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List of cities in New Zealand

New Zealand cities - approximately from north to south - with approximate populations in 2002.

Many cities were reorganised into districts by the Local Government Commission in 1989 under the Local Government Act 1974, for example, Timaru. The 'newest' city will be Tauranga, which becomes a city, for the second time, from 1 March 2004. Another former city is Rotorua. Many towns, such as Timaru and Hastings, are often referred to incorrectly as cities, but are actually districts, not cities. Many New Zealanders still consider these as cities. Some present cities, such as Christchurch (1862 and 1868) and Invercargill (1930 and 1991), have been 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 it may, under Section 27(1), simply apply for a change in status under Schedule 3, Clause 7. Either way, 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) which 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.

See also:

Table of contents
1 Cities since 1989
2 Cities during provincialism, 1852 to 1876
3 Cities, 1877 to 1989
4 External Links and Sources

Cities since 1989

North Island

Update: On 2 October 2003, the Governor-General issued the Local Government (Tauranga City Council) Order 2003 [1], which will changeTauranga District Council's status to a city from 1 March 2004. (It was previously 'lost' in the 1989 reorganisation with Mt Maunganui Borough Council. The new council name is already in use.)

South Island

Cities during provincialism, 1852 to 1876

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 were the first.

The Municipal Corporations Act 1876 had 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

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

External Links and Sources