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Christchurch's Story

Our Story 

Christchurch has long been known as the Garden City. Yet as we reflect on the city we are today, this narrative does not fully cover the vibrant, diverse place we have become.

The historical definition of a Garden City is : “…a way to capture the primary benefits of the countryside and the city while avoiding the disadvantages presented by both…it testifies to a continued interest to secure a harmonious existence between humans and their natural environment.”

Capturing that idea of harmony between people and nature is the concept of “balance”. This idea, combined with hearing from locals and visitors alike has evolved into talking about Ōtautahi Christchurch’s story as a city in pursuit of balance, where people are at our heart.

We are a city where we make time and space for play.

Play is reflected everywhere: in our history, our affinity to the natural environment, our drive for experimentation and innovation, our love of sport, our role as an manufacturing hub and the way we value community and whanau.

We see Ōtautahi Christchurch as a city that is always in pursuit of balance, reflected in our desire to make time and space for play, in all senses of the word:

  • Play is part of our history – with the name Ōtākaro meaning “the place of a game”
  • Play is reflected in our business – we are a hub for innovation, new ideas and incubation; a “prototype city”
  • Play is part of our people – we enjoy our many playgrounds that bring communities together
  • Play is part of our spirit – our athletes play sport with fierce pride
  • Play is part of our environment – we enjoy endless play opportunities from mountain to sea
  • Play is part of our everyday – our new city centre is designed around how people work and play
  • Play is part of our future – using places like the red zone where reuse creates playgrounds of wellbeing.

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