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

Assistant Government Statistician: G. E. Dickinson, Director: K. W. Eddy, Executive Officer Publications and Marketing: M. M. O'Sullivan, Editorial staff: K. M. Carson, L. J. Collins, C. R. Linnell, J. H. Macdonald, Graphic designers: P. J. McGrath, M. A. Metcalfe, Photograph editor: J. R. Hames, Proofreaders: J. W. Hunt. M. S. Page.


Hei-tiki made of nephrite (New Zealand greenstone). This pendant from the Puawaitanga period (1500–1800AD) was crafted by a member(s) of the Kai Tahu tribe of the South Island. It was part of the acclaimed Te Maori Exhibition which closed in September 1987, and is usually housed in the Auckland Institute and Museum. Photograph: Brian Brake, courtesy of National Geographic Society.

CAT. NO. 01.001
ISSN 0078–0170

      (INCL. GST)

Table of Contents

List of Tables


In an age of increasingly detailed and specialist information the New Zealand Official Yearbook continues, in its 92nd edition, to follow one major ambition: the authoritative description of a country and its people in one volume.

For the general reader, both in New Zealand and overseas, it offers an introduction to social, economic and cultural life and institutions. For specialist users it is designed as a first point of reference, with relevant basic statistics and reference material, as well as directions to sources of further information.

The year of compilation for this edition has been one of great change in the New Zealand public sector. This change has affected both the organisations which contribute to the Yearbook and the subject matter within its pages. Every effort has been made to keep information on both legislation and institutions correct, with a cut-off date of mid-1987. However, some statistical series are slower to reflect these changes and there may be some minor inconsistencies between the text and tabular material.

Revision of the Yearbook is a continual process. Last year the order of presentation of material was substantially revised, and the format has been retained for this year. Two further chapters have been rewritten. Chapter 2, History has been revised and expanded by Mr David Green on behalf of the Historical Publications Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. Chapter 12. Employment has also been revised to give a more concise description of the labour market and includes a special article describing new labour relations legislation. The election night results of the 1987 General Election are summarised in a supplement to chapter 3, Government.

The New Zealand Official Yearbook is compiled and published by the Department of Statistics, mainly using contributions provided by other government departments and official organisations. I would like to again thank all contributors, the Government Printing Office, and departmental editorial staff for their efforts in producing the 92nd edition.

S. Kuzmicich,

September 1987.

Department of Statistics

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Census of Population and DwellingsPrivate Bag
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The Department of Statistics has an enquiries desk at every office. In answer to a letter, visit, or telephone call, enquiries officers can provide statistical information, or tell you more about the department's other services, including access to statistics on the INFOS computer database.

How to use this book

As a new reader of the New Zealand Official Yearbook you may be surprised at the range of information within its pages. But, like any other reference work, the Yearbook is only as effective as its information is accessible. The following notes are therefore included to familiarise you with the book.

What is the Yearbook?

During its long history the aims and functions of the New Zealand Official Yearbook have changed with the times. Today, its editors publish with two main purposes in mind. Firstly, it is a compendium of facts and figures on New Zealand. Secondly, it is an annual describing major changes in New Zealand's administrative framework for the year preceding publication.

The Yearbook does not usually contain the latest or most detailed statistics on particular topics, but it does tell its readers where the latest or more detailed figures or information are available from.

Finding your way

There are two likely ways you will look for information.

If your question is general, for example “How is New Zealand governed?”, then you will probably refer firstly to the table of contents (beginning overleaf) which lists not only chapter headings but major sections within chapters. In approaching the book this way it is worth bearing in mind that the 28 chapters follow a ‘logical’ progression. The first few chapters describe the physical setting as well as New Zealand's history, system of government and international relations. A description of its people comes next, followed by social framework and institutions. Chapters 12–25 describe New Zealand's workforce and industries (in the order of the Standard Industrial Classification), while the final chapters of the book discuss the nation in broad economic terms.

Throughout the book cross references are made, usually by reference to numbered sections within chapters (which appear at the head of each right handed page).

If, on the other hand, your question is more specific, for example “How many people drown while boating each year?”, then the book is thoroughly indexed, and a brief note on the system of indexing can be found on page 743.

Currency of statistics

Because the Yearbook covers such a broad range of subjects, few of its statistics are being published for the first time. Many statistics from government departments and other organisations have been published late in the year preceding publication.

For this edition the figures published are' the latest available at 1 January 1987.


If the source of a particular table is other than the Department of Statistics, then it is noted at the base of the table. Tables are usually for the year ended 31 March, or for the calendar year. Most tables indicate the months in which the years end, and where a single year is indicated and no month is mentioned the figures can be assumed to be for the calendar year. Where two years are given together, e.g., 1985–86, and no month is mentioned, it can be assumed the figures are for the year ended 31 March.

The following symbols are used in all the tables:

xrevised figure or figures
nil or zero
..figures not available
 not yet available—space left blank
Not applicable
..amount too small to be expressed
n.e.c.Not elsewhere classified
n.e.s.Not elsewhere specified

Figures are often rounded-off to the nearest thousand or some convenient unit. Sometimes this rounding results in tables with totals which disagree slightly with the total of the individual items shown.

Statistics from the 1981 and 1986 Censuses of Population and Dwellings have been subject to a process of random rounding, whereby all cell values, including row and column totals, have been rounded. Individual figures will therefore not necessarily sum to give the stated totals.

Weights and measures, and a glossary of statistical terms used, are given on pages 714 and 715 respectively.

Further information

If you require general information on a topic the ‘Further information’ section at the end of each chapter provides a brief list of official publications relevant to that chapter. The bibliography beginning on page 719 lists current books on New Zealand under subject headings.

There is a list of some of the publications of the Department of Statistics beginning on page 737.

Enquiries regarding statistics in tables sourced to other organisations should be addressed directly to the organisation concerned.


Your suggestions on the shape of future Yearbooks are welcome. Send them to the Editor. New Zealand Official Yearbook, Department of Statistics, Private Bag, Wellington.

Chapter 1. Geography

1.1 Physical features

New Zealand lies in the south-west Pacific Ocean and consists consists of two main, and a number of smaller islands, whose combined area of 268 000 square kilometres is similar to the size of Japan or the British Isles.

The main North and South Islands are separated by Cook Strait, which is relatively narrow. They lie on an axis running from north-east to south-west, except for the low-lying Northland peninsula. The administrative boundaries of New Zealand extend from 33 degrees to 53 degrees south latitude, and from 162 degrees east to 173 degrees west longitude. In addition to the main and nearby islands,

New Zealand also includes the following small inhabited outlying islands: the Chatham Islands, 850 kilometres east of Christchurch; Raoul Island in the Kermadec Group, 930 kilometres north-east of the Bay of Islands; and Campbell Island, 590 kilometres south of Stewart Island. New Zealand also has jurisdiction over the territories of Tokelau and the Ross Dependency, which are described in chapter 4.


Land AreaSize

* Includes the islands comprised by Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Counties.

Source: Department of Survey and Land Information.

 sq. km.
North Island*114669
Nearby islands69
South Island149883
Nearby islands4
Stewart Island1746
Chatham Islands963
Outlying islands778

New Zealand is more than 1600 kilometres long and 450 kilometres wide at its widest part, and has a long coastline for its area. The coast is very indented in places, providing many natural harbours.

New Zealand is also very mountainous, with less than a quarter of the land below 200 metres. In the North Island the main ranges run generally south-west, parallel to the coast, from East Cape to Cook Strait, with further ranges and four volcanic peaks to the north-west. The South Island is much more mountainous than the North Island. A massive mountain chain, the Southern Alps, runs almost the length of the island. There are many outlying ranges to the Southern Alps in the north, and the south-west of the South Island. There are at least 223 named peaks higher than 2300 metres. There are also 360 glaciers in the Southern Alps. The largest are, on the east, the Tasman (length 29 kilometres), Murchison (17 kilometres), Mueller (13 kilometres), Godley (13 kilometres) and the Hooker (11 kilometres), and, on the west, the Fox (15 kilometres) and the Franz Josef (13 kilometres).


Mountain or PeakHeight

* Since 1986 both the Maori and European names of this mountain have had official recognition.

†Peaks over 3000 metres.

Source: Department of Survey and Land Information.

North Island—
  Taranaki or Egmont*2518
South Island
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

New Zealand's rivers are mainly swift and difficult to navigate. They are important as sources of hydro-electric power and many artifical lakes have been created as part of major hydro-electric schemes. New Zealand also has numerous natural lakes of great scenic beauty.



*Over 150 kilometres in length from the mouth to the farthest point in the river system irrespective of name, including estimated courses through lakes.

Source: Department of Survey and Land Information.

North Island—
Flowing into the Pacific Ocean
Flowing into the Tasman Sea
South Island—
Flowing into Cook Strait
Flowing into the Pacific Ocean
Flowing into Foveaux Strait
Flowing into the Tasman Sea



*Over 20 square kilometres in area.

Source: Department of Survey and Land Information.

 sq. km.
North Island—
South Island—
  Te Anau344
  Benmore (artificial)75
  Aviemore (artificial)29
  Mahinerangi (artificial)21

1.2 Geology

New Zealand lies in an area of the world that is characterised by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. The ring of fire, as this area is known, forms a belt that surrounds the Pacific Ocean and is the surface expression of a series of boundaries between the plates that make up the surface of the earth. Plate tectonics is a theory that is used to explain the fundamental geological features of the earth. According to the theory the crust of the earth is made up of a series of plates, rather like a jigsaw puzzle. Although these surface plates are rigid, the rocks of the underlying layer of the earth, its upper mantle, are partially molten. This provides the convection mechanism for movement of the overlying plates. Over millions of years these plates have moved in relation to each other, colliding together, pulling apart, or sometimes sliding past each other. Because the boundary between the Indian-Australian plate and the Pacific plate runs through New Zealand, the processes resulting from their collision have had a profound effect on New Zealand's geology. When two plates collide, one is pushed beneath the other in a process known as subduction. The zones of subduction are defined by two deep sea trenches to the north and south of New Zealand, which are connected by the Alpine Fault. The size, shape and geology of New Zealand reflects the long process of construction and deformation along this plate boundary.

Rock types.

The interplay of earth movements and erosion has created the sedimentary rocks that cover almost three-quarters of New Zealand. With erosion of the land, sand, mud, gravel and other debris was carried out to sea, where it accumulated in great thicknesses to form rocks such as sandstone, mudstone, greywacke and conglomerate. The shells and skeletons or sea creatures also accumulated and formed thick layers of limestone. Most sedimentary rocks are formed in near horizontal layers called strata. Earth movements later raised the rocks above the sea to form land, and the strata were in many places tilted and folded by pressure. Seas advanced and retreated over the New Zealand area many times and the sedimentary rocks represent almost every geological period since the Cambrian (see time scale). Their age is revealed by the fossils they contain as well as by various radioactive techniques.

As well as the sedimentary rocks of various ages, New Zealand incorporates in its complex structure metamorphic rocks (schist, gneiss and marble), and intrusive igneous rocks (granite, gabbro, diorite and serpentine). Many of these metamorphic and intrusive igneous rocks are hundreds of millions of years old. 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 (geoclines), which continued to sink as the deposits accumulated. When these sediments were slowly compressed during major mountain-building episodes the deeper sediments were subjected to great pressures and shearing stress, which caused new minerals and structures to develop, changing the sediments into metamorphic rocks. The granites and other intrusive rocks are characterised by large crystals, and have a course grained texture. They are usually considered to have intruded into the outer crust in a molten state during mountain-building; some, however, may result from intense metamorphism of sediments.

Volcanic rocks (basalt, andesite, rhyolite and ignimbrite), are the products of many volcanic eruptions that have characterised New Zealand's geological history. The most recognisable volcanoes in New Zealand now occur in the North Island, where a number are active. They include those in Tongariro National Park, White Island and Mount Tarawera. Others such as Mount Taranaki (or Egmont), and Rangitoto may be considered dormant at present although they are still regarded as significant hazards. Sporadic episodes of volcanic activity have also occurred in the South Island with Timaru, Lyttelton, Oamaru and Dunedin all having basaltic volcanoes less than 13 million years old.

Geological history.

The oldest rocks in New Zealand are found in Nelson, Westland and Fiordland. They were formed in the Paleozoic era about 570 million years ago, but some in Westland may be older. They include thick, geoclinal sedimentary rocks which suggests that to yield the great volume of sediments a large landmass existed nearby at that time, 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 geocline occupied the New Zealand region. At first, during much of the late Paleozoic, huge quantities of submarine lava and volcanic ash were included in the materials that accumulated in the geocline. In me later Permian and Mesozoic times the sediments were mainly sand and mud, probably derived from some landmass west of present New Zealand. These rocks have been 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 geoclinal sedimentation continued through the Cretaceous period in eastern New Zealand, elsewhere the geocline was compressed, and the sediments were intensely crumpled, broken and raised above the sea, probably forming a large, mountainous landmass. Some of the geoclinal sediments, now exposed over much of Otago, alpine Westland, and parts of the Marlborough Sounds, were metamorphosed into schist and gneiss by high temperatures and the tremendous deforming pressures to which the geocline was subjected. This intense folding of the strata occurred approximately 100 million years ago in the mid-Cretaceous period. Slowly the mountains were eroded and gradually a land of low relief was produced. The sea gradually advanced over the worn-down stumps of the Mesozoic mountains, beginning its transgression earlier in some areas than in others. In the early Cretaceous period it began to submerge the land in the region of present Northland and the eastern margins of the North and South Islands, and thick deposits of mudstone and sandstone accumulated in some of these areas. At the close of the Mesozoic era, and in the very early Tertiary era, the land became so reduced in size that little sediment was formed, and only comparatively thin deposits of bentonitic and sulphurous muds, and fine, white foraminiferal limestone accumulated. During this time, 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 remnants of this Oligocene limestone are used for most of New Zealand's cement and agricultural lime.


EraPeriod Approximate Time Since Period Began (Years)
CenozoicHolocene (Recent)Quaternary10,000
Pleistocene2 million
PlioceneTertiary6 million
Miocene24 million
Oligocene38 million
Eocene53 million
Paleocene65 million
MesozoicCretaceous 135 million
Jurassic 190 million
Triassic 238 million
PaleozoicPermian 300 million
Carboniferous 350 million
Devonian 405 million
Silurian 435 million
Ordovician 500 million
Cambrian 570 million
Source: DSIR

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 were rapidly filled with sediments. New Zealand's late Tertiary environment has been described by Sir Charles Fleming (Tuatara, June 1962) as follows: “The pattern of folds, belts 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 margin seems to have gone on.” The thick deposits of soft grey sandstone and mudstone that now make up large areas of the North Island and some parts of the South Island, are the deposits that accumulated in the many sea basins that developed in the later Tertiary.

Recent geological history.

Late in the Cenozoic era, in the Pliocene and Pleistocene periods, another great episode of mountain-building took place. Earth movements became intense, and slowly pushed up the Southern Alps and New Zealand's other main mountain chains. It was during this period that the general size and shape of the present islands of New Zealand was determined. 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 movement of the 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 both vertically and 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). From Milford Sound to Cook Strait, an almost unbroken depression, formed by river valleys and low saddles on the intervening ridges marks the site of New Zealand's Alpine Fault. Contrasting rock types occur on either side of the fault. This is exemplified by the separation by 480 kilometres of a Permian ophiolite, an association of igneous rocks, which occurs in Nelson and western Otago. 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 or offset ridges, or streams, show where the movement has been occurring over recent centuries.

Erosion has eaten into the landscape forms during this time, carving detailed patterns of peaks, ridges, valleys and gorges. 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 late Pleistocene glaciers carved the fiords of Fiordland and the valleys occupied by most of the South Island lakes; there were small glaciers also on Ruaphehu, where remnants survive, on Mount Taranaki and the Tararua Range. Sea-level changes accompanied the formation and later melting of the glacial ice, affecting the erosion and deposition of the rivers and thus being responsible for the formation of many prominent river terraces.

Volcanic activity of the past few million years has played an important part in shaping the landscape. 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 has 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 volcanoes, Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. More than 8000 cubic kilometres of molten rhyolitic magma was erupted in the form of ignimbrite pumice and rhyolite lava, building up the Volcanic Plateau, which is one of the largest and youngest accumulations of acid volcanic rocks in the world. Mount Taranaki is an andesitic stratovolcano, with the remnants of three other volcanic cones nearby; all are of Pleistocene age. In the Waikato there are eroded Pleistocene cones of andesitic composition associated with a number of alkaline eruptive centres. The largest is Pirongia, a basaltic andesite cone some 900 metres high. Auckland city and the area just south has been the scene of many eruptions of basalt lava and scoria in Pleistocene and Holocene times, and many small scoria cones can be seen there. Late Tertiary and Quaternary basaltic eruptions in North Auckland have built lava plateaus and many young cones. From these volcanic outpourings some valuable mineral resources have been derived. The ironsands mined on the west coast of the North Island are concentrations of magnetite and ilmenite, which have been eroded out of the volcanic rocks.

1.3 Earthquakes

Compared with some other parts of the almost continuous belt of earthquake activity around the rim of the Pacific such as Japan, Chile, and the Philippines, the level of seismic activity in New Zealand is moderate, although earthquakes are common. 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, a shock of magnitude 7 or above once in 10 years, and a shock 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 deaths. 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 three people died.

The process of earthquake occurrence is understood in terms of a large volume of the Earth's crust being subjected to strain by the relentless movement of the great plates of the Earth's surface against each other. The strain eventually exceeds the strength of the rock, which ruptures. Energy is radiated outwards in the form of elastic waves, which can be felt at places near the origin, and detected by sensitive instruments at greater distances. In large shallow earthquakes the 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 of deeper activity, such as New Zealand, this is not so. There is little activity near the Alpine Fault, which stretches for some 500 kilometres from Milford Sound to Lake Rotoiti, and is considered one of the world's largest and most active faults.

Within New Zealand at least two separate systems of seismic activity can be distinguished. The Main Seismic Region covers the whole of the North Island except the Northland peninsula, and the part of 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 kilometres. These shocks are responsible for almost all damage to property, and are 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, which 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 completely 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 kilometres 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 kilometres at the northern end, and decreases evenly to a depth of about 200 kilometres before the southern boundary of the region is reached. Along the whole of the system, there is also a regular decrease in 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 kilometres has also been recorded. In the Central Seismic Region only shallow shocks are known. The maximum depth of earthquakes appears to be less than 150 kilometres in the Fiordland Region where 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 large earthquakes are rare, although small earthquakes usually accompany volcanic eruptions. Regions of active volcanism are also subject to periodic outbreaks of small earthquakes, all of similar magnitude, and very numerous, 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 Mount Ruapehu and White Island, the Coromandel Peninsula, parts of Northland, and Taranaki.

1.4 Climate

New Zealand lies in the mid-latitude zone of westerly winds, in the path of an irregular succession of anticyclones, which migrate eastwards every six to seven days. The centres of these anticyclones generally track across the North Island, more northerly paths being followed in spring, and southerly paths in autumn and winter. Anticyclones are areas of descending air, and settled weather, with little or no rain, which may bring clear skies, or low cloud and fog. Between the anticyclones are troughs of low pressure, which extend northwards from low pressure depressions moving eastwards far to the south of New Zealand. Within these troughs there are often cold fronts, oriented north-west to south-east, which produce one of the commonest types of weather sequence over the country: as the front approaches from the west, north-westerly winds become stronger and cloud increases, followed by a period of rain for several hours as the front passes over, and then a change to cold showery south-westerly winds.

The presence of an axial mountain chain extending the length of the country has a major effect on the climate of its various regions, and produces much sharper climatic contrasts from west to east, than from north to south. In some inland areas of the South Island, just east of the mountains, the climate is distinctly ‘continental’ in character, with large daily and seasonal temperature extremes, despite the fact that no part of the country is more than 130 kilometres from the sea. Ophir in Central Otago has the greatest extreme temperature range of 55 °C.


The prevailing wind direction is westerly, although in individual months easterlies may predominate, and north of Taranaki the general flow is southwesterly. In the North Island winds generally decrease for a period in the summer or early autumn, but in many parts of the South Island July and August are the least windy months. The blocking effect of the mountain ranges modifies the westerly wind pattern. Wind strength decreases on the western side, but increases through Cook Strait, Foveaux Strait, and about the Manawatu Gorge. Air is also forced upwards over the ranges, which results in a warm drying (föhn) wind in the lee areas to the east of both islands. Wellington averages 173 days a year with wind gusts greater than about 60 km/h, compared with 30 for Rotorua, 31 for Timaru, and 35 for Nelson. Sea breezes are the predominant winds in summer in many coastal places, such as Canterbury, where the north-easterlies are almost as frequent as the predominant south-westerlies.


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 northwesterly winds. The mean annual rainfall 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 lies between 600 mm and 1500 mm. The only areas with average rainfalls under 600 mm are found in the South Island to the east of the main ranges, and 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. 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. However, 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. Rainfall is also influenced by seasonal variations in the strength of the westerly winds. Spring rainfall is increased west of, and in, the ranges as the westerlies rise to their maximum about October, with a complementary decrease of rainfall 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 a year (days with at least 1.0 mm of rain)—except to the east of the ranges where in places there are 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, rain days exceeding 200 a year in Stewart Island and Fiordland. On the whole the seasonal rainfall does not vary greatly from year to year, its reliability in spring being particularly advantageous for agriculture. 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), where- the mean annual rainfall exceeds 6000 mm. Areas with a marked lower annual rainfall can be subject to very heavy daily falls: such areas are found in northern Hawke's Say and north-eastern districts in the Auckland province. By contrast, in the Manawatu district, Otago, and Southland, daily falls reaching 80 mm are very rare.


Mean temperatures at sea level decrease steadily southwards from 15°C in the far north to 9°C in the south of the South Island. Temperatures also drop, by about 2°C per 300 metres, with altitude. January and February, with approximately the same mean temperature, are the warmest months of the year, and July is the coldest. Highest temperatures are recorded east of the main ranges, where they exceed 30°C on a few afternoons in most summers. The extremes for New Zealand are 42°C which has been recorded in three places, at Awatere Valley (Marlborough), Christchurch, and Rangiora (Canterbury); and — 19°C at Ophir (Central Otago). The annual range of mean temperature (the difference between the mean temperature of the warmest and coldest months) is small. In Northland and in western districts of both islands it is about 8°C and for the remainder of the North Island and east coast districts of the South Island it is 9 ° to 10°C. Further inland the annual range 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.


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 has at least 2000 hours, and 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. A pleasant feature of the New Zealand climate is the high proportion of sunshine during the winter months, although there is a marked increase in cloudiness in the North Island in winter, but little seasonal change in the South island, except in Southland.

Hail, thunderstorms, and tornadoes.

The number of severe hailstorms reported annually over the whole country averages nine, but this figure varies yearly from four to 20. Severe hailstorms occur widely throughout the country, but the areas most affected are Canterbury, the low country of central Hawke's Bay, and a small area south and west of Nelson. Most of the hailstones are small, but occasionally larger stones cause local damage to glasshouses and orchards. Thunderstorms are not numerous. Their frequency is greatest in the north and western side of the country, where thunder is heard on 15 to 20 days a year. On the east coast of the South Island the average is commonly less than five. Tornadoes show a similar pattern to thunderstorms except maximum frequency occurs in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. An average of about 20 tornadoes and waterspouts is reported each year, but most of these are small.

Frost and snow.

Local variations in frostiness are considerable, even within quite small areas. For example, at Albert Park, Auckland, the screen minimum thermometer has registered below 0°C only once in 65 years, while further up the harbour at Whenuapai aerodrome there are on average eight screen frosts per annum. Favourable sites in coastal areas of Northland are free of frost, although further inland light frosts occur frequently in the winter months. Excluding the uninhabited mountainous areas, the coldest winter conditions are experienced in Central Otago, the Mackenzie Plains of inland Canterbury, and on the central plateau of the North Island, but 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 in both islands sheep and cattle remain in the open all year round.

The North Island has a small permanent snow field above 2500 metres on the central plateau, but the snow line rarely descends below 600 metres even for brief periods in winter. In the South Island snow falls on a few days a year in eastern coastal districts, where in some years it may lie for a day or two even at sea level, but in Westland it does not lie at sea level. The snow line on the Southern Alps is about 2000 metres in summer, being slightly lower on the western side where the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers descend through heavy bush to within 300 metres of sea level. In inland Canterbury and Otago, where there are considerable areas of grazing lands above 300 metres, snowfalls are heavier and more persistent, and have caused serious sheep losses during severe winters. In that area, however, it is rare for the winter snow line to remain below 1000 metres for extended periods.

Relative humidity.

Humidity is commonly between 70 and 80 percent in coastal areas and about 10 percent lower inland. The daily variation is greater than the difference between summer and winter. Very low humidity (from 30 percent down to 5 percent) occurs at times in the lee of the Southern Alps, where the föhn wind (the Canterbury nor-wester) is often very marked. 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 oppressive, although temperatures rarely reach 30°C. Dull, humid spells are generally not prolonged anywhere, but their frequency shows a marked increase in the south.


StationHeightAnnualRain Days*Screen FrostGround FrostBright Sunshine

*A rain day is one when 1.0 mm or more of rain was recorded.

†A screen (or air) frost occurs when the temperature in the screen (at 1.3 metres above ground) falls below 0°C.

‡A ground frost occurs when the grass minimum thermometer (25 mm above short grass) reads −1.0°C or lower.

Source: New Zealand Meteorological Service.

 (metres)(mm) (no. days)(no. days)(hours)
Kaitaia Airport80141813801.72113
Auckland (Albert Park)49118514004.22102
Tauranga Airport413491185.356.92277
Hamilton (Ruakura)40120113125.571.82006
Rotorua Airport287149112321.256.9..
Gisborne Airport410581136.840.72,204
New Plymouth Airport2715291442.012.82165
Palmerston North (DSIR)3499512613.554.41794
Masterton (Waingawa)11497112431.489.12004
Wellington (Kelburn)1261240125015.02,019
Nelson Airport29869937.789.72,397
Westport Airport221921681.039.31925
Hanmer Forest387116311481.7139.51898
Hokitika Airport392,78316816.056.41846
Lake Tekapo68359772100.1175.82,217
Dunedin (Musselburgh)27841209.777.71676
Invercargill Airport0103715746.3111.11621
Milford Sound36,26718228.556.1..


 Mean Daily*Daily MaximumDaily MinimumExtremes (Annual)

*The mean daily temperature is the average of the maximum and minimum temperature for a given day.

Source: New Zealand Meteorological Service.

Degrees Celsius
Kaitaia Airport19.311.723.815.−0.5
Auckland (Albert Park)19.410.923.−0.1
Tauranga Airport18.59.323.614.113.34.533.3−5.3
Hamilton (Ruakura)17.88.323.913.511.63.134.7−9.9
Rotorua Airport17.67.522.811.912.43.029.8−5.7
Gisborne Airport18.79.124.413.813.04.438.1−3.4
New Plymouth Airport17.19.121.413.012.75.330.3−2.4
Palmerston North (DSIR)−6.0
Masterton (Waingawa)−6.9
Wellington (Kelburn)−1.9
Nelson Airport17.26.521.911.912.51.136.3−6.6
Westport Airport15.88.219.512.012.04.328.6−3.5
Hanmer Forest15.63.922.29.29.0−1.337.1−13.2
Hokitika Airport15.−3.2
Lake Tekapo14.81.621.36.08.3−2.833.3−15.6
Dunedin (Musselburgh)15.06.419.09.911.12.934.5−8.0
Invercargill Airport13.−7.4
Milford Sound14.45.418.59.310.31.528.3−4.9

1.5 Vegetation and wildlife

The vegetation and wildlife of New Zealand are the product of not only natural factors during tens of millions of years, but also human factors over the last 1000 years. The New Zealand landmass is a fragment of the ancient southern continent of Gondwanaland, which has been isolated for over 100 million years, allowing many ancient plants and animals to survive. Although New Zealand has undergone many physical and climatic changes, such as mountain building, volcanic activity, and glaciation, parts of the landmass have remained in continuous existence with part of their original complement of plants and animals.

New Zealand is now a very diverse land and changes from being almost subtropical (‘winterless’) in the north, to cool temperate, even subantarctic in the south, with a very wet, mild climate in the west, and a much drier, sometimes almost continental climate, in the east. A long exceptionally diverse coastline with many islands, produces habitats for coastal and lowland plants and animals, and there are extensive montane and alpine habitats as well. Geological variation has allowed species to adapt to soils derived from limestone, volcanic rock, serpentine, alluvial gravels, and peat. Such diversity has led to New Zealand being classified into over 260 ecological districts, each with a distinct blend of topography, climate, vegetation, and wildlife. Superimposed on natural diversity has been 1000 years of human activity; harvesting of naturally occurring species, introduction of species from elsewhere, and transformation of natural vegetation into farmland by fire, logging, and drainage. While 80 percent of the land area was forested before humans arrived, only 23 percent remains forested, mainly in the mountainous hinterland.

Bio-geographic elements.

The vegetation and wildlife is made up of different bio-geographic elements. The Gondwanaland element, consists of ancient plants and animals: conifers such as kauri (Agathis australis), frogs (Leiopelma), reptiles like tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), large ground snails (Powelliphanta), and birds such as the kiwi and the now extinct moa. A tropical element includes the nikau palm, kie kie (Freycenetia), tree fems, many northern forest trees, tropical snails (Placostylis), and earthworms. An Australian element includes many fems, orchids, small seeded tree species like manuka (Leptospermum scoparium), insects, and birds (such as the nectar-feeding tui, parakeets, and many wetland birds). A Pacific element includes trees like pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), numerous fems, and migratory birds like the shining cuckoo. A subantarctic or circumpolar element includes beech (Nothofagus), which occurs also in South America and Southern Australia and was once present on Antarctica, and several characteristically southern bird groups such as penguins, albatrosses, and petrels. A South American element includes Fuchsia. A cosmopolitan mountain element entered New Zealand along the mountain and island chain from South-east Asia and includes plants such as buttercups, daisies, veronicas and gentians. A cultural element of recent human origin comes from all parts of the world (particularly Europe, North America and Australia), and consists of trees, horticultural plants, weeds, mammals, birds, and many other groups.

Northern (subtropical), central (temperate), and southern (subantarctic) marine areas can also be recognised, each with characteristic species; for instance rock oyster, blue mussel and dredge oyster, respectively. Bull kelp is a notable southern species. Some very unusual marine animals occur, including black coral and ancient brachiopods in the southern fiords, and recently discovered sea daisies—starfish relatives which live on sunken wood at a depth of 1000 metres. The complex sea floor means that shore, continental shelf, and deep water species occur close together, resulting in diverse marine life.

Characteristics of vegetation and wildlife.

Uniqueness is a feature of the natural life of New Zealand. Foremost is the absence, apart from two species of bat, of land mammals, which had not evolved at the time New Zealand became separate. Many flightless birds and insects have evolved. The most remarkable birds were some 12 species of moa, forest and shrub browsers, that took the place of large herbivores in other parts of the world. Moa became extinct during Maori times, but other flightless birds remain, including kiwi, kakapo (a nocturnal parrot—the largest in the world), and weka (a scavenging rail). Flightless insects are numerous, including many large beetles and cricket-like weta. The absence of mammals also meant that birds became important as seed-dispersing agents, so that most forest plants bear small berries, including the giant conifers (podocarps), the smaller canopy trees, and even some forest-floor herbs. Some alpine plants produce berries, dispersed by the New Zealand pipit and the kea (mountain parrot). As a consequence of the great physical and climatic upheavals which New Zealand has undergone the forest has been influenced by extinction. Coconut palms once occurred in New Zealand, and fossil remains of kauri, now limited to the northern North Island, have been found south to Canterbury. Some tropical plant groups are represented by a single species, surviving only on protected islands, or in the far north. Some, like Tecomanthe are known from only a single plant. Similarly, the range of bird species is very limited in comparison with other temperate land masses of similar size. The unique family of wattle birds contains only four species, one of these, the huia, is now extinct and considerable natural extinction seems likely. On the other hand, there has been great diversification among smaller life-forms, such as tiny forest-floor snails, spiders, aquatic caddis flies, lichens, mosses and liverworts. Of note is the diversity of alpine plants such as daisies (Celmisia, Senecio), veronica (Hebe), native carrot (Aciphylla) and buttercups. Many of these plants produce rosettes of large leaves, which seem to adapt the plants to cold, windy, subantarctic conditions in the relatively recently-formed high mountains. A second group of plants adapted to cold, windy conditions are cushion plants, some of which form remarkable mounds called ‘vegetable sheep’.

In the forest and along its margins divaricating shrubs occur with tangled and criss-crossed branches bearing tiny leaves. Sometimes these shrubs are the juvenile forms of tree species, but more often are the adult itself. Nowhere else in the world is this peculiar growth form so abundant. It may be an adaptation to browsing by the now extinct moa, or it may help plants to adapt to cold or dry conditions.

Although many New Zealand plants and animals occupy very specialised habitats, frequent droughts, high winds, floods, and erosion mean that many species need to be highly adaptable. Many insects, such as native bees, gather food from a wide variety of sources, and some forest species, like beech, regenerate best after the parent forest has been destroyed. However, the overwhelming character of the wildlife is its dependence on forest, and its vulnerability to introduced predators such as rats. The forests and natural grasslands have been severely modified by introduced browsers such as possums, deer and goats. Some introduced plants, like marram grass, have taken over the places where native species would normally grow.

A vast proportion of the native animals and plant species are endemic and found only in New Zealand. Virtually all insects, spiders, snails and all earthworms are restricted to New Zealand, as are most birds and plants, most freshwater fish (27 species), and all reptiles (38 species).


GroupNumber of SpeciesPercentage Endemic*

* Native species not found anywhere else.


Source: Department of Conservation.

Marine algae (seaweeds)390043
Ferns and allies2016341
Flowering plants1700181384
Spiders/harvestmen602 50090
Freshwater fish232785

Many figures in table 1.8 are approximate and may change after future scientific investigation.


Apart from mountains above bush-line, swamps, coastal dunes, and some dry inland basins, 80 percent of New Zealand was orginally forest-covered. The forests were reduced by a third by Maori clearance before European settlement, and a further third by European clearance over the last 150 years, so that now only 23 percent of New Zealand remains in forest. Much occurs in mountainous areas, and most is now protected.

There is a wide range of natural forest types. Around the coast is a fragmented narrow band of salt tolerant plants including mangroves, nikau palm and mostly tropical Pacific species, such as karaka and pohutukawa. Coastal forests are particularly important habitats for marine birds (for example various petrels and penguins), and offshore islands form refuges for tuatara, flightless insects and snails. The characteristic New Zealand forest type is warm temperate evergreen rain forest. In the far north this is dominated by kauri (Agathis australis) and various hardwoods though little forest remains. Swamp forest dominated by the podocarp kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) was once extensive, and remains prominent in the western South Island. Elsewhere the podocarps (rimu, totara, matai, and miro) are associated with a diverse range of broad-leaved evergreen hardwoods, ferns, vines and epiphytes, forming dense and complex multi-storeyed communities. The range of species gradually diminishes with both increasing altitude and increasing latitude. Evergreen beech forest is characteristic of the South Island above 300 metres altitude. These montane forests have fewer species than lowland forests, and extensive areas may be dominated by a single tree species. The bush-line, usually of beech, is located generally between 1350 and 1500 metres.

A wide range of secondary forest types have developed since human arrival, notably kanuka forests east of the main divide, manuka and kanuka forests in northern New Zealand, and a range of broad-leaved hardwood and tree-fern forest types on abandoned farmland.

Cool moist climates produce an abundance of ferns in New Zealand forests, not only giant tree ferns, but also filmy ferns which clothe tree trunks, and ground ferns.


Natural shrublands are rare and usually occur where soil or water factors restrict forest development, such as the margins of coastal estuaries and other wetlands, and rocky bluffs. Immediately above the bushline, a narrow band of diverse shrubland often occurs, dominated by the heath Dracophyllum, shrub daisies, hebes, and alpine podocarps. The most extensive shrublands occur in the once-forested dryland of eastern New Zealand, where small-leaved sometimes spiny shrubs occur, notably matagouri (Discaria), tauhinu (Cassinia), and divaricating coprosmas. These shrublands are stages in the re-establishment of forest. Fernland, particularly bracken fern (Pteridium esculentum), once a staple Maori food, is very widespread throughout deforested New Zealand hill country. Like shrubland it serves as a nurse-bed for forest.


A rise in sea-level inundated coastal valleys formed during the ice-age. This created extensive estuaries, rich in worms, molluscs and eelgrass, which are important habitats for marine birds such as oyster-catchers. In the north the estuaries support dense groves of low mangroves, while elsewhere there are extensive rush, jointed-rush and sedge wetlands which are spawning grounds for whitebait or inanga (Galaxias species). The numerous rivers of New Zealand created extensive freshwater wetlands dominated by harakeke or flax (Phormium), raupo (Typha) and sedges. These have mostly been drained but are extensive in western South Island. Numerous small swamps and lakes have been formed to the lee of sand dunes deposited along western coasts by prevailing westerly winds. Lakes, swamps and bogs made by glaciers are features of the South Island high country.

Dune lands.

Active erosion of the land has created extensive coastal sand deposits, which have mainly been stabilised by marram grass, pines and lupins, and few remain in their natural state. One threatened dune species is pingao, a sedge used for traditional Maori weaving.


When Europeans arrived in the nineteenth century much of the eastern South Island was covered by short tussock grassland or silver tussock and fescue, which had become established after Maori fires removed forests. Before the Maori the only naturally occurring lowland tussock was in the dry interior of Central Otago. Pastoral farming and introduced grasses have now largely destroyed short tussock grassland. However, at higher altitudes, especially above the bush-line, extensive areas of tall snow tussock (Chionochloa) occur.

Alpine vegetation.

Large-leaved herbs, mat plants, and cushion plants occur throughout the tall tussocks, and in places dominate and form herb fields of great beauty in flower. Scree supports a range of specialised, often fleshy, drought-resistant plants. Alpine bluffs support a scattered cover of shrubs, herbs and cushion plants, adapted to extreme climate and sometimes possessing very strange form, such as the coral shrub (Helichrysum) and the vegetable sheep (Raoulia).

Introduced vegetation and wildlife.

The New Zealand landscape is now dominated by introduced animals and plants. Over 1500 exotic plants grow wild, some (like rye-grass, browntop, gorse and sweet briar), over large areas. Although introduced plants have seldom colonised extensive areas of native vegetation, wild animals (deer, pigs, goats, possums, stoats and rats) are widespread, and some introduced birds, such as blackbirds, occur everywhere. Urban vegetation is largely exotic and domestic stock dominate agricultural areas throughout the lowlands.

Introduced plants and animals have greatly increased the diversity of species in New Zealand. However, their increase has been associated with a decrease in the area dominated by native species. Today a large number of native species are very rare and seldom seen. Some of these are ancient and stamp uniqueness on New Zealand as a living museum. Urgent measures are needed to ensure the healthy survival of this unique heritage of international importance.

1.6 Time zone

One uniform time is kept throughout New Zealand. This is the time 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time, and is named New Zealand Standard Time (N.Z.S.T.). It is an atomic standard, and is maintained by the New Zealand Time Service of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). One hour of daylight saving, named New Zealand Daylight Time, which is 13 hours ahead of Co-ordinated Universal Time, is observed from 2 a.m. (N.Z.S.T.) on the last Sunday in October, until 2 a.m. (N.Z.S.T.) on the first Sunday in March next year. Time kept in the Chatham islands is 45 minutes ahead of that kept in New Zealand.

Further information


New Zealand Atlas. Ward, I., ed. Government Printer, 1976.

Catalogue of Maps. Department of Survey and Land Information.


Searle, E. J. City of Volcanoes. 2nd edition. Longman Paul, 1981.

Smith, I. E. M., ed. Late Cenozoic Volcanism in New Zealand. Bulletin 23, Royal Society of New Zealand, 1986.

Soons, J.; Selby, M., eds. Landforms of New Zealand. Longman Paul, 1982.

Speden, I. G.; Keyes, I. W. Illustrations of New Zealand Fossils. DSIR Information Series 150, 1981.

Stevens, G. R. Lands in Collision: Discovering New Zealand's Past Geography. DSIR Information Series 161, 1985.

Stevens, G. R. New Zealand Adrift: The Theory of Continental Drift in a New Zealand Setting. A. H. and A. W. Reed, 1980.

Stevens, G. R. Rugged Landscape. A. H. and A. W. Reed, 1974.

Suggate, R. P.; Stevens, G. R.; Te Punga, M. T., eds. The Geology of New Zealand. 2 vols. Government Printer, 1978.

Thornton, J. Field Guide to New Zealand Geology. Reed Methuen, 1985.

Volcanoes and the Earth's Interior: Readings from Scientific American. W. H. Freeman and Company, 1982.

Williams, G. J. Economic Geology of New Zealand. AusIMM Monograph Series 4, 1974.

Williams, K. Volcanoes of the South Wind: A Field Guide to the Volcanoes and Landscape of Tongariro National Park. Tongariro Natural History Society, 1985.


An Encyclopedia of New Zealand. McLintock, A. H., ed. Vol. 1. Government Printer, 1966.

Johnson, K. F. Bibliography of New Zealand Meteorological Service Publications 1892–1985. N.Z. Met. Serv., 1986.

New Zealand Atlas. Ward, I., ed. Government Printer, 1976.

The New Zealand Gazette, Government Printer. (List current monthly summaries of temperature, rainfall and sunshine for all climate stations, as the data come to hand.)

The Meteorological Service publishes monthly summaries of:

Climate Observations (Misc. Pub. 109) and Rainfall Observations (Misc. Pub. 110) annually;

Climate Observations which are updated every 10 years, e.g. 1980 (Misc. Pub. 177); Rainfall

Normals (averages) for 30-year periods, e.g. 1951–1980 (Misc. Pub. 185); Sunshine Normals(averages) for 30-year periods, e.g. 1951–1980 (Misc. Pub. 186); and Temperature Normals (averages) for 30-year periods, e.g. 1951–1980 (Misc. Pub. 183). The service also produces regional climatologies (Misc. Pub. 115), maps and many other publications.

Vegetation and wildlife

Enting, B.; Molloy, L. The Ancient Islands. Port Nicholson Press, 1982.

Kuschel, G., ed. Bio-geography and Ecology in New Zealand. W. Junk, 1975.

Salmon, J. J. The Native Trees of New Zealand. Reed Methuen, 1980.

Stevens, G. R. Lands in Collision: Discovering New Zealand's Past Geography. DSIR, 1985.

Chapter 2. History

2.1 New Zealand before 1840

Archaeology and oral tradition are the main sources for present-day knowledge of the origins and way of life of the early Polynesian inhabitants of the Pacific islands later known as Aotearoa, ‘the land of the long white cloud’. Archaeology encompasses physical anthropology, linguistic evidence, and traditional accounts, as well as sophisticated examination of the tangible relics of human occupation. Oral traditions did not simply describe what happened. They also explained and justified past events, and were often the accounts of the victors in inter-tribal conflict. Both are of much value to historians, and also pose problems. Statements about New Zealand's Polynesian past must remain tentative.

An outpost of Polynesia

The ancestors of Aotearoa's earliest inhabitants are thought to have reached the Western Pacific some 4000 years ago, and gradually made their way along the Melanesian chain of islands. Long ocean journeys became possible for them with the introduction of the sail and the invention of the outrigger, which stabilised canoes in rough seas. They reached Fiji and Tonga by about 1000 B.C., and in this area many of the distinctive features of Polynesian social organisation and language developed. About 2000 years ago there was a further eastward movement to the Society, Marquesas, and Cook Islands, at the heart of the Polynesian triangle. Probably from this region, the most isolated parts of Polynesia were settled—New Zealand, Hawaii, and Easter Island. There has been much controversy as to the nature of, and reasons for, undertaking such long ocean voyages. Some would have been accidental, the result of canoes being blown off shore. At other times, refugees from defeated tribes or over-populated areas may well have set off into the unknown, confident that they were likely to make a safe landfall somewhere. Knowledge of stars, currents, bird migrations, and the signs of distant land was such that the possibility of controlled journeys over even thousands of kilometres cannot be discounted. The canoe or canoes which brought the first successful colonists to Aotearoa must have carried men and women, dogs, rats, vegetables for cultivation, and a variety of tools and ornaments for practical use and as models for those to be made subsequently. Such a well-equipped expedition is unlikely to have been completely accidental.

Polynesian people, known today as Maori, have lived in New Zealand since about the eighth century A.D. They came in one or more groups from the same general area of eastern Polynesia, known as Hawaiki. There are traditions of numerous voyages from Hawaiki, and of a number of famous canoes, whose occupants were the founders of tribal groupings which remain distinctive today. Some of these stories probably refer to migrations within New Zealand; a few to voyages elsewhere in Polynesia. After the initial period of settlement there were probably few or no continuing contacts with the outside world. Maori culture developed characteristics which reflected both its Polynesian roots and its new physical environment.

Maori agriculture.

