South Island

South Island

South Island (1996 pop. 900,114), 58,093 sq mi (150,461 sq km), New Zealand. It is the larger but less populous of the two principal islands of the country and is also known as the Mainland. It is separated from the North Island, the other principal island, by Cook Strait and from Stewart Island by Foveaux Strait. The Clutha and Waitaki are the largest rivers. The island includes the extensive Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps, which extend almost the entire length of the island. Fiordland National Park includes a major portion of the southwest. The South Island's principal cities are Christchurch, Dunedin, and Invercargill. The South Island is New Zealand's main source of native timber. Grain and fruit are grown and sheep are raised; some coal, gold, and oil is found there. The island has several large hydroelectric projects.

Island (pop., 2006: 1,022,316), larger and southernmost of the two principal islands of New Zealand. Separated from the North Island by Cook Strait, it has an area of 58,384 sq mi (151,215 sq km). Mountains, including the Southern Alps, occupy almost three-quarters of the island. Its main cities are Christchurch and Dunedin. Fiordland National Park in the southwest contains numerous coastal fjords and high lakes.

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The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. The Māori name for the South Island, Te Wai Pounamu, meaning "The Water/s of Greenstone" (greenstone being jade), possibly evolved from Te Wāhi Pounamu which means "The Place Of Greenstone". The island is also known as Te Waka a Māui which means "Māui's Canoe".

The South Island is often called "the Mainland". Today this expression is used humorously, although still with pride by "Mainlanders", since while it is a somewhat larger landmass than the North Island, only about a quarter of New Zealand's four million inhabitants live in the South Island. However, in the early stages of European (Pākehā) settlement of the country, the South Island was pre-eminent, with the majority of the European population and wealth focussed there due to gold rushes. It was not until the early 20th century that the North Island population overtook the South, with 56% of the population living in the North in 1911. In Māori legend, the South Island existed first, as the boat of Maui, while the North Island was the fish that he caught. However, the South Island has never been the main site of Māori population.

History

Early inhabitants of the South Island were the Waitaha. They were largely absorbed via marriage and conquest by the Kāti Mamoe in the 1500s.

Ngāti Mamoe were in turn largely absorbed via marriage and conquest by the Ngāi Tahu who migrated south in the seventeenth century. While today there is no distinct Ngati Mamoe organisation, many Ngai Tahu have Ngati Mamoe links in their whakapapa and, especially in the far south of the island.

Around the same time a group of Māori migrated to Rekohu (the Chatham Islands), where, by adapting to the local climate and the availability of resources, they developed a culture known as Moriori — related to but distinct from Māori culture in mainland New Zealand. A notable feature of the Moriori culture, an emphasis on pacifism, proved disadvantageous when Māori warriors arrived in the 1830s aboard a chartered European ship.

The first Europeans known to reach the South Island were the crew of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived in his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen. Tasman anchored in Golden Bay, at the northern end of the island, (he named it Murderers Bay) in December 1642 and sailed northward to Tonga following a clash with local Māori. Tasman sketched sections of the two main islands' west coasts. Tasman called them Staten Landt, after the States-General of the Netherlands, and that name appeared on his first maps of the country. Dutch cartographers changed the name to Nova Zeelandia in Latin, from Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. It was subsequently Anglicised as New Zealand by British naval captain James Cook of HM Bark Endeavour who visited the islands more than 100 years after Tasman during (17691770).

In the early 18th century, Ngāi Tahu a Māori tribe who originated on the east coast of the North Island began migrating to the northern part of the South Island. There they and Kāti Mamoe fought Ngāi Tara and Rangitāne in the Wairau Valley. Ngāti Māmoe then ceded the east coast regions north of the Clarence River to Ngāi Tahu. Ngāi Tahu continued to push south, conquering Kaikoura. By the 1730s, Ngāi Tahu had settled in Canterbury, including Banks Peninsula. From there they spread further south and into the West Coast.

