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Christchurch

Largest city in the South Island of New Zealand

Top 10 Christchurch related articles

Christchurch

Ōtautahi (Māori)
Clockwise from top: City skyline, Christchurch Central City, Sumner Beach, aerial view of Hagley Park, New Regent Street
Nickname(s): 
The Garden City
Motto(s): 
Fide Condita Fructu Beata Spe Fortis
English:
Founded in Faith, Rich in the Fulfillment thereof, Strong in Hope for the Future
Christchurch
Christchurch
Coordinates: 43°31′48″S 172°37′13″E / 43.53000°S 172.62028°E / -43.53000; 172.62028Coordinates: 43°31′48″S 172°37′13″E / 43.53000°S 172.62028°E / -43.53000; 172.62028
CountryNew Zealand
IslandSouth Island
RegionCanterbury
Territorial authorityChristchurch City Council
WardsBanks Peninsula
Burwood
Cashmere
Central
Coastal
Fendalton
Halswell
Harewood
Heathcote
Hornby
Innes
Linwood
Papanui
Riccarton
Spreydon
Waimairi
Settled by the UK1848
Named forChrist Church, Oxford
NZ ParliamentBanks Peninsula
Christchurch Central
Christchurch East
Ilam
Selwyn
Waimakariri
Wigram
Te Tai Tonga (Māori)
Government
 • MayorLianne Dalziel
 • MPs
Area
 • Territorial1,426 km2 (551 sq mi)
 • Urban
295.15 km2 (113.96 sq mi)
Elevation20 m (70 ft)
Population
 (June 2020)[3]
 • Territorial394,700
 • Density280/km2 (720/sq mi)
 • Urban
383,200
 • Urban density1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
 • Demonym
Cantabrian
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Postcode(s)
8011, 8013, 8014, 8022, 8023, 8024, 8025, 8041, 8042, 8051, 8052, 8053, 8061, 8062, 8081, 8082, 8083
Area code(s)03
Local iwiNgāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe
Websitechristchurchnz.com
High, Manchester and Lichfield Streets in Christchurch, 1923

Christchurch (/ˈkrsɜːr/ KREYESS-church; Māori: Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. The urban area is home to 383,200 residents,[3] and the territorial authority has 394,700 people,[3] which makes it the second-most populous city in New Zealand after Auckland and before Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

Archaeological evidence has indicated that people first settled in the Christchurch area in about 1250. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. The Canterbury Association, which settled the Canterbury Plains, named the city after Christ Church, Oxford. The new settlement was laid out in a grid pattern centred on Cathedral Square; during the 19th century there were few barriers to the rapid growth of the urban area, except for the Pacific to the east and the Port Hills to the south.

Agriculture is the historic mainstay of Christchurch's economy. The early presence of the University of Canterbury and the heritage of the city's academic institutions in association with local businesses has fostered a number of technology-based industries. Christchurch is one of five 'gateway cities' for Antarctic exploration, hosting Antarctic support bases for several nations.[4]

The city suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and January 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage. By late 2013, 1,500 buildings in the city had been demolished, leading to an ongoing recovery and rebuilding project. The city later became the site of a terrorist attack targeting two mosques on 15 March 2019, in which 51 people were killed, and which was described by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Christchurch Intro articles: 11

Names

The name of "Christchurch" was agreed on at the first meeting of the Canterbury Association on 27 March 1848. It was suggested by founder John Robert Godley, whose alma mater was Christ Church, University of Oxford.[5]

The Māori name Ōtautahi ("the place of Tautahi") was adopted in the 1930s; originally it was the name of a specific site by the Avon River (near present-day Kilmore Street).[6] The site was a seasonal dwelling of Ngāi Tahu chief Te Potiki Tautahi, whose main home was Port Levy on Banks Peninsula. Prior to that the Ngāi Tahu generally referred to the Christchurch area as Karaitiana,[7] a transliteration of the English word Christian.

"ChCh" is sometimes used as an abbreviation of "Christchurch".

Christchurch Names articles: 6

History

Māori settlement

Archaeological evidence found in a cave at Redcliffs in 1876 has indicated that the Christchurch area was first settled by moa-hunting tribes about 1250 CE. These first inhabitants were thought to have been followed by the Waitaha iwi, who are said to have migrated from the East coast of the North Island in the 16th century. Following tribal warfare, the Waitaha (made of three peoples) were dispossessed by the Ngāti Māmoe iwi. They were in turn subjugated by the Ngāi Tahu iwi, who remained in control until the arrival of European settlers.

