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Sydenham
Sydenham, nz.jpg
The historic Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church prior to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake
Basic information
Local authority Christchurch
Electoral ward Central and Heathcote
Land area 273 ha (1.05 sq mi)*
Coordinates 43°33′S 172°38′E / 43.550°S 172.633°E / -43.550; 172.633
Population 6750 (June 2021)
Surrounds
North Christchurch Central City
East Waltham
Southeast St Martins
South Beckenham
Southwest Spreydon
West Addington

Sydenham is an inner suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, two kilometres south of the city centre, on and around the city's main street, Colombo Street. It is a residential, retail and light industrial suburb.

History

Sydenham Church 15 March 2011
Sydenham Heritage Church after demolition, with the Post Office in the background

The Sydenham borough was formed in 1876 and Charles Allison advocated that the new local body in the area be the Sydenham Borough Council named after Charles Prince’s crockery and china shop on Colombo Street called "Sydenham House". The crockery shop, in turn, was named after the north-west Kent town of Sydenham, which is now a London suburb within the London Borough of Lewisham.

The first council and its first mayor, Mayor George Booth, were elected in 1877. On 31 March 1903, the borough amalgamated with the City of Christchurch and became a suburb. At that time Sydenham already had its own swimming-baths, fire-engine, cemetery and recreation grounds. Apart from the large cities, Sydenham was the largest borough in New Zealand at the time.

Geography

Entrance to Sydenham 64
Entrance to Sydenham in December 2011, with the Heritage Church and the Post Office after demolition

Sydenham is separated from the central city by the South Island Main Trunk Railway and Moorhouse Avenue. State Highway 73 runs through the southern part of Sydenham. The southern boundary of Sydenham is Tennyson Street.

Heritage buildings

Sydenham has a number of heritage buildings registered by Heritage New Zealand, with some already lost or to be lost due to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Woolstore in Durham Street is the only Category I heritage building. Coming from the south, the Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church formed an entry into the strip shopping area along Colombo Street, but the church was controversially demolished shortly after the February earthquake.

Nazareth House Chapel is located west of Sydenham Park and belongs to a retirement village. Blackheath Place are residential brick terrace houses that are rather uncommon in New Zealand. Three registered cottages are located in Shelley and Tennyson Streets.

12 Drummond Street Sydenham Christchurch New Zealand Historic Totara Cottage 1876
This historic cottage is typical of settler housing in Sydenham Christchurch. It was built in 1876 from totara.

Economy

The Colombo

Sydenham The Colombo
The Colombo shopping mall with the Powell Fenwick building in the background, Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch (October 2021)

The Colombo shopping centre is a shopping centre in Sydenham. It has 44 tenants, including the Academy Gold Cinema. In July 2020, Christchurch-based retail chain Smiths City moved its flagship store to The Colombo centre.

Restaurants

There are many restaurants and takeaway food establishments on Colombo Street.

Art district

There is a vibrant art district in Sydenham with at least five art galleries located in Sydenham. These include Chambers Art Gallery, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Fiksate Studio & Gallery, Form Gallery, City Art Depot, and NZ Art Broker. Buildings feature street art works and many public art events have been held in Sydenham. As part of the Sydenham master plan, artwork was installed on Colombo street as a gateway into Sydenham.

Light industry

North of Brougham Street, there are many light industrial businesses located in Sydenham.

Demographics

Sydenham comprises four statistical areas. Sydenham Central is almost entirely commercial and light industry. Sydenham West, North and South are primarily residential.

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Households Median age Median income
Sydenham Central 138 57 30.9 years $42,100
Sydenham West 1,320 645 42.7 years $28,400
Sydenham North 1,998 810 31.4 years $33,300
Sydenham South 2,787 1,128 34.1 years $30,900
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

Sydenham Central

Sydenham Central covers 1.21 km2 (0.47 sq mi). It had an estimated population of 400 as of June 2021, with a population density of 331 people per km2.

Historical population of Sydenham Central
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 126 —    
2013 114 −1.42%
2018 138 +3.90%

Sydenham Central had a population of 138 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 24 people (21.1%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 12 people (9.5%) since the 2006 census. There were 57 households. There were 81 males and 60 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.35 males per female. The median age was 30.9 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 15 people (10.9%) aged under 15 years, 48 (34.8%) aged 15 to 29, 72 (52.2%) aged 30 to 64, and 3 (2.2%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 67.4% European/Pākehā, 13.0% Māori, 2.2% Pacific peoples, 21.7% Asian, and 2.2% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 34.8%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 50.0% had no religion, 32.6% were Christian, 2.2% were Buddhist and 4.3% had other religions.

Sydenham St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Sydenham, Christchurch (October 2021)

Of those at least 15 years old, 27 (22.0%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 6 (4.9%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $42,100, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 93 (75.6%) people were employed full-time, 9 (7.3%) were part-time, and 3 (2.4%) were unemployed.

Residential areas

Sydenham houses
Hutcheson Street, a residential area of Sydenham, Christchurch (October 2021)

The residential areas of Sydenham cover 1.52 km2 (0.59 sq mi). They have an estimated population of 6350 as of June 2021, with a population density of 4178 people per km2.

Historical population of the residential areas
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 5,157 —    
2013 5,556 +1.07%
2018 6,105 +1.90%

The residential areas had a population of 6,105 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 549 people (9.9%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 948 people (18.4%) since the 2006 census. There were 2,583 households. There were 3,057 males and 3,045 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.0 males per female, with 810 people (13.3%) aged under 15 years, 1,659 (27.2%) aged 15 to 29, 2,721 (44.6%) aged 30 to 64, and 909 (14.9%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 74.2% European/Pākehā, 9.0% Māori, 4.4% Pacific peoples, 17.4% Asian, and 3.3% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 31.6%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 49.1% had no religion, 35.1% were Christian, 3.8% were Hindu, 1.0% were Muslim, 1.3% were Buddhist and 4.3% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,371 (25.9%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 816 (15.4%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 2,838 (53.6%) people were employed full-time, 669 (12.6%) were part-time, and 204 (3.9%) were unemployed.

Sporting teams

Sydenham Park
Sydenham Park (October 2021)

Sydenham Park is public open space that also acts as the home ground for Sydenham Cricket Club, Sydenham Hockey Club and Sydenham Rugby Club. All three clubs have provided players for their respective New Zealand teams. These including Stephen Fleming for cricket, John Radovonich for hockey and Charlie Oliver for rugby union. Ben Stokes, the English cricketer spent time in 2020 working with the Sydenham Cricket Club.

Education

Sydenham School, on the corner of Brougham and Colombo Streets, was first opened in 1872 and known as Colombo Road School. The land cost one hundred pounds to purchase and a further 862 pounds to build the school. By March 1873, there were almost 400 children enrolled. The school was renamed Sydenham school in 1880. At one stage it was the largest school in New Zealand. The school was closed in December 2000.

In 2021, There were no primary or secondary schools within the suburb of Sydenham. Somerfield School takes students to the west of Colombo Street and south of Brougham Street. Waltham School takes students to the east of Colombo Street and south of Moorhouse Avenue. Addington School takes students to the west of Colombo Street and to the north of Somerfield school's zone. Beckenham School takes students to the east of Colombo Street and south of King and Huxley Streets.

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