Table of Contents


The New Zealand Official Yearbook, of which this is the 82nd edition, was first compiled in 1875 as the Official Handbook of New Zealand. Three or four editions of the Handbook were published, but it was not (and was not intended to be) an annual publication. The first New Zealand Official Yearbook bearing the present title appeared in 1893. The Preface began "The Handbook published last year met with so favourable a reception that the Government decided on publishing a similar work annually, to be called the New Zealand Official Yearbook." In the 102 years since its inception the Official Yearbook has evolved from a handbook designed mainly "to give to those who may think of making the Colony their home or the theatre of business operations, an idea of New Zealand from the New Zealand point of view", into a standard reference work and something of a one-volume annual encyclopaedia. The Articles on Special Subjects, which made up the bulk of the early Handbooks, have either evolved into regular sections or been reduced to two or three special articles at the back of each Yearbook. The present aim of the Official Yearbook is to present annually a comprehensive statistical survey of the economy and population of New Zealand, with a background of text aimed primarily at the non-specialist.

As a series, Official Yearbooks are a rich source of material for research workers and students. Each section is revised annually, and (within the limits of space) every endeavour is made to give comprehensive and accurate information as fully and clearly as possible. However, in the nature of things, a Yearbook which takes almost 12 months to produce cannot be completely up to date. Additional and more recent information on many of the subjects mentioned in the Official Yearbook can be obtained from parliamentary reports, from the Information Service releases, bulletins, and other publications of the Department of Statistics, and especially from the Monthly Abstract of Statistics. With the Official Yearbook to give him background and historical perspective, and the Monthly Abstract to give him the latest figures, the student of the New Zealand economy is well-equipped.

The year 1977 saw the Silver Jubilee visit of Her Majesty the Queen to New Zealand, and it is fitting that the Yearbook should include a short description of the Royal Tour. Another special article in this edition Education in the New Zealand Community, originally produced as a background paper for the Educational Development Conference, is reprinted here to mark the 100th anniversary of State education in New Zealand. Another special article New Zealand at the Turning Point is a synopsis reprinted from the report of the Task Force on Economic and Social Planning, published in December 1976.

The Yearbook owes much to the assistance and co-operation of other Government departments, the producer boards, the Reserve Bank, and a considerable number of other official bodies, as well as to the compiling sections of this department. I would like to express my appreciation to all the people involved, and especially to the staff of the Government Printing Office, without whose work there would be no Yearbook. The volume was edited by N. G. Killick, B.A., who would also like to express his appreciation of the assistance and co-operation he has received.


Department of Statistics, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND.

September 1977.


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

- nil or zero. . . not applicable
. . figures not available- - amount too small to be expressed
not yet available—space left blankx revised


The conversion of the system of weights and measures used in New Zealand to metric units was substantially completed by the end of 1976.

As far as possible, statistics in this issue have been converted to the metric system, but for various reasons, this has to be a gradual process extending over a number of years.


Some relationships between common British units and common SI units are shown in the following table.


1 in. = 25.4 mm1 mm = 0.039 in.
    = 2.54 cm1 cm = 0.394 in.
1 ft = 30.48 cm1 dm = 3.937 in.
    = 0.305 m1 m = 39.37 in.
1 yd = 0.914 m= 1.094 yds
1 mile = 1.609 km1 km = 0.621 miles
1 sq ft = 0.093 m21 m2 = 10.764 sq ft
    = 929.03 cm2= 1.196 sq yds
1 sq yd = 0.836 m21 da = 0.247 acres
1 acre = 0.405 hectare (ha)1 ha = 2.471 acres
1 sq mile = 2.590 km21 km2 = 247.1 acres
    = 259 ha= 0.386 sq miles
1 cu in. = 16.387 cm31 cm3 = 0.061 cu in.
1 cu f = 0.028 m31 m3 = 35.315 cu ft
1 cu yd = 0.765 m3= 1.308 cu yds
1 pt = 0.568 litres (1)1 litre = 1.760 pts
1 qt = 1.137 1= 0.880 qts
1 gal = 4.546 1= 0.220 gal
1 oz = 28.35 grams (g)1 g = 0.035 oz
1 lb = 0.454 kilograms (kg)1 kg = 2.205 lb
1 cwt = 50.802 kg1 t = 2,204.62 lb
1 long ton = 1,016 kg= 0.984 long tons
    = 1.016 tonnes (t)= 1.102 short tons
1 mile per hour (mph)1.61 kilometres per hour (km/hr)
1 kilometre per hour (km/h)0.621 miles per hour (mph)
1 pound per sq in. (psi)6.89 kilopascals (kPa)
1 kilopascal (kPa)0.145 pounds per sq in. (psi)
1 ton per sq in. (ton/in2)15.4 megapascals (MPa)
1 megapascal (MPa)0.0647 tons per sq in. (ton/in2)
Degree Fahrenheit (°F)9x°C/5+32
Degree Celsius (°C)5/9(°F-32)

Chapter 1. Section 1 GEOGRAPHY

Table of Contents

New Zealand is in the south-west section of the Pacific, that great ocean stretching across one-third of the earth's surface. To the west, beyond the Tasman Sea, is Australia, 1,600 kilometres away. From its position on the rim of the Pacific basin, New Zealand is a little over 10,000 kilometres from San Francisco and Panama and a similar distance from Tokyo and Singapore. In area 26.9 million hectares, it is similar in size to the British Isles and Japan.

One of the chief charms of the New Zealand landscape is its infinite variety. Such level lowlands as exist are small in area; contrasts between coastal plain and bordering hard-rock mountains are abrupt. High mountains make up most of the South Island area—often stark and bare or mantled in permanent snow. By contrast, most of the North Island is weak-rock hill country. From Cook Strait to the Bay of Plenty a hard-rock mountain core dominates the North Island scene, forming an effective barrier between east and west; the only low level gap across it is at the gorge cut by the Manawatu River near Palmerston North.

A peculiar and special feature of the North Island is the volcanic country of the interior. Here are the largest North Island lakes and in a line from Ruapehu to White Island, most of the still active volcanoes, hot springs, and geysers.

The most spectacular mountains are in the South Island; high mountains, deep and narrow valleys, swift rivers, and glacial lakes, large and small, give infinite variety to the scene. It is in this high country that ice has left its special mark in glacial troughs and fiords and, above all, the noble southern lakes. There is little weak-rock hill country in the South Island; the lowlands are mainly bordering plains, basin plains, and valley plains. Of these the most extensive are the plains of Canterbury and Southland.

New Zealand has large areas of luxuriant forests which are the delight of trampers, campers, and hunters. Forests cover nearly a quarter of the total land area, of which national parks and scenic reserves set aside as permanent forest form 2.4 million hectares.

The indigenous forests may be grouped broadly into two main formations: mixed temperate evergreen forest and southern beech forest. The former is a mixed community of many species of broad-leaved trees and conifers, and the latter a pure community of one or more of the species of southern beech. Generally, the mixed temperate evergreen forests are the forests of the north and of the warm, wet lowlands and lower mountain slopes. The beeches form the forests of the south, of the high mountains, and of the drier lowlands. But there are extensive areas where the types mingle in forests of extremely varied composition.

Mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, and beaches have influenced the characteristics of the people. New Zealand society has been shaped and subtly tempered by a number of factors—geographical, historical, social, and psychological during more than a century of growth as a nation. New Zealand today represents both an extension and a modification of the European tradition. In addition to its Maori population, New Zealand has experienced in recent years a considerable inflow of Polynesians from its associated territories and elsewhere in the Pacific. Auckland has become the major city of Polynesia, and as such a focal point of the South Pacific. The Polynesian (including Maori) population is of greater significance than its relatively small numbers would suggest. Outside the Pacific area New Zealand may present a basically European face to the world, but the preservation of distinctive life-style by the Maori, together with a close compatibility (extending to frequent intermarriage) between the two races, has doubtless been a determining factor in the evolution of New Zealand society.

GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION—The islands of New Zealand have been shaped from the projecting crests of earth folds which rise as broad ridges from the floor of the South Pacific Ocean, 1,600 kilometres east of the continent of Australia. There are three main islands—North, South, and Stewart separated only by relatively narrow straits—with adjacent islets and a small group called Chatham Islands, 850 kilometres to the east of Lyttelton. Dating from 1842 the administrative boundaries of New Zealand, including the minor islands, extend from 33 degrees to 53 degrees south latitude and from 162 degrees east longitude to 173 degrees west longitude. Inhabited outlying minor islands are Raoul Island in the Kermadec Group, 930 kilometres north-east of the Bay of Islands, and Campbell Island, 590 kilometres south of Stewart Island.

New Zealand is also responsible for the administration of two island groups in the South-west Pacific—Niue and the Tokelau Islands. These are incorporated within the boundaries of New Zealand. Niue is 2,460 kilometres north-east of Auckland, while the Tokelau Islands are 1,130 kilometres further north. The territorial area reaches to within 8 degrees of the Equator.

The Ross Dependency, some 2,300 kilometres to the south, has been under New Zealand's jurisdiction since 1923 and comprises the sector of the Antarctic continent between 160 degrees east and 150 degrees west longitude, together with the islands lying between those degrees of longitude and south of latitude 60 degrees south.

The administrative area of New Zealand can be classified as follows. In this Yearbook, in general, New Zealand refers to the group of islands shown in (a) only. Areas are calculated to mean high-water mark. Adjustments have been made to statistics published prior to 1974.

 Area in Square Kilometres
(a) New Zealand 
North Island114,453
South Island150,718
Stewart Island1,746
Chatham Islands963
Minor Islands— 
Kermadec Islands34
Campbell Island114
Uninhabited (Auckland and other offshore islands)676
(b) Overseas Territories 
Tokelau Islands, comprised of— 
Fakaofo Island, Nukunonu Island, Atafu Island10
(c) Ross Dependency 

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES: Coastline—Since the combined length of the North and South Islands extends over 1,600 kilometres, and since the width of neither Island exceeds 450 kilometres at its broadest point, New Zealand possesses a very lengthy coastline in proportion to its area. With the exception of the low-lying North Auckland Peninsula, the New Zealand land mass lies along a south-westerly and north-easterly axis, parallel to the direction of its mountain chains.

In the North Island, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, and Wellington are natural harbours which have been developed into ports for extensive use by overseas ships. At Napier and Gisborne artificial harbours have been made. On the east coast of the North Auckland Peninsula several other deep and sheltered harbours exist, but production from the hinterland is limited. In the South Island the Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland form perfect land-locked harbours, but owing to their situations and the rugged nature of the terrain they have—with the exception of Queen Charlotte Sound—little or no commercial utility. By dredging and by breakwater construction, ports capable of accommodating overseas vessels have been formed in Lyttelton, Otago, and Bluff Harbours and on the coast at Timaru. On the west coast of both Islands the strong ocean drifts and high seas cause shoaling at river mouths and harbour entrances, although an overseas port has been developed at New Plymouth, while on the east coast of the South Island similar circumstances prevail, due to the large quantities of shingle brought down by the rivers being spread along the coast by ocean currents.

Mountains—The mountainous nature of New Zealand is one of its most striking physical characteristics, less than one-quarter of the land surface lying below the 200 m contour. In the North Island the higher mountains occupy approximately one-tenth of the surface; but, with the exception of the four volcanic peaks of Egmont (2,518 m), Ruapehu (2,797 m), Ngauruhoe (2,290 m), and Tongariro (1,968 m), they do not exceed an altitude of 1,800 m. Of these four volcanoes only the first named can be classed as dormant. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe have been particularly active from time to time. Other volcanoes include Mount Tarawera and White Island, each of which has, upon one occasion within historical times, erupted with disastrous consequences. Closely connected with the volcanic system are the multitudinous hot springs and geysers.

The mountain system of the North Island runs generally in a south-west direction, parallel to the coast, from East Cape to Turakirae Head, and includes the following ranges from the north: Rau-kumara, Huiarau, Ruahine, Tararua, and Rimutaka. This chain is flanked on the west between the Huiarau and Ruahine by the Ahimanawa, Kaweka, and Kaimanawa Ranges, while west of the Kaimanawa is the National Park volcanic group comprising Mounts Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. The Hauhangaroa and Rangitoto Ranges run in a northerly direction from the National Park group. In the east the Moehau Range parallels the length of the Coromandel Peninsula. Mount Egmont forms the only area above 1,200 m on the west coast of this Island.

The South Island is much more mountainous than the North. Along almost the entire length of the Island runs the massive chain known as the Southern Alps, which attains its greatest height in Mount Cook (3,764 m), while 19 named peaks exceed 3,000 m. West and north-west of the main portion of the Southern Alps are the Victoria, Brunner, and Lyell Ranges and the Tasman Mountains, the Victoria Range being flanked by the Paparoa Range. To the north run the St. Arnaud and Richmond Ranges, while to the north-east are the Spenser Mountains and the Kaikoura and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, the two latter ranges running parallel to the east coast. The south portion of the Southern Alps breaks up into a miscellany of ranges dominating the mountainous Fiord and north-western Southland regions.

There are at least 223 named peaks of 2,300 m or more in altitude. Below is a list of the peaks restricted to the four largest volcanic cones in the North Island and to mountains of a minimum height of 2,740 m in the South Island.

Mountain or PeakHeight (metres)
Kaikoura Ranges 
Southern Alps 
Mt. Hicks (St. David's Dome)3,183
Malte Brun3,176
Elie de Beaumont3,109
Douglas Peak3,081
La Perouse3,079
Glacier Peak3,007
De la Beche2,992
Aiguilles Rouges2,966
Conway Peak2,901
Bristol Top2,898
Ronald Adair2,827
Hochstetter Dome2,822
The Footstool2,765
The Dwarf2,751
Darran Range 

Glaciers—In keeping with the dimensions of the mountain system, New Zealand possesses, in the South Island, a glacial system of some magnitude. Of the glaciers the largest is the Tasman, which, with others of comparable size, rises in the more elevated area surrounding Mount Cook. Flowing down the eastern slope of the range, the Tasman Glacier has a length of 29 km and a width of 9 km. In common with other glaciers on the eastern slope, of which the more important are the Murchison (17 km), the Mueller (13 km), the Godley (13 km), and the Hooker (11 km), its rate of flow is slow, while its terminal face is at an altitude of somewhat over 600 m. On the western slope of the range, owing to the greater snow precipitation, the glaciers are more numerous and descend to lower levels, while the steeper slope gives them a more rapid rate of flow. The two largest of these are the Fox and the Franz Josef, with lengths of 15 km and 13 km respectively, and terminal faces at altitudes of 200 m and 210 m.

Rivers—New Zealand rivers, owing to the high relief of the country, are mostly swift-flowing and difficult to navigate. As sources of hydro-electric power the rivers are of considerable importance, since their rapid rate of flow and dependable volume of water make them eminently suitable for this purpose. The Waikato and the Rangitaiki in the North Island and the Waitaki, Cobb, Clutha, and Waipori in the South are used for major hydro-electric schemes.

Following is a list of the more important rivers. For purposes of uniformity, the length of a river is taken to be the distance from the mouth to the farthest point in the system, whether this should happen to bear the same name or that of an affluent, and is inclusive of the estimated course of a river flowing into and emerging from any lake in the system.

RiverLength (kilometres)
*Cook Strait is defined as follows: northern limit is a line between northern point of Stephens Island and Kapiti Island: southern limit is a line between Cape Palliser and Cape Campbell.
Flowing into the Pacific Ocean 
Waihou (or Thames)175
Waipaoa (from source, Mata River)121
Waiapu (from source, Waipapa Stream)113
Wairoa (from source, Hangaroa River)137
Mohaka (from source, Taharua River)172
Flowing into Cook Strait* 
Flowing into the Tasman Sea 
Waikato (from source, Upper Waikato River)425
Wairoa (from source, Waiotu Stream)132
Hokianga (from source, Waihou River)72
RiverLength (kilometres)
Flowing into Cook Strait 
Flowing into the Pacific Ocean 
Waiau-uha (or Waiau)169
Rangitata (from source, Clyde River)121
Waitaki (from source, Hopkins River)209
Clutha (from source, Makarora River)322
Flowing into Foveaux Strait 
Aparima (Jacobs River)113
Waiau (from source, Clinton River)217
Flowing into the Tasman Sea 
Waiho (from source, Callery River)32
Buller (from source, Travers River)177
Aorere (from source, Spee River)72
Takaka (from source, Cobb River)72
Waimea (from source, Wai-iti River)48

The discovery in 1861 that the beds of rivers in the South Island contained extensive deposits of alluvial gold was of considerable importance in the early economic development of the country.

With the very successful acclimatisation of freshwater fish, notably trout, many rivers now provide exceptionally fine fishing.

Lakes—In considering New Zealand's numerous lakes a distinction can be made, especially from the scenic viewpoint, between the lakes of the two Islands. Surrounded by extremely rugged country the larger lakes of the South Island are distinguished by the grandeur of their alpine settings, while some of the larger ones of the North Island, situated on a volcanic plateau, have their own particular beauty. As reservoirs the lakes of both Islands are of vital importance for the maintenance of the rivers and streams draining them and as a means of flood prevention. More especially is this the case where hydro-electric schemes are involved, Lakes Waikaremoana and Taupo in the North Island, and Lakes Coleridge, Pukaki, Tekapo, Wanaka, Hawea, Manapouri, and Wakatipu in the South Island, being of particular significance in this respect. A series of narrow man-made lakes have been produced in connection with hydro-electric development along some of the rivers. In 1965 Lake Benmore, New Zealand's largest artificial lake, was created. It lies on the Waitaki River in North Otago and covers 79 sq km in area and consists of two arms, the main arm being 30 km in length and the Ahuriri Arm 18 km in length.

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

LakeLength, in Kilometres*Greatest Breadth, in Kilometres*Area, in Square KilometresDrainage Area, in Square KilometresApproximate Volume of Discharge, in Cubic Metres per SecondMaximum Height Above Sea Level in Metres (Range in Brackets)Greatest Depth, in Metres

*1 kilometre equals 0.621 miles.

†1 square kilometre equals 0.386 square miles.

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

Taupo40.227.46063,2891,271357 (1.5)159
Rotorua12.09.780526..280 (0.6)26
Rotoiti16.14.83464224279 (0.6)70
Tarawera11.28.9361868299 (0.6)87
Rotoaira4.82.8131297564 (0.9)..
Rotoehu4.83.2844..295 (1.2)..
Rotoma5.23.61231..316 (1.8)..
Rotomahana6.42.8970..340 (6.7)..
Rerewhakaitu4.02.88....439 (1.2)..
Arapuni16.10.8136,876207111 (0.6)..
Rotoiti8.92.81018412616 (1.8)76
Rotoroa14.53.22337627446 (1.5)152
Tekapo17.75.6961,42487715 (7.6)189
Pukaki15.38.0831,355128500 (9.1)..
Ohau17.74.8601,19165527 (1.7)..
Hawea30.68.01191,46963345 (16.2)392
Wanaka45.14.81922,543202279 (4.3)..
Te Anau61.29.73443,302276209 (4.6)276
Manapouri28.98.01424,623386185 (6.4)443
Monowai19.31.62827214196 (4.0)..
Hauroko35.42.47158331156 (1.8)..
Cobb4.80.42736808 (15.2)..
Ahuriri Arm18.5............
Main Arm29.84.4797,77034036096

GEOLOGY—The islands of New Zealand are part of the unstable circum-Pacific Mobile Belt. This is a region where volcanoes are active and where the Earth's crust has long been buckling and breaking at a geologically rapid rate. The interplay, in the past, of earth movements and erosion has made the sedimentary rocks that cover almost three-quarters of New Zealand. Land areas that the earth movements have raised have been attacked by erosion, and the sand, mud, shingle, and other debris thus formed has been carried away to the sea, where it has accumulated in great thicknesses to form rocks such as sandstone, mudstone, greywacke, and conglomerate; the shells and other skeletons of sea creatures have accumulated to form thick layers of limestone. Many of the sedimentary rocks are in distinct layers called strata. Earth movements have later raised them above the sea to form land, and the strata have in many places been tilted and folded by pressure. Seas have advanced and retreated over the New Zealand area many times and these sedimentary rocks represent almost every geological period since the Cambrian (see Time Scale). Their age is revealed by the molluscan shells, foraminifera, and other fossils that they contain, as well as by various radioactive techniques.

As well as sedimentary rocks, and volcanic rocks of various ages, New Zealand incorporates in its complex structure schist, gneiss, marble and other metamorphic rocks, and granite, diorite, gabbro, serpentine, and other intrusive igneous rocks. Most of these metamorphic and intrusive rocks are hundreds of millions of years old. They were formed at depth in the Earth's crust early in New Zealand's history, in the "roots" of ancient mountain ranges, long ago destroyed, and are visible at the land surface today only because erosion has removed thousands of metres thickness of other rocks that once covered them. The metamorphic rocks developed by the action of heat and pressure on the thick sediments (up to tens of thousands of metres) deposited in huge, elongated sea basins (geosynclines), which continued to sink as the deposits accumulated. When these geosynclines were slowly compressed during major mountain-building episodes the deeper sediments were subjected to great pressure and shearing stress, which caused new minerals and structures to develop, changing the sediments into metamorphic rocks. The granites and other intrusive rocks are coarsely crystalline, and are usually considered to have intruded into the outer crust in a molten state during mountain building; some, however, may be the products of an intense metamorphism of sediments.

ErasPeriodsApproximate Time Since Period Began (Years)
CenozoicHolocene (Recent)Quaternary10 thousand
Pleistocene2 million
PlioceneTertiary11 million
Miocene25 million
Oligocene38 million
Eocene60 million
Paleocene70 million
MesozoicCretaceous 135 million
Jurassic 180 million
Triassic 225 million
PaleozoicPermian 270 million
Carboniferous 350 million
Devonian 400 million
Silurian 440 million
Ordovician 500 million
Cambrian 600 million

Geological History—Evidence of the earliest-known events in New Zealand's history is given by ancient rocks in Nelson, Westland, and Fiordland that were formed in the early Paleozoic era, perhaps as long as 600 million years ago (some in Westland may be older). They include thick, geosynclinal sedimentary rocks. This suggests that a large land mass existed nearby at that time to yield the great volume of sediments, but little has been deduced about its shape or position.

The history of the later part of the Paleozoic era, and the Mesozoic era, is rather better understood. For a vast span of time from the Carboniferous period—probably until the early Cretaceous period—an extensive geosyncline occupied the New Zealand region. At first, during much of late Paleozoic time, huge quantities of submarine lava and volcanic tuff were included in the materials that accumulated in the geosyncline, but in the later Permian and Mesozoic times the sediments were mainly sand and mud, derived probably from some land west of present New Zealand; they were compacted into hard greywacke (a type of sandstone) and argillite (hard, dark mudstone).

In the early Cretaceous period one of the main mountain-building episodes in New Zealand's history took place. Although geosynclinal sedimentation continued through the Cretaceous period in eastern New Zealand, the geosyncline elsewhere was compressed, and the sediments were intensely crumpled and broken and raised above the sea, probably forming a large, mountainous land mass. Some of the geosynclinal deposits, now exposed over much of Otago, alpine Westland, and parts of Marlborough Sounds, were metamorphosed into schist and gneiss by high temperatures and the tremendous deforming pressures to which the geosyncline was subjected.

The time that has elapsed since the intense folding of the strata in the New Zealand geosyncline in the mid-Cretaceous period may be considered as the later geological history of this country, embracing roughly 100 million years.

During the early part of this late history, erosion slowly wore down the mountains that had risen, producing a land of low relief. Over these worn-down stumps of the Mesozoic mountains the sea gradually advanced, beginning its transgression earlier in some areas than in others. In the early Cretaceous period it began to submerge land in the region of present North Auckland and the eastern margins of the North and South Islands, and thick deposits of mudstone and sandstone accumulated in some parts of these areas. At the close of the Mesozoic era, and in the very early Tertiary, land became so reduced in size and relief that little sediment was formed, and only comparatively thin deposits of fine bentonitic and sulphurous muds, and fine, white, foraminiferal limestone accumulated. In some areas New Zealand's main coal deposits accumulated in swamps on the surface of the old land. These became buried by marine deposits as the sea continued its transgression in the Eocene period.

By the Oligocene period, most of the land was submerged, and in shallow waters free of land sediments, thick deposits of shell and foraminiferal limestone accumulated. (Scattered, remnant patches of this Oligocene limestone furnish most of New Zealand's cement and agricultural lime.)

After the Oligocene submergence earth movements became more vigorous; many ridges rose from the sea as islands, and sank or were worn down again; sea basins formed and rapidly filled with sediments. New Zealand's late Tertiary environment has been described as follows: "The pattern of folds, welts, and troughs that developed was on a finer scale than in the Mesozoic. . . the land moved up and down as a series of narrow, short, interfingering or branching folds . . . . We can think of Tertiary New Zealand as an archipelago . . . . A kind of writhing of part of the mobile Pacific margins seems to have gone on . . .". The thick deposits of soft, grey mudstone and sandstone that now make up large areas of the North Island, and some parts of the South Island, are the deposits that accumulated rapidly in the many sea basins, large and small, that developed in the later Tertiary.

Very late in the Cenozoic era—in the Pliocene and Pleistocene periods—one of the greatest episodes of mountain building in New Zealand's history took place. Earth movements became intense, and slowly pushed up the Southern Alps and other main mountain chains, and determined the general shape and size of the present islands of New Zealand. Much of the movement during this mountain-building period (the Kaikoura Orogeny) took the form of displacement of blocks of the Earth's crust along fractures called faults. The total movements of the earth blocks adjacent to major faults amounted to thousands of metres. It must have been achieved very slowly, probably by innumerable small movements, each less than a few metres. The blocks adjacent to "transcurrent" faults moved not only vertically but also laterally along the faults. The New Zealand landscape today in some regions shows well preserved tilted fault blocks bounded by fault-scarps—steep faces hundreds or even thousands of metres high. Fault movements continue to the present day, and have accompanied several major earthquakes of the past century. Many minor but revealing landscape features such as scarplets, fault ponds, and shutter ridges show where movement has been occurring in recent centuries.

Erosion during this time has eaten into the major landscape forms that the earth movements built, carving detailed landscape patterns of peaks, ridges, valleys, and gorges, and the deposition of the debris has built up alluvial plains, shingle fans, and other construction forms. At the coast, waves have driven back the headlands and built beaches, spits, and bars. The Pleistocene period was the time of the Ice Age, and in the high mountains of the South Island glaciers carved deep valleys and carried huge loads of rock, dumping them in the lower parts of the valleys as moraines. The late Pleistocene glaciers carved the fiords of Fiordland and the basins occupied by most South Island lakes; there were small glaciers also on Ruapehu, where remnants survive, and on Mount Egmont and the Tararua Range. Sea-level changes accompanied the formation and later melting of the land ice, affecting the erosion or deposition of the rivers and thus being responsible for the formation of the many prominent river terraces in this country.

Volcanic activity of the past few million years has played an important part in making the rocks and shaping the landscape of parts of the central and northern North Island. Banks Peninsula, a twin volcanic dome in Canterbury, also achieved much of its growth then. The largest volcanic outpourings of late geological times in New Zealand have been in the region between Tongariro National Park and the Bay of Plenty Coast: andesite lava, scoria, and ash were erupted in the Pleistocene period and later to build the huge volcanoes, Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. More than 8,000 cu km of molten rhyclitic magma was erupted in the form of ignimbrite, pumice, and rhyolite lava, building up the Volcanic Plateau. This is one of the largest and youngest accumulations of acid volcanic rocks in the world.

Mount Egmont is a huge, conical, andesite volcano, with the remnants of two other volcanic cones nearby; all are of Pleistocene age. In the Waikato there are eroded Pleistocene cones of approximately basic andesite composition. The largest is Pirongia, some 900 m high. Auckland city and the area immediately to the south has been the scene of many eruptions of basalt lava and scoria in late Pleistocene and Holocene times; and many small scoria cones can be seen in the locality. Late Tertiary and Quaternary basaltic eruptions in North Auckland have built lava plateaus and many young cones.

EARTHQUAKES: Geophysical Background—An earthquake occurs when energy is suddenly released from a volume of rock within the Earth's outerlayers, and is radiated outwards in the form of elastic waves that can be felt at places near the origin, and detected by sensitive instruments at greater distances. Earthquakes are most common in certain geographically limited regions, one of which includes New Zealand. Within these disturbed zones, young fold mountains, oceanic trenches, volcanoes, anomalies in the Earth's gravitational field, and active geological faulting are also usual, and like the earthquakes have their ultimate cause in the internal processes incidental to the major structural development of the Earth, and as yet imperfectly understood.

The seismically active zones define the margins of a system of stable blocks or plates which are not completely inactive, but experience large earthquakes only infrequently, and are thought to be the primary units of the Earth's crust. Two of these units, the Pacific and Indian Plates, abut in the vicinity of New Zealand, forming a triple junction with a third, the Antarctic Plate, south of Macquarie Island. As a result of thermally generated convective movements in the deeper levels of the earth, relative displacement of the plates is occurring, and this provides the continuing source of the energy that is intermittently released as earthquakes.

Instrumental records have shown that at the time of an earthquake large shearing movements take place at the source. It seems probable that all major earthquakes are the result of the breakage of rock under strain, but other factors such as the presence or absence of liquid in the pores and fractures of the rock are also of primary importance in determining the time and place at which a shock occurs.

In large shallow earthquakes a rupture may appear at the surface, forming or renewing movement on a geological fault. In regions where the majority of earthquakes are very shallow, such as California, there is a tendency for the earthquake origins to cluster near geological fault traces, but in regions where there is deeper activity, such as New Zealand, this is not so. For example, there is little activity near the Alpine Fault, which stretches for some 500 km from Milford Sound to Lake Rotoiti, and is considered one of the world's largest and most active faults. Conversely, instances of fault movement that have not been accompanied by earthquakes are known. Practical assessments of earthquake risk must therefore be based upon the statistics of known earthquake distribution, and the broader geological setting of the origins.

New Zealand Seismicity—Compared with some other parts of the Pacific margin, such as Japan, Chile, and the Philippines, the level of seismic activity in New Zealand is moderate. It may be roughly compared with that prevailing in California. A shock of Richter magnitude 6 or above occurs on the average about once a year, one of magnitude 7 or above once in ten years, and one of about magnitude 8 perhaps once a century, but in historic times only one shock (the south-west Wairarapa earthquake in 1855) is known to have approached this magnitude.

Other natural disasters and accidents are together responsible for more casualties than earthquakes, the most serious seismic disasters in New Zealand having been the Hawke's Bay earthquake of 1931 in which 255 deaths occurred, and the Buller earthquake of 1929 in which there were 17. The total resulting from all other shocks since 1840 is less than 15. The last earthquake to cause deaths occurred at Inangahua in 1968, when 3 people died.

Regarded broadly, the zone of seismicity within which New Zealand lies extends continuously from the triple junction south of Macquarie Island to Samoa. When looked at more closely, breaks in continuity and changes in the character of the activity become apparent. There are changes in direction, in the positional relationship of the deeper and shallower activity, and in its association with the other geophysical and geological features of the region.

Within New Zealand itself, at least two separate systems of seismic activity can be distinguished. The main seismic region, which is the larger, covers the whole of the North Island apart from the Northland peninsula, and the South Island north of a line passing roughly between Banks Peninsula and Cape Foulwind. The southern, or Fiordland seismic region includes southern Westland, western Southland, and western Otago. Less clearly defined activity covers the remainder of the two main islands and extends eastwards from Banks Peninsula to include the Chatham Islands.

Shallow earthquakes, which are the most numerous, originate within the Earth's crust, which in New Zealand has an average thickness of some 35 km. These shocks are responsible for almost all damage to property, and now and in the past they have been widely scattered throughout the country. In historically recent times, the main and Fiordland seismic regions have been significantly more active than the rest of New Zealand, but neither the central seismic region that es between them nor the Northland peninsula has been free from damaging shocks. The details of the present pattern are not necessarily unchanging, and could alter significantly after the occurrence of a major earthquake. Because of this, because of the broader geophysical setting, and because of the distance to which the effects of a large earthquake extends, it would be highly imprudent to treat any part of New Zealand as free from the risk of serious earthquake damage.

Many active regions of the Earth have only shallow earthquakes, but in others shocks have been known to occur at depths as great as 700 km below the surface. It is thought that these deep shocks originate within the edges of crustal plates that have been drawn down or thrust beneath their neighbours. Such deep events are common in both the main and Fiordland seismic regions of New Zealand, but their relative positions with respect to the shallow activity and to other geophysical features are rough mirror images. This is believed to indicate that in the North Island, the edge of the Pacific Plate lies below that of the Indian Plate, while in the south of the South Island the Pacific is uppermost and the Indian Plate has been thrust beneath it.

The most important system of deep shocks in New Zealand lies in a well-defined zone beneath the main seismic region, stretching from the Bay of Plenty to Nelson and Marlborough. The maximum depth of occurrence is about 400 km at the northern end, and decreases smoothly to a depth of about 200 km before the southern boundary of the region is reached. Along the whole of the system, there is also a decrease in maximum depth from west to east. In northern Taranaki, near the western limit of this activity, a small isolated group of shocks at a depth of about 600 km has also been recorded. In the central seismic region only shallow shocks are known.

The maximum depth of the earthquakes in the Fiordland region appears to be only about 160 km, but it is only recently that instrumental coverage has been adequate for a proper study of this area. Here, the deep activity is more concentrated than in the north, lying close to Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri.

Both earthquakes occur and volcanoes are found in geophysically disturbed regions, but although small earthquakes usually accompany volcanic eruptions, large ones are rare. Regions of active volcanism are also subject to periodic outbreaks of small earthquakes, all of similar magnitude, and very numerous. These events are known as "earthquake swarms". Although the number of shocks may cause alarm, it is unusual for even minor damage to result. There is not often a simultaneous volcanic outbreak, but swarms do not seem to occur in non-volcanic regions. In New Zealand they have occurred in the volcanic zone that includes Mt. Ruapehu and White Island, in the Coromandel Peninsula, in parts of Northland, and near Mt. Egmont.

Seismological Observatory—Each year the Seismological Observatory, Wellington, a section of the Geophysics Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, publishes the analyses of several hundred earthquakes originating in the New Zealand region, using data obtained from its own network of recording stations, and from stations in other countries. The instrumental data are supplemented by information about felt effects, supplied by a large number of voluntary observers, who complete a standard questionnaire.

The network of recording stations controlled by the Observatory is now one of the world's largest and most extended, covering the main islands of New Zealand, a large part of the south-west Pacific, and the Ross Dependency. The 36 permanent stations now operating are:

Afiamalu, Apia (Western Samoa); Nandi (Fiji); Niue; Rarotonga (Cook Islands); Raoul Island (Kermadecs); Cape Reinga, Onerahi, Great Barrier, Auckland, East Cape, Karapiro, Whakatane, Gisborne, Wairakei, Tuai, Tarata, Chateau, Taradale, Mangahao, Castlepoint, Cobb River, Wellington, Kaikoura West, Kaimata, Christchurch, Gebbies Pass, Chatham Islands, Mount John, Milford Sound, Oamaru, Roxburgh, Monowai, Oban; Campbell Island; Scott Base (Antarctica).

At Afiamalu, Rarotonga, Wellington, and Scott Base the equipment includes instruments of internationally standardised pattern designed to record both local and distant activity. The stations at Karapiro and Roxburgh are also equipped to record both local and distant shocks. At the other stations, many of which record more than one component of the ground motion, the instruments are primarily intended for the study of shocks within about 1000 km.

Scott Base and several of the island stations provide preliminary readings by radio, but all final analyses are made at the Observatory in Wellington. Portable equipment is available for more intensive study of aftershock sequences, earthquake swarms, and micro-earthquakes, and for other research projects. In addition, the department's physics and engineering laboratory maintains a network of strong motion recorders intended to provide data on large shocks for engineering purposes.

The information collected and published by the Observatory covers all significant earthquakes in the New Zealand region. It is made freely available to the public and the press, as well as to seismologists, engineers, and other specialists. In addition, a very large number of distant earthquakes are recorded, and readings of these, as well as of the local activity, are regularly sent to international agencies and to overseas seismologists who have a need for them. The Observatory itself carries out a vigorous programme of research into problems of seismicity and earthquake mechanism, and into the structure and constitution of the earth's crust and its deep interior.

Earthquakes During 1976—1976 saw the largest New Zealand earthquake for 8 years and a variety of smaller shocks. Although the Seismological Observatory located several hundred earthquakes or magnitude 4 and greater on the Richter Scale, only a proportion of the larger ones, and those near centres of population were reported felt, and no earthquake caused serious damage.

The earthquake early on the morning of 5 May 1976 had a magnitude of 7.0, and was the largest since that at Inangahua in 1968, which had a magnitude of 7.1. It occurred near the coast of Fiordland, about 35 km west of Milford Sound. The earthquake was felt throughout the southern half of the South Island, and caused some landslides in the steep country near the epicentre, but because of its remoteness, it caused no significant damage and attracted little publicity. Other earthquakes felt in the far south of the country occurred to the southwest of Stewart Island on 8 January (magnitude 5.8) and near Solander Island on 5 March (magnitude 5.4).

Earthquake activity in the North Island was notable for a series of swarms of shallow earthquakes. The most significant occurred in Hawke Bay, about 20 km south of Wairoa. Two earthquakes 7 minutes apart on the morning of 21 March both had magnitudes of 5.6, and two others in the next 24 hours had magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.3. Within the following few days about 30 earthquakes of magnitude greater than 4, and an even larger number of smaller shocks. were recorded. Many chimneys were damaged at Wairoa, where there was also some minor structural damage. There were isolated instances of minor damage from as far afield as Napier.

The area around Tauranga and Te Puke was subject to swarms of small shallow earthquakes from late in August until the end of October. The largest shock of the sequence was that of 28 October, which although of magnitude only 4.75 caused some substantial damage in a small area near Roydon Downs about 10 km southeast of Te Puke. An even smaller earthquake (magnitude 3.8) is also reported to have caused some damage in the same area on 9 September. The strong effects of these small earthquakes in localised areas close to their epicentres may be attributed to their very shallow depth. On 5 April a similar swarm of very shallow shocks was felt at Atiamuri, where goods were dislodged from shelves although the greatest magnitude was only 2.6.

Individual shallow earthquakes in the North Island that were felt widely included a shock of magnitude 5.5 near Carterton on 30 January, and one of magnitude 5.0 near Te Awamutu on 5 December. The latter shock caused some minor damage. An earthquake of magnitude 5.1 in Westland on 18 July was felt strongly at Ross.

Deep earthquakes that were felt extensively occurred on 15 May (magnitude 6.1) and on 23 December (magnitude 6.3). Both occurred several hundred kilometres beneath the Bay of Plenty. The first was felt in the East Cape peninsula and parts of Hawke's Bay, and there were isolated reports of the second earthquake being felt as far south as the Wellington region. Because of the depth of these earthquakes, the intensities were not high.

An unusually situated earthquake occurred on 28 December about 450 km west of Westport This is the first earthquake definitely located in this region, but its position on the south-western flank of the Lord Howe Rise is not without parallel, for other earthquakes have occurred on marine ridges extending into the Tasman Sea to the north and west of Northland. The earthquake had a moderate magnitude (5.25), and was followed by some smaller aftershocks, but because of its distance from the coast was not reported felt.

A series of large earthquakes occurred in January near Raoul Island, about 1000 km northeast of New Zealand. A shock of magnitude 7.5 on 2 January was followed by two even larger earthquakes of magnitude about 7.75 on the morning of 15 January. These shocks generated a small tsunami, which was noticed on the east coast of Northland. There was damage to roading and water supplies at the Meteorological Station on Raoul Island: the station buildings were slightly damaged and some instruments put out of action, but there were no casualties. A further shock, of magnitude 6.75, occurred on 5 May.

The central North Island volcanoes were relatively quiet during the year, and no significant eruptions occurred from either Mt. Ruapehu or Mt. Ngauruhoe.

WEATHER INFORMATION—The New Zealand Meteorological Service maintains networks of meteorological stations within New Zealand, its island dependencies and, by arrangement, in the Cook and Gilbert Islands and in Tuvalu. The weather observations are transmitted regularly to Wellington for international exchange, for the preparation of weather forecasts and special warnings, for compiling climatological statistics, and for providing a general weather information service for Government departments, industry, and the general public. All weather observations are preserved in the Kelburn Meteorological Archives.

Observations recorded at a few selected stations in 1976 are summarised in tables which follow but for further detailed climatological statistics reference should be made to the annual publications of the New Zealand Meteorological Service: Miscellaneous Publications No. 109 Meteorological Observations, and No. 110 Rainfall Observations. Current statistics appear monthly in the New Zealand Gazette.

CLIMATE—Situated between 34°S and 47°S the main islands lie within the broad belt of strong westerly winds which encircles the hemisphere south of about latitude 35°S. Just to the north is the high-pressure ridge of the subtropics from which barometric pressure decreases southwards over New Zealand to the deep low-pressure trough located near latitude 70°S.

The weather pattern from day to day is dominated by a succession of anticyclones, separated by troughs of low pressure, which pass more or less regularly from west to east across the Australia-Tasman Sea - New Zealand area and beyond. In this region there is no semi-permanent anticyclone such as those found in similar latitudes over the Indian Ocean and eastern Pacific Ocean respectively. The troughs normally have a north-west to south-east orientation and are associated with deep depressions centred far to the south. A typical weather sequence commences with a low-pressure trough approaching from the west. Freshening north-westerly winds prevail with increasing cloud, followed by rain for a period during which winds may reach gale force. The passage of the trough, with its associated cold front, is accompanied by a change to cold south-westerly or southerly winds and showery weather, occasionally with some hail and thunder. Barometers then rise with the approach of the next anticyclone from the west. Winds moderate and fair weather prevails for a few days as the anticyclone moves across the country.

While the sequence just described is very common the situation is frequently much more complex. The troughs are very unstable systems where depressions readily form, some of which develop into vigorous storms that may pass over New Zealand at any time of the year. Occasionally in summer a cyclonic storm of tropical origin passes over or near New Zealand accompanied by gales and heavy rain affecting mainly northern and eastern districts of the North Island. The anticyclones vary in size, intensity, and rate of movement. Their centres, on the average, follow a track across the North Island but individual centres may pass either north or south of the country, the more northerly tracks being favoured in spring and the southerly tracks in autumn. At times when little development occurs within the troughs the anticyclones follow each other at intervals of about 6-7 days.

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

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

The chain of high mountains, which extends from south-west to north-east through the length of the country, rises as a formidable barrier in the path of the prevailing westerly winds. The effect is to produce much sharper climatic contrasts from west to east than in the north-south direction. In some inland areas of the South Island just east of the mountains the climate is distinctly continental in character, despite the fact that no part of New Zealand is more than 80 miles from the sea.

