Canterbury Health Laboratories

Canterbury Health Laboratories (CHL) is located opposite Christchurch Hospital, and is responsible for the medical diagnostic testing for the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) Hospitals. CHL provides a 24/7 service to the hospital and community. 

CHL is the leading medical diagnostic reference laboratory in New Zealand with laboratory links and collaborative partners throughout New Zealand and the World. 

Operating from modern well-equipped facilities, CHL provides laboratory services to general practice surgeries. CDHB provides a level 6 tertiary care laboratory service for CDHB’s hospitals and performs reference tests for all medical diagnostic laboratories within New Zealand.

Canterbury Health Laboratories offers specialist clinical and medico-legal tests and has significant experience in providing laboratory testing services to both primary and secondary care settings.

Further to this, Canterbury Health Laboratories runs an extensive routine automated laboratory service, with a long history of collaborative relationships over specialist testing. Such as, Newborn Metabolic Screening Program, Quality Improvements for Antenatal Downs Screening and Other Conditions, the National Cervical Screening Programme and acting as the WHO National Measles reference laboratory. Daily requests are received to perform specialist tests from laboratories and workplaces throughout New Zealand.

Additionally, Canterbury Health Laboratories supports the COVID response team, by processing COVID-19 samples, across the South Island. Our dedicated staff are passionate about delivering a high level of service in a very efficient manner.  

Canterbury Health Laboratories has a highly skilled workforce of dedicated staff within the following Departments:

  • Core Laboratory
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomical Pathology
  • Specialist testing
  • Genetics
  • Quality
  • Laboratory Information System 
  • COVID-19


We employ a range of qualified and un-qualified staff such as:

  • Medical Laboratory Assistants
  • Pre-Analytical Medical Laboratory Technicians 
  • Medical Laboratory Technicians
  • Medical Laboratory Scientists 

It is the combination of all of these provided services that ensure Canterbury Health Laboratories has the biggest ‘catchment’ area of any medical laboratory in New Zealand.

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