Originally a separate village, Halswell is now a residential suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) southwest of Cathedral Square on State Highway 75.

Te Hāpua, a city library and community centre in Halswell
Coordinates: 43°35′S 172°34′E
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityChristchurch City Council
Electoral wardHalswell[1]
  Land10,760 ha (26,590 acres)
Oaklands Hoon Hay


Halswell is named after Edmund Halswell QC (1790–1874), a government officer and member of the management commission of the Canterbury Association. He arrived in New Zealand in 1841 and was appointed Commissioner of Native Reserves. The Māori name of Tai Tapu for the area is preserved in the name of a village located some 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) south of the centre of Halswell.[3]


Until fairly recently, Halswell was completely separated from the city geographically. In the 1960s the suburb of Oaklands was established to the north of the original Halswell village, and this expanded further when Westlake was developed in the late 1980s. The subdivision of Aidanfield in the 1990s effectively joined Halswell to the Christchurch urban area.

The Rocks subdivision was established at the top of Kennedy's Bush Road, which is situated on the Port Hills, while the rest of Halswell sits on the flat ground of the Canterbury Plains.

Since the Christchurch earthquakes of 2011, the Halswell area has been growing rapidly, with subdivisions now extending in all directions. Longhurst and Knights Stream have been developed to the west, with amenities such as a medical centre, kindergarten and shopping hub.

The Halswell area has three primary schools: Halswell School, Oaklands School and Knights Stream School. Each school has an enrolment zone and caters for students in years 1 to 8.

Halswell has a public swimming pool, library, community hub, Catholic, Anglican, and United churches, and a post office with Kiwibank. The Halswell Quarry Park is a 60.4 hectares (0.604 km2)[4] family orientated park maintained by the Christchurch City Council. The park features all weather walking tracks, a mountain bike track, dog and horse exercise areas as well as native and exotic planted areas. Although named for this suburb, the quarry is located in the adjacent suburb Kennedys Bush.

Halswell Domain is a park in the centre of Halswell. It includes a boating pond and a miniature railway, which runs on Sunday afternoons.[5] On the edge of Halswell Domain is the Halswell War Memorial, unveiled in 1924 by Sir Heaton Rhodes MP.[6]

The Nottingham Stream flows through the suburb and joins the Halswell River.

Notable residents

  • Harry Ell (1862–1934), Member of Parliament and promoter of the Summit Road[7]


  1. "Wards, Councillors and Community Boards map". ccc.govt.nz. Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  2. The population and area are the sum of the population and area in statistical areas of Halswell North, Halswell South and Halswell West
  3. Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling (ed.). Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-14-320410-7.
  4. "Halswell Ward profile" (PDF). Christchurch City Council. February 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 July 2021.
  5. "Halswell Domain + Miniature Trains". 14 November 2015.
  6. "Halswell war memorial". ketechristchurch.peoplesnetworknz.info.
  7. Pawson, Eric. "Ell, Henry George – Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 October 2011.