New Brighton, New Zealand

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New Brighton
New Brighton Pier
New Brighton Pier
New Brighton is located in New Zealand Christchurch
New Brighton
New Brighton
Coordinates: 43°30′23″S 172°43′52″E / 43.50636°S 172.73100°E / -43.50636; 172.73100Coordinates: 43°30′23″S 172°43′52″E / 43.50636°S 172.73100°E / -43.50636; 172.73100
 • Total 2.7891 km2 (1.0769 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 2,442
 • Density 880/km2 (2,300/sq mi)

New Brighton is a coastal suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the east of the city centre.


The naming of New Brighton was apparently done on a 'spur of moment' decision by William Fee, an early settler of the area. When Guise Brittan, the Waste Lands Commissioner, visited the area in December 1860, he was recognised and Fee chalked 'New Brighton' on a wooden plank, supposedly in reference to his fellow settler Stephen Brooker, who had come from New Brighton in England.[1] The Māori name for the area is Kaiuau (kai means food and aua is Yellow-eye mullet)[2] or O-ruapaeroa (an east wind blowing along the shore).[1]

The suburb is frequently referred to simply as Brighton, occasionally leading to confusion with Brighton near Dunedin.


The suburb is divided into three sections spread along the southern coast of Pegasus Bay: North New Brighton; New Brighton; and South New Brighton, which lies at the northern end of a narrow peninsula between the bay and the Avon Heathcote Estuary. A 300 metres (980 ft) pier was built here in the 1990s, and opened on November 1997.

New Brighton was originally a distinct coastal village, separated from the then outer suburbs of Christchurch by the swampy areas adjoining the Avon River. However, urban expansion, land reclamation and drainage have led to Brighton being swallowed by Christchurch city.


Aerial view of New Brighton beach and the Port Hills

The current attractions of the area include:

  • a sandy beach, with good surfing, stretching 18 km from the Waimakariri River mouth in the north, to the spit in the south
  • swimming with (summer) surf-club-supervised areas
  • birdwatching at the spit: godwits migrate from this area and their return is something of a local event
  • cycling, walking, orienteering, geocaching in the extensive plantation areas which abut the northerly beach, and (of course) on the beach itself
  • 4WD driving (permit required) in the extreme northern beach area
  • pier and Council library on the foreshore, in Central New Brighton
  • the New Brighton and Districts Museum, located on Hardy Street
  • restaurants and art/craft-related shops: in growing numbers
  • Home of the first surf life saving club in New Zealand established in 1910,[3] also North Beach Surf Club to the north and South New Brighton Surf Club to the south
  • Community market on the first and third Saturday of each month - held in the pedestrian part of the New Brighton Mall by the New Brighton Project
  • Rawhiti Domain - with a Christchurch City Council-run golf links, tennis courts, dog park, rugby fields, cricket ovals, netball courts, community carden, archery club and children's play area
New Brighton Pier, library, and clock tower

Saturday trading[edit]

For several decades, New Brighton had the distinction of being the only place in Christchurch where general retail shops were permitted to open on Saturdays[4] (remaining closed on Mondays), and the business district thrived as a result. With the introduction of nationwide Saturday trading in 1980, and then seven-day trading in 1990, retail activity declined significantly.[5][6]

Public transport[edit]

A variety of bus routes connect the city centre with New Brighton. The Metroinfo website[7] has further information.

Christchurch earthquakes aftermath[edit]

In December 2012 residents held a protest against the perceived slow progress of rebuilding in the area following the region's damaging earthquakes, in which 80 people bared their bottoms.[8] Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said he wasn't offended, but the residents were "wrong".[9]


  1. ^ a b Harper, Margaret (July 2011). "Christchurch Place Names" (PDF). Christchurch City Libraries. pp. 131f. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling, ed. Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-14-320410-7. 
  3. ^ "Centenary". New Brighton Surf Bathing & Life Saving Club Incorporated 1910. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Christchurch - A Chronology - 1946". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  5. ^ "East Christchurch". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  6. ^ Walrond, Carl (13 July 2012). "Food shops - Shopping hours". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Metroinfo website
  8. ^ "Angry residents hold 'cheeky' protest". 3 News NZ. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mayor not offended by 'cheeky' protest". 3 News NZ. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links[edit]