Provinces of New Zealand

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(For the current top-level subdivision of New Zealand, see Regions of New Zealand)

Provinces in New Zealand were used from 1841 until the Abolition of the Provinces Act came into force on November 1, 1876.

Following abolition, the provinces became known as provincial districts. Their only visible function today is their use to determine, with the exception of the Chatham Islands, Northland, and South Canterbury, the geographical boundaries for anniversary day public holidays.

Contents

1841 to 1853

1853 to 1876

ProvinceIndependent countyFormedRenamedDissolution
DateBroke fromDateNew nameDateReason
Auckland 1853   1 November 1876Provinces abolished
New Plymouth 1853 1 January 1859Taranaki1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Hawke's Bay 1 November 1858Wellington  1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Wellington 1853   1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Nelson 1853   1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Marlborough 1 November 1859Nelson  1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Westland1 January 18681 December 1873Canterbury  1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Canterbury 1853   1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Otago 1853   1 November 1876Provinces abolished
Southland 25 March 1861Otago  5 October 1870Reunited with Otago

Modern uses of the old names

It is important to note that the provincial districts have different boundaries from the present day regions, for example, the Manawatu-Wanganui region is in the Wellington provincial district. They are also not to be confused with the use of the term in rugby's National Provincial Championship (NPC).

Some of the names persist in other contexts as well, eg health administration districts.

Some of the names of former provinces and current regions have a tendency to be preceded by "the", as, for example, in this extract from a recent Court of Appeal judgment: "At trial, there was evidence of a sticker ostensibly from the Manawatu on the courier bag."


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