Christchurch chronology

A timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from the 1700s to 1989.

The Christchurch Chronology was based on the second edition of John Densem’s Christchurch chronology: a history of settlement. Christchurch City Council, 1990.

The Christchurch chronology was originally prepared in 1983 as a basic resource for internal use in compiling Christchurch City Council publications and reports. When the City Manager at the time, John Gray, read the original drafts it was immediately apparent to him that the information was too valuable merely to be held on file for occasional use by specialists, and arrangements were made for it to be published. In 1989 the chronology was updated and reprinted as part of the Council’s contribution to observing 1990 (the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.)

The chronology records in a simple format the historical events which have shaped Christchurch as we know it today. Some events further afield which have affected the city have also been included. Where known, exact dates are given to enable those interested in delving deeper into any topic to go straight to the newspaper and magazine sources of the day. In spite of best efforts it is acknowledged that there are bound to be errors and omissions from this list.