A timeline of Canterbury's development 1400-1900

  • 1000

    First inhabitants- 1000AD or CE

    The first people to live in the place now known as Christchurch were moa hunters, who probably arrived there as early as AD 1000. The hunters cleared large areas of mataī and tōtara forest by fire and by about 1450 the moa had been killed off.
  • Cook sights the Canterbury Peninsula

    On 16 February 1770 Captain James Cook in his ship the Endeavour first sighted the Canterbury peninsula. He thought it was an island, and named it Banks Island after the ship’s botanist, Joseph Banks.
  • Iwi migrate to the South Island/ Te Waipounamu

    By 1800 the Ngāi Tūāhuriri sub-tribe of Ngāi Tahu were in control of the coast from the Hurunui River in the north to Lake Ellesmere in the south.
  • Europeans land on Banks Peninsula

    The first attempt at settling on the plains was made by James Herriot of Sydney. He arrived with two small groups of farmers in April 1840.
  • Tracks developed in Ōtautahi between Kaiapoi and Rāpaki

    The main track between Kaiapoi and another settlement at Rāpaki followed a path between the swamps and the two rivers, Ōtākaro (Avon) and Ōpāwaho (Heathcote).