New Zealand Official Yearbook 1997

Te Pukapuka Houanga Whaimana o Aotearoa


Photos from top left: Ngati Toa School, Titahi Bay, Evening Post; Corstophine, Dunedin, Otago Daily Times; Dish and mast, Dunedin, Otago Daily Times; Opera in the Park, Auckland, NZ Herald; The Terry family, Alexander Turnbull Library.


The 1996 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. The department wishes to record its thanks to them and to the following.

Editor: David Zwartz
Editorial assistance: Cecily McNeill, Deborah Willett, Kirsten Wong.
Maps and diagrams: Peter McGrath.
Photograph editor: Lawrence McDonald.
Proofreading: Jane Hunt, Kanchana Pathmaperuma, Ganga Pillai, Essie Cousins.

Photographs: Individual photographs are credited separately.

Statistics New Zealand

Statistics New Zealand has an information service 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.

70 Symonds Street, AUCKLAND
Private Bag 92003, Telephone 0-9-357 2100, Facsimile 0-9-379 0859

Aorangi House, 85 Molesworth Street, WELLINGTON
PO Box 2922, Telephone 0-4-495 4600, Facsimile 0-4-495 4610

Winchester House, 64 Kilmore Street, CHRISTCHURCH
Private Bag 4741, Telephone 0-3-374 8700, Facsimile 0-3-374 8864

4th Floor, Civic Centre, The Octagon, DUNEDIN
Private Bag 1935, Telephone 0-3-477 7511, Facsimile 0-3-477 5243

Te Hakituatahi o Aotearoa
The first flag of New Zealand 1835

For a detailed history of Te Hakituatahi o Aotearoa, see section 3.5: National emblems and anthems.

Heraldic description: on a white field, a red St George's Cross; in the upper canton, next to the staff on a blue field, a smaller St George's Cross in red, severed from the blue by a fimbriation of black, half the width of the red and in the centre of each blue quarter a white eight-point star.

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 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.

The coat of arms was revised in 1956 following further constitutional changes when 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’.

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1997
ISSN 0078 0170
ISBN 1-85956-211-9

Copyright © Statistics New Zealand 1997.

Published in 1997 by GP Publications, PO Box 12052, Thorndon, Wellington.

Printed by GP Print, Wellington, New Zealand.

Table of Contents

List of Tables


This 100th edition of the New Zealand Official Yearbook maintains the traditional high standard of this most useful general reference work. It is a standard that has not only been consistently high; it has even been lifted in recent years—to the point where older Yearbooks are always worth retaining, alongside more recent editions, because of changes of emphasis in the material featured.

New Zealand Official Yearbooks are increasingly valuable additions to any library, because of their rare combination of characteristics: they always contain an enormous amount of reliable data to be sure, but they are also intelligently illustrated; they contain succinct historical articles which, happily, do not over-simplify; they are unfailingly well organised; their graphic design is a model of clarity and easy readability; they are well written and well edited; and even the paper and the binding are of high quality.

All contributors to every New Zealand Official Yearbook are entitled to be immensely proud of the accomplishments each so clearly represents. I doubt that there is a single rival to the New Zealand Official Yearbook as the outstanding national almanac, published anywhere. Congratulations to those responsible for this 100th edition. May the next 100 editions maintain the standard set by this, the New Zealand Official Yearbook for 1997.

Governor-General of New Zealand


This 100th edition of the New Zealand Official Yearbook celebrates the continuing publication of these volumes over 104 years. Wars and the Depression prevented publication in four years. The 1997 edition marks this publishing centenary by reference back to the first edition in 1893, special articles on New Zealand organisations and institutions, and a comprehensive timeline from 1893 to the present. In addition, a specially selected series of historic photographs shows life in New Zealand over the 10 decades from 1893. These range from ploughing in 1895 to Dominion Day 1907, election results in 1925, first policewomen 1943, and completing census forms 1996.

The Yearbook has its origins in the Official Handbook of New Zealand—a Collection of Papers by Experienced Colonists on the Colony as a Whole and in the Several Provinces, which was edited by the then Premier of New Zealand, Julius Vogel and printed in England. It was published in 1875. From then until the emergence of the first Official New Zealand Yearbook in 1893 there was sporadic publishing of Handbooks.

As in the past 99 editions, the 1997 Yearbook presents a wide range of official and general information about our country. The Yearbook is the one-volume publication which balances the hard statistics of New Zealand society and economy with a snapshot view of events and achievements during the year.

Information gathered in the Censuses of Population and Dwellings has been an important aspect of Yearbooks since the earliest editions. The 1997 Yearbook contains as much information from the 1996 Census as was available at the time of printing. The 1998 edition will have fuller coverage as more census results are analysed.

As has been the situation with the previous 99 editions, it would not have been possible to present the wide-ranging information in the 1997 New Zealand Official Yearbook without considerable time, effort and goodwill of the hundreds of contributors in New Zealand organisations. I thank them all, especially those who contributed special articles to mark the 100th edition. I also thank the editor, the editorial team, Statistics New Zealand staff and Yearbook printers for producing a centenary volume in the best traditions of New Zealand statistics and New Zealand publishing.

Government Statistician

June 1997

How to use the 1997 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 included to familiarise you with the book.

What is the Yearbook?

The New Zealand Official Yearbook 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 contains the most currently available statistics for the 1997 year on particular topics. It also tells its readers where 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 Contents (overleaf), which lists chapter headings and major sections within chapters. In approaching the book this way it is worth bearing in mind that the 28 chapters follow a ‘logical’ progression. The first few chapters describe the physical setting as well as New Zealand's history, system of government and international relations. A description of its people comes next, followed by social framework and institutions. The second section of the Yearbook begins with an overview of New Zealand's work force and moves to a discussion of the nation in broad economic terms. Then follow descriptions of each of the constituent sectors, ending with a chapter on public sector finances.

Throughout the book cross references are made, usually by reference to numbered sections within chapters (which appear in the headline 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. 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 Yearbook publication.

For this edition the figures published are either the latest available at 1 December 1996 or some collected early in 1997.


The source of a particular table is noted at the foot of the table. The following symbols are used in all the tables:

x or Rrevised figure or figures
nil or zero
..figures not available
 not yet available—space left blank
not applicable
amount too small to be expressed
necnot elsewhere classified
nesnot elsewhere specified
neinot elsewhere included

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.

A glossary of statistical terms used is given at the back of the book.


Statistics New Zealand has made every effort to obtain, analyse and edit the information and statistics used in the Yearbook. However, Statistics New Zealand gives no warranty that the information or data supplied contains no errors, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent on the use, directly or indirectly, of the material contained in the Yearbook.

Chapter 1. Geography

Marking cracks on the surface of a scale model, to guide repairs to the piles of the Wellington Motorway Thorndon overbridge.

1.1 Physical features

New Zealand lies in the south-west Pacific Ocean and comprises two main and a number of smaller islands. Their 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 160° 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 4.


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: Land Information New Zealand

sq km
North Island†115777
South Island†151215
Offshore islands‡833
Stewart Island1746
Chatham Islands963

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 fewer 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 km), Murchison (13 km), Mueller (13 km), Godley (13 km) and the Hooker (11 km), and, on the west, the Fox (15 km) and the Franz Josef (13 km).


Mountain or peakElevation

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

Peaks over 3,000 metres.

Source: Land Information New Zealand

North Island
     Taranaki or Egmont*2518
South Island†—
     Hicks (St David's Dome)3198
     Malte Brun3155
     Elie de Beaumont3117
     La Perouse3079
     Glacier Peak3007

Mount Cook from Maltebrun, photographed by Thomas Pringle on 1 May 1905.

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 hydro-electric 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: NIWA

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


LakeMaximum depthArea

* Over 20 square kilometres in area.

Source: NIWA

msq. km
North Island— 
South Island— 
      Te Anau417344
      Benmore (artificial)12075
      Aviemore (artificial)6229
      Dunstan (artificial)uncharted27
      Mahinerangi (artificial)3121

1.2 Geology and soils

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.

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.


Soil is a product of its environment: its composition depends on the parent ingredient, the climate, the length of time it has weathered, the topography, and the vegetation under which it has formed. The complex soil pattern of New Zealand is a result of the many different kinds of rock, and the various conditions under which the soils have formed. Climate varies from such extremes as the subtropical climate of North Auckland, the cold uplands of the alpine regions, and the semi-arid basins of Central Otago. The country's topography is equally varied, with 50 percent of the land classifiable as steep, 20 percent as moderately hilly, and only 30 percent as rolling or flat. The natural vegetation ranges from kauri forest to subalpine scrub, and from tussock grassland to broadleaf forest. Occasionally, occurrences such as river floods on alluvial plains, sand drifts, or a volcanic ash eruption interrupt and alter the pattern of soil development.

Cone and caldera volcanoes


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, Ngauruhoe, 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.

“Westshore embankment presents almost terrifying appearance” was the caption to this photograph by Trevor Ullyat when it first appeared in a Hawke's Bay newspaper after the Napier earthquake, 3 February 1931.

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.

Earthquakes 1996. It was a quiet year for earthquakes throughout New Zealand in 1996. In each of the previous three years a large earthquake with thousands of aftershocks has occurred. In comparison, 1996 was a return to quiet times, with no shallow earthquake larger than magnitude 6 being recorded.

The most damaging earthquakes occurred near Hanmer in the South Island on 29 August and 20 September. These shocks were both of about magnitude 5.5 and mainly caused damage to contents of dwellings in Hanmer. Local residents were subsequently disturbed by small aftershocks.

On 28 September a large deep earthquake of magnitude 6.2, located under the central North Island, was felt from Christchurch to Auckland. This shock, the largest for the year, caused no significant damage because of its 220 km depth. There is a zone of deep earthquakes under the North Island due to the collision of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. The more dense Pacific Plate is sinking slowly under the Australian Plate, and the zone of deep earthquakes is due to the heating and bending of this material as it sinks.

Southern Hawke's Bay was hit by two magnitude 5.0 earthquakes during the year, the first on 8 April and the other on 6 October. Neither event was sufficiently large or shallow to cause significant damage. A slightly larger magnitude 5.3 earthquake on 1 June occurred 10 km east of Levin, and was felt as far away as Christchurch. It had a depth of 36 km, so again was not significantly damaging. On 23 December a magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred near Palmerston North. The depth was 80 km, so again little damage was reported.

Mt Ruapehu erupted for a second time within a year on 17 June. As was the case for the 1995 eruption, there was little associated seismic activity, just small earthquakes and volcanic tremor associated with the actual eruption near the crater.

Earthquake risk. The Earthquake Commission engaged Works Consultancy Services (WCS) to study the results of the worst foreseeable disaster that could reasonably be anticipated within a generation. WCS confirmed that this event was a 7.5 Richter scale earthquake along the Wellington fault line within the city limits. It has a probability of occurring within the next 50 years of between 8 and 11 percent, and would affect 150,000 residential properties from Palmerston North to Nelson as well as infrastructure (roads, bridges and services).

The IGNS Seismological Observatory is part of a global earthquake data exchange network. IGNS routinely reports all arrival times of earthquake waves from New Zealand and elsewhere in the world, and the locations it calculates for regional earthquakes. This information is sent to the International Seismological Centre in England and the National Earthquake Information Centre in Colorado, USA. IGNS receives from the US centre by Internet, within an hour or two, the preliminary locations of large New Zealand earthquakes.

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.

  • 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 southwards 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, occasionally 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 in 1996

1996 was a year of contrasting climate conditions in New Zealand with new records of extreme rainfall and temperature. There were at least ten flood-producing events. Severe snowstorms with extremely low temperatures hit Southland in July. Some damaging wind events occurred, and at the end of the year several severe hail storms (all within a four-week period) produced damage in horticultural areas. Cyclone Fergus ended the year with record rainfall in the Coromandel.

A weak La Nina pattern persisted throughout the year. It originated in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, where a pool of colder than normal ocean water developed, and is one of the reasons why northern New Zealand, for the second consecutive year, had a mild, wet winter, while the south was cold. During La Nina episodes cyclones of tropical origin are also more likely to pass near New Zealand.

More depressions tracked across New Zealand during 1996, producing stormy westerlies over the North Island. At the same time, more frequent cooler easterlies on the tail of these storms prevailed over the southern half of the South Island.

Rainfall. 1996 was rather wet over much of the North Island, with 125 to 150 percent of average rainfall in the Hauraki Gulf, South Auckland, Waikato and the King Country. Waiheke Island had its wettest year since records began in 1914. It was also wetter than usual in many other North Island regions, with rainfall between 110 and 125 percent of normal. Only Whangarei and the Wairarapa had near average rainfall.

A toboggan ride down Mt Ruapehu's ash-covered slopes, 8 July 1996. The ash cloud disrupted air travel and closed two commercial ski fields, Turoa and Whakapapa.


Snow-covered Brockville houses against a dark Dunedin sky about 11.30 am on 12 June 1996.

There were contrasting conditions in the South Island. Only 75 percent of normal rainfall occurred around Hanmer. Central Otago and Southland received rainfall between 85 and 90 percent of normal.

Of the four main centres, Auckland was the wettest with 1,417 mm and Christchurch the driest with 608 mm. Wellington amassed 1,266 mm and Dunedin 786 mm. Clyde was the driest town measured in New Zealand, with only 376 mm. Milford Sound was the wettest location, with 6,295 mm.


Location1996 totalAverage mmPercent of averageYear records beganRank
Waiheke Island1,7001,1311501914Highest
Whitianga (Dec.)4321054111941Highest
Mokohinau Id (Dec.)218623501934Highest
Wanaka Airport (Apr.)145562591928Highest
Paeroa (Dec.)2591052471914Highest
Kerikeri (Oct.)3431422421935Highest
Arthur's Pass (Apr.)8603612381917Highest
Hokitika (Oct.)49926718718663rd highest

Temperatures. Colder conditions, with temperatures more than 1C below average, occurred in inland Otago and Canterbury. Temperatures were 0.5C or more below average in the remainder of South Canterbury, Otago, Southland, and inland Nelson/Marlborough. Temperatures were also below average in much of Taranaki and Wanganui.

In contrast, temperatures were close to average in Westland, and throughout much of the North Island, and above average in the Kaipara/South Auckland areas. The national average temperature was 12.5C, which was 0.1C below normal. This compares with a 1995 national average temperature of 12.6C.

September was the second warmest in New Zealand since records began in 1853, with record high temperatures in Levin and Wellington (Kelburn), and second highest since records began in Ruakura, East Taratahi, Palmerston North and Gore. Highest temperature for the month, 28.0C, was recorded at Waimate. The national average temperature for September was 11.7C, 1.4C above the long-term mean.

Extremely low mean November temperatures were recorded in inland regions of both islands, with temperatures 2 to 3C below normal in some areas. Record, or near record, low mean temperatures were recorded at Taumarunui, Waimate and Milford Sound.

The highest extreme temperature for New Zealand in 1996 was 34.7C, measured at Christchurch Airport on 7 February. The lowest temperature for the year was −15.3C, recorded at Tapanui, Southland on 4 July, the same day as lowest ever minimum air temperatures were recorded at both Gore (−10.5C) and Invercargill (−9.0C).

Sunshine. There were record high sunshine hours in Buller, with over 115 percent of normal. It was also very sunny in the Bay of Plenty, Westland, Otago and Southland, all having 105 to 110 percent of normal hours. Slightly above average sunshine totals occurred over much of the South Island (apart from Canterbury, which had below average hours). Sunshine was close to average in many North Island areas.

Record high sunshine hours occurred at Arapito (Karamea) with 1,916 hours (306 hours above average), the highest since records began in 1979. It was very cloudy in Gisborne which recorded a record low of 1,898 hours, only 86 percent of the annual average, and the lowest in 60 years of records.

Blenheim was the sunniest centre, recording 2,583 hours, followed by Nelson with 2,483 hours and Tauranga with 2,463 hours.


CityTotal hoursDeparture from normalComments
Wellington2062+12Near average
Christchurch1929−128Below average
Dunedin1766+168Very sunny

Floods. There were at least ten flood-producing rainfall events during 1996, some of which were severe. On 19 January a one-and-a-half-hour ‘cloud burst’ resulted in 50 mm of rainfall in Greenlane (Auckland) and flash flooding in east Auckland. Events of this magnitude occur on average once every 20 years. From 24 to 28 January a storm of tropical origin over the Kermadecs brought rainfall totalling 362 mm in 48 hours at Raoul Island, the highest 2-day rainfall total since records began in 1937. The edge of the same storm produced surface flooding in Gisborne.

Heavy rainfall on 7-8 February brought surface flooding and roads blocked in areas of coastal South Canterbury, with significant damage to crops south of Ashburton. High rainfall (more than 300 mm inland, and about 160 mm along the coast) occurred in the Gisborne region over the last two days of March, resulting in slips and surface flooding. Northern Hawke's Bay was also affected.

Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall affected northern and eastern areas of the North Island over the night of 21-22 May. There was extensive flooding at Pukekohe, and Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Wellington were also affected by heavy overnight rain. Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall produced flooding in Waikato on 12 September, leaving paddocks and part of State Highway 1 flooded.

Air pressure recordings from Tahiti and Darwin

Items banned under the Trade in Endangered Species Act were displayed by a Senior Conservation Officer in 1988. The legislation brought New Zealand into conformity with the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

In the year to June 1996 more than 20,000 specimens or items were surrendered or seized at ports, airports or in the mail, the Department of Conservation reported. The largest group was oriental medicaments incorporating parts or derivatives of CITES-listed species, particularly at the Auckland International Mail Centre.

An Interdepartmental Fauna and Flora Task Force investigates and works to prevent illegal trade in species listed in CITES. During the year to June 1996 it intercepted unauthorised attempts to export pigeon eggs to Australia, and to import tortoises and chameleons from the USA.

Heavy rainfall occurred in Fiordland on 7 October. The Homer Tunnel was damaged after heavy rainfall (178 mm in 20 hours) resulted in avalanches. Flooding was reported at a number of sites on SH6 from Makarora to Wanaka, and Cromwell to Luggate. On 29-30 December Cyclone Fergus brought over 300 mm of rain to Northland, and 242 mm at Whitianga, closing roads and disrupting holiday arrangements.

Tornadoes. Small tornadoes caused damage in Ruakaka, Northland, on 29 April; in the Tauranga area (with a waterspout) during the evening of 22 May, with several trees uprooted in Bethlehem and rooves lifted further west; and a small tornado, associated with a thunderstorm, produced a path of damage through Whitianga and Cooks Beach (Coromandel Peninsula) on 15 August, taking rooves off several houses, uprooting trees and damaging power lines.

Gales and storm. Northwesterly gales caused widespread power cuts and property damage north of Gisborne early on 1 July, leaving thousands of families without electricity. Tolaga Bay was hardest hit, with many buildings damaged and trees blown over.

Severe wind occurred in parts of New Zealand on 7 October. Tornado-like winds that morning caused a trail of damage to property in Hokitika. Gales and heavy rainfall affected the country on 13 October, with power outage and damage to property in Auckland, Wellington and the Wairarapa. Gusts to 89 knots (165 km/h) were recorded at Castlepoint, and 59 knots (110 km/h) noted in Auckland.

A northwesterly storm brought rain and high winds to much of New Zealand over 18-19 November, as an exceptionally deep depression passed over the South Island, with trees fallen in places, and power cuts in Poverty Bay and coastal Otago. Wind gusts to 156 km/h occurred at Castlepoint, and 132 km/h in Wellington. The system also produced extremely low atmospheric pressures (971.8 hPa) at Christchurch and Timaru airports during the afternoon of 19 November.

Snowfalls. The year's first wintry southerly outbreak on 26 May brought significant snowfall to North and South Island ski fields, and on the Desert Road (which was closed).

From 9 to 11 June, light snow fell to low levels in Southland, in parts of inland Otago, and Dunedin hill, with blizzard conditions reported further south about Mosgiel. There was snow to 23cm near Queenstown, and the heaviest June snowfall in 10 years at Coronet Peak. The Rimutaka Hill Road and the Desert Road were closed, and the Napier-Taupo road, temporarily. The snow falls were greatest in Canterbury, with 42 cm in some inland areas. In Christchurch light snow settled.

A severe chill brought heavy snowfall to Southland and Otago, with a bitterly cold southerly outbreak over 1 and 2 July, followed by clearing weather with severe frost. The northern motorway out of Dunedin and some Southland roads were closed. Ice made many roads extremely dangerous and the Rimutaka, Desert, and Napier-Taupo roads were closed by snow on 2 and 3 July. Snow was up to 35 cm deep on the Napier-Taupo Road on 4 July, isolating some areas of Hawke's Bay, and said to be the worst snowstorm in 40 years. A rare snowfall was reported on the Moehau Range, Coromandel. Snow also fell in areas around Christchurch on 2 July. Many water-pipes burst in Invercargill when temperatures were high enough for the thaw to begin on 10 July. Lowest ever minimum air temperatures were recorded at Manapouri, Gore, Invercargill, Dunedin Airport and Hororata.

Snow fell to sea level overnight on 21 August in both Dunedin and Christchurch, settling in places, and in the North Island closed the Desert Road. Further snow fell to sea level in coastal Otago on 29 August, being heavy in some rural areas. This event also closed the North Island's Desert Road.

Hailstorms. A dramatic hailstorm, with lightning, hit parts of Canterbury in the afternoon on 5 December. Hailstones of marble to walnut size (up to the size of a 20c piece) were reported in Belfast, near Christchurch. This was followed the next day by severe hail, up to 15 mm in diameter, in Hawke's Bay. Large hail also affected Bay of Plenty.

Further damaging hailstones occurred in Appleby, Nelson, during the afternoon of 16 December. Damage to apple crops resulted in millions of dollars lost to orchardists.

1.4 Wildlife and vegetation

The islands of New Zealand separated from their nearest neighbours over 80 million years ago. Some of the original inhabitants endured times of turbulent change and violent upheaval, evolving and adapting to become part of a unique natural biota (or region). Other species died out (either nationally or regionally), unable to compete or survive environmental disturbances such as ice ages. For example, coconut palms were once found in New Zealand, and kauri, now confined to the north of the North Island, used to grow as far south as Canterbury. Over the years the earliest inhabitants were joined by other plants and animals carried across the oceans by wind and current.

Preservation of the sensitive Kaimanawa ecosystem became controversial during 1996-97 when further proposals were made to cull the wild horses (see Chapter 16: Land and environment).

This pre-human community was notable for the absence of snakes, land mammals (save three species of bat) and many of the flowering plant families. Whole orders and families are endemic (found only in New Zealand): tuatara, moa and kiwi, all of the native lizards, and all the native earthworms (nearly 200 species) to name just a few. Many remarkable plants, insects and birds evolved to fill the ecological niches normally occupied by mammals. Others diversified to fill the new territories created by sea-level fluctuations and land uplift. With no mammalian predators on the ground but avian predators everywhere, flightlessness was not a handicap nor was greater size. Moa (11 species, some up to 3 metres tall) became extinct in pre-European times, but many other large flightless birds still remain including kiwi, the nocturnal kakapo (the only flightless parrot in the world), and weka (of the rail family). Flightless insects are numerous including many large beetles and 70 or so endemic species of the cricket-like weta.

New Zealand has the most diverse seabird fauna of any country (87 species). Almost half of all the native bird species depend on the ocean for food—the feeding zones of some extending as far south as the Antarctic continent. The extensive coastline and many islands offer a huge variety of habitat, from estuary and mud-flat to rocky cliffs and boulder bank. The ocean itself is marvellously rich—there are about 400 different marine fish resident in the waters around New Zealand as well as various species of seal, dolphins and porpoises. Thirty-two species of whale have been recorded and three of the largest (sperm, humpback and right) regularly migrate here in spring and autumn.

The most widespread and complex type of forest in New Zealand is a podocarp (conifer) broadleaf association. It is generally found at lower altitude and is characterised by the variety of species, a stratified canopy and an abundance of vines and epiphytic plants. Beech and kauri forests, in contrast, are much simpler in structure. New Zealand's beech species have close relatives in Australia and South America and the five different taxa here have exploited habitats from valley floor to mountain tops. Kauri, true forest giants, dominate only in the warmer climes to the north.


GroupNumber of speciesPercentage endemic*

*Native species not found anywhere else.


Source: Department of Conservation

Marine algae3†900†43
Ferns and allies2618946
Flowering plants1842†181384
Land snails/slugs12520†99
Freshwater fish23†2785

Members of the Wellington Plant Conservation Network check progress on the nationally-endangered coastal shrub Muehlenbeckia astonii. Male and female flowers of this species grow on separate shrubs. Because of coastal development, the plants in the wild became increasingly scattered and too distant from each other to breed. As a result the total North Island population dwindled to 45 known specimens, only two of which were breeding, and most seedlings were being eaten by snails and slugs. Cuttings were taken from surviving populations around Wellington and the Wairarapa and new plants grown on traffic islands and other areas in Hutt City.

Network members are from the Department of Conservation, local councils, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington Botanical Society, nurseries and individuals. Their aim, through this “captive breeding” programme, is to restore threatened species to once again become self-sustaining in their native habitats.

Some of the most specialised of plants are those occupying the alpine zone. A remarkable 25 percent of all New Zealand's plants can be found above the treeline. Ninety-three percent of all the alpine plants are endemic (compared with 80 percent for the rest of the higher plants). Snow tussock herb-fields are one of the most distinctive elements in this cold, windswept environment. Remarkably long-lived, larger specimens may be several centuries old. Like beech trees they seed infrequently but in profusion.

A definitive feature of New Zealand's land-based plants and animals is their degree of specialisation and narrow habitat requirements (eg takahe/tussock grasslands; blue duck/fast flowing rivers and streams), and their evolution in the absence of mammalian predators (birds) or browsers (plants). This specialisation, and the adaptations which make New Zealand's wildlife so unique, render them extremely vulnerable to introduced predators (such as rats and cats) and competitors (such as deer and possums) and loss of habitat.

Introduced vegetation and wildlife

The arrival of people in Aotearoa/New Zealand heralded times of rapid change. The introduction (intentionally or accidentally) of exotic plants and animals and the modification of habitat radically affected populations of native species. In the pre-1800 period following the arrival and expansion of Māori, forest cover was reduced and some 34 species became extinct including moa, the adzebill and the flightless goose. In the much shorter post-1800 period of European settlement the area of forest was further reduced to around 25 percent of the land, 9 more birds became extinct and many more are threatened. Many new species were introduced (since 1840 over 80 species of mammal, bird and fish and more than 1,800 plant species) in many places totally changing the landscape and ecology.

Endangered Cook Strait giant wetas are the first threatened species to begin a new life on rodent-free Somes (Matiu) Island in Wellington Harbour, 1996. They came from rodent-free Mana Island and are part of the Department of Conservation's plan to restore the Somes ecosystem to its former condition.

1.5 Time zone

One uniform time is kept throughout mainland New Zealand. This is the time 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), and is named New Zealand Standard Time (NZST). It is an atomic standard maintained by the Measurement Standards Laboratory, a part of the Crown Research Institute, Industrial Research Limited. One hour of daylight saving, named New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT), which is 13 hours ahead of 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.


  • 1.1 Land Information New Zealand, NIWA.

  • 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 Industrial Research Limited.

Special articles

Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS); Brad Scott, Ian Nairn and the Ruapehu Surveillance Group, IGNS, Taupo; MetService Ltd; Steve Wood, NIWA, Lauder; NIWA; Department of Conservation; Tim Armstrong, Industrial Research Ltd.

Further information


Trotter, M and McCulloch, B, 1996 Digging up the past: New Zealand's archaeological history. Viking.


Johnson, K F 1986 Bibliography of New Zealand Meteorological Service publications 1892-1985. New Zealand Meteorological Service.

Sturman, A and Tapper, N, 1996 The weather and climate of Australia and New Zealand. Oxford University Press.

Wards, I, 1976 New Zealand Atlas. Government Printer.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Environmental Data Division) operates an extensive climatological database and publishes the Monthly Climate Digest, as well as regional climatologies, maps and other publications.


Wards, I, 1976 New Zealand Atlas. Government Printer.

Topographical maps of the whole country can be obtained from Terralink Ltd (the Map Centre, Upper Hutt) and retailers around New Zealand.


Aitken, J J, Lowry M A, 1995 More Earthquakes Explained. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

Aitken, J J, 1996 Plate tectonics for curious Kiwis. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

Brazier, R, Keyes, I, Stevens, G 1990 The great New Zealand fossil book: Pictures of ancient life in an evolving land. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

Forsyth, P J, Aitken, J J, 1995 New Zealand minerals and rocks for beginners. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

Gregory, J 1988 Ruamoko's heritage: Volcanoes of New Zealand (video and kit) Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

Thompson, B, Brathwaite, B, Christie, T 1995 Mineral wealth of New Zealand. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

Precious land: Protecting New Zealand's landforms and geological features. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences publishes a wide range of geological and geophysical maps covering all New Zealand, plus maps of particular areas, and many bulletins, reports, and popular guidebooks and handbooks.

Vegetation and wildlife

Bishop, N and Gaskin, C 1992 Natural history of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton.

Dawson, J 1988 Forest vines to snow tussocks: The story of New Zealand plants. Victoria University Press.

Heather, B D and Robertson, H A 1996 The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Viking.

King, C M 1984 Immigrant killers. Oxford University Press.

Meads, M 1990 Forgotten fauna. DSIR.

Molloy, L and Cubitt, G 1994 Wild New Zealand: The wild landscapes and wildlife of New Zealand. New Holland.

Salmon, J T 1980 The native trees of New Zealand. Reed.

Salmon, J T 1992 A field guide to the alpine plants of New Zealand. Godwit.

Chapter 2. History

During his September 1996 visit to New Zealand, the 14th Dalai Lama spoke to 2,750 people in the Dunedin Town Hall; another 500 watched on a large screen in the Glenroy Auditorium next door.

2.1 Chronology 1996

January. Auckland's Opera in the Park featuring Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra attracts a crowd of 300,000. New Zealand welcomes the announced end to French nuclear testing in the Pacific. All five passengers aboard a Sounds Air Cessna die when it crashes near Picton. A replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour visits New Zealand harbours.

February. While official Waitangi Day celebrations are held at Government House in Wellington, 400 protestors clash with police at Waitangi. New Zealand's international credit rating is upgraded by Standard and Poors' from AA to AA+. Sky Television and the New Zealand Rugby Football Union announce a deal which ends live free-to-air test rugby broadcasts. New Zealand's second casino, the Sky City Casino, opens in Auckland. Auckland band OMC's song How Bizarre reaches number one in the Australian music charts.

