|Coordinates: 43°36′S172°43′E / 43.60°S 172.72°E Coordinates: 43°36′S172°43′E / 43.60°S 172.72°E|
|Local authority||Christchurch City Council|
|• Total||4.46 km2 (1.72 sq mi)|
(June 2022) 
|• Density||710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)|
Lyttelton (Māori : Ōhinehou or Māori : Riritana)  is a port town on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō, at the northwestern end of Banks Peninsula and close to Christchurch, on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
As a landing point for Christchurch-bound seafarers, Lyttelton has historically been regarded as the "Gateway to Canterbury" for colonial settlers.   Until the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the port has been a regular destination for cruise ships. It is the South Island's principal goods-transport terminal, handling 34% of exports and 61% of imports by value. 
In 2009 Lyttelton was awarded Category I Historic Area status by the Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) defined as "an area of special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value",  not long before much of the historic fabric was destroyed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
Lyttelton is the largest settlement on Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō, an inlet on the northwestern side of Banks Peninsula extending 18 km inland from the southern end of Pegasus Bay. The town is situated on the lower slopes of the Port Hills, which form the northern side of the harbour and effectively separate Lyttelton from the city of Christchurch.   This steep-sided crater rim acts as a natural amphitheatre and a boundary to urban development. 
A tunnel through the Port Hills provides direct road access to Christchurch, 12 km to the northwest. The town of Sumner, some 6 km to the northeast, is accessed via Evans Pass, this link was closed after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and reopened on 29 March 2019.  Another settlement at Governors Bay lies 10 km to the west and a frequent ferry service connects the suburb of Diamond Harbour on the southern shore of the harbour.
The uninhabited Ōtamahua / Quail Island sits in the upper harbour southwest of Lyttelton.
James Cook recorded his sighting of Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō in 1770 during the first voyage to New Zealand. The first ship recorded entering the harbour was the sealer "Pegasus" in 1809.  
This section needs additional citations for verification .(December 2020)
Aiming to establish a Church of England colony in New Zealand, the Canterbury Association was founded in 1848 and was led by George William Lyttelton (George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton). The town was named after the Lyttelton family in 1858. The large amount of flat land on the other side of the Port Hill, suitable for farming and development, made it ideal as a port town for a colony.  [ better source needed ]
Joseph Thomas, as the agent of the Canterbury Association and its chief surveyor, was in charge of preparing the settlement for the settlers. He initially placed the port town at Rapaki and the settlement's capital, Christchurch, at the head of the harbour at present-day Teddington.   But none of these initial ideas proved feasible, as Rapaki was not available, as it had been promised to Maori as a reserve, and required reclamation at the head of the harbour for the capital was estimated as too expensive. 
Early survey work in Lyttelton was done by Thomas and Charles Torlesse, but most of it until completion in September 1849 was done by Edward Jollie. In his diary, Jollie explains how the streets got their names:  
The names of the streets of the three towns I surveyed were taken from Bishoprics and the way it was done was this; as soon as I completed the map I took it to Thomas who putting on his gold spectacles and opening his would read out a Bishop's name to hear if it sounded well. If I agreed with him that it did, I put the name to one of the streets requiring baptism. Lyttelton being the first-born town got the best names for its streets, Sumner being next had the next best and Christchurch being the youngest had to be content with chiefly Irish and Colonial bishoprics as names for its streets. This accounts for, what to anyone not knowing the circumstances, appears strange, viz: that many of the best English Bishoprics are not represented [editorial note: not represented "in Christchurch"] while Irish and Colonial ones are.
In August 1849 it was officially proclaimed a port. Pilgrim's Rock shows the place where European settlers first set foot in the harbour. The present location of the rock is well inland from the sea, as much of Lyttelton's dockside has been reclaimed from the harbour waters in recent years.[ citation needed ]
In 1850,[ when? ] four ships (the Randolph, Cressy, Sir George Seymour, and Charlotte Jane) arrived in Lyttelton Harbour, carrying the first what was to be known as the 'Canterbury pilgrims'.  The arrival of the four ships had swelled Lyttelton's population to around 1,100.  Over the next three years, 3,549 settlers arrived in Lyttelton.  Lyttelton was formerly called Port Cooper (after Daniel Cooper)[ citation needed ] and Port Victoria.[ citation needed ] It was the original settlement in the district (1850).[ citation needed ] The name Lyttelton was formalised by the governor in 1858  in honour of George William Lyttelton of the Canterbury Association, which had led the colonisation of the area.
The Lyttelton Times was one of the principal newspapers of the Canterbury region for 80 years, published from 1851 until 1929, at which time it became the Christchurch Times, until publication ceased in 1935.
On 1 July 1862, the first telegraph transmission in New Zealand was made from Lyttelton Post Office.  
