- The Union Flag was used exclusively until 1867.
- The naval flag of New Zealand, 1867–1869
- The national flag 1869, formally adopted in 1902
Colony of New Zealand
Motto: " Dieu et mon droit "
"God and my right"
Anthem: "God Save the Queen/King"
|Status||Colony of the United Kingdom|
|Capital|| Old Russell (1841)|
|Common languages||English, Māori|
|Government|| Crown colony (1841–1852)|
Self-governing colony (1852–1907)
|William Hobson (first)|
|William Plunket (last)|
|Henry Sewell (first)|
|Joseph Ward (last)|
• Upper chamber
• Lower chamber
|House of Representatives|
|Historical era||Victorian era|
• Separation from Colony of New South Wales
|1 July 1841|
|30 June 1852|
• Dominion status
|26 September 1907|
|Currency||New Zealand pound|
|ISO 3166 code||NZ|
1. The General Assembly first sat in 1854, under the provisions of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852.
The Colony of New Zealand was a British colony that existed in New Zealand from 1841 to 1907, created as a Crown colony. The power of the British Government was vested in a governor, but the colony was granted self-government in 1852. The 1852 Constitution was inaugurated after the first parliament was elected in 1853, and the first government of New Zealand was formed in 1856. The Colony of New Zealand had three capitals: Old Russell (1841), Auckland (1841–1865), and Wellington (after 1865). In 1907, the colony became the Dominion of New Zealand with a more explicit recognition of self-government within the British Empire.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Crown colony, dependent territory or royal colony were dependent territories under the administration of United Kingdom overseas territories that were controlled by the British Government. As such they are examples of dependencies that are under colonial rule. Crown colonies were renamed "British Dependent Territories" in 1981, and since 2002, Crown colonies have been known officially as British Overseas Territories.
In the British Empire, a self-governing colony was a colony with an elected government in which elected rulers were able to make most decisions without referring to the colonial power with nominal control of the colony. Most self-governing colonies had responsible government.
Following the proclamation of sovereignty over New Zealand from Sydney in January 1840, Captain William Hobson came to New Zealand and issued the same proclamation on 1 February 1840.The Treaty of Waitangi was subsequently signed on 6 February 1840, William Hobson declaring British sovereignty over the islands of New Zealand on 21 May 1840 in two separate formal declarations. In the first declaration, Hobson declared British sovereignty over the North Island. The basis for the claim over the North Island was the Treaty of Waitangi between the Māori and the British Crown. In the English version of the treaty, Māori ceded sovereignty in return for the rights, privileges and protection of being a British subject. However, the Māori translation of the treaty referred to kawanatanga which is generally translated as governance rather than sovereignty and this point remains a subject of much controversy and political debate. In the second declaration, Hobson declared British sovereignty over the South Island and Stewart Island on the basis of "first discovery" by Captain James Cook in 1769.
The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs (rangatira) from the North Island of New Zealand. It is a document of central importance to the history and political constitution of the state of New Zealand, and has been highly significant in framing the political relations between New Zealand's government and the Māori population.
Waitangi Day is the national day of New Zealand, and commemorates the signing, on 6 February 1840, of the Treaty of Waitangi. Ceremonies take place at Waitangi, Northland to commemorate the signing of the treaty, which is regarded as New Zealand's founding document. The day is observed annually and is designated a public holiday, unless 6 February falls on a Saturday or Sunday, when the Monday that immediately follows becomes the public holiday.
Captain William Hobson was a British Royal Navy officer who served as the first Governor of New Zealand. He was a co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Initially, New Zealand was part of the Colony of New South Wales, and Lieutenant-Governor Hobson was answerable to his superior, the Governor of New South Wales.By letters patent, the British government issued the Charter for Erecting the Colony of New Zealand on 16 November 1840. The Charter stated that the Colony of New Zealand would be established as a Crown colony separate from New South Wales on 1 July 1841.
The Colony of New South Wales was a colony of the British Empire from 1788 to 1900, when it became a State of the Commonwealth of Australia. At its greatest extent, the colony of New South Wales included the present-day Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia, the Northern Territory as well as New Zealand. The first "responsible" self-government of New South Wales was formed on 6 June 1856 with Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson appointed by Governor Sir William Denison as its first Colonial Secretary.
The Governor of New South Wales is the viceregal representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in the state of New South Wales. In an analogous way to the Governor-General of Australia at the national level, the Governors of the Australian states perform constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level. The governor is appointed by the queen on the advice of the premier of New South Wales, for an unfixed period of time—known as serving At Her Majesty's pleasure—though five years is the norm. The current governor is retired General David Hurley, who succeeded Dame Marie Bashir on 2 October 2014.
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president, or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coat of arms. Letters patent are issued for the appointment of representatives of the Crown, such as governors and governors-general of Commonwealth realms, as well as appointing a Royal Commission. In the United Kingdom they are also issued for the creation of peers of the realm. A particular form of letters patent has evolved into the modern patent granting exclusive rights in an invention. In this case it is essential that the written grant should be in the form of a public document so other inventors can consult it to avoid infringement and also to understand how to "practice" the invention, i.e., put it into practical use. In the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, imperial patent was also the highest form of generally binding legal regulations, e. g. Patent of Toleration, Serfdom Patent etc.
