South Canterbury District Health Board

The South Canterbury District Health Board (South Canterbury DHB or SCDHB) is a district health board with the focus on providing healthcare to the Timaru, Mackenzie, Waimate districts in New Zealand.

South Canterbury District Health Board
Location of the South Canterbury DHB (green) in New Zealand
Formation1 January 2001; 20 years ago (2001-01-01)
FounderNew Zealand Government
Legal statusActive
ServicesHealth and disability services
Parent organization
Ministry of Health


The South Canterbury District Health Board, like most other district health boards, came into effect on 1 January 2001 established by the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.[1]

Geographic area

The area covered by the South Canterbury District Health Board is defined in Schedule 1 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 and based on territorial authority and ward boundaries as constituted as at 1 January 2001.[2] The area can be adjusted through an Order in Council.[3]

SCDHB serves around 59,000 people.[4] South Canterbury DHB employs between 950 and 1000 staff at any given time, including part-timers, casuals and contractors.[5]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [6]

South Canterbury DHB served a population of 58,977 at the time of the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 3,354 people (6.0%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 5,097 people (9.5%) since the 2006 census. There were 24,270 households. There were 29,289 males and 29,685 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.99 males per female. Of the total population, 10,446 people (17.7%) were aged up to 15 years, 9,723 (16.5%) were 15 to 29, 26,097 (44.2%) were 30 to 64, and 12,705 (21.5%) were 65 or older. Figures may not add up to the total due to rounding.[6]

Ethnicities were 90.1% European/Pākehā, 8.7% Māori, 1.7% Pacific peoples, 4.8% Asian, and 2.0% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.[6]

The percentage of people born overseas was 14.5, compared with 27.1% nationally.[6]

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 48.8% had no religion, 40.1% were Christian, and 3.1% had other religions.[6]

Of those at least 15 years old, 6,399 (13.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 12,048 (24.8%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $30,100. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 23,988 (49.4%) people were employed full-time, 7,374 (15.2%) were part-time, and 1,158 (2.4%) were unemployed.[6]

  • South Canterbury’s population tends to be much older than the national average.
  • South Canterbury has low proportion of Māori and Pacific people living there compared to the national average.
  • South Canterbury has a low proportion of people in the most deprived section of the population when compared to the national average.[7]


  • Timaru Hospital
  • Kensington Centre (Mental Health Services)

South Canterbury District Health Board also operates the South Canterbury District Primary Care Provider, that provides primary health services to the region.[citation needed]


The initial board was fully appointed. Since the 2001 local elections, the board has been partially elected (seven members) and in addition, up to four members get appointed by the Minister of Health. The minister also appoints the chairperson and deputy-chair from the pool of eleven board members.[8]


Public hospitals

  • Timaru Hospital (44.408356°S 171.256527°E / -44.408356; 171.256527) in Parkside, Timaru has 132 beds and provides medical, mental health, children's health, maternity and surgical services.[9]

Private hospitals