In 1827-1828 Ngāti Toa under the leadership of Te Rauparaha successfully attacked Ngāi Tahu at Kaikoura. Ngāti Toa then visited Kaiapoi, obstensibly to trade. When they attacked their hosts, the well-prepared Ngāi Tahu killed all the leading Ngāti Toa chiefs except Te Rauparaha. Te Rauparaha returned to his Kapiti Island stronghold. In November 1830 Te Rauparaha persuaded Captain John Stewart of the brig Elizabeth to carry him and his warriors in secret to Akaroa, where by subterfuge they captured the leading Ngāi Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui, and his wife and daughter. After destroying Te Maiharanui's village they took their captives to Kapiti and killed them. John Stewart, though arrested and sent to trial in Sydney as an accomplice to murder, nevertheless escaped conviction.

In the summer of 1831-1832 Te Rauparaha attacked the Kaiapoi (fortified village). After a three-month siege, a fire in the pā allowed Ngāti Toa to overcome it. They then attacked Ngāi Tahu on Banks Peninsula and took the pā at Onawe. In 1832-33 Ngāi Tahu retaliated under the leadership of Tuhawaiki and others, attacking Ngāti Toa at Lake Grassmere. Ngāi Tahu prevailed, and killed many Ngāti Toa, although Te Rauparaha again escaped. Fighting continued for a year or so, with Ngāi Tahu maintaining the upper hand. Ngāti Toa never again made a major incursion into Ngāi Tahu territory.

By 1839 Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Toa established peace and Te Rauparaha released the Ngāi Tahu captives he held. Formal marriages between the leading families in the two tribes sealed the peace.

On June 17, 1843, Māori natives and the British settlers clashed at Wairau in what became known as the Wairau Affray. Also known as the Wairau Massacre in most older texts, it was the first serious clash of arms between the two parties after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the only one to take place in the South Island. Four Māori died and three were wounded in the incident, while among the Europeans the toll was 22 dead and five wounded. Twelve of the Europeans were shot dead or clubbed to death after surrendering to Māori who were pursuing them.

In the 1870s and 1880s, several thousand Chinese men, mostly from the Guangdong province, migrated to New Zealand to work on the South Island goldfields. Although the first Chinese migrants had been invited by the Otago Provincial government they quickly became the target of hostility from white settlers and laws were enacted specifically to discourage them from coming to New Zealand.

In the 19th century, some maps named the South Island as Middle Island or New Munster, and the name South Island or New Leinster was used for today's Stewart Island/Rakiura.

In 1907 the Minister for Lands gave instructions to the Land and Survey Department that the name Middle Island was not to be used in future. "South Island will be adhered to in all cases".

Politics

The South Island is guaranteed 16 of the 69 electorates in the New Zealand House of Representatives. In addition, 10 list MPs are based in the South Island, including the current Deputy Prime Minister.

Local Government Regions

There are seven local government regions covering the South Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters. Four are governed by an elected regional council, while three are governed by territorial authorities (the second tier of local government) which also perform the functions of a regional council and thus are known as unitary authorities. There is one exception to this, Nelson City, is governed by an individual Territorial authority to its region (Tasman Region). The Chatham Islands Council is often counted by many as a unitary authority, but it is officially recognised as a part of the region of Canterbury.

Territorial Authorities

There are 25 territorial authorities within the South Island: 4 city councils, 20 district councils and the Chatham Islands Council. Four territorial authorities (Nelson City Council, Tasman and Marlborough District Councils and the Chatham Islands Council) also perform the functions of a regional council and thus are known as unitary authorities.

Political Parties

This is a list of Political Parties, past and present, who have their headquarters in the South Island.

People

Population

Compared to the more populated and multi-ethnic North Island, the South Island has a smaller, more homogeneous resident population of 1,008,400. At the 2001 Census, over 91 percent of people in the South Island said they belong to the European ethnic group, compared with 80.1 percent for all of New Zealand .

Economy

The South Island had an estimated sub-national GDP of US$27.8 billion (as of 2003).

The main industry groups within the South Island are manufacturing, agriculture, mining, construction, electricity, gas and water supply, education, health and community services.

Trade Unions

There are several South Island based trade union organisations. They are:

Tourism

The main tourism destinations of the South Island are;

Ski areas and Resorts

This is a list of ski areas and resorts in the South Island where the public can pay to ski.
Nelson Lakes

Canterbury

Otago

Transport

Road Transport

The South Island has a State Highway network of 4,921 km.

