Foehn) type. It is rather dry, but ex-tropical disturbances are occasionally responsible for heavy downpours. Though the number of days with rain is less than, and sunshine above, that of other parts, the rainfall is still a good one, and fairly regular throughout the year, though some seasons have been notably dry. The meteorological records of Napier show reliable normals for the coastal districts. Inland the country is rather mountainous and less mild.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 29 Years.Mean Rainfall for 16 Years.Mean Sunshine for 14 Years.


Wellington, the capital city, as disclosed by its meteorological records, has a mean climate for the whole Dominion. Wellington occupies a central position, and is situated near Cook Strait, which divides the two main Islands. It has a somewhat changeable but temperate climate, and, though occasionally subject to disturbances from warmer regions, is usually controlled by the terrestrial wind-currents which have a westerly direction round the world in the latitude of the “forties.” It is popularly regarded as a rather windy spot, for high winds are frequently experienced, although they hardly ever reach hurricane force. Its windiness is largely owing to local configuration, for places quite near Wellington experience very little wind; and to compensate for this rather disagreeable element is a bountiful sunshine, averaging 2,027 hours per annum. There is a plentiful rainfall, amounting to nearly 50 in.

Between Wellington and Taranaki, following the Taranaki Bight, is probably one of the most fertile and agreeable regions in Australasia; but inland, though very productive, conditions are not so favourable.

Taranaki has a rather heavy rainfall, and in most parts of this region the grass is always green. Its climate is mild, and cattle winter in the open. Wanganui and Manawatu districts (which lie between Wellington and Taranaki) have less rainfall than either Wellington or Taranaki.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 56 Years.Mean Rainfall for 59 Years.Mean Sunshine for 14 Years.

It may be useful to make a comparison between the records of Wellington and those of Camden Square. London.

Camden Square, London.
Month.Mean Temperatures for 35 Years.
Month.Mean Temperatures for 14 Years.Mean Rainfall for 16 Years.Mean Sunshine for 14 Years.


Nelson and Marlborough are highly favoured regions with regard to sunshine and shelter from marine winds. Long ago Bishop Selwyn said, “No one knows what the climate is till he has basked in the almost perpetual sunshine of Tasman's Gulf, with a frame braced and invigorated to the full enjoyment of heat by the wholesome frost or cool snowy breeze of the night before.”

Pastoral and agricultural industries are thriving, and the Province of Nelson is also famous for its fruit cultures—apples especially being celebrated for their variety, colour, and flavour. The rainfall about Nelson is very reliable, and averages from 35 in. to 45 in. per annum. Marlborough is also a sunny province, and its rainfall averages from 25 in. to 30 in.

MonthMean Temperatures for 31 Years.Mean Rainfall for 38 Years.


The climate of Westland is influenced by its position with regard to the prevailing westerly winds, its proximity to the sea from which these winds blow, and the mountainous character of its eastern half. The rainfall, as might be expected, is heavy, and ranges from about 70 in. per annum in the north on the coast to as much as 200 in. in the mountainous country. The weather-changes are chiefly due to atmospheric depressions, with lowest pressures passing south of the Dominion. Cyclones centred in the north, while bringing heavy rains to the North Island and the east-coast portions of the South, do not, as a rule, affect Westland, as easterly winds, which then prevail, are not conducive to cloud-formation in this province. Sunshine at Hokitika averages 1,871 hours a year, and, though not so abundant as in east-coast districts, this is a good average amount considering the rainfall. Westland is noted for a clear, beautiful atmosphere during fair-weather periods.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 34 Years.Mean Rainfall for 42 Years.Mean Sunshine for 8 Years.


The chief health resort of the South Island, Hanmer Spa, is situated on a small plateau in the northern portion of the Canterbury Land District. On account of its altitude, 1,120 ft., it enjoys an invigorating climate, with a mean annual temperature of only about one degree below that of Christchurch. Owing to its elevated position and nearness to the mountains Hanmer is in some winter seasons subject to rather severe snowstorms, such as are never experienced on the Canterbury Plains. The mean annual rainfall is 38.15 in., and the mean total sunshine 1,992 hours.

The district of Canterbury comprises a variety of topographical features. A plain stretches over a hundred miles from north-east to south-west, with a maximum width of about forty miles from the east coast to the foothills to the westward. The latter merge into the mountainous country culminating in the main range of the Southern Alps, which divide the provinces of Canterbury and Westland, and afford a protection from the heavily moisture-laden north-westerly winds. The rainfall of the Canterbury Plains is in consequence much restricted, the average being about 26 in. There is, however, a remarkable progressive increase from east to west, as is shown by the records. At Christchurch the mean is 25.13 in.; at Mount Torlesse Station (near Springfield), 39.86in. The climate of Canterbury might almost be described as Continental in type, with large extremes of temperature between summer and winter and day and night. Except in the three summer months frosts are numerous, and even in the early spring and late autumn they are at times severe enough to damage vegetation of a tender nature. In summer, day temperatures of over 90° in the shade are sometimes experienced. With regard to both climate and soil, the Plains have proved most suitable for agricultural farming, and much of the district is capable of growing splendid cereal and root crops. The prevailing winds in Canterbury are north-east and south-west, while north-westerlies are not, as often supposed, of frequent occurrence. They are most common in the springtime, and, being dry and warm, they have a somewhat enervating effect, though in winter-time they come as a welcome change from the keen temperatures then generally ruling. The bright sunshine, as recorded at Lincoln, shows a daily average for the year of 5.8 hours.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 23 Years.Mean Rainfall for 40 Years.


Otago, the southernmost part of New Zealand, is very diversified as regards both its physical features and its climate. Inland, in Central and North Otago, the climate is dry and clear—hot in summer and cold in winter. The rainfall for this district averages from 13 in. to 20 in. Near the coast, in the Dunedin district, the rainfall is more plentiful, averaging from 30 in. to 40 in. per annum, a good deal of which falls in light drizzling rains.

There are continuous rainfall records from various parts of Dunedin for sixty-nine years, of which the median rainfall is 33.5 in., and the mean in the table following may be regarded as too high.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 55 Years.Mean Rainfall for 63 Years.

Queenstown, on Lake Wakatipu, amongst the mountains, at an elevation of over 1,000ft., furnishes the following averages:—

Month.Mean Temperatures for 55 Years.Mean Rainfall for 63 Years.

At Invercargill, the chief town of Southland, the averages are as follow:—

Month.Mean Temperatures for 55 Years.Mean Rainfall for 63 Years.
March64.446 055.23.6014.2
September56.739.047.83 0513.8

The average rainfall of Southland is between 40 in. and 50 in., but towards Queenstown the rainfall is between 30 in. and 40 in. The rainfall is well distributed throughout the year, but there is less wind in winter than in summer.

Stewart Island has a wonderfully mild and moist climate, especially on its eastern side, with an average rainfall of 65.18 in.


The total year's rainfall was below the average over most of the Dominion, but slightly in excess north of Auckland and also at scattered places in Westland and Central Otago in the South Island. Following is a short summary for each month of the weather and the chief atmospheric systems which were in evidence:—

January.—Anticyclones dominated from the beginning until the 20th January, and the weather was fair though somewhat changeable, owing to several small disturbances passing south of the Dominion.

After the 20th a cyclone developed northward of New Zealand. It proved a very intense and extensive one, the effects of which practically lasted until the end of the month. Easterly to south-easterly gales were prevalent during this period, and very heavy rains were experienced in the northern and east-coast districts of the North Island. Waihi recorded 20.43 in. for the month, of which amount 16.78 in. fell between the 25th and 28th (inclusive), the greatest fall being 6 70 in. on the latter day. At Keretoki Station, Waimatenui, on the 29th, a fall of 0.87 in. took place in twelve minutes.

The total rain for the month was below average in the country surrounding Cook Strait and in the south-west portion of the South Island. All other parts of the Dominion had an excess, the greatest being on the east coast of the North Island, where some stations recorded as much as five times the average.

February.—During the greater part of February the weather was chiefly fair, under the influence of high atmospheric pressure.

After the 22nd an extensive depression northward of New Zealand- accounted for unsettled conditions, with strong easterly winds and heavy rain, in the northern and east-coast portions of the North Island. These districts had a total rainfall considerably above the average for the month, while generally elsewhere a deficiency was recorded.

March.—Westerly disturbances were frequent during the month of March, and all parts of the Dominion with a westerly aspect had rainfalls considerably above the average. Gisborne and Napier districts on the east must, however, reported little more than half the normal for the month. There were floods in Westland in the beginning of the month. Some exceptionally heavy winds were recorded on the 16th and 17th in various parts, when lowest barometric pressure was recorded in the South. Stormy weather continued generally until the close of the month. These heavy winds were mostly regarded as “Equinoctial gales,” although it does not appear that they hare really any connection with the Equinox.

Thunderstorms were prevalent at this period.

On the 26th an unusual visitant to New Zealand, in the shape of a tornado, made its appearance at Wellsford, seventy-three miles north-east of Auckland, and its track was marked by considerable damage in destruction of trees, houses, and sheds, though fortunately without loss of life. Mr. Osborn, whose dwelling was destroyed, described the oncoming of the storm as follows:—

“It looked rather misty outside, and we were sitting on the couch by the window talking about the weather, one passing the remark that it looked like rain. It commenced to blow then, but not very hard at the start. The door was open, and I and my wife walked over to close it. The cyclone looked about ten chains off. It just seemed to look like one big cloud in the middle of a lot of mist. Just when I closed the door it hit us hard. A blinding flash of lightning seemed to be the prelude to the ‘big noise.’ Everything was then one big roar. The whole sky seemed to swirl round about our house, and the force of the wind was terrific.”

The small house then rose bodily with its three inmates and was swirled around in the air, and after being carried some distance was smashed to matchwood, and papers were found twenty miles away.

On the same evening a water-spout was seen at the distance of about twenty miles, and it was believed to have connection with the tornado. It was described as a great pillar of water rising from the sea to black low-lying clouds, sweeping hundreds of feet of water at its base and travelling rapidly with irresistible force.

April.—Fair weather prevailed during the first week of April, but the remainder of the month, owing to several extensive westerly depressions, was characterized by changeable conditions. These disturbances accounted for strong northerly and westerly winds generally and occasional heavy rain in the west-coast districts. On this account places in the west-coast and southernmost districts received a rainfall above the average, but over most of the Dominion the total was below, the east-coast provinces experiencing very dry and mild weather.

May.—The month was a dry one generally, and the total rainfall was below normal over most of the Dominion, only a few scattered places in the northern and east-coast districts of the North Island and in the northern portion of the South Island recording falls over the average.

From the 1st to the 10th a westerly disturbance brought squally westerly winds and rain, mostly to districts with a westerly aspect.

Dull and misty conditions prevailed from the 13th to the 18th, while a shallow depression moved from the north-west over the country.

Between the 24th and 27th an intense cyclone, passing in the North, accounted for some heavy downpours in the northern and east-coast districts of the North Island, and very cold weather generally.

On the last day of the month strong easterly winds, with threatening conditions, prevailed in the far North, owing to the presence of a depression to the north-west of the Dominion.

Fine, mild days and cold nights were frequent during the month, particularly in the South Island, and, except in the far North, the average wind-force was lower than usual.

June.—June proved a cold month, the mean shade temperature being below the average of previous years. Frosts were more frequent and more severe than usual in places generally subject to them. Rotorua reported 17 degrees of frost on the morning of the 28th, while Hanmer, in the South. Island, registered 21 degrees of frost on the 11th and 12th, and experienced twenty-seven mornings with temperatures below freezing-point.

The month opened with unsettled weather generally and stormy conditions in the northern districts, where some heavy rain fell between the 1st and 4th owing to a cyclonic disturbance passing over the Dominion from the north-west to the south-east. Its centre was apparently located in the neighbourhood of the Chatham Islands on the 4th. From the latter date until the 20th, although anticyclonie pressure enveloped the country, continuous tropical depressions northwards resulted in a prevalence of cold east and south-east winds generally and frequent drizzling rains in the east-coast districts, especially of the North Island.

The West Coast, at this time, experienced fine, clear weather.

After the 25th a storm-centre to the eastward of the South Island developed considerable intensity, and accounted for strong southerly winds and showers on the east coast, which prevailed until the 30th.

The month, on the whole, was a dry one, and, except for a few stations along the east coast, all parts of the Dominion recorded a total rainfall much below the average.

July.—The July rainfall was nearly everywhere below the average, some places showing the lowest fall ever recorded for this month. Precipitation came mostly as light showers, but some heavy downpours occurred in various parts, with boisterous north-west winds on the 10th, while an intense westerly disturbance was pasting in the South, and in the northernmost districts about the 28th and 29th, when a tropical depression was located northwards of New Zealand on the edge of an anticyclone centred in the South.

The month was remarkable for a frequency of dry southerly winds, clear days, and cold nights, and frosts were again above the average in number and degree.

August.—The weather during August was of a changeable character, being dominated chiefly by disturbances of a westerly type with lowest pressure moving from west to east southward of the Dominion. Of these depressions the most notable was one which persisted between the 14th and 25th, and, although not of remarkable intensity, it accounted for unsettled and, at times, boisterous conditions. Most of the rainfall occurred during this period, and in the west-coast districts of both Islands some heavy downpours brought the total for the month in excess of the average. In all other parts of the Dominion the aggregate rainfall was below the mean of previous years, and in the east-coast provinces the weather might be described as dry and calm generally, with mild days but cold nights. Frosts were numerous and severe in many parts.

September.—Rainfall was below the average except at isolated places, particularly in the north-east portion of the South Island and the extreme north of the North Island.

Unsettled weather was generally confined to two periods—viz., between the 9th and 14th and the 22nd and 28th. In the former period an extensive though rather shallow cyclonic depression ruled, bringing welcome rain in most parts on the 10th and 11th. Some snow was reported on the 11th on the high country in the South, and also on the 13th on the higher levels in the North Island as far north as the Gisborne district.

The heavy rains that occurred in parts towards the end of the month were accounted for by a succession of disturbances on the edge of an anticyclone which at that time overspread the Dominion.

Except during the periods mentioned, fair weather predominated, with several sharp frosts in various parts. The month was a good one for agricultural work, and, although growth was not abundant, it was sufficient for grazing purposes.

October.—October was remarkable for the large number of westerly disturbances, which accounted for a prevalence of strong north-west winds generally and heavy rainfall in the west-coast and northern districts of the South Island. The total rainfall was also above the average in the extreme north of the North Island, while other parts of the Dominion experienced a deficiency, the east-coast districts suffering most in this respect.

The month opened dry and fine generally, but warm and humid conditions were shortly followed by heavy west-coast rains, and more general rains at the end of the first week. Barometric pressure was very low in the South on the 14th at 9 a.m., but increased rapidly in the next thirty-six hours, and some snow fell on the higher levels about this time, with stormy conditions in the South. Fair weather ruled between the 15th and 19th, after which boisterous westerlies continued until the end of the month.

November.—Westerly or antarctic disturbances accounted for the stormy weather conditions which were rather prevalent during the first half of the month and again at the close. Between the 18th and 28th an anticyclone brought fair weather generally. The total rainfall was considerably below the average on the east coast of the North Island, but, with few exceptions, all other parts of the Dominion experienced an excess, which was greatest on the west coast of the North Island and the east coast of the South.

December.—The weather during December was dominated by disturbances of both tropical and antarctic origin. Of the former type there were at least three, and of the latter four, while anticyclones, though conspicuous during the first half of the month, were mostly centred northward of the Dominion.

Warm, dull, unsettled conditions predominated, with rainfall well distributed in time and place. The total precipitation was nearly everywhere above the average and on the east coast of the North Island it was in marked contrast to the low falls of the past few months.

Below-average falls were, however, recorded in the central and southernmost districts of the North Island and in the northernmost and extreme south-west portions of the South Island.

The following tables show the difference, above or below the mean, for each month in the year:—


Monthly Means compared with the Averages for Seventeen Previous Years.
Mean Number of Days with Rain, compared with the Averages for Seventeen Previous Years.

+ Above the average.

- Below the average.



Monthly Means compared with the Averages for Seventeen Previous Years.
Mean Number of Days with Rain, compared with the Averages for Seventeen Previous Years.

+ Above the average.

— Below the average.



