The Press
The Press newspaper cover.png
  • The 17 March 2008 front page of
  • The Press
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Stuff Ltd
EditorKamala Hayman
Founded25 May 1861
HeadquartersChristchurch, New Zealand
Circulation37,002 (2019)[1]
ISSN0113-9762 Edit this at Wikidata

The Press (Māori: Te Matatika) is a daily newspaper published in Christchurch, New Zealand owned by media business Stuff Ltd. First published in 1861, the newspaper is the largest circulating daily in the South Island and publishes Monday to Saturday. One community newspaper—Northern Outlook—is also published by The Press and is free.

The newspaper has won the title of New Zealand Newspaper of the Year (in its circulation category) three times: in 2006, 2007 and 2012. It has also won the overall Newspaper of the Year title twice: in 2006 and 2007.[2][3][4]


Former Press Building in Cashel Street, in use by the newspaper until 1908
Former Press Building in Cashel Street, in use by the newspaper until 1908


James FitzGerald came to Lyttelton on the Charlotte Jane in December 1850, and was from January 1851 the first editor of the Lyttelton Times, Canterbury's first newspaper.[5] From 1853, he focussed on politics and withdrew from the Lyttelton Times.[6] After several years in England, he returned to Canterbury concerned about the proposed capital works programme of the provincial government, with his chief concern the proposed rail tunnel connecting Christchurch and Lyttelton, which he thought of as fiscally irresponsible, but supported by his old newspaper, the Lyttelton Times. The newspaper's editor, Crosbie Ward, made an imputation of unknown content, and this spurred FitzGerald to set up The Press as a rival newspaper.[7]

FitzGerald had dinner with John Watts-Russell, who put up £500 on the condition that FitzGerald would be in charge of the new newspaper. Next, he enlisted the support of the Rev. John Raven, who organised many of the practical aspects, like organising a printer and a printing press. Other members of the early committee that organised The Press were Henry Porcher Lance (brother of James Dupré Lance),[8] Henry Tancred, and Richard J. S. Harman; all of them were colonial gentry.[9]

The Press was first published on 25 May 1861 from a small cottage, making it the oldest surviving newspaper in the South Island of New Zealand. The cottage belonged to Raven on land known as Raven's paddock on the west side of Montreal Street, between Worcester and Gloucester Streets, opposite the present-day Christchurch Art Gallery.[10] The first edition was a six-page tabloid and was sold for sixpence. The paper continued as a weekly. The public saw FitzGerald as the proprietor of The Press, but the newspaper saw reason to publicly state that "it is not a fact that Mr FitzGerald has either pecuniary or official connexion" with it; he was however the driving force behind the paper.[10]


On 13 June 1863, the first part of Samuel Butler's Erewhon appeared in The Press in an article signed with the pseudonym Cellarius (q.v.) and headed "Darwin among the Machines."[11]

In 1905, The Press purchased a block of the Cathedral Square site for £4,000. The Board then purchased the right of way (Press Lane) and what was going to be the original Theatre Royal site from the Theatre Royal Syndicate for £5000. The Gothic part of the Press building (occupied by the company until 22 February 2011) was built starting in 1907 and the Press staff shifted into it in February 1909 from their Cashel Street premises.

In the 1930s, The Press began to seek solutions to the slow delivery times of the newspaper to the West Coast. Roads at the time were difficult, and the New Zealand Railways Department was unwilling to reschedule any of its ordinary passenger trains to operate at the early morning times desired by The Press as patronage would have been uneconomic, and freight trains did not provide a desirable measure of swiftness. Accordingly, The Press was willing to subsidise the construction and operation of two small Leyland diesel railbuses to carry the newspapers by rail at a desirable time. These little railbuses began service on 3 August 1936 and left Christchurch at 2:20 am, travelling down the Midland Line to reach Greymouth at 6:40 am and then continue along the Ross Branch as far as Hokitika, arriving just before 8:00 am. This provided substantially quicker delivery of the newspaper than was previously possible. However, these railbuses were intended to only be a temporary measure and they were replaced by the much larger Vulcan railcars as soon as they arrived in New Zealand in the early 1940s.

Into the 21st century

In 1995, The Press was the country's first news outlet that established a website for news. In 2000, Independent Newspapers Ltd (INL) launched its news website branded as Stuff and from then on, The Press and Stuff worked on online content collaboratively.[12]

In February 2011, The Press main building in central Christchurch was badly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. All production was operated from their printing plant near Christchurch Airport until June 2012, when the central Christchurch building was partially rebuilt and upgraded. It was one of the first buildings in the Christchurch CBD to be rebuilt and operational.

