Table of Contents


IN the 1925 issue of the Year-book all features of the 1924 number have been retained, while the addition of a considerable amount of new matter and the extension of existing sections have resulted in a substantial increase in the size of the book.

A feature of the present number is a series of special articles on the following subjects:—

The Education System of New Zealand.

Terman Intelligence Tests in New Zealand Schools.

The Effect of Nativity Order on Infantile Mortality.

Local Government in New Zealand.

The first - mentioned article is by Mr. J. Caughley, M.A., Director of Education, and the second by Dr. E. Marsden, D.Sc., Assistant Director of Education, the other two being prepared in the Census and Statistics Office.

The articles on rivers, lakes, geology, flora, and fauna, reproduced last year at short notice from the 1914 book, have been revised by their original authors and in some cases extended, while Section I has been further improved by the inclusion of an article by Dr. J. D. C. Duncan, Government Balneologist, on the mineral waters and spas of New Zealand.

In the section devoted to Land Tenure and Settlement a new subsection has been added on the subject of the New Zealand survey system; and in the Miscellaneous section are included for the first time articles on the value of production and the consumption of certain commodities. This section also contains statistics of the sports census taken early in the year; while statistics of incomes under the annual system inaugurated in 1923 are given and discussed in the section dealing with Wealth and Incomes. In the Vital Statistics section statistics of contributory causes of death are included, as are also some new statistics concerning still-births. The sections on Forestry and Manufacturing Production have been entirely rewritten.

Hitherto numbers and rates quoted in the Year-book have been in general exclusive of Maoris, owing partly to the non-existence or incompleteness of statistical information concerning this section of the population, and partly to the fact that until fairly recently the Maoris had not in general adopted European habits. With the gradual diminution of both of these objections to the inclusion of Maoris, it has for some years been realized that the time was arriving when Maoris should be taken into account wherever possible, and the change has now been made. In this issue, therefore, all statistics given are inclusive of Maoris, except where the contrary is specifically stated. Notable exceptions to the new rule occur in the case of vital statistics and statistics of distribution of population, in which the figures for Maoris are not sufficiently complete or detailed to incorporate with those for the European population, which are on a high plane of completeness and accuracy.


Government Statistician.

Census and Statistics Office,

Wellington, N.Z., 15th December, 1924.



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

(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.

(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.

(c.) Islands annexed to New Zealand:—

Kermadec Islands.

Manahiki Island.

Cook Islands.

Rakaanga Island.

Niue (or Savage) Island.

Pukapuka (or Danger) Island.

Palmerston Island.

Nassau Island.

Penrhyn (or Tongareva) Island.

Suwarrow 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 as from the 11th June, 1901:—

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 Governor of the Ross Dependency, and vested with the administration of the dependency.


The total area of the Dominion of New Zealand, which does not include the territories administered under mandate nor the Ross Dependency, 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 Peak10,107
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.

The following article on the mineral waters and spas of New Zealand is by the Government Balneologist, Dr. J. D. C. Duncan, M.B., Ch.B. (Edin.), member of the International Society of Medical Hydrology:—


It has been acknowledged by the leading hydrologists in Europe that New Zealand possesses the most valuable mineral waters in existence. Not only are these mineral waters interesting from a tourist's point of view, but they are, because of their medicinal value, of great therapeutic importance, and, as a Dominion asset, worthy of the deepest scientific consideration.

From the spectacular aspect only a brief mention need be made in this article, as a full description of springs, geysers, and mud-pools has been given in Dr. Herbert's book, "The Hot Springs of New Zealand"—a book that presents a comprehensive and vivid picture of the main manifestations of thermal activity in New Zealand.

Dealing with the medical-scientific aspect of the mineral waters, the space of this article will permit only the shortest account of the treatments; and, as the Rotorua Spa is of premier importance, the article will be confined almost entirely to its operations.

Since and as the result of experience gained during the war the subject of hydrotherapy has been recreated on modern scientific lines, and the actions of thermal mineral waters have been investigated, both chemically and physiologically, in determining their therapeutic value in the treatment of disease.


The mineral waters which have been harnessed for therapeutic use at the Rotorua Spa are of two main varieties—viz., the "Rachel," which is an alkaline, sulphuretted water, emollient to the skin, and sedative in reaction; and the "Priest," or free-acid water, which, due to the presence of free sulphuric acid, is mainly stimulating and tonic in reaction. There is, in addition to the foregoing, a valuable silicious mud similar to that found in Pistany, in Czecho-Slovakia, which, in its own sphere in hydrotherapy, exerts its influence as a curative agent.

However, it is in the "Priest" waters that one finds one's most valuable ally in the treatment of arthritis, fibrositis (the so-called rheumatic affections), and cases of nervous debility. The "Rachel" and mud baths are used mostly in those cases of fibrositis where the condition requires a softening effect; and in the types where pain is a manifest symptom these baths are invaluable as soothing and sedative agents.


In these natural acid baths the reactions are mainly stimulating, with increased hyperaemia in the parts submerged, and marked lessening of pain and swelling in the affected joints and tissues. Those waters containing free carbonic-acid gas are used for the cases of fibrositis in which the circulation requires the stimulating action of gaseous baths.

The "New Priest" waters, containing approximately 16-80 grains per gallon of free sulphuric acid, are utilized in the form of open pools, deep step-down baths, and slipper baths. They are prescribed at a suitable temperature for the individual case.

The "Old Priest" waters, containing a much lower degree of free acid (3.77 grains to the gallon), and of varying temperatures (from 84° F. to 102° F.), are used for treatment at their source. The waters, percolating through their pumice - bed, are confined in pools, and contain free carbonic-acid gas, bubbling through the water.

The very strong "Postmaster" waters are also confined within pools on the natural pumice - bed, and, by a primitive arrangement of wooden sluice-valves, maintained at three ranges of temperature—viz., 104°, 106°, and 108° F. They contain 22.29 grains of free sulphuric acid to the gallon, and are strongly counter-irritant in their reactions.


In such a brief account as this one can only deal in generalizations, and the forms of treatment mentioned must necessarily be subject to wide variations. In any form of hydro-therapeutic treatment the regime must be adapted to the individual manifestations of the disease, and no routine rules or regulations can be laid down in spa operations.

The "New Priest" waters are, for the most part, prescribed for patients suffering from subacute or chronic fibrositis, subacute or chronic gout, and the various forms of arthritis. Except in cases of marked debility, those patients are given graduated baths, at temperatures ranging from 102° to 104° F., from ten to fifteen minutes daily. Most of the baths are fitted with a subaqueous douche having a pressure of 25 lb., which is directed under water on the affected tissues. The bath is usually followed by a light or hot pack, according to the needs of the case.

The subthermal "Old Priest" waters (temperature 84° F.), containing a high degree of free carbonic-acid gas, are particularly valuable in the treatment of functional nervous disease, and the methods of administration are similar to those obtaining at Nauheim. The reactions are markedly stimulating through the sympathetic nervous system, and bring about, by reflex action, a tonic effect on the heart.

The "Postmaster" baths are used in the treatment of the more chronic forms of fibrositis, arthritis deformans, and gout, requiring a more or less heroic type of procedure. They are usually prescribed in combination—i.e., a certain time in each pool, commencing with the lowest temperature. The hyperœmic reaction is most marked, and in many of the cases where pain is a predominant symptom there is a temporary paralysis of the surface nerves, as well as a strong reflex excitation of the heart. For this reason these baths are not given to patients suffering from cardiac weakness.

The treatment of gout depends entirely on the individual manifestations. In certain subacute and chronic types fairly high temperatures (104° to 106° F., with hot packs) of "Priest" water are employed, in order to hasten the absorption of exudates and the elimination of uric acid. In acute cases of acute gout more sedative measures are pursued, such as "Rachel" baths at neutral temperatures, local mud packs, and rest. As soon as the conditions permit, these patients are changed over to acid water baths. Cases of chronic gout exhibiting metabolic stagnation sometimes receive considerable benefit from the counter-irritant effects of the strongly acid "Postmaster" waters.


Separate establishments, containing the most modern apparatus of sprays, douches, hot steam, &c., are available for wet massage and treatments of the Aix-Vichy type.

The massage-rooms are fitted with the latest installations of electrical equipment—Bristowe tables, diathermy, high frequency, Bergonie chair, X-ray, Schnée baths, Greville hot air, and other apparatus for carrying out the most up-to-date methods of electrical-therapeutic treatments.

The baths are administered by a trained staff of attendants, and the massage, electrical-therapy, and douches carried out by a qualified staff of operators.

In every respect the hydrotherapy treatments aim at a restoration of function, and the measures employed are, for the most part, re-educative.


In connection with the Rotorua Spa is a sanatorium of seventy beds, where patients whose finances are restricted can receive treatment at an exceedingly moderate cost. The institution consists of cubicles and open wards. Thermal baths and massage-rooms in the building provide for the more helpless type of invalid.


From sixty thousand to eighty thousand baths are given annually, and an average of thirty thousand special treatments—massage, electrical therapy, &c.—is administered at the Rotorua Spa.

The usual course of treatment lasts from four to six weeks, and the high percentage of cures and improvements testifies to the value of the thermal mineral waters and the hydro-therapeutic treatments obtaining in this Dominion.


The following account of the rivers of New Zealand has been supplied by Professor R. Speight, M.Sc., F.G.S., Curator of the Canterbury Museum:—

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, tide 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 central and southern parts of the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges are drained by the Ohau, Otaki, Waikanae, and other streams flowing into Cook Strait; by the Hutt River, which flows into Wellington Harbour; and by the Ruamahanga and its tributaries, flowing through the Wairarapa Plain. These last 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, Tukituki, Mohaka, and Wairoa, the first being noteworthy for the enormous amount of shingle it has brought down; while farther 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 the 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, Godley, 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 t of these or shed from the steep slopes; at times, too, the rivers 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 in 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 Southland and Otago District, but do not reach back to the main divide—the Jacobs, Oreti, Mataura, and Taieri; 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 names 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 flanked 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 farther 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—such as the Waihao, Pareora, Opihi, Selwyn, Ashley, and Waipara—which do not reach beyond the outer flanking ranges, and are almost entirely rain-supplied.

According to recent investigations the low-water discharge of the Waimakariri is approximately 80,000 cubic feet per minute, but it frequently rises in normal flood to 500,000 cubic feet per minute.

All these rivers carry down enormous quantities of shingle, but in farmer 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, 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 and at Arapuni on the Waikato River in Auckland, at Mangahao in Wellington Province, 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.

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, three miles in length and with an area of five 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 Ray 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 136,000 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, and some may owe the initial formation of their basins to tectonic causes, but these have been modified profoundly by other influences.

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 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; Alexandrina, 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 rock-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 its 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 yields at present 16,000 horse-power (approximately), 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 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 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. One of these lakes—viz., Monowai, in Southland—is actually being utilized at the present time as a source of energy, and it is estimated to yield a minimum of 10,000 horse-power, with a maximum of 20,000.

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 ½63215842091584
Rotoiti10 ¾2 ¼1426500913230
Tarawera6 ½6 ½1575..1,032285
Waikaremoana126 ¼211287722,015846
South Island.       
Rotoiti522 3/4186..1,997228
Rotoroa72 ½8146..1,470..
Kanieri51 ¾811..422646
Te Anau3361321,32012,660694906
Waihola4 ½1 ⅛3 ⅓2,200..(Tidal)52
Ellesmere1610107 ½745..(Tidal)45


The following article on the geology of New Zealand has been prepared by Mr. P. G. Morgan, M.A., F.G.S., Director of Geological Survey:—

The geological history of New Zealand is long and complicated, and is as yet by no means clearly deciphered. Since the beginning of the Palœozoic era 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.


Professor James Park writes: "Though so isolated, New Zealand contains within its narrow borders representatives of most of the Palœozoic, Mesozoic, and Cainozoic formations. Moreover, its structure is that usually associated with areas of continental dimensions; and for that reason it is often spoken of as an island of the continental type. It is a miniature continent; and the occurrence in its frame work of thinogenic (shore or shallow-water) rocks, ranging from the earliest geological epochs to the present day, is undeniable evidence that it stands on a subcrustal foundation of great stability." (N.Z. Geological Survey Bulletin No. 23, p. 24, 1921.)

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 Dusky Sound Series, the lower part of the Manapouri System.

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. Recent field-work by the Geological Survey, however, strongly suggests that an unconformity separates the Triassic rocks of the Nugget Point district from the greywackes of the Balclutha district, which overlie the Otago schists. The weight of evidence, therefore, is strongly in favour of a Palœozoic age. 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, Baton River, and Reefton districts, Nelson. They are principally altered limestone, calcareous shale or argillite, sandstone, and quartzite.

Considerable areas have been assigned to the Devonian 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 almost certainly of Ordovician age. In the typical locality near Nelson the fossils found in the Maitai rocks, according to Dr. C. T. Trechmann, indicate a Permo-Carboniferous age.

So far Permian rocks have not been satisfactorily identified in New Zealand. Park, however, considers his Aorangi Series to be of Permian age. The Maitai rocks near Nelson perhaps belong to the Permian rather than to the Permo-Carboniferous.

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 Gondwanaland.

As yet the early and middle Mesozoic rocks of New Zealand have not been clearly separated by means of unconformities or fossil evidence into distinct formations. 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 last-mentioned localities both on the west coast of Auckland. A broad belt of Trias-Jura 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.

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. To the Cretaceous belongs 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. In North Auckland Cretaceous rocks cover considerable areas, which as yet have not been satisfactorily defined.

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 since 1911 Dr. Marshall has advocated a very similar view. The truth, however, seems to be that the coal-measures concerning which there is a dispute are of two different ages. The Kaitangata, Green Island (possibly only, in part), Shag Point, Malvern Hills, and Broken River (Canterbury) coalfields are probably of Upper Cretaceous age. 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 still a controversial matter. The subdivision of the Tertiary strata, which are well represented in New Zealand, is as yet more or less tentative. To the Eocene may be assigned the coal-measures of the Taratu-Milton, Grey, Buller, and Collingwood districts, and some of the coal-bearing patches of central Nelson. In various other localities possible Eocene coal-measures occur. The Wangaloa beds, near Kaitangata, contain an Early Eocene fauna, which has also been identified at Boulder Hill, North Taieri, near Dunedin, and are underlain by the Taratu-Milton coal-measures.

During the Early Eocene, as some geologists and biologists believe, 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 fewer than 306 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. There is reason to think, however, that the lower part of the Oamaru Series is of Oligocene and even earlier age, but, until palæontological work now in progress is completed, a definite opinion cannot be expressed. 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 so-called 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 visible 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 poorly auriferous. In Nelson they form a poor pastoral soil, but one well adapted for apple-culture.

Towards the close of the Miocene and during the Pliocene period many parts of New Zealand, more particularly in the South Island, underwent 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, or almost reached, 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 Antarctic 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 Antarctic 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 Pleistocene 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 moutonees), 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 poor 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 arc 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.

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


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 six localities boulders of granite and allied rocks, 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.

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 been extensively worked at Coromandel, Thames, Waitekauri, Karangahake, and Waihi.

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, or even later. Some of these—for example, Mount Rangitoto—have possibly been active within the last few 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, 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 that 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 other 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 much study. Recently alkaline volcanic rocks have been discovered in the outlying Chatham Islands.


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 applications of geology to agriculture and mining have hardly been mentioned, but elsewhere in this volume will be found descriptions of the agricultural and mineral resources of the Dominion. 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 treatises on "Geology of New Zealand," 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 at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin 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.Sc., 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 earthquakes thus recorded is between III and IV on the Rossi-Forel scale—or, in other word 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.

*Tenth edition, 1868, vol. ii, p. 82. London: John Murray; New Zealand Government Gazette, Wellington, vol. 2, No. 14, 17th October, 1855, p. 110.

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 Seismological Committee," p. 505; New Zealand Government Gazette, Auckland, vol. 1, No. 27, 13th November, 1848, and vol. 1, No. 29, 20th November, 1848.

