North Canterbury is a region that is ripe with opportunity. With plenty of interesting investment opportunities in our two districts, Waimakariri and Hurunui, it’s worth touching base with us for a chat. We will help you gather the information you need in order to make the best decisions and ensure your investment is well placed and well spent.

Natural NZ Honey, Okuku, Waimakariri


Waimakariri District is one of the fastest growing districts in New Zealand. This is because it offers an unrivalled lifestyle, attracting a skilled, motivated and educated workforce. This provides opportunities, both for our thriving and diverse business community, but also for investment and new ventures. The rapid growth in the district has seen a number of high quality new developments taking place, offering residential and commercial opportunities aplenty.

From hospitality to retail, manufacturing to technology; if you are looking for business premises, want some local information on the region or some advice on navigating legislative requirements, we can help.

Waimakariri Demographics

Waimakariri is a fast growing area, with a population estimated to be 69,000 in 2023, just north of the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. Waimakariri has seen a 13% increase in population since the last census in 2018 and 21% GDP growth over the same period (4.3% GDP growth over the year to June 2023). Mid level projections estimate that Waimakariri will have a population of 74,400 by 2033.

Within Waimakariri, the most rapid growth area has been in the Woodend/Pegasus area with a large number of new sections and commerical areas available. This is about to be overtaken by Rangiora with new subdivisions and commercial areas becoming available. 65% of the Waimakariri population is within the urban areas.

In 2022 the median age in Waimakariri District was 44.1 years. The District’s population is ageing at a steady rate, with the median age having increased from 43.4 at the 2018 census, and from 42.6 in 2013.

Data Source: NZ Stat

Waimakariri is a comparatively affordable place to live with the August 2023 average  house value is $707,595 compared to $741,952 in Christchurch, $918,874 for New Zealand or $821,908 for the Selwyn District.

67.4% of households in Waimakariri District own their own home. This is slightly above the average rate for New Zealand, at 64.5%

It is over $500,000 more affordable to buy an average house in Waimakariri than it is to buy a house in Auckland where the average house price is $1.29m

Unlike  New Zealand as a whole, house prices continue to rise in Waimakariri. House prices in Waimakariri rose 0.8%. Christchurch declined by 4.2% and Selwyn declined by 4.1%. New Zealand house prices overall declined by 10.2%.

The average weekly rent for the Waimakariri District in July 2023 was $527, slightly under the national average of $536. Rent levels in Waimakariri rose 9.5% over the year to July 2023

Sizable new housing areas have been approved in the recent long term plan for Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend to keep up with demand.

Mean incomes for households in Canterbury were $122,000 in 2023 which was lower than New Zealand overall ($132,800) and a rise of 10.3% compared to the previous year.

Data sources: InfometricsNZ StatMBIE.

There were 7,212 businesses in the Waimakariri District in 2023, and increase of 1.8% on the previous year. These businesses employed 17,900 people (An increase of 1.7%). Approximately 71% of those businesses have no employees and 6% of businesses have 10 or more staff. 66.5% of the working population choose to work within the district.

Data Sources: NZStatWaimakariri Business Development Report

The following chart shows the consumer market for the following industries in Waimakariri. The grey bars show where Waimakariri residents spend their money out of the district (usually Christchurch). The blue bars show where residents spend their money locally and the green bars show where non-locals spend their money.

Net Position Chart

Tourism is a very small part of the Waimakariri landscape, but has great potential for investment. In the year to July 2023 the electronic spend for domestic tourism in Waimakariri District grew 5.1% to $41.9m. Electronic spend for international tourism grew 150% to $8.5m.

Christchurch NZ provides a report looking at the wider tourism picture for Canterbury.

Visit Waimakariri is the visitor attraction agency for the district

Data Sources: MBIE Reliance on Tourism webtool

While the unemployment rate in the Waimakariri District is traditionally at low levels (2.3% in June 2023 compared to 3.4% for New Zealand) it is usually relatively easy to find low and mid skilled workers. That is because 32% of Waimakariri workers commute to Christchurch for work. In the most recent Waimakariri Community Survey, 72% stated in that they would prefer to work in the Waimakariri if suitable work were available.

Word of mouth and social media tend to be the most common ways to promote jobs in this district. Traditional job sites can be less successful since many local workers are not actively seeking a new job (being already employed), even though they would prefer to work locally.

Finding highly skilled workers is traditionally more difficult in Waimakariri due to a smaller pool of talent (due to population numbers) than in cities, and due to the fact that local workers are generally not actively looking for local positions. Highly skilled Christchurch residents are generally happy to take the short commute to a good job in Waimakariri.

The Jobs in North Canterbury website run by ENC is a popular resource for employers looking for local workers listing the local agencies and assistance that can help you source workers

The North Canterbury – Move On Up Website provides a wealth of resource to help attract workers by demonstrating the attractive lifestyle in North Canterbury

Data Sources: InfometricsWaimakariri Community Survey, North Canterbury Business Opinion Survey

Greystone Wines, Waipara, Hurunui


The Hurunui District is full of picturesque locations which contribute to a very strong tourism industry. However, at its heart, this is a district primarily focused on agriculture and horticulture. Wide spaces, smaller populations and very distinct communities make this a fantastic area for new opportunities. If you’re looking to set up in or relocate a business to the Hurunui District, get in touch with us. Fantastic farmers’ markets, food and wine festivals and excellent eateries abound here, along with large-scale events, exhibitions, concerts and shows.