|Established||1 January 1868|
|Abolished||30 November 1873|
|Re-established||1 November 1876|
|Abolished||31 October 1989|
Westland County, also known as County of Westland, was a local government area on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It existed from 1868 to 1873, and then from 1876 until 1989. In its first incarnation it constituted the government for the area that was split from the Canterbury Province, with the West Coast Gold Rush having given the impetus for that split. It had the same administrative powers as a provincial council, but the legislative power rested with Parliament in Wellington. The first Westland County was the predecessor to Westland Province.
Following the abolition of the provinces in 1876, Westland County was re-established, but was smaller than previously, with the area north of the Taramakau River being included as part of the new Grey County. Hokitika Borough was separate from Westland County, although the county seat was in Hokitika. The county was abolished for a second time in the 1989 local government reforms, when Westland County and Hokitika Borough were amalgamated to form Westland District.
The Canterbury Province, founded in 1853, initially extended from the West Coast to the East Coast of the South Island. Few people initially lived on the West Coast; most of them were Māori.  Communication between the coastal areas was difficult, as the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana created a strong barrier. In practice, most of the communication was by ship; overland journeys were seldom undertaken.
All this changed when in late 1863 gold was found on the West Coast. Over the next three years, some 30,000 people moved to the West Coast. Some of the richest gold deposits were in an area inland from Greymouth that was bisected by the boundaries set in 1853; part of the gold reserves were located in the Nelson Province. The Canterbury Provincial Council reacted to the situation by installing George Sale as goldfields commissioner with wide-ranging powers. Sale was responsible to the Executive Council of the Canterbury Provincial Council only. He set up his administration in Hokitika, which thus became a sub-capital 
In parallel, the Canterbury Provincial Council commissioned the provincial engineer, Edward Dobson, with finding a suitable route to be found for a road link. Dobson settled on the route that had previously been discovered by his son Arthur, and construction of this route over Arthur's Pass started shortly thereafter.  The road was to be paid from income raised on the goldfields, but West Coasters objected to this, as they saw much more need for public works on the West Coast itself. Out of this, a separation movement formed on the West Coast. In parallel, people in Greymouth petitioned the House of Representatives for their region to be annexed to Nelson Province. The Hokitika petition was granted, and Westland County was established. 
Parliament passed the County of Westland Act in 1867, and the county came into force on 1 January 1868. The tenure of the five members of the West Coast on the Canterbury Provincial Council finished on 31 December 1867:  Edmund Barff and Conrad Hoos for the Westland electorate, James Bonar and Michael Albert Cassius for the Hokitika electorate, and John Arthur Whall for the Greymouth electorate.  The legislation gave the Governor the power to install a chairman, and Sir George Grey appointed John Hall. The other eight members were to be elected: four from Westland District, and two each from Hokitika and Greymouth. 
The first council recommended changes to the legislation, and a new act was passed: the County of Westland Act, 1868, which came into force on 1 November 1868. This act also provided for a membership of nine: two each from Hokitika and Greymouth, and one from each of the five road districts (Paroa, Arahura, Kaniere, Totara, and Ōkārito). This council would elect its chairman from within its membership. 
This form of government gave the county the administrative powers of a provincial council, but saw the legislative powers remain with Parliament in Wellington. Hall is credited with the idea for this form of government. Members of Parliament were not happy with having to spend their time on local legislation, and in 1873, it was decided to confer full status of a provincial council to Westland through the Province of Westland Act, 1873.   The act came into force on 1 December 1873, and with this, Westland County ceased to exist and Westland Province was created. 
There were five chairmen during the first incarnation of Westland County: 
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Duration|
|1||John Hall||20 Jan 1868||7 Mar 1868||47 days|
|2||James Bonar||7 Mar 1868||14 Jan 1869||313 days|
|3||Conrad Hoos ||14 Jan 1869||12 Jan 1871||1 year, 363 days|
|4||Henry Lahmann||12 Jan 1871||8 Jan 1873||1 year, 362 days|
|5||Henry Lee Robinson ||8 Jan 1873||30 Nov 1873||326 days|
Westland Province, along with the other eight extant provinces, were abolished by the Abolition of Provinces Act 1875. Formally, the province ceased to exist on 1 November 1876, with the re-establishment of Westland County under the terms of the Counties Act 1876, although there was a two-month transitional period when the provincial superintendent remained in office while the county council was elected. The new Westland County had as its northern boundary the Taramakau River, with the area to the north that had been part of the earlier Westland County being included in Grey County. As before, the southern boundary was the Awarua River, and the eastern boundary was the Main Divide. 
