List of cities and towns in the South Island by population

This is a list of cities and towns in the South Island of New Zealand by the population of their urban area.

The populations given in the table below are provisional New Zealand usually resident populations, June 2021 estimates, and refer to the urban area defined under the Statistical Standard for Geographic Areas 2018 (SSGA) unless otherwise stated.

Population 10,000 and over[edit]

Urban area Population Region Territorial authority
Ashburton 20,500 Canterbury Ashburton District
Blenheim 28,800 Marlborough Marlborough District
Kaiapoi 13,050 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Mosgiel 14,700 Otago Dunedin City
Oamaru 13,850 Otago Waitaki District
Queenstown 15,450 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Rangiora 19,250 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Richmond 18,000 Tasman Tasman District
Rolleston 24,700 Canterbury Selwyn District
Timaru† 28,600 Canterbury Timaru District
Wanaka 11,600 Otago Queenstown Lakes District

† Timaru was officially a city until local government reorganisation in 1989, and is still frequently referred to as such.

Population 1,000 to 9,999[edit]

Urban area Population Region Territorial authority
Alexandra 5,970 Otago Central Otago District
Amberley 2,310 Canterbury Hurunui District
Arrowtown 2,880 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Arthurs Point 1,320 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Balclutha 4,280 Otago Clutha District
Bluff 1,840 Southland Invercargill City
Brighton 1,570 Otago Dunedin City
Brightwater 2,250 Tasman Tasman District
Clyde 1,250 Otago Central Otago District
Cromwell 6,640 Otago Central Otago District
Darfield 2,960 Canterbury Selwyn District
Diamond Harbour 1,600 Canterbury Christchurch City
Geraldine 2,800 Canterbury Timaru District
Gore 8,250 Southland Gore District
Greymouth 8,310 West Coast Grey District
Hokitika 2,910 West Coast Westland District
Hope 970 Tasman Tasman District
Kaikōura 2,420 Canterbury Kaikoura District
Lake Hāwea 1,880 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Lake Hayes 6,750 Otago Queenstown Lakes District
Leeston 2,370 Canterbury Selwyn District
Lincoln 8,920 Canterbury Selwyn District
Lyttelton 3,170 Canterbury Christchurch City
Māpua 1,340 Tasman Tasman District
Mataura 1,740 Southland Gore District
Methven 1,920 Canterbury Ashburton District
Milton 2,190 Otago Clutha District
Motueka 8,280 Tasman Tasman District
Oxford 2,380 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Pegasus 3,810 Canterbury Waimakariri District
Picton 4,790 Marlborough Marlborough District
Pleasant Point 1,480 Canterbury Timaru District
Prebbleton 5,020 Canterbury Selwyn District
Rakaia 1,560 Canterbury Ashburton District
Reefton 920 West Coast Buller District
Renwick 2,580 Marlborough Marlborough District
Riverton 1,690 Southland Southland District
Runanga 1,230 West Coast Grey District
Tākaka 1,380 Tasman Tasman District
Te Anau 2,930 Southland Southland District
Temuka 4,660 Canterbury Timaru District
Twizel 1,660 Canterbury MacKenzie District
Wakefield 2,610 Tasman Tasman District
Waikouaiti 1,270 Otago Dunedin City
Waimate 3,610 Canterbury Waimate District
West Melton 2,530 Canterbury Selwyn District
Westport 4,280 West Coast Buller District
Winton 2,450 Southland Southland District
Woodend 3,190 Canterbury Waimakariri District

Major suburbs[edit]

The following suburbs have a population of over 2,000.


Suburb Population Region Territorial authority
Riccarton 9,786 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Linwood 9,024 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Hornby 8,007 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Christchurch Central City 7,653 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Shirley 7,176 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Cashmere 6,876 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Woolston 5,733 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Sydenham 5,478 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Halswell 4,065 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Sumner 3,978 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Belfast 3,726 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
New Brighton 3,642 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Papanui 3,543 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Merivale 3,012 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Fendalton 2,898 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Bishopdale 2,454 Canterbury Christchurch City Council
Burnside 2,370 Canterbury Christchurch City Council


Suburb Population Region Territorial authority
Mosgiel‡ 10,497 Otago Dunedin City Council
Dunedin North 7,047 Otago Dunedin City Council
St Kilda 5,904 Otago Dunedin City Council
Caversham 5,058 Otago Dunedin City Council
North East Valley 4,413 Otago Dunedin City Council
St Clair 4,179 Otago Dunedin City Council
Roslyn 3,957 Otago Dunedin City Council
Vauxhall 3,918 Otago Dunedin City Council
Brockville 3,393 Otago Dunedin City Council
Mornington 3,393 Otago Dunedin City Council
Wakari 3,069 Otago Dunedin City Council
Port Chalmers‡ ~3,000 Otago Dunedin City Council
Musselburgh 2,835 Otago Dunedin City Council
South Dunedin 2,538 Otago Dunedin City Council
Andersons Bay 2,532 Otago Dunedin City Council
Green Island‡ 2,430 Otago Dunedin City Council
City Rise 2,406 Otago Dunedin City Council
Pine Hill 2,259 Otago Dunedin City Council
Fairfield 2,010 Otago Dunedin City Council

‡ Mosgiel, Port Chalmers, and Green Island were officially separate towns until local government reorganisation in 1989, and are separated from Dunedin’s main urban area. They are still frequently referred to as towns.




Suburb Population Town Territorial authority
Allenton 5,172 Ashburton Ashburton District Council
Redwoodtown 4,881 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Whitney 4,005 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Witherlea 3,993 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Marchwiel 3,741 Timaru Timaru District Council
Highfield 3,408 Timaru Timaru District Council
Springlands 3,081 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
West End 2,790 Timaru Timaru District Council
Tinwald 2,703 Ashburton Ashburton District Council
Mayfield 2,694 Blenheim Marlborough District Council
Seaview 2,505 Timaru Timaru District Council
Parkside 2,412 Timaru Timaru District Council
Hampstead 2,325 Ashburton Ashburton District Council
Watlington 2,256 Timaru Timaru District Council
Gleniti 2,022 Timaru Timaru District Council
Green pog.svg City Red pog.svg Town

See also[edit]