New Zealand Official Yearbook 94

Te Pukapuka Houanga Whaimana o Aotearoa


Nigel Brown. Days in Suburbia. 1978.

Acrylic on hardboard, 1990 x 1185 mm.

Photographer: Karen Angus
Courtesy Learning Media

New Zealand Official Yearbook
Cat no 01.001
ISSN 0078-0170

Recommended retail price: $59.95 (incl GST)

Published by Statistics New Zealand.

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Statistics New Zealand has an information desk at every office. In answer to a letter, visit, or telephone call, information officers can provide statistical information, or tell you more about the department's other services, including access to statistics on the INFOS computer database.

The New Zealand coat of arms

New Zealand has had its own coat of arms since 1911. Prior to that the United Kingdom coat of arms (featuring a lion and a unicorn on either side of a shield and crown) was used. This design still adorns the top of the pediment on the Old Government Buildings in Wellington, which were built in 1875 to house the colony's public service.

One of the few specific changes to flow on from the granting of dominion status in 1907, was the right for New Zealand to have its own coat of arms. The design was approved by royal warrant on 26 August 1911. It appeared in the 1912 Yearbook in colour, along with a written description in full heraldic jargon. The coat of arms also appeared in the 1990 sesquicentennial edition of the Yearbook.

The coat of arms was revised in 1956. This time in the wake of further constitutional changes which saw the country become the ‘Realm of New Zealand’ instead of ‘Dominion’. Accordingly, the British lion holding aloft the Union Jack was replaced by St Edward's Crown, which had been worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation.

At that same time the dress of the figures at the side of the shield was revamped, some Victorian-looking scroll work at the base of the design was replaced by two ferns, and the motto ‘onward’ was replaced by ‘New Zealand’. The new coat of arms appeared in full colour at the beginning of the 1963 and subsequent Yearbooks, and is reproduced below.

Table of Contents

List of Tables


This 97th edition of the New Zealand Official Yearbook focusses on New Zealanders and the International Year of the Family.

One of the decisions taken for the International Year of the Family in New Zealand is the establishment of an information programme to enable people to discover the many services available to families. An integral part of such an education agenda is the supply of knowledge. As a source for public information, the Yearbook is in an enviable position—a comprehensive reference work, furnishing not only primary data, but providing an essential guide to the workings of the governmental, private and voluntary sectors. As a series, the yearbooks have recorded a century of changes in New Zealand's expanding society, providing a reliable and authoritative chronicle on ourselves as a nation. Indeed, Statistics New Zealand itself is in a unique position to provide the raw material for discussion, being able to draw on relevant data from a number of regular surveys and the five-yearly Census of Population and Dwellings.

It is generally accepted that there is no one family form that can be held up as the ideal to be imitated or imposed. Difficulties do arise when many institutions are still structured around traditional assumptions about parenting and family life. Such occurrences highlight the need for better understanding and consideration between governments, businesses, schools, communities and organisations with the worlds of ‘family’.

Public policy can reinforce or undermine the family, and so it is important that in family-oriented spheres, such as taxation, social welfare, health and child development, and in youth, ageing and women's issues, we have a base of facts and informed understanding from which to proceed. Official statistics fulfil that role, but they must keep pace with the changes and demands of a developing society, and be regularly revised and redesigned to respond to demands. New Zealand's statistics on the family need further development to report adequately on the dynamics of family change and the emerging forms of households in our society. Much public policy reflects a vision or expectation of what is the family. The less that vision is founded on factual study and reporting, the more there will be diversity and inconsistency in describing and reflecting the family in the law, public policy and administration and social expectations.

As always, I would like to express gratitude to the Yearbook's numerous contributors for their time and effort, and the goodwill extended in supplying the information. Finally, I would like to thank all those staff at Statistics New Zealand and GP Print Limited closely involved with the production of the 1994 Yearbook.

L W Cook
Government Statistician

April 1994


The 1994 Yearbook was produced by the Publishing and Community Information Division of Statistics New Zealand, with the assistance of many individuals and organisations—these are listed in the ‘Contributors’ section at the end of each chapter, but the department wishes to record its thanks here.

Editor: Jane Evans.

Editorial assistant: Patrick Hudson.

Maps and diagrams: Peter McGrath.

Photograph editor: Virginia Callanan.

Proofreading: Jane Hunt; Myra Page; Ganga Pillai.


Individual photographs are credited separately, usually at the bottom right-hand corner.

The editors record their thanks to the many individuals and institutions who made photographs available.

How to use the 1994 Yearbook

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?

As noted the aims and functions of the New Zealand Official Yearbook have changed with the times. Today, it is published 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.

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 27 chapters follow a ‘logical’ progression. The first few chapters describe the physical setting as well as New Zealand's system of government and international relations. A description of its people comes next, followed by social framework and institutions. Chapters 13-22 describe New Zealand's work-force and industries, 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-hand 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 used can be found at the beginning of the index.

Deadline for 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 December 1993.


If the source of a particular table is other than Statistics New Zealand, 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, eg, 1989-90, 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:

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 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 add up to the stated totals.

Weights and measures, and a glossary of statistical terms used, are given at the back of the book.

Chapter 1. Geography

Seismograph reading from Wellington Observatory.

1.1 Physical features

New Zealand lies in the south-west Pacific Ocean and consists of two main, and a number of smaller, islands whose combined area of 270,500 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 at its narrowest point is 20 kilometres wide. 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° to 53° south latitude, and from 162° east to 173° 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 3.


Land areaSize

* These figures were current at 1 December 1989. These areas may be adjusted as more precise boundary definitions are made.

Includes islands in territorial local authorities.

Excluding islands in territorial local authorities.

Source: Department of Survey and Land Information.

 sq km
North Island†115,777
South Island†151,215
Offshore islands‡833
Stewart Island1,746
Chatham Islands963
         Total270 534

New Zealand is more than 1,600 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. The country is also very mountainous, with less than a quarter of the land less than 200 metres above sea level. In the North Island the main ranges run generally north-east to 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 2,300 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 peakElevation

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

Peaks over 3,000 metres.

Source: Department of Survey and Land Information.

North Island— 
        Taranaki or Egmont*2,518
South Island†—
Southern Alps
Hicks (St David's Dome)3,183
Malte Brun3,155
Elie de Beaumont3,117
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 artificial lakes have been created as part of major hydroelectric schemes.



*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
        Dunstan (artificial)27
        Mahinerangi (artificial)21

1.2 Geology

New Zealand is in an area of the world 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 earth's crust.

Dunelands, Te Paki Reserve.

The boundary between the Indo-Australian plate and the Pacific plate runs through New Zealand, and the processes from their collisions have had a profound effect on New Zealand's size, shape and geology.

Rock types

The oldest rocks in New Zealand are found in Nelson, Westland and Fiordland. They have been dated back to the Paleozoic era about 570 million years ago.

Almost three-quarters of New Zealand is covered by sedimentary rocks, created by the interplay of the earth movement and erosion. The most common forms of sedimentary rocks in New Zealand are sandstone, mudstone, greywacke, conglomerate and limestone. 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). Volcanic rocks (basalt, andesite, rhyolite and ignimbrite), are the products of the many volcanic eruptions that have characterised New Zealand's geological history.


Apparent in the New Zealand landscape today is the evidence of episodes of intense mountain building of between six million and one million years ago. During this period the mountain chains were pushed up and there was movement and displacement of the earth's crust along faults. Due to this activity well-preserved tilted fault blocks bounded by fault scarps (steep faces hundreds or even thousands of metres high) are visible in the landscape of some regions. Fault movements continue to the present day and have accompanied several major earthquakes of the past century.

Erosion has transformed the landscape during this time, carving detailed patterns of peaks, ridges, valleys and gorges. The deposition of debris has built up alluvial plains, shingle fans and other construction forms. At the coast, waves have eaten back the headlands and built beaches, spits and bars. Glaciers carved the fiords of Fiordland and the valleys occupied by most of the South Island lakes. Sea-level changes accompanied the formation, and later melting, of global glacial ice. These changes affected the erosion and deposition of the rivers and were responsible for the formation of many prominent river terraces.

Volcanic activity over the past few million years has played an important part in shaping the landscape. The largest volcanic outpourings of late geological times were in the region between Tongariro National Park and the Bay of Plenty coast. The most recognisable volcanoes in New Zealand now occur in the North Island, where a number are still active. They include Ruapehu, Tongariro, Ngaruahoe, 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.


Compared with some other countries lying in 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. A shock of Richter magnitude 6 or above occurs on 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.

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 Northland peninsula, and the part of the South Island north of a line roughly passing 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.

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.

In geophysically disturbed regions (those with both volcanic and earthquake activity), large earthquakes are rare, although small earthquakes usually accompany volcanic eruptions. Regions of active volcanism are also subject to periodic outbreaks of small earthquakes, very numerous and all of similar magnitude. These are known as ‘earthquake swarms’ and although the number of shocks may cause alarm, it is unusual for even minor damage to result.

Mataikana, Wairarapa Coast.

Earthquakes 1993. The largest earthquake in New Zealand in 25 years occurred in Fiordland on 10 August. It had a magnitude of 7.1, was located just offshore near Doubtful Sound, and was 20 km deep. The last earthquake to reach this magnitude in New Zealand was the Inangahua shock in May 1968.

Fiordland is a very active part of the country, where the Pacific Plate overrides the Australian Plate, the latter plunging very steeply in a south-easterly direction. This configuration is reversed in the North Island, where it is the Pacific Plate that plunges beneath the Australian Plate, towards the north-west.

The 10 August earthquake was felt over most of the South Island, most strongly in Te Anau and Manapouri. Being in such a sparsely populated area, it caused little damage, although there were a number of landslides in the epicentral area. Reports from Doubtful Sound indicate a severity of shaking sufficient to cause minor structural damage. The nearest town of any size was Te Anau, 73 km away, and effects there were not severe.

The earthquake was followed by many thousands of after shocks. Portable seismographs which were installed to record these in detail by augmenting the permanent network have yielded a wealth of data which will enable the physical process of earthquake occurrence in that part of the country to be analysed in detail.

The same evening there was an earthquake near Gisborne which did considerably more damage. It was of magnitude 6-4 and released less than 10 percent of the energy in the Fiordland shock. Its effects were also tempered by the fact that it occurred at a depth of about 70 km. Nevertheless, there was considerable minor damage in the Gisborne area, particularly in Ormond which was close to the epicentre. Portable seismographs were installed to record the aftershocks, which were relatively few because of the depth of the event. It is a well-established fact that deep earthquakes do not have large sequences of aftershocks.

One other earthquake reached magnitude 6 during the year: at Tikokino in southern Hawke's Bay on 11 April (magnitude 6-1, depth 35 km). The severity of shaking near the epicentre was similar to that in Gisborne, in this case sufficient to bring down several chimneys. This earthquake occurred just north of the area near Dannevirke which has been quite active in recent years (especially 1990) but seems not to be closely related to that sequence. The East Coast of the North Island is another very active area.

On 10 May an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 occurred near Otira. It was felt at modest intensities from Westport to Christchurch. A sequence of moderate earthquakes occurred midway between Christchurch and Kaikoura at the beginning of September. There was one of magnitude 5.0 on 2 September, one of 5.2 on 3 September, and many smaller shocks. They were felt quite sharply in Cheviot and the surrounding towns. This area is known for the magnitude 7.0 damaging shock in 1901.

Earthquakes near the Chatham Islands are rare, but one of magnitude 4.5 occurred there on 31 March. It was felt throughout the islands, dislodging some pictures and causing minor superficial damage.

Deep earthquakes are more prolific in New Zealand than shallow ones, and 1993 was no exception. The western Bay of Plenty usually has a number between 200 and 300 km depth, and this year there were four exceeding magnitude 5.5: on 3 January (5.7), 16 March (5.8), 3 August (5.8) and 1 October (5.6). All were felt in Tauranga and the surrounding area. A number of other deep earthquakes exceeded magnitude 5.5 elsewhere in the deep earthquake zone that underlies the North Island. Southern Taranaki residents felt magnitude 5.7 shock on 19 March; it was centred 182 km deep beneath Waverley. But as is usual with deep earthquakes, none of these caused any damage due to the depth.

1.3 Climate

New Zealand is a long, narrow, mountainous country surrounded by a large expanse of ocean. The nearest major land mass is Australia some 1,600 kilometres to the west.

The climate of New Zealand is largely influenced by:

  • Its location in a latitude zone where the prevailing wind flow is westerly;

  • Its oceanic environment; and

  • Its mountains, especially the main mountain chain which modifies the weather systems as they pass eastwards, and also provides a sheltering effect on the leeward side of the mountains. Local orography is the cause of a number of different ‘microclimates’ in a given region.

The day-to-day weather is mostly determined by a series of anticyclones and troughs of low pressure in the westerlies. Consequently New Zealand weather is changeable, typically with short periods of a few days of settled or unsettled weather. At times the westerly regime breaks down and there are cold southerly outbreaks (with snow in winter and sometimes spring), or northerly intrusions of warm, moist air when tropical depressions move south-wards into New Zealand latitudes in the summer.

The main mountain chain which extends much of the length of the country is a major barrier to weather systems approaching from the west. Consequently there is a marked contrast between the climates of regions west and east of the mountains, and this is much greater than north-south climatic differences.

The surrounding ocean means that New Zealand largely has a ‘marine’ climate—except in Central Otago, which most nearly approaches a ‘continental’ climate (dry with hot summers and cold winters).

Many parts of the country are subject to extremes of wind and rain, giving rise to wind damage to buildings and forests, and flooding as depressions with their fronts pass close to or over the country. The rugged terrain is an important factor in the enhancement of the wind strength and/or rainfall.

Temperature extremes are mainly confined to places east of the main ranges. High temperatures usually occur in warm north-westerly wind conditions due to the so-called föhn effect. These high temperatures are often followed by sudden falls in temperature as a cold front moves up the east coast of both islands.

Weather 1993

1993 was another very significant year for weather in New Zealand. It was another cold year, with very dry weather in most northern areas of the North Island.

Another cold year. The national average temperature for the year was 11.9°C, making 1993 the third coldest year in the last 50 years (0.6°C below the long term average). This temperature is calculated from selected indicator stations throughout New Zealand. In the last half century only 1992 and 1945 were colder with 11.7°C. 1946 and 1976 shared the same temperature as 1993 (11.9°C). Temperatures in 1993 were below average in all but four months.

As in 1992, the El Niño weather pattern was present, but waned as the year progressed. Volcanic ash from Mt Pinatubo has been present in the atmosphere, but dropped to a quarter of the maximum 1992 levels by the end of 1993. Both these influences and cold oceans around New Zealand caused the weather to be colder. However, it must be remembered there are many factors that can cause our climate to vary.

During 1993, cold south-westerlies and more anticyclones in the Tasman Sea occurred. There was also a lack of northwesterly winds which bring warmer weather.

Temperatures were most below average (by 1°C) in Rotorua, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay, with Rotorua and Gisborne having their second coldest year on record, with near record low mean annual temperatures measured.


LocationMean 1993 temperatureDeparture from averageComments
Rotorua11.5-1.2Only 1883 was colder.
Gisborne13.1-1.0Only 1992 was colder, in records from 1938.

Temperatures were near average along the Kaikoura coast, in north Canterbury, west Otago and Southland. In all other regions they were 0.5 to 0.9°C below average.

The highest extreme temperature for the year was 34.1 °C at Timaru on 18 January. Winter saw temperatures fall to -11.5°C at Lake Tekapo on 25 August, higher than the extremely low value of -15°C measured at Ranfurly during the winter of 1992.

Extremely dry in the north. 1993 was an exceptionally dry year in most northern regions of the North Island. Record low rainfall (about half average) occurred in the western Bay of Plenty, due to dry weather in most months. Only 727 mm of rain occurred in Tauranga, the lowest since records began in 1898. Only about two-thirds the usual rainfall occurred in the Auckland and Rotorua areas, making it the driest year since 1919.

Rainfall was also below average over the remainder of the North Island, as well as inland areas of both south Canterbury and Southland. This contrasts with the wetter conditions in Marlborough, western Otago, coastal Southland, and most alpine regions of the South Island, with rainfalls 10 to 25 percent more than average.

Of the four main centres, Wellington was the wettest with 1,164 mm and Christchurch the driest with 603 mm. Auckland amassed 775 mm and Dunedin (Airport) 670 mm. Milford Sound was the wettest spot in New Zealand with 6,430 mm, while Clyde (central Otago) recorded only 489 mm.

Sunny in the south, cloudy in the north. 1993 was a sunny year for most areas along the east coast of the South Island, with sunshine hour totals about 5 percent more than average. However, cloudier skies prevailed in some northern and western areas of the North Island, especially Auckland and King Country, where totals were as much as 10 percent below average. Other regions of New Zealand enjoyed close to average sunshine hours. Motueka was the sunniest centre recording 2,384 hours, followed by Nelson and Blenheim tied with 2,329 hours.

Of the four main centres Christchurch was the sunniest with 2,128 hours, then Wellington with 2,015 hours. Auckland recorded 1,903 hours and Dunedin 1,749 hours.



CityTotal hoursDeparture from averageComments
Wellington2,015+7Near average

Other significant events

  • Second coldest March in more than 50 years. The national average temperature of 14.3°C was 1.6°C below average. Only March 1992 was colder (14.1°C). Southerlies brought unseasonable snowfall to the Desert Road (5 cm), and Arthur's Pass (3 cm) on 22 March, followed by early frost in inland and sheltered areas.

  • Sunny weather appears after at least a year of dull weather. May was the first noticeably sunnier than average month in Wellington since July 1991 and Christchurch since May 1992.

  • Third warmest June on record. June had persistent northwesterlies, producing the first month with well above average temperatures since February 1990. The national average temperature of 9.6°C was 1.5°C above average and third equal warmest for June since the beginning of the historical record (1853). Only June 1971 (10.3°C) and June 1916 (9.9°C) were warmer.

  • Driest July on record. July for most places was the driest on record, with rainfall less than a quarter average. Christchurch's 3 mm was the lowest since measures began in 1894 and Wellington's 33 mm the lowest since at least 1862. Most of Christchurch's rainfall was from large hailstones on 24 July, some the size of marbles.

  • Coldest November since 1946. Cold southeasteries produced a national average temperature of 12.3°C, which was 1.5°C below average.

  • Hail storms in Canterbury. Thunderstorms, with large hail, damaged many unharvested crops in Darfield on 19 December, followed by more large hail in Canterbury on 21 December.

  • Pre-Christmas floods in Kaikoura and Otago. High rainfall in catchment areas between 22 and 23 December caused rivers to overflow in Kaikoura and Otago. The flooding was most severe in Kaikoura.

Low ozone levels. The level of ultraviolet light increased over New Zealand during spring, with ozone levels about 5 percent lower than expected. At the same time ozone levels in Antarctica reached a record low of 88 Dobson units, compared to 103 units for 1992. The Dobson figure is a measure of the number of ozone molecules above the earth's surface.

Air frosts. Early air frosts occurred in inland areas of the South Island at the end of February after a period of cold southerlies.

Hail storms. These were more frequent than usual and included golfball-size hailstones near Ashburton on 26 February. Hail also damaged ripening apple crops in the Nelson region on 28 March and kiwifruit near Auckland on 8 May. Large hail stones occurred in a two hour storm in Stratford on 18 November and hail coupled with high rainfall (80 mm in 45 minutes) devastated fruit crops at Coal Creek near Roxburgh on 23 November.

Very dry weather. Less than half the average rainfall occurred on the South Island's west coast and in the Southern Lakes from April through to June.

Cold weather. Cold southwesterlies brought the lowest March and April temperatures to New Zealand since 1942. Temperatures were 2°C below average, with frosts. May was also the coldest in 30 years.

Winter snowstorms. Snow occurred in Otago and Canterbury on 9-11 May, then heavy snowfalls occurred in Otago and Southland for much of the week from 16 June which gave record low day and night time temperatures. More heavy snow occurred in Canterbury and inland Marlborough from 8-11 July. Later, very cold south-easterlies brought the most severe snowstorms since 1939 along the east coast of the South Island from 27-29 August.

Floods. Severe flooding occurred in Northland, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa from 21-23 July. Waitohora, Wairarapa measured rainfall totalling 195 mm for the 48-hour period to 9 am on 23 July, with numerous slips and road closures throughout the region.

The Milford Road, early October 1993. After heavy rainfall, the road was engulfed by a 30,000 cubic metre slip of mud, rock and vegetation from Mt Underwood. The Cleddau river is at left.

The southern oscillation and El Niño

When the air pressure is abnormally high in the Indonesian region, it is correspondingly low in the South Pacific and vice versa. This phenomenon is called the 'southern oscillation‘. When southern oscillation episodes occur, the usual weather patterns in the southern Pacific, including New Zealand, are significantly altered.

An index, called the southern oscillation index, has been constructed using pressure recordings from Tahiti and Darwin. Usually there is a lag of some months between a major excursion of the oscillation, either positive (La Niña) or negative (El Niño), and a characteristic weather regime developing. The period of the southern oscillation is very irregular, varying between about two and 10 years with an average period of three to four years. However, once established, significant El Niño and La Niña episodes can persist for six to 12 months.


Air pressure recordings from Tahiti and Darwin

In general, very negative values of the oscillation index (El Niño's) are associated with an increase in the frequency of southerly winds over New Zealand in winter, and south-westerly winds during spring and summer.

The most significant El Niño this century occurred over the spring and summer of 1982-1983, when the oscillation index reached its largest negative value this century and rainfall was well below average in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

The latest El Niño event (1991 through 1993), along with other oceanic and atmospheric influences, has been a major factor influencing the colder weather that has prevailed over the past few years.

The above graph shows three-month running means of the southern oscillation index (SOI) to the end of 1993. Negative phases of the SOI are closely linked to El Niño episodes.

1.4 Vegetation and wildlife

Uniqueness is a feature of the natural life of New Zealand. Most notable is the absence—apart from two species of bat—of native land mammals. 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 in pre-European 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 lack of mammals also meant that birds became important as seed-dispersing agents. As a result most forest plants, including the giant conifers (podocarps), the smaller canopy trees, and even some forest-floor herbs bear small berries. 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 and then the arrival of people only a thousand years ago, many plants and animals that once occurred here have become extinct. 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.

Although many New Zealand plants and animals occupy very specialised habitats, eruptions, storms, flood and erosion mean that they have to be highly adaptable. Accordingly some forest species, like the beeches, regenerate best after catastrophic events have damaged the forest, and many insects, such as native bees have evolved to gather food from a wide variety of sources.

However, the overwhelming character of the land-based wildlife is its dependence on forest, and its vulnerability to introduced predators such as rats. The forests and natural grasslands have also been severely modified by introduced browsers such as possums, deer and goats, and 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 found only in New Zealand. Virtually all native insects, spiders and snails, and all native earthworms are restricted to New Zealand, as are most native birds and plants, most local freshwater fish (27 species), and all native reptiles (38 species).


 Number of species 
GroupIntroducedNativePercentage endemic*

*Native species not found anywhere else.


Source: Department of Conservation.

Marine algae (seaweeds)3900†43
        Mosses        1548528
Ferns and allies2016341
Flowering plants1,7001,81384
Spiders/harvestmen602 500†90
Freshwater fish23†2785

New baby kiwi, Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.

Introduced vegetation and wildlife.

The New Zealand landscape is now dominated by introduced animals and plants. Over 1,500 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 through 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. In recent years the urgency for measures to ensure the survival of endangered species has become a world-wide concern.

1.5 Time zone

One uniform time is kept throughout mainland New Zealand. This is the time 12 hours ahead of Co-ordinated Universal Time, and is named New Zealand Standard Time (NZST). It is an atomic standard, and is maintained by the New Zealand Time Service, now part of the crown research institute, Industrial Research Limited. One hour of daylight saving, named New Zealand Daylight Time, which is 13 hours ahead of Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC), is observed from 2 am (NZST) on the first Sunday in October, until 2 am (NZST) on the third Sunday in March. Time kept in the Chatham Islands is 45 minutes ahead of that kept in New Zealand.

Changing times.


  • 1.1 Department of Survey and Land Information.

  • 1.2 Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

  • 1.3 National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited.

  • 1.4 Department of Conservation.

  • 1.5 Department of Internal Affairs.

Special articles

Department of Conservation.

Further information


Ward I (1976), New Zealand Atlas. Government Printer

The New Zealand Map Collection. Department of Survey and Land Information.


Braithwaite, RL and Piranjno, F (1993), ‘Metallogenic Map of New Zealand’, Institute of Geological&Nuclear Sciences Limited Monograph: 3, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

Brown, LJ and Weeber, JH (1992), Geology of Christchurch Urban Area, Map 1, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

Field, BD et al (1989), ‘Cretaceous and Cenozoic Sedimentary Basins and Geological Evolution of the Canterbury Region, South Island, New Zealand’, New Zealand Geological Survey Basin Studies: 2.

Gage, M (1980), Legends in the Rocks—An Outline of New Zealand Geology, Whitcoulls.

Kermode, LO et al (1992), Geology of Auckland Urban Area, Map 2, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

Lillie, AR (1980), Strata and Structure in New Zealand, Tohunga Press. Nathan, S et al (1986), ‘Cretaceous and Cenozoic Sedimentary Basins and Geological Evolution of the West Coast Region, South Island, New Zealand’, New Zealand Geological Survey Basins Survey: 1.

Riddolls, PM (1987), New Zealand Geology—Containing Geological Maps of New Zealand 1:2 000 000, DSIR, Science Information Publishing Centre.

Searle, EJ (1981), City of Volcanoes, 2nd ed, Longman Paul.

Sewell, RJ, Weaver, SD and Reay MB (1993), Geology of Banks Peninsula, Map 3, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

Skinner, DNB et al (1993), Geology of Coromandel Harbour Area, Map 4, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

Smith, IEM, ed (1986), ‘Late Cenozoic Volcanism in New Zealand’, Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 23, Royal Society of New Zealand.

Soons, J and Selby, M, eds (1982), Landforms of New Zealand, Longman Paul.

Speden, IG and Keyes, IW (1980), Illustrations of New Zealand Fossils, DSIR Information Series 150, DSIR.

Stevens, GR (1985), Lands In Collision: Discovering New Zealand's Past Geography, DSIR Information Series 161, DSIR.

Stevens, GR (1980), New Zealand Adrift: The Theory of Continental Drift in a New Zealand Setting, A. H.&A. W. Reed.

Stevens, GR (1974), Rugged Landscape, AH&AW Reed.

Suggate, RP, Stevens, GR and Te Punga, MT, eds (1978), The Geology of New Zealand, 2 vols, Government Printer.

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

Turnbull, IM et al, (1993), ‘Cretaceous and Cenozoic Sedimentary Basins of Western Southland, South Island, New Zealand’, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited Monograph: 1, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited.

Williams, GJ (1974), Economic Geology of New Zealand, AusIMM Monograph Series 4.

Wood, RA et al (1989), ‘Cretaceous and Cenozoic Geology of the Chatham Rise Region, South Island, New Zealand", New Zealand Geological Survey Basin Studies: 3.


An Encyclopedia of New Zealand. McLintock, AH, ed. Government Printer, 1966.

Johnson, KF, Bibliography of New Zealand Meteorological Service Publications 1892-1985. New Zealand Meteorological Service, 1986.

Ward I (1976), New Zealand Atlas. Government Printer.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Environmental Data Division) publishes monthly summaries of:

Climate Observations and Rainfall Observations. NIWAR also produces regional climatologies (Misc Pub 115), maps and holds other publications.

Vegetation and wildlife

Enting, B and Molloy L (1982), The Ancient Islands. Port Nicholson Press.

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

Salmon, JJ (1980) The Native Trees of New Zealand. Reed Methuen.

Stevens, GR (1985) Lands in Collision: Discovering New Zealand's Past Geography. DSIR.

Chapter 2. Government

By-election hoardings, Tamaki.

2.1 Constitution

New Zealand's constitutional history can be traced back to 1840 when by the Treaty of Waitangi the Maori people exchanged their sovereignty for the guarantees of the treaty and New Zealand became a British colony. New Zealand is an independent state; a monarchy with a parliamentary government. Queen Elizabeth II has the title Queen of New Zealand.

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. New Zealand's Constitution Act 1986 brings together in one Act the most important statutory constitutional provisions and clarifies the rules relating to the governmental handover of power. The Act deals with the principal components of New Zealand's statutory constitutional provisions: the Sovereign, the Executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

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 and the Habeas Corpus Act 1679.

These Acts are listed and defined in the Imperial Laws’ Application Act 1988.

The Crown and the 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 (prerogative powers). The powers of the Governor-General are set out in the Letters Patent 1983, and it is for the courts to decide on the limits of these powers. The Governor-General's main constitutional function is to arrange for the leader of the majority party in Parliament to form a government.

The Crown is part of Parliament and the Governor-General's assent is required before Bills can become law. The Governor-General is required, however, by constitutional convention and the Letters Patent, to follow the advice of ministers. In extraordinary circumstances the Governor-General can reject advice if he or she believes that a government is intending to act unconstitutionally. This is known as the reserve power.

The Sovereign appoints the Governor-General on the Prime Minister's recommendation, normally for a term of five years.


Vice-regal representative*Assumed officeRetired

*Honours are specified only if held on retirement from office.

Viscount Cobham, gcmg, td5 Sep 195713 Sep 1962
Brigadier Sir Bernard Fergusson, gcmg, gcvo, dso, obe9 Nov 196220 Oct 1967
Sir Arthur Espie Porritt, Bt. gcmg, gcvo, cbe1 Dec 19677 Sep 1972
Sir (Edward) Denis Blundell, gcmg, gcvd, kbe, qso27 Sep 19725 Oct 1977
Rt Hon Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake, kg, gcmg, ch, qso26 Oct 197727 Oct 1980
Hon Sir David Stuart Beattie, gcmg, gcvo, qso, qc6 Nov 198010 Nov 1985
His Excellency The Most Reverend Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, gcmg, gcvo20 Nov 198529 Nov 1990
Her Excellency Dame Catherine Tizard, gcmg, dbe13 Dec 1990 

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. 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 two-party system, however, the Government effectively controls proceedings in Parliament and cases of Government members voting with the Opposition are uncommon.

Recent constitutional reform

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. This Act protects certain fundamental rights and freedoms in New Zealand. These rights include freedom of religion, speech and assembly and the right to protection against discrimination as well as fundamental principles of criminal procedure such as the right of access to lawyers and the right to a fair trial.

The rights and freedoms in the Act are not absolute and may be subject to justified limitations. But the Act provides that any limitations must be reasonable, prescribed by law, and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Unlike some similar documents in other countries the Act is not supreme law. Rather, it is an ordinary statute which can be amended or repealed by simple majority in Parliament. Nor do the Courts have the power to strike down legislation on the basis that is inconsistent with the rights set out in the Act.

However, this does not mean that the Act is a mere statement of rights. The Attorney-General is charged under the Act with the responsibility of alerting Parliament when any provision in a Bill before Parliament is inconsistent with those rights. And where the interpretation of a statutory provision is ambiguous, the Courts are required to interpret the provision in a manner consistent with the rights and freedoms in the Act. The Act came into force on 25 September 1990.

Electoral reform. The Electoral Referendum Act 1991 provided for an indicative referendum on electoral reform. The referendum was divided into two parts. The first part asked voters to choose between electoral reform or maintaining of the present first past the post system. The second part of the ballot asked voters to indicate which of four options for electoral reform they preferred: supplementary member, single transferable vote, mixed member proportional and preferential voting.

The referendum was held on 19 September 1992. Of the 1,217,284 people who voted (roughly 55 percent of the electorate) 1,031,257 or 84.7 percent, voted for change. A clear preference was shown for mixed member proportional representation which received 70.5 percent of the votes for change. The single transferable vote system got 17.4 percent of the votes, the preferential voting system 6.6 percent and the supplementary member system 5.6 percent of the votes.

A second referendum was held in conjunction with the 1993 general election where voters chose between the present first past the post system and mixed member proportional representation. Provision for that referendum is made in the Electoral Referendum Act 1993. Details of the mixed member proportional system are set out in the Electoral Act 1993.

Privacy of information. In August 1991, the Government introduced the Privacy of Information Bill. The Bill is currently being studied by a select committee of Parliament. Its purpose is to promote and protect individual privacy in general accordance with the 1980 OECD guidelines on the protection of Privacy and Transborder flows of Personal Data.

