List of cities and towns in the South Island by population

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This is a list of cities and towns in the South Island of New Zealand by the size of their urban area.

The populations given in the table below are provisional New Zealand usually resident populations, June 2018 estimates, and refer to the urban area defined under the Statistical Standard for Geographic Areas 2018 (SSGA) unless otherwise stated.


Urban Area Population Region Territorial Authority
Christchurch 377,200 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Dunedin 104,500 Otago Dunedin City Council
Invercargill 48,700 Southland Invercargill City Council
Nelson 49,300 Nelson Nelson City Council


Population 10,000 and over[edit]

Urban Area Population Region Territorial Authority
Ashburton 19,600 Canterbury Ashburton District
Blenheim 26,400 Marlborough Marlborough District
Kaiapoi 11,850 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Mosgiel 13,400 Otago Dunedin City
Oamaru 13,150 Otago Waitaki District
Queenstown 15,650 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Rangiora 18,400 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Richmond 15,000 Tasman Tasman District
Rolleston 16,350 Canterbury Selwyn District
Timaru 28,300 Canterbury Timaru District

† Timaru was officially a city until local government reorganisation in 1989, and as such is still frequently referred to as such.

Population 1,000 to 9,999[edit]

Urban Area Population Region Territorial Authority
Alexandra 5,510 Otago Central Otago District
Amberley 1,800 Canterbury Hurunui District
Arrowtown 2,950 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Balclutha 4,060 Otago Clutha District
Bluff 1,880 Southland Invercargill City
Brightwater 2,090 Tasman Tasman District
Cromwell 5,440 Otago Central Otago District
Darfield 2,900 Canterbury Selwyn District
Diamond Harbour 1,380 Canterbury Christchurch City
Geraldine 2,630 Canterbury Timaru District
Gore 7,980 Southland Gore District
Greymouth 8,160 West Coast Grey District
Hokitika 3,090 West Coast Westland District
Kaikoura 2,210 Canterbury Kaikoura District
Lake Hayes 3,690 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Leeston 2,070 Canterbury Selwyn District
Lincoln 6,030 Canterbury Selwyn District
Lyttelton 3,040 Canterbury Christchurch City
Mataura 1,610 Southland Gore District
Milton 2,100 Otago Clutha District
Motueka 7,930 Tasman Tasman District
Oxford 2,200 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Pegasus 2,080 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Picton 4,310 Marlborough Marlborough District
Prebbleton 4,350 Canterbury Selwyn District
Reefton 1,010 West Coast Buller District
Renwick 2,530 Marlborough Marlborough District
Riverton 1,530 Southland Southland District
Runanga 1,230 West Coast Grey District
Takaka 1,330 Tasman Tasman District
Te Anau 2,250 Southland Southland District
Temuka 4,580 Canterbury Timaru District
Wakefield 2,570 Tasman Tasman District
Waimate 3,420 Canterbury Waimate District
Wanaka 8,900 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
West Melton 2,060 Canterbury Selwyn District
Westport 4,660 West Coast Buller District
Winton 2,380 Southland Southland District
Woodend 3,100 Canterbury Waimakariri District

Major Suburbs[edit]

The following suburbs have a population of over 2,000.


Suburb Population Region Territorial Authority
Riccarton 9,786 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Linwood 9,024 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Hornby 8,007 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Christchurch Central City 7,653 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Shirley 7,176 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Cashmere 6,876 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Woolston 5,733 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Sydenham 5,478 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Halswell 4,065 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Sumner 3,978 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Belfast 3,726 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
New Brighton 3,642 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Papanui 3,543 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Merivale 3,012 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Fendalton 2,898 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Bishopdale 2,454 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Burnside 2,370 Canterbury Christchurch City Council


Suburb Population Region Territorial Authority
Mosgiel 10,497 Otago Dunedin City Council
Dunedin North 7,047 Otago Dunedin City Council
St Kilda 5,904 Otago Dunedin City Council
Caversham 5,058 Otago Dunedin City Council
North East Valley 4,413 Otago Dunedin City Council
St Clair 4,179 Otago Dunedin City Council
Roslyn 3,957 Otago Dunedin City Council
Vauxhall 3,918 Otago Dunedin City Council
Brockville 3,393 Otago Dunedin City Council
Mornington 3,393 Otago Dunedin City Council
Wakari 3,069 Otago Dunedin City Council
Port Chalmers ~3,000 Otago Dunedin City Council
Musselburgh 2,835 Otago Dunedin City Council
South Dunedin 2,538 Otago Dunedin City Council
Andersons Bay 2,532 Otago Dunedin City Council
Green Island 2,430 Otago Dunedin City Council
City Rise 2,406 Otago Dunedin City Council
Pine Hill 2,259 Otago Dunedin City Council
Fairfield 2,010 Otago Dunedin City Council

‡ Mosgiel, Port Chalmers, and Green Island were officially separate towns until local government reorganisation in 1989, and are separated from Dunedin's main urban area. As such they are still frequently referred to as towns.


Suburb Population Region Territorial Authority
Rosedale 3,855 Southland Invercargill City Council
Gladstone-Avenal 3,768 Southland Invercargill City Council
Grasmere 3,342 Southland Invercargill City Council
Heidelberg 3,078 Southland Invercargill City Council
Newfield 2,910 Southland Invercargill City Council
Georgetown 2,229 Southland Invercargill City Council
Waikiwi 2,193 Southland Invercargill City Council


Suburb Population Region Territorial Authority
Stoke ~7,000 Nelson Nelson City Council
The Wood 2,730 Nelson Nelson City Council
Maitlands 2,412 Nelson Nelson City Council
Atawhai 2,154 Nelson Nelson City Council
Tahunanui ~2,000 Nelson Nelson City Council
Annesbrook Nelson Nelson City Council
Britannia Heights Nelson Nelson City Council
Nelson South Nelson Nelson City Council
Washington Valley Nelson Nelson City Council


Suburb Population Town Territorial Authority
Allenton 5,172 Ashburton Ashburton District Council
Redwoodtown 4,881 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Whitney 4,005 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Witherlea 3,993 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Marchwiel 3,741 Timaru Timaru District Council
Highfield 3,408 Timaru Timaru District Council
Springlands 3,081 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
West End 2,790 Timaru Timaru District Council
Tinwald 2,703 Ashburton Ashburton District Council
Mayfield 2,694 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Seaview 2,505 Timaru Timaru District Council
Parkside 2,412 Timaru Timaru District Council
Hampstead 2,325 Ashburton Ashburton District Council
Watlington 2,256 Timaru Timaru District Council
Gleniti 2,022 Timaru Timaru District Council



See also[edit]