New Zealand Official Yearbook 1998

Te Pukapuka Houanga Whaimana o Aotearoa


Maureen Metcalfe.

Statistics New Zealand

Statistics New Zealand operates an information service. In answer to a letter, visit, or telephone call, information analysts can provide statistical information, or tell you more about the department's other services, including access to statistics on the INFOS computer database and the SNZ Website:

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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 1998

ISSN 0078,0170

ISBN 1-86956-223-2

Copyright © Statistics New Zealand 1998.

Published in 1998 by GP Publications, PO Box 12052, Thorndon, Wellington.

Printed by GP Print, Wellington, New Zealand.

Table of Contents

List of Tables


Although the environment (by definition) has always been with us and around us, it is only in recent years that concern over humanity's impact on our planet has become widespread. We are all now urged to be “green”, but to be able to respond to this call—on which the future of Earth may depend—we need to be well informed about the state of the environment.

Statistics New Zealand gathers information over a wide range of New Zealand life and behaviour, and in this 101st edition of the Yearbook we have brought together information about the New Zealand environment. The department publishes the Directory of environmental databases and collections for more specialised needs. The photographs have been chosen to reflect interactions with the environment where figures and words alone do not give the whole picture.

As it is the first after the census, this Yearbook also contains, in different chapters, much material from the 1996 Census of Population and Dwellings. More detailed information can be found in the range of census publications now available from Statistics New Zealand, and is also accessible on our Internet website.

Bringing together the wide range of facts and information contained in each New Zealand Official Yearbook relies on the time, effort and goodwill of, literally, hundreds of contributors in organisations around New Zealand. 1 thank all of them for being part of this comprehensive, one-volume publication about our country and its people which Statistics New Zealand is proud to have published regularly for over a century.

I am delighted that this Yearbook can also complement the comprehensive report The state of New Zealand's environment published by the Ministry of the Environment last year.

Government Statistician
June 1998


The 1998 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 editors: Louise Ormsby, Vicki Robson.

Proofreading: Jane Hunt, Marie Bachler.

Photographs: Individual photographs are credited separately.

How to use the 1998 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 1998 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 1997 or some collected early in 1998.


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

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

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

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

The cracked earth of an empty dam in Marlborough during the 1997 drought.

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

1 Includes all internal waterways (lakes and rivers).

2 Includes all offshore islands 20 sq km or larger, except those listed separately.

Source: Land Information New Zealand

 sq km
North Island113,729
South Island150,437
Offshore islands21,065
Stewart Island1,680
Chatham Islands963
Raoul Island34
Campbell Island113

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 northwest. 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

1Since 1986 both the Maori and European names of this mountain have had official recognition.

2Peaks over 3.000 metres.

Source: Land Information New Zealand

North Island—
    Taranaki or Egmont12,518
South Island2
    Hicks (St David's Dome)3,198
    Malte Brun3,155
    Elie de Beaumont3,117
    La Perouse3,079
    Glacier Peak3,007

New Zealand's rivers are mainly swift and difficult to navigate. They are important as sources of hydro-electric power and artificial lakes have been created as part of major hydro-electric schemes.



1Over 150 kilometres in length from the mouth to the farthest point in the river system irrespective of name, including estimated courses through lakes.

Source: Land Information New Zealand

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

1Over 20 square kilometres in area.

Source: Land Information New Zealand

 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.

The moving plates

Ivan Taurua from Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust is one of many volunteers helping plant hardy grasses at Bethelts Beach, to protect its black sands from erosion. The project is funded by Waitakere City Council.

Using GPS (global positioning systems) satellite surveying. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences scientists have been able to measure the distance between any two points in New Zealand to within a few millimetres. By repeating these measurements over several years they can map the amount of movement as the New Zealand landmass shifts along the boundary between the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates.

The velocity map shows the amount of strain building up, particularly beneath the Southern Alps east of the Alpine Fault. The information in strain rate maps, together with other geological research, is expected to produce more accurate assessments of earthquake hazards in New Zealand.

Weedbusters of Little Barrier, these conservation workers are eliminating every weed they see in a project, financed by the government Green Package, to eradicate the South African climbing asparagus vine.


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.

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.

Principal earthquakes in 1997. It was another quiet year for earthquakes throughout New Zealand in 1997, the second successive year in which we have had no large damaging earthquake on land. On average we get one such event each year, but since earthquake occurrence is highly variable, in some years we get more, while other years are quiet. In 1997 most activity was concentrated around the middle of the country, and we also experienced gentle shaking from very large earthquakes well to the north of the New Zealand.

Wellington was shaken several times by a swarm of earthquakes near The Brothers, just off the Marlborough Sounds, in June. The largest of these was magnitude 5.2, and was felt from the northern South Island to Taranaki. In all there were seven events larger than magnitude 3.5 over a period of two weeks. This swarm was located near to a swarm that occurred in 1950, when the largest event was magnitude 5.7—sufficient to cause minor damage in Wellington.

Another swarm near Seddon in October, while somewhat smaller than The Brothers swarm, with a maximum magnitude 4.4, was very shallow and caused damage to the contents of nearby houses. We do not understand exactly why earthquakes sometimes occur in swarms with no clear mainshock, as opposed to a clear mainshock followed by aftershocks. One reason may be that the fault that is slipping is rough, and so it breaks in a series of smaller earthquakes. The pressure of fluids within the earth is also thought to play a role.

A magnitude 5.3 event near Cape Turnagain off the east coast of the North Island on 8 November shook goods off shelves in Waipawa.

By far the largest earthquakes affecting the country during the year were located well to the north of New Zealand, in the Tonga-Kermadec region. This is one of the world's most active zones of deep earthquakes, with large events every year. On 26 May, a 450 km-deep magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred near the southern Kermadec Islands. This was felt throughout the country from Auckland to Dunedin, but because of its depth and distance from us, the shaking was quite minor. In the following three days six other felt earthquakes occurred over the length of the country, perhaps triggered by the large event to the north.

On 21 September another large earthquake occurred to the north of the country. This event had a magnitude of 6.9, was shallow, and was located near to Raoul Island, where it caused a rockfall and damaged a water tank.

Finally, on 14 October, a 166 km deep magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred 820 km north of Raoul Island. This was felt in Wellington over 2,200 km away.

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 fohn 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 1997

1997 was another year with extreme climate events in New Zealand, bringing record low rainfall in parts of Buller, Nelson and Marlborough, and very dry conditions in Marlborough, south Canterbury and Manawatu. The year ended with extremely dry conditions and agricultural drought in Marlborough, and parts of Canterbury and Hawke's Bay. New Zealand had a sunny year overall, especially over central New Zealand but it was cool.

A mix of La Niña and El Niño patterns was responsible for several of the extreme climate events with new records of rainfall and temperature. The tail end of the La Niña pattern caused four tropical cyclones to affect the New Zealand area from January to March. There were many flood-producing heavy rainfall events and as the year progressed New Zealand had an Indian summer.

The weak La Niña climate pattern, which waned in the late summer of 1996-97, was replaced by a very strong El Niño climate pattern which strengthened during winter and persisted for the remainder of the year. This pattern originated in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, where a pool of very much warmer-than-normal ocean water developed.

The El Niño influence on New Zealand's climate became most noticeable from winter onwards, with many more anticyclones over Victoria and Bass Strait. It produced more westerlies over southern New Zealand and to the south, and more southerlies over the rest of the South Island and central New Zealand. This produced the dry patterns in the north of the South Island and higher rainfall in the south of the South Island. It was also responsible for the cooler conditions overall, and the rather sunny year.

Rainfall. 1997 was the driest year since records began in 1932 in the Awatere Valley (Marlborough), and since the 1940s at Nelson and Westport Airports. Other extremely dry locations occurred in Marlborough and south Canterbury. These areas recorded only 60 to 75 percent of normal rainfall.

It was particularly wet in Coromandel and Hawke's Bay. with rainfall ranging from 120 to 140 percent of normal. It was also wet in remaining eastern North Island regions, as well as Southland, Fiordland and much of Otago. Most other regions recorded between 75 and 100 percent of normal rainfall.

Of the four main centres, Wellington was the wettest with 1,156 mm and Christchurch the driest with 571 mm. Auckland amassed 1,149 mm and Dunedin 840 mm. Clyde was the driest town NIWA measured in New Zealand, with only 392 mm. Milford Sound was the wettest populated location measuring 6,655 mm.


LocationRainfall (mm)Percent of averageRecords beganComments
Nelson, Appleby6336419322nd lowest
Nelson Airport595591941Lowest
Blenheim Airport5427419413rd lowest
Upcot, Awatere Valley523691932Lowest
Westport Airport1,372621945Lowest

Temperatures. It was cool overall, particularly in the south and east of the North Island and eastern regions of the South Island, from Canterbury to Southland, where mean temperatures were mostly between 0.5 and 1.0°C below average. Throughout the remainder of the country mean temperatures were average to 0.4°C below average. The warmest centre was Whangarei, with a mean temperature for 1997 of 15.6°C.

The national average temperature, calculated by NIWA, was 12.3°C, which was 0.3°C below normal. This compares with a 1996 national average temperature of 12.5°C.

The highest extreme temperature for the year was 34.1°C recorded at Timaru Airport in hot north westerlies on 15 December 1997. The lowest temperature for the year was minus 8.8°C, measured at Lauder in Central Otago on the morning of 16 July 1997.


Competitors scamper for cover as the skies open on the 23 March 1997 Round the Bays Run, Auckland.

It was a very cold September with the lowest mean monthly temperatures on record occurring at Waimate with 6.1°C. 3.3°C below normal, and the Chatham Islands. 7.7°C, 1.6°C below normal.

Sunshine. 1997 had much more sunshine than normal in the north of the South Island, especially Buller where hours were almost 120 percent of normal, as well as Nelson and Westland, where totals were about 110 percent of normal. It was also sunnier than average in western Bay of Plenty. Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Marlborough, Canterbury. Westland and Southland, where totals were at least 105 percent of normal. Most other regions experienced slightly-above-average sunshine.

Nelson was the sunniest centre in 1997, recording 2,680 hours. This has only been exceeded twice in NIWA's official historical records; 2,685 hours recorded at Blenheim in 1972 and the extreme 2,711 hours recorded at Nelson in 1931. Nelson began recording sunshine hours in 1930.

Blenheim was the second sunniest centre in 1997 with 2.613 hours, followed by Tauranga and Whakatane, both with 2,415 hours. Blenheim set a new New Zealand record for November with its sunniest (327 hours) since records began in 1930. Of the four main centres, Wellington was the sunniest with 2.168 hours and then Christchurch with 2,156 hours.

Table 1.7. SUNSHINE HOURS 1997

Departure CityTotal hoursNormal (hours)from normal (hours)Comments
Auckland2,0532019+ 34Near average
Wellington2,1682,050+118Much sunnier
Dunedin1,6431,598+ 45Near average

Indian summer. New Zealand had a rare Indian summer with warm days, light winds, hardly any rain, and plenty of sunshine, from the last week of April through the third week of May. It was extremely dry in the southwest of the North Island. Coupled with the settled weather and warm temperatures, there was little wind anywhere in New Zealand. Well above normal temperatures occurred, with record high May mean temperatures in the south west.

Floods and storms. There were at least 10 flood-producing rainfall events during 1997, some of which were severe. On 5 April in Fiordland heavy rainfall occurred in a 14-hour storm, with 331 mm recorded at Dumpling Hut (on the Milford Track) and on the same day. 100 mm in parts of Southland. Torrential rainfall occurred in a 6-hour storm on 24 May with 142 mm recorded at Beachlands, Auckland. The same weather system also brought high rainfall to Henderson (84 mm), Auckland Airport (81 mm), and Mt Albert (72 mm).

Heavy rainfall resulted in slips, severe flooding, and a state of emergency in the Wairoa region on 3 June. Unofficial reports of rainfall totalling 400 mm occurring within 24 hours (and 100 mm in 2 hours), were received from the area. Many stations in Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay measured rainfall totals ranging from 100 to 250 mm in the 48 hours to 9 am 3 June, and many Northland farms were affected by flooding. On 18 June heavy rainfall occurred in parts of Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Wellington. Nelson. Marlborough. Golden Bay and Buller, with totals up to 100 mm to 9 am. Northland again experienced heavy rainfall on 30 June. The rain moved south to affect the Bay of Islands, and Coromandel Peninsula. with many sites recording at least 100 mm during the event. Purerua, in the Bay of Islands, measured 134 mm during the storm, of which 50 mm occurred within an hour.

From 1-3 July heavy rainfall in Coromandel, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, and eastern Bay of Plenty (with 50 to 80 mm in many places) resulted in slips blocking the Napier to Gisborne railway line, and minor flooding on roads north of Wairoa and low lying rural areas. Heavy rainfall on 9 September in the far north, resulted in floods and slips, especially between Doubtless Bay and Whangaroa/Kaeo. Torrential rainfall and flooding, associated with a convergence zone over Coromandel, occurred in Whitianga on 24 September. Rainfall at Whitianga totalled 60 mm in the hour to 2 pm 24 September, 93 mm in the 2 hours to 2 pm 24 September, 193 mm in the 24 hours to 9 am 25 September, and 291 mm in the 48 hours to 9 am 25 September.

High rainfall in the Wellington region on 4 October resulted in the evacuation of about 50 people in Lower Hutt, and flooding of more than 60 homes along Hutt riverside areas. Isolated land slips closed some Wellington roads and SHI. Rainfalls of over 300 mm were recorded in the Tararuas, more than 200 mm in the Hutt catchment and about 90 mm was recorded in Lower Hutt in the 24 hours to noon on 5 October.

The year ended with heavy rain on the West Coast on 15-16 December with totals up to 370 mm recorded in 48 hours in the Greymouth/Hokitika catchment area. Flooding occurred in Greymouth.

Cyclones. Four cyclones of tropical origin occurred in the first three months of 1997. ‘Drena’ tracked to the west of New Zealand, later crossing the north of the South Island on 10 January. It produced gale northeasterlies in Northland and Auckland, with gusts to 124 km/h recorded at Mokohinau Island. The winds damaged power lines and ripped some roofs off houses. High tides and storm surges caused flooding of homes in Thames. High rainfall also occurred from Kaikoura to coastal Otago.

Air pressure recordings from Tahiti and Darwin

Volunteers from Envirosmart in Whangamata build up a wall of sandbags to stem floodwaters from Cyclone Drena, the second tropical storm hit the Coromandel in a fortnight in January 1997.

The remains of tropical cyclone ‘Harold’ affected northern New Zealand at the end of February.

A depression of subtropical origin, ‘Nameless’, affected Northland, Auckland and Coromandel, with warm humid northeasterly conditions. Heavy rain combined with high tides resulted in flooding in Whangarei. Rainfall totalling 106 mm occurred in 24 hours, with 46 mm in a one-hour period. Another ex-tropical cyclone, ‘Gavin’, produced high seas in Northland, the Coromandel and Hicks Bay areas over the night of 11/12 March, with about 150 mm of rainfall in the Gisborne ranges. There was extensive flooding in the Motu area and 109 mm of rain caused surface flooding at Gisborne Airport. The cyclone produced high winds, gusting to 130km/h near East Cape (two houses in Hicks Bay lost roofs), and 100 km/h in very exposed parts of Auckland.

Snowfalls. North Canterbury experienced its first significant snowfall of the winter on 18 June with snow to sea level, and falls to l m deep in some inland areas (i.e. Arthurs Pass). Freezing fog blocked out much of the sun in much of Central Otago from 1-10 July, with extensive hoarfrost, making the region very picturesque. A cold snap on 2 August led to snowfall in high country areas, with road closures. Snow also fell to sea level in Southland. Cold southerlies continued through 5 August, with swells up to 6m and high winds through Cook Strait. On 14 August snow fell to low levels in Southland, with thunderstorms and heavy hail in Invercargill. Snow fell to sea level in Canterbury and Otago, settling in Christchurch on 21 August. The same storm moved northward, bringing significant snowfall to high country areas. Cold south-westerlies brought snowfall to northern Southland, south Otago, inland Canterbury and the North Island's Desert Road on 11 November.

Hailstorms. Severe hailstorms struck Hawke's Bay on 22 March, destroying several million dollars worth of fruit in up to 200 orchards. The hail resembled jagged 20 cent pieces or arrowheads. A notable electrical and hail storm occurred over Wellington during the early morning of 14 July resulting in a domestic terminal at the airport being flooded by melting hail.

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.

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.

The Department of Conservation has a ten-year Kakapo Recovery Plan to establish at least one viable, self-sustaining, unmanaged population of kakapo. There is now a population of over 50, including 20 females, living on Codfish Island, off Stewart Island. In 1997, for the first time in five years, the population increased. Kakapo chick “Tiwai" showed good development between 22 days old (top), in the sieve used for retrieving and replacing the chick into the nest after weighing, and 82 days old, weighing 1.93 kg (April to June 1997).

Half a dozen Northland DOC volunteers working to save a 20,000 year old wetland near Whangarei. The project was funded with a $5,000 grant from the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust, set up with compensation funds from the French government after the bombing of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior.

Manga, the first of two North Island weka chicks produced as part of a Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society breeding programme at a Manawatu tourist park.

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.

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.


GroupNumber of speciesPercentage endemic1

1 Native species not found anywhere else.

2 Estimated.

Source: Department of Conservation

Marine algae32900243
Ferns and allies2618946
Flowering plants1,84221,81384
Land snals/slugs12520299
Freshwater fish2322785

A definitive feature of New Zealand's land-based plants and animals is their degree of specialisation and narrow habitat requirements (e.g. 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 Mäori, 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.