Winds—Winds from a westerly quarter prevail in all seasons, with a general tendency to increase in strength from north to south. However, considerable local modifications to the general air flow occur during its passage across the mountainous terrain. Approaching the main ranges the flow from the west turns towards the north-east and on descending on the eastern side swings towards the south-east. This results in an increased number of south-westerlies in Westland and a predominance of north-westerlies in inland districts of Otago and Canterbury, where strong gales from this quarter occur at times in the late spring and summer. Daytime sea breezes usually extend from the coast inland for 30 km or more during periods of settled weather in summer. On the Canterbury coast the wind comes most frequently from the north-east, partly because there is a persistent sea breeze from this quarter, but south of Dunedin south-westerlies predominate. Cook Strait, the only substantial gap in the main mountain chain, acts as a natural funnel for the air flow and is a particularly windy locality afflicted by gales from the south-east as well as the north-west. This "funnel" effect is also in evidence about Foveaux Strait. North of Taranaki the general air flow is more from the south-west, and there is a noticeable reduction of windiness in the summer.

An indication of the variation in the frequency of strong winds from summer to winter, and in different parts of the country, is given in the next table. These figures were all obtained by the use of anemographs at airports (except for Auckland where the site is at Mechanics Bay).

StationAverage Number of Days with Gusts ReachingYears of Data
40 mph or More60 mph or More
New Plymouth3348812.14.76.822
Palmerston North2622481.10.81.918

Rainfall—The distribution of rainfall is mainly controlled by mountain features, and the highest rainfalls occur where the mountains are exposed to the direct sweep of the westerly and north-westerly winds. The mean annual rainfall (see map) ranges from as little as 300 mm in a small area of Central Otago to over 7000 mm in the Southern Alps. The average for the whole country is high, but for the greater part it lies between 600 and 1500 mm, a range regarded as favourable for plant growth in the temperate zone. The only areas with under 600 mm are found in the South Island to the east of the main ranges. These include most of central and north Otago, and South Canterbury. In the North Island, the driest areas are central and southern Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and Manawatu where the average rainfall is 700-1000 mm a year. Of the remainder, much valuable farm land, chiefly in northern Taranaki and Northland, has upwards of 1500 mm. Over a considerable area of both Islands rainfall exceeds 2500 mm a year but, with the exception of Westland, this is mountainous and unoccupied, much of it being forest-covered.

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

Areas which are exposed to the west and south-west experience much showery weather, and rain falls on roughly half the days of the year. Over most of the North Island there are at least 150 rain days (days with at least 0.2 mm of rain) a year except to the east of the ranges where there are, in places, fewer than 125 rain days. Those areas of the South Island with annual rainfall under 600 mm generally have about 100 rain days a year. In the far south the frequency of rain increases sharply; in Stewart Island and Fiordland rain days exceed 200 a year. Over most of the country between 55 and 65 percent of the rain days also qualify as wet days (2.5 mm or more). The percentage increases to over 70 in Westland, but in the low rainfall area of inland Otago there are only about 40 wet days a year compared with 100 rain days.

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

The highest daily rainfall on record is 582 mm which occurred at Rapid Creek Hokitika Catchment, where the mean annual rainfall exceeds 6000 mm. Other areas with considerably lower rainfall are also subject to very heavy daily falls; such areas are to be found in northern Hawke's Bay and in north-eastern districts of the Auckland Province. By contrast, in the Manawatu district and in Otago and Southland daily falls reaching 80 mm are very rare.

*25 millimetres equal 1 inch.
Kaitaia Aerodrome799484119152157150165122112102941430
Auckland (Albert Park)6494861141271351371429410784841268
Tauranga Aerodrome8484114114137132137137107114841041348
Hamilton (Ruakura)718184991121321171179710791891197
New Plymouth Aerodrome1071021021171631681631471121351171321565
Masterton (Waingawa)645876711021071029174746976964
Gisborne Aerodrome74619191109112112117747158641034
Waikaremoana (Onepoto)1501401681802111881982261501501471522060
Palmerston North84697474869991846989791041002
Wellington (Kelburn)8184949713213514012410211284861271
Westport Aerodrome1551681571912011881831701701832011852152
Hokitika Aerodrome2312512392342722292412362392572772342940
Milford Sound5315696305264834193784245385466385546236
Nelson Aerodrome7474818911279919476817474999
Hanmer Forest8681919911799104114899789991165
Lake Coleridge616158767971817974767671863
Lake Tekapo514348535348534856515151606
Dunedin (Musselburgh)746176747166564648587171772
Invercargill Aerodrome897994104911076966748694891042

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

Hail—Hail is most frequent in the south-west where it is reported on about 20 days a year, but for the greater part of the country it occurs on about 5 days a year or less. Most of the hailstones are small, but occasionally large stones cause local damage to glasshouses, and to orchards and market gardens, chiefly in Canterbury and Hawke's Bay.

Temperature—Mean temperatures at sea level decrease steadily southwards from 15°c in the far north to 12°c about Cook Strait, then to 9°c in the south. With increasing altitude, temperatures drop about 2°c per 300 m. January and February, with approximately the same mean temperature are the warmest months of the year; July is the coldest. Some temperature statistics for selected places are included in the table on climatological averages. Highest temperatures are recorded east of the main ranges, where they exceed 30°c on a few afternoons in most summers, usually in association with a north-westerly Föhn wind. The extremes for New Zealand (measured in a standard thermometer screen) are 42°c. which has been recorded in three places: Jordan (Marlborough), Christchurch, and Rangiora (Canterbury); and -19°c at Ophir (Central Otago).

As is to be expected, there is a small annual range of temperature (difference between mean temperature of the warmest and coldest months). In Northland and in western districts of both Islands the annual range is about 8°c. For the remainder of the North Island, and east coast districts of the South Island, it is 9°-10°c. Further inland it exceeds 11°c in places, reaching a maximum of 14°c in Central Otago where there is an approach to a continental type of climate.

Temperatures in the preceding paragraphs are recorded on the Celsius scale (formerly called centigrade), and not the Fahrenheit scale. The degree Celsius (°c) equals (°f-32).

Frost—It is well known that local variations in frostiness are considerable, even within quite small areas. On a calm, clear night the cold air in contact with a sloping surface gravitates slowly downhill to collect in valleys and depressions, and it is these "Katabatic" drifts which are mainly responsible for local temperature variations at night. Gently sloping ground with a northerly aspect tends to be least affected by frost. Favourable sites in coastal areas of Northland are free of frost, although further inland light frosts occur frequently in the winter months. At Albert Park, Auckland, the screen minimum thermometer (1 m above the ground) has registered below 0"c only once in 65 years, yet up the harbour at Whenuapai Aerodrome there are eight screen frosts per annum on the average. Excluding the uninhabited mountainous areas, the most severe winter conditions are experienced in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Plains of inland Canterbury, and on the central plateau of the North Island. Even in these areas night temperatures as low as -12°c are rarely recorded. Elsewhere over the North Island the winters are very mild and pastures maintain continuous growth. In both Islands sheep and cattle remain in the open all the year round.

Snow—The majority of New Zealanders rarely see snow except on the mountains. The North Island has a small permanent snow field above 2,500 m on the central plateau, but the snow line rarely descends below 600 m even for brief periods in winter. In the South Island snow falls on a few days a year in eastern coastal districts, and in some years may lie for a day or two even at sea level. In Westland it does not lie at sea level. The snow line on the Southern Alps is around 2,000 m in summer, being slightly lower on the western side where the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers descend through heavy bush to within 300 m of sea level. In inland Canterbury and Otago, where there are considerable areas of grazing lands above 300 m, snowfalls are heavier and more persistent and have caused serious losses of sheep during severe winters in the past. However, only rarely does the winter snow line there remain permanently below 1,000 m.

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

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

Very low humidity—from 30 percent down to about 5 percent—occurs at times in the lee of the Southern Alps where the Fohn effect is often very marked. In summer the hot, dry "Canterbury Nor'-wester" is generally a most unpleasant wind. Cool south-westerlies are also at times very dry when they reach eastern districts. In Northland the humid mid-summer conditions are inclined to be rather oppressive though temperatures rarely reach 30°c. Dull, humid spells are generally not prolonged anywhere, but their frequency shows a marked increase in the south.

Sunshine—The sunniest places are near Blenheim, the Nelson-Motueka area, and Whakatane, where the average duration of bright sunshine exceeds 2,350 hours a year. The rest of the Bay of Plenty and Napier are only slightly less sunny. A large portion of the country is favoured with at least 2,000 hours. Even Westland, despite its high rainfall, has 1,800 hours. Southland, where sunshine drops sharply to 1,700 hours a year, lies on the northern fringe of a broad zone of increasing cloudiness. Four hundred miles further to the south at Campbell Island the sunshine has the extremely low value of 650 hours a year. A pleasant feature of the New Zealand climate is the high proportion of sunshine during the winter months. To eliminate the effect of varying day-length the summer and winter sunshine at a few selected stations has been expressed as a percentage of the possible sunshine.

New Plymouth5446

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

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

StationAnnual AveragesAir Temperatures (Degrees Celsius)
Altitude (metres)Rain Days (1.0 mm or More)Wet Days (2.5 mm or More)*Bright Sunshine (Hrs)Days of Screen Frost (min. air temp. less than 0°c)Mean Temp.Mean Daily MaximumMean Daily MinimumMeal Annual
*2.5 mm equals 0.10 in.
Kaitaia Aerodrome801381032,138015.52415158282
Auckland (Albert Park)491401022,140015.42314168273
Tauranga Aerodrome4118902,285814.2241414529-3
Hamilton (Ruakura)40131992,0541713.2231312329-3
Gisborne Aerodrome4113812,224614.0241413432-2
Waikaremoana (Onepoto)643164131-611.120911328-1
New Plymouth Aerodrome271421162,102013.12113135260
Palmerston North34127911,8261513.0221213428-3
Masterton (Waingawa)114123882,0072912.2241211231-4
Wellington (Kelburn)126124952,014012.52011136261
Nelson Aerodrome296722,4034111.9221212128-3
Westport Aerodrome21691401,937112.11912124250
Hanmer Forest387115881,9238510.12299-232-9
Hokitika Aerodrome391681441,8832511.3191111326-2
Lake Coleridge3649874-7010.121910-131-7
Milford Sound3183165-2710.318910225-3
Dunedin (Musselburgh)2119791,695810.9191011330-2
Invercargill Aerodrome01571111,627489.61899028-5

NOTES: (1) Averages of rain days and wet days 1950-70; sunshine 1941-70; mean temperature, mean daily maximum and mean daily minimum 1941-70; other temperature data and days of screen frost, various periods—all exceeding 10 years.

(2) For normal monthly and annual rainfall for these stations, see table under subsection on Rainfall.

(3) At Hanmer, Queenstown, and Alexandra the possible sunshine is considerably reduced by hills or mountains, by amounts varying from 3/4 hour per day at Alexandra to 1 1/2 hours per day at Hanmer and 3 1/4 hours per day at Queenstown. The reductions in actual sunshine are less than this—mainly between half and three-fifths of the above amounts.

Brief Review of 1976—There was a high frequency of easterly winds from February to April and from August to November during 1976.

The amount of rainfall was near normal in most of the North Island though some isolated areas were above normal by up to 25 percent. In the South Island, parts of Nelson and Canterbury were above normal, although, on the West Coast, rainfall was below normal, in some areas by as much as 30 to 40 percent. At Milford Sound the 1976 rainfall was the lowest annual rainfall since records began in 1930.

Throughout the country temperatures were below average, with the exception of some areas in Auckland, Waikato, and Taranaki which were near normal. The average departure over the whole country was 0.3°c below normal. In parts of Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, and Canterbury temperatures were more than 0.5°c below normal and in some areas of Canterbury nearly 1.0°c below.

Some areas of Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and Nelson were more than 200 hours below their normal sunshine total. Northland, South Auckland, Westland, Otago, and Southland were favoured with above-average sunshine in some districts.

Seasonal Notes—January was unusually cloudy and wet in the North Island and the northern half of the South Island. Rainfall was more than double the normal value over Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, Nelson, and the Marlborough Sounds. In Northland considerable areas received four times the normal rainfall and Auckland's total of 237 mm was the highest for January in 124 years of records. In the month the majority of the rain fell between the 8th and the 15th. Although dairy production was good, many crops were affected by the rain and lack of sunshine.

February was a cold month over most of the country and in some places the coldest for 39 years. The month was also rather sunny and very dry in some areas. Rainfall was above normal over nearly all areas east of the ranges in both Islands. Farmers in Northland and Southland found conditions too dry, and some crops and stock were affected in these areas. During January and February the winds were more southerly than normal bringing almost wintry conditions to many places in both months.

March was a dry month and for a period of 6 weeks up to the 26th of the month the greater part of the country received less than 20 mm of rainfall. Considerable rain fell from the 28th to the 30th which brought some relief to farmers except in Otago where dry conditions persisted until the end of the month.

During April there was a high frequency of easterly winds causing cloudy, wet conditions in eastern and northern parts of the North Island. The dry weather which had affected Otago and Southland since the beginning of the year persisted, and parts of South Canterbury had also become affected. Rain during the last 2 days of the month did little to relieve farmers' problems in these areas.

In May rainfall was below normal over most of the country except in Southland and. Otago where it was above. In northern and eastern districts of the North Island temperatures were below the average by l-2°c, but in coastal districts of Otago and Southland it was warmer than average by 1°c. Growth was reported to be slowing up during the month, stock was in good condition.

June was a cold month with a high frequency of southerly to south-westerly winds, temperatures being below normal over the whole of the country. Although this was a cold month overall, during the first 3 days temperatures were unusually high, and Kaikoura recorded a maximum of 24°c, which was the highest temperature so far recorded in June anywhere in New Zealand. Some stations in the Bay of Plenty recorded new extreme minimum temperatures for June.

In July cloudy weather prevailed in the west, but unusually sunny conditions in most eastern districts of the country. The rainfall was above normal over the greater part of the country and in western Southland it was more than double the normal value. Snow was reported well down on the hills around Nelson, Wellington, and the Wairarapa.

August was a relatively mild month in the North Island with a high frequency of easterly winds, which brought considerable cloud and rain to eastern and northern districts of the South Island. Lambing losses were reported in the high country due to cold rain and snow.

September was the wettest since 1943 in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay; by contrast the weather in the southwest of the South Island was very dry for the second month in succession. Sunshine was below normal east of the ranges from Gisborne to Canterbury: the only area which had sunshine appreciably above normal was the West Coast. Temperatures were below normal except for areas in Nelson, the West Coast, and a few small areas of the North Island.

October was less windy than usual, with cloudy wet conditions prevailing in eastern districts. Temperatures were unusually cold in Canterbury, and in the Christchurch-Ashburton area they were below normal by more than 2°c, It continued to be particularly dry in Fiordland and the Southern Lakes district. In Dunedin the total sunshine of 90 hours for the month was the lowest recorded in New Zealand in October.

November was the fourth successive month with a high frequency of easterly winds. Cloudy cold conditions prevailed east of the ranges but there was a lack of rain in western districts of the South Island. East of the ranges in both Islands it was the coldest November since 1946. the coldest period being from 10 to 14 November.

In December cloudy conditions prevailed over most of the country and the rainfall was above normal throughout the whole of the South Island and parts of the North Island. Very heavy rainfalls of 200-300 mm were recorded in the Wellington - Hutt Valley area on 20 December. In 6 hours 85 mm of rain was recorded at Kelburn, Wellington and this is the highest value since measurements began in 1928. Damage caused by major flooding and many slips in these areas reached a total value of many millions of dollars. Hail storms on 22 December caused widespread damage to apple and pear orchards in the Nelson province.

Summary of Meteorological Observations for 1976—The observations from which the following summary was compiled for the year 1976 were made at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time, i.e. 2100 hours Greenwich mean time.

StationRainfall (mm)Rain Days (1.0 mm or More)Bright Sunshine (hours)Screen Frost Days*Air Temperature (Degrees Celsius)
Mean Temp.Mean Daily MaximumMean Daily MinimumExtremes

*Minimum Air Temperatures less than 0.0°C.

†°C = 5/9 (°F-32).

Tauranga Aerodrome131012421790913.722.813.914.83.927.7-4.8
Rotorua, Whakarewarewa151512517921612.321.911.714.03.027.1-1.6
Hamilton, Ruakura146913220201513.322.913.
New Plymouth Aerodrome153814521810413.120.613.113.85.624.8-1.1
Gisborne Aerodrome117413720501013.323.514.
Onepoto, Waikaremoana2455185---19.710.211.72.2--
Palmerston North DSIR122213516281412.720.911.714.04.626.0-2.5
Wellington, Kelburn146113519180012.018.811.
Westport Aerodrome232516518520212.118.912.
Hokitika Aerodrome260516019172611.218.311.011.32.322.4-2.2
Milford Sound4244151-37-
Nelson Aerodrome125911522462811.820.811.913.81.426.4-3.9
Hanmer Forest14721321706879.420.89.59.4-1.233.1-7.0
Lake Coleridge733110-839.520.59.910.0-1.332.2-6.0
Dunedin, Musselburgh72912816720810.517.710.610.43.130.0-1.4
Gore DSIR8451371805499.
Invercargill Aerodrome9391561609419.517.

For 1976 the mean sea level pressure values in millibars at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time were: Auckland, 1014.5; Kelburn, Wellington, 1013.0; Nelson Aerodrome, 1013.2; Hokitika Aerodrome, 1013.1; Christchurch, 1012.4; and Dunedin Airport, 1012.1.


Table of Contents

EARLY HISTORY: General—When New Zealand was discovered by Europeans in 1642 it was found to be inhabited by a race of Polynesians called Maoris, who had migrated to these islands at least 300 years previously. It is generally accepted that the Maoris came originally from South-east Asia, whence, as proto-Polynesians, they moved eastwards from island to island until they reached the eastern Pacific, where they settled the islands now known collectively as Polynesia. From Polynesia the ancestors of the Maori sailed south-west in ocean-going canoes to reach New Zealand and these voyages were probably spread over several generations, perhaps several centuries. Oral Maori history and genealogy support the view that there was a final wave of migration of considerable magnitude about A.D. 1350. Adapting themselves to a new physical environment, in isolation from the outside world, the Maoris produced forms of social and economic organisation and material culture which were significantly different from their Polynesian prototypes.

Coming from tropical latitudes, the Maoris mainly confined themselves to the warmer North Island, and when discovered by Europeans were in a high state of neolithic civilisation, with marked superiority in the arts of wood carving and military engineering. Their principal social unit was the family group, and from combinations of the numerous groups were formed the subtribes and tribes. They had highly developed social and ritualistic customs, and their system of land tenure and methods of cultivation were communal within the subtribes. Inter-tribal and intra-tribal warfare was common, and as individuals Maoris displayed exceptional courage and intelligence.

From the early days of European settlement in the first half of the nineteenth century many Maoris believed that their interests were best served by co-operation with the settlers. For the most part the Europeans adopted a humanitarian attitude to the Maori people, who accepted their assurances and found a satisfactory safeguard for their interests in the exercise of their rights and privileges as British subjects. As the Europeans established a self-contained and aggressively growing society, there grew up a rivalry for land and a clash of power. In the 1860s Maori tribes in Taranaki, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty fought the settlers and Government troops in a series of sporadic campaigns based on loss of land rights and rising Maori nationalism. After 1870 there followed the development of a European colony of settlement with Maori people making further economic adjustments to European ways.

The introduction of European diseases and firearms, and the impact of European civilisation on the traditional way of life and customs of the Maoris, had such an adverse effect that their numbers must have need reduced by over half during the nineteenth century. However, the virility of the race gradually asserted itself, and from the beginning of the twentieth century the Maori population has been rapidly increasing though still forming a minority component.

Discovery by Europeans—On 13 December 1642, Abel Janszoon Tasman, a navigator of the Dutch East India Company, discovered the country to which he gave the name of Staten Land, and which later became known as "Nieuw Zeeland". Tasman had left Batavia on 14 August 1642, and, after having discovered Tasmania, he steered eastward and sighted the west coast of the South Island, described by him as a high mountainous country. Sailing north, he had the misfortune to come into conflict with the Maoris at Golden Bay, on the north coast of the South Island, so that, though he continued his northward journey until he reached the northern tip of the country, he did not again attempt to land.

There is no record of any European visit to New Zealand after Tasman's departure until Captain James Cook sighted land on 7 October 1769 near Gisborne. Cook and a party of men from the Endeavour landed at Gisborne on 9 October 1769. On his first voyage Cook spent 6 months exploring the New Zealand coastline, and he completely circumnavigated the North and South Islands. His activities can best be described by saying "he found New Zealand a line on a map, and left it an archipelago". Not only was Cook's ability shown by his cartographical accuracy, but also in his peaceful dealings with the Maoris. He returned to New Zealand again in 1773, 1774, and in 1777. His careful observations made New Zealand known to the western world; the accounts of his voyages were translated into a dozen languages.

The 15 islands forming the Cook Islands group were discovered piecemeal over a period of 240 years, the first by the Spanish explorer, Mendana, in 1595, several by Captain Cook during the period 1773 to 1777, and the last, Nassau, in 1835.

The European discovery of Niue Island was made by Captain Cook in 1774. It was formerly believed that the first recorded discovery of the Tokelau Islands was made by the Spanish explorer Pedro Fernandez de Quiros in 1606. However, it is now thought that it was one of the northern Cook Islands that he sighted, and that the first European to visit the Tokelaus was Commodore Byron, R.N., who sighted Atafu in 1765.

European Settlement and Colonisation—Whaling stations sprang up along the New Zealand coast from 1792 onwards and a trade with New South Wales began not only in whale oil and seal skins, but also in flax and timber. In 1814 Samuel Marsden, chaplain to the Governor of New South Wales, was responsible for the establishment of the first mission station in the Bay of Islands.

The growing white population in the Bay of Islands, and the lawlessness of crews of visiting ships led to the appointment by the British Government of James Busby as British Resident at Waitangi in 1833. The Governor of New South Wales in 1837 sent Captain William Hobson, in command of HMS Rattlesnake, from Sydney to the Bay of Islands to report on New Zealand. Among other things, Hobson suggested a treaty with the Maori chiefs and the placing of British subjects under British law. On 29 January 1840 Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands as Governor to proclaim British sovereignty.

By 1840 numerous mission stations had spread through the northern half of the North Island. Conversion of Maori tribes to Christianity was accompanied by the introduction of new crops and methods of cultivation and pacification of the warring tribes.

The first body of immigrants to reach New Zealand under a definite scheme of colonisation arrived at Port Nicholson, Wellington, on 22 January 1840 to found the initial settlement of the New Zealand Company. The colonists were in the main sturdy resourceful people seeking a better future than was offering in nineteenth century industrial England.

The guiding genius of the company, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, aware of the intention of the British Government to annex New Zealand, had earlier (in 1839), dispatched his agents in order to purchase large areas of land from the Maoris before the Crown could assume a monopoly of land purchase.

Wakefield's scheme of colonisation was based on the sale of land to investors or men of wealth for development by labouring class immigrants. With the profit from land sales the company could bring out more immigrants. Wakefield aimed at a balance between landowners and labourers; in effect he aimed to transplant a cross-section of English society. But, ignorant of the system of tribal ownership of Maori land, the company had bought land from individual Maoris; then Hobson provided that all European land titles should derive from the Crown which would be the only purchaser of land from the Maoris. Title to land remained a difficulty for some years and was a cause of distress to the colonists and, combined with a considerable degree of absentee ownership and land speculation, made most precarious the existence of the early company settlements of Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth, and Nelson. The company had brought nearly 10,000 persons to New Zealand by 1848. The later settlements of Otago, in 1848, and Canterbury, in 1850, organised under the aegis of the New Zealand Company in co-operation with the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of England respectively, achieved a much greater measure of success owing to the absence of any large Maori population and to satisfactory land purchase arrangements.

The non-Maori population in the main settlements in 1842 totalled 3,801 in Wellington, 2,895 in Auckland, 2,500 in Nelson, 895 in New Plymouth, 380 in Russell, 263 in Hokianga, and 198 in Akaroa. By 1862 the non-Maori population had reached 125,000 (as against 55,000 Maoris) and by 1866 it had jumped to 200,000 with men from Australia joining in the gold rush to Otago. Migration then dropped away until 1874 when there was a high inflow for several years from Britain with the Vogel policy of public works development.

After the death of Hobson in 1842, subsequent governors, through lack of funds and weak administration, found themselves unable to protect the small and helpless settlements from threatening Maori aggression engendered by strong feelings on land ownership. The response of the Colonial Office was to appoint Captain George Grey as Governor and to provide him with adequate funds and troops so that he soon restored order and won not only the confidence of the Maoris but also for a time that of the settlers. Grey, through his chief land purchase officer, Donald McLean, endeavoured to buy up land in advance of the settlers' needs in order to prevent conflict between settlers and Maoris. By 1858 the census revealed that the settlers outnumbered the Maoris who, fearful that they were being swamped by the settlers, became increasingly reluctant to sell their land. At the same time the intensified settler pressure for more land led McLean to negotiate only with those Maoris still favourably disposed to land sales. This practice alarmed the other Maoris and finally the war broke out in 1860 over a land dispute at Waitara in Taranaki where settler demand for land was strongest. The return of Grey as Governor did not solve the problem for, as an autocrat, he could not work with elected ministers nor could he regain the confidence of the Maoris and finally he quarrelled with the commander of the Imperial troops. Widespread confiscation of Maori land by the settlers' government in order to pay the cost of the war included land belonging to friendly as well as hostile Maoris and aroused further resentment. The war had died down by 1870 and during the term of Donald McLean as Native Minister some measure of reconciliation began.

Public Works and Farm Development—The absence of hostilities and the discovery of gold there had allowed the South Island to obtain a lead in commercial and political development which it long maintained. Moreover, with the subsequent agrarian expansion especially in the development of the large pastoral holdings, the country ceased to be merely self-sufficient agriculturally but began to develop a substantial export trade, mainly in wool.

By 1870 the gold boom had ended in the South Island. To remedy the situation of economic stagnation, Sir Julius Vogel began a policy of extensive borrowing for railway and road construction and for immigrant labour. The results of this policy were to double the population to 500,000 by 1880, to immensely improve transport and communications, and to encourage industry in the towns where most of the immigrants had congregated.

With the introduction of refrigeration in 1882 and steam navigation in the late 19th century, the development of exports of frozen meat and dairy products assured the dominance of the United Kingdom in New Zealand's external trade. These developments, with a continued substantial investment of British capital, particularly in farming and food processing industries, established that degree of specialisation to meet the needs of the British market, which shaped the entire New Zealand economy during its first hundred years.

The depression of the 1880s, a consequence of a fall in world price levels, resulted in unemployment and large emigration but export prices recovered in the nineties. From 1880 onwards the natural increase of births over deaths exceeded the net inflow from migration.

In 1891 John Ballance, as leader of the Liberal Party, became Premier to be followed on his death in 1893 by Richard John Seddon, who remained Premier until his death in June 1906. The Government pursued a vigorous legislative programme in which the main emphasis was on social justice.

The expansion of the exports in dairy produce and frozen meat during the 1890s produced more intensive settlement and the rise of a new farming class in which the "cow-cockie" was the dominant figure. These farmers, having benefited by the spread of prosperity, were in 1911 mainly responsible together with the city businessmen for the overthrow of the Liberal regime. The new Reform Government under William Massey, in order to strengthen the primary producer, introduced measures of which the extension of rural credit was typical.

Three years after the advent of the Reform Party, the First World War, 1914-1918, broke out, leading to a coalition Government and an Imperial commandeer of exports which created the precedent for the establishment after the war of central boards to regulate the exports of pastoral products. War activities were marked by heavy casualties in proportion to the population while the landing at Gallipoli signified the growing awareness of a sense of nationhood.

Though the effects of the post-war depression during the period 1921-24 showed themselves in an increase in unemployment and slight wage reduction, no drastic legislation was necessary to stabilise economic conditions. During the following years the price level rose; and on the administrative side, the period was characterised by extensive public works expenditure, with particular attention to hydro-electric schemes and highways.

Land values rose steeply, accelerated by Government efforts to settle returned servicemen on the land, and between 1915 and 1925 forty percent of the occupied land had changed hands. New Zealand was extremely vulnerable to the overseas price fluctuations of the pastoral products. With the advent of the depression by 1930, farmers, despite greatly increased production, were faced with a serious decline in income (over forty percent) together with heavy mortgage commitments on land bought at high prices so that many were faced with foreclosure. In the towns, tradesmen and shopkeepers faced bankruptcy, and wage earners unemployment or reduction in wages. A Coalition Government was formed in 1931 to meet the crisis. Partly as a result of measures taken by this government and partly as a result of a rise in overseas price levels a general economic revival was taking place by 1935.

DEVELOPMENT AS A NATION—The election of a Labour Government, under the leadership of Michael Savage, in 1935 led to changes in administrative policy and a renewed emphasis on social problems.

The financial needs of the Second World War from 1939 onwards were met with virtually no overseas borrowing. Financing the war by taxation and internal borrowing also assisted in the achievement of a successful stabilisation policy. Full employment in war was followed by full employment in peace. Expansion and diversification of manufacturing and servicing industries provided avenues of employment for the growing labour force.

At the 1949 election the Labour Government was defeated after holding office since 1936. It was succeeded by a National Government, under the leadership of Sidney Holland.

During his time as Prime Minister, Holland initiated a constitutional change with the abolition of the Legislative Council on the grounds that it no longer possessed any effective function.

In 1957, the Labour Party gained a narrow victory at the polls under the leadership of Walter Nash. Budgetary policy to meet a recurrence of the balance of payments crisis proved unpopular and at the 1960 election, the National Party under the leadership of Keith Holyoake was returned to power, as it was in subsequent elections in 1963, 1966, and 1969. Early in 1972 John Marshall became leader of the National Party. At the 1972 election the Labour Party swept back into power under Norman Kirk; after his untimely death in 1974 W. E. Rowling became Prime Minister. At the 1975 election there was a dramatic reversal of the position 3 years earlier, and the National Party under Robert Muldoon was returned to power with a substantial majority.

International affairs have assumed growing importance in recent decades. It was evident when peace returned to the Pacific area in 1945 that New Zealand found itself in a different world, where its relations with the countries geographically closest to it would grow rapidly in importance. The course of New Zealand's international relations in recent years is dealt with in some detail later in this section.

Relations with Europe—For almost a hundred years the economy of New Zealand was shaped to supplying the needs of the British market. Farm production constantly expanded, so that New Zealand became one of the world's greatest exporters of pastoral produce. The bulk of this produce went to Britain. The decision of Britain to become part of the European Economic Community with effect from 1973 and thus subject to a new pattern of trading arrangements would have been disastrous for New Zealand's exports of dairy produce and lamb, but for the negotiating of special arrangements for continuing trade.

Pacific Orientation—Increasing interest has been taken in recent decades in the welfare and social development generally of both the rapidly growing Maori population and the inhabitants of the islands of the Pacific with New Zealand ties.

New Zealand has experienced in recent years a considerable inflow of Polynesians from its associated territories and elsewhere in the Pacific. One-tenth of the New Zealand population is Maori or Polynesian, and there are more Niue Islanders in New Zealand than in Niue. Cook, Niue, and Tokelau Islanders are New Zealand citizens who freely move back and forth. These people have undoubtedly had a big influence on the character, attitudes, and behaviour of the rest of the New Zealand population—most have some understanding of the "Polynesian way". New Zealand has a number of other basic links with the South Pacific, due in part to the common colonial history shared with such nations as Fiji. This British heritage has given a common language and the democratic tradition. Today all the independent states of the South Pacific are associated in the British Commonwealth.

The most recent political development is the establishment of the South Pacific Forum. This group, comprising the leaders of the independent and self-governing nations of the South Pacific (Cook Islands, Niue, Western Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Nauru), together with Australia and New Zealand, has had highly successful meetings in their respective capitals. The South Pacific Forum is a new concept in international relations—an exciting development. There is no constitution, there is no agenda, and there is no formality. The leaders come together in private sessions for frank and concentrated discussion on practical matters of direct relevance to the people of the Pacific. The island leaders themselves suggested the formula and proposed Australian and New Zealand participation. Clearly they saw the need to exchange views, discuss projects and priorities, and generally to secure on a regional basis effective collaboration and co-ordination at the highest level. A South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation has been established with a broad programme of trade, production, and economic development. It is based in Suva.

Expansion of overseas aid to the Pacific and to Asia from 1973 onwards has been a feature of the Labour Government under Kirk and subsequently under Rowling, and more recently of the National Government under Muldoon.

Sovereignty—On 29 January 1840 Captain William Hobson, R.N., arrived in the Bay of Islands. His instructions from the British Government required him to take possession of the country with the consent of the Maori chiefs, this policy being designed by the Colonial Office strongly influenced by missionary opinion, to safeguard the well-being of the native people. Hobson read his commission at Kororareka on 30 January and on 6 February 46 chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, a compact whereby all rights and powers of sovereignty were ceded to the Queen, all territorial rights were secured to the chiefs and their tribes (with the Crown having the sole right of purchase) and in return the Queen extended her protection and all the rights and privileges of British subjects. Other chiefs throughout both Islands later adhered to this Treaty.

On 21 May 1840 Governor Hobson proclaimed British sovereignty in the case of the North Island by virtue of the Treaty of Waitangi, and in the case of the South Island and Stewart Island by right of discovery. New Zealand remained a dependency of New South Wales until 3 May 1841, when it was created a separate colony by Royal Charter dated 16 November 1840. The capital was at first transferred from Russell to Auckland, but in 1865 it was again transferred, on this occasion to Wellington, where the seat of Government has since remained.

During Governor Grey's term, steps were taken to draft a constitution for the colony. An Act granting representative institutions was passed by the Imperial Parliament on 30 June 1852, and was published in New Zealand by Proclamation on 17 January 1853. Under it, provision was made for the constitution of a General Assembly consisting of a Legislative Council and a House of Representatives. Provision was also made for the division of the country into provinces, each province having an elected Council and Superintendent. (The provincial system was abolished in 1875 and the Legislative Council in 1950.) In the first General Assembly of 27 August 1854 certain members of this body were associated with the permanent members of the executive but they did not hold any portfolios. It was not until 7 May 1856 that responsible government was actually established.

One aspect, that of native affairs, was withheld from the responsible Ministers, and the Governor, as representative of the Crown, continued to act independently of his elected advisors in this sphere. In 1861 Grey attempted unsuccessfully to hand over this responsibility but the Ministers were unwilling to assume responsibility for the cost of the war. Finally in 1864 Sir Frederick Weld instituted the "self-reliant policy" whereby the colony accepted responsibility for the settlement of difficulties with the Maoris and consented to the withdrawal of troops by the Imperial Government.

In recognition of a nascent sense of nationality and of an increasing desire for self-reliance in political matters New Zealand was given the title of Dominion in lieu of Colony, the new title taking effect on 26 September 1907.

Of the constitutional events in recent years the passing by the United Kingdom Parliament of the Statute of Westminster in December 1931 was of major importance. The draft of this statute was submitted for the confirmation of the various Commonwealth legislatures before its passage through the United Kingdom Parliament. The statute granted complete autonomy to the various self-governing member countries, but it did not automatically apply to Australia or New Zealand. In other words, its operation in the latter self-governing members of the Commonwealth was declared to require specific adoption by the legislatures of those countries. It was not until 1947 that the New Zealand Government formally adopted the Statute of Westminster.

Development of New Zealand's International Relations—Until the early 1930s New Zealand's external interests were almost exclusively centred on its relationship with Britain. The British Navy protected New Zealand and Britain took the bulk of New Zealand's exports. Where Britain led, New Zealand followed, not blindly but with pride and conviction. Britain, as a great power, played a major role in world affairs. New Zealand's "foreign policy" consisted chiefly of seeking to modify British policy in those few cases where New Zealand had a strong interest or a viewpoint rather different from that of Britain.

The emergence of a distinctively New Zealand foreign policy is usually regarded as dating from 1935. The Labour Government strongly upheld the principle of collective security and pressed for vigorous collective action by the League of Nations against aggression in Abyssinia, Spain, and China at a time when the United Kingdom was pursuing the policy which came to be known as "appeasement".

There was, however, no suggestion that New Zealand was departing from its historically close association with Britain. The course it would follow in the event of war was never in doubt. When war broke out the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. M. J. Savage, expressed New Zealand's position in these terms:

"Behind the sure shield of Britain we have enjoyed and cherished freedom and self-government. Both with gratitude for the past, and with confidence in the future, we range ourselves without fear behind Britain. Where she goes, we go. Where she stands, we stand."

But the Second World War changed the pattern of power in the world and made it necessary for New Zealand to adopt a more independent foreign policy. The New Zealand Government established (in effect from 1943) a career foreign affairs service, and made a beginning in stationing its own diplomatic representatives in countries where New Zealand's interests made their presence necessary. In particular, New Zealand sought to foster good relationships with its neighbours in the Pacific and Asia and to increase the measure of security and welfare in these areas.

Woven into post-war policy was the traditional New Zealand belief in the principles of collective security and international justice, which the United Nations was pledged to support. There was also the belief that the international community should give high priority to the welfare and political advancement of dependent peoples and to the elimination of poverty, disease, and other economic and social causes of international tension.

The wartime alliance of the two Pacific Commonwealth countries of Australia and New Zealand with the United States found expression in peacetime in the ANZUS Treaty, in which, for the first time, New Zealand and Australia entered into a security treaty with a foreign country. The ANZUS Treaty, which came into force in April 1952, gives an assurance of United States support in the event of an armed attack from any quarter in the Pacific and so constitutes New Zealand's major safeguard against aggression in the area. The signing of the Manila Treaty and the establishment of SEATO like the formation of the ANZUS alliance, took place in 1954, against a background of continuing instability and violence in South-east Asia.

The scope of New Zealand's interests in Asia widened considerably in the years following signature of the Manila Treaty. Diplomatic relations were established with a growing number of countries in the area, leading to increased co-operation in fields besides that of defence. By the mid-1960s New Zealand had more widespread representation in Asia than in Western Europe.

The political evolution of the South Pacific, with the emergence of Western Samoa, Nauru, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga as independent states and the Cook Islands and Niue as self-governing countries in free association with New Zealand, has led to the development of a new pattern of relationships, bilateral and multilateral, between New Zealand and its South Pacific neighbours. In addition to its special relationship with Western Samoa (a former United Nations Trust Territory administered by New Zealand), the Cook Islands, and Niue (whose people retain New Zealand citizenship), New Zealand has close bilateral ties with Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and Papua New Guinea. A relationship is rapidly developing with other Pacific countries approaching independence, such as the Solomon Islands, the Gilberts, and Tuvalu.

New Zealand is co-operating with these countries at the regional level in the South Pacific Forum, where the independent and self-governing countries in the South Pacific, together with Australia and New Zealand, discuss their common problems.

The Forum, in 1973, established the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation (SPEC) which is aimed at facilitating co-operation and consultation on trading, transport, and economic matters among forum members.

New Zealand is endeavouring also to promote the economic and social welfare of the South Pacific peoples and to foster an emerging sense of regional identity through its membership of the South Pacific Commission, an organisation whose members are not only the South Pacific's independent and self-governing countries but also those territories remaining under British, French, and American administration.

Her Majesty the Queen, in right of New Zealand, is responsible for the external relations of the former dependent territories of the Cook Islands and Niue, which are now self-governing. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs is the Administrator of Tokelau, which is a non-selfgoverning territory administered by New Zealand.

New Zealand has continued to place special importance upon its membership of the United Nations. It is an active participant in the work of the General Assembly, and has been a member of all Councils of the Organisation. In 1950 it provided troops to the United Nations Command in Korea and has contributed military observers and civilian police in various peace-keeping operations. It has sought to assist all efforts to attain the political and social objectives outlined in the Charter.

The historical links with Britain and with Western Europe and North America remain close, as does the economic relationship with Britain, New Zealand's largest single customer. Although New Zealand has been making satisfactory progress in diversifying her markets, especially within the Pacific Basin, her trading and other interests in the European Economic Community remain a major policy concern.

The Labour Government, which was elected in 1972, emphasised its wish to strengthen New Zealand's bilateral links with the nations of Asia and the Pacific as well as expand regional co-operation, its commitment to a vigorous programme of aid to less-developed countries, and its belief that the United Nations can and should do more to protect and advance the interests of its smaller members Successive governments have made clear New Zealand's total rejection of all doctrines of racial superiority and its determination to play a more independent role in world affairs. A new element in New Zealand's foreign policy in 1974-75 was the introduction of a Cultural Relations Exchange Programme. The Government, aware of the contribution cultural relations can make to the growth of better international understanding, set aside the sum of $50,000 annually to promote cultural exchanges. In 1975-76 emphasis was placed on exchanges with China.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN RECENT YEARS—The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the primary responsibility of advising and assisting the Government in formulating and executing decisions in the field of New Zealand's external relations. It is the agency through which other governments and their representatives in New Zealand communicate with the New Zealand Government. It operates New Zealand's aid programmes and maintains New Zealand's diplomatic and consular representation abroad. The ministry's overseas functions are discharged through a network of 45 diplomatic and consular posts consisting of embassies, high commissions, consulates-general, and other permanent missions. At home, the preparation and co-ordination of foreign policy recommendations is carried out in close association with a number of other Government departments.

The ministry has a substantive role in the formulation and execution of New Zealand's economic policies. In Wellington the ministry works closely on these questions with other departments such as the Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry, Customs Department, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Economic activity is as much part of an overseas mission's everyday work as its political, consular, and trade functions. Officers of the ministry have a major responsibility to inform foreign governments of New Zealand's policies, negotiate agreements, and keep the New Zealand Government informed of economic developments in the country to which they are accredited.

The ministry's involvement in the economic sphere was amply demonstrated in the events leading up to Britain's entry into the EEC. The negotiations in Luxembourg, that decided the terms of British entry and the special arrangement for New Zealand exports of butter and cheese to Britain, were preceded by an intensive campaign of publicity for New Zealand's case, continuous ministerial and official contacts in Britain and Europe, and a series of visits to New Zealand by British and European Ministers, officials and journalists directly concerned with Common Market affairs. In all this activity the ministry played a full part in Wellington, with other departments, and abroad where its officers were heavily involved.

Since British accession, New Zealand has pressed continuously for improvements in its terms of trade with Britain. As a result New Zealand's position post-1977 was strengthened by the Dublin Declaration, issued by the Community Heads of Government on 11 March 1975, following a British initiative to have the question considered.

