The Canterbury Province was a province of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. Its capital was Christchurch.

Coat of arms of Canterbury
Canterbury Province within New Zealand post 1868
Canterbury Province within New Zealand post 1868
CountryNew Zealand
IslandSouth Island
Named forCanterbury, England
 • Province71,316

History Edit

Canterbury was founded in December 1850 by the Canterbury Association of influential Englishmen associated with the Church of England. (An attempt was initially made to restrict residence in the province to members of the church but this was abandoned.)[1] The Charlotte Jane and the Randolph—the first two of the First Four Ships—arrived in the area on 16 December 1850, later celebrated as the province's Anniversary Day.[2]

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; the first being that the new General Assembly (New Zealand Parliament) could not amend the legislation establishing the Canterbury Association,[3] the second being that the Canterbury Association could hand its powers to a newly-established provincial government (the Canterbury Province).[4]

Elections were held in 1853 for Superintendent and, later 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 who owned property in the province. As a result, affairs of the Canterbury Association were wound up in 1855 and outstanding settlement lands handed over to the Canterbury Province.[5] 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 later became part of the Clarendon Hotel. One session in 1858 was held in the town hall on what is now High Street; the town hall was in the section north of Lichfield Street. 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.[6]

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.[1]

Geography Edit

The Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, designed by Benjamin Mountfort

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 largely 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 its own Province, 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.[7]

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.[8]

Railways Edit

The Ferrymead Railway was the first railway to be opened (1863) and closed (1868) in New Zealand.[9] It was made obsolete by the opening of a new 8 miles (13 km) line through a tunnel giving Christchurch access to the better port of Lyttelton.[1] The mainlines of the Canterbury Provincial Railways were Irish gauge (5 feet 3 inches or 1.60 meters) with some branch lines in Colonial gauge (3 feet 6 inches or 1.07 meters).[1] These lines were all eventually absorbed into the New Zealand Railways Department in 1876.

Superintendents Edit

Charles Simeon was the returning officer for the first election of a Superintendent. The nomination meeting was held at the Christchurch Land Office (the site now occupied by Our City), and there were three polling stations: in Christchurch at the Resident Magistrate's Court, in Lyttelton at the Resident Magistrate's Court, and in Akaroa.[10]

Canterbury had four Superintendents:[11]

No from to Superintendent
1 20 Jul 1853 Oct 1857 James FitzGerald
2 24 Oct 1857 Feb 1863 William Sefton Moorhouse
3 Mar 1863 May 1866 Samuel Bealey
30 May 1866 May 1868 William Sefton Moorhouse (2nd time)
4 22 May 1868 1 Jan 1877 William Rolleston

Executive Council Edit

The Executive Council is comparable to a cabinet. The following 26 Executive Councils existed:[12]

