Story: Nelson region

Proclaiming Nelson a city

Christchurch and Nelson are among the most English of New Zealand’s cities and the only two to become cities by proclamation. Usually a town became a city when it reached a certain population – 20,000 before 1989 and 50,000 thereafter. But the British monarch could proclaim a town a city by letters patent if it was the seat of a bishop. Christchurch became a city in this way in 1856 and Nelson followed in 1858. Download the PDF to read a transcription of the letters patent for Nelson.

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The Anglican Diocese of Nelson

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Transcription courtesy of The Prow

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Nelson region - European settlement', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/28826/proclaiming-nelson-a-city (accessed 23 January 2020)

Story by Carl Walrond, updated 1 Aug 2015