This publication was produced in the Information Services Division of the Department of Statistics.

Assistant Government Statistician: L. W. Cook.
Director: F. F. Knight.
Editor: S. M. Antill.
Graphic Designer: H. G. Verhagen.

                                                                      FURTHER INFORMATION

Further sources of information, given at the end of each section or subsection, 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 Government department or other organisation responsible 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.

NEW ZEALAND OFFICIAL YEARBOOK                                                                                                         PRICE (N.Z.) $19.50 + p. & p.
CAT. NO. 01.001
ISSN 0078–0170

Table of Contents


This, the 89th edition, continues the long series of New Zealand Official yearbooks begun in 1893.

The contents of the Yearbook have changed over the years, reflecting the changes in New Zealand's people and their social and economic circumstances. The presentation has also changed as printing technology has developed.

One thing, however, has not changed. The original objective of the Yearbook was to present within the compass of a single volume an authoritative official reference work on New Zealand. This 1984 Yearbook continues the tradition of presenting reference information in the primary form of descriptive and expository text, but supported by statistical information where appropriate. The aim is to cater for the non-specialist in an authoritative and technically accurate manner which also caters in part for specialist needs.

The Yearbook enjoys a very wide use, both in New Zealand and overseas. Catering for the diverse reader needs poses a difficult problem of selection of subject-matter material over a very wide range of topics. The Yearbook must be regarded, as a consequence, as an introductory reference work, with more specialist reference works having to be consulted for more extensive information. Achieving the correct balance of contents while keeping the Yearbook to a reasonable size and price can be a difficult process, but past acceptance of the Yearbook indicates that the department has been reasonably successful in this.

A sample survey of Yearbook subscription readership was conducted by the department during 1984. The wealth of information gathered will lead to some changes in future editions of the Yearbook. I express my appreciation to all those readers who responded to the survey.

The Yearbook is prepared and edited by the Department of Statistics, but significant portions of it are contributed by other Government departments, producer boards, the Reserve Bank and other official organisations.

I would like to thank all those involved in copy preparation, editing and printing of the 1984 Yearbook, with special mention of the contribution by the staff of the Government Printing Office.

                                                                                                                                                                       S. KUZMICICH,                        
                                                                                                                                                       GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

Department of Statistics,
New Zealand.
September 1984.


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

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

                                                 METRIC SYSTEM

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.

                                    CONVERSION OF BRITISH (IMPERIAL) AND SI (METRIC) UNITS

Some relationships between common British units and common SI units are shown in the following table. Measures are rounded unless otherwise indicated.

* Measure is exact.
    1 in.= 25.4 mm*
 = 2.54 cm*
    1 ft= 30.48 cm*
 = 0.3048 m*
    1 yd= 0.9144 m*
    1 mile= 1.6093 km
    1 mm= 0.0394 in.
    1 cm= 0.3937 in.
    1 dm= 3.9370 in.
    1 m= 39.3701 in.
 = 1.0936 yds
    1 km= 0.6214 miles
    1 sq ft= 0.0929 m2
 = 929.030 cm2
    1, sq yd= 0.8361 m2
    1 acre= 0.4147 hectare (ha)
    1 sq mile= 2.5900 km2
 = 258.9988 ha
    1 m2= 10.7639 sq ft
 = 1.1960 sq yds
    1 da= 0.2471 acres
    1 ha= 2.4710 acres
    1 km2= 247.105 acres
 = 0.3861 sq miles
    1 cu in.= 16.3871 cm3
    l cu ft= 0.0283 m3
    1 cu yd= 0.7646 m3
    1 cm3= 0.0610 cu in.
    1 m3= 35.3148 cu ft
 = 1.3080 cu yds
    1 pt= 0.5683 litres
    1 qt= 1.1365 litres
    1 gal= 4.5461 litres
    1 litre= 1.7598 pts
 = 0.8799 qts
 = 0.2200 gal
    1 oz= 28.3495 grams (g)
    1 lb= 0.4536 kilograms (kg)
    1 cwt= 50.8024 kg
    1 long ton= 1 016.0469 kg
 = 1.016 tonnes (t)
    1 g= 0.0353 oz
    1 kg= 2.2046 lb
    1 t= 2 204.624 lb
 = 0.9842 long tons
 = 1.1023 short tonnes
    1 mile per hour (mph)= 1.609 kilometres per hour (km/hr)
    1 kilometre per hour (km/hr)= 0.621 miles per hour (mph)
    1 pound per sq in. (psi)= 6.8948 kilopascals (kPa)
    1 kilopascal (kPa)= 0.1450 pounds per sq in. (psi)
    1 ton per sq in. (ton/in.2)= 15.444 megapascals (MPa)
    1 megapascal (MPa)= 0.0647 tons per sq in. (tons/in.2)
    Degree Fahrenheit (°F)= 9(°C+32)/5
    Degree Celsius (°C)= 5(°F-32)/9

Land and People

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Section 1

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 10 000 kilometres from San Francisco and Panama and a similar distance from Tokyo and Singapore. In area 26.9 million hectares, it is similar in size to the British Isles and Japan.

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. With the exception of the low-lying North Auckland peninsula, the New Zealand land mass lies along a south-westerly and north-easterly axis. 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 longtitude, 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 414 400 square kilometres.

The area of New Zealand can be classified as follows:

(1 April 1983)
 Area in Square Kilometres
North Island
        Counties93 060x
        Cities and boroughs3 060x
        Town districts8
        Chatham Islands963
        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—Kermadec34
                    Total, North Island115 690x
South Island
        Counties143 884x
        Cities and boroughs600x
        Stewart Island1,746
        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 (2 km2)638
                    Total. South Island152 356x
                    Total, North and South Islands268 046x
        Ross Dependency (land area only)414,400
                    Total, including Ross Dependency682 446x

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES: Coastline—An overall length of more than 1600 kilometres, and a width up to 450 kilometres combine to provide New Zealand with a very lengthy coastline in proportion to its area.

The nature of the coastline has provided New Zealand with numerous sites for harbours although the size of shipping capable of using them varies with the locality. The development of the natural North Island harbours of Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, and Wellington and the dredging and breakwater constructions at the South Island harbours of Lyttelton, Timaru, Otago, and Bluff have produced ports suitable for overseas ships.

Strong ocean drifts and high seas along the west coast produce shoaling at river mouths and harbour entrances although New Plymouth is one port which has been developed to take overseas shipping. While artificial harbours have been built on the east coast of the North Island at Gisborne and Napier the large quantities of shingle brought down by the South Island rivers have strictly limited development in many South Island areas to small ports suitable for fishing and coastal shipping only.

Mountains—The mountainous nature of New Zealand is one of its most striking physical characteristics, with 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 the 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)3,183
    Malte Brun3,155
    Elie de Beaumont3,117
    Douglas Peak3,085
    La Perouse3,079
    Glacier Peak3,007
    De la Beche2,992
    Aiguilles Rouges2,911
    Conway Peak2,901
    Bristol Top2,898
    Ronald Adair2,827
    Hochstetter Dome2,822
    The Footstool2,765
    The Dwarf2,751
Darran Range

Glaciers—In keeping with the dimensions of the mountain system, New Zealand possesses, in the South Island, a glacial system of some magnitude. Of the glaciers the largest is the Tasman, which, with others of comparable size, rises in the more elevated area surrounding Mount Cook. Flowing down the eastern slope of the range, the Tasman Glacier has a length of 29 km and a width of 1 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. At the same time 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. However, latest evidence suggests that, in response to recent cooler wetter weather, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are showing signs of limited growth. 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 skiing 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.

Many rivers are valuable for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, rafting, jet boating, tramping, camping, and picnicking, and with the very successful acclimatisation of freshwater fish, notably trout, 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 2 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. The lakes of both islands are of vital importance as reservoirs, for the maintenance of the rivers and streams draining them and as a means of flood prevention, especially where hydro-electric schemes are involved. Lakes Waikaremoana and Taupo in the North Island, and Lakes Coleridge, Pukaki, Tekapo, Wanaka, Hawea, Manapouri, Ohau, Monowai, and Wakatipu in the South Island are 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 75 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 KilometresGreatest Breadth in KilometresArea in Square KilometresDrainage Area in Square KilometresApproximate Volume of Discharge in Cubic Metres per SecondMaximum Height Above Sea Level in Metres (Range in Parentheses)*Greatest Depth in Metres
* The range in lake levels is not available for all lakes.
Taupo40.227.46063,289130357 (1.5)159
Rotorua12.09.780526 280 (0.6)26
Rotoiti16.14.83464224279 (0.6)70
Tarawera11.28.9361868299 (0.6)87
Rotoaira4.82.81612933564 (0.9) 
Waikaremoana19.39.75434718614 (13.7)256
Wairarapa19.36.4803,201 820
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) 
Tikitapu1.61.21  416 
Matahina  3 70  
Otamangakau  2 14613 
Te Wharau
Moawhango  4 12853 
Arapuni16.10.896,876211111 (0.6) 
Rotoiti8.92.81018412616 (1.8)76
Rotoroa14.53.22337627446 (1.5)152
Brunner8.98.939414 85109
Kaniere9.72.01628 131197
Coleridge17.73.236559 510207
Tekapo17.75.6881,42479713 (12.0)189
Pukaki15.38.01691,355132534 (15.8) 
Ohau17.74.8611,19180524 (48) 
Hawea30.68.01411,38963348 (20.0)392
Wanaka45.14.81932,575188280 (3.8) 
Wakatipu77.24.82933,067155312 (2.7)378
Te Anau61.29.73443,302267205 (4.0)276
Manapouri28.98.01424,623401181 (6.4)443
Monowai19.31.63124114196 (4.0) 
Hauroko35.42.47158331156 (1.8) 
Waihola6.42.085,698 (Tidal)16
Ellesmere22.512.91811,930 (Tidal)2
Cobb4.80.42695811 (15.2)96
    Ahuriri Arm18.54.4758 532319 362
    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 created 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 of other rocks that once covered them. The metamorphic rocks were 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 “
Miocene25 “
Oligocene38 “
Eocene60 “
Paleocene70 “
MesozoicCretaceous 135 “
Jurassic 180 “
Triassic 225 “
PaleozoicPermian 270 “
Carboniferous 350 “
Devonian 400 “
Silurian 440 “
Ordovician 500 “
Cambrian 600 “

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 wore down the mountains that had risen, producing a land of low relief. Over these worn-down stumps of the Mesozoic mountains the sea gradually advanced, beginning its transgression earlier in some areas than in others. In the early Cretaceous period it began to submerge land in the region of present North Auckland and the eastern margins of the North and South Islands, and thick deposits of mudstone and sandstone accumulated in some parts of these areas. At the close of the Mesozoic era, and in the very early Tertiary 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 are 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 a 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 Northern 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 extend, 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. 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 are rare 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 hundreds of 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 most extended, covering the main islands of New Zealand, a large part of the south-west Pacific, and the Ross Dependency. The 33 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, Kaimata, Cashmere, Chatham Islands, 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. 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. At Wellington there is also a modern Seismic Research Observatory with digital recording, one of only 12 of its kind in the world. Scott Base and several of the island stations provide preliminary readings by radio, but all final analyses are made at the Observatory in Wellington.

A network of more closely-spaced stations, connected to a central recorder by radio links and land lines, provides for detailed studies of small earthquakes in the Wellington region. This network is for general research but also provides valuable readings of New Zealand and overseas earthquakes. A similar network operated from 1975 to 1983 near Lake Pukaki in the South Island. Its primary function was to monitor the changes in earthquake activity which accompanied the raising of the level of the lake for hydro-electric development. The observatory also has portable equipment available for more intensive studies of aftershock sequences, earthquake swarms, and microearthquakes, and for other research projects.

Other organisations operate seismographs in association with the observatory as follows: the Geophysical Survey of the DSIR in the Tongariro National Park (3 instruments), N.Z. Geological Survey at White Island and Waimangu, N.Z. Electricity at Tomahawk Gully near Lake Pukaki, and the University of Otago in Dunedin.

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 1983—The only earthquake to cause significant damage in New Zealand during 1983 occurred near Reporoa, northeast of Lake Taupo, on December 15. It was only of magnitude 4.9, but because it was very shallow with a focal depth of about 5 km, the felt effects were quite strong, although not over a very wide area. At least $600 worth of stock was damaged at the Waiotapu Hotel Tavern. In Reporoa a milk tank was twisted off its foundations at the Dairy Company, and ridge tiles on a house in the town were displaced. In many houses objects fell from shelves, windows fell out of frames, and hot water cylinders were fractured. Power failed in some areas because switchgear tripped at substations. There were also some landslides in the Paeroa Range to the west of Reporoa, although heavy rain a few weeks earlier had left slopes susceptible to that sort of damage.

The quake was preceded by a number of foreshocks and followed by a series of aftershocks which lasted several days. A portable recorder, installed in the Waikite Valley by DSIR staff from Rotorua, recorded 150 small aftershocks in the first day, 70 the second day and fewer thereafter. A number of these were strong enough to be felt, though none was as strong as the mainshock.

There were 2 swarms of small earthquakes near Taupo in February and in June. From 29 January to the end of February, some 80 small shocks were reported felt, and other smaller ones were detected on instruments. In June there was another swarm, when more than 70 shocks were reported felt within 10 days. However none of these were large and all were very shallow.

The phenomenon of an earthquake swarm is quite common, particularly in the volcanic-geothermal area. The term is used to describe an earthquake sequence where there is no one clearly definable major event. This is in contrast to a foreshock—mainshock—aftershock sequence such as at Reporoa in December, when one shock was clearly much larger than the others. Of the Taupo earthquakes, the maximum magnitude was 3.9, and most were less than 3.0. A larger swarm occurred near Wanganui in 1982.

Two earthquakes which occurred near New Plymouth on 17 April were sufficient to cause minor damage there. The first was of magnitude 4.9 and the second of 5.3. A window was broken, a chimney brought down, and there was some damage to plaster.

Most of the other earthquakes which occurred throughout the year were either not large enough or not close enough to populated areas to cause any damage. On 26 January a large earthquake of magnitude 7.3 occurred to the north of New Zealand, in the Kermadec Islands. Because of its large size, it was felt as far south as Christchurch.

Other significant shocks although closer, were much smaller, such as the magnitude 4.6 earthquake on 20 February in Golden Bay which was felt throughout the Nelson area. On 25 June an earthquake of magnitude 5.2 occurred in Fiordland, felt most strongly at Manapouri power station, and at lower intensities as far away as Cromwell. A small earthquake off the Makara coast, near Wellington, at 12.30 a.m. on 17 November, was felt throughout the Wellington area and brought some goods off shelves in Porirua.

The shock of magnitude 5.2 which occurred 550 km to the south-east of Dunedin on 3 June was of considerable scientific interest. This is a most unusual location in that most earthquakes occur close to the plate boundary through New Zealand, which runs from the Kermadec Islands in the north-east to the Macquarie Ridge to the south of Fiordland. But shocks do occur well away from this axis from time to time.

WEATHER INFORMATION—The New Zealand Meteorological Service maintains networks of meteorological stations within New Zealand, on its outlying islands, at Scott Base and, by arrangement, in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. 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 1983 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 to south-east orientation and are associated with deep depressions centred far to the south. A typical weather sequence commences with a low-pressure trough approaching from the west. Freshening north-westerly winds prevail with increasing cloud, followed by rain for a period during which winds may reach gale force. The passage of the trough, with its associated cold front, is accompanied by a change to cold south-westerly or southerly winds and showery weather, occasionally with some hail and thunder. 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 characteristics 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 föhn wind in eastern areas of both islands gives rise to a characteristic weather type. The blocking effect of the mountain ranges decreases 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 Plymouth3149801.44.45.826
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 average rainfalls 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 Airport8711181110139166148164118111101931,429
Auckland (Albert Park)6596911171241411411391019789881,289
Tauranga Airport7990133107130130137134116106851161,363
Hamilton (Ruakura)76838410011613113211710197981011,236
New Plymouth Airport97102971241671501621421091211261171,514
Masterton (Waingawa)6551768196991129276767383980
Gisborne Airport7071929392121117125916855841,079
Waikaremoana (Onepoto)1471681731901822021962341741471342012,148
Palmerston North7758727593879886748782102991
Wellington (Kelburn)86749610713613914313110410193951,305
Westport Airport1591531622002201861761791761872111772,186
Hokitika Airport2212102172392712052152332362692712222,809
Milford Sound5275136655765244143554045665605805296,213
Nelson Airport69688692111799296718582741,005
Hanmer Forest9272891111151051111249410288991,202
Lake Coleridge644855858468737869807563842
Lake Tekapo523347566050525453515248608
Dunedin (Musselburgh)715476728071665649617373802
Invercargill Airport9672891041071037262778589841,040

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 Airport87628972

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 Airport80138722,113015.62415158290
Auckland (Albert Park)49140671,904015.72415168283
Tauranga Airport4118642,217514.3241414529−2
Hamilton (Ruakura)40131721,9812613.5241312329−5
Gisborne Airport4113552,173714.1241413433−2
Waikaremoana (Onepoto)643164100 611.321911329−1
New Plymouth Airport27142832,157213.4221313526−1
Palmerston North34127621,7641413.2221213428−3
Masterton (Waingawa)114123571,9443112.4241211331−4
Wellington (Kelburn)126124682,008012.72011136271
Nelson Airport296542,3723812.2221213128−4
Westport Airport21691111,893112.32012124250
Hanmer Forest387115651,8818210.22399−232−9
Hokitika Airport391681181,8891611.6191211325−2
Lake Coleridge3649852 7010.322910−131−7
Milford Sound3183145 2910.519911225−3
Dunedin (Musselburgh)2119481,6451011.1191011329−2
Invercargill Airport0157691,595469.71899128−5

NOTES: (1) Averages of sunshine 1951–80, mean temperature, mean daily maximum and mean daily minimum 1951–80; other temperature data, rain days, and days of screen frost, various periods—all exceeding 10 years.

  • (2) For normal monthly and annual rainfall of 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.


Pressures to the south of New Zealand were much lower than usual during January, March, and September and strong west to southwest winds were unusually frequent. However during April, June, July, October, and November pressures were often higher than usual over, and south of New Zealand and as a result easterly winds were frequent during these months.

Rainfall was below average over most of the North Island and in some eastern South Island areas. Napier recorded only 59 percent of its usual rain, establishing a new record for low rainfall. Over most of the South Island and about Wellington rainfalls were above average, particularly in the central high country of the South Island. At Mt John and Alexandra rainfalls were about 150 percent of the average, making 1983 the wettest year on record at these places.

Eastern North Island areas experienced temperatures that were marginally warmer than usual but over the remainder of the country temperatures were approximately 0.5C below average.

Sunshine totals were below average almost everywhere, with most places recording between 85 percent and 95 percent of their usual sunshine. The only places to record more sun than usual were Rotorua and Christchurch, both of which received about 105 percent of their normal sunshine.

Monthly Weather Summaries

January was a cool, dry month in most parts of New Zealand, although it was wet in the south and west of the South Island. Northern areas had the highest frequency of southwesterly winds for January and the second highest for any month on record, while the south had the highest frequency of

northwesterlies since 1964. Pressures were low, especially to the south. Most of the North Island was drier than usual, especially about Gisborne and Wellington which had less than 20 percent of normal rainfall. The north and east of the South Island were also dry, but the south and west had up to 300 percent of the average January rainfall. Extensive flooding occurred in parts of Central Otago as a result of heavy rain between the 9th and 15th. Temperatures were below normal by between 0.5°C and 2°C in the North Island and by 1°C to 3°C in the South Island, apart from Marlborough which was warmer than usual. The North Island and the north and east of the South Island were sunnier than usual.

February was cool and dry, and southwesterly winds were more frequent than usual over the whole country. Pressures were slightly higher than normal over New Zealand and the Tasman Sea, and lower than normal east of the Chatham Islands. Rainfall was below average for the whole country except Southland and coastal Otago which had average or slightly above average rainfall. The rest of the South Island had 50 percent or less normal rainfall, with parts of Nelson and Marlborough receiving no rain at all. The North Island was also very dry, with areas around East Cape and Gisborne recording less than 10 percent of average rainfall. Mean temperatures were between normal and 1°c below normal over the whole country. Eastern, southern and central areas of the North Island, and Nelson had above average sunshine but the rest of the country was cloudier than usual.

March was mainly mild and dry. Southwesterlies were frequent in the north and northwesterlies were frequent in the south. Apart from Horowhenua, rainfall was below average over the North Island. In northern and eastern areas extremely dry conditions persisted for the fourth consecutive month. Eastern and northern areas of the South Island were drier than usual, while the rest of the South Island had up to 250 percent of the normal rainfall. Local flooding occurred in parts of Southland and Otago after heavy rain on the 9th and 10th. Temperatures were between normal and 2°C above normal, apart from the south and west of the South Island which were 1°C to 2°C cooler than usual. Sunshine hours were generally above normal apart from in some central North Island, and southern and western South Island areas.

April was a generally cloudy, wet month. Southwesterly winds were less frequent than usual and pressures were high, especially in eastern areas. Rainfall was above average over the whole country except in Fiordland, Southland, some central parts of the North Island and Wairarapa, where rainfalls were between 70 percent and 90 percent of normal. Temperatures were about average everywhere except for some areas of Southland and Central Otago, which were 1°C to 2°C cooler than usual, and some eastern areas of the North Island which were 1°C to 2°C warmer than usual. Apart from Canterbury and parts of Otago and Southland, the whole country had less sunshine than usual in April. The weather in the Bay of Plenty-Coromandel area was particularly dull.

May was cool and windy. Southwesterly winds were more frequent than usual over the whole country and strong winds occurred more often than usual. Very persistent high winds in the Cook Strait region between the 20th and 22nd severely disrupted inter-island travel. May was drier than usual in the North Island, apart from in Wairarapa and some central areas, and in the north and east of the South Island. The rest of the South Island was wetter than usual. Flooding occurred in parts of Otago after heavy rain on the 17th and 18th. Mean temperatures over the whole country were close to normal. Northern and eastern areas of both islands had average or above average sunshine while the rest of the country had less sun than usual. Southern and western areas of the South Island were particularly cloudy.

June was cloudy, with frequent strong winds and unusually frequent northeasterlies. Rainfalls were above average in most places, especially in parts of the South Island high country, where more than twice the normal June rainfall was recorded. However some parts of central New Zealand were very dry. Temperatures were close to normal in most places, although some central and southern North Island areas were a little warmer than usual, and western South Island areas were cooler than usual. Apart from some western districts, and Wellington and Christchurch, June was cloudier than usual.

July had frequent southeasterly winds, producing more rain than usual over most of the South Island and in some eastern parts of the North Island. Very heavy rain, with return periods of over 50 years in many places, during the 8th, 9th and 10th led to extensive flooding in the Nelson and Marlborough areas. However, many other areas were very dry; Hamilton, Whakatane and Tauranga all had record, or near record, low rainfalls. Although some central and eastern areas recorded near average temperatures, most of the country was 0.5°C to 1°C cooler than usual. Two occurrences of sea-ice were reported, one on Lyttelton Harbour and the other on Aotea Lagoon (near Wellington). Sea-ice had previously been recorded on Lyttelton harbour in 1947 and was unprecedented in the twenty-three years since the formation of the Aotea Lagoon. The unusually frequent southeasterly winds produced cloudier than usual conditions in most eastern areas and very sunny conditions in the west. Record high sunshine totals were recorded at Auckland and Hamilton.

August was a mild, dry month and pressures over the country were higher than usual. The only areas to record more rain than usual were parts of the Manawatu and the west and south of the South Island. Tauranga, Napier and Kaikoura recorded less than 30 percent of their usual rain. Temperatures were generally close to, or a little above average, however there were some cold periods, and heavy snowfalls closed roads for a time in the central North Island. August was a sunny month in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki districts as well as over much of the South Island. However, the remainder of the North Island, along with Southland and Otago, were cloudier than usual.

September was mild, cloudy and wet in most places, although eastern North Island areas remained very dry. It was also a very windy month and gales disrupted power supplies and air services on the 20th, 21st and 23rd. Several buildings were damaged and at least two people were injured as a result of being blown over. While both Napier and Gisborne recorded very low rainfalls, most of the country received a good deal of rain; Timaru and Alexandra recorded more than three times their usual September rain. Temperatures over most of the country ranged between 0.5°C and 1 °C above average but some inland and western areas of the South Island were around 0.5°C cooler than usual. There were some heavy snowfalls over the South Island, resulting in serious avalanches in Fiordland and causing heavy lamb losses. Most parts of New Zealand were cloudier than usual and both Ohakea and Dunedin had record low sunshine totals. Only a few eastern North Island areas and parts of Northland recorded more sun than usual.

October was another cloudy, mild and wet month. Winds from the easterly quarter were much more frequent than usual, producing more cloud and rain than normal in eastern areas and therefore alleviating the drought in Hawke's Bay. The Bay of Plenty received 2 to 3 times its usual October rainfall, Rotorua recorded its highest ever rainfall (for any month), and Kawerau recorded its highest ever October rainfall. Heavy rain on the 21st gave the Nelson-Marlborough area its second major flood of 1983. However, overall rainfalls in coastal Marlborough and in Canterbury were only about half of the October average. Night-time temperatures were about average throughout the country and some inland North Island areas recorded mean daily minimum temperatures up to 2.5°C above average. Day-time temperatures were above average in western areas but cooler than usual in the east. Parts of Westland recorded day-time temperatures up to 1.5°C above average, while South Canterbury and Otago recorded mean daily maximum temperatures about 1.5°C cooler than usual. A few places in Westland and Southland recorded sunshine totals that were about average but most of the country was cloudier than usual. Record or near record low sunshine totals were recorded at Gisborne, Paraparaumu, Blenheim and Wellington.

November was cloudy and cool in many eastern areas, but sunny and mild in western districts. Winds were much lighter than usual and easterlies were frequent. Rainfalls were below average almost everywhere with only Wellington and parts of Westland and the Southern Alps recording more rain than usual. Rainfalls at Whangarei, Auckland, Napier and Alexandra were among the lowest ever recorded at these places. Temperatures in the east of the North Island and in some inland parts of Canterbury were about 0.5°C below average but the remainder of the country experienced temperatures at least 0.5°C above average. The frequent east to southeast winds produced cloudier than usual conditions in eastern areas from East Cape to Kaikoura, and Gisborne recorded its cloudiest November since 1952. Western areas however were sunnier than usual, especially the West Coast of the South Island where Hokitika recorded almost 130 percent, of its usual November sunshine.

December was cool and changeable with very high rainfalls in many places. Strong winds, especially southwesterlies, were more frequent than usual. Rainfalls varied widely with many areas in the northern half of the North Island, as well as Nelson and Invercargill, recording their highest December rainfalls for many years, while much of the central North Island and some inland parts of the South Island recorded considerably less rain than usual. With the exception of Palmerston North which was slightly warmer than usual, temperatures over New Zealand were below average, by between 1°C and 2°C in inland South Island areas and by up to 1°C over the remainder of the country. Several hailstorms were reported during the month and hailstones the size of marbles damaged crops in the Marlborough and Whakatane areas on the 14th. It was cloudier than usual over much of the country although some parts of the Waikato, Taranaki and Canterbury were a little sunnier than usual.

Summary of Meteorological Observations for 1983—The observations from which the following summary was compiled for the year 1983 were made at 0900 hours New Zealand standard time, i.e. 2100 hours Greenwich mean time, except during January, February, November, and December, when they were made at 0900 hours N.Z. daylight time (2000 G.M.T.).

StationRainfall (mm)Rain Days (1.0mm or more)Bright Sunshine (hours)Screen Frost Days*Air Temperatures (Degrees Celsius)
Mean Temp.Mean Daily MaximumMean Daily MinimumExtremes
* Minimum air temperatures less than 0.0°C.
Auckland (Albert Park)105311919010015.322.613.914.66.528.13.3
Tauranga Airport10579620610214.223.813.912.63.633.7−1.5
Rotorua Airport126810420752112.521.911.610.51.531.5−2.8
Hamilton (Ruakura)98511918682313.221.712.910.30.628.6−4.6
New Plymouth Airport123013220450613.119.412.712.14.524.3−1.3
Masterton (Waingawa)9031232412.322.611.310.22.930.3−3.2
Gisborne Airport7789321030914.124.912.810.63.835.1−1.2
Waikaremoana (Onepoto)15891650821.49.22.533.6−2.5
Palmerston North DSIR79213214321012.819.411.411.73.925.6−1.7
Wellington (Kelburn)130013019600012.418.910.312.25.824.50.2
Westport Airport228517516160311.817.111.810.53.722.7−0.3
Hokitika Airport335719116791711.016.911.010.01.924.0−3.0
Milford Sound7712208499.515.−2.7
Nelson Airport10049623224112.021.211.711.10.228.5−3.8
Hanmer Forest121713317118510.−1.132.9−8.0
Lake Coleridge10381196710.−1.431.5−5.9
Lake Tekapo76991968.−3.730.0−10.0
Dunedin (Musselburgh)96811713760010.518.09.510.
Invercargill Airport11981811334369.417.−3.9

For 1983 the mean sea level pressure values in millibars at 0900 hours New Zealand Standard Time were: Auckland, 1017.4; Kelburn, Wellington, 1014.5; Nelson Airport, 1015.0; Hokitika Airport, 1014.8; Christchurch 1012.8; and Dunedin Airport, 1012.3.

