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Counties in New Zealand

From Academic Kids

After New Zealand abolished its provinces in 1876, a system of counties similar to other countries' systems was instituted, lasting with little change (except mergers and other localised boundary adjustments) until 1989.

They had chairmen, not mayors as boroughs and cities had; many legislative provisions (such as burial and land subdivision control) were different for the counties.

During the second half of the 20th century, many counties received overflow population from nearby cities. The result was often a merger of the two into a "district" (eg Rotorua) or a change of name to "district' (eg Waimairi) or "city" (eg Manukau).

The Local Government Act 1974 began the process of bringing urban, mixed, and rural councils into the same legislative framework. Substantial reorganisations under that Act resulted in the 1989 shake-up, which covered the country in (non-overlapping) cities and districts and abolished all the counties except for the Chatham Islands County, which survived under that name for a further 6 years but then became a "Territory" ander the "Chatham Islands Council".

The term is perpetuated in the name "Counties-Manukau", which refers to areas of South Auckland and the Franklin District and adjoining districts and is applied to bodies as diverse as football clubs and health providers.

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