The growth of West Melton

by Kent Caddick

West Melton is one of the fastest growing towns in Selwyn.

Since the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, West Melton has become a popular destination for people from Christchurch who have lost their homes or wanting to move out of a city, which is going through years of recovery.

Because of this the school roll has rocketed leading to a building programme, the town has its first shopping complex and now its first residential development on the southern side of the highway.

West Melton’s planned $6 million multipurpose community and recreation facility, which is under construction, will help to ease the pressure facing local community and sporting groups because of the population influx, and replace the town’s ageing community hall.

In addition to the recreational facilities, such as a full-size indoor sports courts, which can be used for a number of activities including basketball, netball, Badminton and Futsal, the new facility will also accommodate gymnastics and dance, as well as have a number of community use rooms, including a large digital seminar and learning suite. 

The new centre will also be the new base for Plunket, the West Melton Scout group and the West Melton Playcentre, which will move into the new facility from its current aging home, an old army barrack, which was sited alongside the old hall. The new building will be able to hold around 550 people and will also be available to corporate and private groups for hire. It is scheduled to open later this year.

The name West Melton was given to the Selwyn settlement by settler Henry Trickett. 

Mr Trickett was the first of a number of small landholders who settled in the region. In August 1863 he purchased 100 acres, naming the area after his home district of West Melton, in South Yorkshire near the town of Rotherham.