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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood


This town, as our readers are aware, was the spot where the Canterbury settlers landed, and where the first attempts at a settlement were made. Indeed, for many years, although Christchurch, Kaiapoi, and Papanui were slowly growing, it was the principal town of the province. The port, and the centre from which all business was carried on, it was originally intended to make it the Cathedral City, but its circumscribed limits caused settlers to prefer the plains, and Christchurch became the more page 148important. Gradually the head offices of merchants were removed to Christchurch, the principal Customs work followed, and the opening of the tunnel, with railway communication, put the finishing stroke to the change. Lyttelton became the port, and the port only. Its business changed in consequence. In 1855, agitation commenced for its formation into a municipality, which shortly afterwards was granted to it. Since then it has managed its own local matters very satisfactorily. The earnest commencement of its present magnificent harbour works was the signal for its revival from the depression which had attended on the removal of nearly all the merchants' business to Christchurch, and since then it has thriven well. It has now 4500 inhabitants, and the valuation of its buildings for rateable purposes is £25,538. The tonnage of the vessels entered inwards in 1884 was 491,590, and of those outwards 474,633. The value of New Zealand produce exported in the twelve months ending June 30, 1884, was £1,541,225, and the revenue collected at the port in the same period was £194,786 1s 5d.

The public institutions in Lyttelton are the Harbour Board, the Orphanage, the Sailors' Home, and a casual hospital ward. Descriptions of these we give below:—