Territorial authorities of New Zealand

Territorial authorities of New Zealand

Territorial authorities are the second tier of local government in New Zealand, below regional councils. There are 73 territorial authorities: 16 city councils, 56 district councils, and the Chatham Islands Council. Five territorial authorities (Nelson City Council, Gisborne, Tasman, and Marlborough District Councils and the Chatham Islands Council) also perform the functions of a regional council and thus are known as unitary authorities. Territorial authority districts are not subdivisions of regions, and some of them fall within more than one region. Franklin District, for example, falls partly within the Auckland Region, partly within the Waikato Region. The Taupo District, however, is the only one that lies within four Regions (see below). Regional Council areas are based on catchment areas, whereas territorial authorities are based on an area with sufficient ratepayers and community of interest. Regional councils are responsible for the administration of many environmental and public transport matters, while the territorial authorities that administer local roading and reserves, sewerage, building consents, the land use and subdivision aspects of resource management, and other local matters.

Territorial authorities

North Island

* Southland Regional Council (Environment Southland)
** Southland District Council

Chatham Islands

* Chatham Islands Council ("Territory")

Other islands

There are a number of islands where the Minister of Local Government is the territorial authority, two of which have a 'permanent population and/or permanent buildings and structures.' The main islands are listed below (population according to 2001 census in parenthesis):
* Mayor Island/Tuhua (3)
* Motiti Island (30)
* White Island
* Moutohora Island
* Bare Island

In addition, seven of the nine groups of the New Zealand Outlying Islands are outside of any territorial authority:
* Kermadec Islands (3)
* Three Kings Islands
* Bounty Islands
* The Snares
* Antipodes Islands
* Auckland Islands
* Campbell Islands

(the Chatham Islands form a special territorial authority themselves, while the Solander Islands are part of Southland Region and Southland District)

1989 local government reforms

For many decades until the local government reforms of 1989, a borough 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 little distinction was made between the urban area and the local government area.

New Zealand’s local government structural arrangements were significantly reformed in 1989 when approximately 700 councils and special purpose bodies were amalgamated to create 87 new local authorities. Regional councils were reduced in number from 20 to 13, territorial authorities (city/district councils) from 200 to 75, and special purpose bodies from over 400 to 7. [" [http://www.une.edu.au/economics/publications/ECONwp00-7.PDF Local Government Reform in New Zealand] " Wallis, J.and Dollery, B. (2000) Local Government Reform in New Zealand. Working Paper Series in Economics, No 2000-7,May 2000, ISBN 1 86389 682 1, University of New England School of Economic Studies, Armidale NSW 2351 Australia. Copyright © 2000 by Joe Wallis and Brian Dollery.] The new district and city councils were generally much larger and most covered substantial areas of both urban and rural land. Many places that once had a city council were now being administered by a district council.

As a result, the term "city" began to take on two meanings.

The word "city" came to be used in a less formal sense to describe major urban areas independent of local body boundaries. This informal usage is jealously guarded. Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first city in the world to see the new millennium. Gisborne is administered by a district council, but its status as a city is not generally disputed.

Under the current law the minimum population for a new city is 50,000.

Changes since 1989

Since the 1989 reorganisations conducted by the Local Government Commission, there have been few major reorganisations or status changes in local government. Incomplete list:
* "1991:" Invercargill re-proclaimed a city.
* "1992:" (by a Local Government Amendment Act) Abolition of Nelson-Marlborough Regional Councilndash Kaikoura District was transferred to the Canterbury Region, and Nelson City and Tasman and Marlborough districts became unitary authorities.
* "1995:" The Chatham Islands County was dissolved and reconstituted, by a specific Act of Parliament, as the "Chatham Islands Territory" with powers similar to those of territorial authorities and some functions similar to those of a regional council. [ [http://gpacts.knowledge-basket.co.nz/gpacts/public/text/1995/an/041.html Chatham Islands Council Act 1995] , Parliament of New Zealand, 1995, Statute No 041, Commenced: 1 November 1995, retrieved 4 February 2008.]
* "2004:" Tauranga became a city again on 1 March.
* "2006:" Banks Peninsula District merged into Christchurch City as a result of 2005 referendum.

During 2006 and 2007 there have been moves to propose radical alterations in the Auckland region.

Reports on completed reorganisation proposals since 1999 are available on the Local Government Commission's site (link below).

Foot notes

See also

* Local Government Act 1974 (NZ)
* Local Government Act 2002 (New Zealand)
* Local Government New Zealand
* Regions of New Zealand
* List of cities in New Zealand

External links and sources

* [http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz Local Councils website] (maintained by the Department of Internal Affairs)
* [http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Local-Government-Services-Index?OpenDocument Local Government Services at the Department of Internal Affairs site] (includes the Local Government Directory at the bottom of the page)
** [http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Other-Services-Administration-of-Offshore-Islands?OpenDocument Administration of Offshore Islands]
* [http://www.lgc.govt.nz/ Local Government Commission site]
* [http://www.localgovt.co.nz/ Local Government Online Limited site] (portal site owned by the Society of Local Government Managers and the Association of Local Government Information Management)
* [http://lgnz.co.nz/lg-sector/maps/north3.gifLocal Government New Zealand] region and district boundariesndash North Island
* [http://lgnz.co.nz/lg-sector/maps/south3.gifLocal Government New Zealand] region and district boundariesndash South Island
* [http://www.nowwhere.com.au/StatsNZ/Locator/ Statistics New Zealand clickable map for local body and area unit detail over all NZ]

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