The observations were taken at 9 a.m.
Stations.Months.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of BarometerPrevailing Winds.
Highest.Lowest.Mean Max. Temp.Mean Min. Temp.Mean Temp. for Month.Wet Days.Fall.
* No record.
Auckland (lat. 38° 50' S.; long. 174° 50′ 4″ E.; alt. 125 ft.)—January80.057.074.361.667.9123.9129.86E, NE.
February82.055.072.961.467.1116.2530.05SW, NE.
March79.050.570.358.261.2206.2029.77SW, W.
June63.037.557.946.252.0132.9930.12W, SE.
July62.039.556.745.851.2211.6930.06W, SE.
October69. NE.
November74.547.067.154.460.7173.6629.88W, SW.
December78.547.069.958.364.1175.6129.83SW, W.
Te Aroha (lat. 37° 32' 8.; long. 175° 42' E.: alt. 46 ft.)—January85.040.077.958.168.0106.24..SE, N.
February86., N.
March79.040.070.552.961.7105.51..NW, N.
June64., E.
August64.030.059.541.750.61.83.62..N, W, S.
September66.030.061.940.451.182.24..SW, S.
October72.040.065.350.157.7153.03..NW, N.
December80.05073.257.565.2136.77..NW, N.
Waihi (lat. 37° 28' S.; long 175° 52' E.: alt. 340 ft.)—January82.646.273.754.664.11120.4329.938SE, NW.
February85.641.774.256.665.41014.7030.093E, W.
March80.243.870.254.362.3206.7629.784W, NW.
May69.731.561.846.354.0147.7430.105W, E.
June63.521.956.836.146.4126.8030.173E, NW.
July61.526.256.436.646.5114.0730.093W, NW, E.
August65.122.759.039.049.0184.0630.044W, N.
September68.727.261.139.350.1105.0230.183E, W.
October73.133.565.448.456.9214.3430.085W, NW.
Tauranga(lat 30° 42' S.: long. 176° 22' E.; alt. 100 ft.)—January81.545.572.153.562.8115.39..NE, S.
February83.044.572.654.763.0116.10..E, NE.
March81.542.070.751.461.0207.89..SW, W SW, W.
April77., W.
May72., SW.
June66.029.059.637.848.7124.15..S, SW.
July62.031.057.838.047.9111.23..S, SW.
August65.030.059.740.049.9143.43..SW, W, NW.
September68.032.061.641.651.681.75..E, SW, NE.
October75., W.
November83.036.068.849.859.3144.14..SW, W.
December82., W.
Rotorua (lat., 38" 9. S.; long. 176° 15' E.; alt. 932 ft.)—January78.045.071.654.262.9124.27..S, E.
February82.743., S.
March80., NW, SW.
April75.035.065.746.556.1132.42..W, S.
May69.534.062.544.553.591.88..SW, SE, S.
June63., SW.
August62.030.057.441.549.4143.90..S. W, NE.
October72.035.064.446.655.5174.04..N, W.
November81.035.068.848.058.4143.96..W, N, SW.
December79.539., S, N.
Taihape (lat. 39" 40' S.; long. 175° 49' E.; alt. 2,080 ft.)—January73.244.064.650.657.6134.62..NE, W.
February80.838.267.651.259.4111.71..NE, W.
March74.239.061.447.754.5224.95..W, SW.
May64.031.651.142.646.8161.86..NE, W.
June*27.2*35.3*161.40..NE, S.
July57.731.046.435.440.9162.78..NE, SW.
September61.030.053.637.945.7141.54..NE, W.
October70.034.059.843.651.7152.90..NW, W, NE.
November72.634.361.644.653.1174.73..W, NW.
December73.037.863.948.656.2144.40..W, NW.
Greenmeadows (Napier) (lat. 39° S.; long. 176° 53' E.; alt. 70 ft.)—January87.052.071.957.064.4159.9329.919W, S.
March80.045.071.954.163.091.6329.809NW. NE.
April78.538.067.947.457.640.28*N. NW.
May73.038.561.146.753.9125.68*NW, S.
June63.028.553.540.146.8141.34*NW, S.
August68.533.059.540.950.280.6129.970SW, S.
September72.037.060.742.851.8121.3130.160SW, S, E.
October79.039.068.648.658.6111.1530.009W, NW.
November86.541.072.850.861.880.7929.790W, NE.
Moumahakl (Taranaki) (lot. 39° 44' S.; long, 174° 40' E.; alt. 270 ft.)—January71., SW.
February72.041.065.951.658.891.99..SE, NW.
March70.042.064.951.358.1266.33..NW, NE.
May61., NE.
June54.028.045.735.040.392.44..SE, SW.
August59., SE.
September64.033.057.639.248.483.03..N, SW.
New Plymouth (lat. 39° 3' 35" S.; long 174° 4' 58" E.; alt. 60ft.—January78.049.071.458.464.9133.65..SE, NW.
April67., SW. E.
May67., SW.
August61.334.357.143.450.2205.89..SE, E.
September62.334.158.443.350.8104.58..SE, NW.
October65.239.962.249.956.0187.19..NW, SE, SW.
November67.843.161.950.756.3208.48..NW, SW.
December71.140.566.055.160.5153.95..N, NW.
Masterton (lat. 40° 57' S.; long. 175° 40' E.; alt. 377 ft.)—January84.044.269.852.160.9161.97..SW, E. NE.
February89.436.873.452.362.8111.39..NE, E.
March80.837.469.248.758.9175.82..W, SW.
April76.830.466.243.754.991.32..NE, NW, SW.
May74.025.459.940.950.4141.12..SE, NE.
June64.823.252.336.444.3191.75..SW, SE.
July61.427.052.835.744.2182.52..SW, NE.
August64.226.457.635.946.7142.16..NE, SW, NW.
September68.027.460.237.348.7122.52..NE, E. SW.
October76.030.667.945.356.6120.89..W, NE.
November83.233.470.046.358.1172.57..NE, NW.
December82.435.271.851.961.9153.35..NE, SW.
Palmerston North (lat. 40° 21' S.; long 175° 37' E.; alt. 100 ft.)—January78.548.070.854.062.461.01..E. W.
February82. SE.
March77.040.567.651.759.6225.86..W, NW.
April735.064.548.856.6122.40..W. NW.
May 30.060.443.451.981.66..E. W.
June66.025.053.638.346.0102.40..SE, E.
July60.026.553.538.746.181.55..SE. E.
August61.028.056.340.048.1155.44..NW, E.
September70. E.
October76.035.063.947.355.6152.76..W, SW.
December74.545.067.651.659.6162.45..W, E.
Wellington (lat. 41° 16' S.; long. 174° 46' E.; alt. 10 ft.)—January75., NW.
February82.340.571.956.063.981.0730.011N. S.
March74.544., N.
April70.339.064.351.157.6121.1229.951N, NW.
May65.631.959.745.252.4121.2330.102N, S.
June59.331.053.941.747.8183.3280.105S, N.
July59.331.054.241.848.0121.6930.085S, N.
August61.1356.843.550.1122.3029.952N, S.
September67.133.559.044.851.9112.5230.141N, S.
October71.337.364.050.157.0132.3329.950N, NW.
November71.740.963.851.957.8165.4229.748NW. N.
December76.642.468.655.762.190.7429.753S. NW.
Nelson (lat. 41° 16' 17° S.; long. 173° 18' 46° E.; alt. 13 ft.)—January70.943.571.654.763.160.80..N, SE.
February78.841.572.454.763.593.02..N, SE.
April75.436.865.147.656.390.98..S, N.
May66.132.659.844.252.0123.49..SE, S.
June50.831.454.837.346.092.99..SE, S.
July60.430.054.335.644.960.67..SE, S.
August60.129.455.939.147.5153.08..SE, NE.
September63.131.657.941.149.593.60..N, SE.
November77.039.366.548.457.5144.03..N, SW.
December75.940.870.353.061.681.29..N, SW.
Brightwater (lat. 41° 23' S.; long. 173° 9' E.; alt. 89 ft.)—January81.041.073.353.863.560.59..N, SW.
May69., SE.
June63.027.055.633.644.683.66..SE, S.
July58.027.054.836.245.561.30..SE, S.
August60.037.054.940.647.7133.72..SE, NE.
September*****103.36..N, SW.
October72.0*64.6**113.72..N, SW.
November77.036.066.546.656.5134.16..N, SW.
December77.038.070.351.761.0100.97..SW, NE.
Hokitika (lat, 42° 41' 30' S.; long. 170° 49' E.; alt. 12 ft.)—January78.045.570.353.762.01110.8029.936SW, NW, SE.
February74., SW.
March72.039.562.347.354.82412.8729.671SW, SE.
April67., SE.
July58.528.554.234 244.284.6130.072E, SE.
August59.029.054.838.946.82212.5629.928NE, SE.
September66.033.557.641.149.3145.0330.141SE, E.
October65.537.559.546.953.22517.5929.945NW, SW.
November66.034.059.742.951.32213.1729.736N, NE.
Hanmer Springs (lat 42° 23' S.; long. 172° 47' E.; alt. 1,225 ft.)—January88.038.068.448.258.3104.04..NW, SE.
February88.034.070.548.559.543.27..NW, SW.
Christchurch (lat. 43° 31' 30" S.; long. 172° 38' 50" E.; alt. 25 ft.)—January86.143.866.953.160.0121.9329.951NE, SW.
February86.240.668.754.361.551.0430.074NE, SW.
March87.634.660.746.656.6162.6829.572SW, NE.
April75.130.561.743.852.880.5929.861NE, SW.
May73.926.455., NE.
June55.923.548.733.941.3152.7130.194SW, NE.
July69.125.349.932.741.3121.3030.084SW, NE.
August63.926., NE.
September67.530.555.340.447.892.5330.111SW, E.
October78.335.266.045.555.890.4529.815E, SW.
November77.536.165.646.055.8133.2429.651NE, SW.
December88.637.467.650.759.282.2129.705SW, NE, E.
Lincoln (lat, 43° 32' 16" S.; long. 172° 38' 39" E.; alt. 42 ft.)—January89.840.070.750.660.682.1929.890NE, SW.
March89.031.566.645.756.1172.6729.558SW, NE.
April74.030.063.443.353.370.6329.837NE, NW.
May73.227.057.438.447.960.9629.976NE, SW.
June60.022.549.033.641.6121.6330.151SW, NE.
July69., NW.
August66., E.
September68.531.558.240.549.371.5030.096NE, S.
October79.030.567.646.356.930.1829.770NE, NW.
November79.035.466.646.356.4102.4729.605NE, SW.
December91.036.068.750.359.5102.4529.675NE, NW.
Kisselton (lat. 43° 22' S.; long. 171° 33' E.; alt. 1,220 ft.)—January88.034.570., NW.
February91.037.072.448.560.431.58..NW, SE.
March72.033.563.342.252.793.26..NW, SW.
April83.030.563.241.352.2113.57..NW, SE.
May69.523.556.035.945.951.31..NW, SW.
June56.520., SW.
July63.020.547.826.537.132.83..NW, SW.
August67.023.053.932.243.071.08..SW, NW.
September66.520.553.936.347.161.13..SW, NW.
November77.035.064.943.953.992.92..NW, SW.
December81.035.069.446.257.88..64..NW, SE.
Timaru (lat. 44° 25' S.; long. 171° 18' E.; alt. 40 ft.)—January81.645.068.152.360.2153.16..SE, E, NE.
February84.444.069.651.260.481.15..E, SE.
March79.639.065.446.956.1182.80..SW, NE.
April74.032.062.843.653.260.40..NE, SW.
May63.227.855.040.147.560.65..NE, SW.
July62.426.048.631.940.270.83..SW, NE.
August59.027.250.536.343.480.50..SW, NE.
September67.430.650.539.547.771.04..SW, NE.
October84., E.
November81.636.464.846.255.5172.83..NE, S.
December90.642.868.851.560.1163.57..W, SW.
Waimate (lat. 44° 44' S.; long. 171° E.; alt. 200 ft.)—January86.043.066.350.758.5164.53..NE. N.
February81.043.068.650.459.582.52..NE, SW.
March80. NE.
July60.027.049.431.440.480.91..NE, SW.
August61.028.051.435.443.4100.74..NE, SW.
September68.030.056.338.447.391.11..NE. SW.
October82.036.066.344.055.481.73..NE, SW
December87.040.065.549.557.5226.68..NE, SW.
Dunedin (lat. 45° 52' S.; long. 170° 31' E.; alt. long. 170° 31' E.; alt. 300 ft.)—January83.045.064.651.357.9174.7529.985NE, SW.
February80.042.067.751.659.682.3030.093NE, SW.
March71.038.058.746.152.4266.9329.591SW, NE.
April74.037.05945.152.4132.3629.819SW, NW.
May71.032.054.542.948.7121.8130.081SW, NE, N.
June56., N.
July58., N.
August59.034.051.440.245.8162.4329.918NE, SW.
September67., SW.
October78.038.063.945.754.8131.8329.800NE, SW.
November75., SW.
December82.040.063.649.056.3183.7829.717NE, SW.
Gore (lat. 46° 6' S.; long. 168° 57' E.; alt. 245 ft.)—January87.039.069.847.858.894.20..E, SW.
February86.038.072.847.260.080.94..SW, E.
March81.033.060.742.251.4226.07..SW, E.
April76., NE.
May63., E.
June55.020.045.329.737.5121.62..NE, SW.
July55., NE.
August61.030.052.434.813.0153.05..E, NE.
October72., NW.
November74. E.
December77.036.066.344.955.6184.33..SW. NE.
Invercargill (lat. 46° 25' S.; long. 168° 21' E.; alt. 12 ft.)—January81.037.067.748.358.0123.40..E. SW.
February82., NW.
April75., E.
May62.024.053.840.045.9211.87..SW. NE.
June58., E.
July56.022.048.833.140.9142.37..E, W.
August59., NE.
September67.028.057.841.049.4152.20..NW, NE.
October75.033.062.945.954.4193.54..NW, SW, NE.


Stations.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of BarometerPrevailing Winds.
Highest and Date.Lowest and Date.Mean Max. Temp. for Year.Mean Min, Temp, for Year.Mean Temp. for Year.Days on which Rain tell.Total Fall.
Auckland82.037.565.253.559.319848.0629.990W, SW.
 Feb. 14June 21 and Aug. 2 29.0       
Te Aroha86.029.066.848.657.714750.68..NW, S, N.
 Feb. 14June and July       
Waihi85.621.965.747.056.316587.2730.030W, NW.
 Feb. 14June 22       
Tauranga83., S.
 Feb. 2 andJune 28       
 Nov. 26        
Rotorua82.727.065.646.555.814441.62..S, SW.
 Feb. 15June 22, 23       
Taihape80.827.258.143.951.019335.86 W, NE.
 Feb. 14June 22       
Moumahaki79.0 Dec. 1628.0 June 2259.444.652.015849.78..NW. SE,
New Plymouth81.034.062.849.856.216955.13..SE, SW.
 Feb. 25June 22 and July 24 and 26       
Masterton89.4 Feb. 1523.2 June 2264.343.954.017427.38..NE, SW.
Palmerston N., E.
 Feb. 27June 22       
Wellington82.331 062.649.255.915029.2329.958N, S.
 Jan. 28June 22 and July 31       
Nelson79.9 Jan. 2229.4 Aug. 363.446.054.712235.71..N, SE.
Hokitika78.0 Jan. 2328.5 June 11 and July 2960.344.652.4199118.8229.960SW, NE, SE.
Hanmer Springs88.
 Jan. 8 and Feb. 14,15June 12, 13       
Christchurch88.623.560.443.652.012620.7329.917SW, NE.
 Dec. 12June 22       
Kisselton91., SW
 Feb. 13June 11, 21       
Timaru90.625.060.543.151.812618.06..SW, NE.
 Dec. 12June 21,22, 29       
Waimate87.0 Dec. 1224.0 June 2159.942.251.014225.48..NE, SW.
Dunedin83.0 Jan. 629.0 June 10, 2858.244.451.317738.0929.922SW, NE.
Gore87.020.059.539.749.618135.68..SW, E.
 Jan. 7June 30       
Invercargill84.022.058.942.250.521744.32..SW, E.
 Jan. 7June 10 and July 7       


The following article by Dr. L. Cockayne, F.R.S., on the flora of New Zealand is reproduced from the 1913 number of the Year-book.

Owing to its long isolation and diverse elements (Malayan, Australian, Sub-antarctic, and endemic), the flora of New Zealand is of special interest. Ferns, fern-allies, and seed-plants number, so far as is at present known, about 1,700 species, of which about three-fourths are endemic. Many hundreds of algae, fungi, mosses, and liverworts have been described, but these certainly do not represent the total number of such. With regard to the seed-plants, one family (the daisy) contains more than 230 species, three (sedge, figwort, and grass) each more than a hundred, and ten (carrot, orchid, buttercup, madder, epacrid, willowherb, pea, rush, and forget-me-not) between thirty and seventy. The ferns and fern-allies, though not of the overwhelming importance in the flora that many think, still number 157 species. The genera Veronica, Carex, Celmisia, Coprosma. Ranunculus. Olearia, Senecio, Epilobium, and Myosotis contain many species, no few of which, owing to their extreme variability, are difficult to exactly define. This is especially the ease with Veronica, which embraces more than a hundred species.

Variability is not concerned merely with adult plants, but quite often there are species with juvenile forms quite distinct from the adults and which may persist for many years. This strange procedure is seen, more or less, in a hundred species. Familiar examples amongst trees are the lacebark, lowland-ribbonwood, lancewood, kowhai, and kaikomako.

Many of the growth-forms of New Zealand plants are characteristic of the life-conditions. These are, for example — climbing-plants with long, woody, ropelike stems; shrubs with stiff, wiry, interlaced branches forming close masses; cushion-plants sometimes of immense proportions, as in the vegetable sheep (species of Haastia and Psychrophyton); leafless shrubs with round or flattened stems; species of Veronica looking exactly like cypresses; trees with leaves bunched on long trunks; grasses and sedges forming tussocks. The ligneous plants are almost all evergreen, only some twenty being deciduous or semi deciduous. Herbs that die to the ground in winter and bulbous plants are very rare.

The plant associations are of quite as great interest as the species; indeed, to find an equal variety a continent extending to the tropics would have to be visited. The northern rivers and estuaries contain a true mangrove association, an unexpected occurrence outside the tropics. Lowland and montane forests are of the tropical rain-forest type. They are distinguished by their wealth of tree-ferns, filmy ferns, woody climbing-plants, massive perching-plants, deep carpets of mosses and liverworts, and trees provided at times with plank-like buttresses. The kauri forest in the north, the swamp kahikatea forest, and the assemblages of taxads (rimu, miro, totara, and matai), are different rain-forest associations. Another forest is that where species of the southern-beech (Nothofagus), incorrectly termed “birch,” are dominant. Such are subantaretic, and constitute the greater part of the high-mountain forests, though in Wellington, Marlborough, and Nelson they are common in the lowlands. Shrub heath in which the manuka is dominant is common in the North, South, and Stewart Islands, but is specially abundant on the Auckland gumfields, where it is an obstacle to agriculture. Fern heath of tall bracken is also widespread. Swamp characterized by Phormium, raupo, toetoe, and niggerhead was once common, but draining has greatly reduced its area. Bogs and moorland support a peculiar vegetation. Hummocks of bog-moss are abundant, and a small wiry umbrella-fern may cover wide areas. Grass land with brownish-leaved tussock-grasses is a great feature of parts of the volcanic plateau of the North Island, and of the east of the South Island. Species of Poa and Fesluca form the principal tussocks of the lowlands and lower hills, but at higher altitudes and in Southland at low levels species of Danthonia dominate. This name is not to be confused with the turf-making species of the same genus used in artificial pastures.

The alpine vegetation is of great scientific importance. It contains, exclusive of lowland plants which ascend to the mountains, about 550 species, most of which never descend below 1,500 ft. altitude, while some are confined altogether to the highest elevations. The most beautiful of the New Zealand flowers, but with few exceptions, belong to this mountain-flora. Here are the great buttercups, white and yellow; the charming ourisias; the marguerite-flowered celmisias; the dainty eyebrights; forget-me-nots, yellow, bronze, and white; and many other delightful plants. The growth-forms, too, are often striking or quaint. Cushion-plants, rosette-plants, stiff-branched shrubs, and mat-forming plants are much in evidence. Hairiness, leathery texture, and great rigidity, perhaps accompanied by needle-like points, as in the spaniard (Aciphylla Colensoi), are common characters of leaves.

The floras of the following groups of islands, far distant from the mainland, are distinctly part of that of New Zealand. The Kermadecs contain 114 species of ferns, fern-allies, and seed-plants, only 12 of which are endemic, while 71 belong also to New Zealand proper. The largest island (Sunday Island) is covered with forest in which Metrosideros villosa, a near relation of the pohutakawa, is the principal tree. The Chatham Islands possess 235 species, 29 of which are endemic, though several of the latter are trivial varieties merely, while the remainder of the flora is, with one exception, found on the mainland. Forest, moor, and heath are the principal plant associations. The leading tree is the karaka, but by the Moriori called kopi. On the moors are great thickets of a lovely purple-flowered shrub, Olearia semidentata. There are two remarkable endemic genera, Coxiella and Myosotidium, the former belonging to the carrot family, and the latter a huge forget-me-not, now nearly extinct. The Subantaretic Islands (Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes, Macquarie) have a dense vegetation made up of 194 species, no fewer than 52 of which are endemic, the remainder being found in New Zealand, but chiefly in the mountains. Forest is found only on the Snares and the Aucklands, with a species of Olearia and the southern rata as the doninant trees respectively. Extremely dense scrubs occur on the Auckland and Campbell Islands, and moors, sometimes with huge tussocks, are a characteristic feature of all the islands, thanks to the enormous peat-deposit and the frequent rain. Several herbaceous plants of stately form and with beautiful flowers occur in great profusion.

The Cook Islands, though a part of the Dominior, possess a Polynesian flora quite distinct from that of New Zealand, and are excluded from this notice, while, on the contrary, the flora of the Macquarie Islands (belonging to Tasmania) is a portion of that of New Zealand.

Besides the indigenous, an important introduced element, consisting of about 540 species, mostly European, has followed in the wake of settlement. These aliens are in active competition with the true natives. There is a widespread but quite erroneous opinion that the latter are being eradicated in the struggle. This is not the case. Where the vegetation has never been disturbed by man there are no foreign plants; but where man, with his farming operations, stock, and burning has brought about European conditions, then certainly the indigenous plants have given way before artificial meadows, with their economic plants and accompanying weeds. On the tussock-grassland, however, invader and aboriginal have met, and though the original vegetation is changed there is no reason to consider the one class or the other as the conqueror. On the contrary, both may be expected to persist, and in course of time a new flora and vegetation will be evolved.


The fauna of New Zealand is briefly described in the following article by Mr. James Drummond, F.L.S., F.Z.S., which originally appeared in the 1914 number of the Year-book.

New Zealand's native fauna has attracted the attention of investigators in nearly all parts of the world. Its special interest lies in its manifold peculiarities, in the incongruous characteristics possessed by some of its members, and in the ancient types found in different classes of its animals.

Beginning with the mammalia, the Dominion is surprisingly inadequately represented. Its only land mammals, except seals, are two bats. One of these, the long-tailed bat, belongs to a genus (Chalinolobus), which is found in the Australian and Ethiopian zoological regions, and to a species, morio, found in the south-east of Australia, as well as in New Zealand; but the other, the short-tailed bat (Mystacops luberculatus), belongs to a genus peculiar to this Dominion. At one time it was believed that the Maori dog (Canis familiaris, variety maorium, the “kuri" of the Maoris) and the Maori rat (Mus exulans, the Maoris' “kiore”) were indigenous to New Zealand, but it is now generally believed that these two animals were introduced by the Maoris when they made their notable migrations from their legendary Hawaiki—probably Tahiti, in the Society Group—between five and six hundred years ago. The dog was highly prized as a domestic pet, and the rat as an article of diet. Both could easily be taken across the sea in the large canoes used in those days. The dog, without doubt, is extinct. Statements by Captain Cook, J. R. and G. Foster, Sydney Parkinson (the artist), the Rev. W. Colenso, and early visitors to New Zealand show that the Maori dog was a very ordinary animal. It was small, with a pointed nose, pricked ears, and very small eyes. In colour it was white, black, brown, or parti-coloured, and it had long hair, short legs, a short bushy tail, and no loud bark, but only a whine. The Maoris lavished upon it an abundance of affection. When dead its flesh was used for food, its skin for clothing, and its hair for ornaments. Opinions differ in regard to the approximate date of its extinction, and investigations in this respect are made somewhat difficult by the fact that for some years “wild dogs,” as they were called—probably across between the Maori dog and dogs brought by Europeans—infested several districts in both the North Island and the South Island, and were confused with the Maori dog. It is probable that the pure Maori dog became extinct about 1885. The Maori rat, a forest-dweller, is not so plentiful as it was when Europeans first came to New Zealand, but it still lives in the forests.

The long-tailed species of bat was once fairly plentiful, especially in the forests, where it makes its home in hollow trees. Large numbers also at one time were found under old bridges across streams, notably at the River Avon, in Christchurch. It is not very rare now, and specimens sometimes are found in the forests and in caves. The latest specimens are reported from a cave near Castle Rock on the Tiki Road, not far from Coromandel; and also from a cave at Orakeikorako, nine miles up the Waikato River from Atiamuri, in the Taupo district. The short-tailed species is not extinct, but rare. Most bats are exceptionally well adapted for life in the air, feeding on flying-insects, and even drinking on the wing. But the short-tailed species of New Zealand possesses peculiarities of structure which enables it to creep and crawl with ease on the branches and leaves of trees, and probably it seeks its food there as well as in the air. Few naturalists, however, have had opportunities to observe it, and little is known of its habits.

The sea-lion, the sea-elephant, the sea-leopard, and the fur-seal are found on islands in the Dominion's boundaries. In the early days of colonization sealing was a great industry, and yielded large profits to some of the adventurous men who took part in it.

