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Murchison

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The 1920s

The 1920s was the decade that modern New Zealand came of age. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the country shrugged off the gloom of war to embrace the Jazz Age - an era of speed, power and glamour. Explore an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of key events. Read the full article

Page 12 - 1929 - key events

A selection of key New Zealand events from

Murchison is Nelson’s largest inland town. Murchison was a heavily wooded flat in 1846. The discovery of gold triggered settlement, and the township was surveyed in 1865. The town has long been a popular stopping point en route to the West Coast or Canterbury. On 17 June 1929 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the northern South Island near Murchison. The shaking triggered dozens of huge slips on the steep mountain slopes, which were waterlogged from winter rain. Landslides blocked many rivers, killing four people in the Mātakitaki valley and five in the Maruia valley. Roads were so badly damaged that vehicles could not reach Murchison for several months.

Meaning of place name
Named after the celebrated Scottish geologist, Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, who was one of the founders of the Royal Geographical Society. The township was at one time known as Hampden but was changed because it was so often confused with Hampden in Otago.