|Provinces of New Zealand|
The Nelson Province as constituted in 1853
|Motto(s): Palmam qui meruit ferat|
|Provinces of New Zealand||Nelson Province|
|Named for||Horatio Nelson|
|Nelson Provincial Council||Nelson|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
- For the current top-level subdivision of Nelson in New Zealand, see Nelson, New Zealand
The Nelson Province constituted in 1853 under the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 and covered the entire upper South Island, including all of the present-day Buller, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman as well as the Grey District north of the Grey River and the Hurunui District north of the Hurunui River. It was abolished, along with all other provinces, in 1876.
Nelson Province initially covered the entire upper South Island. The Marlborough Province split away from the Nelson Province on 1 November 1859 because the majority of the income of the Provincial Council came from land sales in the Marlborough region, but the funds were mostly used in the Nelson region. Land sales in Nelson and Marlborough netted the Nelson Provincial Council £33,000 and £160,000, respectively. Of that, £200 were expended benefiting the Marlborough region. There was considerable conflict between Superintendent John Perry Robinson's policies of supporting smaller land holders, and the objectives of the large pastoral run-holders in the Wairau Valley. The New Provinces Act 1858 allowed for parts of a province to break away if the area was large enough, and enough voters supported such a move. The petition was signed by almost all settlers in the Wairau; only six withholding their support for a split. The new Marlborough Province was gazetted on 4 October 1859.
The Nelson Provincial Council was established with fifteen members, and the Province was divided into seven Electoral Districts for the election of the Superintendent and members of the Provincial Council. These districts were: Town of Nelson, five members; Suburban Districts, one member; Waimea East District, two members; Waimea West District, one member; Waimea South District, two members; Motueka and Massacre Bay District, two members; Wairau District, two members.
The election of Nelson's first superintendent was contested by three candidates; Edward Stafford, Francis Jollie and John Waring Saxton. The election took place on 1 August 1853 and resulted in Edward Stafford being Nelson's first superintendent. The final results for the election were: Stafford (251), Saxton (206) and Jollie (130). Edward Stafford will be remembered for his free, secular and compulsory education system became the model for New Zealand, with this ‘Nelson system’ introduced to all state primary schools in 1877.
Nelson was the designated seat of government and Superintendent John Perry Robinson laid the foundation stone for the Provincial Government buildings in Nelson on 26 August 1859. The building was in Albion Square in Bridge Street. It was designed by visiting architect Maxwell Bury and he modeled it on Aston Hall near Birmingham. Whereas Aston Hall was built from stone, the Government buildings were from timber. The buildings were run down and had stood empty for some years when they were demolished in 1969, amidst much controversy. The Nelson District Court building now stands on the site.
During the First Taranaki War in 1860 nearly 1,200 Taranaki settlers including women and children were relocated to Nelson. The Nelson Provincial Council funded the building of cottages known as the "Taranaki Buildings" for the housing of these refugees. Upon the cessation of hostilities the war refugees were offered free passage back to Taranaki, the majority took advantage of this offer but some elected to remain in Nelson.
By 1876 the province was abolished under the Counties Bill of 1876 with the following boroughs and counties constituted. In 1866, there was a proposal for the Grey District to be annexed by the Nelson Province.
