The Press

Last updated

The Press
The Press newspaper cover.png
  • The 17 March 2008 front page of
  • The Press
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s) Stuff Ltd
Editor Kamala Hayman
Founded25 May 1861
Headquarters Christchurch, New Zealand
Circulation roughly 80,500
ISSN 0113-9762
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The Press is a daily newspaper published in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is owned by media business Stuff Ltd, which is in turn owned by Australian media company Nine. First published in 1861, the newspaper is the largest circulating daily in the South Island and publishes Monday to Saturday. Four community newspapers—Mid Canterbury Herald, The Christchurch Mail, Northern Outlook and Central Canterbury News—are also published by The Press and are free.


The newspaper has won the title of New Zealand Newspaper of the Year (in its circulation category) three times: in 2006, 2007 and 2012. It has also won the overall Newspaper of the Year title twice: in 2006 and 2007. [1] [2] [3]


Former Press Building in Cashel Street, in use by the newspaper until 1908 Former Press Building, Cashel Street.jpg
Former Press Building in Cashel Street, in use by the newspaper until 1908

James FitzGerald came to Lyttelton on the Charlotte Jane in December 1850, and was from January 1851 the first editor of the Lyttelton Times , Canterbury's first newspaper. [4] From 1853, he focussed on politics and withdrew from the Lyttelton Times. [5] After several years in England, he returned to Canterbury concerned about the proposed capital works programme of the provincial government, with his chief concern the proposed rail tunnel connecting Christchurch and Lyttelton, which he thought of as fiscally irresponsible, but supported by his old newspaper, the Lyttelton Times. The newspaper's editor, Crosbie Ward, made an imputation of unknown content, and this spurred FitzGerald to set up The Press as a rival newspaper. [6]

FitzGerald had dinner with John Charles Watts-Russell, who put up £500 on the condition that FitzGerald would be in charge of the new newspaper. Next, he enlisted the support of the Rev. John Raven, who organised many of the practical aspects, like organising a printer and a printing press. Other members of the early committee that organised The Press were Henry Porcher Lance (brother of James Dupré Lance), [7] Henry Tancred, and Richard J. S. Harman; all of them were colonial gentry. [8]

The Press was first published on 25 May 1861 from a small cottage, making it the oldest surviving newspaper in the South Island of New Zealand. The cottage belonged to Raven on land known as Raven's paddock on the west side of Montreal Street, between Worcester and Gloucester Streets, opposite the present-day Christchurch Art Gallery. [9] The first edition was a six-page tabloid and was sold for sixpence. The paper continued as a weekly. The public saw FitzGerald as the proprietor of The Press, but the newspaper saw reason to publicly state that "it is not a fact that Mr FitzGerald has either pecuniary or official connexion" with it; he was however the driving force behind the paper. [9]

On 13 June 1863, the first part of Samuel Butler's Erewhon appeared in The Press in an article signed with the pseudonym Cellarius (q.v.) and headed "Darwin among the Machines." [10]

In 1905, The Press purchased a block of the Cathedral Square site for £4,000. The Board then purchased the right of way (Press Lane) and what was going to be the original Theatre Royal site from the Theatre Royal Syndicate for £5000. The Gothic part of the Press building (occupied by the company until 22 February 2011) was built starting in 1907 and the Press staff shifted into it in February 1909 from their Cashel Street premises.

In the 1930s, The Press began to seek solutions to the slow delivery times of the newspaper to the West Coast. Roads at the time were difficult, and the New Zealand Railways Department was unwilling to reschedule any of its ordinary passenger trains to operate at the early morning times desired by The Press as patronage would have been uneconomic, and freight trains did not provide a desirable measure of swiftness. Accordingly, The Press was willing to subsidise the construction and operation of two small Leyland diesel railbuses to carry the newspapers by rail at a desirable time. These little railbuses began service on 3 August 1936 and left Christchurch at 2:20 am, travelling down the Midland Line to reach Greymouth at 6:40 am and then continue along the Ross Branch as far as Hokitika, arriving just before 8:00 am. This provided substantially quicker delivery of the newspaper than was previously possible. However, these railbuses were intended to only be a temporary measure and they were replaced by the much larger Vulcan railcars as soon as they arrived in New Zealand in the early 1940s.

In 1995, The Press was the country's first news outlet that established a website for news. In 2000, Independent Newspapers Ltd (INL) launched its news website branded as Stuff and from then on, The Press and Stuff worked on online content collaboratively. [11]

In February 2011, The Press main building in central Christchurch was badly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. All production was operated from their printing plant near Christchurch Airport until June 2012, when the central Christchurch building was partially rebuilt and upgraded. It was one of the first buildings in the Christchurch CBD to be rebuilt and operational.

