Wikipedia talk:WikiProject New Zealand places

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Agreed policies and standards[edit]

  • Some standards are stated or at least discussed elsewhere in W; I'll copy them or refs to here when I rediscover them. :robinp 23:17, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Template ideas[edit]

  • We could group some of the articles into series, "Regions of New Zealand" series, "Cities of New Zealand" (more controversial). "Towns of the Manawatu" or whatever. Each article could have a table of links to the other articles in the series. Note some articles could be in multiple series.
  • I'd like to maintain a standard set of statistics for certain kinds of areas, presented as a table.
  • Maps would be good, but I don't know where to get them from.
    • Do you mean maps of the places, or maps showing where in New Zealand they are? If the latter, I have a blank free-use map of New Zealand that might possibly be useful. -- Vardion 06:06, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
      • Either would be good. I personally don't want to get too involved with mapping at the moment, it's pretty time consuming, and I might be able to get precise boundary maps later on. But if you upload the map onto this page, other people may take it on as a task and that would be good. Ben Arnold 23:36, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Ben Arnold 04:10, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Regional articles[edit]

Should we have one article for each local government region, separate from the article for the city? Does this make sense for Auckland, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson?

Ben Arnold 04:10, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Scope of city articles?[edit]

What is the scope of an article about a city like Wellington or Auckland? Is the article about just the city council area, or is it about the greater urban area? [or the whole region! - Robin]

I'd answer this from the perspective of a foreign audience. If you want to read an encyclopedic article about Wellington, chances are that you're from overseas and local authority boundaries aren't that important to you. If I want to read about London, New York or Sydney, I expect the article to be primarily an overview of the greater area, not specific to a particular central city area.

On the other hand, it is interesting to know about the local authority structure, and the history of local bodies, etc.

So my proposal is that the scope of an article should be the greater urban area, but the focus should be on the central city. This leaves room for satellite cities and towns to have their own detailed articles, without limiting what can be written about in the main article.

Ben Arnold 04:10, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The term "city"[edit]

There seem to be two schools of thought here:

  1. a city is a place with a city council; the boundaries of the city are the same as the boundaries of city council
  2. a city is a town that has a sufficiently large population and status to be described as a city

I don't think we should avoid use of the word city, I just think we should be clear when only one of the meanings applies. For example, Manukau is a city by meaning 1, but not by meaning 2 (because it's not really a distinct "town"). Here we need to mention early on that Manukau is a satellite city of Auckland.

For another example, Rotorua is a city by meaning 2, but not by meaning 1. So we should mention in the first few sentences that Rotorua is administered by the Rotorua District Council.

In particular I want to avoid text like "Rotorua is a district..." because in my mind Rotorua refers first and foremost to the city around which the district is based. I don't mind reading "Rotorua is a city" or "Manukau is a city", but in both cases it makes sense to clarify.

It will also help if we have standardised tables for statistics, then a user will be able to tell at a glance whether somewhere is an urban area, a territorial local authority, or both.

Ben Arnold 04:10, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

  • The subject is discussed in some detail on a page with a name like "List of cities in NZ" :robinp 23:17, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Timaru is a particularly thorny problem for this... it's a city by definition 2, and used to be a city by definition 1, until regional reshuffles meant it lost its status. It's messy taking about "The former city of Timaru" all the time - it makes it sound like Pompeii or something.Grutness 10:50, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think the council should take a back seat, as our foreign visitor suggested. COunicl boundaries can by all means mentioned, but common usage should prevail. (particualrly where they are the product of politiciking, such as the break up of Auckland into separate "cities" so Auckland city council couldn't do a GLC and pose a political threat to central government).

Naming conventions[edit]

A global discussion of naming conventions is occurring at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (city names). There are several main areas of debate:

1. Currently cities in Canada and the US are all disambiguated with a comma and the state or province name, whereas cities in the rest of the world are only disambiguated when required. Should the Canada and the US use the same practice as other countries? Should other federal countries use the same practice as Canada and the US?

My point of view: This does not affect New Zealand places because New Zealand does not have a federal system. There does not appear to be any suggestion that all placenames in the world should be qualified, and there is strong opposition to the idea of disambiguating unless necessary. Ben Arnold 23:43, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
My point of view: Is that names should be disambiguated with the ", New Zealand" because it "deprolongifise" debates on the topic. Also it also reduces the checking (of NZ, then of the Pacific and then the world) one needs to do before creating a place name, and so one can get on with the core task of adding content. NevilleDNZ Wed Apr 27 09:44:45 SGT 2005
My point of view: Wikipedians should make the effort to put redirects in place, so that that casual reader can easily find the location if indeed the name is unambiguous. eg Taumarunui redirected to Taumarunui, New Zealand (or simply Taumarunui).
My point of view - New Zealand place names tend to be unusual - especially maori ones, which are frequently unique in the world. The articles state clearly that the places are in New Zealand. unless dabbing is necessary because of identically named places elsewhere, there's no need for it to be done with new zealand placenames. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 02:11, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

2. Should we use commas to disambiguate New Zealand city names, or should we use parentheses? In other words, "Nelson, New Zealand" or "Nelson (New Zealand)". The arguments for commas are that they are more natural in flowing text, and that are already in use for most disambiguated geographic articles and in particular for all Canadian and US articles. The main argument for parentheses is that these are the Wikipedia standard for non-geographic articles.