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.

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 northeasterly 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 seismic region will be seen to arrange themselves 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 earthquakes 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 seismic 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 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 2lst 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.

*P. G. Morgan: N.Z. Geological Survey Annual Report for the year 1923, p. 10.

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.

*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 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.

EARTHQUAKES, 1921-1923.

The accompanying diagram illustrates graphically the number and intensities of the earthquakes reported to the Seismologist in the years 1921, 1922, and 1923. 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 groat 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 59 Years.Mean Rainfall for 70 Years.Mean Sunshine for 13 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January73.659.066.32.5910.2216 6
February74.159.766.93.029.6176 33
March71.957.764.83.0611.2171 17
April67.754.561.13.3414.0141 14
May62.650.656.64.4118.3127 56
June59.247.853.54.7919.2118 3
July57.546.051.75.0520.9116 4
August58. 57
September60.748.454.53.6217.4144 50
October63.550.957.23.6316.4165 1
November66.953.460.23.2714.6189 10
December70.856.863.82.8611.6204 40
  Year65.652.659.143.85182.91,914 28
Month.Mean Temperatures for 30 Years.Mean Rainfall for 37 Years.Mean Sunshine for 11 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January75.152.363.74.009.6241 24
February74.952.663.73.898.2185 21
March71.849.560.63.629.6188 48
April66. 34
May60.340.850.55.2812.4142 53
June55.938.447.15.0412.8121 32
July54.437.145.75.0413.7128 0
August56.237.746.94.9713.4140 10
September59.940.850.35.0914.1161 52
October64. 37
November68.446.757.54.0112.7210 32
December72.849.861.33.7010.0215 26
  Year65.044.654.853.82141.22,078 14


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 31 Years.Mean Rainfall for 18 Years.Mean Sunshine for 16 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January75.556.866.12.447.6261 31
February74.356.765.52.567.0206 6
March71.354.662.93.408.7221 48
April67. 18
May61.646. 41
June57.942.350.12.458.5156 9
July56.541.549.03.8210.6147 12
August57.942.049.92.9610.9188 25
September62. 33
October66.448.757.52.509.7234 56
November69.751.760.72.088.3247 54
December73.255.364.22.06.9273 25
  Year66.149.257.632.31103.32,510 58


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 2,022 hours per annum. There is a plentiful rainfall, amounting to nearly 50 in.

The region between Wellington and Taranaki, following the Taranaki Bight, is probably as fertile and agreeable as any in Australia or New Zealand; 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 60 Years.Mean Rainfall for 66 Years.Mean Sunshine for 17 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January69.355.762.53.3210.4222 13
February69.355.762.53.188.9207 51
March66.854.260.53.2711.3182 35
April62.751.156.93.8413.1155 10
May58.347.252.74.7316.6126 39
June54.744.249.44.8717.2105 19
July53.142.347.75.6518.2103 37
August54.442.848.64.4017.0146 37
September57.545.751.64.0515.0162 44
October60.348.454.34.1214.1175 9
November63.350.556.93.4613.0201 30
December66.953.960.43.2012.0232 47
  Year61.449.355.348.09166.82,022 11

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 17 Years.Mean Rainfall for 18 Years.Mean Sunshine for 16 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January70.152.961.53.259.7235 25
February70.953.061.92.767.8187 47
March69.652.160.83.8110.2177 8
April64.547.656.03.9313.3150 10
May58.643.851.24.0614.4118 14
June54.941.748.34.1914.3100 59
July53.340.446.84.3116.1109 58
August55.441.348.33.9315.0143 16
September58.844.151.43.8213.7151 57
October62.046.654.34.5615.0161 24
November64.648.756.63.7013.0173 34
December68.250.859.53.4412.0229 26
  Year62.646.954.745.76154.51,939 18


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.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 34 Years.Mean Rainfall for 40 Years.Mean Sunshine for 8 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January75.153.964.52.718.0277 33
February74.354.064.12.809.0225 39
March71.151.361.22.998.9202 53
April66.347.456.82.939.7193 46
May60.042.551.23.1310.1170 7
June56.138.947.53.7510.1143 22
July54.637.746.13.4711.0146 31
August56.538.647.53.0510.7196 32
September60.742.251.43.7512.0202 41
October64.845.255.03.4811.8220 40
November68.748.458.52.8711.4248 44
December72.051.561.72.678.8261 36
  Year65.046.055.537.60121.52,490 4

Following are the rainfall and sunshine records for Blenheim:—

Month.Mean Rainfall for 14 Years.Mean Sunshine for 10 Years.
 Inches.Hr. min.
January2.22232 3
February2.30200 53
March1.81180 14
April1.91152 36
May2.49153 46
June3.23135 23
July3.93142 23
August2.86177 46
September2.64181 5
October2.39186 17
November2.41220 15
December1.93190 10
  Year30.122,154 51


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 1,897 hours a year, and, though not so abundant as in east-coast districts, th is a good average amount considering the rainfall. Westland is noted for a clear, beautiful atmosphere during fair-weather periods.

Month.Mean Temperatures for 44 Years.Mean Rainfall for 44 Years.Mean Sunshine for 10 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January67.453.160.29.8712.6207 14
February68. 39
March66. 27
April62.347.254.79.3115.1131 40
May57.942.150.09.7915.5135 15
June54.438.846.69.7215.3107 54
July53.036.944.99.1016.1123 18
August54.638.146.39.4516.1151 13
September57.642.450.09.1416.5140 57
October59.645.752.611.8819.1155 7
November61.748.054.810.7317.6169 58
December65.351.458.310.6016.0212 36
  Year60.745.753.2116.51184.91,897 18


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 divides the provinces of Canterbury and - Westland, and affords 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), 39.86 in. The climate of Canterbury might almost be described as Continental in type, with large extremes of temperature between summer and winter and between 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 40 Years.Mean Rainfall for 42 Years.Mean Sunshine for 15 Years.
 °F.°F.°F.Inches.Days.Hr. min.
January71.951.361.62.229.3217 11
February71.151.661.31.697.7199 13
March68.449.158.72.3410.1184 57
April63.544.453.91.969.4164 28
May57.439.848.62.2511.0139 51
June52.936.244.52.4011.7113 42
July51. 58
August53.436.645.01.9811.2153 55
September58.140.349.21.969.9180 5
October63.243.753.41.639.3212 41
November66. 16
December70. 53
  Year62.243.652.925.29122.62,119 10


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 seventy 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 59 Years.Mean Rainfall for 67 Years.


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

Month.Mean Temperatures for 9 Years.Mean Rainfall for 32 Years.
May51.838.645.22.717 5


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

Month.Mean Temperatures for 13 Years.Mean Rainfall for 29 Years.

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 above the average over the North Island, except at a few places in the central region and along the west coast southward of Kawhia. In the South Island the west-coast districts and South Canterbury recorded a deficiency, while the north-east districts and Otago had an excess.

Following is a short summary for each month of the weather and the chief atmospheric systems which were in evidence:—

January.—Throughout the greater part of the Dominion January was abnormally wet, and rainfall totals in most cases were considerably in excess of the average. Westland and Southland in the South Island were the only districts where below-normal amounts were recorded.

Some very heavy downpours accompanied the frequent electric disturbances which were experienced during the month, especially over the North Island.

Owing to the passage of ex-tropical disturbances both over and northwards of the Dominion, easterly winds predominated, with much dull and misty weather, though warm temperatures were generally experienced.

February.—With the exception of a fair-weather period between the 8th and 13th, February proved very unsettled and unseasonable on account of depressions of both tropical and antarctic origin.

Cyclonic storms passed northward of the Dominion on the 1st and 28th, and a cyclone acted in conjunction with a westerly "low" between the 14th and 16th. An intense westerly low-pressure area ruled between the 5th and 9th, and depressions of the latter type were also frequent, though generally of only moderate intensity, between the 18th and 27th.

The effect of these various disturbances is shown in a rainfall above the average over most of New Zealand. Deficiencies, however, occurred on the east coast, in the extreme north and south, and about New Plymouth in the North Island, and in the northernmost districts and in parts of Central Otago in the South Island. Wind force was higher and temperatures were lower than the normal.

March.—The early part of March was anticyclonic in character, fair weather prevailing generally until the 13th. The remainder of the month, except for short fair-weather intervals, was unsettled under the influence of various depressions passing in the South. Of the latter the most notable, an intense and extensive one ruling between the 14th and 19th, was responsible for strong west to south-west winds and rain in many parts. On the 16th the barometer fell as low as 28.95 in. at the Bluff.

The total rainfall was above the average in the northern and southern portions of the South Island and also at scattered stations on the west coast; elsewhere it was mostly below, the largest deficiencies occurring in the east-coast districts.

April.—During April there were two periods of unsettled weather—viz., between the 7th and 10th and from the 18th to the 28th. In the former period a disturbance which passed in the south on the night of the 7th developed considerable intensity to the eastward on the following day, and accounted for a heavy south-west gale. Cold and stormy conditions prevailed, especially along the east coast on the 8th and 9th, and electrical disturbances and heavy hail showers were experienced, with snow on the higher levels.

The heaviest rains, however, fell in the period 18th to 28th, when an ex-tropical disturbance dominated. Very heavy rain and floods with easterly gales occurred between the 19th and 21st in the northern half of the North Island. The centre of the storm passed in the north on the 22nd. It was followed by a "secondary," which apparently developed in the south, and caused one of the most serious floods experienced in Dunedin. In that city the total rainfall for the three days (20th, 21st, and 22nd) was 8.45 in., of which 6.81 in. fell on the 21st.

A remarkable feature about both these disturbances was that the heavy downpours were confined to comparatively small areas. This is shown in the totals for the month, which were much above the average northward of Kawhia and Gisborne in the North Island, and on the east coast between Kaikoura and Nugget Point in the South Island. All other parts of the Dominion show an aggregate rainfall considerably below the mean.

Anticyclonic conditions and fair weather were general between the 10th and 17th and on the last two days of the month.

May.—The month opened with anticyclonic conditions and fair weather, but on the 3rd there was evidence of the development of a cyclone to the westward. On the 5th the centre of the latter was located in the north, while pressure increasing in the south at the same time caused a very steep baric gradient, especially along the eastern coast. This resulted in a south-east storm, and the north-east districts of the South Island registered what, so far, constitutes a record rainfall for these parts. The heaviest rains, which occurred on the 6th and 7th, accounted for serious floods and damage. On the 6th, at Stag and Spey, Kaikoura, 16.69 in. were recorded, and at Keinton Combe, in the Waiau district, 14.40 in., of which amount 13 in. fell in twelve hours. To give some idea of the intensity of these downpours it may be mentioned that the average month's rainfall for stations in these districts is between 3 in. and 4 in.

Another, though smaller, disturbance passed in the north between the 18th and 21st, and this was followed by an extensive westerly low - pressure area. This depression brought very unsettled conditions, especially in and southward of Cook Strait, and some very heavy rains to the west-coast districts of the South Island between the 22nd and 27th. Otira recorded a total of 40.33 in. for the month, which mostly fell in the latter period.

The aggregate rainfall was above the average in all parts of the Dominion, except in Southland district and in the vicinity of the towns of Auckland and New Plymouth.

The monthly temperatures recorded were above the average, and the general character of the weather may therefore be described as mild, dull, and moist.

June.—Except for one short period, between the 5th and 8th, anticyclonic pressure was almost entirely absent over the Dominion during the month of June, and the barometer was continuously below normal owing to numerous disturbances of both tropical and antarctic origin.

The effects of these disturbances were most markedly shown in the northern and west-coast portions of the North Island, and in Otago and, to a less extent, Westland in the South Island. All these districts recorded a total rainfall above the average, while the east-coast districts, particularly of the South Island, experienced a deficiency, with fair weather and an absence of high winds.

Snow fell on several days in the high country, and the southern hills were covered to a greater extent than is usual under normal winter conditions.

July.—July was characterized by cold, dull, and damp weather, although the total rainfall was below the average over the greater part of the Dominion. An excess was experienced only at a few places in the northern and east-coast districts of the North Island, and in North Canterbury in the South.

A westerly depression between the 1st and 6th accounted for heavy and widespread falls of snow in the highlands of the South Island.

From the 7th to the 9th anticyclonic conditions and fair weather prevailed, and this was the only period during which such conditions were general. The remainder of the month was very dull, misty, and showery, but heavy rain fell on the 14th and 15th in the northern and east-coast districts of the North Island, owing to the passage of a cyclone centred northward of New Zealand.

The barometer rose very high towards the close of the month, but the weather, though fine over most of the country, continued cold and showery with strong south-easterly winds in the east-coast districts. This was accounted for by a disturbance which persisted in the neighbourhood of the Chatham Islands on the edge of the anticyclone.

August.—In nearly all parts of the Dominion the total month's rainfall was considerably below the average, the only portions having an excess being along the east coast between East Cape and Cape Palliser and the south-west corner of Otago.

Southerly winds predominated, but they usually accounted for only light rainfall in spite of the number of atmospheric depressions which passed over or within effective range of the country.

The weather during the month was changeable, and cold frosty nights were frequently experienced. Sunshine, however, was more prevalent than during the two preceding winter months, owing to several anticyclones which ruled.

Three westerly disturbances occurred during the month, the longest influencing weather conditions for about ten days from the 13th. A southerly gale on the 21st and 22nd was particularly severe along the east coast of the South Island and about Cook Strait.

Ex-tropical disturbances passed in the north on the 10th and 24th, and the former accounted for heavy rain on the east coast of the North Island between the 10th and 12th.

Some further snowfalls occurred on the high country of the South Island, but warm winds and rain during the last few days were responsible for considerable thawing and a consequent rising in many of the rivers and creeks in the south.

September.—During September there were two periods—viz., between the 2nd and 8th and between the 24th and 30th—when anticyclonic pressure ruled and fair weather was experienced generally. Though conditions were somewhat unsettled between these two periods, general heavy rains occurred only from the 9th to the 12th, when a widespread cyclone held sway.

Two distinct westerly disturbances passed in the south on the 17th and 23rd respectively, and a cyclone passed off East Cape about the 19th.

Rainfall was in excess of the normal northward of East Cape and Kawhia in the North Island, and in the Nelson and Blenheim districts and about Greymouth, Hokitika, and Arthur's Pass in the South Island. In all other parts of the Dominion there was a deficiency.

The general character of the weather may be described as dry, warm, and fair, which, with the occasional spring showers, was favourable to abundant vegetable growth.

October.—With the exception of three short periods—viz., between the 1st and 3rd, 18th and 21st, and 25th and 30th, when anticyclonic conditions ruled—the weather of October was dominated by frequent westerly depressions and at least three ex-tropical cyclones. As a result the month was very changeable. The westerly depressions were mostly of only slight intensity, but one which culminated on the 24th was very severe. A cyclone persisting about East Cape for several days about the middle of the month caused southerly gales and stormy conditions between the 15th and 17th, particularly along the east coast.

Wide differences in rainfall occurred over the Dominion, and, though mostly above the average in the northern and east-coast districts of the North Island and in North Canterbury in the South, most other parts recorded a deficiency, many places in Nelson and Westland having less than half the usual amount.

Temperatures were generally above the average, but the cold southerly in the middle of the month was responsible for considerable damage.

November.—The few disturbances that were in evidence during November were all of slight intensity, and mainly small westerly "lows" passing in the south on the southern edge of anticyclones centred northward of New Zealand.

As a result winds were chiefly from some westerly quarter, bringing a rainfall above the average to a few places on the west coast of the South Island and in the extreme north of the North Island. A good fall of rain about the 16th in the Nelson and Blenheim districts also accounted for some places having a slight excess. All other parts of the Dominion recorded considerably less than the usual amount, and many districts experienced the driest November ever recorded.

The weather generally was warm and dry, and more like that of a summer month. The last few days were particularly warm, and on the east coast absolute maximum temperatures of 90 degrees and over were recorded at this time.

