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History of Nelson, New Zealand

The city of Nelson is close to the centre of New Zealand. It lies at the shore of Tasman Bay, at the northern end of the South Island, and is the administrative centre of the Nelson region.

Nelson is a centre for arts and crafts, and each year hosts popular events such as the Nelson Arts Festival. The annual Wearable Art Awards began near Nelson and a museum, World of Wearable Art, is now housed close to Nelson Airport showcasing winning designs.

Brightwater, near Nelson is the birthplace of Lord Rutherford, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose image appears on New Zealand’s $100 banknote, the largest denomination in circulation in New Zealand.

Nelson received its name in honour of the Admiral Horatio Nelson who defeated both the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Many of the roads and public areas around the city are named after people and ships associated with that battle and Trafalgar Street is the main shopping axis of the city. Inhabitants of Nelson are referred to as Nelsonians.

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