No Head from to other members
1 Henry Tancred 27 September 1853 13 October 1854 William John Warburton Hamilton, Charles Simeon, Harry Godfrey Gouland
2 John Hall 23 October 1854 12 May 1855 Samuel Bealey, Harry Godfrey Gouland, Henry Barnes Gresson
3 Joseph Brittan 12 May 1855 27 July 1855 Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard Packer
4 Henry Tancred 27 July 1855 12 February 1857 Joseph Brittan, Henry Barnes Gresson, William John Warburton Hamilton
5 Richard Packer 12 February 1857 27 July 1857 Henry Barnes Gresson, William John Warburton Hamilton, Thomas Cass, Richard James Strachan Harman
6 Charles Bowen 27 July 1857 3 October 1857 Thomas Cass, Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard James Strachan Harman, Richard Packer
7 Thomas Cass 3 October 1857 8 December 1857 Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard James Strachan Harman, Richard Packer
8 Henry Tancred 8 December 1857 10 February 1858 Thomas Cass, Henry Barnes Gresson, Richard James Strachan Harman, John Ollivier
9 Thomas Cass 10 February 1858 8 November 1859 Thomas Smith Duncan, John Ollivier, Charles Bowen
10 Richard James Strachan Harman 8 November 1859 15 November 1859 Charles Joseph Bridge, George Ross, Augustus White, Charles Wyatt
11 John Ollivier 21 November 1859 21 December 1859 Thomas Cass, Thomas Smith Duncan, George Ross
12 Charles Blakiston 29 December 1859 1 February 1861 Thomas Cass, Thomas Smith Duncan, Robert Wilkin, Henry Arthur Scott
13 Robert Wilkin 1 February 1861 November 1863[13] Thomas Smith Duncan, Thomas William Maude, Joshua Williams, Hugh Murray-Aynsley, William Sefton Moorhouse, Thomas Cass
14 Thomas Cass 10 November 1863 4 December 1863 Thomas William Maude, William Sefton Moorhouse, Hugh Murray-Aynsley, Joshua Williams
15 Henry Tancred 4 December 1863 8 June 1866 Edward French Buttemer Harston, William Rolleston, George Ross, Edward Cephas John Stevens, William Travers, John Hall, William Patten Cowlishaw, Edward Jollie, Francis Edward Stewart
16 Henry Tancred 8 June 1866 17 October 1866 Thomas Cass, Francis James Garrick, Francis Edward Stewart
17 Francis Edward Stewart 17 October 1866 27 November 1866 Thomas Cass, Francis James Garrick, Robert Wilkin, George Buckley, Thomas William Maude
18 Edward Jollie 29 November 1866 14 December 1866 Thomas Cass, William Montgomery, Joshua Williams, Robert Wilkin
19 Francis Edward Stewart 14 December 1866 3 March 1868 Joseph Beswick, Thomas Smith Duncan, Thomas William Maude, Robert Wilkin, Joshua Williams, George Hart, James Bonar
20 Edward Jollie 3 March 1868 4 June 1869 William Montgomery, Arthur Ormsby, Henry Wynn-Williams, George Leslie Lee, Andrew Duncan
21 Arthur Charles Knight 4 June 1869 5 June 1869 John Evans Brown, John Thomas Peacock, Henry Wynn-Williams
22 Edward Jollie 5 June 1869 26 October 1870 Alfred Hornbrook, Robert Heaton Rhodes, Henry Wynn-Williams
23 John Hall 26 October 1870 7 August 1871 John Evans Brown, Alfred Cox, William Browning Tosswill, Walter Kennaway
24 Walter Kennaway 7 August 1871 2 January 1874 George Buckley, William Patten Cowlishaw, Alfred Cox, Arthur Charles Knight, Richard Westenra, Joseph Beswick, Andrew Duncan
25 William Montgomery 2 January 1874 15 April 1875 Edward Jollie, Thomas Joynt, Thomas William Maude
26 John Cracroft Wilson 15 April 1875 28 September 1876 George Buckley, William Miles Maskell, John Thomas Peacock, Henry Wynn-Williams, Arthur Charles Knight, Henry Richard Webb

Anniversary Day Edit

Each New Zealand province celebrates an anniversary day. Canterbury Province's was originally 16 December, the day of the 1850 arrival of the Charlotte Jane and the Randolph.[2] Since 1862, an A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) show has been held annually. Its Friday Show Day was set for many years on the People's Day[clarification needed] 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.[14] This adjustment is observed in northern and middle Canterbury; southern Canterbury instead observes its Anniversary Day on Dominion Day (the 4th Monday in September).[14][15]

Legislation Edit

  • 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 (No 2) 1875
  • Reserve No 168 Ordinance 1875
  • Reserve No 62 Ordinance 1875

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e EB (1878), p. 31.
  2. ^ a b Swarbrick, Nancy (16 December 2013). "Public holidays – Celebrating communities". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  3. ^ Constitution Act 1852, Section 75.
  4. ^ Constitution Act 1852, Section 76.
  5. ^ "Canterbury Association's Ordinance 1855". New Zealand Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  6. ^ Wigram (1916), p. 240.
  7. ^ McLintock, A.H., ed. (1966). "Canterbury Province and Provincial District". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  8. ^ Morrison 1948, p. 106.
  9. ^ "Ferrymead History". Canterbury Railway Society. Archived from the original on 5 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Page 1 Advertisements Column 2". Lyttelton Times. Vol. III, no. 131. 9 July 1853. p. 1. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Provinces 1848–77". Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  12. ^ Wigram 1916, pp. 237–240.
  13. ^ "The Resignation of the Executive". The Press. Vol. III, no. 328. 18 November 1863. p. 2. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  14. ^ a b "New Zealand Cup and Show Week and Canterbury Anniversary". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  15. ^ "New Zealand public holiday dates 2011–13". Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.

References Edit

External links Edit

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