There was usually abundant growth in vegetation, and for the sheep and dairy farmer the month proved entirely satisfactory.

December.—Anticyclonic conditions were continuously in evidence in the north during the first half of December, and, although three small westerly depressions passed in the south, only scattered rainfall was recorded. The latter half of the month was dominated by four intense westerly "lows," and these accounted for heavy rain in the west-coast districts and high westerly winds and boisterous conditions in and southward of Coo Strait. A strong north-west gale on the 28th caused extensive damage in Canterbury.

The best and most general rainfall occurred about the 19th and 20th, but the east coast of the North Island did not benefit.

As a result of a predominance of westerly winds, only the western districts of the South Island and a few places on the west coast of the North Island recorded a total rainfall above the average. All other parts of the Dominion experienced a deficiency, which was most marked in Hawke's Bay, some stations in the latter district having no rain during the month.

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

NORTH ISLAND RAINFALL, 1923.Monthly Means compared with the Averages for Eighteen Previous Years.

+Above the average.

-Below the average.

Mean Number of Days with Rain, compared with the Averages for Eighteen Previous Years.


Monthly Means compared with the Averages for Eighteen Previous Years.

+Above the average.

-Below the average.

Mean Number of Days with Rain, compared with the Averages for Eighteen Previous Years.


Dotted line showing the total monthly rainfall from January, 1923, to January, 1924 (inclusive).


Dotted line showing the mean monthly temperature from January, 1923, to January, 1924 (inclusive).

StationsMonths.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of Barometer.Prevailing Winds.
Highest.Lowest.Mean Max. Temp.Mean Min. Temp.Mean Temp. for Month.Wet Days.Fall.


Auckland (lat. 36° 50' S.; long. 174° 50' 4" E.; alt. 125 ft.)—          
January77.652.572.159.265.6156.4629.798N., W.
February77.052.270.558.164.3123.8529.913SW, W.
March72.051.068.556.062.281.7630.019SW, W.
April70.042.064.351.758.0105.7330.139E, S.
May67.145.262.953.258.0264.1329.832W, NW.
June63.440., NW.
July62.035.655.644.750.2192.8129.912SW, E.
August59.636.456.144.150.1213.930.073SW, W.
September64.044.460.149.154.6224.0029.979W, SW.
October68.246.662.752.157.4203.729.932W, S.
November72.051.067.356.661.112.430.088N. S.
December77.050.672.660.36.4122.01.092SW, W.
Ruakura Farm of Instruction, Hamilton E. (lat. 37° 47' S.; long. 175° 20' E; alt. 131 ft.)          
January82.839.574.952.063.413.21..W, NW.
February78.039.071.448.359.882.4..W, SW.
March78.539.271.447.059.292.3..W, SW.
April72.029.566.139.853.087.10..E, W.
May67.528.062.843.853.319.62..SE, W, N.
June63.827.057.342.549.9215.69..SW, S.
July*****133.46..SE, S.
August*****112.32..SW, S.
September70.0*62.944.653.7154.07..SW, NE.
October74.040.064.550.157.3174.81..W, N.
November81.840.872.252.162.1112.65..NW, W.
December82.536.875.551.263.372.14..W, SW.
Te Aroha (lat. 37° 32' S.; long. 175° 42' E.; alt. 46 ft.)—          
January76.050.069.958.464.1156.67..NW, S.
February*45.0*56.8*93.06..N, E.
March78.042.069.552.460.952.66..NE, N.
April75., W.
May70.028.064.549.456.9183.76..NE, SE.
June65.032.058.444.751.5255.15..NE, NW.
July62., SE.
August64.030.058.839.148.9124.20..SE, S.
September71.035.063.447.955.6175.86..NE, SE.
October74.039.065.650.758.1194.45..NE, SE.
November79., N.
December83.044.077.356.867.083.56..NE, SW.
Waihi (lat. 37° 28' S.; long. 175° 52' E.; alt. 340 ft.)—          
January80.346.073.855.164.4147.0429.819W, NW.
February76.744.472.755.063.894.3429.917W, NW.
March77.739.571.250.260.7102.0530.040W, NW.
April75.228.765.844.555.11213.3830.185W, SE.
May72.333.563.446.655.02210.8229.865W, NE.
June63.728.057.643.650.62713.2029.726W, NW.
July62.525.256.438.147.2196.2129.938W, SE.
August62.026.257.936.747.3165.2930.108W, NW.
September70.829.563.744.454.0186.7030.009NW, W.
October71.337.065.348.556.9176.3529.953W, E.
November80., N.
December82.741.677.056.266.682.1330.097W, NW.
Tauranga (lat. 30° 42' S.; long. 176° 22' E.; alt. 100 ft.)—          
January81.047.073.455.464.4166.12..SW, NE.
February81.045.073.854.464.172.55..SW, W.
March76., S.
April74.036.064.946.255.51012.54..S, SW.
May68.034.061.947.754.8245.84..W, SW.
June64., W.
July63.031.056.940.848.8134.53..S, W.
August62.032.057.739.448.5143.21..S, SW.
September69., NE.
October70.039.063.949.156.5236.11..W, SW.
November80.040.068.652.760.6123.17..SW, N.
December84., S.
StationsMonths.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of Barometer.Prevailing Winds.
Highest.Lowest.Mean Max. Temp.Mean Min. Temp.Mean Temp. for Month.Wet Days.Fall.


†July temperatures means of 25 days only.

Rotorua (lat. 38° 9' S.; long. 176° 15' E.; alt. 932 ft.)—          
January78., W.
February80.044.072.351.061.672.75..W, S.
March77.040.069.448.158.7102.59..W, SE.
April75.032.064.842.353.5117.15..SW, E.
May66.030.060.844.352.5207.49..S, W.
June60.030.053.840.547.1236.63..SW, W.
July60.026.053.837.245.5142.16..S, E.
August62.027.555.135.845.4112.29..S, W.
October68., SW.
November80.538.070.250.460.3124.89..NE, SW, S.
December81.543.074.853.163.970.51..W, SW.
New Plymouth (lat. 39° 3' 35" S.; long. 174° 4' 58" E.; alt. 60 ft.)—          
January72.344.268.555.261.81812.29..N, NW.
March69.743.965.551.758.6134.29..SW, SE.
June60.635.056.044.450.2268.98..SE, SW.
July61.230.254.642.148.3165.65..SE, E.
August59.731.655.440.748.0133.20..SE, SW.
September61.537.958.745.552.1164.12..NE, N.
October64.037.060.449.154.7195.20..W, SE.
November71.539.965.251.258.2123.43..N, W.
Moumahaki (Taranaki) (lat. 39° 44' S.; long. 174° 40' E.; alt. 270 ft.)—          
January79.046.071.953.062.4169.71..NW, SW.
February77., SW.
March74., SW.
April67., NW.
May66., SE.
July58.030.052.338.345.3142.83..NE, NW.
August59.029.053.536.344.9102.12..SW, NW.
September69., NE.
October70.038.062.946.554.7155.39..NW, SW.
November77.040.071.448.860.151.30..NW, N.
Taihape (lat. 39° 40' S.; long. 175° 49' E.; alt. 2,080 ft.)—          
January76.043.366.050.658.3198.41..W, N.
February71.041.864.248.056.1124.21..NW, W.
March69.640.061.945.653.7121.52..W, NW.
April63.230.056.841.048.9142.49..S, E.
May63.030.754.642.248.4245.73..NW, N.
June57.630.847.938.143.0265.42..W, SW.
July53.825.845.135.540.3192.66..NE, SE.
August53.029.046.734.740.7192.26..NE, W.
September66.634.454.040.547.2141.70..W, NE.
October67.035.056.742.549.6223.68..W, NE.
November74.237.064.546.955.7152.02..W, NW.
December75.038.469.149.459.2121.26..SW, NW.
Palmerston North (lat. 40° 21' S.; long. 175° 37' E.; alt. 100 ft.)—          
January81.045.071.554.763.1217.69..W, E.
March74.539.067.248.357.7112.03..W, NW.
April68.530.062.743.653.291.79..SE, E.
May68.028.060.543.952.2174.83..W, E.
June60.530.555.540.147.8203.37..W, E.
July59., NW.
September70.536.059.648.153.8142.09..W, E.
October71.039.061.948.155.0184.15..NW, W.
StationsMonths.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of Barometer.Prevailing Winds.
Highest.Lowest.Mean Max. Temp.Mean Min. Temp.Mean Temp. for Month.Wet Days.Fall.

*Means for 25 days only, but rainfall complete.


Oroua Downs (lat. 40° 20' S.; long. 175° 18' E.; alt. 5 ft.)—          
January79.045.870.855.463.1164.35..NW, E.
February77.240.367.254.660.9122.87..NW, N.
March71.936.766.449.257.8102.52..NW, N.
April69.229.562.341.347.881.45..NE, SE.
June60.827.255.240.547.8173.40..NW, N.
July62.626.053.236.544.8122.20..SE, NE.
August62.826.754.336.145.281.67..NW, N.
September65.331.861.542.251.8111.95..E, W.
October66.237.560.747.153.9162.42..NW, E.
November72.037.066.649.758.160.54..NW, E.
Central Development Farm, Weraroa (lat. 40° 38' S.; long. 175° 17' E.; alt. 119 ft.)—          
January78.041.069.954.262.0146.02..W, E.
March70., NE.
April70.031.060.843.552.281.46..SW, W, E.
May69., N.
June60., NW.
July61.030.052.837.645.2112.89..SW, NW, E.
August59.028.053.436.544.961.66..SW, NW.
September64.032.058.644.551.6143.11..NE, N.
October67., W.
November72.036.065.550.658.0141.80..NW, NE.
Masterton (lat. 40° 57' S.; long. 175° 40' E.; alt. 377 ft.)—          
January81.439.472.751.762.2186.52..NE, SE.
February84.037.471.749.560.6123.54..NW, SW.
March70.436.068.547.357.9100.64..NW, SW.
April72.828.662.340.351.3132.67..SW, SE.
May69.026.460.243.852.0208.96..NE, SW.
June63.828.455.336.846.0143.03..NE, SW.
August67.824.053.335.644.4143.62..SE, NE.
September71.230.461.241.051.1111.42..NE, SW.
October70.632.661.345.253.2194.59..SW, NE.
November85.432.671.747.759.740.38..NE, SW.
December83.435.676.452.564.490.89..NW, W.
Wellington (lat. 41° 16' S.; long. 174° 46' E.; alt. 1 ft.)—          
January77.247.770.957.364.1185.7729.800S, N.
February74.344.868.255.361.7141.4729.791NW, S.
March69.642.365.953.459.682.0029.963N, S.
April70.735.762.846.654.7123.0830.182S, N.
May67.036.759.548.253.9219.4829.803N, S.
June61.732.355.141.548.3123.4029.642N, S.
August60.930.054.039.646.8153.4530.074S, N.
September64.534.758.846.052.4102.2029.923N, S.
October67.037.761.148.854.9163.8329.910S, N.
November73.539.566.953.960.480.7530.018NW, N.
December75.347.669.457.663.5111.8229.958N, NW.
Brightwater (lat. 41° 23' S.; long. 173° 9' E.; alt. 89 ft.)—          
January76., SE.
March73.040.065.949.157.5103.55..SW, N.
April70., SE.
May64.031.058.642.250.4238.41..SW, N.
June60., S.
July60., SE.
August66., S.
September64.033.058.840.949.8104.97..S, NE.
October69.036.062.744.953.8123.87..SW, S.
November75.039.067.448.658.092.29..N, NE.
December84.039.074.652.563.540.84..SW, N.
Nelson (lat. 41° 16' 17" S.; long. 173° 18' 46" E.; alt. 13 ft.)—          
February79.040.270.850.060.481.1629.805SW, N.
March75.839.466.449.557.993.2429.966N, SW.
April69., N.
May65.234.058.644.451.52110.3329.813SE, S.
June63.128.455.737.146.4131.1229.656SE, SW.
August68.029.055.334.544.991.9530.088SE, N.
September66.836.160.143.351.7104.5329.925N, SW.
December80.437.872.753.463.031.1929.958N, SW.
Hokitika (lat. 42° 41' 30" S.; long. 170° 49' E.; alt. 12 ft.)—          
January77.043.068.455.161.7228.3929.777SW, NW.
February72.539.562.748.655.7209.6329.830SW, NE.
March67.538.061.947.154.5229.1929.952SW, NE, SE.
April69., SE.
May66.533.058.042.550.21711.1929.795E, NE.
June63.527.552.736.944.8187.7529.631E, NE.
August58.027.052.633.943.2136.6329.994E, NE.
September63.034.055.943.249.51711.5129.872NE, SE.
October66.534.560.344.952.6178.0729.851NW, NE.
November70.041.562.149.655.9135.0629.972NW, SW.
December68.038.063.951.457.62211.4829.940SW, NW.
Hanmer Springs (lat. 42° 23' S.; long. 172° 47' E.; alt. 1,225 ft.)—          
January81.040.067.448.758.0198.72..NW, SW.
December85.033.073.449.261.351.47..NW, SW.
Christchurch (lat 43° 31' 30" S.; long. 172° 38' 50" E.; alt. 25 ft.)—          
January80.144.867.254.761.0165.4829.777NE, SW.
February81.536.669.449.059.292.0629.705SW, NE.
March74.333.664.747.656.260.4129.880NE, SW.
April77.431.158.341.850.1132.9430.172SW, NE.
May64.627.954.740.347.5176.8029.783SW, NE.
June58.226.150.434.242.3142.2229.610SW, NE.
August70.025.552., NE.
September69.133.458.241.249.781.4229.856E, NE, SW.
October74.937.658.745.051.8101.7329.878NE, SW.
November90.040.971.750.060.820.5229.909E, NW.
December90.741.474.952.063.592.3029.840NE, NW.
Lincoln (lat. 43° 32' 16" S.; long. 172° 38' 39" E.; alt. 42 ft.)—          
January82., SW.
February86.036.071.749.060.3122.1129.693NE, NW.
March75., N.
April76.030.061.538.049.7133.10SW, N.
May64.026.055.739.647.6134.7929.773NE, W.
June59.026.050.835.142.971.3429.636S, NE.
August70.027.053.634.444.081.2829.995N, NE.
September79.030.060.440.850.691.7429.811NE, N.
October75.032.060.445.352.881.2529.823NE, N.
December*76.953.965.472.64NE, NW.
StationsMonths.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of Barometer.Prevailing Winds.
Highest.Lowest.Mean Max. Temp.Mean Min. Temp.Mean Temp. for Month.Wet Days.Fall.
Kisselton (lat. 43° 22' S.; long. 171° 33' E.; alt. 1,220 ft.)—          
January84.042.076.349.262.782.47..SW, NW.
February89.036.069.344.857.091.49..NW, SW.
March85., SW.
April80., SW.
May71., SW.
September70.027.059.838.549.181.07..NW, SW.
October84., SW.
December93., SW.
Timaru (lat. 44° 25' S.; long. 171° 18' E.; alt. 40 ft.)—          
January77., E.
February83.037.069.648.659.1162.03..SW, NE.
March75., E.
April78.032.058.742.050.3122.23..SW, E.
May62.026.653.538.445.9154.64..SW, NE.
June56.828.249.034.341.6100.67..SW, E.
July55., NE.
August71.026.653.833.643.750.48..SW, NE.
September68.833.056.640.148.371.20..SE, E.
October77.034.060.444.352.3111.74..NE, E.
November91., NE.
December91.035.074.851.162.981.02..NE, NW.
Waimate (lat. 44° S.; long. 171° 14' E.; alt. 200 ft.)—          
January75., SW.
February78.035.066.847.557.1131.61..NE, SE.
March74., SE.
April75.030.058.340.549.4142.28..SW, NE.
May63., NE.
June57.029.049.433.541.4120.73..SW, NE.
July57., NE.
August71., SW.
September68.031.055.939.847.8111.82..NE, SE.
October76., SW.
November89., NW.
December87.037.073.750.362.071.27..NE, SE.
Dunedin (lat. 45° 52' S.; long. 170° 31' E.; alt. 300 ft.)—          
January74.043.064.452.858.6172.9529.808NE, SW
February81.039.063.346.554.9185.1929.707SW, NE.
March72.040.062.847.355.0163.4629.848NE, SW.
April67.035.056.542.349.41210.6030.209SW, N.
May62.033.053.641.747.6104.4829.801NE, SE.
June58., NE.
July52., SW.
August69.031.053.639.046.391.5829.996NE, N.
September71.038.057.644.150.8112.0729.839NE, SW.
October74.035.058.946.252.5123.3329.882NE, SW.
November84., W.
December84., N.
Gore (lat. 46° 6' S.; long. 168° 57' E.; alt. 245 ft.)—          
January85., SW.
February82035.063.343353322552..SW, NW.
March77., E.
April68., NE.
May67.027.053.934.444.1141.96..E, NE.
June53., NE.
July52.020.044.426.735.5101.08..NE, E.
August66.022.049.630.740.1132.85..SW, NE.
September68.032.058.837.748.2111.05..E, NE.
October73.032.062.539.651.0151.91..SW, E.
November81.034.069.845.657.7111.27..NE, SW.
Invercargill (lat. 46° 25' S.; long. 168° 21' E.; alt. 12 ft.)—          
January82.038.069.650.860.2173.15..E, SW.
March72.031.061.642.852.2187.44..SW, W.
April62., SE.
May63.027.053.735.844.7192.42..E, NE.
June57., SW.
July53.021.046.730.038.3121.63..E, NE.
August66.023.051.733.742.7144.13..NW, SW.
September66., NE.
October69.029.059.340.750.0173.12..E, NW.
November83.036.066.846.256.5142.73..SW, SE.
December84.039.066.547.256.8193.09..SW, W.
Stations.Temperature in Shade.Rainfall.Mean Height of Barometer.Prevailing 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 fell.Total Fall.
Auckland77.6 Jan. 3035.6 July 764.252.858.520549.0929.957SW, W.
Ruakura, Hamilton East82.8 Jan. 31........15247.34..W, SW.
Te Aroha83.0 Dec. 1428.0 May 30 and July 7, 8, 960.545.052.715861.95..NE, SE.
New Plymouth72.3 Jan. 11 and 2130.2 July 861.848.855.219362.64..SE, SW.
Moumahaki82.0 Dec. 6 and 8..........48.16..NW, SW.
Taihape76.0 Jan. 2825.8 July 957.342.950.120841.36..W, NW, SW.
Waihi82.7 Dec. 1425.2 July 966.447.557.018180.8329.980W, NW.
Tauranga84.0 Dec. 1331.0 July 965.448.556.917662.78..SW, S.
Rotorua81.5 Dec. 1226.0 July 964.145.354.716260.88..W, SW.
Palmerston N.81. Jan. 2927.0 July 863.047.155.017337.53..W, E.
Oroua Downs79.0 Jan. 21, 2726.0 July 662.245.854.014830.18..NW, E.
Weraroa78.0 Jan. 22, 28, 2928.0 Aug. 261.046.553.715337.54..W, NW.
Masterton85.4 Nov. 2824.0 Aug. 863.844.153.917041.75..NE, SW.
Wellington77.2 Jan. 2230.0 Aug. 9, 2662.049.255.616441.0229.919S, N.
Brightwater84.0 Dec. 1626.0 July 7, 863.144.153.613743.99..SW, N.
Nelson80.4 Dec. 1928.2 July 263.145.554.312840.33..N, SW.
Hokitika77.0 Jan. 2627.0 July 7 and Aug. 1159.343.951.619893.5929.894SW, NE.
Hanmer Springs85.0 Nov. 30 and Dec. 117.0 June 23 and July 961.038.849.910650.52..NW.
Christchurch90.7 Dec. 1725.5 Aug. 1960.643.852.213331.3029.870SW, NE.
Lincoln..24.0 July 262.443.352.812926.28..NE, SW.
Kisselton93.0 Dec. 2716.0 June 30 and July62.639.150.89326.97..NW, SW.
Timaru91.0 Nov. 28 and Dec. 1724.0 July 760.843.051.912622.23..SW, NE.
Waimate89.0 Nov. 2826.0 July 2, 1159.942.251.014522.20..NE, SW.
Dunedin84.0 Nov. 27 and Dec. 339.0 July 6, 758.644.651.615544.7029.862NE, SW.
Gore85.0 Jan. 2020.0 July 11, 1259.238.748.917736.64..SW, E.
Invercargill84.0 Dec. 721.0 July 2058.340.549.421247.82..SW, NW.


