Franklin District

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Location of Franklin
Coordinates: 37°14′S 175°00′E / 37.24°S 175.00°E / -37.24; 175.00Coordinates: 37°14′S 175°00′E / 37.24°S 175.00°E / -37.24; 175.00
CountryNew Zealand
 • Total2,187.94 km2 (844.77 sq mi)
ExtentPapakura to Meremere;
Port Waikato to Miranda, Firth of Thames

Franklin District was a New Zealand territorial authority that lay between the Auckland metropolitan area and the Waikato Plains. As a formal territory it was abolished on 31 October 2010 and divided between Auckland Council in the Auckland Region (39.82 percent by land area) to the north and Waikato and Hauraki districts in the Waikato Region (60.18 percent) to the south and east. The Auckland portion is now part of the Franklin ward, which also includes rural parts of the former Manukau City.

Before its abolition, it was administered from the town of Pukekohe. Out-going Franklin District Mayor Mark Ball had proposed that Franklin district become an independent unitary authority, fulfilling both the functions of a local and regional council. However, this was rejected by Minister Rodney Hide.[2]

Location and extent[edit]

A true-colour image showing the Auckland area. Franklin is at the lower left of the picture. The scene was acquired by NASA's Terra satellite, on 23 October 2002.

The district was bounded in the north by the start of the Auckland metropolitan area and the waters of the Manukau Harbour. Awhitu Peninsula stretches up the Tasman coast to the mouth of this harbour. Here are located several holiday spots, such as Karioitahi Beach and Matakawau.

To the south, Franklin was bounded by the fertile lowlands of the Waikato Plains. In the east, the land rises to the Hunua Ranges, then falls to the coast of the Firth of Thames. In the west is the Tasman Sea. The Waikato River mouth is at Port Waikato in the south of the region. This is renowned as a good place for surfcasting.

The area is mainly rural, with local settlements such as Waiuku and Tuakau supporting the farming industry. One industry of note is the New Zealand Steel steel mill at Glenbrook, north of Waiuku.


Six people served as mayor of Franklin District during its 21-year existence:[3]

Name Term
1 Max R. Short 1989–1992
2 Peter Aitken 1992–1995
3 Joan O'Sullivan 1995
4 Matt Barnett 1995–1998
5 Heather Maloney 1998–2004
6 Mark Ball 2004–2010


The name of "Franklin" probably derives from Lady Jane Franklin, an early British traveller and the wife of Captain Sir John Franklin,[4] who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land (1837–1843). Lady Franklin visited the Waikato Heads in 1841.[5]


Franklin County News, a twice-weekly newspaper based in Pukekohe, serves the former Franklin district. The Post Newspaper distributes 26,000 printed copies weekly on a Tuesday covering Franklin and North Waikato. The Post Newspaper has an office in both Pukekohe and Waiuku.[6] In 2015, the online events calendar and photo news Franklin Life NZ was launched.

Populated centres[edit]

Here are some of the following suburbs, towns, villages and other settlements within the former Franklin District's territorial area borders, grouped into their present-day adjacent areas:

Northern Franklin (now part of Auckland Super-City)

  • Wattle Bay, Orua Bay, Big Bay, Grahams Beach, Awhitu, Kauritutahi, Matakawau, Matakawau Point, Clarks Beach, Pollok, Te Toro, Glenbrook Beach, Waiau Beach, Mission Bush, Karioitahi, Waiuku, Kingseat, Waiau Pa, Patumahoe, Te Hihi, Karaka, Roseneath Road, Paerata, Pukekohe, Bombay, Ararimu, Hunua,

Southern Franklin (now part of Waikato District)

North Eastern Franklin (now part of Hauraki District)

  • Waharau, Whakatiwai, Kaiaua, Miranda


  1. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2019". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2020. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-18 (2017 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Franklin residents split between district councils". The New Zealand Herald. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Timeline of Auckland mayors". Auckland Council Archives. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  4. ^ Reed, A. W. (2002). Dowling, Peter (ed.). The Reed dictionary of New Zealand place names. Auckland: Reed Books. p. 152. ISBN 0-790-00761-4. There seems little doubt that the district was named after Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Sir John Franklin [...], for at a very early date she crossed the Manukau Harbour in a mission schooner and was conveyed by a Maori party to Waiuku, long before there were any settlers in the area. After the Constitution Act of 1853 the area from Newmarket to Lake Taupo was known as the Southern Electorate. In 1860 the electorate was divided, that portion to the east of the Great South Road and the Waikato River being named Franklin, and that on the west Raglan.
  5. ^ Ringer, Bruce (2009). "A brief history of local government in the Franklin area". Auckland Libraries. Auckland Council. Retrieved 28 June 2015. Franklin County took its name after the existing Parliamentary electorate of Franklin. This had evidently been named in honour of Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer. Lady Franklin had visited Robert Maunsell's mission station at the Waikato Heads in 1841.
  6. ^ "The Post Newspaper". The Post. Retrieved 19 March 2016.

External links[edit]