Jobs in Christchurch & Canterbury

Along with Auckland, Canterbury leads New Zealand for growth in employment.

Although it includes one of New Zealand's largest and most productive farming areas, growth in the Canterbury region has been strongest in retail, accommodation and construction.

The strong economy saw unemployment at just 3.7 percent at the end of 2016.  The strong labour market is helping to attract national and international job seekers across all sectors, particularly in construction, high-value manufacturing and IT.  

With 12.8 per cent of the national population in 2018, Canterbury provided 13.5 per cent of national employment and 12.4 per cent of the national GDP .

[Source: Statistics New Zealand data, 2018].

Canterbury seasonal work

Ski field workers in Canterbury

(C) NZ Ski

Looking for more general employment information?

With the South Islands largest city, and the largest horticultural land area in NZ, this is one of New Zealand’s key economic regions.

The Canterbury plains produce over half of our wheat and barley, although the largest single crop (other than grass for Dairy) is Onions.

In recent decades viticulture has expanded on the limestone escarpments of Waipara and Burnham, and a lot of areas have converted to Dairy farming. 

It’s a big area and the variety of land use is very wide as the seasonal work availability shows.

With the South island’s key airport Christchurch is also a tourist hub for the Ski industry and other travel.

Canterbury seasonal work calendar
Seasonal work in Canterbury, by month, job type and worker demand
When What Jobs Find jobs
Jan - May Pumpkin harvesting 100+ Pick NZ
Mar - May (year round) Potato harvesting <500 Pick NZBackpacker Board
Apr - Sep Winter Snow Sports Staff 300 Backpacker board , NZ Ski
May - Oct Hospitality Staff (F&B, etc.) 5,000 Restaurant NZSeek, TradeMe Jobs Backpacker Board
Jun - Aug (also year round) Vine Harvest / Maintenance Worker 100 Pick NZ
Jul - Dec Asparagus harvesting 100+ Pick NZ
Aug - Oct Dairy/beef farm assistant 3,000 NZ Farm Source
August - April Milk harvesting     6,000 NZ Farm SourceGo Dairy
Nov - Mar Tourism Summer Activity Staff 500+ Seek, TradeMe JobsBackpacker Board
Nov - Apr Pea harvesting 100+ Pick NZ
Year Round Meatworks – processing 2,500 Meat Your Career
Year Round Potato grading 100+ Pick NZ
Year Round Accommodation Staff 500+ Restaurant NZSeek, TradeMe JobsBackpacker Board

Job vacancies in the Canterbury region

Trade Me Jobs  - lists a large number of jobs in Canterbury.

Seek - New Zealand's largest general job website.

Work and Income - jobs available in Canterbury for Job Seekers. - lists recruitment companies in New Zealand.

Enterprise North Canterbury - job listings from employers in the North Canterbury area.


Most local newspapers publish jobs available in the area in the Situations Vacant column.

The Press - the largest circulating daily newspaper in the South Island.

The Christchurch Star - includes 6 community newspapers around Christchurch.

Ashburton Guardian - an independently-owned local newspaper in Ashburton.

The Courier - a free community newspaper delivered to Ashburton and the surrounding areas.

The Timaru Herald  - the main daily newspaper in the South Canterbury region.

Job search help

PEETO - offers employment advocacy and training for migrant and refugee job seekers

Tips for recent migrants | - a free service to assist with your job search and prepare you for employment in the local labour market.

Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) - a government department helping to find employment for residents or those with a valid work permit. 

Volunteer support organisations

Volunteering is a great way to gain work experience, meet new people, learn about your community, and improve your English skills.

The Student Volunteer Army (SVA)  - set up after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake and continues to engage in environmental and community projects. 

Volunteering Canterbury - helps match volunteers to organisations needing assistance.

Pacific Business Trust - Assists Pacific Island business owners take advantage of opportunities available. Helps with financial advice, networks, etc.

Business networking organisations 

ChristchurchNZ - the economic development agency for the Christchurch City Council. 

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC) - supports local businesses by offering advice, consultancy, training and networking opportunities.

Canterbury Business Association (CBA) - supports migrants and refugees with business support.

South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce - offers networking opportunities and business relationship building.

Enterprise North Canterbury - offers networking events and further business training opportunities.

Venus Network- a business network for women


Volunteering is a great way to gain work experience, meet new people, learn about your community, and improve your English skills.

Volunteering Canterbury matches volunteers looking for volunteering roles with organisations looking for specific skills, and offers free to low-cost training for volunteers.

Volunteering Canterbury

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