Acknowledge No Frontier The Creation and Demise of New Zealand's Provinces, 1853-76
New Zealand in the early twenty-first century can be rugged and windswept, but it is also vibrant and cosmopolitan, with firmly established links betweall major centres. Every significant geographical barrier has been conquered and the population is dispersed across all cultivable parts of the land. Borders do not divide New Zealanders, but they possess a patchwork of firmly held provincial identities and enjoy provincial anniversaries as annual public holidays. Provincial sport evokes particularly strong emotions - especially the national preoccupation, rugby. Passions can run high when it comes to provincial anything in New Zealand. 'New Zealand ends at the Bombay Hills' is a common expression, implying that Auckland and everywhere else north of an otherwise nondescript range of hills are somehow unworthy of being considered part of the same country; Aucklanders twist the expression to suggest the same about everywhere to the south. These rivalries are more than a competition between New Zealand's largest city and the rest of the country. For example, South Island neighbours Canterbury and Otago share a long-standing rivalry in which being born north or south of the Waitaki River counts for everything.