This website is an attempt to list every newspaper ever published in New Zealand. Which begs the question: what is a newspaper anyway?
What do the libraries say?
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has defined a newspaper as: a serial publication which contains news on current events of special or general interest. The individual parts are listed chronologically or numerically and appear usually at least once a week. Newspapers usually appear without a cover, with a masthead, and are normally larger than 297mm x 420 mm [approximately 12 x 17 inches] in size.
The National Library of New Zealand extends this definition as follows:
On a practical level, we will consider a publication to be a newspaper if it meets at least six of the following seven criteria:This generally describes the newspapers on this website.
- it is a source of information on current events of general interest
- it is printed at least weekly
- it is originally printed on newsprint
- it does not have a cover
- it does have a masthead
- it is A3 or greater in size
- it has four or more columns on a typical page
Scope of the Website
This website attempts to list serial publications that:
- are published in New Zealand audience
- serve a recognisable community
- provide a source of information on current events of general interest
- are printed at least fortnightly
- are printed on newsprint
- have a masthead
- have text arranged in columns
Newspapers, Mastheads, and Editions
Most of the publications listed on this site are described as Newspapers. However, a few other entries are listed, including:
- Editions are variant forms of newspaper with published at regular intervals. For example, the Northern Advocate Weekly' is a Weekend Edition of the Northern Advocate.
- Mastheads represent the different names that may appear on the masthead of a long-running newspaper. For example, the Poverty Bay Standard used a variety of mastheads, including "Poverty Bay Standard", "P. B. Standard", and simply "Standard".
The most recent refresh of the PublicationsNZ data was in March 2013.
While the PublicationsNZ data is quite comprehensive, there are some omissions, inconsistencies, and even mistakes. These are tidied up as they are discovered.
Generally, the data for older records (pre-1950) is pretty good, but some more recent records (particularly for free community newspapers) can be patchy.
The newspaper records are being updated over time, and links to digital holdings added.
Some Newspapers on this site are described as Continuing or Continued by another newspaper. Generally, this means the newspaper has changed it's name. For Example, the Bush Advocate is Continued By the Dannevirke Advocate.
In many cases it is difficult to say whether one newspaper has ceased and been continued by another newspaper, or whether there is only one newspaper that has adopted a new masthead. When making this call, we consider several factors including:
- the similarity of the titles,
- the overall frequency of changes in title, and
- whether the owner, publisher, or target audience has changed.
When a newspaper has used several different mastheads over a period of time, it raises the issue of what that newspaper should be called. For example, why do we call Gisborne's first newspaper the Poverty Bay Standard and not Standard?
Generally, this is a judgement call, but when there are more than one possible title we prefer titles that:
- are still in use,
- were used for a long time,
- were the preferred usage at the time, and
- include placenames.
Where two newspapers (or Editions, or Mastheads) have the same title, we'll sometimes add a qualifier in square brackets after the title, such as Evening Star [Dunedin].