Canterbury Provincial Government Archives 1853-1877
Arguably the most extensive extant example of our provincial government archives
These records were created within a classic mid-nineteenth century, registry-based recordkeeping system, typical of British colonial administration in Australasia.
The Canterbury Provincial Government had control of the following functions: land, immigration, public works (including railways), goldfields administration, education, public health and social welfare, police and justice. The archives consist of some 470 boxes of papers, 240 volumes and 20 map folders, roughly 35,000 discrete, listed items.
Although containing over 150 documents relating to Ngāi Tahu, the archives have to be recognised as the colonisers’ recordkeeping system, and their content reflects this. These archives also provide a significant record of the West Coast goldrush and its attendant communities, an area which was part of Canterbury until 1867, and for which there is a notable lack of archives.
The collection is held in the Christchurch repository of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga.