How are cities referred to in New Zealand?

+3 votes
For example, take Hamilton. Would you call it "Hamilton, New Zealand", or "Hamilton, Waikato Region", or something else?

Are there any New Zealanders around to help me out? :)
in Policy and Style by Liander Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (444k points)

3 Answers

+6 votes
Hi, I'm from NZ. We refer to cities simply as Hamilton, NZ. I know uses the region but no one in NZ does. Hope this helps :-)
by X X G2G Crew (380 points)
Thanks! We are trying to name the categories using the standards of the people in them, so I care more about what people from New Zealand think than what Ancestry thinks. :)


I am also from NZ and always use the provincial name along with the city/town.

For instance I live in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

I would never just put the town/city, then New Zealand.

Hmm, well that's interesting! I haven't started creating the New Zealand categories yet. So there's still time to decide.

As a general rule New Zealanders do not use their region name. Regions are a fairly modern invention (since 1989). They're mostly environmental agencies and are based on river catchment areas and as such are primarily concerned with environmental protection.

Provinces in New Zealand were abolished almost 150 years ago, and have no relevance nowadays apart from local public holidays. Some modern regions are similar to their ancient provinces, while some are not. Canterbury region is similar to the previous Canterbury province (which may explain one Cantabrian's assertion that Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand is correct - although it is more likely due to parochialism, or football). The old Auckland province however covers modern Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Gisborne regions.

The only time a region needs to be stated is when two towns have the same name such as Frankton, Manaia, or Waikawa, and to distinguish Palmerston North from Palmerston in Otago as Palmerston North was called Palmerston from 1866 to 1871.
In my opinion Regions should Never be used as they are an amalgam created quite often as a result of bureaucratic whim and totally unreliable for genealogical purposes. I would like to correct the previous respondent in terms of the Provinces. Certainly the Provisional Governments were abolished on 1 November 1876 but the Provincial Districts were left in place enshrined in law to this day and indeed have their own Public Holiday. Those Provinces then become important in terms of where a smaller place might be when trying to envisage its whereabouts. Two of my relatives were married in Buscot. If I just put Buscot NZ most people would have no idea where that might be. If however I put Buscot, Otago, NZ then people can get the picture. The person asserted that my opinions might be based on parochialism which I totally refute as I have people in my tree from all over NZ and treat them all with the same respect in terms of showing the province of an event. In terms of sport I am sure many people support a local teams but that should not be a bar to recording genealogy correctly. So I always use the name of place that existed when an event took place, then the province followed by NZ (in full). If you have ancestors from the UK I put the County/Shire after the Parish, then say England if there.

Having thought about it  I think that it should place,region/provinical name and then New Zealand. Because in the future,  people from outside of New Zealand could be looking for a place and without further references it can be hard to work out where the location is. For example Rongotea is a small township about 25 minutes away from Palmerston North in the Manawatu but unless Manawatu is included, most people would not have any idea which Island it is in let alone where. 


0 votes
My experience when asking NZers where they come from in NZ is that they usually do NOT say the province.  However, when they write their address I think it is usual to include the province.
by Kevin Sands G2G6 Mach 2 (29.5k points)
Just an additonal note -  I've noticed that the NZ eletoral rolls can confuse things when trying to figure out where people lived, as they divide regions (e.g. Waikato) into sub-regions that aren't neccessarily named helpfully.

For example I have ancestors who lived in Te Rapa (a suburb of Hamilton City, Waikato), but they appear on the "Raglan" area electoral roll (but still with their address detailed as Te Rapa. Raglan is a separate town approx 48km to the west, also part of the Waikato Region of NZ....but if you're not already aware of that it could be easy to think that Te Rapa is part of Raglan, when it's not.
–1 vote
New Zealand is a relatively small country.  But there could be duplicate places or towns, so using a provincial name is probably a good idea.
by Living Hoolihan G2G6 Mach 5 (58.7k points)

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