Homicide police are talking to people connected to a Canterbury lifestyle block where a body was found last night.

Detectives rushed to the small farm at Jelfs Rd, Woodend Beach, 20kms north of Christchurch early yesterday evening.

The property today remains cordoned off as detectives piece together what has happened.

Police are yet to release the name, age and gender of the dead person.

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Acting Detective Inspector Mark Worner told the Herald this afternoon: "A number of people associated with the property are being spoken to as part of the ongoing inquiry."

A couple and their children are believed to live at the address.

The owner of the property declined to comment when contacted by the Herald this morning.

A police command unit has been set up near the large farmhouse. Unmarked police cars are coming and going. Forensic officers will continue scene examinations at the property today.

Horses are in the front paddocks and across the road is Birchbrook Equestrian Centre.

Woodend Beach and its surrounds is a popular area for horse riders and trainers.

Locals are shocked by the homicide probe.

"They are a really nice family, well-involved in the community. It's just awful," one said.

Another reported having seen a lot of police activity down the quiet unpaved road on his way home from work last night.

"It's not what you expect to see. It kind of makes you feel sick," he said.