Provinces in 1858
|Location||Colony of New Zealand|
The provinces of the Colony of New Zealand existed as a form of sub-national government. Initially established in 1846 when New Zealand was a Crown colony without responsible government, two provinces (New Ulster and New Munster) were established. Each province had its own legislative council and Governor. With the passing of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 the provinces were recreated around the six 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 New Zealand Parliament decided to abolish the provincial governments, and they came to an end in November 1876. They were superseded by counties, which were later replaced by territorial authorities.
Following abolition, the provinces became known as provincial districts. Their principal legacy is the use of some provincial boundaries to determine the geographical boundaries for anniversary day public holidays.
Following the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, New Zealand became a British colony, initially as part of New South Wales.
The Royal Charter of November 1840  stated that the islands of New Zealand were "designated and known respectively" as: 
These names were of geographic significance only.  New Zealand became a separate Crown Colony from New South Wales in May 1841. 
In 1846 the British Parliament passed the first New Zealand Constitution Act, which allowed for the establishment of provinces. Governor George Grey arrived in New Zealand in November 1845, and upon reading the new Constitution Act in May 1847 argued for its suspension in dispatches to the Colonial Office.  Before this occurred, Grey proclaimed the provincial boundaries on 10 March 1848: 
Each province had a Lieutenant-Governor, appointed by the Governor-in-Chief. 
The 1846 Constitution Act was suspended in early 1848, with the only operative provisions relating to the reform of the provinces. News of the suspension did not reach New Zealand until 23 March 1848, when the immigrant ship John Wickliffe arrived in Port Chalmers to begin European settlement of Otago. 
In addition, the provinces were separated from the central government for the first time.
New Ulster and New Munster had their own seals. 
New provinces were formed by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852. This Act established a quasi-federal system of government and divided the country into the six provinces of Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, and Otago.   Each province elected its own legislature known as a provincial council, and elected a superintendent who was not a member of the council.  The councils elected their speaker at their first meeting after elections. 
The Act also created a national General Assembly consisting of the Legislative Council (appointed by the governor) and the directly elected House of Representatives. These provinces came into effect on 17 January 1853 and the regulations defining the boundaries of the provinces were gazetted on 28 February. Electoral regulations were gazetted on 5 March.  As with general elections, elections were open to males 21 years or older who owned freehold property worth £50 a year. The first provincial elections were held at the same time as the 1853 general elections.  While Governor George Grey had issued the writs for the provincial and general elections at the same time, the provincial councils met before the general assembly met, in May 1854. 
The New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1857 provided for the appointment of a deputy superintendent.
The Constitution Act provided for the creation of additional provinces, and when the spread of European settlements between the original centres of the provincial governments and the outlying settlers grew, the General Assembly passed the New Provinces Act 1858. 
This Act allowed any district of between 500 thousand and 3 million acres (2,000–12,000 km2) of land with a European population of no fewer than 1,000 people to petition for separation provided that at least 60% of electors agreed. As a result, Hawke's Bay Province separated from Wellington on 1 November 1858; Marlborough Province from Nelson on 1 November 1859; and Southland Province from Otago on 1 April 1861. New Plymouth also changed its name to Taranaki under the same Act. 
Stewart Island/Rakiura, which had since 1853 not been part of any province, was annexed to the Province of Southland on 10 November 1863. 
Provinces established under this act elected their superintendents in a different way. Members of the provincial council would elect a suitable person listed on the electoral roll as superintendent by a majority. If such a person was an elected member, this would result in a by-election to fill the vacancy. 
