List of regions
4.Bay of Plenty (Area:12,447km²,Population:282,300)
Areas outside regional boundaries
Some outlying islands are not included within regional boundaries. The Chatham Islands is not in a region, although its council has some of the powers of a regional council under the Resource Management Act. The Kermadecs and the subantarctic islands are inhabited only by a small number of Department of Conservation staff, and the Conservation Minister is empowered to act as a regional council for these islands.
Regional councils are popularly elected every three years in accordance with the Local Electoral Act 2001.Councils may use a first past the post or single transferable vote system. The chairperson is selected by the elected council members.
Predecessors of current structure
The Auckland Regional Council was preceded by the Auckland Regional Authority (ARA), which existed from 1963 to 1989.The Wellington Regional Council was first formed in 1980 from a merger of the Wellington Regional Planning Authority and the Wellington Regional Water Board.
In 1978, legislation was passed enabling the formation of regions with united councils. Twenty regions were designated, excluding the Auckland and Wellington areas. For most of the country this was the first regional level of government since the abolition of provinces in 1876. Councillors were not elected directly – they were appointed from the various territorial local authorities (TLAs) within the region.
The only responsibilities mandated by the legislation were coordination of civil defence and development of a regional plan, although the constituent TLAs could agree on additional responsibilities at the point of formation of each united council. For example, in a number of cases the united council took responsibility for the allocation of revenue from regional petrol taxes.
The united councils were based in the facilities of the largest TLA in the region and largely dependent on the TLAs for resources. They were allowed to levy rates but in most cases had minimal operating budgets (below $100,000 per annum). The notable exception was Canterbury, where the united council had a number of responsibilities. Only one united council undertook any direct operational activity – a forestry project in Wanganui.