Our sense of place

The Greater Christchurch area has been changing so fast over the past decade that many of the changes have happened before we've even noticed. So where are we living, what are we doing and how might that change over the next 20 years?

This is a snapshot of the districts within the Greater Christchurch area today and some projections based upon current trends. Click on the links of the participating councils to visit them for more information.

Total for Greater Christchurch


How many?200120212041% change
Population 379,070 431,200 500,000 32%
New dwellings required   33,590 62,450  

Project Area Map

Christchurch City

How many?200120212041% change
Population 327,211 358,800 398,510 22%
Households 129,700 153,100 170,293 31%
New dwellings required   23,400 40,593  

Christchurch City has experienced rapid housing expansion to the north and southwest in recent years. New development in these outer suburbs is increasing traffic congestion on key roads in and out of the city. Following the spread of housing outwards, businesses are leaving the inner city and suburban malls are expanding creating mini city hubs around the suburbs. An ageing population is also creating more single person households fuelling the demand for dwellings ahead of population growth.

Christchurch City Council

Banks Peninsula District*

How many?200120212041% change
Population 5,247 5,710 6,540 24%
Households 2,230 2,660 3,044 37%
New dwellings required   430 814  

Banks Peninsula residents mostly work in the service and sales sectors, with many employed in tourism or working in Christchurch. Most development is occurring around Lyttelton Harbour (within commuting distance of Christchurch City) and Akaroa Harbour (leisure and tourism related). Can this area's open expanses, coastlines and volcanic landscapes be preserved as development occurs?

Christchurch City Council

Selwyn District*

How many?200120212041% change
Population 16,397 25,130 38,460 134%
Households 5,620 9,730 14,622 160%
New dwellings required   4,110 9,002  

The relative affordability of land and houses outside Christchurch City means if current trends continue farmland around towns such as Rolleston and Lincoln will be replaced by housing. As the population grows the number of people commuting to work in Christchurch City may also grow - increasing traffic on arterials in and out of Christchurch.

Selwyn District Council

Waimakariri District*

How many?200120212041% change
Population 30,215 41,090 56,490 87%
Households 11,400 17,050 23,441 105%
New dwellings required   5,650 12,041  

The rapid growth of Waimakariri District, and expansion of Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend looks set to continue. With many residents travelling to work, study and shop in Christchurch City it will be a real challenge to ensure the district develops its own functioning social and economical heart. With only two bridges across the Waimakariri River traffic congestion will increase pressure for alternative transport options.

Waimakariri District Council

*Figures are for Greater Christchurch area of districts only.