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.

Chapter 2. Section 2


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. It is difficult to establish the period when the voyages of the Polynesian people to New Zealand began. Tradition has it that the first voyager to visit New Zealand was Kupe in about 950 A.D., and according to some Maori tribes it was he who named the land Aotearoa (“land of the long white cloud”). Finding no other inhabitants Kupe returned to Hawaiki, the legendary homeland of the Maori. Following his return there were various waves of migration to New Zealand, and the names of the canoes and of their captains and crews are still remembered by the Maoris and are important features of their history and genealogy.

Linguistic and other evidence indicates that Hawaiki was situated in Eastern Polynesia, which makes their voyages impressive and bears testimony to the sophistication of their vessels and navigation.

From the people of each canoe arose tribal groupings claiming common descent and symbolic unity. About 10 major tribes evolved, divided into many subtribes. All tribes can claim their ancestry back to members of one or more of the canoes, and many of the more familiar canoes such as Aotea, Te Arawa, Tainui, and Takitimu have become synonymous today with tribal groupings and territories.

The Maoris mainly confined themselves to the warmer North Island and the population was organised into descent groups of different scale-tribes (iwi), subtribes (hapū), and extended families (whānau). The main themes in this society were mana (prestige), tapu (sacredness) and utu (the principle of equal return, often expressed in revenge).

The bases of Maori society have changed profoundly from the original subsistence economy in pre- European contact times.

The introduction of European disease 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 from the beginning of the twentieth century the Maori population has been rapidly increasing, and now forms 9 percent of the New Zealand population.

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 came 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.

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 art 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 the pacification of 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. 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 advisers 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 European 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 resourceful people seeking a better future than was offering in nineteenth century industrial England.

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

The non-Maori population in the main settlements in 1842 totalled 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 125 000 (as against 55 000 Maoris) and by 1866 it had jumped to 200 000 with people 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, the Colonial Office appointed Captain George Grey as Governor and provided 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 of Population 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 and began to develop a substantial export trade, mainly in wool.

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

With the introduction of refrigeration in 1882 and steam navigation in the late 19th century, the development of exports of frozen meat and dairy products assured the dominance of the United Kingdom in New Zealand's external trade. These developments, with a continued substantial investment of British capital, particularly in farming and food processing industries, established the degree of specialisation to meet the needs of the British markets, 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 substantial 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 change 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 mat 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 and again in 1981 the National Party retained power with greatly reduced majorities. In 1984 following a snap election the Labour Party gained power under the leadership of David Lange.

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 Westminister, 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 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS—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.

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 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.”

Post-War Policies—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 under way 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. A fourth phase, still under way, is closely related to New Zealand's search for new trading opportunities as the degree of dependence on traditional markets gradually declines. The diversification both in the range of goods exported and in markets led to the strengthening of posts in certain areas—particularly in Asia and the Pacific—and the opening of posts in the Middle East, Latin America, and China, in addition to the reopening of the post in the Soviet Union. An extensive network of multiple accreditations has allowed New Zealand's overseas representatives to cover several countries from the one base.

While New Zealand's overseas relations continue to grow, economic constraints in recent years have resulted in a continuing reappraisal of the pattern of overseas representation. This has led to the closure of 3 posts (Port of Spain, Toronto, New Delhi), and staffing reductions in remaining posts.

In response to developing New Zealand interests elsewhere, a post was opened in Mexico in 1983, and another is planned to open in Saudi Arabia in 1984. As at November 1983, New Zealand has 45 posts overseas, details of which are given in the Official Section of this Yearbook.

Commonwealth—As a member of the Commonwealth, New Zealand is able to consult and co-operate with 48 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 49 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, Kiribati, and Vanuatu are 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, but they are entitled to participate in Commonwealth meetings dealing with those subjects for which their governments are responsible.

The belief of member counties 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, financed by voluntary contributions 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.

Western Europe—New Zealand has a great deal in common with the countries of Western Europe in terms of historical experience (notably immigration links), democratic political systems, shared values, and related life styles. Nowadays the community's importance as a market for agricultural exports tends to emphasise the economic aspects of the relationship; the European Community is New Zealand's largest export market and trading partner.

Nevertheless the range of bilateral contacts between New Zealand and the individual countries of Western Europe in all fields is steadily expanding. The benefits of exchanges and co-operation with Western Europe generally, and the European Economic Community in particular, have come to assume greater significance in the wider international setting of New Zealand's political and economic objectives.

In terms of the New Zealand/Community relationship, they reflect above all a fundamental appreciation on New Zealand's part of the progress achieved to date by the community's members (currently comprising 10 states, and shortly to become 12, following the accession of Spain and Portugal in 1986) in co-ordinating and co-operating in the conduct of their mutual affairs.

So far this has been predominantly in the economic sphere (the EEC now constitutes the world's largest trade grouping). But the community also has steadily expanded its interests in broadening and making more effective co-operation at the political level. New Zealand, like other countries with already well-established ties to individual community members, will be following developments in European political co-operation closely.

The community of broad interests between New Zealand and Western Europe is further underlined by New Zealand's participation in such multilateral co-operative and consultative organisations as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Altogether in Western European circles there is now appreciably greater attention to New Zealand's region of the world (encompassing South-east Asia, the South Pacific, and Antarctica).

Soviet Union and Eastern Europe—Relations and trade with the countries of Eastern Europe have been developed in recent years, and this 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); and the Ambassador in Rome is accredited to Yugoslavia. Relations with the U.S.S.R. have been adversely affected by the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 and Soviet attitudes to developments in Poland, but the Soviet Union has become a major market for New Zealand's exports.

Middle East—Involvement in the Middle East has increased markedly within the past decade. For more then 30 years New Zealand has watched the Arab-Israeli conflict with concern, if from a distance. Recognising the implications for world peace this country has contributed personnel to United Nations truce observation teams. Early in 1982 it also supplied a small contingent to the Sinai peace keeping force. New Zealand has consistently upheld Israel's right to exist and, equally consistently, the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Since 1973, when Middle East members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) emerged as a major economic force in the world, the area has increasingly assumed a direct and immediate importance for this country. Although 63 percent of New Zealand's crude oil imports in 1982–83 came from Indonesia, the growing wealth of the Persian Gulf region (due largely to substantial increases in the price of oil) has created new markets for New Zealand exports. These include manufactured goods and agricultural products. In 1982 the region absorbed a considerable amount of New Zealand's total sheepmeat exports. The Middle East, moreover, represents a significant source of investment finance.

New Zealand in recent years has made continuing efforts to broaden its range of contacts with Middle Eastern countries. At the same time, those countries have themselves taken a closer interest in New Zealand and the South Pacific and have expanded their diplomatic representation in the area. Egypt and Israel have embassies in Wellington, while Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya have cross-accreditation from Canberra. New Zealand established resident missions in Iran and Iraq in 1975, and in 1977 established a consulate-general in Bahrain, with commercial responsibilities in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, and the Yemens. The pattern of representation is rounded out by the cross-accreditation of the ambassador in Rome to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia. An embassy is to be established in Jeddah during 1984.

Closer relations between New Zealand and the Middle East have been marked by a growing appreciation of each other's concerns. This has been fostered by visits in both directions by ministers, officials, and businessmen. Also, a growing number of tourists, students, and sports teams are coming to New Zealand, a trend that is expected to continue.

Africa—Contacts with African countries have been mainly within the Commonwealth and the United Nations. It is in these settings that the major political and economic issues relating to the emergence to independence and the subsequent development of African countries have been presented. These forums have also been where New Zealand has joined with the international community in opposing South Africa's policy of apartheid or racial separation.

New Zealand does not have resident diplomatic or consular representation in Africa. The New Zealand Ambassador in Athens is cross-accredited as High Commissioner to Tanzania and Kenya. The High Commissioner in London is accredited to Nigeria.

New Zealand's policy on sporting contacts with South Africa continues to be the subject of considerable international attention. The Government joined with other Commonwealth governments in June 1977 in a statement, commonly known as the Gleneagles Agreement, which condemns apartheid (especially apartheid in sport) and pledges each Government to do all it can to discourage sporting contacts with South Africa or any other country where sports are organised on the basis of race. Gleneagles also seeks the support of individuals and sports organisations in the pursuit of this objective. In October 1982 the Commonwealth Games Federation adopted into its constitution a Code of Conduct which expressly sets out the responsibilities of Commonwealth sportsmen and sporting bodies under Gleneagles and provides for exclusion from participation in future Commonwealth Games of those who do not meet those responsibilities.

In a variety of ways, New Zealand has contributed to the economic and social development of African countries—with bilateral assistance and by contributions to Commonwealth and other multilateral programmes. Support for political development has also been given, most notably in contributions during 1980 to Commonwealth monitoring forces and observer teams in both Zimbabwe and Uganda.

New Zealand's total trade with African countries amounts to only a modest percentage of its global trade, but there has been growth in the volume of both exports and imports. Trade surveys have been undertaken in East, North, and West Africa to identify commercial opportunities. The major New Zealand exports are milk powder, tallow, butter, fish, and wool. The main imports from Africa are cocoa, coffee, sisal, vegetable oil, tanner extract, and tobacco.

Asia—During the last 25 years there has been a considerable expansion in New Zealand's relations with countries in Asia. 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 establishment of relations with the People's Republic of China in 1972, New Zealand's contacts with China have been increasing.

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 five of the ASEAN countries, and in Peking, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Several of these missions are also 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 economic 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 stemming from the continued presence in Kampuchea of Vietnamese forces 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 increased 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 adaption 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. New Zealand continues to seek improved conditions of access for certain important commodities, including dairy products, and 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 preceptions of Asia. China is now our second largest market there and is important to New Zealand as a major power with a leading role in Asia.

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 (Kiribati) and Ellice Islands (Tuvalu) 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 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 led this development with moves 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. The Cook Islands voted under United Nations supervision in 1965 to become a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. Niue achieved a similar status in an act of self-determination in 1974. Under their respective constitutions the Cook Islands and Niue governments have full legislative and executive competence over all their affairs. The constitutional relationship provides for the exercise by New Zealand of certain responsibilities for the defence and external relations of the Cook Islands and Niue (in the former case, in consultation with the Cook Islands Prime Minister). This does not confer upon the New Zealand Government any rights of control: the Cook Islands and Niue governments retain legislative and executive powers in these fields as in all other matters.

The relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand was elaborated in the 1973 Exchange of Letters between the then New Zealand Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, and the Premier of the Cook Islands, Sir Albert Henry. The Prime Minister's letter described the relationship as “one of partnership, freely entered into and freely maintained”. The central features of the partnership are common citizenship and the same head of state. The Cook Islands can at any time amend its constitution to end the “free association” status in favour of complete independence. These points apply equally to the relationship with Niue (though the Cook Islands now has its own Queen's Representative).

The Cook Islands and Niue not only have full constitutional capacity to conduct their own external relations and to enter directly into international arrangements and agreements, but they also in fact directly conduct certain aspects of their external relations. Their capacity to do so is limited only by the extent to which the governments of other states will accord them recongnition and deal with them. In practice, the Cook Islands and Niue have participated on an equal basis with sovereign states in the South Pacific. They are members of the South Pacific Forum, the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation (SPEC), the South Pacific Commission, and the Forum Fisheries Agency. They have associate membership of ESCAP, and the Cook Islands has joined the Asian Development Bank. The Cook Islands has recently signed on a bilateral basis with the United States a maritime boundary delimitation treaty and it has applied to accede to the Lome Convention.

Tokelau is still included within the boundaries of New Zealand and is administered under the authority of the Tokelau Act 1948 and its amendments. Tokelauans are New Zealand citizens.

In accordance with United Nations resolutions on non-self-governing territories, New Zealand has committed itself to assisting Tokelau towards a greater degree of self-government and economic self-sufficiency. New Zealand has stated that it will be guided by the wishes of the Tokelauan people regarding political developments in the territory and the pace at which greater self-determination is introduced. The Tokelau Amendment Act 1982 was passed at the request of the General Fono, Tokelau's traditional decision-making body, imposing a community services levy on salaries, wages and honoraria paid by the Tokelau Administration.

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 the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu (formerly the Ellice Islands) became independent. Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands) attained independence in 1979, and Vanuatu (formerly the New Herbrides) 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, have resulted in a flow of immigrants and visitors from both countries. In 1982 a protocol was added to the Treaty of Friendship on the subject of citizenship.

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, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Vanuatu, together with Australia, and New Zealand. The Federated States of Micronesia has observer status. The first session comprising 5 of the present island members (Fiji, Nauru, Tonga, Western Samoa, and the Cook Islands), as well as Australia and New Zealand, met at the invitation of New Zealand at Wellington in August 1971. Since then meetings have been held in Canberra (Australia), Suva (Fiji), Apia (Western Samoa), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Nuku'alofa (Tonga), Nauru, Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Niue, Honiara (Solomon Islands), Taraua (Kiribati), Vila (Vanuatu), and Rotorua (New Zealand).

The South Pacific Forum provides the opportunity for the leaders of the South Pacific states to discuss common problems, exchange views, 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 relation 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.

Recognising that the development of the South Pacific island countries was largely dependent on the existence of regular and reliable shipping services, the governments of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Western Samoa established the Pacific Forum Line (PFL) in 1977. Subsequently the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Kiribati joined the Pacific Forum Line while both Australia and Niue, although not shareholders, have made financial contributions to it.

The Pacific Forum Line presently charters three vessels, the Forum New Zealand, the Forum Samoa and the Fua Kavenga, owned respectively by New Zealand, Western Samoa, and Tonga. The headquarters of the line are in Apia.

The Pacific Forum Line has incurred substantial financial losses since it began operations in 1978. Together with other governments in the region, New Zealand has made additional contributions to help the line overcome its financial difficulties. Under an agreement negotiated with the European Investment Bank and endorsed by the 1982 Forum, measures have been taken to put the line on a sound financial basis. New Zealand agreed to contribute half the US$12.6 million required from Forum members. New Zealand and Australia also agreed to fund jointly a new feeder service to Kiribati and Tuvalu managed by the PFL.

The South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA), which provides that Australia and New Zealand will grant duty-free and unrestricted access on a non-reciprocal basis for most of the products exported by the Forum island countries, was signed at the 1980 Forum. The agreement has since been ratified by New Zealand and a number of other Forum countries and entered into force for these countries on 1 January 1981. SPARTECA also includes provisions relating to economic, commercial, and technical co-operation, aimed at enhancing the export capabilities of the Forum island countries. A Regional Committee on Trade has been set up under the agreement to review its operation regularly.

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 27 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, which is primarily a technical assistance organisation, has accomplished much in promoting the economic and social welfare of the South Pacific peoples as well as in helping to build a sense of regional identity. The commission's annual budget (which in 1983 will total approximately $4.5 million) is financed for the most part from proportional contributions by participating governments— Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Western Samoa. Other member governments contribute 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 offices in Fiji and Western Samoa.

Australia—New Zealand's most comprehensive bilateral relationship is with Australia. Geographical proximity and shared foreign policy and defence interests reinforced the important historical, cultural, and Commonwealth ties between the two nations 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 nations' 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, widespread family ties, and by institutionalised links in business, finance, education, the professions, and in nearly all fields of national activity. A significant ingredient in the relationship which facilitates these contacts is the free movement of people between the two countries under the trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.

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 in 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 which is in turn 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. It has an annual budget of $60,000 and has sponsored, as part of its work, studies on closer economic relations between Australia and New Zealand, a workshop on trans-Tasman migration, and a number of other research projects and publications, as well as cultural exchanges between Australia and New Zealand.

In March 1980 the then Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. R. D. Muldoon and the then Australian Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser, issued a joint communique announcing a set of agreed principles on which the two countries intended their future economic co-operation to be based and according to which the bilateral relationship could be strengthened. This announcement set in train over two years of intensive negotiations on the detail of a new set of arrangements for closer economic relations (CER) between the two countries. On 14 December 1982 the two governments recorded an understanding on the framework of a new treaty to replace NAFTA. The terms of the new agreement, which applied from 1 January 1983, will eventually result in all goods produced in either country being traded between the two countries free of duties and import restrictions. The agreement also contains provisions permitting the development of co-operation in a range of fields to bring about a closer economic relationship.

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

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

This comprehensive bilateral relationship finds expression in political, strategic, economic, and cultural fields. Under ANZUS New Zealand looks to the United States for 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 constructive international and regional diplomatic efforts. On the economic side, the United States is one of New Zealand's major trading partners. For some products, notably beef, it is this country's largest export market. Regular intergovernmental consultations are held to review the trading relationship. 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.

Canada—With a common British heritage and long association through the Commonwealth, New Zealand and Canada have traditionally enjoyed a close and easy relationship. Since New Zealand established diplomatic representation in Canada in 1942, the association has been marked by ministerial and official exchanges in many fields in which the two countries' shared democratic traditions and similar attitudes have provided a strong basis for bilateral consultation and co-operation. Similarly, in the international field, and particularly in Commonwealth and United Nations contexts, New Zealand and Canada have a sound record of co-operation. New Zealand's particular interest and involvement in the South Pacific and Canada's in the Caribbean, have provided a basis for the exchange of experience, and both countries take a close interest in developments within the Pacific Basin.

The new trade and economic co-operation agreement concluded in September 1981 provides the basic framework upon which trade and economic relations between the two countries will be developed in future. The 1981 agreement retains the Customs tariff rates currently applying to goods traded between the two countries and, in addition, makes provision for regular consultations with the objective of encouraging a further expansion of trade and economic and technological co-operation. Canada remains one of New Zealand's important trading partners, being at present the second largest market for New Zealand beef and veal.

Caribbean and Latin America—Relations with the Caribbean centre on mutual Commonwealth interests and a useful export trade, largely in dairy products and meat. Since 1974 the New Zealand High Commissioner in Ottawa has been cross-accredited to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, and Guyana. New Zealand has given technical assistance to these four Commonwealth countries and to the multilateral Caribbean Development Bank under a modest aid programme. Resident representation, a trade commission in Trinidad and Tobago, was established in 1958, but closed early in 1982 because of the decline in the proportion of New Zealand's exports going to the Caribbean.

Latin America is a region of increasing importance for New Zealand. Relations with the region, limited in the past by geographical orientation and linguistic and cultural differences, developed rapidly in the 1970s. In 1972 the New Zealand Government opened diplomatic missions in Chile and Peru, primarily to support an expanding trade in dairy products with these countries. By cross-accreditation, diplomatic relations have since been established with Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. The official visit to Mexico in 1980 by the Prime Minister, the then Rt. Hon. R. D. Muldoon, and a high-level economic mission, has led to a rapid expansion of economic and political relations with that country. A resident diplomatic mission was opened in Mexico City in 1983.

Trade in dairy products, meat, and agricultural technology from New Zealand to Latin America has increased steadily, the principal trading partners in these commodities being Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Agriculture is the main field of co-operation. New Zealand maintained a modest but successful pasture and livestock development project (until its completion in mid-1982) under its aid programme in the highlands of Peru. Other interests shared with Latin American countries include Antarctica, the law of the sea, and alternative and renewable sources of energy.

UNITED NATIONS—New Zealand was a founding member of the United Nations and, since the organisation's inception on 24 October 1945, successive governments of this country have strongly supported the development of the UN 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. As a consequence, New Zealand has played an active and prominent role in the UN system.

With the expanding work within the UN's six main organs (the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, and the International Court of Justice), the increase in UN related bodies, and the growth in the range and complexity of functions undertaken by the specialised agencies, New Zealand has had to adopt a more selective approach, concentrating its efforts on areas where it can play a useful and productive role and where matters of particular relevance are involved.

General Assembly—The New Zealand delegation to the 38th session of the General Assembly, held from 20 September to late December 1983, was led by the Prime Minister. The session discussions centred on recent events concerning the Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean, global economic issues, racism and apartheid, Southern Africa, refugees, arms control and disarmament, and human rights. In these areas New Zealand sought to make constructive contributions in either supporting, co-sponsoring or speaking in favour of resolutions which would help to remove international tension, establish economic and political justice for the deprived, and provide humanitarian relief or development assistance to the needy. New Zealand began a 3-year term on the Economic and Social Council in January 1983.

In addition, New Zealand, as outlined below, took an active part in discussions on a wide range of international issues in other UN forums.

Arms Control, Disarmament, Peacekeeping—At the 38th session of the General Assembly, New Zealand co-sponsored a number of resolutions dealing with arms control and disarmament, including a resolution calling for the implementation of a comprehensive nuclear test ban. The need for progress in this area of arms control and the responsibility of the nuclear powers to resume their negotiations remain as pressing as ever.

Support also continued for UN peacekeeping operations: four New Zealand officers currently serve in the Middle East with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation; and New Zealand's financial contribution to UN peacekeeping operations in 1983 was in the order of $1.08 million.

International Economic and Development Activity—During 1983 north-south issues remained a feature of almost all aspects of international economic activity. Within the United Nations framework attention focussed on these issues at the sixth United Nations Conference in Trade and Development in Belgrade in June, where the Prime Minister led the New Zealand delegation. They also received attention in other meetings, including the Williamsburg Summit, the Commonwealth Finance Ministers' Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, and the annual meetings of the IBRD and IMF.

On development issues, New Zealand continued to stress the special requirements of the South Pacific Island countries, many of which are not represented at the United Nations. It also welcomed increased assistance to the South Pacific from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to which the Government contributed $1.45 million in 1983.

International Legal Issues—During 1983 New Zealand participated actively with other consultative parties in the informal meetings aimed at establishing an Antarctic Minerals Regime. As a result of these meetings, considerable international attention has focussed on Antarctica. At its 37th session the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the Secretary-General to conduct a study of the continent.

New Zealand's position on Antarctica is based on the Antarctic Treaty 1959. The treaty establishes a system of peaceful international co-operation in Antarctica which includes effective environmental conservation measures and a comprehensive disarmament regime. Of prime importance to New Zealand, the treaty also removes the potential for disputes between states exercising sovereignty in parts of Antarctica (refer to section 37 of this Yearbook on the Ross Dependency) and those which do not. It does not, however address the question of resources. While no minerals in commercially exploitable quantities have been proven to exist, a major discovery would in the absence of settled rules bring back the potential for conflict in a way which could undermine the Antarctic Treaty. For this reason New Zealand is an active participant in the minerals meetings.

Humanitarian Issues—A continuing concern in international measures to find solutions to the problem of the rapidly expanding numbers of refugees led to New Zealand's working closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in resettling Indochinese refugees. In 1983 the Government made a regular annual contribution of $100,000 to the UNHCR, and in addition provided $120,000 to the UNHCR's General Programme Appeal to assist refugees in Africa, Asia, and Central America. The Government also made a $120,000 voluntary contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In addition, part of the $700,000 annual contribution made by this country to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) goes towards refugee relief.

New Zealand also continues to be concerned to ensure that measures taken within the UN to eliminate discrimination against women are fully implemented. In this regard, New Zealand participates fully in the activities of the UN Decade for Women and gives full support to those practical aspects of the Programme of Action for the Second Half of the Decade established at the mid-Decade Conference in Copenhagen in July 1980. A further contribution of $12,000 was made to a voluntary fund established by the UN to finance programmes and projects benefiting women in developing countries.

Human Rights—New Zealand is committed to the eradication of all forms of racism and racial discrimination. In August 1983 New Zealand participated in the second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, which was held in Geneva. Arising from the conference, the culminating activity of the Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (inaugurated by the UN in December 1973) was a recommendation for a Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. This recommendation was endorsed at the UN General Assembly.

New Zealands' first report to the Human Rights Committee, required in terms of the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights, was examined by the Committee in November 1983 at a meeting in Geneva, and was favourably received.

Specialised Agencies—The UN system encompasses 15 specialised and intergovernmental agencies which have been independently established with their own intergovernmental organs, secretariats, and budgets. The advantage of membership of these agencies is participation in the co-ordination and standardisation of international systems to handle and advance technical, financial, and development matters. New Zealand is a member of all fifteen, and its contributions to the individual agencies are generally based on the scale of assessments used by the UN organisation.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)—As an agricultural nation and founding member, New Zealand has taken a particularly active part in the FAO work to promote international food security. New Zealand in 1981 was elected for the fifth time as an FAO Council member. The country's assessed contribution for 1983 was $869,562.

General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)—New Zealand is a founder member of GATT, which is the only multilateral instrument that lays down agreed rules for international trade. As such, it comprises a contractual balance of trade rules and obligations. The latest round of GATT multilateral trade negotiations (the “Tokyo Round” 1973–79) resulted in a number of agreements on the reduction of tariff barriers and non-tariff trade restrictions.

The GATT framework remains a cornerstone of New Zealand's trading policy despite an imbalance in its treatment of agricultural trade. New Zealand is actively participating in the work of the Committee on Trade in Agriculture, which was established following the 1982 GATT Ministerial Meeting with a mandate to achieve liberalisation in the trade of agricultural products. The committee is due to report back to a ministerial session at the end of 1984.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—New Zealand has been a member of the IAEA since 1957 and, although not a member of the Board of Governors, has customarily attended the annual conference of the Agency in Vienna in September. The great value in membership of this Agency is in the information provided by the IAEA on a range of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including the use of isotopes in agriculture and industry. In 1983 the New Zealand contribution to the Agency budget was $288,863.

Intergovernmental Maritime Organisation (IMO)—New Zealand makes a regular contribution to IMO, which establishes international standards for maritime activities. Our 1983 assessment was $13,028.

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)—Established in 1944, ICAO promotes international discussion of civil aviation questions, particularly in the safety, technical, economic, and regulatory fields. Through its membership of the organisation New Zealand has been able to join with other small countries in expressing its views on current aviation issues and, in this regard, is regularly represented at ICAO's regional and international meetings. New Zealand contributed $136,542 in 1983 towards ICAO's budget.

International Labour Organisation (ILO)—New Zealand supports the ILO's concern to protect the basic dignities and rights of the wage earners and also the organisation's endeavours on a tripartite basis to frame international conventions to improve working and living conditions. In 1983 New Zealand's assessed contribution was $508,221.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)—Membership of the ITU enables New Zealand to work to promote the most rational and efficient operation of worldwide telecommunications services. New Zealand's assessed contribution for 1983 was $295,094.

Universal Postal Union (UPU)—As an island nation in the South Pacific, New Zealand's membership of the UPU is essential to facilitate the efficient international movement of mails to and from this country. New Zealand's 1983 assessed contribution was $247,088.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)—New Zealand continues to be closely involved with the work of UNESCO. It has a Permanent Delegate, based at the New Zealand Embassy in Paris, and in late 1983 completed a 5-year term on the Executive Board. In 1983 New Zealand's assessed contribution was $820,339.

World Health Organisation (WHO)—New Zealand takes an active part in the work of WHO. New Zealand's assessed contribution for 1983 was $892,318.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)—The WMO provides a network for exchanging information on international weather systems. In 1983 New Zealand's assessed contribution was $140,606.

International Banking and Finance Agencies under the aegis of the UN—Membership of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, also referred to as the “World Bank”), the International Monetary Fund, and the International Finance Corporation, enables New Zealand to participate in efforts to increase the stability of international trade and promote the economic development of less developed countries. In the year ended 31 March 1983 New Zealand contributed $3.33 million to the International Development Association, the “soft loan” arm of the IBRD. Membership of these international financial agencies also serves to strengthen New Zealand's own economic position by providing access to financial information and to varied sources of funding for capital projects or for balance of payments purposes.

This country is also a member of one of the regional development banks of the UN—the Asian Development Bank—which fosters economic growth and co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Contributions to UN—Contributions are based on capacity to pay, and New Zealand's assessed contribution rate for 1983, 1984, and 1985 of 0.26 percent required the country to pay $2,333,646 as its 1983 membership cost.

Contributions to the certain bodies established by the UN are on a voluntary basis. New Zealand's contributions for the year 1982–83 are shown in the subsection dealing with multilateral aid on a later page of this section. Along with many other countries New Zealand has been concerned about the rapidly rising operating and programme costs of the UN, its bodies, and the specialised and intergovernmental agencies. Accordingly, in the UN's Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and at the general meetings of the specialised agencies, New Zealand has sought to promote trim and efficient financial management through supporting or proposing the introduction of better budgeting techniques, the elimination of defunct programmes, applying savings made elsewhere to more effective programmes, and restraining the introduction of new institutions to an absolute minimum.

NEW ZEALAND'S AID AND OTHER RESOURCES FLOWS TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES—During 1982–83 Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounted to $79.2 million, a 12.82 percent increase on the previous year's figure of $70.2 million. Bilateral and regional assistance totalled $56.791 million, with $10.982 million going to multilateral agencies.