March. Following a series of car fires possibly linked to new unleaded petrol, oil companies are ordered by the Government to reduce levels of aromatics in the new fuel. A world-first gene treatment operation is performed on two American toddlers at Auckland Hospital. Former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Michael Hardie Boys, is sworn in as Governor-General.

April. White-spotted tussock moths, a potential threat to New Zealand forestry, are discovered in Kohimarama, Auckland. The fatal shooting of Flaxmere community constable Glenn McKibbin sparks a six-week hunt for his suspected killer. New Zealander Jason Winter among the 35 killed at Port Arthur, Tasmania, in Australia's worst massacre. Michael Laws, New Zealand First MP for Hawke's Bay resigns; to avoid a by-election, the Government sets an earlier than usual date for the 1996 general election.

May. A quarantine is set up in Auckland suburb Mt Roskill after the discovery of breeding Mediterranean fruit flies. New Zealand's thirteenth National Park, Kahurangi, is opened in northwest Nelson. In a world-first operation at Auckland's North Shore Hospital, two people receive transplants of insulin-producing pig cells. After refusing to leave a fellow climber, veteran mountaineer Rob Hall dies near the summit of Mt Everest. The Auckland Blues beat the Natal Sharks 45-21 to win the Super 12 rugby series. Choi Seung-Jin, former vice-consul of the Korean Embassy in Wellington, is deported to South Korea to face charges of leaking sensitive documents to the opposition party. Minister of Conservation Dennis Marshall resigns, 13 months after a Department of Conservation viewing platform collapsed at Cave Creek killing 14.

June. Queen's Birthday honours are the first under a new New Zealand-based honours system. The eruption of Mount Ruapehu disrupts the start of the ski season. The man accused of shooting Constable McKibbin in April is shot dead by police after being confronted in a Havelock North orchard. New Zealand singer/ songwriter Neil Finn announces that Crowded House are to split up. The keel for New Zealand's second Anzac class frigate, HMNZS Te Mana, is laid at Williamstown, near Melbourne. Māori are granted the right of appeal to the Privy Council over their fisheries. The Waitangi Tribunal announces its finding on last century's Taranaki land confiscations and recommends the Government make generous reparations.

July. To celebrate a record profit, New Zealand Post declares 1 July a free postage day for all medium-sized letters with handwritten addresses. Auckland band OMC's song How Bizarre goes to number one in the Canadian and Irish music charts, and number five in the United Kingdom's. Swimmer Danyon Loader and equestrian Blyth Tait win gold medals at Atlanta's Olympic Games. The All Blacks win the Bledisloe Cup and the inaugural professional tri-series against Australia and South Africa. The New Zealand softball team beats Canada in the United States to win the world series. Lorraine and Aaron Cohen arrive home after 11 years imprisoned in Malaysia for drug trafficking offences. Publicist Michelle Boag quits the TVNZ Board and stands down from the National Party's communications committee after misleading the wine box inquiry. The Crown is ordered to pay $328 million to Equiticorp's statutory managers; the Crown announces it will appeal. First legal sports betting (on a Bledisloe Cup rugby match) at the TAB.

August. Forestry Corp is sold to consortium partners Brierley Investments Limited and Chinese-owned Citifor for $2 billion, the sale including cutting rights to Kaiangaroa State Forest. New Zealand's 34-member team at the Atlanta Paralympics win a record nine gold medals. The Government stops a proposed cull of the Kaimanawa wild horses. The Māori Reserve Land Amendment Bill is introduced to Parliament. Secondary school teachers settle a nine-month-old pay dispute.

September. The 14th Dalai Lama visits New Zealand and meets the Prime Minister despite protests from the Chinese Government. Hamilton- based Kiwi Air, set up to provide cheap flights to Australia, goes into voluntary liquidation leaving 3,000 travellers stranded. Shayne King from Taranaki wins the world 500cc motorcross title. The All Blacks win a historic first test series against the Springboks in South Africa.

October. New Zealand's first election under MMP is held giving National 44 seats, Labour 37, New Zealand First 17, the Alliance 13, Act 8, and United 1. A $170 million settlement for the Ngai Tahu land claim is proposed. A $40 million settlement is reached on the Whakatohea claim. A spraying programme, using a low-flying DC6 aircraft, begins in Auckland in an attempt to eradicate the white-spotted tussock moth. Centenary of the first public screening of motion pictures in New Zealand.

November. Michael Jackson plays two concerts to sell-out crowds in Auckland. A Palmerston North detective is arrested after staging a ‘satanic’ attack on himself the previous month. New Zealand's first Anzac class frigate, HMNZS Te Kaha, visits Auckland before beginning sea trials. Crowded House gives a farewell concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House to an audience of 80,000.

December. New Zealand's first government under MMP is formed following the announcement of a coalition deal between New Zealand First and the National Party. Murder of Sheryl Thayer, a New Zealand nurse working with the Red Cross in Chechnya. Privy Council hears appeal by three iwi groups against fisheries settlement assets allocation. Thousands of holiday-makers in Northland and the Bay of Plenty have their plans disrupted when a deep depression, previously known as Cyclone Fergus, passes over New Zealand. Associated high winds and rain, coinciding with high tides, cause extensive coastal flooding.

2.2 Our century

A selection of New Zealand events since the first New Zealand Official Yearbook was published in 1893.

Chronologies have been included in the Yearbook since 1898, and up to about World War I were very detailed for the early years of New Zealand's history.

The Yearbooks also carried extensive lists of books published in New Zealand.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1893Bills from Māori Parliaments 1893-96 introduced into Colonial Parliament either ignored or defeated, Electoral Act extended franchise to women.
1894 NZ's first National Park created by donation of land by Ngati Tuwharetoa.Shops and Shop Assistants Act limited hours of shop business.
1897Te Aute Students Association formed, later known as Young Māori Party. 92 Parihaka Māori arrested & imprisoned for ploughing land leased to Pakeha Rt Hon Earl of Ranfurly became Governor.
1898Resentment against 1881 Dog Tax legislation led to armed confrontation Divorce Act. Act to provide for old age pensions.
1899James Carroll Minister of Māori Affairs (until 1911)Botanist B C Aston appointed to Department of Agriculture. T H Easterfield foundation professor of chemistry/physics at Victoria University College. Kirk's “Students' Flora of New Zealand and the Outlying Islands” published.Farmers Union formed. Liberals won election. Sir Robert Stout became Chief Justice.
1900Māori Councils Act set up health programmes organised by Maui Pomare, Apirana Ngata, Peter Buck to promote better sanitation, housing & clean waterFirst seismographic reading in NZ, Milne seismograph installed in Wellington. 
1901Queen Victoria School for Māori Girls, Auckland, foundedMilne seismograph installed in Christchurch. At conference of NZ fruitgrowers and horticulturalists in Dunedin, L Cockayne proposed establishment of regional scientific research stations for plant research.Visit of Duke & Duchess of Cornwall & York to thank NZ for Boer War support. Cook Islands became part of NZ.
1902Mahuta (3rd Māori King) accepted Legislative Council seat, became Minister representing Māori on Executive CouncilL Cockayne discovered the suppression of spines on Discaria toumatou.British Labour leader Tom Mann made lecture tour of NZ. Liberals won 5th successive election.
1903W F Massey unanimously elected leader of the Opposition.
1904Portobello marine fish-hatchery & biological station opened.Rt Hon Baron Plunket became Governor.

Mount Cook School (jail in background right), about 1890.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
 Pigeon post service, Gt Barrier Is to AucklandThe Cyclopedia Company, Wellington, began publication of the first NZ encyclopedia. 6 regional vols of local information followed. David McKee Wright's “Station Ballads” was published in Dunedin
 William Pember Reeves published “The Long White Cloud”.
NZ sent Ist contingent of 214 officers & men with horses to South AfricaG Hogben appointed Inspector-General of Industrial Schools and began reform. Victoria University College opened. 
Slingersfonteein renamed NZ Hill after NZ success in defending it with bayonet charge.Public Health Act made Health Dept. responsible for health service including vaccinating children. Bubonic Plague Prevention Act. Municipal Corporations Act. Defence Act Amendment Act provided for cadet corps. Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, established.6-day-a-week summer service by steamer “Tongariro” introduced on Lake Taupo. G Hemming, Dunedin acquired a steam-powerd Locomobile. Wellington City Council took over city transport. First electric trams in Dunedin.General Assembly Library built. “Old Marlborough” by T L Buick was published in Palmerston North.
 Royal Commission recommended uniform scales for teachers' staffing and salaries. School Attendance Act passed. School leaving age raised to 14. First Presbyterian deaconness, Sister Christabel Duncan dedicated in Dunedin.A Mr Oates drove a Benz for the first motor car journey from Wellington to Napier. Railway line from Stratford to the MainTrunk line was begun. NZ was represented on the new Commonwealth Cable Management Board.Art Nouveau began to influence NZ art significantly. Film records were made of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall & York to NZ.
The Boers surrendered. NZ force regarded as “the best mounted troops in South Africa”. The Permanent Militia became the Permanent Force. Artillery and engineers given the title Royal NZ Artillery & Royal NZ EngineersFirst tuberculosis sanatorium established at Cambridge. Manual training for primary pupils began. There were 202 trade unions, mainly in transport, mining and building industries.The Motor Car Regulation Act passed. The Automobile Association was formed, first in Auckland. Kelburn Cable Car opened. Auckland's electric tram service began. Telegraph cable linked Vancouver, Fanning Island, Fiji, Norfolk Island, Queensland, Auckland.William Satchell published a novel, “The Land of the Lost”. Canterbury Society of Arts Durham St. Gallery improved to display permanent collection and regular exhibitions. Salvation Army's Biorama Co toured NZ with music and motion pictures.
 legislation prohibited smoking for children. Parliamentary Select Committee recommended training colleges for primary teachers in 4 main centres. Secondary Schools Act introduced free places for all who passed Proficiency exam.Temuka farmer Richard Pearse experimented with powered flight. End of Pacific cable landed in Doubtless BayFrances Hodgkins & Dorothy K Richmond came to Wellington to teach and paint. “Tapu” an opera composed by Alfred Hill seen in Wellington. Concert tours were made by Dame Nellie Melba, Percy Grainger, Mark Hambourg.
 Midwives Act, Dentists Act. 14 cases of smallpox in Christchurch. Regulations introduced for inspection & examination of public schools. Free kindergartens in 4 main centres. Comprehensive school syllabus aimed at character formationCanterbury Steam Shipping Co founded in Christchurch. Schooner “Aotea”, first NZ vessel built with an internal combustion engine. Wellington ‘s electric tramway opened.Van der Velden painting in Wellington. James Nairn died; a memorial exhibition was held. Ignace Paderewski gave concerts in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin & Invercargill.

The Brunner 1896 mining disaster cost 65 lives. One hundred years later it was commemorated with a re-enactment of the funeral cortege, seen here crossing the old Brunner suspension bridge over the Grey river at Taylorville.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1905Land Boards with Pakeha presidents replaced Māori CouncilsJ Malcolm, pioneer of medical research, appointed to chair of physiology at University of Otago.Liberals again won the election.
1906Rua Kenana establishing settlement and following at Maungapohatu, 1906-10 Seddon died suddenly. Sir Joseph Ward became Prime Minister.
1907Royal Commission on Māori land alienation, 1907-09Animals Protection Act protected the tuatara and 36 kinds of bird.NZ given title of Dominion. Fire destroyed Parliament Buildings. Tohunga Suppression Act passed.
1908Tohunga Suppression Act imposed penalties on professed tohungaNobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Ernest Rutherford. Scientific spokesman G M Thomson elected to Parliament as member for Dunedin North.NZ Federation of Miners formed.
1909New syllabus introduced to “native schools” similar to that used in general schools; Māori children punished for speaking te reo at school, start of serious decline in number of fluent Māori speakers. Native Land Act leads to increased land alienation.Chilton's “Subantarctic islands of New Zealand” presented the results of the 1907 scientific expedition. C A Cotton appointed lecturer in geology at Victoria College.Opposition to the Government, under Massey, formed the Reform Party.
1910 L Cockayne's “New Zealand plants and their story” published.Rt Hon Baron Islington became Governor. First NZ Labour Party was formed.
1911Death of King Mahuta, succeeded by King Te RataChamptaloup appointed professor of bacteriology & public health at University of Otago Medical School.Peace Council established. Election results inconclusive.
1912Claim for Māori ownership of bed of Lake Rotorua begun. Waiapu Farmers Co-operative Trading Company started.“Geology of New Zealand” published by P Marshall.Rt Hon Earl of Liverpool became Governor. T MacKenzie replaced Ward and became PM. No confidence motion resulted in the Massey Government.

On the evening of Dominion Day, 25 September 1907, the Government Buildings in Wellington were illuminated—“The New Dominion”.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
 Old age pension increased to £25 per year & means test relaxed. Education Department founded technical high schools. NZ Civil Service Association formed.Nightly ferry service (except Sundays) between Wellington & Lyttelton began. Motor car journeys, trials and rallies began to make motoring popular. Christchurch's electric tramway opened.West's Pictures developed theatrical screening of moving pictures. Rosina Buckman sang in Alfred Hill's light opera “A Moorish Maid”.
Defence Council formedSuperannuation schemes made available to all public servants. Māori prophet Rua Kenana began building a New Jerusalem at Maungapohatu in a movement known as Iharaia. New Zealand Verse” an anthology of 60 poets was selected by W F Alexander and A E Currie. Sydney Thompson joined staff of Canterbury School of Art. NZ's first professional orchestra formed for Christchurch exhibition.
 National Endowment Act used sale of Crown Land for old-age pensions and education. Tohunga Suppression Act directed at Māori medicine. Education Dept's “School Journal” began. Education Amendment Act educated “defective or epileptic children” aged 6-21. Robert McNab, Lands and Agriculture Minister, published “Murihiku”, now a collector's item. NZ Academy of Fine Arts opened Free Art Gallery in Wellington. Dunedin Art Gallery opened. James McDonald took scenic films for tourism.
 Infants Act licensed foster parents. Special school for mentally handicapped boys opened at Otekaike, Otago. Prof. T A Hunter established NZ's first experimental psychology laboratory at VUC Wellington. NZ Federation of Miners formed, became NZFOL.Union Co's “Koonya” left Lyttelton towing Shackleton's ship “Nimrod” to the Antarctic circle. North Island Main Trunk line completed. NZR took over the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Co. Wanganui Borough Council opened its electric tramway.Scholefield, G H—“Who's Who in New Zealand”. A M Nicoll, H L Richardson, R Hawcridge all began teaching art. L J Steele painted “The spoils to the victors”. Dame Clara Butt made her first concert tour. Jan Kubelik gave recitals.
At Imperial Conference in London, NZ offered to present a battle cruiser, HMS New Zealand to Britain.Backblocks nursing scheme started. Defence Act eliminated differential rates of war pensions for MāorisOtago dock opened. Ferry service from Wellington to Nelson began. Picton-Wellington passenger steamer “Penguin” wrecked in Cook Strait with loss of 75 lives. Regular railway service Wellington—Auckland. Aero Club of NZ & Canterbury Aero Club formed.J C Williamson's production of “The Merry Widow” toured.
Defence Act 1909 created Territorial Force.Cancer more common cause of death than tuberculosis. National Provident Fund started. University Reform Association founded. Education Amendment Act required parents to provide education for handicapped children. FOL acquired “Māoriland Worker” newspaper.The first coin-operated telephone was installed at Wellington Railway Station.The Indecent Publications Act passed (conceding the relevance of literary merit). Edith Grossmann published “The Heart of the Bush”. The Hocken Library at Otago University opened to the public. David Low became political cartoonist for the Canterbury Times
10 NZ officer cadets attended first year of Royal Military College, Duntroon (Canberra).Mental Defectives Act passed. Widow's pension introduced with benefits for dependent children. Dominion Anti-Militarist Conference expressed concern at boys being given military training.Newman Bros bought their first gas buggy, a Cadillac. V Walsh made a successful powered flight. G Bolt made a manned glider flight. Radio-telegraphy station (range 960km.) opened in Wellington.Edward Fristrom teaching at Elam. John Philip Sousa toured NZ with his band. Picture-theatres were built.
 School Medical Service started. Veterans of NZ Wars and wives of mental patients could qualify for pensions. The “Evening Post” first called FOL “Red Fed” as it became more influenced by IWW. Public Service Act passed.Last sighting of “Pelorus Jack”. First driver's licence issued in Wellington. Invercargill's electric tram service began. Nelson Railway reached Glenhope.B E Baughan's collection of essays “Brown Bread from a Colonial Oven” published. Walter Wright painted “A Native Gathering”. Gaston Mclies and his US company made short films at Rotorua and other scenic attractions.

A St John's ambulance of the 1920s built in Dunedin.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1913Outbreak of smallpox affected mainly MāoriThe Board of Science and Art, a forerunner of the DSIR, established. Royal Commission into forestry in NZ published its report.Waterfront dispute became a general strike, broken by “Massey's Cossacks”.
1914King George V received Māori King Te Rata in London but no redress for Māori grievances gained. Differences between Māori leaders on Māori participation in World War I, 1914-18Canterbury College Mountain Biological Station (Cass Field Station) completedOutbreak of World War I. Expeditionary force raised. Massey won election. NZ occupied Western Samoa.
1915Non-combatant Māori Pioneers went to Egypt, 1915-16Holloway published the first of his studies on the genus Lycopodium.Wartime Coalition National Government formed.
1916New Zealand Labour Party formed at a Wellington conference. Conscription introduced.
1917Māori liable for conscription, Māori Battalion formed. Violent arrest of Rua Kenana and followers at Maungapohatu; Rua imprisoned for 2 1 /2 yearsG H Cunningham, later director of DSIR Plant Disease Division (1936-57), appointed to Department of Agriculture.The office of Governor changed to Governor-General.
1918Māori communities hit hard by influenza epidemicL Cockayne engaged by the Department of Agriculture to make exhaustive survey of tussock grasslands. “NZ Journal of Science & Technology” first published by the NZ Board of Science & Art.Labour's Harry Holland elected to Parliament, followed by P Fraser, B Semple.
1919Kauhanganui (Parliament House) at Ngaruawahia openedFirst NZ Science Congress held in Christchurch, Cockayne president. J A Thomson advocated preparation of a large-scale contoured topo map of NZ. State Forest Service established as a separate government department.Referendum on prohibition lost. NZ signed Peace Treaty at Versailles and became a founding member of the League of Nations. M J Savage elected to Parliament.
1920Māori Trustee assumed responsibility for Māori Reserve landReport of the Commission to inquire into southern pastoral land published. Cockayne studying ecology of former tussock grassland. H D Gillies published “Plastic surgery of the face”. Cawthron Institute established in Nelson.Prince of Wales visited NZ with thanks for support in World War 1. Rt Hon Viscount Jellicoe became Governor-General. Communist Party of NZ formed.

Influenza depot, Christchurch, 1918.

The large sign on the left reads “Influenza Depot. Medicine supplied only to poor people with actual bad cases in the house, or to those who have been unable to secure other aid. No other person supplied.” The notice on the right: “Stimulants for patients. Small bottles of whisky, brandy or stout will be sold at the Central Medicine Depot, Cathedral Square, for patients on the signed order of Doctor Chesson, Health Officer, or any medical practitioner, or Nurse Maud.”

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
Government passed Naval Defence Act. B Freyberg one of “specials” who clashed with rioters in Buckle St, Wellington, during waterside strike.Smallpox in Auckland province lasted for 1 year. Food & Drugs regulations introduced labelling. Māori deaths to be registered. State Advances Dept. set up. Methodist Church of Australasia & Primitive Methodist Church united to form Methodist Church of NZ.Union Co began cargo service to west coast of USA. Mount Cook Motor Co bought the first heavy motor truck,a Leyland for use as a goods carrier.Edith Howes, pioneer writer of books for children, published “Māoriland Fairy Tales”. Danish dancer Adeline Genee toured NZ. Tenor John McCormack toured NZ. Maewa Kaihau & Clement Scott wrote “Po Ata Rau”—later to become “Now is the Hour”
HMS Philomel commissioned as naval training ship. NZ raised expeditionary force. On declaration of war, troops occupied German (now Western) Samoa. 10 troopships carried NZ Expeditionary Force to Egypt.Government transferred control of primary school inspectors to Education Department. NZ University Amendment Act established University National Scholarships, Taranaki Scholarships, University Bursaries, and National Research Scholarships.New Plymouth- based taxi service started which became Gibson Motors. J W H Scotland made long-distance flights in Southland, Otago and Canterbury, but crashed (uninjured) after take-off in Wellington.Many artists went to the war. Art collections were used for fundraising for the war effort. Ellen Terry in NZ on a lecture tour. Dancer Maud Allan toured NZ with Cherniavsky Trio. Violinist Mischa Elman toured NZ. First NZ-made feature film, “Hinemoa”.
ANZACs landed at Gallipoli, evacuated after 6 months which included the heroic battle of Chunuk Bair. HMS Philomel continued in operations in the Suez Canal, Red Sea & Persian Gulf. RFC 2nd Lt Rhodes-Moorehouse of part Māori descent, NZ's first air VC.Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act provided housing funds. War disablement & dependents pensions. Pension for miners’ phthisis—compensation for occupational disease. WEA began in main centres + Invercargill. J Roberts secretary of Waterside Workers FedV Walsh flew a flyingboat, built and designed by him and his brother, the first in the southern hemisphere. They started the NZ Flying School, Kohimarama, and trained pilots for World War 1.H M Moore-Jones painted Gallipoli works. G E Butler and Nugent Welch were official war artists.
NZ MR brigade became part of ANZAC Mounted Division and made reconnaissance patrols in Sinai Desert & protecting Suez Canal. NZ Division arrived in Northern France, moved into front-line trenches & the Somme. Conscription introduced for European NZers.Mounted police raided Rua Kenana's New Jerusalem. Anzac Day became the most sacred day in the secular calendar William Joliffe became first Censor of Cinematograph films under the Cinematograph film Censorship Act.
NZ Lt Col C E R Mackesy first ANZAC to enter Palestine with Auckland Mounted Rifles. NZ success at Messines—Lance Cpl S Frickleton awarded VC. Auckland-born naval Lt W Sander awarded VC for action in Irish Sea.First juvenile probation officer appointed. NZ Freezing Workers & Related Trades Association formed for South Island.Count Von Luckner escaped from internment on Motihe Island—later recaptured in the Kermadec Islands. Canterbury Aviation Co founded by H Wigram, flying at Sockburn, training pilots for World War 1.Len Lye made wooden constructions with moving parts. Actress Marie Tempest toured NZ. Gonsalez Italian Grand Opera Co. toured NZ.
NZMR brigade occupied Bethlehem. On Western Front NZ troops attacked & captured fortress town Le Quesnoy, their last major action of the war. After Armistice 2nd brigade part of Allied Army of occupation.Industrial schools abolished. J G Laughton started a long ministry as Presbyterian Māori missionary in the Urewera country and Taupo. Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana's ministry as healer and oracle began.Tom Newman (who had driven the first Newman coach) drove the last horse-drawn coach from Murchison to Glenhope. Act to control Civil Aviation in NZ introduced.Alexander Turnbull's library of 55,000 books bequeathed to the nation.
NZ Division disbanded after almost 3 years continuous fighting on Western Front. NZMR brigade disbanded. Over 3and a half years, 17,723 men had served in it. Admiral of the Fleet, Viscount Jellicoe visited NZ in HMS New Zealand.E Gunn organised first health camps for children. NZ's first town planning conference held in Wellington. Housing Act passed. Pensions became more liberal. School dental service started.First official air mail in NZ carried by G Bolt.The Quoin club of graphic enthusiasts produced printed work. The Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui, was opened. W S La Trobe was appointed Superintendent of Technical Education and raised standards of art education.
Air Board established to advise the Government on aviation policy.Peter Buck first director of Division of Māori Hygiene in Health Department. J Shelley Professor of education at Canterbury University College, also very active in adult education. Rev. J W Kemp, pastor of Baptist Tabernacle.First flight across Cook Strait, by Capt. E Dickson. Flight over Mt Cook by Capt. L M Isitt & T M Wilkes. R Wigley founded NZ Aero Transport Co.Mander, J—“Story of a New Zealand River”. Duggan, E—“Poems”. Mansfield, K—“Bliss”. R Haszard an art student at Canterbury. Ngaio Marsh joined Allan Wilkie's heatrical company. NSW State Orchestra toured NZ. “Marama”, NZ comic opera a local success

“Electrolux” advertisement published in the New Zealand Free Lance, August 1931.

New Zealand Railways poster advertising bus and rail travel between Wellington and Lower Hutt, date unknown.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1921Turangewaewae Marae establishedCockayne discovered polymorphism suggesting hybridisation between Nothofagus (Southern beech) species and published “The Vegetation of New Zealand”.J A Lee elected to parliament.
1922C E Hercus appointed professor of public health at the University of Otago Medical School. G M Thomson published “The Naturalisation of animals and plants in New Zealand”.Reform Party retained power with minority government.
192316th meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science held in Wellington. 
1924Ngati Porou Dairy Company establishedCanterbury College established a School of Forestry. E Marsden, Assistant Director of Education, introduced the Terman intelligence test of achievement for all entrants to secondary schools in NZ.Gen Sir Charles Fergusson became Governor-General. Country Party formed.
1925Māori Purposes Fund Board established to support secondary education for Māori children. Sim Commission begins enquiry into confiscation of Māori land in Taranaki & WaikatoRelationship between endemic goitre and soil iodine discovered by C E Hercus, W N Benson & C L Carter. G H Cunningham's “Fungous diseases of fruit-trees in New Zealand and their remedial treatment” published.Massey died; interim government led by F D Bell. G Coates new Prime Minister. Child Welfare Act passed.
1926Sim Commission finds government at fault in 1860DSIR established with Marsden as secretary. Otari open-air native plant museum established, the first such museum in the world.Family Allowances Act passed.
1927Māori Land Boards authorised to advance grants on Māori landEdward Kidson, world-famous atmospheric scientist, became director of the New Zealand Meteorological Service. Massey Agricultural College opened.Duke & Duchess of York visited NZ. United Party launched, with Ward as leader.
1928Sir Apirana Ngata Minister until 1934Wheat Research Institute established at Christchurch & Lincoln College. Allan appointed systematic botanist, DSIR. “The Trees of New Zealand” by Cockayne published for the 3rd British Empire Forestry Conference held in New Zealand.None of 3 parties won a working majority, Ward formed a minority government.

An early advertisement for shoes made and sold by Hallenstein Brothers, a firm which began in Otago and developed into a New Zealand-wide chain of clothing shops.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
First NZ naval recruits joined HMS Philomel. 4 men of the Permanent Defence Force employed on aviation duties.Quarantine regulations tightened. Arbitration Court decision to reduce shearers wages by 20% led union rep on Arbitration Court to resign.Foveaux Strait crossed by Capt. M Buckley, flying for NZ Aero transport Co. G Bolt flew from Wellington to Auckland by flyingboat with stops at Wanganui & Kawhia. Largest sailing ship ever built, steel 5-masted “France” discharged coal at Lyttelton, loaded general cargo at WellingtonThe Booksellers Association of NZ was formed. W H Guthrie-Smith published “Tutira”. Violinist Jascha Heifetz toured NZ.
In response to Chanak Crisis in Turkey, 790 former officers, 11,187 other ranks,& 300 nursing sisters volunteered over 4 days for a possible expeditionary force, but they were not needed.First schools immunisation against diphtheria. First Junior High School opened at Kowhai, in Auckland. “Correspondence Scheme” established for primary education of children in remote areas. First Pentecostal healing mission came to Wellington.The Main Highways Act established the Main Highways Board and road building and maintenance became government-controlled. Wellington—Upper Hutt railway line signals became automated. A Eastwood made the first parachute jump from an aircraft in NZ.Katherine Mansfield's collection “The Garden Party” brought popular and critical success. “The Birth of New Zealand” first screened at Palmerston North. R Hayward's first feature “My Lady of the Cave” released. Regular government film-making began.
NZ Permanent Air Force (permanent defence force) and the New Zealand Air Force (territorial forces) formed.War pensions increased. English rationalist J McCabe drew large audience to lectures in Auckland.First bulk cargo of oil pumped ashore at Miramar by Union Co's tanker “Orowaiti”. Otira tunnel and NZ's first electric railway were opened between Arthur's Pass and Otira. Auckland radio telegraphy station establishedR A K Mason published “In the Manner of Men”
 Education Department applied the Terman Group Test of Mental Ability to entrants of high schools and technical schools. Pio Pio in the King Country opened as a “consolidated school” taking the 90 pupils of 4 small outlying schools.“Aorangi” was launched for Union Co's Vancouver passenger service. Motor Vehicles Act and Public Works Act passed. NZ's first trolley-bus service (Thorndon—Kaiwharawhara). Wellington Radio had first continuous wave transmitter.Elsdon Best published “The Māori”. Len Lye left NZ. A J C Fisher directed the Elam School of Art and design. National Art Association founded. “Venus of the South Seas” filmed in NZ first shown in Christchurch
Because of costs, Defence Forces stopped sending officer cadets to Duntroon. It was thought cheaper to send cadets to Sandhurst.Severe poliomyelitis outbreak. Child Welfare Act set up Children's Courts & Child Welfare Branch. Tate report criticised district high schools. Teacher training improvements proposed. Ratana Church opened. F A Bennet made Aotearoa suffragan bishop.Balloon tyres replaced solid and high-pressure pneumatic tyres. North Auckland railway line joined the NIMT. PABX telephone exchanges introduced.W H Allen And R N Field taught art at Dunedin's technical School. Fritz Kreisler and Amelita Galli-Curci each toured to acclaim. R Hayward's film “Rewi's Last Stand” screened. Free cinema at Dunedin Exhibition where Government Publicity films were shown.
 Town Planning Act encouraged systematic housing developments. NZ University Amendment Act reorganised university administration. NZ Agricultural College Act established Massey Agricultural College. Anglican Diocese of Waikato established.Radio beacon installed at Cape Maria Van Diemen. Buses and tramways competition regulated. Mt. Cook Motor Co bought 30-seater “Big Bertha”. Railways Dept. Road Services Branch began. J Lambert, Hunterville, proposed aerial topdressing.The Butcher Shop” by J Devanny banned for indecency, but sold 15,000 copies. Violet E Whiteman, painter of animals, came to New Zealand. Evelyn Polson (later Page) painting life nude figures. Tours by Anna Pavlova, Feodor Chaliapin and Wilhelm Backhaus.
NZ contributed one million pounds toward construction of Singapore Naval Base. Maj W I K Jennings first NZ officer to attend Imperial Defence College, London.First congregation of Assemblies of God formed in Palmerston North. Presbyterian General Assembly protested against compulsory military training. Revival Fire Mission established in Auckland. F P Walsh led Seamen's Union. Industrial Labour factionalisingHolm Shipping Co formed with purchase of “Progress”.4-core cable commissioned for telephone traffic across Cook Strait. Short-wave transmission began at Wellington Radio.1927 Former NZ and South Seas Exhibition building became a new Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Music Teachers Registration Board of NZ established.
Last cadets sent to RMA Sandhurst. Air Marshal Sir John Salmond, RAF, visited NZ to advise on air defence.Bishop F A Bennett consecrated bishop of Aotearoa to care for Māori Anglicans. There were now 403 trade unions representing 103,980 workers.NZR ordered new buses, bodies built in Hutt Railway Workshops. A uniform code of rules for motor traffic became law. Motor Vehicle Insurance Act passed. C Kingsford-Smith & CTP Ulm crossed the Tasman in “Southern Cross”.The first issue of “Art in New Zealand” was published. T H McCormack returned to paint in Wellington. First radio studio orchestra, 2YA, established. Miramar Film Studios commissioned.