The Bill provides that requests by natural persons for information about themselves are to be dealt with in accordance with the new Act rather than the Official Information Act when the relevant sections of the new Act come into force. These sections which are modelled on Part IV of the Official Information Act extend entitlements to access to personal information to information held by private sector agencies. The right of review by the Ombudsmen in respect of refusal of personal information requests is to be replaced by a complaints procedure involving the new office of the Privacy Commissioner. If settlement of the complaint cannot be secured by the Commissioner proceedings may be taken to the Equal Opportunities Tribunal, renamed the Human Rights Tribunal. The Official Information Act is amended accordingly in the Bill.

The Privacy Commissioner Act 1991 established a privacy commissioner with the functions of overseeing compliance by the government agencies involved in the matching of government information with the statutory controls; and of performing a general watchdog role in relation to privacy. The Privacy Commissioner has no jurisdiction to deal with complaints by individuals that the statutory controls have been breached. The controls consist of requirements such as notice to the affected individual before action can be taken on the basis of a successful match, observation of time limits on the commencement of action after a successful match, and the establishment of technical standards for the conduct of matching programmes. The information that may be matched with the beneficiary records of the Department of Social Welfare and the Accident Compensation Corporation covers information relating to prison inmates, people arriving in and departing from New Zealand, illegal immigrants, taxpayers, recipients of student allowances and records of births, deaths and marriages.

Privacy Act 1993. This Act came into force on 1 July 1993. It carries forward from the Privacy Commissioner Act 1991 the provisions establishing the Privacy Commissioner and makes the commissioner a member of the Human Rights Commission. Twelve information privacy principles and four public register privacy principles were established. The 12 information privacy principles deal with the collection, security, use and disclosure of personal information, access to and correct of personal information and the assignment and use of unique identifiers. The four public register privacy principles place some controls on the availability of public register information and its subsequent use. Both sets of principles are subject to any other law on the matters covered. The principles apply to both public and private sectors. Jurisdiction is given to the Privacy Commissioner to grant exemptions from the principles, principally by way of codes of practice.

Also carried forward from the Privacy Commissioner Act 1991 are controls on information matching to apply to statutory matching provisions implemented by the public sector— for example, requirements such as notice to the affected individual before action can be taken on the basis of a successful match. The Privacy Commissioner is given jurisdiction to deal with complaints about breaches of the principles and about breaches of the information matching controls. The Privacy Commissioner Act 1991 was repealed.

2.2 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 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.

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 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 in the absence of the Sovereign, and a closing prorogation by proclamation.

Parliamentary chamber in Bowen House.

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 the Clerk of the House of Representatives who notes all proceedings of the House and of any committee of the House, and provides 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 has been no instance of a successful no-confidence vote in the New Zealand Parliament since 1928.

The House of Representatives is 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.



*Social Credit/Democrats

†New Labour.

Source: Department of Justice.


In 1991 the number of parliamentary seats held by the National Party was reduced to 65 when two members left to become New Zealand Liberal, later part of the Alliance. This of the independents subsequently formed the New Zealand First Party and was joined by one of the New Zealand Liberal members. ‘Others’ now comprises two members for the Alliance, two for New Zealand First and one independent.

By-elections. The following by-elections were held during the life of the 43rd Parliament:

Tamaki Electoral District—held on 15 February 1992, following the resignation of the Right Honourable Sir Robert Muldoon. Clem Simich was elected and, having been sworn, took his seat in the House of Representatives on 3 March 1992.

Wellington Central Electoral District—held on 12 December 1992, following the resignation of the Honourable Fran Wilde. Christopher Laidlaw was elected and, having been sworn, took his seat on 23 February 1993.

Tauranga Electoral District—held on 17 April 1993, following the resignation of Winston Peters. He was re-elected, as an independent member, and, having been sworn, took his seat on 5 May 1993.

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 have taken; 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 the House of Representatives is for it to receive a first reading, which is a formal introductory stage, allowing a maximum debating time of two hours. Almost all Bills are then sent to a select committee. Detailed scrutiny of legislation and facets of executive activity, eg 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. All Government Bills are referred to a select committee unless it is an Appropriation Bill, an Imprest Supply Bill or a Bill that has been accorded urgency. This procedure enables 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 principles of the Bill. Following this the Bill is considered by the whole House ‘in committee’, 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 approval. On receiving the Royal assent the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament 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. 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.

Sessions of Parliament. The first session of the 43rd New Zealand Parliament was called following the General Election of 27 October 1990 and sat from 28 November 1990 to 19 December 1990. The first session concluded when Parliament was prorogued on 18 January 1991, and a new session was called to discuss the outbreak of hostilities in the Gulf. New Zealand's first female Governor-General, Her Excellency Dame Catherine Tizard, delivered the Speech from the Throne at the opening of the second session of the 43rd Parliament on 22 January 1991. The House had, on 19 December 1990, adjourned until 19 February 1991. As no power was then vested in the Speaker (or in anyone else) to appoint an earlier meeting time while the House stood and adjourned, the only way in which an accelerated meeting could be effected was by the Crown proroguing Parliament and summoning it to meet in a new session.

The Prime Minister on his Heartland Campaign 1993 election tour.


ParliamentPeriod of session

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Fortieth{7 April 1982-17 December 1982
 7 April 1983-16 December 1983
7 April 1983-16 December 198331 May 1984-14 June 1984
Forty-first{15 August 1984-12 December 1985
 26 February 1986-21 July 1987
Forty-second{16 September 1987-12 December 1989
 14 February 1990-6 September 1990
Forty-third{29 November 1990-18 January 1991
 22 January 1991-30 September 1993



*First session, forty-second Parliament.

†Second session, forty-second Parliament.

‡First session, forty-third Parliament.

§Second session, forty-third Parliament.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Sitting days1845610224
Government Bills—    
Referred to select committees138339124
Private Members’ Bills—    
Referred to select committees84032
Local Bills—    
Referred to select committees275025
Private Bills—    
Referred to select committees83011

Parliamentary Service. (Te Ratonga Whare Paremata.) The Parliamentary Service provides administrative and support services to the Members of Parliament and the House of Representatives. The service is not a department of the executive government nor is it responsible to a minister. It is controlled by the Parliamentary Services Commission which consists of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as chairperson, and six members, three of whom are members of the Government and three from the Opposition.

Among the services provided by the Parliamentary Service are:

  • Personal staff to assist members of Parliament in Parliament House and in the electorate;

  • The Parliamentary Library—to provide library, information and research facilities to Members of Parliament;

  • Catering services (Bellamys) for members, staff and guests;

  • Security, messenger and other services needed for the day-to-day running of Parliament; and

  • Personnel, finance and administrative services to Members of Parliament and other agencies operating within Parliament House, including the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Counsel Office.

The Parliamentary Service is also responsible for managing the major project to strengthen and refurbish Parliament House and the Parliamentary Library. The project began in August 1992 and will be completed, at an estimated cost of $164 million, in time for members to occupy the restored building for the 1996 parliamentary year.

Salaries and allowances of parliamentarians. These are set out in below. An electorate allowance is also paid at a rate dependent on the nature of each member's electorate, eg urban, rural, or semi-rural, and ranges from $7,600 to $18,600. A day allowance of $52 is payable where indicated for each day on which a member attends a sitting of Parliament or a committee, and a night allowance of up to $118 for each night a member requires overnight accommodation away from home by reason of such attendance. Instead of receiving night allowances for each night spent in Wellington on parliamentary business, a member may elect to receive a Wellington accommodation allowance to cover costs incurred in retaining or maintaining accommodation. The maximum amount that can be claimed in a period of six months is $6,500.


 Annual salary or allowance payable from 1 July 1992*

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Members of the Executive 
Prime Minister168,500
Deputy Prime Minister132,000
Minister of the Crown117,500
Minister of the Crown without portfolio95,000
Parliamentary Under-Secretary91,500
Officers of the House of Representatives 
Chairman of Committees94,000
Deputy Chairman of Committees71,000
Leader and Deputy of the Opposition 
Leader of the Opposition117,500
Deputy Leader of the Opposition91,500
Senior Government Whip81,500
Senior Opposition Whip81,500
Junior Government Whip76,500
Junior Opposition Whip76,500
Members of Parliament 
Member of Parliament66,000
Prime Minister29,500
Deputy Prime Minister13,000
Minister of the Crown12,000
Minister of the Crown without portfolio9,500
Parliamentary Under-Secretary9,500
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (additional)6,000
Speaker—basic expenses allowance12,000
        (additional allowance (plus day, travelling and house and garden maintenance allowances)8,500
Deputy Speaker or Chairman of Committees—basic expenses allowance9,500
        (additional allowance (plus day and night allowances)7,500
Deputy Chairman of Committees—basic expense allowances6,200
        (additional allowance (plus electorate, day and night allowances)675
Leader of the Opposition—basic expenses allowances (plus house, house and grounds maintenance, day, night and travelling allowances)12,000
Deputy Leader of the Opposition—basic expenses allowances6,200
        (additional allowance (plus day and night allowances)4,800
Members-basic expenses allowances (plus electorate, day and night expenses)6,200


Members of Parliament. shows the percentage of women Members of Parliament, and members of both sexes of various ages elected in the 1990 general election compared to the voting population.


 Percentage of total Members of Parliament*Percentage of total voting-age population†

*As at 1 October 1993.

†1991 Census figures.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Age groups, both sexes—  
        18-29 years1.027.3
        60 years and over7.221.5

lists members of the House of Representatives during the forty-third Parliament. The final results of the 1990 general election were printed in the report The General Election (printed as Parl paper E9). See section 2.7 for 1993 General Election results.


Prime Minister—Rt Hon JB Bolger.
Leader of the Opposition—Rt Hon Mike Moore.
Speaker—Hon Robin Gray.
Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees—RJ Gerard.
Clerk of the House—DG McGee.
Member of Parliament*Year of birthPrevious occupationElectoral district

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

†Government member.

‡Resigned 31 December 1991; died 5 August 1992.

§Won by-election 15 February 1992.

◊Resigned 25 October 1992.

¶Won by-election 12 December 1992.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Anderson, Robert†1936FarmerKaimai
Anderton, Jim1938Company directorSydenham
Armstrong, John†1935Company directorNew Plymouth
Austin, Hon Margaret1933TeacherYaldhurst
Banks, Hon John†1946RestaurateurWhangarei
Birch, Rt Hon WF†1934Consultant surveyor-engineerMaramarua
Blincoe, John1952Research officerNelson
Bolger, Rt Hon JB†1935FarmerKing Country
Bradford, Mr Max†1942Secretary-General and consultantTarawera
Braybrooke, Geoff1935Sales managerNapier
Burdon, Hon Philip†1939Company directorFendalton
Campion, Cameron1943FarmerWanganui
Carter, John†1950Local government officerBay of Islands
Caygill, Hon David1948Barrister and solicitorSt Albans
Clark, Rt Hon Helen1950LecturerMt Albert
Cliffe, Bruce†1946Managing directorNorth Shore
Cooper, Hon Warren†1933MotelierOtago
Creech, Hon Wyatt†1946AccountantWairarapa
Cullen, Hon Dr Michael1945LecturerSt Kilda
Dalziel, Lianne1960Trade unionistChristchurch Central
Davies, Sonja, onz1923Vice-president of Federation of LabourPencarrow
Dunne, Hon Peter1954Deputy chief executive officerOhariu
East, Hon Paul†1946Barrister and solicitorRotorua
Elder, Jack1949TeacherWest Auckland
English, Bill†1961FarmerWallace
Falloon, Hon John†1942Farm management consultantPahiatua
Fletcher, Chris†1955Dairy farm managerEden
Gerard, Mr†1937FarmerRangiora
Graham, Hon DAM†1942Barrister and solicitorRemuera
Grant, Jeff†1958FarmerAwarua
Gray, Hon Robin†1931FarmerClutha
Gregory, Dr Bruce1937Doctor of medicineNorthern Maori
Gresham, Peter†1933AccountantWaitotara
Hancock, Hamish†1947LawyerHorowhenua
Hasler, Marie†1945Retail managerTitirangi
Hawkins, George1946TeacherManurewa
Hilt, Peter†1942Company directorGlenfield
Hodgson, Peter1950VeterinarianDunedin North
Hunt, Rt Hon Jonathan1938TeacherNew Lynn
Kelly, Graham1941Trade unionistPorirua
Kidd, Hon Doug†1941Barrister and solicitorMarlborough
Kimber, Wayne†1949Surveyor/plannerGisborne
Kyd, Warren†1939Barrister and solicitorClevedon
Laidlaw, Christopher¶1943Race Relations ConciliatorWellington Central
Lange, Rt Hon David, ch1942Barrister and solicitorMangere
Laws, Michael†1957Public relations consultantHawke's Bay
Lee, Hon Graeme†1935Company directorCoromandel
Luxton, Hon John†1946FarmerMatamata
McCardle, Peter†1951Public servantHeretaunga
McClay, Hon Roger†1945TeacherWaikaremoana
McCully, Hon Murray†1953Public relations consultantEast Coast Bays
McIntosh, Ms Gail†1955AccountantLyttelton
MacIntyre, Hamish1951DoctorManawatu
McKinnon, Rt Hon Don†1939Real estate agentAlbany
McLauchlan, Joy†1948Executive officerWestern Hutt
McTigue, Hon Maurice†1940FarmerTimaru
Maharey, Steve1953University lecturerPalmerston North
Marshall, Hon Denis†1943Farmer and company directorRangitikei
Matthewson, Hon Clive1944Civil engineerDunedin West
Maxwell, Hon RFH†1941FarmerTaranaki
Meurant, Mr Ross†1947Police inspectorHobson
Moir, Margaret†1941Company directorWest Coast
Moore, Rt Hon Mike1949Freezing workerChristchurch North
Muldoon, Rt Hon Sir Robert, gcmg, ch†‡1921AccountantTamaki‡
Munro, Mr Rob†1946Barrister and solicitorInvercargill
Myles, Gilbert1945Company directorRoskill
Neeson, Brian†1945Real estate agentTe Atatu
Neill, Alec†1950Barrister and solicitorWaitaki
O'Regan, Hon Katherine†1946FarmerWaipa
Peters, Ian†1941Real estate agentTongariro
Peters, Winston1945Barrister and solicitorTauranga
Prebble, Hon Richard1948Barrister and solicitorAuckland Central
Reeves, Graeme†1947Barrister and solicitorMiramar
Revell, Ian†1948Police officerBirkenhead
Richardson, Hon Ruth†1950Legal adviser/farmerSelwyn
Robertson, HV Ross1949Industrial engineerPapatoetoe
Robertson, John†1951AccountantPapakura
Rogers, Mr Trevor†1943ImporterOtara
Ryall, Tony†1964AccountantEast Cape
Shipley, Hon Jenny†1952FarmerAshburton
Simich, Clem1939General managerTamaki§
Smith, Hon Dr Lockwood†1948Managing directorKaipara
Smith, Nick†1964EngineerTasman
Sowry, Roger†1958Retail managerKapiti
Steel, Tony†1941TeacherHamilton East
Storey, Hon Rob†1936President of Federated FarmersWaikato
Sutherland, Larry1951Trade unionistAvon
Swain, Paul1951Trade unionistEastern Hutt
Tapsell, Hon Peter mbe1930Doctor of medicineEastern Maori
Tennet, Elizabeth1953Trade unionistIsland Bay
Thomas, Grant†1941Company directorHamilton West
Thorne, Grahame†1946Television producerOnehunga
Tirikatene-Sullivan, Hon Mrs TWM, onz1932Political scientistSouthern Maori
Tizard, Judith1956Electorate secretaryPanmure
Upton, Hon Simon‡1958Student/teacherRaglan
Wetere, Hon KT1935FarmerWestern Maori
Whittaker, Jeff‡1940PharmacistHastings
Wilde, Hon Fran◊1948JournalistWellington Central
Williamson, Hon Maurice‡1951Planning analystPakuranga

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. 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 members of Parliament as ministers, generally with responsibilities for various areas of government administration (portfolios). The Governor-General may also appoint parliamentary undersecretaries, 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 have separate functions. All members of Cabinet are members of the Executive Council, as are the ministers not in the Cabinet.

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 policy making body of Government. It is the main vehicle by which the executive decides on major policy issues and legislative proposals, and it co-ordinates the work of ministers. The Cabinet has a system of committees which can examine subjects in detail and recommend specific policy measures to Cabinet.

The proceedings of the Cabinet are informal and confidential, and decisions are usually made by consensus. 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 support services for the Cabinet and its committees. The current Secretary of the Cabinet is also the Clerk of the Executive Council.

Table 2.8. PRIME MINISTERS 1960-1991

Prime Minister* Term(s) of office

*Honours are specified only if held on retirement from office.

Rt Hon Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake, gcmg, chNational12 Dec 1960-7 Feb 1972
Rt Hon John Ross Marshall (later Sir)National7 Feb 1972-8 Dec 1972
Rt Hon Norman Eric KirkLabour8 Dec 1972-d31 Aug 1974
Rt Hon Wallace Edward Rowling (later Sir)Labour6 Sep 1974-12 Dec 1975
Rt Hon Sir Robert David Muldoon, gcmg, chNational12 Dec 1975-26 Jul 1984
Rt Hon David Russell LangeLabour26 Jul 1984-8 Aug 1989
Rt Hon Geoffrey Winston Russell Palmer (later Sir)Labour8 Aug 1989-4 Sep 1990
Rt Hon Michael Kenneth MooreLabour4 Sep 1990-2 Nov 1990
Rt Hon James Brendan BolgerNational2 Nov 1990-

View of parliamentary buildings from General Assembly Library, currently under reconstruction and renovation.


Source: Cabinet Office.
Her Excellency Dame Catherine Tizard, GCMG, DBE
Official Secretary: Ken Richardson, QSO
Executive Council
Membership of the Executive Council comprises all ministers with the Governor-General presiding. The Clerk of the Executive Council is Marie Shroff.
The Cabinet
Rt Hon Jim Bolger, Prime Minister.
Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
Rt Hon Bill Birch, Minister of State Services, Minister of Employment, Minister of Health, Minister for the Accident Rehabilitation Compensation Insurance Act.
Hon Ruth Richardson, Minister of Finance.
Hon Paul East, Attorney-General, Minister for Crown Health Enterprises.
Hon John Falloon, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry.
Hon Doug Kidd, Minister of Maori Affairs, Minister of Fisheries.
Hon Phillip Burdon, Minister of Commerce.
Hon Simon Upton, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Minister for Crown Research Institutes.
Hon John Banks, Minister of Police, Minister of Tourism, Minister for Sport, Fitness and Leisure.
Hon Jenny Shipley, Minister of Social Welfare, Minister of Women's Affairs.
Hon Warren Cooper, Minister of Defence, Minister of Local Government.
Hon Doug Graham, Minister of Justice, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Minister of Cultural Affairs.
Hon Dr Lockwood Smith, Minister of Education.
Hon Maurice McTigue, Minister of Labour, Minister of Immigration.
Hon Rob Storey, Minister of Transport, Minister of Lands, Minister for the Environment.
Hon Denis Marshall, Minister of Conservation.
Hon John Luxton, Minister of Housing, Minister of Energy.
Hon Wyatt Creech, Minister of Revenue, Minister for Senior Citizens, Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, Minister of Railways, Minister of Works and Development.
Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister of Communications, Minister of Broadcasting, Minister of Statistics.
Ministers not in Cabinet
Hon Katherine O'Regan, Minister of Consumer Affairs.
Hon Roger McClay, Minister of Youth Affairs.
Hon Graeme Lee, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Civil Defence.
Hon Roger Maxwell, Minister of Business Development.
Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Customs.
Other responsibilities
Ministers with other vote or statutory responsibilities are indicated below.
Rt Hon Jim Bolger, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Service.
Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Leader of the House.
Hon Ruth Richardson, Earthquake and War Damage Corporation, National Provident Fund.
Hon Paul East, Serious Fraud Office, Audit Department.
Hon John Falloon, Minister for Racing.
Hon Phillip Burdon, Minister for Industry, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Minister for Trade Negotiations.
Hon Simon Upton, Associate Minister of Finance.
Hon Warren Cooper, Minister in Charge of War Pensions, Television New Zealand Ltd, Radio New Zealand Ltd.
Hon Dr Lockwood Smith, Education Review Office, National Library.
Hon Maurice McTigue, Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited, Coal Corporation of New Zealand Limited, Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Limited, GCS Limited, Government Property Services Limited, Land Corporation Limited, Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited, New Zealand Forestry Corporation Limited, New Zealand Post Limited. New Zealand Rail Limited, Timberlands West Coast Limited, Works and Development Services Corporation (NZ) Limited.
Hon Rob Storey, Minister of Survey and Land Information, Minister in Charge of Valuation Department.
Hon Denis Marshall, Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister of Employment.
Hon John Luxton, Associate Minister of Maori Affairs. Associate Minister of Education, Housing New Zealand Limited.
Hon Wyatt Creech, Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister of Social Welfare, Government Superannuation Fund, Minister in Charge of the Public Trust Office.
Hon Maurice Williamson, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Research, Science and Technology.
Hon Katherine O'Regan, Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, Associate Minister of Health.
Hon Roger McClay, Associate Minister of Education, Associate Minister of Social Welfare, Associate Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
Hon Roger Maxwell, Associate Minister of Employment, Associate Minister of Immigration.
Hon Murray McCully, Associate Minister of Tourism.

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.

Table 2.10. VOTING PATTERNS: 1981-1990

YearElectors on Master RollValid votesInformal votesSpecial votes disallowedVotes cast to electors on Master Roll

Source: Department of Justice.


Voting. 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. Most electors cast their votes at polling booths in their electorates on polling day, but they may vote as special voters at booths outside their electorate. Special votes may also be cast before polling 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. 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. Statistics New Zealand 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.); and (b) some temporary residents of various kinds.

The Representation Commission is responsible for defining the boundaries of electorates based on the population census. The commission has seven members. Four are officials, the Surveyor-General, the Government Statistician, the Chief Electoral Officer 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.

In determining the boundaries of the Maori electoral districts, the commission's membership is supplemented by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Maori Development and two nominations from the House of Representatives (one each from the Government and the Opposition) and appointed by the Governor-General. These additional members to the commission must be Maori.

Percentage of enrolled electors voting at general elections


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.

Provisional boundaries are then settled, maps drawn up and the availability of boundary details announced in the New Zealand Gazette. Any objections and counter-objections to the provisional electoral boundaries are then 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 last held on 27 October 1990. The previous election was held on 15 August 1987. The total number of electors on the master roll for the 1990 election was 2,202,157. A total of 1,877,115 votes were cast; representing 85.24 percent of electors on the Master Roll.



 Number of MPs
Political party198119841987*1990

*Includes result of electoral petition which was upheld and saw Wairarapa seat pass from Labour to National in July 1988.

Source:Source: Department of Justice.

New Labour---1


 Valid votesPercentage of total valid votes
Political party198119841987*19901981198419871990

*Includes adjustments consequent upon the Wairarapa Election Petition Judgment dated 12 July 1988.

†Social Credit/Democrats.

‡Excludes special votes disallowed.

Source: Department of Justice.

Mana Motuhake8,3325,9899,78910,8690.460.310.530.6
New Labour---94,171---5.16
Total valid votes1 801 3031 929 2011 831 7771 824 092100.00100.00100.00100.00
Informal votes‡8,9987,56511,18410,180............
Total1 810 3011 936 7661 842 9611 834 272............


Average number of votes cast per seat at general elections


Political partySeats contested

*All those contesting one seat only.

Source: Department of Justice.

New Labour93
Social Credit68
McGillicuddy Serious60
Christian Heritage18
Communist League10
New Zealand5
Mana Motuhake4
People's Party4
Blokes Liberation Front3
Legalise Marijuana2
NZ Representative2
        Total candidates677

Northland kumara shed doubles as polling booth.

General Licensing Poll. In 1990 the national triennial liquor licensing poll was abolished.

Term Poll. A term poll was held in conjunction with the 1990 General Election. The voting issue was the length of the parliamentary term. The two options offered were either a continuation of the three year term or an extension of the term to four years. The voting was approximately 70 percent in support of retaining a three year term.

Table 2.14. RESULTS OF TERM POLL 1990

Voting issue1990Percentage of vote
Source: Department of Justice.
For a 3 year parliamentary term1,258,01869.33
For a 4 year parliamentary term556,55930.67

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 or by the Governor-General in Council or the Administrator of the Government, 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 1980 conferred new rights to appear and be heard at an inquiry 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. In addition, any person who satisfies the commission that any evidence may adversely affect his or her interests has a right to be given an opportunity to be heard in respect of the matter. Usually such terms of reference for a commission are quite specific. 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 to his or her ministers. The reports are usually published.

2.3 State sector

The state sector exists to put the policies of the Government into effect. It comprises government departments, crown-owned entities, and state-owned enterprises.

At 30 June 1993 the number of staff employed in public service departments was 36,040—this compares with 42,894 a year earlier. Much of the decrease reflects transfers of functions and staff from a number of departments to the newly established Crown Research Institutes, and to other new Crown entities including regional health authorities and the Civil Aviation Authority, and transfers following the merger of the Traffic Safety Service of the Ministry of Transport with the Police.

State sector reform

Since the mid-1980s the state sector has been substantially reformed and restructured. Until 1984 the business of the state was conducted by, and largely through, traditionally structured public service departments, which mixed policy, regulatory, service delivery and trading functions, supplemented by a few government-owned corporations, some of which also had mixed trading and regulatory functions. The public service was centrally managed through the State Services Commission, as employer of all departmental staff, and through The Treasury, as financial controller.

  • In reforming the state sector, Government was guided by five principles.

  • The state should not be involved in any activities that would be more efficiently and effectively performed by the community or by private businesses.

  • Trading enterprises would operate most efficiently and effectively if structured very much along the lines of private sector businesses.

    Ratio of male to female staff

  • Departments would operate most efficiently and effectively with clearly specified and unambiguous functions.

  • Departmental managers would perform most effectively if made fully accountable for the efficient running of their organisations, without central control.

  • The costs of state activities should, as far as practicable, be fixed through real market factors: namely, that the quality, quantity and cost of products should be determined by the purchaser's requirements.

These broad principles were reflected in three important pieces of legislation:

  • The State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 provided the basis for converting the old trading departments and corporations (such as the Electricity Division and Mines Division of the Ministry of Energy, and the Postal Division and the Telecommunications Division of the New Zealand Post Office) into businesses along private sector lines.

  • The State Sector Act 1988 made departmental chief executives fully accountable for managing their organisations efficiently and effectively, and changed the role of the State Services Commission from employer and manager of the public service to employer of the chief executives. The commission is also the advisor to chief executives and government about management of the state sector.

  • The Public Finance Act 1989 changed the basis of state sector financial management from a focus on inputs (the costs of production) to focuses on outputs (the relevance and value of actual products) and on outcomes (the overall results of these outputs from the Government's point of view).

Against the background of this legislation, a great deal of work has been carried out over the last eight years on grouping the business activities of the public service and the state sector agencies more consistently. As a result of this process many departments disappeared, some were replaced by new agencies, others had their functions and size altered dramatically, while a few were converted into state-owned enterprises, some of which have since been sold.

The scale of the change can be best seen in the shape and size of the public service. When the reforms began there were only two departments with fewer than 100 staff; now there are 11 of that size. Ten years ago the service was dominated by a dozen quite large departments, including Works and Development, Forestry, Energy, Education, Housing, Inland Revenue, Social Welfare and Justice. Now half of the public service works in just the last three. When the reforms began nearly 88,000 people worked in the departments of the public service; in 1993 the figure was just over 36,000.

The new public service is characterised by relatively small departments with quite sharply defined policy advice, regulatory and sectorial funding functions.

The latest phase of restructuring in the state sector has seen the Ministry of Transport shed most of its regulatory functions to focus on policy advice, the Area Health Boards replaced by a new network of Regional Health Authorities and Crown Health Enterprises, and the Department of Health change in focus to become the Ministry of Health.

Policy changes

Government policy concerning state assets is to sell those it lacks reason to retain. The view of the Government is that public ownership of business enterprises does not provide the right incentives to manage such enterprises successfully. The sales of state assets is also a part of a fiscal strategy to reduce the level of public debt. Several state-owned enterprises and trading units of government departments have been sold. The Government is currently reviewing a number of state-owned enterprises for possible sale.

Widespread changes to the role of the Government in social policy are continuing. The goal of Government is that an integrated approach be taken to social policy to achieve consistency in housing, welfare, health, accident compensation and education. This includes:

  • Focusing social assistance on those in genuine need.

  • Making providers of social services more responsive to the needs of individuals and their families.

  • Providing services that the country can afford.

State Services Commissioner

The State Sector Act 1988 provides for a State Services Commission and for the positions of a State Services Commissioner and Deputy State Services Commissioner.

The commission is government's principal advisor on public sector organisational development and human resource management. The State Services Commissioner is responsible to the Minister of State Services for management of the State Services Commission. Both the commissioner and the deputy commissioner are, however, required to act independently in matters about individual employees, and in some aspects of the appointment and employment of departmental chief executives.

The commissioner's principal functions relate to the Public Service. They include:

  • The appointment of chief executives and the provision support of services to them.

  • Advising the Government on the design, operation and performance of the public service.

  • Reviewing the performance of departments and their managers.

  • Negotiating collective employment contracts for public servants.

  • Promoting personnel policies for the public service, including Equal Employment Opportunities policies and programmes.

  • Advising on management systems and organisations for the public service.

  • Advising on training and career development of public servants.

The commission also helps government to mange major changes in the state sector. The State Sector Act enables the Prime Minister to direct the commissioner to undertake other tasks and assignments that might be required to assist the Government in the management of the State sector.

Equal employment opportunities. Through the State Sector Act the Commission is responsible for promoting, developing and monitoring Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) programmes in departments of the public service. The purpose of such programmes is defined in the Act as ‘...the identification and elimination of all aspects of policies, procedures and other institutional barriers that cause or perpetuate, or tend to cause or perpetuate inequality in respect to the employment of any persons or group of persons.’

Each department is required to develop and publish an annual EEO programme and to report to the commission about how well it has been able to implement the programme. The commission monitors progress and provides practical advice and support to departments to help them achieve their EEO objectives.


*As at 1 January 1994.
Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry ofDirector-GeneralR Ballard
AuditController and Auditor-GeneralJT Chapman
Commerce, Ministry ofSecretaryMJ Belgrave
Conservation, Department ofDirector-GeneralWR Mansfield
Crown Law OfficeSolicitor-GeneralJJ McGrath QC
Cultural Affairs, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveCH Blake
CustomsComptrollerGW Ludlow
Defence, Ministry ofSecretaryGC Hensley
Education, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveML O'Rourke
Environment, Ministry for the Foreign Affairs and Trade,SecretaryRWG Blakeley
Ministry ofSecretaryRF Nottage
Forestry, Ministry ofSecretaryJM Valentine
Government Superannuation FundChief ExecutiveR Evans
Health, Ministry ofDirector-GeneralJC Lovelace
Housing, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveRG Laking
Inland Revenue DepartmentCommissionerDR Henry
Internal Affairs, Department ofChief ExecutiveRP Cameron
Justice, Department ofSecretaryD Oughton
Labour, Department ofSecretaryCJ McKenzie
Maori Development, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveHT Gardiner
National LibraryNational LibrarianPG Scott
Pacific Island AffairsChief ExecutiveA Rongo-Raea
Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department ofChief ExecutiveS Murdoch
Public Trust OfficePublic TrusteeDR Hutton
Research, Science and Technology, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveBV Walker
Serious Fraud OfficeChief ExecutiveC Sturt
Social Welfare, Department ofDirector-GeneralMC Bazley
State Services CommissionState Services CommissionerDK Hunn
Statistics New ZealandGovernment StatisticianLW Cook
Survey and Land Information, Department ofDirector-GeneralWA Robertson
Transport, Ministry ofSecretaryS Milne
The TreasurySecretaryM Horn
Valuation New ZealandValuer-GeneralHF McDonald
Women's Affairs, Ministry ofSecretaryEC Rowe
Youth Affairs, Office ofChief ExecutiveJY Quinnell

Functions of government departments

The functions of central government are under a continual process of review. The following account of departments was correct as at November 1993.

Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Ahuwhenua, Ahumoana.) The ministry provides policy advice to government designed to create a domestic and international environment favourable to the sustainable and productive use of New Zealand's agricultural and fisheries and resources. It also implements the Government's policies and programmes to drive maximum benefit to the nation from farming, horticulture and fishing.

