List of cities in New Zealand

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List of cities in New Zealand is located in New Zealand
Auckland
Auckland
Wellington
Wellington
Christchurch
Christchurch
Hamilton
Hamilton
Napier-Hastings
Napier-Hastings
Tauranga
Tauranga
Dunedin
Dunedin
Palmerston North
Palmerston North
Nelson
Nelson
Rotorua
Rotorua
New Plymouth
New Plymouth
Whangarei
Whangarei
Invercargill
Invercargill
Whanganui
Whanganui
Gisborne
Gisborne
Map showing locations of urban areas in New Zealand

The word "city" began to take on two meanings in New Zealand after the local government reforms of 1989. Before the reforms, a borough council with more than 20,000 people could be proclaimed a city, the boundaries of councils tended to follow the edge of the built-up area, so there was little difference between the urban area and the local government area.

In 1989, the structure of the local government in New Zealand was significantly reorganised, the new district councils and city councils were nearly always much larger geographically, and they covered both urban land and the surrounding rural land. Many locations that once had had a "city council" are now governed by a "district council".

The word "city" is used in a general sense to describe the urban areas of New Zealand, independent of local body boundaries, this informal usage is jealously guarded. The district government of the town of Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first "city" in the world to see the new millennium. However, Gisborne is governed by a "district council", though its status as a city is not generally disputed in New Zealand. Similarly, there is no "city council" in Auckland, though its status as a city is not generally disputed due to its size.

Today an urban area has to be at least 50,000 residents before it can be proclaimed as a city.[1]

Urban areas by population[edit]

The populations given in the table below are provisional New Zealand resident populations, June 2017,[2] and they refer to the entire urban area, unless otherwise stated.

Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand
Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand
Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island (photo taken prior to 2011 earthquake; some of these buildings are no longer standing)
Rotorua from Mt. Ngongotaha
Whanganui from Durie Hill
Rank (population) Urban area Population Area
(km²)[3]
Population
density
(people/km²)
Notes
1 Auckland 1,534,700 1,086 1,413.2
2 Wellington 412,500 444 929.1 1
3 Christchurch 396,700 608 652.5
4 Hamilton 235,900 877 269.0 2
5 Tauranga 137,900 178 774.7
6 Napier-Hastings 133,000 375 354.7 3
7 Dunedin 120,200 255 471.4
8 Palmerston North 85,300 178 479.2
9 Nelson 66,700 146 456.8
10 Rotorua 58,800 89 660.7
11 New Plymouth 57,500 112 513.4
12 Whangarei 57,700 133 433.8
13 Invercargill 50,800 123 413.0
14 Whanganui 40,300 105 383.8 4
15 Gisborne 36,600 85 430.6

Notes:

  1. Kapiti Urban Area (42,300) is the only Statistics New Zealand main urban area not listed. It spans the towns of Otaki, Paekakariki, Paraparaumu, Raumati and Waikanae, and is not considered to be a city. It is part of the Greater Wellington Regional Council's area – though listed separately by Statistics New Zealand. Hundreds of people there commute daily to Wellington for work, and the suburban commuter rail network serves the Kapiti area. If Kapiti were added to Wellington the total population of the Wellington urban area would be approximately 450,000.
  2. The population for the Hamilton urban zone is 198,600, the Cambridge urban zone is 20,200 and the Te Awamutu urban zone is 17,250.
  3. The population figures for the Hastings urban zone is 70,000, and for Napier 63,100.
  4. Still widely referred to by its older spelling of Wanganui.
  5. Blenheim (31,300) is rarely referred to as a city.
  6. Timaru (29,000) once had a city council, but is now administered by a district council. It is classified as a secondary urban area by Statistics New Zealand, it is still considered a city and the principal centre of South Canterbury. Road signs state "city centre" rather than "town centre".
  7. Pukekohe, a town not far south of Auckland, has an estimated population of 30,800.
  8. Taupo (24,500) is rarely referred to as a city.
  9. Masterton (21,800), the main centre in the Wairarapa, is rarely referred to as a city.
  10. Levin (20,900), the main centre in the Horowhenua district, is not considered to be a city.
  11. Tokoroa was long expected to become a city when its population continued to grow past 18,000 during the 1980s. However, with the fallback in the forestry industry, Tokoroa's main industry, many jobs were lost and Tokoroa's population declined, it now has 13,950 residents.