Rail Transport

See also: List of New Zealand railway lines, Rail transport in New Zealand.

The South Island's railway network has two main lines, two secondary lines, and a few branch lines. The Main North Line from Picton to Christchurch and the Main South Line from Lyttelton to Invercargill via Dunedin together comprise the South Island Main Trunk Railway. The secondary Midland Line branches from the Main South Line in Rolleston and passes through the Southern Alps via the Otira Tunnel to the West Coast and its terminus in Greymouth. In Stillwater, it meets the other secondary route, the Stillwater - Westport Line, which now includes the Ngakawau Branch. A number of other secondary routes are now closed, including the Otago Central Railway, the isolated Nelson Section, and the interdependent Waimea Plains Railway and Kingston Branch. An expansive network of branch lines once existed, especially in Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, but these are now almost completely closed. The branch lines that remain in operation serve ports (Bluff Branch and Port Chalmers Branch), coal mines (Ohai Branch and Rapahoe Branch), and a dairying factory (Hokitika Branch). The first 64 km of the Otago Central Railway remain in operation for tourist trains run by the Taieri Gorge Railway (TGR). The most significant freight is coal from West Coast mines to the port of Lyttelton for export.

Passenger services were once extensive. Commuter trains operated multiple routes around Christchurch and Dunedin, plus a service between Invercargill and Bluff. Due to substantial losses, these were cancelled between the late 1960s and early 1980s. The final services to operate ran between Dunedin and Mosgiel, and they ceased in 1982. Regional passenger trains were once extensive, but are now limited to the TranzCoastal from Christchurch to Picton and the TranzAlpine from Christchurch to Greymouth. The Southerner between Christchurch and Invercargill, once the flagship of the network, was cancelled on 10 February 2002. Subsequently, the architecturally significant Dunedin Railway Station has been used solely by the TGR's tourist trains, the Taieri Gorge Limited along the Otago Central Railway and the Seasider to Palmerston. Rural passenger services on branch lines were provided by mixed trains and Vulcan/88 seater railcars but the mixeds had largely ceased to exist by the 1950s and the railcars were withdrawn in the mid-1970s.

The South Island saw the final use of steam locomotives in New Zealand. Locomotives belonging to classes long withdrawn elsewhere continued to operate on West Coast branches until the very late 1960s, when they were displaced by DJ class diesels. In comparison to most countries, where steam locomotives were last used on insubstantial rural and industrial operations, the very last services run by steam locomotives were the premier expresses between Christchurch and Invercargill: the South Island Limited until 1970 and the Friday and Sunday night services until 1971. This was due to the carriages being steam-heated. The final steam-hauled service in New Zealand, headed by a member of the JA class, ran on 26 October 1971.

Water Transport

The South Island is separated from the North Island by Cook Strait, 24 km wide at its narrowest point, but requiring a 70 km ferry trip to cross.

Ports and harbours

Air Transport

South Island Airports

LOCATION    ICAO    IATA    AIRPORT NAME
Alexandra NZLX ALR Alexandra Aerodrome
Ashburton NZAS ASG Ashburton Aerodrome
Balclutha NZBA Balclutha Aerodrome
Blenheim NZWB BHE Blenheim Airport (Woodbourne)
Chatham Islands NZCI CHT Chatham Islands / Tuuta Airport
Christchurch NZCH CHC Christchurch International Airport (long-distance)
Cromwell NZCS Cromwell Racecourse Aerodrome
Dunedin NZDN DUD Dunedin International Airport (limited)
Gore NZGC Gore Aerodrome
Greymouth NZGM GMN Greymouth Airport
Haast NZHT Haast Aerodrome
Hokitika NZHK HKK Hokitika Airport
Invercargill NZNV IVC Invercargill Airport
Kaikoura NZKI KBZ Kaikoura Aerodrome
Lake Pukaki NZGT GTN Glentanner Aerodrome
Milford Sound NZMF MFN Milford Sound Airport
Mount Cook NZMC MON Mount Cook Aerodrome
Motueka NZMK MZP Motueka Aerodrome
Nelson NZNS NSN Nelson Airport
Oamaru NZOU OAM Oamaru Aerodrome
Picton NZPN PCN Picton Aerodrome
Queenstown NZQN ZQN Queenstown Airport (limited)
Rangiora NZFF Forest Field Aerodrome
Stewart Island/Rakiura NZRC SZS Ryans Creek Aerodrome
Takaka NZTK KTF Takaka Aerodrome
Te Anau / Manapouri NZMO TEU Manapouri Aerodrome
Timaru NZTU TIU Richard Pearse Airport
Twizel NZUK TWZ Pukaki Aerodrome
Wanaka NZWF WKA Wanaka Airport
Westport NZWS WSZ Westport Airport
Wigram NZWG Wigram Aerodrome

