Whilst we’re a bit smug about the beauty and opportunity here in North Canterbury, we know that there’s more to life than just the fun stuff. Here you’ll find all the key info on important decisions like education, healthcare, housing and cost of living.

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The seasons in North Canterbury vary dramatically, with the climate heavily influenced by the Southern Alps to the west. Long dry spells can occur in summer with temperatures highest when hot dry northwesterlies blow over the plains. Summer temperatures are often cooled by a north-easterly sea breeze, and the typical maximum daytime summer air temperature ranges from 21°C to 32°C.

Snow is common in the mountain ranges during winter and the typical maximum daytime winter air temperature ranges from 7°C to 14°C.

An indication of North Canterbury’s climate can be obtained from the weather stations in the area. However, the climate may be considerably different from these recorded values only a few kilometres away from the weather stations, due to the number of microclimates in the Canterbury area.


What it costs to live in New Zealand, and North Canterbury, may be quite different from your home country. How it compares depends on where you are coming from, your lifestyle, and family circumstances. Immigration New Zealand have created an outstanding resource to calculate your cost of living based on all these variables.

Calculate Your Cost of Living


North Canterbury boasts an excellent range of schooling and educational support options for your children at all ages and stages of their learning journey.

+3% higher results in reading compared to the national average.
+4% higher results in writing compared to the national average.
+3% higher results in mathmatics compared to the national average.
Preschools in North Canterbury

North Canterbury is very well equipped for preschoolers, with kindergartens, preschools, Playcentres and play groups located throughout the district.

Primary & Secondary Schools in North Canterbury

There are also 39 co-educational schools in North Canterbury including small rural primary schools, large high schools and area (composite) schools. View all North Canterbury schools on the Education Counts website. https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/find-school?&region=13&district=58,59#fas-search-section-specific.

North Canterbury is well equipped to provide key health services to residents with a selection of general medical practices, hospitals, midwifery and maternity services, infant care and aged care services throughout both Waimakariri and Hurunui. The region’s proximity to Christchurch means residents are also able to easily access the primary and specialist health services available there.

Doctors & Medical Centres in North Canterbury

There are approximately 16 general medical practices operating in North Canterbury, each offering a number of healthcare services, GP and nurse appointments.

Rangiora Healthcare

North Canterbury Hospitals

North Canterbury is home to three hospitals: Oxford Hospital, Waikari Hospital and Rangiora Health Hub.

Oxford and Waikari Hospitals are small hospitals offering beds for a range of medical needs including post-surgery care, palliative care and general medical care.

Rangiora Health Hub is the largest hospital in North Canterbury. Opened in 2015 it houses a high quality maternity unit and a range of other outpatient and specialist services for the North Canterbury community.

Midwives, Maternity & Infant Care

There are a number of midwives either operating in, or willing to travel to, North Canterbury to provide midwifery support. Browse the Find Your Midwife website to find a local midwife.

For families with newborns, there are approximately 10 Plunket clinics throughout North Canterbury providing health support, classes and information to new parents.

Mothers required to birth at Christchurch Women’s Hospital for any reason can, in most cases, be transferred to Rangiora Health Hub for their postnatal care.

If you’re hoping to make the move to New Zealand and wish to settle in North Canterbury, then the Immigration New Zealand website should be your first port of call.

Work visas

Visa eligibility is based on factors such as whether your skills match a shortage in New Zealand, how long you want to stay, and your age, work experience and qualifications. You can also find information on visas if you’re looking to start a business or invest. Here are a few tips before applying for a visa:

  • Find out if your job skills are in demand at Immigration New Zealand.
  • Your employer will help you through the process.
  • Provide all the information required – incomplete paperwork will cause delays.
  • If you’re not sure of the visa application process, consider using a licensed immigration advisor.

Inland Revenue New Zealand – IRD number

Inland Revenue collects most of the government’s revenue and administer a number of social support programmes. As an employee, they will register you for tax and issue you an IRD number.


You will need to set up a bank account once you have an IRD number. Here is a list of the larger banks who have a physical presence in North Canterbury:

Useful Contacts

Inland Revenue Department 

Waimakariri District Council

Hurunui District Council