City councils[edit]

Populations of present-day city (and Auckland) councils[edit]

The populations given are the latest (June 2017)[2] Statistics New Zealand estimated resident populations.

Rank (pop.) City council Population First proclaimed
1 Auckland 1,657,200 1871
2 Christchurch 381,500 1868
3 Wellington 212,700 1870
4 Hamilton 165,400 1936
5 Tauranga 131,500 1963
6 Dunedin 128,800 1865
7 Lower Hutt 104,700 1941
8 Palmerston North 87,300 1930
9 Napier 62,000 1950
10 Porirua 56,100 1965
11 Invercargill 54,800 1930
12 Nelson 51,400 1874
13 Upper Hutt 43,200 1966

Many cities were reorganised into districts by the Local Government Commission in 1989 under the Local Government Act 1974, for example Timaru. Other urban areas that are no longer cities, such as Rotorua and Whangarei, have higher populations than some present cities, the most recently proclaimed city is Tauranga, which became a city, for the second time, from 1 March 2004. Christchurch (1862 and 1868) and Invercargill (1930 and 1991) have also been declared cities more than once.

Under Section 27 of the Local Government Act 2002, a district may become a city by either a "reorganisation scheme" with the Local Government Commission, or under Section 27(1) it may apply for a change in status under Schedule 3, Clause 7, the new city must have "a population of not less than 50,000 persons", be "predominantly urban" and "a distinct entity and a major centre of activity within the region" (or regions) that it is encompassed by. Existing cities are grandfathered under Schedule 2, Part 2 of the Act, the only new city council so far under this section is the Tauranga City Council, from 1 March 2004.

Previously, under Section 37L of the Local Government Act 1974, new cities could only be formed from a "reorganisation scheme", the same criteria were used. The last city to be constituted under this section was Invercargill, which was re-reorganised into a city in 1991.

In 1991 the Lower Hutt City Council became the Hutt City Council by a special Act of Parliament [1] that which did not change the name [2] of the city of Lower Hutt; the city's coat of arms still refers to the "City of Lower Hutt".

Cities during provincialism, 1852 to 1876[edit]

During provincialism in New Zealand, from 1852 until abolition in 1876, there was no uniform system of local authorities in New Zealand. There is thus some argument over which of the following cities was the first.

  • Nelson (1858, by Letters Patent)
  • Christchurch (November 1862, revoked June 1868, both by provincial ordinance, and restored October 1868 by Act of Parliament)
  • Otago (later Dunedin) (July 1865)

The Municipal Corporations Act 1876 included the first schedule of cities, with the dates they were constituted. Dunedin was the first city in New Zealand to be described in an Act of Parliament as 'City of...', something now automatic under the Local Government Act 2002.

Cities, 1877 to 1989[edit]

Up to October 1989, the Local Government Commission under took reorganisations of local government, as a result, some cities were reorganised into other larger cities or changed to districts, and some of these areas are still considered cities by many New Zealanders. This is a list as at circa 1986.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Local Government Act 2002, Schedule 3 part 16, Cities". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2017 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.  For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-16 (2017 boundary)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Freedom from Crowding: Living Density Table 1". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 28 January 2010.  (Areas are based on 2001 boundaries. Water bodies of areas greater than 15 hectares are excluded)

References[edit]

  • Gordon McLauchlan (Editor), Illustrated Encyclopedia of New Zealand, The, Auckland: David Bateman, 1989 (second edition) (ISBN 1-86953-007-1) – confirmation, pre-1989 dates

External links[edit]