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Balclutha, New Zealand

Balclutha
Iwikatea (Māori)
Town
Looking across the Clutha towards the town centre. The distinctive road bridge is visible in the centre of the picture
Looking across the Clutha towards the town centre. The distinctive road bridge is visible in the centre of the picture
Map
Coordinates: 46°14′S 169°45′E / 46.233°S 169.750°E / -46.233; 169.750
CountryNew Zealand
RegionOtago
Territorial authorityClutha District
WardBalclutha
Electorates
Government
 • Territorial authorityClutha District Council
 • Regional councilOtago Regional Council
 • Mayor of CluthaBryan Cadogan
 • Taieri MPIngrid Leary
 • Te Tai Tonga MPTākuta Ferris
Area
 • Total7.55 km2 (2.92 sq mi)
Population
 (June 2023)[2]
 • Total4,340
 • Density570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Postcode(s)
9230
Area code03
Local iwiNgāi Tahu

Balclutha (Māori: Iwikatea) is a town in South Otago, lying towards the end of the Clutha River, on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is about halfway between Dunedin and Gore on the Main South Line railway, State Highway 1 and the Southern Scenic Route. Balclutha has a population of 4,340 (as of June 2023), and is the largest town in South Otago.

The Clutha District Council is based in Balclutha.

The major service centre for the fertile farming region around the lower reaches of the Clutha River, it is also the nearest large town to the Catlins, a scenic region of native forest, wildlife, and rugged coastline.

History

Known locally as "Clutha", Balclutha's name – and that of the river on which it stands – reflects the Scottish origin of the town's settlement. The name comes from Scottish Gaelic and would be spelt Baile air Chluaidh in that language; this translates into English as "Town on the Clyde".

James McNeil from Bonn Hill, Dumbartonshire, Scotland, who is regarded as the town's founding father, arrived in 1853, via Port Chalmers in 1849. His farm was on the site of the present town, where he and the Provincial Government established a ferry service across the Clutha in 1857; as a result the town was initially called Clutha Ferry.

The Māori name for the area is Iwikatea, literally "Bleached bones" (a local Māori tribal battle in 1750[3] left the decomposing bodies of the defeated, their bones whitened in the sun).[4]

Demographics

Balclutha covers 7.55 km2 (2.92 sq mi)[1] and had an estimated population of 4,340 as of June 2023,[2] with a population density of 575 people per km2.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
20064,137—    
20133,987−0.53%
20184,110+0.61%
Source: [5]
John Street

Balclutha had a population of 4,110 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 123 people (3.1%) since the 2013 census, and a decrease of 27 people (−0.7%) since the 2006 census. There were 1,725 households, comprising 2,013 males and 2,100 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.96 males per female, with 678 people (16.5%) aged under 15 years, 741 (18.0%) aged 15 to 29, 1,734 (42.2%) aged 30 to 64, and 960 (23.4%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 86.7% European/Pākehā, 11.5% Māori, 3.4% Pasifika, 5.0% Asian, and 1.3% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 12.6, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people chose not to answer the census's question about religious affiliation, 52.1% had no religion, 36.3% were Christian, 0.3% had Māori religious beliefs, 0.7% were Hindu, 1.1% were Muslim, 0.6% were Buddhist and 1.3% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 339 (9.9%) people had a bachelor's or higher degree, and 1,047 (30.5%) people had no formal qualifications. 354 people (10.3%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 1,710 (49.8%) people were employed full-time, 447 (13.0%) were part-time, and 96 (2.8%) were unemployed.[5]

Individual statistical areas
Name Area (km2) Population Density (per km2) Households Median age Median income
Balclutha South 4.52 2,523 558 1,071 45.0 years $28,400[6]
Balclutha North 3.07 1,587 517 654 47.0 years $29,800[7]
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

Landmarks

The Clutha River flows through the town. It is the largest river in New Zealand by volume of water, and the country's second longest after the Waikato. It provides the town with various recreational facilities, including fishing (brown trout), water skiing and power boating. Immediately to the south of the town it splits into two distributaries, the Matau and the Koau, the latter of which skirts the southern edge of the town.

Balclutha Road Bridge

The most prominent structure in the town is the concrete Balclutha Road Bridge across the Clutha, which was built in 1935. The original 1868 wooden bridge was washed away on 14 October 1878. Rebuilt in 1881, it was later considered unsuitable for motor vehicles.

The South Island Main Trunk Railway crosses the river some 800 metres downstream, near the junction where the Clutha River divides into the southern branch, known as the Kaoru (pied shag), and the northern the Matau (derived from Mata Au, the Maori name for the Clutha).

Most of Balclutha township lies on 'the flat' land which lies within a wide loop in the river to the south of the road bridge, but North Balclutha is on the hill to the north of the bridge and Rosebank on the hill to the south.

