Timaru District

Timaru District is a local government district in New Zealand's South Island administered by the Timaru District Council. It is part of the larger Canterbury region.

Timaru District
Location of the Timaru District within the South Island
CountryNew Zealand
IslandSouth Island
DistrictTimaru District Council
Pleasant Point-Temuka
  MayorNigel Bowen
  Deputy MayorSteve Wills
 (June 2020)[1]
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
WebsiteTimaru District Council


The Timaru District is located on the east coast of the South Island and stretches inland as far as the Main Divide. The district has a population of 48,400 (June 2020).[1] Timaru is the main town. The next biggest towns in order are Temuka, Geraldine and Pleasant Point. Smaller settlements include Arundel, Cave, Orari and Winchester. The Timaru District Library has branches situated in Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [2]

Timaru District had a population of 46,296 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 2,364 people (5.4%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 3,426 people (8.0%) since the 2006 census. There were 19,119 households. There were 22,812 males and 23,481 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.97 males per female. Of the total population, 8,289 people (17.9%) were aged up to 15 years, 7,596 (16.4%) were 15 to 29, 20,280 (43.8%) were 30 to 64, and 10,128 (21.9%) were 65 or older. Figures may not add up to the total due to rounding.

Ethnicities were 90.4% European/Pākehā, 9.1% Māori, 1.9% Pacific peoples, 4.4% Asian, and 1.9% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 13.4, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 48.4% had no religion, 40.8% were Christian, and 3.0% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 4,887 (12.9%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 9,597 (25.3%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $30,300. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 18,456 (48.6%) people were employed full-time, 5,751 (15.1%) were part-time, and 951 (2.5%) were unemployed.[2]


Timaru has its origins in a sheep station, The Levels, run by George Rhodes.[3][4] In 1868, residents petitioned for the town to be established as a borough, and the Timaru Borough Council was proclaimed in 1868.[5]


Levels Valley, NW of Timaru

Aoraki Tourism is the regional tourism organisation.[citation needed]


  1. "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Timaru District (064). 2018 Census place summary: Timaru District
  3. Pinney, Robert. "George Rhodes". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  4. Cyclopedia Company Limited (1903). "Timaru". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. Cyclopedia Company Limited (1903). "Timaru Corporation". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 August 2015.