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, IGNS, Taupo; MetService Ltd: Steve Wood, NIWA, Lauder; NIWA; Department of Conservation.

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.

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

Matin Rata's coffin is carried by members of his tribe up the steep hill to its final resting place at Te Hapua Urupa, overlooking Parengarenga Harbour, July 1997.

2.1 Chronology 1997

January. Cyclone Drena brings violent weather to the top of the North Island. Launch of Zespri, the brand name for New Zealand Kiwifruit.

February. Funding for Aotearoa Television Network, the first Maori television network, is not renewed following allegations of irregularities and unusual spending by directors. Stephen Anderson kills 6 and injures 6 at Raurimu. A Wanganui Court rules that, under the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori do not need a licence to fish trout within tribal areas; the finding is appealed. The unfinished Opuha Dam near Fairlie collapses, causing extensive damage downstream.

March. Figures from the 1996 Census show that the national population has risen 7 percent to 3.6 million since 1991. The 150-year-old America's Cup is damaged in a sledgehammer attack by a Maori activist. The government announces plans to introduce a “work test" for beneficiaries and the unemployed. Alleged assault by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters on MP John Banks in a Parliamentary corridor. Navy sexual harassment policy questioned after a complaint is lodged with the Human Rights Commission by a female naval rating.

April. Chinese scientists leaving through Auckland airport are asked to surrender budwood of the new NZ apple variety Pacific Rose. Thumbprint logo of Te Papa—Our Place is released amongst controversy about its high cost.

May. The Serious Fraud Office investigates after ACC chief Gavin Robins resigns; he is later charged with fraud. A petition of 197,000 signatures opposes the demolition of Broadcasting House in Wellington. The Auckland Blues again win the rugby Super 12 final. Parliament's Privileges Committee finds insufficient evidence to show that the assault on MP John Banks by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters amounted to contempt of Parliament.

June. MP Tukoroirangi Morgan offers his resignation after attempting to sell an exclusive interview; it is not accepted. TVNZ announces the closure of its regional television network, Horizon Pacific. Urewera Triptych by Colin McCahon is stolen from the Aniwaniwa Visitors' Centre at Lake Waikaremoana. TV4 begins daily broadcasts. Customs Service cracks down on imported Japanese used cars following long-standing claims of large-scale odometer fraud.

July. The Spirit of Adventure sail training ship begins her last voyage. MTV broadcasts for the first time in New Zealand. Farmer John Bolton-Riley makes first flight across the Tasman Sea in a microlight aircraft, from Feilding to Coffs Harbour. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries rejects the use of imported calicivirus (RCD) for biological rabbit control. Jessie Munro's The Story of Suzanne Aubert is named Montana Book of the Year. Opposing Bougainville groups come to Burnham Army camp for peace talks hosted by New Zealand. Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission announces how it proposes to allocate fisheries assets, causing deep disagreements and legal action.

August. Auckland's Skytower is opened. Beatrice Faumuina wins gold for discus at the World Track and Field championships in Athens. The Winebox Inquiry concludes with a recommendation of tighter tax laws and the finding that all allegations of fraud raised in the inquiry were unable to be substantiated. Northland Judge Martin Beattie is acquitted of 45 counts of fraud involving false expense claims; fellow Judge Robert Hesketh earlier pleaded guilty to 8 counts. Auckland band OMC's album How Bizarre goes gold in the United States. New Zealand win the rugby tri-series against Australia and South Africa, and the Bledisloe Cup. Bic Runga becomes the first New Zealand woman to top the New Zealand album charts with her debut album Drive. Retired Judge Sir Thomas Thorp's report on firearms recommends more restrictions on their ownership. Discovery of a Maori head in a burial plot in Liverpool prompts Museum of New Zealand to state that tattooed Maori heads it holds will never be displayed. Scenes of widespread grief in New Zealand after news of the death of Princess Diana.

August 1997. Sir Ronald Davison relaxes at home with a cup of tea after the Winebox Inquiry finds no proof of fraud by the Inland Revenue Department and the Serious Fraud Office.

October 1997. Sir Tipene O'Regan and Hon DAM Graham signing the Heads of Agreement for the Ngai Tahu Settlement at Kaikoura.

September. Compulsory Superannuation is rejected by a margin of more than 9 to 1 in New Zealand's first postal referendum. Revelations that the rabbit-killing calicivirus RCD has been illegally introduced into New Zealand; the government has no choice but to legalise its spread. Golfer Glenn Turner wins the British Masters golf tournament. Fletcher Energy announces discovery of a new natural gas formation in Taranaki. Demolition of Broadcasting House.

October. A $165 million proposal to move the Beehive and complete the 1911 design for Parliament House is discarded after public protest. ASB North Harbour wins the netball Caltex Cup. Paparua prison guards taken hostage by prisoners with imprisonment grievances. Ngai Tahu signs a $170 million settlement with the Crown.

November. Christchurch's new New Brighton Pier is officially opened. Jim Bolger resigns as Prime Minister after a National Party coup while he is overseas; he is replaced by New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister. Jenny Shipley. The government announces that an extra $663 million will be spent on defence, but decides against further frigate purchases. Children. Young Persons and their Families Service says that 6,128 children required state intervention in the past year, with thousands more considered “at risk”. Rob Hamill and Phil Stubbs win the inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race, crossing from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 41 days. The film Topless women talk about their lives directed by Harry Sinclair dominates the New Zealand Film and Television Awards.

December. Prime Minister Jenny Shipley forms her first cabinet. Taranaki farmers drive their tractors to Parliament to protest the passage of the Mäori Reserved Land Amendment Bill. Defence Force truce monitoring team goes to Bougainville to supervise the truce agreement. Mãori Land Court finds that Mãori may claim customary ownership of beaches and seabeds. in a case brought by Marlborough iwi, which is appealed. Waitutu Settlement Act comes into force, joining unique Western Southland podocarp forest to Fiordland National Park.

Obituaries 1997

Bruce Beetham (b. 1936) was a history lecturer when elected leader of the feuding Social Credit Political League in 1972. After contesting the previously blue-ribbon National seat of Rangitikei in 1972 and 1975 he was mayor of Hamilton 1976-77, before entering Parliament in the 1978 Rangitikei by-election. Boundary changes, plus unpopular support of the government on the Clyde Dam project, saw him narrowly lose the seat in 1984. An articulate leader, he gained Social Credit 21 percent of the national vote at the 1981 general election though this meant only two seats in Parliament. He remained leader until 1986, overseeing the change to the New Zealand Democratic Party. After standing unsuccessfully in the 1987 general election he entered local politics with the Wanganui Area Health Board and the regional council. A tireless worker for his party and proportional representation, his efforts paved the way for MMP.

Sir John Bennett (b. Rotorua 1912) was committed to Mãori education and the retention of te Reo. He trained as a teacher in Christchurch and attended Canterbury University, going on to play a leading role in many community organisations, especially those devoted to education. He was one of the original members of the Mãori Education Foundation (1975) and it was from there that he started the Mãori language nest concept which became the Kohanga Reo movement. He was the founding chairman of the Kohanga Reo National Trust in 1982. To date more than 30,000 children have passed through the kohanga system, with almost half of all Mãori preschoolers attending kohanga. He was also a founding member of the Mãori Council.

Ted Coubray (b. Eastern Bush, Southland 1900) was one of New Zealand's leading pioneer filmmakers. Born five years after the birth of cinema, he was projectionist, cameraman, director, producer, sound-film pioneer and inventor. In the 1920s he ran a circuit cinema in Rongotea, and began filming local events to screen at movie sessions. He was assistant cameraman on the epic, The birth of New Zealand (1921) and in 1927 wrote, produced and directed the horse-racing feature film Carbine's heritage which screened simultaneously in three Auckland cinemas. He invented a film sound system in 1929 (the first in Australasia), continuing throughout his life to invent film equipment. He was a projectionist in the Hutt Valley during World War 2 and in the 1960s was manager-operator for Auckland Cinemas, retiring to Australia in 1973. (A documentary on Ted Coubray is being made.)

Arthur Cushen (b. Bluff 1920) was a world-level shortwave radio expert, with confirmed reception of 9,000 stations. He began monitoring shortwave radio for the BBC in 1942 and for Voice of America from 1972, and broadcasting services for Radio New Zealand International from 1960. In 1962 he founded New Zealand's first telephone news service. He was International Listener of the Year in 1960, 1980 and 1992. He became blind in 1954 and worked voluntarily for blind people for the rest of his life, establishing the Southland Branch of the Association of the Blind in 1962. He had written for the Electronic Australian Monthly since 1952, and New Zealand Listener and Southland Times for almost 40 years. His book The world in my ears, which sold in 70 countries, is available in braille and as a talking book.

Doug Dibley (b. Wellington 1896) was the last surviving Gallipoli veteran (see Les Leach). In 1915 he was working for an oil company in Wellington when he and a friend saw an advertisement seeking helpers at Trentham Military Camp, where there was a spinal meningitis epidemic. He recalled, “The next thing we knew they packed us off to Gallipoli.” He was a stretcher bearer and was evacuated on the last day of the big evacuation, sent to France, but contracted meningitis and was invalided to England. After returning to New Zealand in April 1918, he took up a rehab farm in Ngongotaha and later taking over his father-in-law's farm nearby, remained there all his working life. He served in the Home Guard during World War 2. Like many other returned servicemen he was opposed to wars and the suffering they caused.

Sir Leonard (Len) Hadley (b. Wellington 1911), an expert in labour negotiations, was an executive member of the Federation of Labour for more than 30 years as well as serving on industrial commissions and the Arbitration Court. The ‘back-room’ person of the FOL, he was an acknowledged expert on industrial awards and agreements who preferred bargaining and conciliation to confrontation. Hadley was national secretary of several unions: Photo-engravers, Motion Picture Projectionists and the Tobacco Workers, and for 30 years the Plumbers and Gasfitters Union. He was a director of the Reserve Bank for 26 years from 1959, and a founding trustee and president of the Wellington Savings Bank, and the union movement's first knight.

Ruth Hendry (b. Christchurch 1913) compiled the New Zealand Listener cryptic crosswords for 57 years and 19 weeks, believed to be a world record. RWH, as she was known, said it was acceptable to tease or baffle as long as clues were fair. At a time when few women had higher degrees she graduated in 1937 with an MA in French from Canterbury College. She worked as a woolbroker and later as an accountant until marriage. She swam, lifesaved and fenced as a young woman and later was a keen climber and tramper, interested in music and history, and involved with music and theatre administration in Christchurch. Her favourite clue was, “He won't eat more quickly (6)" [faster].

Sir Hepi te Heuheu (b. 1919) of Ngati Tuwharetoa held the last paramount chieftaincy in Mãoridom, taking over the title from his father at age 24. His early years had been spent as a bushman before farming family land near Taumarunui. As chairman of the Tuwharetoa Mãori Trust Board he oversaw the development and extension of their substantial economic base of tribal lands. His ancestor refused to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, and these lands had been retained by the iwi. Sir Hepi exerted an influence in the Mãori world far beyond the shores of Lake Taupo. He persuaded the government to insert the Treaty protection provisions into the State-owned Enterprises legislation, was architect of the Mãori Congress, set up in 1990 as an autonomous iwi body, and called his own hui in 1994 (attended by more than 1,000 iwi representatives) to discuss the government's fiscal envelope proposals.

Jack Hinton (b. Colac Bay 1909) was New Zealand's last surviving Victoria Cross holder. He won the VC in 1941 during the pullout from Greece, when he was severely wounded and captured. He spent four and a half years as a POW in Germany, attempting escape three times. Jack had left home at 12 to be galley hand on an Antarctic whaling ship, later delivering groceries, working on farms, and during the Depression became a swagman. On his return to New Zealand he became manager of Auckland's ‘wildest’ hotel, The Thistle, going on to manage a number of hotels around the country. In later years he was a key guest at Anzac Day and military functions.

Henry Lang (b. Vienna 1919) came to New Zealand in 1939 with his mother Anna and noted architect stepfather Ernst Plischke. Educated at Victoria University he served with the RNZAF from 1944 to 1946. He joined the Treasury in 1958 rising to the position of Secretary from 1968 to 1976.

June 1997. Japanese imported used cars being inspected on arrival in Dunedin for comparison with their documentation, to determine if their odometers have been wound back.

He revitalised the Treasury with young graduates from a range of disciplines encouraging wide-ranging debate. He was highly regarded throughout the public service. After the Treasury he established the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University and took up a number of professional directorships. Henry Lang was very interested and supportive of the arts and remained a keen skier into his seventies. He was awarded an Hon LLM by Victoria University and was a member of the Order of New Zealand.

Les Leach (b. Greymouth 1897) the second last surviving Gallipoli veteran (see Doug Dibley) died in Sydney. Les Leach was a butcher aged 16 when he enlisted in the army in 1913. He was wounded at Gallipoli and sent back to New Zealand. After recovering, he was shipped back to France where his skull was fractured in a shell burst. After recovering in an English hospital he was sent home. After the war he worked as a civil engineer, later owning commercial properties including an hotel in Akaroa and another in Auckland. He married at 70 and lived for a number of years in Auckland before moving to Port Macquarie in New South Wales.

Barbara Matthews (b. Lower Hutt 1917) with her husband J W (Jim) wrote the extremely popular “Garden with Matthews” syndicated newspaper column for over 30 years, the last appearing in 1987. The Matthews family developed four large gardens, of which the best known is in Waikanae where Barbara lived for 44 years. She helped launch and edit the New Zealand Gardener in 1944, remaining consulting editor for many years and was author of Growing native plants and co-author of New Zealand garden dictionary and other books. Barbara led the first garden tour to Britain in the 1970s and appeared on a television garden show. Her own love of nature and gardening, which she saw as an aid to health and youthfulness, was widely influential.

Erihapeti Murchie (born 1923 Arowhenua marae near Temuka) was a Human Rights Commissioner for eight years, representing New Zealand on the UN Working Group on indigenous peoples. She had trained as a teacher and later studied at Otago and Victoria Universities, gaining a BA in 1977. A mother of 10, she became national president and research director of the Mãori Women's Welfare League and was largely responsible for the influential 1984 report Rapuora—health and Mãori women. In addition to the many public positions she held in health and education she was a consultant to the Royal Commission on Social Policy, a trustee of the Mãori Arts and Crafts Institute, on the Massey University Council, and made memorable appearances in three productions of The pohutukawa tree. Most recently, she undertook an investigation into cultural safety training for nurses.

Matiu Rata (born 1934 Te Hapua) moved to Auckland with his mother and two brothers after the death of his father. At 15 he joined the Labour Party and worked as a seaman and trade union official. He was selected for the Northern Mãori seat for Labour in the 1963 by-election. With Labour's win in the 1972 election he was appointed Minister of Mãori Affairs and Lands. During this period he was instrumental in the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal. In 1979 in opposition he resigned from the Labour Party, serving briefly as an independent before forming Mana Motuhake and losing his seat in a self-imposed by-election in 1980. He was executive director and chief negotiator of the Muriwhenua runanaga covering most of the far north tribes, and is credited with being the catalyst for the current Mãori renaissance, as well as being a prominent and successful advocate for Mãori fishing and land claims.

Eva Rickard (b. Raglan 1925) was a veteran Mãori activist whose first campaign was for the return of ancestral land taken for a Second World War airstrip. Post-war, the land became the Raglan Golf Course. She finally succeeded in 1983 and the course became a farm with a marae and training centre. In 1984 she led a 2,000-strong hikoi (march) to Waitangi, protesting that Waitangi Day celebrations be cancelled until all grievances were settled. She stood for Parliament for Mana Motuhake but left the party when it joined the Alliance and founded the Mana Mãori Movement in 1993. She was a fierce critic of other Mãori, criticising Mãori MPs, the Mãori Council and the Tainui Mãori Trust Board claiming they did not have a mandate for the $170 million raupatu settlement claim with the Crown. Eva Rickard worked at the Raglan Post Office from 1943 until 1979 with time out to have 9 children. She had a moko tattooed on her chin in late 1996—she felt she had earned it.

Emily Schuster (b. Auckland 1937) who was a guide and performer in cultural groups all her life, was the niece of Guide Rangi. A lifelong practitioner of traditional crafts, particularly weaving, she became supervisor of women's crafts at the Rotorua Mãori Arts and Crafts Institute in 1969. As the convenor of the Aotearoa Moananui-a-Kiwa Weavers group she teamed up with Diggeress Te Kanawa, travelling to the UK and USA documenting taonga held in museums. She represented New Zealand overseas at many conferences and gatherings, speaking on traditional Mãori crafts. She did a great deal of community work, being instrumental in raising funds for the memorial bridge, marae and dining room at Whakarewarewa.

Paul Temm (b. Auckland 1930) had a deprived childhood. He attended Holy Cross Seminary but left after two years, working in camps around Nelson to pay his way through law school and became a High Court judge. During his 30 years as a barrister he took six cases to the Privy Council in London. Appointed as a founding member to the Waitangi Tribunal in 1982, he was involved in landmark hearings like the Manukau Harbour claim and Kaituna pipeline case. After not being reappointed to the Tribunal he led the legal case for the successful Ngai Tahu Treaty claim, noting it was the biggest challenge of his career.

The Honourable Justice Paul Temm addressing the court.