The following is a summary of 1982–83 ODA expenditure:

Vote: Foreign Affairs$(000)
    South Pacific shipping7,912
Vote: Transport75,685
    Pacific civil aviation and meteorological services900
Vote: Permanent Legislative Authority
    Asian Development Bank: World Bank capital contribution2,615

Almost all of New Zealand's ODA is administered by the External Aid Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Geographic distribution of the 1982–83 assistance to developing countries followed the pattern of previous years, with over two-thirds going to bilateral and regional programmes in the South Pacific. The ASEAN group of countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines) was the second region of bilateral aid concentration. The total programme involves the skills and experience of hundreds of New Zealanders, together with capital and technical back-up from New Zealand.

Government assistance to voluntary agencies in 1982–83 amounted to $578,189. This comprised the annual grant to Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) and disbursements under the Voluntary Agency Support Scheme (VASS). Under VASS the Government provides a subsidy for approved projects undertaken by New Zealand non-governmental agencies in developing countries.

The total transfer of resources from New Zealand to developing countries in the calendar year 1982, as reported to the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD in Paris, was estimated (with some margin of allowance for unconfirmed data) at $157.34 million. This figure included private export credits and direct investment by New Zealand interests ($60.22 million) and transfers by New Zealand voluntary agencies ($8.90 million).

Bilateral ODA 1982–83—Under its bilateral (government-to-government) aid programmes, New Zealand responds to the development priorities established by the developing countries themselves, mainly in the South Pacific and South-east Asia. Project aid is the main form of assistance. Hundreds of projects are involved, and New Zealand inputs of expertise and/or material and capital resources are often committed for several years on end.

The main purpose of New Zealand's bilateral assistance is to help promote the economic and social development of the recipient countries by expanding their capabilities to raise the living standards of their peoples. Emphasis is placed on productive sector development such as livestock and pasture improvement programmes, assistance with crops, and the development of forestry, fisheries and energy resources. Advisors' assignments vary from a few weeks to several years. In 1982–83 the bilateral aid programme had about 70 long-term (2 years or more) advisors in the field, and several hundred on short-term assignments. The transfer of New Zealand expertise to developing countries is supplemented by the provision of bilateral aid study and training awards. In 1982–83 there were about 650 students in New Zealand and about 200 at “third country” institutions. The training is linked with specific requirements in the recipient countries. Bilateral assistance is complemented in the South Pacific and South-east Asia by programmes promoting regional development co-operation, particularly in the fields of forestry, education, livestock improvement, transport, communications and trade promotion. Bilateral assistance also includes emergency and distress relief.

The following country breakdown of bilateral ODA in 1982–83 shows the direction and scope of New Zealand assistance:

* This figure covers study and training programmes and awards other than those incorporated in the individual Pacific and Asian country disbursements shown under Bilateral Aid.
South PacificNZ$
    Cook Islands9,886,505
    Papua New Guinea2,695,819
    Solomon Islands903,775
    Western Samoa4,910,874
                    Total Pacific43,515,102
South and South-east Asia
Other Asian
        Korea (South)39,653
        Sri Lanka35,381
        Maldive Islands2,402
                Total Asia11.766,767
                Total Africa203.013
Latin America
                Total Latin America219,897
Middle East
                Total Middle East13,612
                Total Caribbean37,271
Other Bilateral Programmes
    Voluntary agencies578,189
    Study and training awards*384,415
                Total other1,035,935
                Total Bilateral Aid56,791,597

Multilateral ODA 1981–82—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 disbursements in 1982–83 amounted to $10.9 million. To a large extent the pattern of disbursement to United Nations, Commonwealth, South Pacific, and international development finance institutions and agencies followed that of the previous year.

United Nations InstitutionsNZ$
    UN Development Programme1,500,000
    UN Disaster Relief Office10,000
    World Food Programme800,000
    UN Children's Fund700,000
    UN Fund for Population Activities350,000
    UN Relief and Works Agency120,000
    UN High Commission for Refugees100,000
    UN Education Training Programme for Southern Africa16,000
    UN Trust Fund for Southern Africa8,000
    UN Trust Fund for Namibia5,000
                Total, United Nations3,609,000
South Pacific Institutions
    South Pacific Commission639,998
    South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation394,800
    Regional Fisheries Agency196,902
                Total, South Pacific1,231,700
Development Finance Institutions
    International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)400,000
    International Development Association (IDA)2,980,000
    Asian Development Bank (ADB)—Asian Development Fund1,000,000
    Asian Development Bank (ADB)—Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF)75,000
    Caribbean Development Bank50,000
    International Monetary Fund (IMF)—Oil Subsidy Account96,000
                Total, Development Finance4,601,000
Commonwealth Programmes
    Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation750,000
    Commonwealth Youth Programme70,000
    Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau53,222
    Zimbabwe Students Trust Fund17,000
                Total, Commonwealth890,222
Other Contributions
    International Rice Research Institute25,000
    International Planned Parenthood Fund250,000
    International Committee of the Red Cross50,000
    Refugee Relief325,000
                Total, other650,000
                Total, Multilateral Aid10,981,922


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, 50 Maori chiefs ceded their sovereignty to the British Crown in exchange for guarantees contained in the Treaty. Territory not included in the Treaty was claimed on the ground of discovery. The constitution is wholly Anglo-Saxon in its origin and takes no account of Maori custom and usage.

Since its signing the Treaty has remained a contentious issue. Maori grievances focus on the following points: the full implications of the Treaty were not explained at the time; Maori translation of the Treaty was in parts misleading; and its promises have not been honoured.

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. 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 1840–1973. 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 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 socio-economic activity;

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

  • Letters Patent 1983—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 five provisions of the Electoral Act, which can be changed only by a vote of 75 percent of the members of Parliament, are entrenched in a political, rather than a strict legal, sense. The section which entrenches them 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 has so far come of the idea.

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 or expires by efflux of time after 3 years.

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.

Proposed laws are placed before the House in the form of draft laws known as 'bills'. There are 3 types of bills—public bills, dealing with the most important subjects of a public and general nature (most public bills are introduced by the Government), local bills, which are promoted by local authorities to give themselves special powers or validate illegal action they may take, and private bills, which are promoted by private individuals or companies also to give themselves special powers. The procedure for passing each of these types of bill through Parliament differs.

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. Since 1980, all government bills 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 unlikely that the Opposition would be in a position to bring down a government by means of a no-confidence vote—there is no instance of a successful no-confidence vote in the history of the New Zealand Parliament since 1928. 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 two parties only in the House. The presence of third party members, 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 members of a caucus committee.

In the exercise of their functions and powers, the Speaker and the Chairman of Committees are 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 the Act of the same name.

The following table lists the salaries payable from 10 November 1981.

OfficeYearly Rate of Salary Payable On and After 10 November 1981
Members of the Executive$     
Prime Minister79,717
Deputy Prime Minister62,146
Each Minister of the Crown holding a portfolio or portfolios (other than the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister)55,115
Each Minister of the Crown without portfolio44,572
Each Parliamentary Under-Secretary42,814
Officers of the House of Representatives
Speaker of the House of Representatives51,161
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives44,134
Leader and Deputy of the Official Opposition
Leader of the Official Opposition55,115
Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition42,814
Chief Government Whip39,300
Chief Opposition Whip39,300
Junior Government Whip36,665
Junior Opposition Whip36,665
Members of the House of Representatives
Each member of the House of Representatives to whom the foregoing provisions of this Schedule do not apply32,271

The following allowances are also paid:

OfficeYearly Rate of Expenses Allowance
Prime Minister14,000
Deputy Prime Minister6,000
Each Minister of the Crown holding a portfolio or portolios (other than the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister)5,750
Each Minister of the Crown without portfolio4,500
Each Parliamentary Under-Secretary4,500
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Additional)5,000
    (Additional allowance as Speaker; plus electorate allowance abated by one-third of the appropriate rate, and day allowance)4,600
Chairman of Committees2,500
    (Additional allowance as Chairman plus electorate allowance abated by one-third of the appropriate rate, and day allowance)2,700
Leader of the Opposition5,750
    (Plus house and travelling allowances) 
Deputy Leader of the Opposition2,500
    (Plus additional allowance as Deputy and electorate, night, and day allowances at appropriate rates)2,250
Members (Plus electorate, day, and night allowances at appropriate rates)2,500

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, and ranges from $4,500 to $9,250.

A day allowance of $12 is payable where indicated for each day on which a member attends a sitting of Parliament or a committee, and a night allowance of $26 for each night a member requires overnight accommodation away from home by reason of such attendance.

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 $350.

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 5-year term) may lawfully exercise most of the Royal powers and functions, whether derived from the general law or statute. The 1983 Letters Patent reinforced by a strong convention, require him to accept and act on the advice of his New Zealand ministers. By convention the discretion or reserve powers which may be exercised by the Governor-General enable him in certain extraordinary circumstances to reject advice if he believed that a government was intending to act improperly or unconstitutionally. Events in Australia in 1975 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.

Sir David Stuart Beattie assumed office as Governor-General on 6 November 1980. For further information on previous Governors-General refer to the 1982 Yearbook.

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 undersecretaries to assist ministers in specific areas. Under-Secretaries are neither ministers nor members of the Executive Council.

The Executive Council, constituted under the 1983 Letters Patent, 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 membership of the council, following a snap election on 14 July 1984, remained at 20.

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 covered by the committees. Each committee has power within its terms of reference to make decisions. On 30 July 1984 the structure of Cabinet committees was changed and now includes committees on policy; social equity; development and marketing; transport, communications, and state enterprises; external relations and security; management and state employment; legislation; honours and appointments; and terrorism.

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 68.

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 offices 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 modern 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.

CONTROLLER AND AUDITOR-GENERAL: ROLE AND POWERS—The Controller and Auditor-General is an officer of the Crown appointed by the Governor-General on behalf of Her Majesty. Much like the judiciary, he/she is independent of the Executive, being obliged to report only to Parliament and only able to be removed from office by the Governor-General upon an address from the House of Representatives. He/she has a Deputy whose mode of appointment and tenure of office are the same. It is also laid down by statute that no Minister is in any way responsible for the carrying out or exercise by the Audit Office of its functions, duties, and powers.

With some exceptions, the Controller and Auditor-General functions through the Audit Office, which was established by the Public Finance Act 1977. The Audit Office is defined as the Controller and Auditor-General and any person under delegation or appointment by him to perform or exercise any particular function, duty, or power.

The role of the Audit Office embraces 2 main activities. The major and better known, is the audit of the accounts of all Government departments and local authorities, and most Government-owned or controlled corporations, boards, and companies. The lesser known but constitutionally important role is that of the control of issues of money cut of the Public Account to meet Government expenditure. No money can be issued out of the Public Account unless it is covered by some authority given by Parliament, and it is the responsibility of the Audit Office to ensure that the rule is observed.

In relation to its role as auditor of the public sector, the Audit Office is required to carry out financial audits, to review procedures, and is empowered to undertake examinations to determine whether resources have been applied effectively and efficiently. The Audit Office cannot question policies on which broad spending decisions are made. To enable it to carry out these functions, the Audit Office has a number of powers. These include rights of access to the books, accounts, and property of its clients, and the right to require persons to supply information or deliver up books and accounts in their possession, or under their control.

The Controller and Auditor-General has no general power of sanction to remedy shortcomings discovered during an audit. The principal recourse is to report to the management of the organisation, either by letter or in the formal audit opinion on financial statements, to a Minister, or to Parliament.

However, if the shortcoming involves a deficiency or loss of public money or stores, the Controller and Auditor-General has the power to surcharge the person or persons responsible to recover the amount involved. This power is used rarely.

OMBUDSMEN—The position of Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigations (Ombudsman) was created in 1962. Until 1968 the principal function of the Ombudsman was to inquire into complaints from members of the public relating to administrative decisions of Government departments and related organisations only. In 1968 his jurisdiction was extended to hospital boards and education boards and, under the Ombudsmen Act 1975, it was further extended to all other local authorities and to certain national boards and organisations. Under the 1975 Act, provision was made for the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman and one or more other ombudsmen, who could be permanent or temporary.

Complaints to the ombudsmen must be made in writing. Investigations are conducted in private, but an ombudsman can decide not to investigate where, for instance, the subject-matter is trivial or the complainant has not a sufficient personal interest in the subject-matter of the complaint.

Where an ombudsman forms the opinion that a complaint can be sustained he is required in the case of a Government department or Government organisation to report that opinion and any recommendation that may be made to the department or organisation concerned and to make a copy of the report available to the responsible minister. In the case of a local organisation the ombudsman is required to report the opinion formed to that organisation and to make a copy of the report available to the mayor or chairman.

An analysis of the complaints made to the Ombudsmen during the latest available year is given in the following table.

Action on ComplaintYear Ended March 1983
Declined, no jurisdiction153
Declined or discontinued680
Sustained, recommendation made17
Sustained, no recommendation made54
Not sustained496
Abandoned before investigation203
Still under investigations as at 31 March369
Total number of complaints1 972

ROYAL COMMISSIONS AND COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY—The Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908, which has been amended from time to time as necessary, provides that the Governor-General may by Order in Council, appoint any person or persons to be a commission to inquire into and report upon any question arising out of, or concerning:

  1. The administration of the Government;

  2. The working of any existing law;

  3. The necessity or expediency of any legislation;

  4. The conduct of any officer in the Service of the Crown;

  5. Any disaster or accident (whether due to natural causes or otherwise) in which members of the public were killed, injured, were or might have been exposed to risk of death or injury;

  6. Any other matter of public importance.

A Royal Commission is appointed by the Governor-General pursuant to his Letters Patent, but in other respects derives its powers from the Commissions of Inquiry Act. Royal Commissions, appointed as they are in the name of the Sovereign, are generally regarded as having a greater prestige and standing and accordingly they are presided over by a Judge or former Judge of the High Court or a person of equivalent judicial status.

A committee of inquiry may be set up by a minister to investigate some matter but such a committee has no statutory basis in the normal course of events, although there are ancillary powers in some instances.

Amendments to the legislation in 1979 and 1980 now confer new rights upon any person if he/she is a party to the inquiry or satisfies the commission that he/she has an interest in the inquiry apart from any interest in common with the public.

Usually the terms of reference for a commission are quite specific. While there is frequently a final term of reference which appears to include everything else, this term of reference must be considered in context. It does not confer the right on almost anyone to become a party or participant in the inquiry.

The Department of Internal Affairs, (originally the Colonial Secretary's Office), administers the Commissions of Inquiry legislation and provides basic services to the various commissions. These inquiries are not part of the justice system, nor are they part of the conventional administrative bureaucracy. The department retains important constitutional responsibilities and in this context is held responsible to ensure that complete independence and impartiality of investigations is maintained.

Commissions of Inquiry must report to the Governor-General, who in turn, refers the findings and report to his/her Ministers. It is frequently the custom for the report to be published and copies are available from the Government Printing Office.

Although a costly exercise, the role of Commissions of Inquiry in a parliamentary democracy with an unicameral system is a significant one. Besides serving as a valuable channel for public disquiet, a commission is able to weigh the submissions according to the accuracy with which they are formulated, make findings, seek comment, and arrive at considered conclusions.

Further information is available in the following publications: Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry, published by the Government Printing Office in 1974; A Checklist: New Zealand Royal Commissions, Commissions and Committees of Inquiry 1864–1981, published by the New Zealand Library Association in 1982; and the Report of the Department of Internal Affairs (Parl. paper G. 7).

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS—The law on elections is contained in the Electoral Act 1956 and its amendments. Responsibility for the electoral process is shared between 4 Government departments. The Post Office maintains and prints electoral rolls and the Department of Justice is responsible for the conduct of the polls, electoral policy, and legislation. The Departments of Statistics and Lands and Survey provide geographical referencing material and mapping services. Following the population census (every 5 years) the boundaries of all electorates are revised, and new boundaries come into force at the expiry of the Parliament existing when the Proclamation is issued.

To assist this revision, the Government Statistician is required to supply general electoral population figures to the Surveyor-General.

The term “general electoral population” means total population with the following exceptions:

  1. Maori electoral population—a figure based on the number of adult New Zealand Maoris registered in Maori electoral districts adjusted to include children. A Maori is defined in the 1980 amendment as “a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a person”:

  2. Persons residing on board any ship;

  3. Temporary guests in any guest house, hotel, or motel;

  4. Temporary residents in any defence area;

  5. Patients or inmates in any hospital or institution;

  6. Persons detained in any penal institution.

After the population figures are supplied by the Government Statistician it is then the responsibility of a Representation Commission to define new 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 to 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 population under a formula that allocates 25 seats to the South Island. The general electoral population of the South Island is divided by 25, and the quota thus obtained for each South Island electorate is then divided into the North Island general electoral population to give the number of electorates in the North Island.

The number of Maori seats is fixed at four.

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. The objections are published and a further 2 weeks is allowed for lodgment of counter objections. Both objections and counter objections are then considered by the Representation Commission and a final decision is reached on boundaries which then define the new electoral districts.

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 a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident and (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. Maoris and persons of part-Maori descent may elect to be included on either the General or the Maori electoral roll but their options are renewable only at prescribed intervals.

Voting—Voting is controlled in each electoral district by a Returning Officer appointed to arrange voting facilities and staffing, conduct the election, supervise the counting of votes, and formally declare the election result. A preliminary count of ordinary votes is available on election night and final results are generally available 2 weeks later after all overseas and special votes are received and counted.

Voting is by secret ballot. In general, only those persons whose names are lawfully on the electoral rolls compiled prior to an election are qualified to vote. All general elections and by-elections are held on a Saturday and polling booths are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any member of the armed forces aged 18 years and 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.

The vote is normally cast by the elector at a polling booth within his/her district. He/she may however vote as a “special voter”, either at a polling booth outside his/her district or by post for reasons of distant travel on polling day, sickness, etc. Provision is also made for overseas voting.

Voting papers list the surnames of candidates nominated for the electoral district concerned and the elector indicates his/her preference by striking out the name of every candidate except the one for whom he/she wishes to vote. The candidate obtaining the highest number of votes is elected to represent that electoral district as a member of the House of Representatives.

ParliamentPeriod of Session
Thirty-sixth12 March 1970–13 March 1970
  1 April 1970–3 December 1970
25 February 1971–25 March 1971
  9 June 1971–17 December 1971
  8 June 1972–20 October 1972
Thirty-seventh15 February 1973–16 March 1973
  5 June 1973–23 November 1973
  4 February 1974–29 March 1974
28 May 1974–8 November 1974
25 March 1975–10 October 1975
Thirty-eighth23 June 1976–14 December 1976
28 February 1977–4 March 1977
19 May 1977–16 December 1977
11 May 1978–6 October 1978
Thirty-ninth17 May 1979–14 December 1979
15 May 1980–12 December 1980
20 May 1981–23 October 1981
Fortieth  7 April 1982–17 December 1982
  7 April 1983–16 December 1983

Summary of Parliamentary Proceedings

* In hours or minutes.
Sitting days1198511099
Hours of sitting after midnight*19:384:0427:4331:17
Public Bills introduced by Government1057310796
Public Bills referred to Select Committees92628680

Parliamentary Representation—Parliamentary representation of Maoris, Pacific Island Polynesians and women are shown in the following table. The ages of Members of Parliament are also compared with that of the total population.

 Percentage of Total Members of ParliamentPercentage of Population

* As at 31 March 1984.

†As at the 1981 Census.

‡As at 31 December 1983.

Pacific Island Polynesians2.9
Age groups—
    Under 30 years1.151.6
    60 years and over8.414.3

Legislation 1983—During the parliamentary session of 1983, 155 Public Acts were passed, compared with 185 passed in 1982.


Governor-General of New Zealand—His Excellency the Hon. Sir David Stuart Beattie, G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., Q.C.

Official Secretary—James Brown.

The Ministry

Rt. Hon. D. R. LANGE, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.

Hon. G. W. R. PALMER, Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the House, Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, Minister in Charge of the Legislative Department, Minister in Charge of the Government Printing Office.

Hon. M. K. MOORE, Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing, Minister of Tourism, Minister in Charge of Publicity, Minister of Recreation and Sport.

Hon. R. O. DOUGLAS, Minister of Finance, Minister in Charge of the Inland Revenue Department, Minister in Charge of Friendly Societies.

Hon. R. W. PREBBLE, Minister of Transport, Minister of Civil Aviation and Meteorological Services, Minister of Railways, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Associate Minister of Finance.

Hon. K. T. WETERE, Minister of Maori Affairs, Minister of Lands, Minister of Forests, Minister in Charge of the Valuation Department.

Hon. D. F. CAYGILL, Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of National Development, Associate Minister of Finance.

Hon. C. R. MARSHALL, Minister of Education, Minister for the Environment.

Hon. F. D. O'FLYNN, Q.C., Minister of State, Minister of Defence, Minister in Charge of War Pensions, Minister in Charge of Rehabilitation, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Associate Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing.

Dr the Hon. M. E. R. BASSETT, Minister of Health, Minister of Local Government.

Hon. A. HERCUS, Minister of Social Welfare, Minister of Police, Minister of Women's Affairs.

Hon. R. J. TIZARD, Minister of Energy, Minister of Statistics, Minister of Science and Technology, Minister in Charge of the Audit Department.

Hon. C. J. MOYLE, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Fisheries, Minister in Charge of the Rural Banking and Finance Corporation.

Hon. S. J. RODGER, Minister of Labour, Minister of State Services.

Hon. J. L. HUNT, Minister of Broadcasting, Postmaster-General.

Hon. F. M. COLMAN, Minister of Works and Development, Minister in Charge of the Earthquake and War Damage Commission, Associate Minister of Energy.

Hon. T. K. BURKE, Minister of Regional Development, Minister of Employment, Minister of Immigration.

Hon. M. SHIELDS, Minister of Customs, Minister of Consumer Affairs.

Dr the Hon. P. TAPSELL, M.B.E., Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Civil Defence, Minister for the Arts, Associate Minister of Local Government, Associate Minister of Tourism.

Hon. P. B. GOFF, Minister of Housing, Minister in Charge of the Government Life Insurance Corporation, Minister in Charge of the State Insurance Office, Minister in Charge of the Public Trust Office.

Executive Council—Membership of the Executive Council is identical with the Cabinet and comprises all the Ministers. The Clerk of the Executive Council is P. G. MILLEN. M.A. (OXON).

Parliamentary Under-Secretaries

D. J. BUTCHER, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries, Lands, and Forests.

T. A. DE CLEENE, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Finance, with special responsibility for the Inland Revenue Department.

E. E. ISBEY, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Labour, Employment, and Immigration.

W. P. JEFFRIES, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport, and Works and Development.

P. NEILSON, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Trade and Industry.

P. T. E. WOOLLASTON, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Local Government and Environment.


Prime Minister—Rt. Hon. D. R. Lange.

Leader of the Opposition—Sir Robert Muldoon, G.C.M.G., C.H.

Speaker—Hon. Sir Basil Arthur, Bt.

Chairman of Committees—J. J. Terris.

Clerk of the House—C. P. Littlejohn. LL.M.

NameYear of BirthPrevious OccupationElectoral District
* Government member.
Anderton, J. P.*1938Company directorSydenham
Angus, D. A.1938Freezing company stock buyerWallace
Arthur, Hon. Sir Basil, Bt.*1929Timber workerTimaru
Austin, H. N.1925FarmerBay of Islands
Austin, Mrs M.*1933TeacherYaldhurst
Austin, W. R.1931FarmerAwarua
Banks, J. A.1946RestaurateurWhangarei
Bassett, Dr the Hon. M. E. R.*1938LecturerTe Atatu
Batchelor, Mrs M. D.*1927Trade union organiserAvon
Birch, Hon. W. F.1934Consultant surveyor-engineerFranklin
Bolger, Hon. J. B.1935FarmerKing Country
Boorman, R. G.*1935Superannuation consultantWairarapa
Braybrooke, G. B.*1935Sales managerNapier
Burdon, P. R.1939Company directorFendalton
Burke, Hon. T. K.*1942TeacherWest Coast
Butcher, D. J.*1948Research officerHastings
Caygill, Hon. D. F.*1948Barrister and solicitorSt. Albans
Clark, Helen*1950LecturerMt. Albert
Colman, Hon. F. MacD.*1925Secretary of Labour Party HeadquartersPencarrow
Cooper, Hon. W. E.1933MotelierOtago
Cox, M. E. C.1939AccountantManawatu
Cullen, Dr M.*1945LecturerSt. Kilda
de Cleene, T. A.*1933Barrister and solicitorPalmerston North
Dillon, R.*1933Barrister and solicitorHamilton East
Douglas, Hon. R. O.*1937Company secretaryManurewa
Dunne, P. F.*1954Deputy chief executive officerOhariu
East, P. C.1946Barrister and solicitorRotorua
Elder, J.*1949TeacherWest Auckland
Falloon, Hon. J. H.1942Farm management consultantPahiatua
Fraser, Mrs A. L.*1954TeacherEast Cape
Friedlander, Hon. A. P. D.1944Farm appraiserNew Plymouth
Gair, Hon. G. F.1926Personal Assistant to General Manager, Air New ZealandNorth Shore
Gerbic, F. M.*1932Industrial conciliatorOnehunga
Gerard, R. J.1936FarmerRangiora
Goff, Hon. P.*1953LecturerRoskill
Graham, D. A. M.1942Barrister and solicitorRemuera
Gray, R. M.1931FarmerClutha
Gregory, Dr B.*1937Doctor of MedicineNorthern Maori
Hercus, Hon. Ann*1942Member of Commerce CommissionLyttelton
Hunt, Hon. Jonathan*1938TeacherNew Lynn
Isbey, E. E.*1917WatersiderPapatoetoe
Jeffries, W. P.*1945Barrister and solicitorHeretaunga
Jones, N. P. H., Q.S.M.1923TeacherInvercargill
Keall, Mrs J. M.*1942TeacherGlenfield
Kidd, D. L.1941Barrister and solicitorMarlborough
King, Mrs A. F.*1947Dental tutorHorowhenua
Knapp, G. T.1947BusinessmanEast Coast Bays
Lange, Rt. Hon. D. R.*1942Barrister and solicitorMangere
Lee, G. E.1935Company directorHauraki
Luxton, J. F.1923FarmerMatamata
McClay, R. N.1945TeacherWaikaremoana
McKinnon, D. C.1939Real estate agentRodney
McLay, Hon. J. K.1945BarristerBirkenhead
McLean, I.1935FarmerTarawera
Mallard, Trevor*1954TeacherHamilton
Marshall, Hon. C. R.*1936Minister and teacherWanganui
Marshall, Denis1943Farmer and company directorRangitikei
Matthewson, Dr C. D.*1944Civil engineerDunedin West
Maxwell, Ralph*1934TeacherWaitakere
Maxwell, Roger1941FarmerTaranaki
Moore, Hon. M. K.*1949Freezing workerChristchurch North
Morrison, N. J.1938ManufacturerPakuranga
Moyle, Hon. C. J.*1929Teacher/FarmerOtara
Muldoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert, G.C.M.G., C.H.1921AccountantTamaki
Neilson, P.*1954Civil servantMiramar
Northey, R. J.*1945Advisory officerEden
O'Flynn, Hon. F. D., Q.C.*1918Barrister and Queen's CounselIsland Bay
O'Regan, Mrs K. V.1946FarmerWaipa
Palmer, Hon. Geoffrey*1942LecturerChristchurch Central
Peters, W. R.1945Barrister and solicitorTauranga
Prebble, Hon. R. W.*1948Barrister and solicitorAuckland Central
Richardson, Ruth1950Legal adviser/FarmerSelwyn
Rodger, Hon. S. J.*1940M.O.W.D. employeeDunedin North
Scott, N.*1929Education administratorTongariro
Shields, Hon. Margaret*1941Research workerKapiti
Shirley, K. L.*1950ScientistTasman
Smith, Dr A. L.1948Managing DirectorKaipara
Storey, W. R.1936President of Federated FarmersWaikato
Sutton, J. R*1941FarmerWaitaki
Sutton, Dr W. D.*1944ScientistHawke's Bay
Talbot, Hon. R. L. G.1923FarmerAshburton
Tapsell, Dr the Hon. P. W., M.B.E.*1930Doctor of MedicineEastern Maori
Terris, J.J.*1939BroadcasterWestern Hutt
Tirikatene-Sullivan, Hon. Mrs T. W. M.*1932Political scientistSouthern Maori
Tizard, Hon. R. J.*1924TeacherPanmure
Townshend, C. B.1931FarmerKaimai
Upton, S. D.1958Student/TeacherRaglan
Wall, Dr G. A.*1920Doctor of MedicinePorirua
Wallbank, A. R.*1937FarmerGisborne
Wellington, Hon. M. L.1940TeacherPapakura
Wetere, Hon. K. T.*1935FarmerWestern Maori
Wilde, Fran*1948JournalistWellington Central
Woollaston, P. T. E.*1944TeacherNelson
Young, T. J.*1925General Superintendent of New Zealand AllianceEastern Hutt
Young, Hon. V. S.1929FarmerWaitotara

NOTE: For further information on previous ministries, Prime Ministers and Governors-General, refer to the 1982 Yearbook.


