Wellington Province

The Wellington Province was a province of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876.

Wellington Province within New Zealand
Wellington Province within New Zealand
CountryNew Zealand
IslandNorth Island
Named forLord Wellington


Poster for the Wellington Provincial Council elections in 1853.

The province governed much of the southern half of the North Island, roughly the same area now known as the Manawatū-Whanganui and Wellington regions.

In the centre of the island the Wellington Province shared a boundary with the Auckland Province at latitude 39° south. To the west, just beyond the town of Waverley was the southern border of Taranaki Province.

East of the main divide, the boundary with Hawke's Bay Province lay just south of Woodville. This province was separated from Wellington Province on 1 November 1858.

Wellington's former provincial boundaries include four of New Zealand's main urban areas: Wellington, Palmerston North, Wanganui and Kapiti. Other large towns are Feilding, Levin and Masterton. According to Statistics New Zealand figures at the 2001 census 626,000 people lived within the old provincial boundaries.

European settlementEdit

In the area that was to become the Wellington Province, European settlement started at Port Nicholson (now called Wellington Harbour) and at the mouth of the Whanganui River. Settlement in the Hawke's Bay area started a decade later around 1850.[1]

Anniversary DayEdit

New Zealand law provides an anniversary day for each province. Wellington Anniversary Day is the Monday that falls closest to 22 January and is observed as a public holiday within the old provincial boundaries.


The Wellington Province had two Superintendents:[2]

No. from to Superintendent
1 2 July 1853 14 March 1870 Isaac Featherston
2 28 April 1871 1 Jan 1877 William Fitzherbert


The only two acts of the provincial assembly still in effect are the Manawatu Racecourse Act 1869 and the Wanganui And Rangitikei Racecourses Act 1862.[3]

See alsoEdit

1853 New Zealand provincial elections


  1. ^ McLintock, A. H., ed. (23 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "Wellington Province and Provincial District". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Provinces 1848-77". Rulers.org. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Search Results : Manawatu Racecourse Act 1869 (W) : 1869 No 3 & Wanganui And Rangitikei Racecourses Act 1862 (W) : 1862 No 9". Legislation.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-07-31.

Coordinates: 41°17′S 174°46′E / 41.283°S 174.767°E / -41.283; 174.767