Amongst the sea mammals whales, of course, are the most important. At one time extensive whaling was carried on in New Zealand waters, three hundred vessels, chiefly from America, sometimes visiting the country in one year. The industry began about 1795, reached the height of its prosperity between 1830 and 1840, and then began to dwindle. In recent years there has been an effort to revive the industry, but it will never attain the position it held in former years. Porpoises are plentiful, and the dolphin (Delphinus delphis) also is found in these waters. Mention should be made here of “Pelorus Jack,” a solitary whale which for some years met vessels near Pelorus Sound, and which was protected by an Order in Council under the name of Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus). He was the only member of the species reported from New Zealand waters.

In contrast with the species of land mammals, the members of the next class, Aves, were remarkably plentiful when settlement began. Bush and grass fires, cats, stoats and weasels, and the ruthless use of the gun have reduced their numbers, but they still stand as probably the most interesting avifauna in the world. They include a comparatively large number of absolutely flightless birds. No living birds in New Zealand are wingless, but the kiwi (Apteryx), the weka (Ocydromus), the kakapo parrot (Stringops), and the takahe (Notornis hochstetteri)* cannot use their wings for flight, while a duck belonging to the Auckland Islands (Nesonetta) is practically in the same plight. There are also several species of birds whose wings are so weak that they can make only short flights. Other notable birds are the kea (Nestor notabilis), which is accused of killing sheep on stations in the South Island; the tui (Prosthemadera novœ-zealandiœ), which affords one of the most beautiful sights in the New Zealand forests, and charms visitors with its silvery notes; the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris), the only species known in which there is a wide divergence in the shape of the bills in the two sexes, the male's being short and straight, while the female's is curved, pliant, and long; and the wry-billed plover (Anarhynchus frontalis), the only bird known to possess a bill turned to one side. Cormorants or shags (Phalacrocorax) and penguins (Impennes) are exceptionally well represented in the avifauna. New Zealand, indeed, may be regarded as the headquarters of the penguins, as all the genera except one are found within the boundaries of this Dominion. The oldest fossil penguin known is from the Eocene and Oligocene rocks of New Zealand. New Zealand probably was the centre from which penguins were dispersed to other countries.

* This bird is better known as Notornis mantelli. That name was first given by Sir Richard Owen to an extinct bird, represented by a fossil found at Waingongoro, in the North Island, by Mr. W. Mantell in 1847. When the first living specimen of the Notornis was found in 1849 scientists concluded that it was identical with the fossil, and it bore the same name; but when Dr. Meyer, of Dresden, examined the skeleton of the third specimen, he found that it was different from the fossil, and he changed the specific name from Mantelll to Hochstetteri, thus honouring Dr. Hochstetter, a naturalist who visited New Zealand in the early days.

Several species of birds make notable migrations to New Zealand. The godwit (Limosa novœ-zealandiœ), it is believed, breeds on the tundras of Eastern Siberia, and spends the summer months in New Zealand, arriving about October, and leaving in March or April. The knot (Tringa canutus) is believed to make almost the same journey, and two cuckoos—the shining-cuckoo (Chalcococcyx lucidus) and the long-tailed cuckoo (Urodynamis taitensis)—come from Pacific islands in the spring and leave for their northern homes about April. Both, like most members of the Cuculidæ family, are parasitical, and impose upon small native birds the duty of hatching and rearing young cuckoos. The kiwi, already mentioned, belongs to the same subclass as the ostrich, the emu, and the cassowary, all struthious birds, and has several peculiarities besides its flightlessness. One of these is the position of its nostrils, at the tip of its bill, instead of at the base as in all other birds. Its plumage is peculiarly hair-like in appearance. It possesses a very generalized structure; as Sir Richard Owen once suggested, it seems to have borrowed its head from one group of birds, its legs from another, and its wings from a third. It was once believed to be almost extinct, but in recent years has been shown to be fairly plentiful in some districts where there is little settlement.

The takahe (Notornis) is one of the world's very rare birds. Only four specimens have been found. Two of the skins are in the British Museum, one is in the Dresden Museum, and one in the Otago Museum, in Dunedin. The fourth specimen was caught by two guides (Messrs. D. and J. Ross) at Notornis Bay, Lake Te Anau, in 1898. Although at the present time (1914) it is sixteen years since the Notornis was last seen, there is reason to believe that individuals still exist in the wild districts of the southern sounds.

The interest of the living avifauna is surpassed by the interest of the extinct birds. These include the great flightless moa (Dinornis), a goose (Cnemiornis minor), a gigantic rail (Aptornis otidiformis), and an eagle (Harpaqonis moorei).

Reptilian life is restricted to about fifteen species of lizards, and to the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). This is a lizard-like creature, the only surviving representative of the order Rhynchocephalia, otherwise extinct. The tuatara is found in no other country. Its nearest ally is Homœosaurus, whose remains have been found in Jurassic rocks in Germany. It has been destroyed to a large extent by wild pigs, cats, and dogs, and is now seldom found except on a few islands off the coast of the mainland.

The amphibians are represented by a small frog (Liopelma hochstetteri), which is very rare, and has been recorded from only a few districts in the Auckland Province. Its nearest ally is in China.

About 250 species of fish have been found in New Zealand waters. A large number of these are used for food. Several species, notably the mudfish (Neochanna apoda), which is sometimes discovered buried 4 ft. deep in clay in places where rivers have overflowed in flood, and in swampy places, are interesting. Some of the genera are peculiar to New Zealand, but some also occur in Australian and South American waters.

Amongst the invertebrates one of the peculiarities is the fact that the Dominion has few butterflies, although it is well supplied with moths. It has a red admiral butterfly (Vanessa), named after the European species, which it resembles, and a copper butterfly (Chrysophanus), which is very plentiful. In the forests there is that strange growth the “vegetable caterpillar.” The Dominion has native bees and ants, dragon-flies, sober-coloured beetles, and representatives of other orders of insects. The katipo spider (Latrodectes katipo), which lives mostly on or near the sea-beach, is well known locally. Amongst the mollusea there is a large and handsome land-snail (Paryphanta), and Amphibola, an air-breathing snail, peculiar to the country, which lives in brackish water mainly in estuaries. There are about twenty species of univalves and twelve of bivalves in the fresh-water shells, and about four hundred species in the marine shells, including the paper nautilus (Argonauta). Perhaps the most interesting of all the invertebrates is the Peripatus, an ancient type of creature which survives in New Zealand and in parts of Australia, Africa, South America, the West Indies, New Britain, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. Zoologically, it belongs to the air-breathing division of the phylum Arthropoda, and has been placed in a special class, Prototracheata or Onychophora. It is about 3 in. long, has many feet, loves moisture, shuns light, and moves slowly. Two genera have been found in New Zealand. One genus, Peripatoides, contains two species, novœ-zealandiœ and suteri, and the other, Oöperipatus, contains only one species, viridimaculatus. The Peripatus is viviparous. It is claimed that one New Zealand genus, Oöperipatus, is oviparous, but that has not been fully proved.* Professor A. Dendy, F.R.S., has made special investigations in regard to the New Zealand species.

With the arrival of Europeans the whole face of the fauna was changed. The first European animal introduced was the pig, liberated by Captain Cook in Queen Charlotte Sound in 1773. With settlement, sheep, cattle, horses, and other domestic animals were brought, some for utility, some for pleasure, such as song-birds, and some for sport, such as deer, trout, pheasants, and quail. In the work of acclimatization several great and irretrievable blunders were made. The worst of these was the introduction of rabbits, stoats, and weasels.

* Professor Adam Sedgwick, F.R.S., late Professor of Zoology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, in the new Eneyclopœdia Britannica.



THE history of New Zealand prior to the seventeenth century is shrouded in mythology and tradition. When the country was discovered by Europeans in 1642 it was found to be inhabited by a race of Polynesians called Maoris, who had discovered these islands many centuries previously. Papers written in 1874 by Mr. (afterwards Sir) William Fox and Sir Donald McLean state that at what time the discovery of New Zealand was made by the Maoris, and from what place they came, are matters of tradition only, and that much has been lost in the obscurity enveloping the history of a people without letters. Nor is there anything on record respecting the origin of the Maori people themselves, beyond the general tradition of the Polynesian race, which seems to show a series of successive migrations from west to east, probably by way of Malaysia to the Pacific. Little more can now be gathered from their traditions than that they were immigrants, and that they probably found inhabitants on the east coast of the North Island belonging to the same race as themselves—the descendants of a prior migration whose history is lost. The tradition runs that, generations ago, the Maoris dwelt in a country named Hawaiki, and that one of their chiefs, after a long voyage, reached the northern island of New Zealand. Returning to his home with a flattering description of the country he had discovered, this chief, it is said, persuaded a number of his kinsfolk and friends to set out with a fleet of double canoes for the new land. The names of most of the canoes are still remembered, and each tribe agrees in its account of the doings of the people of the principal canoes after their arrival in New Zealand; and from these traditional accounts the descent of the numerous tribes has been traced. The position of the legendary Hawaiki is unknown, but many places in the South Seas have been thus named in memory of the motherland. The Maoris speak a very pure dialect of the Polynesian language, the common tongue, with more or less variation, in all the eastern Pacific islands.


It was on the 13th December, 1642, that Abel Jansen Tasman, a Dutch navigator, discovered New Zealand. Tasman left Batavia on the 14th August, 1642, in the yacht “Heemskercq,” accompanied by the “Zeehaen" (or “Sea-hen”) fly-boat. After having visited Mauritius and discovered Tasmania, named by him “Van Diemen's Land,” in honour of Anthony van Diemen, Governor of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies, he steered eastward, and sighted the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, described by him as “a high mountainous country.”

Tasman, under the belief that the land he saw belonged to a great polar continent, and was part of the country discovered some years before by Schouten and Le Maire, to which the name “Staten Land” had been given, gave the same name “Staten Land” to New Zealand; but within about three months afterwards Schouten's “Staten Land” was found to be merely an inconsiderable island. Upon this discovery being announced, the country that Tasman had called “Staten Land” received the name of “New Zealand,” by which it has ever since been known. Tasman sailed along the coast and anchored in Golden Bay, called by him “Murderers' Bay” on account of an unprovoked attack on a boat's crew by the Natives and the massacre of four white men. Thence he steered along the west coast of the North Island, and gave the name “Cape Maria van Diemen” to the north-western extremity thereof. After sighting the islands of the Three Kings he finally departed without having set foot in the country.

There is no record of any visit to New Zealand after Tasman's departure until the time of Captain Cook, who, after leaving the Society Islands, sailed in search of a southern continent then believed to exist. He sighted land on the 6th October, 1769, at Young Nick's Head, and on the 8th of that month cast anchor in Poverty Bay. After having coasted round the North Island and the South and Stewart Islands—which last he mistook for part of the South Island—he took his departure from Cape Farewell on the 31st March, 1770, for Australia. He visited 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, in command of the “Saint Jean Baptiste,” who sighted the north-east coast on the 12th December, 1769, only two months after Cook's arrival at Poverty Bay.

  • M. Marion du Fresne—1772.

  • Captains Vancouver and Broughton—1791.

  • Captain Raven—1792 and 1793.

  • Alejandro Malaspina and José de Bustamente y Guerra—1793.

  • Lieutenant Hanson—1793.


So far as is known, the first instance of Europeans being left in New Zealand to their own resources occurred in 1792, when Captain Raven, of the “Britannia,” landed a sealing-party at Facile Harbour, on the west coast of the South Island, where they remained a little over twelve months before being called for by the “Britannia.”

The next few years saw the establishment of whaling-stations at several points on the coast, and in 1814 the first missionaries—Messrs. Hall and Kendall—arrived in New Zealand. After a short stay they returned to New South Wales, and on the 19th November of that year again embarked in company with Mr. Samuel Marsden, chaplain to the New South Wales Government, who preached his first sermon in New Zealand on Christmas Day, 1814. He returned to Sydney on the 23rd March, 1815, leaving Messrs. Hall, Kendall, and King, who formed the first mission station at Rangihoua, Bay of Islands.

In 1825 three separate attempts were made to found colonies in various parts of New Zealand, but none of these was successful, and for some years the only settlements were those round the principal whaling-stations. A number of Europeans gradually settled in different parts of the country, and married native women.

The first body of immigrants under a definite scheme of colonization arrived in Port Nicholson on the 22nd January, 1840, and founded the town of Wellington. During the few succeeding years the settlements of Nelson, Taranaki, Otago, and Canterbury were formed by immigrants sent out by associations in the United Kingdom.


As early as 1833 a British Resident (Mr. Busby) was appointed, with headquarters at Kororareka (now called Russell), on the Bay of Islands. Seven years later—namely, on the 29th January, 1840—Captain. William Hobson, R.N., arrived at the Bay of Islands, empowered, with the consent of the Natives, to proclaim the sovereignty of Queen Victoria over the Islands of New Zealand, and to assume the government thereof. A compact called the Treaty of Waitangi, to which in less than six months 512 names were affixed, 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. The seat of Government was established at Waitemata (Auckland), and a settlement formed there.

The record of formal Government of New Zealand under the British Crown begins with the following Proclamation issued by Captain Hobson on the 21st May, 1840:—


In the name of Her Majesty VICTORIA, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. By WILLIAM HOBSON, Esquire, a Captain in the Royal Navy, Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand.

WHEREAS by a treaty bearing date the sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty, made and executed by me, William Hobson, a Captain in the Royal Navy, Consul and Lieutenant-Governor in New Zealand, vested for this purpose with full powers by Her Britannic Majesty of the one part, and the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand, and the separate and independent Chiefs of New Zealand not members of the Confederation, of the other, and further ratified and confirmed by the adherence of the principal Chiefs of this Island of New Zealand (commonly called the “Northern Island”), all rights and powers of sovereignty over the said Northern Island were ceded to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland absolutely and without reservation:

Now, therefore, I, William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, in the name and on behalf of Her Majesty, do hereby proclaim and declare to all men that from and after the date of the above-mentioned treaty the full sovereignty of the Northern Island of New Zealand vests in Her Majesty Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors for ever.

  • Given under my hand, at Government House, Russell, Bay of Islands, this twenty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.



By His Excellency's command.


British sovereignty over the South Island was formally proclaimed at Cloudy Bay on the 17th June, 1840, by Major Bunbury, H.M. 80th Regiment, and Captain Nias, R.N.

From the date of Hobson's Proclamation until the 3rd May, 1841, New Zealand remained a dependency of New South Wales, and on the latter date it was created a separate colony by Royal Charter dated the 16th November, 1840.


The Government of the colony was first vested in a Governor, who was responsible only to the Crown; there was an Executive Council and a Legislative Council with advisory powers only.

On the 30th June, 1852, an Act granting representative institutions was passed by the Imperial Parliament, and published in New Zealand by Proclamation on the 17th January, 1853. Under it the constitution of a General Assembly was provided for, to consist of a Legislative Council and a House of Representatives.

The first session of the General Assembly was opened on the 27th May, 1854, but the members of the Executive were not responsible to Parliament. During the session of that year there were associated with the permanent members of the Executive Council certain members of the House of Representatives, who, however, held no portfolios. The first Ministers under a system of responsible government were appointed in the year 1856.

On addresses from both Houses of the General Assembly, His Majesty the King, by Order in Council dated 9th September, 1907, and by Proclamation issued 10th September, 1907, was graciously pleased to change the style and designation of the Colony of New Zealand to “The Dominion of New Zealand"; the change taking effect from Thursday, the 26th September, 1907.

By Letters Patent dated 11th May, 1917, the designation of Governor and Commander-in-Chief which had hitherto been held by the Royal representative in New Zealand was altered to “Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief.”


Prior to the establishment of responsible government the Executive Council for New Zealand consisted, in addition to the Governor, of the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney-General, and the Colonial Treasurer, seniority being in the order named. The Governor, or in his absence the senior member present, was to preside, and two members exclusive of the Governor or member presiding were to form a quorum. The Governor was commanded to in all things consult and advise with the Executive Council, and not to exercise the powers and authorities vested in him except by and with the concurrence and advice of the Executive Council, unless in cases of an urgent and pressing nature which would not admit of delay. In such cases he was, with all convenient speed, to bring the measures so adopted by him before the Executive Council for its revision and sanction. Nothing in these instructions, however, was to prevent the Governor exercising any or all of the powers and authorities vested in him, without the advice and concurrence of the Executive Council, in cases not considered of sufficient importance to require their assistance or advice, or in cases which were of such a nature that in his judgment material prejudice might be sustained by consulting the Executive Council thereupon. No questions were to be brought before the Council except those proposed by the Governor, who in any case in which he saw sufficient cause to dissent from the opinion of the major part or the whole of the Council was further empowered to exercise the powers vested in him in opposition to such opinion.

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 the 11th May, 1917, published in the New Zealand Gazette of the 24th April, 1919 (p. 1213). The relationship between the powers of the Governor-General and the Executive Council is indicated in paragraphs V and VII of the Instructions, which read as follows:—

V. Governor-General to take Advice of Executive Council.

In the execution of the powers and authorities vested in him the Governor-General shall be guided by the advice of the Executive Council, but, if in any case he shall see sufficient cause to dissent from the opinion of the said Council, he may act in the exercise of his said powers and authorities in opposition to the opinion of the Council, reporting the matter to Us without delay, with the reasons for his so acting.

In any such case it shall be competent to any member of the said Council to require that there be recorded upon the minutes of the Council the grounds of any advice or opinion that he may give upon the question.

VII. Regulation of Power of Pardon.

The Governor-General shall not pardon or reprieve any offender without first receiving in capital cases the advice of the Executive Council, and in other cases the advice of one at least of his Ministers; and in any case in which such pardon or reprieve might directly affect the interests of Our Empire, or of any country or place beyond the jurisdiction of the Government of the Dominion, the Governor-General shall, before deciding as to either pardon or reprieve, take those interests specially into his own personal consideration in conjunction with such advice as aforesaid.

The present Executive Council consists of eleven members in addition to the Governor-General. Two members, exclusive of His Excellency or the presiding member, constitute a quorum.


Prior to the establishment of responsible government the Legislative Council of New Zealand consisted of the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney-General, the Colonial Treasurer, and the three senior Justices of the Peace. The Governor, or in his absence the senior member present, was to preside at all meetings of the Council; four members in addition to the Governor or the member presiding to form a quorum. No law or Ordinance was to be enacted by the Legislative Council which was not first proposed by the Governor, and no question was to be debated unless submitted by him for that purpose. The laws and Ordinances of the Council were to be designated “Ordinances enacted by the Governor of New Zealand with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council thereof.” No laws whatsoever were to be made to continue for less than two years except only in cases of unforeseen emergency requiring provision for temporary service, and the Governor was specially enjoined not to propose or assent to Ordinances or laws dealing with certain matters, some of which were,—

  • Restricting public worship, although not conducted according to the Church of England.

  • Reducing revenue or infringing prerogative or affecting the salaries or allowances of public officers without special leave.

  • Issuing bills of credit or other negotiable securities in lieu of money on the credit of the colony, or paper currency, or any coin save the legal coin of the realm.

  • By which persons not of European birth or descent might be subjected or liable to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of European birth or descent would not also be subjected.

  • Raising money by public or private lotteries.

  • Naturalizing aliens without leave.

  • Divorcing persons joined together in holy matrimony.

  • Granting money, land, or other donation or gratuity to the Governor.

The Legislative Council assembled for its first session at Auckland on the 24th May, 1854, and comprised fourteen members.

The Councillors had been designated a year earlier by the Governor, and their names submitted for the Royal approval; and they were gazetted in New Zealand in December, 1853. Until 1868 the rule was that the appointment of members should be made by an instrument under the Royal Sign-manual, but the rule was not strictly observed after 1861. An Act of the Imperial Parliament in 1868 validated any appointments of Councillors that might have been made irregularly in the past, and provided that future appointments should be made by the Governor (not by the Sovereign).

Until 1891 members were appointed for life, but since that year appointments have been made for seven years only, members, however, being eligible for reappointment. The last remaining life appointee, the late Hon. W. D. H. Baillie, died on the 24th February, 1922, after holding office for nearly sixty-one years. Prior to 1891 the Speaker was appointed by the Governor, but the Council now elects its own Speaker, who holds office for five years. A Chairman of Committees is elected every session, and holds office till the election of his successor. Speaker and Chairman are both eligible for re-election. The Imperial Act under which the earliest appointments were made did not fix a minimum number of members, though it provided that the first appointees should be not less than ten in number. The number actually summoned was sixteen, of whom only fourteen attended and were enrolled. The number increased irregularly for thirty years. In 1835 and 1886 it stood at fifty-three, but has not since reached that limit. The number on the roll at present is forty-one.

Provision for an elective Legislative Council is contained in the Legislative Council Act, 1914, which was originally intended to come into operation at the first general election of members of the Lower House after the end of 1915. The introduction of the new system has, however, been postponed from time to time, and at present the position is that the Act is to be brought into operation at a date to be specified by Proclamation. Under the system outlined in the Act the Dominion is to be divided into four electoral divisions, two in the North Island and two in the South, and the number of members is to be forty, divided between the two Islands on a population basis. The Governor-General is empowered to appoint not more than three Maori members to the Council.

The qualifications for membership of the Legislative Council are the same as for the House of Representatives, referred to below, with the proviso that a person may not at the same time be a member of both Houses.