Frank Thorn (b. London 1916) came from a very poor, large family. He joined the British Merchant Navy at 15 but jumped ship in New Zealand and was fully involved in the 1951 waterfront confrontation. Ousted from the wharves, he worked at the Ngauranga freezing works, becoming branch secretary of the Meat Workers Union. From 1971 to 1993 he was secretary of the Clothing Workers Union and minor unions covering isolated groups of workers, many of them women, whom Frank Thorn represented using his colourful, good-humoured rhetoric rather than union muscle, (although he organised a celebrated sit-in at a Levin clothing factory). He served on the national executive of the Federation of Labour and was still a member of his union executive at 81.

waitangi Day 1997

2.2 Chronology of main events in New Zealand history

cl300 Archaeological evidence indicates that Polynesian settlement was established by this date.

1642 Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers a land he calls Staten Land, later named New Zeeland.

1769 British explorer James Cook makes the first of three visits to New Zealand, taking possession of the country in the name of King George III.

1790s Sealing, deep-sea whaling, the flax and timber trades begin, with some small temporary settlements. First severe introduced epidemic among Maori population.

1791 First visit by a whaling vessel, the William and Ann, to Doubtless Bay.

1806 First Pakeha women arrive in New Zealand.

1814 British missionary Samuel Marsden makes first visit to New Zealand. Anglican mission station established. Sheep, cattle, horses and poultry are introduced.

1815 Thomas Holloway King is the first Pakeha child born in New Zealand.

1819 Raids on Taranaki and Te Whanganui-a-tara regions by Ngapuhi and Ngati Toa people led by chiefs Patuone, Nene, Moetara, Tuwhare and Te Rauparaha.

1820 Hongi Hika, Ngapuhi chief, visits England, meets King George IV and secures supply of muskets.

1821 Musket wars begin with raids by Hongi Hika and Te Morenga on southern iwi and continue throughout the decade.

1822 Ngati Toa migration south to Cook Strait region, led by Te Rauparaha, begins.

1823 Jurisdiction of New South Wales courts is extended to British citizens in New Zealand. Wesleyan Missionary Society mission established. First Church of England marriage between Philip Tapsell and Maori girl, Maria Ringa.

1824 Te Heke Niho-puta migration of Taranaki iwi to the Kapiti Coast. Rawiri Taiwhanga in Bay of Islands sells dairy produce and other food supplies to visiting ships.

1827 Te Rauparaha's invasion of the South Island from Kapiti begins.

1830 First acorn planted at Waimate North where agricultural mission and school established.

1831 Whaling stations established at Tory Channel and Preservation Inlet.

1833 James Busby, appointed British Resident in New Zealand, arrives at the Bay of Islands.

1834 United Tribes' flag adopted by some 25 northern chiefs at Busby's suggestion.

1835 Declaration of Independence by the ‘United Tribes of New Zealand’ signed by 34 northern chiefs.

1837 New Zealand Association formed in London, becoming the NZ Colonisation Society in 1838 and the NZ Company in 1839, under the inspiration of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. William Colenso completes printing the New Testament in Maori, the first book printed in New Zealand.

1838 Bishop Pompallier founds Roman Catholic Mission at Hokianga.

1839 William Hobson instructed to establish British rule in New Zealand, as a dependency of New South Wales. Colonel William Wakefield of the New Zealand Company arrives on the Tory to purchase land for a settlement.

1840 New Zealand Company settlers arrive at Port Nicholson, Wellington. Treaty of Waitangi signed at Bay of Islands and later over most of the country. British sovereignty proclaimed. French settlers land at Akaroa. Hobson becomes first Governor and sets up executive and legislative councils.

1841 European settlements established at New Plymouth and Wanganui. Capital shifted from Kororareka to Auckland.

1842 Main body of settlers arrive at Nelson.

1843 Twenty-two European settlers and four Maori killed at a confrontation at Tua Marina, near the Wairau, in Marlborough. Robert FitzRoy becomes Governor.

1844 Hone Heke begins the ‘War in the North’. New Zealand Company suspends its colonising operations due to financial difficulties.

1845 George Grey becomes Governor.

1846 War in the North ends with capture of Ruapekapeka. First NZ Constitution Act passed. Heaphy, Fox and Brunner begin exploring the West Coast. First steam vessel, HMS Driver, arrives in New Zealand waters.

1848 Settlement founded by Scottish Otago Association. Provinces of New Ulster and New Munster set up under 1846 Act. Coal discovered at Brunner on the West Coast. Earthquake in Marlborough damages most Wellington buildings.

1850 Canterbury settlement founded.

1852 Second NZ Constitution Act passed creating General Assembly and six provinces with representative government.

1853 Idea of a Maori King canvassed by Tamihana Te Rauparaha and Matene Te Whiwhi.

1854 First session of the General Assembly opens in Auckland.

1855 Governor Thomas Gore Browne, appointed in 1854, arrives. Severe earthquake on both sides of Cook Strait. Adhesive, imperforate postage stamps on sale.

1856 Henry Sewell forms first ministry under responsible government and becomes first Premier. Edward Stafford forms first stable ministry.

1858 New Provinces Act passed. Te Wherowhero installed as first Maori King, taking name Potatau I.

1859 First session of Hawke's Bay and Marlborough provincial councils. Gold discovered in Buller River. New Zealand Insurance Company established.

1860 Waitara dispute develops into general warfare in Taranaki.

1861 Grey begins second governorship. Gold discovered at Gabriel's Gully; Otago goldrushes begin. First session of Southland provincial council. Bank of New Zealand incorporated at Auckland.

1862 First electric telegraph line opens—from Christchurch to Lyttleton. First gold shipment from Dunedin to London.

1863 War resumes in Taranaki and begins in Waikato when General Cameron crosses the Mangatawhiri stream. New Zealand Settlements Act passed to effect land confiscation. First steam railway in New Zealand opened.

1864 War in the Waikato ends with battle of Orakau. Land in Waikato, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay confiscated. Gold discovered in Marlborough and Westland. Arthur, George and Edward Dobson are the first Pakeha to cross what becomes known as Arthur's Pass.

1865 Seat of government transferred from Auckland to Wellington. Native Land Court established. Maori resistance continues. Auckland streets lit by gas for first time.

1866 Cook Strait submarine telegraph cable laid. Christchurch to Hokitika road opens. Cobb and Co. coaches run from Canterbury to the West Coast.

1867 Thames goldfield opens. Four Maori seats established in parliament. Lyttleton railway tunnel completed. Armed constabulary established.

1868 Maori resistance continues through campaigns of Te Kooti Arikirangi and Titokowaru. New Zealand's first sheep breed, the Corriedale, is developed.

1869 New Zealand's first university, the University of Otago, is established.

1870 The last imperial forces leave New Zealand. Vogel's public works and immigration policy begins. New Zealand University Act passed, establishing a federal system which lasts until 1961. Vogel announces national railway construction programme; over 1000 miles constructed by 1879. First rugby match. Auckland to San Francisco mail service begins.

1871 Deer freed in Otago.

1872 Te Kooti retreats to the King Country and Maori armed resistance ceases. Telegraph communication links Auckland, Wellington and southern provinces.

1873 New Zealand Shipping Company established.

1874 First New Zealand steam engine built at Invercargill.

1876 Abolition of the provinces and establishment of local government by counties and boroughs. New Zealand-Australia cable established.

1877 Education Act passed, establishing national system of primary education.

1878 Completion of Christchurch-Invercargill railway.

1879 Triennial Parliaments Act passed. Vote is given to every male aged 21 and over. Kaitangata mine explosion, 34 people die. Annual property tax introduced.

1881 Parihaka community forcibly broken up by troops. Te Whiti, Tohu Kakahi and followers arrested and imprisoned. Wreck of SS Tararua, 131 people die. Auckland and Christchurch telephone exchanges open.

1882 First shipment of frozen meat leaves Port Chalmers for England on the Dunedin.

1883 Te Kooti pardoned, Te Whiti and other prisoners released. Direct steamer link established between New Zealand and Britain.

1884 King Tawhiao visits England with petition to the Queen, appealing to the Treaty, and is refused access. First overseas tour by a New Zealand rugby team, to New South Wales. Construction of King Country section of North Island main trunk railway begins.

1886 Mt Tarawera erupts and the Pink and White Terraces are destroyed; 153 people die. Oil is discovered in Taranaki.

1887 New Zealand's first national park, Tongariro, is presented to the nation by Te Heuheu Tukino IV. Reefton becomes first town to have electricity. First inland parcel post service.

1888 Birth of writer Katherine Mansfield.

1889 Abolition of non-residential or property qualification to vote. First New Zealand-built locomotive completed at Addington.

1890 Maritime Strike involves 8000 unionists. ‘Sweating’ Commission reports on employment conditions. First election on a one-man one-vote basis.

1891 John McKenzie introduces the first of a series of measures to promote closer land settlement. John Ballance becomes Premier of first Liberal Government.

1892 First Kotahitanga Maori Parliament meets.

1893 Franchise extended to women. John Ballance dies and is succeeded by Richard John Seddon. Liquor licensing poll introduced. Elizabeth Yates becomes first woman mayor, of Onehunga. Banknotes become legal tender.

1894 Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes and reform of employment laws. Advances to Settlers Act. Clark, Fyfe and Graham become the first people to climb Mt Cook. Wreck of SS Wairarapa.

1896 National Council of Women is founded. Brunner Mine explosion, 67 people killed. Census measures national population as 743,214.

1897 First of series of colonial and later imperial conferences held in London. Apirana Ngata and others form Te Aute College Students' Association.

1898 Old Age Pensions Act. First cars imported to New Zealand.

1899 New Zealand army contingent is sent to the South African war. First celebration of Labour Day.

1900 Maori Councils Act passed. Public Health Act passed setting up Department of Public Health in 1901.

1901 Cook and other Pacific Islands annexed. Penny postage first used.

1902 Pacific cable begins operating between New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. Wreck of SS Elingamite.

1904 Richard Pearse achieves semi-controlled flight near Timaru.

1905 New Zealand rugby team tours England and becomes known as the All Blacks. Old Age Pension increases to £26 per year, however eligibility tightened.

1906 Seddon dies and is succeeded by Joseph Ward as Premier.

1907 New Zealand constituted as a Dominion. Fire destroys Parliament buildings.

1908 Auckland to Wellington main trunk railway line opens. Ernest Rutherford is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. New Zealand's population reaches 1 million.

1909 ‘Red’ Federation of Labour formed. SS Penguin wrecked in Cook Strait, 75 people die. Compulsory military training introduced. Stamp-vending machine invented and manufactured in New Zealand.

1910 Halley's Comet sighted in New Zealand.

1912 William Massey wins vote in the House and becomes first Reform Party Prime Minister. Waihi miners strike.

1913 Waterfront strikes in Auckland and Wellington.

1914 World War I begins and German Samoa is occupied. New Zealand Expeditionary Forces are despatched to Egypt. Huntly coal mine disaster, 43 people die.

1915 New Zealand forces take part in Gallipoli campaign. Reform and Liberal parties form National War Cabinet. Britain announces its intention to purchase all New Zealand meat exports during war.

1916 New Zealand troops transfer from Western Front. Conscription introduced. Labour Party formed. Lake Coleridge electricity supply scheme opened.

1917 Battle of Passchendaele—3,700 New Zealanders killed. Six o'clock public house closing introduced. Lord Liverpool becomes first governor-general.

1918 New Zealand Division in the Battle of the Somme. End of World War I. Influenza epidemic in which an estimated 8,500 die. Creation of power boards for electricity distribution. Prohibition petition with 242,001 signatures presented to Parliament.

1919 Women eligible for parliament. Massey signs Treaty of Versailles. First official airmail flight from Auckland to Dargaville.

1920 Anzac Day established. New Zealand gets League of Nations mandate to govern Western Samoa. First aeroplane flight across Cook Strait.

1921 New Zealand Division of Royal Navy established.

October 1997. Pukaki descendants carry the ancestral carving to its home in the Rotorua District Council building.

1922 Meat Producers' Board placed in control of meat exports.

1923 Otira tunnel opens. Ross Dependency proclaimed. Death of Katherine Mansfield.

1926 National public broadcasting begins under auspices of Radio Broadcasting Co. Ltd.

1928 New Zealand Summer Time introduced. General election won by new United Party. Kingsford-Smith completes first flight across Tasman sea.

1929 Depression deepens. Severe earthquake in Murchison-Karamea district. 17 people die. First health stamps issued.

1930 Unemployment Board set up to provide relief work.

1931 Newly formed Coalition Government under George Forbes wins general election. Hawke's Bay earthquake; 256 die. Substantial percentage reductions in public service wages and salaries. Airmail postage stamps introduced.

1932 Compulsory arbitration of industrial disputes abolished. Unemployed riots in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. Reductions in old-age and other pensions.

1933 Elizabeth McCombs becomes first woman MP. Distinctive New Zealand coins first issued.

1934 Reserve Bank and Mortgage Corporation established. First trans-Tasman airmail.

1935 First Labour Government elected under Michael Joseph Savage. Air services begin across Cook Strait.

1936 Reserve Bank taken over by state. State housing programme launched. Guaranteed prices for dairy products introduced. National Party formed from former Coalition MPs. Inter-island trunk air services introduced. Jack Lovelock wins New Zealand's first Olympic gold. Jean Batten's record flight from England. Working week reduced from 44 to 40 hours.

1937 Federation of Labour unifies trade union movement. RNZAF set up as separate branch of armed forces.

1938 Social Security Act establishes revised pensions structure and the basis of a national health service. Import and exchange controls are introduced.

1939 World War II begins. Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force formed. Bulk purchases of farm products by Great Britain. HMS Achilles takes part in Battle of the River Plate.

1940 Michael Joseph Savage dies and is succeeded by Peter Fraser. Sidney Holland becomes Leader of Opposition. Conscription for military service. German mines laid across Hauraki Gulf.

1941 Japan enters the war, Maori War Effort Organisation set up. Pharmaceutical and general practitioner medical benefits introduced.

1942 Economic stabilisation. New Zealand troops in Battle of El Alamein. Food rationing introduced. Mobilisation of women for essential work.

1943 New Zealand troops take part in invasion of Italy.

1944 Australia-New Zealand Agreement provides for co-operation in the South Pacific.

1945 War in Europe ends on 8 May and in the Pacific on 15 August. New Zealand signs United Nations charter. Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act passed. National Airways Corporation founded.

1946 Family benefit of £1 per week becomes universal. Bank of New Zealand nationalised.

1947 Statute of Westminster adopted by New Zealand Parliament. First public performance by National Orchestra. Mabel Howard becomes first woman cabinet minister. Fire in Ballantyne's department store, Christchurch, 41 people die.

1948 Protest campaign against exclusion of Maori players from rugby tour of South Africa. Polio epidemic closes schools. Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe erupt. Meat rationing ends.

1949 Referendum agrees to compulsory military training. National Government elected. New Zealand gets first four navy frigates.

1950 Naval and ground forces sent to Korean War. Legislative Council abolished. Wool boom.

1951 Prolonged waterfront dispute—state of emergency proclaimed. ANZUS treaty signed between United States, Australia and New Zealand. Maori Women's Welfare League established.

1952 Population reaches over two million.

1953 First tour by a reigning monarch. Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first to climb Mount Everest. Railway disaster at Tangiwai, 151 people die. World sheep-shearing record set by Godfrey Bowen.

1954 New Zealand signs South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty. Gains seat on United Nations Security Council. Social Credit gets 10 percent of vote in general election, but no seat in Parliament.

1955 Pulp and paper mill opens at Kawerau. Rimutaka rail tunnel opened.

1956 New Zealand troops sent to Malaya. Roxburgh and Whakamaru power stations in operation.

1957 National loses election; Walter Nash leads second Labour Government. Last hanging. Scott Base established in Ross Dependency. Court of Appeal constituted. Dairy products gain 10 years of unrestricted access to Britain.

1958 PAYE tax introduced. Arnold Nordmeyer's ‘Black Budget’. First geothermal electricity generated at Wairakei. First heart-lung machine used at Greenlane Hospital, Auckland.

1959 Antarctic Treaty signed with other countries involved in scientific exploration in Antarctica. Auckland harbour bridge opened.

1960 Regular television programmes begin in Auckland. National Government elected. Government Service Equal Pay Act passed.

1961 New Zealand joins the International Monetary Fund. Capital punishment abolished.

1962 New Zealand troops sent to Malaysia during ‘confrontation’ with Indonesia. Western Samoa becomes independent. Sir Guy Powles becomes first Ombudsman. New Zealand Maori Council established. Cook Strait rail ferry service begins. Taranaki gas well opens. Peter Snell establishes mile and half-mile record.

1964 Marsden Point oil refinery opens at Whangarei. Cook Strait power cables laid. Auckland's population reaches half a million.

1965 NAFTA agreement negotiated with Australia. Support for United States in Vietnam; New Zealand combat force sent, protest movement begins. Cook Islands becomes self-governing.

1966 International airport officially opens at Auckland. New Zealand labour force reaches one million. National Library of New Zealand created. Te Ata-i-rangi-kaahu becomes first Maori Queen.

1967 Referendum extends hotel closing hours to 10pm. Decimal currency introduced. Lord Arthur Porritt becomes first New Zealand-born Governor-General. Breath and blood tests introduced for suspected drinking drivers.

1968 Inter-island ferry Wahine sinks in severe storm in Wellington Harbour, 51 people die. Three die in Inangahua earthquake.

1969 Vote extended to 20-year-olds. National Government wins fourth election in a row. First output from Glenbrook Steel Mill.

1970 Natural gas from Kapuni supplied to Auckland.

1971 New Zealand secures continued access of butter and cheese to the United Kingdom. Nga Tamatoa protest at Waitangi celebrations. Tiwai Point aluminium smelter begins operating. Warkworth satellite station begins operation.