By the twelfth century settlements were scattered over most of the country. At first their inhabitants tried to reproduce a tropical Polynesian economy. Their ideal subsistence base was kumara (sweet potato) horticulture, supplemented by fishing, hunting, and plant gathering, but there was no typical form of subsistence. In the tropical Pacific the kumara is a perennial and can be propagated by direct transfer. Under New Zealand conditions it was necessary to store the crop over winter in sunken cellars and underground pits to provide tubers for winter consumption and seed tubers for spring planting. This adaptation of kumara cultivation was a great agricultural achievement. Gourds were also grown widely, and taro was important in a few favoured northern areas, while yam and paper mulberry cultivation was barely possible. Kumara would not grow in the southern part of Te Waipounamu (the South Island). Here people lived by hunting, fishing, and food gathering, and moved seasonally between resource areas.

In the early centuries of settlement the plains of Te Waipounamu, in particular, supported huge numbers of large flightless birds called moa. These provided an excellent food source, substituting for native land mammals, which were almost non-existent. Until moa numbers were seriously depleted, by hunting and by the destruction of the forest cover on which they depended for food, the eastern South Island seems to have been the most densely peopled part of New Zealand. The decline of the moa was probably accompanied by climatic changes which made horticulture more difficult and made the inhabitants more dependent on fish, shellfish, and marine mammals. After about 1400 the population of the South Island fell. In the most closely settled parts of Te Ika a Maui (the North Island), such as the Tamaki isthmus (now the site of Auckland), hunting and birding declined rapidly, and fishing and shellfish gathering provided the main sources of protein. Here cultivations were more extensive and productive, and most people lived in settled communities, in which pa (earthwork forts) became increasingly common as the population grew, and competition for the most valuable land led to greater conflict.

Maori social organisation.

Maori society comprised groups of varying size: whanau (extended families of perhaps ten to thirty people), hapu (subtribes, with up to 500 members) and iwi (tribes). Membership of these groups was usually based on descent from a common ancestor. There were also waka, loose groupings of tribes whose members believed they were descended from people who had sailed on the same migratory canoe. Components of the system changed over time. Large whanau evolved into hapu, and large hapu came to be considered tribes, while other related branches declined. In everyday life hapu were probably the largest significant groups. They were the basis of the larger settlements and probably formed the normal fighting units in warfare. In response to major external threats, however, people would congregate at a few large pa, setting aside quarrels to face the common tribal enemy. Settlement styles varied greatly, influenced by patterns of subsistence, climate, and the extent to which local relationships were peaceful or warlike. James Cook's 1769 expedition observed pa sizes ranging between three and 500 houses. People lived in dispersed hamlets, in large fortified pa and, in some areas, in isolated households. As with economic life, there was no single characteristic form of social organisation.

For most Maori life was fundamentally a communal experience, in which all aspects of living were inter-related. Economic and social activities were shared, and carried out on behalf of the whole community. Land, which was by far the most important form of property, belonged to the tribe as a whole, although smaller groups had traditional rights to use particular areas and resources. Kaumatua (elders) headed families. Communities were nominally—and to a significant degree, actually—ruled by rangatira (chiefs), whose positions were hereditary but had in practice to be reinforced by performance. Nor could rangatira ignore public opinion as expressed at tribal meetings by kaumatua. Chiefs and their possessions were to some extent tapu (sacred) and thereby protected against harm. Tapu also safeguarded cultivations and burial grounds, and functioned as an agency of social control more effective than any police force. Tapu was regulated by tohunga (priests or experts). Those of highest status interpreted the will of the gods and embodied tribal history and knowledge; lesser tohunga were specialists in such things as carving, tattooing, and canoe-building.

Relations between tribes.

Tribal groups interacted through both trade and warfare. Regional specialities such as greenstone (jade) and titi (muttonbirds) were often transported long distances for bartering, probably at first mainly by ocean-going canoes. Knowledge also was transferred between tribes. Cook found at some landfalls that news of his coming had preceded him. Making war was probably an important feature of life from the earliest times, although particular areas might be free of it for long periods. Competition for status and authority, and the desire for mana (prestige), motivated both individuals and whole tribes. Reasons for continuing conflicts were seldom absent: the importance of the concept of utu (the principle that acts should be repaid equally) meant that at least one party to a dispute usually felt justified in carrying it on. War was also a means of gaining control over land, which was valued for its fertility or its resources, such as stone for tool-making. But fighting was usually seasonal, fitting in with the cycles of subsistence, and conducted by small raiding parties carrying out sporadic attacks which produced few casualties. The construction of elaborate fortified pa in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries suggest that warfare intensified in that period. Particularly in the warm, fertile northern part of Te Ika a Maui, an increasing population made natural resources scarcer and more valuable. At times, economic pressures or military defeat displaced hapu or whole tribes into less desirable areas, whose occupants were in turn driven out or enslaved. But in many regions there was unbroken occupation by the same group of people over long periods.

Life in pre-European New Zealand has been seen by various writers as embodying ‘manly’ virtues, ideal communism, nature-centred spirituality, and healthy rural simplicity. It had elements of all these qualities, but it could also be ‘nasty, brutish and short’. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Maori were relatively tall and sturdy, free from infectious diseases, adequately fed, and fairly unlikely to die violently. But the average life span was only about 30 years, similar to that in most societies up to the twentieth century. Many adults suffered from arthritis brought on by constant physical labour, and from gum infections and tooth loss resulting from their diets.

By the late eighteenth century there were probably rather more than 100 000 ‘New Zealanders’, all but a few thousand of them living in the North Island. Fiercely protective of their social identities, they were deeply attached to the land which gave them physical and spiritual life. Their ways of living had evolved many local variations. They had no concepts of nationhood or race; as they began to encounter Europeans, they saw them as members of another, if stranger, rival tribe.

European exploration

There is no convincing evidence to support ingenious theories that New Zealand was the landfall for one or several long-forgotten European voyagers before the 1640s. It seems clear that the first arrivals from overseas for several centuries were the members of a Dutch East India Company expedition commanded by Abel Tasman. He was sent in quest of the riches of the Great South Land, which was supposed to balance the land mass of Eurasia in the Northern Hemisphere. On 13 December 1642 he sighted ‘a large, high-lying land’ which he named Staten Landt. It was the west coast of the South Island of the soon-to-be-renamed ‘Nieeuw Zeeland’. Tasman anchored a few days later, and lost four men, killed when local Maori interpreted an exchange of trumpet fanfares as the prelude to battle. Sailing away up the west coast of the North Island, he did not again attempt to land, and so found none of the ‘treasures or matters of great profit’ which were the object of his voyage. Aotearoa was now represented by a jagged line on European maps, but Tasman's experience did not encourage explorers or fortune-seekers to follow in his wake.

Europeans did not return until 1769. This time those seeking the mythical southern continent were British, the expedition's ostensible purposes were scientific, and its leader was the great explorer James Cook. On his first visit he circumnavigated New Zealand; his published journal and the reports of the scientists and artists on board made it known to the outside world. He returned in 1773–74 and 1777. There were misunderstandings and violence: a Maori was killed at Cook's first landfall, and in 1773 ten of his men were killed and eaten at Arapawa Island. But he persevered, finding most encounters characterised by mutual curiosity and eagerness to barter. His respect for the Maori as ‘noble savages’ excited European imaginations, and foreshadowed attitudes which were to be important later.

Other explorers soon followed, the Frenchman Jean de Surville only two months after Cook first arrived. Ill-treating the local inhabitants, he set the scene for the blunders which three years later led to the deaths of his countryman Marion du Fresne and some two dozen crew. Julien Crozet, du Fresne's second-in-command, massacred about 250 Maori in retaliation. Further expeditions under the Englishman Vancouver, the Frenchman D'Entrecasteaux, and the Italian Malaspina (leading a Spanish fleet) ensured that New Zealand was not again forgotten in Europe.

Trade and religion.

Two early British schemes to colonise New Zealand came to nothing. But when a penal colony was established at Port Jackson (now Sydney) in 1788, commercial exploitation of Aotearoa's resources became practicable. New Zealand was soon, in economic terms, an offshoot of New South Wales. In 1792 the first sealing vessel in New Zealand waters left a gang at Dusky Sound in Fiordland. Americans soon played a major role in sealing, which was mostly carried out in the far south, from Dusky Sound to Otago. It reached a peak in the first decade of the nineteenth century, after which over-exploitation brought a shift in the focus of activity to the newly-discovered sub-antarctic Campbell and Macquarie Islands.

Deep-sea whaling in New Zealand waters had began in 1791, and remained important for about half a century, reaching a peak in the 1830s. Most whalers were American or British, although Australian, French, and Portuguese vessels were involved late in this period. Increasingly whaling vessels called at New Zealand harbours, notably the Bay of Islands, for rest, recreation, and replenishment of supplies. While whalers' visits were usually brief, they became frequent enough to have a significant impact on local Maori communities. From 1829 bay whaling stations were established around the coasts of the South Island and the southern half of the North island. These bases were usually quasi-permanent, and often became focal points for European settlement, as their activities included farming and trade.

Flax was seen as an important commodity from Cook's time. It was the intended economic basis for several abortive colonisation schemes. A boom in flax exports from the late 1820s proved to be short-lived, but it did result in more settlers joining the bay whalers and the already well entrenched missionaries. Scraping flax was very laborious work, and the ropes and cordage made from it varied in quality. Timber was the next major primary product, exports reaching a peak about 1840. Mills were opened around the richly-forested northern coasts, most notably in the Hokianga harbour, where a number of European timber millers settled, and a shipyard was established in 1826. Agricultural exports also increased. Potatoes (introduced by Cook or du Fresne) and pigs (landed at the orders of Governor King of New South Wales in the 1790s) were being traded with visiting ships by the early 1800s. From this time wheat and maize were cultivated by Bay of Islands Maori. By 1836 it was said that New Zealand was ‘becoming a perfect granary for New South Wales’. Missionaries had introduced horses and cattle in 1814, and later set up demonstration farms. Bay whalers and other traders also grew crops and ran stock. European enterprise developed side by side with such Maori innovations as the rapid adoption of the potato as a staple food.

New Zealand's first mission station was established at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands in 1814, under the auspices of the Church of England's Church Missionary Society. The man most responsible for its formation was Samuel Marsden, senior chaplain to the New South Wales penal colony from 1800 until his death in 1838. An entrepreneur as well as a stem propagator of the faith, he was a successful breeder of sheep and cattle, pioneered grape growing in New South Wales, and owned mills and ships. Under his supervision the society's mission at first comprised men with practical skills, who were encouraged to engage in trade. Indeed they had no choice, as the first station was on a site too poor to support even subsistence agriculture. The community barely survived isolation, internal squabbles, and the uncertain patronage of local chiefs. Preaching the faith did not really begin until the determined Henry Williams arrived to set up a new station at Paihia in 1823. The establishment of a farm inland at Waimate in 1831 was followed late in the decade by expansion of Anglican missions southwards as far as the Waikato, Rotorua, and Gisborne, and (in 1839) to the coast north of Wellington. From 1827 Maori language translations of the Bible were made, and the teaching of reading and writing in Maori was emphasised. The Wesleyans had opened a mission in the Hokianga area in 1823, and also set up stations further south in the 1830s. A Roman Catholic Marist mission, led by Bishop Pompallier, began in Northland in 1838. From the mid-1830s many Maori converted to Christianity. Movements which blended Maori and Christian ideas also developed. An example was that of Te Atua Wera/Papahurihia in the Bay of Islands-Hokianga area. They were part of the adjustment of traditional social patterns to new realities.

Changes in Maori society

It is difficult to assess what effect the presence of Europeans—around the coasts and venturing into the interior in the last few years before 1840—had on the indigenous inhabitants. It has been asserted that the Maori population declined by nearly 50 percent between 1770 and 1840; and, alternatively, that it was about the same in both years. Both sides put the 1840 figure at between 100 000 and 125 000. Differences of this scale over such a basic issue suggest how difficult it is to make firm statements about Maori society in the period. Areas such as the Bay of Islands and the Hokianga, where contact with Europeans was greatest, underwent changes in a few decades which had taken centuries to transform Europe. Maori society was resilient and able to adapt to the revolution in technology and ideas with which it was confronted. The European impact varied greatly. In the Bay of Islands there was an intermittent pakeha (non-Maori) presence from the 1790s, and permanent settlers from 1814; these numbered several hundred by 1839. In contrast, areas such as the Urewera mountains had not been visited by Europeans when British sovereignty was declared. Other regions had varying exposure to direct and indirect contact.

European diseases seem to have reached epidemic proportions first in the 1790s. The Maori initially had no immunity to them, and they were made more vulnerable by their communal lifestyle. Dysentery, diphtheria and influenza took many lives in the following decades. But some of the most lethal diseases, including yellow fever, typhus, and cholera, were not introduced, and by 1840 immunities to the more common types of sickness were beginning to develop. Some health problems resulting from pakeha presence were very localised—alcoholism and prostitution were confined to the few zones of intense contact. Other effects were widespread. European-introduced animals were both a source of food and rivals for scarce resources, while new plants such as potatoes and com eventually became staples of Maori diet. The ability to purchase desired European goods depended on income-generating activities which often necessitated debilitating labour, such as raising commercial crops, felling and transporting timber, and stripping flax. Sometimes whanau or hapu moved to unhealthy lowland areas to be close to now-valued resources. New fashions in clothing, such as the wearing of European suits or blankets, regardless of their unsuitability in hot or wet weather, also increased susceptibility to sickness.

The nature of Maori warfare was altered by the introduction of muskets in the early 1800s. These were first used in small numbers as close-combat weapons of the traditional kind. By 1818 the Ngapuhi confederation—thanks to geography the pioneers of much social change in the period—discovered that the firing of many weapons at a distance created enough terror to enable the rout of an enemy to be completed by traditional means. From 1820, when their great chief Hongi Hika returned from a missionary-inspired visit to England with 300 muskets, Ngapuhi and their allies rampaged across the North Island on a series of expeditions which took many lives, settled old scores, and raised the mana of the victors to unprecedented heights. As muskets became widely available, other tribes took advantage of temporary leads in local arms races to attack their neighbours. By 1840 the balance of power was such that inter-tribal warfare had virtually ceased. One effect of these campaigns was the migration of perhaps thirty thousand people and, as a consequence, intractable disagreements about land rights in some areas.

Maori people were eager to adopt European goods and ideas: muskets, agricultural techniques, literacy, and Christianity were all enthusiastically embraced, and some (such as firearms) rapidly became necessities. Some Maori even travelled the world as crew members on European ships. But pakeha innovations were used in Maori ways for Maori purposes. If they did not serve these purposes they were likely to be abandoned. The increased rate of conversions to Christianity just before 1840, for example, can be understood in terms of changes in Maori society, as well as seen as a consequence of more effective missionary activity. Social dislocation which resulted from intertribal fighting fed a need for spiritual explanation. But the new religion was also fashionable, and the mana which was granted to the literate brought many eager students to mission schools. Missionary teaching was a means to the end of gaining European knowledge. For Maori the most important function of a pakeha was to provide trade goods. Europeans lived in New Zealand on Maori terms, and in 1839 there were still only a few more than a thousand scattered over the whole country.

British sovereignty established

The vagueness of their instructions allowed early Governors of New South Wales to view New Zealand as a political as well as an economic ‘dependency’, and also to encourage plans for settlement. In 1804 Governor King ordered investigations into charges that brutalities had been inflicted on Maori by a ship's captain. This was the first of many attempts to regulate the behaviour of British subjects in New Zealand. In 1814 the Maori people were declared to be ‘under the protection of His Majesty’, and the missionary Thomas Kendall was appointed as a justice of the peace to maintain order in co-operation with local chiefs. He had no effective force at his disposal. Prisoners had to be sent to Sydney for trial. In 1817 Britain declared New Zealand to be outside its legal jurisdiction, although British subjects could be charged for serious crimes committed there. Schemes for colonisation continued, and in 1826 settlers selected by the first New Zealand Company arrived. While many went straight on to Sydney, some established themselves at the Hokianga. As trade and settlement increased, New Zealand moved further into the British sphere of influence. In 1832 James Busby was appointed British Resident at the Bay of Islands. He was a ‘watch-dog without teeth’, having very few legal powers (he was not even a justice of the peace) and no reliable means for coercing British subjects. His authority rested on occasional visits by British warships. In 1837 one of three Europeans who had plundered the home of a Kororareka storekeeper was hanged in Sydney. British subjects fomenting disorder in New Zealand were clearly now subject, at least potentially, to legal retribution.

In May 1837 a combination of the remnants of the earlier New Zealand Company and others interested in profiting from Edward Gibbon Wakefield's ideas of transplanting the pre-industrial English class structure to the colonies formed what was soon to be named the New Zealand Company. An attempt at the ‘systematic colonisation’ of New Zealand Was now imminent. Wakefield's vision was of the migration of integrated communities comprising all social strata from gentry to respectable working folk, while excluding the nobility and the very poor. The key to success was to set a ‘sufficient’ price for land. If land was too cheap it would be bought by both speculators and labourers, with ‘undesirable’ consequences; but the price was to be low enough to enable working class people to settle on the land after some years of thrift and honest toil, their purchases financing a fresh influx of labourers and ensuring continued economic growth. The eventual form of settlement owed little to this theory, but Wakefield's energy and the strength of his backers ensured that large-scale colonisation would take place. The company sent an expedition in 1839 to find a site for a colony. It acted in haste because the decision to annex New Zealand had already been made, and it wished to buy land before its dealings could be regulated by officials. Even before word reached England that any land had been bought, ships full of emigrants had departed, the first (the Tory) arriving at Port Nicholson (Wellington) on 22 January 1840.

British sovereignty over New Zealand was established in international law by New South Wales Governor Gipps' proclamation on 14 January 1840 that his frontiers included New Zealand, and that Captain William Hobson was appointed his Lieutenant-Governor there. Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands with a small entourage of officials on 24 January, and at Waitangi on 6 February 1840 he obtained from local Maori chiefs the first signatures to the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’. The significance of this document has been debated ever since. In its English-language original all rights and powers of sovereignty were ceded to Queen Victoria, while in return the possession of land, forests and fisheries was secured to the chiefs, with the Crown alone having the right to purchase land. The Queen extended her protection and all the rights and privileges of British subjects to the Maori people. The Maori-language version, hastily translated by the missionary Henry Williams, was couched in considerably vaguer terms, partly because of the difficulty of conveying European legal concepts. Maori signatories assented to the Queen taking over the rights of ‘kawanatanga’ (governorship). As their only example of the exercise of such authority was the ineffective James Busby, it is unlikely they understood the possible implications of their agreement. Over the next few months signatures to several differing versions of the treaty were collected around the country. Important tribes such as Ngati Maniapoto and Waikato did not regard it as a matter deserving serious consideration, and failed to sign; Ngapuhi were resented for their role as first signatories. To further complicate matters, on 21 May 1840, while signatures were still being sought, Hobson proclaimed British sovereignty over the North Island by virtue of the treaty, and over the South and Stewart Islands on the basis of Cook's discoveries. In 1841 New Zealand became a colony in its own right, and the capital followed a shift in the balance of European settlement from its first site at Russell in the Bay of Islands to the new town of Auckland on the Tamaki isthmus, which was both strategically located and surrounded by ideal land for farming.

2.2 European and Maori, 1840 to 1890

Growth of European settlement. New Zealand Company settlements were founded at Wellington in 1840, Wanganui and New Plymouth in 1841, and Nelson in 1842. By 1845 the company had brought about 9000 settlers to the country. In 1842 the main towns had non-Maori populations of 3800 in Wellington, 2900 in Auckland, 2500 in Nelson, 900 in New Plymouth, 650 in Russell and Hokianga combined (which shows how quickly this area was bypassed by settlers), and 200 in Akaroa, where colonists were landed by the French Nanto Bordelaise Company in 1840. These European enclaves were ‘mere encampments on the fringe of Polynesia’; their very existence was dependent on the tolerance of local Maori. This could scarcely be relied on, as the New Zealand Company had bought land in such haste, and with such little regard for the communal nature of Maori land tenure, that war was at least threatened at each of their sites within a few years. In 1843 a number of Europeans were killed in the Wairau area when they illegally tried to arrest two Ngati Toa chiefs, Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata, for resisting the survey of land that the chiefs denied having sold. Tribespeople led by these chiefs were involved in fighting in the hinterland of the Wellington settlement in 1846; again, Maori were opposing settler encroachment onto land that the Maori held was still theirs. There were several attacks on the town of Wanganui in 1847. In Taranaki the two races teetered on the brink of war for nearly 20 years. After two official investigations of the company's land purchase, the New Plymouth settlers were left to occupy a few thousand acres adjacent to the town. The scarcity of land suitable for agriculture blighted life within the towns. Uncertainty of tenure, and the mediocre quality of much of what was available, slowed sales and led to an increase in the number of sections being acquired by absentee speculators (a problem which had impeded development in the New Zealand Company towns from the beginning). The resulting underemployment of Wakefield's ‘respectable’ labourers and artisans produced recurrent poverty and unrest. Only the later settlements of Otago and Canterbury could be considered successes. Otago was established in 1848 under the auspices of the New Zealand Company in co-operation with the Free Church of Scotland, and Canterbury, in 1850, with the Church of England. There were only 2000 Maori in the whole of the South island, and land purchases there were not disputed at the time.

War and politics in the 1840s and 1850s. New Zealand's first Governors, Hobson and Robert FitzRoy, were hamstrung by their acute lack of resources. The British Colonial Office required its colonies to be self-supporting; they were expected to pay their way through customs revenue and land sales. But the New Zealand state was at first unable to obtain much land, despite its monopoly on purchases from the Maori. The latter were not eager to sell at less than a fair market price, which the state could not afford to offer them. The imposition of customs duties drove away traders and raised the price of imported goods. The administration, at times insolvent, survived on Maori goodwill and economic assistance, and minimal financial support from London. In 1844 FitzRoy abolished customs duties, imposed a property tax, and allowed limited direct land dealings beween settlers and Maori. The practical effect of these measures was the loss of his only potential sources of substantial revenue. The measures were insufficient to conciliate the Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke, who was concerned at the decline of the Bay of Islands as a centre for European trade and settlement, and at the government's efforts to diminish chiefly authority by partially replacing it with its own. Heke's quarrel was with the state alone; he wanted to preserve the valuable Maori-European economic relationship. He allied himself with the resourceful chief Kawiti, who adapted traditional pa design to successfully withstand artillery bombardment and inflicted a serious defeat on British regular troops at Ohaeawai in mid-1845. Their combined forces had the better of a 10-month campaign which ended after an inconclusive engagement at Ruapekapeka in January 1846. Heke continued to be the most powerful man in the North until his death in 1850, and government influence there remained low. No punishment was imposed on the ‘rebels’.

FitzRoy was replaced during the Northern War by George Grey, who was to rule as Governor until 1853, and again (less autocratically) from 1861 to 1868. Backed as his predecessors had not been by adequate financial support from Britain, he was better equipped than they to mollify pakeha grievances about the slow growth of the colony. The European population had reached only 32 500 by 1854, when an elected General Assembly first met in Auckland. However, demands for local self-government had been voiced since 1840, when a New Zealand Company-appointed regime had ‘ruled’ for several months at Port Nicholson until Hobson declared it illegal. The ‘Wakefield’ settlements were led by well-educated gentry and middle-class families who expected to govern themselves. After Grey successfully argued against the implementation of an 1846 British Act conferring representative institutions, on the grounds that the state of race relations in the North necessitated his being in total control, constitutional associations in several centres agitated for elected assemblies.

The British Constitution Act of 1852 conferred a General Assembly with two chambers—an elected House of Representatives and a nominated Legislative Council—and divided the colony into six provinces (centred on the five Wakefield settlements and Auckland), each with an elected Provincial Council, and headed by a separately-elected Superintendent. The vote was granted to all pakeha men aged 21 or more who met minimal property-owning requirements (Maori were in practice nearly all disenfranchised). The Provincial Councils were subordinate to the General Assembly, and were barred from legislating on a range of subjects, which included customs duties, currency, the justice system, postal services, and marriage. The central settler government was competent to act in most areas, but ‘native’ policy remained in the hands of the Governor until 1864, and foreign policy was made by the British government. In areas of domestic policy the General Assembly was not completely its own master. The Governor was empowered to reserve New Zealand legislation for the Sovereign's assent, and the Sovereign could disallow legislation after the Governor had assented to it. Both these powers were used, although rarely. And the United Kingdom Parliament had the authority to pass legislation applying to New Zealand, even overriding New Zealand legislation. After considerable confusion, Parliament's right was recognised, to appoint ministers whose advice the Governor was normally obliged to take, and in 1856 Henry Sewell became Premier and formed the first responsible ministry.

Despite the comparatively wide franchise, only a minority of European males participated in electoral politics for several decades after its introduction. The property test eliminated some, and many who were eligible did not register on the electoral rolls. Until 1879 polls in which fewer than half of those registered voted were common. Most people had more pressing concerns. A small group of men with sufficient leisure time to engage in politics easily dominated the scene; many were elected and re-elected unopposed. While there was a rapid turnover of MPs and ministries in the absence of any party organisation, there was considerable continuity in administration. A core of able men was essential for any ministry which was to last for long.

Most politicians put the interests of their own provinces before the colony's. Having been firmly established for several years before responsible central government came into effect, the provinces took over many key matters, including immigration, roading, land administration, policing, education, and hospitals. In 1856 their entitlement to land revenue and a share of customs duties was confirmed. In return they accepted responsibility for colonisation and development. Wide regional and local disparities resulted. The North Island provinces, particularly Auckland and Taranaki, had little land to sell and were always short of funds. Their South Island counterparts, especially Canterbury and Otago, had ample land and were to profit from economic booms which accompanied gold rushes in the 1860s, when they embarked on ambitious road, harbour, tunnelling, and immigration programmes. Wealthy provinces resented central government interference in their affairs, and southerners saw their revenues threatened by increased military expenditure in the North Island in the 1860s. Poor provinces looked to the capital for salvation from insolvency. Within each province the main towns were dominant, and little money reached outlying districts. This stimulated a desire for local autonomy which bore fruit in the creation of the new provinces of Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, Southland, and later Westland. Except for Hawke's Bay, they conspicuously failed to prosper, and their Lilliputian crises brought the whole system into disrepute. Nevertheless, European settlers identified strongly with their own communities, and the difficulty of communication between the areas they occupied made considerable regional autonomy essential.

Maori society from 1840 to 1860

In the 1840s the Maori were still preoccupied with their own concerns. Inter-hapu and inter-tribal competition was of paramount importance, and society remained fragmented. The very use of the word ‘Maori’, which implied the existence of a common race and culture, was mainly confined to pakeha until the 1850s. European innovations provided new ways to pursue traditional social and economic rivalries. Christianity offered literacy, a skill prized as a new basis for competition. Introduced foodstuffs such as potatoes and pigs, which could be raised in abundance with comparatively little effort, transformed the conspicuous production and ceremonial display of food—the yardstick shifted from quality to quantity. Maori participated vigorously in the colonial economy, exporting potatoes, wheat, and pigs throughout Australasia, and to the Californian goldfields. Maori farmers produced the bulk of New Zealand's exports to the Australian diggings. They acquired horses, sheep, schooners, and flour mills, as symbols of wealth as well as means to its creation. However, Maori agricultural production declined after an 1856 slump in the market in Victoria. European farmers had the apparent advantage of individualised land tenure and, with access to credit, they could make better use of technological innovations.

The first census of the Maori population in 1857–58 put the total at about 56 000, less than the pakeha population and only half of Dieffenbach's 1843 estimate. Both figures are doubtful, but the trend was clear. To the toll of diseases such as influenza, whooping cough, dysentery, and measles was added the effects of tuberculosis, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract infections, and low fertility caused by the previous generation's ill-health. High mortality rates contributed to the survival of belief in tapu and makutu (magic). The rituals of Christianity were widely adhered to, but for many Maori they offered only partial explanations of an unsettled world.

As more European colonists arrived, questions of land ownership became more pressing. The traditional Maori practice was to reinforce claims to land by regularly using its resources. From this perspective, settlers who paid for land, built houses, and planted crops were generally accepted, but people who piled goods on the shore and disappeared were not taken seriously. From 1840 Maori people quickly became aware of the significance to the pakeha of the land deed itself, and the permanent nature of the alienation which followed its transfer. Yet they offered much land for sale over the next two decades. Many Maori were anxious to have settler communities in their midst as a guarantee of long-term progress. Land sales gave a unique opportunity to vindicate claims to customary title over rivals. The ceremony of payment was usually a vital part of the transaction, while the price paid was less important. Tensions between claimants often made sales acrimonious. Few chiefs obstructed sales on principle, just as few were committed to a policy of selling land. The goal was rather the advantage of one's own hapu.

Extensive land purchases by the Crown during Grey's first governorship were masterminded by his able lieutenant Donald McLean. Most of the South Island was bought for only £15,000, and 13 million hectares throughout New Zealand had been obtained by 1853 at a total cost of £50,000. McLean had made huge purchases in the Manawatu, Wairarapa, and Hawke's Bay, while the boundaries of settlement advanced more slowly in the Auckland area. Maori tribes remained in control of a broad belt of territory stretching across the North Island from Taranaki to the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast. Grey's successor, Thomas Gore Browne, was unable to buy much land in this region, even when McLean resorted to making secret deals and other underhand tactics in response to increasing settler pressure. Maori attempts to prevent land sales culminated in a pan tribal movement, the Kingitanga, which in 1858 installed the venerable Waikato chief Te Wherowhero as King Potatau I. Its promoters hoped to end the chronic disputes by placing all Maori land under the King's mana and making its ownership subject to the decisions of his magistrates. But Maori society had no precedents for allegiance to a central judicial or administrative authority. Tribes of the Tainui confederation generally supported the King, but many others did not. The Kingitanga meant more to the chiefs, as a means of bolstering their mana—threatened by European-inspired individualism—than it did to their followers.

The struggle for supremacy: 1860–1872

Grey hoped to gradually transform the Maori into brown-skinned pakeha, who would ultimately be absorbed by inter-marriage into a predominantly European population. Grey's policy would require radical changes in Maori lifestyle, which he encouraged in a variety of ways. He financed English-language education of Maori children, aided Maori agriculture and commerce with gifts of ploughs, mills, seeds, and schooners, and employed Maori and pakeha on ostensibly equal terms in the police forces that he controlled. In his second term Grey established a scheme for local administration under which Maori runanga (assemblies) would gradually introduce European concepts of law. The purpose of these ‘new institutions’ illustrates Grey's overall aim: the ‘amalgamation of the races’ was to occur on pakeha terms. Britain had asserted since 1840 that its law applied throughout Aotearoa, but in 1860 much of the North Island was still effectively beyond government control. The war which now broke out had much to do with the contest for land, but it was also a struggle for authority over the people that the land sustained, and for mana.

Fighting began in Taranaki in March 1860, when British troops attempted to remove Te Atiawa tribespeople from land at Waitara which the Crown had allegedly bought, but which most of its claimants had refused to sell. Te Atiawa were soon reinforced by the Taranaki and Ngati Ruanui tribes, and later by Kingite forces from the Waikato region. In June, 350 Imperial troops were heavily defeated when they assaulted a pa at Puketakauere which contained both dummy and concealed defensive positions. For a year the civilian population remained virtually under siege in New Plymouth, while the British vainly sought to engage the Maori in a decisive battle. Eventually the British embarked, under cover of a series of redoubts, on a laborious advance, which had achieved no tangible success by the time a truce was agreed in March 1861. Fewer than 1000 Maori warriors had not lost any territory to some 3500 opponents, and were also able to keep the considerable resources plundered from abandoned European properties.

With Grey's return in 1861 the focus shifted to the Waikato. Imperial troops were steadily augmented, a military road was constructed from Auckland to the Waikato River, and the heartland of Kingite power was invaded in July 1863. British forces eventually numbered 14 000 effective troops (more than were available for the defence of England) and were led by a highly competent staff under General Sir Duncan Cameron, but they had great difficulty pushing back Maori opponents who never numbered more than 2000 at one time. Given the inability of the Maori economy to sustain an army continuously in the field, and the many obstacles to effective inter-tribal military cooperation, the Kingite resistance was remarkably successful, but by mid-1864 the Waikato Basin had been occupied up to the Puniu River. The search for a decisive victory now led Cameron to Tauranga, where he was stunningly defeated in a frontal attack on a superbly-designed fortress at Gate Pa, but was able to partially avenge this reverse at Te Ranga a few weeks later.

The territory occupied in the ‘Waikato War’, about 400 000 hectares, was confiscated by the colonial government, but fighting was far from over. Imperial troops campaigned on the west coast in 1865–66, while colonial units and allied kupapa (pro-government Maori) fought in the east. Both opposed adherents of the new religion of Pai Marire, which combined elements of traditional Maori beliefs, Christianity, and the innovations of its Taranaki prophet, Te Ua Haumene. In 1868, with Imperial forces now withdrawn from active service and ‘native’ policy firmly in the hands of the settler government, a grave crisis abruptly confronted pakeha New Zealand. Belated attempts to implement years-old land confiscations provoked a campaign by the Ngati Ruanui chief Titokowaru, who with a few hundred warriors repeatedly defeated much larger colonial forces until dissension among his followers brought his advance to an end. Simultaneously, the Rongowhakata prophet Te Kooti Rikirangi conducted a brilliant guerrilla campaign in the Poverty Bay area, after escaping with some 160 prisoners of war from exile in the Chatham Islands. He proved far less adept than Titokowaru at pa construction and defence, and armed support for his cause dwindled until he was forced to seek sanctuary in Kingite territory early in 1872. The zone of effective Maori autonomy had now shrunk, but it still encompassed the ‘King Country’ in the central North Island, South Taranaki, and the Urewera district. Pakeha sovereignty was now an established fact, but it was by no means absolute.

Pastoralism and gold

The huge Grey/McLean land purchases were the basis for an expansion of European economic activity. The Canterbury settlement, whose social composition came closest to Wakefield's ideal, was for a few years the colony's best approximation to a concentrated agricultural community. Soon, however, it became the most important base for a rapidly expanding pastoral economy. From the late 1840s, sheep grazing spread across the open country along the east coasts of both islands. Australian ‘squatters’ sold surplus merinos to New Zealand colonists with capital, and from the early 1850s many crossed the Tasman themselves to take up cheap long-term grazing leases. Grey reduced the price of rural land in 1853, ostensibly to help small farmers. The main effect, however, was to allow runholders to consolidate their holdings. By the mid-1860s many had secure tenure. During this ‘golden age’ of pastoralism, overseas prices for wool rose steadily, and sheep numbers increased from 750 000 in 1855 to 10 million in 1870. Wool was king, and the pastoralist came in some ways to resemble Wakefield's rural gentleman, pre-eminent economically, socially, and politically in his domain. But the scale of pastoral farming was very different from the intensive agriculture Wakefield had envisaged. Much of the work (e.g., shearing) was seasonal and undertaken by itinerant labourers; station homesteads were often quite primitive, and usually far from neighbours. Transience and loneliness thus accompanied economic growth.

The quest for wealth from a second staple product—gold—brought more hardship and isolation in the 1860s, even as the population rose rapidly. Beginning in 1861, a series of gold rushes transformed Otago virtually overnight. The province's population increased fivefold (to 60 000) between 1861 and 1863. Then the main focus of activity shifted to the west coast of the South Island, where by 1867 there were 29 000 inhabitants in an area almost unoccupied three years earlier. Mining declined rather quickly in Otago, more slowly in Westland. From the 1880s expensive dredging techniques revived the industry in both regions. The ‘diggers’ had profited less than merchants, bankers, and farmers. Farmers also benefited from the influx of British troops during the Waikato war. Briefly, their provisioning was one of the colony's main sources of income. Equally briefly, small mixed farms became profitable.

In the 1860s, while the European population of the North Island rose to 97 000, the South Island's European population increased to 159 000. Unequal growth brought political change in 1865, when the capital was moved south to Wellington, and the South Island gained 13 additional parliamentary seats. Otago was transformed from an obscure Presbyterian outpost into the foremost commercial and industrial province, with a quarter of the colony's pakeha population producing one-third of its exports. Secondary industries, largest in Otago and Auckland, manufactured a wide range of products for local markets. By 1871 about 10 000 people were employed in manufacturing. The larger towns now contained groups of artisans and labourers with some capacity for combined action. In Dunedin the unemployed demanded relief works as boom turned to slump in the late 1860s.

‘Vogelism’: Immigration and public works

The Otago-based businessman and politician Julius Vogel became Colonial Treasurer in 1869, and dominated political life until his departure for London in 1876 as Agent-General (a post which combined diplomacy and business promotion). When he took office the income-generating British troops had almost all left. The colony had just survived the severe military crisis of 1868–69. Dependence on world commodity prices had proved to be a mixed blessing, since receipts for wool and gold exports had slumped. The average wool price had fallen to 11 pence per pound in 1870 from 16 pence in 1860. Faced with the prospect of a serious depression, Vogel persuaded his cabinet colleagues to approve a programme of public borrowing to finance growth. Twenty million pounds were borrowed in a decade, mostly from Britain. The role of the state grew; there were four times as many civil servants in 1877 (some 7200) than a decade earlier. A large publicly-owned infrastructure of transport, communication, and other services was established. There were 234 kilometres of public railways in 1873, and 1840 kilometres in 1880. One-third of public expenditure in the decade to 1881 went on roads and bridges, which had more practical effect than railways in improving communications in most areas. 6500 kilometres of telegraph lines were built in the 1870s (their construction had begun for military reasons in the previous decade). Expensive harbour projects were undertaken around the country, and there was a boom in residential, business, and public building. Government spending in 1872 was said to be 13 times that of Canada on a per capita basis.

The 1870s was a decade of large-scale emigration from Europe. Most migrants went to America, a significant fraction to Australasia. The arrival in New Zealand in nine years of 115 000 government-assisted immigrants contributed to the near-doubling of the non-Maori population to 490 000 in 1880. Organised communities of Scandinavian, English, and Irish came out under special settlement schemes. The first group were prominent in the clearing of the ‘Great Bush’ which covered much of the southern half of the North Island. This unremitting toil, like that of the railway and road builders, laid the foundations for much future development. The immediate result of Vogel's policies, however, was a substantial enlargement of New Zealand society without any corresponding strengthening of the economy. The colony had become more, rather than less dependent on Britain as a source of both capital and income. By 1881 more than 90 percent of export revenue came from the United Kingdom, whereas Australia had taken over half New Zealand's exports in the 1860s. Wool had regained the status of largest overseas earner from gold.

The development of a centralised colonial economy linked by modern communications had political implications. While the implementation of ‘Vogelism’ was much influenced by regional pressures, it transformed the balance of power between centre and provinces. Provincial governments, designed in part as agents of colonisation, were now proving superfluous in this role. In 1871 the central government took over sole responsibility for immigration and railway construction. Opposition to some of Vogel's policies by provincialists in the House led ultimately to the end of the provincial system in 1876, over the protests of wealthy Canterbury and Otago. A network of county councils now joined existing borough councils, road boards, and harbour boards as the units of local government. Regional education, hospital, and land boards soon followed.

The 1880s: Stagnation and innovation

A credit squeeze in 1878–79 ushered in some 15 years of economic stagnation, during which export and import prices, and wages all fell roughly in proportion. Burdened with the overseas debts incurred in the 1870s, New Zealand remained dependent on the ability of a depressed British working class to buy its primary products. The most promising development was the beginning of frozen meat exports with the voyage of the Dunedin to the United Kingdom in 1882. This trade grew slowly at first. While there were 21 freezing works in 1892, they were not working to capacity. By then, however, meat exports exceeded £1 million annually in value second only to wool. Experimentation produced new breeds of sheep, which provided good quality mutton as well as wool, and were suited to the country's dryish pastures. In 1882 New Zealand's first dairy factory opened at Edendale in Southland. Exports of dairy produce also grew slowly, with banks reluctant to finance small farmers' production of ‘perishable’ butter and cheese. Mechanisation in processing was paralleled by technological innovations in farming itself. Horse-drawn reapers and binders began to replace men. Traction engines and mechanical threshing mills appeared in the 1880s, as a boom in wheat production saw exports peak at more than £1 million in 1883. Local manufacturers ingeniously adapted agricultural equipment to local needs. The introduction of shearing machines in the late 1880s further reduced the demand for rural labour.

Other products enjoyed fluctuating fortunes. Most important in Auckland ‘province’ (provincial identity long outlived the institutions themselves), timber processing became the country's largest manufacturing enterprise between 1875 and 1885. A substantial export trade in kauri timber was vulnerable to erratic prices, as was the ‘poor man's industry’ of extracting kauri-gum (resin) deposits. Coal was exported from Westland from the mid-1880s. Urban manufacturing continued to grow until about 1886, after which the availability of cheap imports brought a decade of decline. By 1886 the number of industrial workers, including those making handicrafts, had reached 39 000. Most industries were small concerns serving local needs. In 1891 one-third of factory employees produced clothing and textiles, while a fifth was involved in building materials, and another fifth in food, drink, and tobacco processing. Local manufacturers received some protection in 1888, when the Atkinson ministry imposed a 20 percent tariff on imported goods which competed with locally-made products. Not for the last time, a conservative government proved willing to use the power of the state for economic ends. The low-cost, low-wage conditions under which New Zealand industry operated were highlighted by the report of the 1890 Sweating Commission, which revealed considerable exploitation of women and children. The failure of the 1890 Maritime Strike by seamen, watersiders, miners, and railwaymen emphasised the relative weakness of urban labour in a mainly rural, export-dependent economy.

Maori society to 1890

The wars of the 1860s had brought both unprecedented Maori unity, and new divisions. Alliance with the pakeha had offered some tribes the opportunity to pay off old scores. While some kupapa fought defensive actions on their own soil, others ranged across the North Island in a manner reminiscent of the large supra-tribal war parties of earlier in the century. Co-operation and resistance continued to be twin motifs of Maori response to the pakeha for several decades after overt warfare ended. On balance, it seems that in this period collaboration was the less successful means of preserving tribal autonomy.

Kupapa and ‘rebels’ both suffered from the land confiscations of the 1860s. Fertility and strategic location were more important considerations for the settler government than the owners' part in rebellion. The operations of the Native Land Court, established under the Native Lands Act 1865, which permitted the leasing or purchase of land from Maori named in the court's certificates of title, efficiently parted the Maori from much of their remaining land. From 1873, the court operated under a system that was even more clearly weighted in favour of Maori wishing to sell land. In the 1880s land in the King Country itself—where King movement supporters had continued to live in effective independence—began to come before the court, and this paved the way for its purchase. Construction of the Auckland-Wellington railway through Ngati Maniapoto territory symbolised the end of an autonomous Maori zone. By 1892 less than one-sixth of the country remained in Maori ownership, and a quarter of that was leased to Europeans. Most Maori-owned land was rugged and bush-clad. Maori now were only 7 percent of the population. By 1896 epidemics had reduced their numbers to 42 000. Living in poor conditions—many in insanitary, makeshift camps—they grew scarcely enough for their own needs and relied increasingly on seasonal work on European farms and public works.

Yet Maori society remained resilient and adaptable. This was a time of intense political activity, of large tribal and supra-tribal meetings held in splendid new meeting-houses, and of negotiations with pakeha politicians. ‘Loyal’ Maori had been rewarded with four seats in the House of Representatives in 1867.

Maori MPs became increasingly skilled advocates of Maori rights. Ngati Kahungunu kupapa leaders organised a Repudiation movement to challenge the Hawke's Bay land sales of the 1860s. Kepa te Rangihiwinui, who had been one of the pakeha's main military allies, led an anti-land-sales group in Wanganui in the 1880s. In Te Waipounamu, the prophet Te Maiharoa led a heke (migration) of Ngai Tahu, which peacefully reoccupied tribal land in the Waitaki valley for two years, until evicted by armed police in 1879. In Taranaki, land proclaimed confiscated was left in Maori hands for more than a decade before pakeha settlers sought to occupy it. Here Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, based at Parihaka, led a movement of passive resistance which attracted wide support, and was only subdued in 1881 by a massive show of military force. The two leaders and many of their followers were temporarily exiled to the South Island. Maori spiritual values remained strong. King Tawhiao's Tariao (‘morning star’) faith recognised guardian spirits and ancestors, and drew on the teachings of Te Ua. Te Kooti proved ultimately more significant as founder of the comprehensive and sophisticated Ringatu faith than as a warrior. The mission-trained Te Whiti claimed God's special protection for the Maori and preached predestination.

While Maori people now participated in the pakeha economy, they generally did so in family groups rather than as isolated individuals. The Maori remained separated from pakeha life by language and culture, as well as by geography. While there was no rigid segregation, they were still a distinct ethnic and social group. In the context of nineteenth century European expansion world wide, this was no small achievement.

2.3 Development and depression: 1890 to 1935

The Liberals in power

Although 1890 came to be seen as a watershed year in New Zealand history, its significance was less apparent at the time. A general election resulted in a fragile majority for the loosely-organised team supporting Liberal leader John Ballance, who differed from Premier Harry Atkinson chiefly in proposing a graduated land tax which would encourage large landowners to reduce the size of their holdings, allowing more small farmers on to the land. In Dunedin and Christchurch, increased awareness of political issues among wage-earners after the defeat of the Maritime Council had electoral consequences, with the return of candidates sympathetic to labour. In rural electorates, by contrast, abstention from voting remained the most typical form of political activity. The abolition of plural voting had reduced the direct political power of those who owned property in several constituencies, but there was still a ‘country quota’ which gave rural voters 28 percent more strength than was justified by their share of the total population.

