Westland Province

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Provinces of New Zealand
Westland Province within New Zealand post 1873
Westland Province within New Zealand post 1873
Country New Zealand
Island South Island
Established 1873
Abolished 1876
Seat Hokitika

The Westland Province was a province of New Zealand from 1873 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. The capital was Hokitika.

Area and history[edit]

The area was part of Canterbury Province when the provinces were created in 1853. In 1868 the West Coast was separated from Canterbury Province with the formation of the County of Westland, and this was primarily triggered by the West Coast Gold Rush. The boundary to Canterbury was defined as the crest of the Southern Alps. In 1873 the County formed its own Province, the short-lived Westland Province; it was the last of the 10 New Zealand provinces to be established.[1]

The province covered an area roughly the same as the present day Westland District, on the West Coast of New Zealand. The boundary with the Nelson Province was, as per George Grey's proclamation from February 1853, the Grey and Arnold Rivers, Lake Brunner, and from there to the headwaters of the Hurunui River through then virtually unknown territory.[1]

Anniversary Day[edit]

When John Hall resigned as Westland county chairman the government appointed James Bonar. Bonar was chairman during the period of the Fenian riots and is credited with "great tact in handling that explosive situation".

In March 1868 he swore in 640 special constables to suppress an Irish nationalist procession in Hokitika. Bonar was replaced by Conrad Hoos, but later—when on 1 December 1873 Westland split from Canterbury Province—Bonar resumed, but as the provincial superintendent.

New Zealand law still provides for a provincial anniversary day.

Provincial Anniversary Day
Provincial District includes Actual Day Observance Day
Westland Hokitika, Greymouth December 1 Monday nearest to the actual day (Greymouth)


The Westland Province had one Superintendent:[2]

No. from to Superintendent
1 17 Jan 1874 1 Jan 1877 James Bonar[3][4]


No legislation passed by the Westland Provincial Council has survived to the present time.


  1. ^ a b McLintock, A. H., ed. (23 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "Westland Province and Provincial District". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Provinces 1848-77". Rulers.org. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Foster, Bernard John (1966). "BONAR, James Alexander (1840–1901). Superintendent of Westland". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington. Retrieved 9 September 2006. 
  4. ^ Minehan, Francis (7 April 2006). "Bonar, James Alexander 1840 - 1901 Merchant, shipping agent, company director, politician". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington. Retrieved 9 September 2006. 

External links[edit]