This is the definitive set of regional council boundaries for 2013 as defined by the Local Government Commission and/or regional councils themselves but maintained by Statistics New Zealand (the custodian) as at 1 January 2013. The regional council is the top tier of local government in New Zealand. There are 16 regional councils in New Zealand (defined by Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Act 2002). Eleven are governed by an elected regional council, while five are governed by territorial authorities (the second tier of local government) who also perform the functions of a regional council and are known as unitary authorities. These unitary authorities are Auckland Council, Nelson City Council, and Gisborne, Tasman, and Marlborough District Councils. The Chatham Islands Council also performs some of the functions of a regional council, but is not strictly a unitary authority. Unitary authorities act as regional councils for the purposes of a wide range of legislative purposes. Regional councils are responsible for the administration of many environmental and transport matters such as land transport planning and harbour navigation and safety. Regional Councils were established in 1989 after the abolition of the 22 local government regions. The Local Government Act 2002 requires the boundaries of regions to conform, as far as possible, to one or more water catchments. When determining regional boundaries, the Local Government Commission gave consideration to regional communities of interest when selecting which water catchments to include in a region. It also considered factors such as natural resource management, land use planning and environmental matters. Some regional council boundaries are coterminous with territorial authority boundaries but there are several exceptions. An example is Taupo District, which is geographically split between four regions, although most of its area falls within the Waikato Region. Where territorial local authorities straddle regional council boundaries, the affected area is statistically defined by complete area units. In general, however, regional councils contain complete territorial authorities. The unitary authority of the Auckland Council was formed in 2010, under the Local Government (Tamaki Makarau Reorganisation) Act 2009, replacing the Auckland Regional Council and seven territorial authorities. The seaward boundary of any coastal regional council is the twelve mile New Zealand territorial limit.
Regional council boundaries are based on the meshblock pattern. Non-alignment of meshblock and cadastral boundaries are one of a number of reasons for meshblock boundary adjustments. Other reasons include requests from local authorities, Local Government Commission, Electoral Representation Commission and to make Census of Population and Dwellings enumeration processes easier. From the meshblock pattern, higher geographies, including the 2013 Regional council pattern were dissolved using the dissolve tool in the Arc GIS suite to create multiple output datasets.
These conditions of supply apply to all users of Statistics NZ digital boundaries effective 1 July 2007. Permitted uses You must acknowledge Statistics NZ as the source of the boundaries. Uses not permitted You must not change the accuracy of the boundaries and supply them to another party. Liability While care has been taken to compile these boundary coordinates, Statistics NZ gives no warranty that the data supplied is free from error. Statistics NZ will not be liable for any loss suffered by the use, directly or indirectly, of this information.