MARLBOROUGH PROVINCE AND PROVINCIAL DISTRICT
Formerly part of Nelson, Marlborough was proclaimed as a separate province in August 1859 under the provisions of the New Provinces Act of 1858. The manner of its establishment was characteristic of the “separatist” forces at work during the 1850s and 1860s within the original six provinces. With the spread of settlement, especially pastoral settlement, into outlying parts of the original provinces, complaints were made that although the distant parts contributed much revenue from land sales, they received little of the provincial expenditure. Furthermore, the outlying pastoral runholders were concerned at the growing influence of the small farmer and urban radicalism in some of the provincial governments. They sought to safeguard their occupation of large holdings by controlling the land regulations in their own districts. The best means of ensuring this was to create new provinces, the governments of which they were likely to control.