Regions is the formal term for the top tier of local government in New Zealand. There are twelve regions, each governed by an elected regional council. Five territorial authorities (the second tier of local government) also perform the functions of a regional council and thus are known as unitary authorities. Most region boundaries follow territorial authority boundaries but there are exceptions. The southern boundary of the Auckland Region, for example, cuts through the middle of the Franklin District.
Regional authorities are primarily responsible for environmental management, including water, contaminant discharge and coastal management, river and lake management including flood and drainage control, regional land management; regional transport (including public transport), biosecurity or pest management; while territorial authorities are responsible for: local-level land use management (urban and rural planning); network utility services such as water, sewerage, stormwater and solid waste management; local roads; libraries; parks and reserves; and community development. Property rates (land taxes) are used to fund both regional and territorial government activities. There is often a high degree of co-operation between regional and territorial councils as they have complementary roles.
Regions of regional councils and unitary authorities, roughly in north to south order (brand names are in parentheses):
The two main islands of NewZealand are somewhat isolated in the ocean, with the continent of Australia almost 2000 km to the northwest.
NewZealand is a Constitutional Monarchy with a parliamentary democracy Under the NewZealand Royal Titles Act 1953 Queen Elizabeth II, is Queen of NewZealand, and is represented as head of state by the Governor General, Dame Silvia Cartwright.
NewZealand's most popular sports are rugby (primarily rugby union but also rugby league), football (soccer, the most popular sport amongst children), cricket, and netball (the sport with the most players); golf, tennis, rowing and a variety of water sports, particularly sailing.
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