Capital of New Zealand
Wellington has been the capital of New Zealand since 1865. New Zealand's first capital city was Old Russell in 1840–41. Auckland was the second capital from 1841 until 1865, when Parliament was permanently moved to Wellington after an argument that persisted for a decade; as the members of parliament could not agree on the location of a more central capital, Wellington was decided on by three Australian commissioners. Okiato or Old Russell is a small holiday spot in the Bay of Islands, 7 kilometres south of present-day Russell, known as Kororareka. Okiato was New Zealand's first national capital, for a short time from 1840 to 1841, before the seat of government was moved to Auckland. William Hobson arrived in New Zealand on 29 January 1840, the date now celebrated as the Auckland Anniversary Day. On the following day, as Lieutenant-Governor he proclaimed British Sovereignty in New Zealand. 30 January 1840 was the day that the Union Jack was flown on the masthead of the Herald, the ship that brought Hobson to the Bay of islands, that the flag was saluted by guns.
A capital city needed to be decided on, after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840, Hobson sought advice from those, living in New Zealand for some time. The missionary Henry Williams recommended the area around the Waitematā Harbour. William Cornwallis Symonds agreed with that assessment. A week after the signing of the treaty, seven Māori chiefs from Orakei on the Waitematā Harbour came to see Hobson and invited him to stay amongst them, they wanted protection from a rival iwi, the Ngāpuhi, offered him land in return for living there. On 21 February, a small party including Hobson, Symonds, Captain Joseph Nias, Felton Mathew left on the Herald to explore the Waitematā, they visited various places, but on 1 March, Hobson suffered a stroke which paralysed half of his body and affected his speech. Rather than delegate the decision making to his officers, the party returned to the Bay of Islands with the task incomplete. Mathew, Surveyor General, was instructed to report on possible locations for a capital in the Bay of Islands.
His initial recommendation was for Kororareka, but there were conflicting land claims and Hobson refused to accept this recommendation as he felt that he had insufficient authority to overcome those legal problems. His second recommendation was Captain James Reddy Clendon's property, as it met the requirements for a good anchorage and immediate availability of land suitable for subdivision and on-sale to settlers. Locations such as Paihia and Kerikeri were bypassed for various reasons. Pōmare II, the local Māori chief in the 1830s, sold land at Okiato to a British merchant and ship owner, Captain Clendon on 7 December 1830 for £28 15s. Clendon set up a trading station with partner Samuel Stephenson. Clendon became the first United States Consul for New Zealand in 1838 or 1839. Clendon wanted £23,000 for the 380 acres of land, the house, two small cottages, a large store and other buildings. Hobson agreed with Clendon on £15,000. Clendon had only been paid £1,000 when word was received that Governor George Gipps did not sanction the purchase.
Clendon received a land grant of 10,000 acres at Papakura. Hobson changed its name from Okiato to Russell, in honour of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord John Russell. Hobson and his family moved there in May 1840 and officials, troops and immigrants took up residence in permanent or temporary buildings and tents. Mathew drew up ambitious plans for a town, but only one of the intended roads was built – leading directly from the town hall to the town jail. A year Hobson moved the capital to Auckland and most of the Russell residents moved there too. A few officials lived on in the Government House at Russell but when it and the offices burned down in May 1842, they moved to Kororareka leaving Russell deserted. Kororareka was part of the Port of Russell and became known as Russell also. In January 1844 Governor Robert FitzRoy designated Kororareka as part of the township of Russell. Now the name Russell applies only to the erstwhile Kororareka while Okiato has resumed its original name.
There is confusion between modern-day Russell and Okiato in relation to the original capital: the historian Michael King in The Penguin History of New Zealand—his most notable work and the most commonly-read New Zealand history book—incorrectly names Kororareka as the country's first capital. There is no doubt. On 18 April 1840, he sent Mathew on a second journey south. Mathew spent two months exploring the various locations and rejected Whangarei and Mahurangi, but rejected the site favoured by Hobson that became known as Hobsonville. In his words, it was "totally unfit for the site of the principal settlement, indeed ill adapted for a settlement at all". Mathew recommended the Panmure Basin for the settlement, which had numerous advantages, but he conceded that access from the harbour was difficult. Once Hobson had regained some health, he went south to check Mathew's recommendations. On 6 July, he visited Panmure and dismissed it over the difficult access by water. Hobson admitted that his favoured location was impractical.