Before the year 1892 the honorarium of Councillors was understood to be for the session, not for the year, and formed the subject of a special vote every session, the amount varying in different sessions. By the Payment of Members Act, 1892, the honorarium was made annual, not sessional, and was fixed at £150 a year. The amount was raised in 1904 to £200, and in 1920 to £350, but was reduced in 1922 to £315. Besides the honorarium, members are allowed travelling-expenses actually incurred in going to and from Parliament.

Subject to certain exemptions, members not attending the Council are liable to be fined.


The number of members constituting the House of Representatives is eighty— seventy-six Europeans and four Maoris. They are now designated “Members of Parliament.” The number was originally fixed by the Constitution Act as not more than forty-two and not less than twenty-four, and the first Parliament called together in 1854 consisted of forty members. Legislation passed in 1858 fixed the number of European members at forty-one; in 1860, at fifty-three; in 1862, at fifty-seven; in 1865, at seventy; in 1867, at seventy-two; in 1870, at seventy-four; in 1875, at eighty-four; in 1881, at ninety-one; in 1887, at seventy; and in 1900, at seventy-six. By the Maori Representation Act, 1867, which is still in force, as embodied in the Legislature Act, 1908, four Maori members were added, three for the North Island and one for the South.

The North Island at present returns forty-six European members, and the South Island thirty. 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 the exception that the term of the nineteenth Parliament was extended to five years by special legislation.

Every registered elector of either sex who is free from any of the disqualifications mentioned in the Legislature Act, 1908, is eligible for membership. All contractors to the public service of New Zealand to whom any public money above the sum of £50 is payable, directly or indirectly, in any one financial year, as well as the public servants of the Dominion, are incapable of being elected as, or of sitting or voting as, members.

The payment made to members of the House of Representatives is £450 per annum, subject to certain deductions for absence not due to sickness or other unavoidable cause. Travelling-expenses to and from Wellington are also allowed. The rate of payment for several years prior to 1920 was £300 per annum, but was increased in that year to £500, a 10-per-cent. reduction, however, being made in 1922 by the Public Expenditure Adjustment Act, 1921-22.

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 after as is convenient. Both Speaker and Chairman of Committees hold office until a dissolution, and receive payment until the first meeting of a new Parliament.

Twenty members, inclusive of the Speaker, constitute a quorum.


The three cardinal principles of the franchise in New Zealand are (1) one man one vote, (2) female suffrage, and (3) adult suffrage.

There are, of course, slight exceptions to the last-mentioned, the following classes of persons not being entitled to register as electors or to vote:—

  • An alien;

  • A person of unsound mind;

  • A person convicted of an offence punishable by death or by imprisonment for one year or upwards within any part of His Majesty's dominions, or convicted in New Zealand as a public defaulter, or under the Police Offences Act, 1908, as an idle and disorderly person or as a rogue and vagabond, unless such offender has received a free pardon, or has undergone the sentence or punishment to which he was adjudged for such offence.

To be registered as an elector a person must have resided for one year in the Dominion, and for one month in the electoral district for which he claims to vote.

The system of “one man one vote” has been in operation since 1889, and women's suffrage since 1893. The qualifications for registration are the same for both sexes.


Side by side with the general government of the country, but subordinate to it, there has existed a system of local government since the early years of New Zealand's annexation as a British colony. The history of local government divides naturally into two periods representing two distinct systems—viz., the provincial, which was in operation up to 1876, and the county, which superseded the provincial in that year.


On the 23rd December, 1847, a Charter was signed dividing the colony into two provinces—New Ulster and New Munster—and this was proclaimed in New Zealand on the 10th March, 1848. The Province of New Ulster consisted of the whole of the North Island with the exception of that portion adjacent to Cook Strait and lying to the south of a line commencing at the centre of the mouth of the Patea River and running thence due east to the east coast. The Province of New Munster consisted of the South and Stewart Islands and of the portion of the North Island excluded from New Ulster. Each province had a Lieutenant - Governor, an Executive Council, and a Legislative Council, while the Governor-in-Chief for the whole colony was also Governor of each province. Provision had also been made for a House of Representatives in each province, but this portion of the Charter was suspended for five years, and before it came into operation a new Constitution was obtained.

Under the new Constitution the Provinces of New Ulster and New Munster were abolished and the colony was divided into six provinces—Auckland, New Plymouth (later altered to Taranaki), Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, and Otago. Each province was to be presided over by an elective Superintendent, and to have an elective Provincial Council empowered to legislate, except on certain specified subjects. The franchise amounted practically to household suffrage. In each case the election was for four years, but a dissolution of the Provincial Council by the Governor could take place at any time, necessitating a fresh election both of the Council and of the Superintendent. The Superintendent was chosen by the whole body of the electors of the province, and each member of the Provincial Council by the electors of a district. The boundaries of the new provinces were gazetted on the 2nd April, 1853, and the boundaries of the electoral districts on the 14th May following, the first general elections for the House of Representatives and the Provincial Councils being held during 1853 and the beginning of 1854. The Provincial Governments, afterwards increased to nine by the formation of Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, and Southland, later reduced to eight by the merging of Southland with Otago, and again increased to nine by the formation of Westland, remained as integral parts of the Constitution of the colony until the 1st November, 1876, when they were abolished by an Act of the General Assembly, that body having been vested with the power of altering the Constitution Act.


Even before the division of New Zealand into the two provinces of New Ulster and New Munster, local government had its inception, Wellington having been created a borough in 1842 under the authority of the Municipal Corporations Ordinance of that year. The Ordinance was disallowed by the Home Government, but was re-enacted, with necessary alterations, in 1844. Wellington, which lost its status on the original Ordinance being disallowed, did not become a borough again until 1870, Auckland (constituted in 1851) remaining the only borough in New Zealand for several years.

Wellington, which had been the first borough in the country, also became the first town district, with a form of government not differing greatly from that of a municipality. Gradually the more important towns adopted the status of boroughs, while the less-important remained town districts. In Otago, however, between 1865 and 1875, several small towns were created boroughs under the authority of an Ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council, nineteen of the thirty-six boroughs in existence at the date of the abolition of the provinces being in Otago, all formed under the provisions of the Ordinance referred to.


Another form of local government which came into existence in the provincial days was that of the road districts, or, as they were called in certain parts of the country, highway districts. As the names imply, the road and highway districts were formed for the purpose of extending and maintaining roads. Each district was controlled by an elected Board, which had power to levy rates. The first Road Boards were formed in 1863, and by 1875 their number had risen to 314.


Among the instructions given Captain Hobson on his appointment as the first Governor of New Zealand was one directing that the colony was to be divided into counties, hundreds, and parishes. In accordance with this instruction, the boundaries of the County of Eden, in which Auckland—the then capital—is situated, were proclaimed in 1842, and some years later the county was divided into hundreds. Very little further was done towards giving effect to the instructions, and the first administrative county was Westland, separated from Canterbury Province in 1867, and granted a system of local government in the following year.

It was not until the abolition of the provinces in 1876 that a scheme of division of the whole country into counties was introduced. The Counties Act, 1876, which, in conjunction with the Municipal Corporations Act of the same year, provided a comprehensive scheme of local government in lieu of the provincial governments, divided New Zealand into sixty-three counties. With the exception of six, which were exempted from the operations of the Act, each county was placed under the control of an elected Chairman and Council, possessed of fairly full powers of local government—considerably less, however, than those formerly enjoyed by the Provincial Councils. The Counties Act specially excluded boroughs from the counties within which they geographically lie, and a similar provision has since been made in the case of town districts having a population of over 500.


Since the abolition of the provinces and the passing of the Counties and Municipal Corporations Acts of 1876 there has been considerable extension of local government. Many of the road districts have merged with the counties within which they lie, while others have become boroughs and town districts. On the other hand, counties, boroughs, and town districts have increased in numbers, while several entirely new classes of local districts, formed for definite purposes—as, for instance, land drainage or electric-power supply—have come into existence. In most cases the Boards of these districts have borrowing and rating powers.

The numbers of local districts of each class in the Dominion at present are as follow:—

Town districts—
        Not forming parts of counties38
        Forming parts of counties36
Road districts58
River districts45
Land-drainage districts60
Harbour districts41
Hospital districts44
City and suburban drainage districts3
Tramway districts2
Local railway districts4
Water-supply districts6
Electric-power districts24
Gas-lighting district1




Captain William Hobson, R.N., Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand under Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales, from January, 1840, to 3rd May, 1841, and Governor of New Zealand from 3rd May, 1841, until date of death, 10th September, 1842.

Lieutenant Willoughby Shortland, Administrator from 10th September, 1842, to 26th December, 1843.

Captain Robert Fitzroy, R.N., Governor from 26th December, 1843, to 17th November, 1845.

Captain George Grey, who became Sir George Grey, K.C.B., in 1848, Governor from 18th November, 1845, to 1st January, 1848; Governor-in-Chief over the Islands of New Zealand, Governor of the Province of New Ulster, and Governor of the Province of New Munster from 1st January, 1848, to 7th March, 1853; Governor of New Zealand from 7th March, 1853, to 31st December, 1853.

Lieutenant-Governors of Provinces.

  • Edward John Eyre, Esquire, Lieutenant-Governor of New Munster from 28th January, 1848, until duties of Lieutenant-Governor ceased on 7th March, 1853.

  • Major-General George Dean Pitt, Lieutenant-Governor of New Ulster from 14th

  • February, 1848, until date of death, 8th January, 1851.

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Henry Wynyard, C.B., Lieutenant-Governor of New Ulster from 26th April, 1851, until duties of Lieutenant-Governor ceased on 7th March, 1853.

1854 TO DATE.

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Henry Wynyard, C.B., Administrator from 3rd January, 1854, to 6th September, 1855.

Colonel Thomas Gore Browne, C.B., Governor from 6th September, 1855, to 2nd October, 1861.

Sir George Grey, K.C.B., Administrator from 3rd October, 1861; Governor from 4th December, 1861, to 5th February, 1868.

Sir George Ferguson Bowen, G.C.M.G., Governor from 5th February, 1868, to 19th March, 1873.

Sir George Alfred Arney, Chief Justice, Administrator from 21st March to 14th June, 1873.

Sir James Fergusson, Baronet, P.C., Governor from 14th June. 1873, to 3rd December, 1874. The Marquis of Normanby, P.C., G.C.M.G., Administrator from 3rd December, 1874;

Governor from 9th January, 1875, to 21st February, 1879.

James Prendergast, Esquire, Chief Justice, Administrator from 21st February to 27th March, 1879.

Sir Hercules George Robert Robinson, G.C.M.G., Administrator from 27th March, 1879; Governor from 17th April, 1879, to 8th September, 1880.

James Prendergast, Esquire, Chief Justice, Administrator from 9th September to 29th November, 1880.

The Honourable Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, G.C.M.G., Governor from 29th November, 1880, to 23rd June, 1882.

Sir James Prendergast, Chief Justice, Administrator from 24th June, 1882, to 20th January, 1883.

Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois, G.C.M.G., C.B., Governor from 20th January, 1883, to 22nd March, 1889.

Sir James Prendergast, Chief Justice, Administrator from 23rd March to 2nd May, 1889.

The Earl of Onslow, G.C.M.G., Governor from 2nd May, 1889, to 24th February, 1892.

Sir James Prendergast, Chief Justice, Administrator from 25th February to 6th June, 1892.

The Earl of Glasgow, G.C.M.G., Governor from 7th June, 1892, to 6th February, 1897. Sir James Prendergast, Chief Justice, Administrator from 8th February to 9th August, 1897. The Earl of Ranfurly, G.C.M.G., Governor from 10th August, 1897, to 19th June, 1904. The Right Honourable William Lee, Baron Plunket, K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., Governor from 20th June, 1904, to 8th June, 1910.

Hon. Sir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G., Chief Justice, Administrator from 8th June to 22nd June, 1910.

The Right Honourable John Poynder Dickson-Poynder, K.C.M.G., Baron Islington, D.S.O., Governor from 22nd June, 1910, to 2nd December, 1912.

Hon. Sir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G., Chief Justice, Administrator from 3rd December to 19th December, 1912.

The Earl of Liverpool, P.C., G.C.M.G., G.B.E., M.V.O., Governor from 19th December, 1912; Governor-General from 28th June, 1917, to 7th July, 1920.

Right Hon. Sir Robert Stout, P.C., K.C.M.G., Chief Justice, Administrator from 8th July, 1920, to 26th September, 1920.

Viscount Jellicoe of Seapa, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., Governor-General from 27th September, 1920.


His Excellency, Admiral of the Fleet, the Right Honourable John Rushworth, Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O.

Private Secretary—Captain Arthur R. W. Curtis, M.C.

Official Secretary—A. Cecil Day, C.B.E.

Military Secretary and Aide-de-Camp—Captain P. R. M. Mundy, D.S.O., M.C.

Aide-de-Camp—Lieutenant R. Gordon Southsy, M.C.

Honorary Aides-de-Camp—Colonel H. Hart, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.; Colonel C. W. Melville, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.; Colonel R. Young, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.; Colonel A. E. Stewart, C.M.G., D.S.O.; Colonel Hugh Stewart, C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C.; Lieutenant-Colonel R. C. Allen, D.S.O.

Honorary Physician—Colonel E. J. O'Neill, C.M.G., D.S.O., M.B.

Honorary Surgeon—Brigadier-General Sir D. J. McGavin, Kt., C.M.G., D.S.O., M.D.


Name of Ministry.Name of Premier.Assumed Office.Retired.
1. Bell-SewellHenry Sewell7 May, 185620 May, 1856.
2. FoxWilliam Fox20 May, 185612 June, 1856.
3. Stafford.Edward William Stafford2 June, 185612 July, 1861.
4. FoxWilliam Fox12 July, 18616 Aug., 1862.
5. DomettAlfred Domett6 Aug., 186230 Oct., 1863.
6. Whitaker-FoxFrederick Whitaker30 Oct., 186324 Nov., 1864.
7. WeldFrederick Aloysius Weld24 Nov., 186416 Oct., 1865.
8. StaffordEdward William Stafford16 Oct., 186528 June, 1869.
9. FoxWilliam Fox28 June, 186910 Sept., 1872.
10. StaffordEdward William Stafford10 Sept., 187211 Oct., 1872.
11. WaterhouseGeorge Marsden Waterhouse11 Oct., 18723 Mar., 1873.
12. FoxWilliam Fox3 Mar., 18738 April, 1873.
13. VogelJulius Vogel, C.M.G.8 April, 18736 July, 1875.
14. PollenDaniel Pollen, M.L.C.6 July, 187515 Feb., 1876.
15. VogelSir Julius Vogel, K.C.M.G.15 Feb., 18761 Sept., 1876.
16. AtkinsonHarry Albert Atkinson1 Sept., 187613 Sept., 1876.
17. Atkinson (reconstituted)Harry Albert Atkinson13 Sept., 187613 Oct., 1877.
18. GreySir George Grey, K.C.B.15 Oct., 18778 Oct., 1879.
19. HallJohn Hall8 Oct., 187921 April, 1882
20. WhitakerFrederick Whitaker, M.L.C.21 April, 188225 Sept., 1883.
21. AtkinsonHarry Albert Atkinson25 Sept., 188316 Aug., 1884.
22. Stout-VogelRobert Stout16 Aug., 188428 Aug., 1884.
23 AtkinsonHarry Albert Atkinson28 Aug., 18843 Sept., 1884.
24. Stout-VogelSir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G.3 Sept., 18848 Oct., 1887.
25. AtkinsonSir Harry Albert Atkinson, K.C.M.G.8 Oct., 188724 Jan., 1891.
26. BallanceJohn Ballance24 Jan., 18911 May, 1893.
27. SeddonRt. Hon. Richard John Seddon, P.C.1 May, 189321 June, 1906.
28. Wall-JonesWilliam Hall-Jones21 June, 19066 Aug., 1906.
29. WardRt. Hon. Sir Joseph George Ward, Bart., P.C., K.C.M.G.6 Aug., 190628 Mar., 1912.
30. MackenzieThomas Mackenzie28 Mar., 191210 July, 1912.
31. MasseyRt. Hon. William Ferguson Massey, P.C.10 July, 191212 Aug., 1915.
32. NationalRt. Hon. William Ferguson Massey, P.C.12 Aug., 191525 Aug., 1919.
33. MasseyRt. Hon. William Ferguson Massey, P.C.25 Aug., 1919..



* Continuing office held in National Ministry.

† Appointed a member of the Executive Council from 21st June, 1923.

Right Hon. William Ferguson Massey, P.C.Prime Minister25 Aug., 1919*  
Minister of Labour25 Aug., 1919*14 May. 1920Succeeded by Sir W. H. Herries.
Minister of Industries and Commerce25 Aug., 1919*21 June, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Lee.
Minister of Railways4 Sept., 191916 May, 1922Succeeded by Mr. Guthrie.
Minister of Finance12 May, 1920  
Minister of Stamp Duties12 May, 1920  
Minister of Mines27 July, 192015 April, 1921Succeeded by Mr. Anderson.
Minister of Defence25 Aug., 1919*28 April, 1920Succeeded by Sir R. H. Rhodes. 
Sir James Allen, K.C.B.Minister of Finance4 Sept., 191928 April, 1920Succeeded by Right Hon. Mr. Massey.
Minister of Stamp Duties4 Sept., 191928 April, 1920
Minister of External Affairs24 Nov., 191928 April, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Lee.
Minister of Railways25 Aug., 1919*3 Sept., 1920Succeeded by Right Hon. Mr. Massey.
Sir William Herbert Herries. K.C.M.G.Native Minister25 Aug., 1919*7 Feb., 1921Succeeded by Mr. Coates
Minister of Customs4 Sept., 19197 Feb., 1921Succeeded by Mr. Stewart
Minister of Marine4 Sept., 19197 Feb., 1921Succeeded by Mr. Anderson.
Minister of Labour14 May, 19207 Feb., 1920
Member of Executive Council without portfolio7 Feb., 192122 Feb., 1923Died.
Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell, G.C.M.G., K.C.Attorney-General25 Aug., 1919*  
Commissioner of State Forests25 Aug., 1919*21 Feb., 1922Succeeded by Sir R. H. Rhodes.
Minister of Immigration25 Aug., 1919*12 May, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Nosworthy.
Minister of Public Health4 Sept., 19193 April, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Parr.
Minister of Education4 Sept., 19193 April, 1920
Minister of Internal Affairs3 Feb., 192012 May, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Anderson.
Minister of Marine1 Mar., 192121 Feb., 1922
Minister of Justice13 Jan., 192327 June, 1923Succeeded by Mr. Parr.
Minister of External Affairs18 June, 1923  
Sir William Fraser, K.C.V.O.Minister of Public Works25 Aug., 1919*3 April, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Goates.
Minister of Mines4 Sept., 191927 July, 1920Succeeded by Right Hon. Mr. Massey.
Member of Executive Council without portfolio27 July, 192016 July, 1923Died.
Minister of LandsDavid Henry Guthrie25 Aug., 1919*  
Minister of Railways16 May, 19226 June, 1923Succeeded by Mr. Coates.
William Henry NosworthyMinister of Agriculture4 Sept., 1919  
Minister of Immigration12 May, 1920  
Joseph Gordon Coates, M.C.Minister of Public Works3 April, 1920  
Postmaster-General4 Sept., 1919  
Minister of Telegraphs4 Sept., 1919  
Minister of Justice4 Sept., 19193 April, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Lee
Minister of Native Affairs9 Mar., 1921  
Minister of Railways6 June, 1923  
Major John Bird Hine, M.C.Minister of Internal Affairs4 Sept., 191917 Jan., 1920Succeeded by Sir. F. H. D. Bell.
Ernest Page LeeMinister of Justice3 April, 192013 Jan., 1923Succeeded by Sir F. H. D. Bell.
Minister of External Affairs12 May, 192013 Jan., 1923
Minister of Industries and Commerce22 June, 192013 Jan., 1923Succeeded by Mr. Stewart.
Christopher James Parr, C.M.G.Minister of Education3 April, 1920  
Minister of Health3 April, 192027 June, 1923Succeeded by Sir M. Pomare.
Minister of Justice27 June, 1923  
George James AndersonMinister of Internal Affairs12 May, 19201 Mar., 1921Succeeded by Mr. Stewart.
Minister of Labour1 Mar., 1921  
Minister of Mines15 April, 1921  
Minister of Marine21 Feb., 1922  
Sir Robert Heaton Rhodes, K.B.E.Minister of Defence21 July, 1920  
Commissioner of State Forests21 Feb., 1922  
Minister of Internal Affairs1 Mar., 192127 June, 1923Succeeded by Mr. Bollard. 
Minister of Customs9 Mar., 1921  
Minister of Industries and Commerce11 June, 1923  
Sir Maui Pomare, K.B.E., C.M.G.Member of Executive Council representing the Native Race25 Aug., 1919*  
Minister of Cook Islands25 Aug., 1919*  
Minister of Health27 June, 1923  
Richard Francis BollardMinister of Internal Affairs27 June, 1923  


His Excellency the GOVERNOR-GENERAL.

Right Hon. W. F. Massey, P.C., Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Stamp Duties, Minister in Charge of Land and Income Tax, State Advances, Valuation, Electoral, and Public Trust Departments.