MAF's programmes aim to protect our competitive advantage as an export nation by monitoring animals, fish and plants, and preventing the introduction of exotic pests and diseases. Also, through quality assurance, it ensures that our export primary produce meets agreed standards. See chapter 16, Agriculture and section 17.3 Fisheries.

Audit Office. See ‘Controller and Auditor-General’ below.

Ministry of Commerce. (Te Manatū Tauhokohoko.) The ministry has advisory, programme and administrative functions in business development, competition policy, business and intellectual law, tariff policy, trade remedies, communications, regional development, energy and resources, consumer affairs and tourism.

The ministry services the portfolios of Commerce, Communications, Consumer Affairs, Energy, Tourism, Industry and Business Development.

Conservation, Department of. (Te Papa Atawhai.) The department 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, forest and farm parks, the coastal marine area (in partnership with regional councils) and marine reserves, the department is also the Government's advocate in conservation issues. See chapter 15, Land and environment.

Crown Law Office.

The Crown Law Office is the legal adviser to, 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 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.

Cultural Affairs, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Tikanga-ā-Iwi.) The aim of the ministry is to maximise understanding, appreciation, access and participation in New Zealand arts and culture both in New Zealand and overseas, and to promote the enhancement of New Zealand's cultural identity.

The ministry provides advice to Government and the Minister of Cultural Affairs on cultural matters and discharges services relating to the Cultural Affairs portfolio. See chapter 11, Arts.

Customs Department. (Te Mana Arai O Aotearoa.) The department is charged with the administration of border control and some indirect taxation, and the tendering of advice to the Government on these and associated matters. The department performs a number of roles under the Customs Acts and other enabling legislation. These include: the administration of the tariff at the border; protecting New Zealand's borders by exercising the required control over the export and import of goods and international passengers in accord with the immigration, emigration, quarantine, and other statutory and government policy requirements (with particular attention to controlled drugs); and providing a service to commerce through the effective administration of customs procedures, and the facilitation of cargo movements. See section 23.1, Administration and development of trade.

Defence, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Kaupapa Waonga.) The Ministry of Defence is the Government's principal source of advice on defence policy. It also carries out audits and assessments on the performance of the defence organisations and manages procurement projects which entail a significant change to New Zealand's defence capability. In many matters the ministry works jointly with the New Zealand Defence Force. See section 3.4 Defence.

Education, Ministry of. (Te Tāhuhu o te Matauranga.) The ministry is responsible for providing policy advice to the Minister of Education on all aspects of education from early childhood to tertiary; overseeing the implementation of approved policies and ensuring the optimum use of resources devoted to education. See chapter 8, Education.

Education Review Office. (Te Tari Arotake Matauranga.) The general purpose of the Education Review Office is to provide regular, independent, high quality evaluative reports for the Minister; the governing authorities and managers of schools and early childhood centres; and all those with an interest in the performance of the education sector and the educational achievements of learners.

Environment, Ministry for the. (Te Manatū mō tē Taiao.) The role of the Ministry for the Environment is to provide policy advice to the Government that promotes sustainable management of the environment; and to encourage sustainable management of the environment through the administration of environmental statutes, advocacy, education and advice.

The Environment Act 1986 defines environment as encompassing ecosystems and their constituent parts, all natural and physical resources (including buildings and man-made structures), and the social, economic, aesthetic and cultural conditions which affect the environment or which are affected by changes to the environment.

To carry out its role, the ministry gathers information and may conduct and commission research necessary for formulating advice to the Government. It also provides the Government, its agencies, and other public authorities, with advice on: the application, operation, and effectiveness of legislation relevant to achieving the objectives of the Environment Act; procedures for assessing and monitoring environmental impacts; pollution control and the management of pollutants; identification and likelihood of natural hazards, and the reduction of their effects; and the control of hazardous substances, during the management of their manufacture, storage, transport, and disposal.

As well, the ministry works towards the resolution of conflicts relating to policies and proposals which may affect the environment. It also provides and disseminates information on environmental policies.

Besides the Environment Act 1986, the ministry administers the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941, the Ozone Layer Protection Act 1990 and the Resource Management Act 1991, plus it also has responsibility for regulations made pursuant to the Resource Management Act. See section 15.2, Environmental and resource management.

Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Aorere.) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade conducts the Government's business with foreign countries and their governments, and with international organisations.

It advises the Government on where New Zealand's advantage lies in relation to other countries. On behalf of the Government, it intervenes with other governments to promote New Zealand's interests.

It looks at New Zealand's relations with other countries as a whole. It draws together the various aspects of New Zealand's national interests including relevant domestic interests to achieve most benefit for New Zealand in relation to the Government's security, political, trade and economic objectives. In addition the ministry is responsible for management and support of New Zealand operations in the Antarctic through the New Zealand Antarctic Programme.

Forestry, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Ngāherehere.) The Government's forestry agency is responsible for facilitating the optimal contribution from forestry and forestry products for New Zealand's sustainable development and economic growth. This is achieved by providing information and advice to Government; communicating and managing the implementation of government policies; representing Government's interests in New Zealand and internationally; ensuring the Crown's obligations are met; and ensuring that authoritative information is available on the sector. See sections 17.1 and 17.2.

Government Superannuation Fund Department. (Te Pūtea Penihana Kawanatanga.) The function of the department is to provide professional management of superannuation schemes constituted under the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956.

Health, Ministry of. (Manatu Hauora.) The Ministry of Health is government's chief advisor and monitoring agent for health and disability support services. The principal functions of the Ministry are; (a) strategic planning for the health and disability sector, and forecasting/risk assessment; (b) assessing national health needs, (c) sector oversight and coordination; (d) advising on health policy; (e) specifying and analysing health services; (f) administering health regulations and legislation; (g) funding management and monitoring health sector performance; (h) provision of national health information services; and (i) provision of some national services. These roles are carried out to contribute to the outcomes for health sought by government. See chapter 7 Health and safety.

Housing, Ministry of. The ministry's main functions are the provision of: high quality and timely policy advice on housing to the Government; and efficient and effective tenancy bond and dispute resolution services across New Zealand. See section 20.4, Reform of housing assistance.

Housing Corporation. (Te Kaporeihana Whare.) The corporation provides loan facilities to low income home-owners. It is also responsible for the disposal of land and surplus property assets that were not transferred to Housing New Zealand Limited when this Crown-owned company was established in 1992 to manage New Zealand's state houses.

Inland Revenue Department. (Te Tari Taake.) The main function of the Inland Revenue Department is to assess and collect various taxes and duties. However, along with taxes such as income tax, goods and services tax, fringe benefit tax and resident withholding tax, Inland Revenue also collects accident compensation levies on behalf of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation. Inland Revenue also administers family support, child support, the guaranteed family income scheme and student loan repayments.

Internal Affairs, Department of. (Te Tari Taiwhenua.) The mission of the department is to deliver excellent services relating to the nation's identity, heritage and administration of value to the Government and community. It provides services that: (a) protect and develop essential aspects of the nation's character, identity and heritage, including the public record and citizenship rights; (b) support the Crown and Government agencies, taking into account the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi, and including the establishment and nurture of new agencies; (c) provide the link between central and local government; (d) help people to develop their communities; (e) safeguard the public interest in certain leisure activities; and (f) protect people against disaster, and promote fire and building safety.

Justice, Department of. The department has a wide variety of functions including: administration of courts; registration of land transactions, births, deaths and marriages; control of prisoners, people on community based sentences and parolees; law reform; commercial affairs (including administration of the Companies Act 1955); 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 about 160 Acts of Parliament.

Labour, Department of. The principal responsibilities of the Department of Labour are to help unemployed job seekers into work through the provision of an employment service; to assist communities to identify and develop local employment initiatives; to ensure, through the work of its field staff, that workers are employed under safe and healthy working conditions; to administer labour legislation and service labour institutions; and to administer immigration legislation and policy, in particular by selecting migrants best able to benefit New Zealand. Among the most important legislation administered are the Employment Contracts Act 1991, the Health And Safety In Employment Act 1992 and the Immigration Act 1987.

Maori Development, Ministry of. (Te Puni Kokiri.) Te Puni Kokiri was established on 1 January 1992, replacing Manatu Maori (Ministry of Maori Affairs) and Te Tira Ahu Iwi (Iwi Transition Agency) which, in turn, replaced the Department of Maori Affairs. Its role is to ensure Maori participate equally and fully in both public and private sectors by ensuring better access to resources.

Education, health, employment and asset management are key areas in which Te Puni Kokiri will support Maori endeavour and encourage excellence. Policy advice in these areas will focus on: (a) the design, target direction and delivery of appropriate services: (b) increasing effective access to an acceptable range of services; (c) raising the education, health and employment profiles of Maori; (d) creating business, social and community environments which welcome increased participation by Maori in partnership, programmes and services; and (e) maximising returns from Maori resources. There are 13 regional offices and six iwi provider contacts to assist iwi to access resources from government, private and voluntary sector agencies. See section 5.4, Maori society.

National Library of New Zealand. (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa.) The National Library is the principal adviser to government on library policy and information issues. It collects, preserves and makes available an important part of the documentary history of New Zealand, and makes available an authoritative record of New Zealand publishing. The National Library co-ordinates the availability of national information resources and delivers information through the New Zealand library system.

National Provident Fund. The National Provident Fund comprises 17 superannuation schemes and a global asset trust through which the schemes’ assets are managed. The superannuation schemes are provided to individuals, employees of private sector businesses, employees of local authorities, electrical supply authorities, Crown Health enterprises, and other governmental and quasi-governmental organisations. See section 22.3, Insurance and superannuation.

Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of. This small group advises the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, while providing administrative back-up and co-ordination of the above council and other programmes. The ministry establishes and maintains liaison with and between Pacific Island communities in New Zealand and government agencies; monitors, reports and promotes issues related to the communities; and is developing a resource base on Pacific Island matters. See section 5.5, Pacific Island Polynesian population.

Police, New Zealand. (Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa.) The mission of the police is to contribute to the provision of a safe and secure environment where people may go about their lawful business unhindered. The aim of the police is to establish and maintain a partnership between themselves and the communities they serve; maintain public safety, order and the rule of law; retain public confidence and satisfaction in the services they provide; minimise the incidence and effects of crime; and provide community support and protection during disasters and emergencies. The New Zealand Police is a state agency. See section 9.4, Police.

Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of the. The department provides advice to the Prime Minister on policy, constitutional and administrative issues and provides secretariat support to the Executive Council and Cabinet. It provides support services to the Governor-General and manages the Governor-General's residences. Through the External Assessments Bureau it provides intelligence assessments to the Government on developments overseas.

The department contributes to the effective co-ordination of government across departmental lines, tests the quality of advice coming from departments and acts as an ‘honest broker’ where there are conflicts over policy advice being offered by different parts of the public sector.

The department from time to time undertakes special operational functions. Its major task for 1993-94 is the establishment of a Crime Prevention Unit. See section 2.2, Parliament and the Cabinet.

Public Trust Office, The. 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 income earning.

Research, Science and Technology, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Putaiao.) Established in October 1989, the ministry's primary role is to provide advice to government on the overall policy framework, priorities and funding for research, science and technology. It is also responsible for gathering and disseminating statistics and descriptive information on research, science and technology activities and for administering government-to-government science relations. The Office of the Chief Scientist is also based in the ministry and plays an important role in ensuring the provision of technical input into government policy development. See section 14.1, Organisation of science.

Serious Fraud Office. The Serious Fraud Office, which became operational on 26 March 1990, is primarily an operational department whose role is to detect and investigate cases of serious or complex fraud and expeditiously prosecute offenders. Based in Auckland, the office is the only government department to have its Head Office outside Wellington. See section 22.2, Commercial framework.

Social Welfare, Department of. (Te Tari Toko i te Ora.) The principal functions of the Department of Social Welfare are: (a) to administer Parts I and III of the Social Security Act 1964, the Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Act 1990, the Disabled Persons Community Welfare Act 1975, the Children Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989, and the War Pensions Act 1954; (b) to advise the minister on the Development of Social Welfare Policies for New Zealand; (c) to provide such welfare services as the Government may from time to time require: (d) to maintain close liaison with and encourage co-operation and coordination among any organisations and individuals (including departments of state and other agencies of the Crown) engaged in social welfare activities; (e) to undertake and promote research into aspects of social welfare; (f) to provide such administrative services as the minister may from time to time direct to such boards, councils, committees, and agencies as he or she may direct; (g) to receive and disburse maintenance payments and enforce arrears in payments due under maintenance orders and registered agreements prior to the Child Support Act 1991 coming into force; and (h) under the Civil Defence Welfare Plan, in time of disaster—to make relief payments authorised by government to the homeless, and—to make payments authorised by government for hosts for billeting evacuees from a disaster area.

State Services Commission. (Te Kōmihana o ngā Tari Kāwanatanga.) See ‘State Services Commissioner’ above.

Statistics New Zealand. (Te Tari Tatau.) 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.

Survey and Land Information, Department of. (Te Puna Kōrero Whenua.) The department is the principal government (civil and military) survey and mapping, and land information agency. Through the Office of Crown Lands the department is also the government's principal Crown land administering agency. The department's 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, environmental planning of land, and a graphic support for the electoral system.

The main acts administered by the department are the Survey Act 1986, Public Works Act 1981, Land Settlement Promotion and Land Acquisition Act 1952, Land Act 1948, the New Zealand Geographic Board Act 1946 and Crown Grants Act 1908. In addition in excess of 50 other statutes empower the department with specific responsibilities for land transactions. Proposals for the Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Bill are also collated by the department. See section 15.1, Land resources and ownership.

Tourism, Ministry of. This ministry operates from within the Ministry of Commerce, providing policy advice to, and representing, the Minister of Tourism and the Government on policy issues relevant to the tourism sector. It advises the Government on the outputs it purchases from the New Zealand Tourism Board, manages government grant schemes relating to the tourism sector, manages land at Rotorua and the Wairakei Tourist Park, and is responsible for the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Act 1991.

Tourism Board, New Zealand. The main functions of the New Zealand Tourism Board are to market and promote New Zealand's tourism development and initiate programmes to foster this development; administer jointly-funded public and private sector marketing programmes; and undertake research of visitor arrivals, overseas tourism markets and regional tourism. The New Zealand Tourism Board is headed by a nine member private sector executive board appointed by the Minister of Tourism. The board has 15 overseas marketing offices. See Section 12.6, Leisure.

Trade Development Board (TRADENZ), New Zealand. The role of Tradenz (The New Zealand Trade Development Board) is to help New Zealand business increase foreign exchange earnings. Tradenz does this by working with New Zealand exporters to identify and capitalise on market opportunities and by improving companies’ ability to compete profitably overseas.

Transport, Ministry of. (Te Manatū Waka.) The Ministry of Transport promotes safe and sustainable transport at reasonable cost. The ministry is responsible for administering about 20 principal Acts including the Civil Aviation Act, the Shipping and Seamen Act and the Transport Act.

The core department's functions are largely policy oriented—ensuring that the Government receives high quality advice and information relating to the promotion of safe, sustainable transport at reasonable cost. As the Minister of Transport's agent, the ministry plays an important role in negotiating and monitoring contracts with the stand alone Civil Aviation Maritime Safety and Land Transport Safety Authorities. It also monitors the Government's contract on severe weather warnings with MetService New Zealand Limited and manages the Land Transport Fund. Development of any legislation for the transport sector is the ministry's responsibility. The other significant function of the ministry is to formulate and implement policies relating to domestic and international air transport, other than safety matters. It also advises government in relation to the Crown's interests in airport companies and joint venture airports operated in partnership with local authorities.

Treasury, The. The principal functions of Treasury are to: provide the Government with independent economic and financial advice; implement the Government's economic and financial policies; control and account for the receipt and payment of government finances; and to provide financial information on the operations of the Government. It also includes the Government Actuary's Office.

Valuation New Zealand. 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. Since 1988 the department has introduced a three-yearly cycle. Between the three 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, 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 complies house and rural 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. See section 15.1, Land resources and ownership.

Women's Affairs, Ministry of. (Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine.) This ministry was established in 1984 to assist the Government to improve the status of women and to work towards the achievement of equality in all spheres of social, political and economic activity. The ministry's primary function is to advise the Minister of Women's Affairs. In carrying out this function the ministry provides specialist advice on legislative and other policy matters affecting the status of women and undertakes educational and information programmes designed to increase women's knowledge of and familiarity with the scope and processes of public policy-making. See section 5.3, Human rights, immigration and citizenship.

Youth Affairs, Ministry of. (Te Tari Taiohi.) This ministry was established to represent the youth of New Zealand; to ensure that the concerns of the young people (defined as people from the ages of 12 to 25) of New Zealand are heard by the makers of policies, services and legislation, and to allow young people to make a contribution to the cultural, social and economic development of this country.

The ministry works through three main areas; policy advice to the Minister of Youth Affairs and Government, liaison services gathering input from young people and youth networking, and administering the Conservation Corps programme, which provides young people with opportunities for employment, training and personal development through conservation activities of benefit to local communities.

Non-departmental public bodies

Crown-owned entities. These are organisations (in some cases statutory officers) that while not departments of the public service or state-owned enterprises, belong to the Crown. They are named in a schedule to the Public Finance Act 1989. Some well-known Crown entities are the Queen Elizabeth the Second Arts Council, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Human Rights Commission and the New Zealand Fire Service Commission.

State-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises are companies established by the Government to manage its trading activities. The principle objective of every state-owned enterprise is to operate as a successful business and, to this end, to be:

  • As profitable and efficient as comparable businesses that are not owned by the Crown.

  • A good employer.

  • An organisation that exhibits a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates and by endeavouring to accommodate or encourage these when able to do so.

An annual statement of intent is signed between the shareholding government ministers and the board of directors of the respective state-owned enterprise. Performance of the enterprise is monitored against this statement.

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

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. The position is independent of the executive government and only the Governor-General, upon an address from the House of Representatives, can end the tenure. The Controller and Auditor-General and the persons acting under his or her delegation are collectively called ‘the Audit Office’.

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

The Audit Office audits the financial statements of government departments, local authorities, and most government-controlled corporations, boards and companies. The office plays a key part in the accountability by these organisations. It also conducts periodic reviews of financial control systems, selected programmes or operations to ascertain whether resources have been applied effectively and efficiently in a manner consistent with the policies of the governing bodies.

Considerable emphasis is placed on reporting the results of this work. The most visible results are their financial audit reports tabled in Parliament each year.

If shortcomings are discovered during an audit, the principal recourse of the Audit Office is to report to the management of the organisation, to a minister, or to Parliament and its select committees. If there is a deficiency in money or stores, the Auditor-General has the power to surcharge the persons involved to recover the amount. This power is rarely used.

The Controller and Auditor-General uses a mix of his own staff and chartered accounting firms to carry out individual audits in accordance with requirements laid down by him. Approximately 40 percent of the audits are currently tendered out on a competitive basis between private sector firms and the operational arm of the Audit Office.

Official information

The Official Information Act 1982 is based on the principle that information shall be made available unless there is good reason for withholding it. The purposes of the Act are: to provide proper access to official information to the people of New Zealand, to encourage their participation in the making and administration of laws and policies; to promote the accountability of ministers and officials; and to protect official information consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy. Here, personal privacy refers to a sole corporation and a body of persons only.

With the exception of the Parliamentary Service, the Official Information Act covers all government departments, state-owned enterprises, and a range of statutory bodies. It does not include courts, tribunals (in relation to their judicial function), or some judicial bodies. All local authorities and statutory boards are covered under either the Official Information Act 1982 or the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

The Acts provide special rights of access to personal information. The definition of a ‘person’ can include a sole corporation and a body of persons. The protection of the privacy of natural persons is an important issue, however, this consideration may be overturned if it is in the public interest to make the information available.

Among the criteria to be considered, when judging whether information should be with-held, are that if the information is released will it prejudice the security, defence, or economic international relations of New Zealand; the maintenance of law and order; the effective conduct of public affairs; trade secrets and commercial sensitivity; personal privacy and the safety of any person.

Ombudsmen can review a decision to refuse information; the investigation is private and free of charge. The formal recommendation of an Ombudsman is binding unless overridden by a minister in accordance with a formal procedure.

An information guide concerning access to personal and official information is available from the Department of Justice. In order to provide sufficient data to ease the identification of material and assist in the lodging of requests, reference can be made to the Directory of Official Information. Published every two years, the Directory is a comprehensive guide to all the organisations covered by the Act including their structure, functions, policies, documents held, contact officers and other listings which facilitate the access of information.

The daily commute to work, Wellington.


The principal function of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigations (Ombudsman) is to enquire into complaints relating to administrative decisions of government departments and related organisations, Crown health enterprises and regional health authorities. Under the Ombudsmen Act 1975 there is provision for the appointment of a Chief Ombudsman and one or more other ombudsmen, in either temporary or permanent positions.

All investigations undertaken by ombudsmen are conducted in private. When an ombudsman believes a complaint can be sustained, this opinion is reported to the government department or organisation concerned along with any recommendation for action. A copy of this report is also made available to the responsible minister. At the local government level, the ombudsman reports the finding to the organisation, and provides a copy of his report to the mayor or chairperson.

Ombudsmen also investigate recommendations made to a minister by any government department, organisation or employee. Similarly, they look into any recommendations made to a full council or board of a local organisation by any committee, sub-committee, officer, employee, or member. It is also the responsibility of the Ombudsmen to investigate any complaints on decisions for the request of official information.

Ombudsmen have no authority to investigate complaints against private companies and individuals, decisions of judges, complaints directed at ministerial decisions, or at the full council of local government. They can also decide that certain complaints, although within their sphere, are better suited to other available avenues of administrative redress.


Action on complaintOmbudsmen Act 1975Official Information Act 1982Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

*Year ended 30 June.

Source: Office of the Ombudsmen.

Declined, no jurisdiction219254
Declined or discontinued section 174321172
Resolved in course of investigation15227945
Resolved informally9416711
Sustained, recommendation made28184
Sustained, no recommendation made378-
Not sustained49825344
Formal investigation not undertaken, explanation, advice, or assistance given63911822
Still under investigation as at 30 June39728332
        Total2 4961 268164

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

This parliamentary office was established in 1987 as part of the restructuring of the government's administration of the environment.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (Te Kaitiaki Taiao a Te Whare Pōremata) was also created in response to significant public demands for an independent authority to review and publicly report on the environmental effects of central and local government works and policies.

Authority for the appointment of the Commissioner and the functions, powers and duties exercised by the Commissioner are set out in the Environment Act 1986. Commissioner appointments are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives. The term of appointment is five years.

The principal functions of the Commissioner comprise:

  • Reviews of the Government systems established to manage the allocation, use and protection of natural and physical resources.

  • Investigations into the effectiveness of public authority environmental planning and management and other matters where there is considered to be significant actual or potential harm to the environment.

The Commissioner is also responsible for carrying out inquiries requested by the House of Representatives and for providing reports on proposed legislation, petitions and other matters of environmental significance under consideration by the House. The commissioner's reports of investigation are published, the House advised of findings and advice is given to public authorities on ways to improve environmental management. With the exception of requests and directions made by the House of Representatives, the commissioner has the discretion to determine which reviews and investigations are conducted.

The office is small with an equivalent full-time staff of 12.

The Environment Act sets out matters for the Commissioner to consider when exercising the functions of the office. The matters are diverse, including the maintenance and restoration of important ecosystems, the protection of the heritage of the tangata whenua, the prevention of pollution and the effects on communities of actual or proposed changes to natural and physical resources.


Source: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
Investigation reports82
Information transfer papers84
Reports for House Committees5
Reports on public authority responses to commissioner's advice10

2.4 Local government

New Zealand has a system of local government that is largely independent of the central executive government. It has, however, a subordinate role in the constitution as the powers of local authorities are only those conferred by Parliament.

Local authorities fall into three categories: regional, territorial and special purpose authorities. Many territorial authorities contain one or more communities administered by community boards, but these are not separate local authorities. The Local Government Act 1974 is the statute constituting regional councils and territorial authorities. Their boundaries are usually defined by the Local Government Commission. They have their own sources of income independent of central government, and the basic source of income (apart from the income of trading activities under the control of territorial authorities) is local taxes on landed property (rates). Rates are set by the local authorities themselves, subject to the Rating Powers Act 1988. The six special purpose authorities are constituted under their own Acts.

Several important statutes apply not only to local authorities as defined in the Local Government Act, but to a wider range of public bodies. These include: the Local Authorities Loans Act 1956; the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987; the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968; and the Local Elections and Polls Act 1976.

Local authorities derive their functions and powers not only from the local government legislation as such, but from numerous other Acts, such as the Resource Management Act 1991, the Transit New Zealand Act 1989, and the Building Act 1991.

Under Parliamentary Standing Orders, local authorities can promote legislation about matters affecting areas within their jurisdiction which they are not empowered to deal with already. Where permanent or major additional powers are sought, a local bill must be prepared for the consideration of Parliament. If this is enacted it becomes a local Act, and applies only to the body or bodies which promoted it.

Local authorities are answerable above all to their electorates, through triennial general elections. Legislation includes numerous provisions for local authorities to give public notice and receive public submissions before making certain important decisions. The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 promotes open conduct of local authority meetings and sets out rights of access to official information. Local authorities may also come under the scrutiny of the Ombudsman, the Controller and Auditor-General and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Under a 1992 amendment, the Minister of Local Government may appoint a review authority, where it is considered there has been serious mismanagement, and may require the local authority to implement the review authority's recommendations. Any decision by a local authority may be reviewed by appeal to the High Court, and decisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 may be appealed to the Planning Tribunal.

Local government organisation

The structure of local government was thoroughly reorganised in 1989. There are now:

  • 12 regional councils.

  • 74 territorial authorities.

  • 155 community boards.

  • 6 special authorities.

In 1989 a statement on the purposes of local government was included in the Local Government Act 1974. This holds as central the recognition of the existence of different communities in New Zealand, and their separate identities and values; and the effective participation of local persons in local government. Also included was an accountability scheme, whereby local authorities are required to conduct their affairs in an open and proper manner, separate their regulatory and non-regulatory activities, and adequately inform local communities of their activities. Emphasis was placed on setting objectives and measuring performance.

Local authorities are encouraged to corporatise or privatise their trading activities (aside from airports, seaports and energy supply operations which are covered by separate legislation). The Act requires territorial authorities to corporatise or establish as a business unit any of their operations carrying out subsidised road construction work and corporatise any public transport undertaking. Local authorities are required to consider putting out the delivery of all services to competitive tender.

Regional councils

The regional councils are directly elected, set their own rates and have a chairperson elected by their members. Their main functions are:

  • The functions under the Resource Management Act.

  • The functions under the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act.

  • Control of pests and noxious plants.

  • Harbour regulations and marine pollution control.

  • Regional aspects of civil defence.

  • Overview transport planning.

  • Control of passenger transport operators.

Some regional councils also have other functions, such as those formerly undertaken by land drainage boards.

In 1989 regional councils in Auckland and Wellington inherited a number of public utilities and trading activities: in Auckland trunk sewerage, bulk water supply, rubbish disposal, buses, forestry, regional parks and regional roads; in Wellington bulk water supply, forestry and regional parks.

In 1992 the law governing regional councils was extensively amended to clarify the role of regional councils as regulatory authorities concerned with resource management and related functions, including public passenger transport planning in Auckland and Wellington. The differentiation between regional councils and territorial authorities is not so much hierarchical as functional, with the range of regional council functions being limited.

Also in 1992 the various operational services of the Auckland Regional Council were transferred to a new body, the Auckland Regional Services Trust. However, Auckland and Wellington regional councils both retain administration of regional parks and reserves.

The Nelson-Marlborough Regional Council was abolished from 1 July 1992 and its functions transferred to the territorial authorities of Marlborough District, Tasman District and Nelson City.

Territorial authorities. The 74 regional authorities consist of:

  • 15 city councils.

  • 58 district councils.

  • 1 county council (Chatham Islands).


RegionCouncil members*

**As from October 1992 elections.

Source:Department of Internal Affairs.

North Island 
Bay of Plenty11
Hawke's Bay9
South Island 
West Coast6

Territorial authorities in New Zealand are directly elected, set their own rates, and have a mayor elected by the people. They have a wide range of functions including land use consents under the Resource Management Act 1991, noise control, litter control; roading; water supply; sewage reticulation and disposal; rubbish collection and disposal; parks and reserves; libraries; land subdivision; pensioner housing, health inspection; building consent; parking controls; and civil defence.

The 1992 refocussing of regional councils on a more limited range of functions established the territorial authority more firmly as the basic unit of multi-purpose local government in New Zealand.

In 1992 it was made easier for new districts to be established on the initiative of local people, in part by reducing the minimum size of new districts (from 20,000 to 10,000).

New cities can now only be constituted by a re-organisation scheme where a new district is formed and that district:

  • Has a population of at least 50,000.

  • Is predominantly urban.

  • Is a distinct entity and a major centre of activity within the region.

Unitary authorities. This type of authority is administered by a territorial authority, which also has regional powers. The 1989 reform legislation prevented any unitary authorities being established other than in Gisborne. However, the 1992 amendment not only created three more unitary authorities (Marlborough District, Tasman District and Nelson City) but made it possible for others to be created through local initiatives.

Auckland's Town Hall clock stopped for refurbishment.

With effect from 1 July 1992

With effect from 1 July 1992


Cities/districtsCouncil members*

*Includes mayors.

†Unitary authority.

Source: Department of Internal Affairs.

North Island 
North Shore City19
Waitakere City17
Auckland City25
Manukau City25
Hamilton City14
Napier City13
Palmerston North City16
Porirua City14
Upper Hutt City11
Hutt City16
Wellington City22
Far North District14
Whangarei District14
Kaipara District11
Rodney District12
Papakura District13
Waikato District15
Waipa District13
Otorohanga District8
Waitomo District11
Matamata-Piako District13
South Waikato District15
Taupo District13
Tauranga District15
Western Bay of Plenty District13
Rotorua District13
Whakatane District16
Kawerau District11
Opotiki District11
Gisborne District†17
Wairoa District10
Hastings District15
Central Hawke's Bay District13
New Plymouth District17
Stratford District11
South Taranaki District13
Ruapehu District15
Rangitikei District12
Manawatu District14
Horowhenua District13
Tararua District13
Masterton District12
Carterton District12
South Wairarapa District11
South Island Nelson City†13
Christchurch City25
Dunedin City19
Invercargill City13
Tasman District†14
Marlborough District†14
Kaikoura District8
Buller District12
Grey District8
Westland District13
Waimakariri District15
Selwyn District14
Banks Peninsula District10
Ashburton District13
Timaru District13
Waimate District14
Waitaki District16
Central Otago District16
Clutha District16
Southland District15
Gore District12
Chatham Islands County8

Community boards

A community board is primarily an advocate for its community, and a means whereby the territorial authority can consult with the community. Any power the community board has is as delegated by the territorial authority, but cannot include such powers as levying rates, appointing staff, or owning property.

Community boards may be partly elected by the community and partly appointed by the territorial authority from among its own members, or may be entirely elected. Community boards can be established anywhere in New Zealand to serve any number of inhabitants, they may be established upon the initiative either of a given number of electors or of the territorial authority, or as provided in a re-organisation scheme. Community boundaries often coincide with those of wards (divisions of the district for electoral purposes). These boards have between four and 12 members each.

Special purpose local authorities

In 1989 the number of special purpose local authorities was greatly reduced. Catchment boards, harbour boards, pest destruction boards and land drainage boards (among others) disappeared, with their functions reallocated either to regional councils or, to a lesser extent, to territorial authorities. The categories remaining include: scenic and recreation boards, airport authorities and, for the time being, area health boards, hospital boards and electric power boards. There are also a few one off authorities including: the Aotea Centre Board of Management; the Canterbury Museum Trust Board; the Council of the Auckland Institute and Museum; the Marlborough Forestry Corporation; the Otago Museum Trust Board; and the Selwyn Plantation Board.

Auckland Regional Services Trust. This is a local authority unique to the Auckland region which has been established to assume ownership of the Auckland Regional Council's service-delivery activities and community assets. It is charged with disposing of those assets as soon as it is prudent to do so, except for bulk water and sewerage (which must not be sold) and applying proceeds to the retirement of debt.

The trust's first election was in October 1992. Its six members are elected by the regions electors. Local authority members and employees are prohibited from being trust members or directors of its companies and trust members may not be directors of those companies either.

