Christchurch and Canterbury

16 September 1864
Opening of second Town Hall, built of stone next to the first hall in High Street.

The old town halls, High Street, Christchurch  [between 1864 and 1882] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0020

The old town halls, High Street, Christchurch
[between 1864 and 1882]
File Reference CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0020

18 September 1980
Theatre Royal bought by Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation to be renovated and preserved as a theatre.

19 September 1865
South Island Separation Bill defeated in Parliament by 31 votes to 17. Find out more in Papers Past, including report on the Separation Debate, Daily Southern Cross, 21 September 1865.

19 September 1904
Naxos searchConcert by pianist Jan Paderewski. He later became Prime Minister of Poland. Read Bernice’s blog post on President Paderewski.

20 September 1916
Canterbury Aviation Company founded by Henry (later Sir Henry) Wigram. Read The First hundred pilots – a brief history by Henry Wigram recounting its beginnings.

21 September 1867
Trout introduced from Tasmania. The ova were reared in special covered ponds built in Hagley Park next to the hospital. Salmon were introduced a year later.

More September events in the Chronology.

19 September 1893 – women in New Zealand got the vote.
Kate Sheppard Memorial

Kate Sheppard Memorial

On 19 September 1993 this Christchurch landmark – the Kate Sheppard Memorial – was unveiled. Kia ora to all the women who fought so hard for us to get the vote. Here are the women celebrated on the Memorial:

Photo of Helen Nicol's memorial
Helen Nicol
who pioneered the women’s franchise campaign in Dunedin.
Photo of Kate Sheppard's memorial
Kate Sheppard of Christchurch
, the leader of the suffrage campaign.

Photo of Ada Well's memorial
Ada Wells
of Christchurch who campaigned vigorously for equal educational opportunities for girls and women.

Photo of Harriet Morison's memorial
Harriet Morison
of Dunedin, vice president of the Tailoresses’ Union and a powerful advocate for working women.

Photo of Meri Te Tai Mangakahia's memorial
Meri Te Tai Mangakahia of Taitokerau who requested the vote for women from the Kotahitanga Māori Parliament.

Photo of Amey Daldy's memorial
Amey Daldy, a foundation member of the Auckland WCTU and president of the Auckland Franchise League.

Another group of leaders are Christchurch’s own Women in the Council Chamber and we have brief political audio biographies on Ada Wells, Elizabeth McCombs, the famed Mabel Howard as well as more recent councillors.

Our collection of Unsung heroines highlights local identities. These women were characters in all senses of the word. Bella Button – famed for her horseriding prowess – trained cats to jump like horses. Lizzie Coker, of Coker’s Hotel fame, was remembered as a ‘fantastic creature in elaborate wigs and huge fur coats’.

Other things to explore:

  • A brief diary written on board the Tintern Abbey en route from Gravesend to Christchurch, December 1874 – May 1875 by Mary Anne McCrystal, 1849-1929.
  • Ngaio Marsh – one of Canterbury’s most famous authors.
  • Elsie Locke – one of our Canterbury Heroes, her plaque reads ‘Political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, determined and doughty fighter for the rights of the under-dog, active to the end’.

Our suffrage related stuff

More on votes for women

What did our local newspaper The Press report about women getting the right to vote on 19 September 1893?
Now that Papers Past has The Press digitised for our pleasure we can find out!

It will be an evil day for New Zealand if the female agitators are alone to vote. Why, when I see some of these voluable persons, whom I have the pleasure of knowing, I involuntarily bolt into the nearest shop for safety. What will happen to the State if these join their votes with the hysterical male women who desire to control this demented colony, I tremble to depict.

Letter to the editor, Volume L, Issue 8591, 19 September 1893

20 September 1893 copy of The Press

Women’s Franchise: 20 September 1893. Volume L, Issue 8592

It was passed by a House, the majority of whose members are in their hearts opposed to the change. It has been forced upon the colony, the majority of the electors in which are opposed to the revolution. It has, finally, been forced upon the women of New Zealand, although the majority of them do not want the franchise, and have made no claims to obtain the privilege.

A telegram from Premier Richard Seddon to Kate Sheppard and the Executive of the W.C.T.U.:

Electoral Bill assented to by his Excellency the Governor at quarter to twelve. “I trust now that all doubts as to the sincerity of the Government in this very important matter has been effectually resolved”.

