Akaroa township and its main wharf
|Unitary authority||Christchurch City|
|European settlement||18 August 1840|
|Founded by||Jean François Langlois|
|• Total||1.7656 km2 (0.6817 sq mi)|
Akaroa is a small town on Banks Peninsula in the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand, situated within a harbour of the same name. The name Akaroa is Kāi Tahu Māori for "Long Harbour", which would be spelled "Whangaroa" in standard Māori.
Akaroa is 84 kilometres (52 mi) by road from Christchurch and is the terminus of State Highway 75. In the 2013 New Zealand census, the permanent population was 624, an increase of 9.5% since 2006. The town has a high (31.3%) ratio of residents aged over 65
It is set on sheltered harbour and is overlooked and surrounded by the remnants of a miocene volcano. Akaroa is a popular resort town and in summer the temporary population can reach 15,000 which places stress on the summer water supply, which is entirely dependent upon rainfall on the hills.
In 1830 the Māori settlement at Takapuneke, just east of the current town of Akaroa, became the scene of a notorious incident. The Captain of the British brig Elizabeth, John Stewart, helped North Island Ngāti Toa chief, Te Rauparaha, to capture the local Kāi Tahu chief, Tāmaiharanui, his wife Te Whe and his young daughter, Roimata. The settlement of Takapuneke was sacked. Concern over the complicity of John Stewart, amongst other lawlessness among Europeans in New Zealand, led to the appointment of an official British Resident James Busby to New Zealand in 1832 – the first step in the British involvement that led to the Treaty of Waitangi.
After being informed of the French intent to colonise Akaroa and use further as a whaling port, the English ship Britomart was despatched in order to proclaim sovereignty for the Crown. The Britomart arrived in Akaroa on 16 August (although the captain's log shows this arrival date as 11 August 1840), Captain Stanley raised the British flag and held a court at each of the occupied settlements.
James Robinson Clough, also known as Jimmy Robinson, had arrived at Akaroa several years before. He acted as interpreter for Captain Owen Stanley at the flag-raising of 1840, and was the first Pākehā to travel up the Avon River in 1843. Clough's descendants are still prominent on the Peninsula today.
The following English immigrants settled in both Akaroa and German Bay (Takamatua) along with many German farmers who set up dairy, sheep and cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) farms. The great majority of the artifacts currently held at Akaroa Museum are of the early farming community and their lifestyle of the time.
In 1838 Captain Jean François Langlois made a provisional purchase of land in "the greater Banks Peninsula" from Tuaanau. A deposit of commodities in the value of £6 was paid and a further £234 worth of commodities was to be paid at a later period. On his return to France, he advertised for settlers to come to New Zealand and ceded his interest in the land to the Nanto-Bordelaise Company, of which he became a part owner. On 9 March 1840, 63 emigrants left from Rochefort. The settlers embarked on the Comte de Paris – an old man-of-war ship given to them by the French government – for New Zealand. The Comte de Paris and its companion ship the Aube, captained by Commodore Charles François Lavaud, arrived in the Bay of Islands in the North Island on 11 July 1840, where they discovered that the Banks Peninsula had been claimed by the British. The French arrived in Akaroa on 18 August and established a settlement.
The area still has a French influence, reflected in many local placenames.
- Bob Parker (born 1953), former Mayor of Banks Peninsula and former resident
- Hugh Wilson (born 1945), botanist living at Hinewai Reserve over the hill from Akaroa
- Frank Worsley (1872–1943), sailor and explorer who served on Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1916, as captain of the Endurance
- Deposition (geology): analysis of sediment deposition in Akaroa Harbour shows the occurrence of the null-point theory, where sediment grain size decreases with increasing marine depth or reduction in the hydraulic regime.
- "2013 Quick Stats about Akaroa".
- The Royal Society of New Zealand (February 1958). New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. The Royal Society of New Zealand. pp. 207–.
- Saint Peter's Anglican Church page on Akaroa's website
- Mission of the Britomart
- A Toe-Hold at Akaroa
- Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling, ed. Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. p. 19. ISBN 9780143204107.
- Easther, Elisabeth (31 January 2014). "Kia ora: Akaroa". The New Zealand Herald. Auckland. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Dennerly, P. Y. "Worsley, Frank Arthur". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Akaroa.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Akaroa.|