School children outside their school, Coromandel, 1949.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1929R G Simmers joined NZ Meteorological Service, co-opted as meteorologist to Mawson's Brit. Aust. and NZ Antarctic expedition. O H Frankel, geneticist, appointed to Wheat Research Institute, Lincoln.W Nash elected in by-election.
1930J D Atkinson discovered boron deficiency in apples in Nelson. Experiments in the manuring of fruit trees started at Appleby. Investigation begun into Bush Sickness, a wasting stock disease in central North Island and Poverty Bay/Hawke's Bay.Rt Hon Viscount Bledisloe became Governor-General. Forbes succeeded Ward as PM; Ward died.
1931Publication of “The Rust fungi of New Zealand” by Cunningham.In the crisis of the Great Depression, the Reform and United Parties formed a coalition National Party. The Labour Party became the official Opposition.
1932Bishop Bennett appointed Anglican Bishop of AotearoaNew Zealand Institute of Chemistry formed.Unemployed workers rioted in Auckland; Governor-General given power under Public Safety Act to declare a State of Emergency.
1933King Koroki succeeds on the death of King Te RataNew Zealand Institute became the Royal Society of New ZealandThe Government devalued. Labour expelled any Friends of the Soviet Union from the Labour party. Mrs E R McCombs (Labour) became NZ's first woman MP. H Holland died, succeeded by M J Savage as Opposition leader.
1934Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester visited. Democrat Party formed. Sir Apirana Ngata resigned as Native Affairs Minister.
1935Electoral alliance between T W Ratana and NZ Labour PartyE Kidson and J Holmboe published “Frontal methods of weather analysis applied to the Australia-New Zealand area”.Rt Hon Viscount Galway became Governor-General. Attempts to jam Rev. Colin Scrimgeour's broadcast on 1ZB just before election. Under Savage, Labour Party won landslide victory.
1936Māori unemployed put on same basis as Pakeha unemployed but given only 1/3 of relief payment in cashAfter a dispersal of research groups within DSIR, the new Labour Government founded the Plant Diseases Divn. (Auckland), Grasslands Divn. (Palmerston North), Entomology Divn. (Nelson), and Agronomy Divn. (Lincoln).Ratana and Savage made alliance. Reserve Bank nationalised. Parliamentary proceedings broadcast. National Party formed. C Scrimgeour made head of Commercial radio. Industrial Conciliation & Arbitration Amendment Act passed.

Mothers tending their gardens in a street of State Houses, Mt Roskill, Auckland, in the 1950s.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
First NZ army combined operations exercise held in Auckland. Air Force airlifted medical and other supplies to Murchison, following major earthquake.Health stamps sold. Syllabus of Instruction for Public Schools (“Red Book”) adopted. Vocational counsellors appointed to larger technical high schools.NZ Shipping Co took delivery of “Rangitane”, “Rangitata”, ‘Rangitiki”. The Transport Department was formed. Electric locomotives replaced steam on the Christchurch—Lyttelton line. This was the peak year for suburban tram-ways.Ursula Bethell (alias Evelyn Hayes) published “From a Garden in the Antipodes”. English artist C Perkins came to paint & teach painting in Wellington. “The group” (Evelyn Page, M Anderson, C Wilding and E Collier) began an annual art show.
Air Force first active operation was sending an Air Force Moth seaplane aboard HMS Dunedin to Samoa to restore order.Unemployment Act. Commission of Inquiry led to founding of Disabled Servicemen's Re-establishment League. Pensions Dept became responsible for rehabilitation. J Dickie, principal of Knox Theological College wrote “Organism of Christian Truth”.The “Monowai” arrived in Wellington. The Railways Workshops began a carriage-building program that continued until World War 2. Radio telephone link opened for public telephone calls Australia-NZ.Association of New Zealand Art Societies formed, introducing annual rotating exhibition scheme “Rota”. First public screening of a NZ-made talkie.
Sailors from HMS Veronica, Dunedin & Diomede worked tirelessly after the disastrous earthquake. The Depression cost reduction cut Permanent Force to 86 officers, 263 other ranks. Territorial Force became voluntary, reduced from 16,990 to 3,655.Mortgage Relief Act. Special school for mentally handicapped children set up in Auckland.The turbo-electric “Rangitira” was launched. The Jubilee floating dock was towed to Wellington from the Tyne. Transport Licensing Act passed. The Napier earthquake destroyed tramways. Buses were used instead. F Chichester flew Auckland—Norfolk Island.H L Richardson painted portrait-landscape “Mrs Thornley of Titahi Bay”. Hodge, Merton—“Earthquake” (a play based on the Hawkes Bay disaster).
 Unemployment Board subsidised some building developments. Old-age, widows & miners pensions cut by 10 %. “Uncle Scrim” (C G Scrimgeour) of Methodist Social Service Mission supported Auckland riot of unemployed. Govt responded harshly to industrial unrestThe Heavy Motor Vehicles Regulations were introduced. The Stratford—Okahukura railway line completed. Rover car assembly plant opened, Petone (closed 1933).A H & A W Reed began; Cowan, J—“Tales of the Māori Bush”. NZ Women Writers Society founded. Scanlan, N —“Pencarrow”. “The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden” published. R MacDougall Art Gallery opened. NZ branch of B D L. Sybil Thorndyke toured.
 Carnegie Corporation granted $US 87,500 to start NZ Council for Educational Research. Radio 1ZB bought by Fellowship of the Friendly Road which included C G Scrimgeour & T Garland. Churches seriously concerned over social consequences of unemployment.The Traffic Officers Guild was formed.Denis Glover and John Drew began the Caxton Press. Curnow, Allen—“Valley of Decision”. NZ Society of Artists formed in Christchurch. Posthumous exhibition of paintings by R Haszard. Hodge, Merton—“The Wind and the Rain” (a hit in London & worldwide)
NZ Permanent Air Force became RNZAF, still administered by the Army.Fletcher Construction began building the Wellington Railway Station. School Certificate introduced as an alternative to University Entrance, but was not well accepted.NZR offered the first “packaged tour” with a 4-day tour of the Southern Lakes.John A Lee—“Children of the Poor”, Robin Hyde (Iris Wilkinson)- “Journalese”, M Escott—“Show Down”. NZ branch of PEN began. British art exhibited in Dunedin on tour of Australasia. Toss Woolaston studied art with F Scales.
To strengthen coastal defences and air force, Defence budget almost doubled to 532, 151 pounds.Native Housing Act passed. War veterans' allowances introduced. Crippled Children Society formed. National Health Service proposed, by Dr D G McMillan. Labour government elected with union support. J C Beaglehole's “Exploration of the Pacific” published. Rutland Group formed in Auckland revitalising artistic standards. 17-year-old Yehudi Menuhin toured NZ. NZ-made talkie feature “Down on the Farm” shown in Dunedin.
HMS Achilles arrived in Auckland to serve the NZ divn of the RN. Wing Commander R A Cochrane, RAF, advised on organisation of Air ForceDept. of Housing Construction; Dental Council established. Pensions introduced for invalids & deserted wives. NZCER standardised Otis Intermediate Intelligence Test. Proficiency exam ceased. Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical Unions formed.The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act made a speed limit of 30mph in built-up areas. The National Road Safety Council met. The first 6 railcars were built for Wairarapa line. J Batten completed her solo flight from England. P Van Asch began aerial mapping.The first Authors Week was sponsored by PEN. The Government granted small pensions to writers. Frank Sargeson's “Conversations with my Uncle” was published. National gallery and Dominion Museum opened.

Karitane nurses and children in the grounds of Truby King's former residence, Melrose, Wellington. Down below is the Centennial Exhibition, with Rongotai in the background, October 1940.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1937NZ Wool Manufacturers Research Association formed as a branch of DSIR. NZ Medical Research Council established (initially as a committee of the Department of Health).Savage represented NZ at coronation of King George VI. FOL formed. 1st state house built at Miramar.
1938Disastrous Esk Valley floods. Lucy B Moore joined DSIR's Botany Division. V D Zotov published work on correlations between vegetation and climate.Social Security Act passed. Labour Government won election.
1939The Young Māori Conference held at Auckland University College Communist Party published 1st issue of “People's Voice”. NZ balance of payments difficulty. War declared. National Party offered wartime co-operation.
1940Centennial celebrations of the Treaty of Waitangi joined by the northern tribes but boycotted by King Koroki, Princess Te Puea and Waikato people.Muriel E Bell became Director of Nutrition Research Department of the Medical Research Council. “Handbook of the naturalized flora of New Zealand” by H H Allan published.J A Lee expelled from Labour Party. Savage died. P Fraser chosen as PM. War Cabinet of 5 Ministers formed (3 Government, 2 Opposition). S Holland became leader of National Party.
1941Soil Conservation & Rivers Control Act passed. Association of scientific workers formed. New Zealand Society of Animal production formed.Marshal of the RAF Rt Hon Baron Newall became Governor-General. Prolongation of Parliament Bill introduced to delay 1941 election because of war situation. NZ now at war with Japan. Death penalty for murder replaced by life imprisonment with hard labour.
19421942 NZ Met Service became a branch of the RNZAF; experiments began at Ohakea using radar for upper wind finding. C A Cotton's “Geomorphology” published.Finance Minister & Deputy PM W Nash represented NZ in Washington. Mrs M Grigg became 1st National woman MP. Life of Parliament extended to up to 12 months after end of war. Women admitted to jury service if they chose.
1943Sir Apirana Ngata lost the Eastern Māori parliamentary seat to Tiaka Omana (Jack Ormond)-Ratana candidate.C P McMeekan became superintendent of Ruakura Animal Research Station, on retirement from the chair of Animal Husbandry at Lincoln College.Threat of invasion receded and an election called. Labour won with reduced majority.

A Samoan language nest at the Pacific Island Resource Centre, Auckland, 1986.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
HMS Leander commissioned to NZ. Territorials reorganised. RNZAF formed as a separate branch of the Defence Forces, led by Group Captain Cochrane.Free milk introduced into schools. First state houses built in Miramar, Wellington. New Education Fellowship held international conference in NZ, stimulating educational thinking. Government convened National Industrial Conference. New FOL formed.Road Code published. Warrants of fitness introduced. Police reported traffic accidents to Transport Dept. Taxis licensed. Wellington Railway Station opened. First Cook Strait 4-channel cable laid. Wellington-Springbok match commentary teleprinted.Denis Glover published “Arraignment of Paris”. Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo toured NZ for J C Williamson Ltd.
 Social Security Act brought free universal hospital & medical services—resisted by BMA. Narrow secondary school curriculum criticised, PE developed. Council of Adult Education established—G & C Somerset pioneers in Feilding. Ringatu Church opened.Hawke's Bay ports of Wairoa & Waikokopu closed after completion of the railway to Gisborne. The first zebra crossing was introduced in Petone. Auckland's first trolley-bus service began.Buck, Peter—“Vikings of the Sunrise”. Schroder, J H E -“Remembering Things”. Finlayson, Roderick—“Brown Man's Burden”. The Country Library Service began. Anthony, F S—“Me and Gus”. NZ tours by Fay Compton and Ruth Draper. Lawrence Tibbett toured.
Volunteers enlisted at outbreak of World War II, 28 (Māori) Battallion recruited. Maj Gen B C Freyberg commanded 2nd NZEF. Advance party left for Egypt. NZ Divn RN—HMS Achilles & Leander & minesweeper Wakakura. RNZAF gave 30 bombers to RAFFree treatment in State mental hospitals. Maternity benefits made childbirth free. Rural Housing Act passed. School Publications established.Cook Strait Airways ceased. Its aircraft taken over by RNZAF.“NZ Listener” began. Brasch, C—“The Land & the People”. Cresswell, D'A—“Present without Leave”. Pascoe, J—“Unclimbed New Zealand”. Mulgan, J—“Man Alone”. Coppard, J A S—“Cartoon”. Covent Garden Russian Ballet toured. Malcolm Sargent visited NZ.
Leander escorted 6 transports carrying 1st Echelon of NZ troops to Middle East. 2nd echelon to Scotland. Egypt broke relations with Italy. 2ndNZEF took up duties in Cairo. NZ declared war on Italy. Conscription started; in 5 years 306,000 were called up.Quarantine regulations extended to aircraft. C E Beeby appointed Director of Education.Mines laid by a German raider in approaches to Auckland. Transport Legislation Emergency Regulations empowered the Transport Minister to suspend laws for the war effort. Electrification of Wellington—Paekakariki line. Harewood airport opened.A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography” ed by G H Scholefield; PEN started the Jessie Mackay poetry award. Literary competitions and New Zealand Centennial Surveys were sponsored by the Government. Centennial Music Festival performed in main centres.
2nd echelon sailed for Egypt. NZers fought in Greece, then Crete. Evacuated after German airborne invasion. HMS Leander sank Italian raider RAMB. HMS Neptune sunk by mines with loss of 150 New Zealanders. Japan and NZ at war. WAAFs established.Capitation scheme introduced for payment of General Practitioners. Pharmaceutical benefit & X-ray benefit introduced. Play Centres Association; National Film Library; National Council of Churches & Inter-Church Council of Public Affairs established.The Finnish “Pamir” was seized as a war prize in Wellington. A M Pritchard for Public Works Dept. began aerial seed sowing at ninety mile beach.The first vol of “NZ Notables” by R M Burdon (Caxton Press). P McIntyre appointed official war artist in Middle East; A B Barns-Graham & Russell Clark in the Pacific. Māori Musical Society produced “Hinemoa”. Owen Jensen formed Auckland String Players.
Women's RNZNS established. 3rdNZDiv set up. ANZAC area of Pacific Ocean under US Gen D MacArthur. NZ forces went to Norfolk Is & Tonga. Battle of El Alamein. Large 3rd NZDiv force went to New Caledonia. 55 NZ airmen joined renowned Pathfinder Force.Physiotherapy benefit introduced. School Library Service established. Ormond Burton (decorated in World War I) dismissed from Methodist ministry for pacifist actions.Minesweeper HMNZS “South Seas” collided with inter-island steamer “Wa-hine” in Wellington Harbour and sank. Auckland—Invercargill air service began.Unity Theatre began in Wellington. O Jensen began journal “Music Ho!”. National Film Unit newsreel “Weekly Review” carried the title “Marching Men” for the first time.
NZ patrol of Long Range Desert Group achieved successes. Disastrous riot of Japanese POWs at Featherston.2nd Lt Ngarimu killed, 1st Māori awarded VC. Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. 2nd NZ Div went to Italy. NZers took part in “Dambuster” raidThomas Report on post-primary school curriculum recommended introduction of core curriculum.The Stillwater-Westland railway line completed. 

A surviving wooden house in Vincent St, Auckland against a backdrop of the State Flats in Greys Avenue, 1964.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1944Canberra Pact signed between NZ and Australia for collaboration in regional defence and foreign policies.
1945While Sir Peter Buck saw the “fusion” of Māori and Pakeha as inevitable, Maharia Winiata said that cultural uniformity was not the same as racial equality (forerunner of biculturalism)Research begun into the ecology of porina pasture pests.Hilda Ross elected to parliament in by-election. All electorates given approximately equal population. BNZ nationalised. Labour narrowly won election.
1946A resettlement scheme for Māori and non-Māori ex-servicement offered training and the opportunity to buy land valued up to L3,000 at low rates of interest. Elections gave Māori MPs balance of power, supporting Labour Lord & Lady Mountbatten visited NZ. Lt-Gen Rt Hon Baron Freyberg became Governor-General. Sir Humphrey O'Leary became Chief Justice.
1947A Royal Commission into Surplus Lands of the Crown compensated Māori in Auckland and North Auckland for alienated lands. The word “Māori” substituted for “Native” in official correspondence.Forest Research Institute opened at Rotorua.Mabel Howard, Minister of Health, became first woman cabinet minister. NZ adopted Statute of Westminster.
1948Tipi Ropiha became Under-Secretary for Māori Affairs. A Māori community centre opened in Auckland (forerunner of the urban marae) unifying the 10.000 Māori living in Auckland. People with half European antecedents could choose which roll to be listed onDDT recommended for control of grass-grub and porina (but later became environmentally unacceptable). DSIR established the Fruit Research Divn. at Mt Albert. Bielschowsky was made director of the British Empire Cancer Campaign Laboratory, Otago.British nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act passed. Governor-General given power to issue regulations to ensure NZ's economic stability.
1949In March, King Koroki and Te Puea led a deputation of 600 Waikato Māori to Parliament in a vain attempt to keep alcohol out of the King Country.Inaugural meeting in Palmerston North of the New Zealand Genetical Society (Frankel president, F W Dry vice-president). NZ's first electron microscope, a Metropolitan-Vickers EM 2, set up in the Dominion Physical Laboratory, DSIR.National Party won election; S Holland became PM. Mrs. I Ratana became first Māori woman MP.
1950Maharaia Winiata and other Māori leaders began promoting integration, meaning cultural autonomy for diverse peoples within one nationWairakei geothermal site chosen for geological investigation for generation of electricity. R Duff published “Moa Hunter period of māori culture”. K A Wodzicki published “Introduced mammals of New Zealand”.Legislative Council abolished. Civil List Act passed. Death penalty re-introduced
1951Māori Women's Welfare League established by Māori women to cope with problems of urbanisation of Māori. Te Puea was patron and Whina Cooper the first president.K M Harrow discovered the diffusion process using boric acid for preservation of Pinus radiata timber. Sir Bruce Levy's “Grasslands of New Zealand” published. First conference held of NZ Ecological Society.W Nash became Opposition Leader, on death of P Fraser. In bitter waterfront dispute, under Emergency Regulations, servicemen worked ports; unions deregistered. National won snap election. ANZUS Treaty signed. Official Secrets Act passed.

One of 13,000 infants being measured as part of a Health Department and Plunket survey of the growth rate of New Zealand children, 1973.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
Battle of Cassino. After landing on Nissan, 3rd NZ Div withdrawn from Solomons, subsequently disbanded. 2nd NZDiv joined advance on Florence & Faenza.Dr R Winterbourn published “Educating Backward Children in New Zealand” making comprehensive recommendations for special education. Council of Organisations for Relief Services Overseas (CORSO) formed.Official school patrols were introduced.“Beyond the Palisade” by James K Baxter, aged 18, published by Caxton Press.
After further action by 2nd NZ Div in Italy and Trieste, Germany surrendered May 9. In August action against Japan ended. HMNZS Achilles and Gambia returned to RN. Air Vice-Marshal L Isitt represented NZ at surrender of Japan.Māori Social and Economic Advancement Act passed. First Child Care Council started in Invercargill.The Christchurch—Picton railway completed. NZ National Airways Act nationalised all NZ air transport services.Davin, D—“Cliffs of Fall”. Blackwood Paul began publishing NZ books (J Mulgan, F L W Wood, S Morice, H Wilson, A Alpers). Caxton -“A book of NZ verse1923-45″”. Esther Glen Award began. Borovansky and Bodenweiser Ballets toured. Chamber Music Soc. founded.
2nd NZDiv and 2NZEF disbanded. “J”Force, raised from 9 Brigade of 2nd NZDiv sailed to Japan as part of Commonwealth Occupation Force. Further drafts from NZ replaced these men. No 14 Squadron part of Occupation Forces in Japan.Universal family benefit introduced for all children. Technical Correspondence School established.The “Hinemoa” built in Britain, delivered to NZ for Steamer Express service. The Conference Line began rebuilding their cargo fleet after World War 2. Air freight service for Cook Strait began. Daily Auckland—Sydney flyingboat service began,M H Holcroft received Hubert Church Award. the NZ Literary Fund established. Eric Lee-Johnson produced painntings with surrealist devices. Arts Yearbook replaced Art in New Zealand. National Orchestra of the NZBS was formed.
 North Island schools closed by polio epidemic. Food & Drugs Act passed. Dental benefits for secondary school children. Contact lenses, hearing aids available free. Mental Hospital Department became Mental Hygiene Divn. Industrial Hygiene Divn. set up.Passenger liner “Wanganella” ran aground on Barrett reef, Wellington; floated free. After wartime regulations petrol rationing retained for a time. Turakina railway deviation opened. Civil Aviation Administration took over Post Office's aeradio services.Landfall” began, edited by C Brasch. Community Arts Service toured northern NZ theatres. R J Kerridge began NZ Theatre Company. Boyd Neel String Orchestra toured. Ruru Karaitiana composed the popular song “Blue smoke”. First meeting of NZ Film Institute.
RNZ Armoured School established at Waiouru Camp. Peacetime Army set at 333 officers and 2,722 other ranks. 6 frigates purchased from UK. 3 NZ crews flew Dakotas in Berlin Airlift.Tenancy Act & Tuberculosis Act passed. First Old People's Welfare Council formed in Dunedin. Education Department Psychological Services began. NZ Trades Certification Board established. Youth for Christ evangelical movement formed in Auckland.“Pamir” returned to Finnish ownership. General road speed limit of 50mph introduced.Courage, J—“The fifth child”. Finlayson. R—“Tidal Creek”. Ballantyne, D—“The Cunninghams”. McDonald, G—“Grand Hills for Sheep”. McDougall Art Gallery rejected F Hodgkins's Pleasure Garden. Curnow, A—“The Axe”. Alex Lindsay String Orchestra began
National referendum voted for conscription for territorial service. CMT began. HMNZS Lachlan acquired from Australia as a survey ship. RNZAF operated in Hong Kong, SriLanka, Japan & Malay PeninsulaAuckland St John's Ambulance Assn started first meals-on wheels scheme. NZIHC society formed. Physiotherapy Act passed. A H McLintock—“History of Otago”. Ruth Gilbert—“Lazarus”. Lithuanian Rudolf Gopas came to NZ & taught P Trusttum and P Clairmont. Milan Mrkusich's first solo exhibition. Helen Hitchings's gallery opened, showing good contemporary works.
HMNZS Pukaki & Tutira sailed for Korean Waters. Kayforce, 70 officers, 974 other ranks, went to serve with UN ground forces in South Korea.Medical Research Council independent from Govt. Medical Advisory & Disciplinary Committee to investigate complaints. National Radiation Laboratory to monitor radiation. Canterbury Council of Social Services formed. Joint Family Homes Act passed. Wilson, G—“Brave Company”. Smithyman, K—“The Blind Mountain”. Pegasus Press began in Christchurch. Wilson, H—“My first eighty years”. Campbell, A—“Mine eyes dazzle”. National Film Unit made feature “1950 British Empire Games”
All three armed services worked on wharves during waterside workers' industrial dispute. NZ units in Korea amalgamated into 1st (Commonwealth) Division. New Zealand Army so named in New Zealand Army Act. NZ servicemen served in Kashmir and Cyprus.Māori Women's Welfare League formed. Govt subsidised organisations providing accommodation for young students/ workers. Presbyterian, Methodist & Congregational Churches sought church union. W Parapa 2nd bishop of Aotearoa. Waterfront dispute. Godley, C—“Letters from Early New Zealand”. Ward, Edward—Journal (1850-51). Johnson, L—“The sun among the ruins” & “Roughshod among the lilies”, “Poetry Yearbook” v 1. Ngaio Marsh's British Commonwealth Theatre Co. & Australian National Ballet toured
 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1952The Waikato leader Te Puea Herangi, known as Princess Te Puea, died. Prime Minister Holland and Opposition leader Nash were among 10,000 mourners at her funeral The subject Māori Studies was first taught at Auckland UniversityFirst conference of NZ Entomological Society. NZ Society of Soil Science formed.Lt-Gen Rt Hon Baron Norrie became Governor-General.
1953The Māori Affairs Act consolidated legislation on Māori Affairs but neglected protective aspects of earlier Acts. Another Act with discriminatory overtones was the Town and Country Planning Act 1953. Queen Elizabeth met King Koroki at Turangawaewae MaraeWildlife Act passed. New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science established. F H McDowall's “Buttermaker's manual” and W Cottier's “Aphids of New Zealand” published.Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. She & Duke of Edinburgh visited NZ. Sir H E Barrowclough became Chief Justice.
1954Oceanographic Institute established. “Forest and climate of New Zealand” by J T Holloway & “Plant virus diseases of New Zealand” by E E Chamberlain were published.W Nash retained leadership of Labour Party. National won election. Social Credit Political League won 11 % of vote.
1955MIRINZ founded. H C Smith discovered barley yellow dwarf virus. J O C Neill & C S Armstrong made pioneer aerial survey of spores of the blind-seed disease of ryegrass. Sainsbury's “Handbook of the New Zealand mosses” published. 
1956Noxious Animals Act passed. H C Smith researched dry rot disease of brassicas. J W Lyttleton discovered Fraction 1 protein in herbage protein. A D Thomson found a method of dealing with potato virus Y. First meeting of NZ Microbiological Society held.Duke of Edinburgh visited. Electoral Act passed making enrolment compulsory for Māori (already compulsory for Pakeha).
1957International Geophysical Year—much NZ participation, particularly in Antarctic. First volume of “The National Forest Survey of NZ” published. F H Smirk's “High arterial pressure” published.Rt Hon Viscount Cobham became Governor-General. K Holyoake replaced retiring S Holland as PM. Labour narrowly won election, W Nash PM.
1958Kelsey wrote on possible biological control of the white butterfly. Works on cytology of genus Podocarpus by Hair and Beuzenberg; and on atomic absorption spectrometry, by Allen. “Modern approach to organic chemistry” by J Packer & J VaughanQueen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother visited NZ. Finance Minister A Nordmeyer presented so-called “Black Budget”.
1959The New Zealand Rugby Union made the controversial decision to exclude Māori from the All Black team to tour South Africa.DSIR established Antarctic Division and Institute of Nuclear Science. Miss E L Hellaby Indigenous Grasslands Research Trust began. C A Fleming translated Von Hochstetter's “Geology of New Zealand 1864.” Lee's “Earthworm fauna of New Zealand” published.Proposal to send all-white All Black team to South Africa created protest led by Citizens All Black Tour Association. Tour went ahead.

Giant New Zealand flag being prepared for unfolding on 1 January 1990 as part of the Sesquicentennial Celebrations. The flag measured 15 metres by 8 metres and flew at Auckland airport throughout the year of the 150th anniversary celebrations.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
Australian government gave NZ 4 minesweepers.Right-wing F P Walsh elected leader of FOL.Air Services Licensing Authority granted the first Aerial Work licence. Work began on extension of Rongotai Airport.John Pascoe edited Thomas Brunner's journal, “The Great Journey”. Sargeson's “I for one” published in Landfall. An exhibition of 28 contemporary NZ paintings shown in London. “Broken Barrier” made by Pacific Films.
Armistice signed in Korea. Army surplus material given to French forces in Indo-China.National Housing Council had 10-year aim of building 200,000 houses. Consultative Ctee. on Hospital Reform began work. NZ Consultative Ctee. on Intellectually Handicapped Children recommended institutional care. Dutch migrants started Reformed Church.Last voyage by the Wellington-Nelson ferry, Ngaio. Five-year drivers licences introduced. NZ railway system reached its greatest length, 5,656 km. but 151 people died in the Tangiwai disaster caused by a lahar from Mt Ruapehu.New Zealand Players, founded by R & E Campion, toured with “The Young Elizabeth” & “Dandy Dick”. New Zealand Short Stories, first of 4 vols- a selection by Dan Davin. “The Golden Bush” by Temple Sutherland. Bruce Mason writing NZ plays.
Senior Regular & Territorial Force officers instructed in theory of nuclear weapons and their tactical use.First experimental fluoridation of water supplies in Hastings. National Health Institute established. Vocational guidance services began.Shaw Savill liner Southern Cross launched in Belfast. NAC's engineering base at Milson, Palmerston North closed and new base opened at Harewood, Christchurch. First helicopter recorded on civil register. First Fletcher top-dressing aircraft began serviceE H McCormick's study of Frances Hodgkins, “The Expatriate”. Colin McCahon painted “I am”. NZ Opera Co. founded.
Squadrons 14 and 41 moved to Singapore as part of Commonwealth Strategic Reserve.Adoption Act passed. Disabled Servicemen's Re-establishment League extended training services to civilians. Hospital Boards ran meals-on-wheels & laundry for elderly. Ormond Burton returned to Methodist ministry. Presbyterians permitted women elders.Opening of Mount Maunganui wharf made Tauranga a major export port. Traffic Officers training school began in Christchurch. Rimutaka tunnel opened. H R Wigley made first ski-plane landing on Tasman glacier. Fletcher top-dressing aircraft assembled in NZ.The Hakluyt Society published 1st vol of J C Beaglehole's edition of “The Journals of Captain James Cook”. Hall, David—“Portrait of New Zealand”. Burdon, R M—“King Dick”. Baxter, James K—“The Fire & the Anvil”
Specially raised NZ Special Air Service (SAS) Squadron sent to Malaya as part of Commonwealth Strategic Reserve for Malayan Emergency. NZ bought Antarctic support ship Endeavour.Health Dept. given power to prevent pollution. Salk vaccine introduced against polio. First national course for teachers of gifted children held. Anglicans used Wells system for fund-raising.World's first agricultural aviation show held in Palmerston North.Sharp, Andrew—“Ancient Voyagers in the Pacific. Wilson, Guthrie—“Sweet White Wine”. Gordon Walters painted abstracts using the koru motif. Kelliher Art Prize began as an annual award. Larry Pruden composed “Dances of Brittany” and “Harbour Nocturne”.
HMNZS Pukaki & Rotoiti assisted with monitoring duties during Christmas nuclear tests. NZSAS Squadron returned to NZ, replaced by newly formed 1st Battalion, NZ Regiment.Hospitals Act supported private hospitals A History of Canterbury” vol 1. Scholarship in Letters won by E H McCormick. The Archives Act, 1957 passed. McEldowney, D—“The World Regained”. Frame, J—“Owls do cry”. Don Peebles's abstracts. Mason, B—“The Pohutukawa Tree”.
Squadron 75 went to Malaya.Family Benefits Act—capitalisation of benefit for first-home buyers with 2 children. State Advances Corporation low-income borrowers granted interest-free rebates. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) opened NZ Temple near Hamilton. Colin McCahon painted “Northland Panels”. Mason, B—“In the Wilderness” produced, followed next year by solo work “The End of the Golden Weather”.
2nd Battalion, NZ Regiment relieved 1st Battalion in Penang.National Hydatids Council formed. Parry report on NZ universities recommended University of NZ dissolution, constituent colleges independent, University Grants committee coordinating policy. Billy Graham's open-air meetings drew crowds of up to 60,000.First Viscount “City of Wellington” arrived in Auckland. First turbo-prop service began between Auckland & Christchurch. Rongotai, now Wellington Airport, opened by GG Viscount Cobham.BNZ K Mansfield Award,M Duggan and E Locke winners. Shadbolt, M—“The New Zealanders”. Duckworth, M—“A gap in the spectrum”. Middleton, O E—“The Stone”. J Fahey painting. Baxter, J K—“The Wide Open Cage”. National Youth Orchestra founded.