1972 Labour Government led by Norman Kirk elected. Equal Pay Act passed.

1973 Great Britain becomes a member of the EEC. Naval frigate despatched in protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific. New Zealand's population reaches three million. Rugby tour of South Africa cancelled. Oil price hike means worst terms of trade in 30 years. Colour TV introduced.

1974 Prime Minister Norman Kirk dies. Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch.

1975 Robert Muldoon becomes prime minister after National election victory. Maori land march protests against land loss. The Waitangi Tribunal is established. Second TV channel starts broadcasting.

1976 Matrimonial Property Act passed. Pacific Island ‘overstayers’ deported. EEC import quotas for New Zealand butter set until 1980. Introduction of metric system of weights and measures. Subscriber toll dialling introduced.

1977 National Superannuation scheme begins. New Zealand signs the Gleneagles Agreement. The 200-mile exclusive economic zone is established. Bastion Point occupied by protesters.

1978 Registered unemployed reaches 25,000. National Government re-elected.

1979 Air New Zealand plane crashes on Mount Erebus, Antarctica; 257 people die. Carless days introduced to reduce petrol consumption.

1980 Social Credit wins East Coast Bays by-election. Saturday trading partially legalised. Eighty-day strike at Kinleith Mill.

1981 South African rugby team's tour brings widespread disruption.

1982 CER agreement signed with Australia. First kohanga reo established. Year-long wage, price and rent freeze imposed—lasts until 1984.

1983 Visit by nuclear-powered United States Navy frigate Texas sparks protests. Official Information Act replaces Official Secrecy Act. New Zealand Party founded.

1984 Labour Party wins snap general election. Finance Minister Roger Douglas begins deregulating the economy. New Zealand ratifies the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Te Hikoi ki Waitangi march and disruption of Waitangi Day celebrations. Auckland's population exceeds that of the South Island. Government devalues New Zealand dollar by 20 percent.

1985 Anti-nuclear policy leads to refusal of a visit by the American warship, the USS Buchanan. Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior bombed and sunk by French agents in Auckland harbour. New Zealand dollar floated. Keri Hulme wins Booker Prize for The Bone People. First case of locally-contracted AIDS is reported. Waitangi Tribunal given power to hear grievances arising since 1840.

1986 Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed. Royal Commission reports in favour of MMP electoral system. Jim Bolger becomes National Party leader. Soviet cruise ship, the Mikhail Lermontov, sinks in Marlborough Sounds. Goods and Services Tax introduced. First visit to New Zealand by the Pope.

1987 Share prices plummet by 59% in four months. Labour wins general election. Maori Language Act making Maori an official language passed. Anti-nuclear legislation enacted. First lotto draw. New Zealand's first heart transplant is performed. New Zealand wins Rugby World Cup. Significant earthquake in the Bay of Plenty.

1988 Number of unemployed exceeds 100,000. Bastion Point land returned to Maori ownership. Combined Council of Trade Unions formed. Royal Commission on Social Policy issues April Report. Gibbs Report on hospital services and Picot Report on education published. State Sector Act passed. Cyclone Bola strikes northern North Island. Electrification of North Island's main trunk line completed. New Zealand Post closes 432 post offices. Fisheries quota package announced for Maori iwi.

1989 Prime Minister David Lange suggests formal withdrawal from ANZUS. Jim Anderton founds New Labour Party. Lange resigns and Geoffrey Palmer becomes Prime Minister. First annual balance of payments surplus since 1973. Reserve Bank Act sets bank's role as one of maintaining price stability. First school board elections under Tomorrow's Schools reforms. First elections under revised local government structure. Sunday trading begins. Third TV channel begins. Maori Fisheries Act passed.

1990 New Zealand celebrates its sesquicentennial. Maori leaders inaugurate National Congress of Tribes. Dame Catherine Tizard becomes first woman Governor-General. Geoffrey Palmer resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Mike Moore. National Party has landslide victory. Jim Bolger becomes Prime Minister. One and two cent coins are no longer legal tender. Commonwealth Games are held in Auckland. Telecom sold for $4.25 billion. Welfare payments cut. Big earthquake in Hawke's Bay.

1991 First budget of new Finance Minister, Ruth Richardson. Welfare payments further reduced. The Alliance Party is formed. Employment Contracts Act passed. Consumers Price Index has lowest quarterly increase for 25 years. Number of unemployed exceeds 200,000 for the first time. New Zealand troops join multi-national force in the Gulf War. An avalanche on Mt Cook reduces its height by 10.5 metres.

1992 Government and Maori interests negotiate Sealords fisheries deal. Public health system reforms. State housing commercialised. Watties Foods is bought by American company, Heinz. New Zealand gets seat on United Nations Security Council.

1993 Centennial of women's suffrage celebrated. New Zealand First Party launched by Winston Peters. National wins election without majority—Opposition MP Peter Tapsell becomes Speaker of the House, thus giving the Government a majority. Referendum favours MMP electoral system. New Zealand film The Piano has international success.

1994 Government commits 250 soldiers to frontline duty in Bosnia. Government proposes $1 billion cap in plan for final settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims. Sharemarket reaches highest level since 1987 crash. New Zealand's first casino opens in Christchurch. First fast-ferry passenger service begins operation across Cook Strait.

1995 Team New Zealand wins America's Cup. Occupation of Moutua Gardens, Wanganui. Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlement Act passed. New political parties form: the Conservative, Christian Heritage and United New Zealand. Renewal of French nuclear tests results in New Zealand protest flotilla and navy ship Tui sailing for Moruroa Atoll. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Auckland, Nelson Mandela visits. New Zealand contingent returns from Bosnia.

1996 Imported pests—Mediterranean fruit flies and white-spotted tussock moths—cause disruption to export trade and to Aucklanders. Thirteenth National Park, Kahurangi, opened in north-west Nelson. Waitangi Tribunal recommends generous settlement of Taranaki land claims. First legal sports betting at TAB. $170 million Ngai Tahu settlement proposed, $40 million Whakatohea settlement announced. First MMP election brings National/New Zealand First coalition government.

Chapter 3. Government

Pacific Islanders listen to Sir John Robertson talk on the compulsory superannuation scheme, August 1997.

3.1 Constitution

New Zealand's constitutional history can be traced back to 1840 when by the Treaty of Waitangi the Maori people exchanged their sovereignty for the guarantees of the treaty and New Zealand became a British colony. 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 registered electors) 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 (about 85 percent of the registered electors) chose between the first past the post (FPP) system and mixed member proportional representation. FPP received 884,964 votes (46.1 percent of the total vote) and MMP 1,032,919 votes (53.9 percent). 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 amalgamated the Race Relations Act 1971 and the Human Rights Commission Act 1977 and added 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 modified procedures to assist with the resolution of complaints. The Human Rights Commission was restructured to include a Complaints Division dealing 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 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.

“Sketch of New Parliament Buildings, Wellington, as they will appear when completed.” Among suggestions for extensions to the present buildings, at the time when Broadcasting House was demolished, was the shifting of the Beehive and completion of Parliament to this original design. (Frontispiece to the 1913 New Zealand Official Yearbook.)

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 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 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 current 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 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 were: 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 after 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.

The second change occurred on 16 July 1997 when list MP Manu Alamein Kopu resigned from Alliance, reducing it to 12 MPs, but not from Parliament. (See the Report of the Privileges Committee on the question of privilege referred on 22 July 1997, relating to the status of Manu Alamein Kopu as a Member of Parliament (Parl Paper 1.15b, 1997)).

The third change arose from the resignation on 6 April 1998 of National MP and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, to take up the position of Ambassador to the USA, giving rise to the by-election in the Taranaki/King Country electorate on 2 May 1998 at which Shane Ardern (National) was elected.

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 Kaitiaki Taiao a Te 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 (see also section 12.3).

  • 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 transition to MMP led to the first one-day induction seminar for new MPs, and changes to funding and accommodation arrangements.

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 cost a 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. By June 1997, 100,000 visitors had been through the refurbished buildings.


ParliamentPeriod of session

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Forty-first15 August 1984-12 December 1985
26 February 1986-21 July 1987
Forty-second16 September 1987-12 December 1989
14 February 1990-6 September 1990
Forty-third29 November 1990-18 January 1991
22 January 1991-30 September 1993
Forty-fourth 21 December 1993-6 September 1996
Forty-fifth 12 December 1996-


 Calendar year

1 Second session, 42nd Parliament.

2 First session, 43rd Parliament.

3 Second session, 43rd Parliament.

4 44th Parliament.

5 45th Parliament to 12 December 1997—not a complete session.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Sitting Days561022420389
Government bills
Referred to select committees33912411740
Members' bills
Introduced3 313531
Referred to select committees4 32299
Enacted  651
Local bills
Introduced5 25181
Referred to select committees5 25181
Enacted7 21181
Private bills
Introduced3 11113
Referred to select committees3 11113
Enacted3 8114

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, e.g. 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 $135 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 Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 1997 (S.R. 1997/306), published in the statutory regulations series.


 Annual salary or allowance payable from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 19981

1 Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination (S.R. 1997/306). In its explanatory note, the Higher Salaries Commission records that the “Commission is all too keenly aware that any increase in the salaries of parliamentarians could create a degree of public disapproval. It is possible that the performance of a few is at least partly responsible for a popularly held view that politicians should not get an increase.”

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Members of the Executive
Prime Minister199,000
Deputy Prime Minister151,000
Minister of the Crown in Cabinet135,000
Minister of the Crown outside Cabinet120,000
Parliamentary Under-Secretary97,000
Officers of the House of Representatives
Deputy Speaker100,000
Assistant Speaker84,000
Chairpersons of Select Committees82,000
Leader of the Opposition and other party leaders
Leader of the Opposition135,000
Leader of other parties (depending on number of MPs)82,000-95,000
Deputy leader of party with 35 MPs or more91,500
Senior Government Whip97,000
Other Whips (depending on number of MPs)82,000-92,000
Other Members of Parliament
Member of Parliament78,000
Prime Minister29,500
Deputy Prime Minister13,000
Minister of the Crown12,000
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
Leaders of other parties (depending on number of MPs)7,000-10,000
Deputy Leader—basic expenses allowance7,000
additional allowance2,000
Constituency Members—basic expenses allowance7,000
constituency allowance (depending on classification of electoral district)8,000-20,000
List Members4,000

The public had mixed feelings about MMP

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 J B Bolger (until 8 December 1997)
—Hon Jenny Shipley (from 8 December 1997)
Leader of the Opposition—Rt Hon Helen Clark
Speaker—Hon D L Kidd
Deputy Speaker—I M Revell
Clerk of the House—D G McGee
Member*Year of birthPrevious occupationElectorate/listParty

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

1 Entered Parliament after by-election on 2 May 1998, caused by resignation of Jim Bolger on 6 April 1998.

2 Relinquished title The Honourable upon ceasing to be a member of the Executive Council on: 7 August 1997 (Kirton); 11 September 1997 (Fletcher); 8 December 1997 (East).

3 Resigned 17 April 1997.

4 Acquired title The Honourable upon appointment to the Executive Council on 8 December 1997.

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives

Anae, Arthur1945Company directorlistNational
Anderton, Jim1938Company directorWigramAlliance
Ardern, Shane11960FarmerTaranaki/King CountryNational
Awatere Huata, Donna1949Maori development consultantlistACT
Banks, 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 Jim11935FarmerTaranaki/King CountryNational
Bradford, Hon Max1942Administrator, consultantRotoruaNational
Braybrooke, Geoff1935Sales managerNapierLabour
Brown, Peter1939Company directorlistNZF
Brownlee, Gerry1956TeacherIlamNational
Bunkle, Phillida1944University lecturerlistAlliance
Burton, Mark1956Community educ. 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, Paul QC21946Barrister and solicitorlistNational
Elder, Hon Jack1949TeacherlistNZF
English, Hon Bill1961FarmerClutha/SouthlandNational
Field, Taito Phillip1952Trade unionistMangereLabour
Fitzsimons, Jeanette1945Organic farmer, environment consultantlistAlliance
Fletcher, Chris21955ManagerEpsomNational
Gerard, Jim31937FarmerlistNational
Gillon, Grant1954EngineerlistAlliance
Goff, Hon Phil1953University lecturerNew LynnLabour
Gordon, Liz1955University lecturerlistAlliance
Gosche, Mark1955Trade unionistlistLabour
Graham, Hon D A M1942Barrister 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, Owen1945FarmerlistACT
Keall, Judy1942ConsultantOtakiLabour
Kelly, Graham1941Trade unionistManaLabour
Kidd, Hon Doug1941Barrister and solicitorKaikouraNational
King, Hon Annette1945Chief executive officerRongotaiLabour
Kirton, Neil21956Health managerlistNZF
Kopu, Manu Alamein1943Vol. sector workerlist Independent, elected asAlliance
Kyd, Warren1939Barrister and solicitorHunuaNational
Lee, Sandra1952Local authority memberlistAlliance
Luxton, Hon John1946FarmerKarapiroNational
Mackey, Janet1953Real estate agentMahiaLabour
McCardle, Hon Peter1955Manager NZESlistNZF
McCully, Hon Murray1953Public relations consultantAlbanyNational
McDonald, Hon Robyn1950Skills 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, Hon Tony41964AccountantBay 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, Tariana1944Iwi 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, Tutekawa1955Maori fishing lobbyistTe Tai TongaNZF
Yates, Dianne1943Education officerlistLabour
Young, Annabel1956Business advisorlistNational

Two Auckland secondary school pupils in the Legislative Chamber, among 120 young people from all over New Zealand who went to Wellington for a two-day Youth Parliament in May 1997.


Women in the House
NameElectorateDate electedAge when
first elected

1 died.

2 defeated.

3 resigned.

4 retired.

5 replaced MP who resigned.

Elizabeth McCombsLyttelton1933-35160Labour
Catherine StewartWellington West1938-43257Labour
Mary DreaverWaitemata1941-43254Labour
Mary (Grigg) PolsonMid-Canterbury1942-4345National
Mabel HowardChristchurch East/Sydenham1943-6949Labour
Hilda RossHamilton1945-59161National
Iriaka RatanaWestern Maori1949-6944Labour
Ethel McMillanNorth Dunedin/Dunedin North1953-7551Labour
Esme TomblesonGisborne1960-72243National
Rona StevensonTaupo1963-7252National
Whetu Tirikatene-SullivanSouthern Maori1967-96235Labour
Dorothy JelicichHamilton West1972-75244Labour
Mary BatchelorAvon1972-8745Labour
Marilyn WaringRaglan/Waipa1975-8423National
Colleen DeweLyttelton1975-78245National
Ann HercusLyttelton1978-8736Labour
Margaret ShieldsKapiti1981-90240Labour
Helen ClarkMt Albert/Owairaka198131Labour
Fran WildeWellington Central1981-92332Labour
Ruth RichardsonSelwyn1981-94330National
Anne (Fraser) CollinsEast Cape1984-90232Labour
Judy KeallGlenfield/Horowhenua/Otaki1984-902, 199341Labour
Annette KingHorowhenua/Miramar/Rongotai1984-902, 199339Labour
Katherine O'ReganWaipa/List198438National
Margaret AustinYaldhurst1984-96251Labour/United New Zealand
Sonja DaviesPencarrow1987-93463Labour
Jenny KirkBirkenhead1987-90243Labour
Jenny ShipleyAshburton/Rakaia198735National
Elizabeth TennetIsland Bay1987-96434Labour
Lianne DalzielChristchurch Central/List199030Labour
Christine FletcherEden/Epsom199035National
Marie HaslerTitirangi/Waitakere1990-932, 199642National
Gail McIntoshLyttelton1990-93235National
Joy McLauchlanWestern Hutt/List199042National
Margaret MoirWest Coast1990-93249National
Judith TizardPanmure/Auckland Central199034Labour
Ruth DysonLyttelton/List199336Labour
Pauline GardinerWellington-Karori1993-96246National/United New Zealand
Sandra LeeAuckland Central/List199341Alliance (Mana Motuhake)
Janet MackeyGisborne/Mahia199340Labour
Jill PettisWanganui/Whanganui199341Labour
Suzanne SinclairTitirangi1993-96247Labour
Jill WhiteManawatu/List199352Labour
Dianne YatesHamilton East/List199350Labour
Donna Awatere HuataList199647ACT
Rev. Ann BattenList199652NZ First
Jenny BloxhamList199647NZ First
Phillida BunkleList199652Alliance (Green)
Pam CorkeryList199640Alliance (NLP)
Jeanette FitzsimonsList199651Alliance (Green)
Dr Liz GordonList199641Alliance (NLP)
Laila HarreList199630Alliance (NLP)
Marian HobbsList199649Labour
Manu Alamein KopuList199653Independent, elected as Alliance (Mana Motuhake)
Robyn McDonaldList199645NZ First
Nanaia MahutaList199626Labour
Deborah MorrisList199626NZ First
Dr Muriel NewmanList199646ACT
Patricia SchnauerList199654ACT
Georgina te Heu HeuList199653National
Tariana TuriaList199652Labour
Belinda VernonMaungakiekie199638National
Pansy WongList199641National
Annabel Young5List199740National

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.

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and the new Cabinet, December 1997.

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.