After the party watched a sunset and were impressed by a "lovely aspect of the shore further down the harbou
Sir Frederick Whitaker was an English-born New Zealand politician who served twice as the Prime Minister of New Zealand and six times as Attorney-General. Whitaker was born at the Deanery Manor House, Oxfordshire, England on 23 April 1812, the son of Frederick Whitaker and Susanna Whitaker. Frederick junior undertook a legal education and became a solicitor and attorney at the age of 27. A year he sailed to Australia and New Zealand, he married Jane Augusta Griffith, stepdaughter of Alexander Shepherd at St. Paul's Church in Auckland on 4 March 1843. Whitaker lived in Auckland and was appointed a County Court judge until this position was abolished in 1844, at which time he returned to work as a lawyer, he was appointed to the General Legislative Council on 3 March 1845 until 22 December of that year. He was appointed to the Legislative Council of New Ulster Province, but that Council had not met when the new Constitution arrived, he transferred to the new Legislative Council on 26 May 1853 and remained a member until his resignation on 19 December 1864.
He remained a member until his death 12 years later. He served as a major in the militia, he was elected onto the Auckland Provincial Council on 19 October 1854 for the Suburbs of Auckland electorate, he served until 25 September 1855. He was appointed to the Auckland Executive Council from 14 March 1854 to 22 January 1855 and was the provincial law officer. Whitaker became the first Attorney-General of New Zealand in the Sewell Ministry led by Henry Sewell in 1856, he did not serve as Attorney-General in the subsequent Fox Ministry, in power for a fortnight, but was again appointed to this position in the Stafford Ministry from 2 June 1856 onwards. He served as Attorney-General until the defeat of the Stafford Ministry on 12 July 1861 and went back to the law. In October 1863 Whitaker was called upon to form a government to replace Premier Domett following his defeat at a vote of no-confidence. Whitaker's term as Premier lasted just over a year until November 1864, his term ended due to differences between himself and Governor Grey over the conduct of the New Zealand Wars.
Whitaker resigned as a member of the Legislative Council. He served as the member of Parliament for Parnell from 1866 to 1867. In October 1865 he was elected Superintendent of Auckland Province, which office he held until 1867. For nine years he stayed away from public office. In 1876 he became MP for Waikato and Attorney-General again in Atkinson's government. Whitaker lost his seat in the House in 1879. However, when Premier Hall wanted him to serve as Attorney-General again, he was appointed once more to the Legislative Council in 1879; when Hall resigned in April 1882, Whitaker became Premier for the second time, serving until September 1883. Whitaker was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1884 and served again as Attorney-General, as leader of the Legislative Council from 1887 to 1890. By his health was failing, he died in Auckland on 4 December 1891, he was buried at St Stephen's Cemetery in Parnell. Burke, Edmund. Annual Register. Longmans, Green and Co. p. 209.
Scholefield, Guy. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949. Wellington: Govt. Printer; the New Zealand Official Year-book. 1905. P. 25
John Logan Campbell
Sir John Logan Campbell was a prominent New Zealand public figure. He was the son of Doctor John Campbell and his wife Catherine and grandson of the 3rd baronet of Aberuchil and Kilbryde Castle, near Dunblane, Perthshire, he was described by his contemporaries as "the father of Auckland". John Logan Campbell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 3 November 1817, he had four sisters but his two elder brothers had died by the time he reached the age of 2, he became the only surviving son. Campbell graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1839 and that year sailed for the antipodes, New South Wales, as a surgeon on the emigrant ship Palmyra. In 1840, he came to New Zealand, arriving first in Coromandel and thence to the capital of New Zealand, founded by Governor William Hobson. Campbell and William Brown who arrived at the same time, were the first Europeans to settle in the area. Campbell and Brown built the first house in Auckland, opened the first shop. John Logan Campbell became prominent in Auckland, both in business circles and in public life.