The paper format for the weekday editions changed from broadsheet to compact in 2018, with only the Saturday edition retaining the larger format. [12]


The motto on the masthead – "Nihil utile quod non-honestum" translates to "Nothing is useful that is not honest." Like The Age in Australia, the newspaper's masthead features the Royal Arms.

Joe Bennett (left), Andrew Holden (former editor of The Press), and Rod Oram Bennett Holden Oram.jpg
Joe Bennett (left), Andrew Holden (former editor of The Press), and Rod Oram


The early ownership, beyond the newspaper having been financed by Watts-Russell, is unclear. In February 1862, an attempt was made to form a company and formalise the ownership of the paper. A deed of association for "The Proprietors of The Press" was drafted, and it lists the five members of the previous committee (Watts-Russell, Raven, Lance, Tancred, and Harman), plus five new members: Alfred Richard Creyke, John Hall, Joseph Brittan, Isaac Cookson, and James Somerville Turnbull. [13] Surprisingly, the deed was not executed, but four-month later, FitzGerald, who had no funds, was the sole owner "through the liberality of the proprietors", as he called it later. [14] FitzGerald lost control of the newspaper ownership in 1868 and the Press Company was incorporated as the owner. That company was dissolved in 1890 and George Stead bought the assets. Stead established the Christchurch Press Company and became its chairman. [15] [16]

The Christchurch Press Company was sold to Independent Newspapers Ltd in 1987, and INL in turn was bought by Fairfax New Zealand in 2003. [11] The Australian parent company, Fairfax Media, merged with Nine Entertainment Co. in December 2018.


The following have been editors of The Press: [17]

NamePortraitTerm of office
George Sale 1861
Joseph Colborne-Veel Joseph Veel Colborne-Veel (Press).jpg 18611868
Charles Purnell [18] Charles Purnell (year unknown).jpg 1868
Joseph Colborne-Veel Joseph Veel Colborne-Veel (Press).jpg 18681878
John Steele Guthrie18781894
Michael Cormac Keane18941919
William Henry Triggs 19191929
Oliver Duff 19291932
Pierce Hugo Napier Freeth19321957
Arthur Rolleston Cant19571973
Norman Macbeth19731978
Binney Lock [19] 19781990
David Wilson19901997
Bruce Baskett1997
Tim Pankhurst [20] 19972001
Paul Thompson [21] 20012007
Andrew Holden [22] Andrew Holden (editor).jpg 20072012
Joanna Norris 20122017
Kamala Hayman 2017present

Awards and nominations

2019 Voyager Media Awards: Newspaper of the Year (more than 30,000 circulation)Runner-up [23]
2018 Voyager Media Awards: Best coverage of a major news eventRunner-up [24]
2017Voyager Media Awards: Best newspaper-inserted magazineWinner [25]
Voyager Media Awards: Best coverage of a major news eventJoint winner [25]
2013Voyager Media Awards: Best Innovation in Multimedia StorytellingWinner [26]
Voyager Media Awards: Best Digital Community InteractionWinner [26]
2012Voyager Media Awards: Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation)Winner [2]
Voyager Media Awards: Best Newspaper DesignWinner [2]
2011Canon Media Awards: Best DesignWinner [27]
Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association: Newspaper of the Year (circulation between 25,000 and 90,000)Winner [28]
2007Qantas Media Print Awards: Newspaper of the YearWinner [1]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Daily Newspaper over 25,000 circulationWinner [1]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Arts SectionWinner [1]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Food & Nutrition SectionWinner [1]
2006Qantas Media Print Awards: Best New Zealand NewspaperWinner [3]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Best Newspaper with a circulation over 25,000Winner [3]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Best Newspaper InvestigationWinner [3]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Food & Nutrition SectionWinner [3]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Motoring SectionWinner [3]
Qantas Media Print Awards: Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Other Section: How the Press WorksWinner [3]