His Excellency The Rt Hon Sir Michael Hardie Boys, gnzm, 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, cvo.
The Cabinet:

Source: Cabinet office

1Hon Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister, Minister of Women's Affairs, Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service.
2Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer.
3Hon Wyatt Creech, Minister of Education (also including responsibility for the National Library), Minister for Courts, Leader of the House, Minister for Ministerial Services.
4Rt Hon Bill Birch, Minister of Finance (also including responsibility for the Government Superannuation Fund Department), Minister of Revenue.
5Hon John Luxton, Minister of Commerce, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Lands, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Industry, Associate Minister of Agriculture.
6Hon Bill English, Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Revenue.
7Hon Tau Henare, Minister of Maori Affairs, Minister for Racing, Associate Minister for Sport, Fitness and Leisure.
8Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister of Transport, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Minister of Statistics, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Communications, Minister for Information Technology.
9Hon Roger Sowry, Minister of Social Welfare, Minister in Charge of War Pensions, Associate Minister of Health.
10Hon Peter McCardle, Minister of Employment.
11Hon Douglas Graham, Attorney-General (also including responsibility for the Serious Fraud Office), Minister of Justice, Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.
12Dr Hon Lockwood Smith, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Minister for International Trade, Minister Responsible for Contact Energy Ltd.
13Hon Jack Elder, Minister of Police, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Civil Defence.
14Rt Hon Don McKinnon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control.
15Hon Max Bradford, Minister of Labour, Minister of Defence, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Energy, Minister of Business Development.
16Hon Simon Upton, Minister of State Services, Minister for the Environment, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Minister for Crown Research Institutes, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
17Hon Tuariki John Delamere, Minister of Customs, Minister in Charge of the Valuation Department, Minister in Charge of the Public Trust Office, Associate Treasurer, Associate Minister of Health.
18Hon Dr Nick Smith, Minister of Conservation, Minister of Corrections, Associate Minister of Social Welfare, Associate Minister of Immigration.
19Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Housing, Minister of Tourism, Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance, Minister for Sport, Fitness and Leisure.
20Hon Tony Ryall, Minister for State Owned Enterprises (Responsible for all SOEs except Contact Energy Ltd), Minister in Charge of the Audit Department, Minister Responsible for Radio New Zealand, Associate Minister of Justice.
Ministers Outside Cabinet:
21Hon Brian Donnelly, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office, Associate Minister of Education, Associate Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
22Rt Hon James Bolger, Minister of State, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (special responsibility for APEC) [resigned 6 April 1998].
23Hon Deborah Morris, Minister of Youth Affairs, Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, Associate Minister for Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance, Associate Minister for the Environment.
24Hon 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. Maori and persons of Maori descent may choose to enrol for either a Maori or general electorate, but may make the choice only at certain times. (The Maori Option—see separate article). 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 votes1Informal votes1Special votes disallowedVotes cast to electors on Master Roll

1 Party votes in 1996.

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

Source: Ministry of Justice

19962,418,5872,072 3591,28 1831,254,63388.28

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 people 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 Maori electoral districts, the commission is joined by the Chief Executive Officer of Te Puni Kokiri and two Maori 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.

Percentage of enrolled electors voting at general elections

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 Maori 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 Maori 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 Maori 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

1 The election dates were: 14 July 1984, 15 August 1987, 27 October 1990, 6 November 1993, 12 October 1996.

2 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

ACT    8
Alliance   213
New Labour  1  
New Zealand First   217
United New Zealand    1

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.

Political party expenditure for the 1996 election

There are limits under the Electoral Act to the amount that can be spent on an election campaign by registered political parties and by individual candidates. For parties the maximum expenditure limit for submitting a party list is $1 million, with an additional amount of $20,000 for each electorate contested. Individual candidates are not allowed to spend more than $20,000.

The act specifies three classes of election campaign activity:

  • Advertising of any kind.

  • Radio or television broadcasting.

  • Publishing, issuing, distributing, or displaying addresses, notices, posters, pamphlets, handbills, billboards, and cards.

Election broadcasting time and state funds to pay for broadcasting are allocated to eligible political parties by the Electoral Commission.

All registered parties must send an audited return of their election expenses to the Electoral Commission within 70 days of the election results announcement.

PartyParty expenditureState funds for election broadcasting

*The ACT return did not include sub-totals for the three classes of activity. ACT submitted that it was sufficient to record only the total of its party election expenses. This is being tested in the High Court.

Source: Electoral Commission

NZ First858,255250,055
Christian Coalition313,40892,954
Progressive Green70,65035,322
Natural Law24,20835,371
Green Society18,87323,031
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis14,89734,933
Ethnic Minority8,19022,606
Animals First3,750 
McGillicuddy Serious3,33935,371
Advance New Zealand2,69423,028
NZ Superannuitants and Youth Action1,74923,032
Te Tawharau1,51822,806

The information sent out by electronic and press media for the referendum on compulsory superannuation included 4,700 tape cassettes which were posted to blind or partially sighted people by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, in July-August 1997.


Political partyValid votesPercentage of total valid votes

1 Party votes.

2 Christian Coalition 1996.

Source: Ministry of Justice

Christian Heritage2---38,74989,716---2.024.33
Mana Motuhake5,9899,78910,869--0.310.530.60--
New Labour--94,171----5.16--
New Zealand First---161,481276,603---8.4013.35
United New Zealand----18,245----0.88
    Total valid votes1,929,2011,831,7771,824,0921,922,7962,072,359100.00100.00100.00100.00100.00
Informal votes7,56511,18410,18011,3648,183...............


 Constituency seats contestedParty list candidates

Source: Ministry of Justice

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis419
Christian Coalition3741
Mana Maori718
McGillicuddy Serious4565
Natural Law6465
NZ Conservative620
New Zealand First6562
Progressive Greens2315
The Libertarianz224
United New Zealand2529
    Total candidates611670

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 services to commissions. These inquiries are not part of the justice system, nor are they part of the conventional administrative bureaucracy.

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. (A list of shortened titles of all the royal commissions held from 1868 to 1989, with the years of publication of reports, can be found in the 1990 Yearbook, page 71.)

3.3 State sector

The state sector includes the New Zealand Public Service, which is made up of 39 government departments, plus Crown entities and state owned enterprises (SOEs). The state sector also includes the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Defence Force.

At 30 June 1997 the number of staff employed in the Public Service departments (excluding therefore Crown entities and SOEs) was 31,662 (calculated on a full-time equivalent basis). When the reform of the state sector began in the 1980s, about 70,000 people were permanent employees in government departments. Many of the jobs which were in government departments have shifted to Crown entities, SOEs, or the private sector. Today the Public Service is characterised by relatively small departments which have quite sharply defined roles in policy advice, service delivery, regulatory, or sectoral funding functions. Some bigger departments perform a combination of roles.

State sector reform

The reform of the state sector that has occurred in New Zealand since 1986 is well known throughout the world for its comprehensiveness and impact on New Zealand's state sector.

Three pieces of legislation have been at the centre of state sector reforms in New Zealand: the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986, the State Sector Act 1988, and the Public Finance Act 1989. A fourth piece of legislation, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, was added in 1994. The Fiscal Responsibility Act requires the 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 (BPS) and related documents. This desire to view the activities of the government in a strategic manner is one of the strengths of the new management system which operates in government departments. The government devises and publishes its key medium term objectives for the country, in social and economic policy, as strategic result areas (SRAs). These SRAs are converted by public service departments into contributory key result areas (KRAs) for each department. KRAs are a basis for both departmental planning and the assessment of departmental performance.

The government published its 1997-2000 SRAs in June 1997. They cover objectives in economic growth, enterprise and innovation, external linkages, education and training, economic and social participation, safer communities, health and disability services, the Treaty of Waitangi, and protecting and enhancing the environment.

Decentralisation and devolution of managerial decision-making responsibilities to individual departments have altered the roles of the previously 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 coordination, and collective approaches where these are necessary.

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.

During 1997 the Government announced major structural changes which involve four government departments. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Forestry are being merged to form a new Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, operational in March 1998. A new agency, which will deliver income support services and employment services to working age beneficiaries, is being formed by bringing together parts of the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Labour. This new agency is due to be established and operating in October 1998.

The State Services Commissioner and the State Services Commission

The State Sector Act 1988 provides for a State Services Commission and for the positions of a State Services Commissioner (the commission's chief executive) and Deputy State Services Commissioner. Much of the work of the State Services Commission is in support of the specific responsibilities of the commissioner.

The commissioner's principal functions relate to the departments of the public service. They include:

  • Recommending the most suitable candidates for chief executive appointments in the public service.

  • Reviewing the performance of public service chief executives.

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

  • Advising on industrial relations and personnel policies.

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

The commission also helps the 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.

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

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



*As at 1 March 1998.

1 Until March 1998.

2 From March 1998

Source: State Services Commission

Agriculture, Ministry of1Director-GeneralProf Bruce Ross
Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of2Chief ExecutiveProf Bruce Ross
Audit DepartmentController and Auditor-GeneralDavid Macdonald
Commerce, Ministry ofSecretaryPaul Carpinter
Conservation, Department ofDirector-GeneralHugh Logan
Corrections, Department ofChief ExecutiveMark Byers
Courts, Department forChief ExecutiveWilson Bailey
Crown Law OfficeSolicitor-GeneralJohn McGrath QC
Cultural Affairs, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveMarilyn Goddard (Acting)
Customs Service, New ZealandComptrollerGraeme Ludlow
Defence, Ministry ofSecretaryGerald Hensley
Education, Ministry ofSecretaryHoward Fancy
Education Review OfficeChief Review OfficerDr Judith Aitken
Environment, Ministry for theSecretaryDenise Church
Fisheries, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveWarwick Tuck
Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry ofSecretaryRichard Nottage
Forestry, Ministry of1SecretaryProf Bruce Ross (Acting)
Government Superannuation FundChief ExecutiveMel Smith (Acting)
Health, Ministry ofDirector-GeneralDr Karen Poutasi
Housing, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveDavid Smyth
Inland Revenue DepartmentCommissionerGraham Holland
Internal Affairs, Department ofChief ExecutiveDr Roger Blakeley
Justice, Ministry ofSecretaryColin Keating
Labour, Department ofSecretaryJohn Chetwin
Land Information New ZealandDirector-GeneralDr Russ Ballard
Maori Development, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveDr Ngatata Love
National LibraryNational LibrarianChristopher Blake
Pacific Island AffairsChief ExecutiveFuimaono Les McCarthy
Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department ofChief ExecutiveSimon Murdoch
Public Trust OfficePublic TrusteeDavid Hutton
Research, Science and Technology, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveDr James Buwalda
Serious Fraud OfficeChief ExecutiveDavid Bradshaw
Social Welfare, Department ofDirector-GeneralMargaret Bazley
State Services CommissionState Services CommissionerMichael Wintringham
Statistics New ZealandGovernment StatisticianLen Cook
Transport, Ministry ofSecretaryStewart Milne
The TreasurySecretaryDr Alan Bollard
Valuation New ZealandValuer-GeneralRob Hutchison
Women's Affairs, Ministry ofSecretaryJudy Lawrence
Youth Affairs, Ministry ofChief ExecutiveAnnette Dixon

Functions of government departments

The functions of central government are under a continual process of review. The following account of departments was correct at March 1998. World Wide Web homepage addresses are given where available at the time of going to press.

Agriculture, Ministry of—Te Manatu Ahuwhenua. The Ministry of Agriculture (MAF) was established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Restructuring) Act 1995. MAF administered and developed standards and systems, managed agricultural security and provided policy advice. 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. MAF's programmes aimed 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 ensured that our export primary produce meets agreed standards.

On 1 March 1998 the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry merged together into a new Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of—Te Manatu Ahuwhenua, Ngaherehere. The new Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) came into being on 1 March 1998, following the merger of the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry. The core MAF consists of eight business groups: Policy, Regulatory authority, Operations, Forest management, Corporate services, Corporate human resources, Corporate finance, Corporate information. MAF Quality Management, the service delivery arm of MAF, will be temporarily integrated into the new ministry until decisions are made about its long-term structure.

MAF's key functions are to ensure agriculture, forestry and horticulture continue to make the best contribution to New Zealand's sustainable development and economic growth. The new MAF continues the work of its constituent ministries in developing, administering and certifying standards and systems, facilitating market access, managing agriculture, forestry and horticulture security, and providing policy advice. It will also manage the Crown's forestry interests and commitments.

MAF's programmes aim to protect New Zealand's competitive advantage as an export nation by monitoring and protecting its animals, plants, forests and seafood against the introduction of exotic pests and diseases. See chapters 18: Agriculture and 19: Forestry, []

Audit Office—Te Mana Arotake. See ‘Controller and Auditor-General’ further on in this section. []

Commerce, Ministry of—Te Manatu 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.

Staff numbers, full-time equivalents (FTEs)

Its specific aims are: conservation of New Zealand's natural and historic resources; appropriate use of these resources by the public; and public awareness of, support for, and enhancement of a conservation ethic, both within New Zealand and internationally. See chapters 1: Geography and 16: Land and environment. []

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. See section 10.3: Corrections system.

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); Maori Land Court (responsible for the administrative support of the Maori Land Court and the Maori Appellate Court and for the administration of Maori land records of ownership and title); and Waitangi Tribunal (responsible for administrative support to the Waitangi Tribunal). See chapter 10: Justice and law.

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. See section 10.1: Legal system.

Cultural Affairs, Ministry of—Te Manatu Tikanga-a-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 Manatu 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]

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 to be capable of contributing to collective efforts where our wider interests are involved. See section 4.4: Defence.

Education, Ministry of—Te Tahuhu o te Matauranga. The ministry is responsible for providing policy advice to the government on early childhood, compulsory and post-compulsory education, including employment-related education and training; ensuring the effective, efficient and equitable implementation of the government's policies; advising on the optimal use of resources allocated to education; and providing an education policy perspective to a range of economic and social policy issues. See chapter 9: Education. []

Education Review Office—Te Tari Arotake Matauranga. The Education Review Office (ERO) reports publicly on the quality of education in all New Zealand schools and early childhood centres, including private schools, kura kaupapa Maori (Maori language immersion schools) and nga kohanga reo (Maori language early childhood groups). ERO 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 Manatu mo te Taiao. The ministry's role is to provide policy advice to the government that promotes sustainable management of the environment; and to encourage sustainable management through the administration of environmental statutes, advocacy, education and advice.

The Environment 2010 Strategy includes the government's environmental goals and principles, and sets out an agenda for action covering land; water; air; indigenous habitats and biological diversity; pests, weeds and diseases; fisheries; energy; transport; waste, contaminated sites and hazardous substances; climate change; and the ozone layer.

The Strategy proposes an Environmental Management Agenda to help achieve the vision of ‘a clean, healthy and unique environment, sustaining nature and people's needs and aspirations’ by integrating environmental, economic and social policy; establishing a coherent framework of law; sharpening the policy tools; building up the information base; promoting education for the environment; and involving people in decision making.

Besides the Environment Act 1986 under which it was set up, the ministry is responsible for the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941, the Resource Management Act 1991, the Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996, and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. See section 16.2: Environmental and resource management. []

Fisheries, Ministry of—Te Tautiaki i nga tini a 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. See section 19.3: Fisheries. []

Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of—Te Manatu 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 48 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. See chapter 4: International relations. []

Forestry, Ministry of—Te Manatu Ngaherehere. The ministry is the government's forestry agency, ensuring that forestry makes the best possible contribution to New Zealand's sustainable development and economic growth in terms of GDP, foreign direct investment, employment opportunities, foreign exchange earnings, and environmental sustainability. Key business areas are: Policy advice; Forestry facilitation and export certification; Administration of grants, leases and loans; Administration of indigenous forestry provisions; Forestry biosecurity policy advice; and Forest biosecurity pest and disease prevention services.

On 1 March 1998 the Ministries of Forestry and Agriculture merged together into a new Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. See sections 19.1 and 19.2.

Government Superannuation Fund Department—Te Putea Penihana Kawanatanga. 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 assists the Minister of Health negotiate with and monitor the performance of the Health Funding Authority (successor to the Transitional Health Authority), and a range of Crown entities against their formal accountability documents with the Crown. The ministry 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 Maori 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. See chapter 8: Health and safety. []

Ratio of male to female staff (head count)

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 chapter 22: Housing. []

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 for working families, child support, and student loan repayments. See section 28.2: Taxation. []

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, 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—Te Manatu Ture. 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. The ministry 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. See chapter 10: Justice and law. []

Labour, Department of—Te Tari Mahi. The department is the government's principal labour market agency which: provides analysis on the operation of the labour market; provides Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance policy advice; develops, implements, monitors and reviews the regulatory framework for industrial relations; develops a regulatory framework and delivers strategies to promote occupational safety and health; provides employment assistance to all New Zealand residents who are unemployed and are seeking work; provides information, advice, facilitation and brokerage services to communities and groups to assist them to generate employment opportunities at a local level; promotes co-ordination of employment-related organisations at the local level; develops and implements immigration policy and legislation concerning the entry of migrants and visitors to New Zealand; and manages the government's relationship with the International Labour Organisation and other international institutions with an interest in the labour market.

Among the legislation administered by the department are the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992; Employment Contracts Act 1991; Equal Pay Act 1972; Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992; Holidays Act 1981; Immigration Act 1987; and Minimum Wage Act 1983. []

Land Information New Zealand—Toitu te whenua. This department, established in July 1996, is responsible for the land-related policy, regulatory and core government service delivery functions.

Land Information New Zealand advises the government, administers the Crown's interests in land and makes government-held information available to the public. Its areas of responsibility are land titles (land registration and search facilities), survey system (administration of the survey infrastructure), Crown property (administration of Crown land, disposal of surplus Crown land and provision of advice to the government) and topography/hydrography (provision of digital databases and core topographic mapping). See chapter 16: Land and environment. []

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

New Zealand Post handled the successful delivery and return of the first referendum by postal vote. Voting papers went to 2.475 million voters nation-wide, with a record 93 percent of the eligible voting population enrolled on the electoral roll.