He was a director of the Bank of New Zealand, the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, the New Zealand Insurance Company. Campbell was appointed to the Auckland Executive Council on 20 March 1855, he served until 15 September of that year, he was Superintendent of Auckland Province from 25 November 1855 to 17 September 1856. Campbell entered the 2nd New Zealand Parliament, representing the electorates of the City of Auckland 1855–1856, he was elected unopposed on 4 August 1860 in the Suburbs of Auckland electorate, replacing Joseph Hargreaves. Campbell retired at the end of the 2nd Parliament in in 1860, he was a minister without portfolio in the government of Edward Stafford between June and November 1856. Campbell was a successful businessman and had entered into a partnership with William Brown in 1840, beginning operations as Auckland's first merchant firm and Campbell. By 1856 Campbell and Brown decided that their enterprises and properties, now worth £110,000, could be entrusted to a salaried manager, while they lived on the dividends as expatriates.
Brown and his family left early in the year. Much against his inclinations he became caught up in politics, serving as provincial superintendent as a member of the House of Representatives for the City of Auckland, as a member of the colony's first stable, responsible ministry under E. W. Stafford. These'earthly baubles' he gladly resigned in September. On 20 November 1856 he left the colony, he hoped for good. While travelling abroad, he married Emma Wilson on 25 February 1858 at NWP India, she was a daughter of Sir John Cracroft Wilson, who settled in Canterbury. They had three children: Ida, born at Naples on 22 December 1859 and died in London 1880. John Logan died in infancy and Winifred married Herbert Cyril Orde Murray a lieutenant in the 1st Gloucestershire Regiment on 10 December 1889. Apart from an interlude during 1860 and 1861, when he was obliged to go to Auckland to reinvigorate the firm – now called Brown Campbell and Company – and to install a resident partner, the Campbells lived in various parts of Europe until 1871.
On his return early in 1871, Campbell took over full control. Two years he bought out Brown's partnership share for over £40,000. Becoming a part of the business community again, he became involved with the Bank of New Zealand, the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, the New Zealand Insurance Company, related companies, he supported it for 11 years. When depression overwhelmed Auckland in 1885 and the Stock Market collapsed in 1886, there began a desperate struggle for financial survival. Campbell sold several businesses and properties, concentrating his energies on Brown Campbell and Company, a brewery and liquor importer. Campbell retained his properties at One Tree Hill because he wanted to create a suitable residence for his family, he envisaged an Italianate mansion similar to James Williamson's at Hillsborough, surrounded by an elegant estate. He set about planting trees to create a suitable landscape garden, his wife Emma, had other ideas and the house, was built in Parnell, a location much more handy to town.
This property is now part of the Parnell Rose Gardens and Dove Myer Robinson Park. The house was demolished in 1924. In his years, Campbell was concerned about the increasing suburban development of Auckland and decided to donate his remaining farmland at One Tree Hill to the city as a public amenity to be called Corinth Park – named after a part of Greece which Campbell had admired on his travels, his planting of groves of olive trees may have been connected to this. The presentation of the park would have taken place after Campbell's death in the form of a bequest had not providence intervened in the form of the Royal Tour of 1901. In 1901, Doctor John Logan Campbell was approached to be Mayor of Auckland for the royal visit that year, as David Goldie a temperance advocate did not want to toast the visiting Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York with alcohol. Rather than incur an election at short notice, it was decided to honour Campbell with the position. Campbell only accepted on the grounds that it was honorary and that he wouldn't be involved in any politics.
