Council history

Christchurch was founded in 1850 on the arrival of about 800 settlers from the United Kingdom, and became New Zealand's first city, by Royal Charter, in 1856.

Responsible local government began when the first meeting of the Christchurch Municipal Council, established under a provincial ordinance, was held on 3 March 1862.

2013 ward boundary maps

Ward boundaries changed for the local elections in October 2016. This information is for historic purposes and is no longer current.


Important council events that took place between 1851 and 1980.

Coat of arms

Our coat of arms is symbolic and reflective of our city’s heritage.

Council archives

Council archives are a rich resource for the history and development of Christchurch. Our records date back to when the Council was first established in 1862.

Council offices

A look back at the places where Council meetings have taken place over the years.

Past chairs and mayors

Past Chairs, Mayors and Deputy Mayors.