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The services in the small towns primarily serve the surrounding community. The major exception is the town of Lincoln, home to a University and a number of Crown Research Institutes and other organisations concerned with scientific research.
The Selwyn District as a unit of government was formed in 1989 from a legislated merger of the Malvern and Ellesmere counties, along with a portion of Paparua County.
The town of Lincoln like many rural towns has a strong community heart. With the more recent expansion following the 2010 Earthquakes the town has had exponential growth. This hasn’t overwhelmed the town’s heart; it appears to have strengthened it. By walking around the town it soon becomes evident these folk are very friendly and welcoming and most seem only too happy to embrace the town’s new population. With people going out of their way to make eye contact and engage in conversation, Lincoln optimizes the spirit of small town New Zealand.
Lincoln has many interesting community involvements one which stands out for me is "The Lincoln Community Garden" which is part of a growing network of community gardens throughout New Zealand. What impresses me; this project hasn’t just recently happened due to the fashionable trend of developing gardens in and around a town. It was established way back in 1997 by the Lincoln Envirotown Trust way. Lincoln indeed has a very bright future. There are lots of plans for the towns centre with a number of interesting developments to meet the needs of its growing population. One new project well underway and will hopefully be ready before Christmas is a bar and restaurant called "The Laboratory" This promises to be an innovative build using many recycled materials. The owners of this new business are the same people that owned the renowned and legendary establishment called The Twisted Hop in Poplar Street central city Christchurch posts earthquake of 2010.
Look out for my next post.
Geographical Features: Selwyn District contains within it two distinct regions: the plains and the high country.
The plains, where most of the population lives and the majority of activity takes place, form an expanse of low-lying, flat, and comparatively dry grassland. The extreme south-east is dominated by Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora), an expanse of water surrounded by marshes, formed by the out-flow of the Selwyn River. The tributaries of the Selwyn River include the Waianiwaniwa, Hororata and the Hawkins Rivers.
The high country is a sparsely-populated region, mainly consisting of hill and mountain ranges and narrow river valleys. Most of the high country is grassland, including some tussock lands; areas of beech forest remain within the Craigieburn Forest Park and the Arthurs Pass National Park.
Population: The total population of Selwyn District was 44,595 in the 2013 Census. 2013 Census information confirmed that Selwyn District is the fastest growing area of New Zealand. Selwyn’s population grew from 33,642 to 44,595 between 2006 and 2013, a 33% increase. The average growth for New Zealand as a whole during that period was 5.3%.
Approximately half the population lives in the various towns and villages in the district, while the remainder are on farms. 95% of the population live on the plains. The largest towns are Darfield, Leeston, Lincoln, Prebbleton, Templeton and Rolleston which is also the home of the Council's main office. The towns of Springfield and Sheffield are on State Highway 73, where the foothills start to rise from the Canterbury Plains.
Climate: The plains have a temperate climate, characterised by warm, dry summers and cool winters. The Southern Alps are responsible for the relatively low rainfall, and also lead to a foehn wind, the "Canterbury Nor'Wester". This strong, hot and dry wind is most common in spring and summer, and on occasion reaches damage-causing strength. In the mountain country of the Southern Alps, conditions are much colder and wetter.
In the coming posts I will be talking about the largest towns of Darfield, Leeston, Lincoln, Prebbleton, Templeton and Rolleston. I will also touch on other small communities such as West Melton, Kirwee. Also Springfield and Sheffield these are on State Highway 73, where the foothills start to rise from the Canterbury Plains