Last modified: 2013-11-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: new zealand | province | sport | rugby | cricket |
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|Old provinces (11)||Current sport divisions and their colours|
|N.P.C. “provinces” (27)||Super14 sides (5)|
|Bay of Plenty|
|Gisborne Province||East Coast|
|Hawkes Bay||Hawkes Bay||Central Vikings|
|Nelson Province||Nelson Bays||Nelson||The Crusaders|
|Otago||North Otago||The Highlanders|
Today, the names (and the title "Province") have no political significance,
although many government departments and quangos
keep the names of the provinces and keep roughly to the boundaries of the old
provinces. However, the term "province" has taken on a much more loose meaning
these days for any area which has a distinct cultural / historic identity. The
place where they are most evident as being separate areas is in sports contests,
notably the national rugby union competition (The National Provincial
Championship). Banners are, of course, waved by fans at the grounds,
and some designs seem to be particularly common for the different provinces.
There are, however, no standardised designs for provincial flags.
James Dignan, 12 September 1996
As far as I've seen so far, Northland and Otago
may be the only two provinces with a standardised flag used at sporting occasions,
rather than any odd combination of the provincial colours. However, it seems
as though many provinces are slowly standardising the sports flags seen.
James Dignan, 26 August 1997
Each province likely to have the same colours for most of its sports teams.
So Otago's main soccer team, for example, wears a gold
shirt with blue shorts, and Wellington's hockey team
wears black and gold. Although the flags you see at sports grounds are unofficial
sports flags, the colours are instantly recognisable around the country. Someone
waving black and red will instantly be seen as a Cantabrian no matter what sport
is being played.
James Dignan, 11 May 1999
Part of the community association with the old provincial areas and names is very evident in sport and in particular with rugby union football which is the major and best organised NZ sport. Not only does it use the name association but the term "provinces" is widely used to describe the individual unions which comprise the national body of the NZ Rugby Union. The clickable map of Sporting Regions is applicable only to rugby union i.e. it details the areas comprising the individual unions. The areas, names and colours of these unions apply only to rugby union and need not apply to other sports although most do use them as a basis to a greater or lesser extent including their national bodies who tend to use the NZ rugby colours of black with a silver fern as a basis for their colours.
The colours which are displayed are thus a symbol of support for the team and
are used by individuals hence the designs are at individual whim and the use
not wide spread. The use of banners of the colours thus has no basis of formal
format which means any adoption by usage is likely to take a long time. The
association of these colours with an area for reasons other than sport is limited.
Apart from the red and black of Canterbury which is
always synonomous, other major areas tended to use mascots, though it seems
that Otago is making moves in the banner area.
Neale Rosanoski, 3 October 1999
Other sports do divide them up in similar ways and with similar colours, however.
Cricket, for instance has six regions in New Zealand — Otago,
Canterbury, Wellington, Auckland,
Central Districts, and Northern Districts.
ND includes all of the area as far south as King Country, except for Auckland
and North Harbour (which form Auckland); CD is the southern North Island plus
Nelson and Marlborough, but excluding Wellington and the Wairararapa (which
form Wellington); Canterbury is the rest of the South Island north of the Waitaki
(the river separating North Otago and South Canterbury); Otago is everywhere
south of this. The colours of these teams are also similar to the rugby teams:
blue and gold for Otago, red and black for Canterbury,
black and yellow for Wellington, blue & white for Auckland;
maroon and yellow for ND... I can't remember offhand what colours CD cricket
uses, but you get the idea - sports teams from one region will all tend to share
the traditional "provincial colours".
James Dignan, 4 October 1999
It might also be worth noting that the Super-12 Rugby competition
combines the provinces into five regional sides (which compete with four South
African and three Australian teams). Each of these sides has an official
flag which is a fairly horrible pattern formed from the team colours
with the team's logo superimposed on it.
James Dignan, 5 April 1999
The Super-12 competition is now the Super14 competition [with the addition of one more team from both South Africa and Australia]
James Dignan, 9 January 2006
The five NZ super12 sides are:
I’m not 100% certain of some of the affiliations (King Country, for instance,
may be part of the Wellington super 12 franchise, rather than Waikato's). The
original names included the region name (given in brackets), but these have
slowly been dropped in the last few seasons — The Highlanders are still known
as the Otago Highlanders, for instance, but the Chiefs are simply the Chiefs.
These teams featured in a series of stamps put out by NZ Post earlier this year
(10 stamps, each at 40c, two for each super 12 team).
James Dignan, 17 Aug 1999