In carrying out this role Te Puni Kokiri's functions are to: (a) provide strategic leadership advice on Maori development issues and on the Crown's relationship with iwi, hapu, and Maori; (b) provide advice on sectoral issues; (c) monitor the performance of mainstream government departments in addressing the parity gap between Maori and non-Maori; (d) facilitate consultation between the Crown, its agencies, and iwi, hapu and Maori, on policies affecting Maori, and the development of the relationship between the Crown and Maori. Te Puni Kokiri is organised into seven branches: Treaty compliance; Economic development; Social policy; Monitoring and evaluation; Legal and law reform; Corporate services; and Regional development, which has a unit in the Wellington head office and 13 offices throughout the country. See section 6.4: Maori society. []

National Library of New Zealand—Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa. The unique role of the National Library is to collect and maintain literature and information resources that relate to New Zealand and the Pacific, to make this information readily available, and to preserve the documentary heritage of this country for future generations. The National Library aids better access to information for New Zealanders by supporting the activities of other New Zealand libraries, including public, university and school libraries, and by collecting and preserving the material which is the ‘memory’ of New Zealand. The library gives policy advice to the government on access to information in New Zealand. See section 12.3: Books and libraries. []

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. National Provident Fund has been closed to new members since 1991. The fund comprises 16 separate superannuation schemes.

Office of Treaty Settlements—Te Tari Whakatau Take e pa ana ki te Tiriti o Waitangi. The office provides policy advice to the government on issues concerning Treaty of Waitangi claims and on specific claims; negotiates Treaty claims; and implements settlements. It also acquires, manages, transfers and disposes of Crown-owned land for Treaty claim and related purposes. See section 6.4: Maori society.

Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of. The ministry exists to promote the development of Pacific peoples in New Zealand in a way that reflects Pacific cultural values and aspirations, so that Pacific peoples can participate and contribute fully to New Zealand's social, cultural and economic life.

It contributes to this through the provision of policy advice on significant issues; encouraging government agencies to take responsibility for meeting the aspirations of Pacific people; influencing and monitoring the implementation of policies; and disseminating information and consulting with Pacific people. A further role of the ministry is to design, implement and pilot programmes, some of which are in partnership with mainstream agencies. See section 6.5: Pacific Island population.

Police, New Zealand—Nga 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. See chapter 10: Justice and law.

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 the Taskforce on Positive Ageing. See section 3.2: Parliament and the Cabinet. []

Public Trust. The Public Trust Office (known as Public Trust) is a self-funding government department which provides a wide range of financial services and services as trustee, executor, manager, and attorney. It acts as sinking fund or depreciation fund commissioner for many local authorities. 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 Manatu Putaiao. Established in October 1989, the ministry's primary role is to advise the 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. The ministry has a role in ensuring that the development of public policy is well informed by science and technology, and that science and technology interests are well co-ordinated and linked. 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 based in the ministry. See chapter 15: Science and technology. []

Serious Fraud Office—Te Tari Hara Taware. 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. See chapter 7: Social welfare. []

State Services Commission—Te Komihana O Nga Tari Kawanatanga. See ‘State Services Commissioner’ earlier in this section. []

Statistics New Zealand—Te Tari Tatau. 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 Manatu Waka. The ministry'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, the Aviation Security Service, Transit New Zealand, Transfund New Zealand and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission. It also monitors the government's contract for weather services with MetService New Zealand Limited and manages the Motor Vehicle Registry and Revenue Management business. Development of any legislation for the transport sector is the ministry's responsibility. Its other significant function is to formulate and implement policy relating to the development of New Zealand's international air transport links. It also advises the government in relation to the Crown's interests in joint venture airports operated in partnership with local authorities. See chapter 23: Transport.

Treasury, The—Kaitohutohu Kaupapa Rawa. The Treasury manages the Crown's finances and is the government's principal economic advisor. It manages the government's expenditure and revenue flows, including its borrowing requirements; disburses funds to other government departments and monitors their spending; monitors significant Crown assets; manages the Crown's public debt; advises on the Budget and prepares documents required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act; and produces the Crown financial statements. The Treasury also provides wide-ranging policy advice (including advice on tax policy), reports on most expenditure proposals being considered by the government, and monitors and analyses developments in New Zealand and international economies. See chapter 28: Public sector finance. []

Valuation New Zealand—(see separate article.) 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.

Women's Affairs, Ministry of—Te Minitatanga mo nga Wahine. The Ministry of Women's Affairs provides gender specific advice on social and economic issues affecting women. This includes advice on all aspects of policy development, including its implementation, for both women and nga wahine Maori. Areas of policy work include: strategic policy; education, labour market and economic autonomy; safety, justice and well-being. See chapter 6: Social framework. []

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 entities. These are organisations (and in a few cases, statutory officers) that, unlike public service departments, are distinct legal entities in their own right, but either are majority owned or have a governing body appointed by the Crown. In this they are similar to SOEs except that commercial success is generally not their primary objective.

There are currently around 2,900 Crown entities, named or described in a schedule to the Public Finance Act 1989. About 2,660 of these are school boards of trustees. Most Crown entities are established under specific enabling legislation which defines their functions and powers, and are managed by autonomous boards.

Crown entities are extremely diverse in their functions, size and structures. They include such organisations as the Human Rights Commission, the Land Transport Safety Authority, the ACC and Crown Research Institutes.

State-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises are companies established by the Government under the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 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 Anand 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

1Year ended 30 June.

Source: Office of the Ombudsmen

Declined, no jurisdiction86151
Declined or discontinued (section 17)53712512
Resolved in course of investigation13928260
Sustained, recommendation made794
Sustained, no recommendation made1421
Not sustained17519422
Formal investigation not undertaken, explanation, advice, or assistance given208228562
Complaints transferred to:
    Privacy Commissioner1381
    Health & Disability Commissioner3--
Still under investigation as at 30 June33627328
        Total 199638491165153

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 Transborder 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 the 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 some victims of domestic violence to have their whereabouts held confidentially on public registers, with the Privacy Commissioner having an oversight function.

The Privacy Commissioner has the power to issue codes of practice which may modify the information privacy principles by prescribing different standards or by exempting an action from them. Codes of practice can also prescribe how any of the information privacy principles are to be applied or complied with. Codes replace the principles in particular contexts. The most important code issued by the commissioner is the Health Information Privacy Code 1994, which provides stringent controls on the collection, use and disclosure of medical and health information by agencies throughout the health sector.

The Privacy Act also lays down information matching rules controlling statutory matching programmes in the public sector. Information matching involves one government department comparing personal information collected for specific purposes with databases of personal information in another government department held for different purposes. The primary purpose of information matching is to deter and detect welfare fraud or abuse. An example is the matching of social welfare beneficiaries' records with information lists of people departing from New Zealand. The act requires notice to be given to the affected individual before adverse action is taken on the basis of the successful match.

During 1996-97 the Privacy Commissioner considered a new information matching programme involving the matching of names and addresses between the Department for Courts and the Department of Social Welfare in order to trace fines defaulters.

The Privacy Commissioner investigates complaints alleging the breaches of the principles, codes of practice and information matching rules. The investigation process emphasises conciliation, the success of which can be seen in the large number of complaints which are resolved without a final opinion.

If a complaint cannot be settled, the Privacy Commissioner may refer it to the Proceedings Commissioner, who may in turn issue proceedings before the Complaints Review Tribunal. If either of the commissioners do not do so, the aggrieved individual may issue proceedings before the tribunal. The tribunal has the power to award a number of remedies, including declaring that an action has caused an interference with privacy, orders, damages and costs.

In 1996-97, the Privacy Commissioner referred four complaints to the Proceedings Commissioner. Fifteen complainants commenced proceedings on their own initiative.


 Year ended June
Number of complaints received1200993
Complaints current at start of year604583
Number of complaints under process18041576
Number of complaints closed during year870972
No jurisdiction1857
Complaints resolved without final opinion719703
Final opinion (substance 27—no substance 106)133212

The Privacy Commissioner performs a general “watch-dog” role over privacy and in 1997 made a number of reports to the Minister of Justice and public statements on a range of issues affecting individual privacy. The commissioner peruses new legislation and prepares reports on privacy issues. He also appears before Parliamentary Select Committees considering bills.

In 1996-97, he commented on a number of legislative proposals, including the Adoption (Intercountry) Bill, the Harassment and Criminal Associations Bill, the Health (Retention of Health Information) Regulations, Postal Services Bill, Protected Disclosures Bill, and the Sale of Liquor Act. He also provided comment to the Law Commission on its reviews into the Evidence Act and Official Information Act and to the Minister of Justice on the mandatory disclosure of executive remuneration under the Companies Act. The commissioner made submissions to the independent review of firearms control and to the Land Transport Safety Authority on its review of driver licensing.

In eco-friendly Tauranga, Arthur Deane removes roadside weeds by non-toxic methods.

The Official Information Act 1982 and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 require the ombudsmen to consult with the Privacy Commissioner in relation to review of official information access requests where privacy is a possible ground for withholding information. During the 1996-97 year 87 formal consultations under the two acts were completed.

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

The World Wide Web address is:

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 1996-97 major investigations were initiated on issues related to public authority performance, public participation and aspects of management of the conservation estate.

Two investigations on national issues were completed: Public participation under the Resource Management Act: The management of conflict, and Management of the Environmental effects associated with tourism in New Zealand. There were three major complaint investigations (mining activities beyond the 12-mile limit, cellphone transmission facilities, and the environmental effects of tailings dams) and three evaluations of the success of our previous investigations (environmental accounts for New Zealand, dredgings disposal in the Hauraki Gulf and the East Coast Forestry Project).

The commissioner responded to a total of 363 communications from citizens, non-governmental organisations, select committees, public authorities and international correspondents, requesting the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's assistance to resolve an environmental issue or provide information.



Source: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Investigation reports64656633
Information transfer papers or presentations256482414387

Public Trust

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

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, with assets under management of $3.5 billion. At 30 June 1997, this included about $600 million in the Common Fund, and $183 million in retail-managed funds. Public Trust also holds the statutorily-required deposits of insurance companies. Most of Public Trust's activities are commercial in nature but it is also required to provide a number of statutory services which may not be income earning. These are of a regulatory, quasi-judicial, trustee of last resort, trustee-guardian and representative (i.e. legal incapacity) nature.

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.

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.

Auckland City Council's development projects manager and the consultant architect examine the ceiling during restoration of the Auckland Town Hall, February 1997.

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.

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.

With effect from 1 July 1992

With effect from 1 July 1992



RegionCouncil members1

1 Based on October 1992 elections.

Source: Department of Internal Affairs

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


Cities/districtsCouncil members1

1Includes mayors.

2 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 District216
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 City213
Christchurch City25
Dunedin City19
Invercargill City13
Tasman District214
Marlborough District214
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

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; liquor licensing; 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 reorganisation scheme. Community boundaries often coincide with those of wards (divisions of the district for electoral purposes). These boards have between four and 12 members each.

Special purpose local authorities

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

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

Its six members are elected by the region's 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.

In May 1998 it was announced that ARST will be restructured.

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 have the option of deciding whether members will 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 is now almost universal. 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 Amendment 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.

Bob Nixon, senior planner for Christchurch City Council, with the CD-ROM version of the City Plan, offering an extensive web of hypertext links to guide users around topics related to proposed land and resource developments.

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.

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 Maori 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; Department of Internal Affairs.

  • 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; Electoral Commission; 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.

Palmer, Geoffrey & Matthew (1997), Bridled Power: New Zealand Government under MMP, Oxford University Press, Auckland.

Parliament and the Cabinet

Cabinet Office (1996), The Cabinet Office Manual, Wellington.

Electoral Commission (December 1997), The New Zealand Electoral Compendium (includes detailed 1996 election results).

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

Law Commission (1996), The Law of Parliamentary Privilege in New Zealand: A reference paper (Miscellaneous Paper 5), 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.

Miller, Raymond (ed) (1997), New Zealand Politics in Transition, Oxford University Press, Auckland.

Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives (1997): Booklets on select committees (3) and on petitioning Parliament.

Parliamentary Bulletin. Compiled in the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. 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 118.A).

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

Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, September 1996.

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

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

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

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

State sector

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

Bassett, M (1997), The mother of all departments, AUP and Historical Branch, Department of Internal Affairs.

Boston, J et al (1996), Public Management: The New Zealand Model, Oxford University Press.

Boston, J (ed) (1995), The State Under Contract, Bridget Williams Books.

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

Directory of Official Information. Ministry of Justice (biennial, latest in December 1997).

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.

James, Colin (1997), Under New Sail: MMP and Public Servants, Institute of Policy Studies, Wellington.

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 and B.29 series).

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).

Schick A, (1996), The spirit of reform: Managing the New Zealand State Sector in a time of change. State Services Commission.

Sharp, Andrew (ed) (1994), Leap Into the Dark: The Changing Role of the State in New Zealand since 1984, Auckland University Press, Auckland.

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.

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 (2nd edition), Auckland University Press.

Hammond, J (1997), Local government in New Zealand, Enterprise Trust.

Howell, R et al (1996), The unfinished reform in local government, Massey University.

Local authority election statistics 1995. Department of Internal Affairs, December 1997.

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

RNZAF staff check out the new orange paint job on one of the unarmed Iroquois helicopters bound for Operation Belisi peacekeeping duties in Bougainville, November 1997.

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 (MFAT), Te Manatu Aorere, 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 and Consular List.

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

South Pacific

New Zealand enjoys a close association with South Pacific nations, with 10 diplomatic missions in the region and accreditation to a further eight Pacific Island countries. 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. Cook Islanders and Niueans are New Zealand citizens.

Trade with the South Pacific, though small in comparison to other regions, is important to New Zealand. Exports to the region totalled $581 million for the year ending June 1997, and imports for the same period amounted to $130.3 million. Imports from South Pacific countries have duty-free and unrestricted access on a non-reciprocal basis to the New Zealand (and Australian) markets under the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA).

New Zealand has developed extensive links with regional organisations. New Zealand was a founding member of the South Pacific Forum, formed in 1971 to promote regional co-operation, in particular in trade and economic development. The Forum now comprises 16 South Pacific countries, and provides an opportunity to discuss other issues of relevance to island nations such as the environment, climate change, transportation, law of the sea and security. An important aspect of the Forum's work is the annual meeting of the Forum Economic Ministers (FEMM). Since the first meeting in 1995, Ministers have agreed on an Action Plan covering accountability principles, public sector reform initiatives, tariff reform and investment reform.

Other regional organisations of which New Zealand is a member include the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), which assists members with the management and conservation of the region's marine resources; the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), which focuses on the protection and management of environment resources; the Pacific Forum Line (PFL), which facilitates regional trade through improved shipping links; the Pacific Community—primarily a technical assistance organisation, which helps promote the economic and social welfare of the South Pacific peoples; and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) which assists countries in the assessment, exploration and development of mineral and other non-living resources.

There are other links with the South Pacific covering Official Development Assistance, Defence and Disaster Co-ordination. The France, Australia, New Zealand Agreement (FRANZ) is an important element in the provision of rapid emergency assistance to the region in the event of a natural disaster such as a tropical cyclone.


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 is consolidating its position as a member of the Asia-Pacific community. This commitment builds on 25 years of growing intra-regional trade and presence in major regional political organisations. The countries of Asia now provide markets for over one-third of New Zealand's exports and are a source of almost a third of our imports. The region is a major source of investment and of migrants with a variety of skills. Political relations with Asian nations are close and 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, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai 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 wide range of regional trade facilitation and economic development 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.

In October 1997, New Zealand and the People's Republic of China jointly celebrated the rose with a joint postage stamp issue depicting Rugosa, an ancient rose from China, and Aotearoa-New Zealand, one of the world's youngest varieties. The stamps were launched at a China-New Zealand stamp expo in Wellington and a New Zealand-China expo in Tianjin, south-east of Beijing.

New Zealand is one of the founding members of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum and, since 1989, has played an active part at all levels in APEC leaders, ministerial, and officials working group meetings. New Zealand will host APEC in 1999. 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 shared interests within the region, New Zealand also co-operates with the ASEAN nations and with our other trading partners in wider international forums, including the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Bilateral trade with most of our Asian trading partners is rising steadily. The economic relationship with Japan, our second largest export market, is among our most important. Trade is increasingly diversified, helped by the complementary nature of the Japanese and New Zealand economies, and trade and investment are playing an important role in the development of New Zealand's economy. Economic reform and significant GDP growth rates in China offer new opportunities for New Zealand in Asia's largest market. New Zealand's two-way trade with China exceeded $1.4 billion for the first time in 1997. In the year to June 1997, China overtook Korea as New Zealand's fifth largest trading partner and further rapid growth is expected. South Korea is New Zealand's sixth largest trading partner. Hong Kong and Taiwan remain significant markets with real growth potential.

The New Zealand Government demonstrated commitment to the Asia-Pacific with the establishment in 1991 of the Asia 2000 Programme, which became the Asia 2000 Foundation. The foundation aims to build New Zealanders' skills and awareness of Asia so that individuals can be more effective participants in the Asia-Pacific region. The initiative is now well established; the Asia 2000 Foundation has a network of ‘honorary advisers’ in the region and draws support in New Zealand from both the public and private sectors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade works closely with the Foundation on key activities, such as the organisation of the Williamsburg conference to be held in 1998, and visitor programmes. The Asia 2000 Foundation contributes to regional policy analysis and discussion (see separate article).