The 15 finalists in the Canterbury Flag Promotion.

The trust is funded by trading income, with any deficit up to 1995 to be met by the Auckland Regional Council. From 1995 the trust is expected to be self-sufficient. Surplus monies may be applied at the trust's discretion to a separate “community trust” (under the Trustee Act 1956), which the trust is required to establish by the time it starts making a surplus. The community trust will distribute its funds for charitable and other public purposes.

Local government elections and membership

Local government elections are held on the second Saturday in October every third year. The next elections will be held in 1995. All regional council, territorial authority, special purpose local authority and community board elections are conducted at the same time.

In the year before an election regional and territorial authorities are normally required to review the number of members and the number and size of their electorates. In 1991 local authorities had the option of not conducting a review but keeping existing membership and the wards or constituencies until 1995.

Electorates are known as wards in the case of territorial authorities and constituencies in the case of regions. Territorial authorities had the option of deciding whether members would be elected by the electors of the district as a whole. Regions must be divided into constituencies.

The purpose of the review was to give effective representation to communities of interest and fair representation to electors. The review process provided for objections and appeals by the public and where necessary the final decisions were made by the Local Government Commission.

Voting procedures. Any territorial authority may decide whether an election is to be conducted by attendance at a polling booth or by post; however, postal voting was almost universal by 1992. The method of casting a vote is similar to parliamentary elections: the surnames of candidates are printed on the ballot paper and electors place a tick after the name of the candidate they wish to vote for.

Local authority franchise. Every parliamentary elector is automatically qualified as a residential elector of a local authority if the address at which the person is registered on the electoral roll is within the district of the local authority.

Ratepayer voting was re-introduced by the Local Government Amendments Act 1991. This entitles ratepayers who are not residents to enrol and vote in any region, district or community in which they pay rates. Rolls are compiled by territorial authorities, who usually compile the rolls and conduct the elections for other authorities as well. The information for the residential electoral roll is obtained from the parliamentary electoral database and the ratepayer roll is compiled from nomination forms sent to ratepayers.

Membership of local authorities. Any person who is a parliamentary elector may be elected to a regional council or territorial authority or community board. In 1992 a prohibition was introduced on a person being a candidate for both a regional council and a territorial authority or community board within that region. Vacancies may be filled either by an election or by appointment, depending upon the type of council, the circumstances of the vacancy and the wishes of the electors.

Main Street, Hokitika.

Remuneration of members. Most boards and councils pay their chairperson or mayor an annual salary, while other members are paid a combination of a daily meeting allowance and an annual salary. Rates of remuneration payable to members are determined by the Minister of Local Government. Maximum and minimum salary and allowance levels are set, allowing the council or board the discretion to decide the actual rate within the prescribed limits.

Local Government Commission

The Local Government Commission comprises three members one of when is the chairperson, appointed by the Minister for Local Government. The commission has two major functions. Firstly, as a quasi-judicial appeal authority to hear and determine:

  • Appeals against decisions on objections to draft reorganisation schemes.

  • Appeals and counter-objectives relating to ward and membership proposals of a local authority, following its triennial review of representation and membership.

  • Proposals for the constitution of communities.

  • Proposals for the reorganisation, or abolition, of communities where there is disagreement between a community board and its parent authority.

Also, in accordance with amendments to the Local Government Act 1992, the commission assumed new responsibilities relating to the preparation and processing of reorganisation proposals for:

  • New districts with a population of more than 10,000 persons.

  • New regions with a population of more than 50,000 persons.

In addition to the above roles, the commission is the determining authority for matters still requiring resolution following the implementation of the major local government reorganisation in 1989. In particular the commission may investigate property dealings of former authorities, and also approve changes in use of the special funds of former authorities.

2.5 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 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 Flag (Jack) in the upper left quarter, and on a blue ground to the right the Southern Cross is represented by four five-pointed stars with white borders.

New Zealand coat of arms

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

New Zealand has two national anthems: ‘God Defend New Zealand’ and ‘God Save the Queen’. ‘God Defend New Zealand’ is a poem written by Thomas Bracken and set to original music composed by John J Woods. It was first performed in public on Christmas Day 1876 and formally adopted as national hymn in 1840. In 1977, with the permission of Her Majesty the Queen, the Government adopted both ‘God Defend New Zealand’ and the traditional ‘God Save the Queen’ as national anthems of equal status in New Zealand to be used in the order appropriate to the occasion. (Refer to supplement to New Zealand Gazette published Monday 21 November 1977.)


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


Below is a summary of the titles, honours and awards granted by the Queen, 1 July 1992-30 June 1993.

Category  Total
Grant of the title ‘The Honourable’  1
Honours and awards   
Order of New Zealand   
         Ordinary Member  3
Companion of The Queen's Service Order   
         For Community Service  10
         For Public Services  18
         For Community Service (Honorary)  1
         For Public Services (Honorary)  1
Queen's Service Medal   
For Community Service  67
For Public Services  67
For Community Service (Honorary)  1
For Public Services (Honorary)  2
Knight Bachelor  2
Order of St Michael and St George Companion  3
Royal Victorian Order Commander  1
Order of the BathCivilMilitary 
Order of the British Empire   
        Dame Commander7-7
        British Empire Medal268
Other Awards   
        Queens’ Police Medal for Distinguished Service  2
        Queen's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service  6
        Air Force Cross  2
        Polar Medal  1
        Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air  1
           Grand total  317

2.6 Chronology 1993

January. Jobless reached post-war record with 279,834 seeking work. Business confidence at 20 year high, a New Zealand Institute of Economic Research survey claimed. New Zealand Milk Corporation refused permission to cut home milk deliveries. Six bids were placed for the building and running of the country's first private prisons. Health authorities declared hundreds of kilometres of Northland, Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel coastline off-limits to shellfish gatherers as a mystery toxic algal bloom spreads; over following months the ban progressively applied to the whole country. Three trampers, who claimed to have seen a moa in the South Island high country, set off a public debate, a few searches, but no sightings. An international study co-ordinated by the Netherland's Justice Minister gave New Zealand the worst crime rate in the industrialised world. Another international survey rated New Zealand as among the top four countries in which to live—but found its people less cultured than Australians.

February. Telecom announced plans to shed more than 5000 staff over the next few years, with 200 jobs going in the meantime. South of Hastings, five people died in a rail-crossing crash, when a car collided with a goods train; by the end of the year 19 people would die in this type of accident (an increase of 13 on the annual average). Three women were honoured with the Order of New Zealand. They were: chair of the Suffrage Centennial Year Trust, Dame Miriam Dell, Southern Maori MP, Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan and children's author, Margaret Mahy. Department of Labour figures showed frozen wages for 54 percent of workers on employment contracts and cuts to weekend penal pay. OECD tipped ongoing New Zealand recovery of 2.5 percent to 3 percent per year. The police launched a five-year strategy aimed at cutting down neighbourhood crime (particularly burglary and domestic violence) and the road toll. A High Court ruling allowed the National Party executive the right to reject Winston Peters’ (the sitting MP of Tauranga) nomination to re-contest his seat.

March. Whangarei landed ANZAC frigate work worth up to $250 million over the next decade. A 167 kilogram bluefin tuna caught in the Bay of Plenty fetched $20,000 at auction in Japan. After fires six months earlier, Coalcorp closed Huntly West Mine, leaving $30 million worth of machines underground. Bartercard cashless trading system launched in new Zealand. First of southern shellfish cleared safe to eat. Court-ordered liquidations for March quarter reached five-year low. Winston Peters formally quit Parliament, necessitating a by-election; 11 candidates were in the running, but none from the major parties. Former Waitemata mayor, Time Shadbolt, won the Invercargill mayoralty by a landslide.

April. Tough anti-drink driving laws introduced, including compulsory breath testing, random stopping and alcohol 'sniffing’ breathalysers. Standard and Poor's reaffirmed New Zealand's AA minus foreign-debt rating. New Health Minister, Bill Birch, abolished charges for hospital beds, 13 months after they were introduced. Winston Peters won the Tauranga by-election, over 11,000 votes ahead of his nearest rival.

May. New Zealand Rail announced 120 job cuts. A ministerial inquiry found the Anglican Church and other landlords acted within the law in imposing increases of up to 6000 percent in land rent in Auckland's eastern suburbs, but criticised the way they went about it. A military training course for the unemployed attracted just 20 people for the 120 available places. Unemployment dipped under 10 percent for the first time in two years. The five month shellfish harvesting ban was lifted in parts of Northland and the Coromandel. Jane Campion won the Palme d'Or (jointly) at Cannes for The Piano; the first female director to win the best film prize.

June. Three North Shore beaches were closed after a pumping station breakdown spilt millions of litres of raw sewage into the sea. A three week amnesty for people illegally claiming social welfare benefits resulted in 11,826 cancellations or adjustments and a saving of $22.3 million. Dame Silvia Cartwright, Chief District Court judge, became the first woman in New Zealand to be appointed a High Court judge.

July. Amendments to the Human Rights Act were passed, with the grounds of unlawful discrimination expanded to include: sex, marital status, age, religious or ethical belief disability, political opinion, employment status, family status and sexual orientation. North Island meat processor AFFCO announced major restructuring with the loss of 1,000 jobs and the prospect of a three year wait for full redundancy. HongkongBank offered a floating mortgage rate of 7.9 percent, the first bank in about 20 years to take home loans below 8 percent. Winston Peters launched his New Zealand First party at Alexandra Park in Auckland. New Zealand Rail was sold for $400 million to an American consortium with merchant bankers Fay Richwhite having a 40 percent holding. Police shot dead a man with a crossbow holding eight people hostage in the Morrinsville police station; an elaborate network of explosives was later found throughout the building. Historian, Sir Keith Sinclair died.

August. The Electoral Reform Bill, which allows for mixed member proportional representation, was passed after almost 30 hours of debate. A computer information matching exercise between the departments of Social Welfare and Inland Revenue found that 6,300 welfare beneficiaries (out of 89,000 names selected at random) were defrauding the system. The High Court threw out arguments by the Auckland City Council against privatisation plans by Mercury Energy (formerly the Auckland Electric Power Board), allowing other power boards to follow similar plans. Continental Airlines announced the axing of its South Pacific services by November. National, Labour and Alliance reached an accord on superannuation. The Reserve Bank announced 335 million five cent coins are missing.

September. Police uncovered a scam in which up to $200,000 in Lottery Grants Board and Internal Affairs Department funding had been siphoned off. Police caught their most wanted criminal, Leslie Green, when he had car trouble while trying to escape after his latest bank robbery in Auckland; he was sent back to prison for 20 years.

October. The last known painting by Colin McCahon, I consider all the acts of oppression, sold at auction in Auckland for $460,000—the highest price paid for a New Zealand work of art. An Auckland-based Nomad aircraft crashed into Franz Josef Glacier killing six German tourists and the New Zealand crew of three.

November. The 1993 General Election was held on 6 November; the results on election night placed National with 49 seats, Labour 46, and the Alliance and New Zealand First with two seats each, leaving no party with an absolute majority. Mixed member proportional representation won the electoral referendum comfortably. The police helicopter Eagle and a traffic spotter plane collided over evening rush-hour in central Auckland, killing both pilots and the two policemen aboard the helicopter. Prime Minister Bolger announced his new Cabinet; the Bolger executive government (which consists of the Cabinet and the Executive Council) numbers 27, the largest in New Zealand's history.

Sir Keith Sinclair.

December. Helen Clark replaced Mike Moore as leader of the parliamentary Labour Party; David Caygill defeated Michael Cullen in the vote for deputy. Opposition MP Peter Tapsell became the Speaker of the House, thus giving the Government a voting majority in Parliament. The Uruguay Round (begun in 1986) of the GATT negotiations was finally settled with 117 countries signing the agreement; the treaty is hailed in New Zealand as promising better returns for farmers tempered with some price rises for domestic consumers. Some hospital closures are feared as the Government announced that up to give of the Crown Health Enterprise are crippled by debt. Sky Tower Casino Limited won the right to run a casino in Auckland.

2.7 General Election 1993

The National Government, under the Rt Hon JB Bolger, was re-elected following the election held on 6 November 1993. The strength of the political parties’ representation in Parliament after this election was: National 50, Labour 45, Alliance 2 and New Zealand First 2.

The electoral boundaries were revised in 1992, reorganising New Zealand's electoral districts. There were 99 electorates in the 1993 General Election, an increase of two from the previous election. The 99 seats were contested by 689 candidates, 191 of these were women and 498 were men; 21 women and 78 men were elected to Parliament. In Auckland Central, Sandra Lee became the first Maori women to win a general (non-Maori) seat, while Phillip Field became the first Pacific Island MP, when he won the Otara electorate.

A total of 2,321,664 people were enrolled to vote in the election, of these 1,978,215 actually voted (a turnout of 85.21 percent), with 1,922,796 valid votes cast. The members of Parliament with the largest majorities are: Graham, Remuera (8,619); Simich, Tamaki (7,951); Peters, Tauranga (7,924); and Anderton, Sydenham (7,476). The member of Parliament with the smallest majority is Neill of Waitaki with a margin of 53 votes.

In the referendum for electoral reform, 1,917,903 valid votes were cast. Of that number, 884,962 were for the first past the post (FPP) electoral system, while 1,032,941 were for the mixed member proportional (MMP) representation, giving a 53.9 to 46.1 percent advantage to MMP.

The results shown in the following tables include special votes, but do not take into account any subsequent petitions or recounts. These figures were the most up-to-date at the time of going to print. A list of the new ministry chosen by the Prime Minister soon after the election (the second Bolger Ministry) is also included.


Party nameParty votesPercentage total voteSeats contestedSeats won
*National did not submit a candidate for the Southern Maori electorate.
Alliance (A)350,06318.21992
Alternative (ALT)8220.0410
Aotearoa Partnership (AP)520.0420
Blokes Liberation Front (BLF)570.0010
Binding Referendum (BR)1320.0110
Christian Heritage (CH)38,7452.02980
Communist League (CL)840.0020
New Zealand Defence Movement (DM)6500.03110
Dominion Workers (DW)120.0010
New Zealand Economic Euthenics (EE)100.0010
Ethereal Vision (EV)400.0010
Gisborne First (GF)1450.0110
Hard to Find Bookshop (HFB)1710.0120
Independent (I)7,1770.37280
Labour (L)666,80034.689945
McGillicuddy Serious (McGS)11,7140.61640
Mana Maori (MM)3,3420.1750
National (N)673,89235.0598*50
Natural Law (NL)6,0560.31760
New Zealand First (NZF)161,4818.40842
New Zealand Representative6410.0310
Pacific (P)250.0010
Private Enterprise (PE)350.0010
Real (R)420.0020
Unemployed Workers Rights (UWR)5140.0380
Whangarei Whanau (WW)940.0010
        Total1 922 796100.0068999


Electoral districts candidates and party affiliationsVotes recorded
*A referendum on electoral reform was held in conjunction with the general election. Voters had the choice between the present first past the post (FPP) electoral system and electoral reform with mixed member proportional representation (MMP).
        Allen (L)3,848
        Chiles (McGS)184
        Jeffs (A)4,515
        McKinnon (N)8,166
        McRae (NZF)4,300
        Power (I)206
Auckland Central 
        Anae (N)4,242
        Gray (NZF)967
        Kennedy (CH)210
        Lee (A)8,106
        Millett (BLF)57
        Minchin (McGS)206
        Prebble (L)6,815
        Robb (CL)32
        Sanson (NL)74
        Kearns (N)3,799
        Lees (NL)69
        Middleton (McGS)97
        Penney (I)110
        Ryall (NZF)906
        Smith (CH)396
        Sutherland (L)9,835
        Venning (A)4,192
        Lankshear (NZF)1,237
        Roy (N)7,802
        Scaletti-Longley (L)5,566
        Stevens (CH)326
        Stirling (A)3,203
        Brebner (CH)364
        Hartley (L)7,762
        Lack (A)3,314
        Nicholson (McGS)164
        Norman (NZF)1,681
        Revell (N)7,866
        Selwood-Hatt (UWR)45
        Wood (NZ)68
Christchurch Central 
        Bain (CL)52
        Dalziel (L)9,841
        Kelly (McGS)240
        Le Cren (CH)413
        Martin (NL)126
        Rowe (N)3,652
        Vercoe (A)3,501
Christchurch North 
        Davey (A)3,072
        Drace (NL)47
        Fulford (NZF)726
        Mann (CH)444
        Moore (L)11,605
        Morgan (N)5,581
        Murgatroyd (McGS)108
        Bradfield (CH)692
        Buchanan (L)5,289
        Forbes (McGS)174
        Gray (N)9,406
        Ramsay (NZF)953
        Tranter (A)3,257
Dunedin North 
        Bush (NL)73
        Flynn (A)5,022
        Hodgson (L)9,119
        Kennedy (McGS)267
        Perkins (N)5,325
        Rodriguez (NZF)776
        Storm (CH)368
Dunedin West 
        Ibadulla (NZF)923
        Jelley (NL)63
        Matthewson (L)9,924
        Streekstra (CH)434
        Turner (N)5,447
        Wood (A)4,076
East Coast Bays 
        Adams (NL)107
        Duncan (L)3,253
        Knox (CH)347
        McConachy (A)5,693
        McCully (N)10,209
        Martin (NZF)2,232
Eastern Bay of Plenty 
        Aubertin (NL)47
        Bennett (A)2,633
        Blackman (NZF)2,062
        Chadwick (DM)50
        Collins (L)5,741
        Morrison (CH)343
        Ryall (N)6,547
Eastern Hutt 
        Chapman (CH)526
        Hodgson (NL)37
        Jordan (NZF)1,000
        McHale (J)54
        MacMillan (N)4,628
        Nicholls (McGS)150
        Ruth (A)2,467
        Swain (L)9,346
        Bowden (DM)76
        Bridgeman-Sutton (McGS)164
        Fletcher (N)10,121
        Halligan (HFB)82
        Hodson (NL)70
        Locke (A)2,878
        McQueen (CH)375
        Smith (L)6,727
Far North 
        Austin (NL)53
        Baker (NZF)3,552
        Carter (N)6,977
        Field (A)2,926
        Jack (CH)387
        Lowe (L)3,418
        Rowe (McGS)163
        Burdon (N)10,767
        Day (L)5,785
        Jones (NL)109
        Neville (McGS)279
        Pearson (CH)521
        St Johanser (A)3,341
        Birch (N)7,723
        Bischoff (A)4,180
        De Coudray (NZF)2,567
        Flynn (NL)62
        Te Pou (L)2,776
        Voschezang (CH)321
        Wilson (BR)132
        Worthington (McGS)192
        Courts (McGS)94
        Donnelly (GF)145
        Kimber (N)7,147
        Mackey (L)8,215
        Parker (NL)52
        Smith (A)2,099
        Vermeulen (CH)329
        Waitai (NZF)1,114
        Batten (L)6,131
        Cornaga (NL)80
        Gillon (A)4,922
        Hilt (N)8,114
        Mortensen (NZF)1,475
        Thomas (CH)347
Hamilton East 
        Clark (NL)48
        Randell (CH)494
        Singh (A)2,556
        Smeaton (McGS)274
        Steel (N)7,597
        Widerstrom (NZF)1,860
        Yates (L)7,677
Hamilton West 
        Caldwell (McGS)181
        Gallagher (L)7,118
        Goodall (CH)399
        Marsh (R)23
        Tait (A)2,247
        Thomas (N)6,669
        Woolerton (NZF)2,024
        Barker (L)9,000
        Bowers (N)6,249
        Charters (I)104
        Jones (CH)640
        Morrison (McGS)128
        Ouseley (NL)66
        Waitere (NZF)932
        Weir (A)2,689
        Boswell (DM)47
        Fitzsimons (A)5,698
        Garden (L)3,183
        Jackson (CH)289
        Kyd (N)7,568
        O'Flaherty (NZF)1,593
        Smith (McGS)148
Hawkes Bay 
        Davis (CH)593
        Laws (N)9,471
        Parry (NL)74
        Ramsden (McGS)107
        Reynolds (L)6,328
        Stewart (A)2,880
        Albert (NZF)1,120
        Bradford (UWR)95
        Bryers (I)23
        Elder (L)6,381
        Jorgensen (N)4,251
        Mackie (McGS)106
        Paterson (A)3,378
        Philpott (J)53
        Thomson (CH)618
        Avanti (I)43
        Hounsell (CH)616
        Logan (NZF)772
        McCardle (N)7,981
        Mendoza (DM)32
        Sahar (McGS)137
        Simpson (L)7,149
        Tracey (A)2,663
        Clayton (McGS)133
        Grover (A)3,777
        Grubi (CH)304
        Hall (ALT)822
        Meurant (N)6,474
        Peters (NZF)3,445
        Ryder (L)2,918
        Treadwell (NL)50
        Bint (A)2,517
        Hancock (N)6,040
        Hubbard (CH)636
        Keall (L)8,387
        Richardson (NZF)2,441
        Wilson (NL)54
        Chamberlain (NZF)2,590
        Clarke (L)4,922
        Hamill (NL)134
        Hoyte (A)3,747
        Landhuis (McGS)261
        Rogers (N)10,676
        Comins (NL)48
        Jones (I)702
        Kawe (NZF)393
        Macann (CH)242
        Munro (N)7,303
        Peck (L)8,477
        Treweek (A)2,250
Island Bay 
        Brown (NL)158
        Buchanan (McGS)451
        Douche (NZF)926
        Fleming (CH)479
        Shields (N)4,688
        Tennet (L)10,110
        Tile (A)3,809
        Anderson (N)6,570
        Benner (NL)66
        Brown (NZF)6,198
        Chester (CH)362
        Dassler (I)54
        Davies (L)3,660
        Stephens (A)2,894
        Brewster (McGS)296
        Hare (CH)501
        Merwood (I)94
        Phillips (L)3,079
        Smith (N)7,462
        Steward (A)4,504
        Taylor (NZF)2,676
        Calder (L)8,203
        Church (McGS)153
        Halsted (CH)506
        Smith (A)4,182
        Sowry (N)9,241
        Stevenson (NZF)1,431
        Stumbles (NL)78
King Country 
        Bolger (N)8,396
        Hasyo (McGS)220
        Herbert (A)3,518
        Jones (CH)539
        Simpson (L)3,890
        Williams (NL)115
        Burnett (CH)375
        Carter (N)8,939
        Dyson (L)9,616
        Gluer (NZF)829
        Lewis (A)3,729
        Lovell-Smith (NL)193
        Baldwin (N)6,424
        Gaustad (NL)59
        Haggett (NZF)906
        Hewitt (CH)320
        Maclntyre (A)5,435
        White (L)6,588
        Archer (NZF)2,037
        Bilyard (NL)53
        Davis (UWR)84
        Lange (L)8,345
        Nemeth (CH)135
        Richards (A)2,387
        Te Hau (N)1,120
        Webb (McGS)77
        Chalmers (N)3,462
        Craig (McGS)135
        Hawkins (L)7,476
        Kennedy (CH)388
        Roa (NZF)2,156
        Robinson (A)3,183
        Bell (I)91
        Harrison (NZF)1,930
        Howard (L)6,387
        Kidd (N)8,935
        Murphy (A)3,891
        Pigou (CH)485
        Smith (NL)50
        Clarke (CH)240
        Hutchinson (L)3,180
        Jefferson (NZF)3,419
        Lee G (N)6,334
        Lee L (NL)140
        Neill (A)5,441
        Soper (McGS)172
        Barclay (NZF)2,163
        Barker (I)283
        Carlisle (CH)419
        Harris (L)2,543
        Luxton (N)8,921
        Pemberton (A)2,944
        Sanders (McGS)245
        Campbell (NZF)960
        Corner (CH)353
        Hamilton (A)2,590
        King (L)10,352
        Moncur (PE)35
        Reeves (N)7,757
        Shepherd (NL)65
        Thornton (McGS)187
Mt Albert 
        Anderson (NZF)1,370
        Brown (N)4,890
        Clark (L)9,546
        Julian (McGS)195
        McGee (A)2,873
        Meder (CH)259
        Sanson (NL)62
        Sowry (UWR)97
        Vanden Heuvel (DM)25
        Bisley (CH)297
        Braybrooke (L)9,923
        Holland (A)3,399
        Morunga (NZF)989
        Pritchard (N)4,997
        Barber (CH)746
        Blincoe (L)8,779
        Downey (NZF)1,039
        Emerre (N)6,772
        Ward (A)4,543
        Ward-Brown (NL)131
New Lynn 
        Hinds (CH)360
        Hunt (L)6,974
        Mullins (NZF)1,474
        Robinson (A)5,376
        Seavill (N)3,642
        Turei (McGS)121
New Plymouth 
        Armstrong (N)7,355
        Calvert (NZF)1,087
        Duynhoven (L)10,481
        Smith (A)2,182
        Sowry (NL)77
        Starrenburg (CH)217
North Shore 
        Bryant (McGS)288
        Cayford (A)5,445
        Cliffe (N)10,168
        Gladwell (CH)341
        Harding (L)4,132
        Pianta (NL)118
        Stevens (NZF)1,851
        Foster (McGS)110
        Jordan (HFB)89
        Lee (NL)95
        Northey (L)7,183
        Paterson (CH)318
        Robson (A)3,503
        Shearer (NZF)2,132
        Thorne (N)6,776
        Barker (McGS)130
        Bunkle (A)3,077
        Burgess (NZF)682
        Byford (CH)457
        Dunne (L)9,096
        Lysaght (I)296
        McGregor (NL)62
        Mathew (N)8,031
        Stewart (I)24
        Bousfield (McGS)315
        Cooper (N)8,254
        Hamill (NL)58
        Hamilton (I)238
        Renton (A)3,015
        Warren (NZF)904
        Yiakmis (L)5,034
        Zwies (CH)336
        Cave (McGS)78
        Davis (MM)100
        Faleauto (NZR)641
        Field (L)8,080
        Frith (N)2,099
        Glassie (AP)16
        Hieatt (UWR)59
        Newman (A)1,856
        Ward (CH)253
        Falloon (N)8,702
        Kelly (I)160
        Kingi (NZF)1,601
        Martindale (L)3,524
        Rockell (A)3,184
        Van Steel (CH)510
        Brigid (NL)87
        MacKay (L)4,159
        Moore (NZF)2,399
        Sasquatch (McGS)201
        Starrenburg (CH)367
        Wilkins (A)3,203
        Williamson (N)9,619
Palmerston North 
        Burgess (CH)413
        Goaley (I)48
        Hehir (A)3,474
        Maharey (L)9,049
        Martin (NL)66
        Nattrass (EV)40
        Odering (NZF)1,220
        Stones (N)5,285
        Jesson (A)4,751
        Lodge (NL)130
        Pepperell (CH)250
        Tizard (L)8,028
        Wren (N)2,238
        Ayers (A)2,423
        Boswell (DM)67
        Davy (NL)49
        Hawks (L)5,886
        James-Reihana (AP)36
        Mosen (NZF)2,260
        Robertson (N)6,370
        Worth (CH)218
        Alchin-Smith (A)2,529
        Kettle (NL)67
        Nichols (NZF)1,774
        Robertson (L)9,769
        Ruijne (CH)271
        Wild (N)3,792
        Cauchi (McGS)186
        Houpapa (NZF)1,186
        Mallard (L)8,106
        Otway (A)3,021
        Paton (CH)380
        Thomas (N)5,465
        Kelly (L)9,163
        Magson (NZF)1,261
        Mitchell (A)2,309
        O'Donnell (CH)522
        Prankerd (McGS)239
        Sipeli (N)2,450
        Clough (I)71
        Dunn (NL)52
        Harris (L)4,875
        Houtman (McGS)198
        Medland (A)2,944
        Randell (NZF)2,201
        Scoggins (CH)556
        Upton (N)7,494
        Green (NL)102
        Greer (McGS)203
        Hooley (CH)286
        Howie (L)5,803
        Hunt (A)3,181
        Page (NZF)1,459
        Shipley (N)10,343
        Bird (NL)52
        Gerard (N)9,157
        Little (L)4,688
        Phillips (CH)450
        Wolfe (McGS)125
        Woods (NZF)1,397
        Wright (A)4,611
        Burgess (CH)728
        Marshall (N)8,346
        Michelini (NL)88
        Peck (A)4,924
        Schmidt (L)4,651
        Shaw (McGS)217
        Graham (N)12,584
        Haynes (L)3,633
        Holmes (DM)86
        Hoole (McGS)347
        Lodge (NL)129
        Phimester (CH)247
        Tierney (A)3,965
        Dunbar (CH)355
        Goff (L)7,664
        Myles (NZF)3,530
        Potaka (A)2,260
        Price (McGS)82
        Spence (N)5,459
        Cairns (McGS)147
        Chadwick (L)5,018
        East (N)5,893
        Kohath (CH)374
        Reed (DM)133
        Ridings (A)5,464
        Sharp (NL)47
        Turner (I)164
        Dennis (CH)425
        McCaskey (A)2,898
        Mack (NL)92
        McKenzie (NZF)1,496
        Mark (L)8,575
        Richardson (N)9,463
St Albans 
        Bunting (P)25
        Caygill (L)10,022
        Dawson (N)6,597
        Gordon (NZF)949
        Lovell (CH)481
        Newlove (A)3,423
        Pickering (NL)88
St Kilda 
        Cullen (L)10,019
        Fogarty (NZF)1,027
        Geerrlofs (CH)392
        McBey (A)4,948
        MacPherson (N)4,899
        Alberts (CH)346
        Anderton (A)12,466
        Bergman (NZF)386
        Brownlee (N)3,209
        Coyle (L)4,990
        Drake (NL)62
        Dunick (McGS)110
        Hansen (EE)10
        Mundy (DW)12
        Adams (UWR32
        De Boer (McGS)185
        Green (A)3,612
        Lindsay (CH)279
        Post (I)37
        Preston (NZF)1,739
        Simich (N)11,563
        Skelton (DM)51
        Stott (NL)75
        Wilson (L)3,300
        Fairclough (NZF)1,420
        Greig (NL)116
        Maxwell (N)8,910
        Satherley (A)2,594
        Shramka (CH)403
        Wood (L)4,039
        Bradford (N)7,873
        Campbell (DM)40
        Dickson (L)3,718
        Kingsley-Smith (A)3,081
        Stevens (CH)424
        Summerhays (McGS)191
        Van Batenburg (NL)38
        Yates (NZF)3,009
        Knowles (McGS)149
        Maisey (I)461
        Radford (A)2,539
        Rayner (NL)76
        Richards (I)80
        Rowling (L)6,958
        Smith (N)11,017
        Van Maanen (CH)235
        Waldron (I)25
        Barham (A)2,064
        Cronin (N)4,714
        Hughes (NL)59
        Lee (L)2,839
        Peters (NZF)12,638
        Pittams (McGS)198
        Smith (CH)331
Te Atatu 
        Adams (N)4,724
        Boock (NL)27
        Bradford (UWR)36
        Broadbent (CH)342
        Brown (NZF)1,121
        Carter (L)6,889
        Franklin (McGS)89
        Harre (A)5,501
        Binns (A)2,533
        Bloxham (NZF)1,459
        Brodie (CH)200
        McTigue (N)7,213
        Sole (NL)59
        Sutton (L)10,153
        Breckon (CH)367
        Burgering (I)42
        Haldane (UWR)66
        Hartnett (A)4,464
        Hasler (N)6,070
        Loza (NZF)1,182
        Sinclair (L)6,410
        Smith (McGS)146
        Thomas (NL)68
        Burton (L)7,723
        Elder (A)2,458
        Peters (N)5,772
        Westaway (NL)88
        Wills (CH)229
        Beamish (CH)336
        Forrest (A)3,184
        McClay (N)8,579
        Sheehan (L)4,558
        Thomson (NL)127
        Joyce (NZF)1,748
        McComb (DM)43
        Marsh (R)19
        Moore (L)4,578
        Petchey (A)3,358
        Prieset (CH)437
        Smith (McGS)234
        Storey (N)6,864
        Barnard (NL)40
        Holdway-Davis (CH)772
        Kiibridge (A)4,487
        O'Regan (N)8,217
        O'Sullivan (L)2,740
        Parlane (NZF)2,156
        Sutcliffe (McGS)178
        Creech (N)9,004
        Lloyd (CH)597
        MacPherson (A)4,162
        Reinsfield (NL)51
        Routhan (NZF)1,051
        Teahan (L)6,775
        Cullen (I)120
        Hutchinson (L)5,103
        Lake (NZF)1,683
        Madison (A)3,933
        Martin-Buss (McGS)171
        Morgan (NL)81
        Neeson (N)8,283
        Rae (CH)366
        Albiston (L)8,480
        Boynton (CH)292
        Francis (NZF)1,081
        Neill (N)8,533
        Verity (A)2,268
        Gresham (N)8,496
        Keenan (A)3,113
        Lehmstedt (L)3,951
        Mulholland (CH)600
        Servian (McGS)228
        Woolston (NZF)2,286
        Bull (NL)87
        English (N)9,832
        Horton (A)2,359
        La Roche (I)217
        Soper (L)4,254
        Stevens (CH)628
        West (McGS)201
        Campion (I)2,525
        Donoghue (N)4,028
        Frederikse (A)2,253
        Heffernan (NZF)3,621
        Pettis (L)7,399
        Rush (CH)378
        Bramwell (NZF)654
        Douglas (NL)99
        Gardiner (N)10,537
        Glendining (A)2,181
        Harris (CH)230
        Laidlaw (L)10,057
        Millen (McGS)215
West Coast 
        Kelly (NZF)622
        Moir (N)6,000
        Neame (I)852
        O'Connor (L)8,920
        Robinson (CH)321
        Sinclair (A)2,525
        Taylor (NL)42
Western Hutt 
        France (CH)443
        McGlinchy (McGS)192
        McLauchlan (N)9,043
        Ropata (NZF)742
        Steele (A)2,688
Western Huttcontinued 
Walsh (L)7,501
        Banks (N)6,507
        Brittenden (A)2,649
        Cooke (McGS)152
        Donnelly (NZF)4,212
        Furey (L)4,920
        Gourlie (WW)94
        Smith (CH)275
        Treadwell (NL)75
        Austin (L)10,659
        Booth (NZF)1,092
        Capill (CH)467
        Gordon (A)2,881
        Van Der Werf (NL)53
        Watson (N)7,662
Eastern Maori 
        Gray (N)664
        Iti (MM)1,388
        Kopu (A)2,645
        Para (NL)246
        Tapsell (L)9,311
        Wirepa (CH)404
Northern Maori 
        Austin (NL)75
        Cruickshank (CH)209
        Dargaville (N)709
        Gregory (L)5,238
        Henare (NZF)5,654
        Rata (A)4,422
        Te Kooti (MM)443
Southern Maori 
        Harris (MM)702
        Irwin (NL)119
        Parkinson (NZF)3,291
        Stevens (A)2,541
        Tirikatene-Sullivan (L)9,631
        Whare (CH)336
Western Maori 
        Ashford (CH)200
        Brown (N)502
        Joseph (A)2,015
        Pene (MM)709
        Taiaroa (NZF)4,104
        Thomas (NL)53
        Wetere (L)7,881


Prime Minister—Rt Hon JB Bolger
Leader of the Opposition—Rt Hon HE Clark*
Speaker—Hon PW Tapsell
Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees—RJ Gerard
Clerk of the House—DG McGee

*Helen Clark replaced Mike Moore as Leader of the Opposition on 1 December 1993.

