Whanganui Chronicle

The Whanganui Chronicle is New Zealand's oldest newspaper. Based in Whanganui, it celebrated 160 years of publishing in September 2016.

The Whanganui Chronicle
Wanganui Chronicle building in Rutland Street
TypeDaily Newspaper
FormatBroadsheet on Saturdays, Compact Mon–Fri
Owner(s)New Zealand Media and Entertainment Ltd
EditorSimon Waters (acting)
HeadquartersWhanganui, New Zealand
Circulation9584 (2015)[1]

Local resident Henry Stokes first proposed the paper for Petre, as the town was then called, but initial publication was held back by lack of equipment. As no printing press was available, Stokes approached the technical master at Wanganui Collegiate School, Rev. Charles Nicholls, and together they constructed a maire wood and iron makeshift printing press, on which, with the help of the staff and pupils of the school, the first edition of the Wanganui Chronicle (as it was then spelled) was printed on 18 September 1856.

The motto of the paper, printed at the top of the editorial column, was "Verite Sans Peur," French for "Truth without Fear."

Initially the paper was sold fortnightly, at a price of six pence. In 1866 the Chronicle went tri-weekly, and in 1871 began publishing daily and has done so since. The paper was owned and edited by Gilbert Carson from 1875 onwards.[2] In the 1880s Carson's sister Margaret Bullock worked as a reporter and assistant editor for the paper, and, along with Laura Jane Suisted, was one of the first female parliamentary correspondents in New Zealand.[3] The woman editor for a time in the 1920s using her birth name Iris Wilkinson, later published poetry and novels as Robin Hyde, and is now "acknowledged as a major figure in New Zealand twentieth-century culture".[4]

The Chronicle's rival from 1867 onward was The Evening Herald (later The Wanganui Herald), founded by John Ballance. The ownership of the two daily papers merged in the 1970s, and in 1986 the Herald became a free weekly, later renamed the Wanganui Midweek.[2] The Chronicle is currently Whanganui's only daily newspaper.

On Monday, 10 September 2018, the paper officially changed its name to the Whanganui Chronicle, to correspond with the corrected Māori spelling of Whanganui district that was made official in December 2015.[5]


  1. "Press audit results". The New Zealand Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. "Wanganui Chronicle". Papers Past. National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. Labrum, Bronwyn (5 January 2013). "Bullock, Margaret". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. Edmond-Paul, Mary. "ROBIN HYDE (IRIS WILKINSON), 1906–1939". KŌTARE 2007, Women prose writers to World War 1. NZETC. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  5. Dawson, Mark (10 September 2018). "Wanganui Chronicle changes name to Whanganui Chronicle". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
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