My point of view: I am in favour of the comma style, for the reasons stated above. I think you can reconcile comma style with the Wikipedia standard by thinking of the ", New Zealand" as something akin to a surname. There are plenty of examples of articles that use a more formal name to disambiguate, and this is usually preferred over parentheses. Ben Arnold 23:43, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
My point of view: I am in favour of the comma style as well, for the reasons quoted above. The standard for other Wikipedia articles tends to be "Object (type of object)", in which case disambiguation using parentheses makes more sense when the type of geographic feature is mentioned for disambiguation(as is the case with "Lake Pukaki (town)"). Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 02:11, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

3. When should we disambiguate? Should we defensively disambiguate? Should the ambiguous name refer to the New Zealand article, or to a disambiguation page?

My point of view: The general consensus is that we should only disambiguate when it's necessary. Proponents of the Canadian and US system of disambiguating all placenames often argue that in those countries the province or state is part of the name. They argue that they are not in really disambiguating, just using a semiformal title for the place.
Other generally accepted disambiguation guidelines are:
  • Don't defensively disambiguate. Only disambiguate a place when a conflicting article has actually been written. Wikipedia is an evolutionary project, deal with the problem when it comes up.
  • If one article is the pre-eminent use of a name, then the article should use that name, and there should be a separate disambiguation page named <article> (disambiguation) that lists the other uses. There should be a link to the disambiguation page in the first sentence of the main article. See Wellington for an example.
  • If no article is clearly pre-eminent, the main article should be a disambiguation page, and the conflicting articles should all be disambiguated. See Nelson for an example.
Ben Arnold 23:43, 27 May 2004 (UTC)
In total agreement. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 02:11, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Brilliant work been done on this and its article recently - thanks, Ben and others - Robin Patterson 20:28, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia pages discussing these matters for OTHER countries[edit]

(We may as well see what has been discussed elsewhere)


I've just been reading up about Wikipedia categories. This looks like something we could exploit for New Zealand places. We could set up a category for New Zealand territorial authorities, another for New Zealand urban areas (towns and cities?), another for New Zealand regions. Ben Arnold 03:26, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

What I propose is to have a category New Zealand, under that have subcategories North Island and South Island. Then have further subcategories region subcategories (e.g. Northland, Auckland, Waikato...) under North and South Island. Then if an urban area, town or city has lots entries then it can get a further subcategory under the region. -- Popsracer 03:30, 31 May 2004 (UTC)
I've been working a lot on increasing coverage of South Island Geography, and there are now four subcategories (Otago; Southland, New Zealand; West Coast, New Zealand; and Canterbury, New Zealand). I foresee adding both Nelson, New Zealand and Marlborough, New Zealand to that before I finish with the S.I. Perhaps similar categories for the NI (maybe Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Manawatu-Horowhenua, Taranaki-Wanganui, Waikato, Bay of Plenty-Northeast, Auckland, Northland?), making a whole national layer of regional subcategories, would be the way to go. By the way, there seem to be several overlapping main categories (New Zealand, New Zealand geography, New Zealand locations) - are all three of these needed, or should the "locations" and "geography" ones be merged? Grutness 10:46, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think it seems pointless to have North and South Island categories. It would be simpler to go from Category New Zealand to region subcategories (Northland etc.), wouldn't it? Neonumbers 05:35, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Over the past week or so, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the New Zealand and New Zealand locations categories and how they overlap. I know I’m new here and don’t want to come across bouncing on anyone’s toes like a deranged tigger, but I think I’ve hit on a possible solution to this which also makes the categorising of New Zealand pages a lot more logical - I’d appreciate some feedback on it (for that purpose I’m putting this argument on a couple of different discussion pages in the hope that more people see it.
IMO, the New Zealand category is the top category - a hypercategory covering all NZ pages. It should have several subcategories, including the NZ locations one - others could include NZ history, NZ Maori, NZ politics, NZ arts and literature, NZ people, NZ sport etc. Each of those could then have its own subcategories: NZ locations could have NZ islands, NZ mountains, NZ rivers, Canterbury, Taranaki, Otago, etc.; NZ history could have Pre-European history, 19th century history, NZ at war, plus a link to NZ people and NZ politics, etc; NZ Maori could have Maoritanga, Maori folklore and legends, Pre-European History, Maori and politics, etc.; and so on.
About 90% of the straggly articles currently cluttering up the lists at ‘’New Zealand’’ and ‘’New Zealand locations’’ would then find natural homes in the subcategories. Only articles which didn’t belong in any category, or covered several categories, would need to be listed there. The hypercategories would become simply the lower part of a tree that branches into more readily understandable branches. It wouldn’t take much work - simply recategorising the pages currently listing only to ‘’New Zealand’’ which should go into subcategories, and slowly adding other pages found to the categories to which they belong. Grutness 00:08, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps we could, under New Zealand Locations, have two ways of sub-categorizing that: By location type (cities, islands, rivers, territorial authorities) and by region.
However I think that, as an encyclopedia, the location type would be favourable, rather than categorizing by region. Neonumbers 05:52, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've made a tentative start to the recategorising, and it now does both things. Under the main New Zealand "hypercategory", there is New Zealand geography. Eveything within that is categorised by type - mountains, lakes, rivers, etc. New Zealand geography contains the subcategory New Zealand locations. In that, everything is categorised by regions. Or that's how it will be by the time the work is done, hopefully... At the moment, population centres are only listed in locations, and only by regions. If there is enough demand for them to be listed in a separate category NZ cities and towns, though, I'm sure that could be done too. Grutness 06:46, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I recently created articles for the Mayor of Auckland and the Mayor of Wellington (although they're mostly just lists at the moment). It's possible that there will also be other articles for the Mayor of Christchurch, the Mayor of Dunedin, and so forth. What would be the best place in the city articles for these to be linked from? -- Vardion 12:19, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have linked to the Mayor of Wellington page from the geostatistical table on Wellington. Ben Arnold 21:53, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
another possibility would be that some cities (e.g., Dunedin) have a subheading listing prominent citizens. It would make sense to add it in there. Grutness 05:10, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Categories and stubs[edit]

