04/12/2022

1906, Christchurch NZ – New Zealand International Exhibition

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1906 Christchurch

Name:New Zealand International Exhibition
Dates:1 Nov 1906 – 15 Apr 1907
Days:185 days
Venue:Hagley Park – 40,5 ha (100 acres)
– also used for the Christchucrh 1881/2
Theme:
Exhibitors:1,321 – 16 countries and ix colonies
– 937 were from New Zealand
Awards:
Visitors:Total Attendance was 1,967,632 with 983,621 paid
– season ticket sales 8,123
– note: NZ population was 956k and Christchurch 68k
Legacy:Total costs of £252,995 and losses of £81,430
1906-7 Christchurch entrance

At this time the British were anxious to promote New Zealand and Australia as places to emigrate and a fair was helpful in encoureaging settlers. The colony would become a dominion in 1907.

This event was, for the first time, financed and controlled by the New Zealand government.

Ward’s Brewery built the Carlton Hotel specifically for exhibition traffic, it remained in use until the 2011 earthquake when it had to be demolished.

Sir J G Ward was the President of the exhibition. One of this event’s champions was T E Donne, the Department of Tourism and Health Resorts general manager, who had been in charge of the New Zealand pavilion at the 1904 St Louis Exposition.

The Exhibition was opened by the Governor and show’s patron, Lord Plunket.

Illustration of the main building
Architect Drawing, Christchurch Exhibition 1906-7
Plan of the main building

The event was housed in one French Renaissance-style building, a quarter-of-a-mile long, at Hagley Park on the Avon River. It was constructed with two million feet of timber. Its pediment bore the words haere mai, Maori for welcome. There was also a fireproof Art Gallery, 1600-seater Concert Hall and a Machinery Hall.

The park boasted Victoria Lake, that had been created in 1897 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The first professional orchestar of NZ played to large crowds in the Concert Hall.


Helter skelter

Water chute
Amusements

Attractions included an Aquarium, a Cyclorama of the Battle of Getysburg, a Dragon Train, a Fernery and formal gardens, Geyserland – a mechanical version of the colony’s geothermal activity, Gondola rides, a Helter-skelter, a Maori and a Fijian village, a Palace of Illusions, Pike Amusements, a Toboggan course, a Water Chute and Wonderland.

Ethongraphic exhibits

Participating countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, United Kingdom and the United States.

Canada Pavilion, Christchurch 1906-7
Canadian pavilion

Participating colonies/protectorates: Australia ( New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and West Australia), Burma, Ceylon, Cuba, Fiji, India, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Transvaal and Trinidad.

Hagley Park and Victoria Lake are extant, though the lake had to be repaired after the 2010 earthquake drained it.

Forward to 1907, Detroit US – Detroit Motor Show
Back to 1906, Marseille FR – Marseille Exposition Coloniale
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