Rangiora Players to Stage “Death and Taxes”

30 July 2014

Death & Taxes

Community to be Asked About Future of the Waimakariri Red Zones – Great!

30 July 2014

Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today that a community engagement is about to start with regard to future of the Red Zones in Kaiapoi, The Pines and Kairaki.

The process will be run jointly by the Waimakariri District Council and CERA and will be conducted on a variety of fronts: a website, public meetings or workshops, schools, etc.

Note that this is only for Waimakariri – the Christchurch engagement will happen later.

We encourage people to talk with the families, neighbours and friends and send their thoughts in.

Obviously people in our community have been talking and asking about the red zone future for the last three years, and a lot of suggestions have been made already.  An example has been the work done by The Pines and Kairaki Beaches Association.  All of that thinking will be fed into the mix of ideas that is going to emerge.

The full text of today’s media statement can be found at: http://cera.govt.nz/news/2014/first-chance-to-help-shape-red-zones-future-30-july-2014

 

Active Ageing Afternoon in Kaiapoi This Week

27 July 2014

ACTIVE AGENG afternoon KAIAPOI Flyer

Local Firm Celebrates Centenary

27 July 2014

DEV_Gala_Poster_FINAL_email

Farmers Demolition to Start Soon – and Timetable for Rebuild Announced

4 June 2014

The following media statement was issued on behalf of Farmers today.

 

New Farmers store confirmed for Rangiora

 

Rangiora is getting its new Farmers department store.

 

Following a long drawn out insurance claim, settlement has been reached for the town’s earthquake damaged CBD building paving the way for a heads of agreement between Farmers and owners Mandeville Properties to develop a new store.

 

Demolition of the existing building is expected to begin shortly and the new Farmers is expected to open in early 2016.

 

Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power says demolition of the building will enable the council to remove the site fences.

 

“Business people in Rangiora will be delighted as this will bring some normality back to the CBD,” Mr Power says. “Mandeville Properties is a local business and it has worked extremely hard to retain a department store in the town.

 

“Now that the key aspects of the heads of agreement have been agreed we expect to begin construction in January next year. The plan is to have the new Farmers Rangiora store open for business about 12 months after that.”

 

Waimakariri District mayor David Ayers is delighted with the news.

 

“The rebuild and return of Farmers to its existing site is crucial to the revival of the central retail area and the council has been working with Mandeville Properties and Farmers to achieve that.

 

“Along with the strengthening of existing buildings and other new shops currently being designed, Rangiora is going to come back better than ever.  It is going to be exciting to watch the new Farmers and the specialty shops rise over the next 18 months or so.”

 

In February, Farmers and Mandeville Properties said they were in meaningful discussions with the insurers and a collaborative approach to managing the construction of a new store would be taken.

 

The current building suffered extensive damage in successive Canterbury earthquakes. The new store will cover approximately 5,900 square metres and will include up to five speciality shops.

 

Rangiora is the largest town in North Canterbury and has a population of around 16,000.

 

Issued for Farmers by Pead PR

Farmers Announces Plans for Return to Rangiora

5 February 2014

The following is from a media statement released by The Farmers today.

Rangiora’s Farmers department store, closed for nearly two years, will be rebuilt despite an unsettled insurance dispute.  

    The store’s lengthy closure has been blamed for the town centre’s slow recovery following the earthquakes.  

    However, in an announcement today Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power said the company and property owner Mandeville Properties were working together to build a new store on the same site.  

    The new store of approximately 5000 square metres would include up to five speciality shops.   

    The current building suffered extensive damage in the earthquakes and has been the subject of a protracted dispute between Mandeville Properties and ACE Insurance Ltd.   

    Power said Farmers would continue to facilitate discussions between the insurer and the owners on a settlement of the claim.  

    “We understand how difficult this has been for our customers and the wider business community. While the question of insurance has yet to be settled we want to get things moving again as quickly as possible for the benefit of everyone,” Power said.   

    He could not say when construction on the new store would begin.  

    “We’re hopeful of getting things started very soon but because the details are yet to be worked out I really can’t say when a new store will open.” 

The Future of ECan

7 January 2014

On New Year’s Day there was an article in The Press on the future of Environment Canterbury, currently governed by Government-appointed commissioners.  I was quoted with a couple of lines from an interview that went for about ten minutes.

I strongly support a return to a fully-elected Canterbury Regional Council (ECan) but it seems to me that a mixture of elected (the majority) and appointed ECan members could be a way to go for the 2016 elections before getting back to a fully elected body in 2019.  I haven’t been a member of Amnesty International for 35 years to not believe in democratic rights.

People need to realise that of the current Canterbury mayors, only one (Kelvin Coe of Selwyn) was a mayor at the time the commissioners were put into Ecan in 2010.  There is now a very different group of people in place.

One problem that ECan has always had to deal with is that the major part of their work (water and land)  actually happens in rural areas and affects farmers in particular.  Individually, farmers pay substantial rates to ECan, although the total rates paid into Ecan mainly come from the urban area of Christchurch – it’s just that Christchurch has so many ratepayers, each paying a relatively small amount.  That also means that the voting power lies with Christchurch. In my observation, most of the opposition to the insertion of commissioners came from urban voters, because of the loss of democracy, and most of the support came from rural voters, because they felt that they had been having little say in how their rates were being spent.