He was elected by the councillors, not the electorate. He resigned from the mayoralty the month after the royal visit. During the royal visit, Logan Campbell donated Cornwa
Hawke's Bay Region
Hawke's Bay Region is a region of New Zealand on the east coast of the North Island. It is governed by Hawke's Bay Regional Council; the region's name derives from Hawke Bay, named by Captain James Cook in honour of Admiral Edward Hawke. The region is situated on the east coast of the North Island, it bears the former name of what is now Hawke Bay, a large semi-circular bay that extends for 100 kilometres from northeast to southwest from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. The Hawke's Bay region includes the hilly coastal land around the northern and central bay, the floodplains of the Wairoa River in the north, the wide fertile Heretaunga Plains around Hastings in the south, a hilly interior stretching up into the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges; the prominent peak Taraponui is located inland. Five major rivers flow to the Hawke's Bay coast. From north to south, they are the Wairoa River, Mohaka River, Tutaekuri River, Ngaruroro River and Tukituki River. Lake Waikaremoana, situated in northern Hawke's Bay 35 km from the coast, is the largest lake in Hawke's Bay, the 4th largest in the North Island and the 16th largest in New Zealand.
The regional council area consists of the territorial authorities of Wairoa District, Hastings District, Napier City, its southernmost district, Central Hawke's Bay District, plus the localities of Taharua in the Taupo District and Ngamatea in the Rangitikei District. It does not include the Tararua District, Woodville or Norsewood, which have been under the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council since the 1989 local government reforms. In June 2015, the Local Government Commission proposed the amalgamation of the four territorial authorities in the region with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, but this was rejected in a poll of residents; the region has a hill with the longest place name in New Zealand, the longest in the world according to the 2009 Guinness Book of Records. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is an otherwise unremarkable hill in southern Hawke's Bay, not far from Waipukurau; the region's population is 165,900 as of June 3.4 percent of New Zealand's population.
Around 81 percent of the region's population lives in the Napier-Hastings conurbation. Below is a list of urban areas; the region has a significant Māori population. A major local Māori tribe is Ngāti Kahungunu. Around 50.5 percent of Hawke's Bay's population affiliate with Christianity at the 2013 Census, making it one of two regions in New Zealand with a majority Christian population. Hawke's Bay Province was founded in 1858 as a province of New Zealand, after being separated from the Wellington Province following a meeting in Napier in February 1858; the Province was abolished in 1876 along with all other provinces in New Zealand. It was replaced with a Provincial District. On February 3, 1931, Napier and Hastings were devastated by New Zealand's worst natural disaster, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter magnitude scale, which killed 256 people. Napier rebuilt and now the city is world-famous for its Art Deco buildings, celebrates its heritage each February with the Art Deco Weekend.
MTG Hawke's Bay Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery, has an exhibition on the earthquake, its causes and impact. The GDP of the Hawke's Bay region was estimated at $7.4 billion as of March 2017, 3% of the national GDP. The region is renowned with large orchards and vineyards on the plains. In the hilly parts of the region sheep and cattle farming predominates, with forestry blocks in the roughest areas; the climate is dry and temperate, the long, hot summers and cool winters offer excellent weather for growing grapes. Missionaries in the mid 19th century planted the first vines in Hawke's Bay and it is now becoming an important place for full bodied red wines; as of January 2010, there are an estimated 75 wineries located across Hawke's Bay.https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12020171 Hawke's Bay is home to New Zealand's first space launch complex, Rocket Lab's orbital launch site on the Mahia Peninsula in Wairoa District. Wairoa District is home to'Space Coast New Zealand' - that stretch of Wairoa district's coastline from which space launch viewing can be undertaken.
Rocket Lab anticipates launching its 17m Electron vehicle early in 2017. Hawke's Bay is one of the most seismically active regions in New Zealand and has experienced many large and damaging earthquakes. More than 50 damaging earthquakes have rocked the region since the 1800s; some of the more notable are listed below. The Hawke's Bay regional council consists of nine elected members and holds elections every three years; as of the 2016 election the current council is: The region is served by a variety of radio stations including Radio Kahungunu, The Hits 89.5, More FM, access station Radio Kidnappers and local station Bay FM. As well, most of the national commercial and non-commercial operators have transmitters covering the region. Hawke's Bay has its own TV station, TVHB, which provides a mix of news and information programmes hosted by local personalities. Hawke's Bay produces some of New Zealand's finest wines and once a year Harvest Hawke's Bay celebrates the fact by offering a three-day wine and food festival.
