Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

www.stats.govt.nz

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Commuting patterns in Christchurch

Highlights

  • Christchurch has the largest and most extensive labour market in the South Island.
  • The major commuting hub in Christchurch is Cathedral Square.
  • Christchurch has very close employment links with Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, with almost half of the employed population in these districts working in Christchurch.
  • Between 1996 and 2006, the number of people in Selwyn district who gave a workplace address in Christchurch almost doubled (from 4,800 to 7,800).
  • Smaller urban areas close to Christchurch had some of the highest growth rates in New Zealand.

top

Introduction

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island. More than twice as large as the island’s next largest city, Dunedin, Christchurch had a population of 348,435 at the 2006 Census, making it the largest commuting centre in the South Island. (Figure 1 shows Christchurch’s commuting zone extending into the neighbouring districts of Selwyn and Waimakariri.) Christchurch exerts a very strong labour market influence on surrounding areas; large proportions of the employed population in neighbouring districts list it as a workplace address. In contrast with Auckland and Wellington cities, however, there were only a few people from more distant territorial authorities who said they had a workplace address in Christchurch.

Figure 1
Local Commuting Areas in Canterbury and Surrounding Districts

2006 Census

Graph, Local Commuting Areas in Canterbury and Surrounding Districts.

Note: Zones were derived using primary linkage analysis to summarise area unit travel-to-work data. The main focus of each zone is represented as a red dot with its size proportional to total commuter inflow. Zone names are derived from the area unit that forms the focus point.
The colours demarcate the boundaries of the commuting zones.

Within Christchurch city itself, employment is concentrated in or close to the city centre. The area unit of Cathedral Square acts as a commuting hub for much of the city and surrounding countryside. At the 2006 Census, almost 26,000 people listed a workplace address in Cathedral Square, with other smaller commuting hubs located in Hagley Park, Sydenham, Middleton, Avon Loop, Wigram, Riccarton, and Hornby North.

Figure 2
Employment Density in Christchurch

2006 Census

Graph, Employment Density in Christchurch.

Graph, Employment Density Key.

top

Commuting to Christchurch from neighbouring districts

Figure 3

Graph, Employed Population that Gave a Workplace Address in Christchurch by Usual Residence in Territorial Authority.

Table 1
Employed Population That Gave a Workplace Address in Christchurch

By usual residence in territorial authority and commuting destination
2006 Census

Table, Employed Population that Gave a Workplace Address in Christchurch by Usual Residence in Territorial Authority and Commuting Destination.

Christchurch has strong employment links with Waimakariri and Selwyn districts. The number of people living in Waimakariri but giving a workplace address in Christchurch increased sharply between 1996 and 2006, from 6,580 to 8,930. The proportion of the employed, however, remained fairly constant at around 47 percent. In contrast, Selwyn district saw a marked increase in both the number and proportion of its residents who worked in Christchurch. In 1996, 4,800 people (42 percent) from Selwyn listed Christchurch as a workplace address compared with 7,800 people (48 percent) in 2006.

Figure 4

Graph, Change in Employed Population that Gave a Workplace Address in Chirstchurch by Usual Residence in Territorial Authority.

Christchurch attracted a lot of employed populations from surrounding areas (9,600 from rural areas, including inlet and oceanic) and substantial populations from small towns.

Table 2
Employed Population That Gave a Workplace Address in Christchurch

By usual residence in urban area
2006 Census

Table, Employed Population that Gave a Workplace Address in Christchurch by Usual Residence in Urban Area.

Note: Although located within Waimakariri district, Woodend is listed as a separate urban area. It is very close to Christchurch.

Urban areas that had substantial proportions of their population working in Christchurch had the highest growth rates between 2001 and 2006. These figures parallel the findings of New Zealand: An urban/rural profile, which showed that satellite urban areas had much higher growth rates. In New Zealand, the highest growth rate was experienced by Rolleston, which was promoted and developed as a satellite town in the 1990s. A similar situation may occur to the north of Christchurch in the town of Pegasus.

Figure 5

Graph, Change in Usually Resident Population.

In total, more than 100 people in six districts outside Christchurch listed it as a workplace address (Auckland city was the only distant territorial authority to have over 100 people stating a workplace address in Christchurch). In the North Island, 930 people said they worked in Christchurch, with the majority (54 percent) of them residing either in the Auckland metropolis or Wellington’s four cities.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Top
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+