Should we clarify location categories in the New Zealand Project?

+8 votes

Following the discussion on this thread I'd like to seek clarification of a goal of the NZ Project. The location categories suggested are the current regional council categories though I have only just discovered this as it is not stated on the NZ Project page. I propose that:

1. Profiles are categorised according to the modern regional council areas (which seems to be what most people are doing anyway). The basic data at the top of the profile would continue to use the place names that the people of the time would have used where this is known and available. Sub-categories like Golden Bay could then also be added.

2. The categorising instructions at the beginning of the NZ Project page are modified to make this clear.

3. The map is changed or a new map is added to make it clear where the boundaries are.

What do you think? Is this reasonably easy to administer? Is this within the spirit and/or guidelines of Wikitree?

in Policy and Style by Fiona McMichael G2G6 Pilot (179k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Thanks for this. I haven't had time to digest and read all the comments as yet but agree with what you have proposed. There needs to be more clarity on the project page and a place to look for further reference if unsure.
I like the idea of setting out New Zealand in post 1989 Government Administrative units

first tier - Regions as in (as suggested above)

second tier Districts as in (as on the map link above)

third tier - historic counties and boroughs as they now fall in modern districts, with a free space page explaining the history of each county or borough. For instance, what was historically Nelson is now Tasman. Links can be made between pages as they do in Wikipedia.

Historic boroughs and counties haven't changed much, Google maps seems to be picking up them well on the profiles I have tested.

This is my FREE SPACE PAGE suggestion for Taranaki

I am not sure about using Google Maps in this way for the districts I show on my Taranaki Free Space page;  they are the same maps that Google would show in a link to a birth/death place link on a profile - can someone please advise on copyright?

I can't see the districts map you were suggesting, the link goes to the first tier map - for regions?

It's a good plan, when making such a change, to set up the free-space pages as well.

And from what I read, there should be no problem with using Google maps as long as attribution is given.
If you look along the top of the map on the link, there are more detailed maps of the North and South Islands.
Thanks, the little maps?

Silly me, I went to the content, and then the page after to look. Just a girl look

3 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
I agree that there needs to be some kind of consistency in the usage of the district and sub district names.

So if the rules for categorization need to be changed, then they should be changed. A good large map with decent boundary lines needs to be sourced. It would help if that map also shows the subdistricts as well.

Take my profile for example. I choose not to mention the town I was born in, but I do mention the sub-district as well as the main district.

As someone pointed in in another post, those little icons next to the location names are very good indicators of whether or not the location is correct,. If you click the icon next to my home location, you go straight to the sub district on the map, which tells me that I have labelled it correctly.

If the changes that Fiona mentions need too be made then I say - Go for it!!
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
selected by Susan Laursen

Thanks for your answer, Robynne. I have assumed a lack of other comment suggests NZ people are comfortable with this. My main concern is that moving away from historical district names may be at odds with Wikitree policy on regional categories. 

If there are no objections, I presume I just need to get either Maria or Robynne to action this change and modify the New Zealand Project page. The map sourced above has a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence so I presume we could use that. It would be easy to add the links to the North and South Island maps for the district and city council areas. (I can provide the links.) 

That is an excellent map.

I just checked out the other pages and discovered the maps with all the sub-districts exactly like I was wanting.

I also learned something new today. I discovered that Westland is a current subdistrict name on the West Coast. I had assumed that it was an old name for the west coast from the 1800s.

Great map choice, Fiona!!
I have to agree - I've bookmarked the map listed above so that I can comb through it in greater depth in at a later date. But considering the conversation which has unfolded I can say nothing else other than I agree
It would be good to inform members of the Kiwi Crew as well of the proposed changes. And other active Kiwi contributors. Working full time I don't get into G2G every day and may have missed previous discussion but wouldn't want to assume lack of comment on the proposal is agreement.
Lianne, I did put it on the Kiwi Crew page and it is tagged New Zealand so it should show up on the news feed of everyone following the New Zealand tag. Can you think of any other ways I can reach people? I don't want to do anything without discussion.
Thanks, I saw that last night.
+3 votes
I'll add an answer this time instead of a comment.

I agree that 1. there should be consistency and 2. that it should be achieved by clear guidelines on regions and places.

3. I agree in principle to the change to the regions and districts proposed. I think it makes sense to people using WikiTree today, but we might have to think about the what-ifs when regions change, which seems unlikely, but they may do. That would obviously then create a task for the NZ project leader to have all those in one category moved to another (which you can do through a bulk change).

Most people starting off at WikiTree from NZ area are probably not going to be too concerned with the regional and district classifications, but if it looks logical (on the profiles they are adding or using) then they are more likely to understand or use the categories correctly. (thereby reducing errors)

The current NZ Template uses NZ, then region=, then place= - would you propose changing that to region= then district= rather than place? If not, what would be the list of place names that people should use and how will we navigate to them. Is there perhaps room for region=,district=, place=.... Should we now to go to another level of categorisation?

The historic names list - for places - should be on the free-space pages if they differ from the place names being used. The Maori place names should also be listed if we can do that, and link to an appropriate free-space page to facilitate pre-European classification.

What I would like to see is for Auckland to be broken up further in to places - at the moment you select Auckland, Auckland, but in many cases the place was something like Ponsonby, Remuera etc.  You may think that is getting into too much detail? However Auckland, and some of our cities are becoming larger, and the more profiles in each region list, the longer and harder it is to navigate for research purposes. As you can appreciate once categories get into the hundreds of thousands then it may be time to think of sub-categorising.

Sorry, probably a bit off topic with the above, but it follows on from amending the categories, if that is what we propose to do.
by Lianne Trevarthen G2G6 Mach 4 (43.3k points)
These suggestions are going a bit further than my initial thoughts. The project is already set up with the current regional council areas and "places" within those areas. My main concern is modern vs. historic. I'm not proposing too much of a change (and I don't want to make work for someone as I'm not great at coding or making free space pages). I just want to make it clear on the project page that places are categorised under their modern region not the historic one. For example, many of my profiles are in Motueka, which is now Tasman not Waimea West or even Nelson. I have them in Nelson but will change them. I know Valerie would like to have Golden Bay as a part of Tasman. That seems valid to me as a "place" given there are so many hamlets.
Was interested to see if a free space page would help anchor tiers in categorization for N.Z. place names.

Taranaki looks straight forward, old counties within new districts -

Hawkes Bay looks a reasonably smooth going -

Having a look at Tasman / Nelson now.
I have made a few modifications to the Nelson and Tasman NZ Project pages. If I have done it correctly, Motueka profiles now appear in Tasman where they should be and not in Nelson. Would someone have a check please? Valerie, I don't think it would be that difficult to add Golden Bay as a category to Tasman if you wanted to differentiate those profiles now sitting on the Tasman page. Valerie, what you are doing with free space pages is great!
+1 vote
I have finally gotten around to adding links to Fiona's map which are now on the MAIN NZ Project Page - - under the section labelled as - Regions of NZ

I linked all 3 pages so that noone has to go looking for the North and South Island maps as well as the main NZ map.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Unfortunately the links don't work, Robynne. I don't know how it could be fixed.
Yes I have discovered that.

I'm wondering if it has something to do woth the HTTPS setting - which is a secure setting. NONE the other links on the NZ project page have that extra S for the secure setting.

I may have to use this G2G post - temporary I hope - as the link in Fiona's post DOES work...
OK I have used a temporary link from the External Resources section to THIS G2G post in order to use the link in Fiona's post above since we know that this link DOES STILL work!!

Hopefully Maria will contact Ales or a techie to find out why the link wont work.

I still think the HTTPS setting is the cause.

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