Anderson, RobertKaimaiNational
Anderton, JamesSydenhamAlliance
Austin, Hon MargaretYaldhurstLabour
Banks, Hon JohnWhangareiNational
Barker, RichardHastingsLabour
Birch, Rt Hon WilliamFranklinNational
Blincoe, JohnNelsonLabour
Bolger, Rt Hon JamesKing CountryNational
Bradford, MaxwellTaraweraNational
Braybrooke, GeoffreyNapierLabour
Burdon, Hon PhilipFendaltonNational
Burton, MarkTongariroLabour
Carter, ChristopherTe AtatuLabour
Carter, JohnFar NorthNational
Caygill, Hon DavidSt AlbansLabour
Clark, Rt Hon HelenMt AlbertLabour
Cliffe, Hon BruceNorth ShoreNational
Cooper, Hon WarrenOtagoNational
Creech, Hon WyattWairarapaNational
Cullen, Hon Dr MichaelSt KildaLabour
Dalziel, LianneChristchurch CentralLabour
Dunne, Hon PeterOnslowLabour
Duynhoven, HarryNew PlymouthLabour
Dyson, RuthLytteltonLabour
East, Hon PaulRotoruaNational
Elder, JackHendersonLabour
English, WilliamWallaceNational
Falloon, Hon JohnPahiatuaNational
Field, PhillipOtaraLabour
Fletcher, ChristineEdenNational
Gallagher, MartinHamilton WestLabour
Gardiner, PaulineWellington-KaroriNational
Gerard, JamesRangioraNational
Goff, Hon PhilipRoskillLabour
Graham, Hon DouglasRemueraNational
Gray, Hon RobertCluthaNational
Gresham, Hon PeterWaitotaraNational
Hawkins, GeorgeManurewaLabour
Henare, TauNorthern MaoriNZ First
Hilt, PeterGlenfieldNational
Hodgson, PeterDunedin NorthLabour
Hunt, Rt Hon JonathanNew LynnLabour
Keall, JudithHorowhenuaLabour
Kelly, GrahamPoriruaLabour
Kidd, Hon DouglasMarlboroughNational
King, Hon AnnetteMiramarLabour
Kyd, WarrenHaurakiNational
Lange, Rt Hon DavidMangereLabour
Laws, MichaelHawkes BayNational
Lee, Hon GraemeMatakanaNational
Lee, SandraAuckland CentralAlliance
Luxton, Hon JohnMatamataNational
Mackey, JanetGisborneLabour
McCardle, PeterHeretaungaNational
McClay, Hon RogerWaikaremoanaNational
McCully, Hon MurrayEast Coast BaysNational
McKinnon, Rt Hon DonaldAlbanyNational
McLauchlan, JoyWestern HuttNational
Maharey, StevenPalmerston NorthLabour
Mallard, TrevorPencarrowLabour
Marshall, Hon DenisRangitikeiNational
Matthewson, Hon CliveDunedin WestLabour
Maxwell, Hon RogerTaranakiNational
Meurant, RossHobsonNational
Moore, Rt Hon MichaelChristchurch NorthLabour
Neeson, BrianWaitakereNational
Neill, AlexanderWaitakiNational
Northey, RichardOnehungaLabour
O'Connor, DamienWest CoastLabour
O'Regan, Hon KatherineWaipaNational
Peck, MarkInvercargillLabour
Peters, WinstonTaurangaNZ First
Pettis, JillWanganuiLabour
Revell, IanBirkenheadNational
Richardson, Hon RuthSelwynNational
Robertson, RossPapatoetoeLabour
Robertson, JohnPapakuraNational
Rogers, TrevorHowickNational
Roy, EricAwaruaNational
Ryall, AnthonyEastern Bay of PlentyNational
Shipley, Hon JenniferRakaiaNational
Simich, ClemTamakiNational
Sinclair, SuzanneTitirangiLabour
Smith, Hon Dr LockwoodKaiparaNational
Smith, NickTasmanNational
Sowry, RogerKapitiNational
Storey, Hon RobsonWaikatoNational
Sutherland, LarryAvonLabour
Sutton, Hon JamesTimaruLabour
Swain, PaulEastern HuttLabour
Tapsell, Hon PeterEastern MaoriLabour
Tennet, ElizabethIsland BayLabour
Tirikatene-Sullivan, Hon Whetu MaramaSouthern MaoriLabour
Tizard, JudithPanmureLabour
Upton, Hon SimonRaglanNational
Wetere, Hon KoroWestern MaoriLabour
White, JacquelineManawatuLabour
Williamson, Hon MauricePakurangaNational
Yates, DianneHamilton EastLabour

The second Bolger ministry.


The Cabinet

Rt Hon Jim Bolger, Prime Minister.

Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.

Rt Hon W F Birch, Minister of Finance.

Hon Paul East, Attorney-General, Minister of State Services.

Hon Jenny Shipley, Minister of Health, Minister of Women's Affairs.

Hon Doug Kidd, Minister of Labour, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Energy.

Hon Philip Burdon, Minister of Commerce, Minister for State-owned Enterprises (all SOEs except Radio NZ and TVNZ).

Hon Simon Upton, Minister for the Environment, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Minister for Crown Research Institutes.

Hon Dr. Lockwood Smith, Minister of Education.

Hon John Falloon, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry.

Hon Wyatt Creech, Minister of Employment, Minister of Revenue, Deputy Minister of Finance.

Hon Douglas Graham, Minister of Justice, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Minister of Cultural Affairs.

Hon John Banks, Minister of Tourism, Minister for Sport, Fitness and Leisure, Minister of Local Government.

Hon Denis Marshall, Minister of Conservation, Minister of Lands.

Hon John Luxton, Minister of Maori Affairs, Minister of Police.

Hon Warren Cooper, Minister of Defence, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Civil Defence.

Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister of Transport, Minister of Statistics, Minister of Communications, Minister of Broadcasting.

Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Housing, Minister of Customs.

Hon Denis Marshall, Minister of Lands, Minister of Survey and Land Information. Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister of Employment.

Mr P J Gresham MP, Minister of Social Welfare, Minister for Senior Citizens.

Mr B W Cliffe MP, Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance.

Ministers outside Cabinet

Hon Roger Maxwell, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Business Development.

Hon Roger McClay, Minister of Youth Affairs.

Hon Katherine O'Regan, Minister of Consumer Affairs.

Parliamentary Under-secretaries Mr W J Kyd MP, Parliamentary Under-secretary to the: Minister of Commerce, Minister for Industry, Minister for State-owned Enterprises.

Mr A R Meurant MP, Parliamentary Under-secretary to the: Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry.

Mr S W English MP, Parliamentary Under-secretary to the: Minister of Health, Minister for Crown Health Enterprises.

Other responsibilities

Ministers with other vote or statutory responsibilities are indicated below.

Rt Hon Jim Bolger, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Intelligence Service.

Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Leader of the House.

Hon W F Birch, Government Superannuation Fund.

Hon Paul East, Minister for Crown Health Enterprises, Minister in Charge of the Audit Department, Serious Fraud Office.

Hon Philip Burdon, Minister for Industry, Minister for Trade Negotiations, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister of Railways, Minister in Charge of Public Trust Office.

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith, Education Review Office, National Library.

Hon John Falloon, Minister for Racing.

Hon Douglas Graham, Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.

Hon Denis Marshall, Minister in Charge of the Valuation Department, Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister of Employment.

Hon John Luxton, Associate Minister of Education.

Hon Warren Cooper, Minister in Charge of War Pensions.

Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister for Information Technology, Associate Minister of Health.

Hon Murray McCully, Associate Minister of Tourism, Housing New Zealand, Housing Corporation.

Mr B W Cliflfe MP, Associate Minister of Finance, Radio New Zealand Limited, Television New Zealand Limited.

Hon Roger Maxwell, Associate Minister of Employment.

Hon Roger McClay, Associate Minister of Education, Associate Minister of Social Welfare, Associate Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.

Hon Katherine O'Regan, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Social Welfare, Associate Minister of Women's Affairs.


  • 2.1 Department of Justice.

  • 2.2 Clerk of the House of Representatives; Parliamentary Service; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Department of Justice; Department of Internal Affairs.

  • 2.3 State Services Commission; government departments as listed; New Zealand Planning Council; Audit Office; Office of the Ombudsmen; Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner of the Environment.

  • 2.4 Department of Internal Affairs; Local Government Commission.

  • 2.5 Department of Internal Affairs.

Special articles

State Services Commission; Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives; Department of Justice; Who's Who in New Zealand, ed Lambert, 12th edition, Reed Books, 1991; New Zealand Herald.

Further information


Burrows J F (1992), Statute Law in New Zealand, Butterworths.

Joseph P A (1993), Constitutional Law in New Zealand, Law Book Company.

Mai C and Palmer G (1993), Public Law in New Zealand: Cases, Materials, Commentary and Questions, Oxford University Press.

Mulholland R D (1985), Introduction to the New Zealand Legal System, 6th ed, Butterworths.

Robson J L et al (1967), New Zealand: The Development of its Laws and Constitution, 2nd ed, Stevens.

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

Parliament and the Cabinet

Parliamentary Bulletin. GP Print (weekly when the House of Representatives is sitting).

Report of the Department of Internal Affairs (Parl paper G7).

Report of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Parl paper G48).

Report of the Royal Commission on the Electoral System; Towards a Better Democracy. (Parl paper H3, 1986).

Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. GP Print, 1992.

Who's Who in the New Zealand Parliament. Parliamentary Service, 1990.

Gold and Hyam (ed) (1992), New Zealand Politics in Perspective, 3rd ed, Longman Paul.

Jackson K (1987), The Dilemma of Parliament, Allen&Unwin.

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

Ringer J B (1992), An Introduction to New Zealand Government, Hazard Press.

State sector

Directory of Official Information. Department of Justice (biennial).

Reports of the Controller and Auditor-General (Parl paper B28).

Reports of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (Parl paper C12).

Report of the Ombudsmen (Parl paper A3).

Report of the State Services Commission (Parl paper G3).

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

All government departments and many statutory organisations publish annual reports in the parliamentary paper series.

Local government

Report of the Department of Internal Affairs (Parl paper G7).

Report of the Local Government Commission (Parl paper G9).

Statement on Reform of Local and Regional Government by Minister of Local Government. Local Government Commission, 1988.

Chapter 3. International relations and defence

Chilean President Patricio Aylwin arriving in New Zealand, October 1993.

3.1 Relations with other countries

Independent New Zealand foreign policy dates from 1935. In 1943 the Government established a career foreign service, and began to station its own diplomatic representatives overseas. Today, New Zealand has 45 diplomatic and consular posts located in 38 countries and territories. Multiple accreditation allows some New Zealand representatives to cover other countries from their bases.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible on behalf of the Government for all major policy functions related to New Zealand's external relations. (The ministry's name changed from the Ministry of External Relations and Trade from 1 July 1993.) The main thrust of the ministry's work is directed to the management of New Zealand's bilateral relations with other countries and interests in international institutions. Other functions include management of New Zealand official development assistance, provision of consular services to New Zealanders abroad, provision of operational and administrative support services to other New Zealand Government agencies overseas, and management of the New Zealand Antarctic Programme.

The New Zealand Antarctic Programme is based in Christchurch at the International Antarctic Centre and also maintains a permanent New Zealand facility at Scott Base in the Ross Dependency.

The ministry is the official channel of communication between the New Zealand Government and other governments. It also administers Tokelau and undertakes external affairs and defence functions for the Cook Islands and Niue, after consultation with their respective heads of government.

The ministry consults closely with other government departments and agencies on domestic and international developments and their interrelationships. The New Zealand Trade Development Board is a particularly important partner in developing and implementing programmes to promote foreign exchange earnings.

In addition, it is responsible for operating and administering the network of diplomatic and consular posts which represent and pursue New Zealand's interests overseas. The posts also perform services overseas on behalf of all government departments and offer assistance to New Zealanders overseas, whether travelling in official or private capacities, and issue passports and visas overseas.

For the addresses of New Zealand's overseas posts, and for information on diplomatic, consular and other representation in New Zealand refer to the ministry's publications Overseas Posts, and the Diplomatic List: Diplomatic and Consular Representatives in New Zealand.

South Pacific

New Zealand has diplomatic missions in most of the countries of the South Pacific and maintains regular contact on a range of bilateral and regional issues. Over 60 percent of bilateral development assistance is directed to the South Pacific.

A special relationship exists between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, and Niue. The Cook Islands became a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand in 1965, and Niue in 1974. Both governments have full legislative and executive competence, and can conduct their own external relations and enter into international agreements. But a constitutional relationship provides for the exercise by New Zealand of certain responsibilities for defence and external relations. This does not confer any rights of control. Cook Islanders and Niueans are New Zealand citizens. The relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand was elaborated in 1973 as ‘one of partnership, freely entered into and freely maintained’. Tokelau is described in section 3.3, New Zealand territories.

The region (not including Australia) is of growing importance to New Zealand, with exports of $645 million in 1993. Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the French Territories are the most important markets. Imports, amounting to about $125 million, came principally from Fiji and Nauru. New Zealand has taken special measures to foster trade with these countries and New Zealand investment in the region. A regional trade agreement, South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA), provides unrestricted duty-free access to New Zealand (and Australia) on a non-reciprocal basis for products exported by island countries. The Pacific Islands Industrial Development Scheme (PIIDS) provides financial assistance and incentives for joint ventures between New Zealand companies and Pacific Island companies, developing approved manufacturing operations in selected Pacific countries. Its objective is to foster economic development and employment opportunities there.

There is close co-operation with the South Pacific on defence matters. New Zealand's armed forces undertake mutual assistance programmes, joint exercises and maritime surveillance. They provide immediate help after natural disasters such as cyclones, and undertake civil development projects in isolated areas.

In 1971 the South Pacific Forum was created to build up regional co-operation in the South Pacific. Meetings are held annually, most recently in Honiara in 1992 and Nauru in 1993. The forum provides an opportunity for 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, the environment, the law of the sea, fishing, disaster relief, nuclear testing, regional security and decolonisation.

The forum established the Forum Secretariat, which is tasked with the implementation of forum decisions. It works on a broad range of economic and political questions. This agency is located in Suva. The forum also set up the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency to facilitate the rational utilisation and conservation of the region's marine resources. Its headquarters are in Honiara. Recently the forum encouraged the establishment of an autonomous regional environment agency—the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), located in Apia, Western Samoa.

The Pacific Forum Line (PFL) is another endeavour in South Pacific regional co-operation. Ten of the region's nations operate the shipping line; it charters three vessels and aims to facilitate regional trade through improved shipping links. Together with other governments in the region New Zealand has made additional contributions since the PFL began operations in 1978, but PFL is now on a commercial footing.

Established in 1947 under the Canberra Agreement, the South Pacific Commission (comprising the independent countries of the South Pacific, the non-self-governing territories, and metropolitan governments such as Britain, France and the United States) is primarily a technical assistance organisation, and 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 is mainly funded from proportional contributions by member governments and from voluntary contributions made by certain of the member governments and by a wide range of international donors.


A diplomatic office was established in Australia in 1943 (trade posts had been established as early as 1906), and in 1944 the Australia-New Zealand Agreement (known also as the ANZAC Pact or the Canberra Pact) was signed. In 1983, the two countries concluded the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA or CER for short). Complete free trade in goods was achieved on 1 July 1990 providing for the progressive removal of obstacles to the flow of services and investment between the two countries. The agreement was reviewed again in 1992. See also section 22.2, Trading partners.

In matters of foreign policy, defence and economics, regular and increasingly frequent bilateral meetings take place with a minimum of formality covering almost all government activity. Australia is a major trading partner for New Zealand, which is in turn Australia's second largest single market for manufactured exports. In defence, the ANZAC partners continue to co-operate closely in force structure development, training, exercises and procurement under the aegis of Closer Defence Relations (CDR). In 1989, New Zealand agreed to acquire two replacement frigates through the joint ANZAC ship project with Australia. The Australia-New Zealand Foundation sponsors research projects and publications, as well as cultural exchanges. There is free movement of people under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.


New Zealand has become increasingly involved in developments in the Asia/Pacific region. Asia provides a market for over one-third of our exports and a source of almost a third of our imports. It is a major source of investment and of trained migrants. Political relations with Asian nations are close, reinforced by high-level visits and regular consultations involving officials and ministers. New Zealand maintains diplomatic missions in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Jakarta and New Delhi and a trade office in Shanghai.

New Zealand is one of the original dialogue partners of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and co-operates with ASEAN in a number of regional development and trade promotion activities. It has followed closely the peace settlement process in Cambodia and has contributed both military and civilian personnel to the United Nations‘ Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). The New Zealand Defence Force maintains defence co-operation programmes with the six ASEAN countries and works with Singapore and Malaysia through the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

One of the founding members of the Asia/Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, established in 1989, New Zealand plays an active part in APEC working groups. At the non-governmental level, New Zealand also participates in the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council, which groups business people, academics and officials from all our major regional trading partners. Given the many mutual interests within the region, New Zealand also cooperates closely with the ASEAN nations and other regional partners in wider international forums, including the United Nations and the GATT.

Bilateral trade with most of our main Asian trading partners is rising fast. The economic relationship with Japan is among our most important and Japan remains New Zealand's second largest export market. Trade is increasingly diversified, helped by the complementary nature of the Japanese and New Zealand economies, and tourism and investment from Japan are playing an important role in the development of New Zealand's economy. Accelerating economic reform in China is opening up exciting possibilities for New Zealand in Asia's largest market, with total trade in the year ended June 1992 exceeding $700 million. Two-way investment is also growing. Trade with South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong is also increasing and these markets offer excellent potential.

The rapid growth of the ASEAN economies, with Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia all experiencing consistent annual growth rates of between 6 and 12 percent, has contributed to this increase in trade. Singapore is now a major source of investment capital for New Zealand and rising incomes in South-East Asia are creating a demand for our high-quality food products and technology. ASEAN is also an important source of tourists, with direct aviation links now operating with Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.


United States. New Zealand's relationship with the United States is one of the most significant, varied and co-operative that New Zealand maintains. Shared values underpin close governmental and private sector contacts across a broad range of bilateral and multilateral activities. The United States is one of New Zealand's three most important export markets and a major source of New Zealand imports and investment. In the multilateral trade field, the two countries espouse similar open market philosophies. Co-operation is also close on international environmental matters and in Antarctic scientific research. Programmes for scientific, cultural and academic exchange maintain an awareness of New Zealand in the United States and promote the interchange of ideas and experience.

Canada. New Zealand and Canada have long enjoyed a positive and close relationship, based on shared bilateral Commonwealth, United Nations and Asia/Pacific interests. The two countries work closely on a range of issues, including defence, security, disarmament, international peacekeeping, environmental concerns, Asia-Pacific policies, and international economic matters. Canada is an important market for our agricultural goods, particularly beef. A Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (TEC) which provides for, among other things, regular consultative outtrade issues, was signed in 1981 between the Governments of New Zealand and Canada, and governs trade and economic relations.

Latin America and the Caribbean. New Zealand is represented in Latin America by embassies in Mexico and Chile. The Ambassador in Mexico is cross-accredited to Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, and the Ambassador in Chile to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The embassies’ efforts are supported by honorary consular representatives in Bogotà, Lima, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo and Montevideo whose responsibilities also include the facilitation of trade. The High Commissioner in Ottawa is accredited to the Caribbean countries of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and there is an honorary consul in Port of Spain.

Trade is the primary focus of New Zealand's relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly exports of dairy products, agricultural machinery and meat. There are opportunities for New Zealand involvement in agricultural, forestry and energy sectors. New Zealand provides a modest amount of economic and social development assistance to the region. New Zealand shares interests with those of a number of Latin American and Caribbean countries in areas such as international trade, environment, Antarctica, disarmament and Pacific regional co-operation.

Western Europe

The European Community (EC) is one of New Zealand's four top markets, along with Australia, Japan and the United States. There are restrictions on access to the EC for dairy products and sheepmeat, but the other main New Zealand primary product exports, such as apples, kiwifruit, fish and timber have largely unrestricted access. A long-term GATT settlement would place dairy and sheepmeat exports to the EC on a firmer footing.

The EC adopted a single market on 1 January 1993, although many of the measures to free up the movement of goods, services, capital and people across EC borders were already in place, while others have yet to be fully achieved. New Zealand exporters are benefiting from the single market as a result of the disappearance of multiple standards and import regulations.

The countries of the EC are important partners for New Zealand in investment and as sources for technology and expertise. The economy benefits from European migrants with capital and entrepreneurial skills, and tourists, especially those from Germany who stay for longer periods, also make a significant contribution to the New Zealand economy.

New Zealand maintains a high level of political consultation with the EC. Since 1990 New Zealand has had the opportunity for a high-level meeting with each of the revolving six-monthly presidencies of the EC. Since 1991 the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade has held these consultations with the Luxembourg, Portuguese, British and Danish presidencies. Close regular contact is maintained by New Zealand's network of posts in Western Europe with individual EC member states, and with the European Commission in Brussels, on a range of political and economic issues.

Western European countries outside the EC belong to European Free Trade Association. The majority of these countries aspire to join the EC. Meanwhile the two organisations have established a European Economic Area covering most of their trade (although not agricultural trade). By 1995 it is likely that Austria, Sweden and Finland will have joined the EC, thus increasing its economic importance to New Zealand.

Central and Eastern Europe

Reverberations from the fall of Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe continue to be felt. On 1 January 1993 Czechoslovakia separated peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In contrast, conflict has continue and intensified in a number of countries that once made up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In general the countries of the region are moving from one party states and centrally-planned economies to political pluralism and free market economies. In general, too, they are seeking to strengthen their links with Western Europe and particularly with the European Community. But the pace of political and economic reform has been uneven.

New Zealand has sought to assist this reform through its involvement of the EC-led G24 process and its membership of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Aside from this, and New Zealand's interest in the former Yugoslavia stemming from its membership of the United Nations Security Council, the relationship with the region is primarily economic. A number of joint ventures, mainly in the field of agricultural technology, have been established in Hungary and the Czech Republic.


Responsibility for New Zealand's government to government relations with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia lie with the Embassy in Bonn. Commercial relations with these countries and others in the region are handled by the TRADENZ office in Hamburg.

Former Soviet Union

Trade remains the central component of New Zealand's economic relations with the states of the former Soviet Union, although it has been disrupted by delays in payment caused by a shortage of hard currency. The debt largely relates to pre-1992 business and most exporters are prepared to do new business for cash payments. Many are seeking new methods of securing contracts, including building relationships with the increasingly autonomous regional executives, especially in the Russian Far East. There is a direct shipping route between New Zealand and the region, and several New Zealand companies have offices there.

The involvement of Russian and Ukrainian fishing vessels also adds considerable value to the economic relationship, and some New Zealand shipping agents are involved in moves to expand trade into the region.

International financial assistance to the countries of the former Soviet Union, combined with the implementation of market-based reforms (assuming these go ahead as planned), will help create opportunities for traders in the medium term. In the short term, New Zealand service agencies are looking to undertake projects as part of the economic reconstruction of the former Soviet Union under the auspices of such international agencies as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. New Zealand's expertise in privatisation, legal drafting and land management is of particular relevance at this time, along with a number of other disciplines in which New Zealanders are well experienced.

President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, who visited New Zealand in September 1993.

Middle East

New Zealand has major economic interests in the Middle East. The region is an important market for New Zealand agricultural exports and a source of much of New Zealand's energy requirements. In 1992 New Zealand exports to the region reached $649.7 million, a 33 percent increase over 1991. Imports from the region, mostly of oil products, were $788.9 million. New Zealand has embassies in Tehran, Riyadh and Ankara, and accreditations to several other Middle Eastern countries. New Zealand has also been involved in international peacekeeping efforts in the region.

For more than 40 years New Zealand has maintained an evenhanded policy on the Arab/Israel issue, consistently upholding the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and, with equal consistency, Israel's right to exist within secure borders. New Zealand has contributed a contingent to the Sinai Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) based on the Egypt/Israel border since 1982. The Middle East peace negotiations, which began at Mandrid in October 1991, have New Zealand's full support as the best chance yet for a settlement of this long-standing dispute.

New Zealand's contribution to the multinational United Nations force which liberated Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War has been followed by New Zealanders‘ participating on a personal basis in the United Nations demarcation of the Kuwait/Iraq border. The Government has also made available military medical personnel to serve with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) operation designed to eliminate Iraq's capacity to produce and deploy weapons of mass destruction.

On taking up its membership of the United Nations Security Council at the beginning of 1993, New Zealand assumed the position of Chair of the Council Committee charged with the administering the application of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.


In recent years there has been increased contact between New Zealand and Africa. New Zealand has received visits by the Foreign Ministers of Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

New Zealand's diplomatic coverage in Africa has expanded with the Harare High Commission, in Zimbabwe, now accredited to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). New Zealand posts in London, Paris and Riyadh are accredited to Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt respectively.

New Zealand has had a long-standing involvement in development co-operation in Africa. It also contributes to Commonwealth and other multilateral programmes. New Zealand has also contributed to international relief appeals.

In the international arena New Zealand is active on the issue of apartheid and continues to support the peaceful transition to multiracial democracy in South Africa. New Zealand has participated in the Commonwealth Observer Mission in South Africa (COMSA). It has implemented all economic and other measures against South Africa recommended by the United Nations and the Commonwealth and supports the Commonwealth's programmed management approach to sanctions which is to lift them progressively in response to significant progress in the development of a multiracial democracy, and the policy of selective sporting contacts.

Total trade with African countries accounts for only a small percentage of New Zealand's global trade. The major exports to the region are dairy products, fish, wool, textiles and electrical equipment. Imports from Africa include cocoa, coffee, sisal and tobacco. Algeria is New Zealand's most important market in the continent.

Assistance to developing countries

New Zealand's Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme is managed by the Development Co-operation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington in conjunction with New Zealand's diplomatic posts overseas. New Zealand views its ODA programme as a co-operative process and as a partnership of the peoples and countries involved. In carrying out its work, the ministry's development expertise and experience are complemented by those of a wide range of New Zealanders drawn from both private and public sectors, as well as counterparts in the partner countries.

New Zealand's ODA programme follows a set of nine guiding principles, which were most recently revised in April 1992. These include the recognition that an effective and appropriate programme of co-operation with developing countries is in the long term political and economic interests of all the partner countries involved, including New Zealand, and contributes to stability and harmony in the international community. The principal purpose of New Zealand's ODA is to help promote sustainable economic and social progress and justice in developing countries.

For financial and administrative purposes the NZODA programme is divided into two broad schedules of activities—bilateral and multilateral. The bilateral schedule encompasses New Zealand's development co-operation with over 40 other countries. The main focus, however, is on the more extensive co-operation programmes under way with around 20 major partner countries in the South Pacific and South-East Asia.

The bilateral schedule is dominated by direct assistance on a one-to-one country-to-country basis, comprising in most cases a wide range of developmental projects. Direct bilateral assistance of this kind accounts for over half of New Zealand's total ODA spending. In addition, a number of regional programmes which serve groups of bilateral partner countries are also included on the bilateral schedule of NZODA. For example, New Zealand promotes development of the South Pacific region as a whole with contributions to the Pacific Forum Secretariat, the South Pacific Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and the University of the South Pacific. Another large component of the bilateral schedule is funding of tuition fees scholarships for partner country citizens to study and train independently in New Zealand, in addition to those students fully funded under the individual country programmes.

Substantial bilateral ODA funding is also directed to emergency and disaster relief operations, both government-to-government and through established disaster relief organisations and international agencies (see section 3.2, Humanitarian relief).

Support for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with established track records in assisting developing countries is another important component of the bilateral schedule of NZODA. This currently takes the form of annual grants to Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) and the NGO umbrella group, the Council for International Development (CID). In addition, the Voluntary Agency Support Scheme (VASS) helps fund NGO programmes in developing countries all over the world. Recommendations for VASS funding are made by a project selection committee including three members elected by the New Zealand NGO community.

The multilateral schedule of the ODA programme comprises New Zealand's contributions to the major international development organisations. These fall into four broad categories—international financial institutions, United Nations agencies, Commonwealth agencies, and various other multilateral development and humanitarian organisations, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Participation in institutions such as the International Development Association, the Asian Development Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation gives New Zealand a hand in international efforts to alleviate poverty through development at the global and trans-regional level. These multilateral institutions are especially helpful in directing assistance to regions where New Zealand is not widely represented at the bilateral level.


Bilateral schedule—$(000)
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
South Pacific Programmes: 
        Cook Islands14,007
        Western Samoa7,360
        Papua New Guinea5,759
        Solomon Islands4,191
        Other Pacific Islands Countries5,450
        South Pacific Regional Programmes11,228
          Subtotal South Pacific programmes75,227
        ASEAN and other Asia programmes14,517
        Africa, Latin America2,861
        Relief operations, voluntary agencies, etc10,307
        Education and training (tuition fees, etc.)17,463
          Total bilateral schedule119,959
        Multilateral Schedule— 
        International financial institutions11,225
        United Nations agencies7,689
        Commonwealth agencies1,479
        Other organisations1,627
          Total multilateral schedule22,046
          Total Official Development Assistance142,005

3.2 International organisations

United Nations

New Zealand was a founding member of the United Nations organisation in 1945. Successive governments have strongly supported it as a major instrument for maintaining peace and security, developing friendly relations among countries, encouraging international co-operation aimed at solving economic and social problems, and promoting respect for human rights. Over the years the range and complexity of functions of the United Nations (UN) 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 and where it can support efforts to secure lasting peace and security.

Peace operations. During 1991-92, New Zealand strengthened its firm commitment to UN peacekeeping by increasing the number of its personnel involved in peacekeeping operations. By the middle of 1993, New Zealand had nearly 140 personnel serving in the Middle East (UNTSO and UNSCOM), Cambodia (UNTAC), Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) and Somalia (UNDSOMII). In addition to the provision of personnel, New Zealand (as a United Nations member), is legally obliged to contribute financially to the cost of UN peacekeeping operations. In 1992-93 New Zealand's share of these costs amounted to $6 million.

Humanitarian relief. In 1992-93 New Zealand contributed $6.4 million to humanitarian relief. Aid to assist Pacific nations in reconstruction following cyclones Kina, Nina, Lyn and Prema amounted to $857,699. Further afield, New Zealand contributed $1.7 million to relief operations in Somalia, Mozambique, South-East Asia and to the former Yugoslavia. New Zealand also contributed extra payments to multilateral organisations in recognition of the unprecented pressure on these agencies to provide humanitarian assistance where conflict and famine occurs. These organisations included the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Human Rights. United Nations’ efforts to promote and protect human rights received special attention in 1993 with the holding of the second World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in June. The purpose of the conference was to examine progress made in the field of human rights since the last world conference, 25 years ago, and to identify ways of making the United Nations system more effective. The ‘Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action’, adopted as the concluding document of the conference, reiterates important human rights principles and sets a comprehensive agenda for activities in the field of human rights into the 21st century.

Indigenous issues also received special attention internationally in 1993 through the United Nations International Year of the World's Indigenous People. New Zealand was one of the main sponsors of the resolution proclaiming the year in the United Nations General Assembly, and actively supported activities during the year, including two contributions to a voluntary fund for special projects initiated and controlled by indigenous peoples world-wide.

New Zealand continued to give financial support to United Nations voluntary funds in the field of human rights, including funds to assist victims of torture, for advisory services and for indigenous populations. New Zealand also continued to lend its support at the Commission on Human Rights and in the Third Committee of the General Assembly (which deals with social, cultural and humanitarian issues) to resolutions addressing a wide range of current international human rights concerns. An on-going priority for New Zealand is the system of international human rights instruments, and the effective functioning of the monitoring bodies set up under those treaties. New Zealand also used these international forums to register its concern regarding the human rights situations in Cambodia, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia. The rape and sexual abuse of women and children in the former Yugoslavia was also loudly condemned by the international community.

The issue of violence against women in all its forms has been the subject of growing international attention. New Zealand participated in the drafting of a new United Nations Declaration of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was presented to the General Assembly in 1993. New Zealand also continued to be active internationally on a range of issues regarding the status of women internationally. A current concern is to mobilise the United Nations on a system-wide basis to pay more attention to women's issues as a basic human rights concern.

As a party to the international human rights conventions New Zealand is required to report regularly to the United Nations monitoring bodies on the measures it has taken to give effect to its obligations under the treaties. New Zealand presented its initial report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in November 1993, and will present its second periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in January 1994.

1994 has been designated United Nations International Year of the Family. The New Zealand Government intends to observe the year and is currently working through the details of its response. A number of initiatives relevant to the theme are planned in different areas. The year is seen as an opportunity to promote acceptance of the variety of family structures that exist in New Zealand, and to increase public awareness of the different kinds of assistance and support available to families.

The specialised agencies. The United Nations 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 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) seeks to increase international co-operation through education, science and culture.

Four agencies participate in efforts to promote the international flow of capital for productive purposes and facilitate 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 United Nations 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 United Nations’ budget are based on members’ capacity to pay. For the three years 1992-94 New Zealand's assessed contribution rate was set at 0.24 percent of the regular budget, resulting in annual dues in 1993 of $4.6 million. Contributions to the budgets of specialised agencies are fixed according to a scale of assessment agreed by the membership as a whole. New Zealand's assessed contributions to peacekeeping operations are set at 0.24 percent. In 1992-93, these dues amounted to $6 million.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Begun in 1947 as a framework for negotiations to achieve substantial reductions in tariffs and other barriers to trade, GATT's world membership has expanded from 23 original member countries (which included New Zealand) to 110 parties. The GATT membership represents over 80 percent of world trade. The Secretariat for GATT is a United Nations specialised agency, based in Geneva.

The GATT has been founded on the principle of non-discrimination amongst contracting parties, embodied in the most-favoured nation (MFN) obligation. The MFN principle is particularly important to countries such as New Zealand, since it ensures that larger nations cannot exert economic influence through discriminatory trade policies.

A series of multilateral trade negotiations has been held, with the aim of reducing obstacles to trade and refining the rules and disciplines. In 1986 member countries agreed to embark on an eighth round of negotiations, the Uruguay Round. This is the most ambitious set of negotiations yet, extending to 15 broad areas, many not previously covered by GATT rules. New Zealand's main priority continues to be to ensure that trade in agricultural products, which has never been fully integrated into the GATT system, is progressively liberalised and brought under effective rules and disciplines (for both barriers and subsidies). The Cairns Group of agricultural trade reformers, in which New Zealand is an active participant, is working to that end.

Wellington schools’ Sarajevo Relief Fund donations.

The Uruguay Round was scheduled to have been completed by the end of 1990. A ministerial meeting was convened in Brussels in December 1990 to bring the negotiations to a conclusion but it failed to do so. The principal reason for the breakdown was failure to agree on a regime for agriculture.

The main negotiating groups engaged afresh in further talks throughout 1991. At the end of 1991, GATT Director-General Arthur Dunkel tabled his own ‘Draft Final Act’. This 400-page document remains the basis of ongoing work towards a settlement of the Uruguay Round. In 1992, negotiations were focussed largely on agriculture. By November the United States and the European Community came to an agreement, the Blair House Accord. As at October 1993 it would appear that there is strong support for concluding the Uruguay Round by the end of 1993.

Other UN bodies. In addition to the specialised agencies, many United Nations 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 drug abuse, population planning and tourist promotion. In the follow-up to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the Commission for Sustainable Development was established to support and monitor international actions on a wide range of very important environmental issues. 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. Contributions are usually voluntary, and includes New Zealand's contributions for 1992–1993.

World Bank

The World Bank is a multilateral lending agency consisting of four closely associated institutions—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The common objective of these institutions is to help raise living standards in developing countries by channelling financial resources from developed countries to them.

The IBRD currently lends about US$15 billion a year at market rates to developing countries with relatively high per capita income. The IDA provides interest-free loans worth about US$5 billion a year to the poorest of developing countries. The IFC promotes growth in the private sector of developing countries by lending or investing in business enterprises without government guarantees. MIGA has been recently created to insure investments in developing countries against political risks such as expropriation, war, civil disturbance and breach of contract.

New Zealand joined the World Bank in 1961 when higher income countries with active development programmes were eligible for IBRD loans. Between 1963 and 1971 New Zealand borrowed US$102 million to finance projects such as the Cook Strait transmission cable, the Marsden ‘A’ power station and the purchase of the ferry Aranui.

New Zealand has subscribed to a total of 6,601 shares in the IBRD, which represents 0.4 percent of the total voting share. The shares have a total par value of US$796 million, although over 90 percent of this amount has not been called up but, together with the uncalled subscription of other member countries, acts as a guarantee for the bank's borrowing in the financial markets. New Zealand owns 2,025 fully paid shares in the IFC which have a total par value of US$2,025 million. New Zealand also makes contributions to the periodic replenishments of IDA, the bank's facility for lending to its poorest developing member countries. The Government decided in 1993 that New Zealand should contribute $39.58 million to the latest replenishment. That amounted to a 0.119 percent share of the total replenishment. It will be paid over an eight year period from 1993.

The Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a development finance institution. It is owned by 37 countries from the Asia-Pacific region and 16 countries from Europe and North America. The ADB's principal function is to promote and finance the economic and social advancement of its 33 Asia-Pacific developing country members.

New Zealand currently holds 27,170 shares in the ADB, about 2.6 percent of the bank's voting share. The shares have a total par value of US$381.35 million. The country also makes contributions to the periodic replenishment of the ADB's Asian Development Fund, the bank's facility for lending to its poorest developing member countries. New Zealand has contributed over $51 million to the ADB since 1974.

Donated clothing for India's earthquake survivors, Wellington.


The 50 members of the Commonwealth include countries in the six continents and the five oceans of the world. Two of the smallest member countries 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.

A permanent Commonwealth Secretariat is the main agency for multilateral communication between governments. The secretariat promotes consultation, disseminates information on matters of common concern, organises meetings and conferences, and co-ordinates a wide range of other activities.

Heads of government meet every second year. The 1993 meeting of Heads of Government took place in October 1993 in Nicosia in Cyprus. Commonwealth finance ministers meet annually, and ministers of agriculture, labour, health, education, women's affairs and other portfolios 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 $1.2 million in 1993. New Zealand also takes part in the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, contributing about $750,000 in 1993. Contributions are made to a range of other intergovernmental Commonwealth co-operative programmes, including, in 1993, $50,000 to the Commonwealth fund for Mozambique and $50,000 for Commonwealth co-operation on distance education, and to agencies, including the Commonwealth Youth Programme, the Commonwealth Science Council, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation and the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau. In the non-governmental area, New Zealand's main contribution is to the Commonwealth Foundation, established 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.

Within the OECD, New Zealand's priorities have been economic, agricultural, and trade issues with environmental issues having been added recently. Other areas where New Zealand participates in OECD work include education, science, health, labour, financial and investment affairs, social policy and the organisation's increasingly important work with non-member countries particularly those from the dynamic Asian and Latin American economies, and central and eastern Europe and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The OECD exchanges, analyses and disseminates a wide variety of information, including the OECD forecasts (Economic Outlook) and reports on individual member country economies. The New Zealand economy is periodically subjected to a thorough review within the OECD system. Its development co-operation policy is reviewed regularly by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee.

An example of the benefits of OECD membership is the continuing conceptual work being done on the multilateral trading system in parallel to the current Uruguay Round under GATT. This has included work on protectionism in agricultural trade (initiated by New Zealand), subsidies and trade in services. A new focus of attention is work on the ‘New Generation’ issues of trade and the environment, trade and competition, trade and foreign direct investment and trade and technological developments.

New Zealand is also a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA), an autonomous body of 23 member countries within the OECD framework. The IEA includes energy-related environmental issues in its overall programme of energy co-ordination, the aim of which is to promote co-operation between energy producing and consuming countries.

International Whaling Commission

New Zealand plays a leading role among the conservationist members of the International Whaling Commission. In recent years we have sought to persuade the IWC to maintain the moratorium on commercial whaling which was imposed in 1985–1986. For the moment the moratorium remains in force, but whaling countries are seeking to have it lifted. The most recent Annual Meeting of the IWC was held in Kyoto, Japan in May 1993.

3.3 New Zealand territories


Tokelau consists off three small atolls in the South Pacific—Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo—with a combined land area of approximately 12 square kilometres and a population of nearly 1,600. The central atoll, Nukunonu, is 92 kilometres from Atafu and 64 kilometres from Fakaofo. Western Samoa, the nearest sizeable neighbour, is 480 kilometres to the south.

Tokelau is, according to the Tokelau Act 1948, ‘part of New Zealand’. (As such it can not be correctly described as a territory of New Zealand, even though it has a largely separate legal, judicial and political system and remains on the list of territories to which the General Assembly's Declaration on Colonialism continues to apply.) The same Act gives the Governor-General of New Zealand the power, by Order in Council, to ‘make all such regulations as [she] thinks necessary for the peace, order and good government of Tokelau.’ One such set of regulations is the Tokelau Administration Regulations 1980, which establish the administrative authority for Tokelau. This gives the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the power to ‘appoint such person as he thinks fit to be the Administrator of Tokelau’ and charge the person so appointed with ‘the administration of the executive Government of Tokelau’. The current administrator is Mr Lindsay Watt, who took up his duties on 1 March 1993.

In practice, however, although he retains legal authority and responsibility for the administration of Tokelau, the administrator also delegates all of his powers to Tokelauans and Tokelau institutions. The foremost political institution in Tokelau is the General Fono, which brings together at least twice a year representatives of the three atolls to decide policy on Tokelau-wide matters and to endorse the annual budget. At its August 1992 session it asked the Government of New Zealand to formalise this informal delegation. Legislative provisions to enable this delegation are almost completed, but New Zealand has indicated its full support to the request, which will give Tokelau, for the first time, formal control over its day-to-day administration.

The three atolls enjoy a large measure of administrative and political autonomy. Their principal organ of government is the Taupulega or village council.

This has the power in terms of the Village Incorporation Regulations 1987 to manage the village and to exercise all the powers of the village. Two positions, those of the Faipule and the Pulenuku, are elected by universal adult suffrage at three yearly intervals. In the January 1993 elections two new Faipule were elected with one incumbent returned to office. The Faipule represent the villages in their dealings with the administrator and the public service, chair meetings of the Taupulega, and represent Tokelau in international meetings.

The three faipule form a council to act on behalf of the General Fono in discharging administrative and policy-making responsibilities when it is not in session. The Council of Faipule chooses a chairperson for a rotational term of one year, who assumes the title of Ulu-O-Tokelau (literally ‘Head of Tokelau’) and chairs sessions of the General Fono. Faipule Salesio Lui of Nukunonu Atoll is the Ulu-O-Tokelau for 1993. These changes have yet to be fully implemented, and the Council of Faipule is slowly developing in confidence.

The Pulenuku is the principal administrative officer of the village and discharges such responsibilities as the scheduling of work, the distribution of water supplies and the inspection of plantations.

In recognition to the changes to the political institutions of Tokelau, and the increased responsibilities being placed on them, the General Fono called for a review of the Tokelau Public Service to identify changes necessary to enable the service to properly support the new political institutions. This will fulfil the wishes of the General Fono to have the head office of the Tokelau Public Service located on Tokelau soil. (The Office for Tokelau Affairs is presently located in Apia, Western Samoa.) This review has been completed. Its conclusions have been discussed and agreed by the General Fono, and are currently being implemented.

Tokelau's budget for 1992/93 amounted to $ NZ5,332,880 of which $ NZ4,300,000 was sourced from New Zealand, and $ NZ1,032,880 from locally generated revenue. Local revenue came from activities such as shipping and freight charges, sales of postage stamps, handicrafts and coins, customs duties, radio and telegram excises, besides licensing fees deriving from the treaty between the Pacific Islands States and the United States on tuna fishing.

Ross Dependency

The Ross Dependency consists of the land, permanent ice-shelf and islands of Antarctica between 160° east and 150° 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. An Antarctic scientific research programme is maintained at the Ross Dependency, with New Zealand operating Scott Base on Ross Island as a permanent base. 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 40 parties to the treaty meet regularly to consider questions within its framework.

3.4 Defence

The Governor-General as Commander-in-Chief is empowered to raise and maintain the New Zealand Naval Forces, the New Zealand Army and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. These forces, together with civilian employees, constitute the New Zealand Defence Force.

The Minister of Defence's power of control of the New Zealand Defence Force is exercised through the Chief of Defence Force. The Chief of Defence Force is the principal military adviser to the minister and responsible for the carrying out of the functions and duties of the Defence Force; the general conduct of the Defence Force; the management of the activities and resources of the Defence Force; and is chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Secretary of Defence, chief executive of the Ministry of Defence, is the principal civilian adviser to the minister. The secretary is responsible for formulating advice, in consultation with the Chief of Defence Force, on defence policy; the procurement, replacement or repair of defence equipment which has major significance to military capability; and assessment and audit of the Defence Force.

1991 Defence white paper

The Government's white paper, The Defence of New Zealand 1991, provided the foundation for the longer term shaping of New Zealand's defence structure to support the country's security interests.

In updating New Zealand's defence policy the white paper adopted a new approach. It did not try and estimate the likelihood of future threats in the Asia/Pacific region. Instead it looked at the permanent features of New Zealand's geography and situation, and factors such as demography and economic base that change only slowly and which shape New Zealand's forces and the tasks they have to carry out.

The white paper acknowledged that the defence of New Zealand's territory is a low priority—there is no direct threat—and stressed the importance of contributing to the defence of New Zealand's wider interests.

Based upon this assessment of New Zealand's strategic situation and interests, the white paper defines New Zealand's defence policy goals in the following terms:

  • To maintain the sovereignty of New Zealand.

  • To preserve the security of New Zealand, and its essential interests.

  • To maintain the sovereignty and security of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.

  • To contribute to the security of the South Pacific states with which New Zealand shares historical or other particular interests and to contribute generally to the security and stability of the South Pacific region.

  • To develop further the existing defence co-operation with Australia, including planning, operations, logistics and the industrial base.

  • To maintain and develop defence co-operation with ASEAN countries, and to pre-serve the partnership obligations of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

  • To work to re-establish an effective defence relationship with New Zealand's other traditional partners, especially the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • To support the United Nations by contributing forces for peacekeeping or peacemaking operations.

  • To contribute forces to other collective endeavours where New Zealand's national interests are involved.

  • To ensure that the general purpose forces implied by these goals are capable of supporting non-military interests.

The white paper concluded that New Zealand's interests were best met by a strategy of 'self reliance in partnership’. This strategy links the need for a self-reliant capability to handle immediate national tasks—the protection of New Zealand territory and sovereignty—with broader interests shared in partnership with Australia, the South Pacific and the countries beyond.

The white paper also defined the capabilities and funding methods needed to support New Zealand's national goals as economically as possible. It measured the existing Defence Force against the yardstick of the credible minimum force. Minimum because the force must be fiscally sustainable given New Zealand's current economic circumstances, credible because, even at a minimum level, it must meet the essential aims defined by successive governments, and reassure New Zealand's neighbours and allies that the Government has the resolve and the capability to do so.

The white paper signalled the start of the process of reviewing defence, providing the broad framework and guidance for subsequent detailed planning. More detailed reviews have been completed of defence funding, air and sea transport, maritime surveillance and submarine warfare, air combat and land forces reserves.

School students commemorating ANZAC Day at the Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch.

International defence relationships

ANZUS. This security treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States came into force in 1952. Each party recognised that an armed attack in the Pacific on any of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declared that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes. However, 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 and the United States regards its security commitments to New Zealand as being in abeyance.

Australia. Australia is New Zealand's main defence partner and the defence relationship underpins New Zealand's defence and security system. Considerable progress has been made in recent years in strengthening the defence relationship through a process called closer defence relations. Among the objectives are the identification of methods for a more economical and effective organisation of training, base, and infrastructure support, and an ongoing examination of options for developing the structure of the two forces with a view to strengthening their ability to operate together.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements. The basis of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) is not a formal treaty but a statement in the communiqué following the meeting of ministers from Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in 1971. The focus of the arrangements is the action and support available to Malaysia and Singapore if either of these countries was under external threat.

Mutual Assistance Programme. ASEAN and South Pacific countries participate in the Defence Force's Mutual Assistance Programme. The programme is a practical demonstration of New Zealand's commitment to regional security. Through training and advisory assistance, the programme contributes to the effectiveness of the armed forces in New Zealand's South Pacific neighbourhood and in South-East Asia. It also assists in development projects by using the engineering and trade skills of the armed forces. The most common forms of assistance are the provision of formal courses or on-the-job training in New Zealand, the deployment overseas of training and technical teams, the attachment of military instructors to other armed forces for periods of up to two years in Fiji. Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Malaysia, and civic action programmes in the engineering and medical fields.

Co-operation with other countries. To facilitate exchanges on military matters, defence representatives are posted to New Zealand diplomatic missions in London, Canberra, Washington. New York (United Nations), Ottawa, Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Port Moresby and Suva. In addition, some members of these staffs are also accredited to other countries, such as Thailand, Brunei, France, Germany, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. A Wellington-based defence adviser is accredited to Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and Western Samoa. The United Kingdom, Australia and Malaysia have service representatives attached to their respective High Commissions in Wellington and there are service attachés on the staffs of the French, Indonesian and United States embassies in Wellington. Several other countries have service attachés accredited to, but not resident in, New Zealand.

Armed forces overseas

Singapore. A small administrative element, known as the Defence Support Unit, is based in Singapore to support bilateral exercises under the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) and the Mutual Assistance Programme, continued single-service deployments and training attachments. Two RNZAF officers remain attached to the headquarters staff of the FPDA Integrated Air Defence System Headquarters at Butterworth, Malaysia.

United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO). New Zealand has six observers in Israel and Syria with UNTSO, and fills the Chief of Staff position.

Sinai Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). This force was established in April 1982 to verify compliance with the terms of the peace treaty concluded between Egypt and Israel on 26 March 1979. The operational headquarters of MFO is in El Gorah, Sinai. Ten countries contribute to MFO, including a 25-strong New Zealand contingent, which includes a training and advisory team, a heavy transport section and engineers.

United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM). New Zealand contributed 12 officers to UNAVEM, which was established in 1991 to verify the cease-fire between the Angolan Government and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The New Zealand officers were based in the capital, Luanda, and deployed from there to monitoring sites throughout Angola for specific periods. An upsurge in fighting following national elections resulted in the withdrawal of the force, including the New Zealand contingent. A further New Zealand contribution to UNAVEM of 43 personnel was made in November 1993.


United Nations Protection Force Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR). New Zealand has contributed overservers to UNPROFOR since 1992. Nine officers are based in various locations in Bosnia, Croatia and Macedonia. Three of the New Zealand observers monitor the UN-mandated no-fly zone over Bosnia.

United Nations Special Commission on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (UNSCOM). Following the 1991 Gulf War, the United Nations established the Special Commission to destroy, remove or render harmless weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile capabilities. UNSCOM is based in Bahrain, from where inspection teams (eg nuclear, biological, chemical or ballistic missile) visit Iraq to inspect specific installations. New Zealand contributes a five-person Army Medical Team who provide pre-deployment training in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare protection and on-site medical coverage to the various inspection teams. The Defence Force also contributes a clerk to the UNSCOM Chemical Destruction Group (CDG) and two communications personnel.

United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). The New Zealand contribution to UNTAC, which was charged with assuming responsibilities of government, administrative duties, demobilising the armies and helping to organise elections, was 97 personnel, who made up a mine-awareness team, a communications contingent and a naval detachment.

United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). New Zealand provided an air component of three Andover aircraft and 62 personnel to the United States-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF) operation (also known as Operation Restore Hope) in Somalia. The aim of this international force was to take effective control of the capital, Mogadishu, and key provincial centres to allow the unhampered distribution of humanitarian assistance to the Somali people. In May 1993, UNITAF handed over its responsibilities to a reconstituted UN operation. The Defence Force currently contributes a 43-strong supply detachment and six headquarters staff.

RNZAF Skyhawk Detachment, Nowra. A detachment of six RNZAF Skyhawk aircraft and 56 flying and ground crew is based at Nowra, Australia in support of a combined maritime training programme. The aircraft undertake air-defence support flying for the Royal Australian Navy, providing that service with anti-air and anti-missile training.

Exercises. RNZN vessels attend the annual Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) maritime exercise STARFISH in Malaysian waters. Exercise TASMANEX is a major maritime exercise involving Australian and New Zealand vessels, held annually. The RNZAF deploys No 75 Squadron (Skyhawk) to South-East Asia each year to participate in FPDA maritime and air-defence exercises. The RNZAF also competes in FINCASTLE, an antisubmarine warfare competition between Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Significant army exercises include TAIAHA TOMBAK, a battalion deployment to Malaysia; TAKROUNA, a battalion-level field exercise in conjunction with the Officer Cadet School; LONGLOOK, a reciprocal exchange with British forces; SILVER COBRA, a war-gaming exercise in Singapore; SUMAN WARRIOR, an FPDA command-post exercise; TROPIC DUSK, a company deployment in the South Pacific; and TASMAN EXCHANGE, a reciprocal deployment of a company to Australia.

Sentry duty at RNZAF camp, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Community assistance

Hydrographic survey. The Navy is the sole authority for the production of nautical charts in New Zealand and operates a hydrographic 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 1992-93, surveys of the Bay of Islands, the Tamaki River, Wanganui, Greymouth, and shoals in the approaches to Auckland were completed.

Fisheries protection. Patrols of the New Zealand 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are conducted by naval ships and Air Force Orion aircraft. Surveillance patrols include fishery protection tasks, after which all information is passed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The Air Force conducted 24 patrols throughout the New Zealand area and its approaches in 1992-93.

Search and rescue. A search and rescue capability is maintained by all three forces, with naval and air operational units maintained on a 24-hour stand-by. The Navy and Air Force have assisted in extensive sea searches, including some that have ranged as far north as Tokelau and Vanuatu, and the Army has supported the police in land searches. The Air Force also flies emergency medical evacuation throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific and responded to 12 incidents in 1992.

D-Day veterans meeting, Christchurch.

Antarctic support. Defence Force support for the New Zealand Antarctic Programme in 1992-93 included 12 return flights to McMurdo Base by Hercules aircraft. One Iroquois helicopter was stationed at McMurdo from November to February. Other support included air-cargo handling at Christchurch and McMurdo, pre-departure training camps for Antarctic Programme personnel, and fire-fighting and base-support personnel in Antarctica.

New Zealand Cadet Forces. The Cadet Forces comprise the Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps and the New Zealand Cadet Corps. These are community-based youth groups, and are supported by the Sea Cadet Association, the Air Training Corps Association, the Returned Servicemen's Association, the New Zealand Army Association and schools.

There are 98 cadet units (18 Sea Cadet, 30 Cadet Corps and 50 Air Training Corps). The total strength is 379 officers and 3,760 cadets.

Other assistance. Other assistance provided by the Defence Force includes transportation of Department of Conservation personnel to New Zealand's outlying islands, ceremonial support for State occasions, helicopter and logistic support to the police, assistance with rural fire-fighting, explosive ordnance disposal, and support during national civil defence emergencies.

Disaster relief. The Defence Force provides assistance in the wake of natural disasters in the South Pacific. Assistance can include post-disaster reconnaissance of damage levels, transportation of relief supplies, food, medical supplies, and engineering and communications services.

Defence expenditure

Defence funding is disaggregated to two organisations: the New Zealand Defence Force under the Chief of Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence under the Secretary of Defence. Total expenditure by the two organisations is consolidated in the table below.


 Year ended 30 June

Source: New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry of Defence.

Operating expenses829,556x809,756
Purchase of fixed assets214,505x303,145
GST on outputs to Crown174,784x166,129
Sale of fixed assets14,329x50
Supply of outputs to other parties25,707x17,211
Total net expenditure1,178,809x1,261,769



As at 30 JuneNavyArmyAir ForceTotalCivilians

Source: New Zealand Defence Force.


 Percentage of GDP

* Estimated.

Year ending 30 June.

Year ending 31 March.

§ Year ending 30 September.

Source: New Zealand Defence Force.

New Zealand†2.0x1.9x1.71.51.6
United Kingdom‡4.0x3.9x4.13.9P3.6
United States of America§5.5x4.9x5.14.74.3

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.


Source: New Zealand Defence Force.

Frigates (Leander class)Wellington
 WaikatoNaval Combat Force
Fleet tankerEndeavour 
Survey shipMonowai 
Inshore survey craftTakapuHydrographic Survey Force
Research shipTui 
Inshore patrol craftMoa 
 KiwiFirst New Zealand Patrol
 WakakuraCraft Squadron
Diving support vesselManawanui 
Training tenderKahu 
Dockyard service craftAratiki 

Shore establishments. The naval base at Devonport, Auckland, consists of the office of the Maritime Commander (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. HMNZS Tamaki is the naval training establishment at Narrow Neck, Devonport, although a number of training facilities are new located in the Shoal Bay area of the Devonport naval base. The RNZN Armament Depot is situated at Kauri Point and the RNZN Hydrographic Office is at Takapuna. HMNZS Wakefield is the administrative unit for RNZN personnel in the Wellington area.


CategoryAt 31 March

Source: New Zealand Defence Force.

Regular Forces-    
        Total2 4672 5652 5462 330
Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (all ranks)497498512484

New Zealand Army

The Army comprises regular, territorial, and reserve elements and is structured to provide the following operational options:

  1. A range of deployable Regular Force units, known as Army ready response units, held at a high level of readiness.

  2. A deployable Regular Force infantry battalion group.

  3. A deployable integrated Regular and Territorial Force brigade group.

  4. Force Troops, such as the Special Air Service, Force Intelligence Group, signals, movement and Military Police units, to operate with or independently of the above groupings.

Command and administration. The Chief of General Staff commands the Army, supported by the Army General Staff. The Army has the following structure:

  1. Headquarters Land Force Command is responsible for the operational components of the Army, namely, 2nd Land Force Group, 3rd Land Force Group and Force Troops.

  2. Headquarters Support Command is responsible for the provision of individual training, equipment management, static support and facilities, and base support, and commands the Army Training Group and 5th Base Logistics Group.

State of the Army. Major army units comprise two Regular Force infantry battalions, six Territorial Force infantry battalions, an armoured regiment, a field artillery regiment, an engineer regiment, four signals squadrons, a Special Air Service group and five logistics regiments. Major equipment includes 26 combat reconnaissance vehicles (tracked), 78 armoured personnel-carriers, 43 105mm guns/howitzers and 50 81mm mortars.


CategoryAt 31 March

Source: New Zealand Defence Force.

Regular Forces    
Other ranks4,4284,2264,1353,875
        Total5 1804 8884 8124 562
Territorial Force (all ranks)5,6275,1384,5784,549

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 supported by the Air Staff.

Organisation. 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 basic flying training: Support Group, with its headquarters at RNZAF Base Wigram, is responsible for all recruitment, ground trades training and certain support functions such as supply and depot level maintenance. RNZAF Base Shelly Bay acts as the domestic unit for all RNZAF personnel assigned to Wellington for duty in Air Staff and Defence Force Headquarters. Operational flying units are based at RNZAF Base Auckland and RNZAF Base Ohakea with a detachment of Iroquois helicopters at RNZAF Base Wigram. RNZAF Base Ohakea also conducts primary flying training. RNZAF Museums are located at RNZAF Bases Wigram and Ohakea.

Airforce trainer craft flyover, June 1993, Wellington. Due to the closure of the RNZAF's base at Wigram, operations were transferred (and in many cases, flown) to Ohakea airbase.

Engineering. 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 RNZAF Base Woodbourne. A proportion of repair and overhaul work is contracted to the private sector in New Zealand and overseas.


Operational units’ roleAircraftLocation

Source: New Zealand Defence Force.

 6 Orions 
 2 Boeing 727s 
Maritime9 Andovers 
 5 HerculesRNZAF Base Auckland
Helicopters14 Iroquois 
 5 Wasps (operated by RNZN) 
 5 Sioux 
Attack/Close Air Support20 Skyhawks (includes 6 based at Nowra, NSW) 
Advanced flying training and attack transition training RNZAF Base Ohakea
 15 Aermacchi 
Flying training15 Air Trainers 


CategoryAt 31 March

Source: New Zealand Defence Force.

Regular forces    
Other ranks3,4223,4253,2232,947
        Total4 0654 0793 8573 552
Territorial Air Force227237219187

Security Intelligence Service

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 and to advise ministers on security matters. 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 government of New Zealand.

During the year ended 31 March 1993, four 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 11 days. The method of interception used was listening devices.


Year ended 31 MarchGross expenditureIncrease over previous year

**Year ended 30 June.

Source: Security Intelligence Service.



  • 3.1-3.3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • 3.4 New Zealand Defence Force; New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.

Special articles

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Further information

An Introduction to the Structures and Functions of the Ministry of External Relations and Trade. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Corporate Plan 1993-94 for the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force. Ministry of Defence/New Zealand Defence Force, 1993.

Defence of New Zealand 1991: A Policy Paper, The. New Zealand Government, Wellington, 1991.

Diplomatic List. Diplomatic and Consular Representatives in New Zealand. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (twice-yearly).

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

New Zealand Defence Quarterly. Ministry of Defence.

Overseas Posts, a List of New Zealand Representatives Abroad. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (twice-yearly).

Report of the Ministry of Defence (Parl Paper G4).

Report of the Ministry of External Relations and Trade (Parl Paper Al).

Report of the New Zealand Defence Force (Parl. Paper G55).

New Zealand External Relations and Trade. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (monthly except January).

Chapter 4. Population

Skipping for Heart Week.