Awards and nominations for journalists employed by The Press

2019 Voyager Media Awards: Regional Journalist of the YearHamish McNeillyWinner [29]
2018 Voyager Media Awards: Cartoonist of the Year Sharon Murdoch Winner [24]
Voyager Media Awards: Best photography – newsJoseph JohnsonWinner [24]
Voyager Media Awards: Best photography – portraitChris SkeltonWinner [24]
Voyager Media Awards: Best news videoGeorge HeardWinner [24]
Voyager Media Awards: Best feature/photographic essayJoseph JohnsonRunner-up [24]
Voyager Media Awards: Reporter – crime, justice and/or social issues Martin van Beynen Runner-up [24]
2017Voyager Media Awards: Cartoonist of the YearSharon MurdochWinner [25]
Voyager Media Awards: Arts and Entertainment Reporter of the YearVicki AndersonWinner [25]
Voyager Media Awards: Best Short-form Feature Writer – Arts and EntertainmentCharlie GatesWinner [25]
2016Voyager Media Awards: Videographer of the YearIain McGregorWinner [30]
Voyager Media Awards: Junior Feature Writer of the YearTess McClureWinner [30]
Voyager Media Awards: Cartoonist of the YearSharon MurdochWinner [30]
2015Voyager Media Awards: Best Environmental PhotographyKirk HargreavesWinner [31]
Voyager Media Awards: Newspaper Feature Writer of the YearCharles AndersonWinner [31]
Voyager Media Awards: Newspaper Feature Writer GeneralCharles AndersonWinner [31]
2013Voyager Media Awards: Best Sports PictureIain McGregorWinner [26]
2012Voyager Media Awards: Editorial Writer of the YearBruce RennieWinner [2]
Voyager Media Awards: Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the YearMartin van BeynenWinner [2]
Voyager Media Awards: Senior Reporter of the YearMartin van BeynenWinner [2]
Voyager Media Awards: Junior Reporter of the YearOlivia CarvilleWinner [2]
Voyager Media Awards: Arts and Entertainment Reporter of the YearVicki AndersonWinner [2]
Voyager Media Awards: Best VideoDaniel TobinWinner [2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Saturday; May 2007, 19; Awards, 1:51 pm Press Release: Qantas Media. "Qantas Media Awards 2007 Results – Full List | Scoop News". Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "2012 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Saturday; May 2006, 6; Fairfax, 5:25 pm Press Release:. "Fairfax Media clean up at Awards | Scoop News". Retrieved 1 March 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. "About the Lyttelton Times – January 11, 1851". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  5. McIntyre, W. David. "FitzGerald, James Edward – Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  6. Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 11.
  7. "Obituary: the late H. P. Lance". Timaru Herald . XLIII (3632). 22 May 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  8. Christchurch Press Company 1963, pp. 11–13.
  9. 1 2 Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 16.
  10. Preface to the Revised Edition, Project Gutenberg eBook Erewhon by Samuel Butler. Release Date: 20 March 2005.
  11. 1 2 Crean 2011, p. 9.
  12. "You're not going crazy – your local paper has shrunk in size". Stuff . 30 April 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  13. Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 29.
  14. Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 32.
  15. Ogilvie, Gordon. "Stead, George Gatonby". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  16. Crean 2011, p. 8.
  17. Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 270.
  18. Scholefield 1940, p. 190.
  19. Law, Tina (17 November 2014). "Former Press editor was 'the ultimate gentleman'". The Press. p. A3.
  20. "New editors appointed to The Press and Nelson Mail". National Library of New Zealand . Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  21. "New Editor for The Press" (Press release). Scoop. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  22. "Christchurch Press editor to head Melbourne Age". The Press. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  23. "Stuff claims swag of top honours at 2019 Voyager Media Awards". Stuff. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "2018 winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 "2017 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  26. 1 2 3 "2013 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  27. "Home". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  28. "The Press wins title of Newspaper of the Year". Stuff. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  29. "Reporting Winners 2019". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  30. 1 2 3 "2016 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  31. 1 2 3 "2015 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.

Related Research Articles

Lyttelton, New Zealand Place

Lyttelton, the port town of Christchurch, stands on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour, at the northwestern end of Banks Peninsula on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

<i>Waikato Times</i> newspaper in New Zealand

The Waikato Times is a daily newspaper published in Hamilton, New Zealand, with a circulation to the greater Waikato region. It became a tabloid paper in 2018. It is owned by media business Stuff Ltd, which is in turn owned by Australian media company Nine.

William Sefton Moorhouse New Zealand politician

William Sefton Moorhouse was a British-born New Zealand politician. He was the second Superintendent of Canterbury Province.

James FitzGerald (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

James Edward FitzGerald was a New Zealand politician. According to some historians, he should be considered the country's first Prime Minister, although a more conventional view is that neither he nor his successor should properly be given that title. He was a notable campaigner for New Zealand self-governance. He was the first Superintendent of the Canterbury Province.

Stuff Ltd is a news media company operating in New Zealand. It operates the country's largest news website, Stuff, and also owns nine daily newspapers, including New Zealand's second and third-highest circulation daily newspapers, The Dominion Post and The Press, and the highest circulation weekly, Sunday Star-Times. Magazines published include TV Guide, New Zealand's top-selling weekly magazine.

