- January 1
- Roller skating rink opens. Proprietor Richard Kohler had previously operated Kohler’s Pleasure Grounds.
- January 10
- European birds introduced on "Matoaka" to Lyttelton. Species include pheasants, partridges, blackbirds, thrushes, linnets, skylarks, chaffinches, and starlings. The destruction of native insect eating birds by hunting and fire had caused disastrous crop infestations in Canterbury.
The new Fowler traction engine - 1897
- First traction engine imported into Canterbury by the Provincial Government. It was hoped to pull "road trains" of grain shipments, but trials were a failure.
- Fire prevention ordinance specifies building materials for central city developments.
- July 30
- "Great Canterbury snowstorm" begins. Although no accurate records are available, this may have been heavier than the record 1945 fall. Over 500,000 sheep and cattle died in Canterbury and Otago.
- August 6
- Unveiling of the Godley statue in Cathedral Square New Zealand’s first public statue. However, the statue’s inscription acclaiming him "founder of Canterbury" is possibly over generous. Wakefield should at least share the title.
- September 21
- Trout introduced from Tasmania. The ova were reared in special covered ponds built in Hagley Park next to the hospital. Salmon were introduced a year later.
- December 3
- Canterbury Museum (New Zealand’s first) opened to public in an upstairs room in the Canterbury Provincial Government Buildings. The collection had been assembled by Julius (later Sir Julius) Von Haast. See 1872
- December 9
- Lyttelton railway tunnel opens, the first in the world to be drilled through a volcano rim. It was New Zealand’s first tunnel, and at the time was described as one of the longest in the world, yet had been planned and financed by this tiny colonial settlement whose population was just over 9000, (6,647 in Christchurch and 2,510 in Lyttelton.)