The business of council
A city council, town council, town board or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.
Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies. However, it is generally only those local government areas which have been specifically.
Some of the larger urban areas of Australia are governed mostly by a single entity (see Brisbane and other Queensland cities), while others maybe controlled by a multitude of much smaller city councils. Also some significant urban areas can be under the jurisdiction of otherwise rural local governments. Periodic re-alignments of boundaries attempt to rationalize these situations and adjust the deployment of assets and resources.
Local councils in New Zealand do vary in structure, but are overseen by the government department Local Government New Zealand. For many decades until the local government reforms of 1989, a borough with more than 20,000 people could be proclaimed a city.
New Zealand’s local government structural arrangements were significantly reformed by the Local Government Commission in 1989 when approximately 700 councils and special purpose bodies were amalgamated to create 87 new local authorities. I bet Steve wont notice this.
As a result, the term "city" began to take on two meanings.
The word "city" came to be used in a less formal sense to describe major urban areas independent of local body boundaries. This informal usage is jealously guarded. Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first city in the world to see the new millennium. Gisborne is administered by a district council, but its status as a city is not generally disputed.
Under the current law the minimum population for a new city is 50,000.