The Waitangi Tribunal sitting at Orakei Marae.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1960The Labour government commissioned the Hunn report on the Department of Māori AffairsGolden Kiwi lottery funds began to fund scientific research. Thomson and Reynolds used negative-staining techniques in electron microscopy. Chapman published “Salt marshes and salt deserts of the world”.Social Credit Political League proposed a Bill of Rights to safeguard individuals' rights. National Party won election. Western Samoa became independent.
1961The Hunn report was published under the new National Government. Māoritanga was expected to be superseded by “modernity”. The aim was to eliminate all statutory differences between Māori and Pakeha. A Māori Education Foundation was established.Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand founded. Symposium convened on Microbiological aspects of facial eczema. “Flora of New Zealand Vol 1” (H H Allen & Lucy B Moore) published. 
1962DSIR Plant Physiology Division established, Palmerston North. Wellcome Research Institute began at University of Otago Medical School. “The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768-1771” (ed by J C Beaglehole) published. Wilkin awarded Nobel medicine prize.Brigadier Sir Bernard Edward Fergusson became Governor-General. Post of Ombudsman established.
1963A bi-racial congregation attended the dedication of the interdenominational Memorial Chapel at Okahu Bay, built on the last piece of Ngati Whatua land in the City of AucklandNational Research Advisory Council (NRAC) replaced the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research to advise the Minister of Science.The Queen & Duke toured NZ. QEII National Arts Council established. A Nordmeyer became leader of the Labour Party. National Party retained office. TV used in electioneering for first time. Indecent Publications Tribunal set up.
1964The Prichard Waetford Commission, set up by the National Government, recommended policies which would ease alienation of Māori land, provide for compulsory conversion of some Māori land to general land and resulted in disadvantage to multiple-ownersR N Patel appointed the first professional plant anatomist in New Zealand. “Trees and shrubs of New Zealand” by A L Poole and Nancy M Adams published. 
1965Publication of “Alpine Ranunculi of New Zealand” by F J F Fisher.1956 Electoral Act amended to stabilise South Island seats at 25. N Kirk became Leader of Parliamentary Labour Party. Cook Islands Constitution came into effect.
1966Queen Te Atairangikaahu succeeded on the death of King KorokiNZ Electron Microscope Society and Nutrition Society of New Zealand founded and held their first conferences.Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited. Socialist Unity Party formed. Election won by National Party, V Cracknell first Social Credit MP elected. Sir Richard Wild became Chief Justice.

Queen Elizabeth and Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu at Turangawaewae, 1974.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
2nd Battalion began operations on Thai-Malayan border. 2 NZ officers seconded to UN Force in the Congo. First ship built for RNZN, frigate Otago commissioned in UK.Dr H B Turbott president of World Health Assembly. Child Health Council set up. Contraceptive pill introduced. Petone C I T began. IHC began preschool and special-care day centres. Diploma of Educational Psychology introduced at Auckland University.Union Co's passenger service to Australia ended. The new island port at Bluff opened. Cycle lanes were introduced.Mason, B—“The Pohutukawa Tree”. Hilliard, N—“Māori Girl”. Oliver, W H—“Story of New Zealand”. Crump, B—“A Good keen man”. Arts Advisory Council began. N Z Players ended (“A View from the Bridge”). Music by D Lilburn a NZ LP record. First TV channel
 Private health insurance Southern Cross Medical Care Society established. Social Welfare Advisory Board set up. Māori Education Foundation established. First Golden Shears competition, Masterton. Sinclair, Keith—“A History of NZ”. McDonald, J D—The Pitcher and the well”. Braithwaite, Errol—“An Affair of men”. Stevens, Joan—“The New Zealand novel”. ACAG exhibited “Painting from the Pacific”. Local theatre developed in Auckland & Wellington
National Service Scheme began training intake of ballot-selected recruits. Antarctic support ship Endeavour replaced by a tanker also renamed Endeavour.Māori Welfare Act established Māori Council. National Youth Council formed. Commission on Education in NZ recommended increase in primary teacher training to 3 years & curriculum development section. “Nelson System” of bible study in schools sanctioned.The rail ferry “Aramoana” began a new era in inter-island freight, cars & passenger traffic. New Dunedin airport at Momona openedGlover, Denis—“Hot water sailor” (illustrated by Russell Clark). Beaglehole, J C (ed)—“The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks”. NZ Society of Sculptors and Associates began. Dame Margot Fonteyn toured. NZ Opera Co presented “A Unicorn for Christmas”.
Wartime training establishment Tamaki transferred from Motuihe Island to Narrow Neck, Auckland.W Liley performed world's first successful intra-uterine blood transfusion. New Adult Education Act permitted University extension courses. Curriculum Development Unit set up in Education Dept. F P Walsh died suddenly. Replaced by T Skinner.Transport Act amendment allowed for banning of dangerous driversThe Indecent Publications Act 1963 created a tribunal to address pornography cases. Pearson, Bill—“Coal Flat”. Morrieson, Ronald Hugh—“The Scarecrow”. McCahon showed “Landscape Theme and Variations”. John Gielgud toured NZ.
Establishment of Defence Ministry replaced Army Headquarters. Confrontation began between Indonesia and Malaysia.Social security regulations provided for free home-nursing service. NZ Assn of Social Workers formed. Massey Agricultural College became Massey University. Waikato University founded. Roman Catholic Mass celebrated partly in English, for the first time. Tuwhare, Hone—“No ordinary sun”. Patrick Hanley painted “Figures in Light” series. In Wellington, Downstage Theatre Society formed. Ray Columbus and The Invaders made the record hit “She's a mod”. J O'Shea's “Runaway” screened.
1st Battalion and NZSAS detachments served in Borneo. Army reorganised for SEATO purposes, with ceilings of 6,250 Regulars and 11,000 Territorials. 161 Battery, RNZ Artillery went to South Vietnam under US command. Hercules flew to McMurdo Sound.Building Industry Advisory Council established. Old people's homes for 6 or more required to be licensed.. NZ Asthma Soc formed. Rev. R J Muller, Anglican chaplain to Massey University, first mainstream clergyman involved in charismatic movement.The scow “Echo” made her last passage across Cook Strait. Seatbelts became compulsory in light trucks and cars. Drivers tests standardised, with practical test plus written and oral questions. Air NZ's new jet base at Mangere opened & renamed Auckland AirSinclair, K “William Pember Reeves”. Shadbolt, M—“Among the cinders”. Allen, R—“Nelson”. Billing, G—“Forbush and the penguins”. Duggan, M—“Summer in the gravel pit”. More NZ art shown overseas. N Z Ballet toured “Petrouchka” with Alexander Grant.
Under Colombo Plan, RNZ Engineers built a road in Thailand. NZSAS had parachute training at RNZAF's Paradrop Training Unit in Auckland.Government subsidised half cost of upgrading old people's homes run by religious or welfare organisations. Health Dept. responsible for care & treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts. Guidance counselling service in secondary schools.Demerit points introduced for drivers convicted of driving offences. E J Carr made a glider record, flying from Omarama to Picton.McClintock, A H (ed)—Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 3vols. Marsh, Ngaio—“Black Beech and honeydew”. first Frances Hodgkins Fellowship awarded to Michael Illingworth, Mercury Theatre launched in Auckland.

Lower Hutt foodbank workers packing family parcels, 1992.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1967The Māori Affairs Amendment Act was fiercely opposed by Māori. The subject Māori Studies was introduced at Victoria University as part of the anthropology course.Water & Soil Conservation Act passed (allowing multiple use of water resources). Publication of aphid flight data from an 8-year study by A D Lowe.Sir Arthur Porritt became Governor-General. Referendum endorsed Triennial elections. It became possible for a Māori to stand in a general electorate, or a Pakeha to stand in a Māori electorate.
1968South Africa reversed an earlier decision and stated it would accept Māori in an All Black Team to tour in 1970. The Māori response was mixed. Duke of Edinburgh visited briefly.
1969The activist group, Māori Organisation on Human Rights (MOOHR) was founded.Biological control of porina pasture pests in NZ discussed. J D McCraw foundation professor of NZ's first university Department of Earth Science, Waikato University. “Records of plant diseases in New Zealand” by J M Dingley published.Voting age lowered from 21 to 20 years. National defeated Labour again.
1970Māori cooperatives, companies and trusts began development in the eastern Bay of Plenty.Physical Environment Conference reviewed NZ's environmental management needs. Control and ownership of NZ's natural resources discussed. Climate Laboratory opened, Palmerston North. D Miller published “Biological control of weeds 1927-48″”.Royal Family visited for Cook Bicentenary. J O'Brien replaced V Cracknell as Social Credit Leader.
1971Auckland Education Board introduced Māori Language in 3 intermediate schools.Egmont National Park established. Environmental impact procedures administered by government depts, with statutory objection and appeal procedures. Atkinson's “Diseases of tree fruits in New Zealand” published.Race Relations Act passed.
1972Clean Air Act passed. Stockholm UN Conference on Human Environment. 8th International Radiocarbon Dating conference held in Lower Hutt.Sir Denis Blundell became Governor-General. Holyoake retired as PM, replaced by J Marshall. Values Party formed by T Brunt and N Smith. New Democrats (leader J O'Brien) split from Social Credit (leader B Beetham). Labour won election.
1973Lake Manapouri protected, after large NGOs' petition. International conferences held on plant physiology; and quaternary research. “NZ alpine plants” by A F Mark & N Adams; “Chemistry & biochemistry of herbage” by G W Butler & R Bailey.Norman Kirk became PM. Amendments to 1852 Constitution Act increased the powers of the General Assembly.

The collapsed platform at Cave Creek, West Coast, April 1995.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
NZ's strength in Vietnam increased with arrival of Victor One Company, from 1st Battalion, NZIR; NZ Services medical Team in Binh Dinh province, Whiskey One Rifle Company & RNZAF helicopter pilots.Royal Commission on Compensation for Personal Injury proposed system of no-fault compensation eliminating litigation. Private health insurance premiums tax deductible. Free milk in schools discontinued.The Union Co ended its service to the west coast of North America. The Hawea began a weekly roll-on, roll-off cargo service between Auckland and Lyttelton and Dunedin. Defensive driving scheme introduced.Cowley, Joy—“Nest in a falling tree”. Print Council of NZ formed. Māori Theatre Trust produced “He Mana Toa”. James K Baxter in association with the Globe Theatre in Dunedin producing plays regularly. Wat-te-ata Press Music began, ed. by D Lilburn.
4Troop of the NZSAS attached to Australian SAS Squadron at Nui Dat. RNZN hoisted its own White EnsignNZ Federation of Voluntary Agencies formed. NZ's first breast-milk bank set up at Waikato Hospital. Vocational Training Council created. Roman Catholic Archbishop McKeefry made a Cardinal & Vatican appointed an Apostolic Delegate to NZ.The inter-island car & passenger ferry “Wahine” in worst storm recorded in NZ, carried on to Barrett Reef at Wellington Heads. Passengers and crew abandoned ship and 51 died. Departments of Air & Transport combined. Transport Advisory Council establishedGeering, L—“God in the new world”. Morton, J & Miller, M—“The New Zealand sea shore” winner of first James Wattie Book of the Year. Baxter, A—“We will not cease” republished by Cape Catley. Inia Te Wiata performed in NZ. McLeod, Jenny—“Earth & Sky”
 Building Research Association formed. Food and Drugs Act increased monitoring and analysis of drugs and inspection & labelling of food. Mental Health Act passed. Social Security levy included in general income tax. PPTA published “Education in Change”.The first roll-on, roll-off ship to operate on the Tasman route, the “Maheno” began. The Rangitoto made the last voyage of the passenger service of New Zealand Shipping Co. C Tait flew round the world on smallest aircraft ever.Beaglehole. J C (ed) “Journals of Captain Cook vol 4”. Jim Allen's “Small Worlds : Five Environmental Structures” shown with direct audience participation. NZ Ballet's premier of “The Rite of Spring” in Timaru.
1st NZ Army Training Team arrived in Vietnam, based at Chi Lang near Cambodian border, to train about 8.000 platoon commanders and junior Vietnamese leaders. Whiskey withdrawn from Vietnam. HMNZS Tui leased from the US as oceanographic research ship.Rubella vaccine provided for more than 350,000 girls. Status of Children Act abolished illegitimacy giving equal status to all children. National Advisory Committee on Māori Education promoted teaching of Māori language in schools. McNeish, James—“Mackenzie”. Mahey, Margaret published five books for children, in London and New York. Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, showed “Real Time” by Leon Narby. Colin McCahon continued with large paintings. Drama School established.
Victor 6 withdrawn from Vietnam. RNZAF Skyhawks flew across Tasman to RAAF base at Williamstown, NSW. RNZAF Orion established world endurance record of 20hours 15 mins from RNZAF base, Auckland.Nursing Council of NZ and Social Development Council established. Charismatic movement became evident in Catholic Church.The first all-container ship to visit NZ, “Columbus New Zealand” arrived in Wellington. First shipment of iron sand slurry from Waverley to Japan. First shipment of aluminium from Tiwai Point smelter. The last regular steam train.“NZ's Heritage” began (in 105 weekly parts). Stead, C K—“Smith's dream”. “Poetry New Zealand” v 1. “The Letters of D' Arcy Cresswell” (Helen Shaw). Rolleston, R—“William and May Rolleston”. Hansells Sculpture Award began. Court Theatre began in Chch.
2nd NZ Army Training Team arrived in Vietnam, attached to US Army Training team near Cam Rhan Bay. Both Training Teams & “V” Force headquarters returned to NZ. RNZAF Hercules airlifted over 500,000 kg of food in Bangladesh in relief operation.Clean Air Act. General Practitioners' Society established. Social Welfare Department created from Social Security Department and Child Welfare Division. Publication of “Child abuse in New Zealand”. National Housing Commission set up.The “Rangatira” last & largest ship of the Inter-Island Express service made her first voyage south. Wearing of seatbelts made compulsory in front seats of most vehicles.New Zealand Book Council set up during the International Book Year. Ihimaira, W—Pounamu, Pounamu. James K Baxter died. First Wellington Film Festival held in Wellington at Paramount Theatre.
First RNZAF flights to communist Peking and Moscow.First 3-year comprehensive Technical Institute nurse training programmes in Christchurch & Wellington. Citizens Advice Bureaus formed national body. Domestic Purposes Benefit introduced.Last voyage of the Union Co's passenger service to the Pacific islands, by the “Tofua”. Sail training schooner “Spirit of New Zealand” launched in Auckland. Wearing of crash helmets compulsory for motor cyclists and pillion passengers.The NZ Authors fund created. Shadbolt, M—“Strangers and Journeys”. Wendt, A—“Sons for the return home”. Ihimaera, W—“Tangi”. Bruce Barber's “Bucket Action” at Kerikeri. Hannah Playhouse open. Mercury Theatre—“Mister King Hongi”. R Hayward died.

The waka Kotuiti Tuarua surges down the Waikato river to the Turangawaewae marae, home of the Māori Queen, for celebrations in 1996 marking the centenary of the Turangawaewae regatta.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1974Marine Pollution Act passed. Commission for the Environment established. Scientific Coordinated Committee for Beech Research established to advise Minister of Forests on proposed use of South Island beech forests.Royal Family attended Commonwealth Games. R Muldoon replaced J Marshall as leader of the Opposition. Kirk died suddenly, succeeded by W (Bill) Rowling, Prince Charles attended funeral of Norman Kirk. 1972-73 Accident Compensation Act came into force.
1975A tribunal of restricted powers was set up to hear Māori grievances against contraventions of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Māori Land March left Te Hapua, Sept 14, and reached Parliament, Oct 13. A Memorial of Rights with 60,000 signatories was presentedMedical Research Council asked to consider guidelines on research into genetically modified organisms. “Architecture of lambs' coats; a speculative study” by F W Dry published.National won election. Muldoon PM. 3 National MPs of Māori descent elected in general electorates. Ombudsman Act increased jurisdiction & provided for the appointment of more than one Ombudsman. First woman magistrate.
1976Feb 6th became Waitangi Day instead of New Zealand Day. The celebrations became a focus for protest and controversy. National Government introduced national superannuation scheme giving every citizen a substantial pension at 60. Wanganui Computer Centre set up. Small Claims Tribunals Act passed.
1977Kara Puketapu became Secretary of Māori Affairs, achieving a sense of direction and drive to the Māori cultural awakening. Orakei Marae Committee Action Group occupied Bastion PointQueen Elizabeth II National Trust formed. “Secondary sex characters in plants” by D G Lloyd and C J Webb published.Queen & Duke visited. Rt Hon Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake became Governor-General. Beehive wing, Parliament Buildings opened by the Queen. D Lange elected in by-election. Human Rights Commission established.
1978Eva Rickard and 150 people camped on Raglan golf course; eventually the land was returned to its Māori owners; the club to pay compensation and rent. Māori Affairs Minister Ben Couch held a Gang Summit at Parliament. Bastion Point negotiations continued.Lobbying by NGOs stopped native beech forest clear-felling in Westland. Moore and Irwin's “Oxford book of New Zealand plants” published. “Geology of New Zealand, 2 vols” ed by Suggate, Stevens, and Te Punga, published.B Beetham (Social Credit) wins by-election. After general election, National retained office. Sir R K Davison became Chief Justice. Chief Justice of Cook Islands removed the Government of Sir Albert Henry & installed Tom Davis, because of electoral fraud.
1979Engineering students at Auckland University planned a mock haka in capping parade, but met violent opposition from Māori activists, He Taua. Peter Rikys was appointed Māori rep. on ARA Planning Committee. Mana Motuhake founded by Matiu Rata.Pesticides Act passed. International symposium, Reproduction in Flowering Plants, held in Christchurch. “Geological History of New Zealand and its life” published by C A Fleming.Princess Anne visited NZ for the Save the Children Fund.
1980The Governor-General Sir Keith Holyoake was involved in a scuffle with Māori protesters at Treaty of Waitangi celebrations. A Royal Commission found that the Māori Land Court should become more efficient, leading to its eventual abolition.Science Education Unit established at University of Waikato. DSIR Division of Horticulture & Processing established. Daniel and Morgan worked on thermophilic bacteria. “Native trees of New Zealand” by J T Salmon published.Hon Sir David Beattie became Governor-General. M Rata resigned from Labour Party, formed Mana Motuhake Party for Māori self-reliance. G Knapp became second Social Credit MP. “Magistrates” became “District Court Judges”.
1981Māori, 9% of the population but nearly 25% of the unemployed. More Māori trusts established to develop horticulture in Bay of Plenty. The Government provoked further trouble from Bastion Point protestersAmendments made to National Water & Soil Conservation Act. Publication of “Red data book of New Zealand” by Williams and Given.Prince Charles visited NZ. The Queen & Duke toured after attending CHOGM in Melbourne. Springbok tour polarised NZ. National continued in power after election.

The final edition of the 123-year-old Catholic weekly newspaper, the Tablet, being checked by editor and staff in March 1996.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
NZ Force South-East Asia established in Singapore. Its core unit was 1st Battalion, RNZIR.Housing Corporation formed. Advisory Council on Educational Development published “Directions for Educational Development” after widespread public discussion and submissions. Ananda Marga movement and other Hindu groups became active in NZ.Flt Lt R R Parsons & F O N G Munro made first crossing of southern Alps by balloon (west to east).Beaglehole, J C, OM—“Life of Captain Cook”. Sutherland, M—“The Fledgling”. A H Reed, aged 99, knighted. A season of NZ plays given at Court Theatre to coincide with the Commonwealth Games.
 Disabled Persons Community Welfare Act passed. Council of Social Services formed. Hospital Amendment Act provided for regulation of legal abortion. Hawke's Bay Community College opened. Private Schools Conditional Integration Act passed.The “Tangaroa” was towed out of the Otago dock, now to be filled in for the container complex at port Chalmers. Official changeover to metric speed limits.1975 Scott, D—“Ask that mountain”. Holcroft, M H—“Mary Ursula Bethell”. Grace, P—“Waiariki”. “Women's Art” exhibition at McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch. Impulse Dance Theatre formed. Jack Body—“Musik Dari Jalan”.
First ANZUS field training exercise held in NZ, Triad began in Waiouru, involving Army & Air Force units from the 3 ANZUS countries.National Government limited State house tenancy to 6 years to encourage home ownership. Standard Tertiary Bursary introduced. Nga Tapuwae College in Mangare first purpose-built community school. Anglican Synod admitted women to priesthood.Roll-on, roll-off terminal at Nelson opened. Last voyage of the Steamer Express service made by the “Rangatira.”Sinclair, K—“Walter Nash”. Hankin, C(ed)—“Critical essays on the New Zealand novel”. Joseph, M—“A soldier's tale”. Gee, M—“A glorious morning, comrade”. Orbell, M—“Traditional songs of the Māori”. Bagnall, A G—“Wairarapa”. Hall, R—“Glide Time”
Women's RNZNS disbanded and members integrated with RNZN. RNZAF Iriquois helicopter and crew served in earthquake relief in Guadalcanal.ALAC established, promoting moderation in drinking. National Ambulance Officers Training School opened in Auckland. National survey of Forms One and Two undertaken. Auckland Metropolitan College alternative state-funded school opened.New right hand rule in Traffic regulations. An amendment to the 1962 Transport Act extended the limit on road/rail competition. Air NZ began Antarctica sightseeing flights from Auckland.King, Michael—“Te Puea”. Manhire, B(ed.)—“NZ Listener short stories”. Summers, J— “Earthenware” & “Strictly for the words”. L Lye's kinetic “Trilogy: A Flip & Two Twisters, Blade & Fountain”—Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. G Murphy's “Wild Man” screened
Queen Elizabeth II Army Museum opened at Waiouru.Contraception Sterilisation & Abortion Act passed. “Educational Standards in State Schools” judged NZ standards adequate. 30 Catholic schools named for integration. Ruatoki School had bilingual Māori-English programme. Māori Bishop accorded full status.Road User Charges Act replaced heavy traffic fees & mileage tax with a distance tax related to size and weight of vehicles.Gee, M—“Plumb”. Roche, S—“Foreigner”. Thomson, J—“A Distant music”. Hilliard, N—“The Glory and the dream”. NZ Govt presented McCahon's “Victory over Death” to Australia (now in Australian National Gallery). New Zealand Film Commission established.
NZ contributed a 74-man Army contingent to Commonwealth Cease-Fire Monitoring Group in Rhodesia.Regulations on asbestos started. First NZ bone marrow transplant. National Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Child Abuse set up. Queen Victoria School for Māori Girls integrated. National Youth Choir began. Foundation laid for Auckland mosque.Wearing of seat belts in all seats in new cars made compulsory. Two women trained as pilots & joined Air NZ. New Zealand's worst air disaster happened when an Air NZ DC-10 crashed on Mt. Erebus, Antarctica. A lengthy inquiry followed.Hooper, P—“A Song in the forest”. Kidman, F—“A Breed of woman”. New Zealand pop music very successful—Dave Dobbyn, Sharon O'Neill, Split Enz, Tina Cross among others. Paul Maunder's feature “Sons for the Return Home”(A Wendt) released.
Contingent withdrawn when national elections had been held in what was now Zimbabwe.Old People's Homes Regulations increased government's responsibility for monitoring standards. Housing Corporation empowered to supply relocatable “granny flats” to local authorities & religious & welfare organisations. Computer education discussed. Brasch. C—“Indirections”. Ashton-Warner, Sylvia—“I passed this way”. Shadbolt, Maurice—“Lovelock version”, du Fresne, Y—Farvel and other stories”. Chapple, G—“Rewi Alley of China”. McGee, G—“Foreskin's Lament”. Māori theatre of protest seen.
RNZAF & RAAF aircraft ferried over 4,000 passengers across the Tasman during industrial disputes.Government announced interest-free loan scheme for residents in clean-air zones to buy approved heating appliances. Medicines Act provided greater scrutiny of new & existing products.“Pacific Charger” beached near Wellington Heads. The crew landed safely and the ship was re-floated. The Mangaweka-Uutiku deviation improved the NIMT in the Rangitikei valley.Temple, P—Beak of the moon”. Hay-ward, M—“Diary of the Kirk years”. Turner, B—“Ancestors”. Frank Sargeson's 3-vol autobiography republished as one book. G Murphy's successful feature “Goodbye Pork Pie”. NZ Film Archive established.
 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1982A kohanga reo was set up at Wainuiomata; soon 119 centres were teaching 1,500 children. 400 people at Bastion Point for a 24-hour protest; police arrested 117: Council pledged to halt housing development.” Race against Time” by Hiwi Tauroa, published.Save Aramoana Campaign secured protection for wildlife habitat from construction of aluminium smelter. Second series of “Eagle's trees and shrubs of New Zealand,” and “Resolution Journal of Johann Reinhold Forster, 1772-1775″”, 4 vol. by M E Hoare.Sue Wood became president of National Party (1st woman to lead NZ political party). Prince Edward housemaster at Wanganui Collegiate. Official Information Act passed.
1983A news programme on TV, Te Karere, began. Tapu Te Ranga marae in Island Bay was being built by Bruce Stewart with help from the Mayor of Wellington Michael Fowler, and members of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs.First conference on the history of science in New Zealand held in Wellington, convened by M E Hoare.Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Prince William visited NZ. D Lange replaced W Rowling as Labour Leader. New Zealand Party launched
1984A hikoi or peace walk of over 2,000 people walked to the Waitangi marae. The exhibition Te Māori opened at New York's Metropolitan Museum. Hiwi Tauroa brought together a major hui at Turangawaewae to seek consensus on the future of the Treaty of Waitangi.Interdepartmental Working Party on management of hazardous waste.Marilyn Waring withdrew her vote from the Government. PM Muldoon called a snap election, won by Labour. Lange PM. M Wilson 1st woman president of Labour Party. Roger Douglas implemented free market economic policies (“Rogernomics”).
1985Archbishop Paul Reeves became the first Governor-General of Māori descent.Dept of Health Grants Scheme gave financial incentives for solid waste management planning. Environmental Forum held. NZ's Science and Technology for Development conference held. “Flora of New Zealand: Lichens” published.Archbishop Paul Reeves became the first Governor-General of part-Māori origin. Labour Government declined US request for a nuclear-weapon-capable warship to be allowed to visit NZ. French agents blew up “Rainbow Warrior” in Auckland Harbour.
1986Environment Act passed, creating Ministry for Environment and Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Fisheries Quota management system introduced. International Whaling Commission agreed on whaling moratorium.Property qualifications for voting in local body elections abolished.
1987Court of Appeal ruled Māori land claims not affected by transfer of assets to new SOEs. Waitangi Tribunal empowered to decide which Crown Land has Māori claimants.Conservation Act formed Min of Forestry and Dept of Conservation. NZ played leading role in negotiation of Montreal Protocol on ozone-de-pleting substances. Non-nuclear legislation became law.General election returned Labour Government.
1988Waitangi Tribunal reported on Muriwhenua In-corporation's claim to Northland fisheries. Fisheries quota package announced for Māori tribes. Bastion Point land returned to Māori ownership.Cyclone Bola hit East Coast. Oil found at Kupe South field.State Sector Act passed. Ministers for SOEs and Finance replaced.

