29 Facts About Christchurch


Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region.

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Christchurch is the second-largest city by urban area population in New Zealand, after Auckland.

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The first iwi to settle the area that would later become known as Christchurch were the Waitaha, who migrated to the area in the 16th century.

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Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.

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Christchurch is one of five Antarctic gateway cities, hosting Antarctic support bases for several nations.

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Name of "Christchurch" was agreed on at the first meeting of the Canterbury Association on 27 March 1848.

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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 AD.

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Christchurch became a city by royal charter on 31 July 1856, the first in New Zealand.

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Christchurch was the seat of provincial administration for the Province of Canterbury, which was abolished in 1876.

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Christchurch started to receive a regular supply of electricity from the Lake Coleridge hydroelectric scheme in April 1915 and as a result the first electric lights became operational in Christchurch in May 1915.

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Widespread damage across Christchurch resulted in loss of homes, major buildings and infrastructure.

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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.

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Christchurch has one of the highest-quality water supplies in the world, with its water rated among the purest and cleanest in the world.

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The area around this square and within the Four Avenues of Christchurch is considered to be the central business district of the city.

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Christchurch has a temperate oceanic climate with a mild summer, cool winter, and regular moderate rainfall.

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Christchurch is the second largest manufacturing centre in New Zealand behind Auckland, the sector being the second largest contributor to the local economy, with firms such as Anderson's making steel work for bridges, tunnels, and hydro-electric dams in the early days of infrastructure work.

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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 in the central city there is a statue of Scott sculpted by his widow, Kathleen Scott.

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Christchurch's local government is a democracy with various elements including:.

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Christchurch is covered by seven general electorates and one Maori electorate, each returning one member to the New Zealand House of Representatives.

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Christchurch is a distinctly English city, however it contains various European elements, with strong Gothic Revival architecture.

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All television channels in Christchurch have been broadcast in digital since analogue switch-off on 28 April 2013.

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Christchurch has one full-time professional theatre, the Court Theatre, founded in 1971.

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Alongside the Court is the co-operative and experimental Free Theatre Christchurch, established in 1979 and based in the Arts Centre from 1982, and Showbiz Christchurch, an incorporated society established in 1938 and primarily producing musical theatre.

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Christchurch is a home for the experimental music scene of New Zealand.

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Independent Christchurch based radio station Pulzar FM is one of the few radio stations in New Zealand that plays Drum and Bass during the day.

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Christchurch has a casino, and there are a wide range of live music venues – some short-lived, others with decades of history.

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Christchurch is home to the fourth largest school in New Zealand, co-educational state school Burnside High School, with 2393 pupils.

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Christchurch has an extensive bus network with bus routes serving most areas of the city and satellite towns.

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Up until 1989, electricity distribution and retailing in Christchurch was the responsibility of four entities: the Christchurch City Council Municipal Electricity Department, Riccarton Electricity, the Port Hills Energy Authority, and the Central Canterbury Electric Power Board.

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