The following article on the flora and vegetation of New Zealand has been prepared by Dr. L. Cockayne, F.R.S.:—

Owing to its long isolation and diverse elements (Malayan, Australian, Subantarctic, 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 1,800 species, of which more than three-fourths are endemic. Many hundreds of algæ, 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 250 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 162 species. The genera Veronica (Hebe), Carex, Celmisia, Coprosma, Ranunculus, Olearia, Senecio, Epilobium, Myosotis, Poa, Dracophyllum, and Aciphylla contain many species, no few of which are difficult to exactly define. This is especially the case with Veronica, which embraces more than a hundred species. Such uncertainty in their delimiting lies in what is usually called their "variability," which is due partly to more than one distinct true-breeding entity being joined together as one species, partly to the frequent occurrence of hybrids, and to some extent to differences in appearance and form caused by different environments.

Variability is not concerned merely with adult plants, but often there are species with juvenile forms quite distinct from the adults 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, pokaka, 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 Raoulia); leafless shrubs with round or flattened stems (species of Carmichaelia and Notospartium); 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 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 generally of the subtropical 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 dicotylous broad-leaved forests, 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 subantarctic rain-forests, and constitute the greater part of the high-mountain forests, though in Wellington, Marlborough, and Nelson they are common in the lowlands. Shrubland 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, though where the association is not burned or the ground ploughed Phormium has greatly increased. Bogs and moorland support a peculiar vegetation. Here hummocks of bog-moss are abundant, and a small wiry umbrella-fern may cover wide areas. Grassland with brownish-leaved tussock-grasses is a great feature of parts of the volcanic plateau of the North Island, and especially of the east of the South Island. Species of Poa and Festuca form the principal tussocks of the lowlands and lower hills, but at higher altitudes and in Southland at low levels tall species of Danthonia dominate. This name is not to be confused with the turf-making species (D. pilosa) 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 500 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, with but 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 115 species of ferns, fern-allies, and seed-plants, only twelve of which are endemic, while eighty-nine belong also to New Zealand proper. The largest island (Sunday Island) is covered with forest in which Metrosideros villosa, a near relation of the pohutukawa, is the principal tree. The Chatham Islands possess 240 species, thirty-two 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, Coxella and Myosotidium, the former belonging to the carrot family, and the latter a huge forget-me-not, now nearly extinct. The subantarctic islands (Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes, Macquarie) have a dense vegetation made up of 189 species, no fewer than fifty-six 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 dominant 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 (species of Pleurophyllum, Anisotome, and Stilbocarpa) and with beautiful flowers occur in great profusion.

The Cook Islands, though a part of the Dominion, 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 560 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 frequently given way before artificial meadows, with their economic plants and accompanying weeds. But in many places associations not present in primitive New Zealand have appeared, owing to man's influence, composed principally, or altogether, of indigenous species. On the tussock-grassland 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. Finally, in course of time, a state of stability will be reached, and a new flora, composed partly of introduced plants and partly of those indigenous to the soil, will occupy the land, and, save in the national parks and scenic reserves, if these are kept strictly in their natural condition, this new flora will build up a vegetation different from that of primeval New Zealand.

The above brief sketch of the flora and vegetation is obviously most incomplete. Those wishing to dive deeper into the fascinating matter can consult the following works: "The Manual of the New Zealand Flora," by T. F. Cheeseman (a new edition is in the press); "Plants of New Zealand," by R. M. Laing and E. W. Blackwell; "The Vegetation of New Zealand" (a second edition is being prepared), "New Zealand Plants and Their Story (second edition), and "The Cultivation of New Zealand Plants"—the last three by L. Cockayne.


The fauna of New Zealand is briefly described in the following article by Mr James Drummond, F.L.S., F.Z.S.:—

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 characters 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 tuberculatus), 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). 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. Forster, 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 a cross 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 as 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 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 enable 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 are the most important. For some years New Zealand held the record for the largest known mammal in the world, living or extinct. This was the Okarito whale, whose skeleton is in Canterbury Museum. It was found dead on the sea-beach near Okarito, a small village in South Westland, in February, 1908. A very careful and conscientious measurement showed that its length, in the flesh, was 87 ft., or 99 ft. measured over the curves of its back. It held the record until September, 1918, when a whale was found stranded at Corvisart Bay, near Streaky Bay, at the eastern extremity of the Australian Bight, South Australia, which measured in a straight line 87 ft. 4 in. Both competitors for the record were females, and both were blue whales, which usually are known as Balaenoptera sibbaldi, but which now bear the name Balaenoptera musculus.

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 (Gallirallus), the kakapo parrot (Strigops), 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 novae-zealandiae), 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.

Several species of birds make notable migrations to New Zealand. The godwit (Vetola lapponica baueri) breeds in the tundras of Eastern Siberia and in Kamchatka and Western Alaska, and spends the summer months in New Zealand, arriving about October, and leaving in March or April. The knot (Canutus canutus) breeds in circumpolar regions and migrates to New Zealand; and two cuckoos—the shining-cuckoo (Lamprococcyx 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 Cuculidae 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

*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 Mantelli to Hochstetter, thus honouring Dr. Hochstetter, a naturalist who visited New Zealand in the early days. Messrs. G. M. Mathews and T. Iredale, in their "Reference List" of 1913, give Mantellornis hochstetteri as the name of this interesting rail.

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 (1924) it is twenty-six 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 (Harpagornis 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 Homoeosaurus, 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 two species of frogs. One, Liopelma hochstetteri, has been recorded from only a few districts in the Auckland Province. The other, Liopelma hamiltoni, has been recorded from only Stephen Island, a small island in Cook Strait, notable as one of the refuges of the tuatara.

About 250 species of fish have been found in New Zealand waters. Many 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 mollusca there is a large and handsome land-snail (Paryphanta), and Amphibola, an air-breathing snail, peculiar to the Dominion, 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, novae-zealandiae 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 Encyclopaedia 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.

WILLIAM HOBSON, Lieutenant-Governor.

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 twelve 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 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 1885 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 instruction and the first administrative county was Westland, separated from Canterbury provinces 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 counties39
 Forming parts of counties32
Road districts35
River districts45
Land-drainage districts58
Harbour districts41
Hospital districts44
Electric-power districts37
City and suburban drainage districts3
Tramway districts2
Local railway districts6
Water-supply districts5
Main-highway districts18
Fire districts37
Rabbit districts37
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.G., K.C.M.G., Chief Justice, Administrator from 8th July, 1920, to 26th September, 1920.

Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, 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—Lieutenant-Commander John S. Dove, O.B.E., R.N.

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

Honorary Aides-de-Camp—Colonel H. Hart, 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—Major-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, 18562 June, 1856.
3. StaffordEdward 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.G3 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. Hall-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.

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.
Sir James Allen, K.C.B.Minister of Defence25 Aug., 1919*28 April, 1920Succeeded by Sir R. H. Rhodes.
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.
Sir William Herbert Herries, K.C.M.G.Minister of Railways25 Aug., 1919*3 Sept., 1920Succeeded by Right Hon. Mr. Massey.
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. Stewart.
Minister of Labour14 May, 19207 Feb., 1921Succeeded by Mr. Anderson.
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, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Parr.
Minister of Internal Affairs3 Feb., 192012 May, 1920Succeeded by Mr. Anderson.
Minister of Marine1 Mar., 192121 Feb., 1922Succeeded by Mr. Anderson.
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. Coates.
Minister of Mines4 Sept., 191927 July, 1920Succeeded by Right Hon. Mr. Massey.
Member of Executive Council without portfolio27 July, 192016 July, 1923Died.

*Continuing office held in National Ministry.

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

David Henry GuthrieMinister of Lands25 Aug., 1919*25 June, 1924Succeeded by Mr. McLeod.
Minister of Railways16 May, 19226 June, 1923Succeeded by Mr. Coates.
Member of Executive Council without portfolio25 June, 1924  
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., 1923Succeeded by Sir F. H. D. Bell.
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  
William Downie StewartMinister 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  
Alexander Donald McLeodMinister of Lands25 June, 1924  


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, G.C.M.G., K.C., Attorney-General, Minister of External Affairs, and Leader of the Legislative Council.

Hon. D. H. Guthrie, Member of the Executive Council without portfolio.

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.

Hon. 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, Minister for Cook Islands, Minister in Charge of Hospitals and Charitable Aid Departments and Mental Hospitals, Member of the Executive Council representing the Native Race.

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.

Hon. A. D. McLeod, Minister of Lands, Minister in Charge of Land for Settlements, Discharged Soldiers Settlement, Scenery Preservation, and Repatriation 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
26 June, 1924..


Speaker—Hon. Sir W. C. F. C ARNCROSS

Kt. Chairman of Committees— Hon. OLIVER SAMUEL

Clerk of the Legislative Council—A. F. LOWE, C.M.G.

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.
Campbell, Hon. James PalmerAuckland2 September, 1921.
Carncross, Hon. Sir Walter Charles Frederick, Kt.Taranaki17 March, 1924.
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.
Lang, Hon. Sir Frederic William, Kt.Auckland22 February, 1924.
MacGregor, Hon. JohnOtago14 July, 1921.
McIntyre, Hon. William HendersonNelson2 September, 1921.
Mackenzie, Hon. Sir Thomas, G.C.M.G.Otago12 March, 1921.
Malcolm, Hon. Alexander ScottOtago16 June, 1924.
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. Edward, C.M.G.Wellington1 June, 1923.
Patuki, Hon. John TopiOtago7 May, 1918.
Reed, Hon. Vernon HerbertAuckland16 June, 1924.
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.


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, Hon. Alexander DonaldWairarapa.
Name.Electoral District.
Macmillan, Charles Edward de la BarcaTauranga.
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.
Veitch, William AndrewWanganui.
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 LawPrincipal Law OfficerA. Fair, LL.B.
CustomsComptrollerG. Craig, LL.M.
DefenceGeneral Officer Commanding N.Z. Military ForcesMajor-General C. W. Melvill, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
EducationDirectorJ. Caughley, M.A.
External Affairs and Cook IslandsSecretaryJ. D. Gray.
Government InsuranceCommissionerA. T. Traversi, F.I.A. Lond.
National Provident FundSuperintendentA. T. Traversi, F.I.A. Lond.
Friendly SocietiesRegistrarW. M. Wright.
Public Service SuperannuationSecretaryW. M. Wright.
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, C.B.E.
Land and Income TaxDeputy CommissionerA. E. Fowler.
Stamp DutiesDeputy CommissionerJ. Murray.
Land and DeedsRegistrar-General of Land, and Assistant 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.
MarineSecretaryG. C. Godfrey.
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., R.N.
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.
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 Commissioner: A. D. PARK.


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, 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, Brisbane—T. G. Dewar, King's Building, 79 Queen Street, Brisbane.

Honorary New Zealand Tourist Agent, Adelaide—D. T. Lawes, 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.

Honorary New Zealand Tourist Agent, Durban—H. Middlebrook, 27A Union Castle Buildings (P.O. Box 1822), Durban.

New Zealand Government Agent, Vancouver—W. A. James, 1,917 Metropolitan Building, 837 Hastings Street West, 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-Consuls: E. S. Baldwin, Wellington; J. A. Johnstone, Dunedin.

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. Vice-Consuls (honorary); Robert Burns, Auckland; Vaino Sarelius, Christchurch.

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

Germany.—Consul-General (with jurisdiction over New Zealand); Dr. Hans Busing, Melbourne.

