This page looks at the important council events that took place between 1881 and 1900.

Year Date/Month Event
1881  15 October Lancaster Park opens. “In 1880 the Canterbury Cricket and Athletic Sports Ground Company was formed to provide Christchurch with a large sports field.  This field was named Lancaster Park in 1881.  In 1904 control of the park was taken over by the Canterbury Cricket Association and in 1911 by Lancaster Park Ltd., whose name also appears later as the Lancaster Park Board of Control.  In 1920 the Victory Park Board(external link) assumed control. In 1998, when Lancaster Park was renamed Jade Stadium, the Victory Park Board was replaced by Jade Stadium Ltd.”  
1881 24 November

St Albans Borough Council(external link) formed.

“…formed from the old Avon Road District at the suburban nodes of development which had taken place at what is now Merivale, and at Knightstown, both areas being situated along the main northern arterial routes out of the city. By 1901 the St Albans Borough had a population of 6,607 and covered an area of 1,500 acres.  By the turn of the century increasing conflicts with the City Council over fire services, the Christchurch Domains Board, drainage and the city boundary had convinced a majority of St Albans residents that amalgamation with the city was desirable.  In March 1903…along with…Linwood and Sydenham Borough Councils, the St Albans Borough Council was merged with the Christchurch City Council.”

1881   George Ruddenklau (1882-1883) is elected as 12th Mayor of Christchurch.
1882 20 January First drainage pumping station in operation at Bromley, the beginning of New Zealand’s first sewage farm .
1882 13 September Woolston Town Board formed. Woolston and Sumner districts along with Linwood had elected a town board by November 1882, thus breaking with the Heathcote District Road Board.
1882 28 October Linwood Town Board formed. Woolston and Sumner districts along with Linwood had elected a town board by November 1882, thus breaking with the Heathcote District Road Board.
1883 20 March Sumner Town Board’s first meeting. The Sumner Town Board later became the Sumner Borough Council in 1891. Charles P Hulbert (1883-1885) is elected 13th Mayor of Christchurch.
1883 22 December Statue of William Moorhouse unveiled in the Botanic Gardens.

By 1885 the need for better accommodation for City Council staff could not be put off any longer. When the Council agreed with Mayor C P Hulbert’s suggestion that new offices should be built on the Land Office site (corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Boulevard), a competition was organised.  Architect Samuel Hurst Seager was declared the winner with his submission Design with Beauty, Build with Truth. Mayor C P Hulbert stated that the present building was “…rat eaten and rotten” and “the ill health of their officers was caused by foul smells arising in the building”.  The Press, 3 November 1885. Until the February 2011 earthquake this was the home to Our City O-Tautahi(external link). The building suffered extensive damage in the earthquakes.

1885   Aaron Ayers (1885-1887) is elected as 14th Mayor of Christchurch.
1887 10 January Tramway to New Brighton completed.  From 1887 the trams brought city folk to the beach.  New Brighton and the area(external link) was governed by its own borough council from 1896 until 1941.
1887 24 March First purpose built Christchurch City Council offices open.  This building at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street was designed by Samuel Hurst Seager Charles Louisson (1887-1889) is elected 15th Mayor of Christchurch.
1888   Tramway to Sumner completed.
“The work of constructing the extension of the tramway line from the Heathcote Bridge into Sumner is being carried on very rapidly, and it is anticipated that the through line will be ready for traffic about the last week of next month.”
Archives Reference: The Press, 7 September 1888.
1889   Samuel Manning (1889-1890) is elected as 16th Mayor of Christchurch.
1890 30 May

Richmond joins Christchurch City. Charles Matthew Gray (1890-1891) is elected 17th Mayor of Christchurch.

1891 11 May

Sumner(external link) Borough Council formed.
William Prudhoe (1891-1892) is elected 18th Mayor of Christchurch.

Did you know?
In 1891, the first department store in Christchurch to have electric lighting was J Ballantyne & Co.

1892   Eden George (1892-1893) is elected 19th Mayor of Christchurch.
1893 22 February Linwood Borough formed. Along with the Woolston and Sumner districts, Linwood had elected a town board by November 1882, thus breaking with the Heathcote District Road Board. In February 1893 the Linwood Town Board became the Linwood Borough Council.
1893 27 July

Woolston becomes a Borough. The Woolston Borough Council was constituted in July 1893 in place of the earlier town board set up in September 1882 from the old Heathcote Road District.

Thomas Gapes (1893-1894) is elected as 20th Mayor of Christchurch.

1894 February

High pressure water supply system in operation at Sumner. Walter H Cooper (1894-1895) is elected as 21st Mayor of Christchurch.


Henry Joseph Beswick (1895-1896) is elected as 22nd Mayor of Christchurch.

Did you know?
In 1894 Ernest Rutherford transmits New Zealand’s first radio waves from his basement laboratory at Canterbury University (what is now known as the Art Centre in central Christchurch).

1895   Walter H Cooper (1896-1897) is elected Mayor of Christchurch.
1896   Walter H Cooper (1896-1897) is re-elected Mayor of Christchurch (had previously sat in office in 1895).
1897 14 January New Brighton is declared a Borough. Council By-law restricts cyclists to a speed of eight miles per hour Charles Louisson (1897-1899) is re-elected Mayor of Christchurch (had previously sat in office from 1888-1889).
1899   William Reece (1899-1901) is elected 23rd Mayor of Christchurch.

First sealed street (part of Cashel Street) built.

Arthur Edgar G. Rhodes (1901-1902) is elected as 24th Mayor of Christchurch. A leading Christchurch lawyer and philanthropist, he was also a leading figure in the Order of St John and established the first branch of the Red Cross in New Zealand in 1915.