The ministry has a special role also as a clearing house for material provided by New Zealand posts overseas for other departments, and through its posts it performs numerous services on behalf of departments without representatives abroad. It also works in close liaison with the Overseas Information and Publicity Section of the Tourist and Publicity Department to ensure that overseas posts are kept supplied with up-to-date information about New Zealand.

In the Official Section at the end of the Yearbook the diplomatic and other New Zealand representation overseas is listed.

New Zealand in the Commonwealth—As a member of the Commonwealth New Zealand is able to consult and co-operate with 35 other countries in a wide variety of activity, both governmental and non-governmental. The value to New Zealand of its Commonwealth links is derived not only from the practical benefits of what the Commonwealth does but also from the heterogenous composition of the association. Its 36 members take in the 6 continents and the 5 oceans of the world. The Pacific region is now fully represented in the Commonwealth. Fiji, Tonga, Western Samoa and Papua New Guinea are full members along with Australia and New Zealand, and Nauru has special status.

As the Commonwealth has grown and changed, its relationships have taken on a new scope and emphasis. As Commonwealth heads of government affirmed in the Commonwealth Declaration adopted at their meeting in 1971, the association "provides many channels for continuing exchanges of knowledge and views on professional, cultural, economic, legal and political issues among member states. These relationships we foster and extend for we believe that our multinational association can expand human understanding and understanding among nations, assist in the elimination of discrimination based on differences of race, colour, and creed, maintain and strengthen personal liberty, contribute to the enrichment of life for all, and provide a powerful influence for peace among nations." New Zealand, itself a country where different races live in harmony, sees in the Commonwealth a special opportunity for multi-racial co-operation and understanding.

The value of the association in providing a forum for the exchange of views between a large number of diverse nations, as set out in the Declaration, was illustrated at the Heads of Government Meetings in 1973 in Ottawa and in 1975 in Kingston, Jamaica. Discussions were frank, informal, and private, ranging over topics which included changing power relationships, trade, monetary and other economic issues, security, nuclear testing, development assistance, foreign investment, international transport, and South African questions. The 1975 meeting paid special attention to the world economic situation, especially the problems of developing nations. Periodic meetings of Commonwealth Ministers of Finance, Trade, Health, Law, and Education promote the exchange of views and functional co-operation in diverse fields of national activity. Ministerial meetings are supported by conferences and seminars of officials and professional and technical specialists.

The belief of member countries in the potential of the Commonwealth led to the establishment of a permanent Commonwealth Secretariat in London in 1965 to be the main agency for multilateral communication among Commonwealth governments. The Secretariat promotes consultation and disseminates information on matters of common concern, organises meetings and conferences, and co-ordinates many Commonwealth activities. Prominent among these is the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation. The fund is financed by voluntary contributions from most Commonwealth countries. Its primary purpose is to promote economic development through self-help and mutual assistance.

Besides contributing to the budget of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation, New Zealand provides financial support to a number of other intergovernmental Commonwealth organisations which promote co-operation in specific areas. New Zealand also contributes to the Commonwealth Foundation, which was established at the same time as the Secretariat to promote close links in the professions throughout the Commonwealth. It has sponsored official and non-official Commonwealth professional organisations and strengthened the links between administrators, engineers, lawyers, accountants, scientists, and private individuals in the different Commonwealth organisations. Like the Secretariat it has provided a focus for Commonwealth activities and a basis for extending international co-operation.

New Zealand's Relations with Western Europe—Until recently New Zealand's dealings with the countries of Western Europe have tended to concentrate almost entirely on trade matters and particularly on the question of access to the European Common Market for New Zealand's agricultural exports, for this was, and still is, of crucial importance to New Zealand.

Inevitably, however, the wider political and economic aspects of New Zealand's relations with the states of Western Europe have come to assume greater significance, as we have acquired more knowledge and understanding of the issues affecting each other, and especially as the European Community begins to play an increasing role in international affairs.

New Zealand shares a great deal in common with the countries of Western Europe in terms of shared historical experience, democratic political systems, and lifestyles. New Zealand's membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Authority (IEA) underlines the community of broad economic interests. The range of bilateral contacts between New Zealand and individual countries of Western Europe, in all fields, steadily expands, their continued development being one of the main aims of New Zealand's foreign policy.

New Zealand's Relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe—New Zealand's relations with the countries of Eastern Europe have developed considerably in recent years, especially in the field of trade. This growth has been reflected in the expansion of New Zealand's diplomatic representation in the area. Over the last 3 years New Zealand's Ambassador in Vienna has been accredited to four East European countries, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. New Zealand's Ambassador in Rome is accredited to Yugoslavia.

Trade is also a major element in New Zealand's relations with the Soviet Union, which is now the fifth largest market for New Zealand's exports. The New Zealand Embassy in Moscow was re-opened in 1973.

New Zealand and the Middle East—New Zealand has developed its relations with countries in the Middle East since 1973 in response to the enhanced importance of the region in world political and economic affairs. The greatly increased price of oil and the possibility of a supply cut with renewed hostilities has made it important that New Zealand develop its relations with producing countries. The increased oil revenues have given greater purchasing power to the countries in the region which, with their development programmes and rising standards of living, have a rapidly growing demand for goods and services which New Zealand can provide.

Relations with Iran have developed quickly. In 1974 a number of ministerial and official visits were exchanged between the two countries, culminating in the visit to New Zealand in September 1974 of Their Imperial Majesties, the Shah and Shahbanou and the signing of a trade agreement. In early 1975 New Zealand opened an embassy in Tehran. Relations with other countries in the Middle East have been developed as a result of a goodwill mission visiting the major Arab countries in early 1974, and with ministerial visits between New Zealand and Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Bahrain. New Zealand has accredited a non-resident Ambassador to Egypt and to Iraq. In 1975 an embassy under a Charge d'Affaires was opened in Baghdad, and both Egypt and Israel opened embassies in Wellington.

New Zealand and the Asian Area—Since the Second World War, and particularly since 1955, there has been a noteworthy growth in New Zealand's relations with the countries of the Asian/Pacific area. New Zealand has a direct interest in the maintenance of peace and the growth of prosperity in the area. It enjoys a close relationship with Japan, and with the countries which make up the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN): Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. Since the normalisation of relations with the People's Republic of China in 1972, New Zealand's contacts with China, a dominant force in Asia, have been increasing, and contributing to a growing awareness within New Zealand of the Asian region.

Trade with Asia is becoming more and more important to New Zealand. Private initiative, with Government assistance, has been able to develop new markets, new products, new selling processes, and new economic and commercial relationships. A pattern of regular economic consultations with our main trading partners has been developed; bilateral economic agreements have been concluded.

Aid activities have been expanded. In the early 1950s aid programmes, except for assistance to New Zealand's own Pacific territories, were largely directed towards the Indian subcontinent in the form of capital grants, which called for little direct New Zealand participation. Since the mid 1950s, technical assistance programmes have been enlarged to bring students to New Zealand and send New Zealand experts into the area. Aid activities now utilise New Zealand's industrial and engineering skills as well as those in the more traditional agricultural and health fields.

New Zealand's growing interests and involvement in Asia are reflected in the changing pattern of its diplomatic representation. Prior to 1955, when New Zealand opened a post in Singapore, it had only one diplomatic mission in the region, in Tokyo. Representation has now been established in all of the ASEAN countries, in New Delhi, Peking, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Many of these missions are accredited to other Asian capitals. The network thus created enables New Zealand to assess external events in the light of this country's own interests and needs, and to work directly with other countries in areas of common concern. New Zealand has also developed its political contacts with countries of the area in other important ways. Exchanges of visits by Heads of State and Government Ministers and parliamentarians have increased, and the development of regular bilateral consultations has also been encouraged.

New Zealand has placed particular emphasis on supporting regional organisations for co-operation and consultation in both the political and development fields. It is one of a small group of nations closely associated with ASEAN, which it sees as a force for stability and economic development in South-east Asia. It has initiated a number of joint projects with ASEAN for development and trade co-operation. New Zealand is an associate member of the South-east Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), and a member of the Ministerial Conference for the Economic Development of South-east Asia (MEDSEA), an organisation which is in the process of redefining its role following changes of government in the countries of Indo-China.

The degree of cultural interchange between New Zealand and the countries of Asia has expanded steadily. Where once New Zealanders looked largely to Britain for cultural inspiration and experience, now their horizons have broadened. Increased contacts with Asia have brought with them an awareness of what the cultural background of the countries there can offer New Zealand. Professional bodies, sporting associations, cultural groups, and universities today have links with similar organisations in Asia, as well as with more traditional partners such as Britain and Australia. The development of civil air links, and the concurrent growth of tourism, have also helped to bring a wider range of contacts.

Nowhere within the Pacific Basin has New Zealand's adaptation to changed circumstances been more complete than in its relationship with Japan. Today that association is one of the most important that New Zealand has and it is friendly and rewarding for both sides. Its elements are varied—trade, consultation, co-operation, and a growing range of cultural, educational, sporting, and personal ties. In many ways, the conditions for a developing trading relationship are ideal, for the two countries are located in different hemispheres, their economies are complementary, and each has in abundance some things that the other needs. Despite those advantages, commercial exchanges have not been completely straightforward, and over a number of years New Zealand has pressed (to little avail) for improved conditions of access for certain important commodities, including beef and dairy products. Even so, Japan today is New Zealand's second biggest market and its third largest source of supply For Japan, New Zealand does not occupy so important a place but on both sides there are expectations of continued and expanding trade and of closer involvement together in other settings.

New Zealand and the South Pacific—New Zealand has a long history of interest and involvement in the South Pacific. In the latter part of the 19th century Prime Minister Richard Seddon harboured ambitions of a South Pacific empire controlled by New Zealand, and as a result of pressure from Seddon the administration of the Cook Islands and Niue, which were British colonial possessions, was handed over to New Zealand in 1901. The number of New Zealand Pacific dependencies increased when, following the establishment of the League of Nations, Western Samoa, which had been occupied by New Zealand troops at the outbreak of the First World War, became a mandated territory under the administration of New Zealand. In 1925 the Tokelau Islands, part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, were ceded by the United Kingdom to New Zealand.

Despite its geographical situation, the acquisition of overseas dependencies in the South Pacific and the ethnic kinship of the Maori and the Polynesian peoples, New Zealand's present identity as a South Pacific country was slow in developing for a number of reasons. Culturally, New Zealand has been closer to Western Europe than to the Pacific. For many years almost all of New Zealand's exports went to the United Kingdom. Politically, New Zealand's outlook was oriented towards Europe and, more recently, South-east Asia. Also the Pacific Islands were, and in some cases still are, administered by other countries.

But during the 1960s there was a dramatic emergence of new nations in the South Pacific. New Zealand encouraged this development in its own territories.

In Western Samoa, which had become a United Nations Trust Territory administered by New Zealand, political and constitutional development was carried forward in accordance with the wishes of the Samoan people. This culminated in the establishment of the independent State of Western Samoa on 1 January 1962. On 4 August 1965 the Cook Islands became a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand. In an exchange of letters between the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Norman Kirk, and the Premier of the Cook Islands, Sir Albert Henry, in April 1973 clarifying the special relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand, it was agreed that there were to be no legal fetters of any kind upon the freedom of the Cook Islands to make their own laws and control their own Constitution. Although New Zealand has a statutory responsibility for the external affairs and defence of the Cook Islands, it is intended that the Cook Islands be free to pursue their own policies and interests in these as well as other areas. Cook Islanders remain New Zealand citizens under the Cook Islands Constitution Act 1964.

Niue became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on Constitution Day, 19 October 1974. It is written into the Niue Constitution Act 1974 that New Zealand will continue to be responsible for the external affairs and defence of Niue, that Niueans will remain New Zealand citizens, and that New Zealand will provide necessary economic and administrative assistance.

The Tokelau Islands are still included within the boundaries of New Zealand and are administered under the authority of the Tokelau Islands Act 1948. Tokelauans are New Zealand citizens. By agreement with the Government of Western Samoa the office of the Tokelau Islands Administration is based in Apia and handles the Tokelau Islands transactions with the outside world, especially with New Zealand. Decisions about day-to-day living in the Tokelau Islands are made by the village councils.

The developments in New Zealand's territories are part of a wider pattern of political evolution in the region. In 1968 Nauru became an independent republic; in 1970 Fiji became independent; and in the same year Tonga rejoined the Commonwealth. In 1975 Papua New Guinea became fully independent after being self-governing since December 1973. In 1976 the Solomon Islands became self-governing, as did Tuvalu which came into existence when the British Government agreed to the separation of the Ellice Islands from the former Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. Self-government for the Gilbert Islands is expected in 1977.

It is natural that New Zealand and its South Pacific neighbours should have become very closely associated. One important reason has been the movement of Pacific peoples into New Zealand. Cook, Niue, and Tokelau Islanders are New Zealand citizens and move freely back and forth. New Zealand's historical association with Western Samoa, which is reflected in the Treaty of Friendship signed in August 1962 and its close association with the Kingdom of Tonga, has resulted in a steady flow of immigrants and visitors under work permit schemes from both countries.

New Zealand has also played an active role in building up regional co-operation in the South Pacific. A major step in this direction was the creation of the South Pacific Forum comprising the independent and self-governing countries of the South Pacific, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga, Western Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, and Papua New Guinea together with Australia and New Zealand which, at the invitation of New Zealand, met for the first time in Wellington in August 1971. Since then meetings have been held in Canberra, Suva, Apia, Rarotonga, Nuku'alofà, and Nauru. The Forum also has three observer countries; the Gilbert Islands, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands.

The South Pacific Forum provides the opportunity for the leaders of the South Pacific states to discuss common problems, exchange information, consider priorities, and plan programmes for mutual and regional benefit. The topics considered include such matters as regional trade, shipping, telecommunications, education, law of the sea, disaster relief, and nuclear testing.

At the Canberra session of the South Pacific Forum members agreed to establish the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation (SPEC) to deal with trade and related matters. The main purpose of the SPEC is to advise Forum members on ways of promoting regional trade and free trade among Island members and to encourage collaboration in areas such as regional transport which will assist the economic development of the Island members.

The South Pacific Commission, created in 1947 by the Canberra Agreement of which New Zealand is a signatory, is the other major regional body. Representatives from 22 governments and territorial administrations from within the South Pacific Commission comprise the South Pacific Conference. The Conference which meets annually decides the work programme of the Commission. Since its establishment the Commission has helped to build up a sense of regional identity and it has accomplished much in promoting the economic and social welfare of the South Pacific peoples. It is primarily a technical assistance organisation and its budget in 1976 totalled A$2.5 million. The main regular contributors to the budget are the participating governments in the area—the United Kingdom the United States of America, France, Australia, Fiji, Nauru, Western Samoa, and New Zealand. Australia, France, Nauru, and New Zealand have in recent years made additional voluntary contributions to the budget, which has enabled the Commission to undertake a number of special projects of value to the region as a whole.

The United Nations and its specialised agencies are also an important source of technical assistance in the South Pacific. The independent countries of the region are members of various UN bodies, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a regional office in Fiji.

New Zealand and Australia—New Zealand's most comprehensive bilateral relationship is with Australia. Geographical proximity reinforces the important historical, cultural, and Commonwealth ties between New Zealand and Australia that have given rise to this unusually close and mutually beneficial relationship. New Zealand established a diplomatic office in Australia in 1943, very early in its diplomatic history, and in 1944 the Canberra Pact was signed. This paved the way for a tradition of joint consultation and co-operation that reflects the interdependence of the two countries' interests and the goodwill and friendship of their peoples. In matters of foreign policy, in defence and in the economic field, the degree of co-operation also reflects the importance of each country to the other and a need for continuing close working contacts. Regular and increasingly frequent ministerial and official meetings have taken place, with a minimum of formality, to cover almost the entire range of government activity. Moreover, the two countries are bound together by innumerable personal contacts, facilitated by freedom of travel across the Tasman, and by institutionalised links in business, finance, education, the professions, and in nearly all fields of national activity.

New Zealand and Australia share a foreign policy objective in acting to promote stability and development in the South Pacific and South-east Asian regions of their immediate vicinity, as well as a more general interest in co-ordinating their positions on major international political and economic questions of current concern, in the United Nations, the Commonwealth, GATT, and elsewhere. In the economic context, Australia is a major trading partner for New Zealand, Australia's largest single market for manufactured exports. Trade has significantly expanded and the two economies become increasingly related under the New Zealand - Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), dating from 1965-66. The Agreement is at present being comprehensively reviewed in the interests of restoring a better balance to the relationship which has been sustained markedly in Australia's favour. In the defence field, the former ANZAC partners continue to co-operate closely, both in relation to training programmes and exercises and the provision of equipment and other supplies, and in terms of the broader issues of defence policy, especially in their common membership of ANZUS.

New Zealand and the Americas—Continuing and close contact with the United States is an essential part of New Zealand's foreign policy. The United States remains New Zealand's principal security guarantor, is a major trading partner, and has an important influence on the New Zealand way of life. The two countries share a common English-speaking heritage and a friendship of long standing, both in peace and war.

Since the opening in Washington in 1941 of New Zealand's second diplomatic mission, close consultations have been held with the United States on many bilateral questions and international issues of common interest. Basic similarities in political philosophy and social and economic processes have encouraged the development of close governmental relations, which have been supported by increasing contacts, both official and non-official, across a broad range of activities.

This comprehensive bilateral relationship finds expression in political, strategic, economic, and cultural fields. Under the ANZUS arrangements initiated in 1951, New Zealand looks to the United States for fundamental assistance in the maintenance of its national and regional security. In turn, where national interests coincide, New Zealand is able to offer the United States active support for its constructive international role and to provide a friendly and stable influence in the South Pacific. On the economic side, bilateral trade has expanded to the extent that the United States is now the fourth largest market for New Zealand's exports and the fourth largest source of imports. Regular intergovernmental consultations are held to review the trading relationship, which recently has been weighted in favour of the United States. Programmes for scientific and technical co-operation, and academic and cultural exchanges serve to maintain an awareness of New Zealand in the United States and to promote a vigorous and beneficial interchange of ideas and experience.

New Zealand and Canada, through a common British heritage and long association in the Commonwealth, have traditionally enjoyed a close and special informal relationship, with long-established bonds of friendship between the New Zealand and Canadian people. Since New Zealand established diplomatic representation in Canada in 1942, there have been many ministerial and official exchanges in a broad range of fields in which the two countries' basic compatibility and similarity of attitude have provided invaluable opportunities for bilateral consultation and co-operation. New Zealand and Canada have also built up a record of co-operation on many international issues, particularly in Commonwealth and United Nations contexts. New Zealand's particular interest and involvement in the South Pacific, and Canada's in the Caribbean, have provided a useful basis for the exchange of experience, and both countries share a presence and a direct interest in the affairs of the Pacific Basin.

Canada is one of New Zealand's major trading partners, being at present the second largest market for New Zealand beef and a growing market for lamb. Regular intergovernmental consultations help to keep the trading relationship under review and provide a basis for negotiation on specific difficulties. They also facilitate co-operation on economic and financial policy matters of wider international importance.

New Zealand's relations with the Caribbean have been concerned largely with mutual Commonwealth interests and with a substantial export trade, mainly in dairy products. Since September 1974, the New Zealand High Commissioner in Ottawa has been cross-accredited to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados. The sole resident representation is in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago). New Zealand assistance is being extended to these four Commonwealth countries and to the multilateral Caribbean Development Bank under a modest aid programme.

New Zealand's contacts with the countries of Latin America, limited in the past due to geographical orientation and widely different historical and cultural backgrounds, have developed considerably in the 1970s. A substantial growth in trade preceded the establishment of New Zealand representation in Chile and Peru in 1972, and in 1974 diplomatic relations were entered into with Mexico. Peru has in recent years been New Zealand's largest export market in Latin America, and a major market for New Zealand dairy produce. Other significant Latin American markets for New Zealand dairy produce are Mexico, Ecuador (from which New Zealand has imported bananas), Venezuela, and some of the Central American republics (notably El Salvador and Costa Rica). As part of the continuing process of diversifying its economic relations, New Zealand has recently devoted increased attention to exploring the possibilities for expanding trade with the countries of Latin America. In recognition of the growing political importance of the region as a whole and particularly of the largest countries, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, opportunities are also being taken to enhance bilateral relations. Several official visits have taken place in recent years. At the private level, New Zealanders have long been interested in and frequent travellers through the countries of South America.

In the field of overseas assistance, New Zealand maintains a modest but important technical co-operation programme in Peru, under which New Zealand experts are helping in the development of key areas of Peruvian agriculture. New Zealand is also assisting in the organisation of the Peruvian National Parks.

New Zealand in the United Nations—Successive New Zealand Governments have strongly supported the development of the United Nations as a major instrument for maintaining peace and security, for developing friendly relations among countries, and for achieving international co-operation in solving economic and social problems and in promoting respect for human rights.

New Zealand has consequently played an active and prominent role in the various areas of United Nations activity. In 1976 New Zealand contributed US$895,823 to the regular budget of the United Nations.

International Security—At San Francisco in 1945 the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Peter Fraser, argued forcefully but unsuccessfully to eliminate the Security Council veto and to strengthen the collective security provision of the Charter. Since then New Zealand has actively supported the development of the United Nations' capacity for peacekeeping activities and has been an outspoken proponent of international arms control and disarmament measures. New Zealand contributed forces to the United Nations Command in Korea, military observers to the United Nations Observer Groups in Palestine, Kashmir and the Lebanon, and a civilian police unit to the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus. In recent years New Zealand has worked hard to promote the cessation of all forms of nuclear testing, as a key step towards halting the nuclear arms race.

New Zealand served on the Security Council in 1954 and 1955 and again in 1966.

Economic and Social Activities—There has been increasing emphasis in recent years on making use of the United Nations as a forum to help resolve the formidable economic and social problems that face the world. This has been done both in the regular organs of the United Nations, such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and its functional and regional commissions and in special conferences, such as those on the environment (at Stockholm in 1972), population (at Bucharest in 1974), food (at Rome in 1974), and the role of women (at Mexico in 1975). During 1974 and 1975 Special Sessions of the General Assembly were held specifically to discuss development issues. The former enunciated the Declaration and Programme of Action on the establishment of a new international economic order.

During 1976 New Zealand served on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, the Statistical Commission, and the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme, and was elected to the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on the Status of Women. New Zealand also participated actively in two sessions of the Conference on the Law of the Sea and the fourth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which was held in Nairobi.

Specialised Agencies—New Zealand is a member of all the specialised agencies, except the International Development Association, and is also a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which, though not strictly a specialised agency, exists under the aegis of the United Nations. New Zealand's contributions to the regular budgets of the agencies, which are based for the most part on a scale of assessment similar to that used in the United Nations itself, in total considerably exceed our contribution to the United Nations' regular budget. In 1976, for example, our contributions to the budgets of the ILO, the FAO, WHO, and UNESCO alone totalled US$1,144,799.

Convinced of the value of the form of international co-operation that the agencies represent, New Zealand participates actively in their work. In the case of the technical agencies, there are direct benefits to New Zealand in membership. Membership of the Universal Postal Union, for example, is essential to facilitate the efficient international movement of mails to and from this country; and the International Telecommunication Union works to promote the most rational and efficient operation of world-wide telecommunications services. The World Meteorological Organisation is the medium for establishing a world-wide network for the rapid exchange of meteorological information, which is of particular value to remote island countries like New Zealand. The ILO is concerned with protecting the basic dignities and freedoms of the wage earner and brings together representatives of governments, employers, and workers to frame international conventions on working and living conditions.

In addition to its contributions to the regular budgets of the agencies, New Zealand gives voluntary assistance in the form of further monetary grants, the services of experts to developing countries (for example in agriculture, physiotherapy, police work, forestry, and education) and donations of equipment or commodities. In 1976 New Zealand served on the Executive Council of FAO and participated in most of the major meetings of the Agencies, including the General Conference of UNESCO, which was held in Nairobi.

New Zealand's membership of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the International Finance Corporation allows this country to participate in international efforts to increase the stability of international trade and promote the economic development of the underdeveloped areas of the world. It also serves to strengthen New Zealand's own economic position by providing access to more varied sources of capital for capital projects or for balance of payments purposes.

New Zealand is also a foundation member of the Asian Development Bank, established in 1967 under the auspices of ESCAP to foster economic growth and co-operation in the Asian/Pacific region.

New Zealand has supported United Nations agency activity which will help the social and economic development of the Pacific Islands. Examples of such projects are: the work of WHO in eradicating yaws and tuberculosis; FAO's efforts to control the rhinoceros beetle which ravages much of the islands' coconut crops, and its support for a regional fisheries development agency; the establishment by UNESCO of a curriculum development unit at the University of the South Pacific; the placement in Suva of a development assistance team, backed by ESCAP and the specialised agencies.

New Zealand has in the past served on the governing bodies of UNESCO and UPU, as well as FAO, and was a member of the Executive Board of WHO from 1972 to 1974.

New Zealand's Defence Policies—After the Second World War the international scene was clouded for many years by the Cold War. New Zealand was affected by the tensions of the period and took steps to provide for its defence in concert with its allies. As a small country with limited resources, New Zealand alone was not able to defend its extensive but isolated territory against aggression by any militarily significant power. It therefore supported efforts to give effect to the provisions of the United Nations Charter which looked to the creation of a universal system of collective security. In the meantime it accepted that it should act in concert with like-minded countries in order to strengthen its security in its own region.

Recent developments in international affairs—especially the improvement of the United States' relations with China, the ending of the war in Vietnam, the growth in the number of major power centres (multipolarity)—have led to a relaxation of tensions that has lessened the likelihood that New Zealand might be involved in war. Changes in United States policy, which now emphasises that the primary responsibility for long-term stability in Asia rests with the countries of the area, and the large reduction of the British defence presence outside Europe have given new impetus to regional initiative. The relaxation of cold war tensions has given New Zealand and other small nations greater freedom of action but it has also reinforced the requirement for closer collaboration on a regional basis. It has also meant that New Zealand's relations with the countries of South-east Asia are no longer to be regulated primarily by defence considerations.

By means of staff exchanges, exercises, training programmes, and the provision of facilities under its Defence Mutual Assistance Programme, New Zealand co-operates with several countries in South-east Asia and the South Pacific in building up one another's defence capacity, thereby contributing to regional stability. It is also a partner in the Five Power Defence Arrangements relating to Malaysia and Singapore, which, although ostensibly military in nature, are primarily a political instrument for fostering stability and co-operation and helping to preserve national integrity and independence.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements—The basis of the Five Power Defence Arrangements is not a formal treaty or arrangement but a statement incorporated in the communique of the meeting of Ministers of the five powers (Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand) held in London in April 1971. At that meeting the Ministers declared, in relation to the external defence of Malaysia and Singapore, "that in the event of any form of armed attack externally organised or supported or the threat of such attack against Malaysia or Singapore, their governments would immediately consult together for the purpose of deciding what measures should be taken jointly or separately in relation to such attack or threat".

The Australian, New Zealand, and United Kingdom forces stationed in Malaysia and Singapore under the Five Power Defence Arrangements were grouped into an ANZUK Force. The Australian Government decided in 1973 to withdraw most of its ground forces by April 1975, while retaining two RAAF squadrons in Malaysia. The ANZUK Force was disbanded in early 1974 and the New Zealand contingent based in Singapore became known as New Zealand Force South-east Asia Later the United Kingdom Government announced, as part of its defence review, that it would withdraw its forces based in Singapore by April 1976, and this has been done.

In August 1975 the New Zealand Government announced that it had decided in principle that the New Zealand Force in Singapore should return home to New Zealand in the next 2 years or so. This decision was reviewed by the new Government in 1976 in the light of its own consultations with the regional countries. In announcing on 9 September 1976 that there would be no early return of the New Zealand Force stationed in Singapore, the Minister of Defence said that during a recent visit to Singapore he had been assured by its Prime Minister and Minister of Defence that the Force was welcome to remain.

SEATO—Eight governments—Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States—signed the South-east Asia Collective Defence Treaty, also known as the Manila Treaty, on 8 September 1954. The South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) established under the treaty, in addition to military planning, undertook activities intended to foster the security and stability of the regional member countries and to carry out, on a modest scale, projects designed to promote their economic and social development. For example, it sponsored research in the fields of tropical medicine, agriculture, and engineering.

The ending of the Vietnam war in 1975 and other developments in the region led Governments in South-east Asia to re-assess many of their attitudes and policies. On 24 July 1975 the President of the Philippines and the Prime Minister of Thailand—the two remaining regional members of SEATO after the withdrawal of Pakistan in 1973—reached agreement in principle that "the Organisation should be phased out to make it accord with the new realities in the region" After further consultations among members, the SEATO Council of Ministers decided at its annual meeting in New York on 24 September 1975 that, while the Organisation had over the years made a useful contribution to stability and development in the region, "in view of the changing circumstances it should now be phased out". It was subsequently decided that this process should be completed by 30 June 1977.

ANZUS—There is no direct threat to the security of the New Zealand homeland at present. In the unlikely event of such a threat materialising New Zealand would be able to turn for assistance to its partners in the ANZUS Pact. This tripartite security treaty between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States was signed at San Francisco on 1 September 1951 and came into force on 29 April 1952. It assured New Zealand and Australia of American support in the event of aggression in the Pacific.

In the absence of any foreseeable need to invoke the security provisions of the treaty, ANZUS can be seen as a durable expression of a strongly-based community of interest and attitude among the three democracies that are parties to it. The close relationship among the three countries is reflected in the informality and ease of their consultation under the ANZUS Treaty. Meetings of the Council of Ministers are generally held once a year to discuss matters of common interest.

NEW ZEALAND'S AID AND OTHER RESOURCE FLOWS TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES—During 1975-76 official development assistance (ODA) from New Zealand to developing countries around the world reached $59.7 million or 0.57 percent of GNP compared with $41.9 million or 0.45 percent of GNP in 1974-75. Such expansion of the overseas aid programme in recent years has enabled New Zealand to make the beginnings of a real impact on the living standards and development prospects of a number of developing countries. Particular emphasis is given to assisting the South Pacific (to which some 31.5 percent of 1975-76 ODA was allocated) with a lesser, although still substantial, concentration on South-east Asia. The skills of the many hundreds of New Zealand specialists supplied under the official aid programme, and also the capital, commodity, and training assistance made available, are carefully geared to aid partners' own development priorities, bearing in mind New Zealand's particular areas of expertise.

Total Resource Flow and its Components 1975-76—Official development assistance is but one part, albeit the major one, of New Zealand's total resource flow (the transfer of goods, services, and capital) to developing countries. Other resource flows are private flows and grants by voluntary agencies (GVA). Although the bulk of Government assistance overseas is in the form of ODA, support is also given to the efforts of private voluntary agencies.

For the year ended 31 March 1976 (1975-76) the estimated total flow of resources from New Zealand to developing countries was $66,247,242, comprising:

Official development assistance (ODA)59,739,668
Private flows (provisional)1,029,295
Grants by voluntary agencies (GVA)5,478,279
Total resource flows66,247,242

Official Development Assistance—New Zealand's official development assistance consists of "bilateral" and "multilateral" aid. In 1975-76 the bilateral/multilateral mix of development assistance was in the ratio 73:27. Faced, however, with a serious deterioration of New Zealand's balance of payments position, the Government has felt obliged to delay progress toward attainment of the 0.7 percent of GNP international aid target. Accordingly, within an estimated ODA expenditure of $51 million in 1976-77, the bilateral/multilateral mix will be around 85: 15. This is a direct consequence of the Government's desire to protect growth in the South Pacific bilateral aid programme. Close to 60 percent of bilateral aid resources are being directed to the South Pacific in 1976-77 compared with just on 50 percent in 1975-76. Most multilateral contributions are being held at 1975-76 levels.

Bilateral ODA 1975-76—Under its bilateral aid programme, New Zealand has attempted, where possible, to draw up integrated country programmes containing capital, expert assistance, and training requirements. Capital projects range from a large-scale afforestation scheme in Fiji, through to geothermal exploration in the Philippines and Indonesia, and the provision of New Zealand-built vessels for forestry and fishing development in Papua New Guinea. In addition, a large number of New Zealanders are employed as advisors in various fields, particularly agriculture. This assistance, together with New Zealand's training programme, is linked to the specific requirements of developing countries. Although a number of students and trainees do come to New Zealand for practical or in-service training, training within the South Pacific region is generally favoured for both educational and social reasons, and awards are provided for this.

Direct bilateral programmes in the South Pacific and, to a lesser but increasing extent, in Asia, are supplemented by programmes promoting regional development co-operation, particularly in the fields of education, transport, and communication. Bilateral assistance also includes commodity aid and distress relief.

A country breakdown of bilateral ODA during 1975-76 shows the direction and scope of New Zealand's assistance during the year. On a regional basis, expenditure in the South Pacific was $22.8 million, or 51.9 percent of the bilateral programme, Asia $18.4 million $41.8 percent), and Africa $1.3 million (2.9 percent) with much of the remainder being directed to Latin America and the Caribbean. (These figures include expenses of students and trainees, aid administration expenses, and head-of-mission funds. These are not included in the following table.

In the following table, bilateral ODA is shown by country:

South and South-east AsiaNZ$(000)
Khmer Republic97
Maldives Republic25
Sri Lanka649
Regional and others445
South Pacific 
Solomon Islands186
Cook Islands7,002
Gilbert Islands and Tuvalu91
New Hebrides182
Papua New Guinea1,185
Western Samoa2,476
Sierra Leone26
Regional and other133
Latin America and Caribbean 
Regional and other14
Voluntary agencies205
Total bilateral aid41,069

Multilateral ODA 1975-76—The multilateral programme enables New Zealand to make a contribution to development work which would usually be beyond the scope of the bilateral aid programme, either in the terms of the scale of the projects or their location in developing countries beyond the regions of concentration of the bilaterial aid effort. Considerably expanded contributions were made by New Zealand in 1975-76 to a number of multilateral aid agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme ($2 million), the World Food Programme ($0.9 million), the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund ($0.7 million), the United Nations Fund for Population Activities ($350,000), and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation ($0.5 million). Development finance institutions to which New Zealand contributed in 1975-76 were the International Development Association ($1.4 million) and the Asian Development Bank ($2.2 million). A first contribution was also made to the World Bank Consultative Group in International Agriculture Research ($100,000).

United Nations agencies and funds 
United Nations Development Programme2,015
United Nations Fertiliser Pool (including Fertiliser Subsidy Scheme)1,749
World Food Programme964
United Nations Children's Fund700
United Nations Fund for Population Activities350
United Nations Relief and Works Agency124
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees79
Other United Nations organisations26
Commonwealth programmes 
Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation524
Commonwealth Youth Programme37
South Pacific institutions 
South Pacific Commission (SPC)295
SPC Works Programme300
South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation89
Development finance institutions 
International Development Association: 
Fourth replenishment420
Voluntary contribution1,000
Asian Development Bank: 
Capital subscription2,153
Technical Assistance Fund75
Asian Development Fund2,706
Other contributions 
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research100
International Committee of the Red Cross21
International Planned Parenthood Federation367
Reconstruction in Indo-China: 
Nam Ngum hydro-electric scheme250
Red Cross51
Miscellaneous multilateral institutions86
ODA proportions of assessed contributions to other agencies155
Total Multilateral ODA15,850

Non-official Flows—The Government maintains a close association with private concerns interested in development assistance through both bi-monthly meetings with New Zealand voluntary agencies and also through the Advisory Committee on External Aid and Development established in August 1975 to examine, debate, and publicise New Zealand's assistance, public and private, to developing countries. Under its Voluntary Agency Support Scheme, the Government provides grants on a one-to-two basis for approved projects mounted in developing countries by New Zealand private agencies. Projects assisted in 1975-76 ranged from the provision of a truck for an agricultural college in Tonga to support for a pottery in a rural village in Peru. Annual grants were also provided to Volunteer Service Abroad (Inc.) and CORSO. Grants by voluntary agencies rose to $5.5 million in 1975-76. This figure is an estimate based on a survey conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is probably understated, given the difficulty of covering all agencies which meet the primary criterion of development orientation and the probable exclusion of many ad hoc activities.

CONSTITUTION OF NEW ZEALAND: General—New Zealand is a sovereign independent unitary state, being in form a constitutional monarchy with responsible government and a unicameral legislature.

In common with the United Kingdom, New Zealand has no single written instrument purporting to be its supreme or fundamental law. Its constitution is contained in the statutes of the Imperial and New Zealand Parliaments and the decisions of the superior courts of both jurisdictions. Some statutes have greater constitutional significance than others.

To the extent that its constitution is unwritten it is flexible, but restraints by way of conventions prevent, at least in normal circumstances, arbitrary or improper alteration of the constitution and the abuse or misuse of legislative or executive power.

Statutes such as the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (United Kingdom) recite law which, by reason of political, legal, and social development, may appear obsolete. If the spirit of the law in such a case cannot readily be observed by the use and development of convention, the law may be repealed, cf. Constitution Amendment Act 1973 (New Zealand). On the other hand, some conventions may be translated into substantive law after a period of time. Thus, the Civil List Act 1950 provides that no person may be appointed or remain a Minister of the Crown unless concurrently, he is a member of the House of Representatives, thereby ensuring the continuation of the system of ministerial responsibility.

The fundamental canon of the constitution is that Parliament is supreme or "sovereign". The question as to where sovereignty lies does not arise in the sense of its vesting in the people or the legislature or the monarch. Nor can it be argued, except in a very loose sense, that the legislature reflects and executes the will of the people. Reality dictates that the will of the people is expressed through the ballot box in choosing its government and legislature. That is not to say that individuals and organisations do not express their views on measures which may become law but their voice and influence is limited, if only paradoxically, by the very nature of government which the country possesses, that is, representative and responsible.

The constitutional theory of the separation of powers does not operate fully in New Zealand. The Executive Government consists of members of the legislature who are appointed by the Governor-General as Ministers of the Crown but who are, in practice, those members of the Government party who are selected for office by the leader of the Government party or elected to the ministry by their parliamentary fellows through caucus. Strictly speaking, ministers, being members of the legislature, are thereby "responsible" to it for their actions and those of their departments. Moreover, the Executive Government, collectively, is held to be answerable in the same way for its policies and the means of implementation. However, for so long as the two-party system continues to operate in New Zealand so that one party, gaining a majority at the polls, becomes the government of the day, the quantum of responsibility will depend largely on that government's observance of the conventions surrounding the concept. The rigours of individual ministerial responsibility have been eroded to the extent that where it is a question of the appropriate Minister being in the position of respondeat superior for the acts or omissions of his officers or department, the convention that he should resign appears to have fallen into desuetude.

The Sovereign—The Queen, in right of New Zealand, is styled: "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of New Zealand, and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. Defender of the Faith", Royal Titles Acts 1953 and 1974.

Being a constitutional monarchy, the Sovereign's powers are defined and circumscribed, first by law and then by convention.

In the Sovereign's absence, most of the royal powers are exercised by her representative, the Governor-General, in terms of the 1852 Act and the Instructions and Letters Patent of 1917 (the latter are under revision at the present time and will be amended so as to reflect constitutional developments which have occurred since promulgation). It should be noted that the Governor-General is not a viceroy and it would therefore be possible but unlikely for him to act ultra vires. By convention, the Queen and the Governor-General avoid becoming embroiled overtly in the "politics" of government, although the Sovereign and Governor-General remain an integral part of the legislative process.

Many of the formal procedures associated with government and administration require the participation of the Queen or Governor-General, inter alia, summoning, proroguing, and dissolving Parliament; assenting to measures passed by the House so as to give them the force of law; appointing judges of the Supreme Court and senior officials of State; appointing ministries and individual Ministers; conferring knighthoods and other honours. Most of the royal functions will be performed on advice of the Executive Government and little, if any, information is available as to whether this advice has always been taken without demur within the last 70 years. To reject advice would place the Governor-General in a very difficult situation, his appointment and tenure being at the pleasure, ultimately, of the New Zealand Government. Learned writers have suggested that he would only refuse to act on advice were he reasonably certain that he could find another member of the legislature willing and able to form a government enjoying the confidence of the House or, if this were not feasible, that his rejection would be vindicated by the electorate were he to dissolve Parliament and cause a general election so as to break a deadlock in the House. To reject advice otherwise, or fail having tried the alternatives, would be to invite his own recall.

Speculation remains, of course, on whether the Governor-General would reject advice even in the circumstances outlined above. The question is to determine how much real power, active or residual, is now possessed by the Governor-General. Recent amendments* to the 1852 Act have shorn the Governor-General of the legal basis of powers which have lapsed already, in great part, by operation of convention.

Nevertheless it should not be supposed that the Sovereign or the Governor-General have become constitutionally redundant. Many of the powers held and exercised by the Executive Government arise by virtue of the royal prerogative, defined by Dicey as the "residue of discretionary or arbitrary authority, which at any given time is legally left in the hands of the Crown". While many of the prerogative powers have been superseded by statute (there is debate on whether the prerogative is thereby extinguished or continues to subsist), substantial areas remain untouched, the majority of prerogative powers being exercised by Ministers with or without reference to the Governor-General.

Although calls for its abolition are made from time to time, the Monarchy seems to be an accepted part of New Zealand's constitutional and political structure although overt involvement in the political arena whether by the Queen or the Governor-General might well have the effect of engendering substantial support for abolition.

Parliament—With the abolition of the Legislative Council (Upper House) in 1950, Parliament, for most purposes, has consisted of the Governor-General (the Queen when resident in New Zealand) and the House of Representatives. By convention, this has come to mean the House of Representatives—the Governor-General exercising only those constitutional powers which serve to confer on measures before the House and passed by it, the force of law.

The New Zealand Parliament is a creation of the United Kingdom Parliament and, unlike its creator, cannot claim to be a court of record. However, it has followed Westminster and acts as a court of equity in so far as it will hear petitions from individuals and groups. The basic rule is that the petitioner(s) must have exhausted all available legal and equitable remedies, if the subject matter of the petition is justiciable.

The question of parliamentary privilege escapes precise legal definition. The most that can be said is that the courts will define the ambit of the privilege and within those limits Parliament may do as it will. As yet, the matter has not been tested in a New Zealand court.

The New Zealand Parliament holds plenary power to make laws for New Zealand including those having extra-territorial effect (in this context section 49 of the New Zealand Loans Act 1953 is something of a curiosity). Plenary legislative power was not assumed until 1947 with the passing of the Statute of Westminster (Adoption) Act 1947.

*See New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1973 (N.Z.).

Any residual doubts about the power of the New Zealand Parliament were removed with the passage of the New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1973 (New Zealand).