Ballance became assured of a viable majority in the House only after Atkinson alienated a number of members by stacking the Legislative Council with new appointees, in a bid to establish an unassailable majority there. The conservative ‘Continuous Ministry’ at last left office, ‘leaving a legacy of constitutional controversy, which did much to unify the Liberal alliance. Ballance now sought to make his own appointments to the upper house. After two years’ argument the British Colonial Secretary instructed New Zealand's Governor to acquiesce. This ended the Governor's substantive role in politics. An Act set a seven-year term (as against tenure for life) for future legislative councillors and reduced the upper house to the effective status of a debating chamber. These events, together with the extension of the franchise to women in 1893—a result of the unwillingness of the new Liberal leader Richard John Seddon to alienate a powerful feminist-temperance alliance—gave New Zealand politics a markedly more democratic appearance.

Liberal legislation at first focused on land issues. The Land and Income Assessment Act 1891 imposed a modest, and modestly-graduated, tax on unimproved land values. This tax was a minimal imposition on prospering pastoralists, who sold up (when they did so) because rising land prices made it worthwhile. In 1892 Minister of Lands, John McKenzie offered Crown lessees an optional 999-year lease without revaluation—this way freehold tenure in all but name. By 1907 more than 5000 Crown tenants had taken up some 1 million hectares under this tenure. These measures fostered Liberal support in the countryside, and in the 1893 election the party doubled its rural representation. Overall it now held 51 of the 74 European seats. The Advances to Settlers Act 1894 offered state loans to (non-Maori) settlers at reasonable interest rates. Its chief beneficiaries were not new ‘bush farmers’, but established farmers who could borrow to make improvements.

The success of these policies was much enhanced by a steady rise in international prices after 1894. This income allowed the government to borrow for public works construction, land purchase, and loans to farmers, and enabled farmers to service their mortgages from increased earnings. By the end of the 1890s the full impact of refrigeration was bringing significant economic changes. In 1901 there were nearly 5000 dairy farmers, and by 1911—when they totalled one-third of all farmers—there were three times as many. The trend towards intensive farming was firmly established, as small-scale production became commercially viable. Before 1890 it took many sheep or a substantial herd of cattle to make a living; by 1900 a few hundred sheep or a handful of dairy cattle would suffice. Subsistence farming, widespread in the nineteenth century, now declined. Farming became a business, and increasingly a family business, as mechanisation brought a decline in the number of rural labourers. There were now three farm-produced export staples rather than one, although earnings from wool continued to be greater than those from meat or dairy products.

Townspeople profited from an expanding rural economy. Urban workers also benefited from legislation sponsored by the Liberals' first Minister of Labour, William Pember Reeves. The Factories Act 1894 provided for regular inspection of factories, closely regulated the conditions of employment of women and children, and restricted the working week in most industries to not more than 48 hours. The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1894 set up a mechanism for peacefully settling industrial disputes, and in the process elevated unions to equal status with employers in the bargaining process. Disputes not resolved by negotiation were to be settled by a central Arbitration Court, whose decisions were binding. Registration of unions was voluntary, and direct collective bargaining remained an option. But the collapse of unionism after 1890 made the new system appear attractive, and most unions sought the recognition offered. Union membership soared from some 8000 in 1896 to 57 000 in 1910. Reeves was not present to witness this growth in the labour movement. In 1896, unable to win support from his colleagues for a new round of radical legislation, he became Agent-General in London. His departure left urban wage-earners without an effective voice in the government, which was now dominated by the populist improvisation of Seddon, McKenzie, and a latter-day Vogel, Colonial Treasurer Joseph Ward.

Growth of the public sector.

The Liberals created 12 new government departments, of which two were particularly notable. The Labour Department, initially set up in 1891 as the Bureau of Industries, was envisaged by its first Secretary, Edward Tregear, as a ‘benevolent bureaucracy’ which would act as a buffer between capital and labour. His staff, who numbered 83 full-timers and many part-time inspectors by 1908, administered Reeve's legacy. The Department of Agriculture, also created in 1891, increasingly assumed important regulatory functions. Systematic grading and branding of export produce was carried out at major ports. Farm inspectors ensured hygienic milking and milk storage, and campaigns against pests and stock diseases were stepped up. The Journal of Agriculture was founded in 1910. In 1893 the government took over direct control of the railway system, and set about expanding it. The country had 3200 kilometres of line by 1896 and 4800 kilometres by 1914. The North Island main trunk line was completed in 1908. Railways opened up whole areas for settlement—notably the hinterland of Auckland ‘province’—by making practicable the movement of supplies and farm produce. Provision of railways and roads remained of vital importance in local and national politics, and not only for economic reasons. Improved communications did much to reduce the demoralising isolation of backblocks living.

Other government functions also expanded. In 1903 the state asserted its control of all future hydro-electric power generation, and in 1911 the first large power station was completed at Lake Coleridge in Canterbury. Old-age pensions were introduced in 1898 to assist the growing numbers of destitute, elderly people. As immigration grew relatively less important and family size also fell—women who married in 1880 averaged 6.5 live births, those in 1923, 2.4—the proportion of the aged in the population grew. Young people also benefited from the government's increased social role. The 1877 Education Act had set up a colony-wide system of primary education, through which four-fifths of the country's five to 15-year-olds were receiving instruction by 1891. After George Hogben became administrative head of the Education Department in 1899 the primary school service was much improved, the secondary system expanded, and technical education introduced. Activity in all these areas (and in others, such as health) required many more civil servants. In the past, government ministers had made most appointments, and controlled much of the day-to-day administration of ‘their’ departments. This became impractical as the functions of the bureaucracy grew more specialised. From 1912 appointment on merit, job classification, and standardised procedures were the norm. As in other Western economies at this time, private bureaucracies were also growing, and wage and salary earners made up an increasing proportion of the work-force.

The rise of Reform

By 1900 the Liberal Party had a mass organisation as well as strong leadership. The Liberal-Labour Federation unified regional associations through a national council and annual conferences. For the first time ordinary people could become members of a political party. But, while the Liberals remained dominant in Parliament after Ward became Prime Minister on Seddon's death in 1906, social and economic forces gradually split the alliance between urban wage-earners and small-to-middling farmers which sustained them in power. As they became more established, small dairy and mixed farmers grew more critical of the government which had in many cases given them their start on the land. Demand for the freehold became a rallying cry. Free trade, unrestricted access to Maori land, and freedom from government regulation, and from the spectre of socialist trade unionism, were other demands. The New Zealand Farmers' Union, launched in 1899, spread especially rapidly in newly-opened North Island districts. Its leadership soon comprised established as well as struggling farmers, and increasingly it supported the new Reform Party, led by William Ferguson Massey, which also gained the backing of protection-dependent urban businessmen after dropping free trade as party policy.

Meanwhile, urban workers grew disenchanted with the government as their share of the country's growing prosperity diminished after 1900. Real wages fell as the Arbitration Court delivered more miserly and belated award increases. In addition, up to 10 percent of the work-force continued to be intermittently or seasonally unemployed. Although this was much less than the one-third comparably affected in Edwardian England, rising national income was clearly being distributed unequally. Both the arbitration system and the political alliance which had produced it were called into question. Unionists and socialists formed a Socialist Party, a Federation of Miners, and (in 1909) a Federation of Labour, which urged member unions to refuse arbitration and take direct action to achieve radical goals. Many leading militants had come from Australia, where an Irish-dominated working-class culture developed nationalist, anti-British characteristics. In the decades around 1900 there was much movement of labour between New Zealand and Australia as economic conditions fluctuated. Many sheep-shearing gangs followed a regular seasonal route through both countries. A few socialists came from the United States, where revolutionary organisations like the industrial Workers of the World preached the overthrow of capitalism through the unification of workers into ‘one big union’ with the strength to confront the state.

Class conflict and world war

Losing support at both ends of the political spectrum, the Liberals failed to gain a clear majority in the 1911 election, and in 1912 enough MPs crossed the floor of the House to bring down the government. Massey now led a Reform Party government which in effect offered a more efficient administration of the Liberals' heritage. He moved first to defeat the challenge from the left. A 1912 dispute at the Waihi goldmine, about whether workers should accept arbitration under the 1894 Act, eventually ended in police-backed violence. In 1913 a ‘lock-out’ on the Wellington waterfront led to a general strike by watersiders, seamen, and coalminers. This was defeated after thousands of middle-class and farmer ‘special constables’, supporting the regular police and sustained by logistical support from the military, fought with unionists on the streets of Auckland and Wellington. Clearly unable to overthrow the government by direct action, the militants turned to more conventional politics. A total of six ‘Social Democrat’ and Labour MPs were elected in 1914, and in 1916 a Labour Party was formed. If any one cause united Labour supporters behind their new party, it was opposition to military conscription, which was introduced in 1916, as New Zealand troops began to suffer the torments of the Western Front. The ‘Great War’ also marked the development of a sense of national identity in many New Zealanders. Since 1870, when dissatisfaction with Imperial troop withdrawals and declining prices on London markets had led to talk of secession and alliance with the United States, pakeha New Zealanders had taken for granted a position of loyal subordination within the British Empire. Remoteness from its centre was offset by the guarantee of security provided by the Royal Navy, and the facts of economic dependence. Throughout the period from 1875 until the Second World War, roughly 80 percent of New Zealand's exports were sold to the United Kingdom, and at least half its imports came from that country. Failure to join the Australian federation (created in 1901) was in large part an acknowledgment that New Zealand's most vital interests lay elsewhere. The ‘colony’ was officially renamed a ‘dominion’ in 1907, but this was seen as recognition of autonomy rather than full nationhood.

Wartime support for Britain modified attitudes of dependence. The 6500 volunteers who went to the South African War (1899–1902) saw themselves as superior mentally and physically to their British regular-force counterparts. The experience of the First World War—103 000 New Zealanders served abroad, and some 18 000 died, out of a total population of little more than a million—reinforced claims of outstanding military excellence. These were enhanced by the heroic assault on Chunuk Bair in August 1915, during the Gallipoli campaign; achievements at Passchendaele in October 1917; and the role of the New Zealand Division in helping stop the great German advance in the spring of 1918. Although Massey claimed (unconvincingly) that in signing the Treaty of Versailles he did not act as the agent of a sovereign state, many New Zealanders now felt they had earned statehood. The country was now a minor colonial power in its own right, having annexed the Cook Islands in 1901 and bloodlessly conquered German Samoa in August 1914. Prowess at the ‘national sport’ of rugby football had also become a source of (mostly male) patriotic pride after an all-but-undefeated tour of the British Isles by a representative team in 1905–6.

Uncertainty and depression

War had widened domestic divisions. While farmers profited from the commandeer system, under which the British government guaranteed purchase of New Zealand's main exports, the cost of living rose in towns and cities, and by 1919 real wages were lower than at any time since the turn of the century. The Protestant Political Association, which claimed to have 200 000 members in 1919, vigorously opposed ‘Rum’, ‘Romanism’ (i.e., Roman Catholicism) and ‘Rebellion’ (i.e., the Labour Party). Massey won his first decisive electoral victory in 1919. Reform now had 46 seats to the Liberals' 20 and Labour's eight. But the government had won only 36 percent of the vote, and Labour's share had reached 24 percent. Throughout the 1920s the existence of a three-party system was to lead to much greater fluctuations in seats won than in voting patterns.

Political instability reflected economic uncertainty. Soldiers had returned to promises of a ‘land fit for heroes to live in’—the state would put them on farms, or at least provide loans for this purpose. But government resettlement policies further fuelled a rise in land values, initially sparked by wartime guarantees of markets. Between 1915 and 1925 some 40 percent of occupied land changed ownership, much of it for a great deal more than it was worth. Rural prosperity ended abruptly in 1921–22, when export prices fell sharply. In response, the government legislated. The Meat Export Control Act 1922 established a board to handle beef and mutton exports, and a 1923 Act regulated dairy exporting. Massey's successor as Reform Party leader and Prime Minister, J. Gordon Coates, was responsible for the Rural Advances Act 1926, which created a new section of the State Advances Department to grant rural first-mortgage loans, and also for the Rural Intermediate Credit Act 1927. Coates's government implemented a substantial public works programme, building hydroelectric power stations, railways, and roads. It also introduced a child allowance in 1926. Once again, a purportedly conservative administration was expanding the state's economic role.

Urban wage-earners, whose incomes were cut during the 1921–22 slump, looked to Labour to protect their interests. Labour now had to modify its radicalism to expand its appeal. It could not hope to govern without rural votes, which were denied Labour so long as they were seen as advocates of land nationalisation. Meanwhile, dissatisfaction with Coate's leadership grew among businessmen who resented his promotion of state activity, and farmers who had looked to him to break the bitter cycle of falling returns, fixed mortgage repayments, and increasing costs. The temporary beneficiaries of this disillusionment were the Liberals, who (renamed United and again led by the now ageing and ailing Ward) won more seats than either of their rivals in the 1928 election by opting for the old policy of borrowing for development. But, as export prices plummeted, depression deepened and borrowing proved impracticable. In 1930 United formed a coalition with Reform, which comfortably won the 1931 election. This government moved to assist farmers through a 25 percent devaluation of the currency, a series of mortgage adjustment Acts, and lowered freight and interest rates. These measures did little to reduce growing support for radical monetary reform, which was advocated by the Douglas Credit movement and influenced Labour policy.

Giving priority to defending farmers' incomes worsened conditions in the cities. Most wages and salaries were cut by 10 percent in both 1931 and 1932. Such savage deflation in an already contracting economy led to an eighth of the work-force being unemployed by 1933. Government determination that the jobless should earn the meagre relief provided under the 1930 Unemployment Act (which levied a special tax on all males aged over 20) resulted in labour-intensive make-work projects and the establishment of spartan camps for single men in isolated areas. Sporadic outbreaks of violent protest in the main cities in 1932 were blamed by Prime Minister George Forbes on a ‘lawless minority’ and Communist agitation. His response was the Public Safety Conservation Act, which empowered the government to proclaim a national emergency and assume Draconian powers when public order was thought to be endangered. ‘Disloyal’ public servants, including those who protested against wage cuts, could now be dismissed. Resentment of the government became widespread.

Other social and economic developments.

New Zealand's non-Maori population grew from 625 000 in 1891 to almost 1.5 million in 1936. This increase was uninterrupted, but slowed markedly in the 1930s as hard times led to fewer births and a net outflow of migrants. Until then immigration was continuous—there was a net inflow of some 200 000 between 1901 and 1928—but immigrants were a steadily diminishing proportion of the population. For this reason, and also because there was an even sexual balance of immigrants in later decades, the proportion of women to men increased. At the height of the gold rushes in the 1860s there had been only five pakeha women in the colony for every eight men. The ratio had reached nine to ten by 1901, and 97 to 100 by 1936. As unmarried men grew relatively fewer, some of the characteristic problems of frontier societies—such as alcoholism, crime, and loneliness—became less prevalent. The transience (enforced by the ephemeral nature of much employment) which had seen a majority of income-earners changing localities several times each decade also gradually diminished. The rural frontier moved forward more slowly, and in the 1930s contracted, as many marginal back-country farms were abandoned.

There was a gradual but persistent movement of population from rural to urban areas, although this was arrested in the 1930s by the growth of public works camps. In 1896, 29 percent of the non-Maori population lived in towns of more than 8000 people; by 1936 the figure was 49 percent. The opening-up of the North Island's farming hinterland before the First World War, and industrial development between the wars, saw its share of the population rise from half in 1900 to 65 percent in 1936. Non-Maori people were nearly all of northern European origin. Gold had attracted 5000 Chinese migrants by 1874, but discrimination and restrictions on immigration saw their numbers fall to little more than 2000 by 1916. About the same number of people of Yugoslav birth were living in New Zealand in 1911—most in the North Auckland peninsula. By 1936 some 1200 Indians were resident in the country.

Mechanisation brought substantial productivity increases in the primary sector, whose share of the total work-force fell from 42 percent in 1896 to 30 percent in 1926. Some primary industries declined in absolute terms, not merely relatively, as resources were concentrated on the three major export products. Kauri-gum production fell from a 1903 peak, the flax industry declined in the 1930s after fluctuating wildly, and gold and timber had ceased to be significant exports by 1914. Coal mining, which had expanded chiefly to provide fuel for the growing railway system, stagnated as railway construction slowed down. Urbanisation was paralleled by the growth and diversification of secondary industries. By the 1920s manufacturing's share of the gross domestic product was only slightly less than that in Australia and the United States, despite New Zealand's relative lack of protective barriers. Industry was typically small-scale, mixed, and unsophisticated, and processed imported components. In the 1920s motor-vehicle assembly and metalworking expanded significantly. By 1926 some 45 percent of the workforce were employed in the tertiary sector (providing services and doing ‘white-collar’ work). New Zealand had become a predominantly urban, yet farming-dependent, nation. It remained Britain's outlying farm as it developed many of the social and demographic characteristics of an industrialised society.

Maori society 1890–1935

Even after 1890, Maori resistance to pakeha dominance was occasionally physical. In 1895 Urewera Maori obstructed a survey until overawed by a military party. In 1898, 120 men of the regular army confronted followers of the Hokianga tohunga Hone Toia. Serious bloodshed in this ‘Dog Tax War’ was only averted by the timely intervention of the MP Hone Heke Rankin. In 1916 ‘the last shooting in the Anglo-Maori wars’ occurred when armed police fought a gun battle with followers of the Tuhoe leader Rua Kenana (founder of the Wairua Tapu religion), killing two of them. Increasingly, resistance took new forms. Petitioners sought the aid of the Crown in persuading the New Zealand Government to honour the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, which now gained a status among Maori which many had not granted it in 1840. The King movement set up its own parliament (Kauhanganui) under a constitution promulgated in 1894. More significant—even though pakeha legislators refused to acknowledge it—was the rival Kotahitanga parliament, promoted chiefly by kupapa leaders, which met annually from 1892 to 1902.

Expansion of the ‘native schools’ system in the 1870s (there were 57 by 1879) laid the basis for an influx of gifted students into church boarding-schools such as Te Aute and St Stephen's Colleges in succeeding decades. A group of former Te Aute students took the Irish-Maori MP James Carroll as their mentor (he held a general electorate from 1893 to 1919, having earlier represented Eastern Maori). They called themselves the Young Maori Party and advocated the wholesale adoption of pakeha culture. ‘There is no alternative but to become a pakeha’, said Maui Pomare, who had become the first Maori Health Officer in 1900. Pomare and his assistant Te Rangihiroa (Peter Buck), who was Director of Maori Hygiene from 1920, worked for improvements in sanitation and living conditions. The Maori population rose from 45 500 in 1901 to 57 000 in 1921, due to a decline in the frequency of epidemics, the gradual acquisition of immunity to them, and an increase of numbers in the child-bearing age group. Life expectancy rose from around 25 years in 1890 to 35 in 1905. But Maori health was still comparatively poor. The death rate in the influenza pandemic of 1919 was four-and-a-half times that for Europeans.

Although Carroll was Minister of Native Affairs, the Liberals transferred 1.2 million hectares of Maori land to pakeha ownership. Reform alienated a further 1.4 million hectares. ‘Maori landowners, rather than the squattocracy, were vanquished by the state's promotion of closer settlement.’ Improvements in Maori farming came through communal initiatives. In the 1890s the Ngati Porou tribe, who retained much land on the East Coast of the North Island, embarked on large-scale pastoralism. By the mid-1920s they owned a million sheep, as well as a dairy factory, a finance company, and a co-operative store. Apirana Ngata (himself a Ngati Porou) as Native Minister sponsored a 1929 Act which channelled state credit to Maori farmers through the Department of Native Affairs. By 1937, the 750 000 acres being developed under this scheme were supporting about 18 000 people, most of whom lived in communities on or near the land they were working. Ngata, although a member of the Young Maori Party, believed in fostering a communal rural lifestyle which continued Maori traditions.

While Maori in Parliament became skilful practitioners of taha pakeha (the European aspects of living), local leaders continued to have the most effective influence over Maori community life. None gained more stature than Te Puea Herangi, a member of the Waikato kahui ariki (paramount family), who came to prominence in the Kingitanga by leading a campaign against the conscription of Waikato Maori during the First World War. In 1921 she established a model pa at Ngaruawahia, and from the 1920s she was a national figure for Maori. With her support, Ngata's land development schemes allowed Waikato communities to preserve their traditional way of life, while productively occupying their own lands.

Gordon Coates was the first pakeha politician to provide leadership on Maori issues. As Minister of Native Affairs between 1921 and 1928 he was determined to ‘remove the old grievances so that economic and social change could proceed’. Among many initiatives, he established the Sim Commission to investigate the Waikato and Taranaki land confiscations (its findings largely upheld Maori grievances), and also the Maori Purposes Fund to make grants for educational, social, and cultural activities. With Ngata as Native Minister from 1928 to 1934 the momentum of reform continued. But the leadership of these two politicians began to be challenged by the spiritual leader Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, who was an advocate for the interests of the ‘Morehu’—detribalised, non-chiefly common people—to whom he offered a vision of spiritual and material betterment. His teachings seemed increasingly attractive as the Depression worsened. Maori are thought to have comprised some 40 percent of the jobless, and by 1933 three out of every four adult male Maori were registered as unemployed.

2.4 The mid-twentieth century

Labour's first term (1935–38)

The Labour Party won power in the 1935 election, when it gained a total of 59 seats (counting a few sympathetic independent MPs) compared to the 19 retained by the Coalition government's candidates. In 1938 it was re-elected, with an increased share of the vote and 53 seats to a new National Party's 25. These successes inaugurated a 14-year tenure of office which, like the Liberal era of the 1890s, was to establish new patterns and set the terms of economic and political debate for the next 40 years. Like the Liberals, Labour benefited by being elected as the economy recovered from depression. And, as befell the Liberals, the administration of Labour's achievement was eventually to be taken over by its conservative political opponents.

Labour won office because it was seen to represent a genuine alternative to the orthodox economic policies which had entailed hardship for too many. In addition, although export prices and the general economy were recovering in 1935, dairy produce receipts were still low. Discontented dairy farmers, who approved Labour's promises of guaranteed prices and cheap credit, were decisive in turning the Coalition's defeat into a rout. Led by the former ‘Red Fed’ and Socialist Party militant Michael Joseph Savage, the Labour government moved to restore and direct the economy and introduce a comprehensive social welfare system.

Previous cuts in wages and conditions of employment were reversed, and the normal manufacturing working week was reduced to 40 hours. Pay rates for relief work were substantially increased. Unemployment fell to 38 000 in 1936, and continued economic growth combined with a large public works programme to leave only about 8000 on ‘sustenance and relief by December 1937. In 1936 full jurisdiction was restored to the Arbitration Court, and union membership was made compulsory for all workers subject to awards. The number of unionists rose in consequence from 103 000 in 1935 to 249 000 in 1938. The Agricultural Workers Act 1936 set a minimum pay rate for previously unprotected rural labourers, and required the provision of decent living conditions for them. By buying out private shareholding in the Reserve Bank (created by Coates in 1933 to give the state some control over monetary policy), the government assumed conclusively the power to use the ‘people's credit’. Finance issued by the Reserve Bank underwrote housing construction, public works, and guaranteed prices for dairy products. Cheap mortgages from the revitalised, government-controlled State Advances Corporation helped efficient but indebted farmers remain on the land.

During Labour's 14 years in power some 30 000 ‘state houses’ (government-owned, privately-built rental dwellings) were constructed. State Advances mortgages financed a further 19 000 houses built for private ownership in the same period. The two schemes together gave government assistance to two in every five houses built. Spreading state house suburbs whose inhabitants shared similar lifestyles came to symbolise an egalitarian ‘levelling upwards’ in the quality of New Zealand life. Educational reforms included the lowering of the school-entry age from six to five. The primary-level Proficiency examination was abolished, and after the leaving age was raised to 15, was effectively replaced by the new School Certificate. These changes required much greater spending on school construction and teachers' salaries. The landmark Social Security Act of 1938 was intended not merely to provide a subsistence income but to meet the ‘normal needs’ of beneficiaries. Essentially free, general medical care was introduced against the bitter opposition of doctors, who, ironically, were to be the group who benefited most from the new ‘welfare state’. Social security and public admiration for Savage were major factors in Labour's 1938 electoral triumph, which was blighted only by the recapture of some rural seats by a more united Opposition.

War and rehabilitation

The government now looked forward to years of development, but was immediately reminded that New Zealand remained a small, dependent trading economy. Withdrawal of private capital combined with the expense of overseas-purchased machinery and supplies to reduce the country's sterling reserves from £29 million to £8 million within six months. Foreign exchange controls were introduced in December 1938. Minister of Finance Walter Nash won few concessions in months of negotiation with the British government and financiers. But bleak prospects were transformed by the outbreak of the Second World War. Britain rapidly agreed to bulk purchase arrangements at prices favourable to New Zealand for meat and dairy products, and later wool. Imports declined as European production was diverted to war purposes, or made unobtainable by shipping difficulties. The exchange crisis was quickly succeeded by a healthy balance of payments surplus, which even allowed the repayment of some earlier loans.

As in the First World War, the country's major contribution to the Allied effort was the provision of food, which went mostly to Britain, and later the Pacific theatre. While the war claimed some 12 000 New Zealand lives and saw 17 000 wounded, these were significantly lower casualties than the First World War inflicted on a society of half a million fewer people. Nevertheless, some 150 000 were serving in the armed forces when they were at their peak, and civilians were mobilised in support of the war effort. Prices and wages were tightly controlled, and the labour force was subject to direction into essential occupations. Secondary industry, already stimulated by economic expansion, public works, and import licensing, was now boosted by the need for greater self-sufficiency. A ‘hot-house growth of manufacturing’ resulted as many small, previously marginal ventures secured a disciplined labour force and guaranteed markets. The strongest growth occurred in Auckland, which was the largest focus for the urbanisation which had resumed with the end of the Depression. With so many men in the armed forces, women entered the work-force in large numbers. The proportion of Public Service clerical workers who were female rose from 5 percent in 1939 to 25 percent in 1947. By 1945 nearly 15 percent of married women under 30 were in full-time employment, a percentage which was not to decline after the war ended. From national necessity, many women entered rural and industrial occupations previously assumed to be ‘men's work’.

As with perceptions of women's role in society, assumptions about New Zealand's place in the world were irrevocably altered by the Second World War. The Balfour Report of 1926 recognised that Britain's dominions were de facto independent states. The United Kingdom legislated in the Statute of Westminster 1931, which effectively relinquished the British parliament's power to make laws for the dominions. New Zealand was not to accept this formally until 1947. The Labour government, like its conservative predecessors, sought consultation with Britain rather than an independent foreign policy. In the late 1930s New Zealand's support for the League of Nations and collective security brought disagreement with the appeasement-minded British. In 1945 Prime Minister Peter Fraser was to be a leading advocate for the rights of the small nations represented in the new United Nations Organisation. In the intervening years the limits of British power had been particularly brought home by the rapid capitulation to the Japanese in 1942 of the vaunted Singapore military base. The necessity of reliance on United States protection was underlined by the wartime presence of 100 000 American ‘GIs’ at New Zealand staging bases. Unlike Australia, New Zealand kept its best fighting troops in the Mediterranean theatre throughout the war. After participating in the unsuccessful defence of Greece and Crete in 1941, they endured the hardships of the North African desert and the slow, difficult advance through Italy. Although operating within the British command structure, New Zealand troops remained under New Zealand Government control. The war also stimulated a redirection of New Zealand trade. New Zealand's exports to non-British markets doubled to about 40 percent of all its exports in the decade after 1941, and were never to return to the levels of the previous half-century.

While a multi-party War Cabinet made the major decisions, Labour's regular Cabinet continued its largely-domestic business. Pragmatic politics counterpointed national sacrifice. The 1943 Servicemen's Settlement and Land Sales Act empowered the government to control prices in all land transactions, and to buy land suitable for subdivision. Farmers hoping to profit as before from a wartime rise in land values, and dissatisfied with the level of guaranteed prices, turned against the government. Despite its abolition of the country quota, Labour won a majority of only four seats in the 1946 election. In contrast with 1919, the reintegration of returning service personnel into the economy was impressively successful, backed as it was by full employment, enforced wartime savings, and guaranteed markets abroad. But the continuation of many wartime restrictions—symbolised by the 1948 Economic Stabilisation Act—was irksome. Maintaining supplies to impoverished Britain required continued rationing, electricity use was limited, and soaring marriage and birth rates outstripped house building.

National in office

The National Party, in its post-war guise, promised more efficient management of key Labour gains and greater personal freedom (such as the right of purchase for state house tenants). Led by Sidney Holland, National won the 1949 election. In 1951 it increased its majority in a rare snap election called to take advantage of the government's crushing termination of a major industrial dispute which had been precipitated by a breakdown in relations between waterfront workers and their employers. The Labour Party, though clearly not laggards in their enthusiasm for the ‘Cold War’—they introduced peacetime compulsory military training in 1949—were outmaneuvered by a government which consolidated its support around the popular themes of ‘law and order’, anti-Communism, and curbing the unions. Labour's ambivalence towards the strikers reflected divisions within the union movement, inside which a militant Trade Union Congress had emerged in opposition to the cautious Federation of Labour.

National continued to present itself to the electorate as the party which would best defend the ‘national interest’ against divisive sectional concerns. Buoyed by continuing prosperity, it was interrupted in its self-stated role as the ‘natural party of government’ only by the one-term Labour administrations of 1957–60 and 1972–75. Both these periods saw adverse alterations in New Zealand's terms of trade. Both Labour Cabinets made changes too rapidly for the liking of an electorate more comfortable with the ‘steady-does-it’ approach epitomized by Keith Holyoake's term as Prime Minister in the 1960s. In that decade political life sometimes seemed to dimly reflect the American scene. New Zealand troops fought in Vietnam, New Zealand youth rebelled against their parents' staidness and complacency, the voices of New Zealand's indigenous inhabitants began to be heard by the wider society. Seen as more efficient at managing a mixed economy, the National Party retained power even in the troubled economic times between 1975 and 1984.

Economic and social modernisation

In the quarter-century after 1950, New Zealand for many at last lived up to Seddon's characterisation of it as ‘God's Own Country’. National wealth per head rose continuously, if at varying rates, until the ‘oil crisis’ of 1973 began a period of stagnation. Standards of living mirrored this ‘pervasive prosperity’. The proportion of houses owned rather than rented rose from 61 percent to 69 percent during the 1950s. Low-cost suburban bungalows of uniform style were furnished with a widening range of consumer durables. Electric stoves, refrigerators, and washing-machines, found in only about half of all houses in the 1940s, were nearly universal by the mid-1960s (as were radiograms and, eventually, television sets). New Zealanders had more choice in spending their increasing discretionary incomes. Although many men remained preoccupied with sport, home-centred leisure (gardening, reading, TV-watching) increased with suburbanisation. Car ownership and substantial expenditure on roading (secondary routes as well as showpiece motorways) brought unparalleled mobility to many. Passenger use of railways declined as air transport came to dominate long-distance personal travel.

The dream of creating a materialist Utopia in New Zealand was kept alive by the unprecedented continuation of full employment for 30 years after the Second World War, when for the first time there had been the possibility of a job for almost everyone who wanted one. More white-collar work balanced continuing relative decline in rural employment. The proportion of the labour force employed in agriculture fell from about one-third in 1938 to an eighth in the early 1970s. Farming productivity rose at about 1 percent annually, as all aspects of farm management became more sophisticated. Capital improvements compensated for a diminishing labour force: tractor numbers increased tenfold from 1938 to the 1970s, and aircraft were widely used to spread fertiliser. By 1972 the number of farms had fallen by nearly a third from the post-war peak of 92 000, reached in 1955. The number of dairy farmers declined particularly dramatically, from nearly 40 000 in 1950 to about 17 000 in 1976. This reflected changes in the relative profitability of different types of farming, as well as a general exodus from the ranks of the small farmer. Meanwhile, male, blue-collar employment rose steadily, roughly in proportion to the overall growth of the labour force. By 1976 there were more than 400 000 blue-collar workers, 47 percent of the male work-force. Most rapid expansion came in white-collar employment, which occupied a quarter of working men in 1951, a third in 1971. The same proportions of all women aged over 15 were in paid employment in each of these years. In 1971, 62 percent of working woman had white-collar jobs. Most women continued to work in jobs performed mostly by women. At the beginning of the century the majority of working women had been employed in one of nine major occupational groups: as nurses, teachers, servants, domestics, drapers' assistants, shop assistants, clerks, tailoresses, and farmers' wives. These occupations remained female-intensive.

The goal of being one's ‘own boss’ became less attainable; between 1951 and 1971 small proprietors fell from one-fifth to an eighth of the work-force. Small business operators, like small farmers, felt themselves vulnerable to growing pressure from larger rivals and regulation-enforcing bureaucrats. The resentments of these two groups were reflected in the support they gave the Social Credit party in the 1960s and 1970s (although this was too geographically diffuse for the party to gain parliamentary representation, apart from one MP for a single three-year term). By the early 1970s about 40 percent of the work-force belonged to bureaucracies—organisations with specialised jobs, structured in a hierarchy, and governed by formal rules and regulations. The public sector, with about 250 000 employees, had grown by 100 000 in 20 years. Contrary to widespread popular belief, it had not increased its share of the work-force, or of national resources. Private bureaucracies now employed some 200 000 people. The growth of both sectors was closely linked to the expansion of post-primary education. Between 1945 and 1970 spending on education rose from 6 percent to 14 percent of government expenditure, and the number of secondary school students more than trebled. By 1971 one person in every three participated directly in the education system, as full-time student, teacher or administrator. Seven-eighths of all pupils attended state-run schools. Public education, like the state's housing policy, was based on an ethos which emphasised equality of access, social integration, and cultural uniformity. University students doubled in numbers in the 1960s, becoming 10 percent of the school-leaving age-group by the end of the decade.

The pakeha birth-rate had fallen steadily from the 1880s to the mid-1930s, prompting fears of a near-stationary population. This at last came to pass in the late 1970s, but only after a period of unprecedented growth, from 1.7 million in 1945 to more than 3 million. One-third of the increase was due to immigration, at first from war-ravaged Europe, later from the Pacific islands. Both Western Samoa and the Cook Islands gained effective independence in the 1960s, but their citizens retained rights of entry to New Zealand. By 1976, 61 000 Pacific Islanders lived in New Zealand. The bulk of the population growth, however, came from natural increase—the postwar ‘baby boom’, which lasted until use of effective contraception became more widespread during the 1960s. By 1961 a third of New Zealanders were aged under 15. This generation put stress on the education system and then on the job market, and seemed likely to overload superannuation schemes and health resources as it aged. Other demographic trends were continued movements from country to town and from south to north. By 1976 only one-sixth of New Zealanders lived outside urban areas. In that year 73 percent of the population lived in the North Island. The Auckland conurbation alone had a quarter of the country's people and a third of those employed in manufacturing. Whereas the greatest number of Vogel-period immigrants had settled in Canterbury and Otago, the latest wave of European migrants went disproportionately to the cities of Auckland and Wellington, as did newly-arriving Pacific Islanders and Maori leaving rural areas.

Self-reliance and self-doubt

This modernising society became more complex, more distinctive, and less self-confident as a Maori cultural renaissance began to affect the cities, more than a century of migration from Europe diminished to a trickle, and New Zealand finally lost its secure place as Britain's offshore farm. In the 1970s greatly-increased oil prices, and the global economy's inability to distribute the world's food production effectively, led to an apparently irreversible decline in the country's terms of trade with the outside world. Primary products—wood-pulp and paper as well as wool, meat, and dairy produce—continued to be New Zealand's export staples, but their share of total exports fell to 60 percent by 1975. In that year Britain (which had cut the symbolic umbilical cord by joining the protectionist European Economic Community) took only one-fifth of New Zealand's exports, and the country's four major markets (the others being Australia, the United States, and Japan) only three-fifths between them. An increasing variety of agricultural and manufactured products were sold in a growing range of markets. Primary produce sales were increasingly handled by centralised producer boards. The main focus of secondary industry was still the further processing of imported goods for local markets. Although import licensing was said to shelter inefficient industries, it seems that the average level of protection was not high by world standards. Nor is it clear that New Zealand output or standards of living have lagged nearly as far behind other developed countries as figures based on exchange-rate comparisons suggest. At worst, the country's economic performance has been an average one.

Much the same could be said in social terms. In New Zealand many features of Western social change have been experienced on a smaller scale. These have included the rise of youth culture (as both a new form of consumerism and a serious attempt to transform styles of living), the revitalisation of ethnic minorities, and the assertion by women of their right to participate fully in all aspects of economic and social life. Equal pay for equal work became a legal requirement in 1972, showing the extent of change since 1936, when the first minimum-wage legislation had set the female minimum rate at 47 percent of the male. But women remained over-represented in low-status occupations, and the twentieth-century idealisation of motherhood continued to be a potent source of guilt for mothers who, from necessity, took paid employment. As age, ethnic, and gender distinctions came to matter more, class divisions grew more subtle and apparently less important. Although extremes of wealth and poverty were rare, equality of income and status had been brought no closer by decades of formal equality of access to society's resources. And social consensus as to the desirability to relative equality and social security was being eroded by harsh economic realities and the diversification of individual aspirations.

Maori society after 1935

The state of Maori health still caused concern in the 1930s. In 1938 the Maori death rate was 24 per 1000, compared with 10 for pakeha, and the infant mortality rate was 153 for each 1000 live births, as against 37 for non-Maori. In 1940, 36 percent of Maori people were said to live in houses unfit for habitation by minimum pakeha-standards. Funding by the first Labour government of the Native Housing Act 1935 resulted in the construction of some 3000 houses by 1951. More systematic efforts to improve Maori health saw experts such as H. B. Turbott combine with community leaders like Te Puea to introduce health programmes. Effective control of diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid, and falling infant mortality, led to a rise in Maori life expectancy from 46 years in 1925 to 58 in 1956. These factors, and a continuing high birth rate, saw the Maori population double in 30 years, reaching 116 000 in 1951. In that year 57 percent of Maori people were aged under 21, compared with 35 percent of non-Maori. In 1955 the Maori birth rate was 44 per 1000, as against 25 for non-Maori. By 1966 half of all Maori were aged under 15. Continuing high fertility and improved health saw the Maori population reach 270 000 in 1976. Maori now comprised 9 percent of all New Zealanders.

Movement of Maori to the cities began during the Second World War, when manpower regulations and the work of the Maori War Effort Organisation opened up a variety of urban employment opportunities. In any case, farming could not have sustained the rapid increase in numbers. Eleven percent of Maori people had lived in urban areas in 1936. Forty years later, three-quarters of the Maori people were urbanised, and a fifth lived in Auckland, whose Maori population doubled during the 1960s. Migration to the cities meant improved housing conditions, but most Maori could not afford to live outside areas offering low-cost accommodation. Urbanisation was reflected in employment data. While 40 percent of male Maori had worked in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in 1951, only 16 percent did so by 1971. The respective figures for blue-collar employment were 52 percent and 70 percent. Over the same period, the proportion of Maori women in service occupations fell from 42 percent to 23 percent, while blue-collar workers rose from 24 percent to 36 percent of the female work-force. By the late 1960s, Maori and Pacific Islanders in Auckland and Wellington formed a ‘new under-class’, most holding poorly-paid jobs which offered little security or prospects for advancement.

Maori education benefited from the first Labour government's introduction of free secondary education and a school-leaving age of 15. By 1953, while special Maori schools (directly administered by the Department of Education) were still numerous, 60 percent of Maori children attended ordinary state primary schools. By 1960 most Maori children went on to secondary school; but they did so on average at a later age, and left earlier, with fewer qualifications than pakeha children. In 1960, 5 percent of Maori pupils gained School Certificate, compared with 30 percent of non-Maori of the same age. The state school system was still almost entirely monocultural. Educational under-achievement was both a cause and an effect of low occupational status.

From 1943, with the defeat of Apirana Ngata, the Ratana-Labour alliance held all four Maori parliamentary seats. Much of the discrimination against Maori workers was removed by the first Labour government, and Maori shared in the general expansion of economic activity and in social security provisions. The Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945 set up tribal committees and executives concerned especially with welfare and marae administration. In 1947 the word ‘Maori’ replaced ‘Native’ in all official usage, an acknowledgment that Polynesian New Zealanders now more than before saw themselves as one people. National organisations such as the Maori Women's Welfare League (formed in 1951) and the Maori Council (established in 1962) helped strengthen the authority of a postwar generation of leaders. Many had served with distinction in the Maori Battalion in North Africa and Italy, or in essential industries. Returning servicemen were able to demand equality with more success than had their counterparts in the First World War Pioneer Battalion, who had received no rehabilitation assistance. Maori sporting ability (demonstrated particularly in rugby union and league) also earned respect from the wider community.

In the 1940s Ngata spoke of the need for a ‘continuous attempt to interpret the Maori point of view to the pakeha in power’. Te Puea argued that ‘unity of Maori and Pakeha can only grow from each sharing the worthwhile elements in the other's culture’. As urbanisation brought the two races together, discrimination and the lack of equal opportunity grew more visible. Maori were told they must adapt to the pakeha way of life; there was no equivalent pressure on pakeha. From the late 1960s groups such as Nga Tamatoa (‘the young warriors’) challenged the continuing loss of land, declining use of the Maori language, and what came to be called ‘institutional racism’ in pakeha-dominated society. A cultural resurgence which emphasised tribal identity, traditions, and protocol developed in parallel with a drive to establish urban marae. Under the third Labour government, multiculturalism replaced integration as official policy. Maoritanga (the experience and expression of Maoriness) had an officially recognised place in the future of Aotearoa.

