Wanganui Borough/City Council
The Municipal Corporations Act (1867) allowed for the formation of single boroughs on the petition of ratepayers. It had been found that the earlier Town Boards had operated in different ways, often passing inconsistent bylaws. The newly formed Wanganui Borough Council in 1872 took over from the Town Board (1862-72) with a clearly defined role. It could make bylaws, raise loans, and had carefully articulated electoral procedures and specified roles for the Mayor and Council. The Borough had a legal role to make and keep public rate rolls, accounts, and minutes of meetings. The abolition of the Provincial Governments in 1876 increased the importance of the Borough Councils as they took on a more active role in such areas as administering building regulations, street and footpath maintenance and development, provision of waterworks, drainage, recreation and fire prevention. In 1924, with the amalgamation of several smaller local bodies, the Borough Council population base reached 20,000, allowing it to be declared a City Council; however the nature and functions of the Council did not alter (see AJHR I15 p11). The City Council was succeeded by the formation of the Wanganui District Council in 1989. The system of wards came into force with the formation of the borough in 1872. The wards were Cooks, Queens and St Johns. Wards were abolished in December 1890.