A spectacular ash display from Mt Ruapehu, June 1996.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
NZ & Australia sent helicopter unit to Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai following Israeli withdrawal from Egyptian Territory.One-year rent freeze. Noise Control Act stated local authorities to deal with complaints about noise. OECD reviewed NZ's education policy. Māori-language syllabus trialled. 6-year-olds' reading recovery programme. 50 Kohanga Reo centres started.NZR became the Railways Corporation. C Tait established another record for single-engined aircraft flying UK—NZ.NZ represented by 21 works of art at the fourth Bienniale in Sydney. Dame Ngaio Marsh and Bruce Mason died. Shadbolt, M—“Once on Chunuk Bair” performed. David Farquhar composed Symphony no 2. Feature films “Smash Palace”(B Lawrence) & “The Scarecrow”.
 School-leavers Training & Employment Preparation Scheme introduced to ease transition from school to work. Sonia Davies elected FOL's first woman vice-president. J Bolger elected chairman of ILO annual conference.The “Spirit of Free Enterprise” began Wellington-Lyttelton cargo service. Amendment to Transport Act set up a national register of drivers' licences & alcohol assessment procedures for some drivers. Electrification of NIMT extended to ParaparaumuKing, M—“Whina” & “Māori…), McCauley, S—“Other halves”. McQueen, C—“Homing in”. Curnow, A “You will know when you get there”. Oliver, W H—“James K Baxter, a portrait”.” Footrot Flats” performed in NZ & Australia. G Murphy's film “Utu”.
HMNZS Canterbury awarded Wilkinson Sword of Peace for operations in Indian ocean 1982-83 during Falklands War. NZ ratified UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.Review of the Core Curriculum for Schools published. Labour government suspended Housing Corporation's limited tenancy scheme & sale of State houses and emphasised preschool education. Wage freeze ended.“Tarahiko” first gas tanker on the NZ coast was delivered to Wellington. Revised safety regulations on child restraints in motor vehicles became lawHulme, K—“The Bone people”. Stead, C K—“All visitors ashore”. Mahy, M—“The Haunting” (winner of Carnegie Medal). Adcock, F- “Selected poems”. McLauchlin, G (ed)—New Zealand encyclopaedia. Te Māori exhibition opened in New York. Ross Harris opera—“Waituhi”
UN request for a port visit by warship USS Buchanan declined by Government because of uncertainty whether it was nuclear armed. All Black Rugby tour of South Africa cancelled. Rainbow Warrior bombed and sunk.Government lifted rent freeze and rent limitations regulations. Government accepted responsibility for education of severely handicapped children. Interest continued to grow in Taha Māori (Māori language and culture) and bilingual education. University Entrance examinations to be abolished from 1997. Adult Information Adoption Bill passed.Greenpeace ship “Rainbow Warrior” sank at its berth with the loss of one life after 2 bombs exploded under its hull.Duckworth, M—“Disorderly behaviour”. Mahon, P—“Verdict on Erebus”. Manhire, B—“Zoetropes”. Boyd, M B—City of plains”. Frame, J—“Envoy from Mirror City”. Renee's play “Groundwork” produced. Royal NZ Ballet toured China. Prince Tui Teka died. Successful films were I Mune's “Came a Hot Friday” & G Preston's “Mr Wrong.”
UN Secretary-General ruled that French agents jailed in NZ be detained on Island of Hao. France to make apology and pay $ 13 million in compensation.Homosexual Law reform Bill passed. School Certificate to be abolished and replaced by internal assessment within 4 years. First visit to NZ by Pope.Mikhail Lermontov sank in Marlborough Sounds. Post Office split into 3 separate trading organisations. First Air NZ female captain.Murray Ball made the film “Footrot Flats” using the theme of his popular cartoon strips.
USA ended special arrangement for NZ purchase of military equipment. Soviet diplomat expelled. Non-nuclear legislation became law. $1.15 billion modernisation programme for Navy announced. Australian PM Hawke visitedCommission of inquiry ordered into cervical cancer research at National Women's Hospital. NZ's first heart transplant performed. State Sector Act introduced into Parliament.Ansett Airlines began NZ domestic service. Air NZ 747 hijacked at Nadi airport. Closure of 432 branch post offices.B Barclay made the film “Ngati”.
Australia-NZ free trade policy brought forward to 1990. NZ sent 10 observers to UN peacekeeping force in Persian Gulf. EC announced butter sales to Britain to be cut 25% over 4 years.Unemployed numbers exceeded 10.000. Public servants' industrial action. Task force report on hospitals & related services released. Budget announced more state assets sales. Minister for SOEs replaced. Youth & student support system announced.NIMT railway electrification completed. Terms of sale of Air NZ announced.NZ Book Award for fiction won by F Kidman for “Book of Secrets”. G Murphy filmed “Never say die”. P Jackson made “Meet the Feebles”.

Winston Peters swears on the bible before presenting his evidence at the winebox inquiry, 1996.

 MāoriEnvironment and ScienceGovernment/Law
1989Government and Māori groups signed agreement over sale of state forests.Ministry of Research Science & Technology established. South Westland rainforest protected. Tasman Conservation Accord. Wellington Convention banned drift-netting in S Pacific. Waste Management Institute founded. 2nd Maui production platform approved.Administration of Waitemata City criticised by Audit Office. New Labour Party launched with Anderton's resignation from Labour. Lange resigns as Prime Minister, replaced by G Palmer. H Clark first woman Deputy PM. Local Government Reform.
1990Māori Fisheries allocated 10% of fishing quota. Waitomo caves returned to Māori ownership.NZ ratified London amendment to Montreal Protocol. Ozone Layer Protection Act. Waitaki river water rights settled by consultation and negotiation. Attempts to smuggle keas foiled at Christchurch airport. White Island eruption widened crater by 50 metres.Prince Edward opened XIVth Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Dame Cath Tizard appointed Governor-General. Overseas Investment Commission exempted from Official Information Act. Mike Moore replaced G Palmer as PM. National Party won election, J Bolger PM.
1991Waitangi Tribunal recommended compensation to Ngai Tahu. W Peters, Min of Māori Affairs launched Ka Awatea report. Entertainer Billy T James died. W Peters no longer Min. of Māori Affairs. Mana Motuhake Party joined Alliance. Te Puni Kokiri formed.Resource Management Act & Crown Minerals Act passed. NZ Forest Accord. NZ ratified UN Convention on long drift net fishing. 1st kakapo chick hatched at Auckland Zoo. Mt Cook rock slide killed 2, height of mountain reduced.MPs G Myles & H Mclntyre quit National Party to form Liberal Party. Sir R Muldoon resigned from Parliament. Alliance Party formed.
1992Waitangi Tribunal decided land between Dargaville & Hokianga should return to Māori owners & Ngai Tahu have exclusive fishing rights in most S.I. waters. Māori joint-venture purchase of Sealord Products in lieu of commercial fishing claims. Double-hulled Te Aurere sails to Rarotonga.United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio. South Island hydro lakes fell. Comalco agreed to stop one potline and TV channels closed early. After 55 days, power crisis ended.Parliament Buildings and Parliamentary Library damaged by fire in course of $164 million restoration Former PM Sir R Muldoon died. 85% of voters voted for electoral reform. 70% of these chose MMP. Wellington's F Wilde elected first woman Mayor.
1993Toxic algal bloom closed shellfish gathering for 5 months in Northland, Hauraki Gulf & Coromandel and briefly over the whole country. 140,000 signature petition forces abandonment of myxomatosis introduction.National Government re-elected, under Rt Hon J Bolger.
1994Whina Cooper, famous Māori activist died, aged 98. Over 1,000 Māori marched on Parliament for more funds and better treatment for Māori language. Government offered $1 billion settlement plan for Treaty of Waitangi claims. Tainui accepted $170 million.International Whaling Comm created Southern Ocean whale sanctuary. Auckland drought brought water shortage.An anti-royalist sprayed air-freshener towards Prince Charles in Auckland. Marathon sittings (50 hours) in Parliament caused by stonewalling in Maritime Transport Bill. Electorates reduced to 65 for MMP election. J Anderton handed leadership to S Lee.
1995At a meeting in Turangi 1,000 Māori representatives rejected the $1 billion fiscal envelope. Formal Waitangi day proceedings cancelled. Māori occupy Motua Gardens, Wanganui & former Tamaki Girls' College in land claims. Takahue School burned down.Fire partly destroyed Kaikaumau wetlands. DOC viewing platform collapsed at Cave Creek, Westland, killing 14. Record low temperature at Ophir—minus 21.6 C. Ruapehu erupted.J Anderton resumed Alliance leadership. 4 National MPs & 2 Labour MPs formed United NZ. Dunedin's first woman mayor S Turner. Crown apologised to Tainui for 1884 land confiscation.
1996Formal Waitangi Day celebrations held at Government House, Wellington, instead of Waitangi. Rt Hon Sir Michael Hardie Boys becomes Governor-General.

Armorial bearings of Sir Edmund Hillary KG, ONZ, KBE. The Sherpa influence is represented by three Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels; across the shield are three white ribbons symbolising mountains (the tallest representing Mt Everest); atop the shield a blue kiwi holds a gold mountain ice-axe; and at each side are emperor penguins representing Antarctica. The motto, “Nothing Venture, Nothing Win” is the title of Sir Edmund's autobiography.

International Affairs and DefenceSocietyTransportArts and Communication
Defence Review released. PM suggested NZ's withdrawal from ANZUS Council. Government refused entry to Russian research ship. ANZAC frigate deal reached.First school board elections under ‘Tomorrow's Schools’ reforms. Police numbers cut. Changes to national superannuation and other welfare measures announced in Budget. Increases in tertiary student fees announced. Sunday trading began.Shipping Corporation sale finalised. Soviet research ship refused entry to NZ.Outstanding films were J Campion's “Angel at My Table”, V Ward's “The Navigator”, M Sanderson's “Flying Fox in a Freedom tree”. 0800 toll-free telephone service introduced.
Soviet Union became Dairy Board's largest market with $200 million order. NZ Government to resume ministerial visits to Chile and China. Simon Wiesenthal Centre listed 8 alleged war criminals living in NZ. 16 NZ hostages in Kuwait & Iraq freed.Dole for under 18 year olds abolished. Parliament voted to abolish corporal punishment in schools. Government's economic package cuts spending by $2 billion a year, features cuts in welfare payments. First Wild Foods Festival, Hokitika.10,000 sheep died on Como Express ship en route to Saudi Arabia.M Shadbolt awarded NZ Medal. NZ Book Award for poetry won by E Smither for “A Pattern of Marching”. G Preston made notable short film “Ruby & Rata”.
Contingent of 111 from NZ armed forces joined multi-national force in Gulf. NZ Government expelled suspected KGB officer. 3 NZ Army medics with UN inspection team in Iraq detained for 4 days. Government dropped Rainbow Warrior extradition proceedings.Prescription charges rose to $15 per item. Doctors' fees $35. After public protest, Employment Contracts Act passed. $1.75 million Porter report launched. More welfare cuts in Budget. Superannuitants' surtax now 25% on income of $120 a week. Auckland Star ceased publication after 121 years. Entertainer Billy T James died. I Mune filmed “End of the Golden weather.”
Government funded further $11 million for NZ Pavilion at Expo, Seville. Queen Beatrix of Netherlands visited NZ for celebration of 350 years since Abel Tasman's arrival. French suspended nuclear testing in Pacific. NZ won seat in UN Security Council.Unemployment now 215,846. User charges introduced for health care (Community Services cards issued for health subsidies). MPs superannuation cut back. Government sold Housing Corp. mortgages. Haemophiliacs infected with Hepatitis C by imported bloodAuckland ports kept under public ownership after earlier decision to sell 80% shareholding withdrawn.Auckland's Mercury Theatre closed down. B Anderson won Wattie award with “Portrait of the artist's wife”. 2nd was B Boyd's “Vladimir Nabokov; the American years”. Government funded New Zealand arts displayed at Expo, Seville.
Standard & Poors reaffirmed NZ's AA minus, foreign-debt rating. Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations finally settled with 117 countries signing agreement. NZ regarded treaty as promising for farmers exports.Unemployed 279,834. 54% of workers' wages frozen. Police launched strategy reducing neighbourhood crime. Hospital bed charges abolished. Anti-discrimination amendments to Human Rights Act passed. 6,300 welfare beneficiaries found defrauding system.19 died in rail-crossing crashes. Whangarei won ANZAC frigate work contract over 10 yrs. Anti-drink driving laws introduced. After 120 job cuts NZ Rail sold to American consortium. Nomad aircraft crashed on Franz Josef glacier killing 9.M Mahy awarded Order of NZ. J Campion joint winner of Cannes Palme d'Or for “The Piano”; also shown—P Jackson's “Braindead”. Painting by C McCahon sold for $460,000. Wattie Book Award—Gee, M “Going West”
After 9 years. USA resumed political relations with NZ, without restoration of previous alliance. 250 soldiers sent for 6 months' front-line UN duties in Bosnia. NZ Embassy opened in Hanoi. Air Force Hercules & crew sent to Rwanda for refugee relief.Students marched against fee increases. UN report revealed NZ's record for youth suicide & child abuse. State schools to change to 4-term year in 1996. More jobs lost in meat works closures. Double lung transplant performed at Green Lane Hospital.Maritime Transport Bill opened coastal trade to foreign ships. NZ Rail's Lynx fast-ferry made its first crossing of Cook Strait in 90 minutes.Arts patron F Turnovsky died. NZ films included P Jackson's “Heavenly Creatures” & L Tamahori's “Once were Warriors”. Montana Book Award 1st prize—O'Sullivan, V “Let the river stand”. 2nd was Manhire, B “100NZ poems”
PM J Bolger received by President Clinton. ADC held in Auckland; police arrested 35 of 2,000 protesters. HMNZS Tui sailed to Moruroa with protesters against more tests. NZ Ambassador to Paris recalled. CHOGM held in Auckland. Nelson Mandela welcomed.Nga Tapuwae college school board replaced by commissioner, J Graham. High Court ordered Social Welfare to review 65,000 mishandled applications for Special Benefit. Nursing Council reviewed cultural safety teaching in polytech. nursing courses.Desert road closed for 9+1/2 days by snow. International airline Kiwi Air, Hamilton made its first Tasman flight. Mt Ruapehu ash closed roads and flying zone in Central N I. Chch hot air balloon fell in sea killing 3. Air traffic controllers strikes.Montana Book Award won by Ihimaera, W—“Bulibasha”
RNZN serves with MIF in Gulf. Kiwi Air made its last flight.NZ Book Awards amalgamated with Montana Book Awards. Shortlisted books divided into 6 categories. Winner was J Binney—“Redemption Songs; a life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki”

A replica of Captain Cook's barqueEndeavourrests at Cook Cove in Dusky Sound where the original vessel entered in 1773. The replica attracted wide attention when it visited many New Zealand ports during 1996.

2.3 Honours and obituaries 1996

Neil Barr (b. 1908), founder of the organised farm-forestry movement in New Zealand, pioneer and honorary member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, became interested in forestry on his family farm at a time when little was known about it. Through a desire to share experiences he set up a local farm-forestry group in 1950 which subsequently grew into the NZ Farm Forestry Association. Known as a real “people person” and excellent communicator, he spent many voluntary hours promoting agroforestry at conferences, field days and meetings throughout the country, and wrote a regular column (affectionately known as “the word”) in the NZ Farmer for 25 years.

Adam Begg (b. 1931), became the youngest member of the New Zealand Meat Producers Board when, at the age of 37, he was appointed as a government representative in 1969. He served on the board until 1987, as chairman from 1980. Begg was also a member of the Nordmeyer Commission of Inquiry into the meat industry (1974), chaired the Meat Industry Task Force in 1983 and was active in Federated Farmers. He also gave lifelong service to his South Otago community and the Presbyterian Church.

Manuera Benjamin Couch (b. 1925) (Ngai Tahu) was a controversial Minister of Māori Affairs (1978-84), Minister of Police (1980-84) and Postmaster-General (1978-80) who served three terms as National MP for Wairarapa before being defeated in the 1984 Labour landslide. His first speech, in which he said he was a New Zealander first and Māori second, drew scathing criticism. Controversy continued when, in 1981, he defended sporting contact with South Africa as being one of the best ways to help the republic's black people, and supported the return of the birch for criminals. A former builder, shearing contractor and All Black (1947-49), he later served on the NZRFU and, after 1984, spent two years as a Mormon missionary in the Cook Islands.

Taelomu Louisa Crawley (b. 1935) came to New Zealand from Western Samoa on a scholarship to New Plymouth Girls High School. She trained as a teacher and then after a few years in Samoa and Australia settled into life in Christchurch where she was a Christchurch Polytechnic tutor and became a city councillor. Louisa was a foundation member and president of PACIFICA, and active for many years in the New Zealand Labour Party. After moving to Wellington to become deputy director of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, she contributed hugely to Samoan and Pacific Island organisations, and to access radio.

Barry Crump (b. 1935), the original “good keen man” of New Zealand folklore, gained national prominence in 1960 with the publication of A Good Keen Man. It is still in print and has sold 300,000 copies. His life experience as deer culler, pig and possum hunter and adventurer provided the raw material for more than 20 books with total NZ sales topping 1 million (overseas reaching 300,000). A raconteur and actor with humour and common touch, his TV ads for a ute made him popular with a new generation. Barry Crump was always on the move, both in terms of place and in his personal life. He had six wives/partners and fathered nine sons.

Denis Dowling (b. 1910) A distinguished international baritone little known in his own country because he never returned to sing here, Dowling was from Ranfurly, Central Otago, and trained locally. At 20 he was broadcasting and in 1934 won the Melbourne Sun Aria contest which took him to the Royal College of Music in London. His international debut was in Der Rosenkavalier with Sadler's Wells Opera in 1939. War service saw him take part in D Day landings and the liberation of Belsen. In 1948 he rejoined Sadler's Wells, later the English National Opera, singing over 100 roles until retirement in 1984. He was known for his 20th century opera work, and clear diction.

Don Goodfellow (b. 1931), secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen during a period of much industrial turbulence, was respected for his shrewdness, negotiating skills and one-liners, and infamous for his “get knotted” statements during disputes. Goodfellow started in Tauranga as a railway travel assistant in 1956 and quickly became the union's branch secretary. From 1962 to 1974 he was Wellington branch secretary, becoming national secretary in 1977 when membership was around 12,500. At his retirement in 1989, industry restructuring and new technology had forced membership down to about 4,500.

Rob Hall (b. 1960) died on the descent from the summit of Mt Everest, supporting a client. Stranded by a blizzard, he communicated his condition by telephone to base camp and this was relayed by satellite to his pregnant wife in Christchurch. Highly regarded in climbing circles and one of New Zealand's most experienced expedition organisers, Hall had joined his first Himalayan expedition at 19. He reached the top of Everest five times, once with his wife. K2 was conquered in 1994, the first time by a New Zealander. Together with colleague Gary Ball, he set a record in 1990 by scaling the highest summit on each of the seven continents in seven months.

Noel Hilliard (b. 1929) From a Depression childhood spent in railways labour camps Noel Hilliard went on to Victoria University and worked as a journalist with the Southern Cross newspaper. The years 1950-52 were spent in Pukeora Sanatorium with tuberculosis. He became a teacher and in 1960 published his semi-autobiographical novel Māori Girl, the first to deal frankly with modern Māori-Pakeha relations. It became one of the most widely-read novels in New Zealand, selling 35,000 copies, and was translated into Russian and Chinese. He wrote three further novels, a short novel and short stories. Hilliard was chief sub-editor of the New Zealand Listener from 1965 to 1970 and Robert Burns Fellow in 1971.

Robert Holden (b. 1958), one of New Zealand's finest racing motorcyclists, was known for his speed and versatility. He was killed during a practice for the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. Holden began racing at the Victoria University Motorcycle Club in 1975 and went on to win the first of eight national championships, the 125cc title, in 1978. In 1995 he won the Singles TT on the Isle of Man, the Chimay International Superbike race in Belgium, the Ulster Grand Prix and the North West 200 Singles and Superbike races also in Northern Ireland, and the New Zealand Senior TT. Known for his openness and willingness to help new riders, he was given a Motorcycling New Zealand merit award in 1995.

Rochford Hughes (b. 1914) joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1937, and the RAF (as a pilot officer) in 1938. He served with distinction in World War II and later held peacetime commands in Britain, Europe, and in Singapore as commander of the British Far East Air Force. After retiring as an Air Marshal he served as commissioner of the Northland Harbour Board (1973), and was an advisor to Justice Mahon in the investigation following the 1979 Mt Erebus plane crash.

Robert Hurst (b. 1915) was an outstanding scientist, educated at Nelson College, Canterbury University College and Cambridge University. In the UK during World War II he worked on bomb disposal research and was awarded the George Medal for helping defuse the first unexploded flying bomb to land in the UK, in 1944. From 1948 he worked on atomic energy research and development at Harwell and Doun-reay, and in 1963 became research director at the British Ship Research Association, where he worked on computer-aided design in shipbuilding and automation of ship operations.

Robin Irvine (b. 1929) became in 1973 the first Dunedin-born vice-chancellor of Otago University. A 1953 medical graduate, he was awarded a number of fellowships which eventually brought him back to the department of medicine at the Otago Medical School where he became dean in 1969. As vice-chancellor until 1993 he presided over two decades of major change, including ensuring the survival of the medical school in its current form. He was also keenly interested in Antarctic research.

Richard McDonald (b. 1931), Director of the Cook Islands Office of Audit and Inquiries (1983-87), was the first to speak out on fraudulent aspects of the tax haven there. He lost his job as a result. At the time of his death he was in voluntary exile in Queensland after defying the Cook Islands Government by giving evidence in the ‘winebox enquiry’. He faced imprisonment should he return to the Cooks. From 1968-70 he was senior lecturer in Business Administration at Victoria University. He was known to be a man who stood up for what he believed in.

Joan McKenzie (b. 1918) was the first woman to head a New Zealand co-educational secondary school, Mana College in Porirua. She had started there as senior mistress when the school opened in 1957, returning 10 years later as principal, a position she held until 1975. Her 40-year career in education included primary and secondary teaching, a period as school inspector, and membership of the Wellington Teachers' College Council. She was known as a firm but fair disciplinarian with a keen sense of humour.

Jack Newman (b. 1902) took an infectious pride in the achievements of the family transport business, founded in 1879 with a mail and passenger service from Foxhill to Murchison. Becoming managing director in 1935 he pioneered the expansion of the coach tour business immediately post-war, later adding rental cars, camper vans and turbo prop airliners in Newman Air. He later developed the company into TNL Group Ltd. He represented New Zealand on a number of international travel organisations, played cricket for New Zealand 1931-33, and was a life member of the NZ Cricket Council.

Dulcie Nicholls (later Gallagher) (b. 1908) dominated New Zealand women's tennis from her first senior national singles title win in 1929 to her retirement in 1938. In that time she won the national singles title five times, the women's doubles twice and the mixed doubles three times. Her powerful ground strokes, at a time in women's tennis when the emphasis was on placement, made her a feared opponent. The family, originally from Greytown, had an illustrious sporting pedigree; three of Dulcie Nicholls' brothers were All Blacks. She shares with them the honour of a plaque in the Jackson Street, Petone, Walk of Champions.

Thelma Pitt-Turner (b. 1903) set a record in 1984 when, at 81 years old, she became the oldest woman in the world to run a marathon finishing the Hastings Countrywide Bank marathon in 7h 58min. She had previously won a bronze medal in the 1981 World Veteran Road Race championships and set three national age group running records at the 1984 National Veteran Track and Field Championships. On her running retirement she took up weightlifting to strengthen her arms. Earlier in her life, in 1922, she competed in the first Annette Kellerman Ocean Cup race in Wellington harbour and helped form the first women's surf lifesaving team at Lyall Bay in 1920. She was a former Russian ballet mistress and adagio dancer.

Athol Rafter (b. 1913) was sent overseas in 1948 by the NZ Government to learn how nuclear technology could benefit this country. In the early 1950s he set up the first radiocarbon dating facility in the southern hemisphere at Gracefield, using equipment produced in the DSIR workshop. He was the first scientist to detect increased concentrations of radiocarbon in the southern hemisphere atmosphere and sea water as a result of nuclear testing. His atmospheric studies provided information on the build-up of greenhouse gases. He worked with archeologists on radiocarbon dating and with soil scientists on understanding the fixation of atmospheric carbon in soils. Dr Rafter promoted new radioisotopes to the medical profession for the treatment of blood and thyroid cancers, leading to the establishment of hospital nuclear medicine departments.

Eve Rimmer (b. 1937) won more than 30 medals as a paraplegic athlete after a car accident in 1952 when she was 15. In 1968 at the Paraplegic Olympics in Tel Aviv she won a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze, and subsequently competed in five more Paralympics. Eve was the only paraplegic athlete inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. She also wrote a best-seller, No Grass Between My Toes, was sought after as a public speaker, and lectured to medical students on the sex life of paraplegics. She was a straight talker who wrote in her book and spoke publicly about the frustrations of paraplegia.

Greenpeace protesters abseil down the face of the French Embassy building in Wellington, January 1996, in protest at the latest nuclear test blast. France subsequently announced it was ending its nuclear testing programme in the Pacific.

Violet Robb (nee Walrond) (b. 1910), champion swimmer, was New Zealand's first woman Olympian, in a team of four who represented New Zealand in 1920 in Antwerp (our first time as a separate Olympic nation). Every New Zealand team member made their finals. Violet was only 15 and the swimming pool was a World War I defence canal. On the way home she won a gold medal in a five-mile championship swum down the Thames. At 17, after winning the 100m in the Australian championships, her father decided it was time for her to retire.

Hugh Sew Hoy (b. 1901), doyen of the Dunedin Chinese community and grandson of Chinese New Zealand pioneer Choie (Charles) Sew Hoy, continued the small business empire his grandfather founded, expanding from importing into sausage making, clothing manufacture, haberdashery and furniture. At its peak the business employed more than 600 staff and was one of the first to develop markets using the New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement, exporting to retailers such as Coles, Myers and Target. After an initial stay (1920-22) Hugh Sew Hoy returned to Canton for 16 years. In 1938 he settled in Dunedin permanently but because of the Japanese invasion of China his wife and six children were able to join him only in 1947. He acted as translator and interpreter for others in the Chinese community and was the first Chinese New Zealander to receive an OBE.

John Spencer (b. 1931), celebrated yacht designer and former Auckland architectural draughtsman, created the international cherub and javelin classes of dinghies in the 1950s. A self-taught boat builder and designer, he started in a Devonport yard, moving later to Browns Bay and Russell. Spencer's designs ranged from runabouts to ocean-going race yachts emphasising narrow-beam, light displacement designs. In larger yachts he used glassfibre as a skin over ply—most famously in the yacht Infidel, which won the Transpac race from California to Hawaii. His boats were known for being quick and having a high standard of finish and seaworthiness.

David Tudhope (b. 1921) chaired the Shell BP Todd consortium when it found the Maui gasfield in 1969 and helped steer the project for a decade until it reached commercial production. During his 32-year career at Shell he was also very involved in the expansion of Marsden Point oil refinery and the introduction of carless days after the second oil shock. A Cambridge-trained lawyer, Tudhope had been in the RNZAF's Bomber Command Pathfinder Force and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and bar in 1944. Retiring in 1981 after 14 years as managing director of Shell Oil New Zealand, he chaired National Mutual and the National Bank.

Charlie Tumahai (b. 1949, d. 1995) was a musician, composer and singer best known as lead singer of the popular NZ Pacific-reggae band, Herbs. He began playing in hotels in Tahiti when his Ngati Whatua mother and all 11 children went there with their Tahitian father in 1968. He moved on to the Sydney cabaret circuit and in the late 1960s with the rock band Healing Force recorded Golden Miles, now an Australian classic. He went to the UK with a group which folded but joined Be-Bop Deluxe as bass, recording four albums and a top-10 single. Returning to New Zealand in 1985 he joined Herbs as lead singer, song writer and music arranger. In recent times he was a Ngati Whatua court volunteer for young defendants and their families, and was developing an arts programme for prison inmates.

Piet van Asch (b. 1911), born on a farm near Havelock North, was the pioneer of aerial mapping in New Zealand. During the lean years of the Depression he developed his photographic, mapping and flying skills. In London, with earnings from mapping work undertaken there, he bought a Monospars aircraft with which aerial mapping began in 1937 in the South Island. This eventually covered the whole country and out into the Pacific, with close support from the Air Force. Vague survey maps were turned into modern cadastrals and his photographs played vital roles from archaeology, earth sciences, town planning and in search and rescue.

Terry Vaughan (b. 1915) had a theatrical and musical career most closely associated with the legendary Kiwi Concert Party of World War II. It performed in often appalling conditions, from cold such that the servicemen audience deserted, to stinging sandstorms. Immediately post-war the Concert Party toured in Australia for six years with Vaughan as musical director, arranger, designer and comedian. He had studied music at Canterbury University College and the Royal Academy in London in the 1930s, and later serious music compositions won national competitions and were performed. In 1955 he joined JC Williamson Theatres in Australia as casting and musical director and in 1965 became director of the first large-scale arts complex in Australia, the Canberra Theatre Centre.

Te Waari Kahukura (Ward) Whaitiri (b. 1912) was born in the Chatham Islands of a Ngati Mutunga mother and Ngai Tahu father and went to sea at 11 (saying he was 13). He rose to the position of Master Mariner, commanding coastal traders around the New Zealand coast for the Anchor and then Union companies. During World War II he was in convoys on the dangerous route from Britain to Murmansk. In 1975 containerisation led to redundancy, shore life and work with the Māori Affairs Department, supporting Māori and Pacific Island youth who appeared in court. Ward regained his boyhood fluency in te reo Māori, was active in the Pensioners and Beneficiaries Association, and also appeared in a number of films and in the opera Waituhi in 1984.


  • 2.1-2.3 Statistics New Zealand.

All compilations rely on earlier work. Acknowledgement is made to other publications such as the New Zealand Book of Events, New Zealand encyclopedias, almanacs, and newspapers.

Chapter 3. Government

Visitors stream through the renovated Parliamentary Library in Wellington during an open day in January 1996.

3.1 Constitution

New Zealand's constitutional history can be traced back to 1840 when by the Treaty of Waitangi the Māori people exchanged their sovereignty for the guarantees of the treaty and New Zealand became a British colony. Five years earlier on 28 October 1835, an assembly of the Confederation of Chiefs of the United Tribes of New Zealand had proclaimed the country independent and signed the ‘Declaration of Independence’. 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.

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 controlled proceedings in Parliament and cases of Government members voting with the Opposition were uncommon.

Recent constitutional reform

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 the existing 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 (MMP) 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.

In a second referendum held in conjunction with the 1993 general election, 1,917,883 voters chose between the present first past the post system and mixed member proportional representation. The result is shown in table 3.14. Provision for that referendum was made in the Electoral Referendum Act 1993, and details of the MMP system are set out in that act.

Human Rights Act 1993. The Human Rights Act came into force on 1 February 1994. It amalgamates the Race Relations Act 1971 and the Human Rights Commission Act 1977 and adds five new prohibited grounds of discrimination. There are now 13 prohibited grounds of discrimination: sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status and sexual orientation. The areas in which it is unlawful to discriminate are the same as in the former legislation: employment; access to places, vehicles and facilities; provision of goods and services; provision of land, housing and other accommodation; and access to educational establishments. The act also contains provisions relating to racial disharmony, sexual harassment, and racial harassment.