2.5 Chronology of main events

1350Approximate date of the legendary ‘Great Migration’, the arrival of seven canoes in Aotearoa bearing Maori settlers from the Pacific.
1642European discovery by Tasman.
1769James Cook's first visit to New Zealand.
1792First sealing gang left on New Zealand coast at Dusky Sound.
1814Arrival of Rev. Samuel Marsden, and establishment of Anglican mission station.
1820Hongi's visit to England.
1825Attempt at European colonisation, under Captain Herd.
1831Tory Channel whaling station established.
1833James Busby appointed British Resident at Bay of Islands.
1839Governor of New South Wales authorised to annex New Zealand. Preliminary expedition of New Zealand Company under Colonel Wakefield to Port Nicholson.
1840Arrival of New Zealand Company's settlers at Port Nicholson. Treaty of Waitangi signed. British sovereignty proclaimed. Captain Hobson appointed Lieutenant-Governor, with residence at Auckland. Settlement formed at Akaroa.
1841New Zealand proclaimed independent of New South Wales. Arrival of New Plymouth and Wanganui settlers.
1842Settlement founded at Nelson.
1843Affray at Wairau.
1845Hostilities in the North.
1846Fighting near Wellington. Te Rauparaha captured and kept prisoner. New Zealand divided into two provinces, New Munster and New Ulster.
1848Otago founded.
1850Canterbury founded.
1852Discovery of gold at Coromandel. Constitution Act passed by Imperial Parliament, granting representative institutions to New Zealand, and dividing country into six provinces.
1854Opening at Auckland of first session of the General Assembly.
1855First members elected to the House of Representatives under system of responsible government. Very severe earthquake on both sides of Cook Strait.
1856Appointment of first ministry under system of responsible government.
1860‘Taranaki War'.
1861Bank of New Zealand incorporated. Gold discovery at Gabriel's Gully, Otago.
1862First electric-telegraph line opened—Christchurch to Lyttelton.
1863Wreck of HMS Orpheus on Manukau Bar. Commencement of ‘Waikato War’. First railway in New Zealand opened.
1864Discovery of gold on West Coast.
1865Seat of Government transferred to Wellington.
1866Cook Strait submarine telegraph cable laid.
1867Opening of Thames goldfield. Lyttelton railway tunnel completed. Four Maori seats provided in House of Representatives.
1870Departure of last Imperial troops from New Zealand. Commencement of San Francisco mail service. Inauguration of Vogel public works policy.
1873Establishment of New Zealand Shipping Co.
1876New Zealand-Australia cable. Provinces abolished.
1877Education Act passed, providing for free, compulsory education.
1878Completion of the Christchurch-Invercargill railway.
1879Triennial Parliaments Act passed. Adult male suffrage introduced. Kaitangata coal mine explosion.
1881Wreck of s.s. Tararua, with loss of 130 lives.
1882First shipment of frozen meat from New Zealand.
1883Direct steamer communication between New Zealand and Britain. 1886 Tarawera eruption and destruction of Pink and White Terraces.
1890Great maritime strike. First election on one-man-one-vote principle. Liberal government elected.
1893Franchise extended to women. Special liquor licensing poll introduced.
1894Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act passed. Government Advances to Settlers Act passed. Wreck of s.s. Wairarapa.
1896Brunner Mine explosion. Abolition of non-residential or property qualification to vote.
1898Old-age Pensions Act passed.
1899New Zealand army contingent sent to South African War.
1901Cook and other Pacific Islands annexed.
1902Pacific cable opened. Wreck of s.s. Elingamite.
1906Death of Seddon, Premier.
1907New Zealand given name of Dominion.
1908North Island main trunk railway opened.
1909S.s. Penguin wrecked in Cook Strait, with loss of 75 lives. Battle cruiser presented by New Zealand to Imperial Government. System of compulsory military training introduced.
1911Wireless telegraphy installed in New Zealand. Widows' Pensions Act passed. First poll on national prohibition taken.
1912Civil service placed under control of Public Service Commission. Waihi strike.
1913Extensive strikes with fighting in Auckland and Wellington.
1914First World War begins.
1915Gallipoli Campaign.
1916New Zealand Division transferred to Western Front. Conscription introduced. Lake Coleridge electric-supply scheme opened.
1918End of First World War. Great influenza epidemic.
1919Women eligible for Parliament. New Zealand represented at Peace Conference by Prime Minister.
1920First aeroplane flight over Cook Strait. League of Nations mandate to administer Western Samoa.
1922Meat-export trade placed under control of a board.
1923Opening of Otira Tunnel. Ross Dependency proclaimed. Dairy Produce Export Control Act passed.
1924Direct radio communication with England.
1928First flight across Tasman Sea.
1929Severe earthquake in Murchison-Karamea district.
1930Legislation providing for relief of unemployment.
1931Hawke's Bay earthquake. General reduction of 10 percent in wages and salaries. Mortgagors' relief legislation passed.
1932Reductions in old-age and other pensions, in salaries of state employees, and in rentals, interest rates and other fixed charges. Sporadic rioting in main centres. Ottawa Conference.
1934First trans-Tasman airmail. Reserve Bank incorporated.
1935First Labour government.
1936Inauguration of inter-island trunk air services. Reserve Bank nationalised. System of basic prices for butter and cheese introduced. 40-hour week introduced.
1938Social Security Act passed. Introduction of import control.
1939Second World War begins.
1940Death of Savage.
1941Declaration of war with Japan.
1942Complete mobilisation. Compulsory enrolment in Emergency Reserve Corps. Rationing introduced. Mobilisation of women for essential work.
1945War in Europe ended (8 May). War in Pacific ended (15 August).
1946Family benefit of £1 per week made universal as from 1 April.
1947Statute of Westminster adopted by New Zealand Parliament.
1949Referendum agrees to compulsory military training.
1950Legislative Council Abolition Act passed. K-force sailed for Korean War.
1951Prolonged waterfront dispute. United States, Australia, and New Zealand signed ANZUS Treaty.
1953Railway disaster at Tangiwai. First tour by reigning monarch.
1955Pulp and paper mill at Kawerau opened. Rimutaka rail tunnel opened.
1956Roxburgh and Whakamaru power stations in operation.
1957Scott Base established.
1958PAYE taxation introduced.
1959Auckland Harbour Bridge opened. Antarctic Treaty signed.
1960Regular television programmes began in Auckland.
1961New Zealand joined International Monetary Fund.
1962Cook Strait rail-ferry service commenced with Aramoana.
1964Cook Strait power cables laid. Oil refinery opened at Whangarei.
1965Limited free trade agreement negotiated with Australia. Cook Islands became self-governing.
1966Labour force reached 1,000,000. Licensed television sets reached 500 000.
1967Decimal currency introduced.
1968T.e.v. Wahine foundered in Wellington Harbour.
1969Vote extended to 20-year-olds.
1970Natural gas from Kapuni supplied to Auckland.
1971Negotiations by Britain with members of European Economic Community secure New Zealand's butter and cheese exports to the United Kingdom. Bluff aluminium smelter in commercial operation. Generators installed at Manapouri hydro-electric station. Metric conversion for weights and measures.
1972Labour government elected.
1973Britain joined European Economic Community. Colour television introduced. First step of Equal Pay Act in effect.
1974Death of the Prime Minister, Norman Kirk.
1975National government, under (then) Right Hon. R. D. Muldoon, assumed office.
1976Cuts in subsidies on electricity, rail charges, and Post Office charges. Subsidies on bread, eggs, butter, and flour abolished. Wool Income Stabilisation Scheme introduced. Price and rent freeze until end of year introduced. New Zealand - Australia Free Trade Agreement extended for further 10 years. New Zealand's sporting links with South Africa resulted in walk-out at Olympic Games in Montreal.
1977National superannuation scheme came into operation. Gleneagles agreement on sporting contacts with South Africa. 200-mile economic zone around New Zealand coast established.
1978National Party retains power at General Election with greatly reduced majority.
1979First stage of Maui gasfield development completed. Price control phased out over a wide range of commodities and services; replaced by price surveillance scheme. Severe landslip at Abbotsford. Air New Zealand crash on Mount Erebus.
1980$500 million Eurodollar loan raised to finance a hydrocracker for expansion of Marsden Point oil refinery. Petrocorp given approval to build New Zealand's first methanol plant. $600 million expansion of New Zealand Steel Ltd plant announced. Remuneration Act repealed as part of wage policy agreement with Federation of Labour and Employers' Federation. Act passed legalising Saturday trading.
1981Butter deal concluded with EEC. Controversial tour of New Zealand by South African rugby team. General Election resulting in narrow victory for National Party.
1982Contract for Motunui synthetic fuel plant signed. Twelve-month wage, price, and rent freeze imposed. N.Z. Meat Producers Board announced it would buy all export lamb and mutton for two years. Plans for Aramoana aluminium smelter shelved indefinitely. Ammonia-urea plant at Kapuni commenced production.
1983Signing of Closer Economic Relations Agreement. New Zealand dollar devalued by 6 percent against all currencies. Introduction, of Kiwi Savings Stock attracting 15 percent interest per annum. New Zealand's triple A international credit rating reduced by Standard and Poor's Corporation. Wage-Price Freeze extended until 1984. Kiwi Savings Stock closed. Lending institutions slash interest rates. Second issue of Kiwi Savings Stock with interest rate of 10 percent per annum. Regulations limiting interest rates on first mortgages. Phased deregulation of land transport introduced, and abolition of restrictions against competition with Railways Corporation. Voluntary unionism introduced.
1984(Mar) Price freeze lifted. $8 general wage increase. (Jun) Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon calls a snap election. (Jul) The Labour Party wins the General Election. New Government devalues the New Zealand dollar by 20 percent and re-imposes the Price Freeze. Interest rate restrictions are lifted. (Sep) Economic Summit Conference. (Oct) Maori Summit Conference. (Nov) Budget presented, including Family Care; tax surcharge on National Superannuation; and lifting the Price Freeze. Government lays down wage guidelines. (Dec) Queen Street Riot, Auckland. New Zealand ratifies the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
1985(Feb) United States request for visit by USS Buchanan, declined. (Mar) New Zealand dollar floated. (Apr) University Entrance examinations abolished. (Jun) All Black rugby tour of South Africa cancelled. (Jul) Greenpeace protest vessel Rainbow Warrior bombed and sunk by French agents.
1986(Feb) Soviet cruise ship Mikhail Lermontov sinks in Marlborough Sounds. (Mar) Government announces cuts in wholesale tax in preparation for Goods and Services Tax. (Apr) Government announces plans to split the Post Office into three separate trading organisations. Unofficial tour of South Africa by rebel New Zealand rugby players. Protest march on Parliament by farmers. (Jun) Property qualifications for voting in local body elections abolished. Plans by 11 of New Zealand's 12 trustee savings banks to merge are made public. (Jul) United Nations Secretary-General rules that the French agents jailed in New Zealand for their part in the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior will be detained for three years on the island of Hao; France to make an unqualified formal apology to New Zealand and pay about $13 million in compensation. Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed. Notice given that School Certificate to be abolished and replaced with internal assessment within four years. (Aug) Following a four-week long dispute Tasman pulp and paper mill at Kawerau will close indefinitely. (Sep) Tasman pulp and paper mill at Kawerau reopens. (Oct) Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes into effect. (Nov) First visit by Pope. (Dec) Auckland Savings Bank withdraws from the trust bank organisation formed in June.

Further information

See under historical works in the bibliography, ‘Books about New Zealand’, at the end of this volume.

Chapter 3. Government

3.1 Constitution

New Zealand is a monarchy with a parliamentary government. Its constitutional history dates back to its status as a British colony. By the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 the Maori people exchanged their sovereignty for the guarantees in the treaty. New Zealand is now an independent state. Queen Elizabeth II has the title Queen of New Zealand, and the Crown is vested in the same person as the British Crown.

A constitution is concerned with the establishment and composition of the legislative, executive, and judicial organs of government, their powers and duties, and the relationship between these organs. In New Zealand, the constitution is not contained in a single document that can be referred to as ‘the Constitution’, although the Constitution Act 1986 has brought together in one statute the most important statutory constitutional provisions. Some United Kingdom statutes, constitutional conventions, and case law add to the body of New Zealand constitutional law. A feature of constitutional documents in some countries is that their provisions are safeguarded by requiring a special procedure to amend them. Only two New Zealand constitutional statutes have a requirement of this nature. They are the Electoral Act 1956 and the Constitution Act 1986. Some sections of the Electoral Act 1956 require a 75 percent majority in Parliament to change them, or a majority of votes cast at a referendum. However, the 75 percent requirement could itself be removed by a simple majority in Parliament. In this sense, the protection is political rather than legal. One of the entrenched, or protected, sections in the Electoral Act 1956 was transferred to the Constitution Act 1986, where it retains the protection previously provided.

Important sources of constitutional law include, the Constitution Act 1986, which replaced the Constitution Act 1852 (the 1986 Act is discussed in more detail below); the U.K. Habeas Corpus Act 1679, and Bill of Rights 1688, which respectively protect the individual against arbitrary detention, and define some of the relative powers of the Crown and Parliament; the Electoral Act 1956, which provides procedures for Parliamentary elections; and the Letters Patent 1983, which set out the Governor-General's powers.

The Crown and Governor-General.

The Governor-General is the representative of the Sovereign in New Zealand and exercises the Royal powers derived from statute and the general law. Almost all of the Governor-General's powers are now statutory, and this has the effect of abridging any of the prerogative powers that cover the same ground. The Governor-General possesses only those prerogative powers delegated in the Letters Patent, and the courts may decide on the limits of the prerogative powers. Their role in New Zealand is residual. The Sovereign appoints the Governor-General on the Prime Minister's recommendation, normally for a term of five years. The Governor-General's main constitutional function is to arrange for the leader of the majority party in Parliament to form a government. By constitutional convention and the Letters Patent the Governor-General is required to follow the advice of ministers. By convention the Governor-General can in extraordinary circumstances reject advice if he believes that a government is intending to act unconstitutionally. The Governor-General's powers to do this are known as the reserve powers. The extent of these powers in New Zealand is unclear. Events in Australia in 1975 demonstrated how controversial the use of the reserve powers can be.

Parliamentary tradition.

A feature of New Zealand's constitution is that, although it is a monarchy in form, it operates democratically because of a long political tradition of parliamentary government and a network of constitutional principles. They developed during the course of British history, and were transferred to New Zealand. Some have legal status and some exist as constitutional conventions.

The Crown is still the formal legal repository of much power. The Crown is part of Parliament, and the Governor-General's assent is required before bills can become law. Government administration is formally earned out by the Crown through its ministers and state servants. However the Crown must act according to its ministers' wishes, and they must retain parliamentary support. The Government cannot act effectively without Parliament, because it cannot raise or spend money without parliamentary approval, and for most categories of expenditure this approval takes the form of an annual vote of funds to the Government. Parliament therefore has to be assembled regularly and has the opportunity to hold the Government to account. Under the modern two-party system, however, the Government effectively controls proceedings in Parliament and cases of government members voting with the Opposition are very uncommon. Judges are appointed by the Crown. There is a strong tradition of independence for judges and various mechanisms to protect it.

Recent constitutional reform

The events occurring immediately after the July 1984 general election highlighted the need for constitutional reform, Difficulties experienced by the incoming government, in taking what was considered urgent action, revealed uncertainties in the rules for the handing over of power from an outgoing government to an incoming government. That issue was resolved but constitutional reform was considered necessary.

An officials committee was set up to examine the rules for the handing over of power and make proposals for their reform. (The committee comprised representatives of a number of government departments having an interest in constitutional matters, and a university law professor.) The committee was also asked to carry out a general reorganisation of statutory constitutional provisions with a view to gathering them together in one piece of New Zealand legislation. The committee was given this task because the constitutional difficulties of 1984 had also pointed to the need for reform of a number of other aspects of constitutional law. Statutory constitutional law was fragmented—scattered amongst a number of New Zealand and United Kingdom Acts—and often uncertain. Some provisions were long out of date, while others were found in obscure places. For example, few people would have realised before July 1984 that it was the Civil List Act 1979 which had a section embodying the principle of responsible government, that is, by persons responsible to the electorate.

The officials committee's recommendations included a draft Constitution Bill. These recommendations were set out in two reports presented to the Minister of Justice and then made available to the public early in 1986. The Constitution Act 1986 was passed by Parliament in December 1986 and came into force on 1 February 1987. Reflecting the two-fold task of the officials committee, it clarifies the rules relating to the handover of power and brings together in one Act the most important statutory constitutional provisions.

Before outlining the provisions of the Constitution Act 1986, it is worthwhile noting the principles inherent in New Zealand's system of government which were taken into account in formulating its recommendations. The committee spelt out these principles in the following terms:

Responsible government—The persons who are appointed to act as the Crown's advisers are to be chosen from persons who are elected by the people, and who have the confidence of the House of Representatives.

Continuity of government—There must always be a government capable of acting, of advising the Governor-General, and of accepting responsibility for that advice. The Governor-General must not be left without advisers.

Certainty and flexibility—It has long been the practice in New Zealand for a government defeated at a general election to stay in office for approximately 14 days before the new government is sworn in. This contrasts sharply with British practice, where a defeated government is replaced within 24 hours of the election.

Rules for the handing over of power.

The critical question raised by the events of July 1984 was the time at which a new government could be sworn in and formally take power. The officials committee summarised the problem in these terms:

“The incumbent government had clearly been defeated on election night. There was going to be a change of government. Yet the outgoing government was still legally in office and, by convention, was required to follow the advice of the incoming government. Could it have sought to resign forthwith rather than implement a policy with which it strongly disagreed? Alternatively, if it had refused to follow that advice, could it have been dismissed by the Governor-General? Both alternatives depended upon whether it could be immediately replaced by a new ministry.”

New ministers must be appointed immediately because of the constitutional rule that the Governor-General must have ministers to advise him and take responsibility for that advice. Here convention and strict law meet, because the appointment of ministers, in contrast, to the position in the United Kingdom and Canada, was dealt with by statute. In particular, section 9 of the Civil List Act 1979 provided that no person could be appointed as a minister of the Crown, or as a member of the Executive Council, unless that person was a member of Parliament. It was crucial to know the exact times at which persons become and cease to be members of Parliament. There was disagreement on this in 1984.

From the point of view of resolving problems over the rules for the transfer of power, section 6 is the key provision of the Constitution Act 1986. It replaces the provision in the Civil List Act 1979 that ministers of the Crown must be members of Parliament. That is still the rule but there are now two exceptions.

The first exception is new. It allows a non-member of Parliament to be appointed as a minister, or as a member of the Executive Council, provided two conditions are met. The person must have been a candidate at the general election immediately before appointment, and if that person does not become a member of Parliament within 40 days he or she must vacate office. If a speedy transfer of power is necessary, persons meeting the first condition can be appointed as ministers and members of the Executive Council, and can advise the Governor-General, without waiting for confirmation of their status as members of Parliament. But the principle of government by persons responsible to the electorate is retained by the requirement that ministers must become members of Parliament within a very short period of their appointment. In Australia the equivalent period is three months. A change was also necessary to the Letters Patent 1983 to reflect this new exception. The Letters Patent contain a provision describing who may be appointed as members of the Executive Council.

The second exception in section 6 of the Constitution Act 1986 re-enacts, with some amendment, the previous exception in section 9 of the Civil List Act 1979 that allowed ministers of an outgoing government to stay in office until their successors were sworn in. Difficulties have arisen over the application of this exception because of the uncertainties mentioned above about the time when a person becomes, and me time when a person ceases, to be a member of Parliament. The Act clarifies this. It provides that the term of office of a member of Parliament commences on the day after the writ issued for the election in the relevant electorate is returned. The term ceases on the close of polling day at the next general election.

The Constitution Act 1986 therefore allows for a speedy transfer of power but does not preclude the leisurely transition which is traditional.

Other constitutional provisions.

The Constitution Act 1986 also deals with the principal components of New Zealand's constitutional arrangements: the Sovereign, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. It brings together provisions from a number of Acts, including the Constitution Act 1852, the Demise of the Crown Act 1908, and the Electoral Act 1956. Some of the relevant provisions in those Acts were repealed without replacement, and others were updated, or clarified.

Part I of the Constitution Act 1986 concerns the Sovereign. It encapsulates the essence of the Royal Titles Act 1974 and replaces the Royal Powers Act 1983. It deals with the Sovereign as the Head of State of New Zealand and expressly recognises the role of the Governor-General. Part I also deals with the exercise of royal powers by either the Sovereign or the Governor-General, and with the legal effects of a death of the Sovereign (the demise of the Crown).

The important provisions relating to the Executive and the handing over of power in Part II of the Act have been covered above. In addition, this Part deals with the power of ministers to act for other ministers, and the appointment and powers of Parliamentary Under-Secretaries.

Part III of the Act concerns the law-making body, the legislature: what is does and how it is to do it. The Act confirms the existing power of the New Zealand Parliament to make laws. Section 15 declares that the Parliament of New Zealand “continues to have full power to make laws”. It also removes the residual power of the United Kingdom Parliament to make laws for New Zealand. That power is now inappropriate given New Zealand's independent status. It is removed by a provision in section 15 to the effect that no Act of the United Kingdom Parliament passed after the commencement of the Constitution Act 1986 shall extend to New Zealand as part of New Zealand law. To this end the Act also repealed the Statute of Westminster 1931 (in relation to New Zealand.) and other linked legislation. Under the Statute of Westminster the United Kingdom Parliament could make law for New Zealand on the request and consent of the New Zealand Parliament.

The Constitution Act 1986 also renames the body previously known as the General Assembly. The officials committee found that inconsistencies in the terminology used to describe the law-making organs had also created difficulties in July 1984. The new name for the legislature is Parliament'. This is the term popularly used and accepted. The Act also alters the composition of Parliament to consist of the Sovereign in right of New Zealand, rather than, as previously, the Governor-General, and the House of Representatives. The new description is more appropriate to New Zealand's independent constitutional status. This part also deals with matters such as the election and term of the Speaker, the Royal Assent to bills, and the procedure for the summoning, proroguing, and dissolution of Parliament. The Act also requires the House to meet not later than six weeks after the date fixed for the return of the writs from the election. This embodies the important constitutional principle that Parliaments should meet frequently as set out in the Bill of Rights 1688.

In Part IV of the Act are found some of the important constitutional rules governing the judiciary, their tenure, and salaries. The Act also empowers the Sovereign, or the Governor-General, to remove High Court judges and sets out how, and on what grounds, they can be removed. The Constitution Act 1986 made some changes to the law on these matters. First, it took away the power to suspend High Court judges, as opposed to removing them. Second, it enabled the Governor-General in Council to remove judges, whereas previously that body could only suspend, while the Sovereign could only remove them. Third, it clarified uncertainties about the method and grounds for removal.

To summarise, although the Constitution Act 1986 is not and does not purport to be a ‘written’ constitution in the technical sense, it contains most of the provisions found in written constitutions of unitary (non-federal) countries. However, as mentioned above, only one of its provisions is specially protected. Nor does it include one feature of a number of written constitutions of other countries, namely, a statement of fundamental human rights, such as freedom of religion, speech, and assembly. This is the subject of a White Paper on a Bill of Rights for New Zealand, which was tabled in the House of Representatives in 1985. The White Paper contains a draft bill which would protect fundamental civil and political rights. If the bill was adopted legislation which was inconsistent with the rights in the bill would, when challenged in court, be of no effect. The officials committee commented that its report and draft bill dealt “only with what might be called the European side of our constitutional law”. The committee noted that what might be termed the Maori side of our law formed part of the subject-matter of the draft bill contained in the White Paper on a Bill of Rights for New Zealand. That bill would incorporate the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 into a bill of rights.

United Kingdom Acts.

The Constitution Act 1986 repealed a number of United Kingdom constitutional Acts which had been in force in New Zealand. They included the Constitution Act 1852. which initiated parliamentary government in New Zealand, and the Statute of Westminster 1931.

There remain a number of United Kingdom Acts (referred to as ‘Imperial’ Acts) which are in force as part of the law of New Zealand Some are historic constitutional Acts, such as the Magna Carta, the Habeus Corpus Act 1679, and the Bill of Rights 1688. Other Imperial Acts covering a wide range of subject matter also remain in effect in New Zealand.

For some time it has been proposed to enact legislation clarifying the effect of these Imperial laws in New Zealand. Those still important and relevant would be retained, while those which are obsolete would be repealed in relation to New Zealand. This, together with the Constitution Act 1986, would simplify access to statutory constitutional law.

3.2 Parliament and the Cabinet

House of Representatives

At the heart of the parliamentary system lies the power to make laws that is vested by the Constitution Act 1986 in the Parliament of New Zealand, which consists of the Sovereign in right of New Zealand (normally represented by the Governor-General) and an elected House of Representatives. The Sovereign's role is formal, and the term ‘Parliament’ effectively means the 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 1986 forbids the House to allocate public funds for any purpose unless first recommended by the Crown. Although the reasons for this provision are historical, 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 1688 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 1688, and claimed by the Speaker upon confirmation in 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 when 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 Constitution Act 1986, carries forward business to the next session, all business before the House on prorogation lapses. Parliament is either dissolved by the Governor-General or expires after three years, and another general election is held.

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 are given a full opportunity to debate any aspect of government proposals. A central figure in Parliament is the Speaker, who is elected to act as an impartial chairman when the House is in session. The Speaker controls debates and the conduct of members, and ensures the Standing Orders are complied with. The Speaker is assisted by permanent officials, headed by the Clerk of the House, who is charged with the administration of the House and the provision of advice on parliamentary law and custom.

Parliamentary opposition.

As the name suggests, it is the job of the opposition party with the highest number of seats to oppose the Government. Its role is to present itself to the people as an alternative government. It will attack government policy and attempt to demonstrate inefficiency, and government or departmental mismanagement.

The party system means it is unlikely that the Opposition could bring down a government by a no-confidence vote—there is no instance of a successful no-confidence vote in the history of the New Zealand Parliament since 1928. In modern times Parliament has been characterised by having two large, dominant parties, with the majority party forming the Government and the minority party forming the Opposition. In recent years, however, members of a third party have been elected to Parliament, and from time to time members have left one of the parties and have continued to sit as independent members 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 the 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. For example, travelling allowances are payable to members when travelling as members of a caucus committee.

Process of legislation.

Proposed laws are placed before the House in the form of draft laws known as ‘bills’. There are three types of bill: public bills, which deal 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 unlawful 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 a public bill in Parliament is for it to receive a first reading, which is a formal introductory stage. This will have a maximum debating time of two hours, although often no debate occurs. Almost all bills are then sent to a select committee. Detailed scrutiny of legislation and facets of executive activity, e.g., expenditure of public money, is carried out by select committees which consist of a small number of members, and report their findings and recommendations to the House. Since 1980 all Government bills stand referred to a select committee unless they are certified by the Speaker as ‘money bills’ (or are particularly urgent). The procedure is intended to enable the public and interested bodies to make submissions, in the expectation that better laws will result. Following its deliberations the select committee will report the bill back with any proposed amendments. On the second reading the formal debate will occur on the substance of the bill. Following this the bill is considered by the whole House ‘in committee’, when the Committee of the whole House considers the bill clause by clause. This may involve considerable debating time. The entire bill is considered in this way and formally reported back to the House for its third reading, with any amendments that have been agreed. Debate may also take place on the bill's third reading, after which it is forwarded to the Governor-General for his approval. On receiving the Royal Assent the bill becomes an Act and part of the law of New Zealand.

The various stages of the bill do not always follow any set time pattern. Weeks or even months can elapse between readings. Bills normally have explanatory notes on the front, which detail the contents. These do not appear on the Act. Local and private bills pass through similar stages to those for a public bill, however in these two types of bills the person or body promoting the bill must also advertise the bill before it can be introduced.


OfficeYearly Rate of Salary Payable On and After 1 December 1986
Members of the Executive
Prime Minister129,250
Deputy Prime Minister101,200
Minister of the Crown90,200
Minister of the Crown without portfolio73,150
Parliamentary Under-Secretary70,400
Officers of the House of Representatives
Chairman of Committees72,050
Deputy Chairman of Committees54,000
Leader and Deputy of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition90,200
Deputy Leader of the Opposition70,400
Chief Government Whip62,150
Chief Opposition Whip62,150
Junior Government Whip58,300
Junior Opposition Whip58.300
Members of Parliament
Member of Parliament49,500
Prime Minister23,400
Deputy Prime Minister10,200
Minister of the Crown9,600
Minister of the Crown without portfolio7,500
Parliamentary Under-Secretary7,500
Minister of Foreign Affairs (additional)6,000
      (additional allowance as Speaker; plus electorate allowance abated by one-third of the appropriate rate, and day allowance)7,800
Chairman of Committees4,800
      (additional allowance as Chairman plus electorate allowance abated by one-third of the appropriate rate, and day allowance)4,500
Deputy Chairman of Committees4,800
      (additional allowance as Deputy Chairman, and day allowance)500
Leader of the Opposition 
      (plus house and travelling allowances)9,600
Deputy Leader of the Opposition4,800
      (plus additional allowance as deputy and electorate, night, and day allowances at appropriate rates)3,750
Members (plus electorate, day, and night allowances at appropriate rates)4,800
Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

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 $7,000 to $17,000. A day allowance of $40 is payable where indicated for each day on which a member attends a sitting of Parliament or a committee, and a night allowance of $50 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 towards the purchase of a motor vehicle to members elected for the first time. The amount paid varies between $6,750 and $15,300 depending on the nature of the member's electorate.


ParliamentPeriod of Session
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
Fortieth7 April 1982–17 December 1982
7 April 1983–16 December 1983
31 May 1984–14 June 1984
Forty-first15 August 1984–12 December 1985
26 February 1986–21 July 1987
Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

The forty-first session was called on 15 August 1984, following the Parliamentary elections of 14 July 1984 and sat, in line with the policy of the Government, continuously, with short breaks, until the next election was called in 1987.

Legislation 1986.

During the parliamentary session of 1986, 135 Public Acts were passed.



*Third session, Fortieth Parliament.

†In hours and minutes.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Sitting days99915783
Hours of sitting after midnight31:1758:28
Public bills introduced by Government961213973
Public bills referred to select committees801010162


 Percentage of Total Members of ParliamentPercentage of Total Voting Age Population*

*As at 30 September 1984.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Age groups—
  18–28 years1.130.0
  60 years and over8.420.7

1987 election results.

Section 3.6 gives a list of MPs elected in the 1987 General Election.


Prime Minister—Rt. Hon. David Lange.
Leader of the Opposition—Hon. J. B. Bolger*
Speaker—Dr. The Hon. G. A. Wall.
Chairman of Committees—J. J. Terris.
Clerk of the House—D. G. McGee, B.A. (Hons).
Members of ParliamentYear of BirthPrevious OccupationElectoral District

*Hon. J. B. Bolger replaced Hon. J. R. McLay as Leader of the Opposition on 26 March 1986.

†Names are given in the form in which individual members prefer to be addressed.

‡Government member.

§Following by election 15 June 1985.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Anderton, J. P.1938Company directorSydenham
Angus, D. A.1938Freezing company stock buyerWallace
Austin, H. N.1925FarmerBay of Islands
Austin, Margaret1933TeacherYaldhurst
Austin, W. R.1931FarmerAwarua
Banks, John1946RestaurateurWhangarei
Bassett, Hon. Dr Michael1938LecturerTe 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. Kerry1942TeacherWest Coast
Butcher, David1948Research officerHastings
Caygill, Hon. David1948Barrister and solicitorSt Albans
Clark, Helen1950LecturesMt Albert
Colman, Rt. Hon. Fraser1925Secretary 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, Bill1933Barrister and solicitorHamilton East
Douglas, Hon. R. O.1937Company secretaryManurewa
Dunne, P. F.1954Deputy chief executive officerOhariu
East, Paul1946Barrister and solicitorRotorua
Elder, Jack1949TeacherWest Auckland
Falloon, Hon. J. H.1942Farm management consultantPahiatua
Fraser, Anne1954TeacherEast 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. B.1953LecturerRoskill
Graham, D. A. M.1942Barrister and solicitorRemuera
Gray, R. M.1931FarmerClutha
Gregory, Dr B.1937Doctor of medicineNorthern Maori
Hercus, Hon. Ann1942Member of Commerce CommissionLyttelton
Hunt, Hon. Jonathan1938TeacherNew Lynn
Isbey, E. E.1917WatersiderPapatoetoe
Jeffries, W. P.1945Barrister and solicitorHeretaunga
Jones, N. P. H., Q.S.M.1923TeacherInvercargill
Keall, Judy1942TeacherGlenfield
Kidd, D. L.1941Barrister and solicitorMarlborough
King, Annette1947Dental tutorHorowhenua
Knapp, G. T.1947BusinessmanEast Coast Bays
Lange, Rt. Hon. David1942Barrister 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
McTigue, M. P.§1940FarmerTimaru
Mallard, Trevor1954TeacherHamilton
Marshall, Hon. Russell1936Minister and teacherWanganui
Marshall, Denis1943Farmer and company directorRangitikei
Matthewson, Clive1944Civil engineerDunedin West
Maxwell, Ralph1934TeacherWaitakere
Maxwell, Roger1941FarmerTaranaki
Moore, Hon. Mike1949Freezing workerChristchurch North
Morrison, N. J.1938ManufacturerPakuranga
Moyle, Hon. Colin1929Teacher/farmerOtara
Muldoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert, G.C.M.G., C.H.1921AccountantTamaki
Neilson, Peter1954Civil servantMiramar
Northey, Richard1945Advisory officerEden
O'Flynn, Hon. F. D., Q.C.1918Barrister and Queen's CounselIsland Bay
O'Regan, Katherine1946FarmerWaipa
Palmer, Rt. Hon. Geoffrey1942LecturerChristchurch Central
Peters, W. R.1945Banister and solicitorTauranga
Prebble, Hon. Richard1948Barrister and solicitorAuckland Central
Richardson, Ruth1950Legal adviser/farmerSelwyn
Rodger, Hon. Stan1940M.O.W.D. employeeDunedin North
Scott. Noel1929Education administratorTongariro
Shields, Hon. Margaret1941Research workerKapiti
Shirley, K. L.1950ScientistTasman
Smith, Dr Lockwood1948Managing directorKaipara
Storey, W. R.1936President of Federated FarmersWaikato
Sutton, J. R1941FarmerWaitaki
Sutton, Dr Bill1944ScientistHawke's Bay
Talbot, Hon. R. L. G.1923FarmerAshburton
Tapsell, Hon. Dr Peter 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. Fran1948JournalistWellington Central
Woollaston, P. T. E.1944TeacherNelson
Young, T. J.1925General superintendent of New Zealand AllianceEastern Hutt
Young, Hon. V. S.1929FarmerWaitotara

Parliamentary elections

Persons 18 years and over have the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Enrolment as an elector is compulsory, but voting is not. To qualify for enrolment persons must (i) be at least 18 years old; (ii) be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents; (iii) have lived continuously in New Zealand for at least a year at some time; and (iv) have last lived continuously for one month in the electorate they are to be enrolled in. Maoris, including persons of Maori descent, may choose to enrol for either a Maori or general electorate, but may make the choice only at certain times. The electoral rolls are maintained by New Zealand Post.


The conduct of polls is the responsibility of the Department of Justice, and is controlled by a returning officer in each electorate, who arranges voting facilities and staff, conducts the election, supervises counting of votes, and declares the result. Generally only persons whose names are validly enrolled before an election are qualified to vote. General elections and by-elections are held on Saturdays, and polling booths are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Most electors cast their votes at polling booths in their electorates on election day, but they may vote as special voters at booths outside their electorate. Special votes may also be cast before election day at issuing offices or at home because of sickness, travel, or similar reasons. Provision is also made for voting overseas. Voting is by secret ballot. Ballot papers list the surnames of candidates for the electorate concerned, and electors indicate their choice by striking out the names of every other candidate. A preliminary count of ordinary votes is available for each electorate on election night, and final results are normally available a fortnight later, once special and overseas votes have been received and counted. The candidate with the most votes is elected member of Parliament for the electorate concerned.

Electoral boundaries.

The boundaries of electorates are revised every five years after the Census of Population and Dwellings, and the new boundaries come into effect at the expiry of the parliamentary term during which the revision is finalised. The Department of Statistics supplies figures for revision purposes on the general electoral population. This is defined as the total electoral population except: (a) the Maori electoral population (This is the number of adult Maoris enrolled in the four Maori electorates, adjusted to include children. Maoris have been defined since 1980 as persons of the Maori race of New Zealand including any of their descendants.); (b) temporary residents of various kinds (travellers, armed forces, and hospital patients); and (c) prisoners.

The Representation Commission is responsible for defining the boundaries of electorates based on the population census. The commission has eight members. Five are officials, the Surveyor-General, the Government Statistician, the Chief Electoral Officer, and until 1987 the Director-General of the Post Office, and the Chairman of the Local Government Commission (the latter cannot vote). Two members are nominated by the House of Representatives to represent the Government and Opposition respectively, and the final member is appointed to chair the commission on the nomination of the other members. The appointments of the unofficial members lapse at the next census.

The number of general electorates is based on a formula that allocates 25 electorates to the South Island. The general electoral population of the South Island is divided by 25, and the population quota for each South Island electorate is divided into the general electoral population of the North Island to give the number of electorates required in the North Island. In addition there is a fixed number of four Maori electorates. Once the provisional electoral boundaries have been settled, maps of the proposals are drawn, and boundary details published in the New Zealand Gazette. Objections may be lodged within one month of publication. They are then published, and there are a further two weeks for lodging counter objections. The objections and counter-objections are considered by the Representation Commission, which makes a final decision on the boundaries that define the new electoral districts.

General election, results.

A triennial general election of members of Parliament was due in 1987, and section 3.6 contains election night results. The previous election was held on 14 July 1984. The total number of electors on the master roll for the 1984 election was 2,111,651. A total of 1,978,798 votes were cast; this represents 93.71 percent of electors on the master roll.


 Number of MP's
Political Party19631966196919721975197819811984

*A by-election was held at Timaru on 15 June 1985, after the death of the sitting Labour member. The National Party candidate was elected making the relative strengths of the parties in Parliament: Labour 55; National 38.

Source: Department of Justice.

Social Credit1122


 Valid VotesPercentage of Total Valid Votes
Political Party19751978198119841975197819811984
New Zealand Party236,38512.25
Social Credit119,123274,756372,056147,1627.4316.0720.657.63
Mana Motuhake8,3325,9890.460.31
Total valid votes1,602,7771,710,1731,801,3031,929,201100.00100.00100.00100.00
Informal votes8,24311,2708,9987,565
Totals1 611 0201 721 4431 810 3011 936 766
Source: Department of Justice.

National licensing poll.

The licensing poll of 14 July 1984, held in conjunction with the parliamentary elections, was the twentieth at which the three options—national continuance, state purchase and control, and national prohibition (without compensation)—were submitted to the electors.


Voting Issue196919721975197819811984
For national continuance903,962931,7781 094 4451 053 2681 124 2581 319 518
For state purchase and control242,499244,003235,374252,154247,217222,049
For national prohibition176,055203,791250,640374,194384,780352,949
Source: Department of Justice.

Controller and Auditor-General

The Controller and Auditor-General is an officer of the Crown appointed by the Governor-General under the Public Finance Act 1977. Much like the judiciary, he or she is independent of the executive government and can only be removed from office by the Governor-General upon an address from the House of Representatives. There is also a Deputy Controller and Auditor-General, whose mode of appointment and tenure of office are the same. The Controller and Auditor-General, and persons acting under delegation from him or her, are collectively called the ‘Audit Office’. No minister is in any way responsible for the carrying out or exercise by the Audit Office of its functions, duties, and powers.

The Audit Office audits the financial statements of government departments, local authorities, and most government-controlled corporations, boards and companies. These organisations are also subject from time to time to reviews which ascertain whether their resources have been applied effectively and efficiently in a manner consistent with the policies of their governing bodies.

The constitutionally important role of the Audit Office is to act as a monitor on behalf of Parliament, and take part in the procedures laid down in the Public Finance Act 1977 to control issues of money out of the Public Account. The Audit Office has to be satisfied that all issues from the Public Account to meet the Government's expenditure requirements are within the appropriations and other authorities granted by Parliament. This role is crucial to the ability of Parliament to control the supply of funds to the Crown, and in certain circumstances the Audit Office may prevent the issue of money from the Public Account.

To enable it to carry out its 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 and its select committees. If there is a deficiency or loss of public money or stores, the Controller and Auditor-General has the power to surcharge the persons responsible to recover the amount involved. This power is rarely used.

Royal commissions and commissions of inquiry

The Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908, 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: (a) the administration of the Government; (b) the working of any existing law; (c) the necessity or expediency of any legislation; (d) the conduct of any officer in the service of the Crown; (e) any disaster or accident (whether due to natural causes or otherwise) in which members of the public were killed, injured, or were or might have been exposed to risk of death or injury; and (f) any other matter of public importance.

A Royal commission is appointed by the Governor-General pursuant to the Letters Patent, but in other respects derives its powers from the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908. Royal commissions are generally regarded as having greater prestige. A committee of inquiry may be set up by a minister to investigate some matter, but such a committee normally has no statutory basis although there are ancillary powers in some instances.

Amendments to the legislation in 1979 and 1980 confer new rights upon any person if he or she is a party to the inquiry or satisfies the commission that he or 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 administers the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908 and provides basic services to 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 is held responsible to ensure that complete independence and impartiality of the investigations is maintained.

Commissions of inquiry must report to the Governor-General, who in turn refers the findings and report to his or her ministers. It is frequently the custom for the report to be published.

Executive government

The executive government of New Zealand is carried out on behalf of the Sovereign by the ministers of the Crown, who make up the members of the Cabinet and the Executive Council, and control the state services. Ministers are responsible to Parliament for their official actions by constitutional convention, and are required to be members of Parliament by the Constitution Act 1986.

After a general election the Governor-General invites the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives to accept office as Prime Minister, and form a government. On the new Prime Minister's advice the Governor-General appoints a number of MPs as ministers, generally with responsibilities for various areas of government administration (portfolios). The Governor-General may also appoint parliamentary under-secretaries, who are not ministers and not members of the Executive Council, to assist ministers.

Cabinet and the Executive Council

The Cabinet and the Executive Council are two bodies, which in normal circumstances have the same membership but different functions. The Executive Council is a formal body with formal functions, whereas the Cabinet is an informal body with deliberative functions; the Executive Council tenders advice to the Governor-General on the basis of policy formulated in the Cabinet. The Council is established under Clause VII of the Letters Patent and is the main legal vehicle for promulgating government decisions that will form part of the law such as statutory regulations, which are made by Order-in-Council.

The Cabinet is in effect the highest council of government, although it is an informal body, which exists by constitutional convention. In the Cabinet the government of the day decides on administrative and legislative proposals and policies, and co-ordinates the work of ministers. The Cabinet has a system of subcommittees with authority to make decisions on various subjects, whose members are the ministers concerned. There are Cabinet committees at present on the following subjects: 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.

The proceedings of the Cabinet are informal and confidential, which encourages consensus decisions. By constitutional convention the Cabinet accepts collective responsibility for its decisions, which ensures that ministers will have the support of the Government as a whole in Parliament for their legislative and other proposals. The Cabinet Office provides services for the Cabinet and its committees. The Secretary is also the Clerk of the Executive Council.

The ministry appointed after the 1987 General Election is listed in section 3.6.


Governor-General of New Zealand—His Excellency the Governor-General Most Reverend Sir Paul Reeves, G.C.M.G., Hon. D.C.L. (OXON).
  Official Secretary—Paul Canham.
The Ministry—
  Rt. Hon. D. R. LANGE, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.
  Rt. Hon. G. W. R. PALMER, Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the House, Attorney-General, Minister of Justice.
  Hon. M. K. MOORE, Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing, Minister of Tourism, Minister of Recreation and Sport.
  Hon. R. O. DOUGLAS, Minister of Finance.
  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.
  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 of Conservation.
  Hon. F. D. O'FLYNN, Q.C., Minister of State, Minister of Defence, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Associate Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing.
  Hon. Dr 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.
  Rt. Hon. R. J. TIZARD, Minister of Energy, Minister of Statistics, Minister of Science and Technology.
  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.
  Rt. Hon. F. M. COLMAN, Minister of Works and Development, 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.
  Hon. Dr 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 for the Environment.
Executive Council—Membership of the Executive Council comprises the Cabinet and the Governor-General. The Clerk of the Executive Council is P. G. MILLEN, Q.S.O. J.P. 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. Environment, and Conservation.

3.3 Public sector

State services and the State Services Commission

The state services consist of organisations covered by the State Services Conditions of Employment Act 1977, and include all the servants of the Crown other than those holding political or judicial office. The Act establishes that common conditions of employment apply between these bodies. The following organisations are covered: the Public Service, the education, and hospital services, the armed forces, police and some other bodies. Each has a co-ordinating role in the management of its section of the state services, and also a role in negotating conditions of employment for their staff e.g., the Ministry of Defence manages the business of the air force, navy and army and also has a role in establishing conditions of employment for these personnel as well as the civilian staff working in these units.


 Estimated Staff Numbers at 31 March
Public Service86,0458522985,73885,42389,105
Post Office39,27937,97937,95740,43340,130
Hospital services49,02448,54348,50148,31249,232
Armed forces128081285612,60412,44512,609
Other (estimated)710710710712362
Source: State Services Commission.

State services staff made up just over 22 percent of the estimated labour force at 31 March 1987. Table 3.10 shows state services staff just prior to the transition to corporate state enterprises of some parts of the Public Service, the railways, and the Post Office. See ‘Public sector reform’ later in this section.

Organisational structures.

A department is normally headed by a permanent head, or in some cases (such as the Government Life Insurance Corporation) by a board of control. The permanent head or board is responsible to the minister in charge of the department for ensuring that it is operating efficiently and effectively. The permanent head or board has considerable independence to organise the staff into various units to perform the department's functions and objectives. However, departmental structures are usually based on units with centralised reporting systems. State service organisations are usually established by an Act of Parliament, which requires them to carry out specified tasks. In addition to these tasks, departments often also have responsibility for other statutory functions, e.g., the Department of Labour established under the Labour Department Act 1954 has responsibilities under the Immigration Act 1964.

Government departments are the main instruments for giving effect to government policy when Parliament has passed the necessary legislation. They may, and often do, work with and through local authorities, statutory boards, and government-sponsored organisations operating under various degrees of government control. A change of government does not necessarily affect the number or general functions of government departments, although a radical change in policy may be accompanied by some organisational change. Each year departments are required to produce an annual report for parliamentary scrutiny, and the format of these reports will, in future, contain details of whether they meet the objectives set.

State Services Commission.

The State Services Commission is responsible to the government of the day for efficiency and economy in the administration of government policies.

In its role as the central personnel authority for the Public Service, the commission is independent of the government of the day in making appointments and promotions and in taking disciplinary action and other personnel decisions. This independence is protected by law. The functions of government departments are described in a later section.

The State Services Act 1962 provides for a commission of up to four persons appointed by the Governor-General in Council on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The statutory functions of the State Services Commission are (a) reviewing the machinery of government, including the allocation of departmental functions, the desirability of (or need for) new departments and the amalgamation or abolition of existing departments, the co-ordination of the activities of departments, and the extent and nature of controls exercised by any one department over the operations of another department; (b) reviewing the efficiency and economy of each department; (c) the provision of suitable office accommodation and the prescription and supervision of physical working conditions of all employees in the Public Service; (d) approving and reviewing establishments of staff; (e) acting as the central personnel authority for the Public Service; (f) prescribing basic training programmes, furnishing advice on and assisting with the training of staff, and making recommendations to the Minister of State Services on the facilities necessary for the proper training of staff; (g) providing management consultation services, including advice as to efficient work and control methods and techniques, data processing equipment, and problems of organisation.

The commission has additional functions under the State Services Conditions of Employment Act 1977. That legislation provides that the commission is responsible for determining the salaries and conditions of employment for all employees of the Public Service and for co-ordinating the determination of pay rates and conditions of employment in all branches of the state services (the teaching service, hospital service, broadcasting, fire service, the armed forces and the Public Service).

Conditions of employment.

The common element in the state services is that the conditions of employment of their staff are based on a single system. To ensure that one organisation does not become out of step with the others, none of the individual heads of the services have the authority to establish increased rates of pay without consulting the others. The main difference between the conditions covering the employment of state servants and private sector personnel is that some classes of state servants enjoy some security of tenure.

