Forums: Index > Watercooler > New Zealand regions

Summary of history[]

Local government in New Zealand has undergone numerous changes since the imposition of British rule in 1840.

In 1876, provinces were abolished and replaced largely by counties and cities and boroughs.

The last big shakeup was in 1989, when all counties but one were abolished and merged or otherwise varied so that the whole of the two main islands and near-offshore islands is now covered by non-overlapping local council areas known as either cities (largely urban) or districts, with identical legislated powers.

"Above" the cities or districts are regions, also non-overlapping, each containing most or all of two or more cities or districts, excpt for a handful that were coterminous with just a single district, the first of those being Gisborne. Regional councils, and the city or district councils that are unitary authorities able to act as regional councils, have primary responsibility for matters such as water, clean air, regional parks, and public passenger transport.

Really notable changes since then:

  1. In the early 1990s, Tasman, Nelson, and Marlborough became unitary authorities with the abolition of the Nelson-Marlborough Regional Council, and Kaikoura in the south-east came under the Canterbury Regional Council.
  2. In 2010, amalgamations involving about nine cities and districts produced a new unitary authority, the Auckland Council.


Wikipedia still has a fairly inconsistent approach to the naming of Regions of New Zealand (as it has for cities and districts). We are unable, and are not obliged, to keep up instantly (if ever) with Wikipedia's changes, especially where they are still inconsistent.

Current naming[]

Currently we use the official name plus "Region" for each region's category, with some exceptions for the articles.

One of the exceptions is Manawatu-Wanganui, following the WP name for simplicity, as the term is virtually unique, unlike many other region names, which are shared by other entities. Incidentally, it is still legally "Manawatu-Wanganui"[1], not "Manawatu-Whanganui" (the name now used on Commons).

I suggest that we:

  • continue to use "Region" for categories
  • use it for each article except where Wikipedia simplifies as above

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:29, November 23, 2013 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. Our present naming standard seems to be "follow Wikipedia except for all the instances where someone doesn't like it". This is making a real mess of the categories, and we have nowhere to send contributors for "here is the list of our standard place names". I think that if a contributor don't like the Wikipedia name, then they should go to Wikipedia and argue for the change. (and I still say that the Wikipedia name is Manawatu-Wanganui regionWp globe tiny.gif). Thurstan (talk) 04:55, November 23, 2013 (UTC)
It would be good if you could specify what you disagree with. (I agree that WP has now changed the name - for the third time. Where were our keenest WP-followers when it changed in 2009, 2010, and 2012?) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:03, November 23, 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I strongly disagree with differing from the Wikipedia names.
  • It is a simple standard, and anyone can easily check what the page name should be.
  • It agrees with the category names copied from Wikipedia (generally speaking).
I thoroughly agree that it is very annoying at times, and it is a moving target, but I cannot see how we can do better. We cannot avoid the same sort of problems if we make up our own names (eg you favour simplicity, Afil favours consistency even across languages and continents, Afil doesn't believe in the definite article, while I do, etc). Thurstan (talk) 06:15, November 23, 2013 (UTC)