The act introduces new procedures to assist with the resolution of complaints. The Human Rights Commission is restructured and now includes a Complaints Division to deal specifically with complaints. After investigating a complaint the Complaints Division may call a compulsory conference in order to identify the matters in issue between the parties and to explore the possibility of reaching an amicable settlement. Where a complaint cannot be settled and proceedings are commenced before the Complaints Review Tribunal the chairperson of the tribunal has the power to make interim orders to preserve the position of the parties pending final determination of the proceedings. If a party is dissatisfied with the decision of the tribunal and appeals to the High Court, there is now a further right of appeal to the Court of Appeal on a question of law.

3.2 Parliament and the Cabinet

House of Representatives

At the heart of the parliamentary system lies the power to make laws that is vested by the Constitution Act 1986 in the Parliament of New Zealand, which consists of the Sovereign in right of New Zealand (normally represented by the Governor-General) and an elected House of Representatives.

The 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. At the same time, the law forbids the Crown to tax citizens without express parliamentary approval. Private members are now able under Standing Orders to initiate proposals involving expenditure or taxation but the Government has an absolute right to veto such proposals if in its view they would have more than a minor impact on the Government's fiscal aggregates. Until the Constitution Act is amended, a positive recommendation from the Crown will still be required before the House may pass a bill making an appropriation.

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. Unless there is a new session, at the commencement of business in the second and third years of the parliamentary term, the Prime Minister's statement reviews public affairs and outlines the Government's legislative and other policy intentions for the year ahead.

The historic first seating of the first MMP Parliament, 16 December 1996.

The Speaker, elected by the House, is the principal presiding officer, maintaining order in proceedings and ensuring 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.

Standing orders. On 20 December 1995 the House of Representatives adopted new Standing Orders, or rules of procedure, and these were brought into force on 20 February 1996. The new Standing Orders were adopted in anticipation of a House of Representatives to be elected under the Mixed Member Proportional System (MMP) at the general election of 1996. The background to the changes is set out in the Report of the Standing Orders Committee on the Review of Standing Orders (Parl paper I. 18A, 1995). Amendments were made in August 1996 (Parl paper I. 18B, 1996).

Role of parties. It has been the role of the opposition party with the highest number of seats to present itself to the people as an alternative government, attacking government policy and attempting to demonstrate inefficiency, and government or departmental mismanagement. Under an electoral system providing majority governments it has been 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 has been characterised by two large, dominant parties, with the majority party forming the Government and the minority party forming the Opposition. In recent years, however, members of other parties 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 or have formed new parties.

It is less likely under MMP that any single party will command an absolute majority in the House and be able to form a government on its own account. The new Standing Orders provide expressly for parties to be recognised in the House. This is reflected in various procedures, for instance in relation to voting. The principle of proportionality to party membership in the House is accorded weight, such as for participation in debate and the asking of oral questions.

Because of 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.

Party representation. The number of seats held by parties in the House of Representatives at the 1993 general election had changed so that by the time of the 1996 general election the position was: National 41; Labour 41; United New Zealand 7; New Zealand First 4; Alliance 2; Christian Democrats 1; New Zealand Conservative 1; Independent 1; vacant, 1.

The general election held on 12 October 1996 did not produce an outright majority of seats for either of the two main political parties. National (previously in coalition with the United New Zealand party) or Labour. A coalition agreement was concluded between National and New Zealand First on 11 December 1996 and the new Ministry was sworn in on 16 December 1996.

In the first House of Representatives to be elected under the Mixed Member Proportional system (MMP), there are: National 44 (30 electorate, 14 party list); Labour 37 (26 electorate, 11 party list); New Zealand First 17 (6 electorate, 11 party list); Alliance 13 (1 electorate, 12 party list); Act New Zealand 8 (1 electorate, 7 party list); United New Zealand (1 electorate).

The first change since the general election occurred in April 1997 when Jim Gerard, List MP, resigned to take up the position of High Commissioner to Canada. He was replaced by Annabel Young, the next candidate on the National Party List, who took her seat in the House on 23 April 1997.

Legislative procedures. Proposed laws are presented to the House of Representatives in the form of draft laws known as “bills”. Classes of bills are: public bills, which deal with matters of public policy, most of them being Government bills but a number being non-ministerial Members' bills; local bills, which are promoted by local authorities to give them special powers or validate unlawful actions they may have taken and which affect particular localities; and private bills, promoted by individuals or bodies (such as companies or trusts) for their particular interest or benefit.

All types of bills follow a similar procedure in the House, with every bill being required by the Standing Orders of the House to be “read” three times. A local bill or a private bill must also comply with prescribed preliminary procedures, which entail advertising the bill before its introduction into the House. The number of Members' bills that may be introduced and proceed at any one time to second reading is limited to three, chosen by ballot.

Under the current Standing Orders a bill is introduced by being read a first time without any question put. The bill is then set down for second reading on the third sitting day following the first reading. The second reading of a bill is directed to the principles and objects of the bill. Debate on the second reading is limited to 12 speeches, in the case of a Government bill, or 6 speeches for other bills, of 10 minutes each.

After its second reading a bill is referred to a select committee of the House for consideration unless it is an Appropriation Bill, an Imprest Supply Bill, or a bill that has been accorded urgency for its passing. Formerly, bills were referred to a select committee directly after their first reading but that now happens only where in certain circumstances a bill is introduced while the House is adjourned.

Select committee consideration of bills provides an opportunity for the public and interested bodies to make submissions in the expectation that better law will result. Committees also carry out scrutiny functions in relation to such matters as estimates, financial reviews and petitions. A committee must finally report to the House on a bill within 6 months of the bill being referred to it, unless the House extends that time. In its report recommending amendments to a bill, the committee must distinguish between those adopted unanimously by the committee and those adopted by a majority.

Following presentation of a select committee report on a bill, the report is set down for consideration on the third sitting day following. At the conclusion of the debate on the report the House decides whether to agree to the amendments recommended by the select committee by majority. The House then decides whether the bill should proceed.

A bill which the House agrees should proceed is set down for consideration in a committee of the whole House next sitting day, unless the Business Committee decides that the bill does not require consideration in committee. “In committee” the bill is considered clause by clause.

Once a bill has been fully considered by the committee it is reported to the House with any amendments that have been agreed to. The House having adopted the report, the bill is then set down for third reading next sitting day. Debate on the third reading is limited to 12 speeches of 10 minutes each.

After a third reading has been given, the bill that has been passed by the House is forwarded to the Governor-General for the Royal assent. The bill then becomes an Act of Parliament and part of the law of New Zealand.

Sessions of Parliament. The first session of the 45th New Zealand Parliament was called following the General Election of 12 October 1996, and began sitting on 12 December 1996.

Parliamentary Service—Te Ratonga Whare Paremata. The Parliamentary Service provides administrative and support services to 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 Service Commission which currently consists of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as chairperson, and eight members, two of whom are representatives of the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition, four other members agreed to by the House and two further members who are appointed as observers on behalf of other parties.

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.

  • 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 was also responsible for managing the major project to strengthen and refurbish Parliament House and the Parliamentary Library. The project began in August 1992 and it was completed, at an estimated cost of $164 million, in time for members to occupy the restored building for the 1996 parliamentary year. The building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 2 November 1995.


 ParliamentPeriod of session
Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives
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
Forty-fourth 21 December 1993-6 September 1996
Forty-fifth 12 December 1996-



* Forty-fourth Parliament.

† Second session, forty-second Parliament.

‡ First session, forty-third Parliament.

§ Second session, forty-third Parliament.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Sitting days5610224203
Government Bills
Referred to select committees339124117
Members' Bills
Referred to select committees403229
Local Bills
Referred to select committees502518
Private Bills
Referred to select committees301111

Salaries and allowances of parliamentarians. These are set by the Higher Salaries Commission and are shown in table 3.5 below. A constituency allowance is paid at a rate dependent on the nature of each member's electorate, eg urban, rural, or semi-rural, and ranges from $8,000 to $20,000. A list member is paid an allowance of $4,000 per year. 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 $125 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 $6,875. Travel allowances are set out in the regulation, Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 1996/55.


 Annual salary or allowance payable from 13 October 1996*

*Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination S.R. 1996/55.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Members of the Executive
Prime Minister185,500
Deputy Prime Minister141,500
Minister of the Crown with portfolio in Cabinet126,000
Minister of the Crown with portfolio outside Cabinet115,000
Minister of the Crown without portfolio97,000
Parliamentary Under-Secretary97,000
Officers of the House of Representatives
Deputy Speaker100,000
Assistant Speaker79,500
Chairpersons of Select Committees77,500
Leader and Deputy of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition126,000
Leader of other parties (depending on number of party MPs)82,500-90,000
Senior Whips86,500
Junior Whips81,500
Members of Parliament
Member of Parliament74,500
Prime Minister29,500
Deputy Prime Minister13,000
Minister of the Crown with portfolio12,000
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 allowance8,500
Deputy Speaker—basic expenses allowance9,500
additional allowance7,500
Assistant Speaker—basic expenses allowance7,000
additional allowance1,000
Leader of the Opposition—basic expenses allowance12,000
Leader of other parties (depending on number of party MPs)10,000
Deputy Leader—basic expenses allowance7,000
additional allowance2,000
Constituency Members—basic expenses allowance7,000
List Members4,000

Table 3.6 lists members of the House of Representatives during the 45th Parliament. The final results of the 1996 General Election were printed in the report The General Election (printed as Parl paper E.9).


Prime Minister—Rt Hon JB Bolger.
Leader of the Opposition—Rt Hon Helen Clark.
Speaker—Hon D Kidd.
Deputy Speaker—I Revell.
Clerk of the House—DG McGee.
Member*Year of birthPrevious occupationElectorate/listParty

*Names are given by which individual members prefer to be addressed.

† Resigned April 1997.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Anae, Arthur1946Company directorlistNational
Anderton, Jim1938Company directorWigramAlliance
Awatere Huata, Donna1949Māori development consultantlistACT
Bank, Hon John1946RestaurateurWhangareiNational
Barker, Rick1951Trade unionistTukitukiLabour
Barnett, Tim1958Vol. sector managerChristchurch CentralLabour
Batten, Reverend Ann1944Anglican MinisterlistNZF
Birch, Rt Hon Bill1934Consultant surveyor-engineerPort WaikatoNational
Bloxham, Mrs Jenny1949BusinesswomanlistNZF
Bolger, Rt Hon Jim1935FarmerTaranaki/King CountryNational
Bradford, Hon Max1942Administrator, consultantRotoruaNational
Braybrooke, Geoff1935Sales managerNapierLabour
Brown, Peter1939Company directorlistNZF
Brownlee, Gerry1956TeacherIlamNational
Bunkle, Phillida1944University lecturerlistAlliance
Burton, Mark1956Community education organiserTaupoLabour
Carter, David1952Businessman, farmerBanks PeninsulaNational
Carter, John1950Local government officerNorthlandNational
Clark, Rt Hon Helen1950University lecturerOwairakaLabour
Corkery, Pam1956JournalistlistAlliance
Creech, Hon Wyatt1946AccountantWairarapaNational
Cullen, Hon Dr Michael1945University lecturerDunedin SouthLabour
Dalziel, Lianne1960Trade unionistlistLabour
Delamere, Hon Tuariki John1950Regional director TPKTe Tai RawhitiNZF
Donald, Rod1957Vol. sector administratorlistAlliance
Donnelly, Hon Brian1949School principallistNZF
Dunne, Hon Peter1954Deputy chief executive officerOhariu/BelmontUnited
Duynhoven, Harry1955TeacherNew PlymouthLabour
Dyson, Ruth1957Employment consultantlistLabour
East, Hon Paul QC1946Barrister and solicitorlistNational
Elder, Hon Jack1949TeacherlistNZF
English, Hon Bill1961FarmerClutha/SouthlandNational
Field, Taito Phillip1952Trade unionistMangereLabour
Fitzsimons, Jeanette1945Organic farmer, environment consultantlistAlliance
Fletcher, Hon Chris1955ManagerEpsomNational
Gerard, Jim†1937FarmerlistNational
Gillon, Grant1954EngineerlistAlliance
Goff, Hon Phil1953University lecturerNew LynnLabour
Gordon, Liz1955University lecturerlistAlliance
Gosche, Mark1955Trade unionistlistLabour
Graham, hon DAM1942Barrister and solicitorlistNational
Gresham, Hon Peter1933AccountantlistNational
Grover, Mr Frank1940Barrister and solicitorlistAlliance
Harré, Laila1966Barrister and solicitorlistAlliance
Hasler, Marie1948BusinesswomanWaitakereNational
Hawke, Joe1940Marae worker, housing consultantlistLabour
Hawkins, George1946TeacherManurewaLabour
Henare, Hon Tau1960Advisory officerTe Tai TokerauNZF
Herlihy, Gavan1947FarmerOtagoNational
Hide, Rodney1956Economic consultantlistACT
Hobbs, Marian1947TeacherlistLabour
Hodgson, Pete1950VeterinarianDunedin NorthLabour
Hunt, Rt Hon Jonathan1938TeacherlistLabour
Jennings, Owen1946FarmerlistACT
Keall, Judy1942ConsultantOtakiLabour
Kelly, Graham1941Trade unionistManaLabour
Kidd, Hon Doug1941Barrister and solicitorKaikouraNational
King, hon Annette1945Chief executive officerRongotaiLabour
Kirton, Hon Neil1956Health managerlistNZF
Kopu, Alamein1943Vol. sector workerlistAlliance
Kyd, Warren1939Barrister and solicitorHunuaNational
Lee, Sandra1952Local authority memberlistAlliance
Luxton, Hon John1946FarmerKarapiroNational
Mackey, Janet1953Real estate agentMahiaLabour
McCardle, Hon Peter1951Manager NZESlistNZF
McCully, Hon Murray1953Public relations consultantAlbanyNational
McDonald, Hon Robyn1951Skills trainerlistNZF
McKinnon, Rt Hon Don1939Real estate agentlistNational
McLauchlan, Joy1948Executive officerlistNational
McLean, Murray1949BusinessmanCoromandelNational
Maharey, Steve1953University lecturerPalmerston NorthLabour
Mahuta, Nanaia1970Archivist librarianlistLabour
Mallard, Trevor1954Executive assistantHutt SouthLabour
Mapp, Dr Wayne1952Law lecturerNorth ShoreNational
Mark, Ron1954Businessman, ex army officerlistNZF
Marshall, Hon Denis1943Farmer and company directorRangitikeiNational
Maxwell, Hon Roger1941FarmerlistNational
Moore, Rt Hon Mike1949Freezing workerWaimakaririLabour
Morgan, Tukoroirangi1958Television journalistTe Tai HauauruNZF
Morris, Hon Deborah1970Policy analystlistNZF
Neeson, Brian1945Real estate agentWaipareiraNational
Newman, Dr Muriel1950Tertiary and secondary teacher, business managerlistACT
O'Connor, Damien1958Tourism operatorWest Coast/TasmanLabour
O'Regan, Hon Katherine1946FarmerlistNational
Peck, Mark1953Trade unionistInvercargillLabour
Peters, Hon Winston1945Barrister and solicitorTaurangaNZF
Pettis, Jill1952Education administratorWanganuiLabour
Prebble, Hon Richard1948Barrister and solicitorWellington CentralACT
Quigley, Hon Derek1932Restructuring consultantlistACT
Revell, Ian1948Police officerNorthcoteNational
Robertson, H V Ross1949Industrial engineerManukau EastLabour
Robson, Matt1950Barrister and solicitorlistAlliance
Roy, Eric1948Farmer/company directorlistNational
Ryall, Tony1964AccountantBay of PlentyNational
Samuels, Mr Dover1939Company directorlistLabour
Schnauer, Patricia1942Barrister and solicitorlistACT
Shipley, Hon Jenny1952FarmerRakaiaNational
Shirley, Hon Ken1950Executive directorlistACT
Simcock, Bob1946Deer farmerHamilton WestNational
Simich, Clem1939General managerTamakiNational
Smith, Dr the Hon Lockwood1948Managing directorRodneyNational
Smith, Hon Nick1964EngineerNelsonNational
Sowry, Hon Roger1958Retail managerlistNational
Steel, Tony1941TeacherHamilton EastNational
Sutherland, Larry1951Trade unionistChristchurch EastLabour
Sutton, Hon Jim1941FarmerAorakiLabour
Swain, Paul1951Trade unionistRimutakaLabour
te Heuheu, Georgina1943Consultant, advocate Treaty issueslistNational
Tizard, Judith1956Electorate secretaryAuckland CentralLabour
Turia, TarianaIwi development workerlistLabour 
Upton, Hon Simon1958Student, teacherlistNational
Vernon, Belinda1958Financial controllerMaungakiekieNational
Waitai, Rana1943Police superintendentTe Puku o te WhenuaNZF
White, Jill1941NurselistLabour
Williamson, Hon Maurice1951Planning analystPakurangaNational
Wong, Pansy1955AccountantlistNational
Woolerton, R Doug1944FarmerlistNZF
Wright, John1945Motor mechaniclistAlliance
Wyllie, Tutekawa1955Māori fishing lobbyistTe Tai TongaNZF
Yates, Dianne1943Education officerlistLabour
Young, Annabel1956Business advisorlistNational

Some of the record number of women MPs in the 45th Parliament.


Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan ONZ, MP for the Southern Māori electorate from 1967 to 1996, beneath a portrait of her father Sir Eruera Tirikatene, who represented Southern Māori from 1932 to 1967.

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 party or parties with the confidence of 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 under-secretaries, who are not ministers and not members of the Executive Council, to assist ministers.

Cabinet and the Executive Council. The Cabinet and the Executive Council have separate functions. All ministers are members of the Executive Council, but not all ministers are in 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 vehicle for law-making by the executive. The authority to make statutory regulations, for example, is delegated by Parliament to the Governor-General 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 once a decision is made it will be publicly supported by all members of the Government. 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.

First sitting of the Coalition Government's Cabinet.


Source: Cabinet Office
His Excellency The Rt Hon Sir Michael Hardie Boys GCMG (assumed office 21 March 1996).
Official Secretary: Hugo Judd, CVO
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, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.
Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer.
Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Minister for Ministerial Services.
Rt Hon W F Birch, Minister of Finance, Minister of Revenue.
Hon Jenny Shipley, Minister of State Services, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister of Transport, Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance, Minister Responsible for Radio New Zealand Ltd.
Hon Douglas Graham, Minister of Justice, Minister for Courts, Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.
Hon Tau Henare, Minister of Māori Affairs, Minister for Racing. Associate Minister for Sport, Fitness and Leisure.
Hon Paul East, QC, Attorney-General, Minister of Defence, Minister of Corrections, Minister in Charge of War Pensions, Minister in Charge of the Audit Department.
Dr Hon Lockwood Smith, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Minister for International Trade, Minister Responsible for Contact Energy Ltd.
Hon Peter McCardle, Minister of Employment.
Hon Wyatt Creech, Minister of Education, Leader of the House.
Hon Simon Upton, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Crown Research Institutes, Minister for Biosecurity, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Hon Jack Elder, Minister of Police, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Civil Defence.
Hon Bill English, Minister of Health.
Hon John Luxton, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Lands. Minister for Industry, Associate Minister of Agriculture.
Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Minister of Communications, Minister for Information Technology, Minister of Statistics.
Hon John Delamere, Associate Treasurer, Minister in Charge of the Valuation Department, Minister in Charge of the Public Trust Office.
Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Housing, Minister of Tourism, Minister for Sport, Fitness and Leisure.
Hon Max Bradford, Minister of Labour, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Energy, Minister of Business Development.
Hon Roger Sowry, Minister of Social Welfare.
Ministers Outside Cabinet:
Hon Brian Donnelly, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office, Associate Minister of Education.
Hon Chris Fletcher, Minister of Women's Affairs, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Minister of Local Government.
Hon Dr Nick Smith, Minister of Conservation, Associate Minister of Education, Associate Minister of Social Welfare.
Hon Deborah Morris, Minister of Youth Affairs. Associate Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance, Associate Minister for the Environment.
Hon Neil Kirton, Minister of Customs, Associate Minister of Health.
Hon Robyn McDonald, Minister for Senior Citizens, Minister of Consumer Affairs.

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. Māori and persons of Māori descent may choose to enrol for either a Māori or general electorate, but may make the choice only at certain times. The electoral rolls are maintained by the Electoral Enrolment Centre, a division of New Zealand Post.

Table 3.9. VOTING PATTERNS: 1981-1996

YearElectors on Master RollValid votes*Informal votes*Special votes disallowedVotes cast to electors on Master Roll

* Party votes in 1996.

† There were 2,061,746 valid electorate votes cast in 1996, and 18,796 informal electorate votes.

Source: Ministry of Justice


Voting. The conduct of polls is the responsibility of the Chief Electoral Office of the Ministry 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. 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.

Electoral boundaries. The boundaries of electorates are revised every five years after the Census of Population and Dwellings, and the new boundaries come into effect at the expiry of the parliamentary term during which the revision is finalised. The revision is based on figures for the electoral population provided by Statistics New Zealand.

The electoral boundaries are defined by the Representation Commission, which has seven members: a chairperson; four officials (the Surveyor-General, the Government Statistician, the Chief Electoral Officer, and the Chairman of the Local Government Commission); and two members nominated by Parliament to represent the Government and the Opposition.

When determining the boundaries of the Māori electoral districts, the commission is joined by the Chief Executive Officer of Te Puni Kokiri and two Māori nominated by Parliament to represent the Government and the Opposition.


After provisional boundaries are drawn up and published, objections and counter-objections are considered by the commission, which makes a final decision.

The 1995 Representation Commission report set electoral boundaries for the election of the first MMP Parliament. This required a large reduction in the number of electorates. Under the Electoral Act 1993, the South Island is allocated 16 general electorates. The numbers of North Island General and of Māori electorates are then calculated so that their electoral populations are approximately the same as those for South Island General electorates. The commission is also required to give consideration to community of interest, facilities of communications, topographical features, and any projected variation in the general electoral population of the electorates.

Based on the South Island General electoral population of 827,945, the South Island General electorate quota was 51,747, resulting in 44 North Island General electorates (quota 51,866) and 5 Māori electorates (quota 52,844). All electorates have an allowance of 5 percent above or below their electoral population quota. Of the 60 General electorates, 28 have Māori names.

As there was major overhaul of boundaries with the reduction of general electorates from 99 to 60, there were large numbers of objections (885) and counter-objections (446).


General election results. A triennial election of Members of Parliament was last held on 12 October 1996. The previous election was held on 6 November 1993. The total number of electors on the master roll for the 1996 election was 2,418,587. A total of 2,080,542 votes were cast, representing 88.3 percent of electors on the master roll.


Political partyNumber of MPs

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

Source: Ministry of Justice

New Labour--1--
New Zealand First---217
United New Zealand----1

Section of the crowd waiting for election results outside the Otago Daily Times building, election night 1925.


Political partyValid votesPercentage of total valid votes

* Christian Coalition 1996.

† Party votes.

Source: Ministry of Justice

Christian Heritage*---3874989716---2.024.33
Mana Motuhake5989978910869--0.310.530.60--
New Labour--94171----5.16--
New Zealand First---161481276603---8.4013.35
United New Zealand----18245----0.88
     Total valid votes19292011831777182409219227962072359100.00100.00100.00100.00100.00
Informal votes75651118410180113648183

Percentage of enrolled electors voting at general elections


 Constituency SeatsParty List
Source: Ministry of Justice
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis419
Christian Coalitioin3741
Mana Māori718
McGillicuddy Serious4565
Natural Law6465
NZ Conservative620
New Zealand First6562
Progressive Greens2315
The Libertarianz224
United new Zealand2529
            Total Candidates611670

General Licensing Poll. In 1990 the national triennial liquor licensing poll was abolished. Four local restoration poll votes were held at the same time as the 1996 General Election, in Eden, Grey Lynn, Roskill and Tawa. Local restoration received a majority in Grey Lynn.


Voting issueVotesPercentage of vote
Source: Ministry of Justice
First past the post88496446.14
Mixed member proportional103291953.86

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 legislation was amended in 1995 to place retired High Court Judges conducting Commissions of Inquiry in the same position as serving High Court Judges acting in that position and to clarify that serving and High Court Judges acting as Commissioners can punish a person guilty for contempt of the Commission as if that person were guilty of contempt of Court.

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.

3.3 State sector

The state sector exists to put in place the policies of the Government of the day. The sector is made up of government departments. Crown entities and state owned enterprises. At 31 December 1996 the number of staff employed in the 39 public service departments was 33,011, almost 1,000 fewer than at December 1995 when the total was 33,982. Social Welfare had staff reductions of approximately 550 and the balance was largely from the reduction in temporary staff employed by Statistics New Zealand for the 1996 Census and temporary IRD staff.

State sector reform

The series of reforms that have occurred in New Zealand since the introduction of the State Owned Enterprises Act in 1986 are well known throughout the world for their comprehensiveness and impact on New Zealand's state sector. During 1994-95 the Department of Justice was restructured. The Ministry of Justice, the Department of Corrections and Department for Courts now are responsible for the myriad of functions that were previously the exclusive domain of the Department of Justice.

A new department. Land Information New Zealand, and a separate SOE, Terralink New Zealand were formed from the former Department of Survey and Land Information (DOSLI) on 1 July 1996.

As the largest of the reform tasks appears to be over, the next phase is to ensure any minor structural retunings continue to allow the state sector to function in the coherent and businesslike fashion the reform process has intended to encourage. Examples of this during 1995 were the creation of the Ministry of Fisheries from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the reorganisation of the Department of Survey and Land Information.

Recently added to the three initial pieces of reform legislation (the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986, the State Sector Act 1988 and the Public Finance Act 1989), the Fiscal Responsibility Act 1994 requires Government to manage the Crown's finances in ways that:

  • increase the transparency of policy intentions and the economic and fiscal consequence of policy;

  • bring a long-term (as well as annual) focus to budgeting;

  • disclose the aggregate impact of a Budget in advance of the detailed annual budget allocations;

  • ensure independent assessment and reporting of fiscal policy; and

  • facilitate parliamentary and public scrutiny of economic and fiscal information and plans.

The act also requires the Crown to take a strategic view of the objectives of government, publishing the Budget Policy Statement and related documents.

This desire to view the activities of government in a strategic manner is one of the strengths of the new public service management system. The Government has now devised and published its key objectives in the medium term as Strategic Result Areas (SRAs). These SRAs are converted by the public service into contributory key result areas for each department. These are significant steps forward. Key result areas are a basis for both departmental planning and the assessment of departmental performance.

Decentralisation and devolution of managerial decision-making responsibilities to individual departments have altered the roles of the previously very powerful ‘control agencies’—the Treasury and the State Services Commission. The Treasury, the State Services Commission and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet—now ‘central agencies’ rather than ‘control agencies’—fulfil many of the functions of the state sector's ‘corporate office’, with responsibilities for ensuring co-ordination, and collective approaches where these are necessary—usually through guidelines, conventions and information-sharing rather than rules.

Departments do not have absolute autonomy in the new system. There is a high level of interdepartmental work in the interests of co-ordination and good government. Recent examples of guidelines to assist the public service that have been produced by central agencies include Working Under Proportional Representation: A Reference for the Public Service and Public Service Principles, Conventions and Practice, both published by the State Services Commission, and Fiscal Responsibility Act 1994—An Explanation, published by the Treasury.

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:

  • Recommending the most suitable candidates for chief executive appointments.

  • Reviewing the performance of departmental chief executives.

  • Developing chief executives and, in consultation with chief executives, developing public service senior managers.

  • Reporting to government as directed on the implementation of its key policies.

  • Advising on industrial relations and personnel policies.

  • Advising on performance management, service-wide systems and organisational structures.

The commission also helps government to manage 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.

Staff numbers, full-time equivalents (FTEs)

Ratio of male to female staff

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 31 May 1997.

† Announced May 1997.

Agriculture, Ministry ofDirector-GeneralB Ross
Audit DepartmentController and Auditor-GeneralD Macdonald
Commerce, Ministry ofSecretaryP Carpinter
Corrections, Department ofChief ExecutiveM Byers
Conservation, Department ofDirector-GeneralHugh Logan†
Courts, Department forChief ExecutiveW Bailey
Crown Law OfficeSolicitor-GeneralJJ McGrath QC
Cultural Affairs, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveCH Blake
Customs Service, New ZealandComptrollerGW Ludlow
Defence, Ministry ofSecretaryGC Hensley
Education, Ministry ofSecretaryH Fancy
Education Review OfficeChief Review OfficerJE Aitken
Environment, Ministry for theSecretaryD Church
Fisheries, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveW Tuck
Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry ofSecretaryRF Nottage
Forestry, Ministry ofSecretaryJM Valentine
Government Superannuation FundActing Chief ExecutiveMel Smith
Health, Ministry ofDirector-GeneralK Poutasi
Housing, Ministry ofChief Executivevacant
Inland Revenue DepartmentCommissionerG Holland
Internal Affairs, Department ofChief ExecutiveR Blakely
Justice, Ministry ofActing SecretaryD Smyth
Labour, Department ofSecretaryJM Chetwin
Land Information New Zealand Māori Development, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveN Love
National LibraryActing National LibrarianD Jenkins
Pacific Island AffairsActing Chief ExecutiveK Lackey
Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department ofChief ExecutiveS Murdoch
Public Trust OfficePublic TrusteeDR Hutton
Research, Science and Technology, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveJ Buwalda
Serious Fraud OfficeChief ExecutiveVacant
Social Welfare, Department ofDirector-GeneralMC Bazley
State Services CommissionState Services CommissionerM Wintringham
Statistics New ZealandGovernment StatisticianLW Cook
Transport, Ministry ofSecretaryGSE Milne
The TreasurySecretaryM Horn
Valuation New ZealandValuer-GeneralR Hutchison
Women's Affairs, Ministry ofSecretaryJ Lawrence
Youth Affairs, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveC Gibson

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 December 1996. Worldwide Web page addresses are given where available at the time of going to press.

Agriculture, Ministry of—Te Manatü Ahuwhenua. The Ministry of Agriculture (MAF) was established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Restructuring) Act 1995. MAF administers and develops standards and systems, manages agricultural security and provides policy advice. The core MAF is managed by an Executive Committee and divided into four business groups. These are: Policy (which facilitates the development of policy); Regulatory Authority (which sets standards and specifications); Corporate Affairs (which manages the ministry's relationship with the government) and Corporate Group (which provides a range of support services for the other business groups). MAF Quality Management (the service delivery arm of MAF) was internally separated from the rest of the organisation on 1 July 1995, pending a review of its activities. It is managed by the Director-General of Agriculture with the assistance of an Advisory Board. See chapter 18: Agriculture.