Hon. Sir F. H. D. Bell, K.C.M.G., K.C., Attorney-General, Minister of External Affairs, and Leader of the Legislative Council.

Hon. D. H. Guthrie, Minister of Lands, Minister in Charge of Land for Settlements, Discharged Soldiers Settlement, Scenery Preservation, and Repatriation Departments.

Hon. W. Nosworthy, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Immigration, and Minister in Charge of Tourist and Health Resorts and Legislative Departments.

Hon. J. G. Coates, M.C., Minister of Railways, Minister of Public Works, Minister of Native Affairs, Postmaster-General and Minister of Telegraphs, Minister in Charge of Native Trust, Roads, and Public Buildings.

Hon. C. J. Parr, C.M.G., Minister of Education, Minister of Justice, Minister in Charge of Police and Prisons Departments.

Hon. G. J. Anderson, Minister of Labour, Minister of Mines, Minister of Marine, Minister in Charge of Pensions, Printing and Stationery, and Inspection of Machinery Departments.

Hod. Sir R. H. Rhodes, K.B.E., Minister of Defence, Commissioner of State Forests, Minister in Charge of War Pensions, Government Life and Accident Insurance. State Fire Insurance, National Provident Fund, Friendly Societies, and Public Service Superannuation Departments.

Hon. W. Downie Stewart, Minister of Customs, Minister of Industries and Commerce, and Minister in Charge of Board of Trade.

Hon. Sir Maui Pomare, K.B.E., C.M.G., Minister of Health, Member of the Executive Council representing the Native Race, Minister in Charge of Hospitals and Charitable Aid, Mental Hospitals, and Cook Islands Departments.

Hon. R. F. Bollard, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister in Charge of High Commissioner's, Audit, Museum, Registrar-General's, Census and Statistics, Laboratory, and Advertising Departments.

Clerk of the Executive Council—F. D. Thomson, B.A., C.M.G.


Parliament.Dates of Opening of Sessions.Dates of Prorogation.Dates of Dissolution
First27 May, 18549 Aug., 185415 Sept., 1855.
31 Aug., 185416 Sept., 1854
8 Aug., 185515 Sept., 1855
Second15 April, 185616 Aug., 18565 Nov., 1860.
(No sess., 1857)..
10 April, 185821 Aug., 1858
(No sess., 1859)..
30 July, 18605 Nov., 1860
Third3 June, 18617 Sept., 186127 Jan., 1866.
7 July, 186215 Sept., 1862
19 Oct., 186314 Dec., 1863
24 Nov., 186413 Dec., 1864
26 July, 186530 Oct., 1865
Fourth30 June, 18668 Oct., 186630 Dec., 1870.
9 July, 186710 Oct., 1867
9 July, 186820 Oct., 1868
1 June, 18693 Sept., 1869
14 June, 187013 Sept., 1870
Fifth14 Aug., 187116 Nov., 18716 Dec., 1875.
16 July, 187225 Oct., 1872
15 July, 18733 Oct., 1873
3 July, 187431 Aug., 1874
20 July, 187521 Oct., 1875
Sixth15 June, 187631 Oct., 187615 Aug., 1879.
19 July, 187710 Dec., 1877
26 July, 18782 Nov., 1878
11 July, 187911 Aug., 1879
Seventh24 Sept., 187919 Dec., 18798 Nov., 1881
28 May, 18801 Sept., 1880
9 June, 188124 Sept., 1881
Eighth18 May, 188215 Sept., 188227 June, 1884.
14 June, 18838 Sept., 1883
5 June, 188424 June, 1884
Ninth7 Aug., 188410 Nov., 188415 July, 1887.
11 June, 188522 Sept., 1885
13 May, 188618 Aug., 1886
26 April, 188710 June, 1887
Tenth6 Oct., 188723 Dec., 18873 Oct., 1890.
10 May, 188831 Aug., 1888
20 June, 188919 Sept., 1889
19 June, 189018 Sept., 1890
Eleventh23 Jan., 189131 Jan., 18918 Nov., 1893.
11 June, 189125 Sept., 1891
23 June, 189212 Oct., 1892
22 June, 18937 Oct., 1893
Twelfth21 June, 189424 Oct., 189414 Nov., 1896.
20 June, 18952 Nov., 1895
11 June, 189619 Oct., 1896
Thirteenth7 April, 189712 April, 189715 Nov., 1899.
23 Sept., 189722 Dec., 1897
24 June, 18985 Nov., 1898
23 June, 189924 Oct., 1899
Fourteenth22 June, 190022 Oct., 19005 Nov., 1902.
1 July, 19018 Nov., 1901
1 July, 19024 Oct., 1902
Fifteenth29 June, 190325 Nov., 190315 Nov., 1905.
28 June, 19048 Nov., 1904
27 June, 190531 Oct., 1905
Sixteenth27 June, 19063 July, 190629 Oct., 1908.
21 Aug., 190629 Oct., 1906
27 June, 190725 Nov., 1907
29 June, 190812 Oct., 1908
Seventeenth10 June, 190917 June, 190920 Nov., 1911.
7 Oct., 190929 Dec., 1909
28 June, 19105 Dec., 1910
27 July, 191130 Oct., 1911
Eighteenth15 Feb., 19121 Mar., 191220 Nov., 1914.
27 June, 19128 Nov., 1912
26 June, 191316 Dec., 1913
25 June, 19146 Nov., 1914
Nineteenth24 June, 191515 Oct., 191527 Nov., 1919.
9 May, 19169 Aug., 1916
28 June, 19172 Nov., 1917
9 April, 191817 April, 1918
24 Oct., 191812 Dec., 1918
28 Aug., 19197 Nov., 1919
Twentieth24 June, 192012 Nov., 192015 Nov., 1922.
10 Mar., 192124 Mar., 1921
22 Sept., 192113 Feb., 1922
28 June, 19221 Nov., 1922
Twenty-first8 Feb., 192319 Feb., 1923..
14 June, 192330 Aug., 1923



Speaker—Hon. Sir W. C. F. CARNCROSS, Kt.
Chairman of Committees—Hon. OLIVER SAMUEL.
Clerk of the Legislative Council—A. F. LOWE.
Name.Provincial District.Date of Appointment.
Alison, Hon. Ewen WilliamAuckland7 May, 1918.
Barr, Hon. JohnCanterbury22 January, 1921.
Bell, Hon. Sir Francis Henry Dillon, G.C.M.G.Wellington21 May, 1919.
Buchanan, Hon. Sir Walter, Kt.Wellington23 June, 1922.
Campbell, Hon. James PalmerAuckland2 September, 1921.
Carncross, Hon. Sir Walter Charles Frederick, Kt.Taranaki17 March, 1917.
Carroll, Hon. Sir James, K.C.M.G.Auckland2 September, 1921.
Clark, Hon. Edward HenryOtago25 June, 1920.
Cohen, Hon. MarkOtago25 June, 1920.
Collins, Hon. Colonel William Edward, C.M.G.Wellington14 July, 1921.
Craigie, Hon. JamesCanterbury1 June, 1923.
Earnshaw, Hon. WilliamWellington25 June, 1920.
Fleming, Hon. David ThomasOtago7 May, 1918.
Garland, Hon. George JosephAuckland7 May, 1918.
Geddis, Hon. William JohnHawke's Bay7 May, 1918.
Gow, Hon. James BurmanAuckland7 May, 1918.
Grimmond, Hon. JosephWestland7 May, 1918.
Hall-Jones, Hon. Sir William, K.C.M.G.Wellington6 October, 1920.
Hawke, Hon. Archibald FotheringhamOtago7 May, 1918.
Hislop, Hon. Thomas WilliamWellington2 September, 1921.
Izard, Hon. Charles HaywardWellington7 May, 1918.
Louisson, Hon. CharlesCanterbury7 May, 1918.
MacGregor, Hon. JohnOtago14 July, 1921.
McIntyre, Hon. William HendersonNelson2 September, 1921.
Mackenzie, Hon. Sir Thomas, G.C.M.G.Otago12 March, 1921.
Mander, Hon. FrancisAuckland1 June, 1923.
Michel, Hon. Henry LeslieWestland7 May, 1918.
Mitchelson, Hon. Sir Edwin, K.C.M.G.Auckland25 June, 1920.
Moore, Hon. RichardCanterbury14 July, 1921.
Newman, Hon. Alfred KingcomeWellington1 June, 1923.
Newman, Hon. Edward, C.M.G.Wellington1 June, 1923.
Patuki, Hon. John TopiOtago7 May, 1918.
Rikihana, Hon. WiremuAuckland1 June, 1923.
Samuel, Hon. OliverTaranaki14 July, 1921.
Scott, Hon. RobertOtago25 June, 1920.
Sinclair, Hon. Sir John Robert, Kt.Otago7 May, 1918.
Smith, Hon. Colonel George John, C.B.E.Canterbury25 June, 1920.
Snodgrass, Hon. William Wallace, M.B.E.Nelson2 September, 1921.
Stewart, Hon. WilliamAuckland7 May, 1918.
Thomson, Hon. George MalcolmOtago7 May, 1918.
Triggs, Hon. William HenryCanterbury7 May, 1918.


Speaker—Hon. C. E. STATHAM.
Chairman of Committees—J. A. YOUNG, M.P. Clerk of the House—E. W. KANE.
Name.Electoral District.
For European Electorates. 
Anderson, Hon. George JamesMataura.
Armstrong, Hubert ThomasChristchurch East.
Atmore, HarryNelson.
Bartram, Frederick NatleyGrey Lynn.
Bell, AllenBay of Islands.
Bitchener, JohnWaitaki.
Bollard, Hon. Richard FrancisRaglan.
Buddo, Hon. DavidKaiapoi.
Burnett, Thomas DavidTemuka
Coates, Hon. Joseph Gordon, M.C.Kaipara.
Corrigan, James RandallPatea.
De la Perrelle, Philip AldboroughAwarua.
Dickson, James McCollChalmers.
Dickson, James SamuelParnell.
Edie, JohnClutha.
Field, William HughesOtaki.
Forbes, George WilliamHurunui.
Fraser, PeterWellington Central.
Girling, William JamesWairau.
Glenn, William SpiersRangitikei.
Guthrie, Hon. David HenryOroua.
Hanan, Hon. Josiah AlfredInvercargill.
Harris, AlexanderWaitemata.
Hawken, Oswald JamesEgmont.
Hockly, Frank FranklinRotorua.
Holland, Henry EdmundBuller.
Horn, JamesWakatipu.
Howard, Edwin JohnChristchurch South
Hudson, Richard PhineasMotueka.
Hunter, Sir George, Kt.Waipawa.
Isitt, Leonard MonkChristchurch North.
Jordan, William JosephManukau.
Langstone, FrankWaimarino.
Lee, John AlexanderAuckland East.
Linklater, JosephManawatu.
Luke, Sir John Pearce, Kt., C.M.G.Wellington North.
Lye, FrederickWaikato.
Lysnar, William DouglasGisborne.
McCombs, JamesLyttelton.
McIlvride, LewisNapier.
McKay GilbertHawke's Bay.
McKeen, RobertWellington South.
McLeod, Alexander DonaldWairarapa.
Macmillan, Charles Edward de la BareaTauranga
Macpherson, John AndrewOamaru.
Massey, Right Hon. William Ferguson, P.C.Franklin.
Masters, RobertStratford.
Monteith. Alexander LammontWellington East.
Munro, James WrightDunedin North.
Murdoch, Alfred JamesMarsden.
Nash, James AlfredPalmerston.
Nosworthy, Hon. WilliamAshburton.
O'Brien, JamesWestland.
Parr, Hon. Christopher James, C.M.G.Eden.
Parry, William EdwardAuckland Central.
Poland, HughOhinemuri.
Potter, Vivian HaroldRoskill.
Ransom, Ethelbert AlfredPahiatua.
Rhodes, Hon. Sir Robert Heaton, K.B.E.Ellesmere.
Rhodes, Thomas WilliamThames.
Rolleston, Francis JosephTimaru.
Rolleston, John ChristopherWaitomo.
Savage, Michael JosephAuckland West.
Sidey, Thomas KayDunedin South.
Smith, Sydney GeorgeTaranaki.
Statham, Hon. Charles ErnestDunedin Central.
Stewart, Hon, William DownieDunedin West.
Sullivan, Daniel GilesAvon.
Sykes, George RobertMasterton.
Thomson, John CharlesWallace.
Wilford, Thomas MasonHutt.
Williams, Kenneth StuartBay of Plenty.
Witty, GeorgeRiccarton.
Wright, Robert AlexanderWellington Suburbs.
Young, James AlexanderHamilton.
For Maori Electorates. 
Tau HenareNorthern Maori.
Ngata, Hon. Apirana TurupaEastern Maori.
Pomare, Hon. Sir Maui Ngatata, K.B.E., C.M.G.Western Maori.
Uru, Henare Whakatau.Southern Maori.



Department.Permanent Head.
AgricultureDirector-GeneralC. J. Reakes, C.B.E., M.R.C.V.S., D.V.Sc. Melb.
AuditController and Auditor-GeneralG. F. C. Campbell, C.M.G.
Crown LawSolicitor-General(Vacant).
CustomsComptrollerG. Craig, LL.M.
DefenceGeneral Officer Commanding N.Z. Military ForcesMajor-General Sir E. W. C. Chaytor, K.C.M.G., K.C. V.O., C.B., N.Z. Staff Corps.
EducationDirectorJ. Caughley, M.A.
External Affairs and Cook IslandsSecretaryJ. D. Gray.
Government InsuranceCommissionerA. T. Tiaversi, F.I.A. Lond.
National Provident FundSuperintendent
Friendly SocietiesRegistrarW. M. Wright.
Public Service SuperannuationSecretary
HealthDirector-GeneralT. H. A. Valintine, C.B.E., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.,D.P.H.
Industries and CommerceSecretaryJ. W. Collins.
ImmigrationUnder-SecretaryH. D. Thomson.
Inland RevenueCommissionerD. G. Clark, O.B.E.
Land and Income TaxDeputy CommissionerA. E. Fowler.
Stamp DutiesDeputy CommissionerJ. Murray.
Land and DeedsAssistant Secretary for Land and DeedsC. E. Nalder.
Internal AffairsUnder-Secretary and Chief Electoral OfficerJ. Hislop, M.V.O., O.B.E.
Registrar-General'sRegistrar-GeneralW. W. Cook.
Census and StatisticsGovernment StatisticianM. Fraser, O.B.E.
Justice (including Prisons and Patents)Under-Secretary for Justice and Controller-General of PrisonsC. E. Matthews.
LabourSecretary of Labour, Chief Inspector of Factories, and Registrar of Industrial UnionsF. W. T. Rowley.
Land for SettlementsLand Purchase ControllerJ. D. Ritchie.
Lands and SurveyUnder-SecretaryJ. B. Thompson, M.N.Z. Soc.C.E.
MarineSecretaryA. D. Park (acting).
Mental HospitalsInspector-GeneralF. Hay, M.B., C.M.
MinesUnder-SecretaryA. H. Kimbell.
NativeUnder-SecretaryR. N. Jones.
Native TrustNative TrusteeW. E. Rawson.
NavalNaval AdviserCommodore A. F. Beal, C.M.G.
PensionsCommissionerG. C. Fache, O.B.E.
PoliceCommissionerA. H. Wright.
Post and TelegraphSecretaryA. T. Markman.
Printing and StationeryGovernment PrinterW. A. G. Skinner.
Public TrustPublic TrusteeJ. W. Macdonald.
Public WorksUnder-Secretary and Engineer-in-ChiefF. W. Furkert, A.M.I.C.E., A.M.I.M.E.
RailwaysGeneral ManagerR. W. McVilly, M.V.O.
RepatriationDirectorJ. R. Samson.
State AdvancesSuperintendentW. Waddel.
State Fire InsuranceGeneral ManagerJ. H. Jerram.
State Forest ServiceDirectorL. McIntosh Ellis, B.Sc. (F.). C.S.F.E.
Tourist and Health ResortsGeneral ManagerB. M. Wilson.
TreasurySecretaryJ. J. Esson, C.M.G.
ValuationValuer-GeneralF. W. Flanagan, O.B.E.

By an Act passed during the year 1912 and intituled the Public Service Act, 1912, the Public Service of New Zealand was placed under the direct and sole control of a Commissioner and two Assistant Commissioners, who are appointed for a term of seven years, are responsible only to Parliament, and can be dismissed from office only for misbehaviour or incompetence.

The Act, which became operative on the 1st April, 1913, applies to all members of the Public Service with the exception of the Controller and Auditor-General, officers of the Railway Department, members of the Police and Defence Forces, Judges and Magistrates, officers of the House, certain officers of the Legislative Departments, and persons paid only by fees or-commission, as well as any officer to whom the Governor-General in Council declares the Act shall not apply.

By the Post and Telegraph Act of 1918 the Post and Telegraph Department was exempted from the control of the Commissioner, with the exception that the Commissioner makes all appointments.

  • Public Service Commissioner: P. D. N. VERSCHAFFELT.

  • Assistant Commissioners: (Vacant).


High Commissioner for New Zealand in London—Hon. Sir James Allen, K.C.B., New Zealand Offices, 415 Strand, London W.C. 2.

Official Representative of Customs Department in United Kingdom—F. W. Lawrence (acting), New Zealand Offices, 415 Strand, London W.C. 2.

New Zealand Trade Commissioner for Australia and Government Agent, Melbourne—H. J. Manson, Dominion Chambers, 59 William Street, Melbourne.

New Zealand Government Agent, Sydney—W. R. Blow, London Bank Chambers, corner of Pitt and Moore Streets, Sydney.

Honorary New Zealand Tourist Agent, Adelaide—D. Hawes, Pirie Street, Adelaide.

Honorary New Zealand Representative in India—R. L. B. Gall, care of Messrs. Landale and Clark (Limited), P.O. Box 112, Calcutta.

New Zealand Government Agent, Vancouver—W. A. James, Mercantile Buildings, 318 Homer Street, Vancouver.

Resident Agent for New Zealand, San Francisco—H. Stephenson Smith, 311 California Street, San Francisco.

Official Representative of Customs Department in Canada and United States—W. J. Stevenson, 44 Whitehall Street, New York.


United Kingdom.—H.M. Trade Commissioner: Noel Elmslie, 11 Grey Street, Wellington. Canada.—Trade Commissioner: W. A. Beddoe, Customs Street, Auckland.



Argentine Republic.—Consul-General: Humberto Bidone, Wellington. Vice-Consul: E. S. Baldwin, Wellington.

Belgium.—Consul (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): H. Segaert, Sydney. Consuls: A. M. Ferguson, Auckland; G. F. Johnston, Wellington; Sir J. J. Kinsey, Christchurch; G. L. Denniston, Dunedin. Vice-Consuls: C. R. J. Ward, Christchurch; W. A. Moore, Dunedin; R. A. Anderson, Invercargill.

Brazil.—Vice Consul: A. H. Miles. Wellington.

Chile.—Consul-General for Australia and New Zealand: Senor Don Manuel Gundelach, Sydney. Consuls: E. A. Craig, Auckland; J. Montgomery, Christchurch; H. L. Nathan. Wellington; J. A. Roberts, Dunedin.

China.—Consuls: Li Kwang Heng, Wellington; Chao-Song Lee, Samoa.

Czecho-Slovakia.—Consul-General (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): Emanuel Hajny (acting), Sydney.

Denmark.—Consul-General for Australia and New Zealand: Ove Lunn, Melbourne. Consul for North Island: Michael Myers, Wellington. Consul for South Island: H. Sorensen (acting), Christchurch. Vice-Consuls: H. P. Richmond, Auckland; W. E. Perry, Hokitika; O. H. Möller, Dunedin; Charles Dahl, Palmerston North.

Finland.—Consul (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): Harald Tanner, Sydney.

France.—Consul: Paul Serre, Auckland. Consular Agents: George Humphreys, Christchurch; O. R. Bendall, Wellington; S. E. D. Neill, Dunedin; Gordon Hay-Mackenzie, Samoa.

Greece.—Vice-Consul for New Zealand: J. F. Dyer, Wellington.

Honduras.—Consul-General for Australia and New Zealand: Frederic Walsh, Sydney.

Italy.—Consul-General for Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji: Commander G. St. Martin, Melbourne. Consul (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): A. Grossardi, Melbourne. Consular Agents: Joseph Wallace, Christchurch; L. O. H. Tripp, O.B.E., Wellington; J. A. Roberts, Dunedin; Geraldo Perotti, Greymouth; Giovanni (J. H.) Pagni, Auckland.

Japan.—Consul-General (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): E. Suzuki, Sydney. Honorary Consuls: A. B. Roberton, Auckland; A. Young, Wellington.

Jugo-Slavia (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes).—Consul: G. L. Scansie, Auckland.

Latvia.—Consul-General (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): Edward Birin, London.

Liberia.—Consul: Charles Louisson, Christchurch. Acting-Consul: T. N. Holmden, Wellington.

Mexico.—Consul: J. W. Hall, Auckland.

Netherlands. — Consul - General for Australia and New Zealand: P. E. Teppema, Sydney. Consul (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): W. G. Johnston, Wellington. Vice-Consuls: George Ritchie, Dunedin; M. Copeland, Auckland; C. J. Cooper, Christchurch.

