The New Zealand Gazette

screebgrab of the New Zealand Gazette websiteIn this first look at international gazettes, we outline the history of the New Zealand Gazette, the official newspaper of the government of New Zealand.

The New Zealand Gazette (Te Kāhiti o Aotearoa) is the longest running publication in New Zealand, having its roots in The Oxford Gazette, which was first published in 1665 (issue 1).

In 1840, a number of gazette notices first appeared in the New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette and Gazette Extraordinary, published in Russell and Paihia in the North Island of New Zealand. In 1841, the first New Zealand government gazette was published in Auckland by the Colonial Secretary.

Early editions included appointments and proclamations, such as the formation of the Executive and Legislative Councils. The Government Gazette ceased for a period between 1847 and 1853, substituted by two provincial gazettes for the North and South Islands.

In 1857 the publication was renamed the New Zealand Gazette, as it is known today. It is published by the Department of Internal Affairs (formerly the Colonial Secretary’s Office) in Wellington.

As with other gazettes around the world, it has withstood the test of time with the need for official notifications to be communicated and for various legislative requirements to be enabled. It has also provided a historical record of events and determinations over time, including detailing the original ensign and flag for New Zealand, wartime decisions and proclamations (such as the protection of Germans and Austrians resident in New Zealand), and official election and referenda results, including a proposed new flag for New Zealand in 2016.

For most of its more than 175 years, the New Zealand Gazette was printed in weekly editions every Thursday, with supplementary editions such as Customs, Professional and Trade Lists including the Valuers, Marriage and Civil Union Celebrants Registers, and special editions, such as the New Year and Birthday honours lists.

In October 2014, the printed edition was replaced by the official online version. On 26 October 2017, the last weekly edition was published and the New Zealand Gazette began to publish notices continuously on business working days.