The face of New Zealand is changing. Made up of 213 ethnicities, we’re one of the most diverse nations in the world. Spearheaded by the huge rise in migrant workers and refugees, our diversity offers opportunities and challenges.

Human Rights Commission

Christchurch City Libraries values and embraces diversity. On 24 and 25 August, a number of our staff attended the New Zealand Diversity Forum held at the University of Canterbury to share experiences and to learn and reflect.

The not-so-good news:

“In principle New Zealanders are inclusive, but in practice they make distinctions among different groups. They discriminate in subtle and not-so-subtle ways in the market and other domains. New Zealanders hide their prejudices in institutions that give them plausible deniability of racism, or they express their prejudices in an anonymous setting.

We are people that have good in our hearts, but often struggle to do what is right, especially in specific situations where we can hide behind institutional procedures or local norms.”

Prof. James Liu, Centre of Applied Cross-Cultural Research, Victoria University of Wellington

The good news:

Our bicultural kaupapa (policy and philosophy) can help.

  • Inspector Rakesh Naidoo (South African-born, of Indian descent), National Strategic Ethnic Advisor for the New Zealand Police, acknowledged the support he received from his Māori and Pasifika colleagues upon his arrival in Christchurch and how this helped with his settlement.
  • Te Marie Tau from the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre emphasised the importance of nurturing the people while we are rebuilding the city. He also talked about Manaakitanga (hospitality) and Whakawhanaungatanga (the process of establishing relationships) to ensure we don’t lose sight of our everyday needs.

Snapshots from the Forum

Here are some snapshots from our staff who attended the Forum:

Jo Yang (Network Library Assistant)

“I received such a powerful message from the forum and learnt that diversity is a resource that should be utilized for the betterment of New Zealand. It is a resource like no other where people find themselves learning new ideas from different societies and cultures. A fuel that could help rebuild Christchurch. I met many new faces who had travelled from other cities as well as finding familiar faces – customers at our libraries.

Through this forum, I believe I have gained an asset by learning a new ideology of being thankful that my job is helping to bridge the gap between diversity and connecting unique people through the library… Next year, you should attend!”

Barbara Purcell (Fendalton Library)

“There were several highlights at the diversity forum for me. The first was at the beginning when 13 people from different faiths each contributed a different flower into a vase. Each flower was different in colour, scent, form etc., as are people from diverse cultures. It was a great visual representation of diversity.

The Digital Natives presentation was given by a group of young people who had been attending the Inspiring Leaders Conference that weekend. They spoke about how they used social media as “word of mouth” and saw this as one of the strongest drivers of action. Examples given were the James Brown case in the US and the plight of the Yazidi girls captured by ISIS and sold as sex slaves for $10 each. One young person was developing an App to match volunteers with organisations needing volunteers based on their interest and commitment level. Another was developing a programme called FoodWeb where charities and communities would recognise via social media businesses who donated food to them. These young people, mostly around 18 years of age, were truly inspiring.

The BNZ’s Annie Brown spoke of the programmes, services and employment opportunities they have developed to increase not only ethnic diversity in their organisation but also gender equity: flexible working hours, including compressed working weeks and job sharing, and promoting Māori employment at the BNZ by partnering with Ngāi Tahu through a Cadetship programme.”

Susan Smit (Central Library Peterborough)

“The Forum was a great opportunity to meet lots of interesting people from many cultures and backgrounds. It was quite nice for a change to hear so many others speak with a different accent.

Diversity in Action Poster It was also awesome to see our interactive display which featured some of our staff profiles and relevant materials about diversity in action at Christchurch City Libraries. Comments were that people didn’t realise how diverse our staff is and that we had so many different language collections, which were featured by a wall of covers from the Maori, Pasifika and world languages collections.

