New Brighton, New Zealand
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (May 2015)|
New Brighton Pier
|• Total||2.7891 km2 (1.0769 sq mi)|
|• 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 center. In the 2013 census, New Brighton had a population of 2,442. At the heart of the suburb is the New Brighton mall, which is the suburb's primary shopping and entertainment precinct.
New Brighton is one of Eastern Christchurch's main entertainment and tourist centers with it's architecturally unique pier and its scenic coastline being the suburbs best known features.
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. The Māori name for the area is Kaiuau (kai means food and aua is Yellow-eye mullet) or O-ruapaeroa (an east wind blowing along the shore).
New Brighton Pier
The New Brighton Pier is held as the icon of New Brighton and later the icon of Christchurch after the February 22nd earthquake which destroyed Christchurch's Cathedral. The pier is one of Christchurch's main tourist attractions. It was officially opened on 1st November 1997, and cost 4 million dollars to build (half of which was from private donations). Spanning 300 meters long, it is the longest pier in the Australasia. Currently the New Brighton Pier is the venue of a number of events, such as regular skate on the Pier events and the annual Guy Fawkes fireworks display held on November 5th every year.
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.
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
- New Brighton's Seaside Market - Every Saturday from 10am to 2pm with a variety of stalls offering handmade crafts, local produce and nice food stalls, held in the pedestrian part of the New Brighton Mall by the New Brighton Project
- 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, also North Beach Surf Club to the north and South New Brighton Surf Club to the south
- 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 host a variety of free public events largely during the Summer period, targeting residents of Christchurch as well as other domestic international tourist.
Speight's Coast to Coast
Staged every February, the annual Speight's coast to Coast race finishing at New Brighton. Every years the event tracks thousands of spectators to watch the athletes complete the daunting challenge and cheer them on. The race coincides with the weekly New Brighton markets which occur every Saturday selling food, art, clothing and injecting life into New Brighton. Along with the markets the race brings in music and entertainment such as a fireworks display on celebrate the finishing of the race as well as life screening of the athletes progress through the race.
New Zealand Sand Castle competition
held in February annually, the national sandcastle competition attract people from all over Christchurch and even New Zealand to witness some of the amazing sand castles build by specialist and regular people just wanting to have fun.
Held in January annually, Kite Day attracts thousands of people throughout Christchurch and injects life and activity into New Brighton. Kite Day itself features a wide range of unique and stunning Kites.
New Brighton day
Every February annually, Happy New Brighton Day is one of the largest community events held in New Brighton. The event attract as many as 10,000 people throughout Christchurch and provides a vibrant atmosphere of music, entertainment, markets and more.
In November annually, Guy Fawkes attracts well over 10,000 people to witness a stunning display of Fireworks on the New Brighton Pier as well as a lights show off the pier and music.
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 (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.
A variety of bus routes connect the city centre with New Brighton. The Metroinfo website has further information.
As of 2015 there are four operating primary schools in New Brighton. This includes New Brighton Catholic and Rawhiti beach campus in central New Brighton, South New Brighton primary in the south New Brighton and Rawhiti QE2 base in North New Brighton.
By the end of 2018, two new high schools replacing Shirley Boys and Avonside girls are expected to be completed in North New Brighton. Rawhiti beach campus are Rawhiti QE2 base are expected to merge into one Rawhiti school, located in the old North New Brighton primary school site.
Christchurch earthquakes aftermath
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. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said he wasn't offended, but the residents were "wrong". These feelings of neglect by the Christchurch City Council would continue to persist. Groups such as the Peoples independent Republic of New Brighton was formed by Paul Zaaman, The New Brighton Businesses and landowners association spokesperson, in order to protest lack of investment by the Christchurch City Council into New Brighton.
New Brighton was also named to be the host the finish of the annual Speight's Coast to Coast multisport race in February 2015. The previous finishing point of the race was in Sumner.
In early 2015, the Christchurch City Council and the Ministry of Education announced that North New Brighton's QE2 park would be accommodating the new 80 million dollar joint secondary school campus comprising of Shirley Boys and Avonside Girls high schools, along the 39 million dollar Eastern Recreation and sports facility. 2015
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- NIWA: Pier-cam hourly image
- New Brighton Pier, circa 1915, Christchurch City Libraries
- New Brighton Surf Club