Front Cover—Mount Ngauruhoe is restless. A plume of smoke rising from one of the three volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park, viewed from the Desert Road.

Back Cover—Tekapo B Power Station, on the shores of Lake Pukaki, was completed in early 1977 and is the first station in the Upper Waitaki Scheme.

                                                                                                                                                           Photographs by Peter Taylor, Electricity Division, Ministry of Energy.


Further sources of information, now given at the end of each section or sub-section, refer generally to official sources, especially parliamentary papers, statistical reports, and other publications of Government departments. These can usually be consulted in the principal public libraries (Parliamentary papers, for example, are collected in annual volumes entitled Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives) or can be purchased from Government Bookshops. Where difficulty is experienced in obtaining publications the responsible Government department or other organisation should be consulted.

Other publications giving fuller information on many of the subjects mentioned in the Yearbook may be found listed in the select bibliography of New Zealand books near the back of the Yearbook.


CAT. NO. 01001

ISSN 0078-0170

Table of Contents

List of Figures


As with previous editions, the aim of the 85th edition of the New Zealand Official Yearbook is to present a comprehensive statistical survey of the economy and population of New Zealand, with a background of text aimed primarily at the non-specialist. This year special emphasis has been placed on 2 subjects of wide public interest; environmental management and the impact of economic growth on the environment, and the conservation and development of energy resources. Section 10A, Physical Environment and Economic Growth has been substantially redrafted, and one of the special features in this Yearbook is an article supplied by the secretariat of the Environmental Council entitled The New Zealand Environment and Changes in Environmental Management since 1970. Section 20A, Energy Demand and Supply, has also been largely rewritten, and a survey of power projects entitled Power for New Zealand forms the subject of this year's colour supplement.

Every effort is made to ensure that the information in the Official Yearbook is as full, clear, and up to date as limits of space and time allow. Nevertheless, in the nature of things, a Yearbook which takes almost 12 months to produce cannot be completely up to date. A new feature in this Yearbook is a brief reference to further sources of information at the end of each section or sub-section. In the main, these are parliamentary papers, statistical reports, and other publications of Government departments. Among the principal sources of the latest statistics are the Monthly Abstract of Statistics and the many scores of Information Service releases put out annually by the Department of Statistics. With the Official Yearbook to give background and historical perspective, and the Monthly Abstract to supply the latest figures, the student of the New Zealand economy is well equipped.

The Yearbook owes much to the assistance and co-operation of other Government departments, 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.

                                                                                                                                                                J. H. DARWIN,
                                                                                                                                             GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN.

Department of Statistics,
September 1980.


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

- nil or zeronot 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 mm  1 mm = 0.039 in.
           = 2.54 cm  1 cm = 0.394 in.
    1 ft = 30.48 cm  1 dm = 3.937 in.
           = 0.305 m  1 m = 39.37 in.
    1 yd = 0.914 m       = 1.094 yds
    1 mile = 1.609 km  1 km = 0.621 miles
    1 sq ft = 0.093 m2  1 m2= 10.764 sq ft
           = 929.03 cm2        = 1.196 sq yds
    1 sq yd = 0.836 m2  1 da = 0.247 acres
    1 acre = 0.405 hectare (ha)  1 ha = 2.471 acres
    1 sq mile = 2.590 km2  1 km2= 247.1 acres
           = 259 ha       = 0.386 sq miles
    1 cu in. = 16.387 cm3  1 cm3= 0.061 cu in.
    1 cu ft = 0.028 m3  1 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 = 1.1371        = 0.880 qts
    1 gal = 4.5461        = 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 kg  1 t = 2204.62 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) 0.415 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/in.2) 
    Degree Fahrenheit (°F)   9 x °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. To the west, beyond the Tasman Sea, is Australia, 1600 kilometres away. From its position on the rim of the Pacific basin, New Zealand is a little over 10000 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 axe 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 or recreation areas 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 broadleaved 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, 1600 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.

The Ross Dependency, some 2300 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 land area of the Ross Dependency is estimated at 414400 square kilometres.

The area of New Zealand can be classified as follows.

AREA OF NEW ZEALAND (1 April 1977)
 Area in Square Kilometres
North Island
    Cities and boroughs (less pt Porirua City in harbour, 2 km2)3092
    Town districts8
    Adjacent Islands not included in a territorial local authority—
        Three Kings7
        Little Barrier28
        Other islands (Browns, Mokohinau, Motiti, Motuhora (Whale), etc.)16
        Other offshore islands—Kermadec33
            Total, North Island114,592
South Island
    Cities and boroughs602
    Town districts5
    Stewart Island1746
    Adjacent islands not included in a territorial local authority (Solander, etc.)4
    Other offshore islands—
        Uninhabited—Auckland (612 km2), Snares (2 km2), Antipodes (22 km2), Bounty (2km2)638
                Total, South Island154,465
                Total, North and South Islands269,057
Ross Dependency (land area only)414,400
                                Total, including Ross Dependency683,457

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES: Coastline—Since the combined length of the North and South Island extends over 1600 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 southwesterly 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 (2518 m), Ruapehu (2797 m), Ngauruhoe (2290 m), and Tongariro (1968 m), they do not exceed an altitude of 1800 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: Raukumara, Huiarau, Ruahine, Tararua, and Rimutaka. This chain is flanked on the west between the Huiarau and Ruahine by the Ahimanawa, Kaweka, and Kaimanawa Ranges, while west of the Kaimanawa is the National Park volcanic group comprising Mounts Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. The Hauhangaroa and Rangitoto Ranges run in a northerly direction from the National Park group. In the east the Moehau Range parallels the length of the Coromandel Peninsula. Mount Egmont forms the only area above 1200 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 (3764 m), while 19 named peaks exceed 3000 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 2300 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 2740 m in the South Island.

Mountain or PeakHeight (metres)
Kaikoura Ranges
Southern Alps
    Mt. Hicks (St. David's Dome)3183
    Malte Brun3176
    Elie de Beaumont3109
    Douglas Peak3081
    La Perouse3079
    Glacier Peak3007
    De la Beche2992
    Aiguilles Rouges2966
    Conway Peak2901
    Bristol Top2898
    Ronald Adair2827
    Hochstetter Dome2822
    The Footstool2765
    The Dwarf2751
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.

The glaciers are fed by snow brought to the Southern Alps by the prevailing winds off the Tasman Sea. Total yearly snowfalls at the higher elevations (1800–2500 m) vary from 3 m to 6 m. The steeper West Coast glaciers have little moraine (rock debris) carried on their surfaces and have shown a marked terminal retreat in recent decades. The large glaciers on the eastern side of the Southern Alps are mantled with moraine and show some terminal retreat.

In the North Island there are 7 relatively small glaciers on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu compared with more than 360 in the Southern Alps. However, during the ski-ing season the Whakapapa Glaciers, near the Chateau Tongariro, are visited by several thousand people each week.

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
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.

Taupo40.227.46063289127357 (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)..
Waikaremoana19.39.75442718614 (13.7)256
Rotoehu4.83.2844..295 (1.2)..
Rotoma5.23.61231..316 (1.8)..
Okataina6.44.81065..310 (2.7)..
Okareka2.42.0321..354 (1.2)..
Rotomahana6.42.8970..340 (6.7)..
Rerewhakaitu4.02.88....439 (1.2)..
Arapuni16.10.8136876207111 (0.6)..
Rotoiti8.92.81018412616 (1.8)76
Rotoroa14.53.22337627446 (1.5)152
Tekapo17.75.696142487715 (7.6)189
Pukaki15.38.0831355128500 (9.1)..
Ohau17.74.860119165527 (1.7)..
Hawea30.68.0119146963345 (16.2)392
Wanaka45.14.81922543202279 (4.3)..
Wakatipu77.24.82932978174310 (2.1)378
Te Anau61.29.73443302276209 (4.6)276
Manapouri28.98.01424623386185 (6.4)443
Monowai19.31.62827214196 (4.0)..
Hauroko35.42.47158331156 (1.8)..
Cobb4.80.42736808 (15.2)..
    Ahuriri Arm18.54.479777034036096
    Main Arm29.8

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 the 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 were 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 era, 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 8000 cu km of molten rhyolitic 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 outer layers, 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 reached 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 256 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 deaths. 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 lies 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 Plate 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 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 many 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 34 permanent stations now operating are:

Afiamalu, Apia (Western Samoa); Nadi (Fiji); Niue; Rarotonga (Cook Islands); Raoul Island (Kermadecs); Cape Reinga, Onerahi, Great Barrier, Auckland, East Cape, Karapiro, Whakatane, Gisborne, Wairakei, Tuai, Tarata, Taradale, Mangahao, Castlepoint, Cobb River, Wellington, Kaikoura West, Kaimata, Cashmere, Chatham Islands, Mount John, Milford Sound, Oamaru, Roxburgh, Borland Lodge, 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.

Two networks of more closely-spaced stations, connected to central recorders by radio links or land lines, provide for detailed studies of small earthquakes in particular regions. One, for general research purposes, is centred on Wellington, and the other, near Lake Pukaki in the South Island, is primarily intended to monitor any change in earthquake activity associated with the development of a hydroelectric power scheme. These networks also provide valuable readings of New Zealand and overseas earthquakes. 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 1979—New Zealand had only moderate activity throughout 1979, with very little damage. Only one earthquake could be described as large, but even this one was not accompanied by very strong shaking. It occurred on the evening of 12 October, to the west of Stewart Island. Initial reports form the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado put the magnitude at 7.7, which would have meant a very severe earthquake, but this estimate was made from the low frequency waves that travel to great distances around the surface of the Earth. The estimate of the magnitude from New Zealand seismograph stations was 6.5. This is similar to that of the Milford Sound event in 1976.

This earthquake has provided a further clue about the process of earthquake occurrence in the far south of New Zealand. It was known that earthquakes in Fiordland are not felt as strongly as shocks of the same magnitude elsewhere in the country, but the nature of earthquakes to the south of Fiordland was not known. With the response from the observatory's regular reporters and from the public at large it has now been ascertained that the unusually small ground motion experienced in Fiordland is also characteristic of earthquakes further south. An earthquake of the same magnitude elsewhere in the country could cause severe damage, but in this case the effects were very minimal, even allowing for the fact that the epicentre was at sea. Much more investigation will be necessary before the geophysical processes in the far south of the country are understood.

Wairoa, Wanganui, and Murchison experienced the strongest shaking during the year. At 7.45 a.m. on 22 April an earthquake of magnitude 5.1 shook northern Hawke's Bay, bringing goods off shelves in Wairoa and causing some alarm. At 2.15 a.m. on 17 June Wanganui was shaken by an earthquake which occurred 137 km below the earth's surface. Deep earthquakes usually cause little damage, because of their distance from the surface, but this was of sufficiently large magnitude (5.7) that the strong rolling motion woke people throughout the Wanganui area and brought goods off shelves in many shops. The shock was felt over a wide area extending to Gisborne and Akaroa. An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 on Sunday 25 March was felt strongly in the Buller area, particularly in Murchison and Ross, and less severely throughout a wide area.

Other earthquakes were less severe, caused little damage, and served only to remind people that the earthquake problem is a continual one. The Cook Strait area was jolted by a sharp shock on Saturday evening, 13 January, which was central about halfway between Wellington and Blenheim. Another occurred in a similar location on 10 April and another a little further west on 3 September. All were felt throughout the Wellington area and further afield. An earthquake of magnitude 5.5, centred some 104 km beneath Lake Te Anau, was felt throughout Otago, Southland, and Stewart Island on 15 May, but because of its depth there was no damage. In all some 200 or more events were felt during the year and the observatory recorded many hundreds more which were too small to be felt but are of scientific significance.

Volcanic activity has been limited to intermittent ash and steam eruptions from White Island throughout the year. The volcanoes of the central North Island have been quiet.

WEATHER INFORMATION—The New Zealand Meteorological Service maintains networks of meteorological stations within New Zealand, its island dependencies, at Scott Base and, by arrangement, in Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Cook Islands. 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 Meteorological Archives, Wellington. The Meteorological Service also has a programme of atmospheric research.

Observations recorded at a few selected stations in 1979 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. Special reports are published from time to time to supplement the regular data publications.

Most weather data are now held in computer accessible-data files, and several kinds of output are available to provide an alternative means of dissemination of information to the printed publications.

CLIMATE—Situated between 34°S and 47°S the main islands of New Zealand lie just south of the subtropical mean high pressure belt and penetrate into the hemispheric westerly airstream which is usually strongest in the New Zealand region between 50°S and 55°S. The daily weather patterns are dominated by eastward-moving anticyclones and troughs of low pressure whose frequencies and intensities vary substantially. The troughs normally have a north-west and south-west 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. The barometer then rises 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 these 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 accompanied by gales and heavy rain passes over or near New Zealand, 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 and winter. 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 characters after their long ocean passages. 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 130 km from the sea.

Winds—Winds from a westerly quarter prevail in all seasons although in individual months easterlies may predominate. In the North Island winds generally decrease for a period in the summer or early autumn. However, in the South Island, July and August are the least windy months. Important modifications to the wind pattern are caused by mountain ranges and by the heating or cooling contrasts between land and sea. The north-westerly foehn wind in eastern areas of both islands gives rise to a characteristic weather type. The blocking effect of the mountain ranges decrease wind strength on the upwind side but increases it in the mountain passes and in Cook and Foveaux Straits and about the Manawatu Gorge. Sea breezes are frequent and in many parts of New Zealand are almost certainly coupled with the mountain winds. North of Taranaki the general air flow is 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.

StationAverage Number of Days with Gusts ReachingYears of Data
63 km/h or more96 km/h 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 8000 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 130 rain days (days with at least 1.0 mm of rain) a year except to the east of the ranges where there are, in places fewer than 110 rain days. Those areas of the South Island with annual rainfall under 600 mm generally have about 80 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.

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 northeastern districts of the Auckland Province. By contrast, in the Manawatu district and in Otago and Southland daily falls reaching 80 mm are very rare.

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.

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 (1.3 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 coldest 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 2500 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 2000 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 below 1000 m for extended periods.

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 Föhn 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 2350 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 2000 hours. Even Westland, despite its high rainfall, has 1800 hours. Southland and coastal Otago, where sunshine drops sharply to about 1700 hours a year, lie 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.

StationAltitude (metres)Annual AveragesAir Temperatures (Degrees Celsius)
Rain Days (1.0mm or More)Rain Days (5.0mm or More)Bright Sunshine (Hrs)Days of Screen Frost (min. air temp. less than 0°C)Mean Temp.Mean Daily MaximumMean Daily MinimumMean Annual
Kaitaia Aerodrome80138722138015.52415158282
Auckland (Albert Park)49140672140015.42314168273
Tauranga Aerodrome4118642285814.2241414529−2
Hamilton (Ruakura)401317220541713.2231312329−3
Gisborne Aerodrome4113552224614.0241413432−2
Waikaremoana (Onepoto)643164100 611.120911328−1
New Plymouth (Aerodrome)27142832102013.12113135260
Palmerston North341276218261513.0221213428−3
Masterton (Waingawa)1141235720072912.2241211231−4
Wellington (Kelburn)126124682014012.52011136261
Nelson Aerodrome2965424034111.9221212128−3
Westport Aerodrome21691111937112.11912124250
Hanmer Forest3871156519238510.12299−232−9
Hokitika Aerodrome3916811818832511.3191111326−2
Lake Coleridge3649852 7010.121910−131−7
Milford Sound3183145 2710.318910225−3
Dunedin (Musselburgh)2119481695810.9191011330−2
Invercargill Aerodrome0157691627489.61899028−5

NOTES: (1) Averages of sunshine 1941–70; mean temperature, mean daily maximum and mean daily minimum 1941–70; other temperature data, rain days, 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.

Summary of Meteorological Observations for 1979—The observations from which the following summary was compiled for the year 1979 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.
Tauranga Airport173011720690114.725.314.214.55.930.7−0.1
Ruakura, Hamilton149513618661214.024.613.611.84.029.1−4.3
New Plymouth Airport144214820290114.022.013.612.95.726.6−0.2
Gisborne Airport111411221970314.527.513.914.04.438.1−1.6
Onepoto, Waikaremoana22071610324.09.93.331.4−0.5
Palmerston North DSIR104213214850313.522.212.613.64.628.4−1.5
Kelburn Wellington164315018140012.821.011.813.46.428.80.8
Westport Airport270518617300012.518.412.711.44.825.00.6
Hokitika Airport327618218111111.717.612.210.63.426.0−2.1
Milford Sound70751952510.317.−2.1
Nelson Airport94710922182212.623.512.613.31.830.9−2.7
Hanmer Forest13921267924.411.19.2−0.632.6−7.5
Lake Coleridge93011222.911.010.0−0.732.0−6.1
Lake Tekapo662842106749.−0.429.5−4.8
Musselburgh, Dunedin77113114950211.−4.5
Gore, DSIR8621311589289.718.−5.3
Invercargill Airport10571481569419.917.410.−4.8

For 1979 the mean sea level pressure values in millibars at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time were: Auckland, 1016.8; Kelburn, Wellington, 1014.8; Nelson Airport, 1015.1; Hokitika Airport, 1014.9; Christchurch, 1013.2; and Dunedin Airport, 1012.6.

Brief Review of 1979—From March to July inclusive, pressures were above normal over the whole of New Zealand, being exceptionally high in July. There was a marked absence of strong gusty winds throughout the year apart from September and December, when a record number of days with high gusts occurred in the Wellington region.

The only district in the North Island with annual rainfall below normal was Taranaki. In Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and Wellington some areas were above normal by 30 percent.

In the South Island parts of coastal Canterbury had 20 percent more rainfall than normal, and most other districts were above by at least 10 percent. In Nelson the year's total rainfall was below normal by 5 percent.

With many areas recording 20 to 30 percent more rain than usual, this was the wettest year overall since 1968.

Reported temperatures were above normal throughout most of the North Island by at least 0.5°c, and in southern Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa by 1.0°c. In the South Island, parts of Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, and Otago were also above by 0.5°c. The only areas with temperatures slightly below normal were inland Otago and Southland.

The year 1979 was a cloudy one. The only area with a sunshine total significantly above normal was Canterbury with a departure of 60 hours. The cloudiest areas were parts of Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Wellington, and Nelson, with between 250 and 300 hours less sunshine than usual.

Monthly Notes—During January pressures were exceptionally low to the south of New Zealand and there was a predominance of westerly winds over the country. The only areas with above normal rainfall were parts of Westland, Fiordland, Otago, and Southland. Parts of Southland were above by more than 150 percent. Many stations in the North Island and Canterbury recorded less than 25 percent of their normal month's total. Heavy rain on the 26th and 27th caused many rivers in Southland to rise rapidly. At Gore 84 mm of rain were recorded from 5 p.m. on the 26th to 9 a.m. on the 28th. Mean temperatures were above normal over most of the country by at least 1.0°c, but in Otago, Southland, and the West Coast they were below by 0.5°c to 1.0°c. Gisborne recorded a maximum of 38.1°c, and this was the highest January temperature since the station began in 1938. Sunshine totals were above normal over the whole country apart from the West Coast. Gisborne recorded its highest-ever January total of 316 hours. Grass growth was affected by dry weather but conditions were good for haymaking.

February was a wet, cloudy month throughout most of the North Island, but in the South Island it was drier and sunnier than normal. The only February with a higher frequency of strong winds over the South Island in recent years was in 1965. In Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and northern Hawke's Bay rainfall totals were above normal by at least 100 percent. Torrential rain caused major flooding in the Auckland area on the 17th and 18th. The heaviest falls were between noon and 8 p.m. on the 17th. At Albert Park (Auckland) 142 mm were recorded in the 24 hours up to 9 a.m. on the 18th. The previous highest recorded 1–day fall for February at this station were 162 mm in 1936 and 1869. The only areas with temperatures slightly above normal were parts of Poverty Bay, Taranaki, and Canterbury. In Bay of Plenty, Westland, and Fiordland they were below by nearly 1.0°c. The last 8 days of the month were unusually cold. Christchurch had 30 hours more sunshine than usual, but Te Kuiti and Taumarunui had 60 hours less. Grass growth improved in most areas except in the South Island, but stock was in good condition.

March was an unusually wet month, and in many parts of New Zealand March rainfall records were broken. At some stations in Bay of Plenty, central Hawke's Bay, western Wairarapa, and on the Kaikoura coast the month's totals were about 400 percent above the average. Only parts of Taranaki, Buller, Otago, Southland, and Fiordland had less rain than normal. On the 6th Franz Josef recorded 505 mm in 24 hours, making this the highest 1-day fall there in March since the station began. In the Bay of Plenty heavy rain on the 19th caused landslips and flooding. At Te Puke 293 mm were recorded in 24 hours and Tauranga Airport 178 mm in the same period—both record 1-day totals for March. Mean temperatures were below normal by 0.5°c in parts of Canterbury and Southland, but in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Wairarapa they were above average by more than 2.0°c. Sunshine totals were below normal over the whole country, many areas having only 50 to 70 percent of the normal March total. At Highbank (Canterbury) only 43 percent of the usual March total was recorded, almost 100 hours less than average. Harvesting in many areas was delayed because of wet weather.

During April conditions were dry and sunny in many districts east of the main ranges in both the North and South Islands. In the wettest areas of Auckland, Taranaki, Manawatu, and the West Coast, and also in inland Otago and Southland, the rainfall total was 20 to 30 percent above normal. At Christchurch Airport only 11 mm were recorded for the month, and this is the lowest for April since the station began in 1944. On the 15th extensive damage was caused by flooding in a shopping complex at Mairangi Bay (Auckland). At Whenuapai more than 64 mm were recorded in 48 hours, and 45 mm in 24 hours at Albert Park (Auckland). Parts of Southland and Otago had mean temperatures above normal by 1.0°c and many areas of New Zealand by 0.5°C. Some east coast districts had above normal sunshine hours. At Christchurch Airport a total of 202 hours made this an April record for this station where sunshine measurements began in 1949. Harvesting, which was delayed by heavy rain in March, was completed and stock condition had improved considerably by the end of the month.

May was a comparatively wet month in many districts but Northland, Auckland and parts of Bay of Plenty, Poverty Bay, Hawkes Bay, inland Wairarapa, and Nelson had less than 50 percent of the normal rainfall. More than double the normal monthly totals were recorded in parts of Canterbury, Otago and Southland. On the 14th cars and buses were stranded on the Te Anau—Milford road when the Southland region experienced heavy rain and snow. Between 30 and 45 cm of snow were reported to be lying on the road which was blocked by fallen trees. Flooding closed the Invercargill Airport when 48 mm of rain were recorded in 48 hours. Heavy hail in eastern areas of Bay of Plenty damaged crops and smashed windows in some buildings at Thornton on the 15th. Mean temperatures were below normal by 0.5°c in most districts apart from the north of the North Island. Taranaki, and some eastern areas. Sunshine hours were above normal in parts of Northland, Bay of Plenty, and the West Coast. At Wellington only 84 hours were recorded, the lowest May total since 1942. Grass growth was good at the beginning of the month but slowed later with cooler temperatures.

June was mainly dry and warm throughout most of New Zealand, but in Northland, Auckland, and parts of Bay of Plenty, Poverty Bay, Nelson, and Marlborough rainfall totals were between 50 and 100 percent above normal. Some stations in Canterbury and Otago had only 10 to 25 percent of their normal June rainfall. At Methven only 2 mm were recorded for the month. On the 12th, 73 mm were recorded in 9 hours at Kaitaia, and roads were closed by landslips and flooding throughout Northland. Most districts were warmer than usual by at least 1.0°c, and in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, and Otago by 1.5°c. In Auckland City only 72 hours sunshine were recorded for the month, the lowest total for June since records began in 1930. Very few areas had above average sunshine totals. Heavy rain and lack of sun and wind caused some pastures in the North Island to be too wet for stock but grass growth was reported to be good.

