Superintendent (politics) - Historical Context

Historical Context

Provinces existed in New Zealand from 1841 until 1876 as a form of sub-national government. After the initial provinces pre-1853, new provinces were formed by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 (UK). This Act established the first six provinces of Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, and Otago. Other provinces were established later. Each province elected its own legislature known as a Provincial Council, and elected a Superintendent who was not a member of the council. The elections for council and superintendent were not necessarily held at the same time.

Following abolition, the provinces became known as provincial districts. Their only visible function today is their use to determine, with the exception of the Chatham Islands, Northland, and South Canterbury, the geographical boundaries for anniversary day public holidays.

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