Picton, New Zealand

Picton is a town in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. It is near the head of Queen Charlotte Sound near the north-east corner of the South Island. The population was 2925 in the 2006 Census, a decrease of 75 from 2001. [cite web|url=http://www.stats.govt.nz/census/2006-census-data/final-counts/marlborough-region.htm|title=Final counts – census night and census usually resident populations, and occupied dwellings - Marlborough Region|publisher=Statistics New Zealand] The town is named after Sir Thomas Picton, the military associate of the Duke of Wellington, who was killed at the Battle of Waterloo.

Inter-island ferries to and from Wellington arrive and depart here by way of the Marlborough Sounds. Most of the sheltered part of the route is through Tory Channel, south of Arapawa Island. The township of Waikawa is a couple of minutes' drive from Picton, practically part of the same town. Waikawa hosts a marina, one of the largest in New Zealand.

As of 2001, the unemployment rate in Picton was 4.3%, compared with 7.5% for all of New Zealand.cite web |url=http://www2.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/web/CommProfiles.nsf/af10b470fbf98e07cc256d090001b4bc/2fc2bbc993424c96cc256d310074d0e4?OpenDocument |title=Picton Urban Area Community Profile |accessdate=2007-05-20 |date=2003-05-03 |publisher=Statistics New Zealand ]

Transport

The Main North railway line and State Highway 1 link Picton southwards to Blenheim, Christchurch and beyond, while scenic Queen Charlotte Drive (shorter in distance but usually slower than State Highway 1/State Highway 6 via Blenheim) winds westward to Havelock.

The daily TranzCoastal long-distance passenger train to Christchurch begins and terminates in Picton.

Picton Airport at nearby Koromiko has regular services to Wellington and charter flights around the Marlborough sounds.

Nearby settlements are at Anakiwa, Waikawa, and Shakespeare Bay.

The Edwin Fox Maritime Centre features the "Edwin Fox", the only surviving ship that transported convicts to Australia, which is undergoing preservation.

Notable people born in Picton

*Judith Adams - Australian politician
*Lance Cairns - Champion All-rounder for the New Zealand cricket team
*Chris Cairns - Son of Lance Cairns, also on the New Zealand cricket team

Education

The first school opened in Picton in 1861 at the corner of Devon Street and Broadway. A new school opened in 1882, and part of the old school was moved to the new site, but was destroyed by fire in 1928. A Catholic Convent school opened in 1915, and was replaced by St Joseph's in 1924. [cite book|title=Marlborough - A Provincial History|editor=A. D. McIntosh|year=1940|pages=p 329, 340-342]

Queen Charlotte College is a secondary (years 7-15) school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 349. [cite web|url=http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/display_school_info.php?school_id=287|title=Te Kete Ipurangi - Queen Charlotte College|publisher=Ministry of Education] Picton School is a contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 3 and a roll of 134. [cite web|url=http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/display_school_info.php?school_id=2956|title=Te Kete Ipurangi - Picton School|publisher=Ministry of Education]

St Joseph's School is a state integrated contributing primary (years 1-6) school with a decile rating of 5 and a roll of 30. [cite web|url=http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/display_school_info.php?school_id=3009|title=Te Kete Ipurangi - St Joseph's School, Picton|St Joseph's School|publisher=Ministry of Education]

All these schools are coeducational. Other primary schools in the area are at Linkwater, Koromiko and Waikawa, Marlborough.

Miscellaneous

The famous author Katherine Mansfield spent some time in Picton where her grandparents, Arthur and Mary Beauchamp, and her father Harold, lived for some time when they came from Australia. She included a reference to the port in her short story "The Voyage" (in the collection The Garden Party), which is "an account of a trip to Picton from Wellington on the Cook Strait ferry" [http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers/kennedyjulie.html] .

References

External links

* [http://www.picton.co.nz/ Detailed visitor guide]
* [http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-ArnFart-c1.html Brogden's Navvies arrive in Picton, 1872 (eText)]
* [http://www.picton.school.nz Picton School website]
* [http://www.qcc.school.nz Queen Charlotte College website]


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