This event attracts many thousands. Napier is home to the Mission Concert held early each year since 1993; the event, held at the Mission Estate Winery in Taradale, has attracted performers such as Kenny Rogers, Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, The B-52's
The Canterbury Province was a province of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. Its capital was Christchurch. Canterbury Province was founded in December 1850 by the Canterbury Association of influential Englishmen associated with the Church of England; the Charlotte Jane and the Randolph—the first two of the First Four Ships—arrived in the area on 16 December 1850 celebrated as the province's initial Anniversary Day. In 1852, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, which amongst other things established provincial councils; the Constitution contained specific provisions for the Canterbury Association. Elections were held in 1853 for Superintendent and that year, for the 12-member council; these elections predated any elected national assembly. The franchise was extended to men over the age of 21; as a result, affairs of the Canterbury Association were wound up in 1855 and outstanding settlement lands handed over to the Canterbury Province.
The first meeting place was the former office of the Guardian and Advertiser, Canterbury's second newspaper, on Chester Street near the Avon River. In 1866, the council moved to Guise Brittan's house, which became part of the Clarendon Hotel. One session in 1858 was held in the town hall on. On 28 September 1859, the council first met in what became known as the Timber Chamber of the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings; the Stone Chamber of the Provincial Council Buildings was used from November 1865. Following the West Coast Gold Rush, the portion of the province west of the Southern Alps was split off as Westland in 1867. Upon the establishment of the University of New Zealand in 1870, its Christchurch campus housed the system's headquarters. 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 undefined before the West Coast became its own province. 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 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; when the province was abolished, the area was distributed across eight counties. The Ferrymead Railway was the first railway to be closed in New Zealand, it was made obsolete by the opening of a new 8 miles line through a tunnel giving Christchurch access to the better port of Lyttelton. The mainlines of the Canterbury Provincial Railways were Irish gauge with some branch lines in Colonial gauge; these lines were all absorbed into the New Zealand Railways Department in 1876.
Charles Simeon was the returning officer for the first election of a Superintendent. The nomination meeting was held at the Christchurch Land Office, there were three polling stations: in Christchurch at the Resident Magistrate's Court, in Lyttelton at the Resident Magistrate's Court, in Akaroa. Canterbury had four Superintendents: The Executive Council is comparable to a cabinet; the following 26 Executive Councils existed: Each New Zealand province celebrates an anniversary day. Canterbury Province's was 16 December, the day of the 1850 arrival of the Charlotte Jane and the Randolph. Since 1862, an A&P show has been held annually, its Friday Show Day was set for many years on the People's Day and, sometime in the late 1950s, the Christchurch City Council moved the province's Anniversary Day to coincide with the show and encourage greater crowds. The holiday is presently defined as the "second Friday after the first Tuesday in November", ensuring that it will follow the Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival.
This adjustment is observed in middle Canterbury. Canterbury Ordinances 1853 - 1875 The full text of the legislation enacted by the Canterbury Provincial Council between its inception in 1853 and its demise in 1875. Church Property Trust Ordinance 1854 Christ's College Ordinance 1855 Municipal Councils Reserves Ordinance 1862 Municipal Corporation Reserves Ordinance 1868 Reserve No 424 Ordinance 1873 Educational Reserves Leasing Ordinance 1875 Reserve No 168 Ordinance 1875 Reserve No 62 Ordinance 1875 Edward Jollie Arthur Dudley Dobson "Canterbury",'Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1878, pp. 30–31. "New Zealand Constitution Act 1852". Victoria University of Wellington - New Zealand Electronic Text Collection. 30 June 1852. Retrieved 2 April 2019. Morrison, J. P
New Zealand Parliament
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was the New Zealand Legislative Council; the Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. The House of Representatives has met in the Parliament Buildings located in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, since 1865, it consists of 120 members of Parliament, though sometimes more due to overhang seats. There are 71 MPs elected directly in electorate seats and the remainder are filled by list MPs based on each party's share of the total party vote. Māori were represented in Parliament from 1867, in 1893 women gained the vote. Although elections can be called early, each three years the House is dissolved and goes up for reelection; the Parliament is linked to the executive. The New Zealand Government comprises other ministers.