The permanent head or board is under the control of a minister in all respects except the internal appointment and promotion of staff of the department. Appointment to the state services depends on the availability of a vacancy and the experience and educational qualifications of applicants. Certain classes of employees are always in demand (such as qualified accountants and computer personnel). Most departments recruit junior staff annually.

Promotion of staff within the state services is on merit, which is taken to be the relative experience, educational qualifications and personal qualities of each applicant, or on seniority for a few services.

Equal employment opportunities—The Equal Employment Opportunities Unit (EEOU) of the State Services Commission has the overall functional responsibility for the promotion, co-ordination, and monitoring of equal employment opportunity policies, programmes, and practices within the Public Service.

The State Services Commission established the unit to implement its policies in the areas of recruitment, conditions of employment, career development, selection, and promotion; and also to ensure that people are given equal access and consideration to pursue their careers without having their chances reduced by factors such as race, sex, country of origin, physical disability, marital status, or personal beliefs. A network has been set up to facilitate the co-ordination between the unit and departments at central and regional level. In every government department, the senior manager responsible for the promotion, development, and co-ordination of equal employment opportunity policies reports back to the unit on the progress achieved in accordance with the policy. Each department is required to develop an equal employment opportunities plan by 1 April 1988. It is expected that these plans will outline specific action to be taken to enhance equal employment opportunities in each department. These plans will be evaluated by the unit and are expected to be part of the department's annual corporate plan.

The unit publishes a quarterly newsletter to keep public servants informed of developments and provide a forum for ideas to which employees can contribute. Along with assisting the departments in the preparation of their management plans the unit helps departmental training staff to include equal employment opportunities issued in their programmes. The unit has four senior positions for specialist equal employment opportunity co-ordinators for women, Maori, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities. The unit promulgates positive action programmes which target the most employment disadvantaged groups in the Public Service. The Equal Employment Opportunities Unit also organises regular seminars and workshops on equal employment principles and strategies for departmental managers, equal employment opportunities liaison officers, and training staff.

For unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, see chapter 10, Justice and the law.

Government Property Services Corporation.

This new state business enterprise assumes the Crown property holdings administered by the former Government Office Accommodation Board, and the responsibility of the State Services Commission to provide and maintain the office accommodation required by government departments and agencies. The corporation provides maintenance and other services as desired by its clients—who may be from the private sector as well as the public sector.

Any regulatory matters concerned with office accommodation for government departments and agencies remains with the State Services Commission, along with responsibility for ‘control’ functions, e.g., efficiency and economy in accommodation use, disputed allocations, and the setting and supervising of minimum accommodation standards for government employees.

Public sector reform

The main aim of the Government's reform of the public sector is to improve the performance and accountability of government organisations. The public sector, which accounts for 25 percent of gross domestic product, forms a very important part of the economy. Poor performance by the public sector can have a major adverse impact. However, good performance can contribute significantly to national economic development. On 12 December 1985 the Minister of Finance issued a statement to the House of Representatives which announced a range of government policy initiatives designed to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the economic system. In that statement the Government announced its intentions to reform the public sector.

Government expenditure review.

The perception that the public sector needed to be adapted to meet the needs of a modern economy led to the Government undertaking a detailed review of the policies and spending of every government department. In March 1986 the Government announced the following 12 principles for improving the efficiency of the public sector:

  1. Public trading enterprises would be required to fund their additional spending from normal private sector loans instead of subsidised government loans;

  2. Enterprises with cheap loans from the Government would be required to repay and refinance in the market;

  3. State trading enterprises would be required to pay tax and dividends to the Government;

  4. Where the functions of any department were removed or reduced, the funding of that department would be reduced accordingly;

  5. Departments would be given strong incentives to raise revenue to fund their own activities;

  6. Departments would be required to recover the cost of supplying goods and services from users, including government departments, instead of providing them free or below cost at the taxpayer's expense;

  7. The Government would critically review a wide range of grants and subsidies to ensure they were achieving worthwhile objectives;

  8. Departments facing difficult transition problems over commercialisation would be given adjustment assistance;

  9. Some agencies would lose their tax-exempt status;

  10. New incentives would be set in place to improve departmental asset management policies;

  11. Overall funding reductions would be used where necessary to encourage improved departmental efficiency; and

  12. Quangos would be reduced or abolished where their functions were no longer sufficiently relevant.

Traditional Public Service.

The Public Service has traditionally comprised a range of government departments overseen by a small group of control agencies, for example, the Treasury and the State Services Commission, with essentially uniform conditions of employment across the whole service. This approach has resulted in a very stable Public Service with a substantial measure of political neutrality. High standards of integrity and honesty within the service have been matched by a high level-employee protection and job security. In the past, the Treasury and State Services Commission exercised tight centralised control on departmental expenditure, staff numbers, and personnel policies in the Public Service.

Problems with traditional approach.

A variety of problems emerged with the traditional way in which the public sector operated. In many cases there was a lack of clear objectives because of the confusion arising from a mixture of commercial, social, regulatory, and policy advice roles in many government departments. For example, the Forest Service planted forests for employment or conservation reasons, which could not be justified on purely financial grounds. At the same time it was undertaking a major commercial afforestation programme. Because such diverging objectives were all considered as part of single management programmes it was impossible for managers to consider the real costs of meeting these social objectives.

Government organisations operating in a clearly commercial context had a different environment from private sector companies operating in the same field. For example, the commercial activities of government organisations were not taxed, and operated in a regulatory environment which conferred a range of monopoly rights. On the other hand, these organisations were subject to a number of constraints and central controls associated with government ownership and management, which also distinguished them from their private sector counterparts.

The conclusions reached by the Government following its review of public sector spending was that thorough restructuring of the state sector was required. The restructuring was needed to ensure that government agencies moved into new areas of demand for their services, and out of areas which had become less important. It was necessary to distinguish between the commercial and noncommercial functions of government departments. Public sector managers needed to respond to the true costs of producing goods and services to enable them to provide services in the most cost-effective way. There needed to be greater autonomy and flexibility for departmental managers, which would be matched by increased accountability for the decisions made. Wherever possible the full costs of commercial functions should be recovered. This would also have the effect of ensuring that only those services in demand would continue, thus directing resources into useful areas. This cost-recovery or ‘user pays’ policy was to be applied to the commercially oriented functions of a number of departments, including for example, the Ministry of Works and Development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and parts of the State Services Commission.

Improving efficiency and resource allocation in existing government departments was one major aspect of the Government's restructuring of the public sector. A second major policy initiative was the state enterprises policy. This policy was applied to departments, or parts of departments, where it was appropriate to separate trading functions from traditional departmental structures, and give them a new structure consistent with their commercial nature. In considering their performance, the Government concluded that the shortfall in performance of the trading activities carried out by government departments was caused by a number of factors. State trading activities were not required to account for their performance in any systematic or objective way. They were protected from competition. They were trying to meet social goals such as employment, but no regard was had for the cost of jobs created. There were inadequate mechanisms for ministers and Parliament to assess the effectiveness of these trading activities.

State-owned enterprises

A state enterprise is a government-owned organisation which produces goods and services for sale. The origins of many state-owned enterprises can be traced back to early perceptions of the shortcomings of markets. Ownership by the state was often seen as a means to increase competition, support failing industries, fill a market gap, or produce a more socially desirable level of output. The operations of some commercially-oriented government departments involved a mixture of trading activities, policy advice, and regulatory roles. Good examples of this were the State Coal Mines or the Department of Lands and Survey. Other forms of state-owned enterprises are statutory corporations with special advantages relative to other enterprises in the economy. Examples in this category are the Broadcasting Corporation or the Railways Corporation. State-owned enterprises can also take the form of companies registered under the Companies Act 1955, such as Air New Zealand and the Shipping Corporation of New Zealand. There was no common policy framework with respect to these organisations. The fact that many of these trading activities, especially those taking the form of government departments, have been regarded as simply a part of the larger public sector has meant that their major role in the economy was not clearly perceived.

Policy principles.

The Government's Statement on Government Expenditure Reform 1986, issued in May 1986, announced its intention to restructure the trading activities of the former Electricity and State Coal Mines Divisions of the Ministry of Energy, the Post Office, and the Civil Aviation Division of the Ministry of Transport. This followed decisions already announced in late 1985 to commercialise the trading activities of the Department of Lands and Survey and the New Zealand Forest Service. In late 1986 the Government decided that most of the functions of the Accommodation Services Division of the State Services Commission would also be commercialised. These trading activities were to become state-owned enterprises which would be registered under the Companies Act 1955. As such they would be legally separate entities from the Crown and would operate as autonomous limited liability companies. The changes were to be implemented by 1 April 1987.

The following were key points of the Government's state-owned enterprise policy:

  1. Responsibility for non-commercial functions would be separated from major trading enterprises of the state;

  2. Managers of state enterprises would be given a principal objective of running them as successful business enterprises;

  3. Managers would be given responsibility for decisions on inputs, and on pricing and marketing of their output, within the performance objectives agreed with ministers, so that the managers can be held accountable to ministers and Parliament for their results; and

  4. The advantages and disadvantages of state enterprises, including unnecessary barriers to competition, would be removed so that commercial criteria could provide a fair assessment of managerial performance.

A number of conditions were identified by the Government's policy statement as being necessary for the operation of successful state-owned enterprises. The enterprises would have to buy their inputs at prices which reflect their economic value. They would have to operate efficiently, so that inputs are used on a least-cost basis. Tax should be paid on the same basis as other private sector companies. Enterprises should be required to earn a commercial return on the capital invested in them.

The Government also stated that state-owned enterprises could not operate on a commercial basis unless responsibility for non-commercial functions was clearly separated out and accounted for. Where state enterprises had responsibility for policy and regulatory advice, which affected the environment for all businesses competing with them, these responsibilities needed to be reassigned among government departments. Where functions were inherently unprofitable, the Government had to consider whether that function was valuable to society and whether it could be carried out more appropriately by other mechanisms within the government sector.

A key concept to the state enterprises policy was that wherever possible, these organisations should operate in an environment of competitive neutrality. This meant that the enterprises should not be protected from competition within their own markets any more than competing private sector companies. For example, access to planning procedures and methods of land acquisition should be similar to that of potential competitors. Industrial relations and personnel regimes should be able to compete with those existing in other enterprises in the economy. State enterprises should have the same access to capital markets as their private sector counterparts.

State Owned Enterprises Act 1986.

This Act, which was passed on 18 December 1986, is the legislative vehicle for the establishment of nine new state-owned enterprises. The Act also applies to five state enterprises which were already in existence, so that state enterprises now have a common policy framework under which to operate.

The functions of state enterprises are outlined in other chapters that deal with the fields state enterprises operate in. See chapters 14, Land and environment; 16, Forestry; 21, Energy; 22, Transport and communications; and 26, Money and banking.

The following state enterprises are covered by the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986:

New state enterprises
        Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited
        Coal Corporation of New Zealand Limited
        Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Limited
        Government Property Services Limited
        Land Corporation Limited
        New Zealand Forestry Corporation Limited
        New Zealand Post Limited
        Post Office Bank Limited
        Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited
Existing state enterprises
        Air New Zealand Limited
        New Zealand Railways Corporation
        Petroleum Corporation of New Zealand Limited
        Tourist Hotel Corporation of New Zealand
        The Shipping Corporation of New Zealand Limited

The State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 has four parts: Part I establishes principles to guide operations; Part II sets out ownership provisions; Part III establishes a comprehensive accountability framework; and Part IV provides transitional and miscellaneous provisions. The Act distinguishes between existing enterprises and ones established by the Act. The principles of the Act requiring enterprises to operate as successful businesses and have regard for the interests of the community, along with the improved accountability provisions, apply to all the enterprises listed. However, the provisions of the Act which relate to formation and ownership do not apply to existing state enterprises, which continue to operate under prior legislation. For example, the Shipping Corporation of New Zealand Act 1973 will still apply to the Shipping Corporation.

Specific provisions.

The State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 sets out principles requiring the new corporations to perform as successful businesses. It aims to strike a balance between the powers of ministers to control the direction of policies pursued by the state enterprises, and the need to ensure that their boards are given the ability to manage the organisations commercially, free from day-to-day political control over operations. Directors of state enterprises have a clear goal—to run the state enterprises as successful businesses.

State enterprises are also required under the statutory principles to be good employers and have a sense of social responsibility, which will require organisations to respect the interests of the communities in which they operate, and accommodate and encourage these interests when able to do so. The corporations will be required to behave responsibly, fairly, and sensitively in the wider economic and social environment. Being a good employer will include the provision of good, safe working conditions, an equal employment opportunities programme, impartial selection for appointment, and training programmes for employees. These provisions will require the state enterprises, while carrying out their commercial roles, to adhere to high standards of performance as employers and participants in the community.

The State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 provides that when the Government wishes a state enterprise to provide goods or services, the production of which the enterprise has assessed as being unprofitable, the enterprise enters into an agreement which makes the provision of the product or service commercially profitable. The corporations will therefore be able to enter into agreements with the Government to carry out non-commercial activities in return for appropriate payment, when these are consistent with the carrying on of a successful business. This provision will enable the Government to ensure that any necessary non-commercial activities can be undertaken by state enterprises, without unnecessarily restricting the enterprises' commercial autonomy.

Shareholding ministers and ownership provisions.

Each of the enterprises established by the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 has two shareholding ministers, who hold the same number of shares; the Minister of Finance and the minister responsible for the particular state-owned enterprise. The shareholding ministers are listed below:

Airways Corporation of New ZealandMinisters of Finance and Transport
Coal Corporation of New Zealand LtdMinisters of Finance and Energy
Electricity Corporation of New ZealandMinisters of Finance and Energy
Forestry CorporationMinisters of Finance and Forestry
Government Property Services LtdMinisters of Finance and State Services
Land Corporation LtdMinisters of Finance and Lands
New Zealand Post LtdMinister of Finance and Postmaster-General
Post Office Bank LtdMinister of Finance and Postmaster-General
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand LtdMinister of Finance and Postmaster-General

The shareholding ministers are responsible to Parliament for the performance of state enterprises. They have powers to appoint and dismiss directors, and if necessary give directions on amounts of dividends to be paid and the contents of the enterprises' statements of corporate intent. But they are not responsible for the direction of day-to-day operations, which is the task of directors and management.

The State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 prohibits ministers from selling shares in the new enterprises or permitting shares in the enterprises being allotted to others. This does not apply to instruments such as preference shares, which have the characteristics of debt rather than equity. The Act permits, following a resolution of the House of Representatives, the issue of state enterprise equity bonds in a state enterprise. These allow holders to share in the earnings of the enterprise but would not permit them to vote at general meetings of shareholders.

Accountability of state-owned enterprises.

The Act provides for a new and comprehensive framework of accountability for state-owned enterprises. The statement of corporate intent is the principal element in this framework. Every financial year, each state enterprise must provide a statement which contains information on the organisation's objectives, nature, and scope of activities, proposed financial structure and targets, non-commercial activities, and a range of other matters. Each statement of corporate intent for new state enterprises established under the Act must be agreed between the shareholding ministers and the board of directors. As directors of state enterprises have to operate in accordance with the current statement of corporate intent, this effectively means that ministerial approval is required for any significant change in the nature and scope of their activities.

In addition state enterprises are required to submit half-yearly, and annual reports of their operations, which will enable their performance to be measured against the targets set. Both the statements of corporate intent and the half-yearly and annual reports must be tabled in Parliament.

The information required under the Act will allow ministers, Parliament, the news media and the public to judge the performance of state-owned enterprises. Under the current Parliamentary procedures there are three avenues through which the performance of state-owned enterprises can be scrutinised: by debates; questions and select committees. By these mechanisms, each corporation will still be accountable to ministers for its performance and, in turn, ministers will be accountable to Parliament. The Audit Office will be the auditor of state enterprises and their subsidiaries.

To enhance the accountability to the public of the state enterprises, they are also subject to the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982 and the Ombudsman Act 1975. A review of the application of both Acts will be made after two years' operation to establish whether it is appropriate for them to continue to apply to state-owned enterprises.

Directors of state-owned enterprises.

Each state-owned corporation has a board of directors. The number of directors must (in most cases) be no fewer than five and no more than nine. The directors are appointed for terms of up to three years. The shareholding ministers are responsible for the appointment of directors. Directors of state enterprises are appointed from people who, in the opinion of ministers, can help the organisations achieve their principal objective of operating as successful businesses. Details of the membership of boards are set out in the Register of Statutory and Allied Organisations issued by the Cabinet Office.

The directors of a state enterprise are accountable to its shareholding ministers but, within the agreed framework of the statement of corporate intent, directors and managers will be responsible for key discussions and free to manage the operations of the enterprise. Ministers and control agencies no longer have the powers to exercise detailed control over the operational decisions of state-owned enterprises.

Monitoring state-owned enterprises.

Generally, businesses are monitored continuously by a number of interested parties such as shareholders, bankers, employees, and customers. Interested parties often rely on expert agencies to perform the monitoring functions: agencies such as shareholders, financial analysts, the news media, trade unions, consumer and environmental groups, and regulatory bodies, including government departments. Each agency monitors a business from a particular viewpoint, and all these taken together provide a system of checks and balances.

State-owned enterprises will be subject to all such monitoring processes. Shareholding ministers will also receive information flows which will allow them to monitor financial performance. As is the case for private sector organisations, departments such as Health, Environment, and Labour will monitor the adherence of state enterprises to environmental and safety standards. Like their competitors, the enterprises are also subject to the provisions and safeguards of the Companies Act 1955 and the Commerce Act 1986. The Commerce Act 1986 provides checks and balances ‘or the regulation of enterprises which have dominant market positions.

Employment policies.

The effect of the State Services Conditions of Employment Amendment Act 1987 was to retain employees of state-owned enterprises under the state sector industrial relations system. The Act removed many of the rigidities of the state pay-fixing and personnel legislation to allow the corporations greater flexibility in determining the way they handle industrial relations and personnel matters. The changes have been designed to take the emphasis away from detailed rules about pay-fixing and replace them with a set of principles which would provide a flexible environment in which the corporations and unions could reach agreement on matters concerning them.

Transition to state-owned enterprises.

The establishment of the nine state-owned enterprises on 1 April 1987 involved some 60 000 state employees. More than 40 000 of that number were transferred with no loss of jobs to the three new corporations replacing the Post Office. Of the remaining 19 200 people, about 14 000 transferred to the new corporations or other government departments. Nearly 5000 state servants took the voluntary severance option, and 176 took early retirement. A social impact unit was established in the State Services Commission, and a wide range of measures was put in place to help those affected by the changes. These included redeployment, retraining, enhanced early retirement, help in finding other jobs, and housing assistance.

The transition also involves a massive transfer of assets. The State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 provides for each new state enterprise to purchase the existing departmental businesses and assets at their full commercial value, by means of a sale and purchase agreement with the Crown. The enterprises are to pay for the assets received partly by issuing fully paid up shares to the Crown, and partly by cash and promissory notes.

The restructuring of the state sector represents one of the greatest changes in public administration ever undertaken in New Zealand. There is a world-wide trend towards improving the efficiency of the public sector. In New Zealand these changes are intended to improve the contribution of the public sector to national economic performance. In the Public Service itself the aim is to produce more responsive and effective departments. In the wider state sector the reforms are designed to produce flexible and profitable enterprises which can respond to market demands, produce goods and services priced in relation to true cost, and give the taxpayer a return on investment.

Environmental reorganisation

Decisions made by Government in 1985 have led to a restructuring of the government departments with responsibility for aspects of environmental administration. This involves, inter alia, the transfer of these departments’ trading functions to state-owned enterprises.

In brief these changes culminated in a Ministry for the Environment being created on 1 December 1986, from the Commission for the Environment, but with a wider mandate. A new Department of Conservation, a Department of Survey and Land Information, and a Ministry of Forestry came into being on 1 April 1987. On the same date two corporations commenced operating: the Land Corporation and the Forestry Corporation. March 31 also saw the disestablishment of the Department of Lands and Survey, the New Zealand Forest Service and the Commission for the Environment, and a transfer of some functions and staff from other government departments, particularly the Department of Internal Affairs, which transferred the Wildlife Service and the Historic Places Trust functions to the Department of Conservation.

An office of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment was also set up. See chapter 14, Land and environment.

Department of Lands.

An interim Department of Lands was established to continue and complete the disestablishment work of the former Department of Lands and Survey and to administer legislation, functions and land unallocated to the new agencies at 1 April 1987. The department is required to investigate and report to the Government on policy, legislative and administrative changes needed to provide an ultimate permanent home for the remaining functions and for any land still not allocated. The objective is to have its task completed by 31 March 1988.


*As at 14 May 1987.
Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry ofDirector-GeneralM. L. Cameron, B.AGR.SC.
AuditController and Auditor-GeneralB. H. C. Tyler, A.C.A., B.C.A.
ConservationDirector-GeneralK. Piddington, M.A.
Crown LawSolicitor-GeneralD. P. Neazor, LL.M., Q.C.
CustomsComptrollerM. W. Taylor
Defence, Ministry ofSecretaryD. B. G. McLean, M.SC., B.A. (OXON.)
EducationDirector-GeneralW. L. Renwick, M.A.
Energy, Ministry ofSecretaryB. V. Walker, PH.D., M.I.C.H.E.M.E., M.I.P.E.N.Z.
Environment, Ministry for theSecretaryR. W. G. Blakley, PH.D.
Foreign Affairs, Ministry ofSecretaryM. Norrish, M.A.
Forestry, Ministry ofSecretaryR. Ballard, M.AGR.SC., PH.D.
Government Computing ServiceGeneral ManagerM. B. Foden
Government Life Insurance OfficeManaging DirectorH. D. Peacock, F.I.A.
Government Printing OfficeGovernment PrinterV. R. Ward
HealthDirector GeneralG. C. Salmond, M.B., PH.D., S.R.A.C.P., M.C.C.M.
Housing CorporationDirector GeneralR. A. Kelly, B.A., D.P.A.
Inland RevenueCommissionerJ. Simcock, A.C.A.
Internal AffairsSecretaryP.W. Boag, M.A., DIP.ED.
JusticeSecretaryD. Oughton, ACCTS PROF.
LabourSecretaryC. J. McKenzie, M.AGR.SC.
Maori AffairsSecretary and Maori TrusteeT M. Reedy, PH.D.
New Zealand Security Intelligence ServiceDirector of SecurityBrigadier J. L. Smith, C.B.E., B.A.
Parliamentary Service CommissionClerk of House of RepresentativesD. G. McGee, B.A. (HONS)
PoliceCommissionerM. T. Churches, O.B.E.
Prime Minister'sPermanent HeadJ. T. Henderson, PH.D.
Public Trust OfficePublic TrusteeW. B. R. Hawkins, A.C.A.
Rural Banking and Finance CorporationGeneral ManagerR. J. Chappell, DIP.V.F.M., R.V
Scientific and Industrial ResearchDirector GeneralA. J. Ellis, M.SC., PH.D., F.N.Z.I.C., F.R.S.N.Z.
Social WelfareDirector GeneralJ. W. Grant
State Insurance OfficeGeneral ManagerJ. F. Stirton, F.I.D.
State Services CommissionChairmanD. K. Hunn, M.A.
StatisticsGovernment StatisticianS. S. R. Kuzmicich. B.SC.
Survey and Land InformationDirector General/Surveyor GeneralW. N. Hawkey, F.N.Z.I.S.
Tourist and PublicityGeneral ManagerW. N. Plimmer, M.A.
Trade and IndustrySecretaryJ. W. H. Clark, B.A., ADMIN. PROF., D.P.A.
Transport, Ministry ofSecretaryD. E. Homewood, M.A.
TreasurySecretaryG. C. Scott, PH.D.
ValuationValuer-GeneralS. W. A. Ralston, DIP. U.V., R.V., F.N.Z.I.V.
Women's Affairs, Ministry ofSecretaryM. C. O'Regan, B.A.
Works and Development, Ministry ofCommissionerT. G. Shadwell, M.E., M.ENG.SC. (N.S.W.), F.I.P.E.N.Z.

Functions of government departments

Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of.

The purpose of the ministry is to carry out efficiently the Government's policies and programmes relating to the farming, horticultural, and fishing industries, and advise on how to maximise the national benefit from those industries. The ministry aims to generate revenue from goods and services as determined by government policy, and to achieve results in the areas of productivity, protection, quality, assurance, and policy advice. Productivity involves market-led research, and advisory and management services to realise opportunities in the agricultural, horticultural, and fishing industries. Protection requires prevention of the introduction of exotic animal, fish and plant diseases and pests, so keeping New Zealand's status as an approved source of species and produce, and also involves assistance in the management of the animal, fish, and plant health resources in New Zealand. Quality assurance is provided by assuring overseas government agencies and customers, where required, of the consistent purity and safety of New Zealand food products, basing quality assurance on negotiated quality control systems. Policy advice involves providing the Government with advice to obtain the greatest national benefit from the farming, horticultural, and fishing industries.

Audit Office.

The Audit Office has a brief to operate in all three segments of the public sector: central government; government-owned corporations, companies, and quangos; and local government. As auditor of organisations in the public sector the Audit Office plays a key part in the process of accountability by those organisations, and accordingly it has a range of responsibilities much more extensive than that accepted by auditors whose role is confined to the traditional financial audit. In addition to carrying cut audits leading to the expression of an opinion on financial statements, the Audit Office conducts periodic reviews of financial control systems and of selected programmes or operations to ascertain their effectiveness and efficiency. The Audit Office also places considerable emphasis on reporting the results of its work. The most visible result of that emphasis is the reports tabled in Parliament each year, which deal with issues ranging from those arising from particular audits to matters concerning financial management and administration in the public sector.

Conservation, Department of.

The department, established on 1 April 1987, is responsible for the management of much of New Zealand's natural lands and water, as well as historic places and wildlife. In addition to managing national parks and reserves, farm and forest parks, the public aspects of harbours and foreshores, marine reserves, and unallocated Crown lands, the department is also the Government's advocate in conservation issues.

Crown Law Office.

The Crown Law Office is the legal adviser of, and provides counsel in court for, the Government and ministers in matters affecting the Crown and government departments. The Solicitor-General, who heads the office, performs most of the statutory and ex-officio duties of the Attorney-General's office and is entrusted by statute with various specific rights, duties and functions. The range of the Crown Law Office's legal work corresponds with the activities of the Government itself.

Customs Department

The Customs Department is a statutory agency responsible for giving advice to the Government on the development and administration of border control, indirect taxation, and for tariff related policies.

The department's roles under the Customs Acts and other enabling legislation are: (a) to administer the Customs Tariff and Customs procedures consistent with the Government's economic, industrial assistance and trade policy objectives and international obligations; (b) to protect New Zealand's borders by exercising required control over the import and export of goods; (c) to administer the passage and transit of international passengers in relation to the Government's immigration, emigration and quarantine requirements; and (d) to protect, collect and account for customs and excise duties, and GST and other revenue charges in certain circumstances.

Defence, Ministry of.

The functions of the ministry include providing the resources required to enable defence headquarters to undertake the central command, control, management, and administration of the defence forces, and also operating the defence communications network and computer information services.

Education, Department of.

The primary objective of the department is to ensure that suitable education programmes, facilities, staffing, and services are readily available for: pre-school children; children of compulsory school age (6–15 years); for children who by choice start school at the age of 5 years; for pupils over the age of 15 who stay on at school; for suitably qualified school-leavers who seek education and training at teachers colleges or polytechnics; and for adults wishing to continue their education, whether for vocational or non-vocational purposes.

Energy, Ministry of.

The Ministry of Energy was established to advise the Government on the formulation, implementation, co-ordination, and continuing review of energy policies for New Zealand. In carrying out this function the ministry must take into account energy sources and resources; exploration, assessment, research and development; production, supply, and distribution; consumption and conservation; needs of industry, commerce, transport, and domestic users; needs of regions; international responsibilities; environmental and social issues; organisational and administrative methods; and future patterns, changes, problems, and the need for planning.

As from 1 April 1987, the ministry was reorganised. Two of the three commercial divisions, Electricity and State Coal Mines, were separated from the ministry and became independent state corporations. The remaining core of the ministry, comprising some 270 staff, continued to fulfil the policy formulation and regulatory role.

Environment, Ministry for the.

The ministry advises the Minister for the Environment on all aspects of environmental administration, including: (a) policies for influencing the management of natural and physical resources and ecosystems so as to achieve the objectives of the Environment Act 1986; (b) significant environmental impacts of public or private sector proposals, particularly those that are not adequately covered by legislative or other environmental assessment requirements; and (c) ways of ensuring that effective provision is made for public participation in environmental planning and policy formulation processes in order to assist decision making, particularly at the regional and local level.

The ministry obtains information and may conduct and supervise research necessary for the formulation of advice to the Government on environmental policies. It also provides the Government, its agencies, and other public authorities with advice on: (a) the application, operation, and effectiveness of other relevant legislation in relation to achieving the objectives of the Environment Act; (b) procedures for assessing and monitoring environmental impacts; (c) pollution control and the co-ordination of the management of pollutants; (d) the identification and likelihood of natural hazards and the reduction of their effects; and (e) the control of hazardous substances, including the management of their manufacture, storage, transport, and disposal.

The ministry facilitates and encourages the resolution of conflict in relation to policies and proposals which may affect the environment. It also provides and disseminates information to promote environmental policies, including environmental education and mechanisms for promoting effective public participation in environmental planning.

Foreign Affairs, Ministry of.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assists the Government in the conduct of all its foreign relations and administers the network of diplomatic and consular posts overseas.

Forestry, Ministry of.

The ministry is responsible for providing forestry sector services and policy advice to the Government. Its mission is to ‘promote the national interest through forestry, including wood based industries’. The ministry inherited several functions previously carried out by the New Zealand Forest Service which was disestablished on 31 March 1987. These include research, advice on foresty policy to the Government, advisory services, collection of statistics, and training. Other responsibilities of a regulatory nature include quarantine and forest disease control, and timber inspection and grading.

Government Computing Service.

The Government Computing Service is an autonomous public service agency which provides information, technology-related products and services, primarily to the public sector. It operates as a trading department, funding expenditure from revenue under a revolving fund. Its services include: data processing bureau services, systems design and development, data preparation, data communication network services, consultancy and advisory services, business systems support services, payroll services, and education and training. The service is one of the largest suppliers of bureau and data communication network services in New Zealand, with an estimated revenue of $70 million for the 1986–87 financial year.

Government Life Insurance Corporation.

The corporation provides all types of life insurance, superannuation schemes and unit trusts. It is a mutual office, which actively competes in the financial market, and has assets worth $1,759 million.

Government Printing Office.

The mission of the Government Printing Office is primarily to meet the needs of Parliament and the Government in their printing, publishing, and information processing requirements, including the marketing of legislation. This must be reconciled with commercial viability in the provision of services of: printing, publishing, stationery, information processing, and forms storage and distribution to other Government departments and agencies, the wider public sector, and the private sector where there is a market.

Health, Department of.

The principal functions of the Department of Health are: (a) to administer all public Acts relating to the promotion or conservation of human health; (b) to advise local authorities in matters relating to environmental health; (c) to prevent, limit, and suppress communicable and other diseases; (d) to promote or carry out research and investigation in public health fields and in the prevention and treatment of disease; (e) to carry out inspections of factories in relation to matters concerning the public health and the prevention or treatment of disease, and to carry out all such inspections as may be required or authorised by any Act; (f) to publish reports, information, and advice concerning public health; (g) to organise and control medical, dental, and nursing services, so far as such services are paid for out of public moneys; (h) generally to take all such steps as may be desirable to secure the preparation, effective carrying out, and co-ordination of measures conducive to public health; and (i) to provide advisory information and processing services to hospital boards and various health agencies.

Housing Corporation.

The Housing Corporation is the primary government agency for providing finance for home ownership. It also provides home improvement loans, mortgage guarantees, and some refinancing assistance. Its other main function is the provision of publicly-owned housing. Activities include land acquisition and development, land sales, house construction, the management of its rental houses, sale of houses, loans and subsidy for pensioner accommodation, and urban development and redevelopment.

The corporation in its own right, or as agent, provides industrial loans and agency services including: loans to state servants on transfer; rehabilitation concessions to ex-servicemen; subsidies for hostel accommodation for young people; and loans for hotel/motel/motor inn accommodation, private schools, and medical centres.

The corporation also administers the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. It provides information on tenancy law for landlords and tenants, provides a tenancy mediation service, and acts as office for the Tenancy Tribunal.

Inland Revenue Department

The main function of the Inland Revenue Department is to assess and collect various taxes and duties. The principal tax is income tax, which is collected in part by pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) deductions from salaries and wages, in part by the payment of provisional tax during the year of derivation of income, and in part by an end-of-year assessment. Of the other revenues collected the most significant are goods and services tax, stamp duty, estate and gift duties, land tax, fringe benefit tax, and totalisator duty. The department also collects accident compensation levies on behalf of the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Internal Affairs, Department of.

The department carries out a broad range of functions, encompassing constitutional matters, and including local government, community development, aspects of social regulation, conservation activities, common services to government departments, and other responsibilities. The department attends to formal constitutional procedures in relation to Parliament and the Governor-General. As Clerk of the Writs the Secretary for Internal Affairs performs functions concerning the issue and return of writs for parliamentary general elections and by-elections. Associated functions include publication of the New Zealand Gazette, protection of flags, emblems, and names, and responsibilities for war graves, award schemes, and daylight saving. The department administers legislation relating to New Zealand citizenship and passports, horse and greyhound racing, gaming and lotteries, and film censorship. Through the Distinguished Visitors Branch, the department attends to the reception of guests of the Government and arrangement of state functions.

The Local Government Division is responsible for administering legislation relating to regional and territorial local government and services Local Government Commission schemes. It also has responsibility for administering government policies and legislation in relation to the New Zealand Fire Service, for co-ordination of government activities for the Chatham Islands, and for the general administration of Lake Taupo.

The Ministry of Civil Defence, in addition to its operational responsibilities, implements government policy for assistance to local territorial authorities in carrying out their civil defence obligations and for co-ordinating the planning and use of government resources in civil defence emergencies.

The Recreation, Arts, and Youth Division, incorporating the Ministry of Recreation and Sport, is responsible for administering government policies and legislation relating to cultural matters, the recreation and sport programme, and youth activities. It administers a large number of community funding programmes. The New Zealand Lottery Board, the New Zealand Council for Recreation and Sport, the National Museum, the National Art Gallery, and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust are all serviced by the department. The National Archives and the Historical Publications Branch form part of the department.

The department provides a translation service for government departments, which is also available to exporters, and administers the cleaning of government offices. It attends to administrative matters relating to the office of the Governor-General and his staff, and to offices of ministers and parliamentary under-secretaries. Meeting the costs of commissions of inquiry and carrying out administrative functions in respect of them are other responsibilities of the department.

The department administers government policies to support the development of the arts and to preserve and make available to the public the best of New Zealand's cultural heritage. It works with the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, the New Zealand Film Commission, and the Board of Trustees of the National Art Gallery, Museum and War Memorial. Specialised branches include the National Archives and Historical Publications.

A wide range of youth and community development activities are supported by both advice and financial support, and the department co-ordinates the work of the Commonwealth Youth Programme in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Lottery Board's programmes, which assist a wide range of charitable community courses, are serviced by the department.

Justice, Department of.

The department's functions may be classified broadly under the following headings: administration of courts; registration of patents, land transactions, births, deaths and marriages; control of prisoners, probationers and parolees; law reform; commercial affairs (including administration of the Companies Act); electoral work; and administrative work for the many authorities and tribunals. The tribunals, authorities, and committees serviced by the department help administer Acts, or advise the Government. The Department of Justice is responsible for the administration of 160 Acts of Parliament.

Labour, Department of.

The principal responsibilities of the Department of Labour are to promote and maintain full employment through the provision of a complete employment and vocational guidance service; to ensure through the work of its field staff that workers are employed under safe and healthy working conditions; to assist and promote good industrial relations; and to collect and publish relevant information. In addition, it administers a complex variety of statutes; among the most important are the Industrial Relations Act, the Factories and Commercial Premises Act, the Construction Act, and those dealing with weights and measures, apprenticeship, training, immigration, dangerous goods, and explosives.

The department's Immigration Division is responsible for the administration of the Immigration Act 1964.

Lands and Survey, Department of.

The department has been disestablished as part of the reorganisation of environmental administration. See the article on the topic earlier in this chapter.

Maori Affairs, Department of.

The functions of the Department of Maori Affairs are to assist the Maori and Pacific Island peoples, particularly in social, economic, and cultural matters. For example, Maori land owners are assisted by way of title reform and capital advances to make full use of their resources, and through its Community Services Division, the department gives encouragement in the fields of education, employment, housing, health and cultural development.

Police, New Zealand.

The mission of the police is protecting life and property; preventing crime; maintaining the peace; detecting offenders by assisting and working together with the community and other agencies; and maintaining a police organisation capable of providing a high quality of service.

Post Office.

The Post Office, which was a government department, was abolished on 1 April 1987 and replaced by three companies, New Zealand Post Limited, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited, and Post Office Bank Limited. See chapter 22, Transport and communications; chapter 26, Money and banking; and the article on public sector reform in this chapter.

Prime Minister's Department.

The Prime Minister's Department was established as a separate department in 1975. Within the department, the Cabinet Office is responsible for servicing the Cabinet, its committees, and the Executive Council. The Press Office is responsible for news media and public information relating to the Prime Minister and the general coordination of ministerial publicity. The staff of the Office of the Prime Minister provides the normal ministerial services. An advisory group advises the Prime Minister on policy matters referred to it. The External Intelligence Bureau functions as a research organisation in the general field of international affairs, and receives direction and policy guidance from the New Zealand Intelligence Council.

Public Trust Office.

The Public Trust Office provides a wide range of services as trustee, executor, manager, and attorney. It also acts as sinking fund or depreciation fund commissioner for many local authorities when so appointed, and additionally holds other funds on their behalf. It is also required to provide a number of statutory services irrespective of whether these are remunerative.

Railways Corporation, New Zealand.

The New Zealand Railways Corporation became a state-owned enterprise on 1 April 1987 and is described in Chapter 22, Transport and communications.

Rural Banking and Finance Corporation.

The Rural Banking and Finance Corporation has the principal function of making loans, and providing other assistance for farming and other primary industries, and related service industries.

Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of.

The department's role is to advance, maintain, and apply scientific and technical knowledge for the benefit of New Zealand's social and economic development. DSIR research is described in chapter 13, Science and Technology.

Social Welfare, Department of.

The principal functions of the Department of Social Welfare are (a) to administer the Department of Social Welfare Act 1971; the Children and Young Persons Act 1974; Parts I and III of the Social Security Act 1964; and to provide for the effective administration and servicing of the War Pensions Act 1954; the Rehabilitation Act 1941; and the Disabled Persons Community Welfare Act 1975; (b) advise the minister on the development of social-welfare policies; (c) provide such social-welfare services as the minister may from time to time direct; (d) provide for the training of persons to undertake social-welfare activities; (e) maintain close liaison with and encourage co-operation and co-ordination among any organisations and individuals engaged in social-welfare activities; and (f) undertake and promote research into aspects of social welfare.

State Insurance Office.

The State Insurance Office transacts all classes of fire, accident, and marine insurance. Its function is to maintain a competitive insurance service. It also administers the Export Guarantee Office, which provides credit insurance for exporters.

Statistics, Department of.

The main functions of the department are: (a) to provide a statistical service relevant to the needs of governmental and community users, covering economic, demographic, and social activity; (b) to advise the Minister of Statistics on statistical policy matters; (c) to define and promote standard concepts, procedures, definitions, and classifications for use in official statistics; (d) to examine proposals by government departments for commencing or commissioning new statistical surveys, and to prepare submissions to the Minister of Statistics for approval or otherwise; (e) to review the collection, compilation, analyses, abstraction, and publication of official statistics produced in both the department and other government departments; and (f) to maintain liaison with international organisations or agencies requiring or making use of New Zealand official statistics.

The Pay Research Unit conducts statistical surveys of the remuneration and conditions of employment of appropriate sections of the labour force in the private and public sectors for legally defined purposes associated with State Services pay-fixing procedures.

Survey and Land Information, Department of.

The department is the national survey and mapping organisation, providing economic and effective co-ordination of these activities. This work includes control surveys as the basis for cadastral surveys and basic topographic mapping, land title surveys, investigations into the status of Crown Land and Maori Land, large scale topographical surveys for engineering and management purposes, land development servicing, fixing of marine and air navigation aids, aerodrome obstruction surveys, earth deformation studies, and environmental planning of land.

The department was establised as part of the reorganisation of environmental administration.

Tourist and Publicity Department, New Zealand.

The main functions of the New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department are to promote travel to, within, and beyond New Zealand; to develop domestic tourism and stimulate off-season travel; to promote New Zealand overseas in the interests of tourism industry development; to administer schemes for financial assistance for the provision of accommodation and other tourist facilities and for expanding private sector marketing overseas; to undertake research into overseas tourism markets and into domestic tourism; to operate and sell tours and to provide a complete travel service to assist overseas travel agents; and to provide, within New Zealand, information and publicity services for ministers and government departments. In order to provide these services, the department includes the National Film Unit and the Media and Publicity Studios. It also provides research services for the New Zealand Tourism Council, an advisory body reporting and making recommendations to the Minister of Tourism on all aspects of tourism.

Trade and Industry, Department of.

In its corporate plan, the department is committed ‘to promote in accordance with the Government's policies an environment within New Zealand and overseas that encourages the growth of internationally competitive, efficient, and market oriented business that will contribute to New Zealand's economic development and the welfare of its people.’ The department provides business policy advice to the Government and supplies comprehensive, authoritative and timely business information. These tasks are performed in five operating divisions: Business Operations; Business Environment; Business Competition and Corporate Affairs; International Trade Relations; and the New Zealand Trade Commission, which includes a network of trade commissioners overseas. Corporate services and support services for the whole department are provided by the Corporate Services Division. Also included in the department is the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, which operates as a separate division reporting to the Minister of Consumer Affairs. In addition, the department services the portfolio of the Minister of Regional Development.

Transport, Ministry of.

The ministry is responsible for providing the Government with the information and advice necessary for the development of an efficient and economic transport policy. The principal objective of the Road Transport Division is to develop, implement, and manage a range of programmes that will achieve a safe, efficient, and economic system of road transport. The main objective of the Marine Division is to promote the safety of shipping in and beyond New Zealand waters, to ensure the safe handling of cargo at New Zealand ports, and the safe operation of boilers, pressure vessels, cranes and lifts throughout New Zealand. The objective of the Civil Aviation Division is maintenance of the existing high standards of civil aircraft operation. The ministry will continue to provide oversight and regulation of civil aviation activities. Its aims are to encourage the safe and orderly development of civil aviation in New Zealand. Some of the previous functions of the Civil Aviation Division were taken over by the Airways Corporation of New Zealand, a state-owned enterprise, which is described in chapter 22, Transport and communications. The Meteorological Service is responsible for providing information and advice to all sections of the community on the atmosphere, environment, weather, climatic conditions, and pollution of the air. It also promotes meteorological research and atmospheric science, and advises the Government on meteorological matters.

In addition to these operating divisions, the ministry has an Economics Division which provides advice on the efficient use of resources in the transport sector; a Policy Division to formulate, evaluate, and implement co-ordinated transport policies; and a Corporate Services Division, which provides the corporate and support services necessary to the whole ministry.


The principal functions of the Treasury are to provide information and policy advice to the Government on economic and financial issues, and to control the receipt and payment of the Government's finances. Specialist functions are also carried out by the Treasury. The Superannuation Division administers the Government Superannuation Fund and the National Provident Fund. The Government Actuary's Office provides services for the management of the Government Superannuation Fund, registered friendly societies, and government departments as required. The Government Actuary is also the Registrar of Building Societies. The Government Stores Board is the central controlling agency for the purchase, custody, and disposal of government stores.

Valuation Department.

The major activity of the department is to prepare valuation rolls for all districts in New Zealand, to keep these rolls up to date with changes in property holdings, ownership, occupancy, and development, and to revise the values at not more than five-yearly intervals. Between the five-yearly general revaluations current market values of individual properties are assessed as required. Values set by the department are used by other authorities to levy rates, land tax, estate, stamp and gift duties, and also by most government departments and agencies involved in land transactions. The department does research work on real estate markets and compiles section and house price indexes. It provides an advisory service to local authorities on all matters relating to rating. The department's extensive property record system is used to furnish data for land use, town planning and similar surveys both to local authorities and other public sector organisations.

Women's Affairs, Ministry of.

The ministry has the following functions: (a) advising the Minister of Women's Affairs on the implications of the Government's policies, and public sector plans and expenditure programmes in terms of their differential impact on women; (b) monitoring and initiating legislation and regulations in order to promote equality of opportunity for women; (c) advising the Minister of Women's Affairs of suitable nominees for the appointment of women to statutory bodies and other quasi-governmental bodies; and (d) advising the Minister of Women's Affairs on any matter relevant to the implementation of the Government's manifesto where this has implications for, or explicitly refers to women.

Works and Development, Ministry of.