The demography of New Zealand has changed dramatically in the past hundred years. The nation has passed through a ‘demographic transition’ similar to those experienced by most western countries, and despite continued reliance on agricultural exports, has become highly urbanised.

Family formation patterns have changed radically, the divorce rate has soared, and de facto unions have become common. The average family size has shrunk to less than half of what it was and is now at a historic low. Substantial reductions in mortality mean that New Zealanders now expect to live, on average, over 20 years longer than they did a century ago.

The population age structure has also undergone profound changes, largely as a result of peaks and troughs in the birth rate. The number of elderly New Zealanders has increased over 20-fold since 1886, and the population is ageing—a process that is expected to hasten when the ‘baby boom’ generation reaches retirement age after the turn of the century. Low birth rates, recent emigration levels and the ‘greying’ of population have raised the prospect of a future slow growth or no growth environment.

The following discussions on population issues cover only the years since World War II, and more particularly the past 30 years. The aim is to highlight modern trends in New Zealand's demography and present those population changes from over the last half century which have affected, and continue to affect, the general development of the country.

4.1 Population growth

The dramatic changes in the first 150 years of European settlement in New Zealand were frequently consistent with, and indicative of, international social and economic trends. In a nation of New Zealand's size and youth however, the results of these trends often had a profound effect and impact. The almost cyclic nature of depression and recovery, along with the arrival of gold rushes, world wars and assisted immigration schemes saw New Zealand's population growth rates fluctuate regularly.

The population of New Zealand reached 500,000 in 1880 boosted by the introduction of government-assisted immigration. The first million was surpassed in 1908 following the economic recovery from the Depression of the 1880s and 1890s. In the aftermath of World War II the growth rate climbed dramatically (in comparison to a stagnation in the early 1930s) as the baby boom and increased immigration made their impact. The second million of population was reached in 1952, 44 years after the first million with the third added, only 21 years later, in 1973. Almost one-fifth of this population growth came from net immigration. Since 1973 New Zealand's population has increased by just under one-half of a million to reach 3.49 million at December 1992.

Over the past 20 years there have been significant fluctuations in the population growth rate caused by wide swings in the level and direction of the external migration balance. In absolute terms, New Zealand's population grew by a record 266,752 during 1971-76, only 46,354 during 1976-81, 131,347 during 1981-86 and 127,866 over the latest intercensal period, 1986-91.

The decline in population growth during the 1970s and 1980s was again a noticeable international trend. A number of other developed countries, including Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, have all experienced reduced growth rates during this period.


Census*Total populationIntercensal increase
NumberPercentAverage annual (percent)

* Omits censuses of 1861, 1864, 1867 and 1871 as censuses of Maori population were not taken in these years.

1858, 24 December115,462.........
1874, 1 March344,984.........
1878, 3 March458,007113,02332.767.33
1881, 3 April534,03076,02316.605.10
1886, 28 March620,45186,42116.183.07
1891, 5 April668,65148,2007.771.49
1896, 12 April743,21474,56311.152.13
1901, 31 March815,86272,6489.771.89
1906, 29 April936,309120,44714.762.75
1911, 2 April1,058,312122,00313.032.52
1916, 15 October1,149,22590,9138.591.50
1921, 17 April1,271,668122,44310.652.27
1926, 20 April1,408,139136,47110.732.06
1936, 24 March1,573,812165,67311.771.13
1945, 25 September1,702,330128,5188.170.83
1951, 17 April1,939,472237,14213.932.37
1956, 17 April2,174,062234,59012.102.31
1961, 18 April2,414,984240,92211.082.12
1966, 22 March2,676,919261,93510.852.11
1971, 23 March2,862,631185,7126.941.35
1976, 23 March3,129,383266,7529.321.80
1981, 24 March3,175,73746,3541.480.29
1986, 4 March3,307,084131,3474.140.82
1991, 5 March3,434,950127,8663.870.76

Table 4.2. POPULATION, 1939-1992

YearTotal population at 31 DecemberMean population for year ended 31 December

Percentage annual increase

4.2 Distribution of population

Three major trends stand out prominently in the geographic distribution and redistribution of New Zealand's population over the last 150 years. The first is an increasing proportion of people living in the north of the country. The second is a tendency for people to move from the south to the north. The third is for an increasing degree of urbanisation and in particular, a concentration of people in the main urban centres.

North and South Islands

Following the end of the gold boom in the South Island in the 1870s, the proportion of the total population living in the South Island began to steadily decrease. From the 1896 Census onward the population of the North Island has exceeded that of the South.

Since that time the North Island's population has continued to expand at a greater rate, and its share of the total population has continued to grow. In 1951, 68 percent of the population resided in the North Island, by 1971 this figure had risen to almost 72 percent and in 1991 was at 74 percent.

Auckland is a key region in internal migration patterns, accruing population at the expense of most other regions. The second major region for receiving migrants was Waikato.

In most cases population flows favoured regions to the north. Thus, Southland lost population to Otago, Otago to Canterbury, Canterbury lost to Wellington and Wellington lost to Auckland.

The significance of the ‘drift north’, however, must be put in perspective. Internal migration is not a one-way process. Typically, for each migration stream moving in one direction there is an opposing counter stream. Further, a sizeable proportion of internal migration occurs between adjacent regions. The major flows over long distances, however, are mainly between major urban areas.

The balance of urban and rural components of population is another major feature of New Zealand's changing demography.


CensusNorth IslandSouth IslandTotal population

Many influences have contributed to the persistence and amplification of the population differential between the two islands. The North Island has had a higher birth rate, a lower mortality rate and, as a result, a higher rate of natural increase. The bulk of overseas migrants settle in the North Island and people are also gained internally from the South Island.

Internal migration

The movement of people within and between regions is an important determinant of New Zealand's population distribution. Overall, New Zealanders are a mobile people and, while the majority of movement is within regions, there is a significant traffic of people between regions. These latter flows have the greater impact on regional populations. In addition to affecting the size of the population of different regions, inter-regional migration also influences age structures, fertility levels and population growth rates.

For the last hundred years the trend has been for a northward drift of people. During 1986-91, regions in the north of each island gained more people from internal migration than did other regions, with the highest growth areas over this period being Auckland and Bay of Plenty in the North Island and Nelson-Marlborough and Canterbury in the South Island.


Regional councilsUsually resident population aged 5 years and over at 1991 censusIn-migration (2)Out-migration (3)Gross migration (2)+(3)=(4)Net migration (2)-(3)=(5)Migration effectiveness ratio (5)/(4)x100
Bay of Plenty185,19031,97723,51155,4888,46615.26
Gisborne39,8254,4857,80912,294-3 324-27.04
Hawke's Bay126,13813,80316,98630,789-3 183-10.34
Taranaki97,5699,49812,54922,047-3 051-13.84
Wellington366,98136,26142,68478,945-6 423-8.14
West Coast29,8954,3056,20110,506-1 896-18.05
Southland91,5127,22712,22519,452-4 998-25.69

Ratio of urban to rural population


CensusTotal population†

*Excludes shipping on boundaries at 5 March 1991.

Urban areas and towns with over 1,000 population vs. remaining population.

Based on boundaries at 5 March 1991.


Improved communications and transportation have allowed the centralisation of previously dispersed services, and secondary and tertiary industries continued to expand. Over four-fifths of the population lived in urban areas by 1971, and by 1991 the urban proportion of the population had risen to 85 percent of the total.

The cities

At the time of the 1991 Census, while 85 percent of the population lived in urban areas, 68 percent lived in ‘main urban areas’ (places with 30,000 people or over).

A recent feature of urbanisation has been the growing concentration of people in Auckland. In 1991, 26 percent of New Zealand's population lived there, compared with only 15 percent 70 years earlier.

Today, while a large majority of the population live in urban areas, there has been a decline in the growth of many urban areas. Between 1986 and 1991, urban areas that continued to grow were generally situated in the north of each island—between Auckland and Rotorua in the North Island and between Nelson and Christchurch in the South Island. Urban areas in the south of each island experienced virtually no growth nor lost population.


Urban area193619611986*1991*

*Boundaries as at 5 March 1991.

Palmerston North24,37243,18567,40570,951
New Plymouth18,59732,38747,38448,519

Population of local government areas today

The following tables outline the population of New Zealand's territorial local authority areas and regional councils. All data conforms with the boundaries established after the 1989 reorganisation of local government. For population figures of cities, boroughs and counties in existence before 1 November 1989, refer to the 1988-89 Yearbook.


Territorial local authority*Census of population 1991Estimated at 31 March 1993Estimated population change 1991-93‡

* Boundaries as at April 1993.

Figures have been rounded.

A minus sign indicates a decrease in population.

§Includes persons on shipboard, and the populations of Campbell, Kermadec, Mayor and Motiti Islands (not within city, county or district boundaries).

Cities  numberpercent
North Shore152,134155,5003,4002.2
Palmerston North70,31873,5003,2004.6
Upper Hutt37,09237,000-100-0.3
Lower Hutt94,54094,6001000.1
        Subtotal, cities1 886 1361 922 30036 2001.9
Far North51,56852,9001,3002.5
South Waikato26,18625,500-700-2.7
Western Bay of Plenty30,13731,60015005.0
Central Hawke's Bay12,59012,500-100-0.8
New Plymouth67,95168,6006000.9
South Taranaki29,51929,100-400-1.4
Kapiti Coast35,30937,3002,0005.7
South Wairarapa9,0379,2201802.0
Banks Peninsula7,6397,8001602.1
Central Otago15,69614,900-800-5.1
        Subtotal, districts1 546 3971 569 60023 2001.5
Chatham Islands County760770101.3
        Total, New Zealand§3 434 9503 494 30059 4001.7

Average annual intercensal growth rates for main urban areas


RegionCensus of population 1991Estimated at 31 March 1993Estimated population change 1991-93

* Boundaries as at 1 July 1992.

Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.

Includes the population of Kermadec Islands.

§ Includes the population of Chatham Islands County and Campbell Island.

North Island  number†percent
Bay of Plenty208,163213,8005,6002.7
Gisborne44,38744,400- -- -
Hawke's Bay139,479140,1006000.4
Remainder North Island‡95100- -- -
        Subtotal, North Island2 553 4132 604 20050 8002.0
South Island    
West Coast33,96133,700-300-0.9
Remainder South Island§769800- -- -
        Subtotal, South Island881 537890 1008 6001.0
        Total, New Zealand3 434 9503 494 30059 4001.7

4.3 Components of population change

Population change has two main components, natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) and net migration. To indicate the relative importance of these components, in the period 1858-1989 as a whole, net migration contributed 23 percent of the total population growth in New Zealand, and natural increase the remaining 77 percent.

The relative contribution of the two components has varied from one five-year period to another, but net immigration's share has never exceeded two-fifths. In only three five-year periods (1941-45, 1966-70 and 1981-85), it contributed less than one-tenth of the total population growth, while in three periods (1931-35, 1976-80 and 1986-90) because of a net population outflow, its contribution was negative.

The volatility of migration trends contrasted with the upward trend in natural increase until 1961. The rise in natural increase has been prodigious. In 1861-65, births exceeded deaths by only 16,610. By 1961-65, the margin had soared to 205,164. Since then, the gap between births and deaths has gradually diminished because of a significant drop in the number of live births and a corresponding rise in the number of deaths. In 1981-85, births exceeded deaths by 148,423, a drop of 28 percent on a quarter of a century earlier. The rate of natural increase of population has risen from 0.8 percent to 0.9 percent.

The following text briefly looks at the population processes—fertility, mortality and migration.


Changing levels of fertility have played a major role in determining the size and structure of New Zealand's population over the years.

In 1935 the fertility rate in New Zealand fell to a low of 2.2 births per woman. This lower rate is attributed to fewer and later marriages, and family limitation within marriage exerting their influence.

With the demobilisation of forces after World War II and the resulting increase in marriages and births, the fertility rate recovered to 3.6 births per woman in 1947.


YearTotal live birthsCrude birth rate*Total fertility rate†Gross reproduction rate‡§Net reproduction rate§◊Ex-nuptial birth rate◊¶

* Per 1,000 mean population.

Average number of births a woman would have during her reproductive life if she was exposed to the fertility rates experienced during that year.

Average number of daughters a woman would bear during her reproductive life assuming that the age-of-mother-specific birth rates experienced during that year continue to apply.

§ Figures up to 1966 are for non-Maori population.

Average number of daughters that a woman would bear during her reproductive life assuming that the age-of-mother-specific birth rates and mortality rates experienced during that year continue to apply.

Per 1,000 mean number of not-married women aged 15-49 years.


Other features of the post-war years were New Zealanders marrying younger, and marriage becoming almost universal. By 1961, half of all women were married before age 22 years, compared with barely a quarter married by that age in the early 1940s. These trends were reinforced by early childbearing and the shortening of birth intervals. In the mid-1950s, age group 20-24 years replaced 25-29 years as the commonest age group for childbearing. The median age at first birth fell from 25.5 years in 1945 to 22.9 years in 1964. Fewer couples remained childless or had only one child. The net result was soaring birth numbers, up from just over 27,000 in 1935, to about 42,000 in 1945 and to over 65,000 in 1961. Over 1.1 million New Zealanders were born between 1945 and 1964-the ‘baby boomers’.

At birth of first child

As was the case elsewhere, this burgeoning in the number of births was to reshape the population age structure and pose many and varied problems for policy-makers and planners in both the public and private sectors. At its peak in 1961, the total fertility rate exceeded 4.3 births per woman and significantly exceeded the figures for other developed nations. However, the upward trend was reversed in the early 1960s, just as suddenly as it had begun, which has prompted demographers to suggest that the ‘baby boom’ was merely a temporary diversion from a long-term downward trend.

The turnaround coincided with the introduction of the oral contraceptive pill in the early 1960s, but the ‘cause-and-effect’ relationship is not clear-cut. It is possible that the increased acceptance and use of the pill helped sustain the downward trend. By the mid-1970s, the post-Depression rise in fertility had ended. The total fertility rate fell below the ‘replacement level’ in 1978 and then to an all-time low of 1.92 births per woman in 1983. Its impact on the annual number of births was large. Despite a substantial increase in the number of prospective mothers, caused by the large baby boom cohorts entering the prime reproductive ages, and thus the prospects of an ‘echo boom’, births dropped from over 64,000 in 1971 to below 50,000 in 1982.

Since 1983, there has been a minor resurgence in fertility and the 1992 rate implies a lifetime average of 2.12 births per woman, which is barely sufficient for the population to replace itself, without migration. However, it is still too early to suggest whether the upturn is merely a temporary phenomenon, arising largely from the making up of deferred childbearing by women aged 28-36 years, or is a long-term trend, reflecting a permanent shift to later childbearing.

The dynamics of the fertility decline or of the current low fertility levels are complex. Increased use of contraceptives, increased participation of women in the labour force, rising divorce rates and general economic conditions have probably all, directly or indirectly, contributed to it. Patterns of marriage and family formation have changed radically, with a shift away from early marriage and childbearing. Early childbearing has given way to delayed parenthood.

Between 1971 and 1986, the first marriage rate for women aged 20-24 years dropped by about two-thirds, from 308 to 113 marriages per 1,000 never married women aged 20-24 years. New Zealand women are now marrying on average, nearly four years later than they did in the early 1970s. The average age at first marriage in 1991 was 25.2 years compared with 21.7 years in 1971-72. A growing proportion are remaining single through their twenties. At the 1991 Census, over 19 percent of women aged 30-34 reported themselves as ‘never married’, compared with 6 percent in 1971.

The substantial postponement of marriage has been partly offset by the growth of de facto relationships (cohabitation outside marriage). Such relationships may be either a prelude to or a substitute for formal marriages. At the 1991 Census, 12.9 percent and 8.3 percent of New Zealand women aged 25-29 years and 30-34 years, respectively, were living in de facto relationships. The national all age average was 6.2 percent.

Average number of live births per woman born in any year*

These changes partly account for the substantial rise in the number of ex-nuptial births (children born to women who are not legally married), up from just over 5,000 in 1962 to over 10,000 in 1977, and to over 21,000 in 1991. Ex-nuptial births comprised 8 percent of all births registered in New Zealand in 1962 and 36 percent in 1991. Changing social norms and the availability of social welfare benefits to single parents have contributed to this increase.

There is also a high incidence of ex-nuptial births among Maori. In 1991, 75 percent of all Maori births were classified as ex-nuptial and they accounted for one-quarter of the country's ex-nuptial births. This atypical situation does not necessarily reflect unconventional attitudes of Maori towards childbearing outside wedlock, but arises partly from the fact that Maori customary marriages are not legally recognised.

As far as the overall fertility levels are concerned, the transition in Maori fertility from relatively large to small families is of more recent origin. Their total fertility rate fell from a high of 6.2 births per woman in 1962 to 2.2 births per woman in 1990, a 65 percent drop. The gap between the Maori and non-Maori fertility has narrowed from 2.2 to 0.02 births per woman during this period. Census-based studies also indicate high fertility among the Pacific Island Polynesians in New Zealand.

Table 4.10. VITAL STATISTICS: 1935-1992

Five year period ending 31 DecemberTotal births*Total deaths*Natural increaseLife expectancy at birth†‡Average age at death

* For five-year period.

Excludes Maori population.

At year after each interval, i.e. 1936, 1981.

§ For total population for period 1989-91.


Sperm analysis, Christchurch Women's Hospital.


Vandalised headstones, Christchurch.


New Zealand has been quite successful in raising the average life expectancy of its population over the past hundred years. A temperate climate, low population density, lack of heavy industry and good nutrition gave New Zealand an early advantage over other nations in terms of health conditions.

From the middle of the nineteenth century until the 1930s, New Zealand had the lowest mortality rates in the world.

Table 4.11. DEATH RATES

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

* Per 1,000 live births.

rates per 1,000 of mean population in each age group
Both sexes

A large part of this improvement in longevity occurred prior to the 1930s, and was due to the saving of life at younger ages. The infant mortality rate fell steadily in association with a major reduction in infectious diseases (and respiratory diseases), which were previously the main causes of death in New Zealand.

In the area of longevity, the significant development over recent years was the slowing down of mortality decline between 1955-57 and 1970-72, although there was a slight deterioration in male mortality during the mid-1960s.

Since 1970-72, there has been a gain of approximately four years in the life expectancy at birth of both sexes. Unlike in earlier years, a major part of this improvement has occurred at the retirement ages. However, this improvement has not altered New Zealand's slightly disadvantaged position internationally. Currently residents of at least 10 other countries can expect to live longer than New Zealanders.

There is still considerable room for improvement, especially with regard to mortality in the first year of life and at retirement ages. Although the infant mortality rate has dropped steadily in the last 50 years—from 41.7 per 1,000 in 1939 to 20.5 per 1,000 in 1962, and further to 7.3 per 1,000 in 1992, it is still high compared with some European countries. Furthermore its post neo-natal component (i.e., death of a child over 28 days but under 1 year of age) is significantly higher than the rate recently achieved in Scandinavian countries (see section 7.2, Public health).

Recent data indicates that heart disease, cancer and cerebrovascular diseases (in that order) continue to be the three leading causes of death in New Zealand, and together account for over three-fifths of all deaths among the adult population in any year. Respiratory diseases claim another 10 percent. Motor-vehicle accidents cause another 3 percent of all deaths in a year, with teenagers and those in their early twenties accounting for over four-fifths of these fatalities.

Although the whole nation has benefited from better living standards, advances in medical knowledge and technology, and improvements in health services over the years, some differentials still exist. One notable historical trend is the widening of the male-female differences in mortality. A century ago, women could expect to outlive men by two years. By 1950-52, the female advantage had increased to four years, and by 1990-92, it was about six years.

Average age at death

Life expectancy also varies according to ethnicity, with a substantial reduction in Maori mortality in the last three decades, and a significant convergence in the Maori-pakeha gap in longevity. The life expectancy at birth for Maori males increased from 54.0 years in 1950-52 to 68.0 years in 1990-92, a gain of 14.0 years. That for females rose by 17.1 years, from 55.9 years to 73.0 years. However, in 1991-92, a newborn pakeha male child could expect to outlive his Maori counterpart by 5.4 years. For females, the difference was 6.2 years.


New Zealand1950-5267.271.3
United Kingdom195166.271.2
New Zealand1970-7268.674.6
United Kingdom197168.875.0
New Zealand1980-8270.476.4
United Kingdom198170.876.8
New Zealand1990-9272.978.7
United Kingdom198972.778.3

For total population

External migration

New Zealand has traditionally been a country of immigration, although in the last 150 years the country's intake has been small compared with immigration flows to some New World countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United States.

Over the years, immigration has had a major impact on the size, growth rate, age-sex structure and ethnic composition of New Zealand's population, and has been a subject of vigorous public debate, especially when large-scale immigration has tested the amenities and structures of the country.

The end of World War II saw economic stability and the reintroduction, in 1947, of an assisted/free passage scheme to attract working-age industrial and agricultural labour from the United Kingdom. The immigration policy was further liberalised in 1950. Agreements were also negotiated to accept young non-British European migrants. Refugee immigration was allowed on humanitarian grounds. Subsequently, these grounds were to lead to the settlement of just under 4,000 Indo-Chinese refugees in New Zealand during the March years 1978-82. Historical and regional considerations also led to the establishment of immigration quotas for small Pacific Island countries.

Government adopted a new immigration policy in 1974, which ended unrestricted immigration from the United Kingdom and Ireland and provided for the selection of immigrants from all sources on the same criteria. The reciprocal Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement, which allows free movement of residents between Australia and New Zealand, was not changed. Similarly, the right of free entry into New Zealand was maintained for the people of the Cook Islands, Niue and the Tokelau Islands, who are regarded as New Zealand citizens. As a result, immigrants in post-war years have come from a wider range of countries than before.

Between 1951 and 1966, the country gained roughly 200,000 people. In 12 of the 16 years, net immigration was over 10,000. The economic recession of the late 1960s turned the tide again. A significant drop in immigration and a sharp upturn in emigration, resulted in a net emigration of 15,333 during 1967-69. This was just the beginning of the dramatic events to come.

The last two decades have witnessed some major and unprecedented changes in external migration levels and patterns. The preponderance of immigrants coming from the British Isles has decreased, and migration to and from Australia has become the largest in terms of volume. The rate of migration has increased significantly and there have been dramatic shifts in the flow of migrants.

The total number of arrivals has jumped more than seven-fold, from 254,000 during 1968, to 1.8 million during 1991. This reflects the ease and relatively low cost of international travel, with tourists making up the bulk of the international traffic. Unlike in early years, total departures exceeded total arrivals by an average of 111 people per annum during 1968-91. But this figure disguises the large swings in the external migration balance from one period to another, as shown in .

The early 1980s pointed to radical changes in permanent and long-term migration (persons whose stated intention is arriving to settle, or departing for 12 months or more). The number of permanent and long-term departures—which had shown a steep upward trend since 1961, rising from 13,305 to 82,554 in 1979-started to decline, and by 1983 had fallen to 33,871. Departures to Australia accounted for about three-fifths of this decline. In fact, in 1983 more people arrived from, than left for Australia and there was an overall gain of 8,285. This turnaround was short-lived, and by 1989 the figure had climbed to 61,535, giving a net emigration of 12,275. However, during 1990, an increase in the number of permanent and long-term arrivals, and a decrease in the number of permanent and long-term departures was recorded. This gave a net gain of 8,968. The net gain during 1991 was slightly lower, 8,080.

Annual net migration and natural increase

Significantly, immigration from the South Pacific countries, although small in size, is continuing. Moreover, unlike in earlier years, New Zealanders now comprise a significant component of permanent and long-term movements, which are dominated by persons of younger working ages.

Table 4.13. EXTERNAL MIGRATION: 1935-1993

Five year period ended 31 MarchTotalPermanent and long-termShort-term
1935111,933118,076-6 14313,46614,830-1 36498,467103,246-4 779
194535,00332,4142,5896,5979,241-2 64428,40623,1735,233
1955306,837239,14867,689116,51037,41979,091190,327201,729-11 402
1965737,703676,13761,566156,46275,05581,407581,241601,082-19 841
19701,278,8671,273,4095,458155,008127,81427,1941,123,8591,145,595-21 736
19803,793,4833,874,575-81 092204,867319,964-115 0973,588,6163,554,61134,005
19854,772,2574,766,9935,264213,059247,712-34 6534,559,1984,519,28139,917
19907,359,3407,394,389-35 049226,420306,65380,2337,132,9207,087,73645,184
19861,111,9261,130,444-18 51835,98257,595-21 6131,075,9441,072,8493,095
19871,321,7291,317,3724,35744,36058,629-14 2691,277,3691,258,74318,626
19881,554,9921,555,949-95747,84463,469-15 6251,507,1481,492,48014,668
19891,669,6371,687,935-18 29846,23370,941-24 7081,623,4041,616,9946,410
19901,701,0561,702,689-1 63352,00156,019-4 0181,649,0551,646,6702,385
19921,809,8851,806,9472,93849,01044,7234,2871,760,8751,762,224-1 349

4.4 Composition of the population

Age and sex of the population

The age and sex profile of a population represents the cumulative effect of past changes in the dynamics of population growth—fertility, mortality, and migration.

At present the New Zealand population contains slightly more females than males. This contrasts with the situation in the early colonial days when there was a large surplus of males, especially young males.

Each census saw the sex ratio draw closer to parity, with two exceptions when there was a temporary excess of females—during World War I and again during World War II.

In 1968, for the first time in the country's demographic history, females outnumbered males, and since then their advantage has increased steadily. Final counts show that there were 1,693,051 males and 1,741,899 females in New Zealand at the 1991 Census, representing a sex ratio of 97 males per 100 females. The shift largely reflects the preponderance of females among the retirement-age population (60 years and over) which carried a sex ratio of 80 males per 100 females in 1991. At ages below 60 years, men still outnumber women by a small margin.


CensusMalesFemalesTotal populationSex ratio*

* Number of males per 100 females.


Median age of the total population

Changes in the age structure of New Zealand population have been more profound over the past hundred years. They largely reflect the ‘roller coaster’ movements in the birth rate, with small and large birth cohorts moving into the age structure. However, migration gains/ losses (dominated by persons of younger and middle working ages) have added significantly to these structural changes.

The post-war baby boom broadened the base again and lifted the proportion of children in the population to 33 percent in 1961. With almost half of the population aged under 25 years at that time, the population looked youthful once again. The movement of small birth cohorts of the Depression years up the age scale meant a smaller proportion of workers in the population—only 55 percent in 1961. The elderly population increased in size by 84 percent, to make up over 12 percent of the total population. As the ‘youth’ and ‘aged’ components reinforced each other, the dependency ratio lifted sharply to a historical peak of 0.83, even exceeding the 1886 figure.

The subsequent sharp decline in fertility, increased longevity, and the movement of the baby boom ‘bulge’ into working ages has caused a major alignment of the age structure as well as incipient ageing. The median age of the population has risen by six and a half years since 1971, from 25.6 years to 32 years in 1993. The dependency ratio has fallen to a more favourable 0.63, due largely to a sharp drop in the ‘youth’ component.

At the end of 1992, children under 15 numbered just over 800,000 (down from 814,000 in 1961) and comprised just over 23 percent of the total population. Over the same period the working-age population (15-59 years) has risen by 788,000 (or 58 percent) to 2.14 million, and in 1993 accounted for 61 percent of the total population. The aged population has once again showed the largest rise, up 83 percent to well over 545,000 which represents a 24-fold increase over the 1886 Census figure of just over 23,000. Within this age group, the number of people aged 80 years and over has risen over the past 100 years from only 1,400 to 85,200, a 61-fold increase.

Finally, it is important to note that within New Zealand there are population subgroups with remarkably different age structures. Ethnic groups such as Maori and Pacific Island Polynesians have more youthful populations, commonly characteristic of developing nations. At the 1991 Census, they contained roughly twice the proportion of children under 15 years as their non-Maori, non-Polynesian counterparts (22 percent for the latter); about seven-tenths of their populations are under 30 years, and their median ages are about 12 years lower than their non-Maori, non-Polynesian counterparts (which is 32.2 years). At the other end of the age scale, only 4 percent of Maori, and 3 percent of Pacific Island Polynesians (because of their recent migration to New Zealand) are 60 years or over, compared with 17 percent for the non-Maori, non-Pacific Island Polynesian population.

Members of the Christchurch Safer Community Council watching a new education video on the problems encountered by elderly in the city.

Ethnic and cultural diversity

The islands of New Zealand have been ethnically and culturally connected to Polynesia for at least 1,000 years. Less than 200 years ago, its population and cultural heritage was wholly that of Polynesia, but now New Zealand is dominated by cultural traditions that are mainly European, emanating especially from Britain.

About four-fifths of New Zealanders are of European origin, predominantly of British Isles origin, but also including people from the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Germany and other nations. The indigenous Maori population makes up the next largest group of the population, about 12.9 percent in 1991. The third main ethnic group is the Pacific Islanders, who made up around 5.0 percent of the population at the time of the 1991 Census.

The ethnic and cultural composition of New Zealand has also been shaped and reshaped by three main demographic processes; international migration, natural increase, and intermarriage between members of different groups. The most important of these processes has been international migration.

As well as those from the British Isles, nationalities from other European countries have influenced the make-up of the New Zealand population. Settlers from non-European sources have also added to the wider ethnic diversity of New Zealand.

Maori population. Estimates of the size of the Maori population at the time of European contact in 1769 vary greatly. Figures ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 have all been advanced. There is, however, agreement that whatever the original size of the population, a substantial decline occurred over the following 70 years. It is believed that the population had dropped to no more than 100,000 by 1840.

Contact with Europeans had proved disastrous for the Maori population. By the time of the systematic colonisation in the 1840s, the Maori population, estimated at between 120,000 to 150,000 in the 1770s, had dropped to around 100,000. Tuberculosis, typhoid, venereal disease, measles and other diseases new to Maori exacted a heavy toll. The introduction of firearms and subsequent warfare, both inter-tribal and with Europeans, also resulted in a depletion of population. At the time of the first census, in 1858, numbers had been further eroded to less than 60,000. This decline, combined with European immigration, made Maori a minority group in the population by the 1860s. Numbers continued to decline further, at a rate of over 1 percent per annum, until the 1870s.

For the remainder of the nineteenth century population levels fluctuated, suggesting an arrest in the trend towards depopulation. The lowest point was reached in 1896 (42,000), and from this time onwards there was a recovery in the Maori population.

Total population at selected years


By the mid-1940s the Maori population had risen to a level comparable to that at the time European colonisation began.

The growth rate accelerated markedly after World War II, and peaked at 4.4 percent per annum during the early 1960s. This is believed to be close to the maximum possible increase for a human population that is ‘closed’ to inward migration. The rate of increase persisted at high levels until the mid-1970s.

Between 1976 and 1986 the rate of increase dropped significantly, averaging 1.3 percent per annum. By 1991, people who belonged to the Maori ethnic group numbered 434,847 and made up 12.9 percent of the population. While those with some Maori ancestry made up 15 percent of the population and numbered 511,947.

During the 1970s, international migration emerged for the first time as a significant factor in Maori population change. Large numbers of young Maori left New Zealand on a permanent or long-term basis in the 1980s. A population loss of 8,100 was recorded between 1981-1986. The main destinations of the migrants were Australia and the United Kingdom. Sizeable Maori communities now exist in Australia—particularly in Sydney. A result of this is that the Maori population is now susceptible to inward migration, both from return migration and the inward migration of Maori born overseas.

Fertility transition—Maori fertility has historically been high. Up to the 1960s the birth rate was around 45 per 1,000. However, a transition in fertility from high to low rates occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. Maori experienced one of the most rapid transitions chronicled anywhere in the world when the fertility rate dropped to a level two-fifths of that prior to 1962. The 10 years from 1962-71 saw the total fertility rate begin to decline, from 6 births per woman to 5 births per woman. The rate then began to fall even more sharply, and by 1977 was 3.0 births per woman. This level had only been reached by non-Maori women in 1972. In 1990 the fertility rate was 2.2 births per woman, only slightly higher than that of the total population.

Haka practice at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Mangere.

Total population and ethnic groups

Actually, as the birth rate reduced so did the average Maori family size. In 1962 it was 2.2 children greater than that of non-Maori. By 1990 the difference had narrowed to 0.02 children.