Norway.—Consul-General for Australia and New Zealand: E. K. B. Arentz, Melbourne. Consul: A. W. Newton, Wellington. Vice-Consuls: Sigurd Bentzon, Melbourne; Robert Millar, Auckland; George Jameson, Christchurch; M. E. Wiig, Invercargill; J. H. Enright, Westport; John Scott, Timaru; W. F. Edmond, Dunedin (honorary).

Paraguay.—Consul: A. E. Kernot, Wellington.

Peru.—Consul-General for Australia and New Zealand: J. M. Paxton, Sydney. Consul: G. H. Baker, Auckland.

Poland.—Consul-General (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): Hon. George Earp, Sydney.

Portugal.—Consul: David L. Nathan, Auckland. Vice-Consuls: A. D. S. Duncan, Wellington; C. W. Rattray, Dunedin.

Spain.—Consul-in-Chief (with jurisdiction over Australia and New Zealand): Senor Don Jaime Montero y de Madrazo, Melbourne. Hon. Vice-Consul: A. K. S. Mackenzie, Wellington.

Sweden.—Consul-General for Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji: E. H. Lindquist, Sydney. Acting-Consul: W. I. Nathan, Wellington. Vice-Consuls: C. I. Nathan, Auckland; W. H. Cheesman, Christchurch (acting).

Switzerland.—Consul (with jurisdiction over New Zealand): M. Stahel, Melbourne.

United States of America.—Consul-General: A. E. Ingram, Wellington. Consul: K. de G. MacVitty, Auckland. Vice-Consuls: J. E. Moran, Wellington; M. I. Mays, Wellington; J. C. Hudson, Wellington; A. R. Preston, jun., Auckland. Consular Agents: H. P. Bridge, Christ-church; H. Reeves, Dunedin.

Uruguay.—Vice-Consul (Acting-Consul): W. J. Prouse, Wellington.



NEW Zealand was proclaimed a British Crown colony in 1840. Official statistical records of the country commenced with the following year, 1841, in the shape of reports compiled for the information of the Colonial Office, and known by immemorial custom as “blue-books.”

These reports, which continued until 1852, were prepared in manuscript form in triplicate, and several copies repose to this day in the custody of the Registrar-General, their careful penmanship still legible despite the faded ink. A collection of tables compiled by various Government authorities and illustrating the work of their Departments composed the annual blue-book. Bald statements as were these early statistical efforts, yet they fail to hide altogether the incidents of the times. Here a table of population figures apologizes for incompleteness by the statement that an enumerator had been badly handled by Natives who were suspicious of his motives in collecting information; again, a list of exports shows the ghastly trade in dried human heads.

Two factors retarded the development of the statistics of the blue-books: in the first place they were not intended for general publication; secondly, there appeared a lack of co-ordination between the Departments furnishing the returns and the office collating and ultimately issuing them.

It was not long, however, before the need of authoritative statistics was felt, both for present use and also as a record of the development of the country and its various provinces and settlements. Accordingly we find that, in 1849, “Statistics of New Munster,” compiled under the superintendence of Alfred Domett, were printed by order of the Legislative Council. Again, “Statistics of Nelson” covering the period 1843-54 were issued in 1855. Various other publications were issued dealing with some individual province or settlement. In the year 1853 a Constitution granted by the Imperial Parliament came into force, and from this date the fragmentary and inchoate statistical works find a new complexion. Five years later the Registrar-General, who had been entrusted with the task of compiling annually statistics of the whole colony, produced a volume dealing with the years 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856:


One of the many ways in which statistics may be classified is as to source from which obtained, and in this respect they naturally divide into two classes—i.e., as to whether they are compiled from the records (obtained primarily for some other purpose) of a Government Department or other similar authority, or whether the data require to be specially collected from individual persons, &c.

As has been indicated above, the statistics included in the early blue-books belong in the main to the first of these two categories. Certain items, however, notably population figures, would be more correctly placed in the second category, though the system of collection was exceedingly crude and the scope of inquiry very limited. As a matter of fact, the population figures prior to 1851 appear to have been compiled in each settlement by the local Resident Magistrate by the simple method of ascertaining from the head of each house the number of persons in the household. From such small beginnings, however, has grown the Dominion's present comprehensive system of collection of statistical data.

The proper collection of statistics from the public on the voluntary basis which appeared to exist in the “forties" could be maintained only with a very small population, and with the simplest of inquiries. With the increase of population and the desire to obtain fuller information than in the past it was found advisable as early as 1851 to pass an Ordinance providing for the collection of statistics in the form of recurrent censuses. The Ordinance is of peculiar interest as being the first enactment on the subject of the collection of statistics in New Zealand, and as being the foundation on which all subsequent legislation of the kind has been based. With the exception of the schedules, which provided for the ascertainment of information as to sex, age, and degree of education of all persons, day- and Sabbath-school attendance, and particulars of live-stock and crops, it was reproduced in full in the 1923 issue of this book.

Following on the passing of the Census Ordinance of 1851 by the General Government several of the provinces into which New Zealand was divided passed Census Ordinances of their own, the necessity for which is not apparent, as other provinces took censuses under the authority of the 1851 Ordinance.

This Ordinance gave way in 1858 to the Census Act of that year, which was amended in 1860, 1867, 1873, and 1876, and was in its turn repealed in 1877, when a new Act was passed, consolidating and extending the law relating to census-taking. The Act of 1877 was amended in 1880 and again in 1890; also, in effect, in 1895, when the Agricultural and Pastoral Statistics Act was passed, making provision for the annual collection of agricultural and pastoral statistics, which had formerly been collected quinquennially under the Census Act. In 1908 the Census Act and amendments and the Agricultural and Pastoral Statistics Act were consolidated in the Statistics Act, 1908, as part of the general consolidation of statutes. The Statistics Act, 1908, was replaced two years later by the Census and Statistics Act, 1910, which was amended in 1915 by the Census and Statistics Amendment Act of that year.

It would be out of place here to recapitulate the various alterations and extensions involved in the successive enactments referred to. Suffice it to say that they reflect the growth of the world-wide realization of the importance and value of statistics.

The Census and Statistics Act, 1910, with the amendment of 1915, provides not only for the taking of the quinquennial population census, but also for the collection of statistical information under numerous specific heads, and contains a general authority to the Governor-General to extend the system of collection to cover any other items in respect of which statistical information may be found necessary or advisable.


The early “blue-books" appear to have been compiled by the Colonial Secretary. After the granting of responsible government the Registrar-General was entrusted with the collection of statistics, a function which he retained until 1910. The Census and Statistics Act, 1910, provided for the appointment of a Government Statistician, who has since been the authority charged with the administration of the Act. The 1910 Act laid down that the Government Statistician was to be an officer of the Registrar-General's Department, but this proviso was cancelled in 1915 by the amending Act of that year, whereupon the Census and Statistics Office came into existence as a separate branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.


Until quite recent years there was very little statistical collection apart from the quinquennial census, the annual collection (on legislative authority) of the agricultural and pastoral statistics, the collection on a voluntary basis of returns of private schools, savings-banks, &c., and the obtaining of statistical information from other Government Departments. It should be noted, however, that the census was formerly the means used for the collection of certain data (as, for instance, concerning industrial manufacture), now obtained independently of the census.

Since the passing of the Census and Statistics Act in 1910, and more especially since the formation of the Census and Statistics Office in 1915, the system of statistical collection has expanded considerably, not only in regard to the regular activities of the Office, but also for the obtaining of data required for some special purpose. During the war and post-war periods, for instance, the provisions of the Census and Statistics Act were utilized for the collection of information as to stocks, consumption, requirements, &c., of numerous commodities, including flour, wheat, oats, coal, oils, wire, iron, steel, copper, twine, turnip-seed, and medical requisites.

Among branches of statistical inquiries now regularly pursued by the Census and Statistics Office may be enumerated the following:—

  1. (a.) From private sources: Agricultural and pastoral statistics (main collection, areas sown in wheat and oats, threshings of wheat and oats, stocks of wheat, flour, and oats, sheep returns, detailed statistics of live-stock, and detailed statistics of commercial orchards); industrial manufacture; fire insurance; finances of local governing bodies; building societies; private savings-banks; prices; wages; consumption and stocks of coal; hospital patients.

  2. (b.) From Government Departments in the form of individual cards, &c.: Births; marriages; deaths; orphanhood; migration; naturalization; inquests; civil and criminal cases in Court; prisons; divorce; bankruptcy; deceased persons' estates; industrial disturbances.


When New Zealand ceased to be a Crown colony in 1853 the annual despatch of the blue-books to the Colonial Office in London was discontinued. During the next few years several volumes of statistical tables appeared, compiled by various Provincial Governments, and in 1858 the Registrar-General published a volume for the colony as a whole, covering the years 1853, 1854, 1855, and 1856. This volume was the first of a regular annual series which, developed and expanded, were issued, formerly by the Registrar-General's Department, and from 1915 to 1920 by the Census and Statistics Office. As indicating the expansion of the country and of its statistical organization it may be mentioned that while the statistics of the four years 1853-56 were contained in a single small volume, the statistics for 1920, the last year of publication in the old form, occupied four volumes aggregating nearly 1,200 pages.

Closely allied to the annual volumes of Statistics were the volumes of Census Statistics which were regularly compiled and published after each census of New Zealand from 1858 to 1916, for the first four occasions as part of the Statistics, but later (commencing with 1871) as separate publications.

With each volume of Statistics, commencing with that for 1853-56, went a brief report on the statistics presented. Developing slowly at first, the ultimate result was a fairly comprehensive report on the statistics—not only those presented, but the whole statistics (so far as compiled) of the colony. A similar report on census matters was included in each volume of Census Statistics.

Parallel with the statistical reports came, in 1875, an issue of another type—"The Official Handbook of New Zealand, a Collection of Papers by Experienced Colonists on the Colony as a Whole, and on the Several Provinces,” edited by Julius Vogel, C.M.G. (afterwards Sir Julius Vogel, K.C.M.G.), at that time Premier of the colony. The purpose of this book differed from that of the statistical reports. Its aim was to give “a New Zealand view of New Zealand to those who may think of making the colony their home or the theatre of business operations.” Its well-written articles, generously illustrated with woodcuts and photographs, make this early volume interesting reading. Printed in London, it was circulated largely in England.

In 1884 a new and revised edition of this Handbook was complied by Mr. William Gisborne, and edited by the Agent-General of the day (F. D. Bell, afterwards Sir Francis Bell, father of Sir F. H. D. Bell, the present Attorney-General). The purpose of this edition was similar to that of its predecessor, although in form it approximated more closely to the modern type.

Another example of a handbook composed for some special purpose was that of Dr. Hector, issued for the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880.

By the year 1889 the annual report on the statistics had reached considerable proportions, and it was decided by the Registrar-General to issue it as a separate publication. He remarks in the preface to the 1889 volume of Statistics as follows: “The report has now reached about the size of the original Victorian Year-book, and it has been deemed desirable to publish it in octavo size to make it more convenient for general reference.” A similar decision, it may be added, was come to in regard to the quinquennial Census Report.

For 1889 and 1890 the Report on the Statistics was accordingly issued as a separate publication with several new features. The following year (1891) was a census year, and the place of the usual statistical report for that year was taken by a separate “Report on the Results of a Census of the Colony of New Zealand taken for the Night of the 5th April, 1891,” the first of a series of reports which have been published after each census since.

In 1892 the Report on the Statistics reappeared, remodelled and considerably enlarged, and under the title of the “New Zealand Official Handbook.” The Handbook achieved a very considerable success, and the Government gave instructions for the preparation annually of a similar volume, to be called the “New Zealand Official Year-book.” The compilation remained in the hands of the Registrar-General until 1910, when on the passing of the Census and Statistics Act of that year the Year-book and other statistical publications came under the control of the Government Statistician.

The demy octavo size adopted in 1889, when the Report on the Statistics was first issued as a separate publication, was retained for the Official Handbook, and, up to the 1920 number, for the Year-book. This size, however, was not altogether satisfactory from the point of view of economy of space or for the display of tabular matter, and in the next issue gave way to the royal octavo size.

A change was also made at the same time in the year-number of the book. Formerly the book had been designated by the year of compilation, though in recent years it had not appeared until early in the following year. The book now bears the year of publication.

It has been shown above how the annual volume of Statistics included each year up to 1888 a prefatory report, which gradually grew in bulk until it was deemed advisable in 1889 to publish it as a separate volume, which shortly afterwards developed into the “New Zealand Official Year-book.” From 1889 to 1920 the Statistics were accordingly issued without any accompanying letterpress.

A new policy adopted in 1921 in regard to the publication of the Annual Statistics involves the reintroduction of the report to accompany the tabular matter. In lieu of presenting the statistics in one comprehensive publication, these now form the tabular matter for ten separate annual reports, each covering a definite branch of statistical inquiry, and including explanatory letterpress in addition to the tables.

A similar policy is being followed in the case of the census results. In addition to the complete report published separately after the completion of the census tabulation, each volume of tables contains also an introductory discussion of the results disclosed.

The full list of the statistical publications of the Census and Statistics Office is as follows:—

Title.Periodicity of Issue.
New Zealand Official Year-bookAnnual.
Annual Statistical Reports— 
   Population and DwellingsAnnual
   Vital Statistics
   Trade and Shipping
   Agricultural and Pastoral Production
   Manufacturing Production
   Local Government
   Miscellaneous (Prices, Building Societies, Bankruptcy, Meteorology, Statistical Summary)
Municipal Handbook of New ZealandBiennial.
Monthly Abstract of StatisticsMonthly.
Census Statistics— 
   Vol. I. PopulationQuinquennially.
   Vol. II. Ages
   Vol. III. Birthplaces
   Vol. IV. Allegiance
   Vol. V. Length of Residence
   Vol. VI. Race Aliens
   Vol. VII. Religions
   Vol. VIII. Industries, Occupations, and Unemployment
   Vol. IX. Conjugal Condition
   Vol. X. Fertility
   Vol. XI. Orphanhood
   Vol. XII. Dependency
   Vol. XIII. Life Insurance
   Vol. XIV. Life Tables
   Vol. XV. Dwellings
   Vol. XVI. Households


  1. (a.) Maori Census

  2. (b.) Census of Cook and other Pacific Islands

  3. (c.) Census of Western Samoa

  4. (d.) Libraries

  5. (e.) Religious Denominations

  6. (f.) Poultry and Bees

Report on the Census
Published in New Zealand Gazette and also as extracts:— 
   Vital Statistics of Urban AreasMonthly and annual.
   Estimated Population of New ZealandQuarterly.
   Agricultural and Pastoral Statistics— 
     Estimated Yields of Wheat and OatsAnnual.
     Interim Return of Principal Crops and Live-stockAnnual.
     Estimated Spring Areas under Wheat and OatsAnnual.
     Stocks—Flour, Wheat, and OatsAnnual.

The principal publication of the Census and Statistics Office is the “New Zealand Official Year-book,” which, as its title implies, is the official book of general reference on the various branches of the Dominion's activities and the various aspects of her social and economic characteristics and progress. Necessarily, however, much of the information given in the Year-book is of a condensed character, owing to the wide range of subjects covered. The annual Statistical Reports, the census publications, and the Municipal Handbook contain much more detailed information on the particular subjects they deal with, while the Monthly Abstract of Statistics contains the latest statistical information available on a variety of subjects, giving monthly or quarterly figures in most cases.

In addition to the publications of the Census and Statistics Office, many parliamentary reports contain statistical information, often of a detailed nature. The full list cannot be given here, but the principal of these annual reports are mentioned below, arranged in the order of subjects followed in the Year-book:—

Public health, hospitals, &c.H.-31Report on Public Health, Hospitals, and Charitable Aid.
H.-7Report of Inspector-General of Mental Hospitals.
EducationE.-1Report of Minister of Education.
E.-2Report on Primary Education.
E.-3Report on Education of Native Children.
E.-4Report on State Care of Children, Special Schools, and Infant-life Protection.
E.-5Report on Technical Education.
E.-6Report on Secondary Education.
E.-7Report on Higher Education.
JusticeH.-16Report of Commissioner of Police.
H.-20Prisons Report.
H.-20AReport of Prisons Board.
DefenceH.-19Report of General Officer Commanding Defence Forces.
ShippingH.-15Report of Marine and Inspection of Machinery Department.
RailwaysD.-2Railways Statement.
D.-1Public Works Statement.
Postal and telegraphicF.-1Report of Post and Telegraph Department.
LandsH.-3Report of Land Transfer and Deeds Registration Department
Crown landsC.-1Report on Settlement of Crown Lands.
C.-5Report on Land for Settlements Act.
C.-9Report on Discharged Soldiers' Settlement.
Native landsG.-9Report on Native Land Courts, Maori Land Boards, and Native Land Purchase Board.
Agricultural and pastoral productionH.-29Report of Department of Agriculture.
H.-23Sheep Returns.
ForestryC.-3Report of State Forest Service.
FisheriesH.-15Report of Marine and Inspection of Machinery Department.
H.-22Report of Internal Affairs Department.
MiningC.-2Mines Statement.
C.-2AReport on State Coal-mines.
Water-powerD.-1Public Works Statement.
Public financeB.-1Public Accounts.
B.-6Financial Statement.
D.-1Public Works Statement.
State aid to settlers, workers. &c.B.-13Report of State Advances Office.
H.-11AReport of Housing Superintendent.
H.-30Report of Repatriation Department.
PensionsH.-18Report of Pensions Department.
SuperannuationH.-26Report of Public Service Superannuation Board.
E.-9Report on Teachers' Superannuation Fund.
D.-5Report on Government Railways Superannuation Fund.
National Provident FundH.-17Report of National Provident Fund Board.
BankingF.-4Report on Post Office Savings-bank.
Life insuranceH.-8Report of Government Insurance Commissioner.
Accident insuranceH.-8AReport on Accident Insurance Branch of Government Insurance Department.
Fire insuranceH.-6Report of General Manager of State Fire Insurance Office.
Friendly societiesH.-1Report of Registrar of Friendly Societies.
Industrial disputesH.-11Report of Labour Department.
Public Trust OfficeB.-9Report of the Public Trust Office.
B.-9AAccounts of the Public Trust Office.
Patents, designs, and trademarksH.-10Report of Registrar of Patents.
Inspection of machineryH.-15Report of Marine and Inspection of Machinery Department.
Islands attached to New ZealandA.-3Report on Cook and other Islands.
A.-4Report on Western Samoa.



In common with almost all countries, the chief instrument in compiling population data is the census, which in New Zealand is taken quinquennially. Details of the latest enumeration (1921) will be found elsewhere in this volume or in the special publications devoted to it; here it is sufficient to refer to the following aspects. In the first place, the comparative shortness of the interval between census enumerations mitigates the danger of serious intercensal error. Secondly, owing to the high standard of intelligence of the population, and to the political, geographical, and social conditions prevailing in the Dominion, the data compiled as a result of the census is both remarkably free from error and unusually complete.

The basis adopted for the census—and indeed, practically universally throughout population statistics in New Zealand—is that of the population de fait, as opposed to the population de sejour habituel, the population de droit, and other bases adopted in various countries. For the benefit of those not conversant with the terms current in statistical usage, it may be explained that the population de fait is the basis perhaps most common in international use, and comprises simply all persons present at the place of enumeration at the time of enumeration, irrespective of habitual residence, legal domicile, and so forth.

Intercensal figures of total population are based on the customary equation:—

Population = Population (census) - Births and immigration - Deaths and emigration.

Compulsory registration of births and deaths was instituted throughout the Dominion in 1855, and the present system of recording such particulars may be confidently asserted to afford statistics exceptionally complete. A point of minor importance which may be noted is that births and deaths registered during a year are considered as actually occurring during that year.

The fact that all migration to and from the Dominion must be waterborne over lengthy distances, and that it centres in a few ports, facilitates the compilation of accurate statistics of external migration. Records of migration between the North and South Islands are also maintained. Population statistics of lesser internal divisions and of towns are based upon a variety of data collected annually. In conclusion, reference should be made to the fact that neither Maoris nor residents of Cook Islands, Niue, or Western Samoa are included in population statistics unless it is specifically stated or it is obvious from the context.


The population of the Dominion of New Zealand and the mandated territory of Western Samoa at 31st March, 1923, is quoted:—

Population of New Zealand proper (excluding Maoris)648,545623,1961,271,741
Maori population28,28025,28053,560
Population of Cook Islands and Niue6,7746,57913,353
Population of the mandated territory of Western Samoa20,00717,97137,978


The outstanding note of the history of population movement in New Zealand is that of unbroken growth. That it has not been invariably regular is well attested by the accompanying table setting forth the increase at successive census enumerations from 1858 onwards. To carry the investigation further back were at once unnecessary and unprofitable, for prior to the census of 1858 we have only one New Zealand census, together with divers provincial enumerations of earlier dates, few of the records of which are now available.