The doctrine that one Parliament cannot bind its successor operates in New Zealand. It would seem therefore that those provisions of the Electoral Act 1956 relating to: (a) the constitution and order of the Representation Commission; (b) the number of General electoral districts, their boundaries based on the total population; (c) the tolerance (5 percent) within which the Commission must work in relation to (b): (d) the age of voting (18 years since 1974); (e) the secret ballot; (f) the duration of Parliament; while expressed as being entrenched by s. 189 of the 1956 Act, in that amendment to any of the above provisions must receive a majority vote of 75 percent or receive the consent of the electors by referendum, are entrenched in a moral sense only. It would be open to any Parliament to repeal section 189 and then proceed to amend or repeal the "entrenched" provisions by ordinary legislation. The same result would be achieved by repealing the 1956 Act in toto.

Meeting, etc., of Parliament—Parliament is summoned, prorogued, or dissolved by the Governor-General and lasts for a maximum of 3 years although there have been some exceptions. The 1852 Act provided for quinquennial Parliaments but this provision was abolished by the Triennial Parliaments Act 1879 which substituted a 3-year term. Since 1881 elections have been held at 3-year intervals except that the term of the Parliament during the First World War was extended to 5 years by special legislation and that of the twenty-fourth Parliament to four by the Electoral Amendment Act 1934. The 3-year term was restored by a 1937 Amendment but the term of the twenty-sixth Parliament was extended to 5 years because of war-time conditions. The 3-year term was enacted in the Electoral Act 1956 and a referendum in 1967 favoured its continuation.

By convention, the Governor-General would accept the Prime Minister's advice to dissolve Parliament before expiry, as was done in 1951, unless the Governor-General were of the opinion that the Prime Minister no longer commanded a majority in the House and that a ministry could be formed without having to hold elections, a situation which would be unlikely to arise.

Until 1973, sessions (the period between summons and prorogation) usually covered the months June through to November. However, in 1974 Parliament met as early as February and sat until early November. The 1974 session lasted 119 sitting days (a record) compared with 96 in 1976. Strictly speaking, business introduced during a session and not completed at the time of prorogation, lapses and requires to be reintroduced during the next session, although it has become usual for some business to be carried forward to the next session.

House of Representatives—For all practical purposes "Parliament" is synonymous with "House of Representatives" but from the constitutional viewpoint distinctions need to be drawn.

The House comprises 87 members with 4 of the electorates being Maori. With certain exceptions, (the insane, for example), any person who is not an alien and who is 18 years of age or more may vote in a general election.

The Speaker is elected at the start of a new Parliament and presents himself to the Governor-General for confirmation. By Act, the House claims and possesses all privileges, rights, and immunities claimed and possessed by the House of Commons as at 1 January 1865. This claim is reiterated by the Speaker to the Governor-General at the time he presents himself for confirmation in his office. The act of claiming the rights, privileges, and immunities of the House and its members can only be described as historical re-enactment when real power has passed from the Monarchy to the Executive Government.

It is customary in New Zealand, unlike the United Kingdom, for the Speaker to change according to the government of the day. The Chairman of Committees is also elected soon after the start of a new Parliament. Though he performs the same functions as those performed by his seventeenth century predecessors, the original reason for the House having a Chairman of Committees has never arisen in New Zealand, but the manner and form of the Westminster Parliament has been carried over and maintained in this regard so as to form an integral part of the procedure of the House. That is not to say that the New Zealand House is an antipodean mirror of the Westminster Commons—the differences are many but the form of both Houses is not dissimilar.

The primary functions of the House are to vote supply; pass legislation; to exercise supervision and control of the Government; to consider petitions from individuals or organisations seeking redress for alleged grievances or changes in the existing law. The Opposition may, where necessary or desirable, seek to bring down the Government by a vote of no confidence, although within context of a two-party House the chances of a successful vote in this regard would be very few.

Financial control over the Government is exercised by the House in so far as expenditure of public money must be authorised in the form of an Appropriation Act. A more detailed examination of the Estimates is carried out by the Public Expenditure Committee. However, no appropriation can be made without the recommendation of the Crown (i.e., the Government).

Most Bills are introduced by the Government as a result of decisions made in Cabinet or the Government caucus or both. By convention, the procedure for passing a public Bill is: (a) on introduction, formal first reading; (b) some time after, a second reading which is a debate on the principles and policy underlying the Bill; (c) a clause-by-clause debate with the House sitting as a Committee of the Whole House; (d) the Bill is reported back to the House from the committee and later read a third time. Having passed the three readings, the Bill is printed in its final form incorporating amendments (if any) and sent to the Governor-General for the Royal Assent.

Any member may introduce a Bill. Of course, it is always open to a Government to defeat such a Bill at any stage of its progress. In 1976, the Government refused to allow two Opposition Bills to be introduced and given a first reading. A practice has arisen whereby a private member's Bill will sometimes be withdrawn and substituted by a Government measure incorporating all or some of the provisions in the former Bill although it cannot be said that this is done with every Bill.

Special procedures apply to local and private Bills. A local Bill is one which proposes to affect a particular part of the country and is sought, usually, by the appropriate local authority. Each local Bill stands referred to the Local Bills Committee after its first reading. Its recommendation carries weight with both the House and the Government.

A private Bill is one which applies to a person or group of persons and is introduced after public notice, by a member by way of petition on behalf of the Bill's promoters. It is then referred to a committee of members for consideration and report.

The relations of the House with its members and non-members and the relations of member with member within its precincts are contained in the Standing Orders and the rulings thereon of successive Speakers.

Legislation—It is rare for the Government to accept amendments to legislation from the Opposition although it may sometimes do so if the amendment is constructive and does not conflict overtly with the policy considerations (if any) underlying the measure. Much of the legislation is what might be described as "departmental" in that it is sought by a Government department or agency and does not necessarily affect or reflect the political views of either the Government or the Opposition.

With the increasing load thrust on the House it has become customary for the more controversial or complex pieces of legislation to be referred for further consideration to select committees which comprise usually between seven and nine members, the Government party being in the majority. During the 1975 session, there were some 24 select committees. The aim in using these committees is that it affords a chance for the members to consider the measure in a more detailed fashion and gives individuals and organisations whose interests may be affected, should the legislation become law, an opportunity to state and have their views considered. Changes, sometimes substantial, are made to legislation as a result of this procedure. This practice of lobbying, both by groups and individuals, pervades all facets of political life. It can be argued that those who are familiar with the select committee procedure and used to advancing a particular view are in a superior position in being able to make their views known to the members individually and collectively. While issue cannot be taken with this practice provided no element of bribery or corruption enters into it, nevertheless, it can be argued that those who stand to be affected most by law, whether directly or indirectly, do not have the same opportunity to make their views and ideas known. A number of reasons might be advanced for this contention but primarily it would seem to be a case of the greater bulk of people being unaware of how "to work the system". Although no empirical research has been done, it would be interesting to be able to isolate the extent to which the influence of lobbyists has or has not contributed towards the increasing use of select committees.

With the ever-increasing complexity and volume of legislation and the range of subjects which it concerns or touches, the House cannot exercise full and proper control over subordinate legislation authorised by statute. Although all Statutory Instruments* require to be laid before the House and are subject to review by the Statutes Revision Committee, in practice such control has not been exercised.

*Statutory Instruments include: Orders in Council, ministerial orders, proclamations, and departmental instructions.

Party System—The two major political parties are Labour and National (the latter comprising the Government since December 1975). The other principal parties putting forward candidates at the 1975 General Election were Social Credit and Values.

At a general election any person being qualified as an elector may offer himself for election but it seems that only those who are candidates proffered by a political party have more than a marginal chance of election. The party forming the Government is that which gains the majority of seats, not necessarily the majority of votes cast. Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not have a preferential system of voting nor does the law require everyone to vote, although each eligible elector must register as such. The convention operates that if a Government is defeated at a general election it resigns before the House meets and does not wait to be defeated on a vote in the House. The members for each party form their respective caucuses to which the policies and tactics of the party are submitted for discussion and, where necessary, decision. The discussions of caucus are never published.

Salaries, etc.—Until the making of the Wage Adjustment Regulations 1974, section 27 of the Civil List Act 1950 provided that on the recommendation of a Royal Commission the Governor-General might from time to time, by Order in Council, fix the salaries and allowances to be paid to the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Crown or members of the Executive Council, to Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, and to the Speaker and Chairman of Committees and other members of the House of Representatives, and that a Royal Commission should be appointed for this purpose within 3 months after the date of every general election of members of Parliament. At April in the intervening years, adjustments were made on a basis matching that for the State Services Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act 1969; the Government Statistician provided the Prime Minister with a certificate specifying the percentage movements in average weekly ordinary time earnings outside the State Services (as ascertained from the April half-yearly survey of industries in the private sector conducted by the Department of Labour) and adjustments might be made by Order in Council to the salaries of Ministers and members. The 1974 regulations suspend the operation of section 27 of the 1950 Act. The salaries and allowances of Ministers and members of Parliament are now considered and fixed by the Higher Salaries Commission established by the 1974 regulations.

The following table sets out the salaries and allowances payable as at the end of 1976.

OfficeSalaryExpense Allowance

*An additional allowance of $2,000 is paid to the Minister holding the portfolio of Foreign Affairs.

†Plus travelling allowance $1,275 and house allowance $600.

‡Plus electorate allowance.

§Plus $365 cost of living allowance.

Prime Minister29,6677,000
Deputy Prime Minister22,7553,010*
Minister with Portfolio19,5642,800
Minister without Portfolio16,9062,600
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries14,7792,240
Chairman of Committees15,311§1,260
Leader of the Opposition19,564§2,800
Deputy Leader of the Opposition14,799§1,120
Chief Whips13,7163,290
Junior Whips13,1843,290

There is an additional electorate allowance depending on classification of electorates: (a) electorates which are wholly urban, $110; (b) electorates which are substantially urban, $275; (c) electorates which are partially urban and partially rural, $625; (d) electorates which are ordinary rural, $1,650; (e) electorates which are predominantly rural, $1,930. The special additional allowance for Southern Maori electorate is $600 and for each of the other Maori electorates it is $300. The daily sessional allowance is $5 and the night allowance for members entitled thereto is $15.

In addition to the salary and allowances, members are entitled to certain travel concessions and a stamp allowance.

Former Prime Ministers receive an annual payment of $1,000 for each full year in office, with a maximum of $5,000 a year, after retirement, defeat at the polls, or when a member only. This is subject to a 2-year minimum period having been served as Prime Minister.

An amendment in 1973 to the Civil List Act provides that a defeated member of Parliament will continue to receive salary at the rate of an ordinary member for 3 months after the date of the election.

Under the Superannuation Act 1956 there is a compulsory contributory superannuation scheme for members of the House of Representatives. The scheme provides that a retiring allowance shall be payable to a member after 9 years service and the attainment of 50 years of age, and shall be calculated at the rate of one thirty-second of the basic salary for a member as at the date of his ceasing to be a member, for each year of service with a maximum of two-thirds of that basic salary, or alternatively the member may elect to take a variable retiring allowance so as to secure a level income or he may elect to receive a refund of his contributions. The annual contribution is 11 percent of an ordinary member's salary, and the Government subsidises the fund. The rate of contribution was increased by 1 percent from 1 April 1970 to provide for cost-of-living adjustments to be made to retiring allowances. In the case of a male member dying and leaving a widow surviving, she becomes entitled during her widowhood to receive an annuity of half of the retiring allowance to which her husband would have been entitled had he retired age 60 years at the time of his death, or $260 a year, whichever is the greater.

In addition to the foregoing a new member elected for the first time receives a grant of $100 which is a "once only" payment.

ADMINISTRATION AND EXECUTIVE RESPONSIBILITY—After the election of a new Parliament, it is the responsibility of the leader of the party, which is most likely to secure and retain the support of the majority of members in the House, to form a Government Although procedures for the selection of new Ministers have varied between the two principal parties, the Prime Minister has the final responsibility for allocating portfolios. A portfolio comprises a specific field of Government activity—for instance all matters relating to education will be allocated to one Minister who is henceforth known as the Minister of Education.

A Minister may have more than one portfolio and in addition responsibility for the supervision of one or more Government departments in which the activities carried out, though important, do not rank as portfolios. Occasionally, a Minister is appointed without portfolio, as, for example, a Minister of State. There are also Parliamentary Under-Secretaries without Ministerial rank who assist certain Ministers in the work of their portfolios; the Under-Secretaries are not members of the Executive Council or of Cabinet.

Executive Council—In the legal sense those members of Parliament who have been appointed Ministers comprise the Executive Council. The Governor-General normally presides over meetings of the Council. The powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Governor-General and the Executive Council under the present system of responsible government are set out in Royal Letters Patent and Instructions thereunder of 11 May 1917, published in the New Zealand Gazette of 24 April 1919. The Royal Powers Act 1953 provides that the statutory powers conferred on the Governor-General may be exercised either by Her Majesty the Queen in person or by the Governor-General. In the execution of the powers and authorities vested in him the Governor-General must be guided by the advice of the Executive Council; but, if in any case he sees sufficient cause to dissent from the opinion of the Council, he may act in the exercise of his powers and authorities in opposition to the opinion of the Council, reporting the matter to Her Majesty without delay, with the reasons for his so acting.

In any such case any member of the Executive Council may require that there be recorded in the minutes of the Council the grounds of any advice or opinion that he may give upon the question.

The Civil List Act 1950, in section 6, provided that no person shall be appointed a Minister or a member of the Executive Council unless he is a member of Parliament and that a person who ceases to be a member of Parliament cannot continue to be a Minister or a member of the Executive Council for more than 21 days. This gave statutory recognition for the first time to what had long been the convention.

After the General Election 1975 the newly-appointed Executive Council consisted of 20 members. Two members, exclusive of the Governor-General or the presiding member, constitute a quorum.

The Governor-General receives a salary and an allowance which are determined from time to time by the Civil List Act 1950 for the salaries and expenses of his personal establishment, plus all expenditure incurred in respect of the transport to and from New Zealand and the travel within or outside New Zealand of the Governor-General and his family and staff.

Cabinet—The membership of the Executive Council and Cabinet is identical but Cabinet, unlike the Executive Council, is not a body created by any legal document. The existence of Cabinet was not recognised by statute until a passing reference was made in the Parliamentary Commissioner (Ombudsman) Act 1962.

The fact that the Juridical Acts to give legal force to certain of the decisions of Cabinet are taken by others—the Crown, the Executive Council, a Minister of the Crown or a Statutory Commission—does not diminish the power and authority of Cabinet. Cabinet is the top committee of the administrative system, with responsibility for co-ordinating the work of the various Ministers and taking those decisions which largely determine the nature of the legislation put before Parliament and the regulations which the Executive Council is asked to approve.

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

Cabinet is assisted in its work by a number of Cabinet committees, the membership of which includes those Ministers principally concerned with the subject matters handled by the committee. These include committees covering Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs, Expenditure, Communications, Government Works, Legislation and Parliamentary Questions. Social Affairs, the State Services and Transport. Some of the committees are supported by inter-departmental committees of officials. All Cabinet committees have delegated authority from Cabinet to make decisions within their terms of reference.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for the servicing and co-ordination of Cabinet and its committees to ensure their smooth functioning as well as providing liaison and advice within the inter-Departmental framework. The Secretary of the Cabinet is also Clerk of the Executive Council.

Government Departments—The Minister as the political head of a department of State may in fact have several departments under his control. There are, however, some 40 different departments with separate functions in New Zealand. Each of these has a permanent head who is responsible for the work and administration of the department. He is of course responsible to the Minister in charge of the department, while he also acts as adviser to the Minister on all matters within his appointed competence. Besides ensuring that the ministerial policy and directions communicated to him are effectively put into practice, his functions as the adviser include assessing the consequences of any executive action resulting from his departmental activity, evaluating the merits and demerits, whether political, social, or financial, of various modes of action, and making suggestions for improvements and for new policy measures as derived from departmental experience in the day-to-day execution of policy.

Departments can be broadly classified according to the administrative or regulatory, developmental, or social nature of their activities. Within the first group are the servicing subgroup, such as the Legislative, Prime Minister's, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Printing Office, Crown Law, Valuation, Statistics, and Audit; the finance subgroup—Treasury, Customs, Inland Revenue; the regulatory subgroup—State Services Commission, Internal Affairs, Labour; the defence and law and order subgroup—Ministry of Defence, Justice, Crown Law, and Police; the research subgroup—Scientific and Industrial Research.

In the second group are the transport and communications subgroup, such as Ministry of Transport, Post Office Railways, and Tourist and Publicity; the developmental—Ministry of Works and Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lands and Survey, Forest Service, Mines, Electricity, Energy Resources, Maori Affairs, Trade and Industry; The commercial—Public Trust, Government Life Insurance, Housing Corporation, Rural Banking and Finance Corporation, and State Insurance.

The third group comprises the Education, Health, and Social Welfare Departments.

This broad division serves merely to indicate the field of the dominant activity or purpose of the particular department. Most departments have servicing, informative, and regulatory functions and many are equally regulatory and developmental in nature.

In addition to the system of direct administration in the form of Government departments, there are other activities over which the State exercises some ultimate measure of control or ownership, though divorced in varying degrees from immediate supervision. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (the central bank), and one trading bank, are entirely State-owned, although the actual administration is quite independent, subject in the case of the Reserve Bank to the proviso that it must give effect to the monetary policy of the Government, as communicated to the bank by the Minister of Finance, and to any resolution of Parliament in respect of Government monetary policy.

Further instances of this principle are shown by the National Airways Corporation, which, although owned by the State, is administratively self-contained, and by the Tourist Hotel Corporation. In certain other avenues the type of administration is in between the normal departmental form and that evident in the corporation type; of such is the National Roads Board, which, though determining policy to a large degree, yet makes use of departmental administrative structures for implementation of policy.

Some administrative organisations have also quasi-judicial functions. Examples of this class are the Price Tribunal, Transport Charges Authority, Licensing Control Commission, and Local Government Commission.

OMBUDSMEN—Since 1962 there has been an Ombudsman able to investigate, on complaint or on his own initiative, any administrative decision, recommendation, act, or omission of a Government department or related organisation as it affects any individual. The Ombudsman does not have power to reverse departmental decisions, but he may make his recommendations the department and to the Minister, and if, in his opinion, no appropriate action is taken he may report to the Prime Minister and then to Parliament. He has very wide powers to call for documents and files. The Government cannot refuse information, except in matters relating to the security of the State or to Cabinet proceedings.

Under the Ombudsmen Act 1975 jurisdiction was extended to local authorities and a range of specified national boards, councils, and other organisations. Provision was made for the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman and additional (including temporary) ombudsmen

An analysis of complaints made to the Ombudsmen and the resultant action is given in the Official section of this Yearbook.

JUDICIARY—The hierarchy of courts in New Zealand comprises the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the Magistrate's Court. Apart from these courts of general jurisdiction there are other courts dealing with specific fields. In the latter category is the Industrial Commission concerned with awards and orders governing wage determination and conditions of employment in industry.

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS—The law on elections is contained in the Electoral Act 1956 and its amendments. At every census the Chief Electoral Officer is to arrange with the Government Statistician to deliver to every occupier or person in charge of a dwelling forms of application for registration as an elector. This form is to be completed by every adult who is residing in the dwelling on the day of the census. Following the population census (every 5 years) the boundaries of General (formerly known as European) electorates are revised, and the new boundaries are to come into force at the expiry of the Parliament existing when the Proclamation is issued.

The Government Statistician is required to supply population figures to the Surveyor-General as soon as possible after the census.

The term "General population" means total population with the following exceptions:

  1. Maoris—defined in the 1975 Amendment as "a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a person who elects to be considered as a Maori for the purposes of this Act";

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

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

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

  5. Persons residing as patients and inmates in any hospital.

After the population figures are supplied by the Government Statistician it is then the responsibility of the Representation Commission to define new General electoral districts. The commission comprises eight members. Five of these are official members; the Surveyor-General, the Government Statistician, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Director-General of the Post Office, and the Chairman of the Local Government Commission (who is without voting rights). Two are unofficial members, being persons nominated by the House of Representatives, one nominated to represent the Government and one to represent the Opposition. The eighth member is appointed on the nomination of the official and unofficial members of the commission or a majority of them, to be the chairman of the commission. The chairman and unofficial members cease to be members on the date on which the first periodical census is taken after the date of their appointment.

The number of general electorates is based on total population under a formula that allocates 25 seats to the South Island. The total South Island population (excluding those on the Maori roll) is divided by 25, and the quota thus obtained for each South Island electorate is then divided into the North Island population (again excluding those on the Maori roll) to give the number of electorates in the North Island.

The number of Maori seats is fixed at four. The total Maori population is the number of Maoris or persons of Maori descent who have elected to be considered as Maoris who have chosen to be registered as electors of Maori electoral districts and their children aged 18 years and under.

When the boundaries have been provisionally determined, maps are prepared illustrating the proposed electoral districts, and descriptions of each electoral district are published in the New Zealand Gazette. A time limit of 1 month is given during which objections to the proposed boundaries may be lodged. These objections are then considered by the Representation Commission and a final decision reached on boundaries which then define the new electoral districts.

All general elections and by-elections are held on a Saturday. Polling hours in all electorates are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any serviceman aged 18 years or over serving overseas is qualified to vote as an elector of the electoral district in which he last resided before he left New Zealand.

Franchise—Since September 1974, persons 18 years of age and over have had the right to vote in the election of members of the House of Representatives. (From 1893 onwards all persons aged 21 years had voting rights and the qualifying age had been lowered to 20 years in 1969.)

Registration of Electors—Registration as an elector is compulsory, although it is not compulsory to vote. To be qualified for registration as a parliamentary elector in New Zealand a person must have attained the age of 18 years and must (a) be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, (b) at some period have resided continuously in New Zealand for at least a year, and (c) except in special cases have resided continuously for 1 month or more in the electoral district in respect of which application for registration is made, and not have subsequently resided for 1 month or more in any other electoral district. Broadly speaking the qualifications restrict the right to vote to permanent residents. Maoris and persons of part-Maori descent may elect to be included on either the General or the Maori electoral roll.

Voting at parliamentary elections is by secret ballot. In general, only those persons whose names are lawfully on the main and supplementary rolls of electors compiled prior to an election may vote at that election.

A vote is normally cast by the elector at a polling booth within his district. An elector may, however, vote as a "special voter", either at a polling booth outside his district or by post for reasons of distant travel on polling day, sickness, etc.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: General—Since 1876, following the abolition of the provinces, the structure of territorial local government has been based on counties, boroughs, and town districts. Since then, however, there has developed a further structure, that of special purpose authorities. In this category there are such authorities as harbour boards, pest destruction boards, and electric power boards. Together, these two groups of local authorities (territorial and special purpose) form our local government system, a system to which, however, the Local Government Act 1974, amended in 1976, has brought some distinctive changes. Before these changes are described, the development of the present system is briefly outlined.

Boroughs—The Municipal Corporations Act 1876 provided for the incorporation of the 36 boroughs then in existence and for the creation of new boroughs. They are now governed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1954. Boroughs provide for the needs of concentrated populations and before they can be constituted there must be a population of at least 1,500 with an average density of population of at least one person per 4,000 sq. metres. A borough containing a population of 20,000 or more may be proclaimed a city, although the corporation remains unaltered.

Counties—Counties were originally introduced by the Counties Act 1876 which has now been superseded by the Counties Act 1956. Generally they cater for the primary needs of rural areas. Initially, there were 63 counties but with increasing settlement this number increased to 129 in 1920. Since then, the number of counties has been reduced by amalgamations and mergers and at 1 April 1976 there were 100 counties, of which 99 were actively functioning, Fiord being a sparsely populated county in which the Counties Act is not wholly in force.

County Towns and County Boroughs—Prior to the Local Government Act 1974 county councils could, under the provisions of the Counties Act 1956, declare areas within counties to be county towns. To qualify, the areas concerned must have had a population of at least 200, with an average density of not less than one person to the acre or not less than 60 houses with an average density of not less than one house to 3 acres.

Town Districts—The town district represents a form of local government intermediate between the county and the borough. It implies a certain concentration of population. There were two types of town districts—dependent and independent. On the enactment of the Local Government Act 1974 the four existing dependent town districts became community councils. Independent town districts do not form part of the county within which they are situated nor are they subject to any county council control.

Special-purpose Authorities—Special-purpose authorities differ from territorial authorities in that each is charged with only one major function. The need for the most efficient and economic discharge of the major function being the prime consideration, their boundaries may either extend beyond or fall within those of territorial authorities in the same geographical area. Only rarely do the boundaries coincide. Sometimes, as is the case with a number of pest destruction boards and hydatids control authorities, territorial authorities themselves are also constituted as, and perform the functions of, special-purpose authorities. The more important special-purpose authorities are those administering harbours, hospitals, and the retail distribution of electricity. Others are engaged in water supply, urban drainage and transport, soil conservation and rivers control, pest destruction, nassella tussock control, hydatids control, and land drainage.

Fire boards and urban fire authorities went out of existence as special-purpose authorities when on 1 April 1976 their functions and assets were taken over by the New Zealand Fire Service Commission (See Section 8B).

Number of Local Authorities—Local authorities actively functioning at 1 April 1976 were as follows: county councils 99; borough (including city) councils, 133; town councils (independent), 6; district councils, 3; regional authority, 1; river boards (2 boards also have the powers of land-drainage boards), 6; catchment boards, 13; catchment commissions, 4; land-drainage boards, 28; electric power boards, 39; water-supply board, 1; regional water board, 1; urban drainage boards, 4; transport board, 1; local railway board, 1; power and gas board, 1; nassella tussock boards, 2; harbour bridge authority; 1; road tunnel authority, 1; valley authority, 1; plantation board, 1; forestry corporation, 1; crematorium board, 1; wallaby board, 1; pest destruction boards (separately elected), 66; independent harbour boards, 16; hospital boards, 29. Borough and county councils also function as harbour boards in 8 cases, as county pest destruction boards in 39 cases, as hydatids authorities in 85 cases, as domain boards in 402 cases, and as scenic boards in 116 cases. There are 459 independent domain boards and 885 independent scenic boards. In addition, there were 22 district roads councils of the National Roads Board constituted under the National Roads Act 1953. Although these district roads councils are not local authorities in the strict sense of the term they are intimately connected with certain aspects of local government, providing an advisory service to the National Roads Board concerning the roading needs and the allocation of national roading funds within their respective districts.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1974—This Act, which came into force on 1 December 1974, provided the means for the establishment of a system of regional bodies to deal in a co-ordinated manner with all functions of a regional nature. It continued and improved the procedures of rationalisation of the local government structure in both the special purpose and territorial spheres and provided for the eventual phasing out of the existing dual system of territorial local government based on counties and boroughs. Furthermore, to encourage greater public involvement in local community affairs the Act provided for the establishment of community councils with varying degrees of authority. The responsibility for introducing and implementing the above changes was given primarily to a reconstituted and enlarged independent Local Government Commission.

Local Government Commission—The Local Government Act, which repealed the Local Government Commission Act 1967, set up a revised Local Government Commission. The Act provided that the minimum membership of the commission shall be five, one of which shall be chairman, and at least one member must have experience in urban territorial local government and at least one other must have experience in rural territorial local government.

The principal task of the commission is to prepare by 31 December 1979, or as soon as possible thereafter, schemes establishing regional authorities throughout New Zealand, These authorities will be called united councils or regional councils and their nature is described in more detail below.

Allied with the task of establishing regional authorities, the commission is to ensure that united councils or regional councils or territorial authorities (a borough, city, county, district, or independent town council) undertake those functions of special purpose authorities which in the opinion of the commission, should be performed by them. For this purpose, practically all types of special-purpose authorities, except for hospital boards and education boards, have been placed within the jurisdiction of the commission. Accordingly, the commission is also empowered to provide for any function undertaken by a territorial authority which, in the commission's opinion, would be more appropriately performed by a united or regional council to be transferred.

The commission will continue to carry out investigations, prepare reorganisation schemes, and make recommendations and reports for the purpose of ensuring that the system of local government in any local authority will best provide for the needs and well-being of its residents and the continued development of the district, that local authorities have such district boundaries and such functions and powers as will enable them to provide most effectively and economically essential or desirable local government services and facilities, that local authorities shall have such resources as will enable them to engage adequate services and to obtain and operate adequate technical facilities, plant, and equipment, and that districts shall be of such a size and nature as will promote efficient local government and avoid the necessity of uneconomic expenditure.

United and Regional Councils—Apart from the Auckland Regional Authority, which has operated since 1963, the regional bodies to be established under the Act will be new to local government in this country. They will be determined by the commission and established by Order in Council giving effect to a final scheme of the commission. The commission will determine whether the governing body for each region is to be either a united council or a regional council. The essential difference between united councils and regional councils are that the former will be appointed by the constituent (territorial) authorities within the regions concerned while regional councils will be directly elected bodies. In both cases the membership of united and regional councils will be not less than 12. To obtain finance, united councils will make levies on their constituent authorities, while regional councils will have direct rating powers.

The united council concept is designed to meet the requirements of those regions where the range of functions, or the nature of the responsibilities involved, do not justify the setting up of an organisation of the scale inherent in a directly elected regional council.

The Local Government Amendment Act 1976 introduced criteria as to which type of regional body a region is to have. A region which is a metropolitan area, defined as being an area predominantly urban in character with a population of not less than 325,000, will normally have a regional council; in other regions—more rural in nature—a united council will be the rule. In either case, however, the converse type of regional body may be established by the Commission if two or more territorial authorities in the proposed region (having sufficient weighting in capital value, population and area) so prefer.

Functions of these authorities can be attained in several ways. First, the Act prescribes that every united council or regional council shall have two mandatory functions—that of regional planning and civil defence. Also, in the commission's scheme constituting a united or regional council the Commission may provide for it to undertake the functions of any territorial authority or (where a special purpose authority or the appropriate Minister concurs) special purpose authority. Furthermore, a united or regional council is empowered to undertake solely any new regional function which is not undertaken by any other local authority in its region. In this regard, the commission, by scheme, can provide that that function may be one that other local authorities are not empowered to undertake by any other statute. Besides the two mandatory functions, the Act provides that a united or regional council may undertake the functions of regional reserves, forestry, regional roading and community services. A united or regional council may enter into an agreement with a constituent authority to undertake any function of that authority where, in the opinion of either party, that function would be more effectively and economically undertaken by the regional body. Finally, united and regional councils may enter into agreements with the Crown whereby they may exercise any function or provide any service for or on behalf of the Crown.

District Councils—The Act empowers the commission when bringing down schemes affecting boroughs or counties to redesignate them as districts under the jurisdiction of "district councils". The rationale behind this provision is that, today, many territorial authorities are neither "boroughs" nor "counties" in the sense that they are neither wholly urban nor wholly rural. This provision, however, will not apply to the designations of "city" and "city council".

The Act also provides that where, as a result of amalgamations or unions the new boundaries of the district of a district council coincide with those of a region, the district council may undertake the functions of a regional body. In this case, no united or regional council need be established for the region.

District Community Councils and Community Councils—The Act provides for the establishment of "communities" within the districts of territorial local authorities. Each community will be administered by either a "district community council" or a "community council". These communities will not be local authorities in the true sense but will have councils of not less than 5 nor more than 12 who will be elected on a residential franchise for a 3-year term.

Except for certain reserved powers dealing with finance, staff, and planning, a district community council may exercise all the powers and functions of its parent territorial authority. Community councils, however, derive most of their powers by delegation from their territorial authority. Once again, powers dealing with finance, staff, and planning cannot be delegated.

As amended in 1976, the Act provides that the general purpose of a community council is to co-ordinate and express to the parent territorial authority the views of the community on any matter of concern to it and after consulting and obtaining the consent of the territorial authority, take appropriate action in the interests of the community. Statutory provision for communities has been modified by the 1976 Amendment so that no community shall now be constituted except in an urban area within the rural part of a territorial authority district that is predominantly urban in character, or in an urban area within a territorial authority that is predominantly rural in character, or in the whole of the area of one or more offshore islands forming part of a territorial authority district. This brings the position nearer to that existing prior to the enactment of the Local Government Act 1974, which superseded Parts III and IV of the Counties Amendment Act 1968 under which county towns and county boroughs were able to be constituted within counties. When the Local Government Act came into force all county boroughs were redesignated district community councils and all county towns and dependent town districts became community councils. At 1 April 1976 there were 13 district community councils and 103 community councils.

General Powers—Local authorities in New Zealand derive their powers from the Act under which they are constituted. In the case of territorial local authorities, the Municipal Corporations Act 1954 and the Counties Act 1956 are the main governing Acts, while united, regional, district, district community, and community councils are under the Local Government Act 1974.

There are several statutory measures which are more or less applicable to all local authorities, such as the Local Elections and Polls Act 1966 and the Local Authorities Loans Act 1956. For most harbour boards there is, in addition to the general Harbours Act, a special Act for each board which is subordinate to the general Act. Certain types of local authority—urban drainage boards, transport boards, the Auckland Regional Authority, the Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority, the Christchurch-Lyttelton Road Tunnel Authority, and the Waikato Valley Authority—derive their principal powers from special constituting Acts.

A local authority has no legislative powers beyond the authority to make bylaws within limits defined in its constituting Act, but it can promote legislation on matters which affect the government of the area under its jurisdiction and which it is not already empowered to deal with. If the subject is transient and not contentious and is approved by Government, it is usually dealt with by the inclusion of an appropriate section in the annual Local Legislation Act passed by Parliament for this purpose. If, on the other hand, the local authority seeks powers of a permanent or major nature additional to those conferred on it by general Acts it must submit to Parliament a special local Bill. The extent to which the foregoing privileges are used may be gauged from the fact that the annual Local Legislation Act usually contains 20 to 25 sections, while about 15 local Acts are passed each year.

Franchise—Under the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, elections are held on the second Saturday in October every third year. The next triennial general elections are due in 1977. Enrolment of residential electors is compulsory. In a poll on any proposal relating to loans or rates, a rate paying qualification is necessary.

Apart from a few special-purpose authorities, some of whose members are appointed by other local authorities or by Government, members of local authorities are elected triennially, any qualified elector being eligible to seek election. In general the franchise extends to all persons aged 18 years or over who either possess a rating qualification or who possess a residential qualification in the district of the local authority concerned. The right to vote for members of land drainage and river boards is, however, restricted to those who possess rating qualifications. In the case of regional councils, district community councils, and community councils the right to vote is limited to those who reside in the region or community.

A person who is an alien (other than an enemy alien) may vote in local authority elections but is not capable of election or appointment as a member of any local authority.

Voting Procedures—Under the provisions of the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, any local authority may determine whether an election or poll is to be conducted by personal attendance at a polling booth or by way of postal vote. Since 1970, county councils had been authorised by legislation to use postal voting but other local authorities had been able to employ this method only on approval being granted by Order in Council. Where the franchise is to be exercised by personal attendance at a polling booth, the local authority may decide to conduct the election or poll over a period of not more than eleven consecutive days instead of confining voting to a single day.

Remuneration of Members—The remuneration of members of local authorities is governed by the statutes constituting the various types of local authorities. Most special purpose authorities pay their chairmen an annual allowance with a maximum fixed for each type of authority. The maximum payable to mayors of boroughs and cities and county council chairmen varies according to the population of the local authority. The chairman and members of a united or regional council may be paid such annual allowances as may from time to time be approved by the Minister of Finance after consultation with the Minister of Local Government.

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

This subject is further discussed in Section 10, Land Use and Development.

Chapter 3. Section 3 POPULATION

Table of Contents

GENERAL—By world standards, New Zealand's population is small—only an estimated 3.1 million at the end of 1976. Our rate of growth, however, is high, higher than in almost any other developed country. A main cause of this in recent years has been the relatively large gains from net migration. Because of the age structure of our population, our potential for growth will continue to be high for some time after the average family size has become small—as it is expected to do.

New Zealand's first million of population was recorded in 1908, 68 years after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1952, 44 years later, the second million was reached, and the third million late in 1973.

POPULATION GROWTH—Population has two sources of gain—natural increase (excess of births over deaths) and net migration (excess of arrivals over departures). In the early years in New Zealand, the bulk of the increase was through migration. From the late 1870s natural increase permanently displaced immigration as the chief contributor to population growth. At the census of 1881 the percentages of the total population born in New Zealand and born overseas were approximately equal (50.2 percent New Zealand born to 49.8 percent overseas born), and each succeeding census until 1961 recorded an increased proportion of New Zealand-born. Since 1961 (when the New Zealand-born made up 86 percent of the population) the proportion has fallen slightly mainly because increased international travel and tourism have meant that at each census increased numbers of overseas-born tourists and travellers have been included in the population as enumerated on census date. At the 1976 census 83.3 percent of the population was recorded as having been born in New Zealand.

During the present century, natural increase has accounted for over three-quarters of the growth of population. New Zealand's rate of natural increase is relatively high compared with other countries whose population is predominantly of European origin.

The natural increase rate has, in the main, closely reflected the changes in the birth rate, with a low point of 8.63 per 1,000 in 1935 and high points of 18 per 1,000 in 1947 and 1961; in the 1960s the average rate was less than 14 per 1,000. Like the low birth rate of the thirties, the fall in the birth rate in the sixties and seventies is a feature that New Zealand shares with a number of other developed countries, and notably with Australia, Canada, and the United States.

The natural increase in recent years is shown in the following table. A 50-year series of vital statistics is included in the Statistical Summary near the back of this Yearbook.

PeriodMarch YearsCalendar Years
Births*DeathsNatural IncreaseBirths*DeathsNatural Increase

*Section 14 birth registrations excluded since 1966. These are "late" registrations. See Yearbook Section 4B Births.

Totals 1916-1976......2,720.31,089.11,631.4

Migration, however, has continued to add to the population quite substantially except during depression and war periods, the recession conditions of 1968-69, and the most recent period. Gains from external migration since the Second World War are shown in the following table. Movements of the armed forces are not included.

PeriodMarch Years* Migration GainCalendar Years Migration Gain

*March years ended in years listed.

†Excess of departures.

PeriodMarch Years* Migration GainCalendar Years Migration Gain
Total 1901-1976..547.6

Most of the inward migration has been from the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands In more recent years increasing numbers have come from the Pacific Islands, notably Western Samoa. A changed economic climate in the country brought a net migration loss to population for the years ended March 1968, 1969, and 1970, but these losses were more than compensated for by relatively heavy gains to the population from net migration during the years ended March 1973,1974, and 1975. There was a sharp fall in the net gain from migration in the year ended March 1976 and a net loss of 13,727 in the following year.

CENSUS STATISTICS—Population statistics are based primarily on the five-yearly population census. Intercensal population estimates are based on the most recent census data available, adjusted in accordance with later figures of births, deaths, and migration. Estimates of the populations of particular localities, e.g., cities and boroughs, also take into account local economic developments, housing schemes, the numbers on school rolls, changes in boundaries, and any other factors leading to, or indicating, changes in population.

The basis adopted for the population census, and virtually throughout population statistics in New Zealand, is that of population physically present in the place of enumeration at the time of enumeration.

All references to New Zealand relate solely to geographic New Zealand, i.e., island territories are omitted except where their inclusion is specifically stated. Though Tokelau Islands are constitutionally part of New Zealand, for geographical reasons they are administered separately. The Cook Islands and Niue Island are self-governing but the islanders are New Zealand citizens.

The most recent Census of Population and Dwellings was taken on 23 March 1976.

PRESENT POPULATION—The following table gives a summary of population. A 50-year time series is given in the statistical summary towards the back of this Yearbook.

*Includes population of Kermadec Islands 11 (males) and Campbell Island 7(males).
New Zealand*23 March 1976 (Census)3,129,383
Island Territory—Tokelau30 June 19761,558
Ross Dependency23 March 197679

At 31 December 1976 the population of New Zealand was provisionally estimated at 3,148,100.

INCREASE OF POPULATION—The growth of population has been substantial in each intercensal period. The lowest rates are those of 1926-36, which included some years of economic depression, and of 1936-45, which included 6 years of international war, and of 1966-71, mainly attributable to a marked change in migration patterns.

Census DatePopulation*Increase or Decrease
IntercensalIntercensalAnnual Average
*Numbers of persons in New Zealand armed forces overseas are excluded.
25 September 19451,702,330128,5188.170.83
17 April 19511,939,472237,14213.932.37
17 April 19562,174,062234,59012.102.31
18 April 19612,414,984240,92211.082.12
22 March 19662,676,919261,93510.852.11
23 March 19712,862,631185,7126.941.35
23 March 19763,129,383266,7529.321.80

POPULATION POLICY GUIDELINES—Early in 1973 an Inter-Departmental Committee on Population Questions was established in recognition of the growing worldwide importance attaching to issues associated with population. Late in 1974 the Government directed the committee to prepare a paper discussing the main issues to be taken into account in formulating a specific population policy for New Zealand. The committee's report, published in September 1975, discussed the world population situation; New Zealand's population situation in relation to fertility and mortality trends and patterns, and both external and internal migration; and the implications of current and projected population trends in New Zealand, taking into account the relationship of population to physical resources, the economy, and society as a whole. It concluded by laying down broad guidelines for a population policy. (Future official machinery for the investigation of population policy issues was still under review at the time of going to press.)

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES—The annual average percentage increases of population for the period 1970-75, are given in the following table for certain selected countries. (Source: United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1975.)

CountryAverage Annual Percentage IncreaseCountryAverage Annual Percentage Increase
Canada1.4New Zealand1.9
Germany, West0.4United Kingdom0.2
India2.1United States0.8

INTERCENSAL RECORDS—Intercensal estimates of total population are prepared from the records of vital statistics and of external migration. The figures in the table following have been revised in line with 1976 Census results and exclude members of New Zealand armed forces who were overseas, and also members of the armed forces of other countries who were in New Zealand.

YearPopulation at End of YearIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
Years Ended 31 March      
Years Ended 31 December      

The following table shows the New Zealand Maori population. Figures revised in line with the 1976 Census results were not available for this section but may be included in the Latest Statistical Information section at the back of the Yearbook.

YearNew Zealand Maori Population at End of YearIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
Years Ended 31 March
Years Ended 31 December

POPULATION PROJECTIONS—An indication of possible future growth of the total New Zealand population (including Maoris) up to 2001 is given by the detailed alternative projections which follow. A later series of projections, based on the estimated population at 31 March 1976 and taking into account recent migration experience, is included in the Latest Statistical Information section.

Projections of future population involve an element of uncertainty owing to incomplete knowledge of the factors underlying changes in fertility, mortality, and migration levels and difficulties in forecasting the future behaviour of these components of population change.

It should be understood that, as with all demographic projections prepared by the Department of Statistics, these projections are not strict forecasts or targets, but conditional forecasts based on the stated assumptions. Presentation and use of the projections, therefore, cannot be divorced from consideration of the assumptions adopted.