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: (Vacant). 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 Montoro y de Madrazo, Melbourne. Hon. Vice-Consul: C. W. D. Bell, 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: E. N. Gunsaulus, Wellington. Consul: K. de G. MacVitty, Auckland. Vice-Consuls: M. I. Mays, Auckland: A. R. Preston, jun., Auckland; J. C. Hudson, Wellington. Consular Agents: H. P. Bridge, Christchurch; 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 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:—

(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; detailed statistics of commercial orchards; eggs and egg-pulp in cool store; industrial manufacture; fire insurance; finances of local governing bodies; loans of local governing bodies (quarterly); port cargo statistics; building societies; private savings-banks; prices; wages; consumption and stocks of coal; hospital patients.

(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; port shipping returns; deceased persons' estates; State advances to local bodies; incomes and income-tax; 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 compiled by Mr. William Gisborne, and edited by the Agent-General of the day (Mr. 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—Annual.
  Population and Buildings 
  Vital Statistics
  Trade and Shipping
  Agricultural and Pastoral Production
  Manufacturing Production
  Local Government
  Miscellaneous (Prices, Building Societies, Bankruptcy, Incomes, Meteorology, Statistical Summary)
Municipal Handbook of New ZealandBiennial.
Monthly Abstract of StatisticsMonthly.
Census Statistics—Quinquennially.
  Vol. I. Population 
  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
    Appendices: (a.) Maori Census
    (b.) Census of Cook and other Pacific Islands
    (c.) Census of Western Samoa
    (d.) Libraries
    (e.) Religious Denominations
    (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.
    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, and local authoritiesB.-13Report of State Advances Office.
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 in the 1924 number of the Year-book and in the special publications devoted to the census; 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 are 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 domicil, 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.

Residents of the Cook Islands, Niue, and Western Samoa are not included in the population statistics quoted throughout this section, except in the first table on the next page and in the paragraphs devoted to these islands at the end of the section. A similar course was formerly followed in regard to Maoris, but in this issue figures are given both inclusive and exclusive of Maoris where possible, in accordance with a recent decision of Cabinet. In tables covering a long period of years, however, and in the part of the section dealing with distribution of population in areas smaller than provincial districts, Maoris have of necessity been omitted, on account of lack or insufficiency of data.

Separate statistics of the Maori population are given towards the end of the section.


The population of the Dominion of New Zealand and the mandated territory of Western Samoa at 31st March, 1924, is quoted:—

Estimated population (exclusive of Maoris) of New Zealand proper659,570634,3331,293,903
Estimated Maori population of New Zealand proper28,45025,50053,950
Estimated population (inclusive of Maoris) of New Zealand proper688,020659,8331,347,853
Estimated population of Cook Islands and Niue6,8856,65713,542
Estimated population of the mandated territory of Western Samoa19,62217,70637,328


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 farther 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 (excluding Maoris).Numerical Increase.Percentage Increase.Equivalent Annual Percentage Increase.
December, 185859,41339,60866.6722.36
December, 186199,02173,13773.8624.97
December, 1864172,15846,51027.018.86
December, 1867218,66837,72517.255.40
February, 1871256,39343,12116.825.60
March, 1874299,514114,89838.369.58
March, 1878414,41275,52118.225.91
April, 1881489,93388,54918.073.63
March, 1886578,48248,1768.331.66
April, 1891626,65876,70212.242.44
April, 1896703,36069,3599.861.99
March, 1901772,719115,85914.992.95
April, 1906888,578119,89013.492.74
April, 19111,008,46890,9819.021.63
October, 19161,099,449119,46410.872.42
April, 19211,218,913......

As might be expected, the rate of increase in the earlier years was exceedingly high compared with the experience of later 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 vigorous 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 the three years ended March, 1922, March, 1923, and March, 1924, may be stated as 30,476 (2.50 per cent.), 23,543 (1.89 per cent.), and 22,162 (1.74 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 decades 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.

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

*Excluding Maoris.


New Zealand*1,218,913192120.8730.5123.3125.8791.09158.93
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

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-eight 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.
Males.Females.Both Sexes.Males.Females.Both Sexes.Males.Females.Both Sexes.


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

‡Single year.

Totals, 1861-1923365,438405,723771,161276,028185,060461,088641,466590,7831,232,249


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.


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. The figures quoted are exclusive of Maoris.

Census Year.Males.Females.Females to 1,000 Males.
1924 (estimate)659,570634,333963

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 1923 the gain of males by migration totalled 91,000 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 approximately 51,000 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.


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 to a great extent does 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 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 (excluding Maoris) at End of Year.Increase during Year.Mean Population for Year.
Males.Females.Total.Numerical.Per Cent.


†Census population.


As the year ended 31st March is for most of the administrative functions of the Government the period most in use, similar figures are given for March years:—

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



The figures given in the two preceding tables show the population exclusive of Maoris. The following table shows the population inclusive of Maoris at 31st December and at 31st March of the last ten years, with the means for the various twelve-monthly periods:—

Estimated Population (including Maoris) at End of Year.Mean Population for Year.
Years ended 31st December,
Estimated Population (including Maoris) at End of Year.Mean Population for Year.
Years ended 31st March,


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 1923 is the second complete twelve months for which figures under the new system are available, and direct comparisons are therefore possible with the previous period.

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 and 1923 are as follows, the excess of arrivals or of departures for each month being also shown:—

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


The statistics for the twelve months ended 31st December, 1923, show that during that period 36,488 persons, excluding members of crews of vessels, arrived in the Dominion. Of these only 11,762 were immigrants intending permanent residence in the country, as compared with 13,845 of a similar class in 1922. The remainder of the immigrants, 24,726 in number, as compared with 21,388 in 1922, were classified as shown below. Corresponding figures for 1922 are also given with percentages in each case.

Total (both Sexes).Per Cent. of Total.Total (both Sexes).Per Cent. of Total.

*Includes 246 naval ratings.

Immigrants intending permanent residence13,8453911,76232
New Zealand residents returning from abroad11,3663213,07336
Persons on commercial business1,70452,1666
Persons visiting the Dominion in connection with entertainments, sport, &c.93439113
Persons in transit64425621
Others (officials, &c., of other countries)157..457*1
Not stated....35..
  Grand totals (excluding crews)35,23310036,488100

The departures recorded during 1923 numbered 29,668, as compared with 28,389 in 1922. Of these, 2,474 were shown to be New Zealand residents departing permanently, as against 2,150 in 1922. The figures which follow show the different classes of emigrants for 1922 and 1923, with percentages in each case:—

Total (both Sexes).Per Cent. of Total.Total (both Sexes).Per Cent. of Total.
New Zealand residents departing permanently2,15082,4748
New Zealand residents departing temporarily12,1804314,10448
Visitors to the Dominion departing14,0514913,08644
Persons regarding whom no information is available8..4..


New Zealand residents going abroad temporarily on business or pleasure represented 48 per cent. of the total departures, as against 43 per cent. in 1922, while of the arrivals 36 per cent. were New-Zealanders returning to their homes after temporary absence, compared with 32 per cent. in 1922. The elimination of this class of migrant reduces the arrivals during 1923 to 23,415, and during 1922 to 23,867, and the departures respectively to 15,564 and 16,201.


Tourists and other temporary visitors comprised 31.87 per cent. of the arrivals and 44.1 per cent. of the departures, as compared with 28.44 and 49.49 per cent. respectively in 1922. The bulk of the temporary visitors each year came from Australia, British Isles, and the United States of America. The following table shows for the years 1922 and 1923 the principal countries of residence of temporary visitors, classified according to their purpose in coming to the Dominion:—

Country of last Permanent Residence.Purpose in coming to Dominion.
Tourists.On Business.Theatrical, &c.Other, Official, &c.In Transit, &c.

*Includes 246 naval ratings.

British Isles9381,09729532911711928321*105135
United States of America357369117152562710131718
South Africa1031281351161..67


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 1923 11,762 persons landed in the Dominion with the intention of making their future homes here, compared with 13,845 in 1922, while during the same period 2,474 permanent residents of New Zealand were attracted to other countries, as against 2,150 in 1922, the result being a net gain to the Dominion, in 1922 and 1923 respectively, of 11,695 and 9,288. These figures, which represent the permanent gains to the population of the Dominion through migration during 1922 and 1923, exceed the nominal excess of total arrivals over total departures for the same years by 4,851 and 2,468 respectively. 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 years 1922 and 1923 show that the male preponderance is not as great as might be expected. As a matter of fact, females comprised, respectively, 48 and 47 per cent. of the total immigrants, as against 52 and 53 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 and families 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 years 1922 and 1923 respectively 47 per cent. and 51 per cent. were females and 53 per cent. and 49 per cent. males.


Of the total arrivals recorded during the year 1923 13.76 per cent. were under fifteen years of age. Among the immigrants intending permanent residence, however the proportion was much higher—viz., 23.18 per cent. The corresponding percentages for all departures and for New Zealand residents departing permanently were 11.31 and 26.39. The higher percentages under fifteen years of age in the case of permanent settlers and emigrants is, of course, due to the fact that this class of person brings or takes his family, if any, with him, whereas the remainder of persons coming to and going from the Dominion, consisting for the most part of tourists and persons on business, travel almost exclusively without at least the younger members of their families. The higher percentage of persons of forty-five years and over amongst the departures would appear to confirm to a certain extent the general impression that many immigrants return to their native land later in life. The following table shows the percentage of new permanent immigrants who arrived during 1922 and 1923, and the New Zealand residents who departed during the same period, by age-groups, and also for the same period the permanent gain in population of the Dominion through migration:—

Under 15 Years.15 and under 45 Years.45 Years and over, and Age not stated.
 Per Cent.Per Cent.Per Cent.Per Cent.Per Cent.Per Cent.
Immigrants intending permanent residence22.4623.1866.9465.3110.6011.51
Permanent departures23.5826.3958.8857.4817.5416.13
Permanent gain to population of Dominion22.2622.3268.4267.409.3210.28

From the above it will be seen that approximately 90 per cent. of the permanent gain in population through migration consists of persons under forty-five years of age


Of the 11,762 new immigrants during 1923 intending to settle in the Dominion the vast majority, 11,309, or 96.15 per cent., came from British countries, mainly from the British Isles, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and India. The majority of immigrants from foreign countries came from China, United States of America, and Jugo-Slavia. The following table shows for the years 1922 and 1923 the principal countries whence arrived new immigrants who intended permanent residence in the Dominion:—

Country whence arrived.1922.1923.
British Isles5,6115,46811,0794,5484,5949,142
South Africa4939887440114
United States623294403070

With the exception of 148 persons (of whom 98 departed for the United States, 20 for China, 10 for European countries, 15 for South American countries, and 5 for the foreign islands of the Pacific) the whole of the New Zealand residents who permanently left the Dominion during 1923 went to British countries. The figures for the principal countries for 1922 and 1923 are as follows:—

Country whence arrived.1922.1923.
United Kingdom and Ireland276276552214278492
South Africa18624131225
Other British countries22527252146
United States of America323668584098


During 1923 only 350 persons (males 268, females 82) of foreign nationality, out of the total of 11,762, arrived as new immigrants intending permanent residence in the Dominion, as compared with 405 (311 males, 94 females) out of a total of 13,845 in 1922, the remaining persons (11,412 in 1923 and 13,440 in 1922) being British subjects. The chief nationalities represented among the alien immigrants for the last two years were as follows:—

Nationals of1922.1923.
United States16723131124
Other countries533285403373

It is worthy of note that of the 99 Chinese immigrants intending permanent residence 95 (87 males, 8 females) were under forty years of age, the remaining 4 males being between the ages of 40 and 55. In 1922 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.

Foreign nationals constituted a very small proportion of the total number of New Zealand residents who departed permanently during 1923. The following table shows, in regard to permanent residents departing permanently for the years 1922 and 1923, the total departures and departures of foreign nationals, by age-groups, all countries, and principal foreign countries:—

Under 15 Years.15 and under 45 Years.45 Years and over.Under 15 Years.15 and under 45 Years.45 Years and over.
All countries5071,2663776531,422394
Principal foreign countries—
 United States1155162
  Totals, all foreign countries2363012924


Although race aliens comprise comparatively small proportions of the total arrivals and departures, they are by no means unimportant. As a matter of fact, the entry of race aliens, especially Chinese and Indians, 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."

The following table shows the number of race aliens who arrived as immigrants intending permanent residence, the number who were permanent New Zealand residents departing permanently, and the permanent increase in each case to population of New Zealand through migration for the years 1922 and 1923:—

Immigrants intending permanent residence1628342041003244176
New Zealand residents departing permanently136163516..723
Permanent increase of race aliens in New Zealand through migration149218169843237153

From the above table can be seen at a glance the permanent increase in population of race aliens during the last two years. The Dominion lost 1 female Indian through migration during 1922.

More fully detailed information in connection with external migration during 1922 and 1923 is contained in the Statistical Reports on External Migration for those years.

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, 1924, are as follows: Chinese, 3,180; Syrians, 708; Indians, 640; other races, 906; total, 5,434.

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:—

The person nominated must be under 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 full-fare 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.

The person nominated must not have resided in the Dominion or Australia for a period of at least five years immediately preceding nomination.

He must supply to the High Commissioner for New Zealand in London satisfactory medical certificate and certificate of character.

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

The nominator must undertake to make provision for maintenance and employment for the nominee after arrival in the Dominion, and must also guarantee that the nominee will reside in the Dominion for at least five years.

All questions as to suitability of any person nominated for an assisted passage are 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, which are subject to revision:—

 Third class.
Ordinary nominations, single adults 19 years of age and under 50, and married couples (not accompanied by children) other than farm labourers and domesticsSix-berth. £16 10s.Third Class. Four-berth. £18 10s.Two-berth. £22 10s.
Married adults, widowers or widows, accompanied by at least one child under 19 years of age; or a woman similarly accompanied proceeding to rejoin her husband (parents only)£11£13£17
Farm labourers (single men and married couples not accompanied by children)£11£13£17
Children under the age of twelve years travelling with their parentsFree.£1 each.£3 each.
Children twelve years of age and under seventeenFree.£2£6
Children seventeen years of age and under nineteen£5 10s.£7 10s.£11

The full 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.

In any case where nominees are unable to pay the cost of six-berth passages the Imperial and New Zealand Governments, acting in concert, will, on the approval of the High Commissioner, advance the necessary amount by way of loan, repayable within a reasonable time after their arrival in the Dominion.

Nominations can be cabled at an extra cost of £1. Remittances can be forwarded to nominees at time of nomination without fee.

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

In addition to the conditions set out as governing the general nominated passages, the following apply to single men and married couples (not accompanied by children) nominated as farm labourers.

The person nominated must be a bona fide farm labourer employed as such at the time of nomination, and a written undertaking to follow such calling for at least twelve months after arrival in the Dominion is required.

He must have attained the age of sixteen years and be under forty-five years of age.

The following special conditions apply to nominated domestics:—

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

A person nominated as a domestic must have attained the age of eighteen years and be under the age of forty years.

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

Passages at reduced rates will not be granted to unhealthy persons. 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.

As their respective Governments do not subscribe to the provisions of the Empire Settlement Act, 1922, residents of the Irish Free State of the Channel Islands (except Guernsey) are not eligible for nomination. As far as Ireland is concerned, only residents of the following counties are eligible for nomination, viz.: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone.

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, 1923, is 187,117, 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.

  2. (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.)

  3. 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.

  4. (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.

  5. (3.) Idiots or insane persons.

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. (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.

  10. (7.) Persons who nave 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.

  11. (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 and residence; and place of birth of himself and parents.


The British Nationality and Status of Aliens (in New Zealand) Act of 1923, which came into operation on the 13th May, 1924, and the regulations made thereunder, provide that an alien friend residing in New Zealand may apply to the Minister of Internal Affairs setting forth—

  1. (a.) His name, age, birthplace, residence, occupation, and nationality;

  2. (b.) The length of his residence in New Zealand, and his desire to settle therein, either permanently or for a limited period, stating such limited period (if any);

  3. (c.) A request that a certificate of naturalization may be granted to him. If the Minister is satisfied—

  1. (a.) That the applicant has either resided within New Zealand for a period of not less than three years, or has been in the service of the Crown in any part of His Majesty's dominions for not less than five years within the last eight years; and

  2. (b.) That the applicant is of good character and has an adequate knowledge of the English language; and

  3. (c.) That the applicant intends, if his application is granted, to continue to reside in His Majesty's dominions, or to enter, or continue in, the service of the Crown; and

  4. (d.) That in all other respects the applicant is a person fit to hold and exercise the rights of a British subject in New Zealand—

  5. he may, in his absolute discretion, give or withhold the certificate as he thinks most conducive to the public good, and no appeal shall lie from his decision.

The Act also applies to the Cook Islands and to Western Samoa in the same manner in all respects as if those territories were for all purposes part of New Zealand, but the power to grant certificates of naturalization in these cases is vested in the Governor-General, and in the case of a person resident in the Cook Islands shall be exercised on the recommendation of the Minister for the Cook Islands, and in the case of a person resident in Western Samoa shall be exercised on the recommendation of the Minister of External Affairs.

The Minister of Internal Affairs is required to enrol for safe custody a duplicate of all certificates of naturalization issued under the Act.

Acquisition by any person of the status of a British subject by naturalization granted in the United Kingdom, or in any of the Dominions, colonies, possessions, or territories of His Majesty other than New Zealand, shall not be deemed to have conferred, and shall not confer upon such person the status of a British subject in New Zealand.

The regulations made by Order in Council dated 13th May, 1924, prescribe the following fees:—

Certificate of naturalization issued to a woman who was a British subject previous to her marriage with an alien050
Certificate of naturalization granted to any person who served with any New Zealand Expeditionary Force or with any Imperial Force or Allied Force in the Great War050
Certificate of naturalization granted to a native of the islands of Western Samoa026
Certificate 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
The registration of a declaration of alienage0100
Certified copy of any declaration or certificate0100

The Minister of Internal Affairs is empowered to revoke a certificate of naturalization that has been obtained by false representation or fraud, or by concealment of material circumstances, or where the person to whom a certificate is granted has shown himself by act or speech to be disaffected or disloyal to His Majesty. The Governor-General in Council is also empowered to revoke a certificate of naturalization where he is satisfied that this course is advisable, either generally in the public interest or for special reasons affecting the person to whom such certificate has been granted. The duty and discretion imposed and conferred upon the Minister and upon the Governor-General in Council are declared to be absolute, and no order of the Minister or Order in Council therein shall be questioned in any Court or by any proceeding on any ground whatsoever.

During the year 1923, letters of naturalization in New Zealand were granted to 290 persons of the following nationalities:—

Previous Nationality.Males.Females.Totals.

*Includes one previously naturalized in Australia as a British subject.

United States9..9



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. The figures are exclusive of Maoris.

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, 1924; the population (inclusive of Maoris) of the North Island was 841,569, and that of the South Island 506,284, and with Maoris excluded, North Island 789,760, and South Island 504,143. A feature of recent years has been the steady drift of South Island residents to the North Island.


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, 1924, are as follows:—

Provincial District.Census Population (excluding Maoris).Estimate, 1st April, 1924.
1891.1901.1911.1921.Excluding Maoris.Including Maoris.
Hawke's Bay28,50635,42448,54660,92564,27867,347
 Otago portion116,088125,341132,402136,880142,228142,415
 Southland portion37,00947,80458,72862,14765,05165,349

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.


On 1st April, 1924, somewhat over one-third (37 per cent.) of the population of the Dominion (excluding Maoris) was included in the four principal urban areas—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—and nearly one-half (50.21 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 boroughs. 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.

Boroughs and Town Districts with Populations of1924.1901.
Number of Boroughs, &c.Population.Per Cent. ofNumber of Boroughs, &c.Population.Per Cent. of
Urban Population.Total Population.Urban Population.Total Population.
Over 50,0004323,88440.7825.03........
Under 1,0008041,2165.193.186335,8829.774.64

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 over 50 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.Boroughs, &c., of over 10,000.Boroughs, &c., of 2,500-10,000.Boroughs, &c., of under 2,500.Total Population of Boroughs, &c.Remainder of Population.
Hawke's Bay115,235213,98599,11638,33625,942
 Otago portion160,855316,3651916,84594,06548,163
 Southland portion116,34013,775109,52029,63535,416

New Zealand is not alone in experiencing the modern tendency towards urban aggregation: it is, in fact, occurring in almost all countries. Accurate data on this point are 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.
Urban Area.Population (excluding Maoris).

*Constituted a city from 1st July, 1924.

Auckland City87,792
  Birkenhead Borough2,715
  Northcote Borough2,220
  Takapuna Borough4,785
  Devonport Borough9,480
  Avondale Borough3,700
  Newmarket Borough3,140
  Mount Eden Borough10,050
  Mount Albert Borough13,320
  Onehunga Borough7,800
  Otahuhu Borough3,080
  New Lynn Town District1,740
  Ellerslie Town District1,880
  Remainder of urban area (including portions of Henderson and Glen Eden Town Districts)15,173
Wellington City94,340
  Lower Hutt Borough6,370
  Petone Borough8,480
  Eastbourne Borough1,660
  Johnsonville Town District1,075
  Remainder of urban area2,585
Christchurch City80,897
  Riccarton Borough4,265
  New Brighton Borough4,780
  Sumner Borough3,235
  Lyttelton Borough3,850
  Remainder of urban area18,333
Dunedin City60,855
  St. Kilda Borough6,610
  Green Island Borough2,015
  West Harbour Borough1,750
  Port Chalmers Borough2,610
  Remainder of urban area1,915
Hamilton Borough13,620
  Remainder of urban area2,500
Gisborne Borough13,351
  Mangapapa Town District180
  Remainder of urban area1,834
Napier Borough15,235
  Taradale Town District1,035
  Remainder of urban area1,935
Hastings Borough0,975
  Havelock North Town District1,245
  Remainder of urban area2,815
New Plymouth. 
New Plymouth Borough13,090
  Remainder of urban area1,320
Wanganui Borough*22,820
  Remainder of urban area2,165
Palmerston North. 
Palmerston North Borough17,025
  Remainder of urban area1,285
Nelson City9,960
  Tahunanui Town District535
  Remainder of urban area905
Timaru Borough15,230
  Remainder of urban area1,480
Invercargill Borough16,340
  South Invercargill Borough1,960
  Remainder of urban area2,220


(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 Islands4,4704,470
Great Barrier235235
Hauraki Plains3,2153,215
Hawke's Bay11,95539,445
Waimate West2,4303,075
Wairarapa South3,0704,805
South Island—  
Mount Herbert460460
Chatham Islands220220
Stewart Island445445
  Grand total504,6041,287,123
Borough.Population (excluding Maoris).

*Proclaimed a city from 1st July, 1924.

North Island— 
Auckland (City)87,792
Mount Eden16,050
Mount Albert13,320
Te Awamutu1,755
Te Kuiti2,355
Te Aroha2,290
New Plymouth13,090
Palmerston North17,025
Lower Hutt6,370
Wellington (City)94,340
South Island— 
Nelson (City)9,960
Christchurch (City)80,897
New Brighton4,780
Port Chalmers2,610
West Harbour1,750
Dunedin (City)60,855
St. Kilda6,610
Green Island2,015
South Invercargill1,960
  Grand total749,209
Town District.Population (excluding Maoris).
(a.) Town Districts not forming Parts of Counties.
North Island— 
Glen Eden650
New Lynn1,740
Te Puke915
Havelock North1,245
Upper Hutt1,730
South Island— 
Pleasant Point570
  Grand total33,310
(b.) Town Districts forming Parts of Counties
North Island— 
Te Karaka315
South Island 
  Grand total11,741


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 at the census of 17th April, 1921, is here given. In each case the population quoted covers not only the township proper or the centre of the locality but also the immediate vicinity.

Flat Creek538
Te Kopuru667
Te Rapa517


Adjacent to the main Islands are many smaller islands, some of which are of considerable area, and are under cultivation: others are but islets used as sites for lighthouses, while others again are barren and unfitted for human habitation. Some of these islands are included within the boundaries of counties, and their populations are included in the county figures. The following adjacent islands not attached to any county were inhabited at the census of 1921:—

Island.Population (excluding Maoris).
Little Barrier134
Great Mercury2..2
East Cape5510
Long Island2..2


The total area of the Dominion of New Zealand, including Cook and other annexed islands, is 103,861 square miles. Omitting the annexed islands and certain uninhabited outlying islands, the area of the land-mass remaining is 103,285 square miles. This calculation, it should be explained, includes all inland waters.

Using the latter figure as a base, the density of population may be quoted as 12.53 persons to the square mile, or, if Maoris be included, 13.05 persons to the square mile.

A truer statement of average density can be ascertained by applying not the total area as used above, but subtracting the area occupied by rivers, lakes, roads, State forests, higher portions of mountain-ranges, &c. The remaining area, amounting to about 84,500 square miles, which may be considered as the total inhabitable or usable land, carries a population of approximately 15 (or, including Maoris, 16) persons to the square mile.

Reverting to the area first used above, as being the one in common use for this purpose, the progress of development is illustrated in the appended statement:—

Persons to Square Mile.
Excluding Maoris.Including Maoris.

Of interest also is the relative distribution of the population, and to this end the density is quoted for provincial districts as at 31st March, 1924:—

Provincial District.Persons per Square Mile.
Excluding Maoris.Including Maoris.
Hawke's Bay15.1615.88
Otago—Otago portion10.1910.20
 Southland portion5.725.75

The South Island provinces, it should be noted, contain on an average much more mountainous country than those of the North Island.

The various cities, boroughs, and town districts in New Zealand occupy a total of approximately 513 square miles. Considering their population as "urban," the urban population has a density of 1,548.27 per square mile, and the rural population a density of 4.86 per square mile.

A useful comparison is possible with various countries from the succeeding table. Inasmuch, however, as the geographical character of countries varies, the real density may differ largely from the nominal.

 Persons per Square Mile.

*Inclusive of Maoris.

New Zealand13.05*
Union of South Africa14.63
United States35.55
United Kingdom388.94


While not directly constituting a division of population statistics, the subject of buildings, and in particular housing, is so closely cognate to it that it must be treated under the same head. Fuller statistical treatment of building operations from various aspects is presented in the Census volume on "Dwellings," and in the "Annual Statistical Report on Population and Buildings."

According to the census enumerations of 1916 and of 1921 the number of inhabited dwellings, exclusive of those occupied by Maoris, was—

 Census, 1916.Census, 1921.
Private dwelling229,423250,074
Tenement in private dwelling8,6439,973
Religious institution118127
Educational institution147144
Charitable institution95119

The number of persons per inhabited building in 1916 was 4.52, and in 1921 was 4.57. Considering only inhabited private dwellings and tenements, the figures are— 1916, 4.25; 1921, 4.27.

Building statistics are now collected annually for all cities, boroughs, and town districts. A summary of building permits issued for the last three years is quoted.

Private dwellings,—   
 New buildings—   
 Value of alterations and additions£421,705£435,620£783,864
Business premises,—   
 New buildings—   
 Value of alterations and additions£190,576£364,006£456,229
Total, including other buildings,—   
 New buildings—   
 Value of alterations and additions£680,178£977,242£1,437,546

The average value of private dwellings erected was £725 in 1921-22, £788 in 1922-23, and £811 in 1923-24. For business premises corresponding figures are £987 (1921-22), £1,546 (1922-23), and £1,818 (1923-24). A general improvement in the amount of building undertaken is noticeable. It should not be forgotten that the above figures refer to building permits, and probably slightly exceed the number of buildings actually erected.

In reference to the severe housing shortage which has prevailed for some years it is worthy of notice that the houses for which permits were issued during the year ended 31st March 1924, would, at 4.27 persons per house, provide accommodation for approximately 27,500 people. The actual increase in the total population of cities, boroughs, and town districts during the year is estimated at 17,350. Some 1,150 of this total, however, represented absorptions of rural districts by extensions of boundaries, &c., so that the real increase may be stated as 16,200. It would seem from the foregoing that the shortage is to some extent being alleviated. Allowance must be made for houses destroyed by fire or otherwise demolished, and also for a small percentage of cases where houses were not built although permits were obtained.


A census of the Maori population is taken every five years, the information being obtained by the collectors either directly or through the chief or head of the tribe or hapu. The name, sex, and age, so far as can be ascertained, of each Maori are entered; but, owing to the nomadic habits of the race and lack of definite knowledge in some particulars, it has been a difficult task in the past. The results of the last seven enumerations are as follows:—

Census Year.Males.Females.Total.

While it is probable that in the earlier years covered by the table there was a slight understatement of numbers, yet a comparison of the figures for the last three or four censuses establishes the fact that the Maori race retains its virility and is on the increase. The position is the more satisfactory in that it presents an almost unique spectacle of a Native race living with a white race of overwhelmingly superior numbers and yet able to preserve its own individuality and strength.

Further evidence on the subject is borne by the following table, which shows the increasing proportion of children under fifteen years of age:—

Census Year.Males.Females.
Under 15.Over 15.Under 15.Over 15.

The number of half-castes is given in the next table for seven census periods. Those under the first heading are included in the Maori totals, the others being classed among the European population. It is a matter of some difficulty to ascertain the number of half-castes living as Maoris. There has been no definite rule to guide collectors in deciding when a half-caste should be classified as living as a Maori—indeed, it might be said that all the half-castes and a large proportion of the Maoris in the South Island live in European fashion. They mostly have separate holdings of land and separate homes, and have adopted the habits of the Europeans. At the censuses of 1916 and 1921 the old method of enumerating the South Island Maoris was discarded, the same methods and forms being utilized as for the European population. By the census of 1926 it is hoped that much of the necessity for distinction between the two races will have disappeared.

Census Year.Half-castes.Total.
Living as Members of Maori Tribes.Living as and among Europeans.

Estimates of the Maori population are now prepared quarterly, and a summary of recent data is quoted below:—

Maori population as at 31st December, 192328,39025,41053,800
Maori population as at 31st March, 192428,45025,50053,950
Mean Maori population, 192328,31325,32953,642
Mean Maori population, 1923-2428,35325,37753,730


During the year 1901 the boundaries of the Dominion were extended to include the Cook Group and certain other of the South Pacific islands. No record of the population of these islands was then obtainable, but at each subsequent census a record of various particulars was obtained. In April, 1921, the population was 13,209, of whom 12,849 were Natives. The figures for each census from 1906 onwards are as follows:—

Census Year.Males.Females.Total.

As in the case of Maoris, quarterly estimates of population are now prepared for the Cook Islands. Figures for the last year are—

Cook Islands and Northern Group.Niue.
Population at 31st December, 19235,0904,6409,7301,7752,0013,776
Mean population, 19235,0394,5959,6341,7692,0103,779
Population at 31st March, 19245,1004,6509,7501,7852,0073,792
Mean population, 1923-245,0624,6159,6771,7732,0093,782


At the census of 17th April, 1921, the population of the mandated territory of Western Samoa was 37,157, made up as follows:—

European population1,1289382,066
Native Samoan population16,79516,54133,336
Chinese indentured-contract labour1,290..1,290
Melanesian and Polynesian indentured-contract labour4569465

It should be explained that what is for the sake of convenience called the "European" population includes also those Chinese, South-Sea-Islanders, &c., who are not indentured-contract labourers.

A proper comparison with previous enumerations is not possible, owing to indentured-contract labour not having been included in these. A census taken in July, 1917, showed the European population to then number 1,927, and the native Samoans 35,404. The latter have not yet fully recovered from the losses of the disastrous influenza epidemic of 1918-19.

Quarterly estimates of population are also prepared for the mandated territory of Western Samoa. Figures for the year 1923–24 are appended.