In addition to the carrying out of government works, the ministry has responsibility under the minister's direction for executing projects and undertakings of national significance. Its objectives include the investigation, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of these works, having regard to standards and costs, and the best practical means whereby environmental conditions can be conserved, restored, or enhanced. In most cases, completed works are taken over for operation and maintenance by operating departments.

Further roles of the department include the development of natural resources and the encouragement, investigation, and co-ordination of proposals for regional planning, as well as the task of assembling information on the building and construction industries, and the programming of national capital formation including government works.

Statutes administered by the department include the Public Works Act 1981 (which provides the Crown and local authorities with land acquisition powers), the Town and Country Planning Act 1977, the National Roads Act 1953 (the department services the National Roads Board), the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941, the Water and Soil Conservation Act 1967 (which involves the department in water allocation and quality control activities), and some local Acts.

Non-departmental public bodies (quangos)

In addition to the state service organisations there is a multitude of advisory bodies, statuory corporations, companies, councils, commissions, committees, tribunals and other organisations loosely connected to the Government.

They are popularly known as quangos (quasi-autonomous non-government organisations) and include: (a) some public corporations and companies in which the Government has a major shareholding, e.g., the New Zealand Steel Refining Company; (b) agricultural marketing boards; and (c) other non departmental public bodies such as: (i) bodies with executive, administrative, regulatory, or commercial functions; (ii) bodies whose role is to advise ministers or departments; and (iii) tribunals and other judicial bodies.

These types of organisations have been established for various reasons such as: independence from political control and direct ministerial responsibility; freedom from departmental procedures and controls; impartiality in carrying out regulatory functions; participation of non-departmental personnel in advisory and decision-making functions; and representation of special interests in administration. The Government conducted a review of quangos in 1986, and identified a number to be terminated.

Most quangos are listed in the Register of Statutory and Allied Organisations issued by the Cabinet Office.

New Zealand Planning Council.

The Planning Council provides a focus for better information and consultation on the key medium-term issues in New Zealand's development. It was set up in 1977 as a result of recommendations by a Task Force on Economic and Social Planning which aimed to produce a more relevant planning framework for New Zealand. Original 1982 legislation provided the basis for the council to be independent of the Government in its choice of work and in publishing its reports. The New Zealand Planning Act 1982 confirmed this independence and defined the council's main task as being to monitor and report on trends, prospects, issues, and options in relation to social, economic and cultural development. An amendment passed in 1987 added environmental development to the council's sphere of operation. This amendment also gave the council the status of body corporate and made several changes which enhance the independence of the Planning Council. As well as reporting directly to the Government and working with government departments, the council uses published reports to foster understanding and discussion of issues among private organisations and the public generally.

The council itself has 12 members, including two co-opted members, drawn from different disciplines and areas of interest. The membership therefore reflects wide exprience in many fields rather than representing particular sectional interests. A minister of the Crown nominated by the Prime Minister is a member of the council in an ex-officio capacity. There is also a full-time multi-disciplinary secretariat of 17 people.

The council's work is built around a set of expert monitoring and support groups. An Economic Monitoring Group (EMG), building on the role of the earlier Monetary and Economic Council analyses and stimulates discussion on issues of continuing concern in management of the economy. The role of the Population Monitoring Group (PMG) is to identify important population issues, monitor trends, and examine their implications for planning and policy-making. The Social Monitoring Group (SMG) was set up jointly by the Planning Council and the former Social Advisory Council early in 1984. Its role is to document trends relevant to social development in New Zealand, exploring their implications and significance and to comment on the social implications of economic policies. In 1986, the council established the Income Distribution Group to monitor aspects of income and wealth distribution in New Zealand and to explore the information base available to do this, with the aim of improving its usefulness. Similar expert groups are brought together to support council's work in other areas such as Maori development, sectoral patterns of economic activity, and employment issues.

During 1986 the New Zealand Planning Council published the following reports: NZPC Monitoring Report series—A Review of the Foreign Exchange Market and Exchange Rate Developments (EMG Report No. 6); Labour Market Flexibility (EMG Report No. 7); The New Zealand Population: Change, Composition and Policy Implications (PMG Report No. 4); and Planning Papers—No. 24 A Macro-economic Model and Scenarios to 1995; No. 25 Part-time work in New Zealand; No. 26 Towards 1995: Patterns of National and Sectoral Development; No. 27 Income Support for Young People; No. 28 Voluntary Social Services: A Review of Funding; and Economic Modelling in New Zealand—Proceedings of a Seminar.

Official information

The Official Information Act 1982 gives effect to the principle that information shall be made available unless there is good reason for withholding it. It establishes a flexible mechanism, capable of contributing to and being responsive to changing attitudes and circumstances, and leading to increased availability of information. The purposes of the Act are: (a) to increase progressively the availability of official information to the people of New Zealand to facilitate their more effective participation in the making and administrate of laws and policies; and to promote the accountability of ministers and officials, and thereby enhance respect for the law and promote the good government of New Zealand; (b) to provide for proper access by each person to official information relating to that person; and (c) to protect official information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy.

The Act covers all government departments and organisations, with the exception of the Parliamentary Service, but it does not include courts, tribunals (in relation to their judicial functions), or some other judicial bodies.

The Act provides special rights of access to personal information, which means any official information held about an identifiable person. A ‘person’ is defined as including a sole corporation and a body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate. Where it is necessary to make a distinction between a human being, and other entities legally described as ‘persons’, the former is referred to as a ‘natural person’.

Withholding information.

In legislating for increased openness in the release and dissemination of information, Parliament recognised that there may be good reasons for withholding some information. The criteria which may justify not releasing information are set down in sections 6 to 9 of the Official Information Act 1982 and cover information the release of which would be likely to prejudice: (a) the security, defence, or international relations of New Zealand; (b) the entrusting of information to the Government of New Zealand on a basis of confidence by the government or a government agency of another country, or any international organisation; (c) the maintenance of law and order; (d) the economic interests of New Zealand; the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue, or the Ross Dependency; and (e) competitive commercial activities. Section 9 sets out other good reasons for withholding official information, unless in the circumstances of the particular case the withholding of that information is outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable in the public interest to make that information available.

Applications for access.

Requests for information do not have to be made in any prescribed form. They may be made by telephone, in person, or in writing. Requests should however provide sufficient detail to allow the relevant material or documents to be identified. Sometimes applicants will need assistance with this task and the Act makes the provision of reasonable assistance a duty.' Information guides concerning access to personal and official information are available.

To assist the lodging of requests, reference can be made to the Directory of Official Information, published annually and, available at all public libraries and Citizens' Advice Bureaus. This gives a complete list of organisations covered by the Act, their structure and function, a general description of all kinds of documents held; a list of all manuals, and similar types of documents which contain policies, principles, rules, or guidelines, in accordance with which decisions are made; and how to obtain access to information, including details of contact officers.

Review by an ombudsman.

The Ombudsman can review a decision to refuse information. There is no charge and the investigation is private. The Ombudsman's formal recommendations are binding unless overridden by a minister in accordance with a formal procedure. That procedure requires that where a minister declines to accept an ombudsman's recommendation, the decision, the grounds for it, and (except on the grounds of national security), the source and purport of any advice on which it was based are to be published in the New Zealand Gazette, If an ombudsman concludes that any complaint made under the Act cannot be sustained, he or she will explain the reasons to the complainant.

The Information Authority.

The Information Authority is responsible for undertaking a continuing inquiry into and definition of categories of information which should be made available. The specific functions and responsibilities of the authority give it three broad roles: regulatory, monitoring, and a particular role in the field of personal information. The authority was established in 1983 and has until 30 June 1988 in which to carry out its task.


The position of Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigations (Ombudsman) was created in 1962. Until 1968 the principal function of the Ombudsman was to enquire into complaints relating to administrative decisions of government departments and related organisations. In 1968 the jurisdiction was extended to hospital boards and education boards. Under the Ombudsmen Act 1975 the jurisdiction was further extended to all local authorities. Under the 1975 Act, provision was made for the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman and one or more other ombudsmen, whose appointments could be permanent or temporary.

Complaints to the Ombudsmen must be made in writing, and investigations are conducted in private. An ombudsman may decide not to investigate a complaint where there appears to be an alternative administrative avenue of redress available to the complainant; where the complaint relates to a matter which has been within the complainant's knowledge for more than 12 months; where the complaint is trivial; or where the complainant has not a sufficient personal interest in the subject-matter of the complaint. The Ombudsmen have no authority to investigate certain complaints, for example, complaints against private companies and individuals, decisions of judges, complaints directed at ministerial decisions, or at the full council or board of a local organisation. However, an ombudsman may investigate recommendations made to a minister by any government department, organisation or employee, or to a full council by any committee, subcommittee, officer, employee, or member. An ombudsman may not investigate a complaint where the complainant has a statutory right of appeal on the merits of the case to a court or statutory tribunal, unless there are special circumstances why it would not be reasonable to expect that person to have exercised the right of appeal.

Where an ombudsman forms the opinion that a complaint can be sustained, he or she reports his or her opinion to the government department or government organisation concerned with any recommendation that he or she may make for remedial action. A copy of the report is also made available to the responsible minister. In the case of a local organisation, the ombudsman reports the opinion to that organisation and makes a copy of his report available to the mayor or chairperson. Each ombudsman reports annually to Parliament on the work of the office.

The Ombudsmen have also assumed certain responsibilities under the Official Information Act 1982. On receipt of a written complaint an ombudsman has a responsibility to investigate any decision made on a request for information: for example, a refusal of the whole or part of the request; or a decision on what charge is to be made for providing the information. An ombudsman may also investigate undue delays in responding to requests.


Action on ComplaintNumber

*Year ended 31 March.

Source: Office of the Ombudsmen.

Ombudsmen Act 1975
Declined, no jurisdiction276
Declined or discontinued section 17432
Resolved in course of investigation175
Resolved informally67
Sustained, recommendation made46
Sustained, no recommendation made81
Not sustained425
Formal investigation not undertaken, explanation, advice, or assistance given445
Still under investigation as at 31 March396
        Total2 343
Official Information Act 1982
Declined, no jurisdiction8
Declined or discontinued section 1742
Resolved in course of investigation177
Resolved informally13
Sustained, recommendation made13
Sustained, no recommendation made2
Not sustained81
Formal investigation not undertaken, explanation, advice, or assistance given28
Still under investigation as at 31 March142

3.4 Local government

There is a separate system of local government, made up of a large number of local authorities. It is mainly independent of the central executive government. However, it has a subordinate role in the constitution because the powers of local authorities are conferred on them by Parliament, and do not originate in the authorities themselves.

Local government is characterised by six principles:

  1. Every local authority is created by Act of Parliament (either by a special or local statute or, more commonly, general legislation).

  2. Every local authority has its powers defined in the Act under which it is established, and under other general local government legislation.

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

  4. Every local authority is controlled by its own council.

  5. All local authorities, except for hospital boards and area health boards, rely on one 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 and area health boards are totally funded by central government.

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

Local government in New Zealand is not involved in the funding, administration or management of education, social welfare, police, or urban fire services. Except for a few specified urban areas, it is not involved in traffic control and enforcement. These services are either the responsibility of central government, or specialised agencies closely associated with central government. For example, urban fire services are provided by the New Zealand Fire Service Commission, and education is provided through various bodies funded by central government.

The emphasis in local government is on local accountability to electors. 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 authority. It also means that the decisions of local authorities cannot be reviewed or overturned by central government. Although hospital boards and area health boards are funded from central government, they have always been locally responsible for meeting the health needs of their districts. With the recent move to a population-based system of funding hospital boards and area health boards, greater emphasis has been placed on local decision-making and accountability.

Although central government is unable to review decisions made by local authorities, they are subject to other types of review. There is provision for the Ombudsmen to investigate cases of maladministration in local government. There is also provision for the Controller and Auditor-General to investigate financial misconduct or conflict of interest on the part of local government officers or elected members. Such investigations can result in automatic forfeiture of office and/or prosecution under the Local Authorities (Members Interests) Act 1968 or the Local Government Act 1974. There is further scope for review of local government decisions in a limited number of areas by appeal to various judicial tribunals or to the District Court. The Planning Tribunal is the appeal body on land-use planning and related issues. 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 Planning Tribunal on points of law. In addition the administrative division has general jurisdiction to review the exercise of any statutory power by any local authority. Under the Bylaws Act 1910 the Administrative Division of the High Court can quash or amend local authority bylaws on the grounds that they are ultra vires 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. All local authorities were subject to loan-raising controls which are exercised by the Local Authorities Loans Board. Since 1983, some local authorities and some categories of loans have been exempted by central government on the recommendation of the board. Hospital, area health, and harbour boards are subject to capital expenditure controls by central government and the National Ports Authority respectively. Generally local authorities are not subject to any capital expenditure controls other than these loan-raising controls. Where central government wishes to influence local government, its only effective means is through subsidy and grant schemes, because local authorities finance most expenditure from rates, and charges.

Local government in New Zealand falls into four categories: territorial local government; special purpose local government; regional local government; and community local government.

Territorial local government

Territorial authorities in New Zealand are 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, when a system was established of locally-elected general purpose territorial local authorities funded from local taxes on land (rates). Municipalities were provided for in urban areas, including 36 municipalities already in existence, which had been incorporated under earlier legislation. The remainder of the North and South Islands, and Stewart Island, was divided into counties, although in sparsely settled counties county councils were not established immediately. The last of these counties to come under the control of a county council was Fiord County when it was included in Wallace County in 1981. County councils have since been established for the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island, and Waiheke and nearby islands. Apart from some small uninhabited offshore islands, all of New Zealand is now covered by elected territorial local government—222 territorial authorities in total.

Territorial local government now comprises counties, districts, and municipalities. There are three classes of municipalities; boroughs, town districts and cities. All territorial authorities are now constituted under the Local Government Act 1974.


Counties are concerned with the needs of rural areas, and at 1 February 1987 there were 85 counties. The members of each county council elect one of their number to be the chairperson once every three years.


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 at least one person per 4000 square metres, before a borough could be constituted. In 1955 there were 146 boroughs in existence, but by 1 February 1987 there were 118 boroughs. This reduction resulted from the incorporation of some boroughs in adjoining boroughs or counties.

The town district represents a form of municipality for areas that had some 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 three in existence.

A city in legal terms is merely a borough which has a population of more than 20 000 and has been designated as a city by Proclamation. In 1955 there were 15 cities and in 1987 there were 28 (also included in the figures for boroughs).

Every borough and city has a mayor who is directly elected by the residents while a town district has a chairperson elected by the council. Apart from presiding at all meetings of the council, the legal powers of a mayor are no greater than the powers of any other member of the council.

District councils.

This form of territorial local authority was introduced by the Local Government Act 1974 in recognition that many territorial authorities are not entirely urban or rural. District councils may now be constituted either by Local Government Commission schemes resulting in mergers of counties, boroughs, or cities or by borough or county councils deciding to become a district council. The Governor-General may designate a district under a district council as a city if in his opinion it is predominantly urban and has a population of not less than 20 000. As at 1 February 1987, there were 18 district councils. Eight of these districts include areas which have resulted from a merger of separate counties, boroughs, or cities. Some districts have a chairperson, who is appointed like the chairperson of a county. Other districts have a mayor, who is elected by residents like the mayor of a borough or city.

Special purpose local government

Various special purpose local authorities have been established to carry out specific tasks thought to be beyond the capacity of territorial local authorities. Special purpose authorities differ from territorial authorities in that a special purpose authority is charged with only one major function. The boundaries of special purpose authorities often have little relationship to the districts of territorial authorities in the same area. The districts of most special purpose authorities include all or part of a number of territorial authority districts. Sometimes territorial authorities themselves are also special purpose authorities. The more important special purpose authorities are those administering harbours, hospital services, 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 seven cases, as pest destruction boards in 33 cases, and as electric power supply authorities in 22 cases. Most special purpose authorities are directly elected, although a minority are indirectly elected as their members are representatives from other local authorities. Apart from catchment authorities, pest destruction, and nassella tussock boards, there are no government representatives on any local authorities.

The major categories of special purpose local authorities and the number involved in each category are hospital boards and area health boards (29); electric power boards (including one energy or electric power and gas board) (38); harbour boards (15); and catchment authorities (including the Waikato Valley Authority) (18). These categories of special purpose 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), four are 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 appointed. Catchment authorities are responsible for soil conservation and rivers control (including management and allocation of water resources).

There are various minor categories of special purpose authorities, which are found only in some parts of New Zealand. These include 28 elected licensing trusts (which are community controlled liquor and hotel businesses), 53 elected pest destruction boards, 2 elected and 2 indirectly elected urban drainage boards, 23 elected (rural) land drainage boards, 6 elected river boards (2 of which are also land drainage boards), 2 elected charitable lands trusts, 1 elected transport board, and 1 elected rural water supply board.

Regional local government.

In 1963 the Auckland Regional Authority was established as a directly elected regional council to carry out a range of regional functions in the Auckland metropolitan area and adjoining rural districts. The functions of the authority include 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 and rescue services, and the regional orchestra. The Auckland Regional Authority is also the catchment authority for its region.

The only other regional council is the Wellington Regional Council, established in 1980. The council carries out catchment authority responsibilities in its region. It is also responsible for regional planning, civil defence, parks and reserves, urban water supply, forestry and urban public passenger transport planning.

From 1977 to 1983 united councils were established under the Local Government Act 1974 in 20 regions. They were seen as providing a form of regional government for regions not warranting the expense of a regional council. Particular features of united councils, which distinguish them from regional councils are: (a) the members are appointed by the territorial authorities of the region, not elected; (b) the finance of the united council is by levy on the territorial authorities, not by rates; and (c) a united council must have the prior consent of the majority of territorial authorities in its region (weighted by capital value, population and area) before it can take on any new function.

Most united councils also have their staff seconded to them by one of the territorial authorities of the region, which is known as ‘the administering authority’. Regional councils employ their own staff and resources.

Every united or regional council has two mandatory functions: regional planning (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1977) and regional civil defence (under the Civil Defence Act 1983). Besides these, the Local Government Act 1974 provides, with qualifications in some cases, that a united or regional council may undertake functions relating to regional reserves, forestry, 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 the Crown.

The regions of the 20 united councils and the two regional councils 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 is specifically excluded from the requirement to be part of a region because of its isolation.

Community local government

This form of local government is subordinate to territorial local government. The Local Government Act 1974 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 for county towns and county boroughs, and most communities are former county towns or county boroughs. However, a number of towns in rural areas do not have community status, usually because they feel large enough for their interests not to be overlooked by their territorial authority.

Every community has either a district community council or a community council of not less than five, nor more than 12 members, elected by residents for a three-year term. The district community councils or community councils are legally committees of their parent territorial authority.

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 only be established for a community with a population of not less than 1500. As at 1 February 1987 there were 15 district community councils.

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 delegated powers, 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 community. A community council is entitled to have one of its members present at meetings of the territorial authority with speaking rights on community issues. As at 1 February 1987, there were 120 community councils.

Powers of local authorities

Local authorities derive their powers from the statutes under which they are constituted. The Local Government Act 1974 is the main legislation for territorial authorities, and united, regional, district community, and community councils. Special purpose local authorities are constituted under other statutes.

There are also several statutes which are 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 chapter 27, Public sector finance. A local authority can make bylaws within limits defined in its constituent Act. A special purpose authority's bylaws are subject to ministerial approval. The bylaws of territorial authorities and regional councils (apart from fire bylaws) do not require the prior approval of central government if they have been made solely under the Local Government Act 1974. A local authority can promote legislation on matters which affect the government of the area under its jurisdiction, and it is not already empowered to deal with. If the subject is transient, not contentious, and approved by the Government, it is usually dealt with by the inclusion of a section in the annual Local Legislation Act. If the local authority seeks permanent or major additional powers it must promote a local bill. If approved by Parliament, the proposal then is enacted as a local Act.

Local government elections

Under the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, local government general elections are held on the second Saturday in October every third year, which falls again in 1989 (except for the triennial election of the Auckland Regional Authority, which falls in 1988). All territorial authorities conduct their own elections, as well as the elections of the special purpose authorities, and regional, community, and district community councils for their districts.

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

Where a territorial authority has a population of less than 70 000, it must choose every three years, whether the whole district is to be one electorate; or whether the district should be separate electorates (known as ‘wards’ in cities and boroughs, and ‘ridings’ in counties); or if the elections could be held with some members elected from the district as a whole, and others from separate wards or ridings. The council has sole responsibility for determining the number of wards or ridings, and the area, population and representation of each. But where a territorial authority has a population of 70 000 or more, it must hold its elections on a ward basis as determined by the Local Government Commission.

The districts of regional councils and most special purpose authorities are divided into separate electorates, which usually coincide with territorial authority boundaries. The electorates of regional councils and special purpose authorities are determined on the bases specified in the various Acts of Parliament under which these authorities are constituted. The Local Government Amendment Act (No. 2) 1986 determined that the Auckland Regional Authority's electorates should coincide with the parliamentary electorates in the region.

Voting procedures.

Under the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976, any territorial authority may decide whether an election is to be conducted by attendance at a polling booth or by post. If the election is at a polling booth, the authority may decide to conduct it over a period of not more than 11 consecutive days instead of on a single day.

The method of casting a vote is similar to parliamentary elections. The names of candidates are printed on the ballot paper and the elector must indicate on the paper the candidates for whom he or she wishes to vote. The number of candidates chosen must not exceed the number of positions shown on the ballot paper. An elector may not allocate more than one vote for any candidate, nor is there any provision for an elector to indicate a preference for any candidate.

Local authority franchise.

With the passing of the Local Government Amendment Act 1986 the franchise for local government electors was changed significantly.

A local government elector must be a parliamentary elector with an address in the relevant territorial authority district. Territorial authorities are still responsible for compiling their own electoral rolls, but the data for these rolls now must be taken from the computerised parliamentary electoral data base. The Local Government Amendment Act 1986 provides that any person who is a parliamentary elector is now automatically a local government elector for the same address. The effect has been to do away with ratepayer voting, with exceptions and with the requirement that people often had to enrol separately for local government and parliamentary elections.

The franchise provisions outlined above apply to territorial authorities, community and district community councils, regional councils, and all special purpose authorities, except pest destruction, land drainage, and river boards where the ratepayer franchise remains.

Membership of local authorities.

Since the Local Government Amendment Act 1986 a parliamentary elector anywhere in New Zealand may stand for election for any local authority, although he or she cannot stand for election in more than one constituency of the same district. The only exceptions are pest destruction, land drainage and river boards, and licensing trusts where eligibility is still restricted to electors of the authority's district. Depending on the Act under which the local authority is constituted, vacancies in the elected membership of the council of the local authority may be filled either by election or appointment. In the case of a territorial authority or a regional council, a petition by 5 percent of the electors is sufficient to require a by-election. Extraordinary vacancies on the Auckland Regional Authority must be filled by election. In the case of most special purpose authorities any vacancy in membership is filled by appointment by the relevant territorial authorities.

There has been an increase in the number of women who are mayors, chairpersons and members of local authorities. With the holding of the 1983 local government elections women held 22 percent of the total membership of municipalities, and 9 percent of the total membership of counties and districts. Statistics for the 1986 local government elections are still being compiled.

Remuneration of members.

The remuneration of members of councils of local authorities is governed by the statute. Most local authorities pay their chairperson an annual allowance, with a maximum fixed for each type of authority, while other members are paid an allowance on a ‘per meeting’ basis. The Local Government Amendment Act 1985 provides for the chairpersons of all major united and regional councils, and the chairpersons and mayors of all major territorial authorities, to have their maximum or actual annual allowances determined by the Higher Salaries Commission. This provision also requires the Higher Salaries Commission to determine the maximum or actual annual allowance of the chairperson of specific harbour, hospital, electric power, and catchment boards. These determinations become the basis for separate determinations which set the maximum or actual allowances and meeting allowances of the chairpersons and members of each category and size of local authority.

Local government reform

The Local Government Commission comprises a chairman between three and five members appointed by the Minister of Local Government. Provision has also been made for appointment of temporary members at the commission's request. The commission undertakes investigations, prepares schemes, and makes recommendations and reports to ensure 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 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 1974, as originally enacted, brought all special purpose 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 authorities, so that it may now include these local authorities in a provisional scheme only where the appropriate minister or the special purpose authorities concerned are agreed.

All Local Government Commission final schemes are implemented either by Order-in-Council, or Act of Parliament where necessary to amend legislation.

3.5 National emblems and anthems

New Zealand flag.

Under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 the flag previously known as the New Zealand ensign was declared to be the New Zealand flag, the national flag of New Zealand. It is the symbol of the realm, Government and people of New Zealand. The basis of the New Zealand flag is the Union Jack in the upper left quarter, and on a blue ground to the right the Southern Cross is represented by four five-pointed red stars with white borders.

New Zealand coat of arms.

The New Zealand coat of arms was pictured and described as a frontispiece in the 1969 and earlier issues of the Official Yearbook. It appears on the title page and the spine of the present volume. The coat of arms is protected under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981, and its lawful use is confined to official purposes.

National anthems.

God Defend New Zealand, the words written by Thomas Bracken and the music composed by John J. Woods, was written in the early 1870s and formally adopted as the New Zealand national hymn in 1940. In 1977 it was announced that, with the Queen's consent, the Government had decided that the national anthems of New Zealand be the traditional anthem, God Save the Queen, and God Defend New Zealand, both being of equal status as national anthems appropriate to the occasion.

In 1979 the Minister of Internal Affairs published a new, specially-commissioned arrangement of God Defend New Zealand more suited to general or massed singing than the original score, which lent itself best to solo or choral singing. The new arrangement was published as a supplement to the New Zealand Gazette dated 31 May 1979.


1. God of nations at Thy feet1. E Ihoa Atua,
  In the bonds of love we meet.  O nga Iwi! Matoura,
  Hear our voices, we entreat,  Ata whaka rongona;
  God defend our free land.  Me aroha noa.
  Guard Pacific's triple star  Kia hua ko te pai;
  From the shafts of strife and war,  Kia tau to atawhai;
  Make her praises heard afar,  Manaakitia mai
  God defend New Zealand.  Aotearoa.
2. Men of ev'ry creed and race2. Ona mano tangata
  Gather here before Thy face,  Kiri whero, kiri ma,
  Asking Thee to bless this place,  Iwi Maori Pakeha,
  God defend our free land.  Repeke katoa,
  From dissension, envy, hate,  Nei ka tono ko nga he
  And corruption guard our state,  Mau e whakaahu ke,
  Make our country good and great,  Kia ora marire
  God defend New Zealand.  Aotearoa.
3. Peace, not war, shall be our boast,3. Tona mana kia tu!
  But, should foes assail our coast,  Tona kaha kia u;
  Make us then a mighty host,  Tona rongo hei paku
  God defend our free land.  Ki te ao katoa
  Lord of battles in Thy might,  Aua rawa nga whawhai,
  Put our enemies to flight,  Nga tutu a tata mai;
  Let our cause be just and right,  Kia tupu nui ai
  God defend New Zealand.  Aotearoa.
4. Let our love for Thee increase,4. Waiho tona takiwa
  May Thy blessings never cease,  Ko te ao marama;
  Give us plenty, give us peace,  Kia whiti tona ra
  God defend our free land.  Taiawhio noa.
  From dishonour and from shame  Ko te hae me te ngangau
  Guard our country's spotless name,  Meinga kia kore kau;
  Crown her with immortal fame,  Waiho i te rongo mau
  God defend New Zealand.  Aotearoa.
5. May our mountains ever be5. Tona pai me toitu;
  Freedom's ramparts on the sea,  Tika rawa, pono pu;
  Make us faithful unto Thee,  Tona noho, tana tu;
  God defend our free land.  Iwi no Ihoa.
  Guide her in the nations' van,  Kaua mona whakama;
  Preaching love and truth to man,  Kia hau te ingoa;
  Working out Thy glorious plan.  Kia tu hei tauira;
  God defend New Zealand.  Aotearoa.

3.6 General Election results, 1987

The Labour Government, under the Rt Hon. D R Lange, was re-elected following the election held on 15 August 1987. The strength of the political parties' representation in Parliament after this election was: Labour 58 seats, National 39.

There were two new electorates for the 1987 General Election.

The results given in table 3.15 are election night results only, and were the latest available on going to press. The figures given do not include ‘special’ votes, which are counted later, or any subsequent recounts or petitions for closely-fought seats. (In 1984 over 204 000 special votes were cast.)

In the case of two seats, Wairarapa and Manawatu, the candidates finally elected were different from those indicated by election night results. In the table these electorates are indicated by an asterisk.

Table 3.16 lists the new ministry chosen by the Prime Minister soon after the election.


Political Party or DescriptionNumber of Seats Contested
Labour (L)97
National (N)97
Democrats (D)97
New Zealand Party (NZ)31
McGillicuddy Serious (McGS)19
Wizard (W)14
Independent (I)15
Values (V)10
Mana Motuhake (MM)7
Imperial British Conservative (IBC)3
Independent Labour (IL)3
Breakfast (B)2
Labour Independent (LI)2
Socialist Action League (SAL)2
Socialist Alliance (SA)1
Independent National (IN)1
Auckland Revolutionary Army (ARA)1
No Confidence (NC)1
Local Labour (LL)1
Swinging Voters Outlet (SVO)1
Left Alternative (LA)1
Alternative National (AN)1
Libertarian Alternative (LibA)1
Socialist Action (S)1
Education (E)1
Independent New Zealand (INZ)1
Alternative (A)1
People's Party (PP)1
Silent Majority (SM)1
Christian Independent (CI)1
Private Enterprise (PE)1
People First (PF)1
Citizen Against Political Parties (CAPP)1
Rastus Ogilvie (RO)1
Economic Euthenics (EE)1
Dominion Workers (DW)1
Equal Rights (ER)1
Consensus (C)1
Protest Party (P)1


Electoral Districts, Candidates and Party AffiliationsVotes Recorded
* Seat changed since election night.
  Carter (L)8,256
  Cummings (NZ)139
  McKinnon (N)9,828
  Smith (SVO)147
  Thew (D)833
  Maxwell (L)6,671
  McDonald (IBC)145
  Moskovis (D)506
  Shipley (N)11,268
Auckland Central
  Bickley (I)238
  Dunn (NZ)94
  Jesson (LA)930
  Jordan (D)404
  Mayer (N)3,352
  Prebble (L)9,523
  Terreni (McGS)139
  Costello (W)186
  Rush (N)4,852
  Stevens (D)1,015
  Sutherland (L)10,717
  Grant (N)9,335
  Henderson (D)1,202
  Simpson (L)7,004
Bay of Islands
  Carter (N)7,931
  Johnson (AN)391
  Robertson (L)5,789
  Strickland (D)961
  Fraser (LibA)100
  Gustafson (N)8,103
  Kirk (L)10,038
  Midson (D)348
  Yeoman (NZ)172
Christchurch Central
  Brereton (S)176
  Burnett (N)4,192
  Daniels (B)194
  Hanlon (W)99
  Palmer (L)10,315
  Pounsford (D)509
  Symons (V)74
  Yeoman (NZ)54
Christchurch North
  Appleby (W)138
  McNeill (N)7,124
  Moore (L)11,523
  Sadler (D)466
  Goffin (L)7,299
  Kyd (N)8,001
  Pilgrim (D)595
  Gray (N)11,017
  Russell (L)5,920
  Stirling (D)1,009
  Donald (V)72
  Galvin (McGS)74
  Hawkeswood (L)4,448
  Lee (N)8,133
  Thompson (D)4,811
Dunedin North
  Begley (D)639
  Davison (N)5,112
  Deaker (E)274
  Everson (W)142
  Gumbley (McGS)113
  Menzies (INZ)61
  Rodger (L)10,740
Dunedin West
  Campbell (W)128
  McMeeking (N)7,009
  Matthewson (L)11,216
  Mellon (D)758
East Cape
  Fraser (L)7,683
  Gardiner (N)7,373
  Rabarts (D)363
East Coast Bays
  Braithwaite (A)62
  Knapp (D)7,853
  McCully (N)8,032
  Sellwood (L)3,920
Eastern Hutt
  Barnard (D)992
  Pattison (N)5,763
  Young (L)10,019
  Drabble (D)334
  Holloway (NZ)128
  Northey (L)10,137
  Tauroa (N)7,477
  Burdon (N)9,278
  Cherry (L)8,992
  Day (W)52
  Falloon (IL)54
  Smith (D)327
  Tomasi (B)95
  Kupenga (MM)73
  Tattersfield (N)7,429
  Urlich (D)324
  Wallbank (L)10,030
  Keall (L)9,945
  Sampson (NZ)130
  Schnauer (N)8,306
  Weston (D)350
Hamilton East
  Coker (D)422
  Dillon (L)9,350
  Evans (McGS)232
  Martin (NZ)79
  Shearer (N)7,907
Hamilton West
  Byrne (D)421
  Caldwell (McGS)119
  Jones (NZ)138
  Mallard (L)8,812
  Simes (N)7,775
  Butcher (L)10,102
  Sanders (D)712
  Whittaker (N)8,014
Hawke's Bay
  Gerbault (D)500
  Laws (N)8,077
  Sutton (L)8,774
  Allen (N)6,920
  Henderson (D)825
  Jefferies (L)9,261
  Melville (L)4,565
  Meurant (N)9,370
  Rawson (D)1,560
  Holden (D)892
  King (L)10,065
  Thompson (N)8,600
  Munro (N)9,390
  Soper (L)8,951
  Treweek (D)1016
Island Bay
  Bartram (I)381
  Clarke (N)4,444
  Ellis (PP)364
  Julian (McGS)181
  Low (D)434
  Parker (NZ)102
  Quinn (IBC)110
  Tennet (L)10,334
  Anderson (N)9,444
  Powell (D)794
  Townsend (NZ)499
  Uttinger (L)6,081
  Gosling (NZ)134
  Hutchings (L)4,920
  Merwood (V)197
  Peterson (D)1052
  Smith (N)10,252
  Carpenter (D)604
  Gunn (McGS)130
  Shields (L)10,716
  Sowry (N)8,293
King Country
  Bolger (N)10,240
  Menefy (L)4,617
  Morris (D)1030
  Bruce (D)759
  Hall (N)8,017
  Roberts (NZ)165
  Simpson (L)11221
  Swafford (IBC)83
  Cox (N)8,291
  Goodwin (SM)115
  Pedley (D)474
  Robinson (L)8,258
  Sherrard (McGS)79
  Harris (D)676
  Jeffery (N)2548
  Lange (L)7,801
  Pene (MM)136
  Bercich (NZ)155
  Cunningham (N)5,702
  Douglas (L)8,402
  Kilford (D)544
  Watson (I)173
  Birch (N)10,423
  Dent (L)4,906
  Gilberd (D)1,238
  Bell (CI)101
  Hutchinson (L)8,266
  Kidd (N)10,469
  MacArthur (D)617
  Yealands (I)89
  Cairns (McGS)228
  Luxton (N)10,576
  McGregor (L)3,985
  Pemberton (D)740
  Coad (D)428
  MacFarlane (N)6,664
  Moncur (PE)27
  Neilson (L)10,056
  Purvis (NZ)44
  Smith (McGS)116
  Walker (PF)391
Mt Albert
  Clark (L)9,947
  Dance (D)792
  Moses (I)156
  Wheeler (N)5,405
  Braybrooke (L)10,784
  Church (N)5,835
  Shakes (D)534
  Barber (I)1,158
  Collin (D)384
  Hackman (I)59
  Straight (N)6,078
  Ward (V)438
  Woollaston (L)11,138
New Lynn
  Beddow (D)934
  Berry (N)5,593
  Hunt (L)9,389
  Wilson (NZ)182
New Plymouth
  Duynhoven (L)9,456
  Friedlander (N)9,234
  McCready (NZ)124
  McDonald (V)83
  Steele (D)392
North Shore
  Gair (N)9,492
  Greenfield (NZ)405
  Holmes (D).801
  Ransom (L)8,626
  Aylward (McGS)110
  Campbell (D)400
  Dunne (L)11,449
  Lloyd (N)7,604
  Ralph (NZ)77
  Gerbic (L)9,603
  Park (D)839
  Stanley (N)6,730
  Cooper (N)8,335
  Fisher (L)6,540
  Johnstone (W)159
  Thompson (D)1,194
  Clark (D)635
  Le Pou (SAL)69
  Moyle (L)8,102
  Rogers (N)6,059
  De Boam (D)764
  Falloon (N)11,332
  Martindale (L)4,581
  Bogrich (CAPP)61
  Morrison (D)6,587
  Williamson (N)8,357
  Wilson (L)4,282
Palmerston North
  Colless (McGS)117
  Curry (N)7,126
  De Cleene (L)9,911
  Halford (NZ)83
  Lush (D)436
  Clifford (D)1,186
  Elliott (N)4,899
  Tizard (L)8,655
  Blackadder (NZ)189
  McDonald (D)906
  Summers (L)6,368
  Wellington (N)9,139
  Martin, Howard Royce (N)6,532
  Martin, Isobel Ruth (NZ)207
  Robertson (L)8,904
  Shirley (D)745
  Carter (D)758
  Davies (L)6,907
  Dransfield (RO)118
  Crieg (LL)3,430
  Harvey (N)5,173
  Morrison (McGS)104
  Renata (LI)443
  Bradley (SAL)145
  Duncan (IL)1,896
  England (D)551
  Gadsby (N)4,175
  Kelekolio (IL)336
  Kelly (L)7,196
  Metekingi (MM)191
  Burrows (D)800
  Forbes (McGS)156
  Scaletti-Longley (L)6,012
  Upton (N)9,000
  Constable (L)8,613
  Gerard (N)10,580
  McCaskey (NZ)162
  Moore (D)702
  Beetham (D)5,075
  Jensen (NC)75
  Marshall (N)8,677
  Martin (McGS)63
  Srhoj (L)2,919
  Clegg (D)279
  Graham (N)8,630
  Martin (NZ)148
  Tizard (L)7,998
  Ward (ARA)84
  Devcich (I)84
  Foulkes (N)7,437
  Goff (L)9,526
  McGee (D)547
  Murray (NZ)83
  Dassler (D)479
  East (N)9,093
  Michie (L)6,763
  Dennis (IN)194
  Palmer (D)574
  Richardson (N)9,804
  Walker (W)150
  Woods (L)6,985
St Albans
  Caygill (L)11,155
  Cowie (N)7,061
  McAnally (V)113
  Morgan (D)557
  Pearce (SA)160
  Sadler (W)109
St Kilda
  Coles (D)1,083
  Cullen (L)11,421
  Thomas (W)221
  Weggery (N)6,272
  Anderton (L)11,086
  Hansen (EE)101
  Harrington (N)5,280
  Holliday (NZ)105
  McArthur (V)88
  Minchington (D)739
  Mundy (DW)21
  Wilkins (W)95
  Harding (L)7,516
  Muldoon (N)9,379
  Pittams (D)599
  Roberts (NZ)300
  Symondson (V)111
  Jackson (L)4,681
  Maxwell (N)10,697
  Roborgh (V)276
  Satherley (D)999
  Blaymires (D)660
  McLean (N)8,733
  Moore (L)5,236
  Hunt (N)8,703
  Lister (V)87
  Monahan (I)97
  Muller (D)418
  Shirley (L)9,531
Waldron (ER)41
  Oster (D)969
  Peters (N)10,567
  Seddon (L)8,192
Te Atatu
  Bassett (L)9,217
  Jackson (D)837
  Neeson (N)7,189
  Oxton (NZ)116
  Clarke (L)9,348
  Lusby (C)47
  McTigue (N)10,214
  Simmons (D)462
  Simpson (NZ)45
  Burgering (D)1,047
  McIntosh (N)5,631
  Maxwell (L)9,137
  Peters (N)5,996
  Scott (L)8,163
  Tibble (D)503
  Harris (D)530
  McClay (N)9,061
  Stewart (L)5,521
  Edwards (NZ)113
  Fisher (McGS)121
  Johnstone (D)683
  Locker (LI)187
  Raitt (L)5,785
  Storey (N)9,793
  Bishop (D)1,200
  Holmes (L)4,615
  Maisey (I)245
  O'Regan (N)10,778
  Sutcliffe (McGS)159
  Boorman (L)9,346
  Creech (N)9,411
  Shakes (D)522
  Holden (W)94
  Sutton (L)9,456
  Taylor (N)9,358
  Wood (D)672
  Perry (D)3,740
  Stewart (L)3,915
  Young (N)9,462
  Angus (N)11,450
  Julian (L)4,364
  Radich (D)977
  Smith (I)307
  Anderson (N)5,638
  Heffernan (D)6,980
  Marshall (L)7,007
Wellington Central
  Binney (D)337
  Catford (W)63
  Feast (N)6,791
  Servian (McGS)129
  Wilde (L)10,922
West Auckland
  Couch (N)6,012
  Elder (L)8,490
  James (D)542
  Phillips (NZ)85
  Wahrlich (P)56
West Coast
  Antunovich (I)167
  Blackadder (NZ)295
  Burke (L)7,033
  Garwood (N)5,677
  Neame (I)3,722
  Newcombe (D)917
Western Hutt
  Baird (D)707
  Heath (McGS)136
  McLauchlan (N)6,861
  Terris (L)9,868
Banks (N)9,656
Leitch (D)1,225
Tait (L)6,106
  Austin (L)10,758
  Bacon (N)8,338
  Davey (D)503
  Toy (W)91
Eastern Maori
  Gray (N)1,024
  Ngakuru (D)331
  Reedy (MM)1,512
  Tapsell (L)8,460
Northern Maori
  Albert (N)621
  Gregorv (L)4,937
  McKay (D)192
  Rata (MM)2,779
Southern Maori
  Aramakutu (D)167
  Dooley (I)36
  Mei (N)429
  Mihaka (I)174
  Stevens (MM)546
  Tirikatene-Sullivan (L)5,203
Western Maori
  Gilbert (D)316
  Rickard (MM)1,174
  Towers (N)559
  Wetere (L)6,452


The Cabinet—
  Rt Hon. D. R. LANGE, Prime Minister, Minister of Education.
  Rt Hon. G. W. R. PALMER, Deputy Prime Minister, AttorneyGeneral, Minister of Justice, Minister for the Environment.
  Hon. M. K. MOORE, Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing.
  Hon. R. O. DOUGLAS, Minister of Finance.
  Hon. R. W. PREBBLE, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, PostmasterGeneral, Minister of Works and Development, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
  Hon. K. T. WETERE, Minister of Maori Affairs.
  Hon. D. F. CAYGILL, Minister of Health, Minister of Trade and Industry.
  Hon. C. R. MARSHALL, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control.
  Hon. Dr M. E. R. BASSETT, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Civil Defence, Minister of Arts and Culture.
  Hon. J. L. HUNT, Minister of State, Leader of the House.
  Rt Hon. R. J. TIZARD, Minister of Defence, Minister of Science and Technology.
  Hon. C. J. MOYLE, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Fisheries.
  Hon. S. J. RODGER, Minister of Labour, Minister of Immigration, Minister of State Services.
  Hon. P. B. GOFF, Minister of Employment, Minister of Youth Affairs, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Education.
  Hon. Margaret SHIELDS, Minister of Women's Affairs, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Minister of Statistics.
  Hon. P. TAPSELL, M.B.E., Minister of Police, Minister of Forestry, Minister of Lands, Minister of Recreation and Sport.
  Hon. Helen CLARK, Minister of Housing, Minister of Conservation.
  Hon. Dr M. J. CULLEN, Minister of Social Welfare, Associate Minister of Finance.
  Hon. W. P. JEFFRIES, Minister of Transport, Minister of Civil Aviation and Meteorological Services.
  Hon. D. J. BUTCHER, Minister of Energy, Minister of Regional Development, Associate Minister of Finance.
Ministers not in Cabinet
  Hon. T. A. de CLEENE, Minister of Revenue, Minister of Customs.
Ministers without portfolio
  Hon. Fran WILDE, Member of the Executive Council, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Associate Minister of Housing, Associate Minister of Conservation.
  Hon. P. T. E. WOOLLASTON, Member of the Executive Council, Minister Assisting the Deputy Prime Minister, Associate Minister of Justice, Associate Minister for the Environment.
  Hon. P. NEILSON, Member of the Executive Council, Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Associate Minister of Works and Development.
Parliamentary under-secretaries
  Mr. P. F. DUNNE, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Trade and Industry.
  Mr. F. GERBIC, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Civil Aviation and Meteorological Services, and the Minister of Immigration.
  Mrs. A. F. KING, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Employment, the Minister of Youth Affairs, the Minister of Tourism, and the Minister of Social Welfare.
  Mr. Ralph MAXWELL, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Fisheries.
(This schedule is not part of the ministerial list but is additional information indicating other Vote or statutory responsibilities of certain ministers where this may not be clear. Statutory titles are shown in italics.)
Rt. Hon. D. R. LANGE, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security intelligence Service.
Rt. Hon. G. W. R. PALMER, Audit Department.
Hon. M. K. MOORE, Minister in Charge of Publicity.
Hon. R. W. PREBBLE, Air New Zealand Ltd, Airways Corporation of New Zealand Ltd, Minister of Broadcasting, Coal Corporation of New Zealand Ltd, Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd, Government Computing Service, Government Life Insurance Corporation, Government Printing Office, Government Property Services Ltd, Land Corporation Ltd, New Zealand Forestry Corporation Ltd, New Zealand Post Ltd, Post Office Bank Ltd, Minister in Charge of Public Trust Office, Minister of Railways, Rural Banking and Finance Corporation, Shipping Corporation of New Zealand Ltd, State Insurance Office, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd.
Hon. D. F. CAYGILL, Member, New Zealand Planning Council.
Hon. P. TAPSELL, Minister of Survey and Land Information, Minister in Charge of Valuation Department.
Hon. Dr M. J. CULLEN, Minister in Charge of War Pensions.

