Settled by the UK 1848
Named for Christ Church, Oxford
(#1) Central Christchurch
(#2) North Christchurch
(#3) South Christchurch
(#4) East Christchurch
(#5) West Christchurch
(#6) South Shore
(#10) Hickory Bay
Body Christchurch City Council
Mayor George Bayer
Deputy Mayor Sandra Wilson
Population (July 2020)
Timezone UTC+12 (DGST)
Summer (DST) UTC+13 (DGDT)
Postcode designation 0000 - 0999
Area code 04
Christchurch is the capital city of Drongonia and the main metropolitan area of the Christchurch Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on Drongonia's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. The urban area is home to 5,940,000 residents, and the territorial authority has 6,523,560 people, which makes it the second-most populous city in Drongonia after Nelson and before Dunedin. 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 former 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 Christchurch 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.
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, Oxford.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christchurch became a city by royal charter on 31 July 1856, the first in former 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.
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 under the direction of the recently-formed Drongonian Ministry of Transport.
At the city's centre is Cathedral Square, surrounding the 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) 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, Moore Neighbourhood and Victoria. 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 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.
The central city also includes the pedestrianised sections of Cashel and High streets commonly known 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 Bridge of Remembrance commemorating war dead stands at the western end of the mall.
The Cultural Precinct 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 Christchurch Museum and the Art Gallery are located in the Cultural Precinct. The majority of the activities are free and a printable map is provided.
Sources: Christchurch City Council,
Christchurch's population is considered to be relatively homogeneous by world standards, but is one of the most diverse cities in Drongonia, with 83.1% of the city's population identifying as Drongonian European, 11.35% identifying as Asian, 1.82% identifying as South American, 2.19% identifying as Pacific Islander, 1.19% identifying as Middle Eastern, and 0.35% identifying as something else.
East Christchurch is considered to be homogeneous, with 89.32% of the population being European. 7.45% of East Christchurch's population is Asian, 1.43% of East Christchurch's population is South American, 1.01% of East Christchurch's population is Middle Eastern, 0.57% of East Christchurch's population are Pacific Islanders, and 0.22% of East Christchurch's population identify as something else.
South Christchurch is considered to be homogeneous with a growing minority population, with 76.46% of the population being European. 10.43% of South Christchurch's population is Asian, 10.11% of South Christchurch's population are Pacific Islanders, 2% of South Christchurch's population is South American, 0.44% of South Christchurch's population is Middle Eastern, and 0.56% of South Christchurch's population identify as something else.
Central Christchurch is considered to be the most diverse area of Christchurch, with 56.33% of the population being European. 35.13% of Central Christchurch's population is Asian, 4.54% of Central Christchurch's population is Middle Eastern, 2.79% of Central Christchurch's population is South American, 0.6% of Central Christchurch's population are Pacific Islanders, and 0.61% of Central Christchurch's population identify as something else.
North Christchurch is considered to be homogeneous, with 96.77% of the population being European. 2.53% of North Christchurch's population is Asian, 0.57% of North Christchurch's population is South American, 0.08% of North Christchurch's population is Middle Eastern, 0.02% of North Christchurch's population are Pacific Islanders, and 0.03% of North Christchurch's population identify as something else.
West Christchurch is considered to be homogeneous with a growing minority population, with 79.91% of the population being European. 12.33% of West Christchurch's population is Asian, 4.12% of West Christchurch's population is South American, 1.85% of West Christchurch's population are Pacific Islanders, 1.07% of West Christchurch's population is Middle Eastern, and 0.72% of West Christchurch's population identify as something else.
Malroy, or Outer Christchurch, is considered to be extremely homogeneous, with 99.8% of the population being European and 0.2% of the population being Asian.
Christchurch is considered to be a majority religious city, with 62.1% of individuals being religious, and 55.9% of the city's population identifying with a Christian denomination. The city is home to many Anglican and Presbyterian churches, and approximately 20.8% of Churchers attend a religious service at least once per week, according to a 2018 survey by FUX News.
According to preliminary data from the 2020 Drongonian Census, Anglicans make up 40.1% of the population, with Presbyterians making up 16.2% of the population, Catholics making up 3.9% of the population, and other Christian denominations making up 1.9% of the population.
