Christchurch, New Zealand

Known as “The Garden City” due to its stunning parks and gardens, Christchurch, New Zealand was the first sister city for Adelaide.

About Christchurch

Proclaimed a city by royal charter in 1856, Christchurch is located on the South Island of New Zealand. Set on the banks of the Avon River, Christchurch and Adelaide have a lot in common. Both are laid out in a grid pattern, and just as Adelaide is set on the banks of the River Torrens, Christchurch is located on the banks of the beautiful Avon River.

Manufacturing has always been an important industry for Christchurch. In recent years, many technology-based industries have appeared. In particular, the computer science and engineering departments of the local university, University of Canterbury, have played an important role in staffing and supporting the cities IT leading sector.

Christchurch is a vibrant city which is continually reinventing itself after a series of earthquakes devastated the city in 2010 and 2011. Today, just like Adelaide, pop-up bars, colourful street-art and innovative ideas breathe life back into the city.

How the relationship began

The proposal for the sister cities link between the two cities first arose in December 1971, during a civic reception hosted by the then Adelaide Lord Mayor, Mr WH Hayes, where the then High Commissioner of New Zealand was the guest of honour.

The City of Adelaide adopted the suggestion on 20 December 1971, and the City of Christchurch followed on 21 February 1972.

The relationship fosters a close understanding between the two cities, allowing for the exchange of ideas and information between organisations. It also mutually welcomes visitors associated with trade and cultural missions, exchange students, sporting competitors and tourism.


The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Adelaide visited Christchurch in April. The visit was to strengthen the Sister City relationship.

An official delegation of 29 South Australian representatives visited Christchurch. $1.5 Million of contracts were signed, as well as agreements forged with the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce, Development Corporation and Tourism Council.

A delegation from Christchurch visited Adelaide in March, resulting in more than $3.5 million of trade being undertaken.

The student exchange program between Direk School in Salisbury (Adelaide) and Oaklands School (Christchurch) begins. This annual exchange program has been extremely successful.

As part of Christchurch’s recovery and rebuild process following the devastating earthquakes, the City of Adelaide contributed to the Christchurch Arts Project, by gifting a street lamp. The Adelaide street lamp was installed along a section of Park Terrace, and provides light for pedestrians and cyclists.

Students from South Hornby Primary School (Christchurch) visited Adelaide, and students from Hawthorndene Primary (Adelaide) visited Christchurch. The schools have been sister schools for over 10 years and the visit was part of their annual school choir exchange.

The cities celebrated the 45th anniversary of their relationship.

In November, Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor visited Christchurch at the invitation of Christchurch’s Mayor, Liane Dalziel. 

While in Christchurch, Lord Mayor Verschoor attended the unveiling of a new artwork by Adelaide-based artist Karen Genoff to celebrate the sister city relationship between Adelaide and Christchurch. The artwork, entitled Kaurna Wailyu (Kaurna Leaves) is located in the Adelaide-Christchurch Sister City Garden in Halswell Quarry Park in Christchurch. The garden, officially opened in 2001, contains plants and objects that represent Adelaide.

Both cities recognised the 50th Anniversary of the sister city relationship over a video Mayoral meeting. During the year, gifts of a carved Kaurna Shield and a Māori digging stick were exchanged, and future opportunities for the relationship were discussed.

Find out more about Christchurch