Christchurch Domain Board Formed – 27th January 1873

On 27th January 1873, after the passing of the Canterbury Public Domain Act 1872 by the Canterbury Provincial Council, the Christchurch Domain Board was formed. Their main role was the protection and development of North and South Hagley Park in conjunction with the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society.

Throughout the 1860s, the Public Domain (Hagley Park) wasn’t much more than a wasteland where some sport events took place, free roaming hoof stock grazed and it was used by people as a thoroughfare without much thought to what was under their feet.

So began the organisation of Hagley Park in the form of the laying of English grass and the plantation of trees from all around the world. Surplus trees were set out beyond Christchurch to other parts of Canterbury.

The Domain Board weren’t afraid to take on the local government if they didn’t agree over the use of domain land or future developments. They halted a few projects with their on-going protests.

When the Provincial Government was abolished, the Canterbury Public Domain Act 1872 was superseded by the Public Domain Act 1881. In either 1946 or 1947, the Public Domain Board was absorbed by the C.C.C.

*Image courtesy of The Alexander Turnbull Library – Horse and cart on avenue bordering Hagley Park, Christchurch. Webb, Steffano, 1880?-1967: Collection of negatives. Ref: 1/1-008943-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.*

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