These projections incorporate fertility assumptions relating to age-of-mother-specific total birth rates. Marital-status-specific birth rates were not used to project fertility because of their non-suitability in terms of the projection methodology. In the department's judgment this will not significantly impair the validity and utility of the projections. A full description of the projection assumptions is contained in the footnotes to the table.

Single-year-of-age-specific projections, equivalent to those in the table below are available on application to the Demographic Analysis Section of the Department of Statistics.

As at 31 MarchProjected Total New Zealand Population* Assuming Net Annual Immigration of

*The base population for these projections is the estimated population at 31 March 1974. They are based on the following assumptions:

(a) That future fertility experience will be in accordance with the alternative trends in age-of-mother-specific birth rates described in (‡) below;

(b) That 1970-72 Life Table Mortality Rates (Total Population) apply throughout the projection period.

†The assumed net immigration is taken to commence from the projection base point of 31 March 1974.

‡The fertility variants inherent in these projections are based on extrapolation of the 1962-73 trends in age-of-mother-specific birth rates until 1974 with a subsequent divergence into three alternative assumptions designated "high", "medium" and "low". In general the "low" assumption is based on a continuation of the 1962-73 trend from 1974 to 1979 with an extension of this trend, somewhat flattened, until 1984 and a further extension, even more flattened, until 1989. The "high" and "medium" assumptions were then derived relative to the "low" assumption, using generally less extreme declining trends, with the further condition that the "medium" birth rate values were the average of the "high" and "low" values at any projection time-point. In the 10-14 and 15-19 maternal age groups the "high" assumption was the bench-mark, based on 1962-73 experience, and the "medium" and "low" assumptions were derived relative to this variant. Because of the uncertainty in projecting fertility experience for longer than 15-20 years ahead, birth rates which make up the above fertility assumptions have b kept constant from 1990 until 2001, at the levels projected for 1989.

1974 (Base)1,5221,5203,0431,5221,5203,0431,5221,5203,043
High Fertility Assumption
Medium Fertility Assumption
Low Fertility Assumption

The following diagram presented on a ratio scale shows the growth of actual population from 1882 to 1976 and projections through to 2006.

DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION—Detailed population statistics are compiled for each census and are published in Volume 1A, Location and Increase of Population, of the Census of Population and Dwellings.

North and South Islands—In 1858 the North Island had a larger population than the South, but this position was reversed at the succeeding enumeration, and the South Island had the larger population (exclusive of NZ Maoris) at each census from 1861 to 1896. In 1901 the North Island was found to have slightly the larger total and since then has steadily increased its lead.

The following table gives the population of the North and South Islands since 1901.

Census YearTotal PopulationTotalPercentages
North IslandSouth IslandNorth IslandSouth Island

The 1976 Census revealed that the population of the North Island continues to increase at a greater proportionate rate than that of the South Island. At the 1976 Census the North Island population was 2,268,393, a 10.6 percent increase on the 1971 total of 2,051,363. At the same census the South Island total was 860,990, an increase of only 6.1 percent on the 1971 total of 811,268. However, between the 1971 and 1976 Censuses, births in the South Island totalled almost 78,000 and deaths over 38,000, giving a net natural increase of approximately 40,000. The fact that the total population increase was nearly 50,000 indicates a net migration inflow to the South Island during the inter-censal period. This is in contrast to the previous inter-censal period (1966-71) when a net migration outflow of approximately 16,000 was indicated.

Statistical Areas—In the following table are shown the areas and the populations of the statistical areas at the 2 most recent censuses.

Statistical AreaArea (Square Kilometres)Population Census 23 March 1971Population Census 23 March 1976
Central Auckland5,569698,382797,406
South Auckland-Bay of Plenty36,744422,317472,083
East Coast10,87847,34248,147
Hawke's Bay11,033133,250145,061
Totals, North Island114,7292,051,3632,268,393
Statistical AreaArea (Square Kilometres)Population Census 23 March 1971Population Census 23 March 1976
Totals, South Island153,946811,268860,990
Totals, New Zealand268,6752,862,6313,129,383

Statistical Divisions and Main Urban Areas—Statistical divisions and Main Urban Areas are statistical conceptions and not administrative units. Their purpose is to provide definite, stable, and comparable boundaries for the larger centres of population. Statistical divisions are a new concept. The basic criterion for a statistical division is a population of 75,000 or more within the area of economic and social interests of a heavily populated centre. Seven statistical divisions have been established, namely, Auckland, Hamilton, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington (including Hutt), Christchurch, and Dunedin. The division, like the urban area, does not have any administrative functions, but embraces areas of unified community, economic, and social interests. In addition to the central city or borough, urban areas include neighbouring boroughs and town districts and parts of counties which are regarded as suburban to the centre of population. Maps of statistical boundaries are available at Government bookshops. Adjustments of Urban Area boundaries have been made because of the peripheral growth of population in some of the urban centres.

The populations of the 7 Statistical Divisions and the 24 defined Urban Areas are given below.

Statistical Division (S. Div.) and Main Urban Area (U.A.)1971 Population Census1976 Population CensusPercentage Increase
Auckland S. Div.—    
Northern Auckland U.A.107,977137,42125.127.3
Western Auckland U.A.89,948108,13918.720.2
Central Auckland U.A.286,785289,1252.00.8
Southern Auckland U.A.165,048208,10132.226.1
Sub-totals, Combined Auckland U.A.649,758742,78614.414.3
Remainder S. Div.48,62454,6206.912.3
Hamilton S. Div.—    
Hamilton U.A.80,81294,77718.017.3
Remainder S. Div.55,19459,829-1.18.4
Statistical Division (S. Div.) and Urban Area (U.A.)1971 Population Census1976 Population CensusPercentage Increase
Napier-Hastings S. Div.—    
Napier U.A.43,60150,16413.615.1
Hastings U.A.45,51250,81411.911.6
Remainder S. Div.7,8208,032-0.72.7
Palmerston North S. Div.—    
Palmerston North U.A.57,06563,8738.911.9
Remainder S. Div.23,66724,8510.55.0
Wellington S. Div.—    
Upper Hutt Valley U.A.30,98635,58413.214.8
Lower Hutt Valley U.A.92,01497,1944.35.6
Porirua Basin U.A.47,85855,69827.416.4
Wellington U.A.136,782138,9383.61.6
Sub-totals, Combined Wellington U.A.307,640327,4147.96.4
Remainder S. Div.16,39222,21418.935.5
Christchurch S. Div.—    
Christchurch U.A.275,968295,2967.27.0
Remainder S. Div.26,64230,4146.814.2
Dunedin S. Div.—    
Dunedin U.A.111,059113,2222.11.9
Remainder S. Div.6,6817,204-5.77.8

Main Urban Areas Not in Any Statistical Division

Main Urban Area1971 Population Census1976 Population CensusPercentage Increase
New Plymouth38,78043,9148.713.2
Totals, 24 Main Urban Areas1,930,2492,134,75510.410.6
Totals, 7 Statistical Divisions1,756,4351,945,5109.910.8

Cities and Boroughs—The population of cities and boroughs is now given.

City or BoroughPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—  
Whangarei (city)34,9814,354
East Coast Bays (city)23,4901,558
Takapuna (city)62,2208,610
Waitemata (city)79,88337,550
Glen Eden8,370503
New Lynn10,466564
Auckland (city)150,7087,472
Mt. Albert28,131983
Mt. Eden19,815598
Mt. Roskill34,6451,862
One Tree Hill11,711983
Mt. Wellington20,5331,650
Papatoetoe (city)22,864907
Manukau (city)139,05956,548
Papakura (city)21,4521,380
Hamilton (city)87,9685,555
Te Awamutu7,619713
Te Kuiti4,840675
Te Aroha3,2021,126
Mt. Maunganui10,1031,411
Tauranga (city)33,6723,828
Te Puke3,810532
Rotorua (city)37,2292,667
Gisborne (city)29,6982,628
Napier (city)46,9943,021
Hastings (city)33,9601,711
Havelock North8,348514
New Plymouth (city)37,7112,316
Wanganui (city)37,3072,997
Palmerston N. (city)57,9314,302
Upper Hutt (city)30,61648,428
Lower Hutt (city)64,5538,967
Porirua (city)42,8338,508
Wellington (city)139,56626,343
Totals, North Island cities and boroughs1,770,032310,356
City or BoroughPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area in Hectares
South Island—  
Nelson (city)32,7934,762
Christchurch (city)171,98710,635
Timaru (city)29,2672,262
Port Chalmers3,123410
Dunedin (city)82,54616,560
St. Kilda6,542249
Green Island6,979781
Invercargill (city)49,7385,574
        Totals, South Island cities and boroughs537,67360,573
        Grand totals, all cities and boroughs2,307,705370,929

District—A new concept in local government—the district—appears in the 1976 Census statistics in the form of the Thames-Coromandel District, constituted on 1 October 1975 and amalgamating the former Thames and Coromandel Counties and Thames Borough.

DistrictPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area in Square Kilometres

*Formerly Coromandel County.

†Formerly Thames County.

‡Formerly Thames Borough.

(Coromandel Division)*4,6121,160
(Thames Division)5,1971,041
(Urban Division)6,76911

Town Districts—The population of town districts—i.e., those contained in the following table—is not included with that of the county in which the town district is located.

Town DistrictPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—  
Totals, North Island5,3411,704
South Island—  
Totals, South Island1,688473
Grand totals7,0292,177

Communities—The following table lists communities with populations of 1,000 or more at 23 March 1976. The parent county is shown in parentheses. The population of communities (previously known as county towns or dependent town districts) are included in the administrative county populations given in a later table.

CommunityPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island  
Moerewa (Bay of Islands)1,35175
Kawakawa (Bay of Islands)1,624229
Paihia (Bay of Islands)1,495232
Raglan (Raglan)1,310372
Kihikihi (Waipa)1,253212
Whitianga (Coromandel Div.)1,427293
Whangamata (Thames Div.)1,168485
Waihi Beach (Ohinemuri)1,171209
Katikati (Tauranga)1,349960
Papamoa Beach (Tauranga)1,175253
Mangakino (Taupo)1,614261
Turangi (Taupo)5,496579
Edgecumbe (Whakatane)1,617172
Ohope (Whakatane)1,594544
Ashhurst (Oroua)1,590173
Foxton Beach (Manawatu)1,009397
South Island  
Kaikoura (Kaikoura)1,949283
Darfield (Malvern)1,007228
Halswell (Paparua)4,787204
Brighton (Taieri)1,104112
Fairfield (Taieri)1,667143
Wanaka (Lake)1,178309
Te Anau (Wallace)2,384395

District Communities—The following table lists the populations of district communities as at 23 March 1976. The parent county is shown in parentheses. The populations of district communities (previously known as county boroughs) are included in the administrative county populations given in the following table.

District CommunityPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island  
Wellsford (Rodney)1,687554
Hibiscus Coast (Rodney)9,968633
Otorohanga (Otorohanga)1,965227
Ngongotaha (Rotorua)2,262513
Opotiki (Opotiki)2,623299
Bulls (Rangitikei)1,965405
Waikanae (Horowhenua)4,1841,060
Shannon (Horowhenua)1,649342
Heretaunga-Pinehaven (Hutt)5,8494,700
Wainuiomata (Hutt)19,1826,614
South Island  
Hornby (Paparua)8,679491
Sockburn (Paparua)6,3541,066
Totals, District Communities66,50336,904

Extra-county Islands and Shipboard Population—In addition to the populations quoted for administrative counties, cities and boroughs, and independent town districts, the New Zealand totals include shipboard population and persons located on islands not within the boundaries of any county. The two latter categories comprised a total of 4,352 persons at 23 March 1976.

Counties—The following table gives the population of individual counties at 23 March 1976 together with the approximate area of each. It should be noted that "administrative counties" do not include boroughs or town districts independent of county control, but include district communities, and communities which form parts of counties.

Administrative CountyPopulation Census 23 March 1976Approximate Area, in Square Kilometres
North Island—  
Bay of Islands16,6232,131
Great Barrier Is.373285
Hauraki Plains5,294603
Hawke's Bay21,0394,841
Waimate West2,074215
Wairarapa South2,6171,140
Totals, North Island counties473,381109,017
South Island—  
Golden Bay3,9372,618
Mt. Herbert869171
Chatham Islands615963
Stewart Island5131,746
Totals, South Island counties320,338152,782
Grand totals, all counties793,719261,799

Urban Concentration of Population—The bulk of New Zealand's population is located in urban areas, where the most rapid growth rates are occurring. This is due largely to the development of both manufacturing and tertiary industries in urban areas, which provide employment for a growing labour force. Other factors, including better social, cultural, educational, and economic opportunities, serve to attract persons to these areas, while the majority of immigrants tend to settle in the larger urban centres. These factors, combined with amalgamation of farms, centralisation of dairy factories, and increasing agricultural mechanisation (resulting in less labour required), combine to produce a noticeable rural-urban drift. Urban concentration features are common to "developed" countries at advanced stages of economic development.

The 1976 Census figures showed that many rural areas and a number of small and intermediate sized towns are continuing to decline in population. Thirty-nine counties recorded smaller population-than at the previous census in 1971. Of 54 small towns (1,000 to 4,999 population) 12 had declined in population between 1971 and 1976 compared with 22 during the previous inter-censal period. Two intermediate towns (5,000 to 9,999 population, situated outside urban areas) showed decreases in population compared with six at the previous census.

The following table shows the urban-rural distribution of the population. Urban population has been defined as that of the 24 defined Main Urban Areas plus that of all boroughs, town districts, communities, district communities, and townships with populations of 1,000 or over.


*Excludes shipping.

†Urban-rural distribution for New Zealand Maori population not yet available from 1976 Census.

Total Population
New Zealand Maori Population

In the process of urbanisation some cities and areas have grown more quickly than others. There is a tendency towards concentration of population in the largest centres and also a drift of population from the south to the north. Where the two tendencies reinforce each other, as they do in the case of the combined Auckland Urban Areas the rate of growth has been very rapid. Likewise the Urban Areas of Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Rotorua, which had a combined population in 1926 of 40,164, in 1976 comprised 228,649 inhabitants.

The initial reason for the drift to the north lay in the change in emphasis of farming activities in which the development of dairying played an important part. The expansion of dairying in itself called for the development of factory processing facilities and service industries. These farming trends have been reinforced by the growth of forest processing industries in the North Island and compounded further by the general tendency for the large-scale manufacturing units to be located close to the biggest local markets.

In the larger cities a notable feature of recent decades has been a movement of population from the central or "inner" areas to the perimeter or "outer" areas as families in decayed areas have moved to State rental houses and as residential units in the city centres have been replaced by shops, offices, places of entertainment, and other commercial or industrial buildings. In recent years there has been an offsetting movement with the building of multi-storey flats in the inner areas.

The distribution of population by size of centres is shown in the following table.

Sizes of Centre (City, Borough, Town District, or Community)Number of CentresPercentage of Population in These Centres
*Includes Urban Division of Thames-Coromandel District.
25,000 and over412222524.132.544.650.4

In the South Island a higher proportion of the population is rural, that is, outside urban communities, than in the North Island, the proportion being 21.6 in the South Island against 15.2 percent in the North Island, at the 1976 Census of Population.

Males and Females—Provisional statistics from a representative sample of questionnaires from the census of 23 March 1976 showed that females outnumbered males by 21,680 in the total population. In the sample-based national population estimate of 3,136,300 (which compared with the final full census count of 3,129,383) there were 1,557,310 males and 1,578,990 females. Females per 1,000 males at recent censuses have been:

CensusExcluding N.Z. Armed Forces OverseasIncluding N.Z. Armed Forces Overseas

There are marked differences in the sex distribution of the population of different parts of New Zealand. Females tend to outnumber males in urban areas and to be outnumbered in rural areas. One important reason is doubtless the generally better employment and educational opportunities for women and girls in the larger industrial and commercial centres.

DENSITY OF POPULATION—Generally speaking, a dense population must depend upon intensive land utilisation or industrialisation. In New Zealand there is a great area of high mountainous country, particularly in the South Island, and large areas of hilly country which cannot be closely settled, while the growth of mechanisation in farming tends to reduce the size of the labour force engaged in farming operations.

Nevertheless, economic development is providing employment for a growing labour force. More extensive mechanisation, further advances in science and technology, and increases in productivity, wealth, and consumption have paved the way for further specialisation of production and more concentrated urbanisation.

Within New Zealand there are wide variations in density of population. The following table provides comparative density figures on a statistical-area basis over a 50-year period from 1926 to 1976 censuses.

Statistical AreaArea in Square KilometresPersons Per Square Kilometre
Central Auckland5,56942.459.668.692.4125.4143.2
South Auckland - Bay of Plenty36,7443.
East Coast10,8783.
Hawke's Bay11,0336.47.28.310.412.113.1
Totals, North Island114,7297.810.011.514.717.919.8
Totals, South Island153,9463.
Totals, New Zealand268,6755.

NEW ZEALAND MAORI POPULATION—For statistical purposes, all persons of half or more Maori ancestry have, in the past, been defined as Maoris. This definition differs from that used for electoral purposes, as introduced in the Electoral Amendment Act 1975. That Act states that ‘Maori’ means a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a person who elects to be considered as a Maori for the purposes of the Act.

The growth rate of the Maori population continues to exceed that of the population as a whole. The average annual increase in the Maori population of 2.5 percent during the 197-1-76 inter-censal period compared with a growth rate of 1.8 percent for the population as a whole.

The 1976 Maori population of 257,770 comprises 194,500 who specified half or more New Zealand Maori origin and 63,270 who indicated they were a person of the Maori race of New Zealand, or a descendant of such a person, but did not specify a precise degree of Maori ancestry.

The population growth rate among the Maoris is predominantly a result of natural increase, whereas in the total population natural increase is normally supplemented by sizeable increments from migration.

When studying growth rates of the Maori population, however, it should be noted that, as a result of intermarriage, there are increasing numbers of Maori children (half or more Maori) who have one parent not counted in the Maori population, i.e., if a full Maori male marries a full European female or vice versa, the resulting progeny are all counted in the Maori population; this undoubtedly contributes to the high Maori percentage increase.

The decline in the number of Maoris during the early years of European settlement and throughout most of the nineteenth century is a matter of history. The present century has witnessed a resurgence of vitality among the Maori people which has been reflected in a strikingly high birth rate.

A statement of N.Z. Maori population is now given for each census from 1901. Members of the Armed Forces overseas are excluded.

Census YearNew Zealand Maori Population*Intercensal IncreaseIntercensal IncreaseAverage Annual Increase

*Prior to 1976 comprises persons who specified themselves as half or more New Zealand Maori and in 1976 this group plus those who indicated they were persons of the Maori race of New Zealand but did not specify the degree of Maori origin.



The increasing urbanisation of the Maori population as younger Maoris seek better job opportunities in the cities and boroughs is a population trend of considerable sociological significance. As late as the 1936 Census only 8,249 Maoris (10 percent) dwelt in cities, boroughs, or independent town districts. By the 1971 Census the comparative figure was 132,970 (58.5 percent): the largest concentration is in Southern Auckland Urban Area, where 20,675 Maoris were enumerated in 1971.

Of the 227,414 Maoris at the 1971 Census, 213,577 were in the North Island.

The Maori population, which until recently was not greatly affected by external migration, is a much younger population than the non-Maori.

The following table for 1976 shows the high proportion (44.8 percent) of Maori children under 15 years compared with the total population (29.4 percent), and the low proportion of people in the older age groups.

Age Group (Years)Percentage in Age Groups* (1976 Census)
New Zealand MaoriTotal Population


†Comprises persons who described themselves as being half or more Maori, plus those who indicated that they were persons of the Maori race of New Zealand, but who did not specify the degree of Maori descent.

Under 1544.829.4
60 and over3.613.2

EXTERNAL MIGRATION—In recent years there has been a large increase in New Zealanders going overseas on business, on pleasure trips, and on working holidays, resulting in much higher levels of migration. The arrivals include many New Zealanders returning from travel overseas, as well as growing numbers of tourists from overseas countries.

The numbers of arrivals and departures during the latest 5 years are given in the following table. Crews of vessels, through passengers, and members of the armed forces, have not been taken into account in this table. (Later figures are included in the Latest Statistical Information section at the back of this Yearbook).

Year Ended 31 MarchArrivalsDeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures

From 1968 to 1970 there was an alteration in the net migration flow. This is illustrated in the following diagram which covers all passenger migration, excluding through passengers and crews.

Long-term Migration—The following table gives an analysis of long-term (including permanent) arrivals and departures for March years. (Short-term migration is analysed in Section 36: Travel and Tourism.) In the year ended March 1977 (for which see Latest statistical Information) there was a net loss of 19,072 from permanent and long-term migration compared with a gain of 5,300 in 1975–76.

YearLong-term (Including Permanent) ArrivalsLong-term (Including Permanent) Departures
New Permanent ArrivalsLong-termPermanent and Long-term Arrivals (Immigrants)Permanent Departures or New Zealand ResidentsLong-termPermanent and Long-term Departures (Emigrants)
AssistedSubsidisedTotal (includes others)N.Z. Residents ReturningLong-term VisitorsN.Z. Residents DepartingLong-term Visitors Departing
*Arrivals: after absence of, or intending to stay, 12 months or more respectively. Departures: persons intending to stay away for, or after stay in New Zealand of, 12 months or more respectively.

The countries of origin and destination of these long-term (including permanent) migrants are shown in the following table.

YearAustraliaCanadaIndiaUnited KingdomCook Islands and NiueFijiWestern SamoaNetherlandsSouth AfricaUnited StatesAll Other CountriesTotal
Immigrants by Country of Last Residence
Emigrants by Country of Next Residence

Ages—The following table gives the age distribution of long-term (including permanent) arrivals and departures for the year ended 31 March 1976.

Age, in YearsLong-term ArrivalsLong-term DeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures
Under 155,4224,93210,3543,7443,5207,2643,090
65 and over4926421,134320412732402

The occupations of working persons in long-term (including permanent) arrivals and departures for the year ended March 1976 are given in the following table.

Occupation GroupLong-term ArrivalsLong-term Departures
Professional (including nurses and teachers)4,0943,5047,5983,5743,8167,390
Administrative and managerial1,2641621,4261,0842001,284
Clerical workers1,1544,1525,3061,1684,5945,762
Sales workers8724781,3508745581,432
Farmers and fishermen974741,048990901,080
Miners and quarrymen98986060
Transport and communications workers7781709488821981,080
Tradesmen, factory workers, labourers6,4224886,9106,8927167,608
Personal and other services6421,0101,6527141,0601,774
Not specified9401181,058814118932
Totals, actively engaged17,23810,15627,39417,05211,35028,402

Origin—The following table shows for the latest 3 years the birthplaces of long-term (including permanent) migrants.

Country of BirthImmigrantsEmigrants
Commonwealth Countries      
United Kingdom—      
England and Wales24,89220,1199,4504,6085,4715,722
Northern Ireland841699284147178212
Other or undefined2,7633,1421,708563643740
New Zealand15,13615,72915,68627,94627,26025,486
Pacific Islands—      
Cook Islands and Niue2,0722,1141,156178339482
Western Samoa3995901,022351549858
Other Pacific349388444282990326
Totals, Commonwealth countries63,94160,34243,48039,42840,88440,360
Other Countries      
Ireland, Republic of1369950464326
United States1,5501,3161,292855808974
      Totals, other countries5,8745,5584,9802,9102,5772,800
          Grand totals69,81565,90048,46042,33843,46143,160

IMMIGRATION POLICY—Since the beginning of 1976 the Government has taken measures to reduce severely the number of immigrants coming into New Zealand, in an attempt to alleviate the pressures being placed on New Zealand's resources and services by the large number of immigrants in previous years. An annual net migration gain of about 5,000 is the goal, and permanent entry to New Zealand continues to be restricted to those persons who rove close family ties with New Zealand or who may qualify on other humanitarian grounds; and to those who have occupational skills and qualifications which are fully recognised and in high demand in New Zealand.

This area of demand is kept under constant review, to take account of changes in the employment situation in New Zealand. Generally, applicants for permanent entry are required to be between the ages of 18 and 45 years, and if married to have no more than 4 dependent children. All persons included in the application must be of good health and character, and Government must be satisfied that employment and accommodation will be available for applicants and their families on arrival.

Emphasis has moved away from financially assisting immigrants to come to New Zealand. The Assisted Passage Scheme (which until 1969 had been the main vehicle for assisting immigrants from the United Kingdom) was abolished in April 1975. Following the change in Government at the end of 1975, the Subsidy Scheme (which had operated to enable New Zealand employers to sponsor individual migrants from the United Kingdom, Western Europe, and the United States of America) was suspended, and is likely to be revived only if there is a substantial increase in demand for the import of skills.

The numbers of immigrants assisted or subsidised in recent years were as follows:

Year Ended 31 MarchBritishDutchGermanSwissUnited StatesOtherTotal

New Zealand recognises a special responsibility towards the territories and countries of the South Pacific. Persons born in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau are New Zealand citizens, and have unrestricted right of entry into this country. The policy adopted for permanent entry from other South Pacific countries places a high priority on family reunification and other humanitarian factors, as it is Government policy not to encourage the recruitment of skilled workers from countries which themselves have need of them. There is a special arrangement under which a quota of citizens from Western Samoa may enter New Zealand for settlement each year. This arrangement arose out of New Zealand's close historical associations with that country. Special work permit schemes are available to citizens of Tonga, Fiji, and Western Samoa. Under these schemes, agreed upon after negotiations with the respective Governments, workers may undertake employment in response to specific job offers from New Zealand employers. Employers are required to make financial and other commitments to ensure the welfare of workers while they are in New Zealand, and the Department of Labour checks that the accommodation offered is of a suitable standard. The maximum period of employment under the schemes is 11 months. The long-term intention is to supplement these schemes with schemes of training and employment aimed at improving the reserve of skills in the Island countries concerned.

In tandem with closer control on the numbers entering the country, the Government has taken initiatives to promote the satisfactory settlement of migrants in New Zealand. It is the task of an Interdepartmental Committee on Resettlement to keep under review the facilities already available to assist new arrivals, and to consider how best to ensure that existing agencies and services are related in a more direct and co-ordinated way to the resettlement objectives of Government policy. The committee, in consultation with other Government agencies and non-Governmental bodies, is working to identify any areas in which steps are not already being taken to meet the reasonable requirements of new migrants, and, as appropriate, to develop proposals to satisfy these requirements.

Refugees—New Zealand continues to accept a significant number of refugees who come within the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, particularly from South America and continental Europe. The programmes of resettlement assistance for refugee groups, instituted on a trial basis in 1975 as a co-operative effort between State agencies and private organisations represented by the Inter-Church Commission on Immigration, have proved to be successful and have been continued for recent arrivals.

Formalities—Except for New Zealand citizens, all persons entering New Zealand are required to obtain entry permits under the Immigration Act 1964. This legislation is administered by the Department of Labour. The actual permit to enter is issued at the New Zealand port of entry, in the form of an endorsement in the passenger's passport (or other travel document). All persons intending permanent residence in New Zealand require prior approval before setting out on their journey. Requirements for visitors vary according to the nationality of the traveller and the purpose of the visit. The following categories of travellers, however, are exempt from the prior authority and entry permit requirements (whether entering permanently or temporarily) under a special exemption.

  1. Australian citizens

  2. Citizens of other Commonwealth countries who have been granted the right to reside permanently in either Australia or New Zealand, provided they arc travelling direct to New Zealand from Australia.

This arrangement does not, however, exempt such persons from the provisions of the Immigration Act 1964 relating to prohibited immigrants. The following categories of persons are prohibited from entry to New Zealand whether for permanent or temporary entry:

  1. Mentally disordered persons, or people suffering from tuberculosis, leprosy, or syphilis;

  2. Persons who have been convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment or other form of detention for 1 year or more or to any form of indeterminate detention for which they may be detained for a period of 1 year or more;

  3. Persons who have been deported from New Zealand (except in a certain class of ship deserter), or deported from any other country.

Those within any of the above categories who enter New Zealand without first obtaining special permission to do so commit an offence which requires the Court to order deportation if conviction is entered.

To obtain permission to settle in New Zealand, intending immigrants, other than Australian citizens, should first write to the nearest overseas representative of the New Zealand Government or write direct to the Secretary of Labour, Private Bag, Wellington, New Zealand for the necessary application forms. Each application is considered on its merits.

PASSPORTS—Authority for the issue of passports in New Zealand and by New Zealand representatives overseas is contained in the Passports Act 1946 and the Passport Regulations 1946.

New Zealand passports are issued and renewed within New Zealand by the Department of Internal Affairs at Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin, at Rarotonga by the High Commissioner, at Niue by the New Zealand Representative, and overseas by the representatives of New Zealand at Apia, Athens, Bangkok, Bonn, Brussels, Canberra, Geneva, The Hague, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Noumea, Ottawa, Paris, Peking, Port Moresby, Rome, San Francisco, Santiago (Chile), Seoul, Singapore, Suva, Sydney, Tehran, Tokyo, Vancouver, Vienna, and Washington. United Kingdom, Canadian, Australian, Malaysian, Singapore, and Indian passports are issued and renewed in New Zealand by the respective High Commissioners for those countries.

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

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

Departure from New Zealand—Every person leaving New Zealand, with the exception of a British subject travelling to Australia or making the round trip to New Zealand's island territories, should be in possession of a valid passport or other travel document.

NATIONALITY AND NATURALISATION—The basic nationality law is the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948. Citizens of all Commonwealth countries are recognised as British subjects.

New Zealand citizenship may be acquired in the following ways: (a) by birth in New Zealand; (b) by descent; (c) by registration; and (d) by naturalisation. Citizens of other Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland acquire New Zealand citizenship by registration, as do alien wives and children of New Zealand citizens. Other aliens acquire it by naturalisation. To be eligible for New Zealand citizenship, an alien or a citizen of another Commonwealth country (other than a woman married to a New Zealand citizen, or a minor) must—(a) have resided in New Zealand for the prescribed period; (b) be of full age and capacity; (c) be of good character; (d) have sufficient knowledge of the English language, and of the responsibilities and privileges of New Zealand citizenship; (e) intend to reside in New Zealand, or to enter or continue Crown service under the New Zealand Government. The residential qualification for naturalisation is 5 years, for registration it is generally 3 years.

A person who acquires New Zealand citizenship by naturalisation must take the oath of allegiance, a person who acquires it by registration may be required to take the oath. Ceremonies are held at which applicants, in an atmosphere of dignity and solemnity, take the oath of allegiance and are presented with their certificates of naturalisation or registration as New Zealand citizens. During 1974–75 there were 193 ceremonies at which 1,204 candidates took the Oath, and during the 1975–76 year there were 194 ceremonies at which 1,113 candidates took the Oath.

New Zealand citizens may be deprived of New Zealand citizenship if they voluntarily acquire a foreign nationality by any formal act other than marriage, or if they voluntarily exercise the privileges or perform any of the duties of a foreign nationality possessed by them. Citizenship obtained by fraud, false representation, or the concealment of any material fact may be withdrawn.

The following table shows the number of persons, by country of birth, who were granted citizenship in the latest 2 years ended 31 March.

Country of Birth1974–751975–76
Hong Kong-363633639
South Africa154257165672
United Kingdom-3,2283,22813,2193,220
United States91827182038
Western Samoa71081151118119
Other countries3022325349268317

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

The number of aliens on the New Zealand register at any particular date does not constitute the total number in New Zealand, as certain classes are not required to register, including the following: (a) children under 16 years of age; (b) persons holding diplomatic status, consuls, or employees of embassies, legations, and consulates who are resident in New Zealand solely for the purpose of performing official duties; (c) certain temporary visitors to New Zealand. Under the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, though not possessing the status of British subject (or, in alternative phraseology, Commonwealth citizen), is nevertheless not classed as an alien and is not required to register.

The following table shows, by country of nationality, the number of males and females on the register.

Country of Nationality1 April 19751 April 1976
South Africa157177334172184356
United States2,7961,8764,6722,8802,0284,908
Other countries8747134157110267

Gains in numbers on the register for any nationality occur for several reasons—mainly, (a) immigrants of 16 years of age and over who arrive during the year, (b) registration (on reaching the age of 16) of children whose parents may have arrived in previous years but are still registered aliens.

Reductions in the numbers of registered aliens in the main come from naturalisations, deaths, or departure overseas.

Five years residence in New Zealand is necessary before an alien can qualify for naturalisation.

CENSUS OF POPULATION AND DWELLINGS 1976—The series of tables on the following pages contain provisional statistics from the 1976 Census of Population and Dwellings based on a representative sample of population and dwelling questionnaires. Where such statistics are not available, tables based on the 1971 Census have been retained.

MARITAL STATUS—The marital status of persons aged 16 years and over as returned at the Census of 1976 is summarised in the following tables. All figures are provisional.

Age Groups (Years)Never MarriedMarriedLegally SeparatedWidowedDivorcedTotal*
*Including persons not specifying status.
75 and over2,48022,3302209,86040035,420
Totals, 1976280,070709,28017,18027,10015,8501,051,480
Totals, 1971250,372632,10811,59826,79811,442937,954
75 and over7,02013,77027040,63076062,510
Totals, 1976216,550715,13023,430119,56021,3601,096,590
Totals, 1971186,619637,92214,139104,53314,711959,378
75 and over9,50036,10049050,4901,16097,930
Totals, 1976496,6201,424,41040,610146,66037,2102,148,070
Totals, 1971436,9911,270,03025,737131,33126,1531,897,332

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

Marital Status196619711976*
Never married28.120.826.919.526.719.8
Legally separated0.

HOUSEHOLDS—There was a provisional total of 939,340 households in permanent private dwellings at the Census in 1976. The following table analyses the type of household by the number of occupants. A one-family-only household consists of a husband and wife with or without unmarried children of any age who are living at home.

Type of HouseholdTotal House-holdsNumber of Households with Number of Members
1234567 or more
Incomplete with children absent31,3407,2608,5007,0704,5201,9302,060
Incomplete with one parent absent53,160- –25,06015,1307,4003,4601,280830
Incomplete with one parent and child(ren) absent4,8202,2501,080710410230140
One family plus other persons (non-family)76,95021,64017,32016,06010,52011,410
Multi-family with or without other persons15,6303,0203,1503,2206,240
One person150,670150,670

In the following table these complete one-family-only households are analysed by membership and the occupational status of the head of the household.

Occupational Status of HeadTotal HouseholdsHusband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife with
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More Children
Actively engaged—       
Own account51,33011,6608,55014,4209,9204,6702,110
Salary or wages362,94098,67068,45099,72057,43024,50014,170
Relative assisting2201306030
Not specified610220110130705030
Not actively engaged—       
Grand total550,360190,86095,050130,91079,77034,50019,270

The following table shows the composition of one-complete-family-only households in 1976 by the age group of the head of the household.

Age group of (in Years)Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and wife withTotal
1 Child*2 Children*3 Children*4 Children*5 or More Children*
Under 2069084090101,630
65 and over63,1706,8101,31052010014072,050
Under 2042.351.55.50.6100.0
65 and over87.
All ages34.717.323.814.56.33.5100.0

The following two tables show, for one-complete-family-only households, the income group analysed by the membership of the household. The income given in the first table is the income of the head of the household, while in the second table the total household income is shown. In a considerable proportion of households, the total household income was substantially above the income of the head of the household, usually indicating at least one other income recipient in the family. The statistics are based on a representative sample of questionnaires.

Income of Head*Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife withTotal
One ChildTwo ChildrenThree ChildrenFour ChildrenFive or More Children
$ Number of Households     
20,000 and over2,1601,2502,4101,8908404008,950
Not specified1,1105606604902302203,270
Income of Household*Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife withTotal
One ChildTwo ChildrenThree ChildrenFour ChildrenFive or More Children
*Estimated income before tax, other than Social Welfare Benefits, for the year ended 31 March 1976.
$Number of Households   
20,000 and over3,9703,3505,5304,3402,2301,34020,760
Not specified1,6801,1501,4301,0306706306,590

The following table shows persons living alone in 1976 by age and marital status.

Age Group (in Years)Marital Status
Never MarriedMarriedLegally SeparatedDivorcedWidowedTotal
Under 2095020970
65 and over3,3001,8506001,0509,22016,100
Age Group (in Years)Marital Status
Never MarriedMarriedLegally SeparatedDivorcedWidowedTotal
Under 208104020870
65 and over7,6202,1306801,91043,42055,780

RELIGIOUS PROFESSIONS—The following summary presents the main religious professions returned at the 1961, 1966 and 1971 Censuses.

Religious ProfessionNumber of AdherentsPercentage
Anglican (Church of England)835,434901,701895,83934.633.731.3
Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)364,098425,280449,97415.115.915.7
Protestant (undefined)45,10046,09037,4751.91.71.3
Christian (undefined)12,13021,54833,1870.50.81.2
Latter Day Saints17,97825,56429,7850.81.01.0
Salvation Army15,45417,73719,3710.60.70.7
Seventh Day Adventist8,2209,55110,4770.30.40.4
Jehovah's Witness5,9447,45510,3180.20.30.4
Church of Christ10,48510,3018,9300.40.40.3
Eastern Orthodox3,3283,6054,3190.10.10.2
Assemblies of God1,0602,0283,599-0.10.1
Apostolic Church1,3991,8412,3610.10.10.1
Undenominational Christian2,1701,9681,9030.10.10.1
Christian Scientist3,7191,1618160.2--
All other religious professions14,38623,49924,6940.60.90.9
No religion (so returned)17,48632,78057,4850.71.22.0
Object to state204,056210,851247,0198.47.98.6
Not specified14,19819,300103,5330.60.73.6

The category recorded as "Object to state" represents those persons availing themselves of the special statutory right of objecting to answer a question on this subject.

AGE DISTRIBUTION—Census age-group figures are shown in the following table. Estimates of age distribution for inter-censal and later years are published in the Monthly Abstract of Statistics.

Age (Years)1971 Census1976 CensusPercentage of Total Population


*Under 20 years.

90 and over1,4683,0664,534......0.2..
Under 15 years464,512445,111909,623472,170450,610922,78031.829.4
15–64 years862,495846,3461,708,841964,660961,9501,926,61059.761.4
65 years and over103,849140,318244,167120,480166,430286,9108.59.2

ETHNIC GROUPS—The following table gives the broad ethnic origins of the population.

Ethnic GroupCensus
Other Origins—   
Pacific Islanders—   
Cook Island Maori4,4998,66313,772
Niuean and Tokelauan1,7282,8465,459
Sub-totals, Pacific Islanders14,34026,27145,413
Syrian, Lebanese, and Arab1,1011,0991,126
Other ethnic groups2,1223,5894,752
Sub-totals, others16,67223,13728,524

COUNTRY OF BIRTH—From 1945 to 1961 the New Zealand-born population remained at about 86 per cent of the total population: since 1966 the proportion has dropped slightly, mainly because increased numbers of New Zealanders have been overseas at census date and increased numbers of overseas tourists have been in New Zealand. At the 1976 Census, 83.3 percent of those enumerated gave New Zealand as their birthplace, 9.3 percent gave the United Kingdom, 2.0 percent Australia, 1.0 percent the Cook Islands and Western Samoa, and 0.7 percent the Netherlands.

The next table shows the duration of residence in New Zealand of persons born overseas.

Years of Residence1966 Census1971 Census1976 Census
NumberPercentages Specified CasesNumberPercentages Specified CasesNumberPercentages Specified Cases

†Includes overseas born short-stay visitors

*Including unspecified.

20 and over129,29733.2139,51134.3173,80034.3

INTERNAL MIGRATION—The 1971 Census of Population and Dwellings included, for the first time, a question on internal migration. Respondents were asked to state their usual place of residence 1 year and 5 years prior to the census. Since the resulting data were based on recollections rather than enumeration in a particular locality, the detailed figures are subject to memory errors. Nevertheless, they provide valuable indications on trends in a field previously little explored.

The following table gives a summary by Statistical Areas of the percentages of the population who had changed or not changed their residences within the year prior to the 1971 Census. It will be seen that, in New Zealand as a whole, 83.59 percent of the population were living at the same address as a year previous. The greatest mobility of population was found in the two main concentrations—Central Auckland Statistical Area (in which 18.62 percent of the population had moved within the year) and Wellington Statistical Area in which 17.70 percent had moved.

Usual Residence on Census Night (1971)Residence One Year Prior to Census (1971)
UnchangedElsewhere* in N. Z.Pacific IslandsOther CountriesNot Specified or No Settled Abode
*Includes, in those local authority areas subdivided for statistical processing purposes, persons who changed residence between the subdivided portions.
Northland S. A.87.4411.560.020.760.22
Central Auckland S. A.81.3814.940.211.931.55
South Auckland - Bay of Plenty S. A.83.9513.790.071.921.28
East Coast S. A.85.8411.450.010.622.08
Hawke's Bay S. A.85.2012.890.030.731.15
Taranaki S. A.87.5511.09..0.730.63
Wellington S. A.82.3014.640.121.551.39
North Island83.0914.060.121.401.33
Marlborough S. A.86.7211.150.010.881.23
Nelson S. A.84.9312.450.021.680.92
Westland S. A.88.378.72..0.542.37
Canterbury S. A.83.8914.
Otago S. A.85.8111.960.020.951.26
Southland S. A.85.6112.720.031.020.63
South Island84.8613.
New Zealand83.5913.770.091.311.23

Data based on residence 5 years prior to the 1971 Census indicate that 61.31 percent of the total population were still at the same address in 1971 as they were 5 years previously, but that 38.69 percent—almost 4 in every 10—had moved at least once during the 5 years. In Central Auckland Statistical Area 43.49 percent and in Wellington Statistical Area 41.22 percent of the population recorded that they had been living elsewhere 5 years prior to the 1971 Census.

STATISTICS OF WORLD POPULATION—The area and estimated population of the major areas and selected countries at mid-year 1975 are shown in the following table. (Source: U.N. Population and Vital Statistics Report.)

Major Areas and CountriesAreaPopulation

†Includes Central America and the Caribbean

*World and major area figures are provisional totals for mid-1976.

 sq km 
Major Areas(000)million
World Total135,9064,045*
Selected Countries  
South Africa1,22125.5
Tanzania, United Republic of94515.2
Zaire Republic2,34524.9
United States9,363213.6
Hong Kong14.4
Saudi Arabia2,1509.0
Sri Lanka6614.0
Ireland, Republic of703.1
United Kingdom24456.0
Yugoslavia, Republic of25621.4
New Caledonia190.1
New Zealand2693.1
Papua New Guinea4622.8

Chapter 4. Section 4 VITAL STATISTICS


The rate of natural increase (excess of births over deaths) is important to national planning; along with net migration it is the major component of population growth. While in recent years the natural increase rate in New Zealand has fallen, in line with the trend in the majority of developed countries, the New Zealand rate remains higher than for most other countries of predominantly European stock. The following table shows the numbers and rates of natural increase for the last 6 years, and emphasises the high rate for the Maori component of the population.

YearTotal PopulationMaorisNatural Increase Rates per 1,000 Mean Population
BirthsDeathsNatural IncreaseBirthsDeathsNatural IncreaseTotalMaori

In the 5 years to 31 December 1975 New Zealand gained by natural increase of population a total of 179,580.

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES—An international comparison of birth and natural increase rates for certain countries is made in the following table. The rates, which are for 1975, are taken from the United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.

CountryRate per 1,000 of Population
BirthsDeathsNatural Increase
*Rates for 1974.
New Zealand18.38.110.2
 Rate per 1,000 of Population  
CountryBirthsDeathsNatural Increase
United States14.89.05.8
United Kingdom12.411.90.5
West Germany9.712.1—2.4


REGISTRATION—The law as to registration of births is contained in the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951. A birth is normally registered at the office of the Registrar nearest the place of birth.

Births statistics are compiled by the Department of Statistics from the records of the Registrar-General. The births covered by a year's statistics are those registered during the year. The figures do not include still births, except where multiple births are discussed. A special classification of still births is given later in this subsection.

Under section 14 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951, provision is made for births not registered in the ordinary way to be recorded at a later date in a special register kept by the Registrar-General. Such cases include elderly people requiring evidence of age for social security purposes. Until 1971 these late registrations were included in published live-birth statistics but they are now excluded. The numbers are normally relatively small; in 1975 they totalled 202.

NUMBERS AND RATES—The following table shows the numbers of births and the rates for the last 6 years. Late registrations (see above) have been excluded from all these figures. It will be noted that the birth rate, which fell in the early 1960s and then appeared to stabilise at 22 to 23 births per 1,000 of mean population in the later 1960s, has now resumed the decline.

YearNumbersRates per 1,000 of Mean Population

REFINED BIRTH RATE—"Crude" rates of the number of births per 1,000 of the mean population, irrespective of sex or age, do not take account of variations in the proportion of women of the child-bearing ages. Refined rates are provided by computations of the nuptial birth rate per 1,000 married women of 16–44 years of age, or the total births per 1,000 of all women aged 15–44 years. The following table gives both rates for census years (on the basis of the births registered in that year and the population as at the census) together with the "crude" rate for the year.

Census YearBirth Rate per 1,000 Women"Crude" Birth Rate per 1,000 Mean Population
Married Women 16-44 YearsTotal Women 15-44 Years

The percentage of married women among women in the child-bearing age groups was 68.4 in 1971 compared with 51.6 in 1926. A study of the figures for successive censuses reveals considerable changes in the age constitution of married women within the child-bearing ages; as the birth rate varies with age, the change in age constitution over the period is a factor which should be taken into account.

The following diagram shows numbers of births and deaths and indicates the relatively high rate of natural increase in New Zealand.

The period since, the Second World War was marked by a high birth rate until 1962, when the level dropped; this experience was also shared by Australia, Canada, and the United States. During the years 1962 to 1966 the crude birth rate fell from 26.16 to 22.37 per 1,000 of mean population. From 1966 until 1971 the crude birth rate remained relatively constant, but since 1971 the downward trend appears to have been resumed. In the following table the New Zealand crude birth rate is compared with that of Australia, Canada, and the United States.

CountryBirth Rate per 1,000 Mean Population

(Source: United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and Statistical Yearbook.)

New Zealand22.622.422.022.521.720.419.518.3
United States17.617.918.317.215.715.015.014.8

The decline of the birth rates over the period from 1961 has been the subject of discussion by demographers, notably at world population conferences. This change in fertility pattern has coincided in time with increasing use of oral contraceptives; their greater effectiveness in birth control appears to have had a significant influence on fertility. Demographers have emphasised the need for further research, stating that it is important to study demographic variables involved in the decline in the birth rate, including changes in age distribution, timing of marriage and birth, past success in achieving the desired family size, and changes in the desired number of children. It is important to determine the extent to which smaller families and postponed births are the result of changes in social attitudes and economic goals, and the extent to which they are the result of improved methods and knowledge of birth control having made possible a control of fertility previously considered desirable but largely unattainable.

REPRODUCTION INDEX—The reproduction index is based on the fact that the future size of a population is related to the number of women in the reproductive age groups at any given time. The gross rate is based on the number of female children born, and the average number of girls that will be born to a woman during her reproductive period, while the net rate takes into account fertility rates at different ages and the percentages of female survivors at those ages, obtained from life tables. A net rate of 1.0 indicates zero population growth, and a higher rate a rising population.

Reproduction rates during the latest 6 years were as follows.

YearGross RateNet Rate

SEX OF CHILDREN BORN—The numbers of boys and girls born during the latest 6 years are given in the following table.

In each year, more boys than girls are born, a disparity "explainable" on account of the higher death rates of males at every age level. The death rate per 1,000 live births for babies under 12 months of age in 1975 was 18.49 for boys and 13.33 for girls; for children of from 1 to 4 years of age it was 1.04 for boys and 0.91 for girls; for children aged 5 to 14 years it was 0.50 for boys and 0.30 for girls; and the pattern repeated itself with each age group through adolescence and adult life.

YearNumber of Births ofMale Births per 1,000 Female Births

MULTIPLE BIRTHS—In 1975 there were 56,061 confinements which resulted in live births; of these 573 cases resulted in all live multiple births and 24 cases where one of twins was still-born. In five additional cases both twins were still-born.

The likelihood of still births occurring is much greater in cases of multiple births than in single cases.

YearSingle CasesCases of TwinsCases of TripletsTotal CasesStill Birth Rate per 1,000
LiveStillBoth LiveBoth StillOne Live One StillAll LiveTwo Live One StillSingleMultipleSingle CasesMultiple Cases

AGES OF PARENTS—Information as to the relative ages of parents of nuptial living children whose births were registered in 1975 is shown in the following table for the total population.

Registrations of births under section 14 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1951 are excluded.

Age of Mother, in YearsAge of Father, in Years
Under 2020-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-6465 and OverTotal Cases
*Including 4 cases of triplets and 18 cases where one of twins was still-born
Single Births
Under 208032,454365541315-1-3,696
45 and over--12210168--39
Multiple Births
Under 202303-------35
45 and over------1---1
Grand Totals97310,88118,79710,0363,7931,45055717371846,739*

PREVIOUS ISSUE OF PARENTS—The following table gives for 1975 the number of previous issue, i.e., children born alive, in conjunction with the age of mother.

Age of Mother in YearsNumber of Previous IssueTotal Nuptial Cases
0123456-910-1415 and Over
*This number represents 46,232 single cases and 507 multiple cases.
Under 202,681973761-----3,731
45 and over322525155-40

In the following table the total issue and average issue are shown for mothers by age groups where a birth occurred in 1975

Age of Mother in YearsTotal MothersTotal IssueAverage Issue
Under 203,7314,8931.31
45 and over402696.72

It should be stressed that the averages are no more than they purport to be—viz., the average number of children (including those registered in 1975) born up to the present time to those mothers of nuptial children whose births were registered during the year. They do not purport to represent, nor do they represent, the average issue of all women of the ages shown. Furthermore, they include issue born to the existing marriages only. The averages for recent years have been as follows: 1971, 2.36; 1972, 2.29; 1973, 2.30; 1974, 2.23; and 1975, 2.19.

FIRST BIRTHS—Statistics of nuptial first confinements show that in recent years there have been educed proportions occurring within 1 year after marriage and within 2 years after marriage.

YearTotal Nuptial CasesTotal Nuptial First CasesProportion of First Cases to Total CasesFirst Cases Within 1 Year After MarriageFirst Cases Within 2 Years After Marriage
NumberProportion to Total First CasesNumberProportion to Total First Cases
   percent percent percent

The following table gives the duration-of-marriage factor in first confinements over a longer time-series. Prior to 1962 the statistics concern births of non-Maoris only.

Duration of Marriage, in YearsPercentage of Total First Confinements
Under 146.2538.4742.6449.8535.6132.3830.84
10 and over1.111.530.940.860.460.550.47

In the following table first confinements occurring to mothers in different age groups are expressed as a percentage of the total first confinements. Prior to 1962 the statistics concern confinements of non-Maoris only.

Age of Mother, in YearsPercentage of Total First Confinements
Under 208.907.339.0819.6419.3217.9616.05
45 and over0.

The average ages of mothers at the birth of their first child were as follows: 1924, 26.39; 1934, 25.90; 1944, 25.18; 1954, 25.32; 1964, 23.65; 1973, 23.16; 1974, 23.29; and 1975, 22.92 years.

EX-NUPTIAL BIRTHS—The numbers of ex-nuptial births registered during each of the latest 6 years, with the percentages they bear to total births registered, are given in the following table. Comparisons of the ratio of ex-nuptial births to all live births (either on a year-to-year basis or on an international basis) should be made with caution. Some of the difficulties were discussed in supplements to the January 1967 and November 1975 Monthly Abstracts of Statistics. For example, the ex-nuptial ratio as a true indicator of ex-nuptial fertility is of limited value because it is influenced by extraneous factors. Ex-nuptial ratios may change not so much because of changing numbers of ex-nuptial births but because of a change in nuptial fertility experience as measured by nuptial birth numbers. This situation is well illustrated by experience during the 1962–75 period when ex-nuptial births increased from 5,227 to 9,407 while nuptial births showed an overall fall from 59,787 to 47,232, resulting in the ex-nuptial ratio exaggerating the "real" rise in the ex-nuptial fertility level. Again a, social factor to be borne in mind is that unmarried mothers are not infrequently de facto wives with comparatively stable relationships.

*Ex-nuptial births as a proportion of total births.

The long-term trend in the rate of ex-nuptial births is indicated by the movement in the proportion of ex-nuptial births per 1,000 unmarried women–i.e., spinsters, widows, and divorced women—at the reproductive ages. The figures for census years are as follows. Up to 1961 the statistics relate to non-Maoris only; from 1966 Maoris are included.

Census YearUnmarried Women 15-44 Years of AgeEx-nuptial BirthsEx-nuptial Birth Rate per 1,000 Unmarried Women

In 1975 the total number of ex-nuptial confinements resulting in live births was 9,322. Of these, 9,232 cases were single births, 83 were twins and one case of triplets. There were six cases of twins in which one child was still-born. The total number of ex-nuptial live births was 9,407. From the following table, it will be seen that of the 9,322 mothers, 4,208 or 45.14 percent, were under 20 years of age.

AgeNumber of Mothers
45 and over5

Reregistration—An ex-nuptial child whose parents have later married may be reregistered from birth by reason of such marriage. Applications for registration must be made within 3 months after the date of the marriage.

The number of reregistrations in each of the latest 6 years were as follows: 1971, 1,749; 1972, 1,619; 1973, 1,482; 1974, 1,517; 1975, 1,433; 1976, 1,478.

The Children and Young Persons Act 1974 requires that all ex-nuptial births be notified to a social worker so that inquiries may be made concerning the circumstances of each mother and child for the purpose of offering advice and assistance.

The following table shows the outcome of the inquiries made in recent years. Inquiries relate to some births from the preceding year and do not cover all births in the year stated.

Location of Infants197319741975
Re-registered after marriage of parents274426532783
Remaining with mother (parents cohabiting)2,037242,411272,75832
Remaining with mother (parents not cohabiting)2,455292,606292,94234
Placed with relatives298423432103
Placed with strangers with view to adoption1,883221,633181,32216
Placed with strangers, no expressed wish to adoption73169132-
In children's home or other institution on a long-term basis36-32-31-
Committed to care of Social Welfare34-50125-
Not traced1,210141,4481683910

ADOPTIONS—The following table shows the number of adoptions which have been registered during the latest 4 years.


Of the 3,322 adoptions registered in 1975, 1,176 were children under the age of 1 year, 1,269 were aged 1 to 4 years, 585 were aged 5 to 9 years, and 292 were aged 10 years and over.

In 1972, for the first time for many years, there was a substantial drop in the number of adoption orders made by the Court and this was followed by a further drop in 1973, 1974, and in 1975. Of the 3,322 adoptions finalised in 1975, social workers of the Social Welfare Department were concerned with 2,751 or 83 percent. Maori welfare officers handled most of the others.

The following table, which relates only to cases handled by the department, shows the number and status of children adopted over the last 4 years.

Status of Children Adopted1972197319741975
*These are cases where, because one of the applicants is the child's natural parent, a social worker's report has not been called for.
Not known*69867974

In 1975, 76 percent of the children adopted were born out of wedlock. Of these children born out of wedlock, 85 percent were aged less than one year at the time of placement for adoption. Fifty-seven percent were placed with strangers.

The next table shows the age at placement according to the status of the children adopted in 1975

AgeNuptialEx-nuptialNot KnownTotal
*These are cases where, because one of the applicants is the child's natural parent, a social worker's report has not been called for.
Under 1 year2731,789142,076
1-5 years441081153
6 years and over2616042
Not known*22819359480

The following table shows the original relationship between adopted children and their new parents.

One parent and spouse801770903877
Relative or close friend343318252293

STILL BIRTHS—Although it is compulsory to effect a birth-registration entry for a still-born child, no entry is made in the register of deaths. Particulars of causes of still births will be found in Section 4C relating to deaths. A still-born child is defined as one "which has issued from its mother after the expiration of the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy and which was not alive at the time of such issue". Still births are not included either as births or as deaths in the various numbers and rates shown in this subsection and in that relating to deaths. The rate was 0.83 per 100 births in 1975.

The registration of still births during each of the latest 4 years were as follows.

YearMale Still BirthsFemale Still BirthsTotalMale Still Births per 1,000 Female Still BirthsPercentage of Still Births to
Living BirthsAll Births

The percentage of ex-nuptial birth among still-born infants in 1976 was 20.57, and among infants born alive, 17.42.

Of the total of 423 still births in 1976, 374 were non-Maori and 49 Maori; of the Maori total 28 were males and 21 were females.


NUMBERS AND RATES—The death rate (by which is usually meant the crude death rate, the number of deaths per 1,000 of total mean population) is less subject to fluctuation than the birth rate. In the absence of wars, epidemics, and other large-scale disasters, it changes slowly. The New Zealand crude death rate was 8.53 in 1924 and fifty years later, in 1974, it was 8.33. In between, it had reached a peak of 11.05 in 1942, during the Second World War, and the figure for the latest year (1975) is the low point. In contrast, the birth rate (21.63 in 1924 and 18.35 in 1975) had been as low as 17.38 in 1935 and as high as 27.64 in 1947. Depressions, wars, peace, prosperity, and the popularisation of improved methods of birth control have all left their mark on the birth rate.

Under normal conditions, the most important factor affecting the crude death rate is the age-structure of the population, which (like the death rate itself) changes slowly. An ageing population will tend to have a high death rate, while a young one (provided that infant mortality is not abnormally high) will have a low one.

The following table sets out the numbers of deaths and the crude death rates per 1,000 of mean population. (Maoris are defined as persons with half or more Maori ancestry and the term non-Maori covers all other persons.)

YearNumbersCrude Rate per 1,000 of Mean Population

The chief merit of the crude death rate is that it is easily calculated, requiring only the number of deaths and the size of the population "at risk". However, it is very misleading when comparisons are being made between two or more populations with different age-structures, such as the Maori and non-Maori populations of New Zealand. The Maori population is a "young" one, with a high proportion of children and young people in those age groups in which the death rate is normally very low, and relatively few elderly people in those age groups in which the death rate is normally high. The non-Maori population is older, with a considerably smaller proportion of children and young people and a larger proportion of elderly people. The result is that a comparison of crude death rates gives a false picture of Maori mortality as compared with non-Maori.

In the following table for 1973 adjustments made to effect a truer comparison show that mortality for Maoris is relatively higher than for non-Maoris; in addition, a comparison is supplied in age-specific rates for the two races in each sex (age-specific rates are the number of deaths per 1,000 (or per 10 000, etc.) of the population in the specified age groups).

Ethnic GroupAll Ages Rates per 10,000 Mean PopulationAge-specific Rates per 10,000 of Population at Ages
Crude RateMaori Rate Adjusted to Non-Maori PopulationUnder 5 Years5-14 Years15-24 Years25-44 Years45-64 Years65 Years and Over
    Both Sexes    

For both Maoris and non-Maoris the death rate in males exceeds the death rate in females by a considerable margin. The following table sets out the number of deaths and the respective crude death rates for each sex separately for the latest 5 years.

 Deaths of MalesDeaths of FemalesTotal DeathsMale Deaths to Every 100 Female Deaths
*Deaths per 1,000 of mean population.

Deaths of Maoris, included in these figures, in 1976 totalled 1,320, of whom 755 were males and 565 females.

DISTRIBUTION OF DEATHS OVER THE YEAR—In 1975 the months during which the greatest number of deaths occurred were July, August, and June, with totals of 2,589, 2,450, and 2,313 respectively. Excluding December (a proportion of deaths occurring in that month not being registered till January), February had the least number of deaths (1,720), followed by November with 1,786.

AGES AT DEATH—Deaths registered during the year 1975 are shown according to age in the following table.

Age, in YearsMalesFemalesTotal
Under 1534370904
100 and over91928

The Maori population is a very young one compared with the non-Maori and as a result there is a considerable variation in the proportions of deaths of Maoris and non-Maoris which take place at various ages. The following table illustrates the position for the year 1975.

Age, in YearsNumber of DeathsPercentage of Total DeathsPercentage of Maori Deaths in Total Deaths per Age Group
Under 59811634.1312.2314.25
65 and over15,79839366.4329.482.43
All ages23,7811,333100.00100.005.31

In the following table is given a time series for rates of death per 1,000 of mean population by age groups. Health measures have achieved an immense saving of young life and a prolongation of life especially among elderly women.

YearUnder 1*1-45-1415-2425-3435-4445-5455-6465-7475 and Over

*Per 1,000 live births in this case.

†Non-Maori figures only as Maori deaths at ages not available for these years.

(Rates per 1,000 of mean population in each age group)
Both Sexes

The average (arithmetic mean) age at death of the total population by sex is shown in the following table. Prior to 1974 the data relates to the non-Maori population only.

 age (years)

The average age of death of Maoris in 1975 was 47.92 and 48.39 years for males and female respectively. The younger age composition of the Maori population is an important factor to be borne in mind.

EXPECTATION OF LIFE—Life tables, depicting the pattern of mortality over the age span of life for particular calendar periods for the non-Maori component of New Zealand's population, have been constructed at regular intervals since 1880. The most recent tables prepared by the Department of Statistics are based on the 1971 population census, together with mortality statistics for 1970–72.

Life tables contain a measure of the degree of longevity of the population called the "expectation of life". The expectation of life at any age is the average remaining lifetime for persons of this age, assuming that mortality rates at each age continue at the level shown by the life table. The life expectancy at selected ages at the present time, for the non-Maori population in New Zealand, is shown in the table below. The overall longer span of life enjoyed by females, compared with males, is evident. Further details concerning life table methodology and construction and trends in New Zealand life expectancies can be obtained from New Zealand Life Tables 1970–72.

Exact Age Years)Life Expectancy (Years)

The long-term trend since 1880 for non-Maoris has been a steady improvement in life expectancy for both sexes. The improvement has been striking for the younger ages but relatively small for the advanced ages. Progress in medical science, coupled with improved social conditions, has resulted in substantial reductions in mortality for all ages up to middle age. This trend has continued up to 1970–72 for females, but the decline in male mortality between 1965–67 and 1970–72 was not sufficient to offset the increase between 1960–62 and 1965–67, and male life expectancy has not returned to the 1960–62 level. The following table displays the life expectancy for non-Maoris revealed by each life table compiled during the past 60 years for the three exact ages of 0, 20, and 60 years.

Life TableLife Expectancy (Years)
Males Aged ExactlyFemales Aged Exactly

The expectation of life at various ages for the Maori population is shown in the following table. These expectations are taken from New Zealand Life Tables 1970-72.

Exact Age Years)Life Expectancy (Years)

Life expectancy at birth for Maori males decreased by 0.48 years between 1965–67 and 1970–72 while that for Maori females increased by 0.18 years. This is the first time that a decline in Maori male life expectancy has been experienced in the history of Maori life tables—first produced in 1950-52. It can be attributed to increased mortality in most ages resulting from a greater number of fatal accidents and a higher incidence of cancer. A similar decline in life expectancy was experienced by non-Maori males between 1960-62 and 1965-67, while similar trends were evident in some other western countries about this time.

The expectation of life of Maoris is shorter than that of non-Maoris at all except the highest ages. A comparison at age 0 shows that life expectancy is 8.13 years greater for non-Maori males and 10.20 years greater for non-Maori females. For the period 1965-67, the differences were 7.23 years and 10.06 years respectively.

The table below compares the life expectancy at birth for the total population of New Zealand, with that for selected overseas countries. Sources: United Nations Demographic Yearbook and Population and Australia.

CountryPeriodLife Expectancy at Birth (Years)
England and Wales1970-7268.975.1
New Zealand1970-7268.5574.60
United States197267.475.2

REGISTRATION OF DEATH, BURIAL AND CREMATION—Deaths are required to be registered by the funeral director within 3 days after the day of burial. The law governing burial and cremation in New Zealand is found in the Burial and Cremation Act 1964. The registration by local authorities of funeral directors and mortuaries operated by them is provided for in the Health (Burial) Regulations 1946. Local authorities are charged with ensuring that adequate provision exists for the disposal of the dead. Cremation may be carried out if the deceased is not known to have left any written direction to the contrary.

The rate of cremation for every 100 deaths registered has more than doubled since 1950. The following table relates cremations to the number of deaths since 1950. Prior to 1970 the statistics concern deaths of non-Maoris only.

YearDeaths RegisteredCremationsRate per 100 Deaths Registered

DEATHS BY CAUSES—The selection of cause of death recommended by the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases is based on the concept of selecting the underlying cause of death.

The certifier's statement largely determines the cause, but to obtain more accurate data the nosologists also refer to all autopsy reports received, cancer case registrations, coroners' reports, and hospital case summaries.

Medical practitioners certified 82 percent of deaths registered in 1975 and 18 percent were certified by coroners. Of the deaths certified by doctors, 16.4 percent were subject to autopsy whilst 96 percent of deaths certified by coroners were subject to autopsy. Overall, 31 percent of all deaths had autopsies performed.

Detailed information about causes of death is published annually by the National Health Statistics Centre in New Zealand Health Statistics Report—Mortality and Demographic Data.

The following table is a summary of causes of death, numbers and rates per million of mean population for the years 1973 to 1975.

Cause of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per Million of Mean Population
*Provisional rate based on 1974 mean population.
Enteritis and other diarrhoeal disease374053121317
Tuberculosis of respiratory system33263211911
Other tuberculosis including late effects555142181714
Infectious hepatitis101317346
Syphilis and its sequelae693231
All other infective and parasitic diseases778093262631
Malignant neoplasm4,7084,9665,0071,5811,6311,645
Benign neoplasm and neoplasm of unspecified nature24323781112
Diseases of thyroid gland3228251198
Diabetes mellitus467475472157156155
Avitaminoses and other nutritional deficiency1268423
Alcoholic psychosis and alcoholism497381162427
Multiple sclerosis252618896
Paralysis agitans9110692313530
Chronic rheumatic heart disease212233240717779
Hypertensive disease426377379143124125
Ischaemic heart disease7,1137,0786,9652,3882,3252,288
Other forms of heart disease629638656211210215
Cerebrovascular disease3,5133,4583,2351,1791,1361,063
Diseases of arteries, arterioles, and capillaries741801823249263270
Acute respiratory infections including influenza139128152474250
Bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma1,1171,0561,072375347352
Other diseases of respiratory system243230239827679
Peptic ulcer159165149535449
Intestinal obstruction and hernia8490106283035
Cirrhosis of liver143165191485463
Diseases of gallbladder565365191721
Nephritis and nephrosis146130117494338
Infections of kidney826761282220
Hyperplasia of prostate645535211811
Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium141013534
Rheumatoid arthritis716360242120
Congenital anomalies342331342115109112
Birth injury, difficult labour, and other anoxic and hypoxic conditions173135149584449
Other causes of perinatal mortality252234227857775
All other diseases805782812270257267
Motor vehicle accidents837730689281240226
All other accidents914980989307322325
Suicide and self-inflicted injury261273293889096
All other external causes718961242920

PRINCIPAL CAUSES OF DEATH—Heart disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), and cerebrovascular disease were again the leading causes of death in 1975 (the latest year for which data are available).

Death rates per million of mean population from leading causes of death are shown in the following table and graph.

*Provisional, based on 1974 mean population.
All heart disease2,7812,7012,681
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)1,5811,6311,645
Cerebrovascular disease1,1791,1361,063
Accidental causes581553540

Heart Disease—Heart disease as a group of diseases is still the leading cause of death in New Zealand but death rates from this cause have fallen in recent years. The standardised mortality ratios show that for males, the rates have fallen by 8 percent between 1969 and 1975 and for females, the rates have fallen by 10 percent in the same period.

The numbers of deaths and standardised mortality ratios for heart disease, excluding acute rheumatic forms and congenital malformations, for the latest available 10 years are shown below.

YearAll Forms of Heart DiseaseCoronary Heart Disease
NumberStandardised Mortality Ratio*NumberStandardised Mortality Ratio*NumberStandardised Mortality Ratio*NumberStandardised Mortality Ratio*

*Base years 1950-52 = 100.



The standardised mortality ratio shows the number of deaths registered in the year of experience expressed as a percentage of those which would have been expected in that year had there operated the sex-age mortality of a standard period (the 3 years 1950-52 were chosen). The standardised mortality ratio has been adopted to eliminate the distorting effect of the changes which take place over a period in the age-structure of the population.

Coronary (ischaemic) heart disease showed small decrease in crude rates during the 3 years since 1972. The standardised mortality ratios for both sexes are subject to fluctuation. During the period 1959 to 1975, female standardised mortality ratios for coronary heart disease exceed the male rate at each year.

Cancer—In New Zealand one death in five in 1975 was caused by cancer. The cancer crude death rate has increased in each of the past 4 years (for which figures are available) from 155.2 per 100,000 population in 1972 to 164.5 in 1975

A detailed report on cancer mortality and morbidity in New Zealand is published annually by the National Health Statistics Centre of the Department of Health. These reports cover mortality from cancer and also survey all cases reported to the National Cancer Registry by hospitals, and by the various cancer clinics established in New Zealand under the auspices of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

A summary of numbers of deaths from cancer, crude death rates, and standardised mortality ratios is provided in the following table.

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

*Base years 1950-52 = 100.


  Males  Females 

The standardised mortality ratio for males has increased steadily from the 1960 level of 101 to 129 in 1974. This would indicate that there has been a real increase in the death toll in the male sex and this, as discussed later, is mainly attributable to the rise in lung cancer. The standardised mortality ratio for females remained fairly constant at around 93 from 1960 to 1969, but has risen in recent years. The 1974 ratio of 103 is the highest recorded since 1943. This increase can also be attributed to a steep rise in lung cancer among females.

A classification of cancer deaths during 1974 according to age and sex is now given. Ninety-two percent of deaths from cancer during 1974 were at 45 years of age or above, and 59 percent were at 65 years of age or above.

Age Group in YearsDeaths of MalesDeaths of Females
NumbersRate per 100,000 of Population at Ages givenPercentage of Total Deaths at Ages givenNumbersRate per 100,000 of Population at Ages givenPercentage of Total Deaths at Ages given
*All ages crude rate.
Under 5138.32.0128.02.5
65 and over1,6561,477.320.41,263837.815.8
All ages2,682176.1*19.52,284150.2*19.8

The upward trend of deaths from cancer of the lung for both males and females continued in 1975. There were 989 deaths from this cause, an increase of 39 deaths over the previous year. One death in twenty-five registered in 1975 was caused by cancer of the lung. Cancer of the breast accounted for 18 percent of all female cancer deaths making this the principal primary site of cancer in female deaths.

Other sites for which upward trends were recorded are oesophageal cancer in males, and cancer of the large intestine in females.

The following table shows deaths from cancer (malignant neoplasms) by sex and selected sites, registered in New Zealand during 1974 and 1975.

SiteSexNumbersRates per Million Mean Population
*Provisional rate based on 1974 mean population.
Buccal cavity and pharynxM42572837
Large intestineM247248162163
Bronchus, trachea, and lungM762789500518
Cervix uteriF95896259
Corpus uteriF63534135
Ovary, fallopian tube, and broad ligamentF1231518199
Bladder and other urinary organsM83765450
Skin, all formsM65834354
Lymphosarcoma and reticulum-cell sarcomaM53533535
All other and unspecified sitesM505520332341
Total cancer deathsM2,6822,7261,7611,790

INFANT AND PERINATAL MORTALITY—The following table shows New Zealand infant and perinatal mortality numbers and rates for 1968-75. An infant death is defined as a liveborn infant dying before the first year of life is completed. A neonatal death is defined as the death of a liveborn infant before the 28th day of life; a post neonatal death as the death of a live-born infant between the 28th day and the first year of life.

Perinatal Mortality—Perinatal deaths comprise stillbirths and deaths in the first week of life. The late fetal death (stillbirths) and the perinatal mortality rate are calculated per 1,000 total births (stillbirths plus live births), while the death rate for neonatal and infant deaths is calculated per 1,000 live births.

DeathYearMaoriNon-MaoriTotal Population
Late fetal1968-7249212.02,85410.33,34610.5
Early neonatal1968-7243010.62,5129.22,9429.4
Post neonatal1968-7253013.01,4105.21,9406.2

The explanation of the higher rate for Maoris between the twenty-eighth day and the end of the first year is the susceptibility of the Maori baby in its home environment to forms of infection such as gastro-enteritis and pneumonia.

In a review of neonatal and postnatal deaths, issued by the Health Department in November 1976, it was shown that eight countries, selected on the basis of then having one million or more population and on their reporting of data regarded by World Health Organisation as complete, had a lower infant mortality rate than New Zealand. These eight were Sweden, Finland, Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, France, and Switzerland. The following table shows infant mortality rates for selected countries (including some of the eight) during the years 1971 to 1973. The figures represent deaths per 100,000 live births.

  Age of Child
CountryYearUnder 1 YearUnder 1 Day1 and Under 7 Days7 and Under 28 Days1 Month and Under 1 Year
  Age of Child
CountryYearUnder 1 YearUnder 1 Day1 and Under 7 Days7 and Under 28 Days1 Month and Under 1 Year

Source: World Health Statistics Annual, 1971, 1972, 1973.

New Zealand19711,660538386140596
England and Wales19711,752598392174588
United States19711,910819461138491

Because the Maori post-neonatal rate is about double that for non-Maoris, it is sometimes stated that New Zealand's infant mortality rate is as a consequence inordinately high. In 1973 the infant mortality rate for Maoris was 1,991 per 100,000 live births and for non-Maoris it was 1,569. Even if the non-Maori rate were used, New Zealand's international ranking would remain unchanged.

The following diagram illustrates infant mortality rates in New Zealand.

Causes of Infant Mortality—Deaths from the principal causes of infant mortality, and the rate per 1,000 live births, are shown for the latest available 3 years in the following table.

 Number of DeathsRate per 1,000 Live Births
Cause of Death197319741975197319741975
Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis1151231111.92.12.0
Gastro-enteritis, diarrhoea, also dysentery1811150.30.20.3
Congenital anomalies2132272143.53.83.8
Neonatal disorders arising from certain diseases of the mother6055571.00.91.0
Birth injury, difficult labour, and other anoxic and hypoxic conditions4443440.70.70.8
Asphyxia of newborn unspecified3429390.60.50.7
Haemolytic disease of newborn11580.20.10.1
Hyaline membrane disease4336370.70.60.7
Immaturity and multiple pregnancy5457580.91.01.0
All other causes3923393246.55.75.7
Total infant deaths98492590716.215.616.0

MATERNAL DEATHS—The Maternal Mortality Research Act 1968 defines a maternal death as "a death that occurs during pregnancy or within a period of three months after the date of termination of a pregnancy". Deaths from complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium numbered 10 in 1974 with a rate of 1.7 per 10,000 live births. Deaths occurring during pregnancy or within 3 months of delivery but not due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth or the puerperium numbered 15 in 1974 with a rate of 2.5 per 10,000 live births

DEATHS OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN—A review of the mortality rates of children aged between one and under five years in New Zealand and in selected countries in 1972 was prepared by the Department of Health in 1976. The data, abstracted from the World Health Statistics Annual, revealed New Zealand as having a relatively poor record in this field among the developed nations of the world. The Department of Health stated that the purpose of the review was "to identify those causes of death which need special study if New Zealand's sorry performance in caring for its pre-school children is to be improved".

The table following lists the 25 countries which had lower mortality rates for pre-school children in 1972 than did New Zealand.

CountryDeath Rates per 100,000 Population Aged 1-4 Years

*1971. (Source: World Health Statistics Annual 1972.)

Note: Countries with less than one million population have been excluded from table.

England and Wales74.8
United States*79.6
German Federal Republic86.4
Northern Ireland88.1
Hong Kong95.0
Puerto Rico95.2
New Zealand95.3

Principal causes of deaths among New Zealand children aged 1 and under 5 years of age in 1972 are shown in the next table, together with the death rates from these causes in Sweden (which had the lowest child-mortality rate of any country), England and Wales, and Australia.

Cause of DeathNumber of Deaths per 100,000 Children aged 1-4 Years
SwedenEngland and WalesAustralia*New Zealand
Infective and parasitic diseases17118
Malignant neoplasm6545
Acute respiratory infections1426
Viral and other pneumonia1786
Bronchitis, emphysema and asthma..112
Spina bifida..2..2
Congenital anomalies of heart4656
All other congenital anomalies5469
Motor vehicle accidents461115
Accidental drowning and submersion63119
All other accidents59911
All other causes1015149
All causes48758795

This review was based upon one year's deaths only. The question of how representative the 1972 figures are of each country's mortality experience may be a matter open to discussion. Nevertheless, the difference between the New Zealand and the Swedish mortality rates among pre-school children is so large that some direct comparison is justified. If New Zealand is to approach the mortality rate of Sweden, five disease groups could well receive close attention, for each of which the New Zealand rate is substantially higher than that for Sweden. The groups are: infective and parasitic diseases; acute respiratory infections: viral and other pneumonia; motor vehicle accidents; and other accidents.

DEATHS FROM EXTERNAL CAUSES—Accidents, poisonings and violence caused approximately 8 percent of the total deaths in each of the years 1973 to 1975.

The following table shows deaths from external causes for the latest 3 years. In this table, falls on board ship and from horseback are classified as transport accidents.

Causes of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per Million of Mean Population

*Includes drowning from water transport.


Motor-vehicle accidents837730689281240226
Other transport accidents315341101713
Accidental poisoning31264410914
Accidental falls486524496163172163
Accidents caused by machinery25353681112
Accidents caused by fire and explosion of combustible material483848161216
Accidents caused by firearms201110743
Accidental drowning and submersion*121127121414240
Suicide and self-inflicted injury261273293889098
All other external causes198211223666973
Total deaths from accidents, poisoning, or violence2,0832,0722,032699681668

An analysis of deaths by the principal external causes during 1975 is given by sex and age-group in the following table and in the notes following it.

Age group (in years)Motor Vehicle AccidentsAccidental DrowningsAccidental PoisoningsAccidental Falls
Under 15544034153-165
75 and over2519--1292256
Age GroupSuicide and Self-inflicted InjuryHomicideAll Accidents, Poisonings and Violence
Under 151-5116093
75 and over124-1143303

Motor Vehicle Accidents—Fatality rates from motor vehicle accidents fell again in 1975. The 1973 peak rate of 281 per million decreased to 240 in 1974 and to 226 in 1975. The previous table illustrates the extent to which young men aged 15-24 were involved in motor vehicle fatalities. Although representing only 9 percent of the population this group accounted for 33 percent of all deaths from motor vehicle accidents in New Zealand. The male death rate from motor vehicle accidents has been approximately two and a half times greater than the female rate over the latest 5 years compared with a difference of three and a half times greater in the latter half of the nineteen-fifties.

Accidents with tractors are the main feature of fatalities on farms. Later sections deal with statistics of industrial and farm accidents.

Accidental Drowning—Of the 121 deaths from accidental drowning and submersion registered in 1975, 35 (29 percent) were as a result of water transport accidents. Those under 15 years of age accounted for 40 percent of drownings. There is a greater toll from drowning among males than among females as is the case in most external causes of death. In 1975 male deaths accounted for 84 percent of all deaths from drowning.

Accidental Falls—There were 496 deaths from accidental falls in 1975. This is one accident area in which the total female mortality exceeds the male. However, as shown in the preceding table there is an excess of male deaths over female deaths at each age group under 65 years. At ages 65 years and over female age specific death rates from falls were 81 percent higher than male age specific death rates. In 1975, at ages 75 years and over, the female age specific death rates were 60 percent higher,

In 1975 the home was the place of occurrence of 45 percent of fatal accidental falls and, in fact, falls are the chief cause of death in home accidents.

Suicide and Self-inflicted Injury—The 1975 suicide rate of 96 per million mean population is the highest rate recorded since 1970. The male rate of 128 per million is exactly double the female rate. The previous table shows the lower numbers of deaths by suicide among women at all ages.

Site of Non-transport Accidents—The place of occurrence of fatal non-transport accidents (excluding surgical and medical misadventure and late effects of accidental injury) is shown in the following table. As mentioned previously, falls are the chief cause of accidental fatalities in the home, exacting a heavy toll of the aged and infirm. Accidents occurring at home and in residential institutions (rest homes, hospitals, etc.) accounted for 61 percent of all fatal non-transport accidents in the 3-year period 1972 to 1974.

Place of OccurrenceNumberRate per Million of Mean Population
Home (including home premises and vicinity and any non-institutional place of residence)392376373134126123
Farm (including buildings and land under cultivation, but excluding farm and home premises)375040131713
Mine and quarry62121-
Industrial place and premises304249101416
Place for recreation and sport122218476
Street and highway162423588
Public building (building used by the general public or a particular group of the public)171413654
Residential institution (homes, hospitals, etc.)142147163494954
Other specified places113118126394041
Place not specified687693232631

Approximately 43 percent of fatal non-transport accidents occurred in or about the home.

Water Accidents by Location—The following tables show drownings during 1975 and 1976 by location. It may be noticed that the figures of drownings in this table differ from those in a previous table in this section. Figures in the earlier table, supplied by the National Health Statistics Centre, represent deaths registered as drownings following the results of inquests. The table following, supplied by the New Zealand Water Safety Council, includes persons known (or almost certainly known) to have been drowned although the bodies have not been recovered.

The following table shows drownings during 1975.

LocationAge in Years
Under 55-1516-3031-50Over 50Total

*Includes victims of unspecified ages.

†Public and private.

‡Includes 8 in private swimming pools.

Boating accidents22249748*
Rivers and streams67104330
Seas and beaches-41010428
Tanks, ponds, troughs, sump holes61---7
Lakes, lagoons, and reservoirs51-1-7
Swimming pools and baths11211-15
Totals, 19753217462614139*

Provisional figure of drownings during 1976 are shown in the following table.

LocationAge in Years
Under 55-1516-3031-50Over 50Total

*Includes victims of unspecified ages.

†Public and private.

‡Includes 11 in private swimming pools.

Boating accidents1413201755
Rivers and streams7666127*
Seas and beaches-287220*
Tanks, ponds, troughs, sump holes-21--3
Lakes, lagoons, and reservoirs112--4
Swimming pools and baths131-1116
Fishing off rocks----11
Totals, 19762317333823136*


GENERAL—Marriage may be solemnised in New Zealand either by a celebrant included in the list of marriage celebrants under the Marriage Act 1955, or before a duly appointed Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Marriages. A licence must be obtained from a Registrar of Marriages before a marriage by a marriage celebrant can be solemnised. Marriage by a marriage celebrant may be solemnised at any time between 6 o'clock in the morning and 8 o'clock in the evening. Marriage before a Registrar can be solemnised at any time during the hours the office of the Registrar is open for the transaction of public business; notice of intended marriage must be given to a Registrar of Marriages by one of the parties to the proposed marriage.

The Marriage Amendment Act 1976 extended the right of solemnising marriages to nominated members of approved organisations of a non-religious character.

In the case of a person under 20 years of age, not being a widow or widower, the consent of parents or guardian is necessary. Consent of a Magistrate may be sought in cases of refusal by any person whose consent is required.

Since 1933 the minimum age for marriage has been 16 years of age. No marriage shall be deemed to be void, however, by reason only of an infringement of the minimum age.

Since 1 April 1952 it has been required under the Maori Purposes Act 1951 that every marriage to which a Maori is a party shall be solemnised in the same manner, and its validity shall be determined by the same law, as if each of the parties was a non-Maori.

NUMBERS AND RATES—The numbers of marriages and rates during recent years are shown below. The marriage rate, like the birth rate, has been declining in recent years.

YearNumberRate per 1,000 of Population

Comparison with Other Countries—Marriage rates for certain countries for 1975 are given below. (Source: United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.)

CountryRate per 1,000 Mean Population
*1974 rate.
Germany, West6.2
New Zealand7.9
United Kingdom7.8*
United States10.0

MARITAL STATUS PRIOR TO MARRIAGE—The following table gives marital status prior to marriage for the latest 5 years.

YearSingleWidowedDivorcedTotal Persons Married

The nature of the marriage according to marital status of persons prior to marriage is given next.

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

During the years 1938-40 there were 95 male divorcees who remarried for every 100 female divorcees who remarried. In the period 1971-75 more male divorcees than female divorcees remarried.

The number of widows per 100 widowers who remarried was 67 in 1938-40, but with a changed social outlook the position in 1971-75 was that 105 widows remarried for every 100 widowers.

AGES OF PERSONS MARRIED—The proportion of minors among persons marrying has been increasing over a fairly long period of years but now appears to be levelling off. On 1 January 1971 the age of majority was lowered from 21 to 20 years of age. In 1975 one bride in every three was under 20 years of age, the proportion of grooms being one in thirteen.

Of the persons married in 1975, 9,058 or 18.46 percent were under 20 years of age; 22,798 or 46.46 percent were returned as 20-24 years; 8,574 or 17.47 percent as 25-29 years; 4,419 or 9.01 percent as 30-39 years; and 4,221 or 8.60 percent as 40 years of age and over.

The following table relates to the 1975 calendar year.