GENERAL—Local government in New Zealand is characterised by 6 principles which are outlined below:

  1. Each local authority is established by Act of Parliament (either by its own special or local Act of Parliament or, more commonly, by a public Act of Parliament);

  2. Each local authority has its powers defined in the Act of Parliament under which it is established, and under such other Acts of Parliament that apply to local authorities generally;

  3. Each local authority has a specific district within which it operates;

  4. Each local authority is controlled by its own council;

  5. All local authorities except for hospital boards rely on 1 or more of the following sources of funding—local taxes on land (rates), levies on other local authorities, and/or charges derived from trading utilities under their control. Hospital boards are the exception in that they are totally funded by central government;

  6. All local authorities are able to determine their own expenditure priorities and, except for hospital boards, all local authorities are free to set their own overall levels of expenditure.

Local government in New Zealand does not involve itself in the funding, administration or management of education, social welfare, police, or urban fire services, and, except for a small number of specified urban areas, it does not involve itself in traffic control and enforcement. In the New Zealand context, these services are seen as being either the responsibility of central government, or of specialised agencies which are themselves closely involved with central government. For example urban fire services are provided for by the New Zealand Fire Service Commission (see Section 10B of this Yearbook) while education services are provided for through a variety of education boards and councils funded by central government (see Section 7A of this Yearbook). In the New Zealand context, neither the New Zealand Fire Service Commission nor these various education boards and councils are regarded as local authorities.

A particular feature of local government in New Zealand is the importance placed on its accountability to its electors. The emphasis in local government is on local accountability. This precludes central government from becoming directly involved in local government decision-making, (although in the case of catchment authorities there is some central government involvement through representation on each catchment authority). It also means that the decisions of local authorities cannot be reviewed or overturned by central government. Although hospital boards are funded from central government, they have always been locally responsible for the services they provide to meet the health-needs of the populations of their districts. With the advent in 1982 of a population-based system of funding hospital boards, greater emphasis has been placed on local decision-making and accountability in which central government does not have a role to play.

Although central government is unable to review decisions made by local authorities, this does not mean that local government decisions are not subject to review. There is, for example, provision for the Ombudsmen to investigate complaints regarding specific instances of maladministration in local government—a responsibility which they undertake in addition to their duties concerning complaints about central government maladministration. There is also provision for the Controller and Auditor General to carry out investigations regarding any financial misconduct or conflict of financial interest that may occur either on the part of local government officers or elected members. Such investigations can, in certain circumstances, result in automatic forfeiture of office and/or prosecution in terms of the Local Authorities (Members Interests) Act 1968 or the Local Government Act 1974. (The Controller and Auditor General is an officer of State who is directly responsible to Parliament on all matters affecting central government and local government which relate to financial management and control.) Apart from the issues of maladministration and misconduct, there is further scope for review of local government decisions in a limited number of areas by means of appeal to various judicial tribunals or to the District Court. The' Planning Tribunal acts as the appropriate appeal body on issues which concern land-use planning and related issues. Under the Local Government Act and related legislation, the District Court acts as an appeal body on some more minor issues relating to local government and property. (This responsibility is in addition to its normal function as the Court for minor civil and criminal proceedings.)

Apart from specialised tribunals and the District Court, local authorities are subject to the general power of judicial review of the High Court. The Administrative Division of the High Court has jurisdiction to consider appeals from the District Court and from judicial bodies, such as the Planning Tribunal. In the case of the Planning Tribunal, appeals are only on points of law. In addition, the Administrative Division of the High Court has general jurisdiction to consider applications for review arising from the exercise of any statutory power by any organisation, including any local authority. Under the Bylaws Act 1910 the Administrative Division of the High Court can quash or amend any bylaws of a local authority on the grounds that they are ultra vires of the local authority, or repugnant to the laws of New Zealand, or unreasonable.

The ability of a local authority to incur debts is also subject to control. Since 1926 all local authorities have been subject to loan-raising controls which are exercised by the Local Authorities Loans Board (a statutory board composed of 4 local government and 3 central government members). Since 1983, some local authorities and some categories of loans have been exempted by central government on the recommendation of the Local Authorities Loans Board. In addition, hospital and harbour boards are subject to capital expenditure controls. (In the case of hospital boards, these controls are exercised by central government, and, in the case of harbour boards, these controls are exercised by the National Ports Authority.) However apart from hospital and harbour boards, local authorities in New Zealand are not subject to any capital expenditure controls other than the loan-raising controls already referred to. In practice, where central government wishes to influence the policies of local government, its only effective means of doing so is through appropriate subsidy and grant schemes, the reason being that local authorities can, and do, finance most of their expenditure from local land taxes (rates), and/or charges from trading utilities under their control.

Local government in New Zealand falls into 4 broad categories:

  1. Territorial local government;

  2. Special purpose local government;

  3. Regional local government;

  4. Community local government.

TERRITORIAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT—Territorial authorities in New Zealand act as directly elected general purpose authorities with responsibilities for roading, water supply, sewage disposal, rubbish disposal, parks and reserves, libraries, community development, land subdivision, land-use planning, pensioner housing, health and building inspection, urban passenger transport, parking meter enforcement and civil defence. The present system of territorial local government in New Zealand has evolved since the abolition of provincial government in 1876. (From 1853, New Zealand had operated a system of provincial government with each province having its own provincial council able to pass its own enactments known as provincial ordinances, but in 1875 Parliament provided for the abolition of the provinces to take effect in 1876.) In 1876, Parliament passed the Rating Act, the Municipal Corporations Act and the Counties Act. These 3 Acts established a system of locally-elected general purpose territorial local authorities funded from local taxes on land (rates). Municipalities were provided for in urban areas, and these included 36 municipalities already in existence which had been incorporated under an earlier Municipal Corporations Act. The remainder of the North and South Islands, together with Stewart Island, was divided into counties, although in the more sparsely settled counties it was intended that no county councils would be immediately established. The last of these designated counties to come under the control of a county council was Fiord County. This happened in 1981 when it was included in the district of the Wallace County Council.

In 1901, Parliament authorised the establishment of a county council for the Chatham Islands (although the first elections for this county council were not held until 1925). In 1912, Parliament authorised the establishment of a county council for Great Barrier Island and in 1970 the Waiheke County Council was constituted covering Waiheke Island (formerly under the control of the Waiheke Road Board) and also covering a number of small islands in the Hauraki Gulf. Apart from some small usually uninhabited offshore islands, all of New Zealand is now covered by directly elected territorial local government—231 territorial authorities in total.

New Zealand's system of directly elected general purpose or territorial local government now comprises counties, district councils and municipalities. There are, in turn, 3 separate classes of municipalities (boroughs, town districts and cities). With the repeal of the Counties Act and the Municipal Corporations Act in 1980, all territorial authorities are now constituted under the Local Government Act. Particular features of all of the types of territorial authority mentioned above are as follows:

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 1984 there were 90 counties. The members of each county council are responsible for electing once every 3 years one of their number to be the chairman of the county council. A complete table of counties with their populations and land areas is set out in Section 3A of this Yearbook.

Municipalities—The Municipal Corporations Act 1876 provided for the incorporation of the 36 boroughs then in existence and fur 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 4000 square metres, before they could be constituted. By 1955, there were 146 boroughs in existence, but by 1 April 1984 there were 128 boroughs—this reduction having resulted from some boroughs being incorporated into adjoining boroughs or counties.

The town district represents a form of municipality that was originally provided for in the Town Districts Act 1881, and later in the Municipal Corporations Act, for areas that had a certain concentration of urban population but not sufficient to justify the formation of a borough. Since 1978, no new town districts can be constituted, and there are now only 3 town districts in existence.

The city is in legal terms merely a borough which has a population of more than 20 000 and has been designated as a city by the Governor-General by Proclamation. Provision for this was originally made in 1886 in the Municipal Corporations Act and the figure of 20 000 population as a requirement for city status has remained unaltered since 1886. In 1886 there were only 5 cities—Dunedin, Christ-church, Wellington, Auckland and Nelson. The Municipal Corporations Act 1886 provided that these 5 cities were deemed to have been cities from the year in which they had legally been incorporated as boroughs, although these cities had previously been recognised as such by provincial ordinances in the case of Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, and by Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria in the case of Christchurch and Nelson. By 1955 there were 15 cities (these being included in the figure of 146 boroughs already mentioned above) and in 1984 there were 27 cities (these being included in the figure of 128 boroughs already mentioned above).

Each borough and city has a mayor who is directly elected by the electors of the borough or city, while a town district has a chairman elected by the council of the town district. Apart from acting as the chairman at all meetings of the council, the legal powers of a mayor which directly relate to the function of the borough or city are no greater than the powers of any other member of the council of a borough or city.

A table showing the population and land area of each borough and city is set out in Section 3A of this Yearbook, and a separate table for town districts is also included in this section.

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 wholly urban nor wholly rural District councils may now be constituted either by Local Government Commission schemes resulting in a merger of a county and a borough or a county and a city, or by a borough council or county council deciding to become a district council. The Governor-General may by Proclamation designate 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 20 000. As at 1 April 1984, there were 10 district councils. Eight of these districts comprise areas which have resulted in a merger of a separate county and borough, or a separate county and city. Some districts have a chairman who is appointed in the same way as the chairman of a county council. Other districts have a mayor who is directly elected by the electors of the district in the same way as the mayor of a borough or city. A table showing the population and land areas of each of these districts is set out in Section 3A of this Yearbook.

SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT—During the late 19th century various special purpose local authorities were established to carry out specific tasks thought to be beyond the capacity of territorial local authorities. Special purpose local authorities differ from territorial local authorities in that a special purpose local authority is charged with only 1 major function. In the majority of cases the boundaries of special purpose local authorities bear little relationship to the boundaries of the districts of territorial authorities in the same geographical area. Most special purpose local authorities include all or part of a number of territorial authority districts within their own district. Sometimes territorial authorities themselves are also constituted as, and perform the functions of, special purpose local authorities. The more important special purpose local authorities are those administering harbours, hospital services, the retail distribution of electricity, and soil conservation and rivers control (including management and allocation of water resources). Other special purpose local authorities are involved in water supply, urban drainage and transport, pest destruction, nassella tussock control, land drainage, and in some areas the liquor and hotel trade. (Territorial authorities also function as harbour boards in 8 cases, as pest destruction boards in 37 cases, and as electric power supply authorities in 23 cases.) Most Special purpose local authorities are directly elected by the electors of the local authority's district, although a minority of special purpose local authorities are indirectly elected in that their membership involves representation from other local authorities that are themselves directly elected. Apart from catchment authorities, pest destruction and nassella tussock boards, there are no Government representatives on any special purpose local authorities, or indeed on any other type of local authority.

The major categories of special purpose local authorities and the number involved in each category are: hospital boards (29); electric power boards including 1 energy (electric power and gas) board (38); harbour boards (15); and catchment authorities (including the Waikato Valley Authority) (18). These categories of special purpose local authorities are found throughout New Zealand. Electric power boards and harbour boards are all directly elected local authorities. Of the 18 catchment authorities, 13 are directly elected catchment boards (although with some Government representation not exceeding one-third of the membership of any catchment board), 4 are indirectly elected catchment commissions with the majority of their members appointed to represent constituent territorial authorities and a minority of their members appointed to represent central government, and the remaining one is the Waikato Valley Authority which is also indirectly elected in the same way. As mentioned above, catchment authorities are responsible for soil conservation and rivers control (including management and allocation of water resources).

In addition to the special purpose local authorities already mentioned, there are various minor categories of special purpose local authorities which are found only in some parts of New Zealand. These include 30 directly elected liquor licensing trusts (which are community controlled liquor and hotel businesses), 60 directly elected pest destruction boards, 2 directly elected and 2 indirectly elected urban drainage boards, 24 directly elected land (rural) drainage boards, 6 directly elected river boards (2 of which are also land drainage boards), 2 directly elected charitable lands trusts, 1 directly elected transport board, and 1 directly elected rural water supply board. (The names of all directly elected special purpose local authorities are found in the Local Authority Election Statistics published by the Department of Internal Affairs.)

There are also a small number of indirectly elected special purpose local authorities. Apart from the Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority, all of the indirectly elected special purpose authorities referred to in Section 2C of the 1983 edition of the New Zealand Official Yearbook are still in existence.

REGIONAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT—In 1963, the Auckland Regional Authority was established under its own Act of Parliament as a directly elected regional council to carry out a range of regional functions within the Auckland metropolitan area and its immediately adjoining rural hinterland—an area which contains 26 percent of New Zealand's total population. The range of functions carried out by the Auckland Regional Authority includes the operation of the Auckland International Airport, urban public passenger transport, regional planning, regional parks and reserves, regional urban water supply, regional drainage, regional refuse collection and disposal, regional roads, community development, regional civil defence, and assistance to beach patrol rescue services and the regional orchestra. The Auckland Regional Authority also carries out within its region the various responsibilities that in other parts of the country are carried out by catchment authorities.

The only other regional council apart from the Auckland Regional Authority is the Wellington Regional Council (established in 1980), which contains within its region 10 percent of New Zealand's population. The Wellington Regional Council was established in terms of the Local Government Act 1974 and carries out within its region the various responsibilities that in other parts of the country are carried out by catchment authorities, as well as also being responsible for regional planning, regional civil defence, regional parks and reserves, regional urban water supply, forestry and urban public passenger transport planning.

In addition to the Wellington Regional Council, in the period 1977 to 1983, 20 united councils were established in terms of the Local Government Act 1974, each with its own region. The principle behind the establishment of these 20 united councils was that they were seen as providing a form of regional government for those regions that are generally accepted as not justifying the expense of a regional council. Particular features of united councils which distinguish them from regional councils are:

  1. The membership of the united council is appointed directly by the territorial authorities of the region (rather than by election by the electors of the region, as in the case of a regional council);

  2. The finance of the united council is by way of levy on the territorial authorities of the region (rather than by way of a rate payable by the ratepayers of the region, as in the case of a regional council);

  3. 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. (This again is a restriction that regional councils are not subject to.)

Most united councils also have an arrangement whereby their staff are seconded to them by 1 of the territorial authorities of the region—this territorial authority being known as “the administering authority”. (This is a situation which is unlike that which pertains to regional councils which employ their own staff and resources.)

Regional councils and united councils possess their functions through several means. First, every united or regional council has 2 mandatory functions—regional planning (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1977) and regional civil defence (under the Civil Defence Act 1983). Besides these 2 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. A united or regional council may, in certain circumstances, undertake the functions of any territorial authority or (where a special purpose local authority or the appropriate Minister of the Crown concurs) the functions of that special purpose local 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. 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.

The regions of the 20 united councils and the 2 regional councils (Auckland and Wellington) cover all of the country, except for Great Barrier Island County which is not yet included in any region, and the Chatham Islands County which, because of its isolation, is specifically excluded from the requirement to be part of a region. A table listing all the regions, together with their populations, is set out in Section 3A of this Yearbook.

COMMUNITY LOCAL GOVERNMENT—This is a form of local government participation which is subordinate to territorial local government. The Local Government Act provides for the establishment of “communities” within the districts of territorial local authorities. Since 1976, a community may be constituted 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 offshore islands forming part of a territorial authority district. (These provisions are broadly in line with earlier provisions which had enabled “county towns” and “county boroughs” to be formed within counties, and most “communities” are in fact former “county towns” or “county boroughs”.) Notwithstanding the provisions for establishing “communities”, a number of towns in rural areas do not have “community” status, usually because these towns feel they are sufficiently large that their interests will not be overlooked by their territorial authority.

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. These “district community councils” or “community councils” are legally committees of their parent territorial authority. The differences between “district community councils” and “community councils” are as follows.

District Community Councils—The district community has direct representation on its parent territorial authority. 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. As at 1 April 1984 there were 15 district community councils. These 15 district community councils together had the equivalent of 1.9 percent of New Zealand's population within their “communities”. A table listing these district community councils together with their populations and the name of their parent territorial authority is set out in Section 3A of this Yearbook.

Community Councils—A community council does not have direct representation on its parent territorial authority. Community councils derive their powers by delegation from their territorial authority, at its discretion, but powers dealing with finance, staff and planning cannot be delegated. In addition to exercising such powers as may be delegated to it, the general purpose of a community council is to coordinate and express to the parent territorial authority the views of the community on any matter of concern to it, and to undertake, encourage and co-ordinate activities for the general well-being of the residents of the community. Although a community council does not have direct representation on its parent territorial authority, it is entitled to have one of its members present at meetings of the council of the territorial authority with speaking rights on issues relating to the community. As at 1 April 1984, there were 119 community councils. These 119 community councils together had the equivalent of 2.8 percent of New Zealand's population within their “communities”. A table showing those community councils which have a population of 1000 or more and the name of their parent territorial authority is set out in Section 3A of this Yearbook.

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. Special purpose local authorities are constituted under other Acts of Parliament.

There are several statutory measures which are more or less applicable to all local authorities, such as the Public Bodies Meetings Act 1962, the Local Authorities (Members Interests) Act 1968 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 Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, the Public Bodies Leases Act 1969, the Town and Country Planning Act 1977, the Public Works Act 1981, the Reserves Act 1977, the Health Act 1956, the Local Authorities (Employment Protection) Act 1963 and the Joint Council for Local Authorities Services Act 1977.

A local authority's powers to levy local taxes on land (rates) are dealt with in Section 28 of this Yearbook. A local authority can make bylaws within limits defined in its constituting Act. In the case of a special purpose local authority these bylaws are subject to approval by a Minister of the Crown. In the case of territorial authorities and regional councils, their bylaws (apart from fire bylaws) do not require the prior approval of central government if they have been made solely under the Local Government Act. A local authority can promote Parliamentary 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 the proposal to Parliament in the form of a local Bill. If it is approved by Parliament, the proposal then is enacted as a local Act. Thirteen local Acts were passed in 1983.

Elections—Under the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, local government general elections are held on the second Saturday in October every third year. Relevant statistics from these elections are published by the Department of Internal Affairs in its publication Local Authority Election Statistics. The local government general elections were last held on 8 October 1983. All territorial authorities are responsible for conducting their own elections as well as the elections of those special purpose local authorities and the regional, community and district community councils whose districts cover all or part of the territorial authority districts.

Each territorial authority is required to use its electoral roll for regional council elections and community and district community council elections where applicable, and for the elections of all special purpose local authorities, other than land drainage boards, river boards and pest destruction boards.

Each territorial authority is required to choose once every 3 years whether its council is to be elected with the territorial authority district being constituted as one electorate; or, whether the territorial authority district should be constituted as separate electorates (known as “wards” in cities and boroughs, and “ridings” in counties); or, if the elections could be held with some members of the council elected from the district as a whole, and others from separate “wards” or “ridings” within the district. Where a territorial authority decides to divide its district into “wards” or “ridings” for electoral purposes, the council has the sole responsibility for determining the number of “wards” or “ridings” and the area, population and representation of each “ward” or “riding”.

In the case of the 2 regional councils and most of the elected special purpose local authorities, the district of the regional council or the special purpose local authority is divided into separate electorates— the boundaries of which usually coincide with territorial authority district boundaries. The electoral districts of regional councils and special purpose local authorities are determined on the basis specified in the various Acts of Parliament under which these authorities are constituted.

Voting Procedures—Under the provisions of the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, any territorial 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 territorial 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.

The method of casting a vote is broadly similar to that used for Parliament. The names of candidates are printed on the ballot paper and the elector must indicate on the ballot paper the name of the candidate or candidates for whom the elector wishes to vote. In so doing, the number of candidates chosen by the elector must not exceed the number of positions shown on the ballot paper. In addition in filling out a ballot paper an elector may not allocate more than 1 vote for any candidate, nor is there any provision for an elector to otherwise indicate a preference for any candidate.

Franchise for Electors—In general, the franchise extends to all persons aged 18 years or over who are New Zealand citizens or are permanent residents (as defined in the Electoral Act), and who either possess a ratepayer qualification or have resided for 3 months in the district of the local authority concerned. (In the case of persons who do not have a ratepayer qualification but who have resided for 3 months in the district—these persons are deemed to be qualified to be residential electors.) Each legally defined property has attached to it 1 ratepayer qualification, and this is irrespective of the number of persons who own the property or the status these persons have. Unless the owners of a property determine otherwise, the ratepayer qualification is exercised by the person whose name appears first in the Valuation Department's records for the property concerned, and this is so whether or not the person who holds this qualification resides within the district. No person can hold more than one ratepayer-elector qualification in each territorial authority district, nor can a person exercise a residential elector qualification in addition to a ratepayer-elector qualification. In the case of residential electors, these persons must have applied for enrolment at the office of their territorial authority, although if they are on the current published Parliamentary electoral roll and are still resident at the address which is shown on that roll, they can vote even though their names are not found on the territorial authority roll.

For regional councils the franchise is limited to those who are resident within the region and have a ratepayer-elector qualification or a residential elector qualification, and in the case of licensing trusts and the two charitable lands trusts the right to vote is similarly restricted to those who are qualified by residence within the district. (The significance of these variations is that persons who are ratepayers and who live outside the region or district cannot vote for these categories of local authority, although as absentee ratepayers they can still vote for the territorial authority in whose district they hold their qualification.)

Membership of Local Authorities—All persons eligible to vote are also eligible to stand for election for the council of the local authority concerned. Depending on the Act of Parliament under which the local authority is constituted, vacancies in the elected membership of the council of the local authority may be filled by either election or appointment. In the case of a territorial authority or a regional council, a petition by 5 percent of the electors of the district is sufficient to require the territorial authority to hold a by-election. In the case of most special purpose local authorities any vacancy in membership is filled by appointment by the territorial authority or territorial authorities whose districts comprise the special purpose local authority electorate in respect of which the vacancy exists.

As far as is known, the earliest case of involvement of a woman as a council member of a local authority was in 1893 when Mrs Elizabeth Yates was elected mayor of Onehunga Borough. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of women who are mayors, chairmen and members of councils of local authorities. With the holding of the 1983 local government elections women now comprise approximately 21 percent of the total membership of municipalities, and preliminary indications are that there have been increases in participation by women in the membership of other local authorities. (Figures on the extent of participation of women in the membership of various categories of local authorities are contained in the Local Authority Election Statistics published by the Department of Internal Affairs.)

Remuneration of Members—The remuneration of members of councils of local authorities is governed by the Acts of Parliament constituting the various types of local authorities. Most local authorities pay their chairman an annual allowance with a maximum fixed for each type of authority, while their other members are paid an allowance on a 'per meeting' basis. The maximum allowance payable to mayors and chairmen of territorial authorities varies according to the population of the territorial 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.

PLANNING AND RELATED ISSUES—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. Although the Government administers the Act through the Minister of Works and Development, the statutory responsibility for planning under the Town and Country Planning Act lies with territorial authorities, regional and united councils in the case of district and regional schemes, and in the case of some maritime planning schemes it lies with harbour boards. On planning matters, the Planning Tribunal (which is a specialised judicial body) acts as the appropriate appeal body on issues which concern district land use planning, regional planning, the granting of water rights, the subdivision of land, the preservation of historic places, the making of local government financial levies on subdivisions and on development projects to finance public reserves, the taking of land for public works, the creation of pedestrian malls and the designation of regional roads and limited access roads.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM—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 (No. 2) 1977, comprises a chairman appointed by the Minister of Local Government and 2 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 Local Government 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 Local Government Commission undertakes investigations, prepares schemes and makes recommendations and reports for the purpose of ensuring that:

  1. The system of local government in any local authority district best provides for the needs and well-being of its residents and the continued development of the district;

  2. Local authorities have such district boundaries and such functions and powers as enable them to provide most effectively and economically essential or desirable local government services and facilities;

  3. Local authorities have such resources as enable them to engage adequate services and to obtain and operate adequate technical facilities, plant and equipment; and

  4. Districts are 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 Local Government 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. A commission scheme may provide 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. A particular feature is provision for the appointment of conciliators by the commission to inquire into and negotiate on a proposal for a scheme, prior to any provisional scheme procedures being initiated.

The Local Government Act, as originally enacted in 1974, brought all special purpose local authorities (other than hospital boards, licensing trusts and charitable lands trusts) within the jurisdiction of the Local Government Commission. An amendment in 1976, however, removed the automatic jurisdiction of the commission in relation to special purpose local authorities, so that it may now include these local authorities in a provisional scheme where the appropriate Minister of the Crown or the special purpose local authorities concerned are agreed.

A further function of the Local Government Commission in the period 1977–83 was the establishment of regions throughout New Zealand, and this was also carried out using the scheme procedures already mentioned (although without the requirement to appoint conciliators).

All Local Government Commission final schemes are implemented either by an Order in Council promulgated by the Governor-General with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, or by an Act of Parliament to amend or repeal a special or local Act (where the local authority was originally established under its own special or local Act of Parliament).

In addition to the Local Government Commission scheme procedures mentioned above, a local authority can be abolished by an Act of Parliament without reference to the Local Government Commission. The only cases where this has happened in recent years was with the abolition of the Christchurch-Lyttelton Road Tunnel Authority in 1979 and the abolition of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority in 1984. In both cases this action was taken by an Act of Parliament in the previous year and was consequential to a decision by Central Government to take over the responsibility for the financing and maintenance of these two sections of roading as part of the national roading system.

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).

Local Authority Election Statistics—Department of Internal Affairs.

Chapter 3. Section 3


By world standards New Zealand's population is small—3.2 million at the end of 1983. 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 growth has 2 components—natural increase (excess of births over deaths) and net migration (excess of arrivals over departures). In its 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 the population being 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 1981 Census, data based on the usually resident population (that is, the population excluding tourists and other visitors) showed that 85 percent had 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 births per 1000 persons in 1935 and high points of 18 per 1000 in 1947 and 1961. In the 1960s the average rate was less than 16 per 1000, and the rate continued to fall throughout the 1970s, reflecting the continued fall in the birth rate, until it has now fallen below the previous low point recorded in 1935 (in 1982 the natural increase rate was 7.67). The fall in birth rate in the sixties and seventies is a feature that New Zealand shared 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 series of vital statistics is included in the Statistical Summary near the back of this Yearbook.

PeriodMarch YearsDecember Years
Births*DeathsNatural IncreaseBirths*DeathsNatural Increase

* Excluding Section 14 birth registrations. These are “late” registrations. See Yearbook Section 4B Births.


    Total, 1946–19832 145.7841.11 304 52 151.3847.11 304.2

In the present century, migration has continued to add to the population quite substantially except during the two world wars and in times of economic difficulties. Gains and losses 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 GainDecember Years Migration Gain

* March years ended in years listed.

†Excess of departures.


    Total, 1946–1983237.6259.2

The years since the late 1960s stand out because of the major changes in the levels and directions of net external migration. Also, Australia has replaced the United Kingdom as the country having the largest exchange of migrants with New Zealand.

Annual figures of the net inflow or outflow from migration since 1975 are shown in the following table and in more detail later in this section.

Year Ended MarchNet Inflow or Outflow*From
Total MigrationPermanent and Long-term Migration

* A minus sign indicates outflow.


1977−13 727−19 072
1978−22 307−26 708
1979−26 906−40 200
1980−22 299−34 417
1981−15 328−24 825
1982−5 182−11 482

POPULATION STATISTICS—Population statistics are based primarily on the 5-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 population census, and other population statistics in New Zealand, represent the 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 inhabitants are New Zealand citizens.

The most recent Census of Population and Dwellings in New Zealand was taken on 24 March 1981. The next will be taken on 4 March 1986.

The figures in the table following are intercensal estimates 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
 Years Ended 31 March
 Years Ended 31 December
19791,573,8001,590,1003,163,900−1 3003,137,800

INCREASE OF POPULATION—The growth of population in the most recent intercensal period was unusually low. Before the 1976–81 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 1966–71, mainly attributable to a marked change in migration patterns. However, the population increase of only 46 354 between the censuses of 1976 and 1981, covering years of net migration losses and low birth rates, represents a steep fall from any intercensal increase recorded during this century. It is the more significant because the increase of 266 752 during the previous intercensal period (1971–76) was the highest ever recorded in New Zealand.

Totals and increase rates from the five most recent censuses are shown below.

Census DatePopulation*Increase
IntercensalIntercensalAnnual Average
* Numbers of persons in New Zealand armed forces overseas are excluded.
 Number Percent 
18 April 19612,414,984240,92211.082.12
22 March 19662,676,919261,93510.852.08x
23 March 19712,862,631185,7126.941.35
23 March 19763,129,383266,7529.321.80
24 March 19813,175,73746,3541.480.30

COMPARISON WITH OTHER COUNTRIES—The annual average percentage increases of population for the period 1975–82, are given in the following table for certain selected countries. (Source: United Nations Demographic Yearbook, 1981 and United Nations Population and Vital Statistics Report, Vol. XXXV No. 3.)

CountryAverage Annual Percentage Increase
* Provisional.
Germany, West
New Zealand0.4*
United Kingdom
United States1.0

POPULATION PROJECTIONS—An indication of possible future growth of the total New Zealand population up to 2016 is given in 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-sex-specific projections, equivalent to those in the table below, are available from the Demographic Specialist Studies Section, Department of Statistics, Private Bag, Christchurch.