Rural to urban migration—The change from being a largely rural to a predominantly urban population also happened extremely rapidly for Maori. By 1945 around three-quarters lived in rural areas. However, within two decades the majority of the Maori population were living in urban areas. By the mid-1970s, three-quarters lived in urban areas. It is worth noting that at this time a trend for migration from urban to rural ancestral marae became apparent. Initially such migrants were older urban Maori. More recently a wider section of urban Maori have been involved. Nevertheless, by 1981, four-fifths of the Maori population was urban and a majority of Maori have now probably been born and raised in urban areas.

Urbanisation of Maori has been accompanied by a wider geographical distribution throughout the country. In the 1920s, 95 percent of Maori lived in the North Island. Countering the trend of the total New Zealand population, Maori began to shift south, to the southern North Island and to the South Island. In 1986, 10 percent lived in the South Island.

Age structure—Youthfulness is the central characteristic that has distinguished the Maori from the non-Maori population structure. Throughout most of this century the Maori population has been concentrated in the younger age groups—a result of the consistently high fertility of Maori.

Between 1926 and 1976, the proportion of children in the Maori population consistently exceeded 43 percent. A peak of 50 percent was achieved in 1966. In 1961, when the impact of the ‘boom’ in fertility was greatest, over 20 percent of the Maori population was less than five years old. Over the 15 years from 1971-86 significant changes to the structure of the Maori population occurred. The transition in fertility experienced in the 1970s had much impact. The median age, the point at which half the population is older and half younger, steadily increased. In 1971 it was 15.5 years, by 1986 it had risen to 19.5 years. The number and proportion of children in the Maori population also changed over this period. Children made up 49 percent of the Maori population in 1971, but this had fallen to 39 percent by 1986.

With the decline in the proportion of children in the population there has been an expansion in the population of the working age group (15-59 years) and in the women's reproductive age group (15-49 years). Of the total Maori population in 1971, 48 percent were of working age. In contrast 57 percent were of working age in 1986. Maori women of reproductive age accounted for 22 percent of the total population in 1971. This proportion had risen to 26 percent by 1986. Both the working age and reproductive age groups have a substantial youthful component. Almost one-third of the total Maori population were aged between 15 and 29 in 1986 and over three-fifths of women of reproductive ages were also aged between 15 and 29 in the same year.

The Maori population is showing signs of moving towards a more elderly structure, yet it is still far younger than that of non-Maori. In 1986 there were larger proportions of Maori than non-Maori in each age group under 30 years. The median age of Maori was, in 1986, 12.0 years below that of the non-Maori.

See also section 5.4, Maori society.


CensusTotal populationMaoriPacific Island PolynesianChineseIndianFijianOther

* Comprises Samoans, Tongans, Cook Islanders, and Niueans.

Those specifying themselves as half or more New Zealand Maori plus those not specifying their degree of origin. 1986 Census figures relate to those persons who stated ‘New Zealand Maori’ as their only ethnic origin.

Usually resident population.

1986‡3,263,283295,31791 869*19,56612,1261,8752,842,530
1991‡3,373,929323,493123 183*37,68926,9792,7602,859,825

Pacific Island Polynesians. Since the early 1960s the cultural and ethnic diversity of New Zealand has been enhanced by the inflow of Pacific Island Polynesians to New Zealand. Over this time, the Pacific Island Polynesian population in New Zealand has grown from a total of just over 14,000 in 1961 to about 99,000 by the mid-1980s. The Pacific Island Polynesian population is concentrated in several areas, particularly in Auckland and Wellington.

Pacific Island weavers‘ workshop at Wellington City Art Gallery.

In the late 1970s, as a result of economic downturn, immigration of Polynesians dropped sharply and natural increase became the major influence on Polynesian population growth. The 1980s saw a return to substantial net migration gains from Polynesia, and between 1981 and 1986, there were 14,856 more arrivals than departures. These people added the equivalent of 30 percent to the total Pacific Island Polynesian-born population enumerated in New Zealand at the 1981 Census. Thus international migration remains a very important determinant of growth in this component of New Zealand's population.

See also section 5.5, Pacific Island Polynesian population.

Refugees. Refugees from Europe arrived in the 1930s and again during World War II. Many of these were Jews and Poles. The migration of refugees into New Zealand was intensified after the war. About 6,000 refugees from Poland were eventually allowed to settle in New Zealand in the immediate post-war years. Following the 1956 Hungarian uprising, a further limited intake of refugees from Hungary was received by New Zealand. As a result of the conflict in Indo-China, about 7,000 Indo-Chinese refugees have been resettled in New Zealand since 1975. This has accounted for over 90 percent of New Zealand's total refugee intake from this time. In addition to the Indo-Chinese refugees, small numbers of Chilean, Russian Jew, East European and Assyrian refugees have also been received at different times.

While the cultural diversity of New Zealand is—for the greater part—Eurocentric, the range of cultural norms present in New Zealand that have come from non-European sources, along with the existing Maori culture, suggest that New Zealand will proceed into the next century possessing a wide range of different ethnic and cultural values.

For further information on ethnicity and country of birth of the population refer to section 5.3, Human rights, immigration and citizenship.

4.5 Future population issues

What lies ahead in New Zealand's demographic future? Predicting future trends, even beyond the short-term, is a difficult task because population trends and structures influence and are in turn affected by a host of economic, social and other circumstances.

Statistics New Zealand regularly prepares a range of projections for the New Zealand population. These combine different scenarios on future changes in fertility, mortality and external migration, which appear likely in the light of the historical trends. These projections are not exactly forecasts, but illustrate what the changes in population size, growth rate and age-sex structure would be if the given assumptions are met.

The 1991-base population projections indicate that New Zealand's population will grow slowly and age steadily over the next four decades to 2031.

On the basis of natural increase (assuming that New Zealand women continue to have about two children on average) and excluding population change through migration, it is projected that the country's population will reach 4.31 million by 2031. This estimate would be an increase of 0.89 million, or 26 percent, over the 31 March 1991 figure of 3.42 million. The pace of growth, however, will slow from a rate of 1.0 percent per year during the 1991-2001 decade to 0.3 percent per year over 2021-2031, reflecting a narrowing of the gap between births and deaths.

In estimating the population including external migration gain, a net gain of 5,000 persons a year (the average number over the last 90 years), will mean an extra 270,000 persons, making a total population of 4.58 million by 2031. The Government, however, has expressed a goal of 20,000 net immigrants per annum; if this figure is attained there will be 5.39 million New Zealanders by the year 2031, an increase of 1.97 million or 58 percent during the 40 year period.

There will be profound changes in New Zealand's age structure in the future. With the ‘two child family/no immigration gain’ scenario, the median age of the population (where half the population is above this age) would rise steadily from 31.3 years in 1991 to 39.7 years in 2031. Given the ‘5,000’ net immigration scenario the median age of the population in 2031 would be 39.1 years; and using the ‘20,000’ net immigration figure, the median age would be 37.9 years.

Among the various age segments of the population, it is the elderly (aged 65 years and over), which will show the fastest growth over the 1991-2031 period. They will comprise approximately 19 percent of the total population by 2031, compared with only 11 percent in 1991. Under the ‘5,000’ net immigration scenario, New Zealand's elderly population will increase by 132 percent, from 385,000 in 1991 to 892,000 in 2031. This increase is indicative of the ‘baby boomers’ ageing and reaching retirement age in the next century. By 2031, one in every five New Zealanders will be over 64 years of age, compared with one in nine in 1991. Within the elderly age group, the number of those aged 80 years and over will more than treble from the 1991 figure of 78,000 to 246,000 in 2031. Women in this age group will, by then, outnumber men by three to two.

Projections of New Zealand's working age population (16-64 years) indicate steady growth, from 2.2 million in 1991 to 2.8 in 2021, an increase of over half a million or 26 percent. This increase is due to the projected annual accession to this age group exceeding retirements from it by an average of 19,000 persons per year. During 2021-2031 the working age population will remain stable, but will have an older age profile. The proportion of the total population who are in the working age group will drop, from 64 percent in 1991 to approximately 60 percent in 2031.

Otakiri School, Eastern Bay of Plenty, where there are five sets of twins on a roll of 177 pupils.

The number of children under 16 years of age is projected to increase initially from 843,000 in 1991 to peak at 986,000 in 2005, but the number will then drop to 885,000 in 2020 before rising to 928,000 in 2031. These rises and falls reflect swings in the number of births caused by changes in the number of women of childbearing age. Children aged under 16 years will comprise a smaller percentage of the total population in the future, decreasing from about 25 percent in 1991 to 20 percent in 2031.

Table 4.16. POPULATION PROJECTIONS 1991-2031*†

Age-group1991 (Base)2001201120212031

*Assuming ‘medium’ fertility and ‘medium’ mortality with long-term annual immigration of 5,000 per annumn.

†Figures have been rounded.

        Total population3 418 0003 820 0004 120 0004 364 0004 584 000


4.1-4.5 Statistics New Zealand.

Special articles

Department of Social Welfare; Future Times, 1992 No 4, New Zealand Features Trust; Statistics New Zealand.

Further information

Census of Population and Dwellings 1986

Ages and Marital Status. Series C, Report 3. Department of Statistics.

1987 Electorate Profiles. Series B, Report 27. Department of Statistics.

Labour Force—Part 1. Series C, Report 4. Department of Statistics.

Local Authority Population and Dwelling Statistics. Series A, Report 2. Department of Statistics.

National Summary. Series C, Report 2. Department of Statistics.

Profiles of New Zealanders: Families and Households. Series E, Report 3. Department of Statistics.

Profiles of New Zealanders: The Labour Force. Series E, Report 2. Department of Statistics.

Regional Statistics. Series B, Reports 2-23. Department of Statistics. (Reports for each local government region.)

Regional Summary. Series B, Report 24. Department of Statistics.

Rural Population Statistics. Series A, Report 3. Department of Statistics.

Usually Resident Population. Series B, Report 25. Department of Statistics.

Dwellings. Series C, Report 11. Department of Statistics.

A full list of 1991 Census of Population and Dwellings publications can be found in the list of Statistics New Zealand publications at the back of this volume.

Demography, vital statistics, and migration

Demographic Trends. Department of Statistics (annual).

Elderly Population of New Zealand. Department of Statistics, 1990.

External Migration Statistics. Department of Statistics (annual).

Foetal and Infant Deaths. Health Statistical Services (annual).

Hospital and Selected Morbidity Data. Health Statistical Services (annual).

The Human Face of New Zealand: A Context for Population Policy into the Twenty-first Century. Report of the Inter-departmental Committee on Population Policy Guidelines, Department of Statistics, 1990.

Inter-regional Migration in New Zealand, 1971-1981. Department of Statistics, 1986.

Maps of Statistical Boundaries. Department of Statistics. (Map series), 1986.

Key Statistics. Department of Statistics (monthly).

New Zealand Life Tables 1985-87. Department of Statistics, 1991.

New Zealand Sub-national Population Projections 1986-2006. Department of Statistics, 1985.

Profile of Women: A Statistical Comparison of Females and Males in New Zealand 1945-84. Department of Statistics, 1985.

Trends and Patterns in New Zealand Fertility, 1912-1983. Department of Statistics, 1986.

Families in New Zealand

The family remains an integral part of New Zealand society. At the 1991 Census, more than four-fifths of New Zealanders living in a private dwelling were in a family unit, as either a child, parent or spouse. Of the 1,177,665 households counted in 1991, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) contained families, 20 percent contained a single occupant and 6 percent were non-family households.

Defining families

There are many ways in which a family may be defined, each creating a different group within the population. For the purposes of this analysis, a family refers to a husband and wife (in a legal or de facto marriage) with or without children living in the same dwelling, or a sole parent (of any marital status) living with one or more children of any age.


Since the 1986 Census, family households have recorded the slowest rate of growth. While the number of family households increased by 6.1 percent, non-family household numbers rose by 6.5 percent, and sole-person households increased by 15.9 percent. Overall, the number of households grew by 8.2 percent during this time.

The rapid growth in sole-person households is slowly eroding the dominance of family households. The formation of households containing only one person is the result of many factors, including lower marriage rates, increased divorce rates and most importantly—the ageing of the population.

Sole households

In 1991, 235,986 people lived along—9 percent of all adult New Zealanders. In the last 20 years, the number of sole households has doubled. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of sole households increased by 32,367 or 16 percent. One-person households comprised one in five households in 1991, compared with around one in eight in 1971.

More than half the people who live alone are elderly (60 years and over), and nearly three-quarters are women. Since 1986, people aged 60 and over have contributed to nearly half the increase in single households. Nearly three-fifths of all widowed New Zealanders lived by themselves in 1991, as did one-quarter of divorced people and one-fifth of separated people.

Family households

Family households are those which contain at least one family (with or without other persons). In 1991, only 2.3 percent of all family households contained two or more families. Thus, family households (containing one or more families) and household families (one family only) are almost the same.


Although the family remains an important unit in New Zealand society, the diversity of family types has increased as divorce rates have risen and marriage rates have fallen. Families are also smaller than in the past. What was once a ‘typical’ family—a legally married couple with at least one dependent child—now represents only 38 percent of all New Zealand families.

A total of 882,600 families were counted in the 1991 Census, 48 percent of which were two-parent families, 35 percent couple-only families and 17 percent were one-parent families.


Couple-only families have no children in the household, either because adult children have left or the couple have never had any children. While the number of families with children increased by 3 percent between 1986 and 1991, the number of families without children increased by 14 percent during this period. Consequently, the proportion of families containing children has declined.

In 1991, 80 percent of two-parent families had at least one dependent child. The remaining families had only adult children in the home. Statistics New Zealand defines a dependent child as a family member under 16 years of age or aged 16-18 years and still at school. In today's situation, it is relatively common for adult children (aged 17-24 years) to be living with their parents. Although these children are not classified as dependent, they may be equally as reliant on their parents for support.

One-parent families

One in four families with children now contain only one parent, compared with one in five in 1986 and one in six in 1981. Families headed by a sole mother continue to outnumber sole-father families by more than four to one.

During the last 10 years, the number of children born to unmarried mothers has almost doubled, and the proportion has risen from 23 percent of all births in 1982 to 37 percent in 1992. Note, however, that many of these ex-nuptial births occur to women living in de facto relationships.

Increasing levels of separation and divorce between 1971 and 1986 saw these events replace death as the most likely cause in the formation of a one-parent family. More than half (53 percent) of sole parents in 1991 were separated or divorced. Legislative change in 1981 saw the number of divorces rise dramatically in 1982. A growing number of marriages are dissolving after shorter periods. In 1992, 41 percent of all divorces involved marriages of less than 10 years duration.

The fastest growing group of sole parents in those who have never married (this includes people previously living in de facto relationships). Sole-parent families raised by a never married parent increased in number by 80 percent between 1986 and 1991, and accounted for over half of the total rise in sole-parent families during this time. In 1991, more than one in four sole parents had never married, compared with one in five in 1986.


In the past, marriage was seen as the natural precursor to family formation. While this is no longer true to the same extent (as the number of ex-nuptial births shows), marriage still remains an important feature of the family unit in New Zealand. Thus, the situation of families will be influenced by any change in marriage patterns.

Delayed marriages are reflected in the rising average age at marriage, and in the increased proportion of unmarried men and women in their late twenties and early thirties. In 1971, only 11 percent of New Zealand women aged 25-29 years had never married, by 1991 this had risen to 39 percent. Similarly, the percentage of women aged 30-34 who had never married increased from 6 to 20 percent during this time. The following table provides an example of this transition.


By selected age
YearWomen 20-24 yearsMen 25-29 Years

Over the last 20 years, the average age of brides and bridegrooms has risen by around five years to 29 and 32 years, respectively, in 1992. This rise in average age reflects both the trend in delayed marriage, as well as the growth in remarriage. In 1992, 35 percent of all marriages involved at least one partner who had been married before.

Age of parents

Delayed marriage has combined with a delay in childbearing to raise the ages of many parents. The average age of mothers in two-parent families with children rose from 38 to 39 years between 1986 and 1991, while a father in this type of family was 42 compared with 41 years in 1986.

Conversely, the average age of sole parents has fallen—due largely to the rising numbers who are divorced and separated, rather than widowed. In 1991, sole mothers recorded an average age of 40 years, compared with 41 in 1986, while the average age of sole fathers fell from 48 to 45 years during this time.

Family size

The last three censuses have seen both the number and proportion of children fall. In 1991, there were 1,131,000 children, a decrease of 4 percent since 1981. The number of dependent children fell from 905,000 to 879.000 during this time, a decrease of 3 percent.

A combination of factors have led to this decline. Falls in marriage and fertility rates, a rise in de facto unions (these are more likely to be childless) and an ageing population are all contributing factors.

The total fertility rate (TFR) (i.e. the average number of children a woman would have during her lifetime) shows the transition in childbearing in New Zealand between 1912 and 1992 (see following graph). The peak in the centre of the graph shows the ‘baby boom’—a period of high fertility from 1945-1972. At its peak in 1961, the TFR reached 4.3 births per woman. The boom collapsed in the early 1970s, and the TFR fell below replacement level (2.1) in 1980. Since then it has fluctuated only slightly between 1.9 and 2.2 births per woman. This is sufficient for the long-term replacement of the population.


The average number of children per family continues to fall. In 1991, for the first time in a census, the average number of children per family fell below two, to 1.97. In 1986, it was 2.04. There are now more families with one child than with two.

Sole-parent families tend to be smaller than those which contain both parents. In 1991, more than half of sole-parent families (55 percent) contained only one child. In two-parent families, one-child families represented only one-third of the total.

In one and two parent families

Age of children

The average family still contains at least one dependent child. Of the 575,565 families with children in 1991, four-fifths had a dependent child. These children are more likely to be school-aged, but for the first time in 15 years, the number of preschoolers has risen. In 1991, 44 percent of families with dependent children had a child under five years compared with 40 percent in 1986.

There has been a particularly sharp rise in the number of sole parents with preschoolers. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of sole parents with children under five increased by 61 percent from 29,106 to 46,722, while the number of couple families with children of this age increased by only 2 percent. Consequently, sole-parent families accounted for nearly all (88 percent) of the increase in families with preschool children between 1986 and 1991.

Families and the labour force

In 1991, there were 339,681 couples with dependent children in New Zealand. The proportion of couples where both parents were in the labour force (including the unemployed) was 60 percent, but the percentage where both parents were in employment was 55 percent. In 9 percent of these two-parent families, at least one partner was unemployed (including couples where one partner was not in the labour force).

There were 110,052 one-parent families with dependent children in 1991. In 42 percent of these families, the parent was in the labour force, but employed in only 31 percent. In 12 percent of one-parent families, the parent was unemployed.

Employment levels for mothers

The degree of participation in the labour force for women with dependent children is closely related to the age of the youngest child (see following table). In two-parent families, women with children below five years of age have a participation rate of less than 50 percent. Once the youngest child reaches school age, however, participation rates rise to more than 70 percent. The proportion working full-time also increases as the youngest child grows older.

By family type and age of youngest dependent child
Family type by age of youngest dependent child (years)Labour force participation rateProportion employed full-time

*1991 Census

Two-parent families  
One-parent families  

For women with dependent children, the proportion working full-time was 31 percent for women in couple families and 17 percent in one-parent families.

Labour force participation rates for sole parents tend to be lower. Sole mothers with children under five years of age had a participation rate of just 24 percent in 1991. This reaches more than 50 percent only when the youngest child is more than 10 years old. Sole mothers remain less likely than mothers in two-parent families to work full-time, even as the age of the youngest child increases.

Two full-time working parents

In 1991, for the first time, couple families with both parents working full-time outnumbered the traditional model of a father in full-time employment and a mother not working. This ‘breadwinner/home maker’ family decreased from 35 percent of all families in 1986 to 28 percent in 1991. During this period, the proportion of couple families with neither parent working has doubled from 6 to 12 percent.

Chapter 5. Social framework

Turangawaewae regatta suffrage celebrations.

5.1 Households

There were 1,177,665 households living in private dwellings in New Zealand at the latest Census of Population and Dwellings, held on 5 March 1991. This was an increase of 89,067 (or 8.2 percent), in the number of private households since the 1986 Census.

describes the number of households by type counted at the 1986 and 1991 censuses. ‘One family only’ households still remain predominant, although the share of households in this category fell from 67.9 percent in 1986 to 65.9 percent in 1991. ‘One person’ households are easily the next most common type, comprising 20 percent of all private households.


Type1986 Census1991 CensusIntercensal percentage change
NumberPercentage of totalNumberPercentage of total

*Households containing temporary visitors only.

One family only739,46467.9775,55765.94.9
One family plus other persons56,5835.266,3875.617.3
Two or more families (with or without other persons)16,3921.519,8181.720.9
Non-family households64,6235.968,8205.86.5
One-person households203,61918.7235,98620.015.9
Not elsewhere classified*7,9170.711,0970.940.2
        Total1 088 598100.01 177 665100.08.2


The number of dwellings occupied on census night increased from 1,095,747 in 1986 to 1,185,396 in 1991, a rise of 89,649, or 8.2 percent.

shows that all types of permanent private dwellings increased in number during the 1986-1991 intercensal period. In contrast, there was a 32.1 percent decline in the number of temporary private dwellings and an 8 percent decline in the number of dwellings under construction at the time of the census.


TypeNumber of dwellingsIntercensal percentage change

*Includes mobile or temporary dwellings within a motor camp.

Occupied dwellings—   
        Permanent private dwellings—   
            Separate house862,341950,64610.2
          Two houses or flats joined together103,338110,1036.5
          Three or more flats/houses joined together90,98491,1790.2
          Flat/house attached to business or shop8,1909,27913.3
          Bach, crib, hut (not in a work camp)5,9496,87615.6
          Not specified7,2092,385-66.9
              Total, permanent private dwellings1 078 0051 170 4688.6
        Temporary private dwellings*10,5967,197-32.1
        Total private dwellings1,088,6011,177,6658.2
        Non-private dwellings7,1497,7318.1
              Total, occupied dwellings1 095 7471 185 3968.2
        Unoccupied dwellings—   
        Occupants temporarily away31,12834,32810.3
        Empty habitable dwellings35,45443,25122.0
        Holiday residences40,95045,13210.2
              Total, unoccupied dwellings107 535122 71114.1
        Dwellings under construction10,4409,605-8.0

Persons per dwelling

The percentage increase in occupied dwellings was much more than that of the total New Zealand population, leading to a reduction in the average number of people per occupied dwelling. In 1991, the average number of occupants per private dwelling was 2.8, compared with 2.9 five years earlier. shows the decline in the average number of occupants for all dwellings types.


Type1986 Census1991 Census
        Permanent private dwellings—    
          Separate house2,682,7293.12,828,0043.0
          Two houses or flats joined together215,4182.1220,4342.0
          Three or more flats/houses joined together165,1831.8162,2911.8
          Flat/house attached to business or shop22,4462.724,2252.6
          Bach, crib, hut (not in a work camp)12,2852.114,0732.0
          Not specified18,0512.56,5282.7
            Total, permanent private dwellings3 116 1122.93 255 5582.8
        Temporary private dwellings22,8932.213,3141.9
            Total, private dwellings3 139 0052.93 268 8722.8
        Non-private dwellings168,08123.5166,08021.5
           Total occupied dwellings3 307 0833.03 434 9492.9

shows the number and distribution of occupied private dwellings by number of occupants on census night in 1986 and 1991. Changes in distribution of dwellings by numbers of occupants are a result of demographic, social and economic trends.

Intercensal increases in both the number and percentage of dwellings with one occupant reflect demographic shifts in the population towards increasing numbers of people at the ages where living alone is most common. However, not all of the increase can be explained by demographic shifts within the population and reflect changes in the attitudes and choices of New Zealanders.

These trends, together with the growing incidence of de facto relationships, sole parents and childless marriages help explain the comparable increases in the number and percentage of dwellings with two or three occupants and the reduced (or negative) growth in dwellings with four or more occupants.


Number of occupants1986 Census1991 CensusIntercensal percentage change
8 or more11,1871.010,1220.9-9.5
        Total1 088 601100.01 177 665100.08.2

Winners of the best all-male flat section in the Otago University Student House and Garden Contest.

Tenure of dwellings. A comparison of the 1986 and 1991 census data shows changes in the tenure of private dwellings. These can be seen in .

Occupied private dwellings owned without a mortgage increased by 15.5 percent during the intercensal period to reach 396,042 in 1991. This category increased its share of total private dwellings from 31.9 percent to 34.2 percent. There was also an increase (of 1.9 percent) in the number of occupied dwellings owned with a mortgage during this period although the share of total dwellings with this tenure status fell from 41.6 percent in 1986 to 39.4 percent in 1991. The census also reported a 25.6 percent increase in the number of private dwellings provided rent free.


Tenure1986 Census1991 CensusIntercensal percentage change
Owned with mortgage447,92141.6456,44739.41.9
Owned without mortgage342,95431.9396,04234.215.5
Rented or leased253,31723.5267,34523.15.5
Provided free31,6862.939,8043.425.6
Not specified12,723-18,024-41.7
        Total1 088 601100.01 177 665100.08.2

shows a continued decline in the servicing of the rental housing market by government departments other than the Housing Corporation and local authorities. In contrast to this, dwellings rented or leased from individuals and companies increased by 7.9 percent during the 1986-1991 intercensal period. This remains the most common category, comprising 63.7 percent of rented dwellings in 1991. The share of rented dwellings provided by the Housing Corporation also increased, from 23.2 percent in 1986 to 24.9 percent in 1991.


Category of landlord1986 Census1991 CensusIntercensal percentage change
Rented or leased from—     
Private person/company151,31162.5163,24263.77.9
Housing Corporation56,24723.263,90324.913.6
Other government departments17,9167.413,4375.2-25.0
Local authority16,7106.915,5466.1-7.0
Landlord not specified11,130-11,217-0.8
        Total, rented or leased253 317100.0267 345100.05.5

Maori and Pacific Island households and dwellings

Composition of households. There was a total of 131,853 households in permanent private New Zealand Maori dwellings at the 1991 Census of Population and Dwellings. The corresponding figure for households living in permanent private Pacific Island dwellings was 40,812.

In 1991 a New Zealand Maori dwelling (and, by definition, household) was defined as a dwelling where the occupier, or spouse of the occupier, specified that they belonged to the New Zealand Maori ethnic group. Pacific Island dwellings and households were defined the same way. As a consequence, a dwelling can be classified (and hence counted) as both a New Zealand Maori dwelling and a Pacific Island dwelling.

shows the usual composition of New Zealand Maori and Pacific Island households at the 1991 Census. A significant feature of this table is that the percentage distribution of Pacific Island households is weighted towards the ‘one family plus other persons’ and ‘two or more families with or without other persons’ categories. Of all Pacific Island households 25.4 percent are in the above categories compared to 16.6 percent of New Zealand Maori households.

By ethnic composition


Household typeNew Zealand MaoriPacific Island
NumberPercentage of totalNumberPercentage of total

*Private dwellings where the ‘occupier’ or 'spouse of occupier‘ is a person of ‘New Zealand Maori ethnic group‘ or ‘Pacific Island ethnic group‘.

One family only89,75168.126,17564.1
One family plus other persons15,47411.76,90316.9
Two families (with or without other persons)5,9494.53,1537.7
Three or more families (with or without other persons)4680.43360.8
Non-family households6,3754.81,4013.4
One-person households12,6189.62,1545.3
Not elsewhere classified1,2150.96931.7
        Total131 853100.040 812100.0

Types of dwellings. The 1991 Census distribution of Maori and Pacific Island households by dwelling type is given in . New Zealand Maori households show a greater tendency to live in separate houses than Pacific Island households. The reverse is true for two and three semi-detached houses or flats.


TypeNew Zealand MaoriPacific Island
NumberPercentage of total†NumberPercentage of total†

*Private dwellings where the ‘occupier’ or 'spouse of occupier’ is a person of ‘New Zealand Maori ethnic group’ or ‘Pacific Island ethnic group’.

Calculated in terms of specified cases only.

        Occupied permanent private dwellings—    
          Separate house107,42181.930,56475.1
          Two houses or flats joined together10,6958.24,43410.9
          Three or more flats (houses) joined together9,5077.25,13912.6
          Flat/house attached to business or shop1,1340.93510.9
          Bach, crib, hut (not in work camp)1,1820.9810.2
          Not specified711...111...
            Total, permanent private dwellings130 65399.140 67799.7
        Temporary private dwellings1,2000.91350.3
            Total, private dwellings131 853100.040 812100.0

Number of occupants. The distribution of New Zealand Maori and Pacific Island dwellings by number of occupants at the 1991 Census (see ) reinforces the patterns evident in the usual composition of households by type for these two ethnic groups. Whereas 54.6 percent of Maori dwellings have three or fewer occupants, only 39.0 percent of Pacific Island dwellings do.

This can be partly explained by the lower average size of Maori families and the tendency for Pacific Island dwellings to house more than one family.


Number of occupants†New Zealand MaoriPacific Island
DwellingsPercentage of totalDwellingsPercentage of total

*Private dwellings where the ‘occupier’ or 'spouse of the occupier’ is a person of ‘New Zealand Maori ethnic group’ or ‘Pacific Island ethnic group’.

Refers to the number of people residing in a private dwelling on census night.

Eight or more3,6602.83,4208.4
        Total131 853100.040 812100.0

Tenure. Patterns of tenure and category of landlord shown in 1991 census data reflect the household income and demographic structures of Maori and Pacific Island ethnic groups. and show that Pacific Islanders tend to be more reliant on rented or leased housing than Maori, who, in turn, are almost twice as reliant on rental housing as the general population (see ).

For occupier-owned housing, 55.3 percent of Maori dwellings, compared with 47.0 percent of Pacific Island dwellings, were owned with or without a mortgage.


TenureNew Zealand MaoriPacific Island

*Private dwellings where the ‘occupier’ or 'spouse of occupier’ is a person of ‘New Zealand Maori ethnic group’ or ‘Pacific Island ethnic group’.

Calculated in terms of specified cases only.

Owned with a mortgage52,46140.415,63038.9
Owned without a mortgage19,29614.93,2678.1
Rented or leased52,37440.320,42450.9
Provided free5,7454.48312.1
Not specified1,977...660...
        Total131 853100.040 812100.0


Category of landlordNew Zealand MaoriPacific Island

*Rented or leased private dwellings where the ‘occupier’ or 'spouse of occupier‘ is a person of ‘New Zealand Maori ethnic group’ or ‘Pacific Island ethnic group’.

Calculated in terms of specified cases only.

Rented or leased from—    
Private person/company24,88249.87,14636.8
Housing Corporation20,10940.211,25058.0
Other government departments3,3036.65883.0
Local authority1,6773.44112.1
Landlord not specified2,406...1,029...
        Total, rented or leased52 374100.020 424100.0

Household transport

At the 1991 Census of Population and Dwellings 1,009,086 households, or 87.6 percent of households, had the use of one or more motor vehicles for private transport. This was an increase of 88,590 over the number of private households (920,496) with the use of vehicles at the 1986 Census.

The share of households with two or more vehicles increased from 37.2 percent to 40.9 percent during the intercensal period, while there was a related decline in the percentage of one-vehicle households and households without a vehicle.


Number of motor vehicles*1986 Census1991 CensusIntercensal percentage change
HouseholdsPercentage of total†HouseholdsPercentage of total†

*Includes cars, station-wagons, vans, trucks, and other vehicles used on public roads (excludes motorcycles and scooters). Business vehicles if available for private use are also included.

Calculated on specified cases only.

5 or more6,1770.68,0970.731.1
Not specified25,509...25,347...-0.6
        Total1 088 598100.01 177 665100.08.2

Household income and expenditure

The New Zealand Household Expenditure and Income Survey is conducted continuously by Statistics New Zealand and the results are presented on a March-year basis. It provides statistics on the expenditure patterns and income levels of private households and information on the social and demographic characteristics of households.

A sample of approximately 4,500 private households is randomly selected for the survey every fifth year, to provide data for the revision of the Consumers Price Index (see section 24.1, Consumer prices), and a smaller sample of approximately 3,000 private households is selected in other years. In the 1992-93 year, 4,683 private households (comprising 12,880 people) participated in the survey, each household containing an average of 2.76 people. Questionnaires administered to each household include a household questionnaire, an expenditure questionnaire and income questionnaires. In all cases, information as reported or recorded by household members is processed without adjustment for under-reporting of income and expenditure. Overseas experience suggests that expenditure on tobacco and alcohol, meals away from home, and food items such as ice cream and confectionery, tend to be under-reported in household surveys. Other data sources indicate that a similar situation occurs in the New Zealand survey.