The Expansion of Settlement in Early Christchurch, 1850-62.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis presents an in depth study of the expansion of settlement in Christchurch between 1850-62, the pre-Municipal Council years. It is confined spatially to the 'central city' area within the four Avenues. Four research problems are studied: (1) The laying out of Christchurch by the New Zealand Company surveyors for the Canterbury Association, in particular, the reasons for the use of a grid street pattern. It was found that many factors were involved in its use. These included the personal preferences of the surveyors and the Association committee members, the topographic nature of the site chosen and contemporary planning convention. (2) The initial selection of town sections by the colonists and the reasons behind their choices. The 'orders of choice' of the sections have been tabulated and mapped to show section preference and how the settlers perceived the economic value of particular areas of the town grid for their commercial prospects. Town section auctions, leases, sales and subdivisions as well as church land are investigated. (3) The sale of the Town Reserves surrounding the town section area is also studied; the reason for their early sale, the nature and characteristics of the sales including prices and purchasers and their occupations. It was found that the prices paid were significantly related to the spatial positions of the lots within the Reserve blocks and to the time of their sale, in response to contemporary land values. There was no significant relationship between prices and the occupations of the buyers. (4) Public works undertaken by the Association and the Provincial Government are studied and their relationship with immigration and population figures. The scale of public works carried out at particular times was found to relate both to available finance and to immigration, the source of labour. Various aspects of public works, for example, street and footpath formation and bridging and drainage work were found to be indicative of differential growth between periods of depression and prosperity.