Ashburton, New Zealand
|Secondary urban area|
Aerial view of Ashburton, looking west. The Ashburton River or Hakatere is visible at left.
|Territorial authority||Ashburton District|
Te Tai Tonga (Maori electorate)
|• Mayor||Angus McKay|
|• Territorial||6,187.40 km2 (2,388.97 sq mi)|
|Population (June 2014 estimate)|
|• Density||5.3/km2 (14/sq mi)|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
Ashburton (Māori: Hakatere) is a large town in the Canterbury Region, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The town is the seat of the Ashburton District, a territorial authority encompassing the town and the surrounding rural area, which is also known as Mid Canterbury. It is located 85 km (53 mi) south west of Christchurch and is sometimes regarded as a satellite town of Christchurch.
Ashburton township has a population of 19,500, with an additional 12,400 living in the wider district. The town is the 23rd largest urban area in New Zealand and the third-largest urban area in the Canterbury Region, after Christchurch and Timaru.
Ashburton was named by the surveyor Captain Joseph Thomas of the New Zealand Land Association, after Francis Baring, 3rd Baron Ashburton, who was a member of the Canterbury Association. The town is laid out around two central squares either side of the railway line and main highway, Baring Square East and Baring Square West.
Ashburton is on State Highway 1 86 km south of Christchurch. The Main South Line railway line runs through the centre of town, but passenger trains ceased on 10 February 2002. The town is the centre of a rich agricultural and pastoral farming district, part of the Canterbury Plains. It has one large suburb, Tinwald, south of the town and the Ashburton River. Tinwald was the junction for the now-closed Mount Somers Branch railway line. The town has 3 other suburbs: Allenton, Hampstead and Netherby.
On the whole, Ashburton shares a similar climate to Christchurch i.e. a dry temperate climate (Cfb). However, since it lies further inland at a higher altitude to Christchurch, Ashburton experiences a greater range of temperatures. During summer Ashburton can exceed 30°C, whilst winter can see regular frosts and annual snowfall. Ashburton's heaviest snowfall was 60 cm on 12 June 2006.
Ashburton lies in the middle of the fertile alluvial Canterbury Plains which permits agricultural activity such as dairying provided irrigation is used. And much of Ashburton industry is orientated to the needs local farmers.
Ashburton has some unique and unusual businesses. Bruce McIlroy services and restores Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars. Peter Lynn manufactures kites. Talley's Group and CMP. NZ Sock Company.[clarification needed]
In 2012, Ashburton was noted for having more cooperative companies operating in its district than in any other area of New Zealand, and was subsequently named by the New Zealand Cooperatives Association the "Cooperative Capital of New Zealand". Several of the 40-plus companies are national companies based outside the district, such as Fonterra, Foodstuffs and Silver Fern Farms (meat processing), but many were local cooperatives, such as the Ashburton Trading Society (farm supplies) and Electricity Ashburton (electricity distribution).
Ashburton media includes the Ashburton Guardian daily newspaper, The Courier a free weekly community newspaper owned by the Otago Daily Times, and the Mid Canterbury focused AshburtonOnline website. Radio Port FM is based in Timaru; Newstalk ZB and Classic Hits ZEFM are re-broadcast from other out-of-town stations.
There is a small airport, Ashburton Aerodrome, serving the town.
There are seven primary schools, an intermediate school, a secondary school and a composite school in Ashburton. All rolls are as of October 2014.
- Allenton School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school. It has a roll of 362 students.
- Ashburton Borough School is a state full primary (Year 1–8) school. It has a roll of 402 students.
- Ashburton Christian School is a state-integrated evangelical Christian composite (Year 1–13) school. The school opened in February 2009 as a private school, and integrated into the state system in March 2011. It has a roll of 91 students.
- Ashburton College is a state secondary (Year 9–13) school. The school opened in 1965 following the merger of Ashburton High School and Hakatere College. It has a roll of 1175 students.
- Ashburton Intermediate School is a state intermediate (Year 7–8) school. The school opened in 1974. It has a roll of 367 students.
- Ashburton Netherby School is a state contributing primary school. The school opened in 1959. It has a roll of 123 students.
- Fairton School is a state contributing primary school. It has a roll of 34 students.
- Hampstead School is a state contributing primary school. It has a roll of 363 students.
- St Joseph's School is a state-integrated Catholic full primary school. It has a roll of 230 students.
- Tinwald School is a state contributing primary school. It has a roll of 239 students.
Opportunities within the town itself are limited to the kind of activities that could be expected for a town of its size, such as a movie theatre and swimming pool. There are also two local golf courses. There is a walking track for some distance, coastwards along the northern side of the river from SH1. This was overgrown for many years, but has now been restored and is in excellent condition.
The Ashburton Club and Mutual School of Arts was founded in 1885 and continues to this day. It is a member of the NZ Chartered Clubs Association. It is located in the Central town and currently has around 4000 members on its records. 
The Aerodrome is 5.5 km from the town centre and NZAS is an active light (GA and Microlight) aviation hub and home of the Mid Canterbury Aero Club (GA) and Ashburton Aviation Pioneers (microlight) both of whom offer flight training. The Aerodrome is unique with no landing fees and a large aviation museum on site.
Slightly further afield, the number of leisure opportunities rises dramatically. The beaches adjacent to Ashburton are steep and shingly with a strong undertow, making them unsafe to swim, but suitable nonetheless for surf-casting. In part to rectify the limitations imposed by the lack of recreational waterways, Lake Hood was constructed just south-east of Tinwald. It provides rowing, swimming, and water-skiing opportunities. The Ashburton, Rakaia, and Rangitata Rivers offer good fishing, the Rakaia in particular is renowned worldwide for its salmon fishing. Upper reaches of the Rangitata are frequently kayaked and rafted, reaching Grades 3-4. The Rakaia is known for jet-boating. The Ashburton Lakes (Lake Heron, Lake Camp, Lake Clearwater, and a number of smaller lakes) are around an hour and a half inland, and offer water sport and fishing opportunities[specify]. On the road to these lake are Mount Somers and the Mount Somers walkway.
Prominent residents have included the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley, international operatic tenor Simon O'Neill, Olympic silver medal cyclist Hayden Roulston and New Zealand television and radio personalities Simon Barnett and Robyn Malcolm. Hugo Friedlander was the second Mayor of Ashburton (1879–1881, 1890–1892 and 1898–1901), but left for Auckland in 1918 due to anti-German feelings caused by WWI.
- "Mayor Bede O'Malley". Ashburton District Council. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2014 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. Also "Infoshare; Group: Population Estimates - DPE; Table: Estimated Resident Population for Urban Areas, at 30 June (1996+) (Annual-Jun)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Editorial comment 15 June 2011 - Ashburton Guardian
- Peters, Pam; Collins, Peter; Smith, Adam (2009). Comparative Studies in Australian and New Zealand English: Grammar and Beyond. John Benjamins. p. 57.
- "Niwa Science climate data".
- "Ashburton Crowned ‘Cooperative Capital of NZ’". New Zealand Cooperatives Association (via Scoop.co.nz). 15 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Directory of Schools - as at 5 November 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
- Ashburton Club and M.S.A. ; A century of achievement, 1885-1985. Pg.7
- McCausland, Ray. "Hugo Friedlander". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved December 2011.
- Reed, A. W. (2002). The Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0761-4.
- Ashburton District Council
- The Ashburton Guardian
- Enterprise Ashburton Economic Development Agency
- Ashburton Street Map