At 31 MarchProjected Total New Zealand Population Assuming:*
Long-term Net Annual Immigration of Zero and Short-term Migration Variant DesignatedLong-term Net Annual Immigration of 5000 and Short-term Migration Variant Designated

* These projections have as base the estimated population at 31 March 1982. They incorporate the following assumptions:

  1. That future fertility experience will be in accordance with the “medium” variant (see (†) below).

  2. That the 1982 (base) age-sex specific mortality rates decrease annually by 2 percent to 1986 and then by 1 percent to 1991 after which time they remain constant. (The base rates are the 1975–77 Life Table Mortality rates (total population) decreased by 10 percent).

†Three alternative fertility variants—designated “low”, “medium”, and “high” have been derived in terms of age specific fertility rates.

These rates are generally projected to decrease over the period 1983–1991, after which time they are assumed to remain constant. The “low”, “medium”, and “high” fertility variants give total fertility rates of 1.59, 1.85, and 2.11 from 1992 onwards. (These rates represent alternative average family sizes in the long-term.)

  1. The “low” short-term migration variant assumes net immigration for the years ended 31 March as follows: 15 651 (1983-actual), 15 000 (1984), 10 000 (1985), and 5000 (1986).

  2. The “medium” short-term migration variant assumes net immigration for the years ended 31 March as follows: 15 651 (1983-actual), 20 000 (1984), 15 000 (1985), 10 000 (1986), and 5000 (1987).

  3. The “high” short-term migration variant assumes net immigration for the years ended 31 March as follows: 15 651 (1983-actual), 25 000 (1984), 20 000 (1985), 15 000 (1986), 10 000 (1987), and 5000 (1988).

1982 (Base)3,1903,1903,1903,1903,1903,190

DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION—Detailed population statistics are compiled for each census and are published in 3 parts as Volume 1, Location and Increase of Population, Part A. Population Size and Distribution, Part B. Population Density and Part C. Usually Resident Population of the Census of Population and Dwellings. In the case of the 1981 Census, prior to the publication of the subject-matter volumes a series of 10 Regional Statistics bulletins has been published, each giving final population, dwelling, and household statistics by population centre and subdivision for a major area of New Zealand.

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 1981 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 1981 Census the North Island population was 2 322 989, a 2.4 percent increase on the 1976 total of 2 268 393. At the same census the South Island total was 852 748, a decrease of 1.0 percent on the 1976 total of 860 990. However, between the 1976 and 1981 censuses, births in the South Island totalled over 65 000 and deaths over 38 000, giving a net natural increase of approximately 27 000. The fact that the total population decrease was over 8000 indicates a net migration outflow during the intercensal period of approximately 35 000, but the relative movements to and from overseas and the North Island are not yet available.

In the previous intercensal period (1971–76), there was a total of net migration inflow of approximately 10 000. This was attributable to a substantial net gain from overseas, which offset a small loss to the North Island of almost 4000 persons aged 5 years and over.

Statistical Areas—In the following table are shown the areas and enumerated populations of the statistical areas at the most recent census and the estimated population at 31 March 1983.

Statistical Area*Area (Square Kilometres)Population Census 1981Estimated Population as at 31 March 1983

* Includes adjacent islands and land reclamations where appropriate.

†Includes Chatham Islands County.

‡Includes Stewart Island County.

Central Auckland5,581829,519863,900
South Auckland-Bay of Plenty
    Bay of Plenty36,882491,304506,500
East Coast10,88548,57348,900
Hawke's Bay11,289147,722150,200
    Total, North Island114 7852 322 9892 379 500
    Total, South Island153 318852 748850 500
    Total, New Zealand268 1033 175 7373 230 000

Statistical Divisions and Urban Areas—Statistical divisions and urban areas are statistical concepts and have no administrative purpose. They provide stable and comparable boundaries for the larger centres of population which may cover several territorial local authorities. Statistical divisions were introduced in 1971. The basic criterion for a statistical division is a population of 75 000 or more within the area of economic and social interests of a heavily populated centre. Seven statistical divisions have been established, namely, Auckland, Hamilton, Napier- Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington (including Hutt), Christchurch, and Dunedin. The division, like the urban area, does not have any administrative functions, but embraces areas of unified community, economic, and social interests. In addition to the central city or borough, urban areas include neighbouring boroughs and town districts and parts of counties which are regarded as suburban to the centre of population. Minor adjustments of main urban area boundaries have been made because of the peripheral growth of population in some of the urban areas between 1976 and 1981.

For the 1981 Census, a new group of 14 secondary urban areas, with populations of over 10 000 but below 30 000, has been structured. The populations of the 7 statistical divisions and the 37 defined urban areas are as follows:

Statistical Division (S. Div) and Urban Area (U.A.)Population CensusPercentage Increase or Decrease 1976–81Estimated Population as at 31 March 1983
Auckland S. Div.—Statistical Divisions
Main U.A.—
    Northern Auckland137,421149,3218.7160,800
    Western Auckland108,139116,4077.6123,200
    Central Auckland289,125275,914−4.6273,800
    Southern Auckland208,101227,9169.5242,200
    Subtotal, Combined Auckland Main U.A.742,786769,5583.6800,100
Secondary U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.41,73146,66911.850,100
                Total797 406829 5194.0863 900
Hamilton S. Div.—
Main U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.59,82962,3084.164,200
                Total154 606160 2153.6164 700
Napier-Hastings S. Div.—
Main U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.8,0328,1521.58,280
                Total109 010112 0452.8114 400
Palmerston North S. Div.—
Main U.A.—
    Palmerston North63,87366,6914.468,200
Secondary U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.13,20612,927−2.112,950
                Total88 72491 8213.593 700
Wellington S. Div.—
Main U.A.—
    Upper Hutt Valley35,58436,5252.636,900
    Lower Hutt Valley97,19494,732−2.594,000
    Porirua Basin55,69854,653−1.954,400
    Subtotal, Combined Wellington Main U.A.327,414321,004−2.0319,100
Secondary U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.3,3032,895−12.42,900
                Total349 628343 9821.6342 500
Christchurch S. Div.—
Main U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.30,41431,7614.433,200
                Total325 710321 7201.2322 200
Dunedin S. Div.—
Main U.A.—
    Remainder S. Div.7,2046,588−8.66,450
                Total120 426114 0335.3112 000
Urban Areas Not in Any Statistical Division
Main U.A.—
    New Plymouth43,91444,0950.445,000
Secondary U.A.—
    Total, 23 Main Urban Areas2,113,7792,140,0461.22,180,200
    Total, 14 Secondary Urban Areas218,296220,9981.2223,300
    Total, 96 Minor Urban Areas285 091x293 372x2.9x298,100
    Total, 7 Statistical Divisions1,945,5101,973,3351.42,013,400

Local Government Regions—The Local Government Act of 1974 provides for the constitution of these regions, the mandatory function of such being regional planning and civil defence. At the time of preparing this publication, 22 regions had been determined by the Local Government Commission. These cover every territorial local authority in New Zealand with the exception of Chatham Islands County. Extra-county islands and shipboard population are also excluded.

The populations in the following table are for the local government regions as they existed at 31 March 1983; they may be subject to modification as a result of objections lodged by various local body organisations.

Local Government RegionPopulation Census 1981Estimated Population as at 31 March 1983
* The scheme relating to this region has only provisional status at 31 March 1983.
Thames Valley54,34355,500
Bay of Plenty172,480181,300
East Cape53,29553,800
Hawke's Bay*137,840140,300
Nelson Bays65,93466,900
West Coast34,17833,900
Clutha-Central Otago45,40246,000
Coastal-North Otago138,164136,000
Total, 22 Local Government Regions3 170 5143 224 900

Cities and Boroughs—The estimated populations and areas of cities and boroughs as at 31 March 1983 is shown in the following table.

City or BoroughEstimated Population as at 31 March 1983Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—
    Whangarei (city)37,4004,913
    East Coast Bays (city)33,4001,558
    Takapuna (city)68,6008,671
    Birkenhead (city)22,3001,266
    Waitemata (city)93,50037,550
    Glen Eden9,710503
    New Lynn10,450564
    Auckland (city)144,1007,472
    Mt. Albert (city)26,200983
    Mt. Eden18,050598
    Mt. Roskill33,5001,863
    One Tree Hill11,000983
    Mt. Wellington19,3501,650
    Papatoetoe (city)21,800907
    Manukau (city)173,00056,573
    Papakura (city)23,2001,384
    Hamilton (city)93,6006,749
    Te Awamutu8,110713
    Te Aroha3,4801,002
    Mt. Maunganui12,1001,946
    Tauranga (city)39,9004,020
    Te Puke4,940532
    Gisborne (city)30,2002,628
    Napier (city)49,2003,021
    Hastings (city)37,1001,949
    Havelock North8,640563
    New Plymouth (city)36,3002,380
    Wanganui (city)36,9003,392
    Palmerston N. (city)61,4004,302
    Upper Hutt (city)31,70048,428
    Lower Hutt (city)62,9008,968
    Porirua (city)40,8008,384
    Wellington (city)134,30026,336
    Total, North Island cities and boroughs1 780 600310 091x
South Island—
    Nelson (city)33,7004,762
South Island—
    Christchurch (city)162,70010,635
    Timaru (city)28,1002,342
    Port Chalmers2,860410
    Dunedin (city)75,50015,685
    St. Kilda6,070249
    Green Island6,860781
    Invercargill (city)49,6005,616
    Total, South Island cities and boroughs520 10059 963x
    Grand total, all cities and boroughs2 300 600370 054x

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—appeared in the 1976 Census of Population and Dwellings 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 1982 resulting in the constitution of 9 further districts, the largest of which is Rotorua, formed from Rotorua City and Rotorua County.

DistrictEstimated Population as at 31 March 1983Approximate Area in Square Kilometres
                Total, North Island153 70018 496
                Total, South Island77 000378
                Total, New Zealand230 80018 874

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 as at 31 March 1983Approximate Area in Square Kilometres
North Island—
        Total, town districts3 590797

Communities—The following table lists communities with estimated populations of 1000 or more as at 31 March 1983. The parent local authority is shown in parentheses. The populations of communities are included in the administrative county populations given in a later table.

CommunityEstimated Population as at 31 March 1983Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—
    Kerikeri (Bay of Islands)1,560404
    Moerewa (Bay of Islands)1,63091x
    Kawakawa (Bay of Islands)1,630229
    Paihia (Bay of Islands)1,840232
    Raglan (Raglan)1,470372
    Kihikihi (Waipa)1,360212
    Whitianga (Coromandel Div.)2,0602,467
    Coromandel (Coromandel Div.)1,020297
    Whangamata (Thames Div.)1,700485
    Thames (Thames Div.)6,4601,653
    Waihi Beach (Ohinemuri)1,370209
    Katikati (Tauranga)1,840960
    Papamoa Beach (Tauranga)2,250313
    Mangakino (Taupo)1,570261
    Edgecumbe (Whakatane Dist.)1,990172
South Island—
    Renwick (Marlborough)1,120175
    Kaikoura (Kaikoura)2,200611
    Woodend (Rangiora Dist.)1,040215
    Darfield (Malvern)1,200233
    Halswell (Paparua)4,850328
    Pleasant Point (Strathallan)1,130378
    Brighton (Silverpeaks)1,170183
    Fairfield (Silverpeaks)1,900143
    Ranfurly (Maniototo)1,010391
    Wanaka (Lake)1,170313
    Te Anau (Wallace)2,660395
    Riverton (Wallace)1,450403

District Communities—The following table lists the estimated populations of district communities as at 31 March 1983. 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 as at 31 March 1983Approximate Area in Hectares
North Island—
    Warkworth (Rodney)1,820577
    Wellsford (Rodney)1,630554
    Otorohanga (Otorohanga)2,760380
    Ngongotaha (Rotorua District)2,570773
    Turangi (Taupo)5,340579
    Waipawa (Waipawa District)1,720692
    Bulls (Rangitikei)1,800405
    Ashhurst (Oroua)2,010173
    Waikanae (Horowhenua)5,0901,076
    Shannon (Horowhenua)1,380342
    Heretaunga-Pinehaven (Hutt)6,3104,700
    Wainuiomata (Hutt)19,15026,614
    Total51 50036 865
South Island—
    Hornby (Paparua)7,980493
    Total14 4001793
    Total, District Communities66 00038 658

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 4470 persons as at 31 March 1983.

Counties—The following table gives the estimated population of individual counties as at 31 March 1983 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 as at 31 March 1983Approximate Area, in Square Kilometres
North Island—
    Mangonui8,8602 479x
    Bay of Islands19,9002 133x
    Whangarei18,0002 668x
    Waiheke Is.3,910155
    Great Barrier Is.660285
    Hauraki Plains5,180603
    Piako10,2001 169x
    Opotiki7,4303 107x
    Hawke's Bay21,0004,838
    Clifton2,2201 175x
    Waimate West1,940215
    Wairarapa South2,4401,140
    Total, North Island counties438 50093 030x
South Island—
    Golden Bay4,3402,618
    Mt. Herbert1,100171
    Chatham Islands770963
South Island—
    Wallace14,70016 311x
    Stewart Island5401,746
    Total, South Island counties252 100151 593x
Grand total, all counties690 600244 623x

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 figures for the parent local authority areas given previously. In the table which follows the populations at the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings are compared with the estimated populations as at 31 March 1983.

Non-administrativePopulation Census 1981Estimated Population as at 31 March 1983
North Island—
    Temple View (Waipa Co.)1,2321,280
    Te Kuiti (Waitomo Dist.)4,7954,820
    Rotorua (Rotorua Dist.)38,15738,600
    Ngongotaha (Rotorua Dist.)2,8813,290
    Whakatane (Whakatane Dist.)12,28612,800
    Opotiki (Opotiki Co.)3,3883,480
    Waipukurau (Waipukurau Dist.)3,6483,680
    Bell Block (Taranaki)3,0623,260
    Opunake (Egmont Co.)1,6371,680
    Hawera (Hawera Dist.)8,4008,420
    Waiouru (Rangitikei Co.)3,1543,050
    Linton Military Camp (Kairanga Co.)1,0721,150
    Total, North Island Centres83 712x85 500
South Island—
    Hope (Waimea Co.)1,0491,030
    Reefton (Inangahua Co.)1,2001,190
    Burnham Military Camp (Malvern Co.)1,1591,750
    Lincoln (Ellesmere Co.)1,7691,790
    Twizel (Mackenzie Co.)4,1193,420
    Total, South Island Centres9 2969 180
    Total, Non-Administrative Centres93 00894 700

Urban Concentration of Population—The bulk of New Zealand's population is located in urban areas, where until 1976 the most rapid growth rates occurred. This was due largely to the development of both manufacturing and tertiary industries in urban areas, which provided employment for a growing labour force. Other factors, including better social, cultural, educational, and economic opportunities, served to attract persons to these areas, and the majority of immigrants tended 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), had combined to produce a noticeable rural-urban drift. Urban concentration features are common to “developed” countries at advanced stages of economic development.

The 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings figures show that many rural areas and a number of small and intermediate sized towns located outside urban areas are continuing to decline in population, although there are indications that the rate of urbanisation is stabilising. Horticultural and forestry developments in recent years have undoubtedly contributed to this situation. Thirty-eight counties recorded smaller populations than at the previous Census in 1976, compared with 40 between 1971 and 1976. Of 54 small self-administrative towns (1000 to 4999 population) 25 had declined in population between 1976 and 1981 compared with 12 during the previous intercensal period. Ten intermediate towns (5000 to 9999 population) showed decreases in population compared with two at the previous Census.

Of the 9500 rural gain recorded on 1981 boundaries between 1976 and 1981, over 5000 was within rural areas lying outside urban areas, but within the 7 major population centres forming the statistical divisions, so indicating a continuation of the urban expansion that occurred between the 1971 and 1976 Censuses. The major population increases in the rural components of statistical divisions between the 1976 and 1981 Censuses were in the Auckland and Christchurch Statistical Divisions, which recorded gains of 3965 (12.06 percent) and 1350 (6.88 percent) respectively. With the exception of the Napier Hastings Statistical Division, the rate of population increase in the rural components of all other statistical divisions slowed during the latest intercensal period (for example, the rural component of Hamilton Statistical Division recorded a growth rate of 4.60 percent for 1971–76 but of only 0.39 percent for 1976–81). Palmerston North and Dunedin Statistical Divisions, in fact, both recorded decreases during the latest intercensal period.

The following table shows intercensal population changes in the rural components of the 7 statistical divisions. The rural component within each statistical division is made up of county territory outside main and secondary urban areas, towns with populations of under 1000, and (where applicable) extra county islands.

Statistical DivisionPopulation CensusIncrease or Decrease
Palmerston North11,14911,24111,08892−1530.83x−1.36
        Total, all statistical divisions98 142107 863113 0029 7215 1399.91x4.76

The following table shows the urban-rural distribution of the population. Urban population has been defined as that of the 37 defined urban areas plus that of all boroughs, town districts, communities, district communities, and townships with populations of 1000 or over.

 Total 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.

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 addition to the movement of population from the South Island to the North Island, shown on a long-term basis earlier in this section, there has also been a population drift northwards from the south of the North Island, which has intensified during the latest intercensal period. This is illustrated in the following table of the geographic distribution of population.

CensusNorth IslandSouth Island

* Comprises Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, and Wellington Statistical Areas.

†Comprises Northland, Central Auckland, South Auckland-Bay of Plenty, and East Coast Statistical Areas.

 Percentage of Total Population

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. However, in recent years there has been an offsetting movement with the building of multi-storey flats in the inner areas, and more recently still, the petrol crisis has led to a greater desire for inner-city living.

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
1 000- 2 49963454348577.
2 500- 4 99923474039426.
5 000- 9 99911343532315.
10 000–24 999122123252513.315.012.812.511.9
25 000 and over41222252624.132544.650.451.0

In the South Island a higher proportion of the population is rural, that is outside urban communities, than in the North Island, the proportion at the 1981 Census of Population being 21.1 in the South Island against 14.8 percent in the North Island.

Male and Females—Statistics from the Census of 24 March 1981 showed that females outnumbered males by 17 883 in the total population (excluding Armed Forces overseas), there being 1 578 927 males and 1 596 810 females. The changing sex distribution of the population, recorded at successive Censuses, is given below.

CensusMalesFemalesFemales Per 1000 Males
19811 578 927x1 596 810x1 011x

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 268 808 square kilometres, giving an average population density at the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings of 11.8 persons per square kilometre. This is low by international standards (for example, the United Kingdom has 229 persons per square kilometre, and the Netherlands, 344) 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 shows the density of population in the 23 main and 14 secondary urban areas for the 1926, 1956, 1976, and 1981 Censuses of Population. Only 2 urban areas, those of Central Auckland and Wellington, have an overall concentration of population exceeding 10 persons per hectare, with respective densities of 18.9 and 12.5 persons per hectare.

Urban AreaArea In Hectares*Persons Per Hectare at Census
* Excludes inland water areas.
Main Urban Areas
Whangarei11 046x0.
Northern Auckland26,4610.92.05.2x5.6
Western Auckland24 668x0.
Central Auckland14 631x11.317.419.818.9
Southern Auckland35,8550.
Combined Auckland U A.101 615x2.
Rotorua7 815x0.82.56.0x6.2x
Napier8 833x2.1x3.1x5.7x5.8x
Hastings14 033x1.12.2x3.63.7
New Plymouth10 640x1.62.74.1x4.1x
Wanganui10 131x2.63.2x3.93.9
Palmerston North17 641x1.
Upper Hutt5 419x0.73.1x6.6x6.7x
Lower Hutt13 495x1.
Porirua Basin14,2740.
Combined Wellington U.A.44 025x3.0x5.17.47.3
Christchurch50 796x2.44.0x5.8x5.7x
Timaru7 332x2.
Dunedin18 418x4.85.4x6.15.8
                      Total. 23 main urban areas374 639x2.03.5x5.65.7
Secondary Urban Areas
Whakatane8 152x0.31.0x1.8x1.9x
Hawera11 674x0.7x0.81.01.0
Greymouth4 226x1.
                      Total, 14 secondary urban areas108 879x0.


The series of tables on the following pages contain statistics from the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings. The figures in the following tables have been rounded using simple random rounding to base three, and because of the rounding procedures used, totals do not necessarily represent the exact sum of the component parts.

MARITAL STATUS—The marital status of usually-resident persons aged 15 years and over as returned at the Census of Population 1981 is summarised in the following tables.

Age Group (Years)Never MarriedMarriedSeparated*WidowedDivorcedTotalDe Facto Relationship

* Includes persons who are still married but permanently separated.

†Including persons not specifying status.

‡Persons in this column are also included in one of the preceding formal marital status columns.

75 and over2,64025,14056711,33160940,48584
    Total, 1981346 470668 68835 74529 79626 0551 130 34044 016
    Total, 1976313 875700 24417 02427 35515 0051 075 175
75 and over7,24214,69136046,83398770,42551
    Total, 1981271 875670 22142 405125 46033 7081 166 36443 941
    Total, 1976240 781703 26421 842114 16420 1491 101 303

The percentage distribution aged 15 years or over according to marital status is given in the following

Marital Status19761981

* Legally separated only.

†All permanent separations of married persons.

Never married29.221.931.323.8

HOUSEHOLDS—Statistics from the 1981 Census on the family composition of New Zealand households, compared to the 1976 Census, show fewer children per family; an increasing percentage of childless couples; a decline in two-parent family numbers; and a sharp rise in families with one parent. Overall the proportion of households made up of one or two persons only, has increased to form 48 percent of all households, a rise of 76 325 (19 percent) since 1976. There was a total of 1 003 113 private households living in permanent dwellings at the Census in 1981. 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 HouseholdsNumber of Members Per Household
1234567 or More
* Parent absent permanently (3660 households) or temporarily (2097 households).
 Number of Households
One-family-only (complete)555,561207,15096,339136,98976,62926,96711,484
One-family-only (incomplete)
    Family with one parent absent (permanently)59,45129,91017,8057,5812,796894462
    Family with one parent absent (temporarily)11,1542,9584,4852,55682523490
    Family with children absent29,4996,6819,1987,4343,7951,419972
    Family with children and one parent* absent5,7572,6731,77980432410875
            Total, one-family-only661 422249 372129 606155 36484 36929 62213 083
Other family
    One family with other (non-family) persons78,53423,60718,73516,70410,4918,994
    Two or more families (with or without other persons)16,9863,4323,5043,5046,540
            Total, other family95 51423 60722 17020 20813 99815 534
    Two or more persons61,18843,63511,4274,1821,371399174
    One person184,992184,992
    Total, non-family246 180184 99243 63511 4274 1821 371399174
            Total, households1 003 113184 992293 007164 640181 7071105 94544 01928 791

In the following table one-complete-family-only households at the 1981 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).

†Child/short-term visitors.

 Number of Households
In full-time labour force—
    Self-employed—has employees40,9268,5657,35612,41184813,0181,095
    Self-employed—no employees48,08712,2888,44214,1188,9073,3061,029
    Salary or wage earner357,954101,53867,563104,36156,54119,4348,514
    Unemployed, seeking work6,3151,7311,4101,455873465378
    Relative assisting—unpaid5583271057227159
    Not specified (working 20 hrs or more)1,1254022372341446648
                  Total454 962124 85485 110132 65174 97326 30411 073
Not in full-time labour force*
    Household duties4,5541,97486194247719899
                  Total100 39282 17011 2024 3021 641660411
Not defined20412924331563
                  Grand total555 561207 15096 339136 98976 62926 96711 484

The following table shows the composition of one-complete-family-only households in 1981 analysed by the age group of the head of the household.

Age Group of Head (Years)Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife withTotal Households
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More Children
 Number of Households
Under 201,21555210527931,908
65 and over69,1207,0681,491372995478,210
                  Total207 15096 339136 98976 62926 96711 484555 561
 Percentage of Age Group
Under 2063.728.
65 and over88.
All ages37.317.324.713.84.92.1100.0

Household Incomes—The first of the 2 table's following shows the incomes (excluding incomes from Social Security benefits) of one-complete-family only households by composition of households.

Income of Household*Husband and Wife OnlyHusband and Wife withTotal Households
1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 or More Children

* Estimated incomes before Social Security benefits for the year ended 31 March 1981.

†Includes 207 households headed by short-term visitors or children.

            $Number of Households
60,000 and over1,1881,0591,7131,3595071986,024
Not specified21,54314,05519,57212,7265,7483,46277,103
                    Total207 15096 342136 98676 62926 97011 484555 561

The following table shows income (including income from Social Security benefits) of all households in permanent private dwellings by type of household.

Total Household Income (incl. Income from Social Security Benefits)Household TypeTotal Households
One Family Only CompleteOne Family Only IncompleteOther FamilyNon-FamilyOne Person
* Includes 534 households headed by short-term visitors or children.
          $Number of Households
       1- 1,9992,9616,3156125224,72515,138
2,000- 4,9996,7839,7111,5242,19065,52985,737
5,000- 9,99977,32221,0156,2738,19044,046156,846
60,000 and over6,3631,2602,15142028810,485
Not specified*77,10316,88724,8619,68116,809145,338
                  Total555 561105 85595 51461 188184 9921 003 113

People Living Alone—The following tables show persons living alone in 1981 by age, sex, and marital status.

Age Group (in Years)Marital Status
Never MarriedMarriedSeparated*DivorcedWidowedTotal

* Includes persons who are still married but permanently separated.

†Includes children, short-term visitors, and those of unspecified marital status.

 Males Living Alone
Under 201,566931,614
65 and over3,9122,0791,2091,64111,35520,301
                  Total31 8847 2219 6698 25914 61072 567
 Females Living Alone
Under 201,36827961,473
65 and over7,5452,0161,1312,52951,28264,635
                  Total25 4135 8655 8838 53866 132112 425

GROUP-LIVING QUARTERS—The following table shows the number of inmates and total occupants of various types of group-living quarters at the time of the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings. In comparing the numbers of inmates with the total number of occupants (especially in the case of prisons and penal institutions) it should be borne in mind that only those staff who actually live in the group-living quarters are included in the table. Those occupying separate residences outside the group-living quarters will have been enumerated in their own homes, even though they may have been on duty in the boarding school, hospital, prison, or other group-living quarters on the night of the Census.

Type of Group-living QuartersNumberNumber of Group-living Quarters By Number of InmatesTotal InmatesTotal Occupants Including Staff
Below 2020–99100 and Over
Hotels, motels, hostels, boardinghouses, and motor camps3,1622,4696335451,58556,151
Educational institutions3871561597522,65023,433
Welfare institutions (children's homes, etc.)7805671981213,74315,522
Medical institutions (hospitals, etc.)4562191716327,30327,960
Religious institutions2972702432,6433,186
Armed forces (including naval base and naval vessels)843930125,4606,747
Works and construction camps and police camps, etc.4382701501810,70411,199
Prisons and penal institutions512412122,8922,913
Seasonal workers' quarters1951989961,245
Vessels (excluding naval vessels)13813594983,258
Other institutions39933054155,9466,660
                      Total6 3934 6711 452264144 414158 280

RELIGIOUS PROFESSIONS—The following summary presents the main religious professions returned at the 1971, 1976, and 1981 Censuses.

Religious ProfessionNumber of AdherentsPercentage
* Associated Pentecostal Churches of New Zealand.
Anglican (Church of England)895,839915,202814,74031.329.225.7
Roman Catholic (including Catholic undefined)449,974478,530456,85815.715.314.4
Christian n.o.d.33,18752,478101,9011.21.73.2
Latter Day Saints (Mormon)29,78536,13037,6861.01.21.2
Salvation Army19,37122,01920,4900.70.70.6
Protestant n.o.d.37,47533,30916,9891.31.10.5
Jehovah's Witness10,31813,39213,7400.40.40.4
Assemblies of God*3,5995,58112,5250.10.20.4
Seventh Day Adventist10,47711,95811,5200.40.40.4
Church of Christ8,9308,0876,3720.30.30.2
Indigenous Pentecostal*128245,2950.2
Eastern Orthodox Catholic4,3194,1533,8130.20.10.1
Union Church1,1543,0453,3990.10.1
Hebrew Congregational3,8033,9213,3600.10.10.1
Samoan Congregational85662,3100.1
Reformed Church of N.Z.1,6281,3581,9230.10.1
All other religious professions19,66436,96136,4140.71.21.1
No religion (so returned) and not specified161,018140,591275,8325.64.58.7
Object to state247,019438,511473,1158.614.014.9
                    Total2 862 6313 129 3833 175 737100.0100.0100.0

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—In the following table the total population at the 1976 and 1981 Censuses of Population is shown by sex and age distribution.

Age (Years)1976 Census1981 CensusPercentage of Total Population
* Under 20 years.
90 and over1,5613,7915,3521,6504,8696,5190.20.2
                    Total1 562 0421 567 3413 129 3831 578 9271 596 8103 175 737100.0100.0
Under 15 years474,142454,063928,205433,206415,368848,57429.726.7
15–64 years968,908952,7631,921,6711,012,149998,8172,010,97261.463.3
65 years and over118,992160,515279,507133,566182,628316,1918.910.0

ETHNIC GROUPS—The following table shows the broad ethnic origins of the usually resident New Zealand population.