It is hard to select which sessions stood out most for me, but here are some of my highlights, including the best quotes:

  • Professor James Liu: ‘NZ has a unique strength of biculturalism which is embedded in history that nowadays co-exists with multiculturalism.’
  • From the winning speech of a young Vietnamese Kiwi: ‘If you are aware of racism, to do a little is better than nothing. Have a conscious mind and be friendly. One grain of rice can tip the scale.’
  • Lianne Dalziel: ‘Don’t treat migrant workers as second hand citizens.’
  • The young adults at the Youth Forum who made the audience stand up. Phrases were read out and people were asked to sit down if any of these applied to them. The situations varied from ‘have you ever been ridiculed because of your appearance, accent, sexual preference’ etc., to ‘have you had to flee your home country’. It was an impressive exercise and at the end only 3 people were still standing from about 200.
  • Mike Bush, Commissioner of Police: ‘NZ police force will be joining the Gay Parade in February 2015 in uniform.’ This drew big applauses from the audience and my own mumbled comment that this was about time.
  • A guy from the Race Relations Commission who started his speech in German and assumed that no one had understood his intro (bar one…)

There was also an interesting discussion about the definition of diversity. It has a wider meaning than just a cultural issue as it also includes sexual orientation and gender awareness.”

Find out more:

E koekoe te tui
E ketekete te kākā
E kūkū te kererū
The tui chatters
The parrot gabbles
The wood pigeon coos
“it takes all kinds of people…”

My neighbours are doing it. Michelle Obama is doing it. They’re keeping bees! The National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand is highlighting the importance of bees, and this month is Bee Aware Month.

Bees around the world are in trouble. A world without bees would be a very bleak place indeed. Much of our food depends on pollination by bees as do our gardens and a lot of other products we rely on. Over $5 billion of New Zealand’s agricultural exports also depend on bees. Bee numbers worldwide are in decline and we must do all that we can to save them before it’s too late.

Cover of Practical Beekeeping in New ZealandSo how can you help? Easy ways you can give these hardworkers a happy life include planting bee friendly plants, and being careful when using pesticides in your garden, or better still stopping using them altogether.

You could also start your own hive. The Beekeepers’ Association has helpful information, and in Christchurch you can now rent a hive and have someone else come and do all the work for you. The library of course has a large number of beekeeping titles that will help make your garden and your hive a bee mecca.

Don’t forget also to check CINCH for contact details of beekeeping clubs.

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival featured two people who have worked hard to dissect the issues of poverty and inequality in New Zealand – political scientist Dr Bronwyn Hayward and journalist and author Max Rashbrooke.

Cover of InequalityBoth have recently had books published on these topics and provided some interesting insights about the nature of inequality and poverty in NZ.

Unless you have been hangin’ with the Taliban in a cave somewhere in the arid Afghani wilderness, you’ve probably been hearing lots about the political and economic topics of Poverty and Inequality in New Zealand. Particularly Child Poverty.

Poverty and Inequality are labels which Kiwis probably never thought would be applied to economic and social life in our precious little liberal democracy here in the South Pacific, besides, as long as we have alcohol, rugby, league, cricket, Richie McCaw, hair straighteners and sunny summers, then everything else just seamlessly plops into place right? Well, um, no. Not really.

The reality of inequality in New Zealand is a bitter pill to swallow, and after years of seeing the adverts of aid organizations on TV depicting skinny and deprived children born into environments of famine or conflict (or both) throughout the world, people seem to find it insulting to hear we have poverty here.

Maybe whoever started the discourse on poverty should have given it another more palatable title, like, um, Chronic Economic Deprivation, or Ongoing Financial Insufficiency, but chances are people wouldn’t accept this either. Perhaps its because poverty and inequality are hard things to define and measure , and we can probably blame academics for providing too many working definitions with no continuity. However, one place to start is with the assertion that in the last 30 years in New Zealand, “incomes for people at the top 10% have doubled, while those at the lowest end have barely increased” according to Max Rashbrooke’s website

Cover of Children, citizenship, and environmentBoth Dr Hayward and Mr Rashbrooke point out that much of what we see now in terms of inequality can be traced back to around 30 years ago, when we were told by various economists that “a rising tide will lift all boats”. Basically, the Labour Government, under the financial direction of Finance Minister Roger Douglas, drove us into an era of “Neo-Liberalism” (or “Rogernomics”) which “rolled back the State” with a program of deregulation, the removal of government subsidies and tariffs to various sectors of the economy (such as agriculture), and other key changes.

One significant change was to reduce the marginal tax rate from 66 cents in the dollar to 33, and as taxes were cut for the top earners in the country (with those at the bottom paying more via GST etc) we were hoping that those enjoying the “rising tide”, such as businesses and top earners paying less tax and facing less outgoings, would have more money to throw around and people at the bottom end would be employed and paid more as a result. However, income disparity and inequality has arguably increased ever since.