European settlement

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 brothers William and John Deans[8] in 1843 who stayed. The First Four Ships were chartered by the Canterbury Association and brought the first 792 of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton Harbour. These sailing vessels were the Randolph, Charlotte Jane, Sir George Seymour, and Cressy. The Charlotte Jane was the first to arrive on 16 December 1850. The Canterbury Pilgrims had aspirations of building a city around a cathedral and college, on the model of Christ Church in Oxford.[9]

The name "Christ Church" was decided prior to the ships' arrival, at the Association's first meeting, on 27 March 1848. The exact basis for the name is not known. It has been suggested that it is named for Christchurch, in Dorset, England; for Canterbury Cathedral; or in honour of Christ Church, Oxford. The last explanation is the one generally accepted.[5]

At the request of the Deans brothers – whose farm was the earliest European settlement in the area – the river was named after the River Avon in Scotland, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near to where their grandfather's farm was located.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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 Avon Heathcote 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 built through the Port Hills to Lyttelton, opening in 1867.[13]

ChristChurch Cathedral (pictured in the c. 1880s) was constructed between 1864 and 1904.

Christchurch became a city by royal charter on 31 July 1856, the first in New Zealand. Many of the city's Gothic Revival 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. Christchurch buildings were damaged by earthquakes in 1869, 1881 and 1888.[14]

1900–2000

First ever aerial photograph of Christchurch taken by Leslie Hinge, 1918

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.[15]

The Lyttelton road tunnel between Lyttelton and Christchurch was opened in 1964.[16]

Christchurch hosted the 1974 British Commonwealth Games.

Modern history

2010–2012 earthquakes

The collapsed Pyne Gould Building. Thirty of the building's two hundred workers were trapped within the building following the February 2011 earthquake.[17]

On Saturday 4 September 2010, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Christchurch and the central Canterbury region at 4:35 am. With its epicentre near Darfield, west of the city at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), it caused widespread damage to the city and minor injuries, but no direct fatalities.[18][19]

Nearly six months later on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a second earthquake measuring magnitude 6.3 struck the city at 12:51 pm. Its epicentre was located closer to the city, near Lyttelton at a depth of 5 km (3 mi).[20] Although lower on the moment magnitude scale than the previous earthquake, the intensity and violence of the ground shaking was measured to be IX (Violent), among the strongest ever recorded globally in an urban area[21] and 185 people were killed.[22][23] People from more than 20 countries were among the victims.[24] The city's ChristChurch Cathedral was severely damaged and lost its spire.[25][26] The collapse of the CTV Building resulted in the majority of fatalities. Widespread damage across Christchurch resulted in loss of homes, major buildings and infrastructure. Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, and the total cost to insurers of rebuilding has been estimated at NZ$20–30 billion.[27][28]

There were continuing aftershocks for some time, with 4,558 above a magnitude 3.0 recorded in the Canterbury region from 4 September 2010 to 3 September 2014.[29] Particularly large events on 13 June 2011,[30] 23 December 2011,[31][32][33] and 2 January 2012[34] all caused further damage and minor injuries; but no further deaths. Following the earthquakes over 1500 buildings in the city had been demolished or partly demolished by September 2013.[35]

Cherry blossom trees in Spring bloom and a historic water wheel, located on a small island in the Avon River at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Hereford Street, in the city centre

The city experienced rapid growth following the earthquakes. A Christchurch Central Recovery Plan guides rebuilding in the central city. There has been massive growth in the residential sector, with around 50,000 new houses expected to be constructed in the Greater Christchurch area by 2028 as outlined in the Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP).

2013 to 2018

On 13 February 2017, two bush fires started on the Port Hills. These merged over the next two days and the single very large wild fire extended down both sides of the Port Hill almost reaching Governors Bay in the south-west, and the Westmorland, Kennedys Bush, and Dyers Pass Road almost down to the Sign of the Takahe. Eleven houses were destroyed by fire, over one thousand residents were evacuated from their homes, and over 2,076 hectares (5,130 acres) of land was burned.[36]

2019 terrorist attacks

Fifty-one people died from two consecutive terrorist attacks at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre by an Australian white supremacist carried out on 15 March 2019.[37][38][39][40][41] Forty others were injured.[42] The attacks have been described by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".[43] On 2 June 2020, the attacker pleaded guilty to multiple charges of murder, attempted murder, and terrorism.[44][45] On 27 August, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, the first time such a sentence was handed down in New Zealand.[46][47][48]

Christchurch History articles: 56

Geography

Satellite image showing Christchurch and surrounding areas.
View of the Christchurch region from the International Space Station.

