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New Zealand - Christchurch

Christchurch and Governors Bay

Thursday 4th February 2016 Christchurch Exploring Christchurch City

Christchurch is the largest city in South Island, and is in the middle of the Canterbury Plain. To the edge is an extinct volcano, and the city still suffers from tectonic movements. Christchurch is known as ‘The Garden City’.

As we had the whole day we decided to get up lazily and have a nice breakfast at Strawberry Fare around the corner http://www.strawberryfare.com. After lovely mushrooms with pesto we headed back into the park (by car this time). Our first port of call was to go punting on the Avon before it got too hot. We found the Antigua boatsheds, looking like an Edwardian relic complete with Edwardian styled punters. Having bought a combined punt-tram ticket we only had 15 minutes to wait before the punt appeared. The punt was very relaxing. All the ducks were on only one side of the bank- it turned out to be the side dogs were banned! All the wildlife (and plants) in the Botanic Gardens is protected, so no fishing (apart from the “cultural heritage” of eel catching and, boy, were these eels big and apparently very tricky to catch). The punter was really pleased when I commented on how similar he was to an Edwardian punter on the Cam- it was apparently the exact thing they were going for!). Although a bit cheesy we bought the Punting Photo pack before heading towards the trams.

History of Christchurch
The city was named by the Canterbury Association, which settled the surrounding province of Canterbury. The name of Christchurch was agreed on at the first meeting of the association in 1848. It was suggested by John Robert Godley, who had attended Christ Church, Oxford. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. Archaeological evidence indicates that the area was first settled by moa-hunting tribes about 1250 CE. These first inhabitants were followed by the Waitaha tribe, in the 16th century.
Following tribal warfare, the Waitaha were dispossessed by the Ngati Mamoe tribe, themselves then subjugated by the Ngāi Tahu tribe, who remained in control until the arrival of European settlers. 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 the Deans brothers 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. The Canterbury Pilgrims had aspirations of building a city around a cathedral and college, on the model of Christ Church in Oxford.

Walking down Worcester Road (all the roads in Christchurch have names of English cities, towns, and so forth), we caught a tram on the first bridge. We drove down the river, seeing the huge monumental arch, before roadworks stopped the tram in its tracks! The tram had 17 stops in total, including Cathedral Junction, Cathedral Square, Avon River, Re:START Mall, High Street, Gothic-style Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park, Victoria Square and New Regent Street. After a number of stops, including Regent Street and the Re:Start Mall we disembarked at the cathedral square. A static tram provided an interesting restaurant.
Bridge/ Arch of Remembrance Re:START Mall Christchurch cathedral
Old Post Office (1879) Tram Christ’s College