Ethnic GroupUsually Resident in N.Z. Population
1976 Census1981 Census

* 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.

Other origins
    Pacific Island Polynesian—
        Cook Island Maori18,54723,880
            Subtotal, Pacific Island Polynesian60,97188,824
        Syrian, Lebanese, and Arab740900
        Other ethnic groups5,5509,762
            Subtotal, others30,71142,219
Not specified68,71036,609
                    Total3 103 2653 143 307

Note—For further information on Pacific Island Polynesian population refer to Section 3C.

COUNTRY OF BIRTH—Since 1945 the New Zealand-born population has remained in the range 84 to 86 percent of the total population including short-stay visitors to the country.

For 1976 and 1981, of the population usually resident in New Zealand who specified country of birth, the percentages born in New Zealand were 84.3 and 85.6 respectively.

The next table shows the duration of residence in New Zealand of persons born overseas and usually resident in New Zealand at the 1976 and 1981 censuses.

Years of Residence1976 Census1981 Census*
Number Born OverseasPercentage of Specified CasesNumber Born OverseasPercentage of Specified Cases

* Specified overseas birthplaces totalled 450 939. An additional 13 314 cases of not specified birthplaces are included in the analysis by duration.

†N.Z. residents.

20 and over169,79235.7180,56141.8
Not specified10,040 32,766
                    Total485 560100.0464 253100.0

INTERNAL MIGRATION—At the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings the questions on internal migration related to place of usual residence at the 1981 census, and usual residence 1 year and 5 years prior to the census.

Between the censuses of 1976 and 1981, 1 203 435 persons of the usually resident New Zealand population aged 5 and over changed their place of residence within New Zealand at least once. They represented 43.3 percent of the population resident in New Zealand at both censuses. In 1981 the remaining 56.7 percent (1 574 319 persons) were still living in the same dwelling they occupied in 1976.

The regional patterns of migration show that between 1976 and 1981 there were only 2 areas of New Zealand in which incoming migrants exceeded outgoing migrants. These were the upper half of the North Island and the northern tip of the South Island.

The following table shows the movements of persons arriving and leaving each statistical area (the 13 broad geographic regions into which New Zealand is divided for statistical purposes):

Regional Patterns of Migration, 1976–81*
Statistical AreaNorth Island
Persons Arriving in AreaPersons Leaving Area

* Excludes children under 5 years and other persons who are not resident in New Zealand or are without a specified address at both census dates.

†To ensure anonymity within small groups of figures, all cell values have been rounded using simple random rounding to base 3. As a result, a total will not necessarily be the exact sum of its component parts.

Central Auckland66,23149,746
South Auckland—
    Bay of Plenty55,48249,311
East Coast6,3397,722
Hawke's Bay17,63717,904
        Total307 326307 326

Statistics on residence 1 year ago, together with more detailed statistics on residence 5 years ago, will be found in the 1981 Census Volume 11, Internal Migration.

STATISTICS OF WORLD POPULATION—The area and estimated population of the major areas and selected countries at mid-year 1982 are shown in the following table. (Source: U.N. Population and Vital Statistics Report.) The U.N. report should be consulted for further information and greater detail.

Major Areas and CountriesAreaPopulation
* Includes Central' America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.
Major Areaskm2 (000)million
        World total135 8304 586
Selected Countries
    South Africa1,22131.0
America, North
    United States9,363232.1
America, South
    China9,5971 020.7
    Hong Kong15.2
    Saudi Arabia2,1509.7
    Sri Lanka6615.2
    Syrian Arab Republic1859.7
    Ireland, Republic of703.5
    United Kingdom24455.8
    Yugoslavia, Republic of25622.6
    New Caledonia190.1
    New Zealand2693.2
    Papua New Guinea4623.1

Note—All population estimates except for that of New Zealand are provisional.


For statistical purposes, all persons of half or more Maori descent 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.

A total of 279 255 persons stated at the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings that they were of half or more Maori descent. This compares with 227 414 in 1971 and 270 035 in 1976. However, the 1976 figure included 65 582 persons who indicated that they were of Maori origin but did not specify degree of descent.

The following tables show the New Zealand 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. In 1976 and 1981 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, are included.

†Includes temporary visitors from overseas who were in New Zealand on Census night.

 number  percent
1981279 255x9 220x3.41x0.67x
YearNew Zealand Maori Population at End of PeriodIncrease During YearMean Population for Year
 Year Ended 31 March
1981140 000x139,400279 400x2 800x1.0277,900
1982141 800x141,000282 800x3 400x1.2280 700x
 Year Ended 31 December

Census data on the New Zealand Maori population are presented in the following table using 2 classifications—those of half or more New Zealand Maori origin, and a wider category containing all persons of Maori descent irrespective of their degree of Maori origin.

Census YearHalf or More Maori Origin*Maori Descendants
Total PopulationAverage Annual IncreaseProportion of Total PopulationTotal PopulationAverage Annual IncreaseProportion of Total Population

* Prior to 1976 comprises persons who specified themselves as half or more New Zealand Maori. In 1976 and 1981 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, are included.

†Includes temporary visitors from overseas who were in New Zealand on Census night.

  Percent Percent
1951 (17 April)115,6762.96.0134,8422.77.0
1961 (18 April)167,0863.76.9202,5354.28.4
1971 (23 March)227,4143.17.9290,5013.710.1
1981 (24 March)279,2522.18.8385,5242.912.1

Births, Deaths, Infant Mortality—For statistics comparing Maori and non-Maori rates of births, deaths, infant and perinatal mortality by cause, and life expectancy, refer to Section 4, Vital Statistics.

Geographical Distribution—The increasing urbanisation of the Maori population is a significant population trend. At the 1926 Census of Population and Dwellings the urban New Zealand Maori population totalled 9905 (15.6 percent). By the 1981 Census the comparable figure for usually resident Maoris was 219 174 (78.5 percent), the largest concentration being in the Central and Southern Auckland Urban Areas where a total of 49 821 were enumerated.

Urban population is defined as that of main, secondary, and minor urban areas.

Between 1971 and 1976 the proportion of Maori population in the North Island dropped from 93.9 percent to 92.8 percent, but the proportion rose again to 930 percent (259 590) in 1981.

The following table shows the usually resident Maori population at the 1981 Census by statistical area.

Statistical AreaN.Z. Maoris*

* Persons of half or more Maori descent.

†N.Z. residents

North Island—
    Central Auckland68,63124.59
    South Auckland - Bay of Plenty79,71028.56
    East Coast14,8805.33
    Hawke's Bay21,1747.59
                    Total, North Island259 59093.02
South Island—
                    Total, South Island19 4916.98
                    Total, New Zealand279 084100.00

Age Distribution—At the 1981 Census, 40 percent of the Maori population were under the age of 15 years, compared with 26.7 percent of the total population. The youthfulness of the Maori population is further demonstrated by the fact that at the 1981 Census, over half (53 percent) of the Maori population were under 20 years of age, compared to 36.4 percent of the total population.

Only 3.9 percent of Maoris are over 60 years of age. This compares with 14.0 percent of the total population.

In the following table, figures of the Maori and total population at the 1981 Census, are given for a number of broad age groups.

Age Group (Years)Total PopulationMaori Population*

* Persons of half or more N.Z. Maori origin.

†Includes temporary visitors from overseas who were in New Zealand on Census night 1981.

Under 15433,206415,368848,57426.756,73354,921111,65140.0
Under 18526,293504,1261,030,42232.468,03165,709133,73747.9
Under 20590,691565,8061,156,49736.475,31272,828148,13753.0
18 and over1,052,6281,092,6872,145,31567.671,87473,632145,50052.1
20 and over988,2301,031,0072,019,24063.664,59366,513131,10046.9
60 and over194,586251,211445,79414.05,2445,52610,7613.9
65 and over133,566182,628316,19110.03,1893,3156,4982.3
80 and over17,15436,73553,8891.73003696660.2
        Total1 578 9271 596 8103 175 737100.0139 911139 344279 255100.0

Sex Ratio—The earliest reliable statistics on the Maori population show a high predominance of males. In 1881 there were 81.1 females per 100 males and the gap has progressively closed until in 1976, there were 98.9 females to every 100 males. At the 1981 Census there were 139 911 males and 139 344 females in the total Maori population, a difference of only 567, representing a sex ratio of 99.6 females to every 100 males.

Labour Force—The resident Maori full-time labour force grew by 14 497 (16.2 percent) between 1976 and 1981 to reach 104 181 (7.8 percent of the total full-time resident labour force who specified their ethnic origin) at the 1981 Census. Intercensal growth for the non-Maori labour force was due mainly to growth in the female workforce. In contrast the increase in the male workforce for the Maori labour force was greather than for the female workforce.

Full-time Labour Force*19761981Intercensal Change

* N.Z. residents.

†Includes cases where ethnic origin was not specified.

                    Total89 684104 18114 49716.2
                    Total1 169 4181 228 16158 7435.0

The number of wage and salary earners in the Maori labour force increased by 7.6 percent between 1976 and 1981. However, the proportion of wage and salary earners within the Maori labour force dropped from 88.7 percent in 1976 to 82.1 percent in 1981, largely because of an increase in the number of unemployed.

The following table shows Maori labour force by employment status at the 1976 and 1981 Censuses. The most dramatic feature of the table is the increase of 8668 (146.3 percent) in the number of Maoris unemployed and seeking work. In comparison non-Maori unemployed increased by 19 606 to 45 660 (132.9 percent).

At the 1981 Census the unemployed represented 14.1 percent of the Maori labour force compared with 3.7 percent of the non-Maori labour force. Maoris, in fact, made up nearly a quarter (24.2 percent) of the total unemployed. Almost half (49 percent) of the unemployed Maori population were aged between 15 and 19 years, while a further 21.6 percent were aged 20–24 years.

Employment Status19761981
* Includes persons seeking work.
Self employed2,3012.62,1812.1
Wage and salary earner79,24788.785,24882.1
Relative assisting2070.22220.2
Not specified296..369..
          Total89 684100.0104 181100.0

Main Occupational Groups—The main occupational groups of Maoris differ from those of the total New Zealand labour force. Maoris are more predominant amongst the unemployed and semi- and unskilled occupations, than among the professional and skilled white collar occupations. The principal occupational groups for Maori males were labourers (12.2 percent of the Maori male labour force), food and beverage processors (11.3 percent), and transport equipment operators (8.6 percent). Farmers, machinery fitters/assemblers, and managers were the principal occupational groups for males in the total labour force.

The main occupational groups for Maori females in the full-time labour force were tailors, dressmakers and sewing machine operators (6.8 percent), clerical workers (6.3 percent), and agricultural and animal husbandry workers (6.2 percent). This compares with clerical workers, salespersons/shop assistants and stenographers/typists/punch machinists for females in the total labour force.

The following table gives main occupational groups of the Maori full-time labour force at the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings.

Ranking*OccupationNumber EngagedPercentage of Maori Labour ForcePercentage of Maoris in Total Labour Force

* Predominant occupational groups at each Census.

†N.Z. residents, 1981 Census.

12Food and beverage processors7,89911.319.8
33Transport equipment operators6,0368.616.0
54Agricultural and animal husbandry workers4,8997.012.5
45Material handlers and related equipment— Operators, dockers, and freight handlers4,5606.513.2
96Forestry workers2,8954.131.1
77Wood preparation workers and paper makers2,6133.727.7
68Bricklayers, carpenters, and other construction workers2,4873.66.1
89Machinery fitters, machine assemblers, and precision-instrument makers2,2023.24.3
1210Protective service workers1,8872.78.4
  Total, full-time labour force69 852100.08.0
11Tailors, dressmakers and sewers2,3316.812.3
22Clerical and related workers2,1606.33.4
63Agricultural and animal husbandry workers2,1216.213.4
35Cooks, waitresses, and bartenders1,8575.412.8
116Building caretakers and cleaners1,4554.219.3
57Housestaff and related housekeeping services1,4344.215.5
98Food and beverage processors1,3804.026.8
89Material handlers and related equipment— Operators, dockers, and freight handlers1,2693.716.7
710Salespersons, shop assistants and related workers1,1793.43.3
              Total, full-time labour force34 329100.07.5

Income—The most common income group for Maori males in the full-time labour force at the 1981 Census was $10,000-$11,999, the same as for non-Maori males. For Maori females the most common income group, $8,000-$9,999 was also the same as for non-Maori females.

However excluding those with nil income, the median income (point at which half of the incomes are lower and half were higher) was $9,936 for Maori males ($11,975 for non-Maori males). Similarly the median income was lower for Maori females ($6,837) compared to non-Maoris ($7,762). While the income differential can be partly explained in terms of the younger age structure of the Maori workforce, it also results from factors such as lower educational attainment and hence a lower underrepresentation of Maoris in the higher-paid occupations.

EDUCATION: Maori Education Foundation—The Maori Education Foundation Act 1961 established the Maori Education Foundation for the general purpose of promoting and encouraging the better education of Maoris and of providing financial assistance for that purpose. The capital resources of the foundation are $3,000,000. The principal purpose for which the Board of Trustees is empowered is to apply the income of the Foundation to the educational and vocational training of Maoris. This includes the provision of grants to pre-school groups and the employment of a pre-school officer; sponsorship of the 2 annual speech contests; grants to secondary school pupils, and to students attending university or other tertiary institutions of similar status; the provision of scholarships and fellowships to students undertaking graduate and post-graduate study at New Zealand and overseas universities; and grants to students undertaking research or study which will be of ultimate benefit to the Maori people.

In the 1983 academic year a total of $1,182,000 was expended on grants. Of this, $50,000 was for pre-school activities; $852,000 was for grants to secondary school pupils; $240,000 was for grants at undergraduate level; and $40,000 on grants at graduate and post-graduate level. In addition the Foundation made grants totalling $570,000 in support of the teaching and development of the Maori language.

Pacific Islands Polynesian Education Foundation—In 1972 the Pacific Islands Polynesian Education Foundation was established to assist Pacific Island students who reside permanently in New Zealand. The aims and objectives of the Foundation are similar in most respects to those of the Maori Education Foundation, and assistance is also given at all levels of education. In the 1983 academic year $32,000 was expended on grants and a total of 300 students were assisted.

School Qualifications—At the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings, School Certificate or equivalent was the highest qualification attained by 15.3 percent of the Maori population aged 15 years and over (22.1 percent for non-Maoris). For a further 3.7 percent of Maoris (18.5 percent for non-Maoris), University Entrance or equivalent was the highest school qualification held.

In the younger age groups, 26.1 percent of Maoris aged between 15 and 19 years had attained School Certificate or University Entrance as their highest school qualification. This compares with 60.1 percent of non-Maoris of that age. Maoris aged 15 years and over with no secondary school qualifications totalled 80.9 percent compared to 50.9 percent of the non-Maori population. In the age group with the highest level of unemployment (15–19 years) 73.8 percent of Maoris had no secondary school qualifications, compared to 39.8 percent of non-Maoris.

The following tables show years of attendance at secondary schools, school qualifications gained, and destinations of Maori school leavers at the end of 1982.

AttainmentYears of Attendance of School Leavers*During or at the End of
1st Year2nd Year3rd Year4th Year5th Year6th YearTotal
* Does not include deceased or students leaving to attend another secondary school.
University Scholarship        1   1 1
University Bursaries examination      1 473952534194
Higher School Certificate      11836221610569174
University Entrance      64109113105198196222418
Sixth Form Certificate    112112961511522617389466855
Three or more School Certificate subjects    73671231263218228211439
Two School Certificate subjects    516811612214161182206388
One School Certificate subject    13012913814910201278299577
No attainment1631009397241,3031,1724385043130112,8752,5315,406
                    Total1631009397241 5581 4371 0921 30748244273354 3074 0458 352
Source: Department of Education.
Destination of Maori School Leavers19811982

* Requiring further part-time or directed education.

Source: Department of Education.

Further Full-time Education
Teacher training—
        Attending university full-time1115
        Other (including kindergarten)5332
Technical institute559594
Other full-time education4980
Labour Force
Technical or professional work*
        Health services7779
        Technicians and other90103
Clerical, sales and related work820800
Production, service industries (including Armed Forces), agricultural and manual occupations2,2101,988
No occupation or unknown3,8854,090
                    Total8 4218 352

Vocational Training for Maori and Pacific Islanders—This programme has been operating for over 20 years. It encourages young Maori and Pacific Islanders into opportunities for higher education, and to participate in pre-apprentice and vocational courses aimed at improving employment prospects.

A total of $4.1 million was spent on vocational training by the Department of Maori Affairs for the year ended 31 March 1983. The programmes are concentrated in polytechnics and community colleges and the effectiveness of the scheme is largely dependent upon liaison with these institutions and with the Department of Education.

In recent years there has been a move to supplement the 'institution' based courses with training in the work place. The department has entered into agreements with several employers to engage Maori and Pacific Island youth under a joint incentive training scheme. This provides for the employer to accept an applicant for training in skills relevant to the employer's operation. The trainee receives an award wage but this is subsidised by the department to the extent of the standard training allowance. There is normally an undertaking by the employer to engage the trainee at the completion of the training period.

The following table lists the number of trainees engaged in the various courses and compares numbers with 2 previous years:

Agriculture courses—
    Farming training, fishing, and horticulture505352
Pre-apprentice training courses—
    Auto-diesel; carpentry (1st and 2nd year); coachbuilding and panelbeating; electrical wiring; fitting and turning; fitting and welding; metal trades; hairdressing; joinery; meat retailing; motor mechanics; painting and decorating; plumbing and gasfitting and sheetmetal466467434
Vocational or non-trade courses—
    Carving and Maori language (2 year course); chef cooking and catering; general merchandising; hotel receptionists, secretarial and typing; technicians courses in building and engineering; and office training315295304
Sponsorship courses—
    Accountancy and management; computer programming and New Zealand Certificates102132201
Introductory courses—
    Key-to-disk operators; journalism; radio accounting54915096
    Total, trainees1 4821 0971 087

Historically, an important aspect of the programme has been the satisfactory placement of trainees in an appropriate trade or occupation at the conclusion of the course. The current employment situation, however, makes it very difficult for trainees to find jobs and at 31 March 1983 there were still 37 percent of the trainees from the 1982 courses who had not been placed in a job consistent with their training.

Over the past 3 years some emphasis has been placed on support for university students engaged in business studies. This support is now extended to 57 students and to 4 who are studying at the School of Forestry at Canterbury University.

Kokiri Centres—Kokiri Basic Skills centres were established under the Maori Affairs Act 1953 as a joint venture between the Department of Maori Affairs, the Maori community, and local private employers to develop a basic skills education programme for Maori youth, and to provide training in cultural skills in a traditional Maori setting. The centres are run on a voluntary basis independent of Maori Affairs in their administration and staffing. Small grants are made by the department to assist in running costs, but the main support comes from the community in which the Kokiri centre operates.

There are 40 Kokiri centres located as follows: Auckland (10), Wellington (5), Christchurch (3), Gisborne (3), Whangarei (2), Hamilton (2), New Plymouth, Te Hauke, Tokomaru Bay, Rotorua, Hastings, Otaki, Nelson, Ashburton, Dunedin, Oamaru, Temuka, Blenheim, Westport, Taumarunui, and Invercargill.

There are on average 4 tutors per centre giving tuition on activities ranging from traditional carving, weaving, language, and arts; contemporary basic skills tuition in carpentry, horticulture, cooking, and childcare to the more esoteric teachings of Maori thought, philosophy, religion, and tribal lore.

Rapu Mahi Programme—In October 1981 the Government approved grants to assist the Maori community take its own initiatives in finding employment for young Maoris. This was a challenge the Maori people themselves had been pressing for, as it allowed the strengths of the whanau (family) and iwi (tribe) to be brought to bear on this concern of the people. The people, with departmental back up and support, took the initiative. Over the period November 1982 to March 1983:

  1. 4202 school leavers and unemployed youth were involved;

  2. 1124 young unemployed were placed in jobs and 1186 were referred for additional tuition, with a further 570 being placed in Department of Labour Schemes (Project Employment Programme and Work-Skills Development).

By 31 March 1983, the department had made grants totalling $196,280 to Maori community groups, which as part of their contribution gave $275,430 either in cash donations or in time and materials (e.g., use of private motor-vehicles, free use of facilities, donations of food and equipment such as typewriters and office equipment). The main emphasis was on identifying Maori resources, such as whanau (family), who could take on a young person in a full-time job, or locate job vacancies through the whanau (tribal network). This involved 1 Maori adult taking responsibility for 1 unemployed Maori school leaver and finding him/her a job.

MAORI HOUSING—In addition to the facilities of the Housing Corporation, financial assistance towards the building of houses, including the purchase of building sites, additions, repairs to existing dwellings, and for the purchase of houses, is available to Maoris and other Polynesians under the Maori Housing Act 1935. This assistance is now generally not available to those who qualify for assistance from the Housing Corporation.

The Department of Maori Affairs also arranges for construction of the houses in many cases. Finance through the department up to set loan limits, rebated interest rate, and capitalisation of family benefits, is similar to loans granted by the Housing Corporation. Where the applicant does not qualify for special interest concessions the finance is made available at an interest rate of 7 1/2; percent.

All applications for State tenancies are dealt with by the Housing Corporation.

From the inception of the scheme to 31 March 1983, the department has provided finance for 22 169 new houses and the purchase of 3084 existing houses. An additional 14 323 advances have been made for additions and repairs to houses and other buildings.

The following table gives 1981 Census data on tenure of permanent private dwellings of Maoris and non-Maoris.

Almost three quarters (72.9 percent) of permanent, private non-Maori dwellings were owned (with or without a mortgage), while less than half (45.3 percent) of Maori dwellings were owned.

TenurePermanent Private Dwellings
Maori Non-Maori
Owned—without mortgage7,71612.929.8
Owned—with mortgage19,38332.443.1
Rented—not from employer23,16638.820.0
Rented—from employer6,24310.43.5
Provided free—not with job1,2962.21.2
Provided free—with job1,4612.42.1
Not specified555....
                    Total60 330100.0100.0

The average number of occupants per Maori dwelling at the 1981 Census was 4.2 (4.6 at 1976 Census) which compares with 2.9 for non-Maori dwellings (3.1 at 1976 Census). A total of 4686 Maori dwellings (7.8 percent) had 8 or more occupants (0.8 percent for non-Maori dwellings).

Persons living alone, permanently or temporarily, comprised 8.9 percent of Maori dwellings, compared with 19.0 percent of non-Maori dwellings.

Amenities—The following table shows the ownership level at the 1981 Census and the intercensal increase of amenities for Maori and non-Maori households.

AmenityMaori HouseholdsNon-Maori Households
Increase in Ownership 1976–81Proportion with Amenity (1981 Census)increase in Ownership 1976–81Proportion with Amenity (1981 Census)
Electric clothes dryer47.629.7x28.746.3x
Automatic washing machine3.525.8x47.053.0x
Other washing machine..64.4x..42.6x
Colour television520.764.3x228.367.4x
Black and white television−52.131.9x−48.634.1x
Deep freeze16.665.6x12.473.2x

COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR MAORI PEOPLE AND PACIFIC ISLAND POLYNESIANS—The legislative basis of the Maori Community Services Programme is the Maori Community Development Act 1962, and the aim is the social and economic advancement and the promotion and maintenance of the health and general well-being of the Maori community, and the facilitation of full integration of the Maori race into the social and economic life of the country. The Act provides for subsidies to be paid on moneys raised by Maori people through their associations for the promotion of community services. An important feature of the Community Services Programme is that it calls upon the Maori and Pacific Island people to exercise the control and direction of their own communities.

The Maori organisations consist of 2 statutory groups and many voluntary groups. The statutory groups are:

  1. Maori associations comprising the New Zealand Maori Council, the district Maori councils, Maori executive committees, and the Maori committees. All are democratically elected and work independently of the Department of Maori Affairs.

  2. The Department of Maori Affairs—The broad functions of the department are to assist Maori and Pacific Island peoples, particularly in social, economic, and cultural matters. Through its community services division, the department gives assistance in the fields of education, employment, housing, and health.

TU TANGATA PROGRAMME—Under its Tu Tangata programme, the Department of Maori Affairs has encouraged a partnership with the Maori people in the area of community administration.

The high success rate of community programmes such as Rapu Mahi, Kokiri, Kohanga Reo, and other Tu Tangata activities is largely due to the better use of “Maori systems”. In particular, the whanau (extended family system) is bringing more cohesiveness to community action especially between the various Maori organisations and Government agencies.

Maoridom is experiencing a major revolution in its tikanga Maori (social and cultural order). Maori people are restructuring their community organisations and adopting a wide range of activities aimed at providing a better future for their young people. The following Tu Tangata programmes are currently operating:

Te Kohanga Reo (The Language Nest)—The primary focus of Te Kohanga Reo is to stimulate growth of whanau centres which offer the best Maori childcare in an environment which is Maori in action and language.

The reasons for Te Kohanga Reo are many but principally the need is for a Maori-based programme to stop the decline of Maori-speaking people in New Zealand. Without the Maori language there can be no Maori culture, and the survival of a unique Maori identity is the spiritual force behind the creation of Te Kohanga Reo.

Te Kohanga Reo is designed to enhance qualities in the upbringing of the Maori child so that he/she will have a firm base upon which to grow into adulthood, secure in their personal identity in their iwi (tribal) and hapu (whanau).

The first early childhood language centre opened at the Pukeatua Kokiri Centre, Wainuiomata in April 1981. By 31 March 1983 there were 84 Te Kohanga Reo Whanau centres in operation catering for over 1377 infants under 5 years of age. Two hundred and forty-three kaumatua as “Koro” or “Kuia” are actively involved daily as well as approximately 497 rostered volunteers from the whanau (i.e., mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents etc.). One hundred and fifty native speakers of Maori are either receiving koha or are giving their time freely to service the 84 operations. This remuneration by way of koha is controlled and financed by each Te Kohanga Reo Management group.

Every Te Kohanga Reo whanau receives an establishment grant of $5,000 through Maori Affairs grant funding to Whanau centres or through assistance provided by the Maori Education Foundation. Eighteen centres which have obtained a licence and which are eligible under the Department of Social Welfare provisions for subsidy, receive a Department of Social Welfare subsidy of up to $18 per child per week. In addition, parents pay an average of $25 per child per week. The Maori community also give gifts of money and food to support the Te Kohanga Reo Whanau centres in their locality.

The Te Kohanga Reo programme is being carefully monitored and there is continual discussion through the National Officials Co-ordinating Group made up of officers from the departments of Maori Affairs, Education, Social Welfare, Labour, and Health together with the Maori Education Foundation, the Pre-school Childcare Association, and the Wellington Hospital Board.

There is still much work to be done in the are of transition from Te Kohanga Reo Whanau centres to school life. The National Advisory Committee on Maori Education has given priority to the preparation of junior class teachers who will be receiving children into their classrooms from Te Kohanga Reo Whanau centres.

Maatua Whangai—In 1981 the Hui Whakatauira gave unanimous support to the Department of Maori Affairs for the promotion of a programme to take young Maoris out of Social Welfare institutions and to place them back with their tribal groups. Since that time the Human Rights Commission and Archbishop Johnson have supported this move in special reports.

The Departments of Maori Affairs and Social Welfare, along with Maori leadership, have now launched a programme Maatua Whangai (foster parenting). This programme will ensure that all is done to keep young Maoris out of institutional care and to provide the opportunity for the whanau system to provide alternatives in family care. It is expected that this programme will have a major impact on reducing the numbers of Maoris in the Social Welfare system.

Kokiri Units—Kokiri Units were set up to strengthen Maori community administration. The Kokiri Unit concept allows groups to concentrate energies and resources on those areas identified by the community as the most essential. By this means the community group is able to work out its own strategies for dealing with the situation, and those closest to the issues are able to make decisions about what sort of action is appropriate in their neighbourhood.

Each unit is staffed by Maori Affairs officers, and operates under the 'umbrella' of a Kokiri Community Management Group which sets the priorities for community action. Such tasks involve visiting schools to promote achievement, vocational selection in secondary schools, finding jobs for the unemployed, acting in a support and advisory capacity in the courts, providing language learning, and stimulating cultural activities within communities.

This new style of community administration began in Wellington in 1981 with the Poneke (Wellington city), Heretaunga (Hurt Valley), and Porirua units. The success of these units led to the establishment of 7 Kokiri Units in Auckland (Waitemata, Waipareira, Tamaki, Maungarei, Otara, Mangere, and Counties).

Rapu Mahi Programme and Kokiri Centres—For information on these programmes refer to pages 99–100.

New Zealand Maori Council—The primary functions of the New Zealand Maori Council are to encourage Maoris as individuals and in groups to take the initiative in matters affecting their own welfare and that of their kinsfolk; and to be a forum of discussion in which they can crystallise their ideas and gain the co-operation of others in actively pursuing mutually agreed objectives, and eventually achieving progressive improvement in the various spheres of welfare. By its own request it is charged with the duty of maintaining and promoting harmony between Maori and non-Maori.

