Christchurch (Māori: Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area. It is one third the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of Christchurch.
The city was named by the Canterbury Association, which settled the surrounding province of Canterbury. The name of Christchurch was agreed on at the first meeting of the association on 27 March 1848. It was suggested by John Robert Godley, who had attended Christ Church, Oxford. Some early writers called the town Christ Church, but it was recorded as Christchurch in the minutes of the management committee of the association.
The river which flows through the centre of the city (its banks now largely forming an urban park) was named Avon at the request of the pioneering Deans brothers to commemorate the Scottish Avon, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near what was their grandfathers' farm and flows into the Clyde.
The usual Māori name for Christchurch is Ōtautahi ('the place of Tautahi'). This was originally the name of a specific site by the Avon River near present-day Kilmore Street and the Christchurch Central Fire Station. The site was a seasonal dwelling of Ngāi Tahu chief Te Potiki Tautahi, whose main home was Port Levy on Banks Peninsula. The Ōtautahi name was adopted in the 1930s. Prior to that the Ngāi Tahu generally referred to the Christchurch area as Karaitiana, a transliteration of the English name.
Christchurch is one of only eight pairs of cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city. Half of these antipodal pairs are in New Zealand and Spain/Morocco – with A Coruña, Spain as Christchurch's antipode.
Christchurch has one of the highest-quality water supplies in the world, rated one of the purest and cleanest water in the world. The water is sourced via more than 50 pumping stations from aquifers which conduct it from the foothills of the Southern Alps and provide natural filtering.
Cathedral Square is a popular destination and hosts attractions such as the speakers' corner made famous by the Wizard of New Zealand, Ian Brackenbury Channell, and evangelist Ray Comfort. The central city includes the pedestrianised Cashel Street as Christchurch's urban mall. At one end of the mall stands the Bridge Of Remembrance; at the other end the amphitheatre known as the Hack Circle.
The Cultural Precinct provides a backdrop to a vibrant scene of everchanging arts, cultural, and heritage attractions within an area of less than one square kilometre. The majority of the activities are free and a printable map is provided.
In winter it is common for the temperature to fall below 0 °C (32 °F) at night. There are on average 70 days of ground frost per year. Snow falls occur on average once or twice a year in the hill suburbs and about once or twice every two years on the plain.
On cold winter nights, the surrounding hills, clear skies, and frosty calm conditions often combine to form a stable inversion layer above the city that traps vehicle exhausts and smoke from domestic fires to cause smog. While not as bad as smog in Los Angeles or Mexico City, Christchurch smog has often exceeded World Health Organisation recommendations for air pollution. The city has funding available to upgrade domestic home heating systems, and in order to limit air pollution has banned the use of open fires as of 1 January 2006. As of 2008, woodburners more than 15 years old are prohibited.
The 2006 Census also provides information about the multilinguality of the region. Accordingly, 283,986 people in Christchurch City spoke one language only, while 37,947 spoke two, and 7,881 could converse in three or more languages.
Other agribusineses in Christchurch have included malting, seed development and dressing, wool and meat processing, and small biotechnology operations using byproducts from meat works.
Dairying has grown strongly in the surrounding areas with high world prices for milk products and the use of irrigation to lift grass growth on dry land. With its higher labour use this has helped stop declines in rural population. Many cropping and sheep farms have been converted to dairying. Conversions have been by agribusiness companies as well as by farmers, many of whom have moved south from North Island dairying strongholds such as Taranaki and the Waikato.
Cropping has always been important in the surrounding countryside. Wheat and barley and various strains of clover and other grasses for seed exporting have been the main crops. These have all created processing businesses in Christchurch.
In recent years, regional agriculture has diversified, with a thriving wine industry springing up at Waipara, and beginnings of new horticulture industries such as olive production and processing.Deer farming has led to new processing using antlers for Asian medicine and aphrodisiacs. The high quality local wine in particular has increased the appeal of Canterbury and Christchurch to tourists.
In earlier years, Christchurch was one of the two heavy-engineering centres of New Zealand, with firms such as Anderson's making steel work for bridges, tunnels, and hydro-electric dams in the early days of infrastructure work. Now manufacturing is mainly of light products and the key market is Australia, with firms such as those pioneered by the Stewart family among the larger employers.
Before clothing manufacture largely moved to Asia, Christchurch was the centre of the New Zealand clothing industry, with firms such as LWR Industries. The firms that remain mostly design and market, and manufacture in Asia. The city also had five footwear manufacturers, but these have been replaced by imports.