Having walked around the square, we took the tram back past the college and art gallery and got off at the museum. This time I wanted to see the museum properly (it's free) so it was back in. Canterbury Museum: http://www.canterburymuseum.com. We turned immediately right to see the huge Moa skeletons and then to the Maori artefacts. At the end was a display of Moriori exhibits and photos along with their history. Then we discovered the Pau shell house. OMG kitsch is NOT the word. This is a “famous” couple (Fred and Myrtle) from Bluff whose husband thought collecting and polishing paua shells was the best hobby ever, so she used them as wall decoration. The “lounge” is now in the museum!! Having had our fill of kitsch we decided to head out of the museum for a midday stroll back to the car.
Moriori - because it is an interesting tribe. Around 1500 they moved (or were forced) over 750 km to sea to settle in the Chatham Islands, where they developed a totally pacifist society. Their language is very similar to the Maori dialect spoken by the Ngāi Tahu tribe of South Island, and comparisons of Moriori "hokopapa" and Māori "whakapapa" genealogies. Wind patterns in the southern Pacific suggest that the Chatham Islands were the last part of the Pacific to be settled during the period of Māori Polynesian discovery. The word Moriori derives from Proto-Polynesian ma(a)qoli, “true, real, genuine", cognate with Māori language word Māori "ordinary people". The Chathams are colder and less hospitable than the land they left behind, so the Moriori adopted a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Lacking resources of cultural significance such as greenstone, they satisfied their ritual needs by carving dendroglyphs (incisions into tree trunks, called rakau momori). As a small and precarious population, Moriori embraced a pacifist culture that rigidly avoided warfare, substituting dispute resolution in the form of ritual fighting and conciliation. The ban on warfare and cannibalism is attributed to their ancestor Nunuku-whenua. This enabled them to preserve limited resources. However, when it became a moral imperative rather than a pragmatic response to circumstances, it led to near destruction at the hands of invading North Island Māori. William Broughton landed on 1791, and claimed possession of the islands for Great Britain. Whalers made the islands a centre of their activities, competing for resources. In 1835 500 displaced Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama people, Māori from Taranaki in North Island, but living in Wellington, invaded the Chathams. They hijacked a European ship, and arrived with guns, clubs and axes, followed by another ship with 400 more Māori. They killed a 12-year-old girl and hung her flesh on posts, then enslaved, killed and ate the Moriori. Parties of warriors with muskets, clubs and tomahawks, led by their chiefs, walked through Moriori tribal territories and settlements without warning, permission or greeting, informed the inhabitants that their land had been taken and the Moriori living there were now vassals. A hui or council of Moriori elders was convened at Te Awapatiki. Despite knowing that the Māoris would kill and eat them and that the principle of Nunuku was inappropriate, two chiefs, Tapata and Torea, declared "the law of Nunuku was not a strategy for survival, to be varied as conditions changed; it was a moral imperative." The invaders ritually killed 10% of the population, staking out women and children on the beach and leaving them to die in pain. The Māori invaders forbade the use of the Moriori language and forced Moriori to desecrate their sacred sites by urinating on them. Moriori were forbidden to marry Moriori, or have children with each other. All became slaves of the Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga invaders. Many Moriori women had children by their Māori masters, or some with whalers. Although the last Moriori of unmixed ancestry, Tommy Solomon, died in 1933, there are several thousand mixed ancestry Moriori alive. Today, despite the genocide, Moriori culture is enjoying a renaissance, both on Rekohu and in the mainland of New Zealand. Moriori culture and identity is being revived. Some Moriori descendants have made claims against the New Zealand government through the Waitangi Tribunal.

Governors Bay
As it was a beautiful day, we decided to venture out a bit and set off through Christchurch and up Dyers Pass towards Governors Bay. The road quickly went high over Christchurch, giving magnificent views of both the city and the coast (pic 1). The road passed through Victoria Forest and was not busy. We then descended into Governors Bay, where we parked and had a lovely outdoor lunch at She restaurant (pic 2) http://www.shechocolat.com, famed for their chocolate desserts (justly so).
After lunch we drove on the coast road (Governors Bay Road) through Rapaki, Cass Bay, Corsairs Bay and arriving at Lyttleton. Here we parked outside a supermarket where we bought some food for dinner and a pharmacy where we got some bug spray for the West Coast. On the way back Steve had spotted a pretty cove, Corsairs Bay/beach (pic 3), so we drove steeply down and parked. It was a bit overrun with teenagers, so we had a quick walk and went back along the road for some amazing views (pic 4), back to Christchurch for a lazy evening, eating in.
Earthquake Canterbury’s most severe earthquake prior to the 2011 one, occurred on 1 September 1888 about 100km north of Christchurch in the Amuri district. It is recorded as a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, but reached magnitude 9 at its epicentre. Extensive vertical and horizontal ground movement caused considerable damage to buildings and land. The quake badly damaged the spire of the Cathedral as well as buildings throughout Christchurch. The worst earthquake for Christchurch happened on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. local time and registered 6.3 on the Richter scale. The earthquake struck the Canterbury Region and was centred 2 kilometres west of the port town of Lyttelton, and 10 kilometres south-east of the centre of Christchurch, New Zealand's second-most populous city. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people. Over half of the deaths occurred in the six-storey Canterbury Television (CTV) Building, which collapsed and caught fire in the earthquake.
Christchurch's central city and eastern suburbs were badly affected, with damage to buildings and infrastructure already weakened by the magnitude 7.1 Canterbury earthquake of 4 September 2010 and its aftershocks. Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, producing around 400,000 tonnes of silt. The earthquake was felt across the South Island and parts of the lower and central North Island. While the initial quake only lasted for 10 seconds, the damage was more severe than higher magnitude earthquakes due to the location and the shallowness of the earthquake's epicentre in relation to Christchurch and previous quake damage. A secondary result has been a moderate decline in population in the area, as people move away from Christchurch to “safer” towns such as Wellington.

Posted by PetersF 16:52 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new south bay zealand christchurch canterbury governors

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