Christchurch lies in Canterbury, near the centre of the east coast of the South Island, east of the Canterbury Plains. It is located near the southern end of Pegasus Bay, and is bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean coast and the estuary of the Avon and Heathcote Rivers. To the south and south-east the urban portion of the city is limited by the volcanic slopes of the Port Hills separating it from Banks Peninsula. To the north the city is bounded by the braided Waimakariri River.

Christchurch is one of a group of only four current cities in the world to have been carefully planned following the same layout of a central city square, four complementing city squares surrounding it and a parklands area that embrace the city centre. The first city built with this pattern was Philadelphia. Later came Savannah and Adelaide, before Christchurch.[49]

Christchurch has one of the highest-quality water supplies in the world, with its water rated among the purest and cleanest in the world.[50] Untreated, naturally filtered water is sourced, via more than 50 pumping stations surrounding the city, from aquifers emanating from the foothills of the Southern Alps.[51]

Central City

Worcester Street and Cathedral Square from the Cathedral
July snowfall on Cobham Intermediate School grounds

At the city's centre is Cathedral Square, surrounding the now-earthquake-damaged – landmark Anglican cathedral, Christ Church. The area around this square and within the Four Avenues of Christchurch (Bealey Avenue, Fitzgerald Avenue, Moorhouse Avenue and Deans Avenue[52]) is considered to be the central business district (CBD) of the city. The central city also has a number of residential areas, including Inner City East, Inner City West, Avon Loop, Moa Neighbourhood and Victoria, but many of the residential buildings in the CBD were demolished following the February 2011 earthquakes. Cathedral Square is located at the crossing of two major central streets, Colombo Street and Worcester Street.

Cathedral Square, the heart of the city, hosted attractions such as (until the February 2011 earthquake)[53] the Wizard of New Zealand, Ian Brackenbury Channell, and evangelist Ray Comfort; regular market days; free standing food and coffee carts; an aquarium, pubs and restaurants and the city's chief tourist information centre. it is expected that activities in Cathedral Square will increase as the rebuild progresses. The Wizard of New Zealand now operates from New Regent Street.[54]

The central city also includes the pedestrianised sections of Cashel and High streets commonly known pre-earthquakes as 'City Mall'. Refurbished in 2008/09 the mall featured especially designed seating, flower and garden boxes, more trees, paving, and an extension to the central city tram route. The tram route extension was nearly complete when the February 2011 earthquake struck. Following the earthquakes, most buildings in Cashel Mall were demolished. A shopping area called Re:START opened on Cashel Street adjacent to Ballantyne's Department Store in October 2011. The Re:START mall was made of colourful shipping containers that were converted to house retail stores. The Bridge of Remembrance commemorating war dead stands at the western end of the mall, was repaired rededicated on Anzac Day, Monday 25 April 2016.[55][56]

The Cultural Precinct[57] provided a backdrop to a vibrant scene of ever-changing arts, cultural, and heritage attractions within an area of less than one square kilometre. The Arts Centre, the Canterbury Museum and the Art Gallery are located in the Cultural Precinct. The majority of the activities were free and a printable map was provided. There areas are slowly being reopened follow earthquake repair and strengthening work.

In 2010, the Christchurch City Council released "A City For People Action Plan", a programme of work through to 2022 to improve public spaces within the central city to entice more inner city residents and visitors. A primary action was to reduce the impact of motorised private vehicles and increase the comfort of pedestrians and cyclists. The plan was based on a report prepared for the council by renowned Danish design firm Gehl Architects. Since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Wellington architect Ian Athfield has been selected to re-plan, although many varied suggestions have been promoted for rebuilding the central city.[58][59][60][61]

The Central City, which was fully closed off following 22 February earthquake, opened in stages and was fully reopened in June 2013; although there were still some streets closed off due to earthquake damage, infrastructure repair work, and damaged buildings.[62]

Inner suburbs

(clockwise, starting north of the city centre)

Outer suburbs

(clockwise, starting north of the city centre)

Satellite towns

Climate

Christchurch
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
44
 
 
22
12
 
 
44
 
 
22
12
 
 
53
 
 
20
10
 
 
53
 
 
17
7
 
 
63
 
 
14
4
 
 
59
 
 
11
1
 
 
63
 
 
11
1
 
 
58
 
 
12
2
 
 
42
 
 
15
4
 
 
48
 
 
17
6
 
 
48
 
 
19
8
 
 
50
 
 
21
11
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Christchurch has a temperate oceanic climate with a mild summer, cool winter, and regular moderate rainfall. It has mean daily maximum air temperatures of 22.5 °C (73 °F) in January and 11.3 °C (52 °F) in July.[63] Under the Köppen climate classification, Christchurch has an oceanic climate (Cfb). Summer in the city is mostly warm but is often moderated by a sea breeze from the Northeast. A record temperature of 41.6 °C (107 °F) was reached in February 1973. A notable feature of the weather is the nor'wester, a hot föhn wind that occasionally reaches storm force, causing widespread minor damage to property.[64] Like many cities, Christchurch experiences an urban heat island effect; temperatures are slightly higher within the inner city regions compared to the surrounding countryside.[65]