The Sunday Star-Times is a New Zealand newspaper published each weekend in Auckland. It covers both national and international news, and is a member of the New Zealand Press Association and Newspaper Publishers Association of New Zealand. It is owned by media business Stuff Ltd, which is in turn owned by Australian media company Nine.

<i>The Nelson Mail</i> New Zealand newspaper

The Nelson Mail is a 4 day a week newspaper in Nelson, New Zealand. It was founded in 1866 as The Nelson Evening Mail; the first edition was published on 5 March 1866. It absorbed another local paper, The Colonist, about 1906.

Stuff (website) New Zealand news website

Stuff is a New Zealand news media website owned by Stuff Ltd, a subsidiary of Australian company Nine Entertainment Co. Stuff is the biggest media website in New Zealand, with a monthly unique audience of more than 2 million.

The Manawatū Standard is the daily paper for the Manawatu region based in Palmerston North with satellites in Feilding and Marton. The Manawatū Standard has been recognised as one of the best in New Zealand being a finalist in the 2008 Qantas Media Award for best regional daily newspaper; it won the same category in 2007. It also won Best Headline and Student Journalist of the Year at the Qantas Media Awards 2017.

The Southland Times is the regional daily paper for Southland, including Invercargill, and neighbouring parts of Otago, in New Zealand.

The Press Building, Christchurch former office building in New Zealand

The Press Building located in Cathedral Square in Christchurch was the home of The Press between 1909 and February 2011. The building in perpendicular Gothic is registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a Category I heritage item, with the registration number 302. The building suffered significant damage in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, with one staff member killed in the collapsed top floor. The building was demolished in July and August 2011.

<i>Lyttelton Times</i>

The Lyttelton Times was the first newspaper in Canterbury, New Zealand, publishing the first edition in January 1851. It was established by the Canterbury Association as part of its planned settlement of Canterbury and developed into a liberal, at the time sometimes seen as radical, newspaper. A successor paper, The Star, is published as a free bi-weekly newspaper.

Joseph Brittan New Zealand newspaper editor

Joseph Brittan, a surgeon, newspaper editor, and provincial councillor, was one of the dominant figures in early Christchurch, New Zealand. Born into a middle-class family in southern England, he followed his younger brother Guise Brittan to Christchurch, where he and his wife arrived in February 1852 with four children. Joseph Brittan soon got involved in the usual activities of early settlers and gained prominence in doing so. He had bought 100 acres on 10 July 1851 and took up 50 of this to the east of Christchurch that he converted to farmland. There, he built the family residence, and the suburb of Linwood was subsequently named after Brittan's farm and homestead of Linwood House.

Joseph Colborne-Veel New Zealand journalist

Joseph Veel Colborne-Veel was a journalist and educator in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Richard James Strachan Harman New Zealand politician

Richard James Strachan Harman was trained as a civil engineer. However, in Christchurch, New Zealand, he worked as a bureaucrat, politician and businessman. He was one of the Canterbury Pilgrims, having arrived in Lyttelton, on Sir George Seymour, one of the First Four Ships. He was a business partner of Edward Cephas John Stevens and senior partner of Harman and Stevens, and together they took financial control of the Christchurch newspaper The Press from its original proprietor, James FitzGerald, over a protracted period. Harman held many important roles with the Canterbury Provincial Council and was the last Deputy-Superintendent.

Railway electrification in New Zealand

Railway electrification in New Zealand consists of three separate electric systems, all in the North Island. Electrification was initially adopted by the New Zealand Railways for long tunnels; the Otira Tunnel, the Lyttelton Rail Tunnel and the two Tawa Tunnels of the Tawa Flat Deviation. Electrification of Wellington suburban services started with the Johnsonville Line and Kapiti Line out of Wellington from the 1930s. Auckland suburban services were electrified in 2014–2015. Electrification of long distance services on the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) dates from 1986. New long tunnels, for example the Rimutaka Tunnel and the Kaimai Tunnel were operated by diesels, and the Otira and Lyttelton Tunnels have converted to diesel operation.

Donna Chisholm New Zealand investigative journalist

Donna Elise Chisholm is a New Zealand investigative journalist and author.

Paul Thompson is a New Zealand media executive.

Andrew Holden Australian and New Zealand journalist

Andrew Holden is a journalist, editor-in-chief, and media advisor. Born in Australia, he has split his career between his home country and New Zealand. The leadership he provided immediately following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake attracted worldwide acclaim.