|Borough / County||Established||Disestablished||Area||Headquarters||Notes|
|Amuri County||1876||1989||11,000 km2||Culverden||Merged into Hurunui District|
|Blenheim||1869 ||1989||17.68 km2 (6.83 sq mi) (1986)||Blenheim||Merged into Marlborough District|
|Buller County||1876||1989||15,000 km2||Westport||Merged into Buller District|
|Cheviot County||1876||1989||847.28 km2||Cheviot||Merged into Hurunui District|
|Collingwood County||1876||1956||Amalgamated with Takaka County to form Golden Bay County.|
|Grey County||1876||1989||4091 km2||Greymouth||Merged into Grey District|
|Inangahua County||1876||1989||2440.8 km2||Reefton||Merged into Buller District|
|Kaikoura County||1876||1989||2347.5 km2||Kaikoura||Became Kaikoura District|
|Marlborough County||1876||1989||10478 km2||Blenheim||Merged into Marlborough District|
|Motueka||1900 ||1989||47.9 km2||Motueka||Merged into Tasman District|
|Murchison County||1876||1989||Murchison||Merged into Tasman District|
|Picton||1876 ||1989||4.24 km2||Picton||Merged into Marlborough District|
|Richmond||1891 ||1989||10.52 km2||Richmond||Merged into Tasman District|
|Sounds County||1876||Amalgamated with Marlborough County prior to 1913.|
|Takaka County||1956||Takaka||Amalgamated with Collingwood County to form Golden Bay County.|
|Waimea County||1876||1989||7547 km2||Richmond||Merged into Tasman District|
|Westport||1873 ||1989||3.44 km2||Westport||Merged into Buller District|
New Zealand law provides for a provincial anniversary day.
|Provincial district||includes||Actual day||Observance day|
|Nelson||Nelson, Tasman, Buller and parts of North Canterbury||1 February||Monday nearest to the actual day|
|1||1 August 1853||Sep 1856||Edward Stafford|
|2||12 December 1856||28 January 1865||John Perry Robinson|
|3||Mar 1865||4 February 1867||Alfred Saunders|
|4||Apr 1867||1 January 1877||Oswald Curtis|
|Joseph Ivess||21 January 1873||31 October 1876||Inangahua|
|Carl Friederich Christian Kelling||1862||1869||Moutere|
|Carl Friederich Christian Kelling||1869||1873||Waimea West|
|Fedor Kelling||1857||1876||Waimea East|
|Charles Parker||1853||1857||Motueka and Massacre Bay|
|Richard Reeves||28 April 1876||31 October 1876||Grey|
|James Crowe Richmond|
|John Perry Robinson||1853||1865||Motueka and Massacre Bay|
|William Robinson||5 October 1857||2 April 1859||Amuri|
|Alfred Saunders||1855||1865||Waimea East|
|John Sharp||Waimea East|
|Edward Stafford||1 August 1853||September 1856|
|Thomas Henry Wigley|
- Nelson Education Act 1856
- Nelson Improvement Act 1856
- Nelson Institution Act 1859
- Nelson Waterworks Act 1863
- Nelson Waterworks Act Amendment Act 1875
- "Superintendents Of Marlborough". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts. Christchurch: Cyclopedia Company Limited. 1906. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- "The separation of Nelson and Marlborough". The Prow. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- The Jubilee History of Nelson by L. Broad.
- Broad, Lowther (1892). The Jubilee History of Nelson: From 1842 to 1892. Nelson: Bond, Finney, and Co. pp. 121–22. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- Explanatory panel next to a model of the Government buildings in the Nelson Colonial Museum.
- Unless otherwise noted, area is per 1986 boundaries
- "BLENHEIM". Teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
-  Archived 16 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "MOTUEKA". Teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Local government boundaries – Nelson region – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Fraser, B (editor), The New Zealand Book of Events. Reed Methuen, Auckland, 1986. Note that dates given in this book appear to be the date of the first municipal corporation (city, borough or town district)
- No Council ever formed
- "Provinces 1848–77". Rulers.org. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Papers Past — Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle — 29 March 1856 — EDUCATION ACT. [March 26, 1856.]". Paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Papers Past — Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle — 26 April 1856 — NELSON IMPROVEMENT ACT". Paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Papers Past — Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle — 23 July 1859 — NELSON INSTITUTE ACT". Paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Nelson Waterworks Act 1863". Legislation.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Nelson Waterworks Act Amendment Act 1875 (N)". Legislation.govt.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Education in Nelson 1842–2002". Theprow.org.nz. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Nelson Board of Works". Thecommunityarchive.org.nz. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Nelson Province and Provincial District
- The seal of Nelson Province
- Map of the old provincial boundaries