Township 97 km north of Christchurch and 23 km south-west of Waiau. Culverden became a railhead for the old Waiau branch line in 1886. The saleyards, long crucial to the farm economy of the Amuri, were built two years later.

Meaning of place name
Henry Young and George Duppa bought a large run in the district, the first to get his sheep there to have the first choice of land. Young succeeded and chose the name Culverden after a property he had owned near Turnbridge Wells in Kent, England. Duppa named his part of the land St Leonards.

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