Lincoln, New Zealand

Lincoln is a town in the Selwyn District, in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand's South Island. The town is located on the Canterbury Plains to the west of Banks Peninsula, 22 kilometres southwest of Christchurch. The town has a population of 8,920 (June 2021),[1] making it the second largest town in the Selwyn District behind nearby Rolleston.

Looking southwest across Lincoln from the air, December 2005
Looking southwest across Lincoln from the air, December 2005
Location of Lincoln
Coordinates: 43°39′S 172°29′E / 43.650°S 172.483°E / -43.650; 172.483Coordinates: 43°39′S 172°29′E / 43.650°S 172.483°E / -43.650; 172.483
CountryNew Zealand
IslandSouth Island
Territorial authoritySelwyn District
 • Total9.06 km2 (3.50 sq mi)
10 m (30 ft)
 (June 2021)[1]
 • Total8,920
 • Density980/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
Local iwiNgāi Tahu

Lincoln is a satellite town of Christchurch; at the 2006 Census, 53% of employed Lincoln residents worked in the city.[2] The town is home to Lincoln University, the oldest agricultural tertiary institution in the Southern Hemisphere and the smallest of New Zealand's eight universities.


In 1862 James Edward FitzGerald of 'The Springs' subdivided some of his freehold land for the new township of Lincoln, named after the Earl of Lincoln, a foundation member of the Canterbury Association and from 1851 a member of the management committee. The site of Lincoln on the L1 River would allow for a flour mill to be built to service the growing farming district. Lincoln was laid out in a grid layout and FitzGerald named the four belts North, East, South and West and the cross streets after his own children Robert, Maurice and William. The main streets James, Edward and Gerald were names after himself.
The new township steadily grew and by 1873 Lincoln had a post office, butcher, brewers, a baker and confectioner, a storekeeper who had a hotel, a wheelwright and a carpenter, and a blacksmith. The peaceful quality of Lincoln changed with the arrival of the railway line in 1875 and the opening of the Little River line in 1886.[3]

On 26 April 1875, a branch line railway was opened to Lincoln from a junction with the Main South Line in Hornby. This line became the Southbridge Branch. Within a few years, Lincoln became a junction itself, with the Little River Branch diverging from the Southbridge Branch in Lincoln. This branch opened to Birdling's Flat on 16 May 1882 and Little River itself on 11 March 1886. On 30 June 1962, Lincoln became a railway terminus when the Little River Branch and the Lincoln-Southbridge section of the Southbridge Branch were both closed. The railway did not last much longer in Lincoln, closing on 1 December 1967. Today, the Little River Rail Trail is being established along the railway's old route. The Prebbleton to Lincoln leg of the route was opened on 30 November 2006. The trail is used extensively for recreation.

In 2021, a proposal to increase the size of the town by a further 5400 residents was proposed by the Carter Group. They intend to turn 186 hectares of farmland to the immediate south of the town into a new large subdivision. The proposal sets out a plan for homes to be built on sections which are between 400 square metres and 600sqm in size.[4]


Lincoln is described by Statistics New Zealand as a small urban area, and covers 9.06 km2 (3.50 sq mi).[5] It had an estimated population of 8,920 as of June 2021,[1] with a population density of 985 people per km2.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [6]

Lincoln, comprising the statistical areas of Lincoln West and Lincoln East, had a population of 6,510 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 2,643 people (68.3%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 3,690 people (130.9%) since the 2006 census. There were 2,136 households. There were 3,165 males and 3,345 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.95 males per female, with 1,356 people (20.8%) aged under 15 years, 1,443 (22.2%) aged 15 to 29, 2,886 (44.3%) aged 30 to 64, and 831 (12.8%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 84.1% European/Pākehā, 5.6% Māori, 1.1% Pacific peoples, 12.0% Asian, and 3.3% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 27.4%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 55.5% had no religion, 33.6% were Christian, 0.6% were Hindu, 1.4% were Muslim, 1.3% were Buddhist and 2.0% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,554 (30.2%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 525 (10.2%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 2,487 (48.3%) people were employed full-time, 933 (18.1%) were part-time, and 183 (3.6%) were unemployed.[6]

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Households Median age Median income
Lincoln West 2,943 924 33.4 years $25,200[7]
Lincoln East 3,567 1,212 37.8 years $43,500[8]
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

Educational, research institutions and amenitiesEdit

Lincoln photographed by Whites Aviation, May 1957

Lincoln has three schools, two primary and one secondary.