Maori Wardens—Appointed by the Minister at the initiative of Maori committees to whom they are responsible, Maori wardens assist in the maintenance of law and order.

Maori Women's Welfare League—The League was formed in 1951 and has branches throughout the country. Its membership approximates 3000. Special tribal groups, social, sports, and cultural clubs, church groups, and women's organisations are some of the many other groups which have their own spheres of action promoting and furthering the physical, social, spiritual, and moral well-being of the people.

The League is involved actively in education, particularly at the pre-school level and plays a major role in initiating and promoting Tu Tangata Whanau programmes.

Maori and Pacific Island Community Officers—The Maori and Pacific Island Community Officers carry out a different range of functions from those of other social workers. Their primary function is to work with groups rather than individuals. For example, it is not strictly a Maori community officer's duty to deal with a Maori child playing truant from school, but if truancy is a common problem amongst Maori students in any locality, it is the community officer's duty to hold discussions with parents and try to convince them of the importance of ensuring that their children attend school regularly. A great deal of the time of the community services staff is occupied in informing Maori and Pacific Island parents of vocational opportunities open to their children, in recruiting and organising vocational training groups for school leavers, stimulating the formation of play centres and other pre-school groups, and in dealing with youth problems in the cities. The whole emphasis is on youth and community development and the strengthening of the family and kinship groups which have traditionally supported the individual.

MAORI LAND—Before European settlement, all land was held by the various groups and tribes of the Maori people in accordance with their traditional customs and usages, and the land remaining in

this tenure is termed Maori customary land. By the Treaty of Waitangi the right to purchase land from Maoris was reserved to the Crown. Almost all of what had been Maori customary land was converted to other forms of title by one or other of the following processes:

  1. Purchase or other acquisition by the Crown (from whom the European colonists obtained land for farms, etc.).

  2. The issue of a Crown grant to a Maori owner on the recommendation of the Maori Land Court.

  3. The issue of a freehold order by the Maori Land Court in favour of the Maori or Maoris found entitled upon an investigation of title. This process was used instead of process (b) after the introduction of the land transfer system into New Zealand.

Land in titles issued under processes (b) and (c) became known as Maori freehold land.

Maori freehold land becomes Crown land if purchased or otherwise acquired by the Crown. If sold or transferred other than to the Crown it remains Maori freehold land unless the document of transfer states otherwise, in which case even though the new owner may be a Maori, the land becomes general land. A Maori may buy or otherwise acquire land which is not Maori freehold land, i.e. general land, and for this reason there is an unknown but considerable amount of general land owned by Maoris in addition to their holdings of Maori freehold land.

The area of Maori freehold land in New Zealand is over 1 300 000 hectares. Maori freehold land is subject to the jurisdiction of the Maori Land Court pursuant to the Maori Affairs Act 1953 and some general land owned by Maoris is subject to certain provisions of that Act.

Maori Land Court—The Maori Land Court consists of a Chief Judge and such other judges as the Governor-General may from time to time appoint. It is a Court of Record and its general function is to deal with problems peculiar to multiple ownership of Maori lands, including the partitioning and combining of titles for better utilisation, the effecting of exchanges, directing the holding of meetings of owners, and confirming or disallowing resolutions passed by such meetings, confirming sales, and making other miscellaneous orders including in certain cases, determining entitlement to, and vesting in persons entitled, the beneficial interests of deceased owners, in Maori freehold land.

The Maori Appellate Court consists of any 3 or more Judges of the Maori Land Court, provided that 2 Judges at least shall concur in every decision of the court. With certain exemptions, the Appellate Court determines appeals, whether on law or on fact, from all from final orders of the Maori Land Court.

During the year ended 31 March 1983 the Maori Land Court conducted 81 sittings throughout New Zealand and dealt with 5859 applications, from which a total of 10 286 orders were made.

Maori Land Development and Rural Lending—The Board of Maori Affairs is constituted by section 5 of the Maori Affairs Act 1953 to promote greater involvement in, and identification of the Maori owners with, land development activities. The board is assisted by district Maori Land Advisory Committees. Owners of Maori land have access to usual lending institutions but it is not easy to borrow money for land development unless mortgage security can be given. Multiplicity of ownership often prevents this. Under the Maori Affairs Act 1953 the board, through the Department of Maori Affairs, may lend money for the development and settlement of Maori land. This does not affect the legal ownership, but the rights of the owners are suspended and the board has the right to exclusive occupation of the land. At 30 June 1983 stations farmed by the department contained a total of 100 697 hectares, 64 871 hectares of which were in grass.

The grassing programme achieved 1524 hectares of new development during 1982–83.

The original objective of Maori land development was to subdivide developed blocks for settlement by Maori farmers. A recent trend has been a preference by owners to form incorporations or trusts to assume control on their behalf when properties are sufficiently consolidated and have attained financial stability. Horticultural enterprises are becoming a most effective means by which Maori land can be utilised with the added advantage of providing employment opportunities.

The board makes loans to suitably qualified Maori trusts and incorporations to enable them to purchase farms or to enter into leasing or share farming contracts. New loans and further advances are also made available to existing farmers.

Maori Trustee—The Maori Trust Office was originally created to take over from the Public Trust Office the administration of certain Maori reserves, estates of deceased Maoris, and those under disability. It is headed by the Maori Trustee, comparable in status and functions with the Public Trustee. Maori Trustee activities have been decentralised by the delegation of wide powers to the directors of the Department of Maori Affairs, who deal primarily with all Maori Trustee matters in their districts.

Administration of leases of Maori land and distribution of rent to numerous owners, also lending to Maoris for businesses, homes and other purposes are now major activities of the Maori Trustee. The

Maori Trust Office operates independently but within the general framework of the Department of Maori Affairs.

The following table is a summary of the assets and liabilities of the Maori Trustee as at 31 March in each of the latest 3 years.

ItemAs at 31 March
    Cash and short-term investments1,1419651,324
    Government stock1,7001,7001,700
    Local authority debentures and stock2,9092,8542,731
    Company debentures1,7061,7061,706
    Mortgages and charges7,4179,0729,399
    Conversion Fund land interests1,4081,4421,481
    Miscellaneous assets879483632
                    Total assets17,16018,22218,973
    Amounts held for beneficiaries9,17310,24810,308
    Conversion Fund1,8791,6211,735
    Creditors and miscellaneous768920778
                Accumulated revenue5,3405,4336,152
                    Total liabilities17,16018,22218,973


The total Pacific Island Polynesian population in New Zealand numbered 89 697 at the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings and represented 2.9 percent of the total New Zealand population compared with 2.0 percent in 1976. Of these persons, 873 were temporary visitors in New Zealand on census night leaving a resident Pacific Island Polynesian population of 88 824 (60 966 at the 1976 Census), an intercensal increase of 27 861 (45.7 percent). Nearly half (42 078 or 47.4 percent) of the resident Pacific Island Polynesian population were Samoans while more than a quarter (23 880 or 26.9 percent) were Cook Island Maoris (see table on page 89).

Age Distribution—The Pacific Island Polynesian population in New Zealand is characterised by high proportions of children (0–14 years) and also by high proportions in the main working ages (25–44 years). Some 41.3 percent of the Pacific Island Polynesian population were under 15 years of age compared with 40.0 percent of the New Zealand Maori population and only 25.2 percent of the population excluding New Zealand Maoris and Pacific Island Polynesians.

However, while both the Maori and Polynesian populations in New Zealand have youthful age structures, the proportion in the major working ages (25–44) is a distinguishing feature when comparing the two populations.

The following table shows that 29.6 percent of the Pacific Island Polynesian population were aged between 25 and 44, compared with 23.7 percent of Maoris and 26.8 percent of the population excluding Maoris and Polynesians.

Age (Years)Resident New Zealand Population
Pacific Island PolynesianN.Z. MaoriEuropean*and Other
* Population excluding Pacific Island Polynesians and New Zealand Maoris.
60 and over2.63.915.2

Geographical Distribution—The Central Auckland Statistical Area had the largest resident Pacific Island Polynesian population—57 462 or 64.7 percent of the resident Pacific Island Polynesian population of New Zealand. They represented 7.1 percent of the resident population of the statistical area.

The next largest concentration was in the Wellington Statistical Area with a Pacific Island Polynesian population of 17 580 (3.1 percent of the population of the area) representing 19.8 percent of the resident Pacific Island Polynesian population in New Zealand. Only 6.5 percent (5793) of the New Zealand Pacific Island Polynesian population lived in the South Island at the 1981 Census.

Urbanisation—At the 1981 Census, 97.9 percent of the Pacific Island Polynesian population were in areas classified as 'urban' and this population was concentrated within particular urban centres.

The Porirua Basin Main Urban Area has the highest proportion of Polynesians with 12.0 percent (6513) of the population being Pacific Island Polynesians. Tokoroa Secondary Urban Area had the next highest proportion of Polynesians with 2232 persons, constituting 11.6 percent of the resident population of the urban area.

In the Porirua Basin Main Urban Area, the Pacific Island Polynesian population exceeded the New Zealand Maori population. This was also the case in Central Auckland Main Urban Area which had a Pacific Island Polynesian population of 23 769 (8.7 percent of the resident population). The largest Pacific Island Polynesian population was in Southern Auckland Main Urban Area with 25 320 representing 11.2 percent of the resident population. Between them, these four urban centres accounted for 65.1 percent of the resident Pacific Island Polynesian population in New Zealand.

Labour Force—The Pacific Island Polynesian full-time labour force of 35 019 represented 2.6 percent of the New Zealand resident labour force in 1981. The intercensal increase in the Polynesian labour force, of 44.8 percent (10 830), was proportionately greater than that for either the Maori labour force (16.2 percent) increase intercensally, or the labour force excluding Maoris and Polynesians (4.2 percent).

The full-time labour force represented 39.4 percent of the resident Pacific Island Polynesian population. Over half (56.1 percent) of the labour force were aged between 25 and 44 years.

The following table shows that in contrast to the New Zealand Maori labour force (40.0 percent were under the age of 25), only 29.9 percent of the Pacific Island Polynesian labour force were under 25.

Age (Years)Resident Full-Time Labour Force
Pacific Island PolynesianN.Z. MaoriEuropean*and Other
* Full-time labour force excluding Pacific Island Polynesians and New Zealand Maoris.
60 and over1.11.54.4

The numbers in the Pacific Island Polynesian labour force who were unemployed increased by 2575 (246.9 percent) between 1976 and 1981 to reach 3618 or 10.4 percent of the Pacific Island Polynesian full-time labour force in 1981, compared with 4.3 percent in 1976. Largely as a result, the proportion of wage and salary earners dropped from 94.0 percent in 1976, to 87.8 percent of the Pacific Island Polynesian full-time labour force in 1981. However the following table shows that the proportion of wage and salary earners in the Pacific Island Polynesian labour force (87.8 percent) remains higher than that for the New Zealand Maori labour force (82.1 percent) or for the remainder of the labour force (81.9 percent).

Employment StatusResident Full-time Labour Force
Pacific Island PolynesianN.Z. Maori 1981 PercentEuropean*and Other 1981 Percent
1976 Percent1981
* Full-time labour force excluding Polynesians and Maoris.
Wage and salary earner94.030,54687.882.181.9
Relative assisting..
Not specified..246......
    Total100.035 019100.0100.0100.0

The main industry for the Pacific Island Polynesian labour force was manufacturing which employed 18 285 workers, over half (58.2 percent) of the Pacific Island Polynesian full-time labour force in specified industries at the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings.

However, the proportion in the manufacturing industry has dropped since 1976, with resulting increases in the proportions in some other industry groups—in particular, “wholesale, retail and restaurant”, “finance, insurance and business” and “community, social and personal services”. The high degree of urbanisation of the Pacific Island Polynesian population is reflected in the low proportion of workers in agriculture and related industries.

Industry Major GroupResident Full-time Labour Force
Pacific Island PolynesianN.Z. Maori 1981 PercentEuropean*and Other 1981 Percent
1976 Percent1981
* Labour force excluding Polynesians and Maoris.
Agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing1.35881.913.111.3
Mining and quarrying0.1390.10.70.3
Electricity, gas, water0.62130.71.61.2
Building and construction5.31,1823.88.66.6
Wholesale, retail and restaurant7.12,5178.09.017.9
Transport, storage, communication8.22,4607.810.58.2
Finance, insurance, business1.77232.31.87.7
Community, social, personal14.35,42417.319.524.4
Inadequately defined..3,594......
        Total100.035 019100.0100.0100.0

Income—The most common income group for Pacific Island Polynesian males in the full-time labour force was $8,000-$9,999. The most common income group for both Maori male labour force and for the remainder of the male labour force was $10,000-$11,999. The median income for the Polynesian male labour force was also lower ($9,593) than that for either the Maoris ($9,936) or the remainder of the male labour force ($12,068).

For Polynesian females in the full-time labour force the most common income group was $8,000-$9,999, the same as that for Maori females and for the remainder of the female labour force. However, the median income for Pacific Island Polynesian women ($7,342) was higher than that for Maori women ($6,837) and compared with $7,780 for the remainder of the female labour force.

Pacific Island Polynesian Dwellings—Some 18 096 permanent and private dwellings were classified as Pacific Island Polynesian at the 1981 Census. They represented 1.8 percent of all permanent and private dwellings in New Zealand.

There were 85 707 occupants in these dwellings giving an average occupancy rate of 4.7 persons per dwelling. This compares with an average occupancy rate of 4.2 persons per dwelling for New Zealand Maori dwellings and 2.9 for all other permanent and private dwellings (i.e. excluding Polynesian and Maori).

A total of 2217 (12.3 percent) Pacific Island Polynesian dwellings had 8 or more occupants, the equivalent proportions for New Zealand Maori dwellings being 7.8 percent and for “other” dwellings just 0.6 percent. Some 6.1 percent of Pacific Island Polynesian dwellings had one occupant compared with 8.9 percent of New Zealand Maori dwellings and 19.3 percent of all other dwellings.

Number of OccupantsPermanent and Private Dwellings
Pacific Island PolynesianNew Zealand MaorisEuropean*and Other
* Excluding Polynesian and Maori dwellings.
8 and over12.37.80.6

The majority of Pacific Island Polynesian dwellings were rented (10 773 or 60.3 percent), the proportion being higher than that for both Maori dwellings (50.1 percent) and other dwellings (23.1 percent). In comparison, 38.9 percent (6951) of Pacific Island Polynesian dwellings were owned (with or without a mortgage) compared with 45.3 percent of Maori dwellings and 73.6 percent of the remaining dwellings.

Households—The following table shows that both Pacific Island Polynesian and New Zealand Maori households had lower proportions of households as “one family complete” than did the remainder of the population.

Nearly a third of Pacific Island Polynesian households (5658 or 31.3 percent) were “other family households” (i.e. multi-family or families plus other persons). For Maoris, 24.1 percent were “other family households” while the proportion for all other households was only 8.1 percent.

For the Pacific Island Polynesian population some 75.8 percent of these “other family households” consisted of one family plus other persons while the remaining 24.2 percent were “multi-family households”.

Only 6.1 percent of Polynesian households were one person households compared to 8.9 percent of Maori and 19.3 percent of all other households.

Household TypeProportion of HouseholdsAverage Number of Members Per Household
Pacific Is. PolynesianN.Z. MaoriEuropean*and OtherPacific Is. PolynesianN.Z. MaoriEuropean*and Other

* Total permanent, private dwellings excluding those classified as Pacific Island Polynesian and New Zealand Maori.

†Households of which total occupants consist of members of one family (husband, wife, unmarried children), but with one or more members absent on Census night.

One family complete46.445.556.
One family incomplete10.615.710.
Other family:
    One family plus other persons23.718.
    Total, other family31.32418.
One person6.18.919.
        Total, Households100.0100.0100.

FURTHER INFORMATION—For further information relating to the Pacific Island Polynesian population on education, housing and community services programmes refer to Section 3B. Immigration regulations and the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 are contained in Section 3D.


EXTERNAL MIGRATION—During the years 1978 to 1981 there was a significant increase in the numbers of New Zealand residents going overseas, seeking better employment opportunities, on business or pleasure trips, and on working holidays. The 1982 and 1983 years have, however, seen a decrease in departures of New Zealanders, particularly in the permanent and long-term category.

Total migration figures (excluding only movements of armed forces) are shown in the following table for the most recently 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 MovementsAll Passenger ArrivalsThrough PassengersCrewsTotal Arrivals
N.Z. Residents ReturningTemporary Visitors Arriving
Year Ended 31 MarchLong-term (Including Permanent) DeparturesShort-term MovementsAll Passenger DeparturesThrough PassengersCrewsTotal Departures
N.Z. Residents DepartingTemporary Visitors Departing

A summary by sex of arrivals and departures during the latest 5 years is given in the following table. Crews, through passengers, and armed forces personnel on military exercises have not been taken into account in this table.

Year Ended 31 MarchArrivalsDeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures*
* A minus sign denotes an excess of departures over arrivals.
1979424,848381,028805,876438,504393,916832,420−26 544
1980484,986440,953925,939495,131452,122947,253−21 314
1981513,469456,958970,427520,370466,266986,636−16 209
1982500,946445,341946,287502,856448,174951,030−4 743

From 1968 to 1970 there was an alteration in the net migration flow. This is illustrated in the following graph 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 which has not occurred since the depression of the 1930s. Although this period was followed by 6 years of migration gains, the March years 1976–77 to 1981–82 recorded substantial annual losses, totalling an excess of 107 236 departures over arrivals. However, the 1982–83 year has shown a reversal of this trend, recording an excess of 15 442 arrivals.

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 9, Travel and Tourism.) In the year ended March 1983 there was a net gain of 3180 from permanent and long-term migration. The main area of change was in the number of departures, which decreased by 14 100 or 24.8 percent.

Year Ended 31 MarchLong-term (Including Permanent) ArrivalsLong-term (Including Permanent) Departures
Permanent ArrivalsLong-termPermanent and Long-term Arrivals (Immigrants)Permanent Departures of New Zealand ResidentsLong-termPermanent and Long-term Departures (Emigrants)
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. Departures: persons intending to stay away for, or after stay in New Zealand of, 12 months or more.

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

Year Ended 31 MarchAustralia*United KingdomUnited StatesWestern Samoa*Cook Islands and Niue*CanadaOceaniaEuropeAsiaAll Other CountriesTotal

* Included in Oceania.

†Included in Europe.

‡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 1983.

Age, in YearsPermanent and Long-term ArrivalsPermanent and Long-term DeparturesExcess of Arrivals Over Departures*
* A minus sign denotes an excess of departures over arrivals.
Under 155,3015,02810,3294,1033,9118,0142,315
15–191,5911,7043,2951,8752,6194,494−1 199
20–244,0324,6918,7236,0956,09512,190−3 467
45 and over2,0321,9553,9871,7851,8043,589398
    Total23 55822 29645 85421 84320 83142 6743 180

Occupations—The following table shows permanent and long-term arrivals and departures during the year ended 31 March 1983 by occupation major groups and by those occupations or groups of occupations which were the main contributors to the movement within each major group.

OccupationPermanent and Long-term Migrants
ArrivalsDeparturesNet Gain or Loss
* Protective service workers include fire fighters, policemen, detectives, security officers, night watchmen, etc.
Professional, technical, and related workers
    Architects, engineers, and related technicians1,181957224
    Medical, dental, veterinary, and related workers2,1272,236−109
    Workers in religion32627353
                  Total7 9087 382526
Administrative and managerial workers
                      Total9611 00039
Clerical and related workers
    Stenographers, typists, and card and tape punching machine operators1,3231,23984
    Computing machine operators243322−79
                    Total3 8924 771879
Sales workers
    Salespeople, shop assistants, and related workers709892−183
                    Total1 3511 663312
Service workers
    Cooks, waiters and waitresses, bartenders, and related workers776869−93
    Protective service workers*289357−68
                    Total1 8082 136328
Agricultural, animal husbandry and forestry workers, fishermen, and hunters
    Agricultural and animal husbandry workers397553−156
                    Total1 0471 13992
Production and related workers, transport equipment operators, and labourers
    Food and beverage processors303550−247
    Tailors, dressmakers, sewers, and related workers247347−100
    Machinery fitters, machine assemblers, and precision instrument makers (except electrical)1,4281,289139
    Electrical fitters and related electrical and electronics workers533580−47
    Plumbers, welders, sheet-metal and structural metal preparers and erectors65455599
    Printers and related workers216278−62
    Bricklayers, carpenters, and other construction workers1,191878313
    Material-handling and related equipment operators, dockers, and freight handlers382434−52
    Transport equipment operators566590−24
    Labourers, not elsewhere classified9741,166−192
                    Total7 7308 117387
Occupations unidentifiable or inadequately described1 3051 085220
                    Total, actively engaged26 00227 2931 291
Not actively engaged19 85215 3814 471
                    Total arrivals and departures45 85442 6743 180

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 America1 5531 5061 7741 3261 1011 079
    United States1,0551,0081,217864679789
South America8884951198966
Europe9 73611 34610 7339 0656 5845 326
    United Kingdom7,3738,6097,8977,5505,2624,184
Asia3 6992 6932 4351 6791 5071 374
Oceania29 38229 20230 28457 10047 12334 563
    Cook Islands and Niue758696707595486441
    New Zealand22,14322,46223,08750,65741,99430,628
Other Countries442338193014
                Total44 96545 29245 85469 79056 77442 674

IMMIGRATION POLICY—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.

Further information may be obtained from the nearest New Zealand overseas representative, from district offices of the Department of Labour, or by writing to the Secretary of Labour, Department of Labour, Private Bag, Wellington.

CITIZENSHIP—The current basic legislation of New Zealand citizenship is the Citizenship Act 1977, and the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982, which are administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. Prior to the 1977 Act, the relevant legislation was the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948.

Citizenship Act 1977—Under the Citizenship Act 1977, New Zealand citizenship may be acquired in the following ways:

  1. by birth in New Zealand;

  2. by descent (i.e., birth outside New Zealand);

  3. by grant of citizenship.

Those persons who were citizens under the 1948 Act (whether by birth, descent, naturalisation, registration or under transitional provisions) at 31 December 1977, retain their status under the 1977 Act. The 1977 Act also introduced citizenship by descent through the female line, and citizenship by adoption.

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:

  1. have resided in New Zealand for the 3 years immediately preceding the date of application;

  2. be entitled in the terms of the Immigration Act 1964 to reside in New Zealand permanently;

  3. be of full capacity;

  4. be of good character;

  5. have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of the responsibilities and privileges attaching to New Zealand citizenship;

  6. 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.

Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982—This Act provides primarily for the grant of citizenship to any person who—

  1. can establish that he/she is a Western Samoan citizen or that he/she comes within the specified degrees of association with Western Samoa; and who either

  2. was in New Zealand at any time on 14 September 1982; or

  3. lawfully entered New Zealand on or after 15 September 1982 and is entitled to reside in New Zealand permanently in terms of the Immigration Act 1964.

Under the 1977 and 1982 Acts, adults who acquired New Zealand citizenship by grant may be asked to swear allegiance to the Queen of New Zealand. Commonwealth citizens (British subjects) whose country recognises Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State are asked to take the oath on the application form. Other persons holding citizenship of a country which does not give this recognition are conditionally approved as New Zealand citizens, and are required to swear allegiance at a private or public ceremony to make the grant effective. Apart from this one differentiation, the 1977 Act treats aliens (non-British subjects) on exactly the same basis as British subjects. The requirement that aliens be registered was abolished on the introduction of this Act.

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 exercise any of the privileges or perform 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.

There was a marked increase in applications for citizenship during the year ended 31 March 1983. Applications received totalled 13 728 compared with 12 396 during the previous year, and 13 458 persons were granted citizenship.

Permanent Entry on Occupational Grounds—The New Zealand Government periodically determines the occupational skills in demand in New Zealand which warrant recruitment from overseas. A list of these skills, called the Occupational Priority List (OPL), is published by the Department of Labour to assist employers who are unable to fill job vacancies from within New Zealand.

Another measure adopted to assist employers is the Immigration Placement Service (IPS), which operates through the Migration Branch of the New Zealand High Commission in London and the Employment and Vocational Guidance Service of the Department of Labour. This service provides employers with information on suitably qualified prospective migrants in the United Kingdom.

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 of good character, and, if married, have no more than 4 dependent children. Accommodation and employment are usually required to be prearranged.

In certain skilled occupations where there is a known shortage in New Zealand, the New Zealand Government has relaxed the criteria for entry by waiving the requirement of employment and accommodation guarantees. This applies to suitable applicants from selected countries, who are single or married couples without children. There is also provision for the entry of business people and entrepreneurs who can bring both skills and capital which the Government considers will benefit New Zealand, for example, by creating additional employment opportunities or by generating new exports.

Applications are occasionally received from persons who have distinguished themselves in the arts or sciences, or in public or cultural life overseas, and who wish to settle in New Zealand. Although they could make a major contribution to New Zealand life, most of them do not qualify in terms of normal occupational criteria. In the same way, applications are sometimes received from persons who, although outside normal criteria, have been actively involved in promoting or protecting New Zealand's interests overseas. The Minister of Immigration may approve such applications in appropriate cases.

Family Reunification—The policy on family reunification provides for the entry of relatives who are spouses and/or dependent children of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents; parents of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents if they have no children living in their own country; brothers, sisters, and children of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents if they are single without dependants, and alone in their country of residence. Other cases where there are special circumstances such as a high degree of financial or emotional dependence on the New Zealand citizen or permanent resident may also be considered.

Western Samoa—Within the South Pacific region, immigrants from Western Samoa constitute by far the largest group entering New Zealand for permanent settlement, under a special quota arrangement instituted in 1962. Up to 1100 Western Samoan citizens may be accepted for permanent entry each year, over and above those who qualify under the family reunification provisions of the immigration policy. Applicants who seek entry under the quota are required to meet normal requirements in relation to age, family size, health, character, and accommodation, and to be in possession of a guarantee of employment in any occupation, prior to entry.

As a result of the passing of the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 by the New Zealand Parliament in September 1982, many Western Samoan citizens who were in New Zealand at that time became eligible to apply to the Department of Internal Affairs for New Zealand citizenship. Applications from Western Samoan citizens for permanent residence in New Zealand continue to be considered in accordance with the policies outlined above.

The Netherlands—Under the terms of a migration agreement between the Netherlands and New Zealand, an annual quota of immigrants from the Netherlands is accepted. Migrants accepted under this arrangement are required to meet normal criteria with respect to age, family size, health and character, and the Netherlands Emigration Service guarantees to place such migrants in employment and accommodation after arrival.

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. 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.

Where refugees arrive in large groups (e.g., as in the Indo-Chinese Refugee Programme) the Government provides special assistance in the form of group orientation programmes for up to 6 weeks 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 refugee settlers 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 in a local community.

Resettlement committees at each of the district offices of the Department of Labour assist refugee sponsors at the local level with employment and any other problems that the refugees may face, as well as following up each local group's progress.

Current policy establishes quotas of refugees who may be accepted for entry, and the quotas are kept under review. Quotas approved in the continuing programme of acceptance of East European, Russian, Jewish, and handicapped refugees provide for the entry of 90 families. The New Zealand Government agreed to the entry of up to 650 Indo-Chinese refugees for resettlement in New Zealand between 1 July 1983 and 30 June 1984. Priority was given to those refugees with immediate family already resident in New Zealand. Once established in New Zealand, refugee settlers may sponsor the entry of relatives to New Zealand for family reunification under normal family reunification policy. During 1983, 626 Indo-Chinese refugees arrived for resettlement bringing the total number of Indo-Chinese refugee settlers in New Zealand to 5305 at the end of 1983.

In November 1982 the Government agreed to resettle a third group of 100 Polish refugees in New Zealand. By 31 March 1983, 292 Polish refugees had been resettled in New Zealand. When these migrants were selected, account was taken of their occupational skills and links with New Zealand. The East European quota is expected to cater for any future applications from Polish refugees.

Interdepartmental Committee on Resettlement—The Interdepartmental Committee on Resettlement (ICR), in consultation with other Government agencies and non-Government bodies, reviews the facilities available to assist new migrants, and as appropriate develops proposals to satisfy the reasonable requirements of new migrants.

Resettlement Unit—As a part of the Immigration Division of the Department of Labour, the Resettlement Unit's role is to assess the range of settlement services available to new settlers and working visitors, and to make recommendations to Government agencies, the ICR and other interested bodies. Work undertaken by the Resettlement Unit this year has been aimed at fostering a better understanding in New Zealand of the difficulties faced by migrants and working visitors, encouraging recognition of the value of the contribution that new settlers make to New Zealand society, and suggesting ways in which these settlers may be assisted to take their place in the community. The Unit has focussed its attention on the information needs of migrants, and ways in which they can be better informed about New Zealand and the services available to them in New Zealand.

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.