Geography

The South Island with an area of 151,215 km² (58,093 square miles) is the largest land mass of New Zealand, it contains about one quarter of the New Zealand population and is the world's 12th-largest island. It is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres (12,316 ft). There are eighteen peaks of more than 3000 metres (9800 ft) in the South Island. The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines, very high proportion of native bush, and Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.

Climate

The climate in the South Island is mostly temperate. The Mean temperature for the South Island is 8 °C (46 °F). January and February are the warmest months while July is the coldest.

Most areas have between 600 and 1600 mm of rainfall with the most rain along the West Coast and the least rain on the East Coast, predominantly on the Canterbury Plains. Christchurch is the driest city receiving about 640 mm (25 in) of rain per year.

There are three main factors that influence New Zealand's climate:

Geology

National Parks

Other Native Reserves and Parks

Geographic Features

Glaciers:

Rivers:

Education

Primary

Secondary

Tertiary

The South Island has several tertiary level institutions:

Healthcare

Healthcare in the South Island is provided by six District Health Boards (DHBs). Organized around geographical areas, of varying population sizes, they are not coterminous with the Local Government Regions.

  • Canterbury DHB
  • Nelson Marlborough DHB
  • Otago DHB
  • South Canterbury DHB
  • Southland DHB
  • West Coast DHB

Media

Print

Television

Radio

Nelson Stations

Current Stations

Previous Stations

West Coast Stations

Current Stations

Previous Stations

  • Radio Scenicland and later Scenicland FM - Rebranded as Classic Hits Scenicland FM.

Canterbury Stations

Current Stations

Previous Stations

  • 3ZB - Rebranded as Newstalk ZB
  • 3ZE (Ashburton) - Rebranded as Classic Hits 92.5 ZEFM
  • Channel Z - Operated local Channel Z station until 2001 when station was replaced with Auckland based network product.
  • Fox FM (Ashburton) - Rebranded as Port FM
  • 99 Life FM - Original Life FM station
  • B98 FM - Rebranded as Classic Hits B98 and later Classic Hits 97.7
  • Lite FM - Rebranded as The Breeze
  • Radio Avon and later C93FM
  • Radio Caroline (Timaru) - Rebranded as Classic Hits 99FM
  • Blush 96.1 - Christchurch NZBS "Live Sexy"

Dunedin and East Otago Stations

Current Stations

Previous Stations

  • 4XO - Rebranded as More FM
  • 4ZB and later ZBFM - Rebranded as Classic Hits 89FM
  • 93Rox
  • Radio Waitaki (Oamaru) - Rebranded as Classic Hits Radio Waitaki
  • Whitestone FM (Oamaru) - Rebranded as Port FM

Queenstown and Central Otago Stations

Current Stations

Previous Stations

  • Radio Central (Alexandra) - Rebranded as More FM
  • Resort Radio (Queenstown) - Rebranded as More FM
  • Q92 (Queenstown) - Rebranded as Q92 The Breeze

Southland Stations

Current Stations

Previous Stations

Sport

A number of national or international sporting teams and events are based in the South Island, including:

International events hosted in the South Island include the National Basketball League, the ANZ Championship netball competition and the Super 14 rugby union competition.

The Arts

Art Galleries

Museums

Film location

Several movies have been filmed (in large part) in the South Island, including the Lord of the Rings and 2005's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

See also

External links

Notes

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