Both Dr Hayward and Mr Rashbrooke contend that the issues we are facing now in New Zealand (and other parts of the world) are fundamentally manifestations of these “neo-liberal” economic policies, and that there are two key dimensions to the inequality/poverty issue:

A. People have less to live on than ever, and everyone in society is paying the price regardless of how well off you are, due to crime and mental, emotional and physical health issues which affect us all.

B, richer people with more discretionary income enjoy a higher degree of political agency than the rest of us because they have more time, money, resources and connections through which they push their economic and social preferences at us all via lobbying government.

Its hard to get a clear picture on all this, as there are a plethora of indicators and measures relating to the subjects of poverty and inequality in New Zealand, however, some findings do suggest there was some positive change in NZ for a period, which some political and economic commentators point to as progress, confusing us all the more.

Key findings about income according to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD)

From a longer term perspective, median incomes fell in real terms from the late 1980s to a low point in 1994, and have been steadily rose at an average of 2.5% pa. By 2001, the median income had just returned to its 1988 levels.

According to the MSD, from 2001 to 2007 median household incomes rose 14% in real terms, but interestingly, from 2004 to 2007 “incomes for low to middle income households rose much more quickly than incomes for higher income households”

The MSD goes on to state that on all measures, the poverty rates for children declined from 2004 to 2007.

- The child poverty rate fell from 23% in 2004 to 16% in 2007. This reduction continued a downward trend that began in 1994 (35%), stalled from 1998 to 2001 and has continued downward from 2001 (29%) to 2007 (16%).

- Poverty rates for children in families with at least one adult in paid employment almost halved (from 15% to 8%) from 2004 to 2007, while for children in families with no adult in paid employment the rate remained steady at close to 60%

- In 2004, of all children identified as poor, around half were from households where at least one adult was in full-time paid employment – in 2007, this proportion had dropped to just over a third.

- Poverty rates for children in sole parent households fell from 56% to 49%, and for children in two parent households the rate almost halved, from 17% to 9%.

Interestingly, reported information from other OECD countries shows that with the child poverty rate for New Zealand being around 15.1%, New Zealand has a ranking of 20th out of 30 countries, a rate a little above the OECD median (12%) and similar to that of Ireland, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Which leads us to another thing.

New Zealand entered into recession in 2007/8 before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). So, in a way we arguably led the world in economic mismanagement. Further to that, according to the NZ Treasury’s 2008 Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update, the effects of the GFC started to set in to the New Zealand economy. And then there were the Canterbury earthquakes. So, the perfect economic and social storm began to ferment over N.Z., and the economy and the citizens which dwell therein have been layered and laced with economic hardship for which few of us, or our government, seemed prepared. This caused the progress in poverty and gains in the median household income (which fell by 3% in the space of a year in 201-2011) to go backward according to the MSD, and this at the worst possible time when the price of many key essentials (housing, food, petrol) has gone up markedly in a small space of time, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Therefore, while there is debate about the nature of economic deprivation in NZ, what has become clear is that despite fluctuations in household incomes over the years, when Kiwi households do experience (internal/external) financial and economic shocks, poorer households are not insulated from such problems in the same way that the rich are. And it doesn’t take long for things to go sour for many of us.

For a more in depth picture of what’s going on, be sure to check out Bronwyn Hayward’s and Max Rashbrooke’s books and other works.

Key links

Bronwyn Hayward – Children, Citizenship and Environment

Max Rashbrooke Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis



Christchurch street and place names is our treasure of a resource by local history expert Margaret Harper. You can use it to explore the history of local streets and places, and uncover how they got their names:

She had some tips from the latest update:

Cover of The First 100 pilots

The Canterbury Aviation (N.Z.) Co.: the first hundred pilots [1918]

Wigram Skies

Many streets have been recently named after the first pilots trained at the Sockburn Flying School. See Gattrell Drive  – named after Air Commodore Gartrell who was Commanding Officer at Wigram from December 1965 to January 1966. (See our digitised resource The Canterbury Aviation (N.Z.) Co.: the first hundred pilots).

