Canterbury, New Zealand

Canterbury, New Zealand

The New Zealand region of Canterbury ( _mi. Waitaha) is mainly composed of the Canterbury Plains and the surrounding mountains. Its main city, Christchurch, hosts the main office of the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury Regional Council (promoted as Environment Canterbury) and the University of Canterbury.


Canterbury is New Zealand's largest region, with an approximate area of 42,200 km². The region is bounded in the north by the Conway River and to the west by the Southern Alps. The southern boundary is the Waitaki River.

The area is commonly divided into North Canterbury (north of the Rakaia River), Mid Canterbury (from the Rakaia River to the Rangitata River), South Canterbury (south of the Rangitata River) and Christchurch (Christchurch City). For many purposes South Canterbury is considered a separate region, centred on the city of Timaru.

When the current local government structure was introduced in 1989, Kaikoura District was part of the Nelson-Marlborough Region. That region was later abolished and replaced with 3 unitary authorities. Kaikoura was too small to function as an independent unitary authority and was moved under the jurisdiction of the Canterbury Regional Council. However Kaikoura remains part of Marlborough in the minds of many people.



In 1848 Edward Gibbon Wakefield and John Robert Godley established the Canterbury Association to plan a Church of England colony in New Zealand's South Island. The colony was to be based upon theories developed by Wakefield while in prison for eloping with a woman not-of-age.

Following 1850 the province developed, during this era the architect Benjamin Mountfort, as the first Provincial architect, designed many civic and ecclesiastical buildings in the Gothic Revival style.

Canterbury Province

The Canterbury Province was formed in 1853 following the passage of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 from the part of New Munster and covered both the east and west coasts of the South Island of New Zealand. The Province was abolished, along with other provinces of New Zealand, in 1876.


The most popular sports are rugby union and cricket.Fact|date=May 2008Canterbury is home to the most successful team in Super 14 Rugby Competition; the Crusaders. The Crusaders also represent other provinces in the upper South Island, but are based in Christchurch. They were formerly known as the "Canterbury Crusaders". In provincial rugby Canterbury is represented by four unions; Tasman, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury. The Canterbury Wizards are Canterbury's cricket team in New Zealand's State Championship. Other sporting teams include the Canterbury Tactix (Netball) and Canterbury United (Football).

Wine regions of Canterbury

Canterbury has two major areas of viticulture. These are Waipara and the area around Christchurch, typically labelled merely Canterbury. Recently there have been vintages from plantings from Kurow further to the south.

White wine has typically predominated in Canterbury from Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and to a lesser extent Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir has had some success in the province particularly in Waipara.

Very recently wine has been produced in Kurow.


People in New Zealand commonly refer to people from the Canterbury region as "Cantabrians", a term also used for people from Cantabria (Spain), although in most contexts this is unlikely to produce confusion. People from the city of Canterbury in England refer to themselves as "Cantuarians".


* []
* An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, 1966
* [ Christchurch City Council]
* [ Canterbury Regional Council website]

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