In July pressures were above normal for the fourth consecutive month over the whole of New Zealand. There was a marked absence of days with very strong winds. The month was mild and much wetter than usual in districts to the north of Bay of Plenty and in parts of Canterbury. In Manawatu only 50 percent of the average July rainfall was recorded, but in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Canterbury totals ranged from 40 to 75 percent above. Widespread flooding was reported in many parts of Northland and Auckland on the 1st. Roads were blocked by landslips and flooding and homes were evacuated in the Auckland district. More than 100 mm of rain were recorded at Albert Park (Auckland) between midnight and 9 a.m. on the 1st. Most areas had mean temperatures above normal by at least 0.5°c, and in South Canterbury, Otago, and Southland by more than 1.5°c. The minimum air temperature at Whanuapai on the 8th was −2.0°c and at Albert Park 3.0°c. Most farmers reported that stock were wintering well and in good condition.

During August most of New Zealand experienced cloudy, wet, cool conditions throughout the month. The only areas with rainfall below normal were parts of Northland, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Nelson, the West Coast, and Southland. In Wairarapa and Canterbury some places had departures of between 50 and 100 percent above average. From the 21st to 27th many parts of the North Island and parts of Canterbury experienced heavy rain. Some airports were closed by heavy rain and low cloud on numerous occasions over a period of 4 days. At Kelburn, Wellington, there were 23 days in the month with more than 0.1 mm of rain, the greatest number in any August at this station since 1941. Temperatures were below normal By 1.0°c in Otago, Southland, and on the West Coast, but in northern areas of the North Island they were slightly above average. At Palmerston North only 69 hours of sunshine were recorded, the lowest for any August since the station began in 1931. Heavy rain and cold temperatures resulted in many lamb losses in the Wairarapa at the end of the month.

September was a cloudy month in most regions, with above normal temperatures. The only areas with below normal rainfall were Nelson, Marlborough, and Canterbury, and parts of Northland, Waikato, Taranaki and Manawatu. In Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa some places had above average rainfall by more than 100 percent. In Marlborough and Canterbury some of the lowest September rainfalls for at least 10 years were recorded. At Blenheim only 20 mm were measured and at Timaru 14 mm, only 34 percent of the normal total. Most of New Zealand had temperatures at least 0.5°c above average, and in Taranaki, Nelson, Marlborough, and parts of Canterbury they were above by more than 1.0°c. At Waingawa (Masterton) only 65 percent of the average September sunshine was recorded, Although lambing progressed well, lack of sunshine was recorded. Although lambing progressed well, lack of sunshine and cooler wet conditions caused some lamb losses in Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa. Ground conditions were still wet and muddy until late in the month.

October was slightly warmer but generally wetter than usual over most of the country. Some districts in the North Island, the Kaikoura coast, and Southland had only 50 percent of their normal rainfall. At Invercargill the total was the lowest measured in October since 1966, but Taupo and Waingawa (Masterton) recorded their highest totals for the month since 1950 and 1926 respectively. Christchurch Airport had the wettest October since 1947. Homes were evacuated in the town of Ohura on the 14th when the river which runs through the town breached its banks. Heavy rain totalling 109 mm fell in the period from the 13th to 15th inclusive. Along the east coast of the South Island temperatures were below normal by 0.5°c, but throughout the rest of the country they were generally the same amount above. Many areas had 30 to 40 hours less sunshine than usual; at Dunedin less than 70 percent of the normal was recorded. Stock apart from lambs and calves was in good condition, with milk production down because of lack of feed. A combination of high tides and winds gusting to 93 km/h caused the closure of roads around the Auckland waterfront, and damaged yachts in the harbour on the 8th.

During November there was a lower frequency than usual of strong winds. Most areas were warmer and drier than normal, but some areas of Bay of Plenty were rather cloudy. Although some areas had high rainfall totals these could be attributed to isolated storms. At Invercargill the lowest rainfall for November (22 mm) since the station began in 1940 was recorded. Some parts of Hawke's Bay and Southland had less than 25 percent of their normal total. In the 24 hours to 9 a.m. on the 11th nearly 83 mm of rain were recorded in a heavy downpour at Whangarei, making this the highest 1-day fall in November since the station began in 1967. On the 20th a severe thunderstorm passed over the Christchurch area during the afternoon and evening. Between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 45 mm of rain fell, and at 4 p.m. when the storm was at its peak more than 22 mm were measured in 1 hour. Temperatures were above normal by 0.5°c to 1.0°c throughout most of New Zealand. On the 27th Hawke's Bay had 7.0°c to 9.0°c above the usual maximum temperature. Some farmers had started haymaking, although excessive growth had made this difficult in some districts.

December was notable for the increase in the number of days with strong gusty winds and the wetter than usual conditions. The only areas with below normal rainfall were parts of Bay of Plenty, northern Hawke's Bay, and coastal Canterbury. Some of these districts had less than 50 percent of the average. The wettest areas were Poverty Bay, inland Canterbury, Otago, and parts of Southland where more than 100 percent above normal was recorded. On the 2nd heavy rain fell in many western and southern districts of the South Island. At Otira 215 mm were recorded in 12 hours, and at the Hermitage, (Mount Cook) 537 mm fell in 24 hours, this being the highest 1-day total recorded in any month at this station since October 1942 (559 mm). The Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers reached their highest peak flows since 1957 after this period of heavy rain. The only areas with mean temperatures 0.5°c to 1.5°c below normal were parts of Canterbury, inland Otago, and Fiordland. Throughout the rest of New Zealand they were above by almost 0.5°c. At Christchurch Airport 263 hours of sunshine were recorded, the highest at this station for December since 1962. Wellington and Nelson were the only districts with below normal sunshine. Haymaking and shearing were behind schedule owing to wet weather in many areas. Stock was reported to be in good condition in most districts of New Zealand.

FURTHER INFORMATION—Further information on the geography and climate of New Zealand will be found in the following publications.

New Zealand Atlas—Government Printer.

Encyclopaedia of New Zealand—Government Printer.

New Zealand Gazette—Government Printer.

New Zealand Seismological Report—Geophysics Division, DSIR.

Rainfall Observations—New Zealand Meteorological Service.

Meteorological Observations—New Zealand Meteorological Service.


Table of Contents

The early history of the people of New Zealand and the coming of the Maoris is shrouded in myth and based on orally-transmitted traditions and the knowledge won from midden heaps, burial grounds, and the sites of early settlements by the spade of the archaeologist. It seems probable that the country was sparsely settled by a Polynesian people, ancestors of the present-day Maoris, by about the tenth century A.D. Certainly, by the thirteenth or fourteenth century there were well-established settlements and the early stages of exploration were over.

It is generally accepted that the ancestors of 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 they sailed south-west in ocean-going canoes to reach New Zealand. 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.

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

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 (then Lieutenant) 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 was made by Captain Cook in 1774. It was formerly believed that the first recorded discovery of the Tokelau group 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 Tokelau was Commodore Byron. R. N., who sighted Atafu in 1765.

First European Settlements—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.

Early Constitutional Developments—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 over the North Island by virtue of the Treaty of Waitangi, and over 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 growing hostilities between Pakeha and Maori. 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.

Colonisation—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 10000 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 3801 in Wellington, 2895 in Auckland, 2500 in Nelson, 895 in New Plymouth, 380 in Russell, 263 in Hokianga, and 198 in Akaroa. By 1862 the non-Maori population had reached 125000 (as against 55000 Maoris) and by 1866 it had jumped to 200000 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 under the Vogel policy of assisted immigration and public works development.

War Over Land—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. However, although a substantial portion of the confiscated land was subsequently purchased or returned, land transactions remained a source of bitterness and potential hostility between Maori and settler.

Public Works and Farm Development—The absence of hostilities and the discovery of gold 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 500000 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 introduced measures to strengthen the primary producer, 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 hydroelectric 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 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. 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.

War and Post-war—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.

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. At the 1972 election the Labour Party swept back into power under Norman Kirk. Following Kirk's 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. The new Government faced growing economic difficulties and rising unemployment as a result of economic recession overseas, steep rises in oil prices, and the loss or shrinkage of traditional markets for agricultural products. At the 1978 election the National Party narrowly retained power with a greatly reduced majority.

Later Constitutional Developments—In 1907, in recognition of an emerging sense of nationality and an increasing desire for self-reliance in political matters, New Zealand had been given the title of Dominion in lieu of Colony.

A further step in the evolution of New Zealand into full nationhood came in 1947, when New Zealand belatedly adopted the Statute of Westminster, which had been passed by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1931. The draft of this statute had been 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. Its operation in the latter self-governing members of the Commonwealth was declared to require specific adoption by the legislatures of those countries.

Some surviving doubts concerning the authority of the New Zealand Parliament over the Constitution were resolved when, at the request of the New Zealand Parliament, the United Kingdom Parliament passed a Constitution Amendment Act authorising the New Zealand Parliament to amend any of the provisions of the Constitution Act of 1852.

In 1950 the Prime Minister, Sidney Holland, initiated a constitutional change when the Legislative Council, the “second house” of the General Assembly, was abolished on the grounds that it no longer possessed any effective function.

The present Constitution and recent developments are dealt with later in this section under the heading, “The Constitution of New Zealand”.

DEVELOPMENT OF NEW ZEALAND'S INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: The Beginnings—The emergence of a distinctive and independent New Zealand foreign policy is usually regarded as dating from 1935, following the election of a Labour Government under Michael Savage. While this did indeed mark a turning point in the development of a more vigorous and assertive New Zealand foreign policy the origins of the foreign service itself can be traced much earlier. Soon after New Zealand became a British colony, following the enactment of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the New Zealand colonists, finding themselves excluded from a system of government in which official business with Great Britain was transacted by correspondence between the Secretary of State for the Colonies and a Governor empowered to act as sole representative of colonial views to the Imperial Government, began to appoint their own colonial agents to make representations on their behalf in London.

Charles Clifford, a Wairarapa farmer, was the first such agent. Deputed by the Wellington Settlers' Constitutional Association, he travelled to England in 1848 to press the case for self-government for the new colony. In 1851 he was followed by William Fox, bearing the title “Honorary Political Agent”.

In 1852 the British Parliament enacted legislation providing for a limited form of self-government for the new colony. The provincial councils that were established in New Zealand as a result of this legislation soon found it necessary to appoint their own business agents in Britain for the explicit purpose of “promoting immigration (and) for protecting and advancing in Great Britain the political or other interests of the said Province” (Otago ordinance). These agents, appointed during the 1850s, though few in number and of doubtful political status in the eyes of the British Colonial Office, can be seen in every respect to be the earliest forerunners of today's unified overseas service which, some hundred and thirty years later, actively promotes New Zealand's political, economic, trading, and security interests around the world.

The provincial agents represented the interests of the individual provinces which, being relatively isolated at the time, were still developing along independent lines. The day-to-day interests of the Central Government, sited first in Russell, then Auckland, and later Wellington, were represented by the British Colonial Office itself. From time to time the Central Government felt the need for more direct representation and on these occasions ministerial missions were dispatched to London. The most significant of these early missions was in 1870, undertaken against the background of a popular uprising of anti-British feeling and talk of secession. The Imperial Government had moved to withdraw the last British troops at a time when Te Kooti was still active. Two prominent New Zealand politicians, Francis Dillon Bell and Dr Isaac Earl Featherston, were given full representative powers under a Colonial Act passed for the express purpose of securing the status of their mission (the New Zealand Commissioners Act of 1870, in some ways the forerunner of the External Affairs Act of 1943) and were sent to London to persuade the Imperial Government to stay its hand. They failed.

The following year the Vogel Ministry moved to consolidate its representation arrangements in London. In 1871 Featherston was sent back to London as a resident Agent-General, a new post designed principally to under-pin the ambitious programme of immigration and public works initiated by Julius Vogel the year before. From 1871 to 1904 a succession of able New Zealanders, amongst them Featherston, Vogel, Francis Dillon Bell, Perceval, and William Pember Reeves, acted as Agents-General, performing all the functions (despite the ambiguity of the title and the nature of the colonial relationship) of diplomatic representatives of a sovereign power.

In 1904 the post of Agent-General was elevated to High Commissioner. In Seddon's eyes, the change was a necessary reflection of the need to ensure the respect and influence due to the New Zealand representative “in the heart of the Empire”. Seddon's definition of the High Commissioner's role, “a diplomat to be in close touch with the Colonial Office, British statesmen, and people, and at the same time financial and commercial representative, ambassador, and courier . . . the eyes, ears, and voice of the New Zealand Government in Great Britain . . . (able to) simply voice the desire of the people of the colony”, is sufficiently close to the letters of instruction provided to our present-day representatives that in these early beginnings one can clearly see the origins of the New Zealand Foreign Service as it is today.

What of our broader interests? Strictly speaking, a dependent colony can, by definition, have no foreign policy and no international relations. But the colony, even before it was raised to Dominion status in 1907, exercised a vigorous interest in the affairs of the Empire and, on occasions, did not hesitate to prosecute an independent line. For example, from 1870 to the close of the century, New Zealand politicians, (notably Vogel, Stout, and Seddon), as Governor Grey had before them, bombarded London with arguments in favour of annexing territories in the Pacific for the creation of a Pan-Pacific Empire based on New Zealand. In 1883 the New Zealand Parliament, at Grey's initiative, enacted a Bill to enable the colony to establish relations with such Pacific peoples as might desire them. The Bill provided for a Pacific Federation and claimed for the colony the power to annex any unappropriated islands. On the advice of the British Colonial Office, Royal assent was not forthcoming and the Bill therefore failed to become law.

The final collapse of these plans in 1899 (when the British Government renounced its rights in Samoa in favour of Germany and America) and 1900, when Seddon's repeated proposals that the administration of Fiji be entrusted to New Zealand were finally rejected, marked the end of a consistent thread in New Zealand foreign policy that had been elaborated since the 1840s. Though the policy that New Zealand's nineteenth century statesmen had vigorously advocated was perhaps over-ambitious, given the colony's limited resources of manpower and wealth, it did at least have the advantage of resting on a sound appreciation of New Zealand's geographic position.

Following Seddon's death in 1906, and with the collapse of its Pacific vision, interests, and ambitions, New Zealand entered a period in which for a generation it was generally content to have its foreign policy laid down by the Imperial Government: “having lost contact with their own area, New Zealanders no longer had anything unique to contribute to Imperial policy. It is not without significance that the first flowering of New Zealand nationalism had been expressed in terms of New Zealand's place in the South Pacific”. Paradoxically, the opening of this quieter period in the development of New Zealand's international relations coincided with the elevation to Dominion status in 1907.

The passing of Seddon in 1906 marked the end of an era of vigorous self-assertion and the beginning of a relatively quiescent period in the development of an independent New Zealand foreign policy, a period that was destined to continue until the Savage Government came to power in 1935. But in the intervening years, and notwithstanding the prevailing sentiment that where Britain led in the development of foreign policy we would willingly follow, there were some developments of considerable significance to the later history.

Following the end of the First World War, New Zealand participated in the Versailles Conference and was a signatory in its own right to the Treaty of Versailles which came into force in January 1920. A mandate was acquired over Western Samoa. In 1926 a small Imperial Affairs Section, forerunner to the External Affairs Department, was established in the Prime Minister's Department to deal with treaty matters, the League of Nations, and international questions generally. This followed the Imperial Conference of 1926 at which the equal status of members of the British Commonwealth was recognised (the Balfour Declaration). The Imperial Affairs Section remained, however, for some time to come the only practical manifestation of New Zealand's newly acquired freedom to deal directly with other countries: the Dominion took no immediate steps to establish direct relations with foreign governments or—apart from Britain—with other members of the Commonwealth. In 1928 New Zealand entered into its first direct trade agreement with a foreign power, Japan, for all practical purposes the first such occasion in which the negotiations had been conducted directly rather than through the medium of the British Foreign Office.

The contrast between the policies followed in the 1920s and those adopted under the Savage Government from the close of 1935 is most clearly illustrated by the New Zealand attitude to the League of Nations. From the foundation of the League following the Peace Conference at Versailles, Massey and those who followed took the view that the League was no place for a loyal Dominion to voice views that contradicted Imperial policy. With the coming to power of the Savage Labour Government there re-emerged a willingness to take an independent line that had lain largely dormant since the death of Seddon. New Zealand spoke strongly for the principle of collective security and collective police action on a succession of issues (Abyssinia, Spain, China) at a time when the United Kingdom and other powers were following a policy which would later be described as appeasement.

Despite these differences 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 terms which reflected New Zealand's sovereignty as well as its ties with Britain.

“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 beside Britain. Where she goes, we go. Where she stands, we stand. We are only a small and young nation, but we are one and all a band of brothers, and we march forward with a union of hearts and wills to a common destiny.”

The Second World War changed the pattern of power in the world. 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.

There have been several periods of expansion in the establishment of New Zealand posts overseas. Aside from the three posts set up during the Second World War (Washington, Ottawa, Canberra) to maintain consultations with our closest allies, the first main period of expansion came in the 1950s as a consequence of the recognition that our security was closely bound up with that of South-east Asia. Following the signature of the ANZUS Treaty, which came into force in 1952, and the Manila Treaty in 1954, diplomatic relations were established with a growing number of Asian countries. By the end of the 1950s five New Zealand posts had been set up in Asia and the substance of our bilateral relations had broadened considerably.

A second period of expansion in the 1960s led to the setting up of a number of diplomatic posts in Western Europe in response to the need to defend New Zealand's essential economic and political interests as Britain negotiated its terms of entry into the European Economic Community. At the same time a more gradual expansion was underway in the Pacific. As island states became independent and as the extent of New Zealand's economic and political relations in the South Pacific increased, a number of South Pacific posts were opened. Finally, as the 1970s draw to a close, a fourth phase is now underway—one which is closely related to New Zealand's search for new trading opportunities as the degree of dependence on traditional markets in Western Europe is gradually reduced. The diversification both in the range of goods exported and in markets has led to the strengthening of posts in certain areas—particularly in Asia and the Pacific—and the opening of new posts in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Posts have also been opened in China and reopened in the Soviet Union and an extensive network of multiple accreditations arranged to allow New Zealand's overseas representatives to cover several countries from the one base.

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 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 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 must also ensure that overseas posts are kept supplied with up-to-date information about New Zealand.

The ministry is responsible for all official New Zealand information and publicity activities overseas other than those directed at trade promotion or tourism.

In the Official Section at the end of this 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 41 other countries in a wide variety of activities, 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 heterogeneous composition of the association. Its 42 members take in the 6 continents and the 5 oceans of the world. The Pacific region is now well represented in the Commonwealth. Fiji, Tonga, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Kiribati are now full members along with Australia and New Zealand, and Nauru and Tuvalu have special membership status. The Cook Islands and Niue are not eligible for full membership because of their continuing constitutional association with New Zealand. They cannot therefore attend Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings. They are entitled, however, to participate in Commonwealth meetings dealing with those subjects for which their governments are responsible.

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, is illustrated at the Heads of Government Meetings, most recently in 1977 in London and in 1979 in Lusaka, Zambia. Discussions are frank, informal, and private, ranging over topics which include changing power relationships, trade, monetary and other economic issues, security, nuclear testing, development assistance, foreign investment, international transport, and South African questions. The last two meetings have 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 cooperation 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 coordinates 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 inter-governmental 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—New Zealand's relationship with the countries of western Europe has had a strong economic bias because of the crucial importance of continuing access to the European Economic Community for New Zealand's agricultural exports.

However, the wider political and economic aspects of New Zealand's relations with the states of western Europe, with which New Zealand shares many common interests, have come to assume greater significance, as the benefit of exchanges and co-operation on international issues of mutual concern have become apparent. The European Economic Community is playing an increasing role in international affairs, while the economic and strategic importance of New Zealand's region of the world, including as it does South-east Asia, the South Pacific, and Antarctica, is more widely recognised.

New Zealand has a great deal in common with the countries of Western Europe in terms of historical experience, democratic political systems, shared values and related 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. New Zealand's Ambassador in Vienna is accredited to five East European countries, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic. 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 remains an important market for New Zealand's exports.

New Zeland and the Middle East—New Zealand has had a long association with the Middle East. The importance of the region in world political and economic affairs is well recognised and New Zealand has followed with close attention recent international attempts to resolve the longstanding conflict between Israel and its neighbours.

Since 1973, when Middle East members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) emerged as a major political and economic force, the area has assumed more immediate significance for New Zealand's economic wellbeing. New Zealand's oil imports come overwhelmingly from the countries around the Gulf. Moreover, the growing wealth of the region, resulting from the recent substantial increases in the price of oil, has created a valuable market for New Zealand's exports, especially agricultural exports, considerably aiding the diversification efforts being made in the key commodities of sheepmeats and dairy products.

As a result of the growing importance of the Middle East, New Zealand has moved to increase the range of its contacts with Middle Eastern countries. At the same time countries in the Middle East, in assuming wider international interests, have themselves taken a closer interest in the South Pacific and expanded their diplomatic representation in this area. Thus New Zealand established resident missions in Iran and Iraq in 1975, and in Bahrain in 1977. In Bahrain the New Zealand Export-Import Corporation is also a participant with Bahraini interests in a major storage project. The New Zealand Ambassador in Rome is accredited additionally to Egypt and Saudi Arabia and he and his staff visit those countries regularly. Both Egypt and Israel have set up embassies in Wellington, and Iran and Iraq have accredited to New Zealand their Ambassadors in Canberra and Jakarta respectively. Developing relations between New Zealand and the countries of the Middle East have also been marked by a growing number of visits each way, by Ministers, officials, and businessmen, and increasingly, by tourists.

New Zealand and Africa—Africa has emerged as a major world force since the 1960s. Developments within the continent are closely followed by New Zealand and our economic, cultural, and political relations with Africa have developed considerably during the 1970s.

Although New Zealand has no diplomatic representation in Africa, contacts are regularly maintained in the United Nations and Commonwealth contexts. Emerging from the 1979 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, was an agreement between all Commonwealth countries on the issue of independence for Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. New Zealand responded to the success of British negotiations for an independent Zimbabwe by contributing to a ceasefire monitoring force and also sent observers to assist in monitoring the independence elections in February 1980.

While trade between New Zealand and Africa remains at a modest level, a number of trade surveys visited Africa during the 1970s to explore the possibilities of extending New Zealand's agricultural markets in the continent. New Zealand also provides assistance in east and central Africa, in particular Tanzania, with development aid programmes emphasising the export of New Zealand's agricultural expertise.

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, the Republic of Korea, 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 have been increasing. New Zealand also enjoys long-established ties with the countries of South Asia (particularly through the Commonwealth connection) and Burma.

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.

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 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. Recent developments in Indochina have had major implications for the stability of the region and have been of particular concern to New Zealand. The massive outflow of refugees from Vietnam and Kampuchea, and the political uncertainties that have followed the invasion of Kampuchea by Vietnam and Sino-Vietnamese hostilities, have together posed difficult problems for the countries of the region. New Zealand has consulted closely with the ASEAN countries over these developments.

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, fishing, 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 these advantages, commercial exchanges have not been completely straightforward, and New Zealand continues to seek improved conditions of access for certain important commodities, including dairy products. On both sides there are expectations of continued and expanding trade and of closer involvement together in other settings. Meanwhile, the steady growth in the extent and cordiality of New Zealand's relations with the People's Republic of China further illustrates New Zealanders' changing perceptions of Asia. China is now our third largest market in Asia and is increasingly important to New Zealand as a major power with a leading role in Asia and in the “Third World”.

