Story: Canterbury places

Page 9 – East Christchurch


Suburb near the lower reaches of the Avon River. Burwood was the site of a plague hospital built at Bottle Lake in 1902. Now Burwood Hospital, it specialises in treating burns and spinal injuries.


Suburb between central Christchurch and Shirley. Known originally as Bingsland, it had working-class houses, small shops and artisans’ workshops. Tram and later trolley bus lines passed through en route to North Beach.


Suburb north and east of Richmond. Shirley developed somewhat later, gaining large tracts of inter-war bungalows. A major shopping centre, The Palms, is at the intersection of Shirley, New Brighton and Marshland roads. North of Shirley, the Marshland district has been a major source of vegetables and fruit for Christchurch, but subdivisions are encroaching on market gardens.


Working-class suburb north of the Estuary, originally a small village around tram lines running to New Brighton. Many state houses were built there after the Second World War.


Suburb south-west of Aranui. Between 1958 and 1962, sewage treatment works were built where a sewage farm had been established in 1882–83. There is also a crematorium and four cemeteries – Bromley, Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Memorial Park and Linwood. It is the site of engineering works and a number of housing estates.

New Brighton

Seaside suburb on the sandy beach of Pegasus Bay. In 1894 New Brighton gained a pier, like Brighton in England. This was demolished in 1965, but there is a concrete replacement. From 1887, trams brought city folk to the beach. New Brighton and the area was governed by its own borough council from 1896 until 1941.

Seaside shopping

For a time from the 1960s, New Brighton was the only place in New Zealand where shops were allowed to open on Saturdays (they were closed on Mondays). People flocked to the coastal suburb on their day off, but once Saturday trading began nationwide in the 1980s, business dropped off markedly.

From the 1950s, houses spread south down the Brighton Spit. North of New Brighton, North Beach had its own tram and trolley bus lines into the city. The suburb of Parklands has grown as land has been subdivided.


Large working-class and lower middle-class eastern suburb. Linwood was one of the independent boroughs that in 1903 became part of Christchurch City. Linwood Avenue was the line of a planned canal between the estuary and the Avon River, but this was never built. A very large shopping mall has been built at the intersection of Linwood Avenue with Aldwins Road and Buckleys Road.

The Estuary

Tidal body of water, separated from Pegasus Bay by the South New Brighton sand spit. The waters of the Avon and Heathcote rivers mingle in the Estuary to flow out to sea past Shag Rock. Until the Lyttelton rail tunnel was opened in 1867, small ships passed through to wharves on the Heathcote and Avon, bringing heavy goods from Lyttelton. A sewage treatment works (with large oxidation ponds that form an important wildlife refuge) replaced the old sewage farm on the north side in 1962.

How to cite this page:

John Wilson. 'Canterbury places - East Christchurch', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 13-Jul-12