City on South Island, New Zealand, 11 km/7 mi from the mouth of the Avon River; population (2001 est) 316,200. The second largest city in New Zealand, it is the principal commercial and industrial centre of the Canterbury Plains. Traditional industries such as farming, meat-packing, tanning, and the manufacture of woollen goods are still important, and other industries include the manufacture of carpets, clothing, tyres, fertilizers, glass, and footwear. The city derives its name from Christ Church College in Oxford, England, where some of the Anglican founders of the city had studied.
Christchurch was founded in 1850, and is home to the University of Canterbury (1873) and Lincoln University (1990). Other significant places of interest include the Anglican cathedral (1904), the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (1905), the Canterbury Museum (1870), and the Robert McDougall Art Gallery (1932). The city's port is a bay in the sheltered Lyttelton Harbour on the north shore of the Banks Peninsula. Land has been reclaimed for service facilities, and rail and road tunnels (1867 and 1964 respectively) link Christchurch with Lyttelton.