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Rolleston

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Rolleston is the seat and largest town in the Selwyn District, in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand's South Island. It is located on the Canterbury Plains south-west of Christchurch, and is considered a satellite town of the city. The town has a population of making it New Zealand's 31st largest urban area.Rolleston originated as a railway terminus in 1866, and is named after the Canterbury statesman William Rolleston. Rolleston, who was born in Yorkshire in 1831 and died in 1903, served as Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury from 1868 until 1876 (when central government abolished the New Zealand provinces). He also served as a Member of Parliament, holding various Cabinet portfolios.Until 1990 the town had only a few sealed streets and a population of just under 1,000. The current expansion was begun in the 1990s. Rolleston had a population of 1,974 at the 2001 census, 3,822 at the 2006 census, and 9,555 at the 2013 census.The radiata pine plantations that were once a feature of this part of Canterbury have largely been replaced by more water-intensive grazing land to take advantage of the "dairy boom" of the early 21st century. Shelter belts of radiata, another significant earlier feature of the Plains (and very effective at mitigating the desiccating effects of the nor'west wind), have also been removed as they formed a barrier to the huge central-pivot irrigators that are now commonplace in the area. Rolleston is very exposed on the Canterbury Plains and is therefore slightly drier, with a more continental climate, than nearby Christchurch. There are many vineyards in the area.
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