In the last few decades, technology-based industries have sprung up in Christchurch. Angus Tait founded Tait Electronics, a mobile-radio manufacturer, and other firms spun off from this, such as Dennis Chapman's Swichtec. Tait proteges include Chapman. In software, Gil Simpson founded LINC, which became Jade. Neither Angus nor Gil completed high school education.
However, there have been spin-offs from the electrical department of the University of Canterbury engineering school. These included Pulse Data, which became Human Ware (making reading devices and computers for blind people and those with limited vision) and CES Communications (encryption). The Pulse Data founders had moved from the Canterbury University engineering school to work for Wormald when they set up Pulse Data through a management buyout of their division.
Nowadays, the University of Canterbury engineering school and computer science department play an important role in supplying staff and research for the technology industries, and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology provides a flow of trained technicians and engineers. Similarly, nearby Lincoln University has played an important role in Christchurch agribusiness.
Tourism is also a significant factor of the local economy. The closeness of the ski-fields and other attractions of the Southern Alps, and hotels, a casino, and an airport that meet international standards make Christchurch a stopover destination for many tourists. The city is popular with Japanese tourists, with signage around Cathedral Square in Japanese.
Christchurch's local government is a democracy with various elements including:
* Christchurch City Council, comprising the Mayor of Christchurch, and 13 councillors elected in seven wards.
In 1993, Christchurch was selected as the 'Best Run City in the World', also known as the 'Carl Bertelsmann Prize: Local Government', by the Bertelsmann Foundation of Germany. Especially noted was the increased efficiency of communal services in competition with private enterprises. Christchurch shared the award honour with Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
* University of Canterbury
There is a functioning tram service in Christchurch, but as a tourist attraction, its loop is restricted to a circuit of the central city. The trams were originally introduced in 1905, ceased operating in 1954, but returned to the inner city (as a tourist attraction) in 1995. In addition to normal bus services, Christchurch also has a pioneering zero-fare hybrid bus service, the Shuttle, in the inner city.
The Main North Line railway travels northwards via Kaikoura to Picton and is served by the famous TranzCoastal passenger train, while the Main South Line heads to Invercargill via Dunedin and was used by the Southerner until its cancellation in 2002. The most famous train to depart Christchurch is the TranzAlpine, which travels along the Main South Line to Rolleston and then turns onto the Midland Line, passes through the Southern Alps via the Otira Tunnel, and terminates in Greymouth on the West Coast. This trip is often regarded to be one of the ten great train journeys in the world for the amazing scenery through which it passes. The TranzAlpine service is primarily a tourist service and carries no significant commuter traffic. Commuter trains used to operate in Christchurch but were progressively cancelled in the 1960s and 1970s. The last such service, between Christchurch and Rangiora, ceased in 1976.
Following the purchase of land at Putaringamotu (modern Riccarton) by the Weller brothers whalers of Otago and Sydney a party of European settlers led by Herriott and McGillivray established themselves in what is now Christchurch, early in 1840. Their abandoned holdings were taken over by the Deans brothers in 1843 who stayed. The First Four Ships were chartered by the Canterbury Association and arrived on 16 December 1850, bringing the first 792 of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton Harbour. These sailing vessels were the Randolph, Charlotte-Jane, Sir George Seymour, and Cressy. The Canterbury Pilgrims had aspirations of building a city around a cathedral and college, on the model of Christ Church in Oxford. The name 'Christ Church' was decided prior to the ships' arrival, at the Association's first meeting, on 27 March 1848.
Captain Joseph Thomas, the Canterbury Association's Chief Surveyor, surveyed the surrounding area. By December 1849 he had commissioned the construction of a road from Port Cooper, later Lyttelton, to Christchurch via Sumner. However this proved more difficult than expected and road construction was stopped while a steep foot and pack horse track was constructed over the hill between the port and the Heathcote valley, where access to the site of the proposed settlement could be gained. This track became known as the Bridle Path, because the path was so steep that pack horses needed to be led by the bridle.
The Anglican cathedral was completed in 1904 and has since been the focal point of the city
Goods that were too heavy or bulky to be transported by pack horse over the Bridle Path were shipped by small sailing vessels some eight miles (13 km) by water around the coast and up the estuary to Ferrymead. New Zealand's first public railway line, the Ferrymead railway, opened from Ferrymead to Christchurch in 1863. Due to the difficulties in travelling over the Port Hills and the dangers associated with shipping navigating the Sumner bar, a railway tunnel was bored through the Port Hills to Lyttelton, opening in 1867.
Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, the first in New Zealand. Many of the city's Gothic buildings by architect Benjamin Mountfort date from this period.
Christchurch was the seat of provincial administration for the Province of Canterbury, which was abolished in 1876.
In 1947, New Zealand's worst fire disaster occurred at Ballantyne's Department Store in the inner city, with 41 people killed in a blaze which razed the rambling collection of buildings.
The Lyttelton Road Tunnel between Lyttelton and Christchurch was opened in 1964.
Christchurch was also host to the 1974 British Commonwealth Games.
Gateway to the Antarctic
Christchurch has a history of involvement in Antarctic exploration – both Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton used the port of Lyttelton as a departure point for expeditions, and there is a statue of Scott, sculpted by his widow, Kathleen Scott, in the central city.
Within the city the Canterbury Museum preserves and exhibits many historic artifacts and stories of Antarctic exploration.
Christchurch International Airport serves as the major base for the Italian and United States Antarctic programs as well as the New Zealand Antarctic programme. The International Antarctic Centre provides both base facilities and a museum and visitor centre focused upon current Antarctic activities. The United States Navy and latterly the United States Air National Guard, augmented by the New Zealand and Australian air forces, use Christchurch Airport as take-off for the main supply route to McMurdo and Scott Bases in Antarctica. The Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) in Christchurch, has more than 140,000 pieces of extreme cold weather (ECW) gear for issue to nearly 2,000 U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) participants in the 2007-08 season.
* Garden and parks;
Parks and nature
The Rialto Cinemas on Moorhouse avenue specialise in international films and art house productions. The Rialto also hosts the majority of the cities various film festivals and is home to the local film society.
The Christchurch Arts Centre includes two art house cinemas, Cloisters and The Academy, screening a wide selection of contemporary, classic and foreign language films.
In 2009 three-screen Metro Cinemas opened in Worcester Street.
There is an active film society in the city.
There are usually buskers around the town square, and Christchurch also hosts the World Buskers Festival in January each year.
In recent movements, hip hop has effectively landed in Christchurch. In 2000, First Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit was held there. And in 2003, Christchurch’s own Scribe, released his debut album in New Zealand and has received five times platinum in that country, in addition to achieving two number one singles.
The Christchurch Town Hall Auditorium (2500 seats, opened 1972) was the first major auditorium design by architects Warren and Mahoney and acousticians Marshall Day. It is still recognised as a model example of concert-hall design. It has an excellent modern pipe organ.
Christchurch also has a Casino, and there are also a wide range of live music venues – some short-lived, others with decades of history. Classical music concerts are held at the Music Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand.
* Queen Elizabeth II Park was built for the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, which Christchurch hosted. It is used primarily as an athletics park, but also contains a newly upgraded swimming pool complex. It has hosted major concerts from bands such as AC/DC and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
* Porritt Park in Avonside and Nunweek Park in Bishopdale are the main hockey venues of the city.
* Westpac Arena in Addington, Christchurch. Once hosted the World Netball Championship and continues to host international basketball and netball games.
* Christchurch has more than a dozen golf courses, and has hosted the PGA Tour of Australasia/Nationwide Tour co-sanctioned Clearwater Classic/NZ PGA Championship at Clearwater Resort since 2002.
* Alpine Ice Arena is home to the Canterbury Red Devils. It has hosted many national and international Ice Hockey tournamets, figure skating and speed skating events. The Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club also play at the arena.
Christchurch has seven sister cities around the world. They are:
* Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
The Canterbury Province
The Canterbury Province was a province of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. On the east coast the province was bounded by the Hurunui River in the north and the Waitaki River in the south. The boundary on the west coast was largely undefined.
The capital of the Province of Canterbury was Christchurch and it was there the Provincial Council sat. Elections were held in 1853 for Superintendent and, later, for the 12 member council. These elections pre-dated any elected national assembly. The franchise was extended to men over the age of 21 who owned property in the province. The council first sat in temporary facilities but later the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings were completed in 1859 to house the council.
In 1868 the West Coast was separated from the Province with the formation of the County of Westland on the West Coast with the boundary line defined as the crest of the Southern Alps. In 1873 the County formed its own Province, the short-lived Westland Province.