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 (now known as Tokelau) then 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.

Tokelau is still included within the boundaries of New Zealand and is administered under the authority of the Tokelau Islands Act 1948 and its amendments. Tokelauans are New Zealand citizens. By agreement with the Government of Western Samoa the Office for Tokelau Affairs is based in Apia and handles Tokelauan transactions with the outside world, especially with New Zealand. Decisions about day-to-day living in Tokelau 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 1978 Solomon Islands and Tuvalu (formerly the Ellice Islands) became independent. Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands) attained independence in 1979, and the New Hebrides in 1980.

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 Islanders, Niueans, and Tokelauans 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 flow of immigrants and visitors 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, which now comprises the independent and self-governing countries of the South Pacific, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga, Western Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Kiribati 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, Nukualofa, Nauru, Port Moresby, Niue, and Honiara, the capital of 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, civil aviation, telecommunications, education, the law of the sea, fishing, disaster relief, and nuclear testing.

At the Canberra session of the South Pacific Forum in 1972 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 headquarters of the SPEC are in Suva, Fiji.

At the Niue session of the South Pacific Forum in 1978 members agreed to set up the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, which is an organisation designed to facilitate the rational utilisation and conservation of the region's marine resources. The headquarters of the Agency are in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

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 23 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. Its budget in 1978 totalled $4.4 million. The main regular contributors to the budget are the participating governments in the area—Australia, Fiji, France, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Western Samoa. Each participating government's contribution is levied as a percentage of the annual budget. Other member governments also make contributions on a voluntary basis.

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 common 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 have become increasingly related under the New Zealand - Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), dating from 1965–66. 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.

In 1978 the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. B. E. Talboys, paid an extensive visit to Australia. During the visit, Mr Talboys and the Prime Minister of Australia made a joint press statement (the Nareen Declaration) which underlined the determination of both Governments to co-operate and consult closely in many fields. The Nareen Declaration also provided for the establishment of an Australia - New Zealand Foundation in both countries to promote the bilateral relationship publicly.

The foundation was set up in 1978 with an annual budget of $50,000 and has sponsored, as part of its work, 2 studies on closer economic relations between Australia and New Zealand, and a workshop on trans-Tasman migration. It has also provided financial support for cultural exchanges between Australia and New Zealand: in 1979 it assisted the Limbs Dance Company with a tour of Australia.

On 6 August 1979 at Lusaka, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. R. D. Muldoon, met the Australian Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser, and agreed that further investigation would be made into broad areas of economic co-operation as well as specific fields where the 2 countries could work more closely together. A second meeting of the 2 Prime Ministers took place in March 1980 when agreement was reached on a set of principles outlining the direction of future economic co-operation between the 2 countries.

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 Stares 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 second largest market for New Zealand's exports and the third 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's 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 because of 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. In 1978 the resident Ambassadors in Lima and Santiago were accredited to Ecuador and Brazil respectively, and in 1979 the resident Ambassador in Lima was accredited to Colombia. 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 imports bananas), Venezuela, and some of the Central American republics (notably E1 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 cooperation programme in Peru, under which New Zealand experts are helping in the development of key areas of Peruvian agriculture.

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, for promoting international co-operation aimed at solving economic and social problems, and for ensuring respect for human rights.

New Zealand has consequently played an active and prominent role in the various areas of United Nations activity.

International Security—At San Francisco in 1945 the New Zealand Prime Minister, Peter Fraser, argued forcefully but unsuccessfully for the elimination of the Security Council veto and for a strengthening of 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 worked consistently for 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 peace keeping force in Cyprus. In recent years New Zealand has Been closely involved in moves to promote the cessation of all forms of nuclear testing, as a key step towards halting the nuclear arms race. It played an active part in international discussions on disarmament at the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly in May and June 1978.

New Zealand served a 2-year term on the Security Council in 1954–55 and a 1-year term 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, and the Economic and Social Council and its functional and regional commissions, and at special conferences, such as those on the environment (at Stockholm in 1972), population (at Bucharest in 1974), food (at Rome in 1974), the role of women (at Mexico in 1975), water (at Mar del Plata in 1977), racism (at Geneva in August 1978) and refugees (at Geneva in July 1979). 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 1977 New Zealand served on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, the Economic and Social Council, and the Commission on the Status of Women. New Zealand also participated actively in the eighth session of the Conference on the Law of the Sea held in March and April 1979 in Geneva, and in July and August in New York.

In December 1979 New Zealand was again elected to the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Specialised Agencies—New Zealand is a member of all the specialised agencies, 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 1979, for example, our contributions to the budgets of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) alone totalled US$1,423,000.

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 1978 New Zealand served on the Council of FAO and was elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO. It also participated in all the major meetings of the agencies.

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. The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. R. D. Muldoon, served as chairman of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank during 1979.

New Zealand is also a foundation member of the Asian Development Bank, established in 1967 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (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 advisory team backed by ESCAP and the specialised agencies; the operation of a telecommunications training school set up under UN Development Programme (UNDP) auspices in Suva; and the joint venture under the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in conjunction with regional organisations to establish a comprehensive environmental management programme in the region.

New Zealand has in the past served on the governing bodies of UNESCO and the Universal Postal Union (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 country with limited resources, New Zealand alone could not expect 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.

Developments in the South-east Asian region, especially the conflict in Indochina, have led to some increase in tensions in the area. The interests of all countries involved, however, would seem to rule out the possibility of a wider conflict, at least in the immediate future. United States policy continues to emphasise that primary responsibility for long-term stability in South-east Asia rests with the countries of the area. These countries have taken this responsibility seriously. Although no new defence alliances have been established, political and economic co-operation and collaboration on a regional basis, particularly among the members of ASEAN, have grown. While security considerations are important, New Zealand's relations with the countries of the region now encompass a full range of economic and political activities.

By means of training programmes, exercises, staff exchanges, and the provision of training facilities under its Defence Mutual Assistance Programme, New Zealand co-operates with several countries in the South Pacific and South-east Asia in building up one another's defence capabilities, thereby contributing to regional security. The central objective for New Zealand is the maintenance of stability and peaceful development in the South Pacific, New Zealand's immediate strategic neighbourhood.

ANZUS—There is no overt military threat to New Zealand's security. Should a threat develop, New Zealand would be able to turn for assistance to its partners in the ANZUS Pact. The tri-partite security treaty between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States came into force on 29 April 1952.

ANZUS should 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.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements—The basis of the Five Power Defence Arrangements is not a formal treaty 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”.

Under these arrangements the Australian Government maintains an RAAF presence in Malaysia, while the New Zealand Government maintains a contingent in Singapore (known as New Zealand Force South-east Asia).

The New Zealand Government has decided that, although the Singapore Government has indicated that the Force is welcome to remain, as a matter of principle the Force should return home to New Zealand as soon as practicable. No date has been set however.

SEATO—Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States signed the South-east Asia Collective Defence Treaty, or 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.

The ending of the Vietnam war in 1975 and other developments in the region naturally led Governments in South-east Asia to reassess many of their attitudes and policies. 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, it should be phased out. This process was completed on 30 June 1977. No move was made, however, to abrogate the Treaty.

Defence Policy Review—In 1978 the New Zealand Government completed a comprehensive review of defence policy objectives. These as summarised in the Defence Review White Paper are:

  • To develop our defence activities with emphasis on the preparedness to respond to low-key emergencies in our own region;

  • To provide practical assistance to the governments of the South Pacific if required;

  • To further strengthen relationships within ANZUS;

  • To work towards an enhanced combined defence capability with Australia, including defence supply;

  • To develop as far as limited resources permit, mutually beneficial military training and exchange programmes with countries of the Pacific and (to a degree) South-east Asia;• To supply defence capabilities in support of the needs of New Zealand society.

NEW ZEALAND'S AID AND OTHER RESOURCES FLOWS TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES—During 1978–79 Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounted to $55.6 million (0.35 percent of GNP), an increase of about 8 percent on the previous year's figure of $51.1 million. Bilateral and regional assistance totalled $44.1 million, with $8.5 million going to multilateral institutions. The following is a summary of 1978–79 ODA expenditure:

1978–79 ODA expenditure
Vote: Foreign Affairs$(m)$(m)
Multilateral 8.511
Reserve Funds 1.023
Vote: Transport
    Pacific Civil Aviation 0.989
Vote: Permanent Legislative Authority
    Asian Development Bank, second capital increase 0.907
    World Bank capital contribution 0.053
            Total 55.610

The geographic distribution of the assistance, virtually all administered by the External Aid Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed a similar pattern to the previous year, with more than 60 percent of bilateral aid disbursed in the South Pacific region. A quarter of the bilateral and regional assistance went to South and South-east Asia. The total programme involves the skills and experience of hundreds of New Zealanders, together with New Zealand technical and capital back-up, all carefully geared to respond to the aid partners' own developmental priorities.

The total transfer of resources from New Zealand to developing countries in 1979 was estimated, with some margin of allowance for unconfirmed data, at $84 million—a figure which includes Government-backed export credits, direct investment by New Zealand interests and transfers by New Zealand voluntary agencies.

Government assistance to voluntary agencies in 1978–79 amounted to 5359,677, an increase of almost 50 percent on the previous year's figure. This increase was largely due to a bigger disbursement of funds under the voluntary agency support scheme. Under this scheme the Government provides a subsidy for approved projects undertaken by New Zealand private agencies in developing countries.

Bilateral ODA 1978–79—Under its bilateral (government-to-government) aid programmes, New Zealand responds where possible to the developmental needs of selected countries, mainly in the South Pacific and South and South-east Asia, with small programmes also in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Hundreds of projects are undertaken with inputs of New Zealand expertise and/or material and capital resources. The projects can vary considerably in expenditure and duration, with emphasis on productive sector development such as livestock and pasture improvement programmes and assistance with crops and the development of forestry and fisheries resources. Advisers may be assigned to projects for varying times, from a few weeks to several years. During 1978–79 the bilateral aid programme used 869 advisers on assignments averaging 4 1/2 months. Training within New Zealand or at “third country” institutions is provided for under bilateral agreements to supplement the transfer of New Zealand expertise to the developing countries. There were about 800 holders of training or study awards in New Zealand in 1978–79. This training is linked with specific requirements in the recipient countries and, increasingly, is related to the maintenance of development projects involving a New Zealand input. Bilateral programmes in the Pacific and South-east Asia are supplemented by programmes promoting regional development co-operation, particularly in the fields of education, transport, and communications. Bilateral assistance also includes commodity and distress relief.

A country breakdown of bilateral ODA in 1978–79 shows the direction and scope of New Zealand assistance:

South PacificNZ$
    Cook Islands5,913,202
    New Hebrides62,986
    Papua New Guinea2,532,085
    Solomon Islands488,440
    Western Samoa3,394,858
    Head of Mission Fund119,051
              Total Pacific28,320,281
South and South-east Asia
        Head of Mission Fund30,261
        Korea (South)337,721
        Maldive Islands1,446
        Sri Lanka122,308
        Regional (non-ASEAN)748,290
        Head of Mission Fund40,074
              Total Asia10,729,073
              Total Africa618,593
Latin AmericaNZ$
    Head of Mission Fund4,685
              Total Latin America385,211
              Total Caribbean215,118
              Unallocated (Admin)4,545
              Total country aid40,272,821
Other Bilateral ProgrammesNZ$
    Students and trainees2,979,127
    Halls of residence321,103
    Emergency and distress relief144,891
    Voluntary agencies359,677
                Total other3,854,016
                Total Bilateral44,126,837

Multilateral ODA 1978–79—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 terms of the scale of the projects or in their ability to help countries beyond the regions of concentration of the bilateral aid effort.

Multilateral assistance amounted to $8.5 million in 1978–79. Major recipients included the United Nations Development Programme ($1.5 million), the Asian Development Bank ($1 million), the World Food Programme ($724,000), United Nations Children's Emergency Fund ($850,000), and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation ($600,000).

United Nations InstitutionsNZ$
    United Nations Development Programme1,500,000
    United Nations Disaster Relief Office10,000
    World Food Programme723,958
    United Nations Children's Emergency Fund850,000
    United Nations Fund for Population Activities350,000
    United Nations Relief and Works Agency121,114
    United Nations High Commission for Refugees275,000
    United Nations Education Training Programme for Southern     Africa16,000
    United Nations Trust Fund for Southern Africa8,000
    United Nations Trust Fund for Namibia5,000
              Total United Nations3,859,072
Commonwealth programmes
    Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation599,993
    Commonwealth Youth Programme70,000
    Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau30,104
            Total Commonwealth700,097
South Pacific InstitutionsNZ$
    South Pacific Commission610,734
    South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation173,735
                  Total South Pacific784,469
Development Finance Institutions
    IDA—4th Replenishment733,000
    ADB—Asian-Development Fund1,000,000
    Caribbean Development Bank250,000
    I.M.F.—Oil subsidy account380,000
    International Fund for Agricultural Development300,000
                Total development finance2,738,590
Other contributions
    Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research25,000
    International Planned Parenthood Fund249,997
    International Committee of the Red Cross50,000
    Miscellaneous multilateral/regional institutions104,123
              Total other429,120
              Total multilateral aid8,511,344

THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW ZEALAND: Introduction—The history of the present constitution dates back to the declaration of British sovereignty in 1840. By the Treaty of Waitangi, certain Maori chiefs ceded their sovereignty to that of the British Crown in exchange for guarantees contained in the Treaty. Territory not included in the Treaty was claimed on the ground of discovery. Somewhat surprisingly, the constitution was, and is, wholly Anglo-Saxon in its origin and took no account of Maori custom and usage.

From 1840 until the grant of responsible government in 1856 the colony was subject to gubernatorial rule. Attempts to persuade the Imperial government to establish representative institutions bore fruit in 1846 with the enactment of a Constitution Act (never fully implemented) superseded by a further Constitution Act in 1852 which created a bicameral General Assembly with limited powers and 6 provinces each with its own executive and unicameral legislature or provincial council. The system of government was unitary however—the General Assembly could legislate in areas in which the provinces had jurisdiction and could amend or annul provincial ordinances.

The 1852 Act constituted the governor as part of the General Assembly with the power to summon, prorogue, and dissolve it and to assent or refuse the assent to legislation passed by it, but the actual form of the executive government was omitted from the Act and left to the will of the governors and the Colonial Office. Moreover, the Act was silent about the appointment and tenure of the judges, and matters normally contained in a constitutional document were left to be decided by ordinary legislation.

Amendments to the 1852 Act stemming from political development reflect New Zealand's transition from colonial to fully-independent status within the period 1840–1947. Contemporary concern about the constitution centres on the operation of, and the balance between, the legislature and the executive rather than in the broader context of the merits of monarchy or republic. The result of the 1978 General Election has given impetus to the argument for a system of proportional representation in elections for members of Parliament and it seems likely that New Zealanders will concern themselves for some time with the fine tuning of existing political institutions rather than with the system itself.

The Constitution—The constitution is not a single written instrument granted to, or by, the people but a miscellany of statutory and customary law welded together and given coherence by the operation and observance of formal unwritten rules known as the conventions. The constitutional framework is erected on, and maintained by, the ordinary law as opposed to a supreme or basic law such as that found-in most jurisdictions.

Certain statutes and statute-derived law have important constitutional significance. Among the more important are:

Constitution Act 1852—creation of Parliament;

Bill of Rights 1688;

Habeas Corpus Act 1679;

Electoral Act 1956—election of members of Parliament;

Legislature Act 1908—declaration of powers, privileges of Parliament;

Economic Stabilisation Act 1948—wide-ranging powers of the Government to affect socioeconomic activity;

Public Safety Conservation Act 1932—states of emergency, powers of executive;

Letters Patent and Instructions 1917–1919—exercise of prerogative powers by Governor-General.

Such laws exist by force of the ordinary legislative process because of the basic canon of the legislative primacy of Parliament—the legal capacity of the legislature to make and unmake laws and the self-imposed collateral incapacity of any court or forum to impeach the validity of the legislature's exercise of that power when expressed as an Act of Parliament.

Although not as important in New Zealand as they are in the United Kingdom, the personal, i.e., prerogative powers of the Crown, almost all of which are exercisable by the Governor-General, remain part of constitutional law. A prerogative power may be abrogated only by statute.

On the foregoing basis, it is open to Parliament to change or abolish the constitutional framework on which it rests its primacy, and for a later Parliament to reverse that change, one aspect of the rule being that one Parliament cannot bind its successors. Consequently, the five provisions of the Electoral Act are entrenched by Section 189 in a political, rather than a strict legal, sense. The section could not act as a bar to the repeal of itself by simple majority, and thereafter the repeal or amendment of one or more of the five sections, also by simple majority.

On paper, major changes to the constitutional framework could be effected with comparative ease and speed, but constitutional history shows that those changes which have been made reflected shifts in social or political attitudes already evident.

PARLIAMENT AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES—The Constitution Act created a bicameral General Assembly empowered to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of New Zealand. Legislative competence was restricted, e.g., laws enacted were not to be repugnant to those of England; laws did not have extra-territorial effect; certain laws needed the Sovereign's assent; and all were subject to Royal disallowance. It was only with the passage of the Constitution Amendment Act 1947 (U.K.) and the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947 (N.Z.) that the New Zealand Parliament obtained plenary legislative power, any residual doubts on the matter having been removed by a further amendment to the 1852 Act in 1973.

Until 1950, Parliament consisted of the Governor-General, the Legislative Council, and the House of Representatives. Despite repeated proposals for reform the council remained an appointive chamber, and the decline in its capacity as a curb on the lower House and the Government was accelerated by the partisan nature of the appointments made. Each ministry sought to ensure that its supporters were in a majority. The council's demise was assured when the National Party, which had campaigned for abolition, was returned as the Government in the 1949 General Election. The necessary legislation was passed by both Houses and the council ceased to exist on 1 January 1951. Although it was intended that the council should be replaced by an elected second chamber nothing came of the idea and it is highly unlikely that New Zealand will revert to bicameralism.

Parliament now consists of the Governor-General (the Queen when resident in New Zealand), and the 92-member House of Representatives. The role of the Governor-General, as part of the General Assembly, is purely formal and for all practical purposes “Parliament” is synonymous with “House of Representatives”.

The principal functions of Parliament are to enact laws, supervise the Government's administration, vote supply, provide a government, and redress grievances by way of petition.

The Constitution Act forbids the House to allocate public funds for any purpose unless first recommended by the Governor-General. Although the reasons for this provision are historic, it is also used by governments to defeat legislation brought forward by individual members which ministers are unwilling to support or adopt. On the other hand, the law forbids the Crown to tax citizens without express parliamentary approval.

Constitutional law includes the law and custom of Parliament, itself derived from a variety of sources. The Bill of Rights saves any proceeding in Parliament from being questioned in any forum, other than the House itself, and the Legislature Act 1908 provides that the powers, privileges, rights, and immunities of the House (and its committees and members) are those possessed by the British House of Commons on 1 January 1865. One aspect of the powers of the House is the ability to make rules for the conduct of its business. Most of these are contained in the Standing Orders although some are made on a sessional, and others on an ad hoc, basis. The traditional three readings given to a bill are part of Standing Orders, but it is open to the House to alter or suspend its rules at any time. The House has retained the right to punish breaches of its privileges, whether by members or citizens, from which there is no appeal (although the courts could be asked to decide whether the privilege claimed is one recognised by law).

Perhaps the most important privilege of the House is that of freedom of speech, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and claimed by the Speaker upon confirmation in his office by the Governor-General.

The House meets, as Parliament, in answer to a summons from the Governor-General. Sessions of Parliament are marked by a formal opening (the Government's legislative programme is described in the Speech from the Throne read by the Governor-General) and a closing prorogation by proclamation. Unless the House, by resolution made under the authority of the Legislature Act (1977 Amendment), carries forward business to the next session, all business before the House on prorogation lapses. Parliament is dissolved by the Governor-General rather than have it expire by efflux of time.

Because control of the House's business lies with the Government, many of the rules and customs of the House are designed to ensure that members of the House are given a full opportunity to debate any aspect of a government's proposals. Control of the debates and the conduct of members is vested in the Speaker, whose rulings are binding unless overturned by the House.

Detailed scrutiny of legislation and facets of executive activity, e.g., expenditure of public money, is carried out by select committees consisting of a small number of members, usually 7, which report their findings and recommendations to the House. Commencing with the 1980 session, all Bills will stand referred to a select committee unless certified by the Speaker as “money Bills”. The change was recommended by the Standing Orders Committee (see Parliamentary paper I. 14, 1979). This is intended to enable the public and interested bodies to make submissions, in the expectation that better laws will result.

In the context of the party system, it is very unlikely that the Opposition would be in a position to bring down a government by means of a no-confidence vote—there is one recorded instance of a successful no-confidence vote in the history of the New Zealand Parliament, and that was before the development of the party system as it is now. The strength of the parties, especially that of the National and Labour Parties, is so great that many of the rules and customs of the House are based on there being 2 parties only in the House. The presence of a third party member, as at present, has raised a number of problems in relation to speaking times, membership of select committees, and so forth.

Because of the growth of a largely two-party system and the importance that the parties have assumed within the political framework, the party caucus (a meeting of each party's members of Parliament in closed session at regular intervals, once a week when Parliament is in session) is a primary means of developing policies and tactics. Caucus committees of both the National and Labour Parties travel around the country frequently, investigating issues of interest or concern to them. Although the existence of the caucuses and their committees is not recognised by the law, indirect recognition has been given, e.g., travelling allowances are payable to members when travelling as member of a caucus committee.

In the exercise of their functions and powers, the Speaker and the Chairman of Committees axe assisted by permanent officials, headed by the Clerk of the House, charged with the administration of the House and the provision of advice on parliamentary law and custom.

The procedure for fixing the salaries and allowances of members and ministers was changed in 1977. Responsibility now rests with the Higher Salaries Commission established by Act of the same name. The following table lists the salaries payable from 10 November 1979:

OfficeYearly Rate of Salary Payable On and After 10 November 1979
Members of the Executive
Prime Minister57,780
Deputy Prime Minister45,043
Each Minister of the Crown holding a portfolio or portfolios (other than the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister)39,948
Each Minister of the Crown without portfolio32,306
Each Parliamentary Under-Secretary31,032
Officers of the House of Representatives
Speaker of the House of Representatives37,082
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives31,988
Leader and Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition
Leader of the Official Opposition39,948
Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition31,032
Chief Government Whip28,485
Chief Opposition Whip28,485
Junior Government Whip26,575
Junior Opposition Whip26,575
Members of the House of Representatives
Each member of the House of Representatives to whom the foregoing provisions of this Schedule do not apply23,390

The following allowances are also paid:

OfficeYearly Rate of Expenses Allowance
Prime Minister10,725
Deputy Prime Minister4,675
Each Minister of the Crown holding a portfolio or portfolios (other than the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister)4,400
Each Minister of the Crown without portfolio3,465
Each Parliamentary Under-Secretary3,465
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Additional)3,850
    (Additional allowance as Speaker; plus electorate allowance at appropriate rate)3,520
Chairman of Committees3,850
    (Additional allowance as Chairman plus electorate and day allowances at appropriate rates)2,090
Leader of the Opposition4,400
(Plus house and travelling allowances) 
Deputy Leader of the Opposition5,060
    (Plus additional allowance as Deputy and electorate, night, and day allowances at appropriate rates)1,760
    (Plus electorate, day, and night allowances at appropriate rates) 

The rate at which an electorate allowance is paid depends on the nature of each member's electorate, e.g., urban, rural, or semi-rural.

