Source Information The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1897-1906 (Volumes 1-6) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Original data:

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1897–1906. Ann Bromell Collection. Microfiche, 48 fiche. Auckland: BAB microfilming.

Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth. The Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1897–1906, vol 1-6. The Cyclopedia Company: Christchurch, New Zealand.

About The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1897-1906 (Volumes 1-6)

This six-volume cyclopedia collection was printed from 1897 to 1906 and provides historical and biographical information about the colonization of New Zealand and its settlers. The provinces of New Zealand themselves existed from 1841 until 1876 as a form of sub-national government. Following the abolition, which was a political act dissolving the provinces, they became known as provincial districts. The volumes are organized by provinces :

    Volume 1: Wellington
    Volume 2: Auckland
    Volume 3: Canterbury
    Volume 4: Otago & Southland
    Volume 5: Nelson, Marlborough & Westland
    Volume 6: Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington

Information in this index:

  • Businesses in the province
  • Professions and trades
  • Societies, orders, and public institutions
  • Names of residents
  • Other details relative to the province

Additional Information about the provinces:


Located on the Northern Island, Wellington Province is the seat of New Zealand’s political capital, Wellington, which replaced Auckland in 1865. The harbor of Wellington lies along the Cook Strait, dividing the North and South Islands. Had your ancestor lived here they might have experienced the large earthquakes 1848 and 1855 as Wellington is located directly on a fault line.


Auckland Province is also located on the North Island of New Zealand. The area was valued for its rich and fertile land. In the early 1860s it became involved in the wars against the Māori King Movement, which was organized in an attempt to create a monarch with the status of Queen Victoria and unify the Māori tribes. It was hoped by the movement that such a monarch could bargain on behalf of the Māori over land distribution and the influx of British colonists. Geographically Auckland is situated on the Auckland Volcanic Field, which has approximately 50 volcanoes that are currently dormant. The city of Auckland lies on an isthmus and is one of the few situated between two harbors: the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea, and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean.


Surrounded mainly by mountains and the Canterbury Plains on the South island, Canterbury Province has one major city, Christchurch. Following 1850, the province's economy developed with the introduction of sheep farming. The Canterbury region's tussock plains were particularly suitable for extensive sheep farming and the animals were highly valued by settlers for their meat and wool. By the early 1850s there were over half a million sheep in the region. From 1853 to 1876 the Canterbury Province included both the east and west coasts of the South Island.

Otago and Southland

Otago Province was among the original provinces created by the New Zealand Constitution Act of 1852, and was then further divided into the Otago and Southland Provinces in 1861 as a result of the population increase. Geographically the two provinces cover the South Island from the Waitaki river south including the Steward Island and the sub Antarctic Islands. The original Otago settlement was an outgrowth of the Free Church of Scotland, a division from the Church of Scotland over the church’s relations with the state.

In the 1860s there was a rapid commercial expansion in Otago due to the discovery of gold at Gabriel’s Gully, called the Central Otago gold rush. Because of the growth of this area, the first daily newspaper, The Otago Daily Times, was founded in Otago and New Zealand’s first university, University of Otago, was established in the city of Dunedin in 1869.

Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Province

The Nelson region is also known as the “Top of the South” due to its location on the north end of South Island. The primary settlement of the province called Nelson on the Tasman Bay included German immigrants who were mostly Lutheran Protestants with a few Bavarian Catholics. The Tasman Bay settlements were not very successful because the land was not suitable for farming.

The Marlborough Province split from Nelson Province in 1859 due to the misallocation of funds, which were raised in the Marlborough region, but used for the Nelson region. In 1868 the west coast of the Nelson region was split from the Nelson Province as well creating the Westland Province.

Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Province

The three provinces of Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, and Wellington, are all located on the North Island. Taranki Province was originally known as the New Plymouth Province, but was renamed in 1869 for Mount Taranki, which is the dominating feature of the region. The history of the Taranki Province is mainly one of violence with the colonial government fighting with the Māori King Movement over land rights and distribution.

Hawkes Bay separated from Wellington Province in 1858. It was known for its fine climate and abundance of agricultural land. For more information on Wellington Province see about section.

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