The paper format for the weekday editions changed from broadsheet to compact in 2018, with only the Saturday edition retaining the larger format.[13]

Old logo
Old logo

On 27 April 2023, it was announced that the newspaper would launch a new website that would new be subscription based, this would also happen to other Stuff Inc. owned newspapers The Post and Waikato Times.[14] On 29 April, the new website was launched which also featured a new logo for the newspaper and all content now paywalled.[15]


The motto on the masthead – "Nihil utile quod non-honestum" translates to "Nothing is useful that is not honest." Like The Age in Australia, the newspaper's masthead features the Royal Arms.

Joe Bennett (left), Andrew Holden (former editor of The Press), and Rod Oram
Joe Bennett (left), Andrew Holden (former editor of The Press), and Rod Oram


The early ownership, beyond the newspaper having been financed by Watts-Russell, is unclear. In February 1862, an attempt was made to form a company and formalise the ownership of the paper. A deed of association for "The Proprietors of The Press" was drafted, and it lists the five members of the previous committee (Watts-Russell, Raven, Lance, Tancred, and Harman), plus five new members: Alfred Richard Creyke, John Hall, Joseph Brittan, Isaac Cookson, and James Somerville Turnbull.[16] Surprisingly, the deed was not executed, but four-month later, FitzGerald, who had no funds, was the sole owner "through the liberality of the proprietors", as he called it later.[17] FitzGerald lost control of the newspaper ownership in 1868 and the Press Company was incorporated as the owner. That company was dissolved in 1890 and George Stead bought the assets. Stead established the Christchurch Press Company and became its chairman.[18][19]

The Christchurch Press Company was sold to Independent Newspapers Ltd in 1987, and INL in turn was bought by Fairfax New Zealand in 2003.[12] The Australian parent company, Fairfax Media, merged with Nine Entertainment Co. in December 2018.


The following have been editors of The Press:[20]

Name Portrait Term of office
George Sale 1861
Joseph Colborne-Veel
Joseph Veel Colborne-Veel (Press).jpg
1861 1868
Charles Purnell[21]
Charles Purnell (year unknown).jpg
Joseph Colborne-Veel
Joseph Veel Colborne-Veel (Press).jpg
1868 1878
John Steele Guthrie 1878 1894
Michael Cormac Keane 1894 1919
William Triggs 1919 1929
Oliver Duff 1929 1932
Pierce Hugo Napier Freeth 1932 1957
Arthur Rolleston Cant 1957 1973
Norman Macbeth 1973 1978
Binney Lock[22] 1978 1990
David Wilson 1990 1997
Bruce Baskett 1997
Tim Pankhurst[23] 1997 2001
Paul Thompson[24] 2001 2007
Andrew Holden[25]
Andrew Holden (editor).jpg
2007 2012
Joanna Norris 2012 2017
Kamala Hayman 2017 present

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2019 Voyager Media Awards[26] Newspaper of the Year (more than 30,000 circulation) Runner-up
2018 Voyager Media Awards[27] Best coverage of a major news event Runner-up
2017 Voyager Media Awards[28] Best newspaper-inserted magazine Joint winner
Best coverage of a major news event Joint winner
2013 Voyager Media Awards[29] Best Innovation in Multimedia Storytelling Winner
Best Digital Community Interaction Winner
2012 Voyager Media Awards[3] Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation) Winner
Best Newspaper Design Winner
2011 Canon Media Awards[30] Best Design Winner
Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association:[31] Newspaper of the Year (circulation between 25,000 and 90,000) Winner
2007 Qantas Media Print Awards[2] Newspaper of the Year Winner
Daily Newspaper over 25,000 circulation Winner
Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Arts Section Winner
Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Food & Nutrition Section Winner
2006 Qantas Media Print Awards[4] Best New Zealand Newspaper Winner
Best Newspaper with a circulation over 25,000 Winner
Best Newspaper Investigation Winner
Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Food & Nutrition Section Winner
Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Motoring Section Winner
Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Other Section: How the Press Works Winner

