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Sheffield, New Zealand facts for kids

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Sign next to SH73 welcoming visitors to Sheffield
Sign next to SH73 welcoming visitors to Sheffield
Country New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Territorial authority Selwyn District
Ward Malvern
 • Total 0.55 km2 (0.21 sq mi)
 (2018 Census)
 • Total 192
 • Density 349/km2 (904/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+12 (New Zealand Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (New Zealand Daylight Time)
Area code(s) 03
Sheffield community hall 27
Sheffield Community Hall

Sheffield (formerly Malvern) is a small village located in the Selwyn District of the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island, near the Waimakariri Gorge.

Sheffield has a close association with its neighbouring village Waddington, which is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) further south-east along State Highway 73. The two villages share a community committee.

The two villages are located between Darfield and Springfield on State Highway 73 and the Midland Line railway. The towns were settled in the 19th century by farmers attracted to the area for sheep grazing.

Sheffield has a railway station and was once a railway junction. The first railway line reached the town in the late 1870s from a junction in Darfield with the Whitecliffs Branch. This line, then known as the Malvern Branch line, grew to become the Midland Line between Christchurch and the West Coast. On 28 July 1884, the Oxford Branch was extended over the Waimakariri River to Sheffield, making the town a railway junction. Plans existed to continue this extension south from Sheffield as part of the proposed Canterbury Interior Main Line, but this never came to fruition and the rail link with Oxford closed on 14 July 1930.


Sheffield and Waddington are described by Statistics New Zealand as a rural settlement. Sheffield covers 0.55 km2 (0.21 sq mi). It is part of the statistical area of Torlesse.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 144 —    
2013 150 +0.58%
2018 192 +5.06%

Sheffield had a population of 192 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 42 people (28.0%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 48 people (33.3%) since the 2006 census. There were 72 households. There were 105 males and 84 females, giving a sex ratio of 1.25 males per female. The median age was 38.4 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 39 people (20.3%) aged under 15 years, 33 (17.2%) aged 15 to 29, 96 (50.0%) aged 30 to 64, and 21 (10.9%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 92.2% European/Pākehā, 6.2% Māori, 3.1% Asian, and 1.6% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 59.4% had no religion, 28.1% were Christian, 1.6% were Hindu and 1.6% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 18 (11.8%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 33 (21.6%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $34,600, compared with $31,800 nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 84 (54.9%) people were employed full-time, 24 (15.7%) were part-time, and 3 (2.0%) were unemployed.


Sheffield School is a contributing primary school catering for years 1 to 6. It had a roll of 96 as of July 2016. The school opened in 1949 as a consolidation of schools in Waddington, Russells Flat and Annat.

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