In addition to the foregoing allowances, a once-only setting up allowance is paid to members elected for the first time. The current rate is $250.

The Crown and The Governor-General—Constitutional law vests the executive power in the Crown, i.e., the Monarch acting through, or with the advice of, responsible ministers. Primarily because of political developments within the British Empire and, later, the Commonwealth, changes in the substantive law have left the constitutional position, but not the role, of the Monarch in some doubt. By virtue of the Royal Titles Act 1974, the present Monarch is styled “. . . Elizabeth the Second . . . Queen of New Zealand . . .” which, taken together with changes made to the Constitution Act in 1973, tend to suggest that the Queen of New Zealand is a separate legal entity from that of the United Kingdom, a suggestion which has found support in a 1976 Supreme Court decision. If such is the case, English or Imperial law which was thought to be part of New Zealand's law, e.g., the Regency Act 1937–53, may have ceased to be so.

Although not a viceroy, the Governor-General (appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the New Zealand Prime Minister for a term, normally 5 years) may lawfully exercise most of the Royal powers and functions, whether derived from the general law or statute. The 1917 Instructions, reinforced by a strong convention, require him to accept and act on the advice of his New Zealand ministers, although a reserve power retained by the instructions would enable him to reject advice if he believed that a government was intending to act improperly or unconstitutionally. Recent events in Australia have demonstrated how controversial the use of the reserve powers can be, and it is likely that a Governor-General would seek a political, rather than a legal, solution.

As part of the General Assembly, the Governor-General summons, prorogues, and dissolves Parliament, and his assent to Bills passed by the House is necessary to transform them into Acts. As the Monarch's representative, he is the head of the Executive and his participation, albeit formal in nature, is required to give legal effect to decisions made by the Government or individual ministers.

The Executive Government—The governance of New Zealand is executed by Ministers of the Crown in the name of, and on behalf of, the Monarch. The dual conventions that ministers are responsible to Parliament for their official acts and those of their officials and that the Government is responsible for its acts have been translated, indirectly, into statute. The Civil List Act 1979 provides that no person may be appointed or remain a minister or member of the Executive Council unless he is, concurrently, a member of Parliament.

Following a General Election, the leader of the party which has, or is most likely to secure, a majority of seats in the House is invited by the Governor-General to accept the office of Prime Minister and form a ministry. Although the selection process has varied between the two major parties, the respective leaders have final responsibility for the allocation of portfolios. Acting on the new Prime Minister's advice, the Governor-General appoints a number of members of Parliament as ministers with responsibility for one or more areas of government administration (portfolios), although in rare cases ministers are appointed without portfolio. In addition, a few members are appointed as parliamentary under-secretaries to assist ministers in specific areas. Under-secretaries are neither ministers nor members of the Executive Council.

The Executive Council, constituted under the 1917 Instructions, consists of the ministers, any two of whom together with the person presiding (normally the Governor-General) form a quorum. The council is the legal vehicle for the promulgation of a government's decisions which are intended to form part of the law. It is also one of the primary means whereby the Government tenders formal advice to the Governor-General.

The present membership of the council is 19.

Unlike the council, the Cabinet owes its existence solely to convention. Although both institutions have the same membership (the Governor-General is a member of neither), their respective functions differ markedly. It is the Cabinet which determines or approves a government's legislative and administrative proposals and policies and co-ordinates the work of ministers.

To facilitate this process, a number of Cabinet committees have been set up, consisting of ministers whose responsibilities are related to the subject matter covered by the committees. Present committees include those dealing with economic affairs, expenditure, communications, Government works, legislation and parliamentary questions, social affairs, state services, and transport. Each committee has power, within its terms of reference, to make decisions and some are supported by inter-departmental groups of officials.

One important feature of the Cabinet is the informality of its proceedings and their confidentiality, thus allowing for a consensus of views to emerge without the need, in most cases, to take a vote. Cabinet discussion and agreement ensures the Government's support in the House for a minister's legislative or other proposals and supports the convention of collective responsibility.

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

The Judiciary—New Zealand has inherited the strong British tradition of an independent judiciary seen as a bulwark against unnecessary intrusion by the State in the lives of citizens. One means of maintaining that tradition is to provide superior court judges with security of tenure. Accordingly, the law provides that High Court judges are appointed “. . . during good behaviour . . .” and are removable by the Governor-General in answer to an address from the House. Moreover, the salaries of High Court judges cannot be reduced while they remain in office. High Court judges must retire at the age of 72 but may be reappointed for a further 3 years.

As from 1 April 1980 the name of the superior court of New Zealand, hitherto known as the Supreme Court, was changed to the High Court. At the same time, magistrates were renamed District Court Judges and their courts, District Courts. Appeals from the Court of Appeal to the Privy Council were not affected by the changes made.

District Court Judges are appointed, as with High Court judges, by the Governor-General on ministerial advice and are removable by him, without the need for an address from the House, for misbehaviour or inability. Although a District Court judge's security of tenure is not as entrenched as that of a High Court judge, nevertheless, the convention against arbitrary removal ensures his independence of action in the exercise of his judicial functions.

Judicial officers of specialist courts enjoy the tenure provisions of High Court judges or District Court judges depending on the ranking of their court within the judicial structure.

New Zealand courts apply the primacy of Parliament doctrine which, in the judicial context, means that a court will not question the validity of what purports to be an Act of Parliament. However, the doctrine has never prevented them from declaring legislation made by the Executive Council, under delegated authority from Parliament, outside the powers of the council or Governor-General, as the case may be, on the grounds that, in fact, no power to make that particular piece of subordinate legislation exists.

In the constitutional context, the growth and proliferation of tribunals and other administrative bodies as an answer to the complexities of modem administration, and the increasing regulation by successive governments of socio-economic affairs, has challenged the traditional, original, and supervisory jurisdictions of the High Court. In answer to parliamentary attempts to oust or restrict the Court's jurisdiction, the superior courts of many common law countries have dusted off hitherto unused writs and remedies and adapted them to meet modern demands.

The balance between the courts and the administrative agencies has been restored, partially, by the creation in 1968 of an Administrative Division of the Supreme Court (now the High Court) to hear appeals or review the law applied by these agencies, and the institution in 1972 of a simplified procedure to obtain judicial review. Conversely, New Zealand still lacks a coherent policy towards the role and ambit of the High Court's jurisdiction in the field of administrative law.

Because the High Court lacks the capacity to declare an Act unconstitutional or beyond the scope of Parliament's powers, the High Court judges have seen their supervisory jurisdiction over administrative acts as an important means of maintaining the balance of competing interests between the citizen and the State, and have taken steps to stem any erosion of that jurisdiction.

OMBUDSMEN—In 1962 the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigations (Ombudsman) was created by an Act of Parliament. The functions of the Ombudsman were and remain to investigate, either on receipt of a complaint or on the Ombudsman's own motion, decisions, recommendations, acts and omissions of those departments and organisations named or specified in the Act which relate to matters of administration. Legislation which was enacted in 1975 and which repealed and replaced the 1962 Act provides for the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman and an unspecified number of Ombudsmen, all of whom have equal and co-extensive jurisdiction.

These appointments, as in the case of the appointment made under the 1962 Act, are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives, and the Ombudsmen continue to fulfil their traditional role of Parliamentary officers. The present legislation extends the jurisdiction of the Ombudsmen to include not only the departments of Government and Government organisations which were originally within jurisdiction, but also local authorities.

The Ombudsmen have no power to make binding decisions, but are empowered to form an opinion on the merits of a complaint, and if appropriate to make a recommendation to the department or organisation for its resolution. If effect is not given to a recommendation, the Ombudsman may in the case of a department of Government or a Government organisation report the matter to the Prime Minister and thereafter to Parliament. In the case of a local organisation which declines to give effect to a recommendation, the Ombudsman may prepare a summary of his report and require the local organisation concerned to make that summary available to members of the public and to publicise locally the availability of that summary.

The Ombudsmen have been given wide powers to require the production of documents and the appearance of persons before them in connection with the investigation of complaints.

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

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 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.

  6. Persons in respect of whom reception orders under the Mental Health Act 1969 are in force.

  7. Persons detained pursuant to conviction in any penal institution.

After the population figures are supplied by the Government Statistician it is then the responsibility of the Representation Commission to define new 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 member of the Armed Services aged 18 years or over serving overseas is qualified to vote as an elector of the electoral district in which he or she last resided before leaving 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 3 months or more in the electoral district in respect of which application for registration is made, and not have subsequently resided for 3 months 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—The present system of local government in New Zealand has evolved since the abolition of the provinces in 1876. Until fairly recently it has consisted of a structure of territorial local authorities—counties, boroughs, and town districts—and a further structure of ad hoc authorities, such as harbour boards, pest destruction boards, and electric power boards. Major changes were made by the Local Government Act 1974, which provided for the introduction of regional government, and for the establishment of district councils (as a new form of territorial authority) and “communities” (below territorial authority level). The Local Government Act also extended the role of the Local Government Commission in the reorganisation of local government. The Local Government Act as originally enacted has, however, undergone modifications, especially as a result of amending legislation in 1976 and 1977. The present situation is outlined below.

The process of consolidation and amalgamation of the Municipal Corporations Act 1954, the Counties Act 1956, and the Local Government Act 1974, which was begun in 1977, has now been completed. As from 1 April 1980 the Municipal Corporations Act 1954 and the Counties Act 1956 were repealed. The Local Government Act contains all the provisions relating to the constitution of regional government (regional councils and united councils), territorial authorities (boroughs, counties, town districts, and districts) and communities. The Act also outlines all the provisions relating to the Local Government Commission.

Territorial Authorities—There are four kinds of territorial authorities in existence:

Boroughs—The Municipal Corporations Act 1876 provided for the incorporation of the 36 boroughs then in existence and for the creation of new boroughs. Boroughs provide for the needs of concentrated populations and until 1978 there had to be a population of at least 1500, with an average density of population of at least one person per 4000m2, before they could be constituted. A borough containing a population of 20000 or more may be proclaimed a city, but the corporation remains unaltered.

Counties—Counties were originally constituted by the Counties Act 1876. Generally counties are concerned with the 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 mergers and at 1 April 1979 there were 91 counties, of which 90 were actively functioning, Fiord being a sparsely-populated county in which the Local Government Act 1974 is not wholly operative.

Fiord County is soon to be abolished and the area will be included in the adjoining district of Wallace County.

Town Districts—The town district represents a form of territorial local government intermediate between the county and the borough. It implies a certain concentration of population. There were two types of town district—dependent and independent. On the enactment of the Local Government Act 1974, the four existing dependent town districts became community councils. Town districts do not form part of the county within which they are situated, nor are they subject to any county council control. After 1 April 1978 no new town districts are to be constituted.

District Councils—This form of territorial local authority was introduced by the Local Government Act 1974 in recognition of the fact that nowadays many territorial authorities are neither “boroughs” nor “counties” in the sense that they are neither wholly urban nor wholly rural. District Councils may now be constituted either by Local Government Commission scheme or by a borough council or county council passing a special order to that effect. The Governor-General may proclaim a district under a district council to be a city if in his opinion it is predominantly urban and it has a population of not less than 20000. As at 1 April 1979 there were 9 District Councils: Waitomo; Thames-Coromandel; Whakatane; Waipukurau; Waipawa; Hawera; Rangiora; Otorohanga; and Rotorua. Except for Rangiora, all these districts comprise areas which at one time contained a separate county and borough.

Communities—The Local Government Act provides for the establishment of “communities” within the districts of territorial local authorities. Since 1976 a community may be constituted, by Local Government Commission scheme or by special order of the territorial local authority, only 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 district that is predominantly rural in character, or in the whole of the area of one or more off-shore islands forming part of a territorial authority district. This has brought the position nearer to that existing prior to the enactment of the Local Government Act, 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.

Although not local authorities in the true sense, each community has either a “district community council” or a “community council” of not less than 5 nor more than 12 members, elected by residents and ratepayers for a 3-year term.

District Community Councils—By statute, 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. A district community council may be established only in respect of a community having a population of not less than 1500.

Community Councils—These derive most of their powers by delegation from their territorial authority, at its discretion. Once again, powers dealing with finance, staff, and planning cannot be delegated. In addition to exercising such powers as may be delegated to it by the territorial authority, 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, after consulting and obtaining the consent of the territorial authority to take appropriate action in the interests of the community, and to undertake, encourage, and co-ordinate activities for the general well-being of the residents of the community.

Regional Government—Apart from the Auckland Regional Authority, which was constituted by a local empowering Act in 1963, the regional bodies being established under the Local Government Act will be new to local government in this country. Regions and united or regional councils are being determined by the Local Government Commission and established by Order in Council giving effect to a final regional scheme of the commission.

Towards the end of 1979, there were 12 regions with a regional government structure. Eleven of these regions have been constituted under united councils: Nelson Bays; West Coast; Wairarapa; Marlborough; Taranaki; Wanganui; Southland; Bay of Plenty; East Cape; Canterbury; and Northland. In the twelfth region the Auckland Regional Authority is deemed to be a regional council.

Regional bodies possess their functions through several means. First, every united or regional council has two mandatory functions—regional planning (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1977) and civil defence. Besides these two mandatory functions, the Local Government Act provides, with qualifications in some cases, that a united or regional council may undertake functions relating to regional reserves, forestry, regional roading, and community services. The commission's regional scheme: constituting a united or regional council may provide for the regional body to undertake the functions of any territorial authority or (where a special-purpose authority or the appropriate Minister concurs.) a special-purpose authority. A united or regional council is empowered to undertake exclusively any new regional function which is not undertaken by any other local authority in the region; the commission, by scheme, can provide that that function may be one that other local authorities are not empowered to undertake under any other statute. A united or regional council may also 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.

Criteria were provided in 1976 as to which type of regional body a region is to have. A region which has a population of not less than 325000 and which includes 1 or more cities 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. The membership of both united and regional councils will not be less than 12.

The main differences between the two types of regional body are as follows:

United Councils—These are to be appointed by the constituent (territorial) authorities. To obtain finance they will make levies on their constituent authorities. One of the constituent authorities is to be appointed as the administering authority of the united council, that is, to staff and service the united council. The united council concept is designed to meet 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 implicit in a directly elected regional council.

In addition, a united council must have the prior consent of the majority of territorial authorities in its region (having sufficient weighting in capital value, population, and area) before it can take on any new function.

Regional Councils—These are to be directly elected. They will have direct rating powers. The establishment of a separate organisation is envisaged.

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 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 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 1979 were as follows:

Territorial Authorities—County councils, 91; borough (including city) councils, 129; town councils, 3; district councils, 9.

Communities—Also within the framework of territorial local government, although not local authorities as such, were: district community councils, 13; community councils, 108.

Regional Authorities—United councils, 5; regional councils, 1.

Special-purpose Authorities—River boards (2 boards also have the powers of land-drainage boards), 6; land drainage boards (including 1 territorial authority), 25; urban drainage boards, 4; catchment boards, 13; catchment commissions, 4; regional water boards, 1; water supply board, 1; valley authority, 1; electric power boards (including 1 electric power and gas board), 38; transport board, 1; harbour bridge authority, 1; independent harbour boards, 15; pest destruction boards (separately elected), 63; wallaby board, 1; nassella tussock boards, 2; plantation board, 1; forestry corporation, 1; crematorium board, 1; hospital boards, 29; town hall board of management, 1; museum trust boards, 3. Borough and county councils also functioned as harbour boards in 8 cases, as county pest destruction boards in 37 cases, and as hydatids control authorities in 84 cases. 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 COMMISSION—To promote reform of the structure of local government a Local Government Commission was first established, as a quasi-judicial body, in 1946. The present Local Government Commission, constituted by the Local Government Amendment Act 1974, comprises a chairman appointed by the Minister of Local Government and two other members, one appointed by the Minister on the nomination of the New Zealand Counties Association and the other on the nomination of the Municipal Association of New Zealand. Where the commission is to consider a proposal affecting a local authority other than a territorial authority, it may request the Minister of Local Government to appoint a person having special knowledge of the functions undertaken by that local authority, to be a temporary member of the commission.

The commission undertakes investigations, prepares schemes, and makes 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.

The legislation sets out procedures to guide the commission, with emphasis being placed on consultation on proposals at an early stage, prior to formulating a provisional scheme. After the hearing of objections to a provisional scheme, the commission may draw up a final scheme. There are two distinct kinds of schemes which the commission may prepare and issue.

Regional Schemes—A principal task of the commission continues to be the preparation of regional schemes for the constitution of regions and regional bodies (united councils or regional councils) throughout New Zealand. The Minister of Local Government may refer a final regional scheme back to the commission for reconsideration of any of its provisions.

Reorganisation Scheme—Consideration of a proposal for a scheme for the union of local authority districts, the constitution or abolition of any district, the adjustment of boundaries, or a transfer of functions from one local authority to another, may be initiated by the commission itself or at the request of the Minister of Local Government or of any local authority. A new feature is provision for the appointment of conciliators by the commission to inquire into and negotiate on a proposal for a reorganisation scheme.

The Local Government Act as originally enacted brought most special-purpose authorities (other than hospital boards and education boards) within the jurisdiction of the commission. An amendment in 1976, however, removed the automatic jurisdiction of the commission in relation to special-purpose authorities so that it may now act only in those cases where the appropriate Minister or the special-purpose authorities concerned agree to their inclusion in a scheme.

GENERAL POWERS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES—Local authorities in New Zealand derive their powers from the Act under which they are constituted. As mentioned above, the Local Government Act is the main governing Act for territorial authorities, as it is for united, regional, district community, and community councils.

There are several statutory measures which are more or less applicable to all local authorities, such as the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976 and the Local Authorities Loans Act 1956. Other legislation applicable to territorial, regional, and various other types of local authority includes the Rating Act 1967, the Public Bodies Meetings Act 1962, the Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act 1968, the Public Bodies Leases Act 1969, the Town and Country Planning Act 1977, the Public Works Act 1928, the Local Authorities (Employment Protection) Act 1963, and the Joint Council for Local Authorities Services Act 1977.

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 Christchurch Transport Board, the Auckland Regional Authority, the Auckland Harbour Bridge 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, local elections are held on the second Saturday in October every third year. They were last held on 8 October 1977. Enrolment of residential electors is compulsory. In a poll on any proposal relating to loans or rates, a ratepaying 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 the right to vote is limited to those who reside in the region.

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. 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 11 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 also be paid such annual allowances as may from time to time be approved by the Minister of Local Government with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance.

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING—The Town and Country Planning Act 1977 provides for the making and enforcement of regional, district and maritime planning schemes, and the detailed procedure to be followed in each case is amplified by the Town and Country Planning Regulations 1978. The Government administers the Act through the Minister of Works and Development.

FURTHER INFORMATION—Books dealing with various aspects of the wide range of historical, constitutional, political, economic, and governmental matters touched on in this section will be found listed in the select bibliography of New Zealand books near the back of this Yearbook.

Parliamentary papers which may be found useful include the following:

Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Parl. paper A. 1).

Report of the Department of Internal Affairs (Parl. paper G. 7).

Report of the Local Government Commission (Parl. paper G. 9).

Report of the Ombudsmen (Parl. paper A. 3).

Report of the Royal Commission on the Courts (Parl. paper H. 2).

Chapter 3. Section 3 POPULATION

Table of Contents

By world standards, New Zealand's population is small—less than 3.2 million at the end of 1979.

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.

Recent predictions are that the fourth million will not be reached until well into the twenty-first century.

Population has 2 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 1951 recorded an increased proportion of New Zealand-born. Since 1951 (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 has, until recently, been 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 1000 in 1935 and high points of 18 per 1000 in 1947 and 1961. In the 1960s the average rate was less than 14 per 1000, and the rate has continued to fall throughout the 1970s, reflecting the continued fall in the birthrate, until it has now fallen below the previous low point recorded in 1935 (In 1979 the provisional natural increase rate was 8.60). 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
* Excluding Section 14 birth registrations which are “late” registrations. See Yearbook Section 4B Births.
    Total, 1946–19791942.4738.31204.21949.6743.81205.7

Migration has continued to add to the population quite substantially except during depression and war periods, the recession conditions of 1968–69, and during the latest 4 years. 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 year; listed.

Excess of departures.

Total, 1946–1979264.5230.6

In the past, 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. The net gain from migration fell sharply during the year ended March 1976. More recent years have witnessed substantial net outflows. Net losses from migration totalled 13727 during the year ended March 1977, 22307 during the year ended March 1978, 26906 during the year ended March 1979, and 22299 during the latest March year.

POPULATION 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. Though Tokelau is constitutionally part of New Zealand, for geographical reasons it is administered separately. The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing but the islanders are New Zealand citizens.

The most recent Census of Population and Dwellings in New Zealand was taken on 23 March 1976. The next will be taken on 24 March 1981.

The figures in the table following are intercensal estimates revised (where necessary) 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.

YearTotal Population at End of YearIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
* Provisional.
Years Ended 31 March
19791,569,2001,575,5003144700x−1200x- -3129200x
1980*  3,148,40037000.13,124,700
Years Ended 31 December
19781,572,8001,578,6003,151,400−500- -3,129,400
19791,572,1001,578,8003,150,900−500- -3,124,400
YearNew Zealand Maori Population at End of YearIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
Years Ended 31 March
Years Ended 31 December

INCREASE OF POPULATION—The growth of population has been substantial in each intercensal period. The lowest rates were those of 1926–36, which included some years of economic depression, of 1936–45, which included World War II, and of 1966–71, mainly attributable to a marked change in migration patterns. Totals from the latest 4 population censuses are shown below.

Census DatePopulation*Increase or Decrease
IntercensalIntercensalAnnual Average
* Numbers of persons in New Zealand armed forces overseas are excluded.
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 world-wide 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 Mew 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. Because of the need for the co-ordination of population activities within the orbit of the New Zealand Planning Council established in March 1977, a Working Group on Population was formed in June of that year. Since that time the New Zealand Planning Council has had the responsibility for establishing guidelines for a specific population policy in greater detail.

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES—The annual average percentage increases of population for the period 1975–78, are given in the following table for certain selected countries. (Source: United Nations: Demographic Yearbook, 1978 and Population and Vital Statistics Report, 1979).

CountryAverage Annual Percentage Increase
Germany, West−0.3
New Zealand0.4
United Kingdom−0.1
United States0.7

POPULATION PROJECTIONS—An indication of possible future growth of the total New Zealand population (including Maoris) up to 2011 is given by the detailed alternative projections which follow.

Projections of future population involve an element of uncertainty owing to an incomplete knowledge of the factors underlying changes in fertility, mortality, and migration levels. Also, difficulties in forecasting the future behaviour of these components of population change result from rapidly changing trends brought about by varying social, and especially economic, conditions.

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 national population projections incorporate alternative short-term assumptions involving changing annual levels of net immigration as described in the footnotes to the table.

Age-specific projections, equivalent to those in the table below, are available on application to the Demographic Specialist Studies Section, Department of Statistics, Private Bag, Christchurch.

At 31 MarchProjected Total New Zealand Population*According to the Net Immigration Variant Designated

* These projections have as base the estimated population at 31 March 1978. They are based on the following assumptions: (a) That future fertility experience will be in accordance with the “medium” variant (see ‡ below); (b) That 1970–72 Life Table mortality rates (total population) apply throughout the projection period.

(a) The “low” net immigration variant assumes net annual immigration during years ending 31 March as follows:—34000 (1979), −28000 (1980), −19000 (1981), −10000 (1982), −5000 (1983), zero (1984), and 5000 (1985 onwards); (b) The “medium” net immigration variant assumes net annual immigration during years ending 31 March as follows: −28000 (1979), −22000 (1980), − 14500 (1981), −7000 (1982), zero (1983), and 5000 (1984 onwards); (c) The “high” net immigration variant assumes net annual immigration during years ending 31 March as follows: −22000 (1979), −16000 (1980), −10000 (1981), zero (1982), and 5000 (1983 onwards).

The 3 alternative fertility assumptions—designated “high”, “medium” and “low”—have been derived by analysis of trends in birth rates within maternal age groups. Extrapolations of “least squares” linear trends, derived from data for the periods 1962–75 and 1971–75, provide the basis for the fertility projections. Various constraints have been imposed on birth rates for some maternal age groups to ensure that total fertility levels remain within demographically acceptable limits. For all fertility variants, projected birth rates are assumed to remain constant from 1982 onwards at the levels projected for the year ended 31 March 1981.

1978 (Base)157215743146157215743146157215743146

The following diagram presented on a ratio scale shows the growth of actual population from 1882 to 1979 and projections through to 2011.

DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION—Detailed population statistics are compiled for each census and are published in two parts as Volume 1, Location and Increase of Population, Part A. Population Size and Distribution and Part B. Population Density 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 PopulationPercentages
North IslandSouth IslandTotalNorth 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 2268393, a 10.6 percent increase on the 1971 total of 2051363. At the same census the South Island total was 860990, an increase of only 6.1 percent on the 1971 total of 811268. However, between the 1971 and 1976 Censuses, births in the South Island totalled almost 78000 and deaths over 38000, giving a net natural increase of approximately 40000. The fact that the total population increase was nearly 50000 indicates a net migration inflow to the South Island during the intercensal period. This is in contrast to the previous intercensal period (1966–71) when a net migration outflow of approximately 16000 was indicated.

Statistical Areas—In the following table are shown the areas and enumerated populations of the statistical areas at the 1976 Census and the estimated population at 31 March 1979.

Statistical AreaArea (Square Kilometres)Population Census 23 March 1976Estimated Population 31 March 1979
Central Auckland5600797,406805,900
South Auckland - Bay of Plenty36,775472,083477,100
East Coast10,88548,14747,500
Hawke's Bay11,303145,061146,200
  Total, North Island114,6472,268,3932,783,700
  Total, South Island154,415860,990861,000
  Total, New Zealand269,0623,129,3833,144,700

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 75000 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. Minor adjustments of Urban Area boundaries have been made because of the peripheral growth of population in some of the urban areas between 1971 and 1976.

The populations of the 7 Statistical Divisions and the 24 defined Urban Areas are as follows:

Statistical Division (S. Div.) and Main Urban Area (U.A.)1971 Population Census1976 Population CensusPercentage Increase 1971–1976Estimated Population 31 March 1979
Auckland S. Div.—
    Northern Auckland U.A.107,977137,42127.3141,400
    Western Auckland U.A.89,948108,13920.2110,600
    Central Auckland U.A.286,785289,1250.8285,100
    Southern Auckland U.A.165,048208,10126.1213,500
    Sub-total, Combined Auckland U. A.s649,758742,78614.3750,600
    Remainder S. Div.48,62454,62012.355,300
Hamilton S. Div.—
    Hamilton U.A.80,81294,77717.397,400
    Remainders. Div.55,19459,8298.460,400
Napier-Hastings S. Div.—
    Napier U.A.43,60150,16415.151,000
    Hastings U.A.45,51250,81411.651,600
    Remainder S. Div.782080322.78020
Palmerston North S. Div.—
    Palmerston North U.A.57,06563,87311.964,900
    Remainder S. Div.23,66724,8515.025,000
Wellington S. Div.—
    Upper Hutt Valley U.A.30,98635,58414.836,300
    Lower Hutt Valley U.A.92,01497,1945.697,800
    Porirua Basin U.A.47,85855,69816.456,000
    Wellington U.A.136,782138,9381.6137,000
    Sub-total, Combined Wellington U. A.s307,640327,4146.4327,100
    Remainder S. Div.16,39222,21435.522,800
Christchurch S. Div.—
    Christchurch U.A.275,968295,2967.0296,500
    Remainder S. Div.26,64230,41414.230,800
Dunedin S. Div.—
    Dunedin U.A.111,059113,2221.9112,300
    Remainder S. Div.668172047.87110
Main Urban Areas Not in Any Statistical Division
Main Urban Area1971 Population Census1976 Population CensusPercentage Increase 1971–1976Estimated Population 31 March 1979
New Plymouth38,78043,91413.244,700
    Total, 24 Main Urban Areas1,930,2492,134,75510.62,151,800
    Total, 7 Statistical Divisions1,756,4351,945,51010.81,960,800

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

City or BoroughEstimated Population at 31 March 1979Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—
    Whangarei (city)35,9004911
    East Coast Bays (city)24,5001558
    Takapuna (city)63,7008671
    Birkenhead (city)20,6001266
    Waitemata (city)81,90037,550
    Glen Eden8690503
    New Lynn10,550564
    Auckland (city)147,6007472
    Mt. Albert (City)28,300983
    Mt. Eden19,500598
    Mt. Roskill34,8001862
    One Tree Hill10,850983
    Mt. Wellington20,5001650
    Papatoetoe (city)23,100907
    Manukau (city)143,50056,560
    Papakura (city)22,2001384
    Hamilton (city)90,9005555
    Te Awamutu7700713
    Te Aroha31801126
    Mt. Maunganui10,3001411
    Tauranga (city)34,3003828
    Te Puke3940532
    Gisborne (city)30,0002628
    Napier (city)47,9003021
    Hastings (city)35,5001949
    Havelock North8570563
    New Plymouth (city)38,3002380
    Wanganui (city)37,5003392
    Palmerston N. (city)58,8004302
    Upper Hutt (city)31,30048,428
    Lower Hutt (city)65,1008968
        Porirua (city)42,5008383
    Wellington (city)137,60026,322
        Total, North Island cities and boroughs1,721,900306,580
South Island—
    Nelson (city)33,1004762
    Christchurch (city)171,30010,635
    Timaru (city)29,5002342
    Port Chalmers3110410
    Dunedin (city)81,60015,685
    St. Kilda6380249
    Green Island7070781
    Invercargill (city)49,9005616
        Total, South Island cities and boroughs538,20060,241x
    Grand total, all cities and boroughs2,260,100366,821x
Note: Because of rounding, individual figures in this table do not always add to give the stated total.

Districts—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. Similar amalgamations occurred between 23 March 1976 and 1 April 1979, resulting in the constitution of 8 further districts, the largest of which is Rotorua, formed from Rotorua City and Rotorua County.

DistrictEstimated Population at 31 March 1979Approximate Area in Square Kilometres
    Total, North Island148,40018,498
    Total, South Island4920263
    Total, New Zealand153,30018,761

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 DistrictEstimated Population at 31 March 1979Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—
        Total, town districts3300797

Communities—The following table lists communities with estimated populations of 1000 or more at 31 March 1979. The parent local authority is shown in parentheses. The population of communities are included in the administrative county populations given in a later table.

CommunityEstimated Population at 31 March 1979Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island
    Kerikeri (Bay of Islands)1070347
    Moerewa (Bay of Islands)137075
    Kawakawa (Bay of Islands)1660229
    Paihia (Bay of Islands)1540232
    Raglan (Raglan)1340372
    Kihikihi (Waipa)1270212
    Whitianga (Coromandel Div.)1540293
    Whangamata (Thames Div.)1280485
    Thames (Thames Div.)68601653
    Waihi Beach (Ohinemuri)1280209
    Katikati (Tauranga)1410960
    Papamoa Beach (Tauranga)1260313
    Mangakino (Taupo)1490261
    Edgecumbe (Whakatane Dist.)1720172
    Ohope (Whakatane Dist.)1660544
    Foxton Beach (Manawatu)1040397
    Tairangi (Porirua City)7540225
    Cannon's Creek (Porirua City)11,200292
South Island
    Kaikoura (Kaikoura)2150283
    Darfield (Malvern)1050233
    Halswell (Paparua)4900204
    Pleasant Point (Strathallan)1020378
    Brighton (Silverpeaks)1120138
    Fairfield (Silverpeaks)1740143
    Wanaka (Lake)1220313
    Te Anau (Wallace)2490395

District Communities—The following table lists the estimated populations of district communities as at 31 March 1979. The parent local authority is shown in parentheses. The populations of district communities are included in the administrative county populations given in the following table.

District CommunityEstimated Population at 31 March 1979Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island
    Warkworth (Rodney)1620577
    Wellsford (Rodney)1700554
    Hibiscus Coast (Rodney)10,7506210
    Otorohanga (Otorohanga)2660227
    Ngongotaha (Rotorua District)2320513
    Turangi (Taupo)5560579
    Waipawa (Waipawa District)18201076
    Bulls (Rangitikei)1980405
    Ashhurst (Oroua)1690173
    Waikanae (Horowhenua)44801076
    Shannon (Horowhenua)1640342
    Heretaunga-Pinehaven (Hutt)59504700
    Wainuiomata (Hutt)19,85026,614
South Island
    Hornby (Paparua)8760491
    Sockburn (Paparua)63401066
    Total, District Communities71,12043,527

Extra-county Islands and Shipboard Population—In addition to the populations quoted for administrative counties, districts, cities and boroughs, and 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 an estimated total of 3920 persons at 31 March 1979.

Counties—The following table gives the estimated population of individual counties at 31 March 1979 together with the approximate area of each. It should be noted that “administrative counties” do not include boroughs or town districts, which are independent of county control, but include district communities and communities, which form parts of counties.

Administrative CountyEstimated Population at 31 March 1979Approximate Area, in Square Kilometres
North Island—
    Bay of Islands16,8002131
    Waiheke Is3160155
    Great Barrier Is.370285
    Hauraki Plains5120603
    Hawke's Bay20,1004838
    Waimate West1850215
    Wairarapa South25401140
    Total, North Island counties407,30092922x
South Island—
    Golden Bay40402618
    Mt. Herbert880171
    Chatham Islands580963
    Stewart Island5101746
    Total, South Island counties316,700152853x
    Grand total, all counties724,000245775x

Non-administrative Population Centres—For the first time in 1979 population estimates were prepared for other non-administrative centres with total populations of 1000 or more. Populations of these centres are included in the estimated figures for the parent local authority areas given previously. In the table which follows the estimated populations at 31 March 1979 are compared with the 1976 Census population counts.

Non-administrative Centre1976 Population CensusEstimated Population at 31 March 1979
North Island—
    Te Kuiti (Waitomo Dist.)48404790
    Whakatane (Whakatane Dist.)11,54211,750
    Opotiki (Opotiki Co.)26232600
    Waipukurau (Waipukurau Dist.)36323650
    Opunake (Egmont Co.)14631480
    Hawera (Hawera Dist.)85068580
    Waiouru (Rangitikei Co.)32303350
    Total, North Island Centres35,83636,200
South Island—
    Reefton (Inangahua Co.)12871250
    Lincoln (Ellesmere Co.)15951640
    Twizel (Mackenzie Co.)51855000
    Total, South Island Centres80677880
    Total, Non-Administrative Centres43,90344,100

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 located outside Main Urban Areas are continuing to decline in population, although there are indications that the rate of urbanisation is stabilising. Forty counties recorded smaller populations than at the previous census in 1971, compared with 72 between 1966 and 1971. Of 54 small towns (1000 to 4999 population) 12 had declined in population between 1971 and 1976 compared with 22 during the previous inter-censal period. Two intermediate towns (5000 to 9999 population) showed decreases in population compared with six at the previous census.

Of the 16000 rural gain recorded on 1976 boundaries between 1971 and 1976, approximately 10000 of the gain was within rural areas lying outside the main urban areas but within the 7 major population centres forming the Statistical Divisions, suggesting some form of urban expansion.

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 1000 or over.

* Excludes shipping.
Total Population
New Zealand Maori Population

In the process of urbanisation some centres 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 40164, in 1976 comprised 228649 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; residential units in the city centres have been replaced by shops, offices, places of entertainment, and other commercial or industrial buildings. More recently, 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.

Population of Centre (City, Borough, Town District, or Community)CensusCensus
 Number of CentresPercentage of Population in These Centres
25000 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—Statistics from the census of 23 March 1976 showed that females outnumbered males by 5299 in the total population (excluding Armed Forces overseas), there being 1562042 males and 1567341 females. The changing sex distribution of the population, recorded at successive censuses, is given below.

CensusMalesFemalesFemales Per 1000 Males

The table excludes members of the N.Z. Armed Forces overseas at census date.

There are marked differences in the sex composition 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—Density of population refers to the relationship between population numbers and land area, and is expressed in terms of numbers of persons per unit of area. It presents a useful tool for the analysis of population distribution providing it is borne in mind that the land area used is the gross area, and includes mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, forests, and barren country. In the case of cities and towns it includes parks, reserves, roads and streets, and the commercial and industrial districts.

The total area of New Zealand, including inland waters, is 269057 square kilometres, giving an average population density at the 1976 Census of Population of 11.6 persons per square kilometre. This is low by international standards (for example, the United Kingdom has 229 persons per square kilometre, and the Netherlands, 332) but it must be remembered that in New Zealand there is a great area of high mountainous country, particularly in the South Island, and also large areas of rough hilly country which cannot be closely settled.

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 population censuses.

Statistical AreaArea in Square KilometresPersons Per Square Kilometre
Central Auckland560042.259.368.392.0124.8142.5
South Auckland - Bay of Plenty36,7753.
East Coast10,8853.
Hawke's Bay11,3036.
        Total, North Island114,6477.810.011.514.717.919.8
        Total, South Island154,4153.
        Total, New Zealand269,0065.

NEW ZEALAND MAORI POPULATION—For statistical purposes, all persons of half or more Maori ancestry have, in the past, been defined as Maoris. This differs from the wider definition introduced in the Maori Affairs Amendment Act 1974. That Act states that “Maori” means a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a person.

Because of these changes, a two-part question on ethnic origin was introduced at the 1976 Census of Population.

A total of 270035 persons either specified themselves as being of half or more Maori descent in the first part of the question or (without answering the first part) indicated in the second part of the question that they were persons of the Maori race of New Zealand or descendants of such.

It is probable that some of the persons answering the second part of the question only were, in fact, of less than half Maori origin. The inclusion of this unknown number in the total of 270035 means that this total is not directly comparable with the 1971 Census total of 227414 persons of half or more Maori origin. It also means that the intercensal percentage increase figures are overstated as a result of the wider definition. It is considered, however, that the inclusion of these 65582 persons here and in later Maori figures from the 1976 Census with the 204453 persons who did specify half or more Maori origin will better preserve general comparability with Maori statistics from earlier censuses based on the former definition than would the omission of those who did not specify their degree of Maori origin.

On the wider definitional basis, including all persons of less than half-Maori descent as well as the 65582 persons who indicated Maori origin but did not specify the degree, the 1976 Census count was 356847. The 1971 Census count of those who specified some degree of Maori origin was 290501. Thus, on the broader definition, the increase in the Maori population during the 5 years 1971 to 1976 was 66346 or 22.8 percent.

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.

The following table shows the N.Z. Maori population during the present century on the basis of persons of half or more Maori origin. 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. At the 1926 Census the urban N.Z. Maori population totalled 9905 (15.6 percent). By the 1976 Census the comparable figure was 205688 (76.2 percent), the largest concentration being in the Southern Auckland Urban Area where 29222 were enumerated in 1976.

Urban population is defined as that of the 24 defined Main Urban areas plus that of all boroughs, town districts', communities and townships of 1000 or more.

Of the 270035 Maoris at the 1976 Census, 250677 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 (45.3 percent) of Maori children under 15 years compared with the total population (29.7 percent), and the low proportion of people in the older age groups.

Age Group (Years)Percentage in Age Group (1976 Census)
New Zealand Maori*Total 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 1545.329.7
60 and over3.613.0

EXTERNAL MIGRATION—In recent years there has been a large increase in New Zealanders going overseas, seeking better employment opportunities, on business or 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.

Total migration figures (excluding only movements of armed forces) are shown in the following table for the most recent available 5 years. (A later year is included in the Latest Statistical Information Section at the back of this Yearbook). “Long-term”, as used here, indicates arrivals or departures for an intended stay of 12 months or more. Conversely, “short-term” refers to less than 12 months.

Through passengers, not included in the “All Passengers” totals, are persons who arrive in New Zealand but do not pass through immigration controls and do not complete arrival declarations. Also described as transit passengers, they normally depart on the same flight or vessel within a few hours of arriving in New Zealand.

Year Ended 31 MarchLong-term (Including Permanent) ArrivalsShort-term Movements
N.Z. Residents ReturningTemporary Visitors ArrivingAll Passenger ArrivalsThrough PassengersCrewsTotal Arrivals
Year Ended 31 MarchLong-term (Including Permanent) DeparturesShort-term Movements
N.Z. Residents DepartingTemporary Visitors DepartingAll Passenger DeparturesThrough PassengersCrewsTotal Departures

A summary of arrivals and departures during the latest 5 years by sex is 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.

Year Ended 31 MarchArrivalsDeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures
* Excess of departures over arrivals.

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. The excess of departures over arrivals recorded during the March years 1967–68 to 1969–70 was a migration feature unknown since the depression of the 1930s. It was followed by 6 years of migration gains, but the 4 latest years, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79 and 1979–80 (not shown here), have each witnessed substantial losses.

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 37: Travel and Tourism.) In the year ended March 1979 there was a net loss of 40200 from permanent and long-term migration compared with a loss of 26708 in 1977–78 and 19072 in 1976–77.

Year Ended 31 MarLong-term (Including Permanent) ArrivalsLong-term (including Permanent) Departures
New Permanent ArrivalsLong-termPermanent and Long-term Arrivals (Immigrants)Permanent Departures of New Zealand ResidentsLong-termPermanent and Long-term Departures (Emigrants)
AssistedSubsidisedTotal (Includes Others)N.Z. Residents returning*Long-term Visitors*N. Z Residents Depart'g*Long-term Visitors Depart'g*
* 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.

Year Ended 31 MarAustraliaCanadaIndiaUnited KingdomCook Islands and NiueFijiWestern SamoaNetherlandsSouth AfricaUnited StatesAll Other Countries*Total
* Includes unspecified.
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 1979.

Age, in YearsLong-term ArrivalsLong-term DeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures
Under 153924379277167768729615,064−7348
45 and over183220363868339632566652−2784

Occupations—The following table shows permanent and long-term arrivals and departures during the year ended 31 March 1979 by occupation major groups and by those occupations or groups of occupations which were the main contributors to the movement within each major group.

Occupation GroupsPermanent and Long-term

* Protective service workers include fire fighters, policemen, detectives, security officers, night watchmen, etc.

NOTE: n.e.c. denotes not elsewhere classified.

Professional, technical, and related workers—
    Architects, engineers, and related technicians9281728
    Medical, dental, veterinary, and related workers760832
    Workers in religion236280
    Professional, technical, and related workers n.e.c.200480
    Other professional, technical, and related workers10402028
Administrative and managerial workers—
    Other administrative and managerial workers6864
Clerical and related workers7881840
Sales workers—
    Salesmen, shop assistants, and related workers280808
    Other sales workers396956
Service workers—
    Cooks, waiters, bartenders, and related workers340692
    Protective service workers*344456
    Other service workers248560
Agricultural, animal husbandry and forest workers, fishermen and hunters—
    Agricultural and animal husbandry workers264652
    Other agricultural, animal husbandry and forest workers, fishermen and hunters204388
Production and related workers, transport equipment operators and labourers—
    Food and beverage processers208892
    Machinery fitters, machine assemblers, and precision-instrument makers (except electrical)10762436
    Electrical fitters and related electrical and electronics workers340944
    Plumbers, welders, sheet-metal and structural metal preparers, and erectors4481120
    Bricklayers, carpenters, and other construction workers8722468
    Material handling and related equipment operators, dockers, and freight handlers244780
    Transport equipment operators4521320
    Labourers n.e.c.8041872
    Other production and related workers, transport equipment operators, and labourers9722340
Occupation not classifiable or unspecified12601808
                  Total actively engaged males14,94032,108
Not actively engaged607210,684
Total males21,01242,792
Professional, technical, and related workers—
    Medical, dental, veterinary, and related workers16763072
    Professional, technical, and related workers n.e.c.168356
    Other professional, technical, and related workers6721380
Administrative and managerial workers108264
Clerical and related workers—
    Stenographers, typists, and card and tape punching machine operators14162992
    Bookkeepers, cashiers, and related workers336944
    Computing machine operators188336
    Clerical and related workers n.e.c.10683304
    Other clerical and related workers192368
Sales workers—
    Salesmen, shop assistants, and related workers256808
    Other sales workers116256
Service workers—
    Cooks, waiters, bartenders, and related workers396760
    Maids and related housekeeping service workers n.e.c.152148
    Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, and related workers164412
    Service workers n.e.c.172396
    Other service workers120248
Agricultural, animal husbandry and forest workers, fishermen and hunters52264
Production and related workers, transport equipment operators and labourers4321540
Occupation not classifiable or unspecified11601564
                  Total actively engaged females996821,132
Not actively engaged982817,084
                  Total females19,79638,216
                  Total males and females40,80881,008

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

Country of BirthImmigrants*Emigrants

* Persons arriving in New Zealand for a period of 12 months or more (including permanent arrivals). Plus New Zealand residents returning after an absence of 12 months or more.

New Zealand residents departing for a period of 12 months or more (including permanent departures). Plus overseas visitors departing from New Zealand after a stay of 12 months or more.

North America145815801664150215721788
    United States930100810969309441132
South America190148112365280
    United Kingdom7410761666289442961210,724
    Cook Islands and Niue886808932428460596
    New Zealand14,13814,25219,81235,03641,72055,524
Other Countries3648643436232

IMMIGRATION POLICY: Permanent Entry—New Zealand's immigration policy is designed to encourage the entry of skilled labour into New Zealand, and to protect domestic employment opportunities for New Zealand citizens and residents who have the right to reside here permanently. At the same time, considerable emphasis is placed on humanitarian considerations such as the reunification of families, and the provision of settlement opportunities for refugees.

Occupational Grounds—The New Zealand Government periodically determines the occupational skills in demand in New Zealand which warrant recruitment from overseas. Business men or women and entrepreneurs who are able to bring into the country both skills and capital may also be considered.

In general, applicants for permanent entry on occupational grounds must be between the ages of 18 and 45 years, of sound mental and physical health, and, if married, have no more than 4 dependent children.

Humanitarian Grounds—Favourable consideration is also given to people applying to enter on humanitarian grounds. The policy on family reunification provides for the entry of various categories of people who have immediate family already living in New Zealand. This is the main criterion for the entry of people from the South Pacific region into New Zealand, along with a special arrangement under which a quota of residents of Western Samoa may enter New Zealand for settlement each year. People may also be considered for permanent entry on the basis of their association with a New Zealand citizen or resident.

Refugees—The admission and resettlement of refugees who come within the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been an important priority of the New Zealand Government. Refugees have been accepted in New Zealand since 1944 from Europe, Asia, South America, and Uganda. Refugee schemes are considered by the Government in response to requests from the UNHCR and following consultations with voluntary agencies in New Zealand—usually the Inter-Church Commission on Immigration and Refugee Resettlement (ICCI) which was set up on the initiative of the National Council of Churches, and which, as part of its function, helps to find sponsors for refugees. (Financial support is provided to the ICCI by the Government in the performance of this function). When selecting refugees emphasis is placed on the humanitarian circumstances of each case. The selection criteria may vary for different refugee situations but it is considered in the best interests of the refugees themselves that those selected can be expected to adapt quickly to New Zealand conditions. Account is also taken of any previous association with New Zealand, and of links with friends or relatives living in New Zealand.

