CHRISTCHURCH - NEW ZEALAND
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Sponsorship
Christchurch
Country:
New Zealand
Region:
Canterbury
Official languages:
English, Māori, NZSL
Time zone:
NZST (UTC+12) / NZDT (UTC+13)
Dialing code:
+64 - 3
Currency:
NZ dollar ($) (NZD)
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's third-most populous urban area. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula, which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of Christchurch. The population of Christchurch City at the 5 March 2013 census was 341,469.
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 on 27 March 1848. It was suggested by John Robert Godley, who had attended Christ Church, Oxford. Some early writers called the town Christ Church, but it was recorded as Christchurch in the minutes of the management committee of the association. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.
The river that flows through the centre of the city (its banks now largely forming an urban park) was named Avon at the request of the pioneering Deans brothers to commemorate the Scottish Avon, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near what was their grandfathers' farm and flows into the Clyde.
The usual Māori name for Christchurch is Ōtautahi ("the place of Tautahi"). This was originally the name of a specific site by the Avon River near present-day Kilmore Street and the Christchurch Central Fire Station. The site was a seasonal dwelling of Ngāi Tahu chief Te Potiki Tautahi, whose main home was Port Levy on Banks Peninsula. The Ōtautahi name was adopted in the 1930s. Prior to that the Ngāi Tahu generally referred to the Christchurch area as Karaitiana, a transliteration of the English word Christian. The city's name is often abbreviated by New Zealanders to Chch. In New Zealand Sign Language, the city's name is the fingerspelled letter C (made by forming the hand into a C shape) signed twice, with the second to the right of the first, while mouthing "Christchurch".
Christchurch is a distinctly English city, however it contains various European elements, with strong Gothic Revival architecture. As early settlers of New Zealand, Māori culture is also prevalent in the city. It features many public open spaces and parks, river beds and cafes 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.
Christchurch has one full-time professional theatre, the Court Theatre, founded in 1971 and based in the Christchurch Arts Centre. Alongside the Court, the co-operative and experimental Free Theatre Christchurch was established in 1979 and based in the Arts Centre from 1982.[79] There is also an active recreational theatre scene with community based theatre companies, such as the Christchurch Repertory Society, Elmwood Players, Riccarton Players, and Canterbury Children's Theatre, producing many quality shows. The Ngaio Marsh Theatre, located at the University of Canterbury, hosts a range of student drama groups, as well as other theatre groups.
The Horncastle Arena is New Zealand's second largest permanent multipurpose arena, seating between 5000 and 8000, depending on configuration. It is home of the Canterbury Tactix netball side. It was the venue for the 1999 World Netball championships and has been host to many concerts in recent years. The Christchurch Town Hall auditorium (2500 seats, opened 1972) was the first major auditorium design by architects Warren and Mahoney and acousticians Marshall Day. It is still recognised as a model example of concert-hall design. It has an excellent modern pipe organ but is currently closed. Christchurch also has a casino, and there are also a wide range of live music venues-some short-lived, others with decades of history. Classical music concerts are held at the Christchurch Music Centre.
Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Christchurch with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.