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. Cooperation 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. 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, São 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.

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, fish and timber do not face volume restrictions on access, though there are concerns about some of the conditions affecting this access and New Zealand has had to initiate WTO dispute settlement action on an EU decision that New Zealand spreadable and Ammix butters are not eligible for tariff quota access. Our wine exports face some access problems.

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: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are now accepted candidates for membership of both the European Union and NATO. 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.

Although New Zealand's dealings with the other countries of the FSU are currently quite limited, the economic upturn in some of them, coupled with New Zealand's investment and input of technical assistance, are helping to create good opportunities for traders in the medium term.

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


6,400 old and obsolete military weapons and their spare parts were crushed for metal recycling, rather than re-use by overseas buyers, in November 1997.

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 June 1997, New Zealand exports to the region totalled $752 million. Imports for the same period were $670 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. Tradenz 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. 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 non-compliance with Commonwealth principles in some African countries.

The New Zealand High Commissioner in Pretoria is accredited to South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya and Namibia, and there is a High Commission in Harare, Zimbabwe. New Zealand posts in London, Madrid, Paris and Riyadh are responsible for relations with 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, the opening of a High Commission in Pretoria in mid-1996, and the visit by the Minister for International Trade and a Business Mission in August 1997.

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 1997-98 will be $3.275 million, an increase of 3.9 percent on the $3.15 million provided in 1996-97.

In addition to this support almost $2.1 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 $119.9 million in the year ended June 1997. Among the major exports to the region are dairy products, fish and electrical equipment. Imports from Africa (valued at $80.3 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 countries, 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 MFAT 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 1997-98 financial year these are:

  • $198,190 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.

  • $11,327 million for ODA Management, funded as one of the MFAT output classes.

Some other activities or transfers that meet the OECD definition of Official Development Assistance are funded from other government sources. The total disbursement on NZODA currently amounts to nearly 0.25 percent of New Zealand's GNP (gross national product). This is near the average for OECD countries and a considerable increase from just over 0.20 percent in 1990.

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

The bilateral schedule. The bilateral schedule is dominated by direct assistance on a one-to-one, country-to-country basis, comprising in most cases a wide range of developmental projects in 20 major partner countries in the South Pacific, South-east Asia, China and Southern and Eastern 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 covered the full range of New Zealand expertise—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. Global environmental concerns now take a higher profile in NZODA, and that list now includes nature conservation, national parks management, land use planning, soil conservation and environmental education. New Zealand participates in projects by contributing technical assistance, grants, material supplies and training.

New Zealand's development co-operation with Pacific Island countries focuses strongly 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 FFA, the Pacific Community and SPREP, amongst others. The Pacific Islands Investment and Development Scheme (PIIDS) targets the private sector and helps to promote investment and other linkages between New Zealand and Pacific Island companies.

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 project aimed at addressing some of the specific training needs of the greater Mekong Basin sub-region has been developed in cooperation with Khon Kaen University in Thailand.

VSA agricultural extension officer helping dig a fishpond in Babati, Tanzania, a project sponsored by New Zealand Overseas Development Assistance.

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—
        Western Samoa7,700
        Cook Islands6,000
        Papua New Guinea6,000
        Solomon Islands4,800
    Other Pacific Island countries1,250
    South Pacific regional programmes11,100
    South Pacific Head of Mission funds900
    Total South Pacific programmes71,450
Other bilateral programmes
    ASEAN and other Asia programmes30,000
    Americans/Africa programmes4,700
    Emergency and disaster relief5,000
    Voluntary agencies11,500
    Education and training (cross-regional scholarships)25,430
    Commonwealth Good Government programme500
    International Good Government programme500
    Total other bilateral programmes77,630
    Total bilateral schedule149,080
Multilateral schedule
    International financial institutions22,685
    South Pacific agencies10,390
    United Nations agencies11,560
    Commonwealth agencies2,265
    Other organisations2,210
    Total multilateral schedule49,110
    Total Official Development Assistance198,190

Percentage of GDP, 1993 and 1995

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 New Zealand is often able to send supplies, medical teams or other skilled people to directly help recovery work. A trilateral arrangement involving New Zealand, Australia and France in the South Pacific ensures a rapid response, effective co-ordination, and efficient use of resources in an emergency. When disaster strikes in more distant countries, New Zealand usually responds by making grants to international relief appeals, often under the auspices of the major international relief organisations or NGOs.

Hon Deborah Morris signing the anti-personnel landmine ban treaty for New Zealand in Ottawa, December 1997

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. Current New Zealand Permanent Representative Michael Powles and his predecessor Colin Keating each chaired one of the five important reform working groups set up by the UN General Assembly to advance the reform process. In addition, New Zealand diplomat Denise Almao currently serves 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. New Zealand has also been elected to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the period 1998-2000.

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 1997 of NZ$4.05 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 1996-97, these dues amounted to more than NZ$2.7 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 1997, New Zealand continued to give financial support in the field of human rights, including funds to assist national human rights institutions and advisory services for indigenous populations. At the Commission on Human Rights and the Third Committee of the General Assembly (which 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, indigenous issues and the development of human rights commissions in the Asia-Pacific region.

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 1997, 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 third 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 through education, science and culture. In November 1995 New Zealand was elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO for the period 1995-99.

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 1997-99.

A New Zealand peacekeeper at work in Cambodia.

Since 1952, including current commitments

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 has sent delegations to the major UN economic and social conferences in the 1990s: the Rio Summit on the Environment in 1992; the Population Conference in Cairo in 1994; the Social Summit in Copenhagen in 1995; and the Habitat II Conference in Turkey in 1996.

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.

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.

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.

A traditional Japanese garden in Manukau City, designed in Utsunomiya, Manukau's sister-city, was opened in February 1997 with a Maori ceremony.


The 54 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. Fiji rejoined the Commonwealth in October 1997.

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 1997 meeting of CHOGM took place in October in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1999, the meeting will be in South Africa. 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, with 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 coordination, 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 APEC).

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 1998 is Kuresa Nasau, Faipule of Atafu.

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 carrying out the functions and duties of the Defence Force, the general conduct of the Defence Force, managing 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

A new policy paper, The shape of New Zealand's defence, was released in November 1997. In this paper the government confirmed the ongoing validity of the defence policy of self-reliance in partnership set out in the 1991 white paper. This strategy advocates maintaining a defence force that can respond to security challenges close to home, while ensuring New Zealand meets its wider security interests through appropriate contributions further afield.

The three principal elements of this policy are:

  • defending New Zealand against low-level threats such as incursions into our exclusive economic zone and terrorism;

  • contributing to regional security which includes maintaining our key defence relationships with Australia and our Five Power Defence Arrangements partners—Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore; and

  • being a good international citizen by playing our part in global collective security efforts, particularly peacekeeping.

This policy reflects our geostrategic location, widespread trade and other interests, and our relatively small population and economy. New Zealand's interdependence with Asia in general, and East Asia in particular, continues to grow. The interdependence created by economic prosperity means that security concerns are shared, and armed conflict is less likely.

While the prospect of nuclear confrontation has diminished, the changing strategic balance has brought a number of security concerns to the fore. New Zealand does not foresee a major direct threat to its territory. At the lower level, however, there is a possibility of contingencies such as resource poaching or terrorism. To counter these a self-reliant capability is required. The emergence of more serious threats would require New Zealand to work in partnership with like-minded states.

Long-standing local or regional conflicts and conflicts within states look to be the most likely form of contemporary conflict. These have the potential to affect New Zealand and our interests, and as a beneficiary of a stable and secure environment, New Zealand must bear some of the responsibility and cost of keeping it that way. In addition, the modernisation, technical sophistication, and rising capability levels of military forces in this region and beyond, combined with the uncertain nature of the strategic environment mean that there will probably be growing demands on the NZDF to contribute in support of our regional and global security interests.

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 this 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. Recent work has focused on studying the potential augmentation of each country's armed forces by the armed forces of the other.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements. The basis of the Five Power Defence Arrangements is not a formal treaty but a statement in the communiqué following the meeting of ministers from Britain, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in 1971. The focus of the arrangements is the action and support available to Malaysia and Singapore if either of these countries should be under external threat. The NZDF 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. Most ASEAN and South Pacific countries participate in the Defence Force's Mutual Assistance Programme. The programme is a practical demonstration of New Zealand's commitment to regional security. Through training co-operation 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 engineering and trade skills of the armed forces. The most common forms of cooperation and assistance are the provision of formal courses or on-the-job training in New Zealand, the deployment overseas of training and technical teams, and the attachment of military instructors to other armed forces for periods of up to two years in Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea. Vanuatu and Malaysia. In South-east Asia, the programme serves as a vehicle for regular interaction between the NZDF and the armed forces of the ASEAN countries. As well as deriving benefit from training cooperation, the NZDF gains valuable opportunities for bilateral exercises.

ANZUS. This security treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States came into force in 1952. Each party recognised that an armed attack in the Pacific on any of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declared that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes. However, because of the dispute between New Zealand and the United States over access to New Zealand ports by ships of the United States Navy, the ANZUS Council has not met since 1984.


Foreign Minister Don McKinnon presides over the Burnham Declaration signing by Gerard Sinato, left, and Joseph Kabui, on 18 July 1997.

Liaison with other countries. To facilitate exchanges on military matters, defence representatives are posted to many of New Zealand's diplomatic missions, with some of those representatives also accredited to other countries. A number of countries have service representatives attached to their diplomatic missions in Wellington or have service attaches accredited to, but not resident in, New Zealand.

Armed forces overseas as at 31 December 1997

Bougainville Truce Monitoring Group. A New Zealand-led group was deployed to Bougainville in November 1997 to monitor the Burnham Truce agreed between the warring factions. The 150-strong group had a mandate to monitor the truce in preparation for the leaders' meeting held at Lincoln in January 1998.

United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO). New Zealand military observers have worked with UNTSO in Israel and neighbouring countries since 1954. They help to monitor cease-fires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist subsequent peacekeeping operations. New Zealand had seven observers in Israel and Syria with UNTSO.

Sinai Multinational Force and Observers (MFO). This force was established in April 1982 to verify compliance with the terms of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Nine countries contribute to MFO, which included a 25-strong New Zealand contingent comprising a training and advisory team, a heavy transport section, and engineers.

United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA). New Zealand contributed six personnel to this mission as military observers, and staff a de-mining school.

Former Yugoslavia. The NZDF contributed eight staff officers to fill a range of appointments on the British headquarters within the Stabilisation Force (SFOR). A deployment of 15 Royal New Zealand Artillery personnel was to be made to the British forces in SFOR early in 1998. The Defence Force also maintained military observers with the three UN missions that continued in the former Yugoslavia. One observer was deployed with UNMOP (Croatia), one with UNPREDEP (Macedonia), and five with UNTAES (Croatia), including the chief military observer.

United Nations Special Commission on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (UNSCOM). Following the 1991 Gulf War, the United Nations established the Special Commission to destroy, remove or render harmless weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile capabilities. This task was completed and the mission moved on to its long-term monitoring phase. New Zealand contributed 12 personnel to this mission to provide medical and administrative support.

Cambodian Mine Action Centre. This is a de-mining training centre set up by the Cambodian Government, with assistance from outside agencies. New Zealand had an operations officer and a logistics officer working at the centre.

Mozambique Mine Clearance Organisation. There were two New Zealand mine experts in Mozambique assisting the de-mining operation, including the chief technical adviser.

Unexploded Ordnance Programme Laos. New Zealand provided two officers for this programme.

United Nations Headquarters, New York. Four New Zealand personnel were carrying out staff duties at the headquarters in New York. Two were employed as demining advisers and two as staff officers in the UNSCOM headquarters.

RNZAF Skyhawk Detachment, Nowra. A detachment of six RNZAF Skyhawk aircraft and 57 flying and ground crew was based at Nowra, Australia, in support of a combined maritime-training programme. The aircraft undertake air-defence support flying for the Royal Australian Navy, providing that service with anti-air and anti-missile training.

Singapore and Malaysia. A small administrative element, known as the New Zealand Defence Support Unit, was based in Singapore to support bilateral exercises under the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Mutual Assistance Programme, continuing single-service deployments, and training attachments. Two RNZAF officers were serving at the headquarters of the Integrated Air Defence System at Butterworth, Malaysia.


New Zealand ships participate in the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) maritime exercise STARDEX, held annually, and in the FPDA maritime exercise FLYING FISH, held triennially, in Malaysian and Singaporean waters. The RNZN hosts Exercise TASMANEX, biennially, with forces participating from regional countries. They also participate in bilateral and multilateral exercises in Australia.

Significant army exercises include TAIAHA TOMBAK. a company deployment to Malaysia; SWIFT EAGLE, a bilateral interoperability exercise held in Australia; TAKROUNA, a combined battalion-level field exercise; SUMAN WARRIOR, an FPDA command-post exercise which in 1997 was held in New Zealand; and SILICON SAFARI, a combined Australian and New Zealand war-gaming exercise.

The Air Force deploys aircraft to Australia and South-east Asia each year to participate in bilateral and FPDA air-defence and maritime exercises. The Air Force also competes for the Fincastle Trophy, an anti-submarine warfare competition between Australia. Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Air-transport exercises include the competition Exercise BULLSEYE. Exercise TROPIC ASTRA practises tactical helicopter flying operations in a tropical environment.

Personnel exchanges. Members of the Defence Force participate in annual exchanges with personnel from the defence forces of Australia. Canada and the United Kingdom.

Community assistance

Hydrographic survey. The Navy, under contract to Land Information New Zealand, produces all nautical charts for New Zealand, including the Ross Dependency, and for a large area of the South Pacific including Niue, Tokelau. Western Samoa and the Cook Islands. The Navy has operated a hydrographic survey ship, HMNZS Monowai, and two inshore survey craft, HMNZ Ships Takapu and Tarapunga. The Hydrographic Office also provides tidal analysis data and predictions. During 1996-97 survey work was undertaken off the west coast of the North Island and off Fiordland. A new hydrographic and oceanographic vessel, HMNZS Resolution, has entered service and commences operations in 1998 following the decommissioning of Monowai.

Fisheries protection. Naval ships and Air Force Orion aircraft patrol the New Zealand 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Information from surveillance patrols is passed to the Ministry of Fisheries. At times fisheries officers are aboard the aircraft or ships when the patrols are conducted. The Air Force conducted 106 patrols in the New Zealand area and the South Pacific in 1996-97.

Search and rescue. All three services maintain a search and rescue capability, with naval and air units maintained on a 24-hour stand-by. The Navy and Air Force have assisted in extensive sea searches, while the Army and the Air Force have assisted police in land searches and rescues. The Air Force is also able to carry out emergency medical evacuation missions throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Antarctic support. Defence Force support for the New Zealand Antarctic Programme in 1996-97 included 12 return flights to McMurdo Base by Hercules aircraft. One Iroquois helicopter with two crews was stationed at McMurdo from October to February. Other support included air-cargo handling at Christchurch and McMurdo. pre-departure training camps for Antarctic Programme personnel, and communications and support personnel at Scott Base in Antarctica. Similar support was scheduled for the 1997-98 season.

Bongainville peace monitor at work.

New Zealand Cadet Forces. The Cadet Forces comprise the Sea Cadet Corps, Air Training Corps and the New Zealand Cadet Corps. These are community-based youth groups which receive assistance from the New Zealand Defence Force, and support from the Sea Cadet Association of New Zealand, the Air Training Corps Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Army Association, schools' boards of trustees, and the New Zealand Returned Services Association. There were 99 active cadet units at 30 June 1997 with a total strength of 4,400.

Limited Service Volunteer Scheme. Limited Service Volunteer training courses have been conducted since May 1993. Since 1995 the courses have been run by the Army at Burnham Camp. The programme provides young unemployed volunteers with six weeks of residential training in outdoor activities and general life skills. A total of 391 volunteers successfully completed the training course in the year ended 30 June 1997. The Army also provides some work-experience courses for the long-term unemployed.

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

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

Defence expenditure

Defence funding is disaggregated to two organisations: the New Zealand Defence Force under the Chief of Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence under the Secretary of Defence. Total expenditure by the two organisations is consolidated in table 4.2.


ItemYear ended 30 June
Source: New Zealand Defence Force. Ministry of Defence
Personnel493,866 R512,062
Operating319,327 R316,016
Depreciation195,665 R205,214
Capital charge383,850 R373,573
    Total output expenses1,392,708 R1,406,865
Subtotal61,308 R49,818
Crown revenue provided1,331,400 R1,357,047


As at 30 JuneNavyArmyAir ForceTotalCivilians (NZDF & MOD)
Source: New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry of Defence


 Percentage of GDP


2Year ended 30 June.

3Year ended 31 March.

4Year ended 30 September.

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

New Zealand21.
United Kingdom34.
United States of America44.

Royal New Zealand Navy

Command and administration. The Chief of Naval Staff exercises command and control of the Royal New Zealand Navy and is assisted by the Naval Staff.

