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Browse the history of Waimakariri District
The Canterbury Provincial Council came into being in 1853.
This administered the district until 1863 when the first step was taken to give greater responsibility to country districts in matters concerning roading, drainage, and their own development. The Provincial Council passed ‘The Roads Districts Ordinance No. 1’. This bill allowed for the subdivision of the province into road districts, each with a board of five members and with the authority to levy rates.
The election of the first Rangiora and Mandeville Road Board took place on 26 January 1864 at Woodend, that township being considered more central and convenient than Rangiora. The five elected were the Rev. J Raven, Joseph Beswick, Marmaduke Dixon, George Leslie Lee and Abraham Jago, with Raven as Chairman. Raven resigned two months later and was succeeded by Dixon. Dixon, Henry Blackett, and George Leslie Lee were the board’s outstanding chairmen during its early years. The board moved its headquarters to High Street, Rangiora in 1867. The first clerk appointed was Mr Rose, who also acted as accountant, surveyor, and engineer. The problems facing the new board were of bridges, drainage of swamps, and the protection of Kaiapoi Island and the lower Eyre from the Waimakariri River.
Over the next 30 or so years, a series of Acts were passed until ‘The Ashley Subdivision, and the Waimakariri-Ashley Water-supply Board Act 1911’ abolished the seven road districts and in their place constituted, among others, the Rangiora County (the old Rangiora and Cust Road Districts).
The first members of this body were Henry Garrett, Frederick Horrell, Alexander McIntosh, Matthew Stokes, William Stalker (Rangiora Riding), Leonard Campions and Henry Tallott (Cust Riding), and they held their first meeting on 26 April 1912 in the Road Board office at Rangiora. The Rangiora office was the headquarters of the County, opening for business on Tuesdays and Fridays (sale days). On the first sale day of each month at Cust, the office opened there in the old Cust Road Board rooms.
The County Council was charged with carrying out the same duties as the previous Road Boards, but with more authority. The original Road Board office was sold and new premises built on an acre of land on the corner of East Belt and the Woodend Road (now Kippenberger Avenue). The first meeting held there was on Friday 10 October 1913.
Frederick Horrell was elected the first Chairman, and James Marshall filled the role of County Clerk. Both had held these positions on the former Road Board, Marshall since 1895.
Rangiora County Council remained the governing body in the area until 1986 when it joined with the Rangiora Borough Council to form the Rangiora District Council, with that body becoming part of the Waimakariri District Council following local government amalgamations in 1989. The last Chairman of the County Council, Trevor Inch, became Mayor of the Rangiora District Council, and in 1989 the first Mayor of the Waimakariri District Council.
Over its 74-year history Rangiora County Council was administered by three long-serving clerks:
Hawkins, D N - Beyond the Waimakariri : a regional history. Christchurch : Whitcombe and Tombs, 1957.
Hawkins, D N - Rangiora: the passing years and people in a Canterbury town. Rangiora : Rangiora Borough Council, 1983.
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