With the establishment of the Crown colony, Hobson became Governor of New Zealand. The first organs of the New Zealand Government were also established to assist the Governor: an Executive Council and a legislative council.
The Executive Council of New Zealand is the full group of "responsible advisers" to the Governor-General of New Zealand on state and constitutional affairs. All Government ministers must be appointed as executive councillors before they are appointed as ministers; therefore all Cabinet ministers are also executive councillors. The governor-general signs a warrant of appointment for each member of the Executive Council, and separate warrants for each ministerial portfolio.
The Executive Council consisted of the attorney-general, colonial secretary, and colonial treasurer. The Legislative Council consisted of the governor, Executive Council, and three justices of the peace appointed by the governor.The Legislative Council had the power to issue Ordinances, statutory instruments.
The colony was divided into three provinces: New Ulster Province (the North Island), New Munster Province (the South Island), and New Leinster Province (Stewart Island).
The provinces of the Colony of New Zealand existed as a form of sub-national government. Established in 1841, each province had its own legislature and was built around the six original planned settlements or "colonies". By 1873 the number of provinces had increased to nine, but they had become less isolated from each other and demands for centralised government arose. In 1875 the national parliament decided to abolish the provincial governments, and they came to an end in 1876. They were superseded by counties, which were later replaced by territorial authorities.
New Ulster was a province of the Colony of New Zealand that existed between 1841 and 1853. It was named after the Irish province of Ulster.
New Munster was an early original European name for the South Island of New Zealand, given by the Governor of New Zealand, Captain William Hobson, in honour of Munster, the Irish province in which he was born.
As new European settlements were founded in the colony, demands for self-government became louder. The New Zealand Company settlement of Port Nicholson (Wellington) had its own elected council, which was forcibly dissolved by Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson in 1840.Later, Wellington became the centre of agitation by settlers for representative government led by Samuel Revans, who founded the Wellington Settlers' Constitutional Association in 1848.
The first New Zealand Constitution Act was passed in 1846, though Governor George Grey was opposed to provisions that would divide the country into European and Māori districts. As a result, almost all of the Act was suspended for six years pending a new Act of 1852, with the only operative part of the 1846 Act being the creation of New Zealand's first provinces. In the meantime, Grey drafted his own Act which established both provincial and central representative assemblies, and allowed for Māori districtsand an elected governor. The latter proposal was rejected by the Parliament of the United Kingdom when it adopted Grey's constitution.
The six provinces formed in 1853 were Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, and Otago, though in 1858 New Plymouth was renamed Taranaki.
|District / Settlement||Males||Females||Total||Percent|
|Windsor (near Auckland)|
|Bay of Islands|
|Rest of province|
|Source: Dominion Committee Blue Books|
The second New Zealand Constitution Act was passed in 1852 and became the central constitutional document of the colony. It created the General Assembly, which consisted of the Legislative Council and an elected House of Representatives.The first general election for the House of Representatives was held on between 14 July and 1 October 1853. The 1st New Zealand Parliament was opened on 24 May 1854. The Administrator of Government, Robert Wynyard, was quickly confronted by the demands of the new parliament that responsible government be granted to the colony immediately; on 2 June the House of Representatives passed a resolution, sponsored by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, to that effect. Wynyard refused, stating that the Colonial Office made no mention of responsible government in its dispatches. The Executive Council advised Wynyard against implementing responsible government, and in the meantime he sent a dispatch to London requesting clarification. Wynyard then offered to add some elected members of parliament to the Executive Council, and appointed James FitzGerald, Henry Sewell and Frederick Weld to the council. The compromise worked for a few weeks but on 1 August parliament demanded complete power to appoint ministers. Wynyard refused, and all three MPs resigned from the council. In response, Wynyard prorogued parliament for two weeks. On 31 August, he appointed Thomas Forsaith, Jerningham Wakefield and James Macandrew to the Executive Council, but when parliament met again, it moved a motion of no confidence in the members.
Parliament met on 8 August 1855, by which time Wynyard had received instructions from the Colonial Office to introduce responsible government. The new governor, Sir Thomas Gore Browne, arrived on 6 September 1855 and relieved Wynyard of his duties.On 28 January 1858, Wynyard was appointed to the Legislative Council.
Governor Thomas Gore Browne subsequently announced that self-government would begin with the 2nd New Zealand Parliament, elected in 1855.Henry Sewell was asked by the governor to form a government, now known as the Sewell Ministry. He became colonial secretary—effectively the first Premier of New Zealand—on 7 May. Sewell's government was short-lived, however. The leader of the provincialist (pro-provinces) faction, William Fox, defeated Sewell's government on 20 May 1856. Fox himself, however, did not retain office for long, being defeated by Edward Stafford, a moderate.
