Ballantynes Fire

The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history. Forty-one people died and the resulting Royal Commission recommended urgent changes to the building regulations and fire prevention and firefighting throughout the country.


This resource is composed of transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources regarding the Ballantynes’ Fire. Each page has the text and an image of the article which links to a PDF of the article.

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Note on the sources

This resource was created in 1998 by digitising a Project Resource Pack published in 1990. Sources for the Project Resource Packs were the The Press, The Star, The Star-Sun and New Zealand Weekly News. This web version was re-organised in 2002 and again in 2006 and significant changes have been made to the structure.

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