About the Waimakariri District

This page is about the diverse offerings of the Waimakariri District and its vast and interesting history.

For more information on working, visiting and living in the Waimakariri District, visit the Enterprise North Canterbury and Visit Waimakariri websites. 

New to the district?

Useful information for newcomers.

Location of the Waimakariri District

The Waimakariri District lies to the north of the Waimakariri River in North Canterbury. The major urban areas are Rangiora and Kaiapoi, which are respectively about 20 and 30 minutes travelling time by car from the centre of Christchurch City. There are other urban settlements including Woodend and Oxford, as well as a number of village and beach settlements.  

The district occupies some 225,000 hectares, and extends from Pegasus Bay in the east to the Puketeraki Range in the west. It is bounded to the north by the Hurunui District.

Demographics of the district

The Waimakariri District had a population of 49,989 as at the March 2013 census, and approximately 59,200 as at June 2017. The district has experienced a rapidly growing population that is predicted to continue to increase. Despite rapid growth, Waimakariri has retained its rural/small town character.

The Waimakariri District Profile (pdf, 464.2 KB) and District Plan provide information relating to the demographic make-up of the district.

Agriculture of the district

A large portion of the Waimakariri District has fertile flat land, or highly productive rolling downs. Much of the land to the east of Rangiora is reclaimed swamp, which is still subject to poor drainage and occasional flooding.

Industry in the Waimakariri District

The district has a few major industries. A large fibreboard plant at Sefton draws on local wood resources. The other industries are mainly small-scale service and processing enterprises, some of which also use local wood resources.

Recreation in the Waimakariri District

The Waimakariri District offers a wide range of recreational opportunities. It has sandy beaches, estuaries, river gorges and braided rivers, which offer a range of opportunities for fishing, boating and rafting.