In winter it is common for the temperature to fall below 0 °C (32 °F) at night. There are on average 80 days of ground frost per year.[66] Snowfalls occur on average three times per year, although in some years no snowfall is recorded.[67] The coldest temperature recorded was −7.1 °C (19 °F) on 18 July 1945, the third lowest recorded temperature of New Zealand's major cities.[67][68]

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.[69] While not as bad as smog in Los Angeles or Mexico City, Christchurch smog has often exceeded World Health Organisation recommendations for air pollution. To limit air pollution, the regional council banned the use of open fires in the city in 2006.[70] In 2008 council prohibited the use of woodburners more than 15 years old, while making funding available to upgrade domestic home heating systems.

Climate data for Christchurch Airport (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.1
(98.8)
41.6
(106.9)
35.9
(96.6)
29.9
(85.8)
27.3
(81.1)
22.5
(72.5)
22.4
(72.3)
22.8
(73.0)
26.2
(79.2)
30.1
(86.2)
32.0
(89.6)
36.0
(96.8)
41.6
(106.9)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 31.0
(87.8)
31.4
(88.5)
28.7
(83.7)
25.4
(77.7)
22.1
(71.8)
20.3
(68.5)
18.2
(64.8)
19.7
(67.5)
22.3
(72.1)
25.0
(77.0)
27.2
(81.0)
29.8
(85.6)
33.9
(93.0)
Average high °C (°F) 22.6
(72.7)
21.9
(71.4)
20.3
(68.5)
17.4
(63.3)
14.3
(57.7)
11.7
(53.1)
10.9
(51.6)
12.4
(54.3)
14.8
(58.6)
16.9
(62.4)
18.9
(66.0)
21.1
(70.0)
16.9
(62.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.3
(63.1)
16.8
(62.2)
15.0
(59.0)
11.9
(53.4)
9.0
(48.2)
6.4
(43.5)
5.7
(42.3)
7.2
(45.0)
9.3
(48.7)
11.4
(52.5)
13.5
(56.3)
15.8
(60.4)
11.6
(52.9)
Average low °C (°F) 11.9
(53.4)
11.6
(52.9)
9.6
(49.3)
6.5
(43.7)
3.7
(38.7)
1.1
(34.0)
0.6
(33.1)
2.0
(35.6)
3.9
(39.0)
6.0
(42.8)
8.0
(46.4)
10.5
(50.9)
6.3
(43.3)
Mean minimum °C (°F) 5.0
(41.0)
4.6
(40.3)
2.3
(36.1)
−0.1
(31.8)
−1.9
(28.6)
−4.7
(23.5)
−4.9
(23.2)
−3.7
(25.3)
−2.3
(27.9)
−0.7
(30.7)
0.1
(32.2)
3.7
(38.7)
−5.3
(22.5)
Record low °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
1.5
(34.7)
−0.2
(31.6)
−4.0
(24.8)
−6.4
(20.5)
−7.2
(19.0)
−6.8
(19.8)
−6.7
(19.9)
−4.4
(24.1)
−4.2
(24.4)
−2.6
(27.3)
0.1
(32.2)
−7.2
(19.0)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 35.9
(1.41)
43.0
(1.69)
45.8
(1.80)
44.2
(1.74)
57.7
(2.27)
57.6
(2.27)
64.7
(2.55)
62.1
(2.44)
40.8
(1.61)
48.9
(1.93)
46.3
(1.82)
46.8
(1.84)
593.8
(23.38)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 5.9 5.4 6.3 6.7 7.8 8.0 8.2 7.3 6.1 6.9 6.6 7.1 82.3
Average relative humidity (%) (at 9 am) 72.5 79.0 80.9 83.9 86.3 87.2 87.8 85.8 78.7 73.9 70.5 71.3 79.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 237.9 195.0 191.2 162.6 139.7 117.1 127.1 153.9 169.5 203.8 223.7 219.9 2,141.4
Percent possible sunshine 51 49 50 50 47 44 44 48 48 50 51 46 48
Source 1: CliFlo[71]
Source 2: Time and Date (potential monthly daylight hours)[72][73]

Christchurch Geography articles: 121