Shore establishments. The naval base at Devonport, Auckland, consists of the office of the Maritime Commander (the operational authority for the RNZN), HMNZS Philomel (the naval barracks and base support establishment), the Royal New Zealand Naval Hospital, and the Naval Supply Depot. Collocated with the naval base is the dockyard, a comprehensive engineering facility for the support of naval vessels. The dockyard is managed by Babcock New Zealand Limited. HMNZS Tamaki is the naval training establishment at Devonport. The RNZN Armament Depot is located at Kauri Point and the RNZN Hydrographic Office is at Takapuna. HMNZS Wakefield, in Defence Headquarters, is the administrative unit for RNZN personnel in the Wellington area. There are four divisions of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, based at Auckland (HMNZS Ngapona), Wellington (HMNZS Olphert), Christchurch (HMNZS Pegasus), and Dunedin (HMNZS Toroa). There is also a port headquarters in Tauranga.

Off Devonport the new frigate, Te Kaha, lives up to her name, Strength.

The Navy's new logo.


Source: New Zealand Defence Force
(ANZAC class)Te KahaNaval Combat Force
(Leander class)Wellington
Fleet tankerEndeavourNaval Logistic Support Force
Military sealift shipCharles Upham
Survey shipMonowaiHydrographic Survey Force
Inshore survey craftTakapu
Diving support vesselManawanuiMaritime Mine Warfare Force
Inshore patrol craftMoa
Training tenderKahu 
Dockyard service craftAratiki

Monowai was to be replaced by HMNZS Resolution in the hydrographic and oceanographic roles from early 1998. Te Mana, the second of the RNZN's ANZAC-class frigates, was expected to be handed over to the RNZN in March 1999. The Seasprite SH2F helicopter was scheduled to enter RNZN service in April 1998. Charles Upham is at present on charter in Spain.


CategoryAt 30 June
Source: New Zealand Defence Force
Regular forces—
Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (all ranks)424370367395

New Zealand Army

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

Although the Ottawa Treaty to ban antipersonnel landmines was signed in December 1997, it does not come into force until ratified. Even when countries agree to no longer manufacture, store or transfer landmines, there are many millions of landmines remaining in the ground, mostly in Third World countries. The New Zealand Army has won a high reputation for its demining training teams in Cambodia (seen here), Afghanistan, Mozambique and Angola.

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

  • A deployable Regular Force infantry battalion group.

  • A deployable Regular and Territorial Force brigade group.

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

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

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

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

The Army was scheduled to have established, by mid-1998, a single operational-level command, Headquarters Land Command, at Trentham to command the field Army and its training and support systems. Army General Staff remains concerned primarily with development of policy and the management of logistic and support functions.

State of the Army. Major army units comprise two Regular Force infantry battalions, six Territorial Force infantry battalions, a light armoured regiment, a field artillery regiment, an engineer regiment, three signals squadrons, a Special Air Service group, and four logistics regiments. Major equipment includes 8 combat reconnaissance vehicles (tracked), 78 armoured personnel-carriers, 32,105mm guns/howitzers and 50 81 mm mortars.


CategoryAt 30 June
Source: New Zealand Defence Force
Regular forces
    Other ranks3,8853,8833,7373,676
Territorial Force (all ranks)4,4804,3714,1523,680

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Command and administration. The RNZAF is structured to provide forces for maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, offensive air support and air transport in New Zealand's area of interest. The Chief of Air Staff, supported by the Air Staff, commands the RNZAF.

Organisation. The RNZAF is organised into one functional group: Air Command. With its headquarters at RNZAF Base Auckland, it is responsible for all operational functions, all training and all support functions. Operational flying units are based at RNZAF Base Auckland and RNZAF Base Ohakea, with a detachment of Iroquois helicopters at Christchurch. RNZAF Base Ohakea also hosts primary flying training, while most ground training is done at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. The RNZAF Museum is based at Wigram, with a wing of the museum at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

Engineering. Aircraft technical services are co-ordinated by Air Staff with specific levels of aircraft maintenance assigned to the bases and squadrons. The overhaul of specific aircraft and engines and some manufacturing of aeronautical equipment is carried out at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. Some repair and overhaul work is contracted to the private sector in New Zealand and overseas.


Source: New Zealand Defence Force
Maritime patrol6 OrionsRNZAF Base Auckland
2 Boeing 727s
Transport4 Andovers
5 Hercules
6 Wasps (operated by RNZN)
Helicopters5 Sioux
11 Iroquois
2 IroquoisNo. 3 Squadron
Air attack6 SkyhawksHMAS Albatross,
Nowra, NSW
 13 SkyhawksRNZAF Base Ohakea
Flying training17 Aermacchi
15 Air Trainers


CategoryAt 30 June
Source: New Zealand Defence Force
Regular forces
     Other ranks2,7482,6762,5682,351
Territorial Air Force136101170180

4.5 Intelligence and security

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security advises each minister responsible for an intelligence and security agency in the oversight and review of those agencies. In particular, the Inspector-General is responsible for assisting the minister to ensure that the activities of New Zealand intelligence and security agencies comply with the law and that complaints relating to New Zealand intelligence and security agencies are independently investigated.

Security Intelligence Service

Subject to the control of the Minister in Charge of the Security Intelligence Service, the functions of the service are to obtain, correlate, and evaluate intelligence relevant to security and to advise ministers on security matters. It is not a function of the Service to enforce measures for security or to further the interests of a political party. The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969 does not limit the right of persons to engage in lawful advocacy, protest or dissent in respect of any matter and the exercise of that right shall not, of itself, justify the service in instituting surveillance of any person or entity within New Zealand.

The service is subject to oversight and review by an Inspector-General and the Intelligence and Security Committee, both of which were established by acts passed in 1996.

During the year ended 31 March 1997, 5 warrants were issued for the detection of activities prejudicial to security (section 4A (1) (a) (i) of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969). A further 3 warrants were issued for the purpose of that sub-paragraph before but remained in force at some time during the year ended 31 March 1997. The average term for each warrant was 3 months and 6 days. The methods of interception used were listening devices and the copying of documents.


Year ended 30 JuneEABSISGCSB
Source: External Assessments Bureau, Security Intelligence Service and Government Communications Security Bureau

Government Communications Security Bureau

Responsible to the Prime Minister, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) provides information, advice and assistance to the New Zealand government, government departments and organisations. The GCSB is subject to oversight and review under the Intelligence and Security Committee Act 1996 and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996. Its functions are:

Communications security and computer security—protecting information that is processed, stored or communicated by electronic or similar means and including,

  • the formulation of communications security and computer security policy, the promulgation of standards and the provision of material, advice and assistance to government departments and authorities, including the New Zealand armed forces, on matters related to the security and integrity of official information, the loss or compromise of which could adversely affect national security; and

  • the provision of advice as required by government departments and authorities in relation to sensitive information which, although unrelated to national security, requires protection from unauthorised disclosure for privacy, financial or other reasons.

Technical security—providing defence against eavesdropping and other forms of technical attack against New Zealand government premises world-wide.

Signals intelligence—providing foreign signals intelligence to meet the national intelligence requirements of the New Zealand government.

The GCSB head office is in Wellington, and it operates two communications stations, the Defence Communications Unit, Tangimoana, and the Defence Satellite Communications Unit, Waihopai, Blenheim. It was announced in July 1997 that the Waihopai satellite monitoring station will be expanded by installing a second antenna and a dome to cover it, at a cost of about $3.4 million.

External Assessments Bureau

Part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the External Assessments Bureau (EAB), Te Ranga Tatari Take Tawahi, produces intelligence assessments of events and trends overseas to support informed decision-making by the government on events or trends likely to influence New Zealand's foreign relations and external interests. The staff of about 30 identify, collate, evaluate and analyse information collected from a range of sources, and prepare assessments and reports on political, economic, biographic, strategic and scientific matters.


  • 4.1-4.3 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • 4.4 New Zealand Defence Force.

  • 4.5 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; New Zealand Security Intelligence Service; Government Communications Security Bureau; External Assessments Bureau.

Special articles

Asia 2000 Foundation of New Zealand; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Department of Internal Affairs.

Further information

A Guide to the Ministry and its Work. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Army News. New Zealand Army (fortnightly).

Defending New Zealand. Rolfe, J. Institute of Policy Studies, 1993.

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

Development Business. Development Co-operation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Diplomatic and Consular List. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (twice-yearly).

In the field for peace: New Zealand's contribution to international peace-support operations: 1950-95. John Crawford. New Zealand Defence Force, 1996.

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

Navy Today: RNZN News. Royal New Zealand Navy (monthly).

New Zealand Defence Quarterly. Ministry of Defence.

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

New Zealand International Review (every two months). Institute of International Affairs.

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

Report of the Asia 2000 Foundation of New Zealand (Parl Paper G.47). Report of the Ministry of Defence (Parl Paper G.4).

Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Parl Paper A.1).

Report of the New Zealand Defence Force (Parl Paper G.55).

RNZAF News. Royal New Zealand Air Force (fortnightly).

The shape of New Zealand's defence: A White Paper. New Zealand Government, Wellington, 1997.

The trans-Tasman relationship, Sir Frank Holmes. Institute of Policy Studies, 1996.

United Nations Handbook. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (annual).

The Institute of Policy Studies and the Centre for Strategic Studies, both at Victoria University of Wellington, publish books on international affairs and defence topics.

Chapter 5. Population

Children and early childhood professionals from a Dunedin Child Care Centre enjoy calm weather and low tide at St Clair Beach.

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

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

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

The following discussions on population issues cover only the years since World War 2, and more particularly the past 30 years. The aim is to highlight modern trends in New Zealand's demography and present those population changes from over the last half century which have affected, and continue to affect, the development of the country.

5.1 Population growth

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

Percentage annual increase

The population of New Zealand reached 500,000 in 1880 boosted by the introduction of government-assisted immigration. The first million was surpassed in 1908 following the economic recovery from the Depression of the 1880s and 1890s. In the aftermath of World War II the growth rate climbed dramatically (in comparison to a stagnation in the early 1930s) as the baby boom and increased immigration made their impact. The second million of population was reached in 1952, 44 years after the first million with the third added, only 21 years later, in 1973. Almost one-fifth of this population growth came from net immigration. Since 1974 New Zealand's population has increased by over one-half of a million to reach 3.68 million at the 1996 Census, held on 5 March.

Over the past 20 years there have been significant fluctuations in the population growth rate caused by wide swings in the level and direction of the external migration balance. In absolute terms, New Zealand's population grew by a record 266,752 during 1971-76, only 46,354 during 1976-81, 131,347 during 1981-86, 127,866 during 1986-91 and 246,596 over the latest intercensal period, 1991-96.

Five take a dip at Moana Pool, Dunedin.

Enumerating our population

Results from the 1996 Census Post Enumeration Survey reveal that 45,000 New Zealand residents (1.2 percent of the population) were not enumerated by the 1996 Census. Likewise, at the time of the 1996 Census, 40,000 New Zealand residents were temporarily overseas and thus did not complete a census return. Since these people pay taxes, use health and educational facilities, vote, etc, they are for most purposes part of our administrative population base. Traditional ways of measuring the population, based on the de facto population concept, have excluded these people but included tourists temporarily visiting New Zealand. The 1996 Census enumerated 63,000 temporary visitors in New Zealand on census night.

In order to ensure that estimates more accurately reflect the population which resides in an area, Statistics New Zealand has adopted the “resident population" concept as a standard for producing official population estimates and projections.

The latest resident population estimates show New Zealand's total population has grown by more than 67,000 since the 1996 Census to reach 3,781,500 at 31 December 1997.

5.2 Distribution of population

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

North and South Islands

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

Since that time the North Island's population has continued to expand at a greater rate, and its share of the total population has continued to grow. In 1956, 69 percent of the population resided in the North Island, by 1976 this figure had risen to over 72 percent and in 1996 was at almost 75 percent.

Christchurch building development expands up the Port Hills to meet the needs of a mushrooming population.

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

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

Internal migration

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

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


Regional councilsUsually resident population aged 5 years and over at 1996 CensusIn-migration (2)Out-migration (3)Gross migration (2)+(3)=(4)Net migration (2)-(3)=(5)Migration effectiveness ratio (5)/(4)x100
Source: Statistics New Zealand
Bay of Plenty205,72833,22224,66057,8828,57114.81
Hawke's Bay131,31013,93216,62030,552-2,685-8.79
West Coast29,9104,8125,41810,230-600-5.87

Urban and rural

New Zealand is a highly urbanised country with 85 percent of the population residing in urban areas at the 1996 Census. Cities have increased their dominance over time. By 1911, more than half the population was found in urban areas, rising to more than three-quarters by 1961. Since 1981, the proportion of New Zealanders living in urban areas has stabilised at around 85 percent.

Selected countries and continents, 1996

The cities

At the time of the 1996 Census, while 85 percent of the population lived in urban areas, 69 percent lived in ‘main urban areas’ (places with 30,000 people or over).


Urban area188611911119361961198621991219962

1Excludes Maori.

2Boundaries as at 5 March 1996.

Source: Statistics New Zealand

Palmerston North2,60610,99124,37243,18567,40570,95173,862
New Plymouth3,0935,23818,59732,38747,38448,51949,079
Taupo    17,60218,36921,044

Average annual intercensal growth rates for main urban areas

Ratio of urban to rural population

A recent feature of urbanisation has been the growing concentration of people in Auckland. In 1996, 29 percent of New Zealand's population lived there, compared with only 14 percent 70 years earlier.

Between 1991 and 1996, most main urban areas experienced population growth, particularly those located in the north of both islands. However, almost half of the secondary urban areas either lost population or grew very slowly. While the New Zealand population increased by 7 percent between 1991 and 1996, the population of main urban areas grew by 8 percent, secondary urban areas by 3 percent and minor urban areas by almost 4 percent.

Population of local government areas today

Tables 5.7 and 5.8 outline the resident population of New Zealand's 74 territorial authority areas and 16 regional councils.


Cities/districtsAdjusted population at 5 March 19961Estimated population at 30 JuneAnnual rate of population increase or (-) decrease, June 1996-1997

1The population base for these estimates is the number of New Zealand residents in New Zealand on census night, 5 March 1996, adjusted for the estimated undercount at the 1996 Census (45,000) and for the estimated number of New Zealand residents temporarily overseas on 5 March 1996 (40,000). Total New Zealand population includes people on shipboard and oil rigs, and the population of Campbell, Kermadec, Mayor and Motiti Islands (not within city or district boundaries). Because of rounding, separate figures may not always add up to give the stated totals.

Source: Statistics New Zealand

North Shore177,600178,400182,3003,9002.2
Palmerston North74,60074,90075,1002000.3
Upper Hutt37,50037,50037,500--
Lower Hutt98,20098,30098,5002000.2
         Total, cities2,074,4002,083,8002,117,50033,7001.6
Far North54,10054,10055,1001,0001.8
South Waikato25,60025,70025,300-400-1.6
Western Bay of Plenty35,60035,70036,7001,0002.8
Central Hawke's Bay13,25013,25013,200-50-0.4
New Plymouth69,30069,40069,200-200-0.3
South Taranaki29,60029,60029,200-400-1.4
Kapiti Coast39,30039,30039,8005001.3
South Wairarapa9,1009,1008,970-130-1.4
Banks Peninsula7,7407,7307,720-10-0.1
Chatham Island750750750--
Central Otago15,20015,15015,100-50-0.3
         Total, districts1,627,7001,629,4001,642,30012,9000.8
Total, New Zealand3,703,0003,714,1003,760,70046,6001.3

Population shifts over recent years have put more pressure on community facilities in northern New Zealand, particularly in the Auckland area. Schools have suffered classroom shortages, such as at Ponsonby Intermediate where these students carry classroom furniture into the neighbouring rugby clubrooms, their temporary home while two new classrooms are completed.

The changing age structure of New Zealand society has emphasised the need to maintain good relationships within families.

5.3 Components of population change

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

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

The volatility of migration trends contrasted with the upward trend in natural increase until 1961. The rise in natural increase has been prodigious. In 1861-65 births exceeded deaths by only 16,610. By 1961-65, the margin had soared to 205,164. Since then, the gap between births and deaths has gradually diminished because of a significant drop in the number of live births and a rise in the number of deaths. In 1981-85 births exceeded deaths by 125,109, a drop of nearly 40 percent on 20 years earlier. However, in 1991-95, births exceeded deaths by 157,314, an increase of 26 percent over 1981-85.

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


Changing levels of fertility have played a major role in determining the size and structure of New Zealand's population over the years. (Fertility, the actual reproductive performance of a population, is measured by the number of live births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 49 years.)

In 1935 the fertility rate in New Zealand fell to a low of 2.2 births per woman. This lower rate is attributed to fewer and later marriages, and family limitation within marriage exerting their influence. With the demobilisation of forces after World War 2 and the resulting increase in marriages and births, the fertility rate recovered to 3.6 births per woman in 1947.

Annual net migration and natural increase

Natural increase (excess of births over deaths): For this line, the change for 1961-90 is de facto population change; the change for 1991-97 is in resident population.
Net change through migration (excess of arrivals over departures, excluding through passengers and crews): For this line, the change for 1961-90 is of total migration (used in estimating the de facto population): the change for 1991-97 is of permanent and long-term migration (used in estimating the resident population).

Other features of the post-war years were New Zealanders marrying younger, and marriage becoming almost universal. By 1961 half of all women were married before age 22 years, compared with barely a quarter married by that age in the early 1940s. These trends were reinforced by early childbearing and the shortening of birth intervals. In the mid-1950s, age group 20-24 years replaced 25-29 years as the most common age group for childbearing. The median age at first birth fell from 25.4 years in 1945 to 22.8 years in 1964. Fewer couples remained childless or had only one child. The net result was soaring birth numbers, up from just over 27,000 in 1935, to about 42,000 in 1945 and to over 65,000 in 1961. Over 1.1 million New Zealanders were born between 1946 and 1965—the ‘babyboomers’.

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