Population, 31st December, 1923.Population, 31st March, 1924.
European and half-castes1,1759492,1241,1899422,131
Samoan natives17,15716,64333,80017,29516,76334,058
Chinese indentured labour951..951938..938
Chinese non-indentured labour16..1629..29
Melanesian and Polynesian indentured labour20352081711172
Mean population of Western Samoa19,79217,51337,305
Mean population of Western Samoa, 1923-2419,70817,55837,200


Table of Contents



REGISTRATION of births in New Zealand dates as far back as 1847, in which year was passed a Registration Ordinance which made provision for a record of births and deaths being kept by the State. Under this Ordinance many registrations were effected, some of births as far back as 1840. Compulsory registration did not, however, come into force until 1855.

The earlier Registration Acts and their amendments provided for very little information being given in the case of births, the register containing merely date and place of birth, name and sex of child, names of father and mother, and occupation of father. In 1875, however, a new Registration Act was passed, under which information was recorded as to ages and birthplaces of parents, and in 1912 the sexes and ages of previous issue of the marriage were added to the items required to be shown in the birth entry.

The law as to registration of births is now embodied in the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 08, and the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Acts, 1912 and 1915. The provisions generally as to registration are that a birth may be registered within sixty-two days without fee. After sixty-two days and within six months a birth is registrable only after solemn declaration made before the Registrar by the parent or some person present at birth, and on payment of a late fee of 5s., which may, however, be remitted at the discretion of the Registrar-General. When six months have elapsed a birth cannot be registered except within one month after conviction of one of the responsible parties for neglect. But an information for such neglect must be laid within two years of date of birth. Registration of still-births, previously not provided for, was made compulsory by section 4 of the Amendment Act of 1912, which came into force on the 1st March, 1913.

Although sixty-two days are allowed for the registration of a birth, it is compulsory to notify the birth to the Registrar within a much shorter interval—viz., forty-eight hours if in a city or borough, and twenty-one days in every other case.


In the successive Registration Acts special provision was made for exemption from the necessity of registration in the case of births and deaths of Maoris, though registration could be effected if desired. Section 20 of the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act, 1912, however, empowered the making of regulations to provide for the registration of births and deaths of Maoris. Regulations were made accordingly, and Maori births and deaths became registrable as from the 1st March, 1913. The number of Registrars of Maori Births and Deaths in the Dominion is over 200, most of these being in the North Island, where the great majority of the Maori population is located. Every Native settlement of any size is within easy reach of one of these Registrars. Maori registrations are entered in a separate register, and the figures of births given in the following pages do not include those of Maoris, which are dealt with towards the end of this subsection.


The number of births registered in 1923 (27,967) is 1,039 less than the total for 1922, and only 32 in excess of the figure for 1913, in spite of an increase of over 200,000 in population during the ten years. The rate per 1,000 of mean population (21.94) is lower than in any preceding year, with the solitary exception of 1919, the rate for which was adversely affected by conditions brought about by the war.

The numbers and rates of births in each of the last twenty years are as follows:—

Year.Number.Rate per 1,000.

There is a noticeable fall in the rate in the later years of the period covered by the table, as compared with the earlier. This fall, however, is small when compared with the tremendous decline between the "seventies" and "nineties" disclosed by the following diagram, which shows also the course of the rates of deaths, natural increase, and marriages from 1855 to 1923:—

The effect of the declining birth-rate is shown in the following table giving the numbers of children under one year of age and the proportions which those numbers represent in the total population as recorded in past census years:—

 Total Population (all Ages).Children under One Year.Children under One Year per 1,000 of Population.
Census 1886578,48218,35531.73
Census 1891626,65816,44326.24
Census 1896703,36017,07024.27
Census 1901772,71918,38123.79
Census 1906888,57822,28925.08
Census 19111,008,46824,34024.14
Census 19161,099,44927,02124.57
Census 19211,218,91327,26422.37


The decline of the birth-rate in New Zealand has been partially compensated for by a decrease in the death-rate. Nevertheless the rate of natural increase of population has fallen from 31.19 per 1,000 of mean population in 1870 to 12.91 in 1923. The following table shows the fall in all three rates:—

Period.Annual Rates per 1,000 living.
Births.Deaths.Natural Increase.

The particularly low rate of natural increase for the quinquennium 1916-20 is largely due to the abnormally but accountably low birth-rates in 1918 and 1919, combined with the heavy toll of deaths exacted by the influenza epidemic of 1918.

In spite of the fact that the birth-rate in New Zealand is low compared with other countries, yet so low is the Dominion's death-rate that New Zealand ranks high among the nations as regards the rate of natural increase.

The rates of births and of natural increase for the principal countries for which recent statistics are available are as follows:—

Country.Quinquennium.Annual Rates per 1,000.
Births.Natural Increase.

*Registration area.

South Africa1919-2327.617.1
New Zealand1919-2323.013.8
United States*1917-2123.99.9
England & Wales1919.2321.38.8
Northern Ireland1918-2223.15.9


For twenty years prior to 1885 the New Zealand birth-rate was higher than that of Australia, but in that year the positions were reversed, and except for the seven years 1903-9 the Australian rate has been somewhat higher than that of New Zealand. It is interesting to note that the rates of the two countries have shown practically the same movement, New Zealand, however, reaching in 1899, and Australia not till four years later, the temporary limit of the rapid fall which had been steadily in progress since the "seventies." In each country the check in the decline of the birth-rate was succeeded by a moderate but steady rise for ten years, followed by a fall commencing in New Zealand in 1909 and in Australia in 1913, an interval of four years again separating the movements of the two countries. The movement over the last ten years is us follows:—

New South Wales28.9628.3327.5327.5526.1124.2726.0925.9325.6724.68
South Australia29.3326.8126.8425.6225.1623.6224.7224.0823.7122.60
Western Australia28.4527.9727.3725.7623.0621.6824.6923.3923.9422.55
New Zealand25.9925.3325.9425.6923.4421.4225.0923.3423.1721.94


It is of interest to note the quarterly fluctuations in the numbers of births registered. Some fairly sharp movements are disclosed by the figures for the last ten years, the most noticeable being the sudden increase (consequent on the termination of the war) from 5,832 in the third quarter of 1919 to 6,454 in the fourth quarter of that year and 7,522 in the first quarter of the next year. The quarterly figures for each of the last ten years are—

Year.Quarter ended
31st March.30th June.30th September.31st December

The extreme range of quarterly totals over the ten years is from 5,832 in the third quarter of 1919 to 7,684 in the third quarter of 1920. The first-mentioned figure represented an annual rate of 20.15 per 1,000, and the second an annual rate of 25.56.


Urban areas have been created at each of the four chief centres and at ten of the more important secondary centres, each area including in addition to the central borough and any suburban boroughs a considerable non-municipalized area adjacent to and contingent on the centre. The creation of these areas allows of vital and other statistics being compiled over a series of years for a definite area with fixed boundaries, and obviates the disabilities formerly arising from frequent alterations of boundaries of boroughs. The birth statistics of urban areas for each of the last five years are as follows:—

Urban Area.Number of Births.Rate per 1,000 of Mean Population.

*Not available.

†Excluding Hamilton and Hastings.

 Totals of principal areas7,6839,6219,0439,0628,82819.6822.5120.4119.7418.85
New Plymouth26539032033931227.0535.2725.3125.0922.40
Palmerston North32740240540338523.3526.2523.9923.0221.62
 Totals of secondary areas2,644 3,243 3,018 3,7533,59223.47 26.06 23.21 23.1021.62
 Grand totals10,327 12,864 12,81512,8112,42020.53 23.31 21.04 20.6219.58

In most countries it is found that the cities and larger towns have a somewhat higher birth-rate than the general average of the country, owing largely if not entirely to the natural tendency for people in the country districts to avail themselves of the better medical and nursing facilities provided in the population centres. In New Zealand, however, the effect of this on the birth-rates of the urban areas is obviated by information as to the domicile of the parents being obtained in the case of all births registered in the areas, and the births allocated accordingly. The result is to give for each of the four principal areas a birth-rate somewhat lower than the Dominion average. The average rate for the ten secondary areas, however, varies little from that of the Dominion as a whole.


An examination of the figures shows that, with the exception of one year, there has always been a preponderance of males in the number of children born in New Zealand. The proportions are usually shown by stating the number of births of male children to every 1,000 female births. This number has been as high as 1,113 (in 1859), and as low as 991 (in 1860). The year 1923 had an exceptionally high proportion of male births—viz., 1,081 for every 1,000 female births.

But little significance can be attached to any figures prior to 1870, on account of the comparatively small number of births. The period preceding 1870 exhibits violent fluctuations in the proportion of males, which tend to disappear as the total of births grows larger. The extreme range since 1870 has been from 1,016 male per 1,000 female births in 1878 to 1,081 in 1923.

The number of births and their sex-proportion for twenty years are given below:—

Year.Number of Births ofProportion of Births of Males to every 1,000 Females.

The gradual increase in the proportion of males born is illustrated by taking the average ratios of successive decennial periods. The apparent cessation in the decrease, as shown by the figures for the eight-year period 1916-23, as compared with the preceding decennium is due to the low masculinity recorded in the last two war years, when (it may be remarked in passing) the proportion of first births to total births was abnormally low.

Period.Male Births to 1,000 Females.

*Eight years.


It would appear that the proportion of males is somewhat higher for first births than for the general average of all children. Of 34,815 first births registered during the four years 1920-23 (excluding plural births), 18,133 were of males and 16,682 of females, the proportion of males per 1,000 females being 1,087. The high proportion does not appear to be due to the youth of the mothers, there being a lower rate in cases where the mother was between the ages of twenty and twenty-five than where the mother was between twenty-five and thirty-five. It should be added that in some of the groups the results for the four years, taken separately, do not altogether coincide.

The figures for various age-groups for the four years in conjunction are as follows:—

Age of Mother, in Years.Males.Females.Males per 1,000 Females.
Under 201,1341,0091,124
20 and under 256,7576,3761,060
25 and under 306,1815,5801,108
30 and under 352,7832,5041,111
35 and under 401,0129651,049
40 and over2662481,073

In the four years covered there were 333 plural first births, and in 133 cases the children were both males, in 99 both females, and in the remaining 101 of opposite sex. Triplets (all females) were recorded for one first birth during the period.

Further light on the question of sexes of children may be thrown by some figures extracted from the records of births registered in the five years 1919-23 in cases where the child was shown to be the fourth-born of a family in which the three previously born children were still living. In New Zealand the birth entries give particulars of numbers and sexes of previous issue of the parents, with the ages of the living issue, and the following interesting statement showing the sex-nativity order up to the fourth child has been compiled. Families in which plural births occurred among the first four children have been excluded.

First-born.Second-born.Third-born.Fourth-born.Number of Cases.

Of the 11,334 families covered, in 5,919 the first child was a male and in 5,415 a female, the number of males per 1,000 females being thus 1,095. This proportion is considerably reduced for subsequent births, the figures being as follows:—

Child.Males.Females.Males per 1,000 Females.

It is interesting to note that not only are males in preponderance among first-born, but also that in cases where the first-born is a male there appears to be a greater probability of the second child being a male also. Where the first-born is a female, however, the second child appears to have a more even prospect as to sex.

The numbers dealt with are small, and too much weight cannot be attached to the proportions. It is significant, however, that the figures of first-borns registered in the four years 1920-23, and those of first-borns in cases where the fourth child of the family was registered in the last five years, give almost identical results, and the two sets of figures taken in conjunction support the conclusion that there is a higher masculinity rate among first-born children than among later issue.

The conclusion arrived at by these figures, so far as they go, would serve to explain the increasing masculinity of births in successive decennia referred to above, when it is remembered that the average number of children to a family has fallen heavily during the period, and the proportion of first-born children correspondingly increased.

The sex-proportions of illegitimate births are generally supposed to be more nearly equal than those of legitimate births. Although little reliance can be placed on the figures for New Zealand by reason of the small numbers represented, it may be stated that the average for the period 1911-20 was 1,011 males per 1,000 females —a rate considerably lower than that for all births (1,053) for the same period. The proportions in 1922 (1,089) and 1923 (1,156), however, were much higher than the proportions for all births.


Counting only cases where both children were born alive, there were 289 cases of twin births (578 children) registered in 1923. There were also three cases of triplets.

The number of children born alive was 27,967; the number of mothers was 27,672: thus, on an average, one mother in every 95 gave birth to twins (or triplets), against one in 87 in 1922, one in 80 in 1921, and one in 81 in 1920.

The number of cases of multiple births and the proportion per 1,000 of the total cases of births during the last ten years were—

Year.Total Births.Total Cases.Cases of Twins.Cases of Triplets.Multiple Cases per 1,000 of Total Cases.

*Including one case of quadruplets.


The following table shows the sexes in individual cases of twin births for the last ten years:—

Year.Total Cases.Both Males.Both Females.Opposite Sexes.

During the ten years 1914-23 there were twenty-three cases of triplets. In three cases all three children were males, in six cases all were females, in two cases there were two males and one female, and in each of the remaining twelve cases two of the three children were females. There occurred in 1919 one case of quadruplets, all male children.


Information as to the relative ages of parents of legitimate living children whose births were registered in 1923 is shown in the following table:—

Age of Mother, in Years.Age of Father, in Years.
Under 21.21 and under 25.25 and under 30.30 and under 35.35 and under 40.40 and under 45.45 and under 50.50 and under 55.55 and under 6565 and over.Total.

*Including thirty cases where plural births would have been registered had not one child been still-born.

Single Births.
15 and under 1611................2
16 and under 1751022............19
17 and under 181430196..1........70
18 and under 1930815316711......189
19 and under 20351751163314313....380
20 and under 2133224205612262..1..554
21 and under 25561,1652,1301,003353992862..4,842
25 and under 3064402,9362,6891,3353901283412..7,970
30 and under 35..455202,3342,120925250782636,301
35 and under 40..9714001,5871,2655471716464,120
40 and under 45....5291886634261776671,561
45 and under 46......28..29165161
46 and under 47........2101382136
47 and under 48..........2962..19
48 and under 49............252110
49 and under 50..........1....1..2
Multiple Births.
20 and under 21....22....1......5
21 and under 25..77451........24
25 and under 30..627261441..1..79
30 and under 35....42928181....181
35 and under 40......92920532..68
40 and under 45....11181131..26
47 and under 48............1......1
  Grand totals1802,1956,0986,6425,7073,4261,4555101872026,420

An indication of the direct effect on the birth-rate caused by the loss of men in the war is obtained by a comparison of the above figures with similarly compiled figures for 1912, the first year for which such statistics are available. A summary is here given, showing for the two years the age-groups of the fathers and mothers of legitimate children whose births were registered in the respective years. Multiple births are counted once only.

Under 21811801,1071,219
21 and under 251,6062,1954,5474,866
25 and under 306,4526,0988,1668,049
30 and under 357,5106,6426,8206,382
35 and under 405,4575,7073,8884,188
40 and over4,9005,5981,4781,716

A study of the individual age-groups shows in the case of the fathers considerable decreases at ages 25 to 30 and 30 to 35, the groups which at present are more particularly affected by the loss of men in the war. All other groups, however, show fairly substantial increases, amounting in the aggregate to 1,636, or 13.57 per cent., as compared with an increase of only 1.59 per cent, if all births are taken into account. The mean population for 1923 showed an increase of 22.67 per cent. over that for 1912.

It would appear that the considerable decrease in the birth-rate in the later year as compared with the earlier is partly accounted for by the loss of young men in the war, and to a less extent in the influenza epidemic. It should be added that even in the age-groups which show increases war and epidemic losses have tended to restrict these increases, while, on the other hand, the post-war tendency, referred to in the next subsection, for men to marry younger would normally act in the opposite direction.


Information as to the previous issue of the parents is now required in connection with the registration of births. Tables are given showing for the year 1923 information as to number of previous issue in conjunction with (1) age of mother, and (2) duration of marriage.

