Where did the current Australia / New Zealand standard come from? and when was it introduced?
Sorry it's taken me so long to come back with a decent answer.
As far as records go here, the Standard that gives us our Plug/Socket arrangement, the earliest that I can find is 1935 and it was called NZS 198, the same name it has to this day.
Although, the Australians call it AS 3112.
Dapo may be able to enlighten us as to the origin of this Standard.
Why was BS 1363 abandoned in NZ in favour of the current system?
To tell you the truth Dave, it never really was abandoned here, but at the same time, it was never really used either.
It was used as an alternative to the current plug-socket system, but it just never caught on here (Thank God!), the Radial circuit being more popular at the time, because of the use of Wood Trunking and (later) Steel Conduit, would have made the Ring Circuit impractical.
I did my time under an Elderly electrician at the PoCo and he told me that in the years after the War (WWII, I assume), new Aluminium Conduit came out and as far as Arthur told me, from then on, everything seemed to be made of Aluminium.
He used some pretty nasty expletives when I asked him about bending it though!.
However, we do still have the ring circuit here though, it's pretty much limited to Caravan Parks and LV/HV Overhead Lines systems.
For those of you that don't already know, like Paul, I hate the idea of a Ring circuit, but lets not go there, eh?.