Age of Bridegroom, in YearsAge of Bride, in YearsTotal Bridegrooms
Under 2020-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445 and Over
Under 201,537312274---1,880
45 and over955791431802471,1791,892
Total brides7,17810,7793,0721,1615894511,30524,535

The following table shows since 1965 the proportions of men and women who married at each age group for every 100 marriages.

PeriodUnder 20*20-24*25-2930-3435-3940-4445 and OverTotals
*Under 21 and 21-24 respectively before 1971.

The average ages (arithmetic mean) at marriage for both males and females are shown in the following table.

YearAverage Age at Marriage

The average ages of bachelors and spinsters at marriage are considerably lower than those shown in the preceding table, which covers all parties and is naturally affected by the inclusion of remarriages of widowed and divorced persons. The average ages of grooms and brides for each of the latest 5 years according to marital status were as shown in the next table.

 Age in Years

The foregoing figures give the average age at marriage, but these do not correspond with the modal or popular age, if the age at which the most marriages are celebrated may be so termed. The modal age for brides in 1975 was 20 years. In the case of bridegrooms the most popular age has varied and for recent years it has been 21 to 24; in 1975, it was 21 years.

Marriage of Minors—Of every 1,000 men who married in 1975, 77 were under 20 years of age, while 293 in every 1,000 brides were under 20, Since 1 January 1971 the age of majority has been 20 years. In 1,880 marriages in 1975 both parties were given as under 20 years of age, in 5,641 marriages the bride was returned as a minor and the bridegroom as an adult, and in 343 marriages the bridegroom was a minor and the bride an adult.

As already stated, the proportion of minors among persons marrying now appears to be levelling off or even falling. The main reason for this is the changing age structure of the population, with a slowly diminishing proportion consisting of minors of marriageable age.

In the table below figures are given for the last 5 years.

YearAge in YearsTotal Minors and 20 Year-olds
161718 2016-20 Years16-19 YearsRate per 100 Marriages 16-20 YearsRate per 100 Marriages 16-19 Years

MARRIAGES BY MINISTERS OF VARIOUS CHURCHES—Of the 24,535 marriages performed in 1975, Anglican clergymen officiated at 5,551, Presbyterian at 5,273, Roman Catholic at 3,356, Methodist at 1,646, and clergymen of other churches at 2,260, while 6,449 marriages were solemnised by registrars.

The following table shows the proportions of marriages by ministers of the largest churches and before registrars in each of the 6 latest years.

ChurchPercentage of Marriages
Roman Catholic15.2415.4415.1314.7814.3513.68
Before Registrars19.9621.5422.7024.0425.1926.28

The foregoing figures must not be taken as an exact indication of the religious professions of the parties married, as it does not necessarily follow that both (or even one) of the parties are adherents of the church whose officiating minister performed the ceremony, and persons married before registrars may belong, in greater or lesser proportion, to any or none of the churches. Of the total population at the general census of 1971, 31.3 percent were recorded as adherents of the Anglican Church, 20.4 percent Presbyterian, 15.7 percent Roman Catholic, 6.4 percent Methodist, and 26.2 percent were of other religion or of no religion, or objected to stating their religious profession.

NUMBER OF OFFICIATING MINISTERS—The number of names on the list of officiating ministers under the Marriage Act was 4,478 in March 1976. The principal churches to which they belonged are shown hereunder. The term "officiating minister" in the Marriage Act has now been replaced by "marriage celebrant" since, under the latest Amending Act a celebrant need not necessarily be a minister of religion.

Roman Catholic Church916
Anglican (Church of England)755
Presbyterian Church of New Zealand663
Methodist Church of New Zealand342
Salvation Army241
Ratana Church of New Zealand137
Latter Day Saints160
Ringatu Church89
Assemblies of God72
Associated Churches of Christ44
Jehovah's Witness121
Seventh Day Adventist52
Apostolic Church33
Liberal Catholic Church20
Congregational Church of Samoa21

DIVORCE AND OTHER MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDINGS—From 1 January 1969, some important changes applied in the principal legislation on grounds for divorce; the period of 3 years was reduced to 2 years for separation by agreement and decree of separation or separation order, and in cases living apart and unlikely to be reconciled the period of 7 years was reduced to 4 years.

Divorce—A petition for divorce may be presented to the Supreme Court on one or more of several grounds, which include adultery, desertion, separation by agreement for not less than 2 years, separation by decree of separation or separation order for not less than 2 years, and the parties living apart for 4 years and not likely to be reconciled. Where the parties are separated or living apart one of the parties must have been resident in New Zealand for at least 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the petition. The Court is required to give consideration to the possibility of reconciliation of the parties to the marriage.

Petitions filed for dissolution or nullity of marriage and decrees granted by the Supreme Court in recent years are shown in the following table.

YearPetitions FiledDecrees NisiDecrees Absolute
Number GrantedRate per 100 Marriages During YearRate per 10,000 of Mean Population

The next table gives the grounds of petitions and decrees during the two years, 1974 and 1975.

GroundPetitions FiledDecrees Absolute Granted
Husbands' PetitionsWives' PetitionsHusbands' PetitionsWives' Petitions
Separation by agreement1,2431,4491,3541,4371,1021,1821,1831,155
Separation by Court order220375352470133218257365
Having lived apart for 4 years or more326351333392310296307327
Non-consummation or non-co-habitation86576956

The figures shown for decrees absolute cover all such granted during the year, whether the antecedent decree nisi was granted in the same or in a previous year. A decree nisi normally applies for at least 3 months before a decree absolute is granted.

In 1,029 of the 4,761 cases where decrees absolute were granted during 1975 there was no living issue of the marriage. The number of living issue was 1 in 854 cases, 2 in 1,344 cases, 3 in 763 cases, and 4 or more in 771 cases.

The number of living issue affected by the decrees absolute of their parents during each of the last 6 years were as follows: 1971, 6,635; 1972, 6,872; 1973, 7,457; 1974, 8,722;, 1975, 9,556; and 1976 10,548.

The following table shows the duration of marriage by ages of husbands and wives at the time of marriage, for cases in which decrees absolute were granted in 1975.

Duration of Marriage (in Years)Age (in Years) at Marriage
Under 2020-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445 and over (Including not Stated)Total
Husbands (All Petitions)
Under 5692799143131138544
20 and over51554298803910181,050
Wives (All Petitions)
Under 5235200431716726544
20 and over28455213348301121,050

Dissolution of a Voidable Marriage—A decree of dissolution of a voidable marriage puts an end to the marriage from the date of the decree. On average there are only about 40 such decrees in New Zealand each year. The principal ground is non-consummation.

CONCILIATION PROCESSES—Under the Domestic Proceedings Act 1968, the principle was introduced of having specialist magistrates to exercise jurisdiction in domestic matters, although this has not generally been possible in practice. The Act aims to encourage by all practicable means the reconciliation of married couples who institute court proceedings, unless the court is satisfied that an attempt at reconciliation would be inexpedient. Domestic proceedings became a separate division from civil and criminal proceedings in Magistrates' Courts. (See Section 8A, Justice).

In 23 centres local Marriage Guidance Councils provide trained conciliators and in addition to this the Court Conciliation Centre in Auckland, using counsellors trained in a marriage guidance setting, provides a full time service.

In 1974-75 1,906 couples were referred by the Court and were dealt with by Marriage Guidance counsellors. In 33 percent of these cases conciliators were successful in helping clients to a resumption of the marriage or a better understanding of their difficulties, with a resultant simplification of the work of the Courts. When the contribution of the Court Conciliation Centre in Auckland is added, it appears that specialist help is being offered to about 70 percent of those whose applications for separation are heard by the Courts.

MARRIAGE GUIDANCE—A National Marriage Guidance Council was established in 1950 as a voluntary agency to assist with social problems arising from unhappy or maladjusted marriages. From 1959 to 1968 an adviser in marriage guidance was attached to the staff of the Justice Department. An advisory committee was also set up to keep Government informed and to organise, with the assistance of appropriate professional groups, a programme for the selection, training, and accrediting of voluntary marriage counsellors. Although the training system is kept under constant review, the procedures followed have become well established and administration has now been taken over largely by the National Council with the support and advice of the department.

There are now 24 councils affiliated to the National Marriage Guidance Council and these provide counselling centres staffed by some 200 accredited counsellors, Accredited counsellors, in many centres, assist the courts by serving as conciliators under the Domestic Proceedings Act. (See also Section 8A, Justice.)

The National Marriage Guidance Council employs a full-time director to organise and co-ordinate the work of affiliated councils. At the local level the work of 500 trained volunteers in the fields of counselling and marriage education is supported and co-ordinated by 8 local directors and 34 receptionists or secretaries.

The council maintains statistical oversight of the nature and extent of marriage counselling case work, which has yielded significant results. Of the 6,082 cases referred, over half were initiated in the first 10 years of marriage and a further 30 percent in the second 10 years. There were over 10,000 children of these marriages. In 47 percent of the cases the husbands occupation was described as "skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled worker". In 25 percent, husbands were in "minor business, clerical, shop assistant, foreman type" occupations, and 11 percent were in the "professional, managerial" class. Some 59 percent of the clients reported that they had been helped. In 18 percent of the cases, there was a negative result; in 8 percent of the cases, clients were referred for help elsewhere, and in 14 percent the cases were uncompleted for a variety of reasons.

A ‘high proportion’ (69 percent) of clients seek marriage guidance and counselling only when they are either contemplating separation or actually living apart, and the service is now training more people to act as tutors in marriage education and seeking other means of making better contact with married people before marital difficulties become too severe.

Educational work includes the conducting of courses for young couples in preparation for marriage, and parent groups. Since 1971, the number of adults taking advantage of educational programmes has multiplied thirteen times to total 25,300 in 1975-76. A significant proportion of this work is in the parent education field, and complements the traditional provision of courses in human relations in primary, intermediate, and secondary schools.

In those centres where the council is established, marriage guidance service is readily available to those whose marriages are in difficulty. There is a growing recognition by the public of the importance of this service and a greater readiness of people in trouble to make use of it.

Chapter 5. Section 5 HEALTH AND HOSPITALS


GENERAL—The nation's health is the responsibility of a partnership of central and local government, private medical practitioners, para-medical workers, charitable and religious organisations and private citizens, with the Central Government providing encouragement, financial assistance and incentives, and assuming final responsibility. This has been a deliberate policy of successive Governments, although emphases have varied from time to time according to political and economic conditions and demands for specific services. Growing urbanisation and industrialisation, with consequent intensification of the problems of pollution of water, air, and land, are imposing a current emphasis nationally and locally on environmental health.

Public health services have to do with environmental health, communicable diseases and quarantine, occupational health and toxicology, radiation protection, food and nutrition, health education, family health, dental services and certain aspects of nursing. In the case of environmental health the concern of the Department of Health and local authorities is with matters such as the provision and protection of public water supplies, sewage treatment and disposal, food hygiene and housing standards. Its objectives are the maintenance of a healthy environment by the application of the principles of preventive medicine.

ADMINISTRATION—The functions of local authorities are defined by statute and regulation. Elected local authorities must appoint a sufficient number of health inspectors qualified under the Health Inspectors Qualifications Regulations 1975. Where a local authority is too small to need a separate, full-time inspector, the Act permits two or more to combine to share the cost. In some smaller sparsely-populated districts where a local authority does not employ its own inspector, the departmental inspectors of health do the work and the authority pays for it. Only 25 percent of inspectors are employed by the department.

In each of the 18 health districts, the medical officer of health, who is a medical practitioner with special qualifications in public health, is the adviser to all local authorities in his district; in some cases his approval is required before action can be taken by a local authority, and in others he is the first line of appeal against its decisions. He is required to keep the Director-General of Health and the Board of Health informed of local authority deficiencies in their responsibilities under the Health Act.

Diseases which are scheduled in the Health Act 1956 must be notified by doctors and hospitals to the medical officer of health who is responsible for control measures; within this area the local authority health inspector is subject to his direct supervision and control. New programmes of immunisation are undertaken by the department and, when established, vaccines are provided free and the general practitioner encouraged in this work. Quarantine arrangements for both aircraft and ships comply with obligations under the International Health Regulations. Medical officers of health administer this service. The broad objective is the control of communicable and chronic diseases in man and the keeping of New Zealand free of quarantinable diseases.

Accident prevention and the health of industrial and agricultural workers is the care of the Department of Health in conjunction with the Department of Labour. The aim is to prevent occupational disease, control toxic hazards, raise standards of first-aid services, and ensure the safe use of agri cultural chemicals.

Food and nutrition standards aimed at protecting the consumer are laid down. An extensive programme, backed by legislation, governs the packaging, labelling, storage, and sale of poisons. Special environmental problems, such as radiation protection, occupational health, and atmosphere pollution, are also the responsibility of the Department of Health.

The objectives of health education programmes are to increase understanding of the value of health, to inform people of health services available, and to equip them with knowledge and skills they can use to solve health problems.

Family health responsibilities include medical and nursing supervision of infant, pre-school, and school children; inspection of schools and child care centres; immunisation of infants against poliomyelitis, etc.; and the administration of regulations bearing on home safety.

A dental service, directed by dental officers and staffed by dental nurses, provides regular dental treatment for all pre-school, primary, and intermediate school children. Arrangements with private dental practitioners ensure similar treatment for adolescents up to the age of 16 years and for dependants up to the age of 18 years. Dental Health education is also undertaken.

The Department of Health is responsible for the organisation and control of nursing services to the public in general; in hospitals (public or private); in homes for the aged, incapacitated, or infirm or in any other places where the Department of Health has responsibility. Considerable delegation has taken place, mainly to hospital boards whose chief nursing officer is responsible to the chief medical officer for the administration of the services provided. The department reviews its nursing services and those provided by hospital boards. Basic nursing education is provided in 27 hospital schools of nursing and 4 technical institutes. Post-basic nursing education is available from New Zealand School of Advanced Nursing Studies (which is controlled by the Department of Health) and from Victoria and Massey Universities. Post-basic courses in teaching methods are available from teachers' colleges in Hamilton and Wellington, and 3 technical institutes have courses in Community Health Nursing.

Within its public health nursing service, the department employs over 300 well-qualified nurses. Their work includes supervising the health of babies and small children, taking part in child health (including health education) programmes, providing a service to small industries and people in "at risk" occupations, taking part in disease control programmes, and assisting elderly people and people with mental health problems.

The Department of Health works closely with and seeks the advice and help of boards, committees, and councils such as the Board of Health, the Medical Research, Dental, Hospitals Advisory, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Radiological Advisory Councils, the Hospital Works, Medical Services Advisory Committees, and the Dietitians, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Opticians, and Plumbers and Gasfitters Boards. In all, officers of the department serve on over 100 boards, committees, and other organisations concerned with health.

In addition, there are very close working relationships with professional and other associations, voluntary health and welfare agencies, the universities, and other Government departments.

The department is responsible for the administration of a number of Acts dealing with health and social welfare. These will be found listed under Public General Acts in the Official section of this Yearbook.

A detailed report of the activities of the Department of Health is given in the annual report of the Director-General of Health (parliamentary paper E. 10).

A general history of public health services may be found in A Health Service for New Zealand (parliamentary paper H. 23, 1974). Expenditure of the Department of Health in the 3 latest years is given in the following table.

Activity Programme1973-741974-751975-76

*Mostly grants to hospital boards. Total grants in the three years above amounted to $269,632,258; $328,929,256; and $401,563,582 respectively.

†Mostly grants of Medical and Pharmaceutical Benefits, etc., under the Social Security Act 1964 for which expenditure in the three years above was $75,170,332; $91,372,514; and $116,023,408 respectively.

‡The Government provides a subsidy of $1 for $2 on the total cost of approved works for main water supply facilities, sewerage reticulation, and sewerage disposal schemes which have been put into effect by local authorities. Expenditure in the three years above was $5,064,589; $8,599,401; and $11,489,488 respectively.

§Previously included in Welfare Services.

Administrative services3,1643,6084,429
Dental services11,83716,46918,222
Hospital services*282,106343,387419,476
Family health services5,7837,7888,682
Grants to Medical Research Council2,5112,6092,825
Medical and pharmaceutical services76,63493,261118,123
Public health and environmental protection10,24014,67918,725
Welfare services6,7694,6693,784
Data processing services--1,035
Housing for the elderly and youth hostels.-4,897§7,245§
Funded from Consolidated Revenue Account399,044491,367602,546
Psychiatric hospital buildings2,7772,0303,403
Public buildings construction59201455
Funded from Works and Trading Account2,8362,2313,858
Less departmental receipts7851,292796
Net expenditure401,095492,306605,608

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: Local Authority Control—The provision and proper maintenance of public water supplies and sewerage systems, the disposal of refuse, the condition of dwellinghouses, the control of offensive trades, and the hygiene of premises in which food is manufactured and sold, including eating houses, are primarily the responsibility of local authorities, but the Department of Health exercises general supervision. In the case of some of the smaller local authorities the necessary inspections are made by departmental inspectors on behalf of and by arrangement with the local authorities. The department undertakes the basic training of health inspectors employed by local authorities and conducts specialist and refresher courses for health inspectors.

Department of Health Control—The objectives of the Department of Health in environmental health control are: (a) to create and maintain a healthy environment for the general public by the application of principles of preventive medicine and the administration of legislation directly and indirectly related to this end; (b) to control air pollution; (c) to provide physical services and undertake research on all aspects of the use of ionising radiation with special emphasis on the medical applications and public health aspects. To monitor radiation exposure of the population from all sources and to take action to reduce this where necessary. To promote general understanding of the nature of the hazards involved in radiation exposure in their current perspective; and (d) to conserve hearing and detect its early deterioration.

Air Pollution Control—Air pollution, once accepted as the natural accompaniment of city dwelling and industrial production, has been widely recognised in recent decades as a health problem, especially in view of the growing scale of urbanisation and industrial activity.

The Clean Air Act 1972 provides for the control of all sources of air pollution, both existing and potential. It places considerable emphasis on co-operation between the Central Government, local authorities, industry, and the public, and in effect places on every person an obligation to keep air pollution to a minimum.

The provisions of the Clean Air Act 1972 include the following:

  1. standards can be prescribed limiting the emission of air pollutants and failure to observe them made an offence;

  2. the Clean Air Council was set up to give advice, co-ordinate activities, promote research and evaluate control equipment, and publish reports, advice and information on the prevention and control of air pollution;

  3. a wide range of industrial processes are required to be licensed under the Act;

  4. clean air zones can be established, and local authorities are authorised to advance to house-holders the cost of converting domestic fires to comply with the Act;

  5. certain sections of the Act can be applied (so far as they are applicable) to motor vehicles, aircraft, hovercraft, and locomotive engines, and power is given to make regulations governing necessary modifications, the use of particular fuels, and the concentration or rates of emission of air pollutants.

The Clean Air (Licensing) Regulations 1973 came into force on 1 April 1974. In 1975-76, 425 licences were issued by the Department of Health to industrial works requiring category A licences, i.e., works using processes subject to licensing by the department. An additional 525 industrial works were licensed by local authorities under category B.

The first clean air zone under the Act is being established in Christchurch.

CONTROL OF DRUGS—The definitions of "drug" in the Food and Drug Act 1969 established groups to which differing provisions apply. Therapeutic drugs, that is those substances or mixtures whether used internally or externally for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any illness or injury of the human body or for modifying any physiological process or desires or emotions, and chemical contraceptives are required, before being introduced commercially, to be "acceptable", according to a procedure under the Food and Drug Act. No new therapeutic drug may be distributed in New Zealand without the consent of the Minister of Health, under sections 12 and 13 of the Act.

This Act also requires that any drug which has been changed in any way, in use, strength, or labelling must not be distributed until 90 days after notice of the change has been given to the Director-General of Health, who may consent to earlier distribution of a changed drug if he is satisfied of the drug's safety. If the Director-General considers the change to be of such character or degree that the drug ought not to be distributed without the consent of the Minister, the drug is referred to the Minister and may not be distributed until the Minister's specific consent has been obtained. A therapeutic drug is also restricted to sale from pharmacies only, unless special authority is given for general distribution in a schedule to the Therapeutic Drugs (permitted sales) Regulations 1970.

A cosmetic, dentifrice, detergent, disinfectant, or antiseptic does not have to be "cleared" for marketing unless claims in labelling or advertising bring it within the definition of a "therapeutic drug".

As in the case of food, the Food and Drug Act 1969 provides for the analysis of any drug, which may be sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, and for the inspection of any place where there is any drug intended for sale. Measures provide for the prevention of adulteration and for the inspection of places where drugs are manufactured or packed. Control over medical advertisements is also incorporated in this legislation.

Under the Poisons Act 1960 and the Poisons Regulations 1964, certain drugs may not be sold to the public except on the prescription of a doctor, a dentist, or a veterinary surgeon. This legislation also requires specific warning statements to be included in the labelling of certain drugs such as the antihistamines, aspirin, phenacetin, paracetamol, and hexaclorophane.

Narcotics—Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 the import, export, cultivation, production, possession, distribution, supply, and administration of a wide range of narcotic and other drugs is strictly controlled. Except for medical practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, veterinary surgeons, those having the care of patients being lawfully supplied with drugs, the patients themselves, and other specified persons, or those who have been issued with a licence under the Act, the procuration, manufacture, possession, consumption, supply, or offer to supply controlled drugs is a serious offence.

Controlled drugs are divided into three classes. The heaviest penalties are for offences involving drugs in Class A, which include heroin, lysergide, desomorphine, and cantharidin. Offences involving the possession or use of drugs in Class C, which include cannabis plants, fruit, and seeds, are to be punished with fines but not by imprisonment unless by reason of previous convictions or exceptional circumstances.

Dealing in narcotics is subject to heavy penalties.

To curb illicit drug abuse, a National Drug Intelligence Bureau has been set up jointly by the Departments of Health, Customs, and Police.

FOOD AND NUTRITION—The Food and Drug Act 1969 provides for the analysis, by analysts appointed under the Act of any articles of food or drink which may be sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, and for the inspection of any place where there is any food intended for sale. Stringent measures are provided for the prevention of adulteration and for the inspection of places where food is manufactured or packed. Regulations lay down minimum standards for many classes of food, control additives of all kinds, and deal with labelling of food packages. Control is also established over all utensils and appliances coming into contact with food. Regular sampling of foods is undertaken by departmental inspectors and the samples are analysed in the Chemistry Division (DSIR) or its branch laboratories.

An important provision of the Act controls all kinds of publicity concerning any food whereby a purchaser would possibly be deceived in regard to the properties of such food, whether or not it is standardised by regulations.

A Food Standards Committee, with a membership of highly qualified persons, meets regularly to discuss the latest technical advances in food production and to make appropriate recommendations for amendments to the legislation.

The nutrition section of the Department of Health provides advice on nutrition and dietetics to dietary departments of hospitals, and food service departments of welfare and other institutions. It is responsible for nutrition education programmes and provides a nutrition information service for Government departments, organisations concerned with production and marketing of food, and the public. The section also carries out dietary research projects, generally in liaison with medical research teams concerned with nutrition research.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND TOXICOLOGY—Since 1957 medical officers of health have had responsibility for occupational health. The objective of the occupational health programmes is to work with labour, management, the medical profession, and other groups to assist in improving the health of the worker.

The Department of Labour, which is responsible for accident prevention, hours of work, employment of women, and children etc., calls to the attention of the Department of Health any health problems which the factory inspectors may encounter. The Factories Act 1946 gives to medical officers of health or other authorised officers of the Department of Health the same powers and authorities as inspectors of factories with regard to the health and welfare sections of the Act. The suspension of workers on health grounds, approval of respirators and similar protective equipment, and the arrangements for medical examinations are undertaken by the Department of Health. A series of regulations deal with health hazards, many of them being administered by the two departments, each in its own sphere.

A similar understanding has been established with the Waterfront Industry Commission and New Zealand Railways, and illustrates the general pattern of arrangements between the Department of Health and other Government departments or agencies concerned with particular aspects of workers' health. An occupational health laboratory was established at Wellington in 1964.

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

Commercial, Household, and Agricultural Poisons—The advertising, distribution, use, labelling, and packing of all poisons and toxic substances is controlled under the Poisons Act 1960 and the Poisons Regulations 1964. A manufacturer or importer must notify the Registrar of Poisons before importing or putting on the market any new substance which might be toxic, be it a chemical, household preparation, cosmetic, or drug. Special safeguards are provided for certain hazardous chemicals, used in agriculture or horticulture. It is an offence to pack poisons in bottles that are ordinarily used for food, drink, or medicine. Labels for "Restricted Poisons" must bear statements of the precautions to be taken in use, the symptoms of poisoning and the remedial treatment, and must be approved by the Registrar of Poisons. This legislation is at present under extensive review.

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

Medical, Nursing, and First-aid Services—Minimal first-aid requirements have been laid down by the Department of Health, which generally endeavours to encourage both the development of medical and nursing services and the raising of first-aid standards throughout industry generally. While there are no statutory obligations on industry to provide medical and nursing services, an increasing number of factories do provide such services. To meet the needs of small plants the department has developed industrial health centres with financial support from the Waterfront Industry Commission in the case of harbour areas, and the Accident Compensation Commission in the case of general industry.

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

National Audiology Centre—The National Audiology Centre assists with the early detection of deafness and conservation of hearing. The centre conducts and promotes research into noisy industries, occupational deafness, and other forms of deafness. An advisory service is provided for those working with deaf people and training is given to those responsible for testing groups for hearing loss.

Radiation Protection—The National Radiation Laboratory provides the administrative and technical services required by the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and Regulations 1973 and the Transport of Radioactive Materials Regulations 1973. Prior approval must be obtained for the import or export of any radioactive material. Each owner of irradiating apparatus (source of X-rays) or radioactive material must ensure that they are used only under the control of a person specifically licensed for the purpose.

The laboratory provides the licensees with free monitoring, advisory, calibration, or other services which will assist in achieving radiation safety. Trained officers regularly visit all places where sources of ionising radiation are used. A service is available for measuring the exposures received by radiation workers.

The laboratory advises the requirements for the transport and disposal of radioactive materials and is responsible for monitoring a wide range of environmental samples for natural or man-made radioactivity.

FAMILY HEALTH—Medical practitioners give ante-natal, neo-natal, and post-natal attention under the Social Security Act. Free ante-natal clinics are established in connection with the St. Helens Hospitals, all public maternity hospitals and maternity wards. Ante-natal classes to prepare mothers for the baby's arrival are also being developed, and doctors can refer patients to these to supplement their own ante-natal instructions. In the case of women living far away from the main centres of population, ante-natal work is supplemented by the public health nurses employed by the Department of Health, or by district nurses employed by hospital boards.

Approximately 99 percent of confinements take place in maternity hospitals or in maternity units of public hospitals. The medical care of the mother and child is based on co-operation between the Department of Health, hospital boards and the medical and nursing professions. All private maternity hospitals are licensed under the Hospitals Act 1957 and the Department of Health has responsibility for ensuring that regulations regarding buildings, equipment, and staff are observed. Medical officers of health, through their senior nursing staff, exercise general supervision over the work of private hospitals in the local areas.

Family Planning—General practitioners provide the major portion of family planning services. Contraceptives are provided free for those who need them for medical reasons, where cost would be a barrier. Since 1971 priority has been given to family planning as a health measure. In addition to the private doctor service 33 Family Planning Association clinics are now in operation in various centres of the country. The Government provides a grant to meet the cost of salaries of doctors, nurses, and health assistants (clinical) employed by the association in approved clinics.

A number of hospital boards have established family clinics within their obstetrics and gynaecology departments to provide additional facilities for the public and training for doctors, medical students, and nurses, and other boards are being encouraged to provide these facilities.

Child Health—The Department of Health provides a preventive child health service. Babies are normally examined at about 6 weeks of age and again at 9 months. Additional examinations are given whenever there is anxiety over physical, mental, or emotional development. Public health nurses undertake supervision of infants and pre-school children although the major proportion of this service is provided by the nurses of the Plunket Society. Where necessary the children are referred to family doctors or medical officers of the Department of Health.

A consultative service is provided for schools, with special emphasis on the health supervision of handicapped children, both in the normal schools and in special education classes. Nursing staff make regular visits to all schools and from pre-school record cards and by consultation with teachers and parents refer children for examination by medical officers. Correspondence School children are kept under health supervision as necessary and any school child requiring treatment is referred to the appropriate family doctor. Vision and hearing testing is carried out y trained staff for pre-school children, and again in Junior I and Form I. Tests are also offered to pupils in secondary schools where it is known that parents of pupils with difficulties are not taking any action.

The Government supports the Children's Health Camps Board which maintains six permanent camps for the short-stay placement of children convalescent after illness, for those whose physical health is unsatisfactory, and for those suffering from minor emotional disorders. Medical officers select children for admission and undertake general health supervision of the camps. Children derive benefit from the ordered routine of camp life which provides a diet designed to improve nutrition and a balance of free activity, rest, and sleep. The Department of Education maintains school classes with emphasis on remedial teaching.

Immunisation Programme—Protection by two doses of the oral vaccine for poliomyelitis is available to all infants. Protection against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus is a routine procedure and a triple vaccine is used. It is preferable that immunisation be done by the family doctor, and the course of injections should be commenced as soon as possible after babies are 3 months old. Arrangements can be made for mothers who are unable to have the immunisation done privately to attend with her child at a departmental clinic. If necessary in country areas the public health nurse will visit the home to immunise the child. Booster doses (against diphtheria, tetanus, and polio) are given at 18 months and after the child's fourth birthday or as soon as possible after the child commences school. Further booster doses (against tetanus only) are recommended at 10-yearly intervals and on injury. Measles vaccination is available from family doctors for infants from 10 months of age onwards. Rubella vaccination is available from family doctors for pre-school children.

HEALTH EDUCATION—Medical and dental officers, public health nurses, dental nurses, and inspectors of health all devote some of their time to health education. The health education officer acts as a co-ordinator and stimulates and extends health teaching and health programmes in the district. Most health education officers are women and the majority hold the diploma in health education issued by the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. Advertisements on health subjects are screened on television and published in national periodicals. Leaflets, pamphlets, and posters are available on many health topics from district health offices.

The Department of Health's official bulletin Health has a circulation of over 78,000 and is issued free to the public 4 times a year. It gives health information and publicises various aspects of the department's work.

Officers are available for lectures and discussions on health with schools and community groups.

DENTAL HEALTH—New Zealand's dental health service combines a school dental service for children, dental benefits for adolescents, and private practice for adults. There are 14 dental districts, three schools for dental nurses in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, and the dental school at the University of Otago.

School Dental Service—The objective of the service is to improve the dental health of the pre-school and school children by regular and systematic treatment at 6-monthly intervals, commencing at the age of 2 1/2 and continuing through the highest class at primary or intermediate school.

The school dental nurse, after completing the two-year training course, is posted to a school dental clinic where she provides routine dental care for children. A school dental nurse has a patient group of about 450 in a non-fluoridated area and up to 650 where the water is fluoridated. Regular visits are made to the clinic by the Principal Dental Officer and the Dental Nurse Inspector, who assist the dental nurse to maintain a high standard of performance in all aspects of the work. The School Dental Service Gazette is published bi-monthly as a media for continuing education.

The dental care comprises examination, cleaning, application of sodium fluoride, fillings in temporary and permanent teeth, extraction of deciduous teeth, and dental health education. Some children are referred to dentists for additional care.

In 1976, 1,319 school dental nurses provided dental care for 622,160 children. The treatment included 2,202,169 fillings and 58,296 extractions. Indicators of the success of the service are the acceptance—65 percent of pre-school children aged 2 1/2 to 4 and 95 percent of the primary school children are enrolled, and the small number of extractions—less than 3 for every 100 teeth saved by fillings.

Adolescent Dental Service—Dental care for adolescents up to 16 years of age and, if dependent, up to 18 years of age is provided by private dentists as a dental benefit under the Social Security Act, the dentist being reimbursed on a fee-service basis. Children who remain at school after their sixteenth birthday and qualify for the extended family benefit, or who are otherwise dependent upon parents for support, continue to receive the dental benefit to their eighteenth birthday.

Eligibility for dental treatment as an adolescent is contingent upon a person's having undergone regular dental care, either at a school dental clinic or from a private dental practitioner.

Treatment is essentially of a nature designed to conserve the natural teeth. Dental supervision of adolescents is on a basis of examination and treatment at 6-monthly intervals. There is free choice of dentists, and dentists have the right to decline patients.

The treatment (other than treatment requiring special approval) which may be provided as dental benefits, and the fees payable, are set out in the Schedule to the Social Security (Dental Benefits) Regulations 1960.

Dental Health Education—Dental Health Education is an integral part of the school dental service and includes activities in the clinics and the classroom. Educational materials are produced by the Department of Health for the school dental service and for general use in the community. Materials specifically for dentists are produced by the Dental Health Committee of the New Zealand Dental Association.

Dental Research—The Dental Unit of the Medical Research Council carries out research in a wide range of dental problems. Further research is undertaken by the Dental School of the University of Otago and there is also a small research unit within the Division of Dental Health of the Department of Health.

Fluoridation—Approximately 64 percent of all persons living in water-reticulated areas are drinking fluoridated water, which reduces the need for dental treatment.

REHABILITATION OF DISABLED CIVILIANS—The rehabilitation of disabled and handicapped persons has received increasing emphasis over recent years in New Zealand. Public hospitals are the hub for development of an adequate medical rehabilitation service, with co-operation from Government and voluntary agencies in furthering the medical, social, and vocational welfare of the disabled.

Rehabilitation centres for the treatment of the severely disabled are established at Otara, under the Auckland Hospital Board's administration, and Palmerston North under the Palmerston North Hospital Board's administration. For the rehabilitation of persons suffering from spinal injuries and paraplegia, specialist spinal injury centres are in course of development at Auckland and Christchurch. Rehabilitation activities are also being carried out in the physical medicine departments of most general hospitals, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Rotorua, and in many of the psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals.

The Rehabilitation League is the principal agent of Government in vocational rehabilitation. The main function of the League is to provide facilities for work assessment and work experience for the disabled. Policy is decided by a central board of management and district committees administer the centres which are established in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Napier.

A National Civilian Rehabilitation Committee, comprising representatives from the Departments of Labour, Social Welfare, Health, and Education, and the Accident Compensation Commission, advise the Government on steps to co-ordinate and promote rehabilitation in New Zealand.

PHYSICAL MEDICINE—Physical medicine is concerned with potentially disabling conditions such as rheumatic diseases, cerebral palsy, and other disorders of the locomotor system.

The national centre for the treatment of rheumatism is established at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Rotorua, which has approximately 100 beds set aside for diagnosis, research, and treatment of these diseases. Full physiotherapy and occupational therapy facilities are provided and active steps towards rehabilitation of patients are carried out. A large number of outpatients referred from all parts of New Zealand and a few from overseas are seen every year.

Physiotherapists and occupational therapists work together in preventing and controlling deformity, and teaching people how to overcome their disabilities. Social workers assist in bridging the gap between habilitation and vocational and social resettlement.

A cerebral palsy unit is situated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital providing residential accommodation for 20 children. At this unit the activities of a team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and speech therapists are co-ordinated by the supervisor of the unit working under a physician. Patients can be referred by their doctors to the physician in charge of the unit for assessment only, or for admission and treatment. Cerebral palsy visiting therapist services are operating under hospital boards. Post-graduate courses are given to physiotherapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and speech therapists.

Cerebral palsy day schools have been established in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, and invercargill. Parents of cerebral palsy cases who seek their children's admission first apply to the appropriate medical officer of health or education board. The schools are administered by the education boards, but close liaison exists between the schools, the Rotorua unit, and the visiting cerebral palsy therapists.

HEALTH STATISTICS—The National Health Statistics Centre is responsible for the annual publication of Health Statistics Reports on mortality, morbidity, mental health, cancer, and hospital management as well as the publication of Trends in Health and Health Services every two years.

The Centre also prepares special statistics for the various divisions of the Department and for research workers in different fields both in New Zealand and overseas. A constant liaison is maintained with the World Health Organisation, which is supplied with statistical material giving a picture of health trends in New Zealand. In addition, from time to time, special statistical investigations are made into important aspects of public health and diseases that warrant specific study.

Since July 1975 the Centre has been monitoring the incidence of selected congenital malformations reported by medical practitioners to the Health Department.

NATIONAL HEALTH INSTITUTE—The Institute is the Department of Health's centre for the scientific study of public health problems. It contains an epidemiology section and public health laboratories (microbiology, virology and environmental health).

The epidemiology section conducts field research into matters of public health interest.

The public health laboratories provide diagnostic and reference services in bacteriology and virology for medical officers of health, hospital and private laboratories, and general practitioners, as well as for the other sections of the institute. The Institute is the national centre for those reference services which are organised on an international basis, such as salmonellosis, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, influenza, and staphylococcal phage typing.

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL—The Medical Research Council of New Zealand has the following functions:

  1. To initiate, foster, and support medical research;

  2. To furnish information, advice, and assistance to persons ad organisations concerned with medical research;

  3. To collect and disseminate scientific information, including the publication of reports.

At the end of 1976 research was in progress in most fields of medicine including the pre-clinical, clinical, and para-clinical sciences. Increased emphasis was also being placed on the fields of social medicine and community health, and the earlier work of the council on medical research in the South Pacific through its South Pacific Medical Research Committee was being continued.

The council maintains liaison with the research work being carried out by private medical research foundations and societies such as the Cancer Society of New Zealand, and regional medical research foundations established in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Hawke's Bay, Otago, and Southland.

The council administers the Medical Research Endowment Fund, from which an annual expenditure of $3.2 million is incurred in supporting research projects at the University of Otago, the University of Auckland, the Christchurch and Wellington Clinical Schools, Massey University, and the institutions of the Auckland, Wellington, North Canterbury, Palmerston North, and Otago Hospital Boards.

The council employs a staff of about 50 full-time workers. A further 250 workers are employed by other institutions under project grants from the council.

The council awards scholarships and fellowships to selected graduates and undergraduates who wish to engage in medical research.

The council is empowered to receive bequests and donations to the fund for furthering the objects of the council as set out in the Medical Research Council Act 1950.

MEDICAL COUNCIL—The Medical Council of New Zealand, constituted under the Medical Practitioners Act 1968, consists of the Director-General of Health, the deans of the faculties of medicine in the Universities of Otago and Auckland, and eight registered medical practitioners appointed on a representative basis.

The council deals with all applications for registration under the Act. Until an applicant is able to satisfy the council that he has obtained house officer experience, in a resident medical capacity, of not less than 12 months or has otherwise obtained comparable experience, registration is on a conditional basis. Persons registered conditionally may practise only in an approved hospital. A medical education committee responsible to the council exercises general supervision over the training of persons conditionally registered. The number of medical practitioners on the register at 30 June 1976 was 6,535, but not all are in active practice in New Zealand.

The Medical Council is vested with certain disciplinary powers. Right of appeal to the Supreme Court is provided

DOCTORS AND DENTISTS—The following table, based on figures in the World Health Statistics Annual 1972, shows for selected countries the numbers of doctors and dentists per 10,000 of population.

 Per 10,000 Population
New Zealand11.83.5
England and Wales13.12.8
West Germany18.45.1
United States16.55.0

Between 1959 and 1972 the population per active general practitioner in New Zealand increased from 1,780 to 2,256. During the period 1972 to 1975 there was a slight improvement; population per active practitioner fell to 2,022.

While there has been some improvement in recent years in the distribution of doctors in rural and semi-rural areas, the position in many urban areas remains unsatisfactory. There remains the intra-urban maldistribution, where well-established, middle-class areas tend to be relatively overprovided with general practitioners, while some other areas suffer from a shortage of general practitioners.

REGISTRATION COUNCILS AND BOARDS: Dentists—Under the Dental Act 1963 there was constituted a Dental Council, the functions of which are to examine and approve of the qualifications of applicants desiring registration as dentists and to exercise disciplinary control over registered dentists.

The number of practising dentists holding annual practising certificates at 31 May 1976 was 1,117. Under provisions of the Dental Technicians Regulations 1968, a Registration Board for Dental Technicians was constituted. In 1975 there were 380 registered dental technicians.

Nurses—The Nursing Council of New Zealand was constituted under the Nurses Act 1971. Its functions include making recommendations on nursing programmes to be undertaken by candidates for examinations in relation to minimum standards required for registration; the conduct of examinations; the granting of approval of Schools of Nursing, subject to Ministerial concurrence; the registration of overseas nurses; and the exercise of disciplinary powers.

The Nurses Regulations 1966 provided for 3-year hospital-based programmes for registration as general/maternity nurses, male nurses, psychiatric nurses, and psychopaedic nurses. They also provided for the registration of community nurses from 18-month courses, maternity nurses from 6-month courses (provided the nurses already hold general registration) and the 6-month programme for registration as midwives of nurses previously registered as maternity nurses.

The Nurses Amendment Act 1975 provided for the registration of Comprehensive Nurses from a student-based 3-year course conducted at four Technical Institutes.

During 1975-76 there were 23,730 registered nurses holding a current annual practising certificate. The council's register shows total registrations in excess of 85,000.

Physiotherapists—The New Zealand Physiotherapy Board is constituted under the Physiotherapy Act 1949. The board's functions are the examination and registration of candidates for physiotherapy practice, the issuing of special licences, and the conduct of those registered under the Act.

The training period for physiotherapists is 3 years. Full-time training is conducted at the Physiotherapy Department, Auckland Technical Institute, and at the School of Physiotherapy, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin. From 1 February 1976 the control of this school was transferred from Otago Hospital Board to Otago Polytechnic Council. All students are required to pass the State Examination in Physiotherapy to qualify for registration.

During 1976, 120 physiotherapists were registered, bringing the total on the register (which includes some no longer practising) to 2,775.

Occupational Therapists—Under the Occupational Therapy Act 1949 is constituted the Occupational Therapy Board. The board is concerned with the registration and conduct of persons engaged in the practice of occupational therapy.

The Central Institute of Technology, Wellington, conducts the 3-year course of training and clinical experience is gained at hospitals. Students who successfully complete the course are awarded a diploma in occupational therapy and then registered. There are some 250 occupational therapists in active practice.

Dietitians—Under the Dietitians Act 1950 is constituted the Dietitians Board, which is concerned with the training, examination, and registration of persons engaged in the practice of dietetics.

The training period for a dietitian is, in the case of the holder of a degree of bachelor of home science conferred by the University of Otago or of the holder of a diploma in home science of the University of Otago, 12 months in a hospital training school.

Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians—The Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Act 1976 provides for the Constitution of an Opticians Board, consisting of four registered optometrists to be appointed on the nomination of the New Zealand Optometrical Association Incorporated, one registered optometrist who is actively engaged in teaching optometry to be appointed on the nomination of the Council of the University of Auckland, two registered dispensing opticians to be appointed on the nominations of the Association of Dispensing Opticians and Optical Dispensers of New Zealand Incorporated, two ophthalmological specialists who are registered in respect of that speciality under the Medical Practitioners Act 1968, to be appointed on the nomination of the New Zealand Medical Association, ad one other person being an officer of the Public Service employed in the Department of Health.

Two hundred and seventy-six Annual Practising Certificates were issued for the year ended 31 March 1977.

Chiropodists—The Medical and Dental Auxiliaries Act 1966 provided for the constitution of a Chiropodists Board. The Chiropodists Regulations 1967 specify that the board shall consist of one officer of the Department of Health, three persons entitled to registration as chiropodists who have been nominated by a society representing the interests of chiropodists, and a medical practitioner who has been nominated jointly by the Medical Association of New Zealand and the Executive Committee of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association. The board's functions include the promotion of high standards of education and conduct among persons engaged or intending to become engaged in chiropody, the exercising of disciplinary powers in accordance with the Act in respect of registered chiropodists and the conducting of special examinations. The board also deals with all applications for registration under the Act.

There are approximately 249 registered chiropodists, but not all are engaged in active practice. A significant number of those in active practice work only part time.

Plumbers—The Plumbers and Gasfitters Board consists of 13 member/representatives from the Municipal and Counties Association, the Gas Association, the New Zealand Drainlayers Association, an engineer employed by a local authority or drainage board, the Master Plumbers Society (2), the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Related Trades Industrial Union of Workers (2), Department of Labour, Department of Education, Department of Health, and one other person, to be appointed by the Minister.

The board is concerned with the registration of plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers. It issues annual licences to craftsmen and registered plumbers and gasfitters, and limited certificates. It has also authority and responsibility for disciplinary action against craftsmen, plumbers, and gasfitters if it is established they have done unsatisfactory work.

In New Zealand, except in specially exempted areas, all sanitary plumbing defined in the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 1977 can only be performed by craftsmen and registered plumbers and holders of limited certificates working in the employment or under the supervision of craftsman plumbers.

Specifications and standards of workmanship and materials in plumbing work are prescribed in the provisions of the Drainage and Plumbing Regulations enacted under the Health Act.

Pharmacists—In 1976 there were 2,628 names on the Pharmaceutical Register in New Zealand. All registered pharmacists, except those who notify the registrar that they have conscientious objection to membership, automatically become members of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, the society's affairs being managed by a council constituted by the Pharmacy Act 1970.

The council consists of 12 members, 11 being pharmacists, and 1 a barrister appointed by the Minister of Health. Seven members are elected on a district basis by registered pharmacists who are proprietors of pharmacies and four by members of the Pharmaceutical Society who are not in the previous category. The main function of the council of the Pharmaceutical Society is to administer the Pharmacy Act and generally to protect and promote the interests of the profession of pharmacy and the public interests.

It is a specific requirement of the Pharmacy Act that pharmacies in New Zealand be at all times maintained under the immediate supervision and control of a registered pharmacist.

The present system for pharmacy education requires a minimum of 3 years' attendance at the School of Pharmacy, Central Institute of Technology, Upper Hutt, at which the diploma in pharmacy is obtained. There is also a 4-year degree course in pharmacy at the University of Otago. Graduates from both courses are required to gain 12 months' pre-registration experience before becoming eligible for registration as pharmacists.

Any pharmacist or company in which not less than 75 percent of the share capital is owned by a pharmacist or pharmacists may establish one pharmacy. Unqualified persons or companies in which less than 75 percent of the share capital is pharmacist-owned must, however, secure the consent of the Pharmacy Authority, set up under the Act, before commencing business, and in all cases the establishment of more than one pharmacy under the same ownership, or the holding of an interest in more than one pharmacy by any person, is subject to the consent of the authority. All pharmacies must be registered with the society. There are about 1,155 pharmacies in New Zealand. A survey in 1973 showed that on average there were 1.56 pharmacists per pharmacy; about 200 pharmacists work outside the retail trade in hospitals, Government departments and the pharmaceutical industry.

MEDICAL, HOSPITAL, AND OTHER RELATED BENEFITS—Part II of the Social Security Act 1964, administered by the Department of Health and dealing with medical and like benefits, is of general application to all persons ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and makes provision for medical, pharmaceutical, hospital, maternity, and other related benefits.

Medical Benefits—Medical benefits apply to such medical treatment as is ordinarily given by medical practitioners in the course of a general practice. Certain services are excluded, these being principally:

  1. Medical services in maternity cases. (These services are covered by maternity benefits and are described under a later heading.)

  2. Medical services involved in any medical examination of which the sole or primary purpose is the obtaining of a medical certificate.

  3. Medical services other than anaesthetic services, involved in or incidental to the extraction of teeth by a medical practitioner.

  4. Medical services in respect of which fees are payable under the Social Security (X-ray Diagnostic Services) Regulations 1941, Social Security (Physiotherapy Benefits) Regulations 1951, and Social Security (Laboratory Diagnostic Services) Regulations 1946—see later headings.

  5. Medical services afforded by means of advice given by telephone, telegram, or letter except under circumstances specifically approved by the Director-General of Health and medical services not rendered by a medical practitioner in person.

Every medical practitioner who renders any of the prescribed services is entitled, on behalf of the patient, to receive from the Department of Health a fee of $1.25 for a service provided in normal hours and up to $4.00 for a service rendered at night or on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays; for social security beneficiaries, including those for whom the family benefit is payable and for patients approved as "chronically ill", the benefit ranges from $3 to $7. The department pays a fee of $5 for an initial consultation with a recognised specialist physician, psychiatrist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, or paediatrician, and of $3.50 in the case of other recognised specialists. These rates apply only to the first occasion on which a patient is referred by a general practitioner to a specialist and, in the case of inter-specialist referral, with the prior concurrence of the original doctor. For subsequent visits, the fee paid by the department reduces to $1.25 for each visit, except in the case of social security beneficiaries and pensioners and their dependants for whom the fee is $3. In designated rural areas, an incentive bonus is payable. In 1972 immunisation benefits were introduced; they apply to children and adolescents up to their sixteenth birthday; the benefit is $1.85 if the vaccine is administered by a doctor, or $1.55 if administered by a registered nurse in his employ. The immunisation benefit is in full settlement, and no extra charge should be made.

Most doctors (91 percent) make a claim directly from the Department of Health and ask patients for the balance of their fees. A minority require their patients to pay the whole fee and make personal claims on the Department of Health.

The number of medical practitioners providing general and specialist medical services in 1975 was 2,867 and the cost per head of population in the year ended 31 March 1976 was $10.60. The average population per active practitioner providing medical care in 1975 was 2,022.

Pharmaceutical Benefits—Persons receiving medical attention under the Act are entitled, generally without cost to themselves, to those medicines, drugs, approved appliances, and materials, prescribed by their medical practitioners and which are included in the Drug Tariff.

Prescriptions passed for payment in the year ended 31 March 1976 totalled 26,933,659 or 8.7 per head of population. The average cost per prescription was $2.67, the cost per head of population being $22.58.

Hospital Benefits—Treatment is provided free by public hospitals where a patient is entitled to hospital benefits under the Act. In the case of private hospitals and other approved institutions benefits paid are in partial satisfaction of claims against the patients. The rates from 1 October 1975 are as follows:

  1. For surgical treatment $12.00 a day, with a minimum of $24.00.

  2. For medical (including psychiatric) treatment $9.00 a day (from 1 January 1976).

  3. For geriatric treatment $11.00 a day (from 1 January 1976).

  4. Hospital treatment for maternity patients $12.00 a day.

Free treatment is accorded outpatients at public hospitals; this also covers the supply of artificial aids, including contact lenses, hearing aids, artificial limbs, surgical footwear, wheelchairs, orthopaedic implants in private hospitals, ileostomy and colostomy appliances, and urinals. It does not include dental treatment or services in respect of which fees are payable under specific Social Security Regulations (X-ray diagnostic services, laboratory diagnostic services) referred to under later headings. In respect of surgical footwear, part payment by the patient is required.

Psychiatric Hospitals—Treatment of patients in public psychiatric hospitals is also free. A licensed (private) psychiatric hospital may be recognised and approved by the Minister as a hospital for the purposes of the Act, and hospital benefits in respect of treatment are payable accordingly.

Maternity Benefits—Maternity benefits cover ante-natal and post-natal advice and treatment by medical practitioners, and the services of doctors and nurses at confinements in maternity hospitals or elsewhere. Recognised specialists may make a charge on the patient over and above the benefit. Licensed maternity hospitals are entitled to receive fees of $12.00 in respect of the day of birth of the child and for each of the succeeding 14 days.

X-ray Diagnostic Services—These X-ray diagnostic services on the recommendation of a medical practitioner, attract a health benefit:

  1. The making of X-ray examinations with the aid of a fluorescent screen.

  2. The taking of X-ray photographs.

  3. The supply and administration of any drugs or other substances for the purposes of any such examination or photograph.

X-ray photographs or X-ray examinations made or taken for dental purposes or for the purposes of life assurance, visas, emigration permits, and examinations for the sole or primary purpose of obtaining medical certificates for production to some other person, are not included in the free services. Eligible X-ray examinations at public hospitals are free, but those undertaken by private radiologists are limited to a specified benefit. Additional charges are the patient's responsibility.

Laboratory Diagnostic Services—The benefits concerning laboratory diagnostic services comprise the supply of all materials or substances required for the purpose of providing laboratory diagnostic services, and associated medical services.

The following services are not included:

  1. Examination of specimens for public health.

  2. Post-mortem examinations.

  3. Laboratory services for dental purposes or for the purposes of life insurance.

  4. The preparation of sera and vaccines.

Physiotherapy Benefits—Physiotherapy treatment afforded by contracting physiotherapists is the subject of a benefit under the Social Security (Physiotherapy Benefits) Regulations 1951. The standard benefit is $1 for each recommended treatment, but a higher rate of $1.50 is payable for beneficiaries and their dependants who qualify for the higher medical benefit. Where patients are treated in groups the universal benefit is 40 cents per patient.

To qualify for the benefit, physiotherapy treatment must in all cases be recommended by a registered medical practitioner. Treatment is limited to 6 weeks on a single recommendation but in the case of certain specified illnesses the Director-General of Health may extend the period of treatment on any one recommendation up to 6 months.

Home-nursing Services—Under the Social Security (District Nursing Services) Regulations 1944. home-nursing services are provided free where the services are afforded by a registered nurse, midwife, or maternity nurse in the employ of the Department of Health, a hospital board, or an organisation recognised for the purpose.

Domestic Assistance—Monetary assistance is given to approved incorporated associations formed for the purpose of providing domestic help in the home, where it is required because of age and infirmity, or to support family situations in which the mother is incapacitated or needs help on account of family commitments.

Dental Services—The Social Security (Dental Benefits) Regulations 1960 provide for free dental treatment. These benefits are confined to persons who are under 16 years of age or under 18 years if still attending school or otherwise dependent. Treatment may be provided in a State dental clinic, by a contracting dentist for whom there is a prescribed scale of fees, or in the dental department of a public hospital.

Artificial Aids—The Social Security (Hospital Benefits for Outpatients) Regulations 1947 made provision for the supply of artificial aids, such as artificial limbs, hearing aids, and contact lenses.

Breast Prostheses—Women undergoing a mastectomy on or after 29 July 1976 are entitled to a benefit of up to $30 to meet the cost of an initial breast form. Patients entitled to the benefit are issued with a certificate of eligibility prior to discharge from hospital for presentation to the supplier

Contact Lenses—These may be supplied in respect of the following optical disabilities: (a) conical cornea, (b) high myopia, where the degree of myopia present in the greatest axis of the better eye is not less than—10 diopters, (c) monocular aphakia, if the restoration of binocular vision is highly desirable by reason of the patient's occupation or other circumstances and binocular vision cannot be restored without the use of contact lenses. In each case the supply of such lenses must be recommended by an approved ophthalmologist.

Lenses may also be supplied in respect of any other ocular condition which cannot be corrected by ordinary spectacles; in these cases recommendation by two ophthalmologists is necessary.

Hearing Aids—A free aid may be supplied, or a subsidy of $45 is payable towards the purchase of a hearing aid where the patient suffers a hearing loss which renders the use of an aid necessary. A subsidy of up to $70 is payable towards the cost of an aid for a patient under 16 years of age.

Eligibility on medical grounds for the provision of a hearing aid is to be determined by an otologist employed or engaged by a hospital board or the Department of Health.

Normally a patient will be eligible for the payment of the full benefit only once every 5 years. However, if in the opinion of the authorising otologist, a patient's existing aid is inadequate after less than 5 years from the date of its issue, and a new aid is required to improve hearing ability, the hearing aid benefit at full rates is to be payable.

Artificial Limbs—The free supply of artificial limbs is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The patient has not obtained or is not entitled to obtain a limb as an ex-serviceman under the provisions of the War Pensions Regulations 1956 or under the provisions of the Accident Compensation Act 1972.

  2. The supply of the limb is recommended by an approved orthopaedic surgeon.

  3. The limb is of an approved type and can, in the opinion of the supplier's orthopaedic adviser, be satisfactorily fitted.

For the purposes of the regulations "artificial limb" includes artificial arms, artificial hands, artificial legs, and artificial feet, and includes limb socks for such limbs and for female amputees, replacement understockings.

Orthopaedic Implants—Artificial hips and similar implants also qualify for benefit under the arrangements for artificial aids.

Wheelchairs—Manually operated wheelchairs are available through hospital boards on a free loan basis to disabled persons who require them on medical grounds. Motorised wheelchairs are the subject of a 50 percent benefit towards their cost. The balance of the cost may be assisted with grants from lottery funds.

The following table gives details of expenditure on the various classes of health benefits during five financial years.

Maternity Benefits—     
Medical practitioners' fees3,3173,3643,2694,8325,148
Medical practitioners' mileage fees105101101145152
Obstetric nurses' fees42248
Medical benefits—     
General medical services9,69211,82017,37819,90228,180
GMS mileage159151137128125
Specialist medical services1,2861,7212,1482,2532,635
Rural practice bonus and other incentives337405545425587
Immunisation benefit-127407433457
Practice Nurse Subsidy---269649
Private practice and post-graduate grants3224273821
Special area and other arrangements—section on 117 Social Security Act117164153161152
Hospital Benefits—     
Treatment in private hospitals—maternity benefits394397388368336
Treatment in private hospitals—medical, surgical, and Karitane5,9157,0167,5416,7083,261
Treatment in private hospitals—geriatric benefit---2,3848,589
Treatment in approved institutions526626700687825
Pharmaceutical Benefits—     
Drugs supplied—     
By chemists32,48039,32344,39755,72768,916
By medical practitioners and Department of Health206181207148164
To institutions and private hospitals550515562604787
Supplementary Benefits—     
Dental services2,7992,8493,1354,4045,334
Laboratory services6,5847,3557,8609,16910,728
Artificial aids1821243537
Physiotherapy services2422462516131,001
Radiological services7577881,1841,6001,706
Specialist services (neurosurgery)322--

WELFARE SERVICES—Government assistance is offered to religious and voluntary organisations and local authorities in providing housing, accommodation, and services for elderly people and others whom it is considered are in special need. Under this partnership with Government, the social service agencies of all the major religious bodies, as well as other welfare organisations, have established additional accommodation for the aged, frail, and sick who need residential care in either an old people's home or a geriatric hospital. Where it is not possible to meet the need of elderly people through these agencies, the provision of residential care for the aged becomes a hospital board responsibility. At 31 March 1976 religious and welfare organisations provided 7,351 home and hospital beds for the elderly. Hospital boards maintain 885 old people's home beds, while approximately 4,700 of their hospital beds (42 percent) are required for care of the elderly sick, either on a short-stay or long-term basis.

Other measures which are of importance in assisting elderly people to remain in their homes as long as possible are receiving increased attention. Chief amongst these are the provision of district nursing services, home aid, meals-on-wheels, laundry services, and occupational therapy. In general the services are provided by hospital boards with voluntary organisations and old people's welfare councils assisting in various ways. The importance of old people's clubs and social centres, with an adequate range of services, is also receiving increasing recognition. Government lottery funds are being used to assist in providing suitable premises and assisting welfare councils with administrative costs. At 31 December 1975 the number of meals delivered daily by the meals-on-wheels service was 4,822; the service is operated by 28 hospital boards.

Old People's Homes and Hospitals—Subject to maximum subsidies of $12,000 per bed for old people's homes and $16,000 for geriatric hospital beds, and certain other conditions, religious or welfare organisations providing accommodation for old people may be granted 100 percent of the approved building cost. In addition, a subsidy of up to $500 per bed is available towards initial land and land development costs. Since October 1974, the policy has been widened to provide an 80-percent subsidy towards the cost of approved improvements and the upgrading of existing accommodation, and 100 percent for fire protection work as required by the local authority. The administration of policy is a Department of Health responsibility.

During the year 1975–76, subsidies amounting to $5,787,554 were approved to assist in the provision of accommodation for 446 old people. From April 1950 to 31 March 1976, subsidies totalling $43,904,988 have been approved, and buildings erected as a result will accommodate 7,098 old people.

VOLUNTARY WELFARE ORGANISATIONS—Over the years voluntary welfare organisations have made valuable contributions to certain aspects of the field of public health. In many cases they are encouraged and assisted in their work by grants from the public funds. Among the more important are the Royal N.Z. Society for the Health of Women and Children (Plunket Society), the New Zealand Red Cross Society, the St. John Ambulance Association, the New Zealand Society for the Intellectually Handicapped, the Cancer Society, and the National Heart Foundation. A fuller list of voluntary organisations in the field of health was published in the 1976 and earlier editions of the Yearbook.


GENERAL—The Hospitals Act 1957 requires the Minister of Health to ensure the provision and maintenance by hospital boards of hospitals and hospital services and to encourage the provision and maintenance of private hospitals. The Department of Health advises the Minister on, or determines in respect of boards, the extent and standard of hospital and allied services, the building requirements to provide these services, the numbers and levels of the main groups of professional staffs to be employed, the appropriate annual financial grants, the salaries and conditions of employment of about 60 percent of staff and the measure of financial assistance to be given to private hospitals, including loan finance. The department also licenses and supervises private hospitals, inspects the work of all hospitals and compiles financial and statistical data about them. There are 29 hospital boards and 154 private hospitals.

Since 1 April 1958, the cost of hospital treatment in public hospitals has been borne entirely by the State. Private hospitals, which provide about one-sixth of the available beds, receive payment from the Government for hospital treatment of patients; additional fees may be claimed from the patients.

Hospital and home nursing services involve the Department of Health in establishing and assisting to maintain minimum standards of nursing service in general hospitals, in homes for the aged, etc., in advising, inspecting and reporting on such services in hospitals; and generally advising the Minister on nursing.

Experience has been that, generally speaking, boards, committees and councils play a most valuable part in helping to formulate health policies and programmes, and, in certain cases, in administering policies or programmes laid down by Government. The setting-up of such agencies enables the Minister and the Department of Health to draw upon expert advice and wide experience and ensures that non-departmental people with up-to-date knowledge, day-to-day working experience and responsibility in particular areas of health play a worthwhile part in health administration. A partnership of this kind is particularly important in the case of public hospitals, which are run by democratically elected boards. Recognition of this is seen in the requirements of the Hospitals Act that the Minister of Health may not act in certain public hospital matters without a recommendation from the Hospitals Advisory Council.

The department's objectives in the case of physical medicine and rehabilitation are to stimulate interest and co-ordinate treatment of diseases such as chronic arthritis, poliomyelitis, and cerebral palsy; to promote and maintain a unified rehabilitation service and to maintain and develop physiotherapy and occupational therapy services. It supervises physiotherapy and occupational therapy training, licensing and services, and supervises the provision of rehabilitation services in public hospitals. (See Section 5A.)

The welfare services involving the department include the medical and social care and general welfare of the aged. The department advises the Minister on subsidies to be paid to religious and welfare organisations which provide homes and hospital beds for the elderly, and administers legislation governing the standards and oversight of old people's homes.

HOSPITAL BOARDS—General and psychiatric hospitals are controlled by locally elected hospital boards. A hospital board of 8 to 14 members is elected every 3 years for each hospital district. It is the duty of every hospital board to provide, maintain and staff such institutions, hospital accommodation, and medical, nursing, and other services as the Minister of Health considers necessary.

In recent years there has been a pressure of activity, replanning, and development in all medical services for which hospital boards are responsible. This replanning of medical services has been undertaken against a background of sharp population increases in most urban areas. More rapid and comfortable transport is encouraging the build-up of specialist diagnostic and therapeutic resources in regional centres. The Management Services Research Unit, headed by a medical practitioner in the Department of Health, has the task of applying techniques such as operational research and work study to problems of management in the health services, particularly in hospitals, and ascertaining in what ways efficiency can be improved.

The Director-General of Health is authorised to visit and inspect hospitals and to appoint assistant inspectors, and is required to report to Parliament through the Minister on the administration of the Hospitals Act.

Hospital boards are required to operate their own ambulance services unless they enter into some arrangement with a subsidised voluntary agency. In this regard the Order of St. John and organisations such as the Wellington Free Ambulance perform valuable services.

HOSPITAL ACCOMMODATION: Public Institutions—The number of beds in public institutions available at 31 March 1976 and the average number occupied during the year are set out in the following table. These statistics relate to patients and inmates in all institutions (general, maternity, special hospitals, old people's homes, and psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals) including institutions under the control of the Department of Health.

Type of BedBeds AvailableAverage Number of Occupied Beds per Day
NumberProportion per 1,000 of PopulationNumberProportion per 1,000 of Population
Psychiatric and Psychopaedic9,6563.18,489.32.7
Total hospital beds27,2098.721,437.46.9
Non-hospital beds8370.3825.60.3

In addition to the 27,209 hospital beds in public institutions there were 4,704 (4,526 general and 178 maternity) in the 154 licensed private hospitals. If the beds in licensed private hospitals are included, the ratio of beds per 1,000 of population becomes 6.1 for general beds and 1.0 for maternity beds.

The average number of occupied hospital beds per 1,000 of population in hospital districts varies from 6.3 to 24.7. This variation can be accounted for in the main by the fact that many hospitals to a varying extent draw patients from other districts. Other factors which influence the figures are the availability of medical practitioners and their habits in sending patients to hospital or retaining them for home treatment, the availability of private-hospital beds, housing facilities, domestic assistance, private or district nursing assistance, and the efficiency of the outpatient departments.

The number of institutions coming under the heading of public institutions for the year ended 31 March 1976 was 204, comprising 103 general hospitals, 66 maternity hospitals, 19 old people's homes, and 16 psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals.

A total of 386,395 persons were treated or maintained in public hospitals or similar institutions during the year ended 31 March 1976. This figure, which included persons in maternity beds, psychiatric and psychopaedic beds, and non-hospital beds in old peoples homes but not hospital outpatients, was equivalent to 12.3 percent of the population. The 1974–75 figure was 375,371.

Outpatient attendances at public hospitals (including dental but excluding X-ray, laboratory, and pharmacy) totalled 3,187,254 during the year ended 31 March 1975, compared with 2,980,842 the previous year.

Waiting Lists—At 31 March 1975 there were 32,948 names on waiting lists for admission to public hospital, a rate of 10.53 persons per 1,000 residents.

STAFF—Non-Psychiatric and -Psychopaedic Hospitals—The number of staff employed by hospital boards in non -psychiatric and -psychopaedic hospitals for the latest 2 years are as follows:

Category of StaffAs at 31 March
Professional staff—  
  Medical laboratory workers461505
  Occupational therapists138151
Social workers111122
Nursing staff10,64411,319

Psychiatric and Psychopaedic Hospitals—The number of staff employed by hospital boards in psychiatric and psychopaedic hospitals for the latest 2 years are as follows:

Category of StaffAs at 31 March
Professional staff—  
  Occupational therapists5557
Social workers3648
Nursing staff2,8533,036

FINANCE: Loans—Boards have been authorised by the Minister of Health to raise loans to cover a very extensive building programme. The position of loan liability is set out in the following table.

YearAmount UpliftedRepayment*Balance Owing
*Includes payments from sinking funds.

Payments—Hospital board expenditure is subject to control by the Minister of Health. The sum provided by Government for public hospital maintenance expenditure is allocated to the individual hospital boards on the basis of allocations made in the previous year, adjusted to take account of known increases in commitments plus an allowance for normal growth. A portion of the total is, however, held in reserve, to enable special allocations to be made to boards having to meet the cost of commissioning major capital works reaching completion during the year. Additional grants are also made for general wage increases which may be approved after the basic allocation has been made. Grants for minor capital works and equipment are made to boards on the basis of allocations made in the previous year, adjusted to take account of price increases plus an allowance for growth. Major works over $20,000 are financed by loans raised by hospital boards, interest and principal repayments being met by Government grants.

Expenditure for both public and psychiatric hospitals is as follows:

Grants to hospital boards—1974–751975–76
Special capital516689
Health centres591533
Repayment of loan principal and payments to Sinking Fund13,49914,524
Works and Equipment6,9327,818
Operating costs—  
Basic operating costs297,739367,099
Interest on loans9,05510,173
E.D.P. reserve124122
Commonwealth medical co-operation scheme6021
P.A. management consultants7154
Special items342380
Special employment-150

PRIVATE HOSPITALS—At 31 March 1976 there were 154 licensed private hospitals, providing a total of 4,704 beds. Private hospitals are shown by type and by number of beds in the following table as at 31 March of the years stated.

 Number of HospitalsLicensed Beds
Type of Hospital197419751976197419751976
*Included with other entries.
Medical and surgical3736361,1601,1771,557
Medical and children's (Karitane)666255255210
Maternity, medical, and surgical333460466x*

Hospital benefits are paid to patients in registered private hospitals according to the nature of the treatment given; for surgical and maternity treatment, $12 per day, and for medical (including psychiatric) treatment, $9.00 per day. A benefit for geriatric patients of $8 per day was introduced in 1974. This was increased to $11 in 1976.

The Government assists in the development of private hospitals by the provision of loan money at low interest rates. However, during 1974–75 this assistance was restricted to proposals for alteration and upgrading work. Amounts paid by way of private hospital loans during the latest 3 years were as follows: 1973–74, $387,607; 1974–75, $167,291; and 1975–76, $201,203.

PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS—The total expenditure on psychiatric hospitals (not including the cost of new buildings and additions) and particulars of receipts during 5 recent financial years are shown in the next table. This expenditure was incurred by the Department of Health until 31 March 1972, since which date psychiatric hospitals, with the exception of the Lake Alice Hospital, have become the responsibility of hospital boards.

Year Ended 31 MarchTotal ExpenditureReceiptsNet ExpenditureAverage Cost per Occupied Bed

PUBLIC HOSPITAL PATIENTS: Principal Diseases and Disabilities—Detailed statistical information is supplied to the Department of Health about every patient, except normal maternity cases, discharged from or dying in public hospitals in New Zealand.

The following summary shows the principal diseases and injuries treated, together with the number of deaths and the fatality rate percent of total cases, in public hospitals in 1973. The disease headings are the subtitles of the International Classification of Diseases. More detailed information is available in Hospital and Selected Morbidity Data, Health Statistics Report.

It should be noted that the disease or condition for which a patient is admitted to hospital is not necessarily that which would rank as the cause of death in mortality statistics. Congestive heart failure, for instance, is comparatively highly ranked in hospital cases as the condition immediately affecting the patient, but is frequently only the consequence of some underlying disease, which would take precedence over congestive heart failure in the statistics of causes of death. Hospital returns show each disease for which the patient was treated while in hospital, but the classification for statistical purposes has been made on the basis of the principal disease for which the patient was admitted, regardless of what other unrelated diseases may have been present or developed during the stay in hospital. In mortality statistics, on the other hand, the underlying cause of death is of paramount importance. In the summary below a patient admitted on account of an injury is classified according to the nature of the injury. Should the patient die, however, the death would be classified in the mortality statistics according to the cause of the injury, e.g., motor-vehicle accident, accidental fall, etc.

Disease or DisabilityTotal Discharges and Deaths in Public HospitalsDeaths in Public HospitalsFatality Rate Percent
Intestinal infectious diseases2,969260.9
Zoonotic bacterial diseases34--
Other bacterial diseases428378.6
Poliomyelitis and other enterovirus diseases of central nervous system42610.2
Viral diseases accompanied by exanthem781111.4
Arthropod-borne viral diseases7867.7
Other viral diseases1,72030.2
Rickettsioses and other arthropod-borne diseases9--
Syphilis and other venereal diseases20510.5
Other spirochaetal diseases56--
Other infective and parasitic diseases26831.1
Malignant neoplasm of buccal cavity and pharynx3313911.8
Malignant neoplasm of digestive organs and peritoneum3,13884326.9
Malignant neoplasm of respiratory system2,16456626.2
Malignant neoplasm of bone, connective tissue, skin, and breast3,4712416.9
Malignant neoplasm of genito-urinary organs3,65641711.4
Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified sites2,60863924.5
Neoplasms of lymphatic and haematopoietic tissue2,46431212.7
Benign neoplasms4,578130.3
Neoplasm of unspecified nature29872.3
Diseases of thyroid gland916111.2
Diseases of other endocrine glands3,1501795.7
Avitaminoses and other nutritional deficiency48471.4
Other metabolic diseases735212.9
Diseases of blood and blood-forming organs1,937492.5
Neuroses, personality disorders, and other non-psychotic mental disorders4,902330.7
Mental retardation22620.9
Inflammatory diseases of central nervous system405358.6
Hereditary and familial diseases of nervous system1922412.5
Other diseases of central nervous system3,2741925.9
Diseases of nerves and peripheral ganglia1,34680.6
Inflammatory diseases of the eye80720.2
Other diseases and conditions of the eye4,589110.2
Diseases of the ear and mastoid process3,74720.1
Active rheumatic fever54991.6
Chronic rheumatic heart disease903667.3
Hypertensive disease1,9381407.2
Ischaemic heart disease10,1771,67916.5
Other forms of heart disease4,38072616.6
Cerebrovascular disease6,5432,17433.2
Diseases of arteries, arterioles and capillaries2,86547316.5
Diseases of veins and lymphatics, and other diseases of circulatory system6,8901221.8
Acute respiratory infections (except influenza)5,177170.3
Bronchitis, emphysema and asthma7,6863835.0
Other diseases of upper respiratory tract10,3142- -
Other diseases of respiratory system1,5321288.4
Diseases of oral cavity, salivary glands, and jaws2,32020.1
Diseases of oesophagus, stomach, and duodenum2,8331284.5
Hernia of abdominal cavity5,610370.7
Other diseases of intestine and peritoneum4,3681703.9
Diseases of liver, gall bladder, and pancreas4,9931773.5
Nephritis and nephrosis1,0291029.9
Other diseases of urinary system4,3411022.3
Diseases of male genital organs3,757551.5
Diseases of breast, ovary, fallopian tube, and parametrium2,60560.2
Diseases of uterus and other female genital organs10,8063- -
Complications of pregnancy2,525--
Urinary infections and toxaemias of pregnancy and the puerperium1,32010.1
Abortion5,5462- -
Complications of the puerperium59810.2
Infections of skin and subcutaneous tissue3,17980.3
Other inflammatory conditions of skin and subcutaneous tissue1,000101.0
Other diseases of skin and subcutaneous tissue1,63330.2
Arthritis and rheumatism, except rheumatic fever4,6781082.3
Osteomyelitis and other diseases of bone and joint5,230280.5
Other diseases of musculoskeletal system2,792110.4
Congenital anomalies6,6321852.8
Certain causes of perinatal morbidity and mortality3,6772336.3
Symptoms referable to systems or organs13,79090.1
Senility and ill-defined diseases2,2871597.0
Fracture of skull, spine, and trunk5,1461723.3
Fracture of upper limb4,245120.3
Fracture of lower limb7,0723194.5
Dislocation without fracture1,37320.1
Sprains and strains of joints and adjacent muscles1,189--
Intracranial injury (excluding those with skull fracture)9,4511141.2
Internal injury of chest, abdomen, and pelvis1,010807.9
Laceration and open wound of head, neck, and trunk2,25040.2
Laceration and open wound of upper limb2,74920.1
Laceration and open wound of lower limb1,66040.2
Laceration and open wound of multiple location285--
Superficial injury527--
Contusion and crushing with intact skin surface2,719--
Effects of foreign body entering through orifice1,04040.4
Injury to nerves and spinal cord47010.2
Adverse effect of medicinal agents3,647300.8
Toxic effect of substances chiefly non-medicinal as to source1,343201.5
Other adverse effects2,136301.4
Special admissions without sickness5,692160.3
All conditions287,29912,7974.5

Duration of Stay in Public Hospitals—The average duration of stay in public hospitals in 1973 was 13.9 days. Among sufferers from specified diseases and disabilities, the longest average stays were made by those with cerebrovascular disease (63 days) and tuberculosis (52 days), followed by patients with other diseases of the nervous system, together with arthritis and rheumatism (36 days each).

Accident Cases—A summary is given below of accident cases treated as inpatients in public hospitals during 1973 (figures include readmissions).

Type of AccidentTotal CasesPercentage of All Accident CasesAverage Stay (Days)Aggregate Stay (Days)Aggregate Stay as Percentage of Total
Motor-vehicle traffic12,68023.711.5145,67923.3
Motor-vehicle non-traffic4280.88.43,5800.6
Other road vehicles1,9683.76.112,0341.9
Total transport15,36328.710.8165,38826.4
Accidental poisoning2,0513.92.85,7630.9
Accidental falls12,04922.518.8226,72536.1
Other accidents13,56525.38.1110,10317.6
Total non-transport27,66551.712.4342,59154.6
Surgical and medical complications and misadventures3,9227.315.460,3989.6
Late effects of accidental injury1,5893.020.933,1455.3
Suicide and self-inflicted injury2,9125.45.014,4632.3
Homicide and injury purposely inflicted by other persons1,8013.45.39,4961.5
Legal intervention2- -14.529- -
Injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted2640.55.21,3620.2
Injury resulting from operations of war15- -10.1151- -
Grand totals53,533100.011.7627,023100.0

The largest group comes under the heading "Non-transport—Other accidents", which includes accidents caused by cutting and piercing instruments, machinery, falling objects, fire and hot objects, and so on.

About a quarter of all accidents came in this group. The two next largest groups comprised motor-vehicle traffic accidents and accidental falls. Victims of accidental falls had the longest aggregate stay in hospital. This was due to the long periods spent in hospital by elderly people who have sustained fractures of the femur in falls. Almost one in every four patients had been injured in a fall of some kind.

Motor-vehicle traffic accidents comprised the second largest group, and had the second largest aggregate stay. Traffic accidents on roads are analysed in tables in Section 11D Roads and Road Transport.

Accidents in the Home—A high percentage of non-transport accidents, especially those involving young children and elderly people, occur in the home. Accidents in the home in 1973 are included by type of accident in the previous section, but they are not separated out from accidents sustained elsewhere. The following table shows the number of patients discharged from, or dying, in public hospitals after treatment for accidents sustained in the home. It includes only inpatients in public hospitals; not, of course, the large numbers of home accident cases treated in outpatient departments, doctor's surgeries, and in the home itself.

Cause of AccidentTotal PatientsAggregate Duration of Stay in Hospital (Days)
Accidental poisoning by—  
Drugs and medicaments8681,994
Petroleum products and other solvents343677
Pesticides, fertilisers, and plant foods151276
Noxious foodstuffs and poisonous plants84102
Other solid and liquid substances2891,336
Gases and vapours26385
Accidental falls5,255107,644
Struck by falling objects1522,078
Accidents caused by cutting and piercing instruments1,5328,690
Accidental burns1,02817,605
Accidents caused by foreign bodies6741,447
All other and unspecified accidents1,99318,533

Deaths in Public Hospitals—The percentage of deaths in public hospitals to all deaths are shown in the following table.

YearDeaths in Public HospitalsTotal DeathsPercentage of Deaths in Public Hospitals to Total Deaths

Age and Sex of Patients—The age and sex of patients discharged from or dying in public hospitals during 1972 are shown below.

Age GroupsMalesFemalesTotal
Under 1 year7,8125,85313,665
1–4 years11,6878,42420,111
5–9 years10,7547,76918,523
10–14 years8,3066,34014,646
15–19 years10,63111,59122,222
20–24 years9,41313,20722,620
25–29 years5,96510,56916,534
30–34 years4,9578,50713,464
35–39 years4,6046,82911,433
40–44 years5,3287,01012,338
45–49 years6,1307,29413,424
50–54 years6,7607,03213,792
55–59 years7,7486,53714,285
60–64 years8,2326,46514,697
65–69 years7,9596,17914,138
70–74 years6,5825,94612,528
75–79 years4,6575,0889,745
80–84 years3,0894,0877,176
85 years and over2,2363,4095,645

PATIENTS IN PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS—Under the Mental Health Act 1969 the control of psychiatric hospitals (with the exception of Lake Alice Hospital, Marton, which will continue to make national provision for security patients) was transferred from the Department of Health to local hospital boards from 1 April 1972.

A detailed report Mental Health Data is published annually by the National Health Statistics Centre of the Department of Health. The report contains administrative and clinical data about first admissions and readmissions (including replacements from leave), transfers, discharges, and deaths for all inpatients under psychiatric care. The report also presents information about psychiatric disorders in terms of age and sex, domicile, race, and length of stay.

In 1967 the statistical system was enlarged to include, in addition to people treated as inpatients in psychiatric hospitals, people treated in psychiatric inpatient units in public hospitals. The system was further enlarged in 1969 and 1972 with the inclusion of alcoholics treated in Salvation Army institutions. These developments provide more comprehensive data about treatment of people with psychiatric disorders in the community, but the greater coverage prevents strict comparability with statistical data published for earlier years.

At the end of 1974 there were 9,824 people on the registers of psychiatric hospitals of the Department of Health, 184 in psychiatric units of public hospitals, and 180 in Salvation Army institutions, a total of 10,188. There were 13,128 registrations during the year (excluding transfers and changes of status), of which 10,807 or 82 percent were voluntary patients. The average number of occupied psychiatric hospital beds was 8,930, which was 210 fewer than in 1973. The average number of resident patients per 100,000 mean population has declined steadily over the last 30 years.

The following table gives the annual averages and the rates per 100,000 mean population for those in psychiatric hospitals and public hospitals.

YearResident in Psychiatric HospitalOn Leave from Psychiatric HospitalTotal for Psychiatric HospitalsPatients in Public Hospitals
Average NumberRateAverage NumberRateAverage NumberRateAverage NumberRate
All Patients

First Admissions—In 1974 there were 3,190 first admissions (1,764) male and 1,426 female) to psychiatric hospitals, 1,767 (629 male, 1,138 female) to psychiatric inpatient units, and 35 males to Salvation Army institutions, a total of 4,992. The number of informal patients (4,141) exceeded the number of non-voluntary patients (851) by more than five to one.

The numbers and rates per 100,000 of mean population of first admissions together with the percentage of first admissions in total admissions and the percentage of informal patients in first admissions, are shown in the next tables.

YearsInformal PatientsNon-Voluntary PatientsAll Patients
*Average over 5 years.

NOTES—Since 1967 the figures include psychiatric inpatients in public hospitals. The figures from 1969 include patients in Rotoroa Sanatorium and the figures from 1972 include those in The Bridge in Wellington.

Admissions to psychiatric hospitals for alcoholism and drug addiction under the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 are shown in the following table. The 1975 figures are provisional.

 Section 8Section 9Total
*Figures include Carrington.
Cherry Farm132417123036
The Bridge (Wellington)16138152428

Readmissions are not included in the above table.

Admissions under section 8 of the Act are made as a result of applications from the patients themselves; applications under section 9 are a result of applications made on the patients' behalves by reputable persons. Rotorua Sanatorium and The Bridge, Wellington, are conducted by the Salvation Army.

On the preliminary figures for 1975 the average number of occupied beds in psychiatric hospitals was about 2.7 per thousand of population. This is the lowest figure recorded since 1907. No absolute conclusions can be drawn from a low bed-occupancy rate; but a consistently falling rate, despite substantial admission rates, can fairly be assumed to indicate an active philosophy of treatment and successful therapeutic programmes.

Diagnosis—The three leading diagnoses in 1974 were: depressive neurosis, 812 cases; alcoholism (all forms), 686 cases; and schizophrenia and paranoid states, 611 cases. These three diagnoses accounted for 42.2 percent of first admissions.

Readmissions—A readmission is a person admitted as an inpatient for psychiatric care who has previously received psychiatric care in a New Zealand hospital.

Readmission rate is not necessarily an indication of therapeutic failure and may in many respects be a more accurate index of therapeutic vigour. It is still possible to encounter grossly over-simplified ideas with regard to the operations of psychiatric hospitals. For example it is sometimes assumed that discharge from hospital is, or should be, an indication of final and complete cure.

In certain respects the long-established practice of publishing readmission rates for psychiatric hospitals (no similar figures appear for general hospitals) seem to perpetuate this misconception. Readmission figures are sometimes quoted as evidence that psychiatric hospitals "do not actually cure people." As with many other types of illness psychiatric disorders may require more than one hospital admission before the condition is stabilised.

Discharges—There are three principal ways of being discharged from psychiatric hospital: (a) outright discharge, which means being formally discharged at the time of leaving hospital; (b) discharge on leave; and (c) discharged "not committed", which means being discharged from a psychiatric hospital on the grounds that the patient's mental condition does not warrant his being detained. All people discharged from a psychiatric unit of a public hospital are discharged outright.

There were 14,048 discharges in 1974. Of these, 11,332 were outright discharges, 2,359 were discharges on leave, and 357 were discharged "not committed".

The principal diagnoses were: schizophrenia and paranoid states, 2,930 cases; all forms of alcoholism, 2,437 cases; and depressive psychosis, 1,629 cases.

Duration of Stay—Over half (56.7 percent) of those discharged left hospital within a month of admission, 27.0 percent left in the next 2 months, and a further 7.5 percent were discharged in the subsequent 3 months. The average stay of all discharges was 30 weeks.

Numbers and rates of first admissions, readmissions, and discharges of patients under psychiatric care during 1974 are shown by diagnosis in the following table.

DiagnosisFirst AdmissionsReadmissionsDischarges
No.Rate*No.Rate*OutrightLeaveNot CommittedTotal
*Per million of mean population.
Senile and pre-senile dementia2558410835134381173
Alcoholic psychosis752513444118584180
Other organic psychoses20868255842791123394
Schizophrenia and paranoid states6112012,2687451,942970182,930
Depressive psychosis5801911,0223361,51610941,629
Other functional psychoses224747032317341696909
Depressive neurosis812267821270