|Province||Formed date||Formed from||Dissolution date|
|Auckland||17 January 1853||New Ulster||1 November 1876|
|New Plymouth [* 1]||17 January 1853||New Ulster||1 November 1876|
|Hawke's Bay||1 November 1858||Wellington||1 November 1876|
|Wellington||17 January 1853||New Munster||1 November 1876|
|Nelson||17 January 1853||New Munster||1 November 1876|
|Marlborough||1 November 1859||Nelson||1 November 1876|
|Westland||1 December 1873 [* 2]||Canterbury||1 November 1876|
|Canterbury||17 January 1853||New Munster||1 November 1876|
|Otago||17 January 1853||New Munster||1 November 1876|
|Southland||25 March 1861||Otago||5 October 1870 [* 3]|
The provinces have broken down because of their coming into conflict with the colonial government on many points, and especially on points of finance. Their doom was only a question of time, when it became obvious that they could not raise their own revenue; that they had to look to the general government to supply deficiencies; and that they could not borrow without the colony becoming liable.— Colonial Treasurer Julius Vogel, 1876 
Almost as soon as they were founded, New Zealand's provinces were the subject of protracted political debate. Two factions emerged in the General Assembly: "Centralists", favouring a strong central government and "Provincialists", favouring strong regional governments. The Centralist members of the General Assembly regarded the provinces as inherently self-interested, and prone to pork-barrel politics. In the construction of railways, for example, three of the provinces had constructed railways (as was the case in Australia) to different track gauges, with Canterbury Provincial Railways being built to "broad" gauge, Southland's railways being built to "standard" gauge. As a result, the Public Works Act of 1870 standardised the gauge to be used, and Otago's first railway, the Port Chalmers railway, was built to the new "standard" narrow gauge. Colonial Treasurer (and later Premier) Julius Vogel launched his Great Public Works policy of immigration and public works schemes of the 1870s, borrowing the massive sum of 10 million pounds, to develop significant infrastructure of roads, railways, and communications, all administered by the central government. This diminished the power of the provinces greatly. The provinces were finally abolished by the Abolition of Provinces Act 1875,  during the Premiership of Harry Atkinson. For the purposes of the Act, the provinces formally ceased to exist on 1 January 1877. 
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Upon the abolition of the provinces, they took the legal status of provincial districts, which had no administrative functions.  Local government was vested in elected borough and county councils. The Counties Bill of 1876 created 63 counties out of the old provinces. The former boundaries of the provinces served as administrative areas for the education boards set up under the Education Act of 1877 and for the offices of several Government Departments, including the Department of Lands and Survey.
Upon abolition, various responsibilities were delegated to boards. For example, the Education Act 1877 created the Education Boards for Auckland, Hamilton, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Wanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Westland, Southland, Canterbury and Otago districts. In 1989 the counties were replaced by enlarged district councils.
The Department of Lands and Survey split the country into the Land Districts of Auckland (North), Auckland (South), Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Taranaki, Wellington, Canterbury, Marlborough, Nelson, Westland, Otago and Southland.
The New Zealand Rugby Union was formed in 1892 with foundation members principally being provinces: Auckland†, Hawke's Bay†, Taranaki†, Manawatu, Wanganui, Wairarapa, Wellington†, Nelson†, Marlborough† and South Canterbury. At the time, three major South Island Provincial Unions – Canterbury†, Otago† and Southland† – resisted the central authority of the NZRU.
Some current Provincial Anniversary Days are still public holidays in New Zealand: Auckland†, Taranaki†, Hawkes' Bay†, Wellington†, Marlborough†, Nelson†, Canterbury†, Canterbury (South), Westland†, Otago†, Southland† and Chatham Islands.
† indicates it reflects an original province.
The provincial districts had different boundaries from the present day regions, for example, the Manawatū-Whanganui region is largely in the Wellington provincial district. The districts are represented by teams in rugby union's ITM Cup and Heartland Championship, both of which replaced the National Provincial Championship in 2006, although the term "provincial" is still used in connection with rugby for the present 29 unions whether founded in the 1880s (e.g. Otago) or 2006 (Tasman). 
Some of the names persist in other contexts as well, such as health administration districts: Northland, Waitemata, Auckland†, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes (Rotorua/Taupo), Hawke's Bay†, MidCentral (Manawatu), Tairawhiti (Gisborne), Taranaki, Whanganui, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Capital and Coast (Wellington)†, Nelson (Marlborough)†, West Coast†, Canterbury†, South Canterbury and Southern (Otago)†.
Some of the names of former provinces and current regions have a tendency to be preceded by "the". Thus, for example, we have Auckland, Canterbury, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Wellington, but the Waikato, the Manawatu, the Bay of Plenty, and the West Coast.
The current regions of New Zealand and most of their councils came about in 1989: Northland, Auckland†, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay†, Taranaki†, Manawatu-Whanganui, Wellington†, Tasman, Nelson†, Marlborough†, West Coast†, Canterbury†, Otago† and Southland†.
Another usage of words associated with the former provinces often refers to anything rural, e.g one may refer to a town as provincial rather than rural or use the phrase 'out in the provinces,' in order to refer to the countryside. These terms can often be heard on national television networks, particularly on weather broadcasts.