On 1 January 1908, the Nimrod Expedition, headed by Ernest Shackleton to explore Antarctica left from the harbour here.
The Lyttelton Harbour Board was created in 1877 to be in charge of the harbour's management. It was dissolved in 1989 after the passing of the 1988 Port Companies Act, which forced it to split into two separate organisations, one commercial (the Lyttelton Port Company, currently owned by Christchurch City Holdings, the commercial arm of the city council) and one non-commercial. In 1996 the Lyttelton Port Company registered on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
On 24 October 1870, a fire broke out in the Queen's Hotel  on London Street and had soon engulfed the main centre of Lyttelton. Prisoners of the Lyttelton Gaol were let out from their cells to help combat the flames. Two thirds of Lyttelton had been destroyed, with 30 businesses in all having perished in the fire, along with many private homes.  
The Lyttelton Timeball Station was erected in 1876 and started signalling Greenwich Mean Time to ships in the harbour that year.  It was one of the world's five working timeball stations until it was destroyed by the June 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The castle-like building was located high on a ridge above the port with extensive views over the harbour. The tower, but not the rest of the building, has been faithfully reconstructed and was once again in working order at the end of 2018. 
The 2010 Canterbury earthquake damaged some of Lyttelton's historic buildings, including the Timeball Station.  There was some damage to the town's infrastructure, but the port facilities and tunnel quickly returned to operation. The overall quake damage was less significant than in Christchurch itself, due to the dampening effects of the solid rock that the town rests on and its moderate distance from the epicentre.[ citation needed ]
On 22 February 2011 a magnitude 6.3 aftershock caused much more widespread damage in Lyttelton than its predecessor due to its proximity to Lyttelton and a shallow depth of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi).   Some walls of the Timeball Station collapsed and there was extensive damage to residential and commercial property, leading to the demolition of a number of high-profile heritage buildings such as the Harbour Light Theatre and the Empire Hotel. Many other unreinforced masonry buildings were severely damaged. 
Following the February earthquake it was suggested that the Timeball Station be dismantled for safety reasons.  Bruce Chapman, chief executive of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) said there was a possibility that it may be reconstructed. "If we can find a way to dismantle the Timeball Station that allows us to retain as much of the building's materials as possible, we will do so."  However, on Monday 13 June 2011 a further 6.3 ML aftershock brought down the tower and remaining walls while workmen were preparing to dismantle it. 
Much of Lyttelton's architectural heritage was lost as a result of the earthquakes, as damage was deemed too extensive for reconstruction. By June 2011, six buildings in London Street in Lyttelton had been demolished, along with another four on Norwich Quay.  The town's oldest churches have collapsed, including Canterbury's oldest stone church, the Holy Trinity.  Following the demolition of Holy Trinity Church, St Saviour's Chapel was returned to Lyttelton to the site of Holy Trinity in 2013. The wooden St Saviour's Chapel had been relocated from West Lyttelton to Christchurch's Cathedral Grammar School in the 1970s. The Anglican church is now named St Saviour's at Holy Trinity.
Lyttelton is defined by Statistics New Zealand as a small urban area. Including the neighbouring communities of Rapaki, Cass Bay and Corsair Bay, it covers 4.46 km2 (1.72 sq mi).  It had an estimated population of 3,150 as of June 2022,  with a population density of 706 people per km2.
Lyttelton had a population of 2,982 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 216 people (7.8%) since the 2013 census, and a decrease of 9 people (−0.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 1,269 households. There were 1,464 males and 1,518 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.96 males per female. The median age was 44.8 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 492 people (16.5%) aged under 15 years, 372 (12.5%) aged 15 to 29, 1,698 (56.9%) aged 30 to 64, and 420 (14.1%) aged 65 or older.
Ethnicities were 92.6% European/Pākehā, 10.1% Māori, 1.0% Pacific peoples, 3.2% Asian, and 2.0% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
The proportion of people born overseas was 26.3%, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 66.1% had no religion, 22.1% were Christian, 0.3% were Hindu, 0.3% were Muslim, 1.1% were Buddhist and 3.1% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 888 (35.7%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 261 (10.5%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $39,200, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 1,353 (54.3%) people were employed full-time, 450 (18.1%) were part-time, and 69 (2.8%) were unemployed. 
On 19 November 2005, it was announced that 60% of the Banks Peninsula District ratepayers voted to amalgamate with the neighbouring Christchurch City Council, which took place on 6 March 2006. This resulted in the creation of a new Christchurch City Council seat for the new ward of Banks Peninsula, and the creation of two Community Boards, the Lyttelton/Mt Herbert Community Board encompassing Lyttelton, Rapaki, Governors Bay, Diamond Harbour and Port Levy, and the Akaroa/Wairewa Community Board, encompassing Akaroa, Little River, Birdlings Flat, and the settlements of the Eastern and Southern Bays of Banks Peninsula. The Akaroa/Wairewa Community Board was further divided into two subdivisions, namely the Akaroa subdivision, and the Wairewa subdivision.