The number of refugees who can be accepted at any one time is dependent on the availability of satisfactory long-term resettlement resources in New Zealand, e.g., reasonably-priced suitable long-term accommodation, suitable employment for the breadwinners (which must of necessity in many cases be unskilled easily-learned tasks not requiring fluency in English), educational opportunities for the teaching of English, retraining, etc. Before refugees can be accepted, sponsors must be found for each family group, to assist the family in their resettlement.

Where refugees arrive in large groups the Government provides special assistance in the form of group orientation programmes for up to 1 month after arrival. During that period the refugees are accommodated in the Mangere Reception Centre and costs are met by various Government departments including the Department of Social Welfare, which pays a special emergency benefit to meet living expenses until the breadwinner begins working. Medical and dental checks are provided by the Department of Health, and the Department of Education organises general orientation and familiarisation courses (covering aspects of daily living in New Zealand) and instruction in the English language. After completing the orientation programme the refugees are moved to their final destinations where they are helped by their sponsors and, where possible, by other persons from their country of origin, to overcome their early resettlement problems.

Twenty-two resettlement committees have been set up throughout New Zealand at each of the district offices of the Department of Labour. Each committee consists of departmental representatives, and representatives from voluntary organisations and employer and employee groups. The committees assist sponsors at the local level with employment and any other problems that the refugees may face.

Current policy establishes quotas of refugees who may be accepted for entry, and the quotas are kept under review. New quotas approved in September 1979 in the continuing programme of acceptance of East European, Russian, Jewish, and handicapped refugees provide for the entry of 90 families. Some 1800 Indo-Chinese refugees are expected to arrive for resettlement during 1980. Refugee families, once resettled, may sponsor the entry of relatives to New Zealand for family reunification under normal policy.

Inter-Departmental Committee on Resettlement—The Inter-Departmental Committee on Resettlement (ICR) reviews the facilities available to assist new migrants and considers how best to ensure that existing agencies and services are related in a more direct way to the resettlement objectives of New Zealand's immigration policy, as set out in the committee's 1975 Report to the Minister of Immigration. The ICR, in consultation with other Government agencies and non-Government bodies, works to identify areas in which steps are not being taken to meet the reasonable requirements of new migrants, and as appropriate to develop proposals to satisfy these requirements.

A film entitled Living in New Zealand has been completed for the ICR, for use in its programme to develop more up-to-date information for migrants about life in New Zealand. It was produced by the Asia Pacific Research Unit Ltd. of Wellington, with considerable assistance from members of Pacific Island communities resident in New Zealand. Living in New Zealand aims to provide prospective migrants and work permit holders from the countries of the South Pacific with insights into the problems, challenges, and opportunities that they may expect to encounter here. A second and complementary information film, designed to show to all prospective migrants various aspects of daily life in New Zealand, has been commissioned by the ICR.

Temporary Entry—Entry permits for people wishing to visit New Zealand on a temporary basis are generally issued for varying periods of up to 6 months, though further extensions may be granted to bona fide tourists and other visitors to allow a total stay of up to 12 months. Visitors who wish to work while in New Zealand, whether for a New Zealand employer or on behalf of an overseas company, must apply for a temporary work permit; otherwise visitors are prohibited from working here. This requirement does not, however, affect Australian citizens who wish to work while in New Zealand, nor does it affect persons born in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau, who are New Zealand citizens and therefore have unrestricted right of entry into this country.

South Pacific Work Permit Schemes—New Zealand has special work permit schemes in operation for 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 Island workers while they are in New Zealand, and the Department of Labour checks that the conditions of employment offered are acceptable and that the accommodation provided is of a suitable standard. The maximum period of employment is 11 months. The long-term intention is to supplement these schemes with training and employment programmes aimed at improving the reserve of skills in the South Pacific countries concerned, along with programmes of economic development (for example, the Pacific Islands Industrial Development Scheme), to enable those countries to provide more local employment opportunities. Employees of Pacific companies involved in the Pacific Islands Industrial Development Scheme (PIIDS) may be sponsored to New Zealand by participating firms to undertake suitable training schemes.

From time to time New Zealand makes special arrangements on an ad hoc basis with other Pacific countries to provide employment opportunities as local conditions permit.

Student Entry—Entry may also be granted to overseas students provided they meet a number of requirements before arrival. The primary intention is to provide opportunities for students from less-developed countries to train in New Zealand.

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, usually in the form of an endorsement in a passenger's passport (or any other travel document). All persons intending permanent residence in New Zealand require prior approval before setting out on their journey.

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.

The 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 prior authority and entry permit requirements (whether entering permanently or temporarily) under a special exemption:

  1. Australian citizens;

  2. Citizens of other Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland who have been granted the right to reside indefinitely without restriction in Australia, provided they are travelling direct to New Zealand from Australia. (Norfolk Island is treated as part of Australia for this purpose.) Visitors from a number of other countries do not require visas or prior entry authorities, provided the purpose of entry is for tourism or to visit family and friends. Further details are available from the nearest New Zealand overseas representative.

These arrangements do 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 for 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.

Deportation—The Immigration Act 1964 makes provision for the deportation of the following persons: those convicted of offences against the Immigration Act; permanent residents who are convicted of an offence within specified periods of their arrival in New Zealand for which the Court has the power to impose imprisonment; those who have engaged in, or who belong to organisations which have engaged in, acts of terrorism; and any person who constitutes a threat to national security.

Appeals Against Deportation—Persons who have been convicted of offences against the Immigration Act may appeal in writing to the Minister of Immigration against the deportation order on the grounds that it would be unduly harsh or unjust to deport them. A Deportation Review Tribunal (administered by the Department of Justice) is empowered to hear appeals on humanitarian grounds from permanent residents against deportation orders following convictions for criminal offences.

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 and Niue by the New Zealand Representatives, and overseas by the representatives of New Zealand at Apia, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Bangkok, Bonn, Brussels, Canberra, Geneva, The Hague, Hong Kong, Honiara, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Noumea, Nuku'alofa, Ottawa, Paris, Peking, Port Moresby, Port of Spain, Rome, San Francisco, Santiago (Chile), Seoul, Singapore, Suva, Sydney, Tehran, Tokyo, Toronto, 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.

During the year ended 31 March 1979 there were 93740 New Zealand passports issued, compared with 75996 during the previous year.

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 requirements (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. The 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.

CITIZENSHIP—The current basic law on New Zealand citizenship is the Citizenship Act 1977, which came into force on 1 January 1978. Previously, the relevant law was the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948.

Under the Citizenship Act 1977, New Zealand citizenship may be acquired in the following ways: (a) by birth in New Zealand; (b) by descent (i.e. birth outside New Zealand); (c) by grant of citizenship. Those persons who were citizens under the previous Act (whether by birth, descent, naturalisation or registration) at 31 December 1977, retain their status under the current legislation. The current legislation also allows for citizenship by descent through the female line. To be eligible for a grant of New Zealand citizenship a person (other than the spouse of a New Zealand citizen; or a person under 18 years of age) must—(a) have resided in New Zealand for the 3 years immediately preceding the date of application; (b) be entitled in terms of the Immigration Act 1964 to reside in New Zealand permanently; (c) be of full capacity; (d) be of good character; (e) have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of the responsibilities and privileges attaching to New Zealand citizenship; (f) intend to continue to reside in New Zealand or to enter or continue Crown service under the New Zealand Government, or service in the employment of a person, company, society, or other body of persons resident or established in New Zealand.

Under current legislation everyone who acquires New Zealand citizenship by grant must swear allegiance to the Queen of New Zealand. British subjects or Commonwealth citizens whose country recognises Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State are required to take the oath on the application form. Other persons whose country of birth does not give this recognition are required to swear allegiance at a public ceremony. The ceremonies, at which applicants are presented with their certificates granting them New Zealand citizenship, are held in an atmosphere of dignity and solemnity. During 1978–79 there were 372 ceremonies at which 3485 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 by marriage and have acted in a manner that is contrary to the interests of New Zealand or voluntarily exercised any of the privileges or performed any of the duties of another nationality or citizenship in a manner that is contrary to the interests of New Zealand. Citizenship obtained by fraud, false representation, mistake, or wilful concealment of relevant information may be withdrawn. Under certain conditions New Zealand citizenship may also be validly renounced.

Upon the introduction of the Citizenship Act 1977 the requirement that aliens be registered was abolished.

CENSUS OF POPULATION AND DWELLINGS 1976—The series of tables on the following pages contain statistics from the 1976 Census of Population and Dwellings.

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.

Age Group (Years)Never MarriedMarriedLegally SeparatedWidowedDivorcedTotal*
* Including persons not specifying status.
75 and over240521,65427710,36846635,361
    Total, 1976284,430706,70617,10727,66915,1851,055,214
    Total, 1971250,372632,10811,59826,79811,442937,954
75 and over681613,16122640,61670361,843
    Total, 1976212,182709,36921,938116,04620,3591,081,705
    Total, 1971186,619637,92214,139104,53314,711959,378
75 and over922134,81550350,984116997,204
    Total, 1976496,6121,416,07539,045143,71535,5442,136,919
    Total, 1971436,9911,270,03025,737131,33126,1531,897,332

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

Marital Status196619711976
Never married28.120.826.919.527.119.6
Legally separated0.

HOUSEHOLDS—There was a total of 923257 private households living in permanent dwellings at the Census in 1976. The following table analyses the type of household by the number of occupants. A complete 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 Private Households*Number of Private Households' with Number of Members
1234567 or More
* Resident in permanent dwellings.
    Incomplete with children absent30,642...690182577249429019651980
    Incomplete with one parent absent52,471...24,42814,937767633241263843
    Incomplete with one parent and child(ren) absent4768...19931431706355147136
Other family—
    One family plus other persons (non-family)74,731......20,65516,62615,82810,68410,938
    Multi-family with or without other persons15,578.........2797310033306351
    One person143,896143,896..................
              Grand Total923,257143,896257,778148,463171,093109,16452,99939,864

In the following table complete one-family-only households at the 1976 Census are analysed by membership and the employment status of the head of the household.

Employment Status of HeadTotal HouseholdsHusband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife with
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More Children
* Includes heads working part-time (1 to 19 hours weekly).
Number of Households
Actively engaged full-time in the labour force—
    Own account worker50,30011,499831214,085981445352055
    Salary or wage earner366,53699,24067,812100,52559,25625,23614,467
    Relative assisting15888322396-
    Not specified620195105125864960
Not actively engaged full-time in the labour force*
    Household duties26521262421458256138117
              Grand total547,471187,63893,395131,47880,56135,04619,353

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

Age Croup of Head (Years)Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife with
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More ChildrenTotal Households
Number of Households
Under 20665753948-21522
65 and over60,5246860159741716412569,687
Percentage of Age Group
Under 2043.749.56.20.5-0.1100.0
65 and over86.
All ages34.317.

The following 2 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, indicating at least 1 other income recipient in the family.

Income of Head*Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife with
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More ChildrenTotal
            $Number of Households
20,000 and over20101357239720979513929204
Not specified13107718836473603594330
Income of Household*Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife with
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More ChildrenTotal
* Estimated income before tax, other than social welfare benefits, for the year ended 31 March 1976.
            $Number of Households
20,000 and over36013196542045572268130420,346
Not specified20341584202815609188949018

The following tables show persons living alone in 1976 by age, sex, and marital status.

Age Group (in Years)Marital Status
Never MarriedMarriedLegally SeparatedDivorcedWidowedTotal*
* Including those of unspecified marital status.
Males Living Alone
Under 2098222---1008
65 and over316319705081022919615,944
Females Living Alone
Under 20768479-1828
65 and over68052159555173840,76952,121

RELIGIOUS PROFESSIONS—The following summary presents the main religious professions returned at the 1966, 1971, and 1976 Censuses.

Religious ProfessionNumber of AdherentsPercentage
* Associated Pentecostal Churches of New Zealand.
Anglican (Church of England)901,701895,839915,20233.731.329.2
Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)425,280449,974478,53015.915.715.3
Christian n.o.d.21,54833,18752,4780.81.21.7
Latter Day Saints (Mormon)25,56429,78536,1301.01.01.2
Protestant n.o.d.46,09037,47533,3091.71.31.1
Salvation Army17,73719,37122,0190.70.70.7
Jehovah's Witness745510,31813,3920.30.40.4
Seventh Day Adventist955110,47711,9580.40.40.4
Church of Christ10,301893080870.40.30.3
Assemblies of God*2028359955810.10.10.2
Pentecostal*111018594846- -0.10.2
Eastern Orthodox3605431941530.10.20.1
Union Church27911543045- -- -0.1
Undenominational Christian1968190325540.10.10.1
Buddhist65213702382- -- -0.1
Spiritualist84310151731- -- -0.1
Mohammedan5517791415- -- -- -
Reformed Church of N.Z.124216281358- -0.1- -
Society of Friends8879661074- -- -- -
Humanitarian2415101060- -- -- -
Orthodox11005801047- -- -- -
All other religious professions19,45116,42834,6260.70.61.1
No religion (so returned)32,78057,485101,2111.22.03.2
Object to state210,851247,019438,5117.98.614.0
Not specified19,300103,53339,3800.73.61.3

The category “All other religious professions” includes also cases of facetious answers and those which were not specified in sufficient detail to allow precise classification. Figures under “Object to state” represent 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 years are published in the Monthly Abstract of Statistics.

Age (Years)1971 Census1976 CensusPercentage of Total Population
* Under 20 years.
90 and over1468306645341561379153520.20.2
Under 15 years464,512445,111909,623474,142454,063928,20531.829.7
15–64 years862,495846,3461,708,841968,908952,7631,921,67159.761.4
65 years and over103,849140,318244,167118,992160,515279,5078.58.9

ETHNIC GROUPS—The following table displays the broad ethnic origins of the New Zealand population.

Ethnic CroupCensus

* Covers persons who specified themselves as half or more New Zealand Maori, plus those who indicated they were persons of the Maori race of New Zealand, but did not specify the degree of Maori origin.

Half or more of given descent group, except for 1966, where figures cover persons of full descent and those of mixed, both European (all degrees) and Maori (where less than half Maori descent).

Other origins
    Pacific Island Polynesian—
    Cook Island Maori866312,91318,610
    Tokelauan 11831737
        Sub-total, Pacific Island Polynesian26,27140,91861,354
Syrian, Lebanese, and Arab1099890754
Other ethnic groups358941166424
        Sub-total, others23,13725,76732,833
Not specified--71,975

COUNTRY OF BIRTH—From 1945 to 1961 the New Zealand-born population remained at about 86 percent 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, 83.4 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
Number Born OverseasPercentage of Specified CasesNumber Born OverseasPercentage of Specified CasesNumber Born OverseasPercentage of Specified Cases
* Includes overseas-born short-stay visitors.
20 and over129,21133.2139,43234.4169,79234.1
Not specified5567...6752...10,040...

INTERNAL MIGRATION—At the 1976 Census of Population and Dwellings the questions on internal migration related to place of usual residence 5 years prior to the census, and number of years resided at usual residential address.

The following table (in percentages) gives a summary by statistical areas of the usually resident New Zealand population by their residence 5 years ago (i.e., at 1971 Census). In New Zealand, as a whole, 51.5 percent of the population were living at the same address as 5 years previous. The areas of greatest stability were the East Coast statistical area with 58.4 percent unchanged, Westland with 57.8 percent unchanged, and Southland with 55 percent unchanged.

Movement within statistical areas was greatest in South Auckland – Bay of Plenty, where 31.8 percent of the population had moved from their address of 5 years ago but had remained within the statistical area. Other statistical areas whose percentage was higher than the overall New Zealand figure of 29.6 percent were Wellington, which recorded 30.9 percent; Southland, 30.8 percent; Canterbury, 30.4 percent; and Central Auckland, 29.9 percent.

Persons who had shifted to a different statistical area between the 1971 and 1976 Censuses comprised 10.9 percent of the usually resident New Zealand population. Marlborough statistical area contained the highest proportion of persons who had shifted to the area from elsewhere in New Zealand (21.1 percent), followed by Westland (17 percent), Northland (16.8 percent), and Nelson (16 percent).

Persons whose address 5 years prior to the 1976 Census had been overseas, comprised 5.7 percent of the usually resident New Zealand population.

The highest proportion of these overseas migrants were located in the Central Auckland and Wellington statistical areas where 9.1 percent and 6.1 percent respectively of the usually resident population belonged to this category.

In arriving at the percentages in the following table, children under 5 years of age were, of course, excluded.

Usual Residence on Census Night 1976*Usual Residence 5 Years Prior to Census (1976)
UnchangedChanged But Within Statistical AreaElsewhere in Sew ZealandNew Zealand Residents No Settled Abode or Not SpecifiedPacific IslandsUnited Kingdom and IrelandAustraliaOther Countries Including Not Specified OverseasTotal
* Excludes no settled abode or not specified.
Central Auckland49.929.
South Auckland-Bay of Plenty48.831.812.
East Coast58.423.
Hawke's Bay54.626.
        Total North Island50.729.810.
        Total South Island53.828.911.
        Total New Zealand51.529.610.

Statistics on years resided at usual address, together with more detailed statistics on residence 5 years ago, will be found in the 1976 Census Bulletin Series, Number 22 (Internal Migration).

STATISTICS OF WORLD POPULATION—The area and estimated population of the major areas and selected countries at mid-year 1978 are shown in the following table. (Source: U.N. Population and Vital Statistics Report). The UN report should be consulted for further information and greater detail.

Major Areas and CountriesAreaPopulation

* World and major area figures are provisional totals for mid-1979.

Includes Central America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.

Major Areaskm2 (000)Million
World total135,8304336*
Selected Countries
    South Africa122127.7
    United States9363218.1
    Hong Kong14.6
    Saudi Arabia21507.9
    Sri Lanka6614.3
    Syrian Arab Republic1858.1
    Ireland, Republic of703.2
    United Kingdom24455.8
    Yugoslavia, Republic of25621.9
    New Caledonia190.1
    New Zealand2693.1
    Papua New Guinea4623.0

FURTHER INFORMATION—Other publications containing data on population include the following. Department of Statistics bulletins may be obtained from the Department of Statistics, Private Bag, Wellington. Most other official publications may be obtained from Government Bookshops in the main centres.

Population and Migration—Department of Statistics (Annual)

Pt A—Population

Pt B—Migration

Census of Population and Dwellings 1976—Department of Statistics.

Vol. 1—Location and Increase of Population.

Pt. A—Population Size and Distribution.

Pt. B—Population Density.

Pt. C—Usually Resident Population.

Vol. 2—Ages and Marital Status.

Vol. 3—Religious Professions.

Vol. 4—Labour Force.

Vol. 5—Incomes and Social Security Benefits.

Vol. 6—Education and Training.

Vol. 7—Birthplaces and Ethnic Origin.

Vol. 8—Maori Population and Dwellings.

Vol. 9—Dwellings.

Vol. 10—Households, Families, and Fertility.

Vol. 11—Internal Migration.

Census bulletins: A series of nearly 30 Census of Population 1976 bulletins deal with population distribution and characteristics by statistical areas and with individual subjects such as ages and marital status, dwellings, incomes, education and training, Maori population and dwellings, religious professions, internal migration, and the composition of the labour force.

Monthly Abstract of Statistics—Department of Statistics.

Quarterly Population Bulletin—Department of Statistics.

New Zealand Sub-national Population Projections 1976–1991 (Series of 20 bulletins)—Department of Statistics.

Miscellaneous Bulletin Series—Department of Statistics.

No. 1—New Zealand Males and Females—A Statistical Comparison.

No. 7—New Zealand Maori and Non-Maori Populations.

No. 10—Family Statistics in New Zealand.

No. 12—New Zealand Children 1979.

Social Trends in New Zealand—Department of Statistics (1977).

The New Zealand People 1971 (Summary of data from 1971 Census of Population and Dwellings)—Department of Statistics.

Maps of Statistical Boundaries—Department of Statistics.

Chapter 4. Section 4 VITAL STATISTICS


The major components of population growth are natural increase and any gain from migration. The slowing-down of New Zealand's population growth in recent years has been a result of a fall in increments from both components. The balance of migration has, in fact, shown an annual loss of population, and the continued fall in the birth rate has reduced the excess of births over deaths.

The following table shows the numbers and rates of natural increase for the last 5 years, and emphasises the relatively high rate for the Maori component of the population.

YearTotal PopulationMaorisNatural Increase Rates per 1000 Mean Population
BirthsDeathsNatural IncreaseBirthsDeathsNatural IncreaseTotalMaori

* Provisional.

In the 5 years to 31 December 1979 New Zealand gained by natural increase of population a total of nearly 143000.

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES—An international comparison of birth and natural increase rates for certain countries is made in the following table. The rates, taken from the United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, are for 1977 or 1978.

CountryRate per 1000 of Population
BirthsDeathsNatural Increase
New Zealand16.37.88.5
United States15.38.86.5
United Kingdom11.811.70.1
West Germany9.411.8-2.4


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.

Birth 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 welfare 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 1978 they totalled 208.

NUMBERS AND RATES—The following table shows the numbers of births and the rates for the latest 5 years. Late registrations (see above) have been excluded from all these figures. The birth rate, which fell in the early 1960s and then appeared to stabilise at 22 to 23 births per 1000 of mean population in the later 1960s, resumed the decline in the 1970s and, as the decade ends, may be reaching a new stability at a lower level.

YearNumbersRates per 1000 of Mean Population

REFINED BIRTH RATE—“Crude” rates of the number of births per 1000 of the mean population, irrespective of sex or age, do not take account of variations in the proportion of women of the childbearing ages. Refined rates are provided by computations of the nuptial birth rate per 1000 married women of 16–44 years of age, or the total birth rate per 1000 of 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 1000 WomenCrudeBirth Rate per 1000 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 66.8 in 1976 compared with 51.6 in 1926. A study of the figures for successive censuses reveals considerable changes in the age composition of married women within the child-bearing ages; as the birth rate varies with age, the change in age composition over the period is a factor which should be taken into account.

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 1000 of mean population. From 1966 until 1971 the crude birth rate remained relatively constant, but from 1972 the downward trend was 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 1000 Mean Population
New Zealand22.521.720.419.618.317.717.316.3
United States17.215.715.015.014.814.715.3..

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

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

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 if the population is closed to migration, and a higher rate a rising population.

Reproduction rates during 6 recent years were as follows:

YearCross RateNet Rate

SEX OF CHILDREN BORN—The numbers of boys and girls born during the latest 5 years are given in the following table.

In each year more boys than girls are born, a necessary disparity on account of the higher death rates of males at every age level. The death rate per 1000 live births for babies under 12 months of age in 1978 was 16.19 for boys and 11.25 for girls; for children of from 1 to 4 years of age it was 0.81 for boys and 0.61 for girls; for children aged 5 to 14 years it was 0.39 for boys and 0.25 for girls; and the pattern repeated itself for each age group through adolescence and adult life.

The following table illustrates the disparity in the numbers born.

YearNumber of Births ofMale Births per 1000 Female Births

MULTIPLE BIRTHS—In 1978 there were 50496 confinements which resulted in live births; of these 522 cases resulted in all live multiple births, 12 cases where one of twins was still-born, and 3 cases where both twins were still-born.

