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Events In History

1 February 1842

The Fifeshire arrived in Nelson with immigrants for the New Zealand Company's first settlement in the South Island.

There were two separate villages – Upper Wakefield and Lower Wakefield – but the town centralised around the railway station from the 1870s. St John’s Church (1846) is one of the oldest remaining Anglican churches in the South Island. Hops used to be grown around Wakefield, and disused hop kilns (used to dry the crop) can be seen in the surrounding countryside.
Meaning of place name
Wakefield was originally known as Pitfure, but the name was changed to commemorate Arthur Wakefield, killed in the Wairau affray in 1843.