The Colony of New Zealand continued until 26 September 1907, when, as a result of a decision by the 1907 Imperial Conference and by request of the New Zealand government, King Edward VII declared New Zealand to be a Dominion. On the same day, the King issued another Royal Proclamation granting the Colony of Newfoundland the status of Dominion of Newfoundland. The 1907 change from Colony to Dominion was largely symbolic, and New Zealand did not become independent until the General Assembly of New Zealand enacted the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947, which applied the Statute of Westminster 1931 to the Dominion of New Zealand (although the United Kingdom retained the right to legislate for New Zealand at its request); certain colonial enactments survived for sometime after—the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was finally replaced by the Constitution Act 1986.
A Royal Proclamation granting New Zealand Dominion status was issued on 26 September 1907.
The first flag used by the Colony of New Zealand was the British Union Flag. This began to change with the Colonial Navy Defence Act 1865, which required all ships owned by colonial governments to fly the defaced Royal Navy blue ensign with a colonial badge. New Zealand did not have a colonial badge, or indeed a coat of arms of its own at this stage, and so the letters "NZ" were added to the blue ensign.The Colony New Zealand used the same royal coat of arms as the United Kingdom.
In 1869, Albert Hastings Markham, a first lieutenant on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Blanche, submitted a national ensign design to Sir George Bowen, the Governor of New Zealand.It was initially used only on government ships, but was adopted as the de facto national flag in a surge of patriotism arising from the Second Boer War in 1902. To end confusion between the various designs of the flag, the Liberal Government passed the Ensign and Code Signals Bill, which was approved by King Edward VII on 24 March 1902, declaring the flag as New Zealand's national flag.
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.
The Dominion of New Zealand was the historical successor to the Colony of New Zealand. It was a constitutional monarchy with a high level of self-government within the British Empire.
Henry Sewell was a prominent 19th-century New Zealand politician. He was a notable campaigner for New Zealand self-government, and is generally regarded as having been the country's first Premier, having led the Sewell Ministry in 1856. He later served as Colonial Treasurer (1856–59), as Attorney-General (1861–62), and twice as Minister of Justice.
The Legislative Council of New Zealand existed from 1841 until 1951. When New Zealand became a colony in 1841 the Legislative Council was established as the country's first legislature; it was reconstituted as the upper house of a bicameral legislature when New Zealand became self-governing in 1852.
The Constitution of New Zealand is the sum of laws and principles that make up the body politic of the realm. It concerns the relationship between the individual and the state, and the functioning of government. Unlike many other nations, New Zealand has no single constitutional document. The Constitution Act 1986 comprises only a portion of the uncodified constitution, along with a collection of statutes, the Treaty of Waitangi, Orders in Council, letters patent, decisions of the courts and unwritten conventions.
The Governor-General of New Zealand is the viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently head of state of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Realm of New Zealand. Once in office, the governor-general maintains direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time.
Robert Henry Wynyard was a New Zealand colonial administrator, serving at various times as Lieutenant Governor of New Ulster Province, Administrator of the Government, and was the first Superintendent of Auckland Province.
The independence of New Zealand is a matter of continued academic and social debate. New Zealand has no fixed date of independence; instead, political independence came about as a result of New Zealand's evolving constitutional status. The concept of a national "Independence Day" does not exist in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that granted self-government to the Colony of New Zealand. It was the second such Act, the previous 1846 Act not having been fully implemented.
The flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand is an official flag of New Zealand and is flown continuously on buildings and other locations when a governor-general is present. The flag in its present form was adopted in 2008 and is a blue field with the shield of the New Zealand coat of arms royally crowned. The official heraldic description is "A flag of a blue field thereon the Arms of New Zealand ensigned by the Royal Crown all proper".
The New Zealand Constitution Act 1846 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to grant self-government to the Colony of New Zealand, but it was never fully implemented. The Act's long title was An Act to make further Provision for the Government of the New Zealand Islands, and it received the royal assent on 28 August 1846.
William Swainson became the second, and last, Attorney-General of the Crown colony of New Zealand and instrumental in setting up the legal system of New Zealand. He was the first Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council.
The following lists events that happened during 1853 in New Zealand.
South Island nationalism refers to a nationalist movement in the South Island of New Zealand. This political viewpoint is not widely held – in the 1999 elections the NZ South Island Party received 2,622 votes, 0.14% of the total. Another South Island Party attempted to gain the 500 financial members necessary to contest the 2008 election, but chose not to register.
The Sewell Ministry was the first responsible government in New Zealand. It formed in 1856, but lasted only one month, from 18 April to 20 May. From 7 May onwards, Henry Sewell was Colonial Secretary, considered to be the equivalent of Prime Minister. Thus, Sewell became the first Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Wellington has been the capital of New Zealand since 1865. New Zealand's first capital city was Old Russell (Okiato) in 1840–41. Auckland was the second capital from 1841 until 1865, when Parliament was permanently moved to Wellington after an argument that persisted for a decade. As the members of parliament could not agree on the location of a more central capital, Wellington was decided on by three Australian commissioners.
James Coates was a prominent pioneer settler of Auckland New Zealand. He was also a senior official within the administration of the newly-established colony of New Zealand, following the proclamation of sovereignty by William Hobson and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.