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 be granted to overseas students to undertake approved courses of study, provided they make prior application and meet a number of requirements (including producing evidence of the availability of the necessary funds). The primary aim in permitting students from other countries to study in New Zealand is to train them to a stage where they can be of value in the development programmes of their own countries. For this reason, students from developing nations have preference.

Entry Permits—Except for New Zealand citizens and certain other categories of travellers listed below under “Special Arrangements” and “Trans-Tasman Travellers”, all persons entering New Zealand are required to obtain entry permits under the Immigration Act 1964. All persons intending permanent residence in New Zealand should seek prior approval before setting out on their journey. This may be done by writing to the nearest overseas representative of the New Zealand Government or to the Secretary of Labour, Private Bag, Wellington, New Zealand for the necessary application forms. Visitors to New Zealand from a number of countries may not require visas or prior entry authority, provided the purpose of entry is for tourism or to visit family and friends. Further details are available from the nearest overseas representative of New Zealand.

Departure from New Zealand—All persons leaving New Zealand must have a valid travel document (except for short visits by New Zealand citizens to Rarotonga and direct return). As from 1 July 1981 New Zealand citizens were required to have a passport to enter Australia. This greatly affected the number of passports issued as noted below. New Zealand citizens do not require a visa to enter Australia.

Passports—All persons who arrive in New Zealand, except New Zealand citizens travelling direct from Australia and certain other trans-Tasman travellers listed below, may be required to produce a valid passport or some other acceptable and recognised travel document. Authority for the issue of passports in New Zealand and by New Zealand representatives overseas is contained in the Passports Act 1980.

New Zealand passports are issued and renewed within New Zealand by the Department of Internal Affairs at Wellington, Auckland, Rotorua, 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, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, Noumea, Nuku'alofa, Ottawa, Paris, Peking, Port Moresby, Rome, San Francisco, Santiago (Chile), Seoul, Singapore, Suva, Sydney, Tehran, Tokyo, Vancouver, Vienna, and Washington.

United Kingdom, Canadian, Australian, Malaysian, Singapore, Fijian, Western Samoan, and Indian passports are issued and renewed in New Zealand by the respective High Commissioners for those countries.

During the year ended 31 March 1983 there were 173 950 New Zealand passports issued, compared with 242 441 during the previous year.

Special Arrangements for Australian Citizens—Australian citizens are exempt from New Zealand entry permit requirements (but not from other provisions of the Immigration Act). They are not required to produce a passport on arrival in New Zealand if they have travelled direct from Australia.

Trans-Tasman Travellers—British Commonwealth citizens and citizens of the Republic of Ireland who have been granted permission to reside indefinitely without restriction in Australia, providing they have travelled direct from Australia to New Zealand, are not required to obtain a prior entry authority or to produce a passport on arrival. They may, however, be asked to produce some evidence of their entitlement to the exemption. These travellers are not exempted from other provisions of the Immigration Act.

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 under the Immigration Act 1964.

Re-entry—Persons who have the status of permanent residents lose their residential status when they travel out of the country, unless they have first obtained a re-entry authority. Multiple re-entry authorities are valid for a period of up to four years and entitle the holder to leave and return to New Zealand on any number of occasions while the authority remains valid. Application for a re-entry authority may be lodged at any district office of the Department of Labour before departure.

Remaining in New Zealand Without a Permit—Persons who remain in New Zealand beyond the validity of a temporary permit are committing an offence against the Immigration Act and, if convicted, are liable to be deported.

Deportation—The Immigration Act 1964 makes provision for the deportation of persons in four main categories: persons convicted of certain offences against the Immigration Act; permanent residents who are convicted within specified periods of their arrival in New Zealand of an offence 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 the Minister of Immigration has certified 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 deportation on the grounds that it would be unduly harsh or unjust to deport them. In addition, a Deportation Review Tribunal is empowered to hear appeals on humanitarian grounds from permanent residents against deportation orders following convictions for criminal offences.


In the past 30 years there has been a marked change in the social and economic factors which affect traditional roles in the community. These factors include changes in the structure of the population, in the family cycle and its composition, and employment opportunities available for both men and women.

This process of social and economic change is characteristic of industrialised nations in particular. It has led to increasing attention to the role and status of women, including the commitment of the international community to the United Nations Decade for Women 1975–85, and the recommendation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1981).

It is in this context, that the following government bodies have been established. Their role is to promote and advise the Government of the day on particular issues relating to the achievement of equal opportunities for women, and their full integration into all aspects of national life.

National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW)—The increase in the numbers and proportion of women in the paid workforce in the fifties and sixties, led employers, unions, and women themselves, to recognise that wages and conditions of employment for women required attention. Legislation (both protective and restrictive), regulations and practices prevented women from enjoying equal opportunity in the workplace. In response to this concern, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) was established in 1967.

The council was charged with the responsibility of advising the Minister of Labour on all matters relating to the employment of women in New Zealand for example: equal pay, part-time work, child care, parental leave, and positive action to promote equal opportunity for women in the workforce. It also has responsibility for promoting a greater public awareness and understanding of all aspects of women's employment.

The NACEW is composed of a chairperson and 12 other members. The Chair and 6 council members are appointed by the Minister of Labour for their knowledge and experience in women's employment matters. The remaining 6 members represent employer and employee organisations in the private and state sectors, and the Departments of Labour and Education.

Committee on Women—The Committee on Women had its origins in a National Development Council subcommittee established in 1969 and convened by Mrs (now Dame) Miriam Deli, and a paper produced by that subcommittee on “The Role of Women in National Development” in 1970.

In 1974 the NDC subcommittee was raised to full sector council status and its membership, under the Chair of Miriam Dell, was expanded from 3 to 5. At this time it was responsible to the Prime Minister and serviced through the Cabinet Office.

The committee was given responsibility for the implementation of International Women's Year (1975) and established a working party to organise the year's activities. One such activity was an evaluation of the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Women's Rights which had been published in June 1975.

In 1976 the Committee on Women was expanded to a total membership of 12. Miriam Dell was appointed as Chair, and the 11 additional members were appointed as individuals, with the exception of an ex officio representative of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women.

Responsibility for the Committee on Women was returned to the Minister for National Development, and the committee was charged with the following tasks:

  1. to promote the objectives of the World Plan of action for IWY and the UN Decade for Women;

  2. to assess New Zealand's progress towards achievement of these objectives;

  3. to advise the Government through the Minister for National Development on these and all other matters affecting women in New Zealand.

These tasks were expanded in 1978 to include administration of a special project fund of $25,000 per annum, set up to provide assistance for projects of benefit to women, e.g., the establishment of women's centres, production of resources, exhibitions, training courses and cultural activities.

In 1979, responsibility for the Committee on Women passed to the Minister of Justice, the Hon. J. K. McLay, who was appointed to the newly-created Cabinet position of Government Spokesman on Women's Affairs. In 1981 the committee was restructured as the Advisory Committee on Women's Affairs and given expanded terms of reference (see ACWA below).

Advisory Committee on Women's Affairs (ACWA)—In September 1981 the Committee on Women was reconstructed and became the Advisory Committee on Women's Affairs to the Government on matters affecting women. Members are appointed by the Government, not as representatives of any particular organisations or special interests, but as individuals who are familiar with a wide range of issues affecting women. ACWA currently has 7 members, including the Chair.

The ACWA's terms of reference are:

  1. to evaluate government policies on the basis of the identified needs of women in New Zealand;

  2. to generate appropriate policies on the basis of the identified needs of women in New Zealand;

  3. to promote the co-ordination of activities, programmes and policies of all agencies relevant to the concerns of women.

In addition to these, ACWA has continued with activities originally undertaken by the Committee on Women, such as administration of the Project Fund (which remains at $25,000), production of a news sheet, promotion of the UN Decade for Women, and maintenance of the women's resources library.

It also houses end provides administrative assistance for the Women's Appointment File (WAF), which is a curriculum vitae resource of over 600 women who are willing and available to serve on government boards and committees.

The WAF was set up in 1979 and aims to counteract the imbalance of men and women in public office, and to encourage greater participation by women in the decision-making process. It is currently managed by a voluntary committee comprising various representatives of voluntary women's organisations.

One of ACWA's most important functions is that of liaison with women and women's groups throughout New Zealand, to ensure that the committee can fairly represent and articulate the views and the needs of New Zealand women to the Government.

To this end, women's groups and individuals are encouraged to maintain close contact with ACWA, and committee members accept a large number of speaking engagements throughout New Zealand. The quarterly news sheet, which outlines ACWA's current activities and reports on national and international items of interest to women, is another medium through which this important liaison is effected.

To enable the committee to deal with its extensive brief, a subcommittee structure has been evolved reflecting the areas of concern to ACWA. It is a flexible structure, and the subcommittees are convened to respond to particular issues and needs as they arise, or are identified. The subcommittees currently in operation are Economic Status, Education, Health, International Statistics, and Violence.

Women's Advisory Committee of the Vocational Training Council (WAC/VTC)—The Women's Advisory Committee of the Vocational Training Council was established in 1975 to advise the council on matters relating to women's training and to act as a catalyst to change the traditional attitudes affecting the vocational training of women and girls. The council, which formerly reported to the Minister of Education, now reports to the Minister of Labour.

Membership of the committee comprises representatives from the Federation of Labour, the Employers Federation, State Services Co-ordinating Committee, the Combined State Unions, the Departments of Education and Labour, the Technical Institute/Community College system, the Polynesian Advisory Committee of the VTC, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, and the Advisory Committee on Women's Affairs. There is also provision for an additional person with experience and knowledge of the special needs of women in relation to training and employment.

The committee is chaired by a Ministerial appointee to the VTC.

Since its establishment, the committee has been directing its efforts towards achieving equality of opportunity for women in the areas of training, and the promotion of non-traditional occupations for women is one of its current major programmes.

National Advisory Committee on Women and Education (NACWE)—The National Advisory Committee on Women and Education replaced an ad hoc committee originally set up to organise the 1975 conference “Education and the Equality of the Sexes” which was jointly sponsored by the Committee on Women and the Department of Education. This ad hoc committee continued in order to monitor the implementation of recommendations from the conference, and its work expanded to the extent that the Minister of Education set up a formal advisory committee in 1979.

The NACWE had 16 members, representative of relevant interest groups, who advised the Minister of Education on matters pertaining to the education of girls and women; the achievement of equality of opportunity and treatment for women in the education service; and ways in which the education system could contribute to equality of the sexes in New Zealand society.

The NACWE was disestablished by the Government in June 1982, and its work programme passed to various sections of the Department of Education. The Chair of NACWE was subsequently appointed to ACWA.

Legislation—The following legislation, either removing legal discriminations against women or directly aimed at assisting women, has been passed since 1970.

Domestic Proceedings Amendment Act 1971—Extended provisions for maintenance orders.

Equal Pay Act 1972—Established the principle of equal pay for equal work without discrimination on the basis of sex.

Social Security Amendment Act 1973—Established the domestic purposes benefit for solo parents.

Accident Compensation Amendment Act 1973—Extended compensation provisions to non- earners.

Matrimonial Property Act 1976—Provided for a more equitable division of property on the dissolution of a marriage.

Domicile Act 1976—Provided that a woman's domicile does not have to follow that of her husband.

Social Security Amendment Act 1977—Introduced national superannuation without discrimination.

Human Rights Commission Act 1977—Prohibited discrimination in such areas as employment, and access to goods and services on the grounds of sex or marital status.

Citizenship Act 1977—Accorded all New Zealand citizens the same rights with respect to the citizenship of spouses and children.

Social Security Amendment Act 1979—Provided for the payment of sickness and unemployment benefits to women and men on an equal basis.

Evidence Amendment Act 1980—Provided some restrictions on the cross-examination or presentation of evidence pertaining to a victim's sexual history.

Family Courts Act 1980—Removed family law to special court with special support services.

Family Proceedings Act 1980—Introduced no fault dissolution of marriage, and revised the law relating to matrimonial and domestic proceedings.

Guardianship Amendment Act 1980—Introduced custodial provisions which ensure that the welfare of the child is paramount and no one person can be preferred as custodial parent on the basis of sex.

Maternity Leave and Employment Protection Act 1980—Guaranteed up to 26 weeks unpaid leave to most women workers expecting a baby or planning to adopt a young child.

Factories and Commercial Premises Amendment Act 1981—Lifted restrictions on women working during night hours.

Domestic Protection Act 1982—Extended protection to the victims of domestic violence in whatever situation this occurs.

Coal Mines Amendment Act 1983—Provided for the repeal of the restriction on employment of women underground. New Zealand is no longer bound by the International Labour Convention 45.

Estate and Gift Duties Amendment Act 1983—Provided for a gift duty exemption where a matrimonial property agreement results in the non-owner spouse receiving half the matrimonial property.

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 or, in some cases, Government Bookshops. 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—External Migration

Vital Statistics

Department of Statistics (Annual)

Census of Population and Dwellings 1981—Department of Statistics.

Regional Statistics Series

Bulletin 1–10 (Each bulletin gives final population, dwelling, and household statistics on a major area of New Zealand)

Vol. 1—Pt. A—Location and Increase of Population.

Pt. B—Population Density.

Pt. C—Usually Resident Population.

Vol. 2—Ages, Marital Status, and Fertility.

Vol. 3—Religious Professions.

Vol. 4—Labour Force.

Vol. 5—Incomes.

Vol. 6—Education and Training.

Vol. 7—Birthplaces and Ethnic Origin.

Vol. 8AMaori Population and Dwellings.

8B—Pacific Island Polynesian Population.

Vol. 9—Dwellings.

Vol. 10—Households, and Families.

Vol. 11Internal Migration.

1983 Electorate Profiles.

Bulletin on Cigarette Smoking.

Monthly Abstract of Statistics—Department of Statistics.

Demographic Bulletin—Department of Statistics.

New Zealand Population Projections 1983–2016—Department of Statistics.

Pocket Digest of Statistics—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.

Occasional Paper Series—Department of Statistics.

No. 4—New Zealand Rural Profile.

No. 5—An Investigation of Official Ethnic Statistics.

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

Maps of Statistical Boundaries—Department of Statistics.

Report of the Department of Maori Affairs (Parl. paper E. 13).

Chapter 4. Section 4


The major components of population growth are natural increase and migration. The varying rate of New Zealand's population growth in recent years has been a result of changes in both components. The balance of migration showed an annual loss during 1976–81, but is now providing net gain to population growth. However the continued fall in the birth rate over the past 2 decades has substantially reduced the natural increase from the excess of births over deaths.

The following table shows the numbers and rates of natural increase for the latest 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

In the 5 years to 31 December 1983 New Zealand gained by natural increase of population a total of over 125 000.

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 1982.

CountryRate per 1000 of Population
BirthsDeathsNatural Increase
* As at 1981.
United States16.08.67.4
New Zealand15.78.07.7
United Kingdom*
West Germany10.111.6−1.5


REGISTRATION—The law regarding the 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 1982 they totalled 487.

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 crude birth rate fell in the early 1960s and in the later 1960s appeared to stabilise at 22 to 23 births per 1000 of mean population. During the 1970s the crude birth rate continued to decline, and following a period of stability in the late 1970s, has fallen again.

A more refined cross-sectional measure called the total fertility rate is also shown in the following table for the latest 5 years. The total fertility rate at which any population replaces itself, under certain conditions, is approximately 2.10 births per women. In New Zealand this situation is unlikely to arise until early next century because of the existing population age-structure.

YearLive BirthsCrude Birth Rate*Total Fertility Rate

* Per 1000 of mean population.

†Average number of births a woman would have during her reproductive life if she were exposed to the fertility rates characteristic of various childbearing age-groups.


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 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 of Population and Dwellings) together with the “crude” rate for the year.

Census YearBirth Rate per 1000 Women“Crude” Birth Rate per 1000 Mean Population
Married Women 16–44 YearsTotal Women 15–44 Years
* New Zealand residents.

The percentage of married women among women in the child-bearing age groups was 61.8 in 1981 compared with 66.0 in 1966. 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 also varies with age, the change in age composition over the period is a factor which should be taken into account.

The following diagram shows numbers of births and deaths and indicates the current decreasing 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 female children born to women in the reproductive age groups at any given time. The gross rate is based on the average number of girls that will be born to a woman during her reproductive period given the prevailing age-specific fertility rates. The net rate takes into account prevailing mortality rates. A net rate of 1.0 indicates zero population growth if the population is closed to migration, and its age-sex structure has long-term stability.

Reproduction rates during the 6 most recent years were as follows:

YearGross 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 disparity in births that is outweighed by 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 1982 was 12.96 for boys and 10.48 for girls. Per 1000 mean population the death rate for children of from 1 to 4 years of age was 0.67 for boys and 0.63 for girls; for children aged 5 to 14 years it was 0.31 for boys and 0.23 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 1982 there were 493 confinements resulting in all live multiple births, including 7 cases of triplets. There were also 13 cases where one of the twins was stillborn, 3 cases where both twins were stillborn, and 3 cases where one triplet was stillborn.

YearSingle BirthsTwin BirthsTripletsTotal CasesStill Birth Rate per 1000
LiveStillBoth LiveBoth StillOne Live One StillAll LiveTwo Live One StillSingleMultipleSingle CasesMultiple Cases
* Including 1 case of quadruplets all live-born.

AGES OF PARENTS—Information on the relative ages of parents of nuptial living children whose births were registered in 1982 is shown in the following table. 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 8 cases of triplets, 5 cases all live born, and 3 cases where one was stillborn.
 Single Births
Under 201828091763492121,215
45 and over24126125
        Total2805 94314 46511 2603 9731 235378128651037 737
 Multiple Births
Under 2015118
45 and over
            Grand Total2835 98614 62011 4064 0121 253380132651038 147

PREVIOUS ISSUE OF PARENTS—The following table gives for 1982 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
 Number of Mothers
Under 209362741211,223
45 and over215438225
        Total14 37013 2046 7392 4777783072551738 147

In the following table the total issue and average issue are shown for mothers by age groups where a birth occurred in 1982.

Age of Mother, in YearsTotal MothersTotal IssueAverage Issue
Under 201,2231,5321.25
45 and over251495.96
        Total38 14779 2452.08

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 1982) 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 resulting from existing marriages only. The averages for recent years have been as follows: 1976, 2.17; 1977, 2.13; 1978, 2.11; 1979, 2.11; 1980, 2.07; 1981, 2.08; and 1982. 2.08.

FIRST BIRTH—Statistics of nuptial first confinements show that, during the last 5 years, the percentages of first confinements during the first year and first 2 years after marriage have stabilised at a lower level than that prevailing in earlier periods.

YearTotal Nuptial CasesTotal Nuptial First CasesPercentage of First Cases to Total CasesFirst Cases Within 1 Year After MarriageFirst Cases Within 2 Years After Marriage
NumberPercentage to Total First CasesNumberPercentage to Total First Cases

The following table gives the duration-of-marriage factor in first confinements over a longer time series.

Duration of Marriage, in YearsPercentage of Total First Confinements
Under 146.2542.6432.3825.3424.44
10 and over1.110.940.551.011.25

In the following table first confinements occurring to mothers in different age groups are expressed as a percentage of the total first confinements.

Age of Mother, in YearsPercentage of Total First Confinements
Under 208.909.0817.967.776.51
45 and over0.

The average ages of mothers at the birth of their first child were as follows: 1964, 23.65; 1974, 23.29; 1979, 24.64; 1980, 24.76; 1981, 24.88; and 1982, 25.13 years. These figures refer to nuptial births only.

EX-NUPTIAL LIVE BIRTHS—The numbers of ex-nuptial births registered during each of the last 6 years are given in the following table. The ex-nuptial birth rate relates ex-nuptial births to the number of unmarried women aged 15–49 years and is a more relevant measure than the previously published percentage of ex-nuptial births to total births. Ex-nuptial births include children born to couples living in a de facto relationship.


* Per 1000 mean number of not-married women aged 15–49 years.



In 1982 the total number of ex-nuptial confinements resulting in live births was 11 288. Of these, 11 189 cases were single births, 97 cases were twins, and there were 2 cases of triplets. There were 3 cases of twins where 1 child was stillborn. The total number of ex-nuptial live births was 11 386. From the following table, it can be seen that of the 11 288 mothers, 3853 or 34.13 percent were under 20 years of age.

AgeNumber of Mothers
45 and over6
        Total11 288

Reregistration—An ex-nuptial child whose parents have later married may be reregistered from birth. 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: 1976, 1478; 1977, 1284; 1978, 1288; 1979, 1075; 1980, 1328; 1981, 1473; and 1982, 1430.

Under the former provisions of section 10 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1974, social workers were required to make enquiries into all ex-nuptial births. The purpose of these enquiries was to establish the circumstances of both mother and child and offer help and advice where necessary.

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 Infants19811982
Reregistered after marriage of parents11111852
Remaining with mother (parents cohabiting)3,117424,27548
Remaining with mother (parents not cohabiting)2,517342,80531
Placed with relatives19933334
Placed with strangers with view to adoption41853794
Placed with strangers, no expressed wish to adoption12..11..
In children's home or other institution on a long-term basis8..11..
Committed to care of Social Welfare7..9..
Not traced1,0181487510
                    Total7 4571008 922100

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

Calendar YearTotal

The following table, which relates only to cases handled by the Department of Social Welfare, shows the number and status of children adopted over the last 5 years ended 31 March.

Status of Children Adopted19781979198019811982
* 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*81205317297328
                Total2 1301 9541 9571 6471 582

In 1982, 57 percent of the children adopted were born out of wedlock. Of these children born out of wedlock. 64 percent were aged less than 1 year at the time of placement for adoption.

The next table shows the age at placement according to the status of the children adopted in 1982.

AgeNuptialEx-nuptialNot KnownTotal
* These are cases where, because one of the applicants is the child's natural parent, a social worker's report has been called for.
Under 1 year5058217649
1–5 years2451378
6 years and over1112427
Not known*260264304828
                Total3459093281 582

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

One parent and spouse782773894763782
Relative or close friend281336348328322
                    Total2 1301 9541 9571 6471 582

STILLBIRTHS—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 stillborn child is defined as one “which has issued from its mother after the expiration of the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy and which was not alive at the time of such issue”. Stillbirths 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 following table shows for the latest 6 years the numbers of still births and the rate per 1000 total births.



The death rate (by which is usually meant the crude death rate i.e: 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 8.80 in 1930 and 50 years later, in 1980, it was 8.48. In between, it had reached a peak of 11.05 in 1942, during the Second World War, and a low point of 7.85 in 1978. In contrast, the birth rate (19.30 in 1930 and 15.69 in 1982) had been as high as 27.64 in 1947 and is now below even the level of the 1930s Depression years. Depressions, wars, peace, prosperity, changing social attitudes, 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 ancestory 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 two or more populations with different age structures, such as the Maori and non-Maori population 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 1982 figures, a comparison is supplied in age-specific rates for the two races in each sex (age-specific rates are the number of deaths per 10 000 or per 1000, etc. of the population in the specified age groups).

Ethnic GroupAge-specific Death Rates per 10 000 of Population at Ages
Under 5 Years5–14 Years15–24 Years25–44 Years45–64 Years65 Years and Over
 Both Sexes

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

YearDeaths of MalesDeaths of FemalesTotal DeathsMale Deaths to Every 100 Female Deaths
* Deaths per 1000 of mean population.

DISTRIBUTION OF DEATHS OVER THE YEAR—In 1982 the months during which the greatest number of deaths occurred were July and August, with totals of 2427 and 2360 respectively. Excluding December (a proportion of deaths occurring in that month were not registered until January 1983), February had the least number of deaths, 1754, followed by January with 1898.

AGES AT DEATH—Deaths registered during the year 1982 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*333254587
100 and over116273
        Total13 83211 70025 532

In the following table is given a time series for rates of death per 1000 of mean population by age groups. Health measures in New Zealand have achieved an immense saving of young life and a prolongation of life, especially among elderly women.

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

* Per 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 relate to the non-Maori population only

 Age (years)

MAORI DEATHS—There were 1326 Maori deaths registered in 1983, compared with 1318 for 1982, and 1290 for 1981 (Maori ethnicity is defined as persons with half or more Maori ancestry). The crude death rate was 4.62 per 1000 mean population in 1983, compared with 4.65 in 1982, and 4.61 in 1981. Of the 1326 Maori deaths registered, 785 were males, and 541 females. The average age of death of Maoris in 1982 was 50.92 years and 52.54 years for males and females respectively. The younger age composition of the Maori population is an important factor to take into consideration when comparing figures on crude death rates and average age of deaths with other populations.

EXPECTATION OF LIFE—Life tables, which depict the pattern of mortality over the age span of life for particular calendar periods for the total New Zealand population, have been constructed at

regular intervals since 1950–52. The most recent tables prepared by the Department of Statistics are provisional tables based on mean populations together with mortality statistics for the calendar years 1980–82.

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 total population in New Zealand, is shown in the table below. The overall longer span of life enjoyed by females, compared with males, is evident.

Further details concerning life table methodology and construction and trends in New Zealand life expectancies can be obtained from New Zealand Life Tables 1975–77, obtainable from Government bookshops.

Exact Age (Years)Life Expectancy (Years)*
* Provisional.

The trend since 1950–52 in the life expectancy of New Zealand's population has generally been a slow but steady improvement for both sexes. This improvement has been striking for the younger ages but less significant for the oldest ages, and only marginal for males. Between 1975–77 and 1980–82 there has been a sharp increase in life expectancy in all ages.

Life TableLife Expectancy (Years)
Males Aged ExactlyFemales Aged Exactly
* Provisional.

The expectation of life at various ages for the Maori population is shown in the following table, which is based on provisional life tables for 1980–82.

Exact Age (Years)Life Expectancy (Years)*
* Provisional.

Life expectancy at birth for Maori males increased by 2.09 years between 1975–1977 and 1980–1982 while that for Maori females increased by 2.09 years. These increases in Maori life expectancy are, however, slightly understated because of problems of classification of ethnic origin and non-response to the relevant question at the 1976 Census of Population and Dwellings. These led to an overstatement of the Maori population exposed-to-risk of mortality during 1975–77, and Maori life-expectancy at all ages was consequently overstated. The opposite is true for non-Maoris.

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 5.22 years greater for non-Maori males and 6.97 years greater for non-Maori females. For the period 1975–77, the differences were 6.02 years and 8.13 years respectively.

The table below compares the life expectancy at birth for the total population of New Zealand with that for selected overseas countries. Source: United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1981.

CountryPeriodLife Expectancy at Birth (Years)
England and Wales1977–7970.2076.40
New Zealand1980–8270.3476.42
United States197969.9077.80

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, exceeding 50 percent in the past 3 years. The following table relates cremations to the number of deaths since 1950. Prior to 1970 the statistics concern deaths of non-Maoris only.

YearDeaths RegisteredCremationsRate per 100 Deaths Registered

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

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

Medical practitioners certified 81 percent of deaths registered in 1981 and 19 percent were certified by coroners. Of the deaths certified by doctors, 13 percent were subject to autopsy whilst 99 percent of deaths certified by coroners were subject to autopsy. Overall, 29 percent of all deaths had autopsies performed.

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

The following table is a summary of causes of death, numbers and rate per million of mean population for the years 1979 to 1981. New Zealand adopted the Ninth Revision of the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases in 1979. As a result, care must be taken when comparing figures since 1979 with those for previous years. Rates particularly affected are asterisked in the Cause of Death table.

The sharp increase in rates for “All other accidents” in 1979 and 1980 is chiefly attributable to the effects of the Mount Erebus air disaster in 1979. Over half of those deaths were not registered until 1980.

Cause of DeathNumber of DeathsRate per Million of Mean Population
* Data which is not comparable with years prior to 1979 is due to introduction of 9th Revision of WHO International Classification of Diseases.
Enteritis and other diarrhoeal diseases3624191286
Tuberculosis of respiratory system252019866
Other tuberculosis including late effects314430101410
Infectious hepatitis141213444
Syphilis and its sequelae324111
All other infective and parasitic diseases567170182322
Malignant neoplasm5,3665,4655,5881,7171,7451,770
Benign neoplasm and neoplasm of unspecified nature333239111012
Diseases of thyroid gland172524588
Diabetes mellitus382446388122142123
Avitaminoses and other nutritional deficiency9116342
Alcoholic psychosis and alcoholism*2634208116
Multiple sclerosis262619886
Paralysis agitans856761272119
Chronic rheumatic heart disease*162156128525041
Hypertensive disease36232929111610592
Ischaemic heart disease7,1137,4597,1422,2772,3822,262
Other forms of heart disease*1,1441,0531,043366336330
Cerebrovascular disease3,0273,1582,9209691,009925
Diseases of arteries, arterioles, and capillaries634713623203228197
Acute respiratory infections including influenza5224162177720
Bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma*825958790264306250
Other diseases of respiratory system*559720642179230203
Peptic ulcer132156145425046
Intestinal obstruction and hernia987479312425
Cirrhosis of liver166149144534846
Diseases of gallbladder454445141414
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis*157188174506055
Infections of kidney483736151211
Hyperplasia of prostate3227221097
Complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium673221
Rheumatoid arthritis555851181916
Congenital anomalies261241212847767
Birth injury