Skip to main content
Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Centralised Administration

Because the newly created local bodies were in the main small, poor, and serving sparsely populated districts, they could not, or would not, assume many of the duties performed by the old provincial administrations. Therefore, it was necessary to set up or continue in existence special authorities, such as harbour boards, hospital boards, and drainage boards, to perform specific tasks which for administrative or financial reasons required control over areas extending beyond the jurisdiction of a single territorial local body. Even so, many essential services, for example, railways, and certain agricultural, charitable aid, and mental hospital work, could not be maintained unless they were provided by the Central Government; and as a consequence the Public Service increased in size. From now on centralised Departments of State were to administer politically significant activities and perform work which could not be delegated to territorial or special-purpose local authorities.