Christchurch street and place names

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Street names

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Street Name Origins

This resource aims to give the origins of Christchurch street and place names.


From 1853-1876, the major local government in greater Christchurch was the Canterbury Provincial Council. Road boards, some borough councils and the Christchurch City Council were established as well.

In 1876, central government abolished all provincial councils and large county councils were established. As the population grew, road boards were replaced in many suburbs by borough councils. Several boroughs were absorbed into Christchurch City in 1903. The great amalgamation of local authorities into the Christchurch City Council in 1989 was directed by central government.

The same street name appeared more than once in greater Christchurch because there were so many local bodies. With amalgamation, many streets were re-named. Former street names are included in this resource.

Note that definitive answers as to the origin of a street name can sometimes be impossible, as the reason for a naming has not always been recorded.


Researched by Christchurch City Libraries, this information has come from published works, manuscripts, interviews and City Council archives. All sources are acknowledged in the documents.

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