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

YearSingle BirthsTwin BirthsTripletsTotal CasesStill Birth Rate per 1000
LiveStillBoth LiveBoth StillOne Live One StillAll LiveTwo Live One StillSingleMultipleSingle CasesMulti-Cases

AGES OF PARENTS—Information as to the relative ages of parents of nuptial living children whose births were registered in 1978 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 11 cases of triplets, all live-born, 3 cases of twins, both still-born, and 12 cases of twins where one was still-born.
Single Births
Under 20381153929635153122272
45 and over1113106123
Multiple Births
Under 20373114
45 and over
        Grand total501787716,10510,42636561151403161471240,339

PREVIOUS ISSUE OF PARENTS—The following table gives for 1978 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 39906 single cases and 433 multiple cases.
Number of Mothers
Under 2016615764632286
45 and over42212172223

In the following table the total issue and average issue are shown for mothers by age groups where a birth occurred in 1978.

Age of Mother in YearsTotal MothersTotal IssueAverage Issue
Under 20228629761.30
45 and over231466.34

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 1978) 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: 1974, 2.23; 1975, 2.19; 1976, 2.17; 1977, 2.13, and 1978, 2.11.

FIRST BIRTH—Statistics of nuptial first confinements show that in recent years there have been reduced 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

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 146.2538.4742.6449.8532.3826.7425.77
10 and over1.111.530.940.860.550.730.79

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 208.907.339.0819.6417.9612.1111.22
45 and over0.

The average ages of mothers at the birth of their first child were as follows: 1934, 25.90; 1944, 25.18; 1954, 25.32; 1964, 23.65; 1974, 23.29; 1977, 24.22; and 1978, 24.38 years.

EX-NUPTIAL BIRTHS—The numbers of ex-nuptial births registered during each of the latest 6 years, with the percentage 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 1962–78 period when ex-nuptial births increased from 5227 to 10254 while nuptial births showed an overall fall from 59787 to 40775, 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 movements in the proportion of ex-nuptial births per 1000 unmarried women—i.e., spinsters, widows, and divorced women—at the reproductive ages. Up to 1961 the statistics relate to non-Maoris only; from 1966 Maoris are included. The figures for census years are as follows:

Census YearUnmarried Women 15–44 Years of AgeEx-nuptial BirthsEx-nuptial Birth Rate per 1000 Unmarried Women

In 1978 the total number of ex-nuptial confinements resulting in live births was 10157. Of these, 10056 cases were single births and 97 cases were twins. There were 4 cases of twins where 1 child was still-born. The total number of ex-nuptial live births was 10254. From the following table, it can be seen that of the 10157 mothers, 4423 or 43.55 percent, were under 20 years of age.

AgeNumber of Mothers
45 and over4

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: 1973, 1482; 1974, 1517; 1975, 1433; 1976, 1478; 1977, 1284; and 1978, 1288.

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 Infants19771978
Reregistered after marriage of parents31132503
Remaining with mother (parents cohabiting)359036387040
Remaining with mother (parents not cohabiting)347135373439
Placed with relatives35242492
Placed with strangers with view to adoption997109089
Placed with strangers, no expressed wish to adoption21- -16- -
In children's home or other institution on a long-term basis34- -29- -
Committed to care of Social Welfare361291
Not traced966105135

ADOPTIONS—The following table shows the number of adoptions which have been registered during 5 recent years.


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 trend has continued. Of the 2380 adoptions finalised in 1978, social workers of the Department of Social Welfare were concerned with 2130 or 90 percent. Maori welfare officers handled most of the others.

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

Status of Children Adopted1975197619771978
* 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*74594381

In 1978, 72 percent of the children adopted were born out of wedlock. Of these children born out of wedlock, 85 percent were aged less than 1 year at the time of placement for adoption. Fifty percent were placed with strangers.

The next table shows the age at placement according to the status of the children adopted in 1978.

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 year266129091565
1–5 years3652189
6 years and over217230
Not known*20017769446

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

One parent and spouse877913792782
Relative or close friend293294272281

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 7.57 per 1000 births in 1977, when still births totalled 413; 7.08 in 1978, when still births totalled 364; and 6.61 in 1979, when still births totalled 348.


NUMBERS AND RATES—The death rate (by which is usually meant the crude death rate, the number of deaths per 1000 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 55 years later, in 1979, it was 8.13. In between, it had reached a peak of 11.05 in 1942, during the Second World War, and a low point of 7.88 in 1978. In contrast, the birth rate (21.63 in 1924 and 16.73 in 1979) had been as high as 27.64 in 1947 and is now falling below even the level of the 1930s Depression years. 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 1000 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 1000 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 2 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, based on 1973 figures, 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 2 races in each sex (age-specific rates are the number of deaths per 1000 (or per 10000, etc.) of the population in the specified age groups).

Ethnic GroupAll Ages Rates per 10000 Mean PopulationAge-specific Rates per 10000 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
Non-Maori95.6 44.14.816.917.3127.9741.9
Both Sexes
Non-Maori87.4 38.53.611.414.197.8632.9

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 1000 of mean population.

Deaths of Maoris, included in these figures, in 1979 totalled 1239, of whom 727 were males and 512 females.

DISTRIBUTION OF DEATHS OVER THE YEAR—In 1978 the months during which the greatest number of deaths occurred were June, July, and August with totals of 2300,2448, and 2274 respectively. December had the least number of deaths, 1228, followed by February with 1649.

AGES AT DEATH—Deaths registered during the year 1978 are shown according to age in the following table.

Age, in YearsMalesFemalesTotal
* Excludes adjustments by the National Health Statistics Centre as a result of analysis and collation of registration forms and death certificates.
Under 1*422281703
  1– 49165156
  5– 9564096
100 and over112536

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 1978.

Age, in YearsNumber of DeathsPercentage of Total DeathsPercentage of Maori Deaths in Total Deaths per Age Croup
Under 57201393.0611.4416.18
65 and over15,85437267.5930.612.29
                  All ages23,4541215100.00100.004.92

In the following table is given a time series for rates of death per 1000 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*1451415242534354445545564657475 and Over

* Per 1000 live births in this case.

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

(Rates per 1000 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 1978 was 48.87 and 50.22 years for males and females 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 1976 population census, together with mortality statistics for 1975–77.*

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.

* See Life Tables: A Measure of Life Expectancy at the back of this Yearbook. Tables in this section are based on the 1971 population census.

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, obtainable from Government bookshops.

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 3 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 States197468.275.9

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 1974. 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 doubled between 1950 and 1970, and has continued to increase. 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.

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

The following table is a summary of causes of death, numbers and rates per million of mean population for the years 1975 to 1977.

Cause of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per Million of Mean Population
Enteritis and other diarrhoeal diseases533135171011
Tuberculosis of respiratory system3225271089
Other tuberculosis including late effects423744141214
Infectious hepatitis171116645
Syphilis and its sequelae352121
All other infective and parasitic diseases937566302421
Malignant neoplasm500751455250162216511679
Benign neoplasm and neoplasm of unspecified nature374340121413
Diseases of thyroid gland252825898
Diabetes mellitus472466426153150136
Avitaminoses and other nutritional deficiency8118343
Alcoholic psychosis and alcoholism817160262319
Multiple sclerosis1820316610
Paralysis agitans928573302723
Chronic rheumatic heart disease240271224788772
Hypertensive disease379344359123110115
Ischaemic heart disease696572407472225623232389
Other forms of heart disease656789818213253262
Cerebrovascular disease32353074316210489861011
Diseases of arteries, arterioles, and capillaries823732673267235215
Acute respiratory infections including influenza152255106498234
Bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma107211381273347365407
Other diseases of respiratory system239244182777858
Peptic ulcer149154140484945
Intestinal obstruction and hernia106114105343734
Cirrhosis of liver191150179624857
Diseases of gallbladder655653211817
Nephritis and nephrosis117120112383936
Infections of kidney615582201826
Hyperplasia of prostate355444111714
Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium13610423
Rheumatoid arthritis606263192020
Congenital anomalies3422962911119593
Birth injury, difficult labour, and other anoxic and hypoxic conditions1499798483131
Other causes of perinatal mortality227182175745856
All other diseases812853990263274317
Motor vehicle accidents689663889223213284
All other accidents989948874320304279
Suicide and self-inflicted injury2932913659593117
All other external causes618596202731

PRINCIPAL CAUSES OF DEATH—Heart disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), and cerebrovascular disease were again the leading causes of death in 1977 (the latest year for which data are available). These 3 causes accounted for approximately 61 percent of all deaths in 1977—ischaemic heart disease accounted for approximately 29 percent of deaths, malignant neoplasms (cancer) for 20 percent, and cerebrovascular disease for 12 percent.

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

Cause of Death1974197519761977
Deaths per million
All heart disease2701264327492815
Malignant neoplasms (cancer)1631162216511679
Cerebrovascular disease113610489861011
Accidental causes553533508548

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 for all forms of heart disease show that for both sexes the rates have fallen by 7 percent between 1970 and 1977.

The numbers of deaths and standardised mortality ratios for heart disease, excluding acute rheumatic forms and congenital malformations, during recent years are shown below.

YearAll Forms of Heart Disease
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.

Cancer—In New Zealand 1 death in 5 in 1977 was caused by cancer. The cancer crude death rate has increased in each of the latest 5 years for which figures are available from 158.1 per 100000 population in 1973 to 167.9 in 1977.

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 100000Standardised Mortality Ratios*Number of Deaths from CancerCrude Death Rate per 100000Standardised Mortality Ratios*
* Base years 1950–52 = 100.
  Males  Females 

A classification of cancer deaths during 1977 according to age and sex is shown below. Ninety-two percent of deaths from cancer during 1977 were at 45 years of age or above, and 58 percent were at 65 years of age or above.

Age Group in YearsDeaths of MalesDeaths of Females
NumbersRate per 100000 of Population at Ages GivenPercentage of Total Deaths at Ages GivenNumbersRate per 100000 of Population at Ages GivenPercentage of Total Deaths at Ages Given
* All ages crude rate.
Under 596.31.664.41.6
65 and over17221422.420.01363835.516.3
All ages2848182.3*19.92402153.4*20.6

Cancer of the lung continues to be the major site in male deaths from cancer. Almost 6 percent of all male deaths in 1977 were caused by lung cancer. Breast is the major cancer site in females with more than twice as many females dying from breast cancer as from lung cancer.

The following table shows deaths from cancer (malignant neoplasms) by sex and selected sites, registered in New Zealand during 1976 and 1977.

SiteSexNumbersRates per Million Mean Population
Buccal cavity and pharynxM50643241
Large intestineM238270153173
Bronchus, trachea, and lungM844827542529
Cervix uteriF91935859
Corpus uteriF56603638
Ovary, fallopian tube, and broad ligamentF1331518596
Bladder and other urinary organsM157x149101x95
Skin, all formsM83895357
Lymphosarcoma and reticulum-cellsarcomaM43542835
All other and unspecified sitesM488x482314x309
Total cancer deathsM2815284818081823

Cerebrovascular Disease—Cerebrovascular disease, the third of the principal causes of death in New Zealand, affects mainly the late-middle-aged and the elderly. In 1977, 3162 persons died of the disease. Of these, only 123 were below 50 years of age, and 3039 were 50 years of age or above.

The World Health Organisation defines cerebrovascular disease as follows:

“Cerebrovascular diseases are diseases of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) of vascular origin. The term covers a wide range of clinical manifestations, varying from subarachnoid haemorrhage resulting from a rupture of Berry aneurysm on the one hand to arteriosclerotic Parkinsonism and dementia on the other.”

The incidence of deaths from cerebrovascular disease over a series of years is shown in the following table. After reaching a peak in 1972 the rate declined each year until 1976. The 1977 rate of 1011 per million of mean population is 2 percent higher than the 1976 rate but is probably only a random variation.

* Rate per million of mean population.

INFANT AND PERINATAL MORTALITY—The following table shows New Zealand perinatal mortality numbers and rates for 1976–77. 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 liveborn 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 1000 total births (still births plus livebirths), while the death rate for neonatal and infant death is calculated per 1000 livebirths.

DeathYearMaoriNon-MaoriTotal Population
Late fetal1976466.93817.84277.7
Early neonatal1976639.53116.43746.8
Post neonatal19767511.32635.43386.1

In a review of neonatal and postnatal deaths, issued by Department of Health in November 1976, it was shown that 8 countries, selected on the basis of their having one million or more population and on their reporting of data regarded by World Heath Organisation as complete, had a lower mortality rate than New Zealand. These 8 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 8) during 1973. The figures represent deaths per 100000 live births.

CountryAge of Child
Under 1 YearUnder 1 Day1 and Under 7 Days7 and Under 28 Days1 Month and Under 1 Year
  Deaths per 100000 Live Births 
New Zealand1620538319120642
England and Wales1688552400161574
United States1772722421153476

Source: World Health Statistics Annual.

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 1000 live births, are shown for the latest available 3 years in the following table.

Cause of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per 1000 Live Births
Influenza, pneumonia, and bronchitis111103982.01.91.8
Gastro-enteritis, diarrhoea, also dysentery151390.30.20.2
Congenital anomalies2141861853.83.43.4
Neonatal disorders arising from certain diseases of the mother5732341.00.60.6
Birth injury, difficult labour, and other anoxic and hypoxic conditions4434300.80.60.6
Asphyxia of newborn unspecified3920210.70.40.4
Haemolytic disease of newborn8740.10.10.1
Hyaline membrane disease3723190.70.40.4
Immaturity and multiple pregnancy5856601.01.01.1
All other causes3243003105.75.45.7
Total infant deaths90777477016.014.014.2

MATERNAL DEATHS—The Maternal Mortality Research Act 1968 defines a maternal death as “a death that occurs during pregnancy or within a period of 3 months after the date of termination of a pregnancy”. Deaths from complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium numbered 10 in 1977 with a rate of 1.8 per 10000 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 12 in 1977 with a rate of 2.2 per 10000 live births.

DEATHS OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN—Recent Yearbooks have included a review of mortality rates among children aged 1 to 4 years in New Zealand and in selected overseas countries. New Zealand's ranking has been disappointingly low. A review based on 1974 data gave New Zealand's age-specific mortality rate for children aged 1–4 as 83 per 100000 compared with (for example) 44 per 100000 in Sweden, 65 per 100000 in England and Wales, and 74 per 100000 in the United States.

The main cause for New Zealand's poor showing is the relatively high rate of mortality among pre-schoolers from accidents and violence, especially motor-vehicle accidents and drowning. In 1974 New Zealand's mortality rate from accidents and violence among 1–4 year-old children approached 3 times the Swedish rate and was more than twice the rate in England and Wales. Various explanations have been attempted, but the fact remains that New Zealand pre-schoolers are at higher risk of accidental death than pre-schoolers in many other countries with similar standards of living.

The following table shows the number of deaths of pre-school children from accidents and violence in New Zealand during 1977. The leading causes, accounting for 48 of the 84 deaths, were accidents involving motor vehicles and drowning.

Causes of DeathSexAges (In Years)Total
Motor vehiclesM217515
Mechanical suffocationM112
Struck by falling objectM112
Water transportM11
Hit by trainF11
Kicked by horseF11
Inhalation of stomach contentsM11
Caught between objectsF11
Piercing objectF11
Electric currentF11
Late effect of fallF11

DEATHS AMONG TOTAL POPULATION FROM EXTERNAL CAUSES—Accidents, poisonings, and violence caused approximately 8 percent of the total deaths in each of the years 1975 to 1977.

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.

Figures not comparable with 1970–1975 because of amendments to classification procedure.

Motor-vehicle accidents689663889223213284
Other transport accidents416047131915
Accidental poisoning44312514108
Accidental falls496437402161140129
Accidents caused by machinery36293512911
Accidents caused by fire and explosion of combustible material484344161414
Accidents caused by firearms10711324
Accidental drowning and submersion*121161135395243
Suicide and self-inflicted injury2932913659593117
All other external causes223232216727469
Total deaths from accidents, poisoning, or violence203219872224658638711

Procedural Change in 1977—The number of deaths as a result of accidents involving motor vehicles increased sharply from 663 in 1976 to 889 in 1977, an increase of 34 percent. This increase in registrations can be attributed to changes in registration procedures introduced by the Registrar-General's office in 1977. Prior to 1977, the registration of deaths referred to coroners for investigation was delayed until all investigations were completed. In 1977 this practice was amended to permit interim registration pending the outcome of coroners' investigations. The numbers of deaths registered as being due to other accidental or violent causes are also increased as a result of this procedural change. It is expected that 1978 mortality data will show a pattern more comparable with 1976.

An analysis of deaths registered during 1977 by the principal external causes and by sex and age group is given in the following table and in the notes following it.

Age Group (In Years)Motor Vehicle AccidentsAccidental DrowningsAccidental PoisoningsAccidental Falls
Under 1543393112291
75 and over3321312280209
Age GroupSuicide and Self-inflicted InjuryHomicideAll Accidents, Poisonings, and Violence*
* Includes causes other than those shown in table.
Under 151191113484
75 and over175--148261

Accidental Drowning—During 1976 a review of classification procedures in use at the National Health Statistics Centre was held. This resulted in slight modifications to the coding guidelines for causes such as accidental deaths from falls and drowning. It was decided to give greater weight to drowning. The 1976 and subsequent figures reflect this decision. It is likely that figures of drownings were a little understated for 1970–1975.

Accidental Falls—There were 402 deaths from accidental falls in 1977. 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 in each age group under 65 years. At 65 years of age and above the higher life expectancy of females ensures that more elderly women than elderly men are exposed to the risk of fatal falls.

In 1977 the home was the place of occurrence of 42 percent of fatal accidental falls and, in fact, falls are the chief cause of death in home accidents.

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 59 percent of all fatal non-transport accidents in the 3-year period 1975 to 1977.

Place of OccurrenceNumberRate per Million of Mean Population
Home (including home premises and vicinity and any non-institutional place of residence)39535629412811494
Farm (including buildings and land under cultivation, but excluding farm and home premises493036161012
Mine and quarry285132
Industrial place and premises403536131112
Place for recreation and sport11107432
Street and highway192916695
Public building (building used by the general public or a particular group of the public)151616555
Residential institution (homes, hospitals, etc.)150141144494546
Other specified places149138142484445
Place not specified777472252423

Approximately 38 percent of fatal non-transport accidents occurred in or about the home.

Water Accidents by Location—The following table, prepared by the New Zealand Water Safety Council, shows drownings by location and age group during the year ended March 1979.

LocationAge in Years
Under 55–1011–1516–2021–3031–4041–5051–60Over 60Total
* Includes 1 of unspecified age.
Rivers, streams, and other running water74468322339
Seas and beaches1324613-122*
Swimming pools—
Farm dam and pond2--------2
Household drain and rubbish hole2--------2
Pools and ponds1--------1
Fish pond1--------1
Home bath1--------1
Quarry pool-1-------1
Boating accidents—
    Farm lagoon-----1---1


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 transactions 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. Justices of the Peace may also be nominated to act as marriage celebrants.

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 District Court judge 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 1000 of Population

Comparison with Other Countries—Marriage rates for certain countries for 1978 are given below (Source: United Nations Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.)

CountryRate per 1000 of Mean Population
* 1977.
West Germany5.4
New Zealand7.2
United Kingdom7.3*
United States10.3

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

YearSingleWidowedDivorcedTotal Persons Married

The nature of the marriage according to the 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

In the period 1974–78 more male divorcees than female divorcees remarried.

Forty years ago during the 1938–40 period, remarriages of widows totalled only 67 to every 100 remarriages of widowers. In the changed social climate of 1974–78, 107 widows remarried to every 100 widowers who did so.

AGES OF PERSONS MARRIED—Until recently, the proportion of minors among persons marrying had been increasing over a fairly long period of years but it is now declining slightly. On 1 January 1971 the age of majority was lowered from 21 to 20 years of age. In 1978, 1 bride in every 4 was under 20 years of age, the proportion of grooms being 1 in 19.

Of the persons married in 1978, 6346 or 14.15 percent were under 20 years of age; 20831 or 46.44 percent were returned as 20–24 years; 8282 or 18.46 percent as 25–29 years; 5180 or 11.54 percent as 30–39 years; and 4213 or 9.39 percent as 40 years of age and over.

The following table relates to the 1978 calendar year.

Age of Bridegroom, in YearsAge of Bride, in YearsTotal Bridegrooms
Under 2020–2425–2930–3435–3940–4445 and Over
Under 20902262122---1178
45 and over3428213320022711751862
Total brides516810,36430551360737447129522,426

The following table shows the percentage distribution by age group of every 100 males and females marrying. It refers to the 5-year period 1965–69 and to recent individual years.

PeriodUnder 20*20–24*25–2930–3435–3940–4445 and OverTotal
* 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 most popular age, if the age at which the most marriages are celebrated may be so termed. The modal age for brides in 1978 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 1978 it was 22 years.

Marriages of Minors—Of every 1000 men who married in 1978, 53 were under 20 years of age, while 230 in every 1000 brides were under 20. Since 1 January 1971 the age of majority has been 20 years. In 902 marriages in 1978 both parties were given as under 20 years of age, in 4266 marriages the bride was returned as a minor and the bridegroom as an adult, and in 276 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
161718192016–20 Years16–19 YearsRate per 100 Marriages 16–20 YearsRate per 100 Marriages 16–19 Years

MARRIAGES BY MINISTERS OF VARIOUS CHURCHES—Of the 22426 marriages performed in 1978, Anglican clergymen officiated at 4637, Presbyterian at 4419, Roman Catholic at 2807, Methodist at 1363, and clergymen of other churches at 4304, while 4896 marriages were solemnised by registrars.

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

ChurchPercentage of Marriages
* Including marriage celebrants other than ministers of religion.
Roman Catholic14.7814.3513.6813.4813.0612.52
Before registrars24.0425.1926.2826.2524.2521.83

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 1976 Census of Population, 29.2 percent were recorded as adherents of the Anglican Church, 18.1 percent Presbyterian, 15.3 percent Roman Catholic, 5.5 percent Methodist, 18.5 percent were of no religion, or objected to stating their religious profession, or did not specify any religious profession.

NUMBER OF MARRIAGE CELEBRANTS—The number of names on the list of marriage celebrants under the Marriage Act was 5082 at 1 April 1979. The principal churches to which they belonged are shown hereunder.

* Includes Justices of the Peace and members of approved organisations nominated to act as marriage celebrants.
Roman Catholic Church881
Anglican (Church of England)803
Presbyterian Church of N.Z.699
Methodist Church of N.Z.351
Salvation Army272
Latter Day Saints182
Ratana Church of N.Z.151
Jehovah's Witness131
Assemblies of God98
Ringatu Church82
Associated Churches of Christ53
Seventh Day Adventist49
Apostolic Church44
Congregational Church of Samoa23
Liberal Catholic Church20
United Pentecostal Church18
Other religious bodies456

DIVORCE—A petition for divorce may be presented to the High 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 High Court in recent years are shown in the following table.

YearPetitions FiledDecree NisiDecrees Absolute
Number GrantedRate per 100 Marriages During YearRate per 10000 of Mean Population
* Provisional.

The next table gives the grounds of petitions and decrees during the 2 years, 1978 and 1979.

GroundPetitions FiledDecrees Absolute Granted
Husbands' PetitionsWives' PetitionsHusbands' PetitionsWives' Petitions
Separation by agreement16951819169418861512164014451641
Separation by Court Order524540709763366432580641
Having lived apart for 4 years or more316342346327311302301308

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.

For all years up to and including 1976, living issue of marriage of divorcing couples were tabulated. New procedures effective from 1 January 1977 defined “children” as all children of the family who are under the age of 18 at the date of decree absolute, whether or not they are children of the husband or wife. Thus all legitimised and adopted children are included, and the statistics show only those children of an age to be dependent upon parents.

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 1979.

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 5442058218201136416
20 and over658243951212711291472
Duration of Marriage (in Years)Age (in Years) at Marriage
Under 2020–2425–2930–3435–3940–4445 and Over (including Not Stated)Total
  Wives (All Petitions)    
Under 51661355314121026416
20 and over48174815348149191472

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 20 such decrees in New Zealand each year. The principal ground is non-consummation.

