Daily Archives: November 6, 2008

New Zealand Rugby – did it start here in Nelson?

(C) Tourism NZ

Sir David Monro was one of Nelson’s founding fathers and in 1867 sent his 16 year old (4th not ‘eldest’) son Charles to England to finish his schooling and prepare for an Army career there. This was a decision that would shape the new Nation, for more than any political decision he made over his 2 decades in parliament.

While it is claimed that Rugby had been ‘invented’ by William Webb Ellis at Rugby School in 1823, it is beyond doubt that Rugby had already spread quickly to universities, clubs and other public schools in the UK by the 1860’s.
When Charles Monro came back to Nelson in 1870, after attending Christ’s College Finchley in London, he talked the Nelson Football Club, newly established in 1868, into ditching the round ball and the hybrid of soccer and Melbourne rules they had been playing and to try out the “superior game” under the written 1868 rules of Rugby using the new Gilbert oval ball he had brought back from England.
Rugby was played by teams of 18-20, and points were scored only by kicking goals, needing 2 goals to win .
The aim was to touch the ball down in goal, which gave the team the right to have a ‘try’ at a goal.
Before going to London, Charles Monro, had attended Nelson College 1861-1865.
The first game of rugby in New Zealand was played in Nelson on the 14th May, 1870, between the Nelson Rugby Football Club team (‘the Town’) and Nelson College (‘the Gown’). In the end the (delete: Nelson Club Nelson Town team triumphed by two goals to nil, with the Town captain, Alfred Drew scoring the first point in NZ Rugby.

Nelson College was the same school that Charles Monro and his 2 brothers had attended in the 1860s, and which school, Ernest Rutherford, the man who split the atom, went to a few decades later.

Port Nelson says “Thanks” to the Boulder Bank

For residents of Nelson it’s hard to escape the fact that there’s water everywhere.

Central to this is our Port. Port Nelson is located in the sheltered waters of Nelson Haven, a tidal zone bounded and you might say protected, by the Boulder Bank. Our famous Boulder Bank is a 13km natural breakwater that shelters our harbour and Port from all weather conditions.Port of Nelson

The Port of Nelson is our regions gateway to the world for most of our exports.

Just as you can be sure you will be paying more for your white-ware appliances, your 60inch LCD TV, cars, motorbikes, etc because of the NZ Dollar dropping in value, you can be just as sure that our exporters are starting to smile again.

Exports are crucial to our region, for many years apples, hops and tobacco were its mainstays. Although apples and hops are still produced in the region and exported, it is fishing, forestry, and fruit that together account for about a quarter of our regions GDP. And these same industries make up a quarter of our regions jobs too.

Nelson Pine Industries operate the world’s biggest single-site for the production of medium density fibreboard (MDF), exporting “GoldenEdge” MDF to markets around the world, with close to 90% of its product being sold overseas.

The country’s biggest seafood company, Sealord Group is also headquartered at Port Nelson. The fishing fleet based at Port Nelson holds over half of New Zealand’s sustainable catching rights.Wooden Apple Case - old style

Nelson is New Zealand’s second largest apple growing area with over 5 million cartons exported each year.

All three are also major exporters, with export earnings making up about 60 percent of the forestry sector’s $660 million gross output, 68 percent of the seafood sector’s $769 million gross output and 95 percent of the horticulture sector’s $466 million gross output.

So it’s no surprise that exports are seen as the lifeblood of the Nelson economy.
“Effectively that’s what Nelson’s economy is based on,” says the chief executive of the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency Bill Findlater. “It would be pretty hard to sustain the region if we didn’t have exports.”

Nelson accounts for nearly a third of the country’s pipfruit exports.

Massive volumes in log and sawn timber exports come from forests owned by major forestry companies, and the port has put in the hard work to meet the international shipping needs of a thriving export sector.

Port Nelson has won a reputation for cost effectiveness and efficiency, which ensures exporters have top service from a growing range of container and break bulk shipping services.