Date of Enumeration.Population.Numerical Increase.Percentage Increase.Equivalent Annual Percentage Increase.
December, 185859,413   
December, 186199,02139,60866.6722.36
December, 1864172,15873,13773.8624.97
December, 1867218,66846,51027.028.86
February, 1871256,39337,72517.255.40
March, 1874299,51443,12116.825.60
March, 1878414,412114,89838.369.58
April, 1881489,93375,52118.225.91
March, 1886578,48288,54918.073.63
April, 1891626,65848,1768.331.66
April, 1896703,36076,70212.242.44
March, 1901772,71969,3599.861.99
April, 1906888,578115,85914.992.95
April, 19111,008,468119,89013.492.74
October, 19161,099,44990,9819.021.63
April, 19211,218,913119,46410.872.42

As might be expected, the rate of increase in the earlier years was exceedingly high compared with the experience of latter years, for a young country, endowed with fertile soil and moderate climate, and in the opening stages of development, presented glowing attractions sufficient to overcome the less alluring considerations of pioneering in a distant country more or less occupied by a race of warlike Natives.

In the “sixties" the gold rushes brought large numbers of people to New Zealand, many of whom stayed to become permanent citizens. This source of increase, however, was eclipsed during the vigerous immigration policy of the “seventies,” when in one year alone (1874) 32,118 assisted immigrants were brought into the country.

The rate of increase gradually subsided as the country became settled and the land available for settlement became less. At the present time the annual increment of population is less than 2 1/2 per cent. The increase during two years ended March, 1922, and March, 1923, may be stated as 30,476 (2.50 per cent.) and 23,543 (1.89 per cent.) respectively.

Subjoined is a diagram which illustrates the population movement of the past and permits a speculative glimpse at the future. The arithmetic average of the percentage increases of population, as ascertained by census enumerations during four decades (1881-1921), has been approximately 12.11 per cent. per quinquennium. Plotting this constant ratio as a logarithmic “curve,” and producing it both forward and backward in point of time, it is contrasted with the logarithmic “curve" expressing the actual populations. The two “curves" coincide greatly of recent years, thus indicating the steadying of the rate of growth and giving some confidence to the projection of the constant ratio as supplying an approximation of the probable population in the future.

The final criterion of the Dominion's growth in respect of population is supplied by a comparison of the rates of increase of other portions of the British Empire and of various countries. In the table appended are shown the intercensal ratios of increase for such countries. In all cases the movements shown are those for the intercensal periods approximating as closely as possible to the arcades chosen. Contrasted with the European countries shown, the Dominion is experiencing a rapid growth, for they are “emigration" countries, while New Zealand is an “immigration" country. Contrasted on the other hand with Canada and Australia, the comparison is not altogether favourable to New Zealand, although the former countries are much older in point of settlement. Canada is, of course, comparatively close to the sources of immigrant population, while both Canada and Australia still have vast areas undeveloped. This, as already indicated, is not the case in New Zealand.

Country.Population (latest Census).Intercensal Increase per Cent. in Decennial Periods approximating to

* Decrease.

New Zealand1,218,913192120.8730.5123.3125.8791.09158.93
Great Britain42,767,53019214.7410.3612.0311.1713.9512.73
Cape of Good Hope2,782,71919218.496.4457.79111.8245.25
United States of America105,710,620192014.9421.0220.7325.5030.0822.63


In respect of the relative proportions of the sexes in the population, New Zealand has since the first settlement of the Islands differed materially from the older countries of the world. Although in the latter the composition of the populations has been no doubt to some extent affected by migration, yet, in general, natural increase would appear to be the main determining factor, the numbers of males and females being in most of these countries approximately equal, with a more or less marked tendency, however, for the females slightly to exceed the males. The excess of females in such older countries arises from a variety of causes, amongst which the most potent are probably (a) higher rate of mortality amongst males, (b) the fact that males tend to emigrate to a greater extent than females.

Very different is the case with newer countries such as New Zealand, where the rule is (in the early years of colonization especially) for the male population to outnumber the female.

The following table is interesting as showing the early excess of males and the gradual equalization of the sexes in New Zealand, the number of females to 1,000 males having risen from 622 in 1861 to 896 in 1911. The proportion rose to 993 in 1916, mainly on account of the absence of so many men at the war, and fell again in 1921 to 956, a figure appreciably higher than in pre-war years.

Census Year.Males.Females.Females to 1,000 Males.
1923 (estimate)648,545623,196961

The preponderance of males in the early years of New Zealand was doubtless due to the fact that the difficulties of pioneering and the remoteness of the country from Europe were such as to deter female immigration to a greater extent than male. This was accentuated by the character of the early industries. Gold-mining and coal-mining, for instance, would attract large numbers of men, but few women. The effect of this early preponderance of males no doubt still exists, but in an ever-diminishing degree, its gradual elimination being effected by the dying-off of the earlier settlers.

Of the two sources from which the Dominion's population has been recruited—viz., migration and natural increase—the effect of the former has hitherto been to give in the aggregate a considerable preponderance of males, and of the latter to give a regular preponderance of females. Between 1860 and 1922 the gain of males by migration totalled 90,000 more than that of females. This excess was only partly offset numerically by a female surplus of 40,000 in the figures of natural increase, but the net excess of some 50,000 males is not nearly sufficient to maintain the former high ratio of males to females in the population. It is highly probable that within two or three decades the female population will outnumber the male.

Up to the “seventies" New Zealand was dependent on migration for the greater portion of her increase of population, but since then natural increase—i.e., excess of births over deaths—has been the principal factor. For a few years, indeed (1888-91), there was actually an excess of departures over arrivals.

During the forty-seven years that have elapsed since 1875 natural increase has accounted for 72 per cent. of the total increase of population, as against only 32 per cent, during the fifteen years preceding 1875.

A table is appended showing for each five-yearly period since 1860 the excess of births over deaths and of immigration over emigration.

Quinquennium.Excess of Births over Deaths.Excess of Arrivals over Departures.Total Increase.
MalesFemales.Both Sexes.Males.Females.Both Sexes.Males.Females.Both Sexes.

* Decrease.

† Departure and return of troops of Expeditionary Force not included in migration figures.

‡ Single year.

Totals, 1861-1922357,345397,360754,705272,084181,636453,720629,429578,9961,208,425

Further information on the subject of natural increase will be found in the “Births" subsection of the “Vital Statistics” section of this book

The diagram which follows shows much more clearly the irregularity of the migration increase and the steadiness of the natural increase, the latter, however, broken by a sharp fall on account of the low birth-rate of the late war years and the influenza epidemic of 1918. The curves represent five-yearly moving averages.


As already noted, the intercensal estimates of population prepared from the records of vital statistics and of migration are, by virtue of the favourable position of the Dominion in this respect, remarkably accurate. Indeed, as regards the statistics of total population the term “estimate" is scarcely correct, for the system in use should give, and does to a great extent give, the actual figures. With the exception of the years of the Great War, when the movement of troops was not ascertained exactly, the census totals invariably showed the quarterly returns of population to be highly accurate. There is always a difference in date between the census enumeration and the nearest quarterly statement, for no two of the seventeen general census enumerations in the history of the Dominion have been taken on the same day of the year, and this in itself usually accounts for the greater part of what disparity actually is shown.

The population at the end of each of the last ten years is quoted in the appended table, together with the movement in each year and the mean population for the year:—

Calendar Year.Estimated Population at End of Year.Increase during Year.Mean Population for Year.
Males.Females.Total.Numerical.Per Cent.

* Decrease.

† Census population.


As the year ended 31st March is for most of the administrative functions of the Government the period most in use, similar data is quoted for “financial" years:—

Year ended 31st March.Estimated Population at End of Year.Increase during Year.Mean Population for Year.
Males.Females.Total.Numerical.Per Cent.

* Decrease.



Records of external migration have been kept in New Zealand since 1860. Prior to the 1st April, 1921, the statistics were compiled from returns furnished monthly by Collectors of Customs, but since that date they have been compiled from individual statements obtained from each person entering or leaving the Dominion, and much detailed and important information is consequently now available. The year 1922 is the first complete twelve months for which figures under the new system are available, and no direct comparisons are therefore possible with the previous period which covered nine months only.

The numbers of arrivals and departures during the last ten years are given in the table following. The figures for the six years 1914-19 do not include members of the Expeditionary Force, nor have crews of vessels been taken into account.


The monthly figures for 1922 are as follows:—

Month.Arrivals.Departures.Excess of Arrivals.Excess of Departures.


The statistics for the year 1922 show that during that period 35,233 persons arrived in the Dominion. These are classified hereunder according to their purposes in coming to the Dominion:—

 Total (both Sexes)Per Cent. of Total.
Immigrants intending permanent residence13,84539
New Zealand residents returning from abroad11,36632
Persons on commercial business1,7045
Persons visiting the Dominion in connection with entertainments, sport, &c.9343
Persons in transit6442
Others (officials, &c., of other countries)157..

The departures recorded during the same period numbered 28,389, who may be divided under the following headings:—

 Total (both Sexes).Per Cent. of Total.
New Zealand residents departing permanently2,1508
New Zealand residents departing temporarily12,18043
Visitors to the Dominion departing14,05149
Persons regarding whom no information is available8..


New Zealand residents going abroad temporarily on business or pleasure represented 43 per cent. of the total departures, while of the arrivals 39 per cent. were New-Zealanders returning to their homes after temporary absence. The elimination of this class of migrant reduces the arrivals during the year to 23,867, and the departures to 16,201.


Tourists and other temporary visitors comprised a further 29 per cent. of the arrivals and 49 per cent. of the departures. Of the 6,583 tourists (males 2,926, females 3,627) who arrived during the year 1922 no fewer than 4,342 came from Australia, the British Isles being next with 934, followed by the United States (357), Fiji (218), Canada (127), South Africa (103). Forty-three tourists gave their country of permanent residence as China.

Persons visiting New Zealand on commercial business numbered 1,704, of whom all but 261 were males. Australia contributed 66 per cent. of the total visitors on business. Among the class “theatrical, entertaining, sporting, &c.” Australia predominated with 722 (males 444, females 278) out of totals of 579 and 355 respectively.


Having eliminated the two classes of migrants whose movements only temporarily affect the population of the Dominion, there remains the important residue which represents the permanent additions and losses of population. During the year 1922 13,845 persons landed in the Dominion with the intention of making their future homes here, while during the same period 2,150 permanent residents of New Zealand were attracted to other countries, the result being a net gain to the Dominion on 11,695. This figure, which represents the permanent gain to the population of the Dominion through migration during 1922, exceeds the nominal excess of total arrivals over total departures for the same year by 4,851. This is due to the excess of departures over arrivals in what may be called the temporary migration.

In a young country such as New Zealand it would not be surprising to find that the proportion between males and females of the new immigrants was considerably in favour of the former, but the figures for the year show that the male preponderance is not as great as might be expected. As a matter of fact, females comprised 48 per cent. of the total immigrants as against 52 per cent. males. No doubt the propaganda work carried out by the New Zealand and Imperial Governments in connection with the scheme for assisting domestic servants and also the wives of immigrants to the Dominion is largely responsible for this increased proportion of females.

Of the New-Zealanders who transferred their homes to other countries during the year 47 per cent. were females and 53 per cent. males.


Sixty-seven per cent. of the new immigrants who arrived during 1922 were over 15 and under 45 years, 10 per cent. were over 45 years, while the remaining 23 per cent. were children under 15 years. The preponderance of persons in the younger and more vigorous years of life among the immigrants is no doubt attributable to the fact that the desire to migrate and the facilities for migration diminish with older persons.

Among the persons lost to New Zealand's population during 1922, however, it is interesting to note that while 24 per cent. were children under 15 years of age and 59 per cent. between the ages of 15 and 45 years, 17 per cent. were persons of 45 years and over. This higher percentage of persons 45 years and over amongst the departures would appear to confirm to a certain extent the general impression that many immigrants return to their native lands later in life.

The following table shows the number of new permanent immigrants who arrived during 1922, and of New Zealand residents who departed during the same period, by sexes and age-groups, and also the permanent gain to the population of the Dominion through migration:—

Under 15 Years.15 and under 45.45 Years and over.Not stated.Total.
New permanent immigrants1,6021,5084,9774,2917337273413,845
Permanent departures262245673593199178....2,150
Permanent gain to population of Dominion1,3401,2634,3043,6985345493411,695


Of the 13,845 new immigrants intending to settle in the Dominion all but 516 (358 males and 158 females) came from British countries. The British Isles supplied 11,079 (males 5,611, females 5,468), Australia 1,669 (males 968, females 701), Canada 281 (males 202, females 79), South Africa 88 (males 49, females 39), and India 85 (males 52, females 33). The majority of the immigrants from foreign countries came from China (175), United States (94), Italy (49), Switzerland (35), Denmark (29), and Jugo-Slavia (20).

With the exception of 127 persons (of whom 68 departed for the United States, 15 for China, and 14 for Germany) the whole of the New Zealand residents who permanently left the Dominion went to British countries, the figures for which were as follows:—

United Kingdom276276552
South Africa18624
Other British countries22527


Only 405 (males 311, females 94) persons of foreign nationality out of the total of 13,845 arrived as new immigrants intending permanent residence in the Dominion, the remaining 13,440 persons being British subjects. The chief nationalities represented among the alien immigrants were as follows:—

United States16723
Jugo Slavia131023

It is worthy of note that of the 157 Chinese immigrants 144 (males 131, females 13) were under 40 years of age, 11 males were between the ages of 40 and 55 years, and 2 males were between the ages of 55 years and 65 years.

Aliens constituted a very small proportion of the total number of New Zealand residents who departed permanently during 1922. Out of a total of 2,150 permanent departures only 68 were aliens, comprising 21 (males 11, females 10) citizens of the United States, 12 male Chinese, 7 (males 5, females 2) Germans, and 28 (males 23, females 5) persons of various other nationalities. The 12 Chinese departing were all over 55 years of age.


Although race aliens comprised comparatively small proportions of the total arrivals and departures during 1922 they are by no means unimportant. As a matter of fact, the entry of race aliens, especially Chinese and Hindus, into the Dominion has been regarded with concern for some years. The definition of the term “race alien” as used in connection with these statistics is “a person of other than European race.”

During 1922, 620 race aliens landed in the Dominion, but of these only 204 (171 males, 33 females) intended to make their future homes here. Of the 787 race-alien departures, 35 of those who were departing permanently stated that they had been permanent residents of the Dominion.

The following table shows the chief races represented by race aliens who arrived during 1922 as immigrants intending permanent residence, and by those who were permanent New Zealand residents departing permanently during the same period:—


* Loss.

Immigrants intending permanent residence14616711816204
New Zealand residents departing permanently13 429735
Permanent gain of race aliens to population of New Zealand through migration133163-1*99169

From the above table it can be seen that out of a total permanent gain to the population of New Zealand of 169 race aliens, 149 (133 males, 16 females) were Chinese, 3 male Hindus, and 18 (9 males, 9 females) of various other races. The table also shows that the Dominion lost 1 female Hindu through migration during 1922.

More fully detailed information in connection with external migration during 1922 is contained in the Statistical Report on External Migration for that year.

The total arrivals of race aliens during each of the last ten years, and of departures in each year since 1915 (prior to which information was not available), are as follows:—


* Not available.


The pending alteration of the law was the cause of a huge influx of Chinese in 1920 with a view to anticipating the tightening of the restrictions, which actually came into operation on the passing of the Immigration Restriction Amendment Act of that year. A limit on the number of Chinese permitted to enter the Dominion is now imposed.

During the war years the number of race-alien arrivals was swelled by the unavoidable inclusion of natives of the British and French Pacific islands who came to New Zealand to embark for the seat of war.

Estimates of the number of race aliens in the Dominion at 31st March, 1923, are as follows: Chinese, 3,063; Syrians, 695; Indians, 585; other races, 862; total, 5,205.

At the census of 1881, the year in which taxation was first imposed on Chinese landing in New Zealand, the Chinese population numbered 5,004 persons, which fell to 4,542 in 1886, and further to 3,711 in 1896. During the period 1881-96 the poll-tax was £10 per head, and this seemed sufficient for the purpose of preventing a large influx of Chinese. During the years 1894 and 1895, however, the arrivals shown by the Customs returns were found to be somewhat greater than the departures, and in 1896 an Act was passed raising the poll-tax on Chinese immigrants to £100 per head, and limiting the number of Chinese passengers that may be carried by vessels to New Zealand to one for every 200 tons burthen. According to the census of 1901, the Chinese population was 2,857; in 1906 it was 2,570; in 1911, 2,630: in 1916, 2,147; and in 1921, 3,266, of whom 156 were half-castes.


Permanent residents of the Dominion and bona fide New-Zealanders visiting the United Kingdom may nominate any person, not a prohibited immigrant within the meaning of the Immigration Restriction Act, 1908 (N.Z.), and its amendments, or of the Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Act, 1919 (N.Z.), residing in the United Kingdom, for an assisted passage to New Zealand under the following conditions:—

Provided that such person has not attained the age of fifty years. Although assisted passages cannot be granted to persons who have attained the age of fifty years, the Immigration Department can arrange passages for any such persons proceeding as members of a family or of a party the remainder of which is travelling at assisted rates. Full fares (subject to alteration by the shipping companies) are as follows: Third-class six-berth, £37; four-berth, £39; two-berth, £43 per adult.

Provided that such person has not resided in the Dominion or Australia for a period of at least five years immediately preceding nomination.

Provided that such person can supply to the High Commissioner for New Zealand in London satisfactory medical certificate and certificate of character.

Provided that, in the case of such person being married, nomination must include husband, wife, and family (if any), except where a judicial separation exists or desertion is proved.

Provided that the nominator undertakes to make provision for maintenance and employment for such nominee after arrival in the Dominion, and also guarantees that such person will reside in the Dominion for at least five years.

All questions as to suitability of any such person nominated for an assisted passage to be decided by the High Commissioner for New Zealand in London.

Provided that the above conditions are complied with, an assisted passage will be granted at the following rates, such rates to be subject to revision should the occasion arise:—

 Third Class.
Six berth.Third Class. Four-berth.Two berth.
Ordinary nominations, other than farm labourers, miners, and domestics (each adult)£18£20£24
Farm labourers and miners (each adult) (see special conditions below)£10£12£16
Domestics (see special conditions below)Free.Free.Free.
Children under the age of twelve years travelling with their parentsFree.£1 each.£3 each.

Nominations can be cabled at an extra cost of £1. Remittances can be forwarded to nominees.

Total amount of passage-money must be paid before a passage is booked. The money can be paid in New Zealand by the nominator, or in London by the nominee, or partly by both.

Passages can be booked to the following ports in New Zealand: Auckland, Gisborne, Napier, Wellington, Lyttelton, Timaru, Oamaru, and Port Chalmers.

Nominated passages to be granted by direct route only.

In addition to the conditions set out as governing the general nominated passages, the following apply to nominated farm labourers and miners:—

Provided that such person is a bona fide farm labourer or miner and is employed as such at the time of nomination, and that a written undertaking is given to follow such calling for at least twelve months after arrival in the Dominion.

Provided that such farm labourer or miner has attained the age of sixteen years or has not attained the age of forty-five years.

Wives, male issue twelve and under sixteen years of age, and female issue twelve and under eighteen years of age, are eligible at the special rates.

In addition to the conditions set out as governing the general nominated passages, the following apply to nominated domestics:—

Provided that such person is a bona fide domestic and is employed as such at the time of nomination, and a written undertaking is given to follow such calling for at least twelve months after arrival in the Dominion, and that marriage will not be contracted during that period.

Provided that such person has attained the age of eighteen years or has not attained the age of forty years.

“Domestic" means general servant, cook, housemaid, parlourmaid, waitress, laundress, nursemaid.

Passages are granted on vessels belonging to the Shaw-Savill and Albion Company and the New Zealand Shipping Company from Southampton, and the Federal Steam Navigation Company from Liverpool.

Unhealthy persons should not be nominated, as passages at reduced rates will not be granted to them. When cases of lung, chest, or other like complaints are discovered in any member of a family by the Medical Officer at London or Liverpool the whole family will be prevented from sailing.

In the case of immigrants under twenty-one years of age special arrangements have to be entered into for their protection on the voyage where deemed necessary or advisable.

The High Commissioner is authorized to grant to suitable and healthy farmers, farm labourers, and domestic servants, who apply to him in London, a third-class passage to New Zealand at the same rates as nominated migrants.

Various systems of assisted immigration have been in force since 1871, with the exception of the period 1892 to 1903 (inclusive). Up to 1884, free passages were granted in the majority of cases. The numbers of assisted immigrants during each year are as follows:—


The total to 31st December, 1922, is 180,936, of which number all have come from the United Kingdom, with the exception of 3,909 from the Continent of Europe, spread over the five years 1874 to 1878 (inclusive).


On arrival in New Zealand the immigrants are met on board by officers of the Immigration Department, who accompany the Port Health Officer to the ship. Whilst the ship is in the stream it is the special duty of such officers to afford to the assisted immigrants all necessary information as regards transhipment, &c. Arrangements are made for the safety and transhipment of luggage.

Each immigrant is seen as he passes towards the doctor for examination, and is handed an official letter containing information as to where his ticket will be arranged for, and the place and time of departure of his connecting train or boat (if any). It is the practice of the Department to send out advices, by wire if necessary, to friends and relatives of immigrants about to arrive, and to get back information as to where the newcomers will be met. These messages, often together with private letters, &c., are given out on board to those to whom they are addressed.