Wellington Province, governed by the Wellington Provincial Council, was one of the provinces of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. It covered much of the southern half of the North Island until November 1858, when Hawke's Bay Province split off, taking about a third of its area.
New Zealand has over 2,500 primary and secondary schools.
The National Provincial Championship, often simply called the NPC, is an annual round-robin rugby union competition in men's domestic New Zealand rugby. First played during the 2006 season, it is the second highest level of competition in New Zealand alongside the Ranfurly Shield. It is organised by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and since 2021, it has been known as the Bunnings NPC after its headline sponsor. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the Farah Palmer Cup.
The Tasman Rugby Union is the governing body for rugby union in Tasman Bay / Te Tai-o-Aorere, a bay at the north end of the South Island in New Zealand. Headquartered in Nelson, TRU is New Zealand's newest provincial union, founded in 2006 with the amalgamation of the existing Marlborough and Nelson Bays sub unions.
The Auckland Province was a province of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876.
Nelson Province was constituted in 1853 under the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, and originally covered the entire upper South Island, including all of present-day Buller, Kaikoura, Marlborough, and Tasman districts, along with Nelson City, Grey District north of the Grey River, and the Hurunui District north of the Hurunui River. It was reduced in size by the creation of Marlborough Province in November 1859, then abolished in 1876, along with all the provinces of New Zealand.
The National Provincial Championship, often simply called the NPC, was an annual promotion and relegation rugby union competition in men's domestic New Zealand rugby. First played during the 1976 season, it was the highest level of competition in New Zealand until Super Rugby launched in 1996. It was organised by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and ceased following the 2005 season.
The land districts of New Zealand are the cadastral divisions of New Zealand, which are used on property titles. There are 12 districts, six in the North Island and six in the South Island. The land districts are distinct from the 16 local government regions. The current legislation for the land districts is the Land Transfer Act 1952.
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Superintendent was the elected head of each Provincial Council in New Zealand from 1853 to 1876.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand: industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations was an encyclopaedia published in New Zealand between 1897 and 1908 by the Cyclopedia Company Ltd. Arthur McKee was one of the original directors of the company that published The Cyclopedia, and his business partner H. Gamble worked with him on the first volume. Six volumes were published on the people, places and organisations of provinces of New Zealand. The Cyclopedia is an important historical resource. The volumes are arranged geographically, with each volume concerned with a specific region of New Zealand. Its breadth of coverage of many small towns and social institutions were poorly covered by contemporary newspapers and other sources. The first volume, which covered Wellington, also included the colonial government, politicians, governors, and public servants. The first volume was produced in Wellington, and the remaining volumes were produced in Christchurch. Much of its content was subsidised with contributor backing. Victoria University Electronic Text site reminds us that portraits are therefore generally glowing, and entries paid for by businesses are "unashamedly promotional". Similarly, they note that "individuals who would not or could not pay the fee required to feature in The Cyclopedia are not included—there are few entries for women, Māori or non-European settlers for example."
The 2009 Air New Zealand Cup was a provincial rugby union competition in New Zealand, which was run as a round-robin tournament from 30 July to 25 October. There were 13 rounds where every team played each other once. The top four teams on the Air New Zealand Cup table advanced to the semi-finals, where they played for a chance in the Grand Final.
A district in New Zealand is a territorial authority area governed by a district council as a second-tier of local government in New Zealand, below regional councils. They were formed as a result of the local government reforms in 1989. There are 53 districts in New Zealand, and they do not include the 12 city councils, the Auckland Council, and the Chatham Islands Council. District councils serve a combination of rural and urban communities, while city councils administer the larger urban areas. Three districts are unitary authorities also performing the functions of a regional council.
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The 2016 New Zealand local elections were triennial local elections to select local government officials and District Health Board members. Under section 10 of the Local Electoral Act 2001, a "general election of members of every local authority or community board must be held on the second Saturday in October in every third year" from the date the Act came into effect in 2001, meaning 8 October 2016.
The 1853 New Zealand provincial elections were the first elections in New Zealand to elect members and superintendents to the newly created Provinces of New Zealand. The elections were held between July and September 1853, at the same time as the 1853 New Zealand general elections for the central government, which were held between July and October. The provincial elections had higher voter turnouts than the general elections, with the elections for provincial superintendents having the highest voter turnout.
This is a list of lists of parks in New Zealand.
† indicates an old province.