Category talk:Cities in New Zealand

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Bad name for category[edit]

"City" has a specific legal meaning in New Zealand. There are 16 of those; ten are listed in the category.

Territorial authority areas of fewer than 50,000 people are mostly "districts" in legal terminology. Those having over 20,000 people in an urban area can fairly be called "cities" in ordinary speech; but that is not always the name of the "district": e.g. Blenheim in the Marlborough District. That would include another nine or ten listed.

Below 20,000 people (which was the prerequisite size for legal city status until it was raised to 50,000 in 1989), none but the most rabidly patriotic of residents would claim that their urban area was any sort of city: "town" and "village" are common terms.

Some such settlements, however, are parts of legal cities but sufficiently separate from the main urban areas that they may still be called towns rather than (or as well as) suburbs. Examples are Akaroa, Lyttelton, Mosgiel, and Port Chalmers.

A few of the listed places are barely villages: Bannockburn, Manapouri, Moeraki, Saint Bathans, Waitangi, perhaps.

So there is quite a mixture here. The category is not excessively large (and has most of the true cities and a fair number of smaller centres, which suggests that it will not become enormous); and splitting into a "Cities" category and another category or two would throw up several anomalies and lead to confusion. How about just renaming it "Settlements in New Zealand", following but not trying to subdivide it further?

A workable but time-consuming alternative would be to move all the villages, towns, and smallest "cities" to their regions - Category:Regions of New Zealand (where there are few towns listed at present). I could do most of them in an hour but there would be arguments about which cities were excluded: each could presumably be in both "cities" and the appropriate region category. (How do other countries do it?)

Robin Patterson 15:11, 24 July 2007 (UTC)