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Canterbury, New Zealand

The New Zealand region of Canterbury mostly comprises the Canterbury Plains. Christchurch is the main city, which is also the seat of the Canterbury Regional Council (trading as Environment Canterbury) and the Christchurch City Council.



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, although for many purposes South Canterbury is considered a separate region, centred on the city of Timaru.

Pre-European History

1769 - 1850


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.

The University of Canterbury is located in Christchurch.