The town is linked to Christchurch by railway and road tunnels through the Port Hills. At 1.9 km long, the Lyttelton road tunnel (opened in 1964) was the country's longest road tunnel, until the Waterview Tunnel in Auckland opened in July 2017; and the railway tunnel of the Lyttelton Line section of the Main South Line, officially opened on 9 December 1867,  is the country's oldest.
Lyttelton has long been the main port of the Canterbury / Christchurch area, having been opened in 1877 by the Lyttelton Harbour Board, later becoming the Lyttelton Port Company with the introduction of the Port Companies Act in 1988. 
Between 1958 and 1967 the port saw such prosperity that Kaiapoi, on the coast north of Christchurch, briefly reopened its closed port facilities for a decade, to allow smaller ships to bypass the congested Lyttelton wharves. 
In the 1970s the port was chosen as one of the main ports in the South Island to be dredged and upgraded for containerisation, with the container facility opening in 1977, the centenary of the initial opening. 
Substantial quantities of South Island coal have been shipped from this port for the past 100 years.  The port facilities have provided for LP gas and petrol for the past 50 years. In essence the port could be viewed (based on quantities of materials shipped in or out) as the primary port for energy shipments in the South Island.
Lyttelton Primary School is a full primary school catering for years 1 to 8.  It had a roll of 210 as of November 2022.  The school was created in 2014 by a merger of Lyttelton West and Lyttelton Main schools. 
Lyttelton was the location for most of the exterior scenes in Peter Jackson's 1996 horror movie The Frighteners .   Paul Theroux described Lyttelton as having "pretty houses" but was frustrated by having to cycle over the Port Hills to get back to Christchurch as cycling through the Lyttelton tunnel is not permitted and told his wife "what an awful time I was having". 
The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world's 12th-largest island. At low altitude, it has an oceanic climate.
Banks Peninsula is a peninsula of volcanic origin on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It has an area of approximately 1,150 square kilometres (440 sq mi) and encompasses two large harbours and many smaller bays and coves. The South Island's largest city, Christchurch, is immediately north of the peninsula.
Sumner is a coastal seaside suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand and was surveyed and named in 1849 in honour of John Bird Sumner, the then newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and president of the Canterbury Association. Originally a separate borough, it was amalgamated with the city of Christchurch as communications improved and the economies of scale made small town boroughs uneconomic to operate.
The Bridle Path is a steep shared-use track that traverses the northern rim of the Lyttelton volcano connecting the port of Lyttelton with the city of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand. It is a popular walking and mountain biking route. The track ascends from the port itself to a height of 333 metres (1,093 ft) before descending again via Heathcote Valley to Christchurch. At the summit, next to the Summit Road, is a stone shelter with covered seats that is a 1940 New Zealand centennial memorial to the Pioneer Women of Canterbury. There are also seven commemorative stone seats placed along the Bridle Path; most of these were built for the 1950 Canterbury centenary celebrations.
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is a Crown entity with a membership of around 20,000 people that advocates for the protection of ancestral sites and heritage buildings in New Zealand. It was set up through the Historic Places Act 1954 with a mission to "...promote the identification, protection, preservation and conservation of the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand" and is an autonomous Crown entity. Its current enabling legislation is the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.
Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō is one of two major inlets in Banks Peninsula, on the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand; the other is Akaroa Harbour on the southern coast. It enters from the northern coast of the peninsula, heading in a predominantly westerly direction for approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) from its mouth to the aptly-named Head of the Bay near Teddington. The harbour sits in an eroded caldera of the ancient Banks Peninsula Volcano, the steep sides of which form the Port Hills on its northern shore.
The Lyttelton road tunnel runs through the Port Hills to connect the New Zealand city of Christchurch and its seaport, Lyttelton. It opened in 1964 and carries just over 10,000 vehicles per day as part of State Highway 74.
Diamond Harbour is a small town on Banks Peninsula, in Canterbury, New Zealand. It is on the peninsula's northern coast, on the southern shores of Lyttelton Harbour, and is administratively part of the city of Christchurch.
Ellesmere was a parliamentary electorate in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. It existed for two periods between 1861 and 1928 and was represented by six Members of Parliament.
The 2010 Canterbury earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand with a moment magnitude of 7.1 at 4:35 am local time on 4 September, and had a maximum perceived intensity of X (Extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale. Some damaging aftershocks followed the main event, the strongest of which was a magnitude 6.3 shock known as the Christchurch earthquake that occurred nearly six months later on 22 February 2011. Because this aftershock was centred very close to Christchurch, it was much more destructive and resulted in the deaths of 185 people.