Morse Road

Morse Road in Wigram was named after Hori George Alfred Morse (1897-1983). Morse is listed in The Canterbury Aviation (N.Z.) Co.: the first hundred pilots. Morse was a student of Bignell Street, Wanganui. He graduated from the Canterbury Flying School on 17 May 1918. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 1924:

At Adelaide he caught up with the Medic, and, going aboard, found Mrs. Hunter with a group of other passengers. She did not receive him too warmly, but, at his request, accompanied him on to the wharf, where, at the end of one of the goods sheds. He shot her dead with a revolver which he afterwards turned upon himself. Morse’s account of the shooting was that he always carried his revolver, which, while he was showing it to Mrs. Hunter, went off accidentally.

Tall, slim and boyish, he has a countenance of almost beauty. There is nothing of the accepted criminal type about his face, and his Handsome features suggest rather the poet or the artist, than the reckless airman, or devil-maycare soldier of fortune that his record makes him. He has a knack of making and keeping friends, and m Adelaide there are some who are not ashamed to admit their love for the condemned man.

New Zealander In Death Cell. Was The Shot Accidental? Former Wanganui Boy Condemned For Shooting His Ex-Paramour Hori’s Many-Colored Career —Loyalty Of Friends Under Shadow Of Gallows. NZ Truth , Issue 971, 5 July 1924, Page 6:

Ellerton and Jameson Avenue

This was the Wizard’s house. Through it I was able to correct Jameson Avenue which I had thought was named after an early Christchurch mayor but in fact was named after his son who was the owner of Ellerton. (see Lost Christchurch)

A wooden two-storey building on McFaddens Road. Albert Bullock (1833-1902), a gentleman, and his wife, Elizabeth Jane Mary Bullock owned the property from the 1890s. Albert is first listed in street directories living there in 1896. Following his death at Ellerton in 1902, Mrs Bullock returned to England and the property was bought by George Jameson (1850-1934), a prominent businessman. He lived there with his wife Agnes (1855?-1924) Ellerton was later the home of the Wizard, Ian Brackenbury Channell, and his fiancée, Alice Flett. It was destroyed in a suspicious fire on 8 September 2003.
Jameson Avenuewas named after George Jameson. For a time he was secretary and general manager of the New Zealand Co-operative Association in

Christchurch. His father James Purvis Jameson (1824-1896) was the mayor of Christchurch in 1871.

The Militia List

Developers have just used the Militia List on our website to name streets in a new subdivision.

8 September 1850
Sir George Seymour” leaves Plymouth with settlers.

11 September 1928
Kingsford-Smith and his crew (Ulm, Litchfield and McWilliams) land at Wigram in “Southern Cross” after the first trans-Tasman flight. A crowd of 30,000, alerted by all-night radio broadcasts, had gathered at the airfield.

The Southern Cross. [Sept. 1928] Charles Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935) made the first Tasman flight from Sydney to Christchurch, arriving at Wigram Aerodrom on 10 Sept. 1928. His aircraft is pictured on arrival. Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0015

The Southern Cross.
[Sept. 1926] Charles Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935) made the first Tasman flight from Sydney to Christchurch, arriving at Wigram Aerodrom on 10 Sept. 1928. His aircraft is pictured on arrival. Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0015

11 September 1928
G.W. Skellerup founds Para Rubber Company, New Zealand’s first retail rubber goods business at 175 Manchester Street. Christchurch soon became the centre of the rubber industry in New Zealand.

Street view of Para Rubber Company Ltd shop, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/3235-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Street view of Para Rubber Company Ltd shop, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/3235-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

13 September 1877
Christchurch Girls High School (designed by Thomas Cane) opens on the corner of Hereford Street and Rolleston Avenue. The school moved to its present Cranmer Square site in 1881. The original school is now part of the Arts Centre. The Cranmer Square building was demolished in 2011.

Christchurch Girls' High School, Armagh Street, Christchurch [192-?] Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0017

Christchurch Girls’ High School, Armagh Street, Christchurch [192-?]
Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 17, IMG0017

13 September 13, 1882
Woolston Town Board formed.

14 September 1976
Inter-island ferry service from Lyttelton ends with the last sailing of the Rangatira.

14 September 1985
Canterbury loses Ranfurly Shield to Auckland after a 3 year reign. Final score 28-23.

More September events in the Chronology.

Next Page »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 814 other followers