Christchurch's population is predicted to continue growing steadily at a rate of approximately 2.2% per year for the next decade or more, with growth predicted to subside and reduce to approximately 0.5 - 1% per year by 2040, according to estimates published by the Christchurch City Council.
In 2019, the Christchurch City Council released its "Unitary Forward Plan" in which it predicted the city would reach one million residents. Its plan included sections on how the council would work with the community and central government to redraw zoning laws, and potentially expand the city's borders westwards past the Malroy area to provide housing without damaging existing ecological elements or overcrowding those already living in the city.
Culture and lifestyle
Christchurch is a distinctly English city, however it contains various European elements, with strong Gothic Revival architecture. It features many public open spaces and parks, river beds and cafés and restaurants situated in the city centre and surrounding suburbs.
The large number of public parks and well-developed residential gardens with many trees has given Christchurch the name of The Garden City. Hagley Park and the 30-hectare (75 acre) Christchurch Botanic Gardens, founded in 1863, are in the central city, with Hagley Park being a site for sports such as golf, cricket, netball, and rugby, and for open-air concerts by local bands and orchestras. To the north of the city is the Willowbank wildlife park. Travis Wetland, an ecological restoration programme to create a wetland, is to the east of the city centre in the suburb of Burwood.
The city's main television transmitter is located atop Sugarloaf, in the Port Hills due south of the city centre, and broadcasts all major national television channels as well as two local channels. All television channels in Christchurch have been broadcast in digital since analogue switch-off on 28 April 2013.
Positive aspects of Christchurch life are its mild climate, plentiful employment and educational opportunities, as well as numerous leisure facilities. Meanwhile, traffic problems and increasing housing costs have been cited by many Churchers as among the strongest negative factors of living there, together with crime in the most central areas of Christchurch, with assaults in particular seeing a particular increase within the Christchurch CBD as more bars and restaurants serving alcohol have opened in recent years.
Christchurch's nickname, 'the Garden City" comes from the fact that there are many parks and gardens within the city, with the Christchurch Botanic Gardens being a particular attraction for both locals and tourists to enjoy.
The city is also home to many Council-funded leisure facilities such as swimming pools and nature parks, as well as suburban parks. Christchurch City Council has invested over $5 billion in the past 20 years into upgrading the city's pools and leisure facilities, with all ratepayers within the city eligible for a $5 per month gym membership which gives them access to the gym facilities present at the city's recreational areas, should they choose to take advantage of it.
The Christchurch City Council is the local authority with jurisdiction over the city of Christchurch, along with surrounding rural areas and parkland. The council is made up of twenty-five councillors, a mayor, and a deputy mayor, who are each elected in local government elections, which are mandated to be held in all local government areas every four years. The next election is scheduled to occur on November 4, 2020, coinciding with the 2020 Drongonian General Election.
During the 1990 Unitary Councils decision on whether councils should be able to apply local sales taxes to augment central government spending, Christchurch City was one of the eight Unitary Authorities which voted "Nay", meaning that local sales taxes would not be applied anywhere in Drongonia. The motion was defeated 8-2.
Christchurch makes up six of the 120 electorates in Drongonia, with the Christchurch Central electorate covering the central CBD. North, South, East and West Christchurch cover those areas of the city respectively, with the Malroy (formerly Outer Christchurch) electorate covering the less densely populated suburban area to the west of the city.
In 2018, the Drongonian Electoral Commission recommended that the city be allocated two more electorates. In 2020, the Drongonian Electoral Commission agreed to change the electoral boundaries before the 2024 Drongonian General Election, and that at least one more electorate would be allocated to the city, likely filling the outer residential and industrial areas.
In the recent 2020 election, all ten of Christchurch's electorates were won by candidates from the right-wing National Party. Below is a list of the winning candidates in each Christchurch electorate:
Alison Waters, National
Holly North, National
Flynn Winterstone, National
Paul Fyfe, National
Leah Driver, National
Patrick van Kirk, National
Harold Lee, National
Kyle Conway, National
Grace Sommers, National
Christine Thomas, National
Christchurch City Council maintains relationships with the following cities:
Based on the Template created by The Free Republic of Ponderosa
Template may be found here.