Great work on extending the articles that lead off the lists pages, but... please, if the places are in any of the regions with categories (currently Southland, Otago, Canterbury, West Coast, Nelson, Marlborough, Auckland, Waikato, and Northland), then add the categories. It'll save a lot of work later. Also, if you're creating a stub for a geograpical location, use (curly brackets x 2) geo-stub not (curly brackets x 2) stub! Grutness 07:41, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There's now {{kiwi-stub}} too. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg

Categories now more logical (I hope!)[edit]

Well, it's taken a **** of a lot of work (much more than I thought), but finally New Zealand's places have a logical categorisation system. It works like this.

Every "place" article in New Zealand should have (read "hopefully, eventually will have") a minimum of two categories: a location and a type. Thus, for instance, Clutha River is in both the Otago and New Zealand rivers categories. This means that all New Zealand places can be selected based on what they are or by where they are. Some places, of course, will need more than two (if a river flows through two regions, or is a river running through a cave, for instance).

The New Zealand category (a sort of root menu) has as a subcategory New Zealand geography. This has further subcategories - NZ lakes, rivers, islands, etc, etc... and New Zealand locations. The New Zealand locations category has 17 subcategories for different parts of the country - 10 N.I. regions, 6 S.I. regions, plus "outlying islands".

So far, the main missing category is one for NZ towns, cities, and settlements - which I suspect will have a lot of articles in it. Other than that, it's a case of hunting down uncategorised articles and categorising them, and categorising any new articles.

Apart from that, it's a case of trying to make other sections of the New Zealand root category as logical (NZ history, politics, natural history, culture, etc). Grutness 06:36, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

PS: At the moment, it's more important to get things categorised by location than type - it's easier to track places down and note what kind of places they are later than the other way round! Grutness 09:29, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)


A thought about suburbs... With the three main centres, it makes sense to have separate articles for separate suburbs, and they are now being categorised under "X urban districts". A lot of Auckland and wellington area ones are done, and there are a few Christchurch ones I'd like to write small articles on, too.

With Dunedin (and possibly other similar sized cities), there are quite a number of suburbs that are writing something about, but I doubt that many of them warrant a full article. What I propose to do (unless there's any strong objections) is write an article called Suburbs of Dunedin, and give each of them its own subheading and paragraph or two. If necessary they can be moved to their own articles later, and it avoids having nine or ten new stubs. Good idea, or is it better to write separate articles now? Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 06:19, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

well, it's now one week later (almost to the minute), and there's been no-one saying "Don't do it!", so the article's on its way. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg 06:35, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Population Figures[edit]

I'd like to propose a policy that we always use census figures for populations, the rationale being:

  1. The figures are esily cited and verifiable, unlike statements such as "A population of approximately 10,800".
  2. It is most consistent: The periodic updates from Statistics NZ are not comprehensive and not directly tied to the maps defining meshblocks.
  3. Populations don't grow so suddenly that 2001 figures seem badly out of date. If a town is expanding rapidly e.g. Tekapo, that deserves separate mention in the article.