  • Lincoln Primary School is a state full primary (Year 1–8) school. It was established in 1866 and has a roll of 638 students as of November 2021.[9]
  • Lincoln High School is a state secondary (Year 9–13) school. It was established in 1959 and has a roll of 1342 students as of November 2021.[9]
  • Ararira Springs Primary School is a state full primary (Year 1–8) school. It opened in 2019 and has a roll of 302 students as of November 2021.[9]

Ararira Springs Primary School is the second primary school for the town. It was tentatively named Lincoln South School and open in February 2019.[10]

Lincoln is the site of Lincoln University. As well as the university, there are a number of other research facilities in Lincoln, including AgResearch, Institute for Plant and Food Research, FAR (Foundation for Arable Research), and Landcare Research. The High Performance Cricket training centre is also based at Lincoln University. Over 400 people are employed at these organisations making Lincoln a busy little country village.

Lincoln also has a maternity hospital, kindergarten and golf course.

Lincoln also hosts the first New Zealand supermarket to have wind turbines generating some of its power: Lincoln New World. The supermarket was built with a number of sustainable initiatives in keeping with the Enviro town it is servicing.[11]


The New Zealand Cricket Board decided in December 1995 to create the high performance centre. Once they had made the decision, they quickly moved to find suitable premises and develop the high performance centre. The first intake of players occurred four months later.[12] John Reid (former New Zealand cricketer) led the establishment of the High Performance Centre in 1996 as its first cricket operations manager.[13]

Lincoln became the home to the New Zealand Cricket High Performance Centre. It is situated at Lincoln University. There are three cricket grounds. These include the Bert Sutcliffe Oval which was the venue for several high-profile matches: the 2000 Women's world cup and two under 19 world cup finals. Three national tournaments are held in at these grounds each summer. They are the Women's under 21 tournament, the men's provincial A tournament and men's under 18 tournament. Many other games and training camps are also held at the high performance centre.[14]

Facilities also include a six lanes of indoor nets, a gym, accommodation for cricketers and multiple ground staff to keep the pitches in top condition.[15] All weather facilities allow cricketers to train on grass pitches all year round. A marquee cover and climate control system were installed in 2018 to provide a winter training base.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Commuting patterns in Christchurch -- Commuting patterns in New Zealand, 1996-2006". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  3. ^ Singleton, George (2007). Ellesmere, The Jewel in the Canterbury Crown. Selwyn District Council. pp. 295–298. ISBN 978-0-473-11875-4.
  4. ^ "Large subdivision plan could transform rapidly growing rural Canterbury town". Stuff. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  5. ^ "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Lincoln West (336000) and Lincoln East (336100).
  7. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Lincoln West
  8. ^ 2018 Census place summary: Lincoln East
  9. ^ a b c "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  10. ^ Parata, Hekia (3 March 2017). "Three new primary schools to open in 2019". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  11. ^ Greenhill, Marc (10 September 2009). "New Zealand's first wind powered supermarket". Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  12. ^ "[New Zealand Cricket Profile] The High Performance Centre". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Part of new Canterbury sports centre named after NZ cricket great". Otago Daily Times Online News. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  14. ^ Cricket, New Zealand. "High Performance Centre". Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  15. ^ "NZPlaces". Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  16. ^ "New Zealand Cricket unveil all weather training facilities". 11 July 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2020.

External linksEdit