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The SSGA18 classification structures are split into two broad groups:

  • statistical geographies
  • administrative areas.

All of these geographies are built directly from meshblocks.

Statistical geographies

The statistical geographies form a hierarchy of geographic areas whose boundaries are specifically created according to well-defined concepts. In total, they cover all of geographic New Zealand. The boundaries align with regional council and territorial authority boundaries (with the exception of the Richmond urban area).

The statistical geographies are a statistical classification only, not a legal one, and include:

  • meshblock
  • statistical area 1 (SA1) 
  • statistical area 2 (SA2)
  • urban rural.

The statistical geographies are defined and maintained by Stats NZ.

See Statistical geography hierarchy for more information.

Administrative and electoral boundaries

Central and local government administrative and electoral boundaries were established in legislation under the Local Government Act 2002 and the Electoral Act 1993. They are defined by the Local Government Commission and the Representation Commission.

Administrative areas include:

  • regional council
    • constituency
    • Māori constituency
  • territorial authority
    • ward
    • community board / local board
    • subdivision
  • general electoral district
  • Māori electoral district.

See Local government administrative areas and Electoral areas for more information.

Figure 1 shows how the various SSGA18 structures relate to each other.

Figure 1

Diagram, Geographic hierarchy.

New Zealand

For statistical purposes, the term “New Zealand” refers to geographic New Zealand, that is, North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and the Chatham Islands, plus the Kermadec Islands, the Auckland Islands, the Subantarctic Islands (Campbell Island, Antipodes Islands, Bounty Islands, and Snares Islands), and the Ross Dependency.

The North, South, Stewart, and Chatham Islands are digitised according to the New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000 standard projection for general mapping in New Zealand. The other islands are not digitised but are included in the statistical geographies to provide complete coverage of geographic New Zealand. 

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