  • When using the Statistics NZ site, it is often necessary to sum sub-blocks to get the population for the precise urban area, verifying via the maps. E.g. Queenstown, where the overall community profile covers nearby rural areas.
  • My default phrasing is "At the time of the 2001 census the usually-resident population of xxxxx was yyyy, an increase/decrease of zzz since 1996". dramatic 09:26, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Location maps[edit]

Hi all - I've been trying to make uniform location maps for places in New Zealand, starting with the towns, so if you see these cropping up on articles, you'll know what's going on. I've now done all the towns I think are worth doing. I also plan to do the same with other features like mountains, lakes, rivers and islands.

I haven't done the really small towns, but everything with a couple of thousand people or more is probably worth doing. As I said, I think I've done all the towns that need doing, but if anyone spots one I've missed that should have a map, please let me know on my User talk page! Grutness...Grutness...wha? 2 July 2005 13:11 (UTC)

Place name origins[edit]

I'm currently going through NZ places and adding the origins of their names (adapted from The Reed Dictionary of NZ Place Names). I notice that very few of the articles have references listed, and I was hoping that the authors of the articles could point out some of that information. I'd be happy to add the references myself if it seems too onerous a task :)

Cheers, Ziggurat 23:54, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team cooperation[edit]

Hello. I'm a member of the Version 1.0 Editorial Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing articles using these criteria, and we are are asking for your help. As you are most aware of the issues surrounding your focus area, we are wondering if you could provide us with a list of the articles that fall within the scope of your WikiProject, and that are either featured, A-class, B-class, or Good articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Do you have any recommendations? If you do, please post your suggestions at the listing of all active Places WikiProjects, and if you have any questions, ask me in the Work Via WikiProjects talk page or directly in my talk page. Thanks a lot! Titoxd(?!? - help us) 18:36, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Help wanted with the Catlins[edit]

Hi all - I'm trying to get The Catlins slowly towards FA status (at least as far as the NZ Portal's concerned, even if not full WP:FA). At the moment it's probably pretty close to the A-level that Titoxd mentions above (although it could do with a couple more photos). If anyone can add anything they think should be there, or make suggestions as to its improvement (either on its talk page or my user talk page), please do so! Grutness...wha? 10:18, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Potential new infobox[edit]

I made a one-off infobox for the Catlins article I mentioned above (which is now getting very close to FA nomination!) As I said, the template was a one-off, but looks as though it might be useful for other similar areas of New Zealand which aren't cities, districts, or regions (that is, anywhere which is more a "community of interest" than an actual political entity). Please have a look at it and see whether it would be useful - and if it is, feel free to turn it into a "real" infobox template! Grutness...wha? 07:27, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I made one for articles related to Taupo District - User:Brian New Zealand/Temp/info (see in use Taupo) basing it on the Catlins one :) Brian | (Talk) 00:35, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

NZ FAC - The Catlins[edit]

Apologies for the cross-posting, but I thought you'd like to know that Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/The Catlins is now up and running! Grutness...wha? 02:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Project directory[edit]

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 16:30, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Standard format for NZ Regions[edit]

Hi. I've been looking at the regional articles under the Regions of New Zealand Category and the general layout seems to be a bit mixed (compare Gisborne and Bay of Plenty). I'd like to have a go at cleaning these up a bit - starting with a standard for the map and region info box - possibly using Gisborne as a template. Any thoughts, comments, objections ? Malathos 19:13, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards[edit]

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 20:19, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Māori names[edit]

The discussion at Wikipedia:New Zealand Wikipedians' notice board#Māori names is likely to be of interest to anyone watching this page.-gadfium 19:56, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Dead WikiProject[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject New Zealand places appears to be totally moribund - only one non-vandalism-related edit to the main page in the last year, and no talk page edits (other than this one, which I'm crossposting) in almost two years. Should it be rolled into Wikipedia:WikiProject New Zealand, either totally or as a working party subtopic? Grutness...wha? 01:49, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Just over a year later and nothing else has happened. I've done a fair bit of work on NZ places over time, but always under the aegis of the main WikiProject, I've never seen this separate project as necessary or advisable. In terms of a merge back, I guess it's worth putting the information on locality templates onto a subpage? What else do you think is necessary? Removal of any WPNZP templates. dramatic (talk) 08:08, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
And another year on... :) Should something be happening? Orderinchaos 14:12, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any dissenting voices, so feel free to merge it back. --Avenue (talk) 13:06, 26 September 2011 (UTC)