LEGITIMATE BIRTHS REGISTERED, 1923.(a.) Age of Mother and Number of Previous Issue.
Age of Mother.Number of Previous Issue.Totals. and under 10.10 and under 15.15 and over.

*This number represents 26,136 single cases and 284 multiple cases.

15 and under 162................2
16 and under 1719................19
17 and under 18691..............70
18 and under 1916524..............189
19 and under 203135971..........380
20 and under 21398132272..........559
21 and under 252,6271,5225331532731....4,866
25 and under 302,6062,5541,55574434915685....8,049
30 and under 351,1701,4941,27190467339246711..6,382
35 and under 4048258266063148943481199..4,188
40 and under 4511313718518619316448612121,587
45 and under 46143579256161
46 and under 4723433794136
47 and under 48..1..44155..20
48 and under 491..........53110
49 and under 501..........1....2
(b.) Duration of Marriage and Number of Previous Issue.
Duration of Marriage, in Years.Number of Previous Issue.Totals. and under 10.10 and under 15.15 and over.

*This number represents 26,136 single cases and 284 multiple cases.

Under 13,8924..............3,896
1 and under 22,19586115............3,071
2 and under 39092,1662193..........3,297
3 and under 44521,496778493........2,778
4 and under 514970476216491......1,789
5 and under 61023595383033941....1,346
6 and under 766282398360115132....1,236
7 and under 862235425380208469....1,365
8 and under 9411363202922548437....1,164
9 and under 10278321625023715052....1,015
10 and under 155516147064664961481513..3,423
15 and under 20162598166205217764123..1,614
20 and under 25316202336200973389
25 and over........311516237

The next table gives information as to the number of previous issue of parents of living legitimate children whose births were registered during each of the last eight years:—

Number of Previous Issue.1916.1917.1918.1919.1920.1921.1922.1923.

*Excluding five cases where previous issue not stated.



Of a total of 132,059 legitimate births registered during the five years 1919-23, no fewer than 40,588, or nearly 31 per cent., were of first-born children, and of these 20,299, or 50 per cent., were born within twelve months, and 31,722, or 78 per cent., within two years after the marriage of the parents. In the remaining 22 per cent. of cases where there was any issue to the marriage two years elapsed before the birth of the first child.

The number of first births and the proportion of these to total births vary considerably from year to year in sympathy with variations in the annual number of marriages. The proportions of first births occurring within the first and second years after marriage, however, have shown remarkably little variation since the cessation of the war. The figures for each of the last five years are—

Year.Total Legitimate Cases.Total Legitimate First Cases.Proportion of First Cases to Total Cases.First Cases within One Year after Marriage.First Cases within Two Years after Marriage.
Number.Proportion to Total First Cases.Number.Proportion to Total First Cases
   Per Cent. Per Cent. Per Cent.
Total for five years132,05940,58830.7320,29950.0131,72278.10

In the next table the figures of first births within one year after the marriage of the parents are dissected into monthly periods:—

Duration of Marriage.1919.1920.1921.1922.1923.
Under 1 month5269827886
1 month and under 2 months9812514010493
2 months and under 3 months101167177144171
3 months and under 4 months125220228244227
4 months and under 5 months161295253255266
5 months and under 6 months202347341319374
6 months and under 7 months258445456413401
7 months and under 8 months222377370364317
8 months and under 9 months238407382340277
9 months and under 10 months469859979762674
10 months and under 11 months397802804654568
11 months and under 12 months314571668529438
  Total under 12 months2,6374,6844,8804,2063,892
  Total 12 months and over2,8024,5604,5074,3434,077
  Grand totals5,4399,2449,3878,5497,969

The great majority of the children born between the seventh and ninth month of marriage are obviously prematurely-born infants. Omitting these, and assuming that all infants born alive within seven months after marriage have been extra-maritally conceived, it would appear that during the five years, out of a total of 40,588 first-born children, 7,517, or 18 1/2 per cent., were extra-maritally conceived.

During the five years the births of 6,255 illegitimate children were registered, and if these are all regarded as first births (which is not the case) a total of 13,772 extra-marital conceptions is recorded, which represents nearly 29 1/2 per cent. of the total of legitimate first births, plus illegitimate births. The figures for each of the last five years are—

Year.Total Legitimate First Births.Illegitimate Births.Legitimate Births within Seven Months after Marriage.Proportion of Legitimate First Births within Seven Months after Marriage.Proportion of Extra-marital Conceptions to Total of Legitimate First Births and Illegitimate Births.
    Per Cent.Per Cent.
Totals for 5 years40,5886,2557,51718.5229.40

The corresponding percentages for Australia in the year 1922 were slightly higher than those for New Zealand, 19 1/2 per cent. of legitimate first births occurring within seven months after marriage, and 30 1/2 per cent. of all first births being either illegitimate or within seven months after marriage. The New Zealand figures for 1923, however, were higher than either the Australian or New Zealand percentages for 1922.


The births of 1,260 children (676 males, 584 females) registered in 1923 were illegitimate: thus 45 in every 1,000 children registered were born out of wedlock, a proportion somewhat higher than that ruling during 1921 and 1922, but lower than that for the four years preceding 1921.

The numbers for each of the last ten years, with the percentages they bear to the total births registered, are as follows:—

Year.Number.Percentage to Total Births.Year.Number.Percentage to Total Births.

Included in the total of 1,260 illegitimate births in 1923 were 8 cases of twins, the number of accouchements being thus 1,252. From the following table it will be seen that of the 1,252 mothers, 415, or 33 per cent., were under twenty-one years of age

Years. Years. Years. 

The proportion of illegitimate births per 1,000 unmarried women—i.e., spinsters, widows, and divorced women — at the reproductive ages, covering a period of thirty years, is shown in the following table:—

Year.Unmarried Women aged 15-45 Years.Illegitimate Births.Illegitimate-birth Rate per 1,000 Unmarried Women.

The rates of illegitimacy in Australia and New Zealand are quoted. The average rate for New Zealand for the ten years (4.43 per 100 of all births) compares favourably with that of the Commonwealth (5.01 per 100).

Year.Queensland.New South Wales.Victoria.South Australia.Western Australia.Tasmania.Commonwealth.New Zealand.


An important Act was passed in 1894 and re-enacted in 1908, intituled the Legitimation Act. Under this Act any child born out of wedlock, whose parents afterwards intermarry, is deemed to be legitimized by such marriage on the birth being registered in the manner prescribed by the Act. For legitimation purposes Registrars must register a birth when called upon to do so by any person claiming to be the father of an illegitimate child; but such person is required to make a solemn declaration that he is the father, and must also produce the evidence of his marriage to the mother of the child. Registration thus become the test of legitimacy.

Prior to the passing, on the 6th February, 1922, of the Legitimation Amendment Act, 1921-22, legitimation could be effected only if at the time of the birth of the child there existed no legal impediment to the marriage of the father and mother, but the legal-impediment proviso was repealed by that amendment.

The amendment of 1921-22 also provides for legitimation by the mother in the event of the death of the father after the intermarriage of the parents. In such a case the application for legitimation is heard by a Magistrate, and upon his certifying that it has been proved to his satisfaction that the husband of the applicant was the father of the child, the child is registered as the lawful issue of the applicant and her husband.

The following is the number of legitimations in each year, and the total to 1923, since the Act of 1894 came into force:—

Number of Children legitimized.
Year.Previously registered.Not previously registered.Total.

The high total of legitimation entries in 1916 and 1917, as compared with preceding and subsequent years, was no doubt due almost entirely to the continued duration of the war and the passing of the Military Service Act. The prospect of a prolonged absence abroad, and the uncertainty as to whether he would ever return, naturally caused many a reservist to make proper provision for his illegitimate issue. The effect of the Legitimation Amendment Act, 1921-22, is seen in the high figures for 1922 and 1923.


Section 8 of the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act, 1915, contains provision for the registration of adopted children. The Clerk of the Court by which any adoption order is made is required to furnish to the Registrar-General particulars of the order, including the full name and place of birth of the child, as well as the full names and addresses of both the natural and the adopting parents. If the child's birth has been registered in New Zealand a note of the adoption order is made on it. In any case a new entry is made on the prescribed form in the register of births.

During the year 1923 the registration of 398 adopted children (176 males and 222 females) was effected, as compared with 379 in 1922, 584 in 1921, 501 in 1920, and 266 in 1919.


The registration of still-births was made compulsory in New Zealand as from the 1st March, 1913. A still-born child is defined as one "which has issued from ts mother after the expiration of the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy and which was not alive at the time of such issue." Still-births are not included either as births or as deaths in the various numbers and rates shown in this subsection and in that relating to deaths.

The registrations of still-births during each of the last ten years are as follows:—

Year.Male.Female.Not stated.Total.Percentage of still-births to Living Births.

An unsatisfactory feature of the statistics for the ten years is the definite tendency towards an increase in the percentage of still-births to living births.

It is a well-known fact that masculinity is much higher among still-births than among living births. The figures for the ten years covered by the above table show the rate for still-births to have been 1,287 males per 1,000 females. The rate for individual years has ranged between 1,726 (in 1914) and 1,124 (in 1915).

A table is added, showing relative ages of parents in cases of still-births registered in 1923.

Age of Mother, in Years.Age of Father, in Years.Illegitimate Cases.Total.
Under 2121 and under 25.25 and under 30.30 and under 35.35 and under 40.40 and under 45.45 and under 50.50 and under 65.65 and over.

*This number represents 876 single cases and nine plural cases. The total number of still-born children was 894.

14 and under 15..................11
16 and under 17..................22
17 and under 18..1..............23
18 and under 191211............5
19 and under 20..3..........1..15
20 and under 21..431..1......312
21 and under 25420452185......19122
25 and under 30..14835523662..2191
30 and under 35..42392653343..8232
35 and under 40....51685562611..4203
40 and under 45......384823111195
45 and under 46........1231....7
46 and under 47............32....5
47 and under 48............11....2

In the next table the 842 cases of legitimate still-births registered in 1923 are classified according to number of previous issue in conjunction with age of mother:—

Number of Previous Issue.Age of Mother, in Years.Total.
Under 20.20 and under 25.25 and under 30.30 and under 35.35 and under 40.40 and over.

Of the living legitimate births registered in 1923, 30 per cent. were first births, while of legitimate still-births no less than 40 per cent. were first births. It would thus appear that there is a considerably greater probability of a still-birth occurring at the first accouchement than at the average of subsequent accouchements.

The following table indicates that this is so, and further demonstrates the effect of the increasing age of the mother in the causation of still-births. While for women between 20 and 25 the proportion of still-births to living births was 2 per cent., for women over forty it was 6 per cent.

Age of Mother, in Years.All Births.First Births.Percentage of Still to Living.
Living.Still.Living.Still.All Births.First Births.
Under 2066010568101.521.76
20 and under 255,4251123,025782.062.58
25 and under 308,0491892,6061042.353.99
30 and under 356,3822241,170983.518.38
35 and under 404,188199482314.756.43
40 and over1,716108118126.2910.17

The next table shows the percentage of still-births to living births according to nativity order of legitimate births registered in 1923. The column for mothers of all ages shows a definite gradation, the second child having the best chance of being born alive, and the probability of a still-birth increasing thereafter. Whether this is due only to the greater age of the mother or in part to the effects of continued child-bearing it is impossible to say from the small numbers considered, but the column for women between 35 and 40 years of age would appear to suggest that, up to the fifth accouchement, at any rate, the number of previous issue is not an important factor.

Nativity Order.Living Births.Still-births.Percentage of Still to Living.
Mothers of All Ages.Mothers aged 35-40.Mothers of All Ages.Mothers aged 35-40.Mothers of All Ages.Mothers aged 35-40.

There can be no doubt that age of the mother is the principal factor in the case of accouchements subsequent to the first. This being so, it is of some significance that even when no allowance is made for the younger age-constitution in general of mothers of first-born, the first-born child has a greater probability of being still-born than any subsequent child up to the seventh.


The number of births of Maoris registered during 1923 under the provisions of section 20 of the Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act, 1912, was 1,168 (99 males, 569 females). The births of eight males and five females were registered under the main Act, and the total of 1,181 represents a rate of 22 per 1,000 of Maori population.


Regulations under the Cook Islands Act, 1915, providing for compulsory registration of births and deaths in the Cook Islands and Niue from the 1st July, 1916, were gazetted on the 29th June, 1916.

In the case of a birth a month is allowed in which to furnish the following particulars to a Registrar: The place and date of birth; the Christian name and sex of the child; the names and residence of both father and mother, and also (if Natives) whether of full blood, or quarter-, half-, or three-quarter caste.

Duplicates of all entries are kept by the Registrars of the High Court at Rarotonga and Niue respectively. A fine not exceeding £5 is imposed on persons supplying false information. No fees are payable for registration.

The following are the figures of birth-registrations in each Island during the twelve months ended 31st December, 1923, or 31st March, 1924:—

Island.Number of Births.Island.Number of Births.
Rakaanga8 Total409


During the twelve months ended 31st March, 1924, 1,808 births were registered in Western Samoa. Of the children 107 were born to Europeans, the remainder being native Samoans. The figures in regard to the last-mentioned cannot be relied on as accurate.



MARRIAGE may be solemnized in New Zealand only on the authority of a Registrar's certificate, either by a person whose name is on the list of officiating ministers under the Marriage Act, or before a duly appointed Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Marriages. No marriage can be legally solemnized before 8 o'clock in the forenoon or after 8 o'clock in the evening. Prior to the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act, 1920, the limits were 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Notice of intended marriage must be given to the Registrar of the district within which the marriage is to be solemnized, and the party giving notice must have resided for three full days in the district. In the case of a person under twenty-one, not being a widow or widower, the consent of parent or guardian is necessary before the Registrar's certificate can be issued. Provision exists for application to a Judge of the Supreme Court in cases where a parent or guardian is non compos mentis, or unreasonably or from undue motives refuses or withholds consent.

If a declaration is made in any case that there is no parent or lawful guardian resident in the Dominion, then a certificate may be issued after the expiration of fourteen days following the date on which the notice of intended marriage was given.

The ages at which persons may contract binding marriages are the same as in England—twelve years for females and fourteen for males. Marriage may be contracted at earlier ages than those stated, but would be voidable at the discretion of either of the parties upon reaching the age of twelve or fourteen, as the case may be, and without the necessity of proceedings in Court.

Tho system of notice and certificate has obtained in New Zealand since 1855. By this system it is ensured not only that marriages are in order, but that no legally solemnized marriage escapes registration. Officiating ministers and Registrars are required to send to the Registrar-General returns of all marriages solemnized, and as the returns come in they are checked off with the entries in the Registrars' lists of notices received and certificates issued. In case of the non-arrival of a marriage return corresponding to any entry in the list of notices, inquiries are made as to whether solemnization has been effected. Inquiries are made similarly in respect of any marriage for which a return is received, but for which there is no corresponding return of notice and certificate.

The marriage of a man with his deceased wife's sister was legalized in New Zealand in the year 1881, and the marriage of a woman with her deceased's husband's brother in 1901.

An important provision is contained in section 7 of the Marriage Amendment Act, 1920, which reads as follows:—

  1. (1.) Every person commits an offence against this Act, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred pounds, who—

    1. (a.) Alleges, expressly or by implication, that any persons lawfully married are not truly and sufficiently married; or

    2. (b.) Alleges, expressly or by implication, that the issue of any lawful marriage is illegitimate or born out of true wedlock.

  2. (2.) "Alleges" in this section means making any verbal statement, or publishing or issuing any printed or written statement, or in any manner authorizing the making of any verbal statement, or in any manner authorizing or being party to the publication or issue of any printed or written statement.

  3. (3.) A person shall not be deemed to make an allegation contrary to the provisions of this section by reason only of using in the solemnization of a marriage a form of marriage service which at the commencement of this Act was in use by the religious denomination to which such person belongs, or by reason only of the printing or issue of any book containing a copy of a form of marriage service in use at the commencement of this Act by any religious denomination.


The movement of