In the south the course of the Waitaki River was not known and disputes arose with the Province of Otago over pastoral leases in the inland high country.
In the 1860s South Canterbury made two bids to become separate province but this was rejected by the national government. Instead in 1867 the General Assembly created the Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works which received a proportion of the Canterbury provincial land revenues and was authorised to maintain and build the Timaru harbour and local roads and bridges.
The Canterbury Provincial Railways were eventually absorbed into the New Zealand Railways Department in 1876.
The South Island (Māori: Te Wai Pounamu)
The South Island (Māori: Te Wai Pounamu) is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island.
The South Island is often called 'The Mainland'. Today this expression is used humorously, although still with pride by 'Mainlanders', since while it is a somewhat larger landmass than the North Island. only about a quarter of New Zealand's four million inhabitants live in the South Island. However, in the early stages of European (Pākehā) settlement of the country, the South Island was pre-eminent, with the majority of the European population and wealth focused there due to gold rushes. It was not until the early 20th century that the North Island population overtook the South, with 56% of the population living in the North in 1911.
Ngāti Mamoe were in turn largely absorbed via marriage and conquest by the Ngāi Tahu who migrated south in the seventeenth century. While today there is no distinct Ngati Mamoe organisation, many Ngai Tahu have Ngati Mamoe links in their whakapapa and, especially in the far south of the island.
Around the same time a group of Māori migrated to Rekohu (the Chatham Islands), where, by adapting to the local climate and the availability of resources, they developed a culture known as Moriori — related to but distinct from Māori culture in mainland New Zealand. A notable feature of the Moriori culture, an emphasis on pacifism, proved disadvantageous when Māori warriors arrived in the 1830s aboard a chartered European ship.
The first Europeans known to reach the South Island were the crew of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived in his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen. Tasman anchored in Golden Bay, at the northern end of the island, (he named it Murderers Bay) in December 1642 and sailed northward to Tonga following a clash with local Māori. Tasman sketched sections of the two main islands' west coasts. Tasman called them Staten Landt, after the States-General of the Netherlands, and that name appeared on his first maps of the country. Dutch cartographers changed the name to Nova Zeelandia in Latin, from Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. It was subsequently Anglicised as New Zealand by British naval captain James Cook of HM Bark Endeavour who visited the islands more than 100 years after Tasman during (1769–1770).
In the early 18th century, Ngāi Tahu a Māori tribe who originated on the east coast of the North Island began migrating to the northern part of the South Island. There they and Kāti Mamoe fought Ngāi Tara and Rangitāne in the Wairau Valley. Ngāti Māmoe then ceded the east coast regions north of the Clarence River to Ngāi Tahu. Ngāi Tahu continued to push south, conquering Kaikoura. By the 1730s, Ngāi Tahu had settled in Canterbury, including Banks Peninsula. From there they spread further south and into the West Coast.
In 1827-1828 Ngāti Toa under the leadership of Te Rauparaha successfully attacked Ngāi Tahu at Kaikoura. Ngāti Toa then visited Kaiapoi, ostensibly to trade. When they attacked their hosts, the well-prepared Ngāi Tahu killed all the leading Ngāti Toa chiefs except Te Rauparaha. Te Rauparaha returned to his Kapiti Island stronghold. In November 1830 Te Rauparaha persuaded Captain John Stewart of the brig Elizabeth to carry him and his warriors in secret to Akaroa, where by subterfuge they captured the leading Ngāi Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui, and his wife and daughter. After destroying Te Maiharanui's village they took their captives to Kapiti and killed them. John Stewart, though arrested and sent to trial in Sydney as an accomplice to murder, nevertheless escaped conviction.
In the summer of 1831–1832 Te Rauparaha attacked the Kaiapoi pā (fortified village). After a three-month siege, a fire in the pā allowed Ngāti Toa to overcome it. They then attacked Ngāi Tahu on Banks Peninsula and took the pā at Onawe. In 1832-33 Ngāi Tahu retaliated under the leadership of Tuhawaiki and others, attacking Ngāti Toa at Lake Grassmere. Ngāi Tahu prevailed, and killed many Ngāti Toa, although Te Rauparaha again escaped. Fighting continued for a year or so, with Ngāi Tahu maintaining the upper hand. Ngāti Toa never again made a major incursion into Ngāi Tahu territory.
By 1839 Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Toa established peace and Te Rauparaha released the Ngāi Tahu captives he held. Formal marriages between the leading families in the two tribes sealed the peace.