Awards and nominations for journalists employed by The Press

Year Award Category Journalist Result
2019 Voyager Media Awards[32] Regional Journalist of the Year Hamish McNeilly Winner
2018 Voyager Media Awards[27] Cartoonist of the Year Sharon Murdoch Winner
Best photography – news Joseph Johnson Winner
Best photography – portrait Chris Skelton Winner
Best news video George Heard Winner
Best feature/photographic essay Joseph Johnson Runner-up
Reporter – crime, justice and/or social issues Martin van Beynen Runner-up
2017 Voyager Media Awards Cartoonist of the Year Sharon Murdoch Winner[28]
Arts and Entertainment Reporter of the Year Vicki Anderson Winner[28]
Best Short-form Feature Writer – Arts and Entertainment Charlie Gates Winner[28]
2016 Voyager Media Awards Videographer of the Year Iain McGregor Winner[33]
Junior Feature Writer of the Year Tess McClure Winner[33]
Cartoonist of the Year Sharon Murdoch Winner[33]
2015 Voyager Media Awards Best Environmental Photography Kirk Hargreaves Winner[34]
Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year Charles Anderson Winner[34]
Newspaper Feature Writer General Charles Anderson Winner[34]
2013 Voyager Media Awards: Best Sports Picture Iain McGregor Winner[29]
2012 Voyager Media Awards Editorial Writer of the Year Bruce Rennie Winner[3]
Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year Martin van Beynen Winner[3]
Senior Reporter of the Year Martin van Beynen Winner[3]
Junior Reporter of the Year Olivia Carville Winner[3]
Arts and Entertainment Reporter of the Year Vicki Anderson Winner[3]
Best Video Daniel Tobin Winner[3]
2004 Qantas Media Awards[35] Senior Reporter of the Year Yvonne Martin Winner
Best single breaking news picture David Hallett Winner
Best Editorial Graphic Artist Graphics team Winner
Best Feature Writer (Environment and Conservation) Kamala Hayman Winner
Best Feature Writer (Junior) Anna Claridge Winner
Best Feature Writer (Crime and Justice) Matt Conway Winner
Best Feature Writer (Food and Nutrition) Kate Fraser Winner
Best Feature Writer (Human Relations) Yvonne Martin Winner
Best Feature Writer (Social issues) Dave Courtney Winner
Best Columnist (Sport and Racing) Tony Smith Winner
2000 Qantas Media Awards[36] Best Feature Writer (Human Relations) Cate Brett Winner
Best Feature Writer (Environment and Conservation) Tim Pankhurst Winner
Best Columnist (Overall) Joe Bennett Winner
Best Columnist (Humour) David McPhail Winner


  1. ^ Te, Saing (2021), Media Ownership in New Zealand from 2011 to 2020 (PDF), Auckland: Auckland University of Technology, retrieved 23 July 2022
  2. ^ a b Saturday; May 2007, 19; Awards, 1:51 pm Press Release: Qantas Media. "Qantas Media Awards 2007 Results – Full List | Scoop News". Retrieved 1 March 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "2012 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b Saturday; May 2006, 6; Fairfax, 5:25 pm Press Release. "Fairfax Media clean up at Awards | Scoop News". Retrieved 1 March 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "About the Lyttelton Times – January 11, 1851". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  6. ^ McIntyre, W. David. "FitzGerald, James Edward – Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  7. ^ Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 11.
  8. ^ "Obituary: the late H. P. Lance". Timaru Herald. Vol. XLIII, no. 3632. 22 May 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  9. ^ Christchurch Press Company 1963, pp. 11–13.
  10. ^ a b Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 16.
  11. ^ Preface to the Revised Edition, Project Gutenberg eBook Erewhon by Samuel Butler. Release Date: 20 March 2005.
  12. ^ a b Crean 2011, p. 9.
  13. ^ "You're not going crazy – your local paper has shrunk in size". Stuff. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Stuff to put up first paywalls for news". RNZ. 27 April 2023. Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  15. ^ reporters, Stuff (28 April 2023). "Stuff launches The Post, The Press and Waikato Times digital sites". Stuff. Retrieved 29 April 2023.
  16. ^ Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 29.
  17. ^ Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 32.
  18. ^ Ogilvie, Gordon. "Stead, George Gatonby". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  19. ^ Crean 2011, p. 8.
  20. ^ Christchurch Press Company 1963, p. 270.
  21. ^ Scholefield 1940, p. 190.
  22. ^ Law, Tina (17 November 2014). "Former Press editor was 'the ultimate gentleman'". The Press. p. A3.
  23. ^ "New editors appointed to The Press and Nelson Mail". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  24. ^ "New Editor for The Press" (Press release). Scoop. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  25. ^ "Christchurch Press editor to head Melbourne Age". The Press. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Stuff claims swag of top honours at 2019 Voyager Media Awards". Stuff. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  27. ^ a b "2018 winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d "2017 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  29. ^ a b "2013 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Home". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  31. ^ "The Press wins title of Newspaper of the Year". Stuff. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  32. ^ "Reporting Winners 2019". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  33. ^ a b c "2016 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  34. ^ a b c "2015 Winners". Voyager Media Awards. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  35. ^ Roughan, John (23 June 2004). "Qantas Media Award winners". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  36. ^ Mediacom. "Qantas Media Awards – Print Results | Scoop News". Retrieved 2 March 2020.