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A winter morning in Avonhead
A winter morning in Avonhead
Avonhead is located in New Zealand
Avonhead is located in Christchurch, New Zealand
Coordinates: 43°31′S 172°34′E / 43.517°S 172.567°E / -43.517; 172.567Coordinates: 43°31′S 172°34′E / 43.517°S 172.567°E / -43.517; 172.567
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityChristchurch
Electoral wardWaimairi[1]
 • Land145.96 ha (360.68 acres)
 • Total6,618
Sockburn Upper Riccarton

The suburb of Avonhead is located in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Avonhead has two primary schools (Avonhead Primary School[4] and Merrin School,[5] a shopping mall (Avonhead Mall), and several parks.


The former Avonhead homestead in the 1890s

Engineer William Bayley Bray (1812–1885) arrived in Canterbury in January 1851 on the Duke of Bronte and built a homestead at the head of the Avon River in an area with many springs, and he thus called it Avonhead. The area itself was referred to as Avonwood in early records,[6] but Avonhead became the common term and this was formally adopted by the Waimairi County Council 1959.[7][8]


Major parks include Avonhead Park, Crosbie Park, Hyde Park, Ferrier Park and Burnside Park. There are various smaller reserves such as Stewarts Bush, Cricklewood Reserve, Westgrove Park, Staverly Reserve, Brigadoon Reserve, Bullock Reserve and Strathean Reserve.


Avonhead School[edit]

Avonhead School is a full primary school (years 1–8, or ages 5–13) within Avonhead, located between Ferrier park to the West and Avonhead Road to the East. The school typically has between 500 and 600 students and is a decile 7 school. Although located within Avonhead, the school zone also includes sections of the nearby suburbs of Ilam and Sockburn. Most students from Avonhead School go on to secondary schooling at Riccarton High School or Burnside High School. The school currently has 22 classrooms, a result of construction work undertaken to address issues of overcrowding which had been previously faced. [9] These were accompanied by additional work on school facilities, including the construction of a new school hall, basketball and netball courts, which had been made necessary by the construction of classrooms on the sites of previous courts.

Merrin School[edit]

Located next to the Avonhead Mall, Merrin School is a decile 8 school with a roll of just over 500 students. Merrin is a full primary school, educating years 1 to 8. As the entirety of the school's zone is covered by Burnside High School, the majority of students go on the learn there. The school is in the planning stage of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme.[10]


  1. ^ "Wards, Councillors and Community Boards map". Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  2. ^ "2013 Census QuickStats about a place: Avonhead". archive.stats.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  3. ^ "2013 Census QuickStats about a place: Avonhead West". archive.stats.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Our Vision". Avonhead School. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Merrin School". Merrin School. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  6. ^ Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling (ed.). Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-14-320410-7.
  7. ^ "Avonhead". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  8. ^ Harper, Margaret (July 2011). "Christchurch Place Names" (PDF). Christchurch City Libraries. p. 15. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  9. ^ O'Callaghan, Jody; Redmond, Adele; Small, Jamie (23 May 2017). "Hundreds of schools over capacity or at risk of overcrowding". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  10. ^ "CSR Schools by Stage" (PDF).