Christchurch City Council has unanimously voted to ban the mining practice known as fracking.
The technique, also called hydraulic fracturing, captures gas and oil by injecting chemicals into rocks to fracture them.
The ban was recommended to the council by the Spreydon-Heathcote community board due to concerns about water contamination and anecdotal evidence that fracking can generate earthquakes.
Christchurch and the surrounding area has suffered severe damage from major earthquakes that began in September 2010.
Christchurch City Councillor Barry Corbett says while there are currently no applications for fracturing in the district, the decision is a symbolic gesture that aims to encourage other councils, including the Canterbury Regional Council to do the same.