Canterbury community services
People living in our largest region of Canterbury have access to a full range of community organisations and services.
Local council services
For many services your best choice is to check with the local council.
A list of all district councils in the area is provided by the Department of Internal Affairs.
You can contact Inland Revenue (IR) online, by phone or in person at offices in Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru. For a personal appointment contact IR first by phone. Free interpreters are available for phone calls - when your call is answered, say "Language Line", and what language you require.
Everyone moving to New Zealand permanently will need a tax number, called an IRD number. This is a 8-9 digit code that is unique to you. Find out more on the IRD website.
To find your nearest postshop or Kiwibank use this site. You can also find other information about postal services here
Use this directory to locate and contact support in the Canterbury region for services relating to addiction, basic needs, disaster recovery, education and training, employment, ethnic services, family violence, health, mentors, legal and civil services, mental health, parenting and caregiving, special needs and disability, youth services and ISO capability.
OUTLineNZ is a free, nationwide specialist helpline and counselling service offering support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and for people questioning their gender identity/sexual orientation. It is staffed by trained volunteers, and qualified counsellors also offer affordable face to face counselling at OUTLineNZ’s Auckland office or via Skype.
Phone them for free on 0800 688 5463.
The Community Information Christchurch website provides contact information for community groups in the region.
Community Access Radio
Community Access Radio is a local radio station that is run by members of the community. Programmes are hosted by individuals or community groups, and are broadcast in their language about their interests. Tune in to listen, or plan to broadcast your own show.
New Zealand Newcomers Network
The New Zealand Newcomers Network is a network of groups throughout New Zealand welcoming newcomers and offering range of fun social events and activities. The events are a great way to meet new people, find out about local activities, and get connected with your local community. Anyone can join – and membership is free.
Central and local government agencies have created long-term, locally-led recovery programs to assist Canterbury residents post-earthquake.
Healthy Christchurch - providing support and services for community wellbeing
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) - responsible for completing demolitions and land clearances (mainly in the Port Hills) and interim land management in the residential red zones.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) - responsible for supporting the remaining residential rebuild and monitoring the public sector rebuild.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) - responsible for policy, planning, legal and monitoring support on future use of the red zones and regeneration issues across the greater Christchurch region.
Neighbourhood support contacts
Check this website to find a neighbourhood support group in your area. There is also a link to some information for newcomers in simplified Chinese.
New Zealand Police advice for new arrivals
On this site you will find information about the Police and crime prevention advice for newcomers in 12 different languages.
Use this site to find out where your nearest police station is and the name of the Pacific and ethnic liaison officer for this region.
Find out about your local fire service by using the site below.
Women's Refuge helps to prevent and stop family violence and to provide safety for women and children who do not feel safe in their own homes.
Shakti offers a crisis call number (0800SHAKTI) and safe houses around the country for migrant and refugee women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Shakti is a national not-for-profit community organisation specialising in the area of women’s development, domestic/family violence intervention, prevention and awareness. They provide culturally competent support services for women, children and families of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin.
Labour Inspectorate - migrant exploitation
Labour inspectors work with employers and employees to make sure that employment laws are applied properly in workplaces.
If you think that you have not been treated fairly at work, you can contact Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Labour inspectors on 0800 20 90 20.
Civil Defence Emergency information
Check for important local information about what to do in an emergency from the civil defence site nearest you.
The New Zealand Government created the Get Ready, Get Thru website with information about what to do in many types emergencies.
Community Law Centre
If you need legal assistance, you can start with your local Community Law Centre. They have lawyers and advocates who can give you initial legal help so you can deal with the issue quickly, which may be free depending on your ability to pay. They may also be able to represent you in courts or tribunals.
Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace (JPs) can be found in most areas of Canterbury and can help with witnessing documents such as applications for citizenship, certifying copies, and taking declarations, affidavits and affirmations.
You can search on the New Zealand Transport Authority's website to find information about the latest road closures, road works and new routes n Christchurch's roads undergoing earthquake repair work.
The public bus services in Christchurch and Timaru are operated by Metro. Check these sites for routes, timetables and fares
For information about cycling in Christchurch go to this council site.
The Christchurch city council and Wilson Parking each manage parking sites in central Christchurch. Check out these sites for information about where the carparks are in the city.
See this site for information about where the carparks are in Timaru.
Carpooling and car sharing
Let’s Carpool is an easy way to find a carpool match, helping you to find people to share a car for your regular commute or a one-off trip. Carpool currently covers five regions: Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, Canterbury and Wellington.