About Christchurch streets and places

The Christchurch streets and places resource aims to give the origins of some local street names. This information is available in searchable documents, or through the interactive Christchurch streets map. Terms used within the resource include:

  • Current name: this is the name the street was known as at the time of producing the map data. 
  • Former name: this is the name the street was known as prior to being known as the current name.
  • Later name: this is the name the street was known as following a change from the former name.
  • Stopped: this is a legal definition for when land with the legal status of road is changed to a freehold title.   


Street Name Origins

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. There was further amalgamation of local authorities into the Christchurch City Council in 1989. In 2006 Banks Peninsula District Council was also amalgamated into Christchurch City Council. 

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 to resolve any potential confusion. Former street names are included in this resource.

Note, while the information contained in this resource is as accurate as possible:

  • 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.
  • The Christchurch streets and places resource does not purport to contain a definitive list of street names; likewise the Christchurch streets map.
  • Updates of street names and associated information will be made periodically. 
  • Currently there is a strong focus on early Christchurch streets; updates are planned to increase representation. 


Researched by Christchurch City Libraries, the streets information has come from published works, manuscripts, interviews and Christchurch City Council archives. Where possible sources are acknowledged and referenced in the documents, and within the Sources and Further information data on the Christchurch streets map. 

When accessing the Christchurch streets map please refer to the Terms of use.