In accordance with the principle of responsible government, these individuals are always drawn from the House of Representatives, are held accountable to it. Neither the monarch nor her governor-general participates in the legislative process, save for signifying the Queen's approval to a bill passed by the House, known as the granting of Royal Assent, necessary for a bill to be enacted as law; the New Zealand Parliament is consciously modelled on the Westminster system of parliamentary representation, developed in the United Kingdom. This system can be traced back to the "Model Parliament" of 1295 regarded as the first recognisable parliament. Over the centuries, parliaments progressively limited the power of the monarchy; the Bill of Rights 1688 established Parliament's role in law-making and supply. Among its provisions, the Bill confirmed absolute freedom of speech in Parliament; as early as 1846, the British settlers in New Zealand petitioned for self-government. The New Zealand Parliament was created by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, an Act of the British Parliament, which established a bicameral legislature called the "General Assembly", but referred to as Parliament.
It had a lower house, called the House of Representatives, an upper house, called the Legislative Council. The members of the House were elected under the first-past-the-post voting system, while those of the Council were appointed by the Governor; the first members were sworn in on 24 May 1854 in Auckland. Legislative Councillors were appointed for life, but their terms were fixed at seven years; this change, coupled with responsible government and party politics, meant that by the 20th century, the government controlled the Council as well as the House, the passage of bills through the Council became a formality. In 1951, the Council was abolished altogether. At the time of its abolition the Council had fifty-four members, including its own Speaker. Under the Constitution Act, legislative power was conferred on New Zealand's provinces, each of which had its own elected provincial council; these provincial councils were able to legislate for their provinces on most subjects. However, New Zealand was never a federation comparable to Australia.
Over a twenty-year period, political power was progressively centralised, the provinces were abolished altogether in 1876. Unlike other countries, New Zealand had representatives of the indigenous population in its parliament from an early date. Reserved Māori seats were created in 1867 during the term of the 4th Parliament; the Māori electorates have lasted far longer than the intended five years. In 2002, the seats increased in number to seven. One historical speciality of the New Zealand Parliament was the country quota, which gave greater representation to rural politics. From 1889 on, districts were weighted according to their urban/rural split; those districts which had large rural proportions received a greater number of nominal votes than they contained voters – as an example, in 1927, Waipawa, a district without any urban population at all, received an additional 4,153 nominal votes to its actual 14,838 – having the maximum factor of 28% extra representation. The country quota was in effect until it was abolished in 1945 by a urban-elected Labour government, which switched to a one-vote-per-person system.
The New Zealand Parliament remained subordinate to the British Parliament, the supreme legislative authority for the entire British Empire—although, in practice, Britain's role was minimal from the 1890s. The New Zealand Parliament received progressively more control over New Zealand affairs through the passage of Imperial laws such as the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, constitutional amendments, an hands-off approach by the British government. In 1947, the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act gave Parliament full power over New Zealand law, the New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1947, an Act of the British
Canterbury, New Zealand
Canterbury is a region of New Zealand, located in the central-eastern South Island. The region covers an area of 44,508 square kilometres, is home to a population of 624,000; the region in its current form was established in 1989 during nationwide local government reforms. The Kaikoura District joined the region in 1992 following the abolition of the Nelson-Marlborough Regional Council. Christchurch, the South Island's largest city and the country's third-largest urban area, is the seat of the region and home to 65 percent of the region's population. Other major towns and cities include Timaru, Ashburton and Rolleston. In 1848, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a Briton, John Robert Godley, an Anglo-Irish aristocrat, founded the Canterbury Association to establish an Anglican colony in the South Island; the colony was based upon theories developed by Wakefield while in prison for eloping with a woman not-of-age. Due to ties to the University of Oxford, the Canterbury Association succeeded in raising sufficient funds and recruiting middle-class and upper-class settlers.