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 until 1968 an adviser in marriage guidance was attached to the staff of the Department of Justice. An advisory committee was also set up to keep the 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. The National Marriage Guidance Council's work over the past 5 years has included the provision of educational services in the field of marriage and family life. Over 154 tutors have been trained to lead courses in the community on such topics as marriage enrichment, parent education, human relations and communication.

The 24 councils affiliated to the National Marriage Guidance Council provide counselling centres staffed by 231 accredited counsellors. During the past year these people provided skilled professional assistance to 4893 couples who approached the service on their own initiative and in addition assisted the Courts by serving as conciliators under the Domestic Proceedings Act. They dealt with 2089 cases in this way. All in all, 22674 counselling interviews were provided during the year.

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 559 trained volunteers in the fields of counselling and marriage education is supported and co-ordinated by 8 full-time and 5 part-time directors, 4 visiting supervisors, and 38 receptionists or secretaries. The 4 visiting supervisors mentioned above represent an important extension of marriage counselling services into provincial towns. Supervisors from neighbouring councils are funded 1 day a fortnight to travel to smaller centres in order to stimulate and supervise the development of local volunteers. This has the effect of placing professional services in marriage education, counselling, and conciliation services closer to the people in rural communities.

FURTHER INFORMATION—Further information on vital statistics will be found in the following publications.

Department of Statistics publications—
    Vital Statistics (Annual).
    Monthly Abstract of Statistics.
    Family Statistics of New Zealand 1978 (Bulletin, 1978).
    New Zealand Children 1979 (Bulletin, 1979).
    Justice Statistics 1978: Divorce and Domestic Proceedings (Bulletin, 1979).
    Life Tables 1975–77 (1979).
    Demographic Bulletin.
    Social Trends in New Zealand (1977).
    New Zealand Males and Females: A Statistical Comparison (Bulletin, 1980).
Department of Health publications—
    Trends in Health and Health Services (3-yearly).
    Mortality and Demographic Data (Annual).
    Hospital and Selected Morbidity Data (Annual).
    Cancer Data (Annual).
Department of Health Special Report Series—
    Infant and Foetal Loss in New Zealand (1964).
    Occupational Mortality Among Male Population Other than Maori, 20 to 64 Years of Age (1967).
    Maori-European Comparisons in Mortality (1972).
    Cancer of the Lung in New Zealand (1973).
    Bibliography of the Epidemiology of New Zealand and its Island Territories (1969).
    Diseases of the Ear, Nose, and Throat in Maori Children (1965).
    Trends in Notifiable Disease (1964).
    Domestic Accidents (1970).
    Lung Function and Chronic Bronchitis in New Zealand (1978).
    Perinatal Mortality in New Zealand, 1972–73 (1977).
Parliamentary papers—
    The Public Health (Annual report of the Department of Health, Parl. paper E. 10).
    Report of the Department of Social Welfare (Parl. paper E. 12).

Chapter 5. section 5 HEALTH AND HOSPITALS


The nation's health services are 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, have in recent years resulted in an increased emphasis on the importance of 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 to general practitioners who are 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 agricultural 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; the inspection of schools and child care centres; and the immunisation of infants against poliomyelitis, etc.

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; and 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 keeps its nursing services and those provided by hospital boards under continuous review. Basic nursing education is provided in 26 hospital schools of nursing and 8 technical institutes. Formal post-basic nursing education at diploma/degree level is available from Victoria and Massey Universities, and 4 technical institutes have post-basic diploma courses. Short post-basic courses in learning and teaching are available from 2 teachers' colleges, and similar short courses in community health nursing are available from 4 technical institutes. “Bridging” courses to enable registered nurses to gain comprehensive registration are available from 2 technical institutes.

Within its public health nursing service, the department employs nearly 500 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 Radiation Protection Advisory Councils, the Hospital Works, and Medical Services Advisory Committees, and the Dietitians, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Opticians, and Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers 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.

Expenditure of the Department of Health in the 3 latest years is given in the following table.

Activity Programme1976–771977–781978–79

* Mostly grants to hospital boards.

From 1 April 1978 all expenditure is funded from Consolidated Account.

From 1 April 1978 combined with public health and environmental protection and medical and pharmaceutical services.

Administrative services4,6805,5106,865
Dental services18,22119,76421,609
Hospital services*481,301572,701703,135
Family health services8,9089,667-
Medical research3,2834,0204,342
Medical and pharmaceutical services136,357153,580190,326
Public health and environmental protection21,78927,49232,643
Welfare services6,5606,4558,383
Data processing services4,6867,1237,447
Funded from Consolidated Revenue Account.685,785806,312974,750
Psychiatric hospital buildings4,3303,1685,090
Public buildings construction3452521,210
Funded from Works and Trading Account4,6753,4206,300
                Less departmental receipts1,3541,2791,086
                Net expenditure689,106808,453979,964

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 including eating houses in which food is manufactured and sold, 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 authority. The department undertakes the basic training of health inspectors employed by local authorities and conducts specialist and refresher courses for them.

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 the principles of preventive medicine and the administration of legislation directly and indirectly related to this end: (b) to control air pollution; (c) to provide scientific 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 public exposure to radiation 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.

Environmental Noise Control—The Department of Health's long-standing responsibilities in the field of occupational noise control have in recent years been extended to environmental noise control. District offices, together with the National Acoustics Centre, have undertaken a number of noise surveys for local authorities, and have also advised some of the larger local bodies on conducting their own noise surveys. Training courses dealing with the fundamentals of noise measurement and control have been conducted, and a programme of monitoring has been started where the noise climate in selected cities and towns is being surveyed.

The National Acoustics Centre offers a complete noise data analysis system whereby any local authority, district office, or consultant can have noise tapes promptly analysed.

Air Pollution Control—Air pollution, once accepted as the natural accompaniment of city dwelling and industrial production, is now recognised as a health problem. The Clean Air Act 1972 provides for the control of existing and potential sources of air pollution. It places considerable emphasis on cooperation between Central Government, local authorities, industry, and the public, and in effect places on the occupier of any premises an obligation to keep air pollution to a minimum. Under the Act, 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.

A wide range of industrial processes are required to be licensed and are subject to supervision.

The first clean air zone under the Act has been established in Christchurch. A 3-year study of air pollution in Christchurch showed that the main source of smoke pollution is still the domestic fire, although motor vehicle emissions are an increasingly significant pollutant. This is particularly so where photochemical smog (which has been detected in Auckland and Christchurch) is concerned.

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 1969. 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 1978.

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”.

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 hexachlorophane.

Controlled Drugs—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.

Illegal dealing in controlled drugs is subject to heavy penalties.

To curb drug abuse, the Departments of Health, Customs, and Police jointly set up a National Drug Intelligence Bureau in 1972.

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 whereby a purchaser of any food would possibly be deceived in regard to the properties of that food, whether or not it is standardised by regulations.

A Food Standards Committee, composed 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 workers.

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 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 authority 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 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. An occupational health laboratory was established at Wellington in 1964. Teams of specialist doctors, nurses, and scientists reinforce the usual staff available to medical officers of health to investigate particular occupational health problems occurring in districts. These teams also study problems arising in industries, such as forestry, which are to be found throughout the country.

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 are 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.

In 1979 the Toxic Substances Act was passed. This will replace the Poisons Act and will come into force after the Toxic Substances Regulations have been promulgated.

Control of Health Hazards—An increasing number of specific health hazards are formally controlled, 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. 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 occupational 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 Acoustics Centre—The National Acoustics 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. Investigations into environmental noise are also undertaken—often to assist local authorities to combat unacceptable noise originating from various sources.

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 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—Family planning advice can be obtained from general practitioners, private specialists, and from any one of the 40 clinics operated by the N.Z. Family Planning Association (Inc.) in various centres throughout 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.

In addition, the Government also provides a grant to the N.Z. Association of Natural Family Planning (Inc.) to meet the payment of the salary of the national co-ordinator, an initial 1-week residential training course for up to 70 teachers each year, and an annual 3-day training course for up to 100 teachers.

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 offers 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 by 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 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. Immunisation, which is free, is usually 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 do not have family doctors to attend with their children at departmental clinics. 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 20-yearly intervals and on injury. Measles vaccination is available from family doctors for infants from 12 months of age onwards. Rubella vaccination is available from family doctors for preschool children and women and girls in the child-bearing age groups. Rubella immunisation is also offered to 11-year-old girls at school.

HEALTH HAZARDS AND HEALTH EDUCATION: Alcoholism—In New Zealand alcoholism rates as a major public health problem. There is no accurate measure of the number of alcoholics but experts in the field suggest that there are at least 53000 chronic alcoholics, and that an average of 10 people (family, friends, and working colleagues) are affected in each case. The figure for chronic alcoholics does not include excessive drinkers, estimated to number from 50000 to 200000.

In 1976 some 2847 people were treated for alcoholism or alcoholic psychosis in psychiatric and general hospitals, and records of psychiatric hospital patients in particular show a sharply rising rate of admissions. Much valuable work in the provision of treatment, rehabilitation, and support facilities for those with major alcoholic problems is done by church and social welfare agencies, especially the Salvation Army, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the National Society on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that large numbers of problem drinkers remain unrecognised as such, and consequently untreated.

The Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council Act 1976 provided for the establishment of the Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council. The Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council was created in 1977. Its primary objectives are to encourage and promote moderation in the use of liquor, to discourage its misuse, and to reduce the personal, social, and economic evils resulting from the misuse of liquor. The Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council has carried out surveys of the drinking habits and attitudes to alcohol of adult New Zealanders and also of the extent of alcohol use and attitudes towards drinking among senior school pupils. Discussions and research have also been carried out on the problems of alcoholism in industry. In the fields of prevention and education the council has published a number of TV, radio, and magazine advertisements and a series of pamphlets.

Smoking—Smoking, especially cigarette smoking, is an acknowledged public health hazard. It is implicated as an important causative factor in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, and it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and certain pregnancy-related and neo-natal disorders.

The following table showing the smoking habits of New Zealanders by sex and age group is derived from the 1976 Census of Population. It is based on the results of a survey that covered more than 2 million men and women of 15 years of age and above. Over 51 percent of male smokers and over 34 percent of female exceeded 20 cigarettes a day.

Smoking PracticeAge Groups (Years)Total
15–1920–2930–3940–5960 and over

* Never smoked cigarettes regularly or never smoked them at all.

Do not smoke now, but used to smoke regularly (one or more cigarettes a day).

Smoke regularly (one or more cigarettes a day).

Never smoked*61.744.236.427.026.337.5
Not smoking5.312.318.528.037.721.0
Not specified4.
Never smoked*61.449.249.951.265.654.8
Not smoking5.611.212.112.812.111.2
Not specified3.
Total Population
Never smoked*61.546.743.
Not smoking5.511.715.320.523.416.1
Not specified4.

The census results established that over one-third (35.6 percent) of the population 15 years of age and over were regular smokers and that comparatively more males than females smoked. Against this, almost twice as many males as females were recorded as having stopped smoking. Statistics also indicated a substantially higher level of smoking in the Maori population—particularly amongst Maori women—than is found in the population overall.

The smoking habits of regular smokers, as measured by the number of cigarettes smoked by respondents on a designated day, i.e., 22 March 1976, the day before census day, are the subject of the next table. The figures exclude 2635 regular smokers (1310 males and 1325 females) who smoked no cigarettes on the day specified.

Age Groups (Years)Number of Cigarettes Smoked DailyTotal (Incl. not Specified)
1–910–1920–2930–3940–4950 or More
65 and over828712,4207917113182629534,486
65 and over7639758530812872326821,143

Whilst the number of cigarettes smoked varied according to both age and sex of smoker, at least a quarter of both sexes in each age group smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day—the single exception being women 65 years and over (19.4 percent).

Cigarette smoking in New Zealand is probably less prevalent than in the past and the figures compare favourably with those of other countries. However, the high levels of smoking among young people, particularly women, is a major health problem.

Cigarette manufacturers have an agreement with the Government to restrict the size of newspaper advertisements, ban cinema advertising, and print a health warning on cigarette packets and in advertisements. Manufacturers are also required to indicate tar levels in newspaper and magazine advertisements. The results of a tar and nicotine survey of all New Zealand brands of cigarettes undertaken by the Government have been widely published. The Government has established an Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health to discuss and make recommendations on educational programmes, safety factors, appropriate legislation, research, and evaluation.

In 1977 and again in 1979 the Government, concerned at the high level of public expenditure caused directly and indirectly by the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, increased the duty on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages other than wine to help sustain the rate of expenditure on health and community health services.

Health Education—It is being increasingly recognised that the individual must be encouraged to take a more active interest in, and responsibility for, his or her own health. This is particularly relevant where alcoholism and diseases arising from smoking are concerned, but it is also relevant in other areas. For example, immunisation, ante-natal care, and venereal disease. All these topics have been covered by the health education programme of the Department of Health.

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. 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 81000 and is issued free to the public four 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 15 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 Supervising Dental Nurse, 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 medium 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 1979, 1227 school dental nurses provided dental care for 606663 children. The treatment included 1193575 fillings and 39933 extractions. Indicators of the success of the service are the acceptance (67 percent of pre-school children aged 2 1/2 to 5 and 95 percent of the primary school children are enrolled) and the small number of extractions.

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.

At 31 March 1979, a total of 262677 children were enrolled for general dental benefits. Private practitioners completed 387223 treatments under the scheme during the year ended 31 March 1979.

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. This represents approximately 54 percent of the population of New Zealand.

REHABILITATION OF DISABLED CIVILIANS—The rehabilitation of disabled and handicapped persons has received increasing emphasis over recent years in New Zealand. Public hospitals provide a medical rehabilitation service, with co-operation from the Government and voluntary agencies.

Rehabilitation centres for the treatment of the severely disabled are established at Otara in Auckland, Palmerston North, and at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Rotorua. For the rehabilitation of persons suffering from spinal injuries and paraplegia, specialist spinal injury centres are provided at Auckland and Christchurch. Rehabilitation activities are also carried out in the physical medicine departments of general hospitals, and in 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, advises 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 are 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 rehabilitation and vocational and social resettlement.

A child potential unit is situated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, providing residential accommodation for 20 children. At this unit the activities of a team of nurses, 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 2 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 (WHO), 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 Department of Health.

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.

Public health laboratories have been established at 5 public hospitals in the main centres to assist the department with the examination of food, milk, and water and of public health specimens.

MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND RESEARCH UNIT—This unit provides health services administrators and managers with a quantitative basis for making decisions on the utilisation of health resources.

Survey research undertaken provides the means by which needs and demands can be identified, as well as a basis for the promulgation of alternative proposals to meet those needs and demands. The unit is actively involved in health planning at national, local, and community levels, encouraging both providers and consumers of health care to participate in the development of their own services.

In the health services, manpower is the major resource. Projections based on special surveys and regular statistical collections are being developed for many categories of health workers. The implications of these are evaluated at workshops and through other channels so that action can be taken to meet identified needs. Additionally the unit has been involved in a variety of projects throughout the health service aimed at improving existing and developing new structures.

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 and organisations concerned with medical research;

  3. To collect and disseminate scientific information, including the publication of reports.

At the end of 1979 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 on research into health services, 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 $4.3 million is incurred in supporting research projects at the medical and clinical schools, and other university departments, and at the institutions of the Auckland, Wellington, North Canterbury, and Otago Hospital Boards.

The council employs a staff of about 50 full-time workers. A further 260 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 1979 was 7745, but not all are in active practice in New Zealand.

The Medical Council is vested with certain disciplinary powers. Right of appeal to the High Court is provided.

DOCTORS AND DENTISTS—The following table, based on figures in the World Health Statistics Annual 1978, shows for selected countries the number of inhabitants per doctor and per dentist. The years are the latest available and range from 1974 to 1978.

Per DoctorPer Dentist
New Zealand7302920
England and Wales7603460
West Germany5001930
United States6001910

The definition of doctor (physician) used in compiling this table included all graduates of a medical school or faculty actually working in a country in any medical field (practice, teaching, administration, research, laboratory work, etc.). A similar definition referring to graduates or qualified personnel of a dental faculty or school applied to dentists.

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 1979 was 1142. Under provisions of the Dental Technicians Regulations 1968, a Registration Board for Dental Technicians was constituted. In 1979 there were 410 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 enrolment and registration of overseas nurses; and the exercise of disciplinary powers.

The Nurses Act 1977, effective from 1 January 1978, repealed the 1971 Act and 1975 Amendment Act and removed the minimum age for the sitting of State Examinations for all classes of students except those for enrolment. It also required male students to undertake the obstetric part of the general and obstetric programme and enabled male persons to undertake midwifery training.

Programmes currently provided for registration or enrolment are as follows: 3-year student-based courses at 8 technical institutes leading to comprehensive nurse registration; 3-year hospital-based courses leading to either general and obstetric, psychiatric, or psychopaedic nurse registration; 1-year hospital-based courses leading to enrolment as nurses; 6-month hospital-based obstetric courses for general nurses leading to general and obstetric nurse registration; 1-year student-based midwifery courses for general and obstetric nurses or for comprehensive nurses; and 2-year hospital-based programmes for nurses holding a basic qualification. A number of student-based “bridging” programmes have been introduced.

These programmes offer the general and obstetric nurse, psychiatric or psychopaedic nurse curriculum. This further qualification entitles a nurse to comprehensive registration.

The Nurses' Regulations following the introduction of the 1977 Act became effective in 1980.

During the year 1978–79 there were 27875 registered and enrolled nurses holding a valid annual practising certificate; the council's total register/roll exceeds 90000; of these, 778 are registered comprehensive nurses.

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 1979, 151 physiotherapists were registered, bringing the total on the register (which includes some no longer practising) to 3219.

Occupational Therapists—The Occupational Therapy Board is constituted under the Occupational Therapy Act 1949. 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 400 occupational therapists in active practice.

Dietitians—The Dietitians Board, constituted under the Dietitians Act 1950, 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. In 1979 there were 584 registered dietitians.

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, and one other person being an officer of the Public Service employed in the Department of Health.

Three hundred and nineteen Annual Practising Certificates were issued for the year ended 31 March 1980. This included optometrists and dispensing opticians.

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, and three persons entitled to registration as chiropodists who have been nominated by the New Zealand Society 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 248 registered chiropodists, but not all are engaged in active practice. A significant number of those in active practice work only part time. In pursuance of the Government's policy, a number of hospital boards are establishing community-oriented chiropody services, principally intended for the elderly.

Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers—The Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers 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.

Drainlaying may be carried out only by registered drainlayers, and gasfitting may be carried out only by craftsmen gasfitters or by registered gasfitters and holders of limited certificates working in the employment, or under the supervision, of craftsmen gasfitters.

Except in specially exempted areas, all sanitary plumbing defined in the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 1976 can only be performed by craftsmen and registered plumbers and holders of limited certificates working in the employment or under the supervision of craftsmen 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 1979 there were 2843 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 1149 pharmacies in New Zealand. A recent survey showed that on average there were 1.44 pharmacists per pharmacy; about 250 pharmacists work outside community pharmacies 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.

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 welfare beneficiaries, pensioners and their dependants, and for patients approved as “chronically ill”, the benefit ranges from $3 to $7; in the case of all children and young persons up to their sixteenth birthday, and those for whom family benefit continues to be paid, the benefit ranges from $4.75 to $8. For initial consultations with recognised psychiatrists, paediatricians, neurologists, and neuro-surgeons and general physicians, the Department pays a benefit of $20; with all other specialists, the benefit paid for children and young persons is $10, and the benefit paid for all other patients is $5. 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 an inter-specialist referral, with 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 Welfare beneficiaries and pensioners and their dependants, and the “chronically ill” for whom the fee is $3, and $4.75 in the case of children and young persons. In designated rural areas, an incentive bonus is payable. In 1977, the immunisation benefit was increased to $2.25 when the vaccine is administered by the doctor or a registered general nurse in his employ and under his direction. The immunisation benefit is in full settlement and no extra charge should be made. Most doctors 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 1978 was 4377, and the cost per head of population in the year ended 31 March 1979 was $14.60. The average population per active general practitioner in 1978 was 1843.

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 1979 totalled 24240000 or 7.7 per head of population. The average cost per prescription was $4.68, the cost per head of population $36.04.

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 April 1979 are as follows:

  1. For surgical treatment $18.00 a day, with a minimum of $30.00.

  2. For medical (including psychiatric) treatment $14.00 a day.

  3. For geriatric treatment $16.00 a day.

  4. Hospital treatment for maternity patients $18.00 a day.

  5. For long-stay medical patients, $16.00 per 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.

A subsidy is also provided under the geriatric hospital special assistance scheme to assist geriatric patients in private hospitals where the patient could not be placed in a public hospital bed. The patient must contribute his income to the payment of fees. In the case of a married patient the income left in the hands of the spouse who is not hospitalised must be not less than the rate of National Superannuation for a married couple.

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 obstetric 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.

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.

Acrylic Artificial Eyes—A benefit of up to $50 is available to all patients who have had an eye removed on and from 22 July 1977. For adults, the benefit is available towards the cost of the initial prosthesis only. Children and young persons will also be entitled to a benefit of up to $50 towards the cost of replacement eyes prior to their sixteenth birthday.

Wigs—A benefit of up to $100 is available to meet the cost of wigs required on cosmetic grounds by patients suffering from: (a) congenital dystrophy of the skin; (b) alopecia areata, severe and longstanding; or (c) in cases of illness or treatment of illness where baldness is not permanent but is likely to be prolonged. For adults the benefit is available towards the cost of the initial wig obtained. Children are entitled to “reasonable” replacements at intervals considered suitable by the medical officer of health.

The following table gives details of expenditure on the various classes of health benefits during the 5 latest financial years.


* Long-stay benefit introduced 1 July 1978.

Benefit introduced 1 April 1978.

Benefit introduced 1 June 1978.

   $ (thousand)  
Maternity benefits—
    Medical practitioners' fees4,8325,1484,8664,8925,952
    Medical practitioners' motor vehicle allowance145152139156198
    Obstetric nurses' fees48171933
Medical benefits—
    General medical services19,90228,18028,39429,44935,798
    GMS motor vehicle allowance128125118124200
    Specialist medical services2,2532,6352,6683,0084,360
    Rural practice bonus and other incentives425587594606764
    Immunisation benefit433457496540647
    Practice nurse subsidy2696491,2572,2574,183
    Social workers in general practice---225
Private practice and post-graduate grants3821403259
Special area and other arrangements—
    Section 117, Social Security Act161152129198156
Hospital benefits—
    Treatment in private hospitals—maternity benefits368336351281258
    Treatment in private hospitals—medical, surgical, and Karitane6,7083,2614,1203,9353,735
    Treatment in private hospitals—geriatric benefit2,3848,58911,72812,59913,658
    Treatment in private hospitals—long stay benefit*----216
    Treatment in approved institutions6878251,1991,2821,209
Pharmaceutical benefits—
    Drugs supplied—
    By chemists55,72768,91683,65496,362111,812
    By medical practitioners and Department of Health;148164140149185
    To institutions and private hospitals6047871,0571,2021,427
    Non-disposable syringes and needles for diabetics----25
Supplementary benefits—
    Dental services4,4045,3345,1585,3166,359
    Laboratory services9,16910,72812,13613,48317,106
    Artificial aids3537766583
    Physiotherapy services;6131,0011,2381,3471,530
    Radiological services1,6001,7061,7521,8101,894
    Breast prostheses--72023
    Hair pieces----31

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 religiou