The Chatham Islands is the smallest region of New Zealand with a total population of about 600, many of whom are local born. Descendants of Moriori, Maori and Europeans they are a resilient people. 

At the 2006 census the median age was 37 years and almost a quarter of the population is under the age of 15 years. English is the main language with Maori spoken by about 14% of the population.

Source: NZ Government 2006 census

Our Economy

The economy of the Chatham Islands is dependent on fishing and farming.

The fishing industry generates 60% of the islands income.

Farming is also economically important especially the breeding of lambs and livestock for sale on the mainland.

The tourism industry is growing in importance and has huge growth potential which will impact positively on the economy by creating new jobs.

Our Environment

Most of the Chatham Islands are privately owned and half of all households live in privately owned accommodation.

Most homes have a telephone with internet access. There is no cell phone coverage on the island.

However the housing shortage is due, in part, to the cost of land and the cost of freighting the building materials from the mainland which alone increases the cost of building a house approximately up to 40%.

The costs of freight impacts on the price of groceries, petrol and electricity compared to mainland NZ.



The Chatham Islands have full medical services located at Waitangi, Chatham Island. Medical services range from primary healthcare and a Maori community health service (Kokiri Centre) to a small hospital staffed by one doctor and three nurses.

A voluntary ambulance service is provided by St John.  Life flights is a charted service through Hawkes Bay District Health Board.

Specialist medical services are provided by the Hawkes Bay District Health Board. 


Chatham Island has three preschools for the under five’s: a Te Kohanga Reo and playgroup at Te One, and an early childcare centre at Kaingaroa. There are three primary schools: two on Chatham Island (Te One and Kaingaroa) and one on Pitt Island.

When it’s time for children to attend secondary school there are only two options: attending a secondary school on the mainland or correspondence school.  

Source: NZ Government 2006 census

Sport Recreation

Chatham Islands have a number of sporting and recreational clubs including netball, rugby, touch rugby, darts, golf and gun.

In addition to club based activities the islanders get together and celebrate most public holidays.  

The must-attend events on the Chatham Island social calendar is the Chatham Islands Jockey Club Annual Race meetings (27 & 31 December plus one picnic day) , Chatham Islands Yacht Club Fishing Competition 1 & 2 January,  Chatham Islands Festival held each March and the Pighunting and Eeling Competition is held annually on the second weekend of  the third term of school holidays (October). 

Chatham Islands Directory

Chatham Islands Events


  Chatham Islands 10th Annual Festival

Saturday 10 March 2018

Better than Anywhere : Experience something real off the edge of time...forty-five minutes ahead of mainland NZ, the Chatham Islands will be holding their 10th Annual Festival on March the 10th 2018.


Please contact the Chatham Islands Festival Organiser Erin Tuanui on 033050426 or

All relevant information required can be found on or on their Face Book Page

Please contact the Chatham Islands Festival Organiser Erin Tuanui on 033050426 or




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