Saturday, December 15, 2007

Selwyn (district), New Zealand
The Selwyn district is a predominantly rural area in central Canterbury, on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is named after the Selwyn River, which is in turn named after Bishop Selwyn, an early explorer of the area.

The first inhabitants of the area were the Māori. The predominant Māori tribe today, as in most of the rest of the South Island, is Ngai Tahu, who have a marae (meeting house) near the exit of Lake Ellesmere.
In the late 19th century, European (chiefly British) colonists arrived and carved the area up into farmland. This has remained the predominant pattern ever since.
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.
Since this time, the district has enjoyed a stable and prosperous existence. Recent years have seen above-average population growth, believed to be people leaving Christchurch to settle in satellite towns like Rolleston or Lincoln, or on small farms.