History of The Timaru Herald

EDWARD GEORGE KERR: Proprieter, "Timaru Herald," 1st May, 1887 to 30th November, 1905. General manager, Timaru Herald coy., Ltd, 1st December, 1905 to 16th October, 1906.
EDWARD GEORGE KERR: Proprieter, "Timaru Herald," 1st May, 1887 to 30th November, 1905. General manager, Timaru Herald coy., Ltd, 1st December, 1905 to 16th October, 1906.

The Timaru Herald has served the South Canterbury community since June 11, 1864.

During its history the newspaper has achieved many milestones.

Founded by Alfred George Horton and Ingram Shrimpton and initially published as a weekly, the Herald became a bi-weekly on June 13, 1866, a tri-weekly on December 13, 1871, and a daily newspaper on January 1, 1878. On May 1, 1887 the Herald was purchased by Edward George Kerr, owner and publisher of the South Canterbury Times since 1881. He ran the two papers from the Herald's Sophia Street premises until 1901, when the Times ceased publication.

BANK ST: The Timaru Herald was located at 52 Bank St between March 30, 1984 and December 7, 2012.
BANK ST: The Timaru Herald was located at 52 Bank St between March 30, 1984 and December 7, 2012.

The Timaru Herald Company Ltd was formed in 1905 and was controlled principally by members of the Kerr family. Other significant events in the Herald story include the newspaper's installation of the linotype setting machine in 1900. The Herald was one of the first New Zealand daily papers to install the machine, which replaced the handcomposed type method. In 1912 the Cossar flatbed press was replaced with a British Hoe rotary press. Two years later the newspaper pioneered the first daily rural mail and newspaper delivery service in New Zealand, inaugurating the service in the Taiko district.

In 1927 the printing press was extended to increase the maximum size of the newspaper from 16 to 24 pages. The Sophia Street building, erected in 1885, was extended in 1928. In 1939 the Timaru Post, the company's evening newspaper since the mid-1930s, ceased publication after 40 years. In 1954 a new press room and a paper store were built at the rear of the Sophia Street premises and the company's Crabtree rotary press was commissioned on October 2.

Three years later the printing press was extended to take a maximum of 48 pages and the Herald became the first newspaper in New Zealand to offer two-colour printing. During 1960-61 the interior of the second storey of the Sophia Street building was reconstructed and a new factory built. In 1964 the Herald celebrated its centenary. In 1977 the newspaper changed to front-page news, the first issue in that format being published on February 8.

NEW HOME: Building The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
NEW HOME: Building The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.

Computerised type-setting technology was introduced on May 8, 1980. In 1983 the newspaper began printing the South Canterbury edition of the New Zealand times and Independent Newspapers Ltd acquired a 20 per cent holding in The Timaru Herald Co. Ltd. On September 8, 1983 a facsmilie page transmission system was inaugurated between Wellington and Timaru to electronically transmit pages of the New Zealand times to Timaru.

On March 30, 1984 The Timaru Herald opened its new premises in Bank St. Then on February 15, 1985 it was announced that Independent Newspapers Limited was acquiring a controlling interest. In July 1988 The Timaru Herald became the first daily newspaper in New Zealand to be published using technology that allowed journalists to input copy directly into the paper's production computer. The paper was also the first in the South Pacific to introduce fully computerized page layout and production systems. Four colour printing was introduced to the newspaper in 1991 when a ManRoland double width press was installed.

On July 1, 2003 Independent Newspapers Ltd (including The Timaru Herald) was purchased by Fairfax Media, New Zealand's largest media company.

The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.

In March of 2005 newspaper printing was relocated to Guardian Print, a Fairfax-related site in Ashburton. During the same year a significant investment was made in cybergraphics a new editorial and prepress production system.

The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.
The building of The Timaru Herald's Bank St premise.

The Timaru Herald