Further information


Constitutional Reform: Reports of an Officials Committee. Department of Justice. 1986.

Introduction to New Zealand Legal System. Mulholland, R. D. Butterworths, 1985.

New Zealand: The Development of its Laws and Constitution. Robson, J. L. and others. Stevens, 1954.

The New Zealand Constitution. Scott, K. J. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1962.


A Checklist: New Zealand Royal Commissions, Commissions and Committees of Inquiry, 1864–1981. New Zealand Library Association, 1982.

Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand. McGee, D. G. Government Printer, 1985.

Reports of the Controller and Auditor-General (Parl. papers B. 1 [Pt II] and [Pt III]).

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

Report of the General Election 1984 (Parl. paper E. 9, 1984).

Report of the Licensing Polls 1984 (Parl. paper E. 9B, 1984).

Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry. Government Printer, 1974.

Executive government

Directory of Official Information. State Services Commission (annual).

Register of Statutory and Allied Organisations. Cabinet Office (annual).

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

Seventh Compendium of Case Notes of the Ombudsmen. Office of the Ombudsmen, 1986.

Judiciary and law

Report of the Department of Justice (Parl. paper E. 5).

Royal Commission on the Courts. Government Printer, 1978.

Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations in Force Government Printer (annual).

Human rights

Report of the Human Rights Commission (Parl. paper E. 6).

Report of the Race Relations Conciliator (Parl. paper E. 17).

Local government

Local Authority Election Statistics. Department of Internal Affairs, 1985.

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

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

Chapter 4. International relations and defence

4.1 Relations with other countries

The emergence of an independent New Zealand foreign policy is usually regarded as dating from 1935. Despite differences of opinion on some issues in the League of Nations, where New Zealand supported collective security, it did not depart from its historically close association with Britain. New Zealand fought on the side of the Allies in the Second World War, which changed the pattern of power in the world. In 1943 the Government established a career foreign affairs service, and began to station its own diplomatic representatives in countries where New Zealand had interests. 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, to which the United Nations had pledged 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 posts overseas. Aside from the three posts set up to consult with our closest allies during the Second World War (Washington. Ottawa, Canberra), the first main period of expansion came in the 1950s with the recognition that New Zealand's security was closely bound up with that of Southeast 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 five Asian countries.

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 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 posts were opened. Another phase in the 1970s and early 1980s was closely related to the search for new trading opportunities as the degree of dependence on traditional markets gradually declined. The diversification, both in the range of goods exported and in markets, led to the strengthening of posts in Asia and the Pacific, and the opening of embassies in the Middle East, Latin America and China, in addition to the reopening of posts in the Soviet Union and India, and in 1986 a post was opened in Zimbabwe. In addition to the 50 diplomatic and consular posts, there is an extensive network of multiple accreditations allowing New Zealand's overseas representatives to cover several countries from the one base.

New Zealand's overseas trade with different regions and countries is described in chapter 24, Overseas trade.

South Pacific.

New Zealand has a long history of interest and involvement in the South Pacific, and its close links to South Pacific countries have, in more recent years, been based on a shared interest in the development and security of a region geographically and culturally close to it.

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 UN 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. Cook Islanders and Niueans are New Zealand citizens.

The relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand was elaborated in the 1973 Exchange of Letters between the then 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 being 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 recognition 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 (see below), the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Cooperation (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, WHO and FAO. The Cook Islands has also signed a bilateral maritime boundary delimitation treaty with the United States.

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. It 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 1970s and 1980s have seen the development of New Zealand's relations beyond the circle of South Pacific countries with which it has historical ties. There are now diplomatic missions in most of the independent countries of the region and regular contacts with those countries on a range of bilateral and regional issues. Over 80 percent of bilateral development assistance is directed to the South Pacific.

The region is of growing commercial importance to New Zealand with exports of $386 million in 1985–86. Fiji and Papua New Guinea are the most important markets. Imports, amounting to about $85 million, came principally from Christmas Island, Nauru, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. New Zealand has taken special measures to foster Pacific Island exports to this country and New Zealand investment in the region. A regional trade agreement, SPARTECA, provides duty-free and unrestricted access to New Zealand (and Australia) on a non-reciprocal basis for most of the products exported by Island countries. The Pacific Islands Industrial Development Scheme (PIIDS) provides financial assistance and incentives for New Zealand companies developing approved manufacturing operations in selected Pacific countries. Its objective is to foster economic development and employment opportunites in those countries.

There is close co-operation with the South Pacific on defence matters. New Zealand has mutual assistance programmes with the three South Pacific countries which have armed forces; Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Fiji. Programmes with Western Samoa, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands have also been established and the New Zealand armed forces undertake joint exercises in various parts of the region. They also assist with maritime surveillance, (a task of great importance to countries with vast exclusive economic zones) and provide immediate help after natural disasters such as cyclones, and undertake civil development projects in isolated areas.

Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans, as New Zealand citizens, all move freely to and from this country. 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.

New Zealand has also helped build 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 five of the present island members as well as Australia and New Zealand, met in Wellington in 1971. Since then meetings have been held annually in different locations, most recently at Apia in 1987.

The South Pacific Forum provides an 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 regional trade, shipping, civil aviation, telecommunications, education, the law of the sea, fishing, disaster relief, nuclear testing and decolonisation

At the 1972 forum members agreed to establish the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Cooperation (SPEC) to deal with trade and related matters. The main purpose of 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. Its headquarters are in Suva.

In 1978 members agreed to set up the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, an organisation designed to facilitate the rational utilisation and conservation of the region's marine resources. Its headquarters are in Honiara.

Recognising that the development of the 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 and Tuvalu joined the line, while both Australia and Niue, although not shareholders, have made financial contributions to it.

The PFL, which is based at Apia, charters three vessels, the Forum New Zealand, the Forum Samoa and the Fua Kavenga, owned respectively by New Zealand, Western Samoa, and Tonga. Together with other governments in the region, New Zealand has made additional contributions since the PFL began operations in 1978. Although the line initially incurred heavy financial losses, in 1985 it achieved a trading profit for the first time. (See section 22.1.)

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, 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. Its annual budget (which in 1987 will total approximately $6.8 million) is mainly funded from proportional contributions by member governments.

The United Nations and its specialised agencies are also an important source of technical assistance in the South Pacific and a number are represented in the region.


New Zealand's most extensive and important bilateral relationship is with Australia. Geographical proximity and shared foreign policy and defence interests reinforce the important historical, cultural and Commonwealth ties between the two nations that have given rise to this special and mutually beneficial relationship. A diplomatic office was established in Australia in 1943, and in 1944 the Australia-New Zealand Agreement (known also as the ANZAC Pact or 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 1983, the two countries concluded the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA or CER for short), the most comprehensive trade treaty ever concluded by either country. It will bring about a full free-trade area by 1995, and provides for cooperation in a range of activities, such as investment, trade practices and standards.

In matters of foreign policy, defence and economics, 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 bilateral meetings have taken place, with a minimum of formality, to cover almost all government activity. New Zealand ministers participate in a wide range of regular meetings between Australian federal and state ministers. The two countries are also bound together by innumerable personal contacts, widespread family ties, and by institutionalised links in business, finance, education, the professions, and in sport. These contacts are facilitated by 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; to promote stability and development in the South Pacific and South-east Asian regions in their immediate vicinity. They have 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. The trade liberalisation provisions of ANZCERTA, or the CER treaty, have given added impetus to the significant expansion of trade achieved under the 1966 New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which CER has replaced. It also helps prepare our industry for liberalisation on a global scale. In the defence field, the Anzac partners continue to co-operate closely in training programmes, exercises and the acquisition of equipment and other supplies.

The Australia-New Zealand Foundation, set up in 1978, has sponsored research projects and publications, as well as cultural exchanges.


During the last 30 years there has been much greater contact with Asian countries. New Zealand has a direct interest in the maintenance of peace and the growth of prosperity in the area. Trade with Asia is becoming more and more important. Private initiative, with government assistance, has meant new markets, new products, new selling processes, and new economic and commercial relationships. A pattern of regular economic consultations with the main Asian trading partners has been developed and bilateral economic agreements have been concluded. About a third of New Zealand's export receipts come from Asia.

New Zealand's growing interests and involvement in Asia are reflected in the changing pattern of 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 five of the ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) countries, and in Peking, Hong Kong, Seoul, Osaka and New Delhi. Several of these missions are accredited to other Asian capitals. This network enables external events to be assessed in the light of New Zealand's own interests and needs. Political contacts with countries of the area have been developed in other important ways, including high-level exchanges of visits and regular bilateral consultations.

New Zealand is one of a group of nations closely associated with ASEAN, which it sees as a force for stability and economic development. It has initiated a number of joint projects with ASEAN for development and trade co-operation. The massive outflow of refugees from Vietnam and Kampuchea, and the political uncertainties stemming from the continued presence in Kampuchea of Vietnamese forces have posed difficult problems for the countries of the region and New Zealand has kept in close touch with the ASEAN countries over these developments.

Cultural interchange with 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. Professional bodies, sporting associations, cultural groups and universities today have links with similar organisations in Asia. 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 this country's adaptation to changed circumstances been more complete than in its relationship with Japan. Today that association is one of the most important and beneficial that New Zealand has. Its elements arc 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, Meanwhile, the steady growth in the extent and cordiality of relations with the People's Republic of China further illustrate New Zealanders' changing perceptions of Asia. China is both an important export market and a major power with a leading role in Asia.


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

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 bilateral relationship finds expression in political, economic and cultural fields. New Zealand is allied to the United States and Australia through the ANZUS Treaty. On the economic side, the United States is one of New Zealand's major trading partners. For some products, notably beef and casein, it is our largest export market. Also, programmes for scientific and technical co-operation, and academic and cultural exchanges maintain an awareness of New Zealand in the United States and promote the interchange of ideas and experience. The two countries work closely in Antarctic scientific research and operate a joint logistics pool for their Antarctic programmes.

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 diplomatic representation was established in Canada in 1942, there have been 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, there is a sound record of cooperation. Our 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 Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement, which came into effect in 1982, is intended to encourage economic co-operation in every sense. In addition to consultations on trade and economic issues, the agreement calls for increased co-operation in investment, joint ventures and technology transfer.

South and Central America and the Caribbean—South and Central America are regions of increasing importance for New Zealand. Relations, limited in the past by geographical orientation and linguistic and cultural differences, developed rapidly in the 1970s. In 1972 the Government opened diplomatic missions in Chile and Peru, primarily to support an expanding trade in dairy products. By cross-accreditation, diplomatic relations have since been established with Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. An embassy was opened in Mexico City in 1983. In 1986 the Hon. Mike Moore, Minister for Overseas Trade, led a trade mission to Peru, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico, which further strengthened economic ties.

The flow of dairy products, meat and agricultural technology from New Zealand to the region has increased steadily, mainly to Mexico, Venezuela and Peru. Other interests shared include Antarctica, the law of the sea, and alternative and renewable sources of energy.

Relations with the Caribbean centre on mutual Commonwealth interests and a useful export trade, largely in dairy products and meat. Since 1974 the High Commissioner in Ottawa has been cross-accredited to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana. Resident representation, a trade commission in Trinidad and Tobago, was established in 1958, but closed in 1982 because of the decline in the proportion of exports going to the Caribbean.

Western Europe.

History has linked New Zealand closely to Western Europe, and developments this century, including trade and involvement with the Europeans in two world wars, have confirmed the relationship. The majority of New Zealand's settlers came from European countries, notably Britain, and subsequent migration has continued these ties. New Zealand's democratic political system, and many of its cultural, religious and social values, derive from a shared European tradition. Although more recently New Zealanders have become increasingly aware of their identity as a Pacific country, developments in Western Europe still exert a strong influence on New Zealand life.

The importance of the European Community as a market for agricultural exports and as a competitor in world markets for meat and dairy products has highlighted the economic aspects of the relationship. The EC is New Zealand's largest export market and trading partner. Although New Zealand exports have diversified considerably since Britain joined the EC, the Community remains a key market for sheepmeat and butter. At the same time, New Zealand exports in a range of non-traditional products show encouraging growth. Community imports into New Zealand are substantial and also growing.

Trade is just one aspect of the relationship, however, and the range of other contacts with the individual countries of Western Europe is steadily expanding. New Zealand has consultative links with the Community on a range of political and economic issues. New Zealand and Western Europe co-operate closely on international issues and exchange information through multilateral organisations such as the United Nations and the OECD.

Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

New Zealand has in recent years developed stable working relationships with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe. Trading and economic concerns dominate. While the Soviet Union has become a significant market for primary commodities, particularly meat and dairy products, trade with Eastern Europe since the late 1970s has not fulfilled earlier hopes and remains small. For the Soviet Union the fisheries resources of New Zealand's 200-mile zone are an additional source of economic interest. (A fisheries agreement was signed in 1978.)

On the political side, relations with the Soviet Union were normalised with the return of ambassadorial level representation in Wellington and Moscow in 1984. The embassy in Vienna is accredited to five East European countries—Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic—and the embassy in Rome to Yugoslavia.

The Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing visited the Soviet Union in September 1986, the first such visit since 1973.

Middle East.

Involvement in the Middle East has increased markedly within the past decade. For more than 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. Since 1982 it has also supplied a small contingent to the Sinai peace-keeping force. New Zealand has consistently upheld the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and, equally consistently, Israel's right to exist.

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 become increasingly important for this country. The wealth of the Gulf region has created new export markets, including for manufactured goods and agricultural products. In recent years the region has absorbed a high proportion of New Zealand's sheepmeat exports.

New Zealand is continuing 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, Libya and Saudi Arabia have cross-accreditation from Canberra, and Oman arid Qatar from Tokyo. New Zealand opened resident missions in Iran and Iraq in 1975, and in 1977 established a consulate-general which in Bahrain was upgraded to an embassy in 1984 when an embassy in Riyadh was also established. The pattern of representation is rounded out by the cross-accreditation of the Ambassador in Riyadh to Egypt, Qatar and Oman, the Ambassador in Paris to Algeria, the Ambassador in The Hague to Israel, and the Ambassador in Bahrain to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

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.


Relations with Africa have been given new emphasis and new dimensions since the 1984 General Election. The South African Consulate-General in Wellington was closed; the Government announced a policy which barred South African sports teams and individual representatives from New Zealand and sought to discourage contacts in South Africa or third countries. At the United Nations, New Zealand has co-sponsored a wide-ranging resolution on international action against apartheid. In conformity with the Accord on Southern Africa agreed to at Nassau by Commonwealth heads of government, the Government in November 1985 introduced certain economic measures against South Africa. In August 1986, after the failure of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group to persuade the South African Government to enter into negotiations directed at bringing about political change, the Government adopted a further set of measures recommended by Commonwealth leaders.

In 1986 New Zealand's first resident diplomatic mission in Africa was established in Harare, Zimbabwe, with cross-accreditation to Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. This step implemented an undertaking made by the Prime Minister on his official visit to Africa a year before. The High Commissioner in London was accredited to Nigeria.

New Zealand has joined the international donor community in responding to the emergency relief and rehabilitation needs of the African countries affected by drought. In 1986 the Government contributed through a range of international and voluntary agencies. The community has also responded generously to international relief appeals.

New Zealand contributes to technical co-operation projects in African countries through bilateral assistance and by contributions to Commonwealth and other multilateral programmes.

Total trade with African countries amounts to only a modest percentage of New Zealand's global trade. The major New Zealand exports are milk powder, fish, wool, textiles and non-electrical machinery. The main imports from Africa are cocoa, coffee, sisal and tobacco.

Assistance to developing countries

In 1985–86 official development assistance (ODA) disbursed under Vote Foreign Affairs amounted to nearly $97 million, summarised in table 4.1.


  Country programmes68,881
South Pacific shipping11,822
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Almost all development assistance is administered by the External Aid Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Geographic distribution of the 1985–86 assistance to developing countries followed the trend of previous years, with over 80 percent going to bilateral and regional programmes in the South Pacific. The ASEAN group of countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines) was the second region of concentration. The total programme involves the skills and experience of hundreds of New Zealanders, together with capital and technical back-up.

Government assistance to voluntary agencies in 1985–86 amounted to $1.57 million. This comprised the annual grant to Volunteer Service Abroad 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 1985, as reported to the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD in Paris, was estimated at $176.13 million. This figure included private export credits and direct investment by New Zealand interests ($48.7 million) and transfers by New Zealand voluntary agencies ($16.5 million).

Bilateral assistance in 1985–86.

Under bilateral (government-to-government) programmes, New Zealand responds to the development priorities established by the developing countries themselves, mainly in the South Pacific and South-east Asia. Development projects are 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 ahead.

The main purpose of bilateral assistance is to promote the economic and social development of the partner countries and raise living standards. Emphasis is placed on increasing productivity through livestock and pasture programmes, assistance with crops, and the development of forestry, fisheries and energy resources. Advisors' assignments Vary from a few weeks to several years. In 1985–86 the programme had 49 long-term advisors in the field, and several hundred on short-term assignments.

The transfer of expertise to developing countries is supplemented by study and training awards. In 1985–86 there were about 670 students in New Zealand and about 210 at ‘third country’ institutions. The training is linked to specific needs in the recipient countries. Bilateral assistance is complemented in the South Pacific and South-east Asia by programmes promoting regional cooperation, particularly in forestry, education, livestock improvement, transport, communications and trade promotion. Bilateral assistance also includes emergency and distress relief.

The breakdown by country in table 4.2 shows the direction and quantity of New Zealand assistance.


South Pacific—$(000)
  Cook Islands13,318
  Federated States of Micronesia6
  New Caledonia4
  Papua New Guinea4,729
  Solomon Islands1,670
  Western Samoa6,808
      Total Pacific55,792
  Other Asian
    Korea (South)48
    Sri Lanka71
      Total Asia9,476
      Total Africa704
South America—
      Total South America320
Central America and Caribbean—
  St. Lucia1
      Total Central America and Caribbean280
Middle East—
      Total Middle East6
Other bilateral—
  Voluntary agencies1,572
  Study and training institutes (NZ)460
      Total other2,303
      Total bilateral assistance68,881
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Multilateral development assistance in 1985–86.

The multilateral programme enables New Zealand to make a contribution to development work which would usually be beyond the scope of the bilateral programme, either in terms of the scale of the projects or in their ability to help countries beyond the regions where assistance is concentrated.

Multilateral disbursements in 1985–86 amounted to $14.7 million. Contributions to United Nations, Commonwealth, South Pacific and international development finance institutions and agencies followed the pattern of previous years.


United Nations institutions—NZ$(000)
  UN Development Programme2,000
  UN Disaster Relief Office10
  World Food Programme800
  UN Children's Fund700
  UN Fund for Population Activities350
  UN Relief and Works Agency120
  UN High Commission for Refugees100
  UN Voluntary Fund for Decade of Women24
      Total United Nations4,104
African relief and rehabilitation—
  UN Office for Emergency Operations in Africa1,000
  UN High Commissioner for Refugees200
  UN Children's Fund200
  International Committee of the Red Cross70
  World Food Programme208
  World Health Organisation Tropical Diseases Research and Training70
  Southern African Development Coordination Conference217
  UN Education and Training Programme for Southern Africa20
  UN Trust Fund for Southern Africa10
  UN Trust Fund for Namibia10
  Botswana Food Aid (via World Food Programme)500
      Total African relief2,505
South Pacific institutions—
  South Pacific Commission856
  South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation592
  Forum Fisheries Agency590
      Total South Pacific2,038
Development finance institutions—
  International Development Association (IDA)2,500
  Asian Development Bank (ADB)—Asian Development Fund1,333
  Asian Development Bank—Technical Assistance Special Fund (TASF)75
  International Fund for Agricultural Development300
      Total development finance4,208
Commonwealth programmes—
  Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation1,000
  Commonwealth Youth Programme70
  Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau75
  Commonwealth Heads of Government Special Account50
      Total Commonwealth1,195
Other contributions—
  International Rice Research Institute25
  International Planned Parenthood Fund250
  International Committee of the Red Cross58
  Refugee relief300
      Total other633
      Total multilateral aid14,683

4.2 International organisations

United Nations

The United Nations was formed 42 years ago on 24 October 1945. New Zealand was a founding member and, since then, successive governments of this country have strongly supported the UN as a major instrument for maintaining peace and security, for developing friendly relations among countries, for encouraging international co-operation aimed at solving economic and social problems, and for promoting respect for human rights. New Zealand continues to play an active and prominent role in the UN system.

Over the years the range and complexity of functions of the United Nations and its specialised agencies have steadily grown. New Zealand concentrates on areas where it can play a useful role in matters directly affecting its interests.

In pursuit of its anti-nuclear commitment, New Zealand has continued to press for progress on a wide range of arms control and disarmament issues. New Zealand's views are presented at the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva in statements calling for a ban on all nuclear testing and for the conclusion of a treaty banning the development, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. New Zealand took part in the Biological Weapons Review Conference, which concluded favourably in Geneva in September 1986, and co-sponsored a number of arms control and disarmament resolutions at the 1986 session of the General Assembly, including one calling for the early negotiation of a comprehensive test ban. At a regional level New Zealand has been a strong supporter of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, which it ratified on 13 November, 1986. The treaty came into force on 11 December 1986. New Zealand has also continued to contribute to peacekeeping operations. Five officers served with UNTSO in 1986, and financial contributions of over $1,100,000 were made to the various peacekeeping operations.

New Zealand has continued to participate in humanitarian relief work, for example, working closely with the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), particularly to resettle Indo-Chinese refugees. (A $130,000 grant was made for Kampuchean refugees in Thailand.) The Government also contributed $500,000 to UNHCR in 1986–87, and another $85,000 for the UNHCR's General Programme Appeal to assist refugees in Africa. In 1986 a special payment of $500,000 was made to the Office for Emergency Operations in Africa, while $250,000 was made as a voluntary contribution to the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and $1 million was given to the World Food Programme. There has been an annual grant of $1 million to the Children's Fund (UNICEF), plus a special grant in 1986 of $500,000 for UNICEF's emergency operations in southern Sudan. New Zealand's voluntary contribution to the Red Cross (ICRC) has been increased to $150,000, and in 1986 an extra $100,000 was provided for special relief in Africa, Lebanon and the Philippines.

Human rights issues, including the eradication of all forms of racism and racial discrimination, remain an important concern. During 1986 reports were prepared under the international human rights instruments to which New Zealand is party, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. In the same year we signed the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and provided $25,000 to the United Nations fund for the rehabilitation of torture victims. New Zealand continued to support balanced resolutions at the Commission on Human Rights and at the UN General Assembly designed to set relevant new standards to protect human rights or to encourage nations to uphold the principles of the UN human rights instruments.

New Zealand also plays a full part in all aspects of international economic and development activity, not only in the UN agencies but also in the annual meetings of the IBRD (World Bank) and the IMF, and in Commonwealth and regional groupings that seek to stabilise international trade and finance. New Zealand continues to emphasise the special requirements of the South Pacific island countries, many not represented at the UN. New Zealand contributed substantially ($3 million) to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and is on the Governing Council of UNDP from January 1986 to December 1988.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The delegation to the 41st session of UNGA, in 1986, was led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. F. D. O'Flynn. In his speech in the general debate he placed special emphasis on the United Nations' role in protecting small states. He also spoke on arms control issues including the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, the elimination of agricultural protection, reinscription of New Caledonia onto the list of non-self-governing territories, political and economic issues in the South Pacific region and the UN financial crisis. Subsequent debate in the assembly centred on recent events. These included global economic issues, racism and apartheid, the Middle East, refugees, arms control and disarmament, humanitarian relief for Africa, human rights, and New Caledonia. In these areas New Zealand contributed by either co-sponsoring or supporting proposals intended to remove the potential for armed conflict, eliminate international tension, create fair and just economic and political systems, facilitate decolonisation and provide humanitarian relief and development assistance to the needy.

The specialised agencies.

The UN system encompasses 16 autonomous organisations, known as the specialised agencies, and a large number of additional bodies with their own secretariats, budgets and operations. Among the largest of these is the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) which aims to raise levels of nutrition and global living standards, to promote agriculture and food security, and to expand the world economy. Similarly the World Health Organisation (WHO) seeks ‘the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health’, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) seeks to improve working and living conditions and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) seeks to increase international co-operation through education, science and culture.

Four agencies participate in efforts to increase the stability of international trade and to promote the economic development of less developed countries. These are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, or the World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International Development Association (IDA).

Other UN special agencies of which New Zealand is a member, are concerned with civil aviation (ICAO), agricultural development (IFAD), maritime safety (IMO), telecommunications (ITU), postal services (UPU), patents and trademarks (WIPO), and climate and weather (WMO) and industrial development (UNIDO).

Contributions to United Nations.

Contributions to the UN budget are based on members' capacity to pay. In 1986 New Zealand's assessed contribution rate was set at 0.24 percent, resulting in dues of $3,014,599.

Along with many other countries, New Zealand has been concerned at the rapidly rising costs of running the United Nations and related bodies. Moreover, the failure of certain members to either pay their dues in time, or in full, coupled with administrative inefficiencies has led to a serious financial crisis. New Zealand supported the establishment of a group of experts to deal with this situation and has sought to ensure that the group's recommendations for financial and administrative reform can be implemented. Contributions to the budgets of specialised agencies are also fixed according to a scale of assessment agreed by the membership as a whole.

Contributions to various other UN bodies are on a voluntary basis. New Zealand's voluntary contributions for the year 1985–86 are shown in tables 4.2 and 4.3.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

The GATT was established in 1948 to provide rules for international trade and a forum for the settlement of trade problems. New Zealand was one of the original 23 signatories, and there are now 92 members.

The main objective is the reduction of trade barriers and other protectionist measures which distort international competition. To this end, seven rounds of multilateral trade negotiations have been conducted under GATT auspices. These have achieved a progressive reduction in tariffs and a refinement of the rules for international trade. In September 1986 member countries agreed at a ministerial level meeting in Punta del Este, Uruguay, to embark on an eighth round of negotiations. New Zealand's priority in this round is to ensure that trade in agricultural products, which has never been fully integrated into the GATT system, is dealt with satisfactorily. Other major issues include the negotiation of rules for trade in services and improved rules and disciplines for the use of subsidies and for dispute settlement. The Uruguay round is expected to last five or six years.

Other UN bodies.

In addition to the specialised agencies, many UN organisations help to seek solutions to international problems through diverse economic, development, humanitarian and technical activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) established ‘under the aegis of the United Nations’, supports peaceful uses of nuclear energy, while several bodies encourage economic development (UNDP, UNCTAD, IFAD), and others address issues as diverse and necessary as environmental protection, tourist promotion, drug abuse and population planning. Humanitarian concerns include the health and welfare of children (UNICEF), assistance to refugees (UNHCR and UNRWA) and the elimination of racism and of discrimination against women.


As a member of the Commonwealth, New Zealand is able to consult and co-operate with the governments of roughly a quarter of the world's population through a wide variety of activities, both governmental and non-governmental. The value to New Zealand of Commonwealth links derives not only from the practical benefits of activities and programmes, but also from the Commonwealth's diversity. Its 49 members and two ‘special members’ encompass the six continents and the five oceans of the world. The Pacific region is now well represented: Fiji, Tonga, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu are full members, along with Australia and New Zealand. 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. In consequence they do not attend Commonwealth heads of government meetings, but are entitled to participate in Commonwealth meetings dealing with those subjects for which their governments are responsible.

A permanent Commonwealth Secretariat was set up in London in 1965 as the main agency for multilateral communication between governments. The secretariat promotes consultation and disseminates information on matters of common concern, organises meetings and conferences, and coordinates a wide range of other activities.

Heads of government meet every second year and a number of historic decisions have been taken at these meetings. These include the 1971 Commonwealth Declaration of Principles, the 1979 Lusaka Accord, which preceded the settlement of the Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) problem, and the 1977 Gleneagles Agreement discouraging sporting contacts with South Africa. The most recent meeting, held in Nassau in 1985, approved the Commonwealth Accord on Southern Africa. Heads of government of the Asia-Pacific region have also met regularly since 1978, most recently in Port Moresby in 1984. Commonwealth finance ministers meet annually, and ministers of labour, health, education and other disciplines also meet at varying intervals.

The Commonwealth's principal official development assistance programmes are financed by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation, to which New Zealand contributed $1 million in 1986–87. New Zealand also takes part in the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, contributing $632,000 in 1986–87. Contributions are made to a range of other intergovernmental Commonwealth co-operative programmes, and to agencies including the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Commonwealth Science Council, the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaus and the Asia-Pacific regional working groups. In the non-governmental area, New Zealand's main contribution is to the Commonwealth Foundation, established at the same time as the secretariat to promote close links in the professions throughout the Commonwealth.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Paris-based OECD aims to foster intergovernmental co-operation amongst its 24 members on matters relating to economic and social policy. It was formed in 1961, and currently the majority of its members are the large industrialised countries of the world. New Zealand joined in 1973 with the intention of voicing its opinions in OECD forums, which were of increasing importance in international decision-making.

New Zealand has concentrated its efforts on economic, agricultural, trade and energy consultations in the OECD, but has also been involved in education, labour affairs and environment work. The OECD exchanges, analyses and disseminates a wide variety of information, much of it useful for this country, including the OECD forecasts (Economic Outlook) and reports on individual countries. As part of the evaluation and reporting process, the New Zealand economy is periodically subjected to a thorough review within the OECD system. Its aid policy is reviewed regularly by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee.

An example of the benefits of OECD membership is current work on protectionism in agricultural trade, initiated by New Zealand, with the aim of quantifying levels of agricultural protectionism and finding ways of reducing it.

New Zealand is also a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA), an autonomous body set up in 1974 within the OECD framework. The IEA carries out a comprehensive programme of energy co-operation among 19 countries and works to promote co-operation between energy producing and consuming countries.

International Whaling Commission

Since New Zealand rejoined this commission in 1976, it has played an active role among the conservationist member nations. In June 1985 the New Zealand Whaling Commissioner, Mr I. L. G. Stewart, was elected Chairman of the IWC for a three-year term.

4.3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas posts

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the primary responsibility for advising and assisting the Government on its relations with the outside world. This includes advising foreign governments of New Zealand's policies and keeping the Government informed of overseas developments affecting New Zealand's interests. Policy formulation is undertaken in relation to the country's economic, trade, political and security needs, and recommendations to the Government are prepared in close association with other government departments.

Other functions include the administration of the official programme of aid to developing countries and responsibility for all official New Zealand information and publicity activities overseas other than those relating specifically to trade promotion or tourism.

The ministry is the agency through which other governments and their representatives in New Zealand communicate with the Government. It also undertakes foreign affairs and defence functions for the Cook Islands and Niue after consultation with their respective heads of government. It administers Tokelau.

In addition, it is responsible for operating and administering the network of diplomatic and consular posts listed below. These posts represent and pursue New Zealand's interests overseas through a variety of ways, including participation in international negotiations, the gathering of information, and the promotion of a favourable New Zealand image. The posts perform services overseas on behalf of all government departments and give assistance to New Zealanders overseas, whether travelling in official or private capacities, and are responsible for the overseas issue of passports and visas.

Overseas posts

For further information on the overseas posts listed below, refer to the publication New Zealand Representatives Overseas, on sale at Government Bookshops.

AustraliaHigh Commission, Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600.
Consulate, Standard Chartered Bank Building (8th Floor), 26 Flinders Street, Adelaide, (G.P.O. Box 1744, Adelaide, South Australia 5001).
Consulate-General, Watkins Place Building, 288 Edward Street, Brisbane, (G.P.O. Box 62, Brisbane, Qld. 4001).
New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Office, Brisbane, (as for Consulate-General).
Consulate-General, 330 Collins Street, Melbourne, (G.P.O. Box 2136 T, Melbourne, Vic. 3001).
New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department Office, 332 Collins Street, Melbourne, (G.P.O. Box 2136 T, Melbourne, Vic. 3001).
Consulate, 16 St. George's Terrace (10th floor), Perth, (G.P.O. Box X2227, Perth, W.A. 6001).
Consulate-General, AMEV-UDC House, 115 Pitt Street, Sydney, (G.P.O. Box 365, Sydney, N.S.W. 2001).
New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department Office, 115 Pitt Street, Sydney, (G.P.O. Box 614, Sydney N.S.W. 2000).
AustriaEmbassy, Lugeck 1, Vienna 1 (Postfach 1471, A-1011 Vienna).
BahrainEmbassy, Manama Centre Building, Government Road, Manama (P.O. Box 5881, Manama, Bahrain).
BangladeshHigh Commissioner resident in New Delhi (see under India).
BarbadosHigh Commissioner resident in Ottawa (see under Canada).
BelgiumEmbassy, Boulevard du Régent 47–48, 1000 Brussels.
BotswanaHigh Commissioner resident in Harare.
BrazilAmbassador resident in Santiago (see under Chile). Consulate, Rua Hungria 888–6°, CEP 01455, Sao Paulo.
BritainHigh Commission, New Zealand House, Haymarket, London SW 1Y 4TQ.
Brunei—High Commissioner resident in Kuala Lumpur (see under Malaysia).
BurmaAmbassador resident in Bangkok (see under Thailand).
CanadaHigh Commission, Metropolitan House, 99 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6G3.
Consulate, Suite 1260–701, West Georgia Street, I.B.M. Tower, Vancouver, B.C. (P.O. Box 10071, Pacific Centre, Vancouver, B.C. V7Y 1B6).
ChileEmbassy, Avenida Isidora Goyenechea 3516, Las Condes, Santiago (Casilla 112, Correo Las Condes, Santiago).
ChinaEmbassy, Ritan Dongerjie No. 1, Chaoyang District, Peking.
ColombiaAmbassador resident in Lima (see under Peru).
Cook IslandsNew Zealand Representative, 1st Floor, Philatelic Bureau Building, Takuvaine Road, Avarua, Rarotonga (P.O. Box 21, Rarotonga).
CyprusHigh Commissioner resident in Athens (see under Greece).
CzechoslovakiaAmbassador resident in Vienna (see under Austria).
DenmarkAmbassador resident in Brussels (see under Belgium).
EcuadorAmbassador resident in Lima (see under Peru).
EgyptAmbassador resident in Riyadh (see under Saudi Arabia).
European CommunitiesAmbassador resident in Brussels (see under Belgium).
FijiHigh Commission, Reserve Bank of Fiji Building, Pratt Street (P.O. Box 1378), Suva.
FinlandAmbassador resident in Moscow (see under U.S.S.R.).
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)See under United Nations.
FranceEmbassy, 7 ter, rue Léonard de Vinci, 75116 Paris.
Consulate-General, 4 Boulevard Vauban, Noumea, New Caledonia (Boîte Postale 2219, Noumea).
New Zealand Consulate, Air New Zealand Ltd, Vaima Centre, (B.P. 73), Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia.
German Democratic RepublicAmbassador resident in Vienna (see under Austria).
Germany, Federal Republic ofEmbassy, Bonn-Center, H1 902, Bundeskanzlerplatz, 5300 Bonn.
New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department Office, Kaiserhofstrasse 7, 6000 Frankfurt/Main.
GreeceEmbassy, An. Tsoha 15–17, Ambelokipi, 115 21 Athens.
GuyanaHigh Commissioner resident in Ottawa (see under Canada).
Holy SeeAmbassador resident in Paris (see under France).
Hong KongHigh Commission, 3414 Connaught Centre, Connaught Road (G.P.O. Box 2790), Hong Kong.
HungaryAmbassador resident in Vienna (see under Austria).
India—High Commission, 25 Golf Links, New Delhi, 110003.
IndonesiaEmbassy, Jalan Diponegoro No. 41, Menteng, Jakarta. (P.O. Box 2439 JKT) Jakarta.
IranEmbassy, Avenue Mirza-ye-Shirazi, Shahid Ali-ye-Mirza, Hassani St, No. 29 (P.O. Box 11365–436), Tehran.
IraqEmbassy, 2D/19 Zuwiyah 2, Jadriyah (near Baghdad University), Baghdad. (P.O. Box 2350, Alwiyah, Baghdad.)
IrelandAmbassador resident in London (see under Britain).
ItalyEmbassy, Via Zara 28, Rome 00198.
JamaicaHigh Commissioner resident in Ottawa (see under Canada).
JapanEmbassy, 20–40 Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150.
Consulate-General, Daiwabank Semba Building 9 F, 4–21 Minamisemba 4-chome, Minami-ku, Osaka 542.
KenyaHigh Commissioner resident in Harare (see under Zimbabwe).
KiribatiHigh Commissioner resident in Suva (see under Fiji).
Korea, Republic ofEmbassy, Publishers' Association Building, No. 105–2 Sagan-dong, Chongro-ku (G.P.O. Box 1059), Seoul.
Laos—Ambassador resident in Bangkok (see under Thailand).
LuxembourgAmbassador resident in Brussels (see under Belgium).
MacauCommissioner resident in Hong Kong.
Malaysia—High Commission, 193 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, 50400 (P.O. Box 12003, Kuala Lumpur 50764).
MaldivesHigh Commissioner resident in Singapore.
MexicoEmbassy, Homero 229 Piso 8, 11570 Mexico D.F.
NauruHigh Commissioner resident in Suva (see under Fiji).
NepalHigh Commissioner resident in New Delhi (see under India).
NetherlandsEmbassy, Mauritskade 25, 2514 HD The Hague.
New CaledoniaSee under France.
NigeriaHigh Commissioner resident in London (see under Britain).
NiueNew Zealand Representative, Tapeu, Alofi (P.O. Box 78), Niue.
NorwayAmbassador resident in The Hague (see under Netherlands).
OmanAmbassador resident in Riyadh (see under Saudi Arabia).
OECDN.Z. Permanent Delegation is located at the Embassy in Paris (see under France).
PakistanAmbassador resident in Tehran (see under Iran).
Papua New GuineaHigh Commission, Waigani (P.O. Box 1144, Boroko) Port Moresby.
PeruEmbassy, Avenida Salaverry 3006, San Isidro, Lima 27 (Casilla 5587, Lima 100).
PhilippinesEmbassy, 3rd Floor, 126 Alfaro Street, Makati, Metro Manila (Box 2208, Makati Central P.O.).
PolandAmbassador resident in Vienna (see under Austria).
PortugalAmbassador resident in Rome (see under Italy).
RomaniaAmbassador resident in Vienna (see under Austria).
Saudi Arabia—Embassy, Airport Street, (P.O. Box 94397), Riyadh 11693.
SingaporeHigh Commission, 13 Nassim Road, Singapore 1025.
Solomon IslandsHigh Commission, Soltel House, Mendana Avenue (P.O. Box 697), Honiara.
SpainAmbassador resident in Paris (see under France).
Sri LankaHigh Commissioner resident in Singapore.
SwedenAmbassador resident in The Hague (see under Netherlands).
SwitzerlandAmbassador resident in Bonn (see under Germany, Federal Republic of).
Consulate-General, 28A Chemin du Petit-Saconnex, CH-1209 Geneva (Case Postale 334, CH-1211 Geneva 19).
TahitiSee under France.
TanzaniaHigh Commissioner resident in Harare (see under Zimbabwe).
Thailand—Embassy, 93 Wireless Road (P.O. Box 2719), Bangkok 5.
TokelauOffice for Tokelau Affairs, Savalalo Street, Apia, Western Samoa (P.O. Box 865, Apia).
TongaHigh Commission, Corner Taufa'ahau and Salote Roads, Nuku'alofa (P.O. Box 830).
Trinidad and TobagoHigh Commission resident in Ottawa (see under Canada).
Consulate, 69 Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad W.1 (P.O. Box 118).
TuvaluHigh Commissioner resident in Suva (see under Fiji).
Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsEmbassy, 44 Ulitsa Vorovskovo, Moscow 121069.
United Kingdomsee Britain.
United NationsPermanent Mission to the U.N. One U.N. Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A.
Permanent Mission, Geneva, located at Consulate-General in Geneva (see under Switzerland).
Permanent Mission, Vienna, located at Embassy in Vienna (see under Austria).
Permanent Delegation FAO, located at Embassy in Rome (see under Italy).
Permanent Delegation to UNESCO located at Embassy in Paris (see under France).
Permanent Delegation to U.N. Environment Programme (U.N.E.P.) located at Embassy in Athens.
United StatesEmbassy, 37 Observatory Circle N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008.
Trade Correspondent, Air New Zealand Ltd, Suite 1707, Waikiki Business Plaza, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815.
Consulate-General, Suite 1530, Tishman Building, 10960 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, Ca. 90024.
New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department Central Reservations Office, Plaza La Reina, Suite 1270, 6033 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, Ca 90045.
Consulate-General, Suite 530, Rockfeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10111.
Trade Commission and Tourist and Publicity Department Office, Citicorp Centre, Suite 810, San Francisco, Ca 94104.
VanuatuHigh Commissioner resident in Honiara (see under Solomon Islands).
Vaticansee Holy See
VenezuelaAmbassador resident in Lima (see under Peru).
VietnamAmbassador resident in Bangkok (see under Thailand).
Western SamoaHigh Commission, Beach Road (P.O. Box 208), Apia.
YugoslaviaAmbassador resident in Athens (see under Greece).
ZimbabweHigh Commission, 6th floor, Batanai Gardens, 57 Stanley Avenue, (P.O. Box 5448), Harare.

Diplomatic, consular, and other representation in New Zealand—

For further information on the official overseas representation in New Zealand listed below refer to the publication Diplomatic Corps and Consular and Other Representatives on sale at Government Bookshops.