The Lyttelton Timeball Station is a heritage-registered time ball station and prominent local landmark in Lyttelton, New Zealand. The original station was significantly damaged by a series of earthquakes and aftershocks in 2010 and 2011, and finally collapsed on 13 June 2011 after a magnitude 6.4 aftershock. The tower was subsequently reconstructed, reopening in November 2018.
The June 2011 Christchurch earthquake was a shallow magnitude 6.0 Mw earthquake that occurred on 13 June 2011 at 14:20 NZST. It was centred at a depth of 7 km (4.3 mi), about 5 km (3 mi) south-east of Christchurch, which had previously been devastated by a magnitude 6.2 MW earthquake in February 2011. The June quake was preceded by a magnitude 5.9 ML tremor that struck the region at a slightly deeper 8.9 km (5.5 mi). The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 6.0 Mw and a depth of 9 km (5.6 mi).
Joseph Zillwood was a New Zealand policeman, farmer and innkeeper. He was baptised in Cholderton, Wiltshire, England in December 1804. After marrying his second wife Betsy Rose in 1836, they moved to France where their first two children were born. They emigrated to New Zealand in 1839, with their daughter dying en route. They lived in Wellington, where two more children were born before his wife died in 1845. Becoming chief constable at Akaroa, he put his eldest son out to work and the younger two children into care, but struggled to pay for this from his reduced wages. Zillwood also worked as Akaroa's postmaster. He married again in 1850, and was reunited with his younger children, one of whom died in 1853. Later that year the local police force was halved and Zillwood lost his job. He turned to drink as his financial situation worsened, and his wife left him mid-1854.
Akaroa Harbour, is part of Banks Peninsula in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. The harbour enters from the southern coast of the peninsula, heading in a predominantly northerly direction. It is one of two major inlets in Banks Peninsula, on the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand; the other is Lyttelton Harbour on the northern coast.
Captain Joseph Thomas (1803–?) was a British explorer and the chief surveyor for Lyttelton, Sumner and Christchurch in New Zealand. He took up surveying after service in the British army, gaining the rank of lieutenant. In the 1840s, he explored many parts of New Zealand and worked for the New Zealand Company. This gained him employment with the Canterbury Association, which sent him to New Zealand in 1848. Thomas' role was to find a suitable site for their proposed settlement, and what became the Canterbury region with Christchurch as its capital was the result of his efforts. He was dismissed in early 1851 over quarrels with John Robert Godley, the agent of the Canterbury Association, just after the first settlers had arrived in the colony. Thomas' life after 1853 is unknown. Having allowed for Hagley Park as a generous central city green space is regarded as his major achievement, and it is his lasting legacy.
Tauhinukorokio / Mount Pleasant, also known just as either Mount Pleasant or Tauhinukorokio individually, is the highest elevation in the eastern Port Hills in Christchurch, New Zealand. It once held a Māori pā, but there was little left of it when European settlers first arrived in the 1840s. The hill was first used as a sheep run, and became the base trig station for the survey of Canterbury. It was also used as a signal station to make residents aware of ships coming into Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō. During World War II, an extensive heavy anti-aircraft artillery (HAA) battery was built near the summit, and the foundations of those buildings still exist.
Henry John Le Cren was a New Zealand merchant. Born in London, he was an early settler in Lyttelton and traded both in the port town and central Christchurch. He moved to Timaru in 1858 and is regarded as one of the town's pioneers. Companies owned by him or his eldest son are predecessors to the New Zealand agricultural supply business PGG Wrightson.
Awaroa / Godley Head, called Cachalot Head by early French explorers, is a prominent headland in Christchurch, New Zealand, located at the entrance to Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō. The headland is named for John Robert Godley.
Takapūneke, with the location also known as Red House Bay, is a former kāinga—an unfortified Māori village—adjacent to present-day Akaroa, New Zealand. Takapūneke was a major trading post for the local iwi (tribe), Ngāi Tahu, as there was safe anchorage for European vessels. The site is of significance to Ngāi Tahu as their tribal chief, Tama-i-hara-nui, was captured here by North Island Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha, and then tortured and killed. The village itself was raided and subject of a massacre, with the events subsequently called the Elizabeth affair. There is a direct link from the massacre in 1830 to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, giving the site a status of national significance.
Kemp's Deed, also known as the Canterbury Purchase, Kemp's Purchase, or the Ngāi Tahu Purchase, is the purchase of Canterbury, New Zealand, from some Ngāi Tahu chiefs by Tacy Kemp on behalf of the New Zealand Company. It is the Crown's largest purchase from Ngāi Tahu and the "least carefully transacted". The grievance caused by the Crown was settled 150 years later through the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 and a compensation package valued at NZ$170 million.