There are several natural features in and near Balclutha. Nearby at Benhar / Kaitangata is Lake Tuakitoto, and Matai Falls, a natural waterfall and scenic feature is in the Catlins.[8] The yellow-eyed penguin comes ashore for breeding in the Balclutha area at the edge of the Catlins, and The Nuggets are located at nearby Kaka Point.

Education

South Otago High School entrance

Primary schools

Balclutha School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 8 students,[9] with a roll of 196 as of February 2024.[10]

Rosebank School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 8 students,[11][12] with a roll of 219.[13]

St Joseph's School is a co-educational state primary school for Year 1 to 8 students,[14] with a roll of 57.[15]

Clutha Valley Primary is an educational primary school for year 1 to 8 students.

Secondary schools

South Otago High School is a co-educational state secondary school for Year 9 to 13 students,[16][17] with a roll of 524.[18]

Tertiary education

There is one tertiary education facility, Telford, a campus of the Southern Institute of Technology.[19]

Climate

Climate data for Balclutha (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 19.2
(66.6)
19.0
(66.2)
17.9
(64.2)
15.3
(59.5)
12.4
(54.3)
9.5
(49.1)
9.2
(48.6)
11.0
(51.8)
13.2
(55.8)
14.9
(58.8)
16.2
(61.2)
18.2
(64.8)
14.7
(58.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.2
(57.6)
14.0
(57.2)
12.5
(54.5)
10.2
(50.4)
7.8
(46.0)
5.3
(41.5)
4.7
(40.5)
6.2
(43.2)
8.2
(46.8)
10.0
(50.0)
11.4
(52.5)
13.2
(55.8)
9.8
(49.7)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 9.2
(48.6)
8.9
(48.0)
7.1
(44.8)
5.2
(41.4)
3.1
(37.6)
1.2
(34.2)
0.2
(32.4)
1.4
(34.5)
3.2
(37.8)
5.1
(41.2)
6.5
(43.7)
8.3
(46.9)
5.0
(40.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 69.0
(2.72)
62.5
(2.46)
40.3
(1.59)
59.9
(2.36)
74.9
(2.95)
53.4
(2.10)
60.7
(2.39)
32.2
(1.27)
45.2
(1.78)
62.1
(2.44)
52.9
(2.08)
45.4
(1.79)
658.5
(25.93)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 213.9 186.3 168.3 130.3 116.1 109.7 112.0 143.1 171.3 199.2 200.8 214.4 1,965.4
Source: NIWA[20]

Notable people

References

  1. ^ a b "ArcGIS Web Application". statsnz.maps.arcgis.com. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Subnational population estimates (RC, SA2), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2023 (2023 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 25 October 2023. (regional councils); "Subnational population estimates (TA, SA2), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2023 (2023 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 25 October 2023. (territorial authorities); "Subnational population estimates (urban rural), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996-2023 (2023 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 25 October 2023. (urban areas)
  3. ^ Waite, Fred. "Chapter VIII. — Who Were The South Otago Maoris?". Port Molyneux : the story of Maori and pakeha in South Otago : a centennial history : commemorating the landing of George Willsher and his companions at Willsher Bay, June 28, 1840 : with a programme for the unveiling of the centennial cairn, erected by the Clutha County Council, June 28, 1940. p. 32.
  4. ^ "Balclutha". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 February 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Balclutha South (356500) and Balclutha North (356600).
  6. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Balclutha South
  7. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Balclutha North
  8. ^ Bette Flagler. 2005
  9. ^ "Balclutha School Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  10. ^ "Balclutha School Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  11. ^ "Rosebank School Official School Website". rosebankschool.co.nz.
  12. ^ "Rosebank School Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  13. ^ "Rosebank School Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  14. ^ "St Joseph's School Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  15. ^ "St Joseph's School Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  16. ^ "South Otago High School Official School Website". sohs.school.nz.
  17. ^ "South Otago High School Ministry of Education School Profile". educationcounts.govt.nz. Ministry of Education.
  18. ^ "South Otago High School Education Review Office Report". ero.govt.nz. Education Review Office.
  19. ^ "Search Results Web result with site links Telford - Southern Institute of Technology". sit.ac.nz. Southern Institute of Technology.
  20. ^ "CliFlo – National Climate Database : Balclutha, Telford Ews". NIWA. Retrieved 19 May 2024.
  21. ^ Furphy, John (2023). "Edward Aaron Alexander (Ted) Bullmore New Zealand, 1933-78". aasd.

Notes

  • Bette Flagler. 2005. Adventure guide: New Zealand, Hunter Publishing, Inc, 800 pages ISBN 1-58843-405-2
  • Reed, A.W. (2002) The Reed dictionary of New Zealand place names. Auckland: Reed Books. ISBN 0-790-00761-4.

Media related to Balclutha at Wikimedia Commons

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Balclutha, New Zealand
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