AustraliaAustralian High Commission, 72–78 Hobson Street, Wellington.
Consulate-General, 8th Floor, Union House, 32–38 Quay Street, Auckland.
AustriaAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul, Pastoral House, 23 The Terrace, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 1 McColl Street, Auckland.
Bangladesh—High Commissioner resident in Canberra.
BelgiumEmbassy of Belgium, Robert Jones House, 1–3 Willeston Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 13th Floor, Southern Cross Building, Victoria Street East, Auckland. Hon. Consul, 88A Hinau Street, Christchurch.
BrazilAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul, 8 Commerce Street, Auckland.
BritainBritish High Commission, Reserve Bank Building, 2 The Terrace, Wellington.
Consulate-General, Norwich Union Building, Queen Street, Auckland 1.
Hon. Consul, 44B Glandovey Road, Fendalton, Christchurch.
Brunei DarussalamHigh Commissioner resident in Bandar Seri Begawan.
BurmaAmbassador resident in Canberra.
CanadaCanadian High Commission, ICI House, 67 Molesworth Street, Wellington.
Vice-Consul (Commercial), Princess Court, 2 Princes Street, Auckland.
ChileEmbassy of the Republic of Chile, Robert Jones House, 1–3 Willeston Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 21 Jellicoe Road, Panmure, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, P.O. Box 22–633, Christchurch.
ChinaEmbassy of the People's Republic of China, 2–6 Glenmore Street, Wellington.
ColombiaAmbassador resident in Jakarta.
Hon. Consul, 7 Armagh Road, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland.
Cook IslandsOffice of the Cook Islands Representative, 61 Kanpur Road, Broadmeadows, Wellington.
Consular Office of the Cook Islands, 330 Parnell Rd, Parnell, Auckland.
Costa RicaHon. Consul-General, 2–12 Parnell Road, Auckland.
Ambassador resident in Tokyo.
CyprusHigh Commissioner resident in Canberra.
CzechoslovakiaEmbassy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, 12 Anne Street, Wellington.
DenmarkAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul-General, 105–109, The Terrace, Wellington.
Hon. Consul-General, Equiticorp Building, 73 Symonds Street, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, 124 Marshall Street, Woolston, Christchurch.
Hon. Consul, 12–20 St. Andrew Street, Dunedin.
EcuadorAmbassador resident in Tokyo.
Hon. Consul, National Mutual Building, 153 Featherston Street, Wellington.
EgyptEmbassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Dalmuir House, 114 The Terrace, Wellington.
El SalvadorHon. Consul, 24 Seccombes Road, Epsom, Auckland.
FijiFiji High Commission, Robert Jones House, 1–3 Willeston Street, Wellington.
Consul, Tower Block, 47 High Street, Auckland.
FinlandAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul-General, 25 Victoria Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 20 Dilworth Avenue, Remuera, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, Durham Courts. 16 Wordsworth Street, Sydenham, Christchurch.
Hon. Consul, Mutual Fund Building, 11 Bond Street, Dunedin.
FranceEmbassy of France, 14th Floor, Robert Jones House, 1–3 Willeston Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, corner of Princes Street and Eden Crescent, Auckland 1.
Consul (Commercial), Wyndham Towers, Wyndham Street, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, c/o Teachers College, Christchurch.
Hon. Consul, c/o University of Otago, Dunedin.
German Democratic RepublicAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Germany (F.R.)Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 90–92 Hobson Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 17 Albert Street, Auckland 1.
Hon. Consul, 71 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch.
GreeceAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul-General, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington.
Holy SeeApostolic Nuncature, 112 Queen's Drive, Lyall Bay, Wellington 3.
HungaryAmbassador resident in Canberra.
IcelandHon. Consul-General, 88 Oriental Parade, Wellington
IndiaOffice of the High Commissioner for India, Princess Towers, 180 Molesworth Street, Wellington.
IndonesiaEmbassy of the Republic of Indonesia, 70 Glen Road, Kelburn, Wellington 1.
IranAmbassador resident in Canberra.
IraqAmbassador resident in Canberra.
IrelandAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul, Dingwall Building, 87 Queen Street, Auckland.
IsraelEmbassy of Israel, Williams City Centre, Plimmer Steps, Wellington.
ItalyEmbassy of Italy, 34 Grant Road, Wellington.
Hon. Consular Agent, Dingwall Building, 87 Queen Street, Auckland.
Hon. Consular Agent, 48 Seven Oaks Drive, Bryndwr, Chistchurch 5.
Hon. Consular Agent, 14 Shandon Road, Waverley, Dunedin.
JapanEmbassy of Japan, Norwich Insurance House, 3–11 Hunter Street, Wellington.
Consulate-General of Japan, National Mutual Building, 37–45 Shortland Street, Auckland.
Consular Office of Japan, General Building, 77 Hereford Street, Christchurch.
KiribatiHigh Commissioner resident in Tarawa.
Hon. Consul, 33 Great South Road, Otahuhu, Auckland.
KoreaEmbassy of the Republic of Korea, Williams City Centre, Plimmer Steps, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, Great Northern Centre, cnr Queen and Customs Streets, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, 126 Cashel Street, Christchurch.
LaosChargé d'Affaires resident in Canberra.
LebanonChargé d'Affaires resident in Canberra.
LibyaSecretary of the People's Committee resident in Canberra.
MalaysiaHigh Commission of Malaysia, Chase-NBA House, 163–165 The Terrace, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 14 Hazeldean Road, Christchurch.
MaliAmbassador resident in Beijing.
MexicoAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul, Tatra House, 96 Tory Street, Wellington.
MongoliaAmbassador resident in Tokyo.
NauruConsulate-General, Samoa House, 283 Karangahape Road, Auckland.
NepalAmbassador resident in Tokyo.
NetherlandsRoyal Netherlands Embassy, 10th Floor, Investment Centre, corner Ballance and Featherston Streets, Wellington.
Hon. Consul-General, National Mutual Centre, 41 Shortland Street, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, Amsterdam House, 161–163 Kilmore Street, Christchurch.
NigeriaHigh Commissioner resident in Canberra.
NiueConsular Office, 4th Floor, Samoa House, 283 Karangahape Road, Auckland.
NorwayAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul-General, 105–109 The Terrace, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 13 Brighton Terrace, Mairangi Bay, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, Scales House, 75 Kilmore Street, Christchurch.
Hon. Consul, 365 Princes Street, Dunedin.
Oman-Ambassador resident in Tokyo.
PakistanAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul, Commerce Bldg., 14 Emily Place, Auckland.
Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea High Commission, 11th Floor, Princess Towers, 180 Molesworth Street, Wellington.
PeruEmbassy of Peru, 3rd Floor, 35–37 Victoria Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 305 Remuera Road, Auckland.
PhilippinesEmbassy of the Philippines, P.O. Box 12–042, Wellington.
Hon. Consul-General, 93–97 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland 1.
PolandAmbassador resident in Canberra.
PortugalAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul, Southpac House, 1 Victoria Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 117 Arney Road, Remuera, Auckland 5.
Hon. Consul, 330 Moray Place, Dunedin.
QatarAmbassador resident in Tokyo.
RomaniaEmbassy, 31 Doris Gordon Crescent, Crofton Downs, Wellington.
Saudi ArabiaAmbassador resident in Canberra.
SingaporeHigh Commission, 17 Kabul Street, Khandallah, Wellington.
Solomon IslandsHigh Commissioner resident in Honiara.
SpainAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Vice-Consul, c/o Lees Industries Ltd, Private Bag, Papakura, Auckland.
Hon. Vice-Consul, 148 Lichfield Street, Christchurch
Sri LankaHigh Commissioner resident in Canberra.
Consular of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Norwich Insurance House, 117/1 Queen Street, Auckland.
SwedenRoyal Swedish Embassy, Greenock House, 39 The Terrace, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, Emcom House, 75 Queen Street, Auckland.
Hon. Consul, 178 Cashel Street, Christchurch.
Hon. Consul, 40 Jetty Street, Dunedin.
Hon. Vice-Consul, The Crescent, Invercargill.
SwitzerlandEmbassy of Switzerland, Panama House, 22–24 Panama Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, 48 Carr Road, Mount Roskili, Auckland.
ThailandRoyal Thai Embassy, 2 Cook Street, Karon, Wellington.
TongaAgents for Tonga, 655 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland.
TurkeyAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Hon. Consul-General, 201 Symonds Street, Auckland.
TuvaluHon. Consul, 33 Great South Road, Otahuhu, Auckland.
UruguayChargé d'Affaires resident in Canberra.
U.S.A.Embassy of the United States of America, 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Wellington 1.
Consulate-General, General Building, cnr Shortland and O'Connell Streets, Auckland.
Consular Agent, c/o Lawrence Anderson Buddie, P.O. Box 13250, Christchurch.
U.S.S.R.Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 57 Messines Road, Karori, Wellington.
VanuatuHigh Commissioner resident in Port Vila.
VenezuelaAmbassador resident in Canberra.
VietnamAmbassador resident in Canberra.
Western SamoaHigh Commission for Western Samoa, 1A Wesley Road, Kelburn, Wellington.
Consulate-General, Samoa House, 283 Karangahape Road, Auckland.
YugoslaviaEmbassy of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 24 Hatton Street, Wellington.
Hon. Consul, A.M.P. Building, corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, Auckland.
ZambiaHigh Commissioner resident in Canberra.
European CommunitiesHead of Delegation resident in Canberra.

4.4 New Zealand territories


A territory under New Zealand's administration, Tokelau is a scattered group of three small atolls in the South Pacific with a total land area of about 12 square kilometres and an estimated population of 1690 in 1986. Sovereignty was transferred from Britain, and Tokelau included within the boundaries of New Zealand in 1948. Tokelau lies between Micronesia and Polynesia, but its inhabitants are Polynesian. They retain linguistic, family and cultural links with Western Samoa, although the culture of Tokelau is distinctively shaped by its atoll environment. Tokelauan is spoken, with English as a second language.

Administrative responsibility for Tokelau lies with the Administrator, Mr H. H. Francis, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who lives in Wellington. Many of his powers are delegated to the Official Secretary who heads the Office for Tokelau Affairs, based in Apia by agreement with Western Samoa. The Administrator reports annually to the New Zealand Parliament.

New Zealand is committed to helping Tokelau towards greater self-government and economic self-sufficiency. In 1976, 1981 and 1986 invited missions from the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation visited Tokelau and were advised by the people that they did not, for the time being, wish to review the existing ties between New Zealand and the territory. New Zealand takes steps to ensure that the Tokelau Public Service meets Tokelau's administrative, social, economic and development requirements. The Public Service numbered 186 at 31 March 1986. Almost all public servants are Tokelauans.

New Zealand provided $3.4 million of budgetary aid in the year ended 31 March 1987. Tokelau also receives considerable assistance from various international agencies, the UN Development Programme being the largest donor. Western Samoa gives much practical assistance, particularly medical.

Tokelau has a separate legal system, and local government is conducted through representative institutions. The faipule and pulenuku are elected every three years by adult suffrage.

Tokelau's economy, largely subsistence, is based on fishing, crops and livestock, although the soil is barren and resists fertilisation. The territory's size, isolation and lack of land-based resources give little scope for economic development, although measures have been taken to redistribute available cash income. Each atoll has a small general hospital and a primary school.

Ross Dependency

The Ross Dependency consists of the land, permanent ice-shelf and islands of Antarctica between 160 degrees east and 150 degrees west. The land is almost all covered by ice, and is uninhabited except for people working on scientific research programmes. New Zealand has exercised jurisdiction over the territory since 1923, has maintained an Antarctic Scientific Research Programme since 1957 and operates Scott Base on Ross Island as a permanent base, with a seasonal base at Lake Vanda in the Dry Valleys region. New Zealand is an original party to the Antarctic Treaty, which requires Antarctica to be used for peaceful purposes only and promotes international co-operation, freedom of scientific investigation, and exchange of information and scientific personnel. The 32 parties to the treaty meet regularly to consider questions within its framework.

4.5 Defence

Control and co-ordination of defence

The Governor-General as Commander-in-Chief is empowered to raise and maintain the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Army, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. These forces, together with public servants appointed under the State Services Act 1962, constitute the Ministry of Defence, which is responsible under the minister for the central control of the whole field of national defence.

The Secretary of Defence is permanent head of the ministry and principal civilian adviser to the Minister, responsible in particular for co-ordinating the business of the ministry as a whole, including long-term financial planning as well as supervision of defence expenditure. In accordance with the State Services Conditions of Employment Act 1977, the Secretary of Defence prescribes the pay, allowances, expenses, and other conditions of employment of all service personnel.

The Chief of Defence Staff is principal military adviser to the minister; and is convenor and chairperson of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and conveys its advice to the minister. Like the Secretary of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff carries out inspections of the services and reports to the minister.

Defence Council.

The Defence Council is responsible for the administration and, through the officers appointed for the purpose, the command of the New Zealand armed forces. The Defence Council consists of the Minister as chairperson, the Secretary of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff as deputy chairpersons, and the Chiefs of Staff of the three services. The Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs are associate members. In addition, the council may from time to time co-opt officers of other government departments. Without limiting the duties of the Secretary of Defence or the Chief of Defence Staff, the Defence Council assists the minister in formulating defence policy or recommendations.

Defence Headquarters reorganisation.

Changes to the central structure of the Ministry of Defence came into effect in February 1987. Clear lines of control are established from the Chief of Defence Staff and the Secretary of Defence in respect of planning and development of military forces on the one hand, and corporate programming and budgeting for provision of required resources on the other. The new arrangements will provide for more effective direct command and control of national forces, in keeping with the Government's policy of developing greater self-reliance. Part of the reorganisation was the establishment of a Joint Operations Command.

Defence policy.

Significant progress was made on a comprehensive review of defence policy during 1986. The first phase of the review process, the hearing of public submissions by the Defence Committee of Enquiry, was completed when the committee's report was released in August. From September, an interdepartmental Defence Review Committee of officials from the Prime Minister's Department, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Treasury worked towards the issue of a Defence White Paper.

Defence science.

The co-ordination of defence science policy is carried out by the Ministry of Defence in conjunction with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Commonwealth and allied co-ordination is achieved through membership of specialised bodies.

The Defence Scientific Establishment at Devonport is the main research centre in the Ministry of Defence; its work relates mainly to the operation of defence equipment in New Zealand conditions. It specialises in the fields of metallurgy, underwater acoustics, electronics and computer science. The research ship HMNZS Tui is operated by the Navy for the defence science programme.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP)—Computing services in support of non-operational activities throughout the Ministry of Defence are provided by the Directorate of Defence EDP. The directorate is responsible for the planning, development, introduction and support of all administrative computer and associated information systems. At present, a computer centre is operated at Porirua, with planning underway to establish a back-up site in Auckland and a development centre in central Wellington.

International defence relationships


This tripartite security treaty involving Australia, New Zealand and the United Staves came into force on 29 April 1952. Under the treaty each party recognises that an armed attack in the Pacific on any of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes. Because of the dispute between New Zealand and the United States over the introduction of nuclear weapons into New Zealand ports and over visits of nuclear-propelled vessels, the ANZUS Council has not met since 1984.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements.

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

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

In December 1986 it was announced in the context of the Defence Review that the contingent in Singapore would be redeployed to New Zealand by the end of 1989.

Manila Treaty.

Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States signed the South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty, or the Manila Treaty, on 8 September 1954. Although the South-east Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) established under the treaty was phased out in 1977, the treaty was not abrogated.

Missions of the New Zealand Armed Forces.

To achieve current defence policy objectives, the armed forces have the following missions:

  1. To provide forces capable of quick response to any threat to New Zealand itself, of controlling the Exclusive Economic Zone, and at the same time of upholding New Zealand's wider national interests in the area of prime concern—the New Zealand region and the South Pacific.

  2. To maintain trained, mobile, and self-sufficient forces to provide, on request, military assistance, technical aid, surveillance of outside activities, search and rescue, and disaster relief services in the South Pacific.

  3. To achieve the greatest possible degree of interaction with the Australian Defence Force.

  4. To participate effectively alongside allied units in military exercises.

  5. To maintain a capability for limited support of national research and other interests in Antarctica.

  6. To undertake limited joint training and exercises by invitation in South east Asia, as a demonstration of continuing interest in stability and security in that region, and to continue to respond to requests from the ASEAN and South Pacific countries for limited military training in New Zealand.

  7. To provide a capability to contribute to international peacekeeping operations.

  8. To provide assistance to the New Zealand community.

Co-operation with other countries.

To facilitate exchanges on military matters, defence representatives are posted to New Zealand diplomatic missions in London, Canberra, Washington, and Jakarta and with the New Zealand Force South-east Asia (accredited to Singapore. Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Brunei). In addition, some members of these staffs are also accredited to other countries. The United Kingdom, Australia, and Malaysia have service representatives attached to their respective High Commissions in Wellington and there are service attache's on the staffs of the French, Indonesian, and United States embassies in Wellington. Several other countries have service attache's accredited to, but not resident in, New Zealand.

Armed forces overseas

Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA)—New Zealand Force South-east Asia is an independent national formation commanded by a senior New Zealand officer, and currently comprises a light infantry battalion, a utility helicopter support unit comprising three helicopters, a headquarters, and technical workshops, supply and administration units. Current personnel strength is 747, with 504 locally employed civilians. One officer is also attached to the staff of the FPDA's Integrated Air Defence System Headquarters at Butterworth in Malaysia.

United Nations observers—New Zealand currently has four observers stationed in the Middle East with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO).

Sinai Multinational Force and Observers—New Zealand is a contributor to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai which was set up to verify compliance with the terms of the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel. New Zealand's contribution for a two-year period from April 1986 will comprise two Army officers seconded to MFO headquarters in the Sinai and four 12-man Army training and advisory teams on six-month tours of duty.

Mutual Assistance Programme (MAP)—ASEAN and South Pacific countries participate in New Zealand's Mutual Assistance Programme. The programme is a practical demonstration of New Zealand's commitment to regional security. It contributes to the effectiveness of the armed forces in New Zealand's South Pacific neighbourhood and in South-east Asia through training and advisory assistance; and by assisting in development projects utilising the armed forces engineering and trade skills. The range and scope of MAP activities is determined by New Zealand's partners, who have widely different needs. The most common forms of assistance are the provision of formal courses or on-the-job training attachments in New Zealand, the deployment of training and technical teams overseas, the attachment of military instructors to other armed forces for periods of up to two years; and civic action projects in the engineering and medical fields.

Antarctica support—From October to December 1986 RNZAF C130 Hercules made 14 return trips to McMurdo Sound, transporting 172 832 kg of freight and 501 passengers. All three services provided ship and air cargo handlers at Harewood and McMurdo Sound during the summer season. Additionally, 22 Royal New Zealand Army Engineers assisted in rebuilding accommodation and work facilities at Scott Base.

Exercises—In July and August 1986 all three services participated in Exercise Joint Venture ‘86 in the Cook Islands. The exercise, which involved some 1000 service personnel, was the first time New Zealand's armed forces have exercised under a national joint command. Also, a 36-strong detachment from the Army's 1st NZSAS group and the RNZAF undertook a week-long special forces exercise in Niue in October.

Community assistance

Hydrographic survey.

The RNZN is the sole authority for the production of nautical charts in New Zealand and operates a survey ship, HMNZS Monowai and two inshore survey craft, HMNZ ships Takapu and Tarapunga. The Hydrographic Office also provides tidal analysis data and predictions. During 1986 Monowai conducted surveys in the South Pacific region, including the Cook Islands in conjunction with Exercise Joint Venture. Takapu and Tarapunga conducted mine countermeasure exercises at Lyttelton and Dunedin among other survey tasks.

Fishery protection.

The Navy's frigates are employed part-time and the four patrol craft are employed full-time on fishery protection patrols within New Zealand's 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. Surveillance flights of the zone are undertaken by RNZAF Orion, Andover and Friendship aircraft.

Search and rescue (SAR).

Both the Air Force and the Navy maintain a search and rescue capability, and both services have taken part in extensive sea and land searches in the past 12 months. During this period the Air Force rescued 31 people.

Disaster relief.

Fiji—An RNZAF Iroquois helicopter and crew was sent to Fiji by RNZAF Hercules in April 1986, in response to a Fiji Government request for assistance after heavy rain and flooding. The Iroquois flew 48 hours and transported 362 passengers and 27 828 kg of freight in and around the main island of Viti Less during the mission.

Cook Islands—The RNZAF used C130 Hercules to transport relief supplies and personnel to Rarotonga and outlying islands after a cyclone struck on New Year's Day 1987. A joint team of New Zealand Army and British engineers assisted at Rarotonga and Mangaia.


Other assistance provided to the community included co-operation tasks with the Police (helicopter support for searches for marijuana plantations) and the Departments of Maori Affairs, Internal Affairs and Survey and Land Information, the Ministry of Civil Defence, and the Meteorological Service, explosive ordnance disposal; and the carriage of supplies and personnel to New Zealand offshore islands on behalf of other government departments.

New Zealand Cadet Forces.

Cadet forces were established under the Defence Act 1971 and comprise the Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps and Cadet Corps (previously known as the School Cadet Corps). They are community-based youth training groups aimed at teaching leadership, comradeship, self-confidence and good citizenship to young people between the ages of 13 and 18 years. The Cadet Forces are supported by the Navy League, Air Cadet League, Returned Servicemens' Association, Army Association and schools. The Ministry of Defence assists only to the extent necessary to preserve the special military character of the organisation.

As at 31 December 1985, there were a total of 81 Cadet units (17 Sea Cadet, 49 Air Training Corps and 15 Cadet Corps units). Cadet Forces strength at the same date was 378 officers and 4029 cadets.

Defence expenditure

About 70 percent of Vote Defence was spent within New Zealand, mainly on salaries, capital works, servicing, and general operating costs in 1985–86. There is a deliberate policy to encourage greater logistic self-sufficiency, both within New Zealand and in conjunction with Australia.


ItemYear Ended 31 March
Travel, transport, and communications21.3926.3128.7831.13
Maintenance, operation, upkeep, and rental41.6148.3054.2866.65
Materials and supplies124.32139.15150.60185.91
Other operating expenditure4.894.936.195.91
Grants, contributions, subsidies0.480.330.360.38
Capital works18.9418.4716.6722.15
Capital equipment93.4285.42127.33148.30
Source: Ministry of Defence.


Year Ended 31 MarchDefence ExpenditurePercentage of Government Expenditure*Percentage of Gross Domestic Product

* Excludes repayment of public debt.

Source: Ministry of Defence.



As at 31 MarchNavyArmyAir ForceTotalCivilians
Source: Ministry of Defence.

Royal New Zealand Navy

Command and administration.

The Chief of Naval Staff exercises command and control of the Royal New Zealand Navy and is assisted by the Naval Staff as well as the integrated staff of Defence Headquarters.

State of the Navy.

Seagoing ships:

* On loan from U.S. Navy.
Frigates (Leander class)Wellington11th Frigate Squadron.
Survey shipMonowai 
Research shipTui* 
Patrol craftHaweaFirst New Zealand Patrol Craft Squadron.
Inshore survey craftTakapu 
RNZNVR inshore patrol craftKiwi 
Diving tenderManawanui 
Dockyard service craftArataki 

HMNZS Wellington completed a three-year refit in 1986 and was recommissioned on 7 July 1986.

Shore establishments.

The naval base at Devonport, Auckland, consists of the office of the Commodore Auckland (the operational authority of the RNZN), HMNZS Philomel (the naval barracks and base support establishment), the Royal New Zealand Naval Hospital, the Naval Supply Depot, and the Dockyard. The dockyard is capable of refitting all units of the Navy and this capability was improved by the purchase of the Calliope dry dock in February 1987.

HMNZS Tamaki is the training establishment for the Navy and is located at Narrow Neck, Devonport, Auckland. The RNZN Armament Depot is situated at Kauri Point and the RNZN Hydrographic Office is at Takapuna.

HMNZS Irirangi is the naval to receiving and transmitting station and is situated at Waiouru.

HMNZS Wakefield is the administrative unit for RNZN personnel in the Wellington area.


CategoryAt 31 Match
Regular forces—
  Officers (male and female)405404396366
  Ratings (male and female)2,4522,3412,2912,253
      Total2 8572 7452 6872 619
Non-regular forces
  Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve (officers)5444
  Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (all ranks)407439462475
  Royal New Zealand Navy Emergency List (officers)39355252
  Royal New Zealand Naval Fleet Reserve (ratings)780772712762
      Total1 2311 2501 2301 293
Source. Ministry of Defence.

Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve—There is a division of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve in each of the four main centres—Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin—where reservists are given basic naval training.

New Zealand Army

The Army is raised, maintained and organised under the Defence Act 1971. It comprises regular, territorial, and reserve elements and is structured to provide the following operational options:

  1. A Ready Reaction Force based on an infantry battalion group consisting of Regular Force personnel.

  2. An Integrated Expansion Force of brigade group size, made up of Regular and Territorial Force personnel.

  3. A deployable Force Maintenance Group, comprising Regular and Territorial Force personnel.

  4. A further expansion capability based on existing units which would be expanded when required.

Command and administration.

The Chief of General Staff commands the Army, supported by the General Staff and the staff of Defence Headquarters. Command over New Zealand Army units is exercised as follows:

  1. Headquarters Land Force Command is responsible for provision of the Ready Reaction Force, Integrated Expansion Force, Territorial Force manpower management, collective training and Army input into any deployed national headquarters.

  2. Headquarters Support Command is responsible for provision of the Force Maintenance Group, individual training, force logistic support and base (home) support.

State of the Army—

Major Regular Force units—

2 infantry battalions (1 in Singapore); 1 armoured reconnaissance squadron; and 1 field artillery battery.

Major Integrated Regular Force/Territorial Force units—

6 infantry battalions; 2 artillery regiments; 3 armoured squadrons (1 reconnaissance, 3 armoured personnel carrier, 1 anti-armoured); 4 engineer squadrons; 4 signals squadrons; 1

SAS group; 3 transport squadrons; 5 composite transport squadrons; 4 field workshops; 1 base workshop; 3 supply companies; 1 base supply battalion; 2 medical battalions; 1 field hospital.

Major weapons and armoured fighting vehicles—

26 combat reconnaissance vehicles (tracked); 78 M113 armoured personnel-carrier family of vehicles; 10 5.5 inch medium guns; 44 105 mm guns/howitzers; 19 106 mm recoilless rifles.


CategoryAt 31 March

* Class A and Class B reserves.

Source: Ministry of Defence.

Regular forces
  Officers (male and female)786802778824
  Other ranks (male and female)4,8044,7614,6534,990
      Total5 5905 5635 4315 814
Non-regular forces
  Territorial Force (all ranks)6,1016,2995,9635,821
  Officers Reserve568613626610
  Other ranks*1,2571,1301,2631,259
      Total7 9268 0427 8527 690

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Command and administration.

The RNZAF is structured to provide forces for maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, offensive air support and air transport in New Zealand's area of interest.

The Chief of Air Staff commands the Royal New Zealand Air Force and is supported by the Air Staff and the staff of Defence Headquarters.


The RNZAF in New Zealand is organised into two functional groups: Operations Group, with its headquarters at RNZAF Base Auckland, is responsible for all operational functions and operational flying training; Support Group, with its headquarters at RNZAF Base Wigrarn, is responsible for all formal individual training (except advanced pilot training) and certain support functions such as supply and depot level maintenance. RNZAF Base Shelly Bay acts as the administrative and domestic base for all RNZAF personnel assigned to Wellington for duty in Air Staff and Defence Headquarters. Operational flying units are based at RNZAF Base Auckland and RNZAF Base Ohakea. Flying training is conducted at RNZAF Base Wigrarn while ground training is carried out at RNZAF Bases Auckland, Woodboume and Wigrarn. RNZAF Base Te Rapa is the RNZAF's stores depot. A museum and historical centre is located at Wigrarn.

The RNZAF also has personnel and helicopters serving with New Zealand Force South-east Asia.


Aircraft technical services are co-ordinated by Air Staff with specific levels of aircraft maintenance assigned to the bases and squadrons. The overhaul, repair and some manufacturing of aeronautical equipment is carried out at No. 1 Repair Depot, RNZAF Base Woodbourne. A proportion of repair and overhaul work is contracted to the private sector in New Zealand and overseas.

State of the RNZAF—operational units.

Maritime6 OrionsRNZAF Base Auckland
Air transport2 Boeing 727s
10 Andovers
5 Hercules
Helicopters11 Iroquois
3 Sioux
7 Wasps (operated by RNZN)
3 IroquoisSingapore
Offensive air support22 SkyhawksRNZAF Base Ohakea
Advanced flying training15 Strikemasters
VIP transport3 Cessna 421CsRNZAF Base Woodboume
Flying training4 Air tourersRNZAF Base Wigram
15 Air trainers
3 Sioux helicopters
3 Friendships


CategoryAt 31 March
Source: Ministry of Defence.
Regular forces
  Officers (male and female)754744730717
  Airmen and airwomen3,6553,5523,5763,459
      Total4 4094 2964 3064 176
Non-regular forces
  Territorial Air Force208204213224
  Active Reserve903734685817
  General Reserve26695105176
      Total1 3771 0331 0031 217

Security Intelligence Service

The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969 gave statutory recognition to the New Zealand Security Service, which had been established in 1956.

Subject to the control of the Minister in Charge of the Security Intelligence Service, the functions of the service are to obtain, correlate, and evaluate intelligence relevant to security; to advise ministers on security matters; and to inform the New Zealand Intelligence Council on any new area of potential espionage, sabotage, terrorism, or subversion. The Security Intelligence Service does not enforce security measures. Nor does it institute surveillance of any person or class of persons by reason only of his, her, or their involvement in lawful protest or dissent in respect of any matter affecting the Constitution, laws, or the Government of New Zealand.

There is a Commissioner of Security Appeals, to whom complaints may be made in writing at the office of the High Court in Wellington.

During the year ended 31 March 1986, three interception warrants were issued for the ‘detection of activities prejudicial to security’ (section 4A (1) (a) (i) of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969). The average term of each warrant was four months and 20 days. The methods of interception used were listening devices and copying of documents.


Year Ended 31 MarchGross ExpenditureIncrease Over Previous Year
Source: Security Intelligence Service.

Further information

Diplomatic Corps and Consular and Other Representatives. Government Printing Office, 1987.

Information Bulletins (including an annual bulletin on disarmament and arms control). Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

New Zealand Representatives Overseas. Government Printing Office, 1987.

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

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Review. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (quarterly).

Chapter 5. Population

5.1 Demographic changes

Population statistics are based primarily on the Census of Population and Dwellings, which is taken every five years. Post-censal population estimates are based on final counts from the latest census, adjusted in accordance with later figures for births, deaths, and migration. Population estimates for sub-national areas, for example, boroughs, cities and counties, also take into account local economic developments, building activity, the numbers on school rolls, changes in boundaries, and other factors leading to, or indicating, changes in population.

The population census, and other population statistics in New Zealand arc generally on a ‘de facto’ basis, that is they refer to the population physically present at the place of enumeration on census night. The most recent Census of Population and Dwellings in New Zealand was taken on 4 March 1986, and the census counts for sub-national areas have been released regularly since early April 1986, as they became available.

In population data all references to New Zealand relate solely to geographic New Zealand.

Population change.

By world standards New Zealand's population is small, 3.3 million at the end of 1986. New Zealand's first million of population was recorded in 1908, in 1952, the second million was reached, and the third million late in 1973. Recent population projections indicate that the fourth million will not be reached until the twenty-first century.

Population growth has two components: natural increase (or excess of births over deaths) and net migration (or excess of arrivals over departures). During the early period of European settlement the bulk of the population increase was through migration. From the late 1870s natural increase displaced immigration as the chief contributor to population growth. At the 1881 census the percentages of the total population born in New Zealand and born overseas were approximately equal. Each succeeding census until 1951 recorded an increased proportion of the population being New Zealand-born. At the time of the 1951 census 86 percent of the population were New Zealand born. Since 1951, the proportion of New Zealand-born has fallen slightly. Indications are however, that this is largely a result of increasing numbers of overseas tourists and travellers being enumerated in the population census. 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.

Natural increase has accounted for over three-quarters of the growth in New Zealand's population during this century. However, the rate of natural increase has dropped substantially over the last quarter of a century, from 1.8 percent in 1960–61 to 1.4 percent in 1969–70 and further to 0.8 percent in 1983–85. The fall has resulted largely from the steep decline in the birth rates recorded since the early 1960s. Table 5.1 indicates the relative influences of the two factors on the population during the last decade. Compared with some European countries New Zealand's rate of natural increase is still relatively high. In 1984 Austria, England and Wales, Norway, Scotland, and Sweden all recorded natural increase rates of less than 0.2 percent, while in Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany deaths exceeded births.

The last decade has been characterised by slow population growth, caused by substantial net emigration and low birth rates. During the intercensal period 1971–76 the New Zealand population grew by a record 266 752 (or 9.3 percent), but during the intercensal period 1976–81 the total growth was only 46 354 (or 1.5 percent). The 1976–81 rate of population growth was the lowest recorded this century. Previously, the lowest growth rates recorded were those of 1926–36 (which included the Depression), 1936–45 (which included World War II), and 1966–71 (which experienced a marked change in migration patterns).

Table 5.2 gives final population counts for the 1961–86 population censuses and annual population estimates from 31 December 1981 to 31 December 1985. These figures exclude members of New Zealand armed forces who were overseas and members of the armed forces of other countries who were in New Zealand.

The 1986 Census of Population and Dwellings produced a de facto count of 3 307 084 people. This represents an increase since the 1981 census of 131 347 (or 4.14 percent), which is a substantial increase over the low 1976–81 growth (46 354), but is still less than half that recorded during 1971–76 (266 752). These variations in the growth pattern are attributable mainly to the dramatic fluctuations in external migration balance, from a total net immigration of 103 826 during the March years 1972–76, to a total net emigration of 102 493 during the March years, 1977–81, and back again to a total net immigration of 2955 during the March years 1982–86. Fluctuations in external migration balance have continued almost unabated, with pronounced repercussions for the annual growth rate in population.

The Department of Statistics has recently released the provisional post-censal population estimates, based on the final 1986 census count, with appropriate adjustments for the births, deaths and net effect of persons leaving and arriving in New Zealand. The total population of New Zealand is estimated to have been 3 316 600 at 31 December 1986, an increase of approximately 9500 since the 1986 census. This resulted from a natural increase (excess of births over deaths) of 20 500 and emigration (excess of departures over arrivals) of 11 000.


December YearBirthsDeathsArrivalsDeparturesPopulation Change Due toTotal Population Change
Natural IncreaseNet Migration*
* Excludes armed forces and through passengers.


PeriodTotal Population*Intercensal/Annual Increase
* New Zealand armed forces overseas are excluded.
 At Census Date
18 April 19611,213,3761,201,6082,414,98424092211.08
22 March 19661,343,7431,333,1762,676,91926193510.85
23 March 19711,430,8561,431,7752,862,6311857126.94
23 March 19761562 0421,567,3413,129,3832667529.32
24 March 19811,578,9271,596,8103,175,737463541.48
  4 March 1986  3,307,0841313474.14
 At 31 December

Males and females.

The sex structure of New Zealand's population, which had always contained slightly more males, has also changed. In 1971, for the first time, a census of population recorded a slight excess of females—1 430 856 males and 1 431 775 females, a ‘sex ratio’ of 999 males per 1000 females. By 31 December 1985, this ratio had dropped to 985 males per 1000 females. 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 the generally better employment and educational opportunities for women and girls in the larger industrial and commercial centres.

Age structure.

The age structure of a population is the composite result of the past trends in fertility, mortality, and migration. In New Zealand, as in most Western nations, the peaks and troughs in births have had major bearings on the age structure of population this century. The main changes in the age structure of New Zealand population during 1961–85 are summarised in table 5.3. The age-sex pyramid illustrates the changes between 1971 and 1985.

The effect of the fertility decline and the drop in the number of births during the 1970s is clearly evident in the narrowing base of the pyramid. While 33.1 percent of the population was under 15 years of age in 1961, the figure had dropped to 24.7 percent in 1985. Moreover in 1961, children under five and the retirement-age population (aged 60 years and over) constituted approximately the same percentage (12 percent) of New Zealand population. In 1985 there were nearly twice as many people aged 60 years and over (482 100) as children under five years of age (253 000), and they accounted for 14.6 percent of the total New Zealand population.

Another trend which has major socio-economic significance is the steady rise in the proportion of total population in the younger working ages, 20–44 years, from less than 32 percent in 1961 to over 37 percent in 1985—a consequence of the post-World War II high birth numbers. In the last quarter of a century, the median age—the age at which half the population is younger and half is older—has risen by 2.1 years, from 27.3 years in 1961 to 29.4 years in 1985. The continued ageing of population has manifold implications for policy development and planning.


Age Group (Years)196119761985*196119761985*
* Estimated as at 31 March 1985.
Under 529207329610525296012.19.57.7
65 and over2086492795073393108.68.910.3

5.2 Distribution of population

Detailed final statistics on population growth and distribution from the Census of Population and Dwellings held on 4 March 1986 have been published by the Department of Statistics in three parts as Series A, Report 1, Local Authority Population and Dwelling Statistics, Series A, Report 3. Rural Population Statistics and Series B, Report 25, Usually Resident Population. Before publication of the 1986 census subject-matter reports, a series of 22 Regional Statistics reports was published (Series B), each giving final population, dwelling and household statistics by local authority and area unit for each local government region.

North and South islands.

Table 5.4 gives the total population of the North and South Islands since the Population Census of 1901. In 1858 the North Island had a larger population than the South, but this was reversed at the next census, and the South Island was more populated at each census from 1861 to 1896. In 1901 the North Island was found to have a slightly larger total population and since then the gap has steadily widened.

In table 5.4 and the tables which follow the total population is the de facto population, or population present at the place of enumeration on census night. It includes temporary visitors from overseas who are in New Zealand on census night.

Intercensal population figures reveal that the population of the North Island continues to increase at a greater rate than that of the South Island. Between the 1981 and 1986 Censuses the North Islands' population increased by 5.1 percent compared with corresponding population growth in the South Island of 1.5 percent. The higher percentage rate of population growth in the North Island during the 1981–86 intercensal period was largely due to the faster rate of natural increase and to a lesser extent, the greater rate of increase due to net migration (both external and internal).


Census YearTotal PopulationPercentage of Population
North IslandSouth IslandTotalNorth IslandSouth Island
1911610,599447,7131 058 31257.742.3
1921791,918479,7501 27 166862.337.7
19361 018 038555,7741 573 81264.735.3
195614 97 364676,6982 174 06268.931.1
19661 893 326783,5932 676 91970.729.3
19762 268 393860,9903 129 38372.527.5
19812 322 989852,7483 175 73773.126.9
19862 441 615865,4693 307 08473.826.2

Local government regions

The Local Government Act of 1974 provided for the constitution of local government regions. There are 22 regions covering every territorial local authority in New Zealand, except Great Barrier Island and Chatham Islands Counties. Table 5.5 shows the population of local government regions at the 1981 and 1986 censuses and the changes that have occurred during the intercensal period. The map of rates of population change also illustrates these changes. Four of the six fastest growing regions in percentage terms during the 1981–86 intercensal period—Northland, Bay of Plenty, Thames Valley, and Auckland—are located in the northern half of the North Island. This is where the resident populations are young in age structure with a significant New Zealand Maori, and for some regions, Pacific Island Polynesian content. Such populations have higher levels of natural increase. In addition, these regions are experiencing, to varying degrees, net inward migration from other areas of New Zealand and from overseas. The high intercensal growth in the other two regions—Horowhenua and Clutha-Central Otago has arisen from rapid urbanisation, and tourist and hydro-electricity development, respectively.


Local Government RegionTotal PopulationIntercensal Change
* Includes the populations of Islands not within county, city or borough boundaries and people on board vessels in New Zealand waters. Also includes the populations of Great Barrier Island and Chatham Islands Counties.
Bay of Plenty172,480187,46214,9828.7
Hawke's Bay137,840140,7092,8692.1
Coastal-North Otago138,164137,393−771−0.6
Southland107,905104,618−3 287−3.0
Aorangi84,77281,294−3 478−4.1
Nelson Bays65,93469,6483,7145.6
Thames Valley54,34358,6654,3228.0
East Cape53,29553,9686731.3
Clutha-Central Otago45,40248,7713,3697.4
West Coast34,17834,9427642.2
      Total, local government regions3 169 9423 301 852131,9104.2
      Total, New Zealand3 175 7373 307 084131,3474.1

Urban areas

‘Urban areas’ are statistical concepts covering 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 peripheral population growth in some of these areas since the boundaries were fixed at the 1971 census.

At the 1981 census the population criterion for a ‘main urban area’ was altered from 20 000 or more to 30 000 or more. Timaru urban area has been retained as a main urban area despite its failure to reach a population of 30 000, as it displays the other characteristics of such an area. At the 1986 census there were 17 main urban areas with the two largest urban centres—Auckland and Wellington—being subdivided into four zones (see table 5.6). In previous censuses, these zones were classified independently as ‘main urban areas’.

The intercensal rate of growth of the 17 main urban areas at the 1986 census, was 4.2 percent or approximately three times greater than that recorded at the 1981 census. The wide range of intercensal change experienced by the main urban areas reflect their different demographic, economic and social characteristics.


Main Urban AreaTotal PopulationIntercensal Change
  Northern Auckland Zone149,321162,61413,2933.9
  Western Auckland Zone116,407125,2828,8757.6
  Central Auckland Zone275,914285,0979,1833.3
  Southern Auckland Zone227,916247,76119,8458.7
  Upper Hutt Valley Zone36,52536,046−479−1.3
  Lower Hutt Valley Zone94,73294,8771450.2
  Porirua Basin Zone54,65357,8633,2105.9
  Wellington City Zone135,094136,9111,8171.3
Palmerston North66,69167,4057141.1
Hastings52,56354,9092346, 4:5
Invercargill53,86852,807−1 061−2.0
New Plymouth44,09547,3843,2897.5
      Total, main urban areas2 140 0462 230 84790,8014.2

Those areas with ‘young’ population age structures and a significant New Zealand Maori and/or Pacific Island Polynesian content in their populations, tended to be the fastest growing during the 1981–86 intercensal period. Most of these main areas are located in the northern half of the North Island. Also contributing to population increase in the high-growth areas are the greater economic opportunities existing in them and/or their special importance as tourist centres (Rotorua) and retirement areas (Tauranga). While the Auckland main urban area recorded the largest numeric increase (51 196) between the 1981 and 1986 censuses, Tauranga recorded the highest percentage increase (11.9 percent). The impact of energy projects in Northland and Taranaki can also be seen in the growth recorded in Whangarei (9.5 percent) and New Plymouth (7.5 percent) during the intercensal period.


Secondary Urban AreaTotal PopulationIntercensal Change
      Total, secondary urban areas220,998226,5825,5842.5

‘Secondary urban areas' were introduced as a statistical concept at the 1981 census. The criteria are similar to those for main urban areas, except that their populations should be between 10 000 and 29 999. Fourteen secondary urban areas have been defined (see table 5.7).

The total population of secondary urban areas is increasing, but not as rapidly as main urban areas. The intercensal rate of growth of secondary urban areas was 2.5 percent at the 1986 census, which was approximately twice the rate recorded at the 1981 census.

The wide range of percentage changes in the populations of these areas during the 1981–86 intercensal period reflect their different demographic composition and location. Servicing centres for the farming community have tended to lose population because of the rural economic downturn. Other secondary urban areas have increased their populations due to their close vicinity to main urban areas, growth in tourism, and the development of intensive horticulture, other primary, and some manufacturing industries. Changes are particularly noticeable in the secondary urban areas of Kapiti, Taupo, Levin, Tokoroa, Greymouth, and Gore. These secondary urban areas have more than doubled the percentage intercensal change figures recorded at the 1981 census. Kapiti, Taupo, and Levin have experienced significant rates of population increase, whereas Tokoroa, Greymouth, and Gore have experienced an increase in the rate of decline in their populations.

Minor urban areas consist of all centres with a population of 1000 or over which are not already classified as part of a main or secondary urban area. They include communities, district communities, town districts, townships, and the urban divisions of districts. With the exception of ‘townships’, the other areas have administrative functions and are defined in the next section. The population of all minor urban areas increased from 299 885 at the 1981 census to 311 175 at the 1986 census, a growth of 3.8 percent. This compares with the rise of 3.2 percent experienced during the 1976–81 intercensal period.

The rural areas of New Zealand are those which are not specifically designated as urban. They include centres of less than 1000 population plus administrative county territory where this is not included in a main, secondary or minor urban area. Extra-county islands are included in the rural population.

New Zealand's rural population increased by 4.8 percent between the 1981 and 1986 censuses, a significantly higher growth than the 1.6 percent experienced during the 1976–81 intercensal period. This indicates that the trend towards rural population, which first appeared between 1976 and 1981, has continued during the most recent intercensal period.


Area TypeTotal PopulationPercentage of N.Z. Population
Main urban areas2 140 0462 230 84767.567.5
Secondary urban areas220,998226,5827.06.9
Minor urban areas299,885311,1759.59.4
      Total, urban areas2 660 9292 768 60483.983.8
Rural areas510,462535,10716.116.2
      Total, New Zealand3 175 7373 307 084100.0100.0

Local authorities

These are legally and geographically defined administrative territories whose status is decided upon from population size and other criteria. Local authorities include cities, boroughs, counties, districts, and town districts. In terms of percentage changes during the intercensal period 1981–86, the populations of individual areas within the various categories of local authorities show a wide variation. Whether a local authority has had an increase or decline in population between the 1981 and 1986 censuses is dependent on its location, its demographic composition, and economic situation.

Generally, those cities experiencing high population growth are in the northern half of the North Island for the reasons given previously. Cities showing intercensal declines in population are, for the most part, those with net internal outward migration caused by narrow economic bases. Also, the cities which have traditionally formed the central business districts of the largest urban areas have low positive or negative growth levels.

Under the Local Government Act 1974, a territorial local authority on reaching a population of 20 000 may by special resolution proclaim city status.


CityTotal PopulationIntercensal Change
Lower Hutt63,24563,8626171.0
Palmerston North60,10560,5033980.7
New Plymouth36,04836,8658172.3
East Coast Bays28,35731,325296810.5
Upper Hutt31,40531,130−275−0.9
Mt Albert26,46227,5791,1174.2
      Total, cities1 614 682 1678,75564,0734.0

Similar comments to those on population changes in cities apply to boroughs. Population change is related to demographic factors, location, and the major economic role of boroughs e.g., the servicing of farming areas, tourist centres, or retirement areas.

Under the Local Government Act 1974, a borough may be created when the population of a specified area attains 1500. The average density of this population must not be less than 2.5 persons per hectare.


BoroughTotal PopulationIntercensal Change
Mt Roskill33,57735,1581,5814.7
Mt Wellington19,52820,3978694.5
Mt Eden18,30518,8775723.1
Tokoroa18,71317,628−1 085−5.8
Mt Maunganui11,39112,3759848.6
One Tree Hill11,07811,165870.8
New Lynn10,44510,498530.5
Glen Eden9,4069,6792732.9
Havelock North8,5079,0365296.2
Te Awamutu7,9228,0961742.2
Green Island6,8996,576−3234.7
St. Kilda6,1476,201540.9
Te Puke4,5775,10652911.6
Te Aroha3,4183,510922.7
Port Chalmers29172,871−46−1.6
      Total, boroughs648,604664,33015,7262.4

The high growth counties tend to be situated either on the peripherals of main or secondary urban areas, more especially in the northern part of the North island. Alternatively, they can be achieving economic progress through the introduction of horticulture or other primary industries, and the expansion of tourism.

Under the Local Government Act 1974, a county is a legally and geographically defined area which excludes any town districts, boroughs or cities that are located within the overall geographic area.


Administrative CountyTotal PopulationIntercensal Change
* At the 1981 Census of Population and Dwellings, 1385 Army personnel were temporarily based in Marlborough County on Armed Forces exercises. A large number of these persons were from Bumham Military Camp (Malvern County).
Southland26,78525,724−1 061−4.0
Bay of Islands18,96120,7451,7849.4
Hawke's Bay20,30220,7314292.1
Taupo13,63112,480−1 151−8.4