As regards the female assisted domestic workers who are sent to New Zealand under the supervision of one or more responsible matrons, the Government advertises the fact that the books of the Department are open to record the names of those people in the Dominion desirous of securing the services of an assisted girl. Such advertisements bring in many applications, especially pending the arrival of the ship.

Each matron in charge on board is instructed to classify the girls under two heads: (a) Those with work already arranged or friends to go to; (b) those without either friends or work. On arrival they are met by the Girls' Superintendent of the Immigration Department. Arrangements are made for sending to their destinations those girls who are going to friends or to definite positions. Those requiring accommodation are directed to homes or hostels approved by the Minister of Immigration for this purpose. The Superintendent then separately considers the case of each girl, and arranges to place her with an applicant for a Government-assisted girl. After a girl has been placed the Department endeavours to keep in touch with her by correspondence.



With certain specified exceptions, no person over the age of fifteen years may land in New Zealand unless in possession of a passport or some other document satisfactorily establishing his or her nationality and identity. Exemption from this requirement (which is additional to the requirements of the Immigration Restriction and Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Acts, referred to below) may be granted by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

In the case of a person coming from a foreign country the passport must have been issued or viséd by the British Ambassador or a British Consul in that country, and in the case of a person coming from any part of the British dominions the issue or visé must have been by some public official duly authorized in that behalf.

Certain exceptions are made with respect to persons coming to New Zealand from the Cook Islands and Samoa. In their case the only requirement is the possession of a permit to visit New Zealand granted by the Resident Commissioner of the Cook Islands or the Administrator of Samoa, as the case may be. The regulations, further, do not apply to a British subject arriving in New Zealand as the master or a member of the crew of the vessel in which he arrives, or to a British subject arriving from the Commonwealth of Australia.


The regulations which required persons over the age of fifteen years to obtain written permission to depart for any place beyond the seas have been revoked. With the exception of British subjects travelling to the Commonwealth of Australia, all persons travelling to places beyond the seas are required to be in possession of a passport or similar document to facilitate landing thereat. British passports are issued, under the direction of His Excellency the Governor-General, by the Department of Internal Affairs.


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. It is administered by the Customs Department.


The following classes of persons are prohibited from landing in New Zealand:—

  1. (1.) Persons not of British birth and parentage, unless in possession of permits issued by the Minister of Customs.

    (Temporary permits may, however, be granted on arrival to such persons who desire to enter New Zealand as visitors for purposes of business, pleasure, or health. These permits are granted for periods not exceeding six months, but may, under special circumstances, be extended.)

    NOTE.—A person is not deemed to be of British birth and parentage because he or his parents or either of them is a naturalized British subject, or because he is an aboriginal Native of any dominion (other than New Zealand), colony, possession, or protectorate of His Majesty.

  2. (2.) Aliens of the age of fifteen years or over who refuse or neglect to take an oath or make an affirmation of obedience to the laws of New Zealand.

  3. (3.) Idiots or insane persons.

  4. (4.) Persons suffering from contagious diseases which are loathsome or dangerous.

  5. (5.) Persons arriving in New Zealand within two years after the termination of a period of imprisonment for a serious offence.

    The above provisions do not apply to (a) His Majesty's land and sea Forces, (b) the officers and crew of any ship-of-war of any Government, (c) persons duly accredited to the Government of New Zealand by the Imperial or any other Government, (d) the officers and crew of any mercantile vessel who leave New Zealand with that vessel.

  6. (6.) Chinese (not naturalized in New Zealand), unless they pay a poll-tax of £100.

    The officers and crew of any ship-of-war of the Chinese Government, and members of the crew of any mercantile vessel who leave New Zealand by that vessel, are exempted from this provision. There is power to exempt any other persons or classes of persons under such conditions as the Minister of Customs may prescribe.

  7. (7.) Persons who have at any time been subjects of the State of Germany or of Austria-Hungary as those States existed on the 4th August, 1914, except under a license issued by the Attorney-General.

  8. (8.) Persons not permanently resident in New Zealand who are disaffected or disloyal and of such a character that their presence in New Zealand would be injurious to the peace, order, and good government of the Dominion, and whom the Attorney-General on that account prohibits from landing.

    NOTE.—Any person included in classes (3), (4), and (5) above may be exempted by the Governor-General in Council or by the Minister of Internal Affairs.


When persons arrive in New Zealand who are lunatic, idiotic, deaf, dumb, blind, or infirm, 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 come to New Zealand must enter into a bond for £100 for each such person, guaranteeing his support and maintenance for five years.

His Majesty's land and sea Forces, persons brought to New Zealand either wholly or partly at the expense of the Government, shipwrecked mariners brought to New Zealand by another vessel without charge, and persons domiciled in New Zealand are exempted from these provisions. General power is given to exempt other persons in special cases and under such conditions as the Minister of Customs may prescribe.


Every person of and over the age of fifteen years who lands in New Zealand must, unless exempted by the Attorney-General, make and deliver to an officer of Customs a declaration giving the following particulars: Name; age; nationality, race, or people to which he belongs; occupation, residence, and place of birth of himself and parents.


When any alien residing in New Zealand desires to be naturalized he may present to the Governor-General a memorial signed and verified by a statutory declaration setting forth—

His name, age, birthplace, residence, and occupation;

The length of his residence in New Zealand, and his desire to settle therein;

A request that letters of naturalization may be granted to him.

Every memorial must have written upon it or attached to it a certificate signed by some Magistrate or Justice to the effect that the applicant is known to the person certifying and is of good repute. On taking the oath of allegiance he shall enjoy within New Zealand all the rights and capacities that a natural-born subject of the United Kingdom can enjoy or transmit, excepting such rights (if any) as are specially excepted in the letters of naturalization granted to him.

Any person who has been previously naturalized in the United Kingdom or any British possession may obtain letters of naturalization in New Zealand upon presentation of his certificate or letters to the Governor-General, with satisfactory evidence of his bona fides.

An alien woman married to a natural-born or naturalized British subject shall be deemed to be herself naturalized. Where the father (or the mother, being a widow) has become naturalized in New Zealand, every child of such father or mother who during minority resides with such parent shall also be deemed to be naturalized.

In accordance with the provisions of section 9 of the Finance Act, 1921-22, the following fees have been prescribed by Order in Council dated 26th September, 1922:—

Letters of naturalization issued to a woman who was a British subject previous to her marriage with an alien050
Letters of naturalization granted to any person who served with any New Zealand Expeditionary Force or with any Imperial Force or Allied Force050
Letters of naturalization granted in other cases (provided that in any case of indigence, to be determined by the Minister of Internal Affairs, the fee shall be 5s.)200
Endorsement of any certificate or letters of naturalization obtained out of New Zealand (provided that in any case of indigence, to be determined by the Minister of Internal Affairs, the fee shall be 5s.)200
Endorsement of any certificate or letters of naturalization obtained out of New Zealand in the case of any person who served with any New Zealand Expeditionary Force or with any Imperial Force or Allied Force050
Certified copy of any certificate or letters of naturalization050

The Revocation of Naturalization Act of 1917 provided that the Governor-General may, by Order in Council, revoke the naturalization of any person when such revocation is considered desirable on grounds of public policy.

During the year 1922, letters of naturalization were granted to 265 persons of the following nationalities:—

United States10212


The Registration of Aliens Act, passed in 1917, provided for the registration of all persons of the age of fifteen or over who are not British subjects either by birth or by naturalization in New Zealand.

The system of registration, particulars of which were given in the 1923 issue of the Year-book, remained in force until August, 1923, when the operation of the Act of 1917 was suspended by the Registration of Aliens Suspension Act, 1923.

The number of aliens on the Dominion register on 31st December, 1922, was 8,624. The nationalities of these are as follows:—

Nationals ofMales.Females.Total.
White Russia6612
Tartar Bashkir Republic123
United States469257726

Chinese rank easily first among the unnaturalized aliens in the Dominion, and account for 34 per cent. of the registrations in force at 31st December, 1922. Nationals of Germany come second, of the United States third, and of Jugo-Slavia fourth. The three Scandinavian countries—Denmark, Norway, and Sweden—had an aggregate of 1,426 subjects on the register.

A summary follows giving information as to ages of registered aliens as at 31st December, 1922:—

15 and under 2019641237
20 and under 25779122901
25 and under 301,0212081,229
30 and under 359292331,162
35 and under 408252361,061
40 and under 45665207872
45 and under 50528182710
50 and under 55482137619
55 and under 60429121550
60 and over1,0352481,283

The total number of aliens on the register showed little movement between one period and another, a decrease of 193 being recorded between December, 1921, and December, 1922. During the twelve months, however, no fewer than 1,422 aliens (males 1,013, females 409) were registered. Removals from the roll for the same period totalled 1,615 (males 1,209, females 406), a total of 3,037 transactions being thus effected.

Of the 1,615 removals, 1,198 were due to departure from the Dominion, 338 to naturalization, 47 to death, and 32 to other causes. The figures for the two sexes are—

Cause of Removal.Males.Females.Total.
Departure from New Zealand9142841,198
Other causes23932



In 1858 the North Island had a larger population than the South, this position being reversed at the succeeding enumerations until 1901, in which year the North Island was found to have slightly the larger total, a position which it has since considerably improved upon. The Maori War which broke out in 1860 retarded settlement in the North, while a large area of land reserved for the Maoris was for many years a serious hindrance to the development of this portion of the Dominion. The South Island was practically free from Maori troubles, and settlement was more rapid, though much of the land was disposed of in large areas. The discovery of gold in Otago in 1861 and on the West Coast in 1864 attracted to these localities considerable numbers of miners.

The population of the two Islands at successive censuses is given in the table following, together with the percentage that each Island bears to the total:—

Population of the North and South Islands, 1858-1921.

Census Year.Population (excluding Maoris).Proportions per Cent.
North Island.South Island.*Total.North Island.South Island.*

* Including Stewart Island and Chatham Islands.


It was estimated that at the 31st March, 1923, the population of the North Island was 772,294, and that of the South Island 499,447. A feature of recent years has been the steady drift of South Island residents to the North Island. In 1922 this northward tide of population reacted, the North Island losing several thousand to the South.


The populations of the various provincial districts as disclosed by the censuses of 1891, 1901, 1911, and 1921, and as estimated at the 1st April, 1923, are as follows:—

Provincial District.Census Population.Estimate, 1st April, 1923.
Hawke's Bay28.50635.42448.54660.92562.643
   Otago portion116.088125.341132.402136.880141.181
   Southland portion37.00947.80458.72862.14764.506

During the thirty years from 1891 to 1921 the population of the Dominion increased by 95 per cent., and each of the four North Island provinces showed a higher rate of increase—viz., Taranaki, 181 per cent.; Auckland, 178 per cent.; Wellington, 155 per cent.; and Hawke's Bay, 114 per cent. Among the South Island provinces Southland led with a percentage increase of 68, followed by Canterbury (55), Marlborough (39), Nelson (37), and Otago (18), while Westland showed a decrease of 11 per cent.

Although over the thirty years Taranaki showed the greatest rate of increase, nevertheless if a comparison is made between 1911 and 1921 it is found that this province, while increasing in population at a greater rate than any South Island province, was lowest of the four North Island provinces, with a rate of 20 per cent., as against 40 per cent. in the case of Auckland, and 26 and 25 per cent. respectively for Hawke's Bay and Wellington.


Somewhat over one-third (36.82 per cent.) of the population of the Dominion is included in the four principal urban areas—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—and nearly one-half (49.89 per cent.) in these and in the ten secondary urban areas. The urban areas, which are of quite recent origin, have no legal status, but were formed for statistical purposes, with a view to obviating difficulties formerly experienced through alterations of boundaries of cities and bóroughs. Each urban area contains, in addition to the central city or borough and any suburban boroughs or town districts, a considerable non-municipalized area adjacent to and contingent on the centre. The boundaries, which will remain unaltered for a long period, thus allowing of definite comparisons being made over a series of years, have been fixed with a view to providing for probable expansion.

Including those cities and boroughs which form parts of urban areas, the borough population at the census of 1921 aggregated 681,988, or 56 per cent. of the total population of the Dominion. Prior to 1900 there was no statutory limitation to the number of inhabitants necessary to constitute a borough, and consequently many small centres became municipalities. The Municipal Corporations Act now imposes a limit as to area, and provides that no new borough may be constituted unless the proposed area contains at least 1,000 inhabitants.

The counties contain what is generally regarded as the rural population, though this is only approximately correct, some of the boroughs, as stated above, having small populations mainly engaged in rural occupations. On the other hand, some of the non-municipalized towns, which include town districts suburban to the cities and principal boroughs and lying within the urban areas referred to above, have populations more urban than rural.

The town districts are of two classes, which may be referred to as “dependent" and “independent,” the former being in some matters under the jurisdiction of the Council of the county within which it lies, while the latter is entirely independent of county control. A town district may attain its independence of the county when its population exceeds 500, and may become a borough on reaching a population of 1,000.

For population purposes dependent town districts have their figures included in the totals of the counties within which they lie, while independent town districts are excluded, as is also the case with boroughs. Under the old method of computing urban and rural population, however, both classes of town districts are included in the county totals, as in the following table showing the urban and rural population at each census since 1881:—

Census Year.Counties.Boroughs.Percentage.
Counties.Boroughs.Shipboard, &c.


In view of the public attention which has recently been bestowed upon the question of urban drift, the subject merits some further discussion. In the first place, although most references to this phenomenon are couched in condemnatory terms, it is far from certain that the weight of evidence supports this view. The many arguments both pro and con are outside the scope of the present subject, which proposes merely a brief measurement of the extent of urban drift in New Zealand.

A measure of very fair accuracy is provided by the proportion of “county" and “borough" population in the table immediately preceding. Its drawback is perhaps that it slightly overstates the proportion of urban inhabitants and recent movements of the urban drift. A better criterion is contained in the next table, although perhaps the effects are here slightly understated.

For reasons indicated above, it is not altogether correct to regard the county population as rural and the borough population as urban. It is perhaps preferable to consider the question in the light of the following figures, in the computation of which the urban population is considered as that living in cities, boroughs, or town districts of over 1,000 inhabitants in 1881, 1,200 in 1886, 1,300 in 1891, 1,450 in 1896, 1,600 in 1901, 1,800 in 1906, 2,050 in 1911, 2,250 in 1916, and 2,500 in 1921. Here the basic town has been given a rate of increase approximately equivalent to that of the country as a whole, it being assumed that a town of 2,500 bears much the same relationship in the present day as one of 1,000 inhabitants did in 1881. The results are as under:—

Census.Rural Population: Per Cent.Urban Population: Per Cent.

The increasing proportion of urban population in recent years is plainly manifest. It is noteworthy that the “urban drift,” either non-existent or quiescent up to 1906, in that year commenced a swift rise, which is apparently gaining in momentum.

Consideration of urban population would be incomplete without a reference to the size of the towns dealt with. To that end a table has been compiled which shows the grouping of the residents of cities, boroughs, and town districts according to the size of their municipality. The total may be taken as corresponding sufficiently well to the -urban population. The table shows some very interesting movements in urban distribution, but it is necessary to utter a caution against comparisons made without due consideration. Adjoining boroughs frequently amalgamate, and thus a large borough or city is at once in existence although there may well be little or no change otherwise. Again, boroughs or town districts are often created out of what prior to such creation is considered rural territory, and the change in status automatically places them within the number of the urban population without any corresponding change in the industries, &c., characteristic of the respective towns. Furthermore, the number of alterations in the boundaries of local districts is most marked.

Cities, Boroughs, and Towns with Populations of1923.1901.
Number of Cities, &c.Population.Per Cent. ofNumber of Cities, &c.Population.Per Cent. of
Urban Population.Total Population.Urban Population.Total Population.
Over 50,0004318,47041.0025.04........
Under 1,0008142,3905.453.336335,8829.774.64

An important characteristic of the distribution of urban population in New Zealand is what may be termed its decentralization. In place of one great metropolis containing a huge proportion of the population, as in the case of the Australian States—e.g., Victoria, whose capital city, Melbourne, contains 51.27 per cent. of the total population of the State—the more highly urbanized portion of the community is localized in four widely separated centres. These four centres have always existed more or less on the same plane, a fact which has played no small part in the development of the country.

Urban and rural communities are not evenly distributed. The South Island, for example, contains proportionately more rural population than does the North Island. Of the Northern provinces Taranaki is the only one in which rural population predominates. The actual distribution is set forth in the accompanying table:—

Provincial District.Cities, &c., of over 10,000.Cities, &c., of 2,500-10,000.Cities, &c., of under 2,500.Total Population of Cities, &c.,Remainder of population.
Hawke's Bay114,940213,70098,98537,62525,018
Marlborough  14,73021,6606,39012,577
Nelson  213,66065,89019,55029,631
Westland  15,05043,8458,8955,707
   Otago portion160,325315,2501916,76092,33548,846
   Southland portion116,06013,740109,43529,23535,271

New Zealand is not alone in experiencing the modern tendency of urban aggregation: it is, in fact, occurring in almost all countries. Accurate data on this point is not readily available, but the next table, which gives a comparison with England and the United States, supplies this deficiency to some extent. Neither of these two countries, however, represents the same stage of development as the Dominion, so that the comparison suffers to that extent. The urban population quoted for England is that of the total of “urban districts”: that for the United States is the total population in towns of over 2,500 inhabitants.

Census nearest toNew Zealand.England and Wales.United States of America.
192048.851.2  51.448.6
Urban Area.Population (excluding Maoris).
Auckland City86,105
   Birkenhead Borough2.620
   Northcote Borough2,140
   Takapuna Borough4,535
   Devonport Borough9,290
   Avondale Borough3,460
   Newmarket Borough3,130
   Mount Eden Borough15,610
   Mount Albert Borough12,440
   Onehunga Borough7,510
   Otahuhu Borough2,975
   New Lynn Town District1,565
   Ellerslie Town District1,750
   Remainder of urban area (including portions of Henderson and Glen Eden Town Districts)14,630
Wellington City92,590
   Lower Hutt Borough6,040
   Petone Borough8,285
   Eastbourne Borough1,600
   Johnsonville Town District1,045
   Remainder of urban area2,510
Christchurch City79,450
   Riccarton Borough4,140
   New Brighton Borough4,580
   Sumner Borough3,190
   Lyttelton Borough3,840
   Remainder of urban area18,200
Dunedin City60,325
   St. Kilda Borough6,480
   Green Island Borough2,000
   West Harbour Borough1,730
   Port Chalmers Borough2,610
   Remainder of urban area1,905
Hamilton Borough12,920
   Remainder of urban area2,430
Gisborne Borough11,520
   Mangapapa Town District1,440
   Remainder of urban area2,160
Napier Borough14,940
   Taradale Town District1,025
   Remainder of urban area1,905
Hastings Borough9,735
   Havelock North Town District1,230
   Remainder of urban area2,765
New Plymouth. 
New Plymouth Borough12,630
   Remainder of urban area1,300
Wanganui Borough17,165
   Gonville Town District3,470
   Castlecliff Town District1,675
   Remainder of urban area2,140
Palmerston North. 
Palmerston North Borough16,545
   Remainder of urban area1,265
Nelson City9,820
   Tahunanui Town District520
   Remainder of urban area900
Timaru Borough14,975
   Remainder of urban area1,475
Invercargill Borough16,060
   South Invercargill Borough1,915
   Remainder of urban area2,205


NOTE.—The column headed “Administrative" does not include boroughs or town districts independent of county control, but includes dependent town districts. The heading “Geographic" includes all cities, boroughs, or town districts geographically situated in a county.

County.Population (excluding Maoris).
North Island—  
   Bay of Islands4,3904,390
   Great Barrier234234
   Hauraki Plains3,1703,170
   Hawke's Bay11,53038,460
   Waimate West2,4053,040
   Wairarapa South3,0554,760
South Island—  
   Mount Herbert455455
   Chatham Islands220220
   Stewart Island440440
     Grand total500,8311,265,591
Borough.Population (excluding Maoris).
North Island— 
   Auckland (City)86,105
   Mount Eden15,610
   Mount Albert12,440
   Te Awamutu1,700
   Te Kuiti2,325
   Te Aroha2,250
   New Plymouth12,630
   Palmerston North16,545
   Lower Hutt6,040
   Wellington (City)92,590
South Island— 
   Nelson (City)9,820
   Christchurch (City)79,450
   New Brighton4,580
   Port Chalmers2,610
   West Harbour1,730
   Dunedin (City)60,325
   St. Kilda6,480
   Green Island2,000
   South Invercargill1,915
     Grand total726,610
Town District.Population (excluding Maoris).
(a.) Town Districts not forming Parts of Counties.
North Island— 
   Glen Eden600
   New Lynn1,565
   Te Puke900
   Havelock North1,230
   Upper Hutt1,705
South Island— 
   Pleasant Point570
   Grand total38,150
(b.) Town Districts forming Parts of Counties.
North Island— 
   Te Karaka335
South Island— 
     Grand total12,150


New Zealand has numerous townships and more or less closely settled rural localities with considerable population but without local self-government as boroughs or town districts. A list of such townships, &c. (other than those included in urban areas), with more than 500 inhabitants as estimated at 1st April, 1923, is here given. In each case the population quoted covers not only the township proper or the centre of the locality but also the