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. []

Audit Office. See ‘Controller and Auditor-General’ further on in this section.

Commerce, Ministry of—Te Manatü 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 of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai) is the central government organisation charged with conserving the natural and historic heritage of New Zealand for the benefit of present and future New Zealanders.

Its specific aims are:

  • conservation of New Zealand's natural and historic resources;

  • appropriate use of these resources by the public;

  • public awareness of, support for, and enhancement of a conservation ethic, both within New Zealand and internationally.

Corrections, Department of. The Department of Corrections manages all custodial and noncustodial sentences imposed by the courts on offenders. This includes prison sentences and community corrections, such as periodic detention.

The Department of Corrections has over 3,900 full- and part-time staff responsible for: managing offenders in prison or on community-based sentences including providing work programmes and activities to help them reduce future offending; giving specialist psychological advice and assistance with offenders' needs; providing information to judges to assist them in sentencing offenders, and to the Parole Board and district prisons boards; and providing advice to Government about the most effective policies for corrections services.

There are eight services and groups in the department, working together to reduce re-offending: Public Prisons, Community Corrections, Psychological Service, Internal Audit, Corrland (responsible for the department's farms and forests), Policy and Service Development, Contracts, Strategic Development and Finance.

Courts, Department for—Te Tari Kooti. The Department for Courts was established on 1 July 1995. Its predecessor was the Courts and Tribunals Group of the Department of Justice.

The department has four operational units, namely case processing (responsible for the administration of courts and tribunals and for providing support to the Judiciary); Collections (responsible for the enforcement of financial court orders); Mäori Land Court (responsible for the administrative support of the Mäori Land Court and the Mäori Appellate Court and for the administration of Mäori land records of ownership and title); and Waitangi Tribunal (responsible for administrative support to the Waitangi Tribunal).

Their work is complemented by support units: Resources (responsible for human resources, finance, security, and property at a corporate level) and Development (responsible for support and co-ordination of strategic change processes within the department).

Crown Law Office. The Crown Law Office provides legal advice and representation to government in matters affecting the Crown, and in particular, government departments. It has two primary aims. First, to ensure that the operations of executive government are conducted lawfully and second, to ensure that the government is not prevented, through the legal process, from lawfully implementing its chosen policies. The work of the Crown Law Office as a whole contributes to the government's current strategic goals of protecting the legal interests and supporting the responsibilities of the executive government and its agencies, maintaining law and order, and serving the interests of justice in the community, []

Cultural Affairs, Ministry of—Te Manatü Tikanga-ä-Iwi. The aim of the ministry is to encourage the most efficient use of public resources to maximise understanding and appreciation of, access to and participation in, New Zealand's culture and to promote the enhancement of New Zealand's cultural identity. See chapter 12: Arts, []

Customs Service, New Zealand—Te Mana Arai O Aotearoa. The New Zealand Customs Service is the government's primary border management agency. It implements a range of government policies both as principal, and on an agency basis, within the context of customs, immigration and other border-related enactments. The service assists in the delivery of policies in respect of the Government's goals of a more competitive enterprise economy and increased participation in international trade. In carrying out its functions at the border, the service contributes to these goals, implementing appropriate programmes in co-operation with the business sector. See section 25.1: Customs.

The core business of the New Zealand Customs Service is the management of the border, providing assistance and advice to industry (manufacturers, importers and exporters), and the preservation of the tax base in its revenue collection function.

Defence, Ministry of—Te Manatü 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 4.4: Defence.

Defence Force, New Zealand—Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa. The primary purpose of the New Zealand Defence Force is to protect the sovereignty and advance the well-being of New Zealand by maintaining a level of armed forces sufficient to deal with small contingencies affecting New Zealand and its region, and be capable of contributing to collective efforts where our wider interests are involved. See section 4.4: Defence.

Education, Ministry of—Te T¯huhu 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 9: Education.

Education Review Office—Te Tari Arotake Matauranga. The Education Review Office is the department responsible for evaluating and reporting on the performance of all primary and secondary schools, early childhood centres and other education organisations in New Zealand. The office actively supports and promotes high quality decision making on the education provided for New Zealand's young people. See section 9.1.

Environment, Ministry for the—Te Manatü 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.

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. See section 16.2: Environmental and resource management. []

Fisheries, Ministry of—Te tautiaki i nga tinia tangaroa. The Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) was established on 1 July 1995. Its function is to ensure that the use of New Zealand's fisheries resource is sustainable. MFish achieves this by assisting in the conservation and management of New Zealand's marine fisheries by providing a range of services in the areas of fisheries management, policy setting advice and enforcement. []

Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of—Te Manatū Aorere. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade conducts the government's business with other 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 influences other governments in New Zealand's favour.

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. The ministry operates some 49 posts overseas. Their primary task is to develop the official relationship between the New Zealand Government and the country or international organisation concerned, through discussions and contacts with local political leaders, officials, business executives and media representatives. []

Forestry, Ministry of—Te Manatū Ngāherehere. The Ministry of Forestry works to ensure forestry makes the best possible contribution to New Zealand's sustainable development and economic growth. Key business areas are: information brokerage; facilitation; policy advice; managing the Crown's forestry interests and commitments; and protection of New Zealand forests and trees. See sections 19.1 and 19.2.

Government Superannuation Fund Department—Te Pūtea Penihana Kāwanatanga. The function of the department is to provide professional management of superannuation schemes constituted under the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956. This includes advising on policy matters, administering the schemes and investing the schemes' funds, and administering and monitoring contracts for scheme management.

Health, Ministry of—Manatu Hauora. The Ministry of Health's purpose is “Healthy New Zealanders”. The ministry provides policy advice to the government on health and disability support services. It also negotiates, manages and monitors funding agreements with regional health authorities and service providers, administers health sector legislation and collects and disseminates health information.

The ministry works in five groups. The Sector Policy Group provides advice on issues relating to health sector strategy, funding and regulation. The Implementation Group manages the government's contract negotiation and monitoring and the regulatory environment. It also advises on operational policy for personal health and disability support services. The role of the Public Health Group is to monitor and report on the state of public health in New Zealand. The purpose of Te Kete Hauora is to lead and influence the strategic direction of Māori health by providing informed policy advice to government. The Corporate and Information group is concerned with the internal operation of the ministry and the provision of health information to clients. []

Housing, Ministry of—Te Whare Ahuru. 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 22.4 Reform of housing assistance. []

Housing Corporation of New Zealand—Te Kaporeihana Whare. The corporation provides loan facilities to low income home-buyers.

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 premiums on behalf of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation. Inland Revenue also administers family assistance (family support, independent family tax credit and guaranteed minimum family income) for working families, child support, and student loan repayments. []

Internal Affairs, Department of—Te Tari Taiwhenua. The department develops policy and provides services which deal with: (a) strengthening national identity (includes—Births, Deaths and Marriages, National Archives, Passports, Citizenship, Translation Services, Historical Publications, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Heritage Property, Heritage and Identity Policy, NZ Gazette and Waitangi Day Commemorations); (b) building stronger communities (includes—Ethnic Affairs, Civil Defence, Link Centres, Community Information, Community Grants, Censorship Inspection and Enforcement, Gaming and Racing Policy, Gaming Licensing and Enforcement, Casino Supervision and Inspection, Local Government, Local Government Commission, Lottery Grants, Policy for Buildings, Community, Emergency Services and Fire Prevention and Sport, Fitness and Leisure); (c) supporting executive government (includes—Ministerial Services, Parliamentary On-line Information systems, VIP Transport, Visits and Ceremonial, Administration of Public Trusts and Commissions of Inquiry.) []

Justice, Ministry of. The ministry provides high quality strategic and policy advice across the justice sector. Justice policy is based primarily on a concern for the rights and responsibilities of the individual in regard to his/her relationships with other individuals, communities and the state. It is also concerned with advice on fundamental constitutional matters such as rights, the body of law and democratic processes, and the relationships between Treaty partners; access to workable and accepted dispute resolution mechanisms; fair and efficient markets; preventing and minimising the impact of crime; and the effective operation of agencies responsible for delivering these services.

The ministry manages contracts with Crown entities and other entities funded through Vote Justice and manages the conduct of parliamentary elections, by-elections, referenda and polls.

Labour, Department of—Te Tari Mahi. 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 immigration legislation and policy, in particular by selecting migrants best able to benefit New Zealand; to support the framework of employment relationships provided by the Employment Contracts Act 1991 and the minimum employment codes; and to provide policy advice on accident compensation issues to the Minister of Accident, Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance. 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. []

Land Information New Zealand—Toitu te whenua. This department, established in July 1996, is responsible for the administration of various land-related legislation. It also now includes Land Title Services previously with the Department of Justice which is responsible for the creation and termination of land property rights, the issuing of land titles and the provision of public access to land title information. The former Department of Survey and Land Information (DOSLI) was split into Land Information New Zealand and an SOE, Terralink New Zealand Ltd which is responsible for value-added services such as commercial survey mapping and land activities. []

Māori Development, Ministry of—Te Puni Kōkiri. The Ministry of Māori Development was established as a policy ministry on 1 January 1992 and replaced Manatu Māori (the Ministry of Māori Affairs) and Te Tira Ahu Iwi (the Iwi Transition Agency). The ministry is government's principal adviser on the Crown's relationship with iwi, hapu and Māori, and on key government policies as they affect Māori.

In carrying out this role Te Puni Kōkiri's functions are to: (a) provide strategic leadership advice on Māori development issues and on the Crown's relationship with iwi, hapu, and Māori; (b) provide advice on sectoral issues; (c) monitor the performance of mainstream government departments in addressing the parity gap between Māori and non-Māori; (d) facilitate consultation between the Crown, its agencies, and iwi, hapu and Māori, on policies affecting Māori, and the development of the relationship between the Crown and Māori. Te Puni Kōkiri is organised into five branches: Compliance, Treaty Relations, Asset Management, Social Policy, and Corporate Services. There are 13 regional offices in the Treaty Relations branch. []

National Library of New Zealand—Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa. The vision of the National Library is linking the peoples of New Zealand with information. The Library provides policy advice to the government on information availability and use in New Zealand. It collects, preserves and promotes current and historical knowledge of New Zealand and the Pacific; it improves the availability of, and access to, information through online services and resource-sharing between members of the library and information community. []

National Provident Fund. The National Provident Fund is New Zealand's largest superannuation fund and provides superannuation schemes both for employer/employee groups and for individual members. The fund comprises 17 separate superannuation schemes.

Office of Treaty Settlements—Te Tari Whakatau Take e pa ana ki te Tiriti o Waitangi. The office provides high quality policy advice to the government on Treaty of Waitangi issues and on specific claims, negotiates treaty claims and implements settlements. It acquires, manages, transfers and disposes of Crown-owned land for treaty claim and related purposes.

Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of. The principal functions of the ministry include the provision of policy advice on significant issues affecting Pacific people in New Zealand; monitoring the implementation of policies; provision of advisory and liaison services; provision of training and employment placement and the promotion of business development.

The ministry also establishes and maintains liaison with and between Pacific communities in New Zealand and government agencies and encourages the development of joint ventures with mainstream agencies. See section 6.5: Pacific Island population.

Police, New Zealand—Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa. The police aim to serve the community through meeting the following strategic goals: to reduce the incidence and effects of crime; to protect property, enhance public safety and maintain law and order; to improve the detection and apprehension of offenders; to improve the safe and efficient use of roads; to implement and maintain community-orientated policing; to strengthen public confidence and satisfaction with police services; and, to achieve excellence and equity in the management of people and resources.

Their vision is ‘Safer Communities Together’ which gives direction to the principal operational strategy of Community Oriented Policing for the delivery of policing services. The New Zealand Police is a state agency, which services all New Zealand.

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, such as the operation of the Crime Prevention Unit and of the Employment Taskforce. See section 3.2: Parliament and the Cabinet. []

Public Trust. The Public Trust 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 and to provide contract management services to the minister for the implementation of science funding. It is also responsible for gathering and disseminating statistics and descriptive information on research, science and technology activities and for administering intergovernmental science relations. The Office of the Chief Scientist is also based in the ministry and plays an important role in ensuring the provision of scientific and technological input into government policy development as a whole and in the co-ordination 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 24.2: 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 co-ordination 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’ earlier.

Statistics New Zealand—Tatauranga Aotearoa. The main function of the department is to provide and distribute statistical information about the economic, demographic, social and environmental circumstances of New Zealand. It also provides advice to the Minister of Statistics on statistical policy matters and on the relevance of official statistics. On behalf of the minister, the department ensures that the official statistical system is efficiently integrated and co-ordinated to cover all government departments which produce statistics. Regular reviews of official statistics are carried out to ensure their continued relevance to user needs.

Output from the organisation's databases is formatted into a range of products and services that are appropriate to the requirements of government as well as to the general public and commercial users. Co-operation with other national statistical offices and with international agencies fosters the availability of high-quality internationally comparable statistical information.

The department administers and operates under the Statistics Act 1975 which defines collection authorities as well as setting out confidentiality safeguards. []

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 department's core 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. This department manages the Crown's finances and provides the government with economic and financial advice from a broad perspective. Its roles include: providing economic, financial and commercial advice and information; implementing specific economic and financial policies; providing financial information on the operation of government; accounting for the revenue and expenses of the Crown; managing the Crown's public debt and Treasury-managed financial assets; contributing to public understanding of economic and financial matters in a manner consistent with current constitutional conventions; and performing an actuarial role in regulating and providing to the government actuarial advice on life insurance, superannuation and related industries. The department is organised into seven branches and 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 compiles 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 16.1: Land resources and ownership. []

Waitangi, Bay of Islands, Māori Church about 1906. The Treaty of Waitangi memorial is on the left.

Women's Affairs, Ministry of—Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine. The Ministry of Women's Affairs is the Government's primary provider of gender-specific advice on public policy issues including: education, labour market and economic development; income, wealth and family issues; health and disability; violence against women; Māori policy; and, other policy advice including the integration of gender analysis into all aspects of public policy development, implementation, monitoring and review.

The purpose of the Ministry of Women's Affairs is to assist the Government to achieve for women, and especially for Māori women as tangata whenua, a society in which: women have opportunity and choice in all aspects of their lives; women fulfil their aims and aspirations; women fully and actively participate; women have adequate resources of their own; women do not face discrimination; and women's status improves.

Youth Affairs, Ministry of—Te Tari Taiohi. Established in 1989 to facilitate the direct participation of young people in New Zealand life and to promote opportunities for young people to actively and responsibly contribute to the cultural, social and economic policies and services affecting New Zealand's development.

The ministry has three main functions: provide policy advice; communicate policies and practices which impact on young people; and administer grants for youth training and development, particularly for the Conservation Corps and Youth Services Corps programmes.

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 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 Government has announced its intention to introduce legislation to establish the Auditor-General as an officer of Parliament.

The constitutionally important controller function of the Audit Office, as set out in the Public Finance Acts 1977 and 1989, 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 of 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 ensuring adequate accountability by these organisations. It also conducts periodic reviews of financial control systems and of 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 the 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 private sector auditors to carry out individual audits in accordance with requirements laid down by him. By June 1998 approximately 70 percent of the annual audit portfolio will be subject to tendering out on a competitive basis between private sector auditors 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:

  • Increase the availability of official information to the people of New Zealand.

  • Provide for proper access by bodies corporate to official information relating to themselves (access by individuals to information relating to them is now governed by the Privacy Act 1993).

  • Protect official information consistent with the public interest and the preservation of individual privacy.

With the exception of the Parliamentary Counsel 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.

These acts provide special rights of access by bodies corporate to personal information about themselves. Access by individuals to information about themselves is now governed by the Privacy Act. The definition of ‘person’ includes a corporation sole and a body of persons whether corporate or unincorporate. Therefore, requests for access to official information can be made by such bodies. 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 withheld, 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 the Governor-General by Order-in-Council.

An information guide concerning access to personal and official information is available from the Ministry 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 principal function of the Ombudsmen 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 ombudsmen, in either temporary or permanent positions. Sir Brian Elwood CBE was appointed Chief Ombudsman on 14 December 1994 and Judge Ananda Satyanand was appointed as an Ombudsman in February 1995.

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 jurisdiction12281
Declined or discontinued section 17367145
Resolved in course of investigation2672953
Sustained, recommendation made1073
Substained, no recommendation made254 
Not sustained22214818
Formal investigation not undertaken, explanation, advice, or assistance given251437763
Complaints transferred to Privacy Commissioner12562
Still under investigation as at 30 June31025627

Privacy Commissioner

The functions of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Te Mana Matapono Matatapu are set out in the Privacy Act 1993. The office is independent of the Executive and of Parliament. One of the main purposes of the act is the promotion and protection of individual privacy, in general accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 1980 Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Trans-border Flows of Personal Data. The act established twelve information privacy principles and four public register privacy principles. Both sets of principles are subject to any other law on the matters covered, and apply to both public and private sectors.

The twelve information privacy principles deal with the collection, security, use and disclosure of personal information, access to and correction 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. The Domestic Violence Act provides rights for victims of domestic violence to have their whereabouts held confidentially on public registers, with the Privacy Commissioner having an oversight function.

Jurisdiction is given to the Privacy Commissioner to modify the principles and to issue codes of practice. The Health Information Privacy Code 1994 provides stringent controls on the collection, use and disclosure of medical and health information by agencies within the health sector. The GCS Information Privacy Code 1994 (which expires on 30 June 1997) was issued following the government's sale of its shareholding in GCS Limited, a sensitive computing facility utilised by some government departments. Its main purpose is to ensure that there are remedies for any breaches in handling this information. The Superannuation Schemes Unique Identifier Code 1995 which came into force on 1 December 1995 was issued to allow the sharing of employer-assigned unique identifiers with the trustees of workplace-based superannuation schemes and others involved in scheme administration.

The Privacy Commissioner is empowered to deal with complaints alleging breaches of the principles, information matching rules and codes of practice. As from 1 July 1996, a breach of any of the information privacy principles may be referred to the Complaints Review Tribunal.

The act also contains a set of information matching rules placing controls on statutory matching programmes in the public sector. Information matching involves a government department comparing personal information in the databases they hold, collected for specific purposes, with databases of personal information in another government department held for different purposes. The purpose is to deter and detect fraud or abuse. An example is the matching of beneficiaries' records from the Department of Social Welfare with information held by the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation relating to claims for compensation, or other government departments concerning prison inmates, people departing from New Zealand, illegal immigrants, taxpayers and recipients of student allowances. Provision for information matching with the Registrar-General has not been included in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995. The rules require that notice be given to the affected individual before action can be taken on the basis of a successful match. During 1995 the Privacy Commissioner was required to consider a proposed new programme to match the electoral roll with lists of overstayers and visitors to New Zealand.

The Privacy Commissioner is also required to perform a general ‘watch-dog’ role over privacy and in 1995 made a number of reports to the Minister of Justice, and public statements on a range of issues affecting individual privacy. The commissioner also reports to some international organisations such as the OECD. In 1996 he provided information to the Ministry of Youth Affairs for their preparation of New Zealand's first report under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 17 of that covenant affirms a child's general right of privacy.

The commissioner hosts an annual ‘Privacy Issues Forum’ attracting both local and overseas speakers and registrants.


*Year ended 30 June.

Source: Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Number of complaints received993
Complaints current at start of year583
Number of complaints under process1576
Number of complaints closed during year972
No jurisdiction57
Complaints resolved without final opinion703
Final opinion (substance 41—no substance 171)212

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 Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment: Te Kaitiaki Taiao a Te Whare Paremata, 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 investigations 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 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.

During 1995–96 major investigations were initiated on issues related to public authority performance, coastal management, public participation and aspects of management of the conservation estate. Two investigations on national issues were completed, Tussock Grassland Management and Historic and Cultural Heritage Management.

There were two major complaint investigations (airport noise control, and water supply grading system) and 17 minor investigations.


Source: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Investigation reports646566
Information transfer papers256482414

Public Trust

Public Trust, the first of its kind in the world, was launched in 1873 by an act of Parliament. It is a government department now operating under the Public Trust Office Act 1957.

Public Trust was created to provide all New Zealanders with the opportunity to write a will (thereby decreasing the number of intestacies) and to provide executor and trustee services. At the time it began, amongst other issues, problems arose from unscrupulous individuals cheating beneficiaries out of their inheritances.

Public Trust, with 50 branches throughout the country, now administers over 52,000 estates, trusts, funds and agencies, worth more than $3 billion. As at 30 June 1996, this included $600 million in the Common Fund, and $140 million in retail-managed funds. Public Trust also holds the statutorily-required deposits of insurance companies. Each year Public Trust awards a number of Māori and Pacific Island scholarships.

3.4 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.

Local government: The Te Kuiti Library and Council Chambers in 1912.

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.

  • 154 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.

With effect from 1 July 1992

With effect from 1 July 1992

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 hierarchial as functional, with the range of regional council functions being limited.


RegionCouncil members*

*Based on October 1992 elections.

Source: Department of Internal Affairs

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

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 territorial authorities consist of:

  • 15 city councils.

  • 58 district councils.

  • the Chatham Islands council.

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.

New cities can now only be constituted by a reorganisation scheme where a new district is formed and that district: has a population of at least 50,000; is predominantly urban; and 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.

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.


Cities/districtsCouncil members*

*Includes mayors.

Unitary authority.

Source: Department of Internal Affairs

North Island
North Shore City20
Waitakere City17
Auckland City25
Manukau City20
Hamilton City14
Napier City14
Palmerston North City16
Porirua City14
Upper Hutt City11
Hutt City14
Wellington City19
Far North District14
Whangarei District14
Kaipara District11
Rodney District12
Papakura District13
Franklin District15
Waikato District15
Waipa District13
Otorohanga District8
Waitomo District11
Thames-Coromandel District10
Hauraki District10
Matamata-Piako District13
South Waikato District11
Taupo District13
Tauranga District15
Western Bay of Plenty District13
Rotorua District13
Whakatane District16
Kawerau District11
Opotiki District11
Gisborne District†16
Wairoa District10
Hastings District15
Central Hawke's Bay District13
New Plymouth District17
Stratford District11
South Taranaki District13
Ruapehu District14
Wanganui District13
Rangitikei District12
Manawatu District14
Horowhenua District12
Tararua District13
Kapiti Coast District14
Masterton District12
Carterton District13
South Wairarapa District10
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
Hurunui District10
Waimakariri District15
Selwyn District14
Banks Peninsula District10
Ashburton District13
Timaru District13
Mackenzie District11
Waimate District12
Waitaki District16
Queenstown-Lakes District16
Central Otago District14
Clutha District15
Southland District13
Gore District12
Chatham Islands Territory9

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. The Selwyn Plantation Board is in the process of being wound up with its assets being transferred to a company owned by the participating territorial authority.

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 trust is funded by dividends, rentals, investments and asset sales. 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 1998. 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 required to review the number of members and the number and size of their electorates.

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 is 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 enrolment forms received from ratepayers.

Membership of local authorities. Subject to meeting certain residency and citizenship requirements, 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.

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 whom is the chairperson, appointed by the Minister of 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-objections 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 1992 amendments to the Local Government Act 1974 considerably modified in 1994, the commission assumed new responsibilities relating to the consideration 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.

From time to time, the commission carries out investigations of particular matters affecting local government and reports on them to the Minister of Local Government.

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.

3.5 National emblems and anthems

New Zealand Flag

Under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 the flag, previously known as the New Zealand ensign, was declared to be the 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 1940. 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 whakarongona; 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 Māori Pakeha Repeke katoa, Nei ka tono ko nga he Mau e whakaahu ke, Kia ora marire Aotearoa.
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; Aotearoa.


  • 3.1 Ministry of Justice.

  • 3.2 Clerk of the House of Representatives; Parliamentary Service; Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

  • 3.3 State Services Commission; government departments as listed; Audit Office; Office of the Ombudsmen; Office of the Privacy Commissioner; Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; Public Trust.

  • 3.4 Local Government Commission; Department of Internal Affairs.

  • 3.5 Department of Internal Affairs.

Special articles

Cabinet Office; Clerk of the House of Representatives; Department of Internal Affairs; Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment; Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit; Dr Henare Broughton; Ko Huiarau (The United Tribes of New Zealand and Crown of England), Puriri Press, 1991.

Further information


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

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

Harris P and Levine S (1994) The New Zealand Politics Source Book, 2nd ed, Dunmore Press.

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

Joseph P A ed. (1995), Essays on the Constitution, Brooker's.

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

Cabinet Office (1991), The Cabinet Office Manual, Wellington.

Electoral Commission (1996), Your guide to MMP: The Basic Facts, (pamphlet), Wellington.

Electoral Commission (1996), More about MMP, Wellington

General Election, The. (Parl paper E.9).

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

Hawke G ed. (1993) Changing politics? The Electoral Referendum 1993, Institute of Policy Studies, Wellington.

McGee David, (1994) Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand, 2nd edition, Wellington, GP Publications

McLeay E (1995), The Cabinet and Political Power in New Zealand, OUP Parliamentary Bulletin. GP Legislation Services (weekly when the House of Representatives is sitting).

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

Report of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Parl paper G.48).

Report of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. (Parl paper A.8).

Report of the Parliamentary Service Commission (Parl paper A.2).

Report of the Royal Commission on the Electoral System; Towards a Better Democracy. (Parl paper H.3, 1986)

Report of the Standing Orders Committee on the Review of Standing Orders, 1995 (Parl paper I18. A).

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

Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, 1996.

State Services Commission, (1994), New Zealand's Reformed State Sector, Wellington.

State Services Commission, (1995), Public Service Principles, Conventions and Practice, Wellington.

State Services Commission (1995), Working Under Proportional Representation: A Reference for the Public Service, Wellington.

State sector

Anderson, A (1990), The quest for efficiency: The origins of the State Services Commission, State Services Commission, Wellington.

Boston J, Martin J, Pallot J and Walsh P, (1991), Reshaping the State: New Zealand's Bureaucratic Revolution, OUP, Auckland.

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

Duncan, I and Bollard, A (1992), Corporatisation and Privatisation: Lessons from New Zealand, Auckland, Oxford University Press.

Easton B, (1994), Economic and Other Ideas Behind the New Zealand Reforms, Oxford Review of Economic Policy Vol 10, no 3.

Kelsey J, (1993) Rolling Back the State: Privatisation of Power in Aoteroa/New Zealand, Wellington, Bridget Williams Books.

Martin J, (1991), Public Service and the Public Servant, State Services Commission, Wellington.

Reports of the Controller and Auditor-General (Parl paper B. 28).

Reports of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (Parl paper C. 12).

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

Report of the State Services Commission (Parl paper G.3).

Steering Group on State Sector Reforms (State Services Commission), (1991), Review of the State Sector Reforms, Wellington.

Treasury (1995), Fiscal Responsibility Act 1994: An Explanation, Wellington.

Treasury, (nd) Putting it Simply: an Explanatory guide to Financial Management Reform, Wellington.

Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations in Force. Parliamentary Counsel Office (annual).

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

Local government

Bush, G (1995) Local Government and Politics in New Zealand, Auckland University Press.

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

Kelly, J and Marshall, B (1996), Atlas of New Zealand boundaries, Auckland University Press.

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

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

Chapter 4. International relations and defence

Artillery training with 25-pounders at Waiouru, 18 October 1950, before leaving for the Korean War.

4.1 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 49 diplomatic and consular posts located in 41 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 on 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 the management of New Zealand official development assistance, provision of consular services to New Zealanders abroad, and provision of operational and administrative support services to other New Zealand government agencies overseas.

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 consultations 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.

This and more information can be found on the Ministry's internet homepage

South Pacific

New Zealand has diplomatic missions in most of the countries of the South Pacific and maintains 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, conduct their own external relations and enter into international agreements. The constitutional relationships provide for the exercise by New Zealand of certain responsibilities for defence and external relations but 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 4.3: New Zealand territories.

The region (not including Australia) is of growing importance to New Zealand, with exports of $595 million in 1996. Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the French territories are the most important markets. Imports, amounting to about $150 million, came principally from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Nauru. New Zealand has taken special measures to foster trade relations with South Pacific countries and New Zealand investment in the region. A regional trade agreement, South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA), provides 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.

New Zealand Premier Richard Seddon at the opening of Parliament House, Nukualofa, Tonga, 1900.

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 Madang, Papua New Guinea in 1995 and Majuro, Marshall Islands in 1996. The forum provides an opportunity for states to discuss common problems, exchange views, consider priorities, and plan programmes for mutual regional benefit. The topics considered include regional trade, economic development, transport issues, the environment, the law of the sea, fishing, regional and political security issues, and decolonisation. In 1996 economic and development issues were once again a major topic of the forum, which had as its theme ‘Pacific Solidarity for the Common Good’. The forum also agreed that economic ministers of the region should meet on an annual basis to discuss reform issues.

The Forum Secretariat, based in Suva, is given the task of implementing forum decisions. It works on a broad range of economic and political issues. The forum established the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara to facilitate the rational utilisation and conservation of the region's marine resources, and 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. Twelve member nations are shareholders in the shipping line, the exceptions being Australia, Federated States of Micronesia and Vanuatu. The shipping line aims to facilitate regional trade through improved shipping links. However, it has always been expected to operate on a commercial basis.

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 France, United States and, until recently, the United Kingdom) 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 build a sense of regional identity.

The South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) was established in 1972 as a UN project. It became an independent regional organisation in 1984 and assists countries in the assessment, exploration and development of mineral and other non-living resources.


A diplomatic office was established in 1943 (trade posts had been established as early as 1906). The Australia-New Zealand agreement (known also as the ANZAC Pact or Canberra Pact) was signed in 1944 and the ANZUS treaty in 1952. In 1983, the two countries concluded the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA or CER for short). Complete free trade of goods was achieved on 1 July 1990. The services protocol was signed in 1988 and provided for the progressive removal of obstacles to the flow of services and investment between the two countries. 1996 saw the signature of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement, implementation of the Joint Food Standards Agreement and the achievement of the Single Aviation Market. Australia is the most important trading partner for New Zealand, which is in turn Australia's largest single market for manufactured exports. See also section 25.4: Major trading partners.

New Zealand ministers participate in Australian state/federal ministerial councils covering a wide range of portfolios. There are regular meetings of foreign affairs, trade and defence ministers. The Closer Defence Relations (CDR) process has reinforced existing defence links. There is free movement of people under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. A social security agreement was signed in 1994 updating the previous agreement, and a double taxation agreement signed in 1995.


