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Christchurch Facts

Largest city in the South Island of New Zealand

  • The usual Maori name for Christchurch is Otautahi ("the place of Tautahi").
  • The city was named by the Canterbury Association.
  • The city name was suggested by John Robert Godley, who had attended Christ Church, Oxford.
  • The river that flows through the centre of the city was named Avon.
  • The Christchurch area was first settled by moa-hunting tribes about 1250.
  • The city council said it is planning to built as a "city in a garden" with an estimated cost of NZ$2 billion.
  • The internationally famed Garnden City has a number of well-established expansive parks and public gardens.
  • English and Maori are the two official spoken languages of New Zealand.
  • Christchurch has a history of involvement in Antarctic exploration.
  • In late December 2011, Christchurch was hit by a series of earthquakes of the magnitude 6 and two greater than magnitude 5.
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