The boroughs of Hokitika, Ross (constituted 1878) and Kumara were separate administrative areas but Hokitika was nevertheless the county seat.  The borough of Kumara merged into Westland County in 1969,  and Ross followed suit in 1972. 
The local government reforms of 1989 brought about the merger of Hokitika Borough and Westland County, creating Westland District.
The Taramakau River is a river of the West Coast Region of the South Island of New Zealand. It rises in the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana near Harper Pass, 80 kilometres (50 mi) due east of Hokitika, and runs westward for 75 kilometres (47 mi) into the Tasman Sea 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Greymouth.
Westland District is a territorial authority on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is administered by the Westland District Council. The district's population is 8,910.
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 Westland Province was a province of New Zealand from 1873 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. The capital was Hokitika.
Richard Harman Jeffares Reeves was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party. He was acting Speaker of the Legislative Council in 1905.
Kumara was a parliamentary electorate in the West Coast region of New Zealand, from 1881 to 1890.
Westland Boroughs was a parliamentary electorate in the West Coast of New Zealand from 1866 to 1870.
Charles Edward Button was a solicitor, Supreme Court judge, Mayor of Hokitika and later Birkenhead, and an independent conservative Member of Parliament in New Zealand. Born in Tasmania, he came to New Zealand with his wife in 1863. He first lived in Invercargill, then in Westland, and after a brief period in Christchurch, he settled in Auckland. He was an MP for two periods, and when he was first elected to Parliament, he beat his colleague, friend, political opponent and later Premier Richard Seddon; this was the only election defeat ever suffered by Seddon.
William Henry Harrison was a 19th-century journalist from Greymouth who represented two Westland electorates in the New Zealand House of Representatives.
Edmund Barff was a 19th-century Member of Parliament from the West Coast, New Zealand.
John Bevan was a 19th-century member of the House of Representatives. He was a auctioneer and merchant from Hokitika on the West Coast of New Zealand.
Robert Caldwell Reid was a 19th-century Member of Parliament from the West Coast, New Zealand. Born in Scotland and attracted by the gold rushes in Victoria and the West Coast, he was later the proprietor of a series of newspapers.
John White was a 19th-century member of the House of Representatives from the West Coast, New Zealand.
Grey County was one of the counties of New Zealand in the South Island.
The Westland Boroughs by-election 1868 was a by-election held in the Westland Boroughs electorate during the 4th New Zealand Parliament, on 3 April 1868.
Henry Hermann Lahmann, also known as Henry Herman Lahman and often referred to as H. H. Lahman, was a German immigrant who became a politician on the West Coast of New Zealand. He was active in provincial politics and was later appointed to the Legislative Council (1872–1890).
The Mayor of Grey, often referred to as the Mayor of Greymouth, officiates over the Grey District of New Zealand which is administered by the Grey District Council with its seat in Greymouth. The current Mayor is Tania Gibson. Two predecessors to this office were the Mayor of Greymouth, officiating over the Greymouth Borough Council from 1868, and from 1877 the chairman of the Grey County Council.
The Hokitika Borough was the borough council covering the urban part of the town of Hokitika, New Zealand between 1867 and 1989, when Hokitika Borough and Westland County merged to form Westland District.
The Westland Pioneers' Memorial is a statue in Hokitika, New Zealand, commemorating the pioneer settlers of Westland. Unveiled in 1914, the statue had its right arm broken off in 2009 and was subsequently been dubbed Venus de Hokitika. The memorial was relocated in 2016 from its original location on the side of State Highway 6 to the centre of a roundabout in one of Hokitika's main streets.
The Ross Borough was the borough council covering the town of Ross, New Zealand and the nearby locality Donoghues, between 1878 and 1972, when Ross Borough was merged back into Westland County.
Coordinates: 42°42′56″S170°58′5″E / 42.71556°S 170.96806°E