In April 1850, a preliminary group led by Godley landed at Port Cooper—modern-day Lyttelton Harbour—and established a port and shops in preparation for the main body of settlers. In December 1850, the first wave of 750 settlers arrived at Lyttelton in a fleet of four ships. Following 1850, the province's economy developed with the introduction of sheep farming; the Canterbury region's tussock plains in particular were suitable for extensive sheep farming. Since they were valued by settlers for their meat and wool, there were over half a million sheep in the region by the early 1850s. By the 1860s, this figure had risen to three million. During this period, the architect Benjamin Mountfort designed many civic and ecclesiastical buildings in the Gothic Revival style; the Canterbury Province was formed in 1853 following the passing of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852. It was formed from part of New Munster Province and covered the middle part of the South Island, stretching from the east coast to the west coast.
The province was abolished, along with other provinces of New Zealand, when the Abolition of the Provinces Act came into force on 1 Nov 1876. The modern Canterbury Region has different boundaries in the north, where it includes some districts from the old Nelson Province; the area administered by the Canterbury Regional Council consists of all the river catchments on the east coast of the South Island from that of the Clarence River, north of Kaikoura, to that of the Waitaki River, in South Canterbury. It is New Zealand's largest region by area, with an area of 45,346 km2. Canterbury was traditionally bounded in the north by the Conway River, to the west by the Southern Alps, to the south by the Waitaki River; the area is divided into North Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury and Christchurch City. Canterbury is home to 624,000 people according to Statistics New Zealand's June 2018, 13 percent of New Zealand's population, it the second most populous region in New Zealand. The median age of Canterbury's population is two years above the New Zealand median.
Around 15.5 percent of the population is aged 65 or over while 18.7 percent is aged under 15. There are 97.5 males for every hundred females in Canterbury. At the 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings, 86.9 percent of Cantabrians identified as of European ethnicity, 8.1 percent as Māori, 6.9 percent as Asian, 2.5 percent as Pacific Peoples, 0.8 percent as Middle Eastern/Latin American/African, 2.0 percent as another ethnicity. Just under 20 percent of Canterbury's population was born overseas, compared to 25 percent for New Zealand as a whole; the British Isles remains the largest region of origin, accounting for 36.5 percent of the overseas-born population in Canterbury. Around a quarter of Canterbury's overseas-born population at the 2013 Census had been living in New Zealand for less than five years, 11 percent had been living in New Zealand for less than two years. Around 49.7 percent of Cantabrians affiliate with Christianity and 3.3 percent affiliate with non-Christian religions, while 44.5 percent are irreligious.
Anglicanism is the largest Christian denomination in Canterbury with 14.8 percent affiliating, while Catholicism is the second-largest with 12.7 percent affiliating. The Canterbury region's economy is diversified into agriculture, fishing, forestry and energy resources such as coal and hydroelectricity, its agriculture sector is diversified into dairy farming, sheep farming and horticulture viticulture. The strength of the region's agricultural economy is displayed every November at the Canterbury A&P Show; the show coincides with Cup Week. During the interwar period, agricultural productivity was boosted by the introduction of mechanization and the improvement of seed stocks. Canterbury is New Zealand's main producer of cereal crops such as wheat and oats; as of 2002, the region produced 60.7% of the nation's supply of wheat, 51.1% of its barley stocks and 43.7% of its supply of oats. The region's viticulture industry was established by French settlers in Akaroa. Since wine-growing is concentrated into two regions: Waipara and Burnham.
There have been vintages from plantings from Kurow further to the south. White wine has predominated in Canterbury from Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Gewürztraminer