On 17 June 1843, Māori natives and the British settlers clashed at Wairau in what became known as the Wairau Affray. Also known as the Wairau Massacre in most older texts, it was the first serious clash of arms between the two parties after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the only one to take place in the South Island. Four Māori died and three were wounded in the incident, while among the Europeans the toll was 22 dead and five wounded. Twelve of the Europeans were shot dead or clubbed to death after surrendering to Māori who were pursuing them.
In the 1870s and 1880s, several thousand Chinese men, mostly from the Guangdong province, migrated to New Zealand to work on the South Island goldfields. Although the first Chinese migrants had been invited by the Otago Provincial government they quickly became the target of hostility from white settlers and laws were enacted specifically to discourage them from coming to New Zealand.
Naming and usage
In the 19th century, some maps named the South Island as Middle Island or New Munster, and the name South Island or New Leinster was used for today's Stewart Island/Rakiura. In 1907 the Minister for Lands gave instructions to the Land and Survey Department that the name Middle Island was not to be used in future. 'South Island will be adhered to in all cases'.
The South Island takes the definite article when used as a noun whereas maps, headings or tables and adjectival expressions use South Island. This pattern can be found in a number of other names, such as the United Kingdom, the Vatican and the Internet.
* My mother lives in the South Island
Note also that places are said to be in the South Island rather than on the South Island.
Local government regions
* Tasman District Council (unitary authority)
This is a list of Political parties, past and present, who have their headquarters in the South Island.
The main industry groups within the South Island are manufacturing, agriculture, mining, construction, electricity, gas and water supply, education, health and community services.
Today, the Deloitte South Island Index is compiled quarterly from publicly available information provided by NZX, Unlisted and Bloomberg. It is a summary of the movements in market capitalisation of each South Island based listed company. A company is included in the Index where either its registered office and/or a substantial portion of its operations are focused on the South Island.
There are several South Island based trade union organisations. They are:
The main tourism destinations in the South Island are;
* Nelson and Tasman District
Ski areas and resorts
Passenger services were once extensive. Commuter trains operated multiple routes around Christchurch and Dunedin, plus a service between Invercargill and Bluff. Due to substantial losses, these were cancelled between the late 1960s and early 1980s. The final services to operate ran between Dunedin and Mosgiel, and they ceased in 1982. Regional passenger trains were once extensive, but are now limited to the TranzCoastal from Christchurch to Picton and the TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth. The Southerner between Christchurch and Invercargill, once the flagship of the network, was cancelled on 10 February 2002. Subsequently, the architecturally significant Dunedin Railway Station has been used solely by the TGR's tourist trains, the Taieri Gorge Limited along the Otago Central Railway and the Seasider to Palmerston. Rural passenger services on branch lines were provided by mixed trains and Vulcan/88 seater railcars but the mixeds had largely ceased to exist by the 1950s and the railcars were withdrawn in the mid-1970s.
The South Island saw the final use of steam locomotives in New Zealand. Locomotives belonging to classes long withdrawn elsewhere continued to operate on West Coast branches until the very late 1960s, when they were displaced by DJ class diesels. In comparison to most countries, where steam locomotives were last used on insubstantial rural and industrial operations, the very last services run by steam locomotives were the premier expresses between Christchurch and Invercargill: the South Island Limited until 1970 and the Friday and Sunday night services until 1971. This was due to the carriages being steam-heated. The final steam-hauled service in New Zealand, headed by a member of the JA class, ran on 26 October 1971.
Ports and harbours
* Container ports: Lyttelton (Christchurch), Port Chalmers (Dunedin)
Air transport -- Airport
Most areas have between 600 and 1600 mm of rainfall with the most rain along the West Coast and the least rain on the East Coast, predominantly on the Canterbury Plains. Christchurch is the driest city receiving about 640 mm (25 in) of rain per year.
There are three main factors that influence New Zealand's climate:
Other Native Reserves and Parks
Glaciers: Fox Glacier; Franz Josef Glacier
Rivers: Hokitika River
The South Island has several tertiary level institutions:
West Coast stations
Dunedin and East Otago stations
Queenstown and Central Otago stations
Southland Radio stations
* Basketball: Canterbury Rams, Christchurch Sirens, Nelson Giants and the Otago Nuggets.
International events hosted in the South Island include the National Basketball League, the ANZ Championship netball competition and the Super 14 rugby union competition.
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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