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 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 Bangkok, Beijing, Ha Noi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New Delhi, Osaka, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.

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 is also a participant in the ASEAN Regional Forum, a ministerial-level body, launched in 1994, which discusses regional security issues. The New Zealand Defence Force maintains defence co-operation programmes with six of the seven ASEAN countries (excluding Viet Nam), 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 at all levels in APEC leaders, ministerial and officials working group meetings. 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 co-operates closely with the ASEAN nations and other regional partners in wider international forums, including the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Japanese professors, in Dunedin in 1996 to campaign for nuclear disarmament, look at photographs of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb blast.

Bilateral trade with most of our Asian trading partners is rising fast. The economic relationship with Japan is among our most important and Japan remains our second largest export market. Trade is increasingly diversified, helped by the complementary nature of the Japanese and New Zealand economies, and tourism and investment are playing an important role in the development of New Zealand's economy. Economic reform and significant GDP growth rates in China are opening up exciting possibilities for New Zealand in Asia's largest market. New Zealand's two-way trade with China customarily exceeds NZ$1 billion annually, and it was New Zealand's eighth largest export market in the year to December 1995. Two-way investment is also growing. Annual two-way trade with South Korea has recently boomed to over NZ$ 1 billion, with a substantial trade surplus in New Zealand's favour. Trade with Hong Kong and Taiwan is also increasing and these markets offer considerable potential.

Launched in November 1991, the Asia 2000 programme is a major government initiative to encourage New Zealanders to build up the skills and awareness necessary to be even more effective participants in the Asia-Pacific region. It also aims to create greater awareness of New Zealand in Asia. Initially administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the aims and objectives of the programme are now carried out separately by the Asia 2000 Foundation. In support of the foundation's objectives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade works closely with the Foundation on key activities and visitor programmes.


United States. New Zealand's relationship with the United States is one of our most important. Shared values underpin close governmental and private sector contacts across a broad range of bilateral, regional and multilateral activities. The United States is a key economic partner. It is one of New Zealand's three most important export markets and a major source of 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 Antarctic scientific research. Programmes for scientific, cultural and educational exchange maintain an awareness of New Zealand in the United States and promote the interchange of ideas and experience.

Canada. New Zealand and Canada enjoy a positive and close relationship, based on shared bilateral Commonwealth, UN and Asia-Pacific interests. The two countries co-operate closely on a range of issues, including disarmament, international peacekeeping and security, Asia-Pacific policies and international economic matters. Canada is an important market for our agricultural goods, particularly beef. Bilateral trade and economic relations are conducted under the umbrella of the 1981 Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (TEC) which provides for, among other things, regular consultation on trade issues.

Latin America and the Caribbean. New Zealand is represented in Latin America by embassies in Mexico, Chile and Buenos Aires (in 1997). The ambassador in Mexico is cross-accredited to Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, and the Ambassador in Chile to Brazil and Uruguay. The embassies' efforts are supported by honorary consular representatives in Bogota, Lima, Sao Paulo 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.


Actors from the New Zealand Māori Theatre talking with young people in Kiev during their 1970 tour in the Soviet Union. Cultural contacts were possible even during the Cold War.

Trade and investment is the primary focus of New Zealand's relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly exports of dairy products, agricultural machinery and manufactured goods. New Zealand companies are involved in a wide range of activities there in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, construction, telecommunications 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 Union (EU) is one of New Zealand's four top markets, along with Australia, Japan and the United States. The outcome of the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations placed our major sheepmeat and dairy exports to the EU on a firmer footing, and increased the quantities which New Zealand may export. Our other main primary product exports such as apples, kiwifruit, fish and timber do not face volume restrictions on access, though there are concerns about some of the conditions affecting this access.

The countries of the EU are important partners for New Zealand in investment and as a source of technology and expertise. A number of bilateral agreements in areas of specific interest to New Zealand are under consideration. New Zealand and the EU concluded a bilateral Veterinary Agreement in December 1996. The New Zealand economy benefits from European migrants with capital and entrepreneurial skills. Tourists also make a significant contribution to the New Zealand economy.

New Zealand maintains a high level of political consultation with the EU. Since 1990 New Zealand has had meetings at ministerial level with the revolving six-monthly presidencies of the EU. Close regular contact is maintained by New Zealand's network of posts in western Europe with individual EU member states, and with the European Commission in Brussels, on a range of economic and political issues.

Central and eastern Europe. In general the countries of central and eastern Europe continue to evolve from one-party states and centrally-planned economies towards political pluralism and free-market economies. In general too, they are seeking to strengthen their links with western Europe, and with the economic and security forums of western Europe. However, the pace of political and economic reform has been uneven.

Responsibility for New Zealand's government-to-government relations with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia lie with the New Zealand embassy in Bonn and for Bosnia and Croatia with the embassy in Rome. Commercial relations with central and eastern Europe are handled by the Tradenz office in Hamburg.

Former Soviet Union. Trade remains the central component of New Zealand's relations with the states of the former Soviet Union (FSU), the Russian Federation being the principal trading partner. A number of New Zealand exporters are now doing good business in Russia in a range of products, particularly foodstuffs and consumer goods. The Russian market is a difficult one but can be very rewarding. Exporters are seeking new methods of securing contracts, including building relationships with regional executives, especially in the Russian Far East (RFE). There is a direct shipping route between New Zealand and the RFE, and several New Zealand companies have offices there.

Grieving friends and relatives of Sheryl Thayer, the Red Cross nurse killed by terrorists in Chechnya, at the graveside reading in Wanaka, 1996. New Zealanders have for a long time been active in overseas humanitarian activities.

Investment in, and technical assistance to, the countries of the FSU, coupled with the implementation of economic reforms, limited though these are in some cases, are helping to create opportunities for traders in the medium term.

New Zealand has an embassy in Moscow which is accredited to Belarus, Estonia, Kazakstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Middle East

New Zealand has significant economic interests in the Middle East. The region is an important market for New Zealand's agricultural exports and an important source of crude oil. In the year ended December 1996, New Zealand exports to the region totalled $876 million. Imports for the same period were $577 million. New Zealand has embassies in Tehran, Riyadh and Ankara, and cross-accreditations to Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. The New Zealand Trade Development Board has a regional office in Dubai.

For more than 40 years New Zealand has maintained an even-handed policy on the Arab-Israeli 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 continues to support the search for peace in the Middle East. Progress was slow under the peace process in 1996 but the Hebron Protocol in January 1997 gave a fresh impetus to negotiations. New Zealand remains committed to supporting the principles of land for peace and the Oslo Declaration of Principle concluded between Israel and the Palestinians.

New Zealand has contributed a contingent to the Sinai Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) based on the Egypt/Israel border since 1982. The government also contributes military personnel to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), headquartered in Jerusalem. The government has also made available military personnel to serve with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) operation, which is given the task of eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and verifying that Iraq does not resume its weapons programmes. New Zealand has contributed frigates to the Multinational Interception Force (MIF) which monitors the sanctions regime in the Gulf.


In recent years contact between New Zealand and Africa has increased. New Zealand's membership of the United Nations Security Council (1993-94) led to a closer involvement in a wide range of African issues. New Zealand's ties with Commonwealth African countries were further strengthened by the holding of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Auckland in November 1995. New Zealand was named as one of eight countries to take part in a ministerial action group (CMAG) to deal with violations of Commonwealth principles.

The New Zealand High Commissioner in Harare is accredited to Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Namibia. The New Zealand High Commissioner in Pretoria is accredited to South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. New Zealand posts in London, Madrid, Paris and Riyadh are accredited to Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt respectively. Trade and political contact with South Africa were strengthened in August 1996 with the visit of the Prime Minister to South Africa and the opening of a High Commission in Pretoria.

New Zealand has a long-standing involvement in development co-operation in Africa. Through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme. In 1996 a new bilateral ODA programme was established with South Africa. NZODA also supported projects and training in seven other Commonwealth states in southern Africa. The total value of this support in 1996-97 will be $3.15 million, an increase of 43 percent on the $2.19 million provided in 1995-96.

In addition to this support a further $1.775 million was provided to activities in Africa from the Emergency and Disaster Relief allocation of NZODA. New Zealand also contributes substantial core funding to multilateral agencies (such as the World Bank and UNDP) working in Africa.

New Zealand is also participating in UN peacekeeping and de-mining missions in Angola and Mozambique.

Trade with African countries accounts for only a small percentage of New Zealand's global trade. Exports were valued at $ 112 million in the year ending December 1996. Among the major exports to the region are dairy products, fish and electrical equipment. Imports from Africa (valued at $92 million) include machinery, tobacco, plastics and textile fibres. In 1996 Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Mauritius were New Zealand's most important markets in Africa.

Assistance to developing countries

Overview. New Zealand's Official Development Assistance (NZODA) Programme provides assistance to developing countries to help them better meet their peoples' economic and social needs.

The programme strengthens the links between New Zealand and the peoples of developing nations, and serves to foster mutually beneficial relationships. It also contributes to the achievement of New Zealand's own external relations and trade policies by helping to advance international economic prosperity, to maintain peace, security and stability, and protect the global environment. The programme is an investment in the regional and global future New Zealand shares with other nations.

New Zealand's ODA Programme is managed by the Development Co-operation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in conjunction with New Zealand's diplomatic posts in partner countries. In carrying out its work, the development expertise and experience of the division are complemented by those of a wide range of New Zealanders and partner country counterparts drawn from both the private and public sectors.

The NZODA Programme is funded by two core payments set by Parliament. For the 1996-97 financial year these are:

  • $184.465 million as Non-Departmental Payments (NDP). The NDP is the core of the ODA allocation and covers transfers of New Zealand goods, services and funding.

  • $12.059 million as ODA Management, funded as one of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade output classes.

Some other activities or transfers that meet the OECD definition of Official Development Assistance are also made from other government sources. The total disbursement of NZODA currently amounts to some 0.24 percent of New Zealand's GNP (gross national product).

New Zealand's ODA Programme is divided for financial and administrative purposes into two broad schedules of activities—bilateral and multilateral.

Bagging harvested seaweed on Kiribati. The New Zealand Overseas Development Agency (NZODA) helped establish the seaweed growing industry to supplement the islands' revenue. Seaweed grows at a rapid rate in the tropical climate and is used in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as an important thickening, gelling and stabilising agent.

The bilateral schedule. The bilateral schedule is dominated by direct assistance on a one-to-one country-on-country basis, comprising in most cases a wide range of developmental projects in 20 major partner countries in the South Pacific, South-east Asia, China and South Africa. Direct bilateral assistance of this kind accounts for over half of New Zealand's 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.

Over the years development assistance has been provided in most sectors of New Zealand expertise including agriculture, communications, conservation and environment, education and training, energy, fisheries, forestry, health, industries, public works, social infrastructure, tourism, transport, water resources and women in development programmes. New Zealand participates in projects by contributing technical assistance, cash grants, material supplies and training.

As environmental concerns have taken a higher profile in NZODA, the list of New Zealand technology transfer has grown to include nature conservation, national parks management, land use planning, soil conservation and environmental education.

The emphasis of New Zealand's development co-operation with Pacific Island countries is firmly on human resource development. As well as the considerable amounts allocated for study and training awards in New Zealand and at regional South Pacific institutions, many NZODA development projects provide technical assistance involving in-country training and staff development. Outer island and rural development are also a central feature of several of the NZODA Pacific Island country programmes.

New Zealand also promotes development of the South Pacific region as a whole with contributions to the South Pacific Forum Secretariat, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the South Pacific Commission and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, amongst others.

New Zealand is extending its development co-operation with Asia. In addition to the various bilateral and regional programmes, the Asia Development Assistance Facility (ADAF) encourages New Zealand firms and consultants to identify developmentally-sound activities in the region, based on New Zealand expertise and commercial strengths. A major new project aimed at addressing some of the specific training needs of the greater Mekong Basin sub-region is being developed in co-operation with Khon Kaen University in Thailand.

Education and training. New Zealand recognises that people are at the centre of development, and that human resource development (HRD) is the key to social and economic progress in developing countries. Besides funding of scholarships, training and programmes to strengthen education systems and institutions under bilateral country programmes, cross-regional scholarships are also made available. These include the Aotearoa Scholarships, Commonwealth Scholarships, Geothermal Diploma Students and Postgraduate Scholarships.


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Bilateral schedule—
     South Pacific Programmes—
          Cook Islands11,800
          Western Samoa7,550
          Papua New Guinea6,000
          Solomon Islands4,800
     Other Pacific Island Countries875
     South Pacific Regional Programmes5,250
     South Pacific Head of Mission Funds700
     Total South Pacific Programmes70,075
Other bilateral programmes—
     ASEAN and other Asia programmes25,875
     Americas/Africa programmes4,300
     Emergency and disaster relief5,400
     Voluntary agencies9,135
     Education and training (cross-regional scholarships)24,330
     Commonwealth Good Government programme500
     Total other bilateral programmes69,540
     Total bilateral schedule139,615
Multilateral schedule—
     International financial institutions20,325
     South Pacific agencies9,700
     United Nations agencies10,630
     Commonwealth agencies2,145
     Other organisations2,050
     Total multilateral schedule44,850
     Total Official Development Assistance184,465

Emergency and disaster relief. Substantial funding is also directed to emergency and disaster relief operations (both government-to-government and through international agencies), and also to the ongoing work of non-government organisations working at grass-roots level in developing countries. Emergency and disaster relief is allocated as the need arises. Where natural disasters occur in neighbouring countries of the Pacific and South-east Asia, New Zealand is often able to send supplies, medical teams or other skilled people to directly help recovery work. When disaster strikes in more distant countries, New Zealand usually responds by making cash grants to international relief appeals, often under the auspices of the major international relief organisations or NGOs.

Non-government organisations. NZODA support for NGOs engaged in overseas development is provided through the Voluntary Agencies Support Scheme (VASS) and through funding Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA).

The multilateral schedule. 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, UN agencies, Commonwealth agencies and various regional development organisations, such as the Forum Secretariat and Forum Fishery Agency.

Participation in institutions such as the International Development Association (IDA), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation gives New Zealand a voice 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 on the ground. They are respected for the neutrality and the degree of expertise they can bring to bear on a wide range of development issues. New Zealand also finances individual projects with multilateral agencies.

New Zealand recognises that sustainable development and good government are closely linked. Good government includes essential elements such as political accountability, reliable and equitable legal frameworks, bureaucratic transparency and effective and efficient public sector management. To mark the hosting of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Auckland in November 1995, a Commonwealth Good Government programme was established within NZODA to provide assistance in this field to Commonwealth developing countries. In 1996 a similar International Good Government programme was established to extend similar assistance to non-Commonwealth countries, particularly those in Asia.

4.2 International Organisations

United Nations

New Zealand was a founding member of the United Nations organisation in 1945. Successive governments have strongly supported it as the major global instrument for maintaining peace and security, developing friendly relations among countries, encouraging international co-operation aimed at solving economic and social problems, establishing and strengthening an international framework, 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.

New Zealand continues to have a high profile at the UN. In 1996 New Zealand diplomat, Denise Almao, was elected to serve on the powerful UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). This body examines and reports on the budgets and accounts of the UN and its constituent bodies. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has published annually since 1961 a United Nations Handbook, a comprehensive reference guide to the UN system.

Contributions to the United Nations. Contributions to the UN's budget are based on members' capacity to pay. New Zealand's assessed contribution rate is set at 0.24 percent of the regular budget, resulting in annual dues in 1996 of $NZ4.39 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 also assessed at 0.24 percent. In 1995-96, these dues amounted to more than NZ$9.89 million.

Human rights. As a party to international human rights instruments, New Zealand is required to report regularly to the United Nations monitoring bodies on the measures it has taken domestically to give effect to international standards. In 1997 New Zealand presented its initial report under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and submitted its Second Periodic Report under the Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. New Zealand will also submit its Second Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; its Fourth Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and its Twelfth and Thirteenth (consolidated) Report under the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

In 1996, New Zealand continued to give financial support in the field of human rights, including funds to assist national human rights institutions, advisory services for indigenous populations and victims of torture. At the Commission on Human Rights and the Third Committee of the General Assembly (with deals with social, cultural and humanitarian issues) New Zealand supported resolutions addressing a wide range of current international human rights concerns, in particular mainstreaming of women's issues within the United Nations system and indigenous issues.

Issues relating to the human rights of women and children continued to be a priority for New Zealand. In 1997 New Zealand continued to participate in the drafting of optional protocols to strengthen both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Dame Silvia Cartwright continued her second term as a member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Indigenous issues continued to receive international attention in 1996, with activities continuing under the Decade for the World's Indigenous People. New Zealand participated in a range of international initiatives focusing on indigenous people, including the second meeting of the intergovernmental working group considering a Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The specialised agencies. The UN system encompasses 14 autonomous organisations known as the Specialised Agencies (14 if the World Bank Group is counted as one, 19 if the World Bank Group is split). There is also a large number of additional bodies with their own secretariats, budgets and operations. New Zealand is a member of all the major specialised agencies. 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 levels 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 though education, science and culture. In November 1995 New Zealand was elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO for the period 1995-99.

Terence O'Brien, presiding at the UN Security Council at a session in 1993, with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at his right.

Sir Leslie Munro, President of the Twelfth session of the General Assembly 1957-58. Official United Nations photo

Sir Carl Berendsen, New Zealand's permanent delegate to the United Nation 1949-1952 and representative on the UN Trusteeship Council.

Other UN specialised 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), climate and weather (WMO) and industrial development (UNIDO).

New Zealand participates in other UN bodies and programmes concerned with such diverse subjects as atomic energy (IAEA), refugees (UNHCR), development (UNDP) and environmental issues (UNEP). New Zealand was elected to the Executive Board of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the period 1997 to 1999.

World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established on 1 January 1995. It is an international organisation which acts as a single institutional framework over the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the multilateral agreements that resulted from the Uruguay Round.

The GATT was negotiated in 1947 and came into force in 1948. Its basic aim has been to liberalise world trade and to place it on a secure basis, thereby contributing to international economic growth and development. By the time the WTO came into force, the GATT's Contracting Parties accounted for about 90 percent of world trade.

Like the GATT, which it has now subsumed, the WTO is a multilateral trade treaty. It provides both a code of rules and a forum in which countries can discuss and address their trade problems and negotiate and enlarge world trading opportunities. It is underpinned by certain fundamental principles:

Trade without discrimination: The ‘most favoured nation’ clause stipulates that each WTO member must grant all other members treatment as favourable as that which they grant any other country. This principle is particularly important for countries such as New Zealand, since it ensures that larger countries cannot adopt discriminatory trade policies (except for preferential free trade areas and customs unions).

Protection through tariffs: Any protection provided to domestic industry should be in the form of tariffs, rather than less transparent instruments such as quotas and import licensing.

The binding of tariffs at levels negotiated among members: Where tariffs have been bound, they may be increased above that level only if compensation is offered by the importing country.

National treatment: Imported products must be treated no less favourably than domestic products with respect to internal taxes, regulations and other requirements.

Consultations on the basis of equality: Any member may invoke the WTO's dispute settlement provisions in cases where it considers its WTO rights have been nullified or impaired.

Eight rounds of multilateral trade negotiations were held under the auspices of the GATT, each with the aim of liberalising trade between the contracting parties by reducing trade barriers and other measures impeding free trade. The most ambitious of these was the Uruguay Round (1986-94). In addition to establishing the World Trade Organisation, the Uruguay Round:

  • Brought agriculture effectively within the multilateral trading system for the first time.

  • Secured the eventual integration of the textiles and clothing sector into the WTO system.

  • Extended the multilateral trading system to trade in services (the General Agreement on Trade in Services).

  • Strengthened multilateral trade rules in areas such as subsidies, anti-dumping, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, safeguards, trade-related investment measures, and dispute settlement.

  • Established a multilateral framework for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (TRIPS).

  • Further reduced tariffs on goods.

Other United Nations bodies. In addition to the specialised agencies, many UN organisations help to seek solutions to international problems through diverse economic, development, humanitarian and technical activities. Through the NZODA New Zealand contributes to 15 different UN organisations which address issues such as drug abuse, population planning, women's research and training, and assistance to refugees. New Zealand sent a delegation to the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo which has set guidelines for population strategies for the next 20 years.

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

The IBRD currently lends about US$15.6 billion a year at market rates to developing countries with relatively high per capita income. The IDA provides interest-free loans worth about US$6.4 billion a year to the poorest developing countries. The IFC promotes growth in the private sector of developing countries by lending or investing in business enterprises without government guarantees. MIGA provides investors in developing countries with investment guarantees against non-commercial risk, 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 7,236 shares in the IBRD, which represents 0.51 percent of the total voting shares. The shares have a total par value of US$723.6 million, although over 90 percent of this amount has not been called up but, together with the uncalled subscription of the 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.

Since 1952, including current commitments

New Zealand also makes contributions to the periodic replenishments of the 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, amounting to a 0.119 percent share of the total replenishment. It will be paid over an eight year period from 1993.

Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a development finance institution. Established in 1965, 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.


The 53 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, which have a continuing constitutional association with New Zealand, are associate members. Cameroon and Mozambique joined the Commonwealth in November 1995.

A permanent Commonwealth Secretariat, based in London, 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 1995 meeting of Heads of Government took place in November in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1997, the meeting will be in Britain. Commonwealth finance ministers meet annually, and ministers of agriculture, labour, health, education, women's affairs and other portfolios also meet at varying intervals.

The links that bind the Commonwealth are not only between governments and ministers. They occur right across the non-governmental sector too. The Commonwealth has over 250 Commonwealth-wide organisations which maintain inter-Commonwealth links across a wide range of professional fields as well as areas such as sport, youth and education.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based in Paris, France, is a unique forum permitting governments of the industrialised democracies to study and formulate the best policies possible in all economic and social spheres. The work of the OECD, including its annual ministerial communique, is considered a crucial barometer of Western economic policy co-ordination, setting out shared views on issues of importance not only to Western interests but also to the international community generally.

The organisation provides a valuable opportunity to make New Zealand's voice heard on key macro- and micro-economic issues. Not only does work through the OECD help frame New Zealand's national economic policies, it also helps define its position, at least in broad outline, in international organisations at the regional and world level (such as the WTO and the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation).

In its standard setting and monitoring role, which is likely to grow, the OECD enjoys a comparative advantage in a niche between the national or regional level and the world level where it is usually desirable but always difficult to agree on the rules of the game. In this context, the organisation is an important link for New Zealand in the elaboration of its economic policy. We have a particular interest in the biannual publication OECD Economic Outlook which provides a periodic assessment of economic trends, prospects and policies in member countries. The organisation's regular country reviews also provide useful insights into member economies, including our own. New Zealand's development co-operation policy is reviewed regularly by the OECD's Development Assistance Committee.

Other areas where New Zealand participates in OECD work include education, science, health, labour, the environment, 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, central and eastern Europe and the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.

A key objective for New Zealand will be the completion of negotiations related to the establishment of a multilateral agreement on investment (MAI) which began in October 1995. This agreement will provide a broad multilateral framework for international investment with high standards for the liberalisation of investment regimes, improve investment protection and establish effective dispute settlement procedures.

New Zealand is also a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA), an autonomous body of 23 member countries within the OECD framework. The primary focus of the IEA is on oil security amongst its members. However, its programme of work embraces a wide range of energy issues including energy-related environmental concerns, increased energy efficiency and use of renewable resources, the energy situation of member and non-member countries, and dialogue between energy, particularly petroleum, producers and consumers.

4.3 New Zealand Territories


Tokelau consists of three small atolls in the South Pacific—Atafu, Fakaofo and Nukunonu—with a combined land area of 12 square kilometres and a population of around 1,500. The central atoll, Nukunonu, is 92 kilometres from Atafu and 64 kilometres from Fakaofo. Western Samoa is 480 kilometres to the south.

The British government transferred administrative control of Tokelau (then known as the Union Islands) to New Zealand in 1925. Formal sovereignty was transferred to New Zealand in 1948 by an act of the New Zealand Parliament. New Zealand statute law, however, does not apply to Tokelau unless it is expressly extended to Tokelau. In practice, no New Zealand legislation is extended to Tokelau without its consent.

Tokelau is listed as a non-self-governing territory for the purposes of the self-determination principles of the United Nations Charter. This status was confirmed in 1962 when New Zealand added Tokelau to the schedule of territories under the supervision of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation.

The main objective of New Zealand's relationship with Tokelau is that of fostering a greater degree of self-government and economic self-sufficiency for the people, in fulfilment of New Zealand's responsibilities under the United Nations Charter and General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) and 1541 (XV) covering decolonisation and the transmission of information.

The Administrator of Tokelau is Mr Lindsay Watt. He is appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is responsible for ‘the administration of the executive government of Tokelau’.

Under a programme of constitutional change agreed in 1992, the role of Tokelau's political institutions is being better defined and expanded. The process under way enables the base of Tokelau government to be located within Tokelau's national level institutions rather than as before, within a public service located largely in Western Samoa. This process was formalised by the delegation on 27 January 1994 of the Administrator's powers to the General Fono and the Council of Faipule when the General Fono is not in session. Consequently, the public service has been relocated to the atolls.

The General Fono, comprising 27 members, remains Tokelau's paramount political institution, while the key operational relationship is between the three Faipule acting as ministers within the Council of Faipule and the senior staff of the public service. In 1996 the formal step of devolving the legislative power was taken. With the passage of the Tokelau Amendment Act 1996 by the New Zealand Parliament, the General Fono has been able since 1 August 1996 to exercise a rule-making power.

The Council of Faipule's head is the Ulu o Tokelau (Leader of Tokelau), a post which rotates on a yearly basis. The Ulu for 1997 is Falima Teao, Faipule of Fakaofo.

The Faipule are the elected leaders of their respective atolls and chair the Taupulega or village council. Traditionally each village has been largely autonomous. This was confirmed by the Tokelau Village Incorporations Regulations 1986, giving legal recognition to each village and granting it an independent law-making power.

The ministerial function accordingly represents an extension of the formal responsibility of the Faipule. It can also be seen as formalising the past situation where each Faipule has provided the effective link between village and administering power; and, for that matter, between village and public service. (Before the January 1994 delegation of the Administrator's powers, the delegation was held by the head of the Tokelau Public Service, the Official Secretary, a post that is now disestablished.) These changes have added to the responsibilities of the other elected official, the Pulenuku or village mayor.

Tokelau's development prospects are restricted by its small land area and population, its geographic isolation, and by the relatively high cost in these circumstances of providing education, health and other services to three communities which are so widely separated. For these reasons Tokelau relies substantially on external financial support, primarily from New Zealand. Nonetheless the development of government structures at the national level has promoted a clear wish for Tokelau to be self-reliant to the greatest extent possible.

That wish is reflected in Tokelau's first National Strategic Plan adopted by the General Fono in June 1994. This document is seen as a ‘chartered course’ for the next five to ten years. It is reflected too in Tokelau's submission to a United Nations Visiting Mission in July 1994. The submission affirms that Tokelau has under active consideration both the Constitution of a self-governing Tokelau and an act of self-determination. It also expresses a strong preference for a future status of free association with New Zealand.

Ross Dependency

The Ross Dependency consists of the land, permanent ice-shelf and islands of Antarctica between 160° east to 150° west. The land is almost entirely 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 in 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 43 parties to the treaty meet regularly to consider questions within its framework.

4.4 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 (NZDF).

The Minister of Defence has the power of control of the New Zealand Defence Force, which is exercised through the Chief of Defence Force. The Chief of Defence Force is the principal military adviser to the Minister and is 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 chairing the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The Secretary of Defence is the chief executive of the Ministry of Defence and 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.

Defence policy

The most recent statement of the Government's defence policy is contained in the 1991 white paper, The Defence of New Zealand. New Zealand's defence policy is based on several fundamental features of our environment: firstly our maritime setting and distance from other land masses; secondly, a small population and economic base; and thirdly, a heavy reliance on overseas trade, with lines of supply and communication among the longest in the world. Distance enhances our security, although we are not invulnerable, but protecting New Zealand interests may require deploying over long distances. Distance is therefore a major feature of defence planing in New Zealand.

In this context, New Zealand maintains a defence force to meet three major requirements: the direct defence of New Zealand and those South Pacific nations for which we have a defence responsibility; to support our wider national interests in Australia and East Asia; and to contribute to global collective security efforts.

Our defence policy goals are to:

  • Maintain the sovereignty of New Zealand.

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

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

  • 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.

Victoria Cross plaques at the former RSA headquarters in Moray Place, Dunedin, being prepared for relocation in 1996.

“The New Zealand Expeditionary Force passing along Hutt Road October 10, 1914.”

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

  • Maintain and develop defence co-operation with ASEAN countries, and preserve the partnership obligations of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

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

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

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

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

The strategy which the white paper defines as being appropriate to meet these goals is ‘self reliance in partnership’. New Zealand does not foresee a direct threat to its territory. Realistically, direct threats to New Zealand could include offshore demonstrations of force and low-level contingencies such as resource poaching and terrorism. Addressing these tasks requires a self-reliant capability. However, threats to our vital economic interests, such as a conflict in South-East Asia, require a partnership approach, as the interests of our friends in that region would also be affected.

The white paper also developed the concept of the credible minimum force. Minimum because it must be fiscally sustainable, and credible because even at a minimum level it must be seen to be capable of achieving the government's essential goals. The minimum must be credible to the New Zealand taxpayer and to our friends and allies with whom we would be operating. Unless the minimum is credible, we risk wasting our investment in the Defence Force.

The credible minimum defence force is based on providing the New Zealand government with a reasonable range of force options from which to select an appropriate response to any contingency. The implications of this for force structure are a highly trained, well-equipped and general purpose defence force, with an emphasis on professionalism, long reach, mobility, and a high degree of readiness. The military effectiveness of such a force is the ultimate test of its credibility.

International defence relationships

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 examination of options for developing the structure of the two countries' defence forces to strengthen their ability to operate together. The most significant development over the past twelve months has been the extension and enhancement of the Nowra Agreement (see below).

The Five Power Defence Arrangements. The basis of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) is not a formal treaty but a statement in the communique 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 should be under external threat. The New Zealand Defence Force takes an active part in exercises which are designed to improve the ability of the forces of the five nations to operate together.

Mutual Assistance Programme. ASEAN (except Viet Nam) 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 defence and paramilitary forces in New Zealand's South Pacific neighbourhood. It also supports development projects in the South Pacific by using the engine