I think the model of the Water Zone Committees, which are community committees jointly appointed by ECan and the relevant District councils (we have just one in Waimakariri, covering the whole District) has possibilities for the future.  These bring together farming, environmental and recreational interests and so far they are working well. If that model works, the greater voting power of urban Christchurch shouldn’t be an issue.

Minister Adams came to the last Canterbury Mayoral Forum and didn’t indicate any Government preferences.  It is entirely possible that the Government does not yet have a view, because she came to ask questions, not to tell us anything.  What is different from 2010, is that I will be doing my level best to make this discussion a public one that all Canterbury people have access to.

Despite what was said in the same article, I don’t detect a desire on the part of the mayors to do away with ECan.  Christchurch has long argued that they want to be a unitary authority, but I haven’t heard Lianne express a view herself.  Some of the other councils are arguably big enough to be unitary authorities (Waimakariri, Selwyn, Timaru, Ashburton) but others (Kaikoura, Hurunui, Mackenzie, Waimate, Waitaki) are probably not.  Talking about unitary authorities thus leads to a discussion about amalgamations, which I don’t think many in Canterbury want.  I certainly don’t.  There is the other problem that water is Canterbury’s big issue but the main rivers (Waimakariri, Rakaia, Rangitata, Waitaki) are all, for good community-of-interest reasons, District boundaries. Unitary authorities based on current boundaries would have trouble dealing with the rivers consistently.

One significant ECan function that could be dealt with at a District/City level is public transport.  Timaru is stand-alone anyway, and our main concern with the Christchurch system would be to make sure that Waimakariri and Selwyn have a proper say.

The issues are therefore Canterbury issues, not just Christchurch or even “Greater” Christchurch.

The Waimakariri District: Looking Forward to 2014

6 January 2014

For those who missed it, the following appeared in this week’s Northern Outlook. 

2014 should see progress in a number of areas over which residents have expressed frustration in 2013.

The future of the District’s residential red zones has been an issue since their announcement in June 2011. They are now in a very sorry state with their empty sections and abandoned houses – not a great environment for those still living there and nearby. The government and CERA now indicate they are willing to think about these zones’ future and they have agreed that the community and the Council will be involved in determining that future. I expect to see real progress this year along with developments on the Kaiapoi riverbank.

The Kaiapoi and Rangiora town centres have a lot ahead of them. I expect to see owners making decisions for the Rangiora rebuild early in the year as they engage tenants. Work should be getting under way soon on one of the Kaiapoi gaps and during the year final property purchases should enable construction to start on the Red Lion corner realignment and at least the design work by new owners for the Hansens site in Kaiapoi.

At the time of writing, the three main controversial “in limbo” buildings had not had their futures announced by their owners. The John Rhind (former BNZ) building in Kaiapoi (empty since September 2010) and the Farmers and Robbie’s buildings (both empty since March 2012) will soon have those decisions and hopefully reconstruction under way. Work should start on the West Eyreton memorial arch in the second half of the year.

By the end of 2014, much of infrastructure work, mainly in Kaiapoi, but also in Pines-Kairaki , Rangiora, Waikuku and Cust, should be completed. The recent cost-sharing agreement with the government is certainly a help there.

The major projects already started or with contracts awarded will be either completed or nearing completion: the Kaiapoi Library, Museum and Service Centre, the Ashley Bridge and the Rangiora and Oxford Town Halls.

This community has been facing the biggest natural disaster in material terms in NZ history. We are now on the way out with the biggest works programme ever undertaken in North Canterbury.

 

 

Big Crowd at Waikuku Beach Sand Castle Competition

5 January 2014

140105 Waikuku Sand Castle Competion 2 (500x375)Today’s Waikuku Beach Sand Castle Competition drew a big crowd.  The judges (of whom I was one) had a difficult task. It was a wonderful hot day and a lot of people were enjoying themselves.

Well done to Waikuku Artists Incorporated (WAI) for organising this event.

WAI’s annual exhibition for local artists is coming next month – watch out for it!

140105 Waikuku Sand Castle Competion 5 (500x375)

New Exhibition Coming to Chamber Gallery

2 October 2013

exhibition opening

Baynons Brake a Welcome New Recreational Facility

2 October 2013

130921 Baynons Brake Riding Trails (300x225)Baynons Brake is a series of horse riding trails that have been established by Environment Canterbury Regional Council on the northern Waimakariri river banks in the Clarkville area.

They are part of the Waimakariri River Park and have tidied up and given purpose to an area that had been misused in the past by hoons in 4-wheel drives and the like.

Space has been put side for parking horse floats and fencing has been put in.

The area includes the stopbank in places and signposted trails that give riders a variety of choices in the area between the stopbank and the river.

The facility was recently opened (in the rain!) despite the fact that the recent storm had done a lot of damage.

Well done to David Owen and the crew at ECan!

Ford Rally Tours Waimakariri

30 September 2013

_MG_1416 (300x200)

If you were in Kaiapoi, Tuahiwi, Loburn, White Rock or Rangiora yesterday, and saw a huge variety of vehicles of varying going past and wondered what was going on, a closer look would have told you they were Fords. Fords come from a variety of places, of course: USA, Britain, Australia, even Japan.

Yours truely was therein our 1968 Corsair, but the variet was huge, from a Model ‘T’ and a number of Model ‘A’s, to Cortinas, Mustangs and Thunderbirds. The car pictured is a 1955 Ford Popular.

The annual Henry Ford Rally always starts in New Brighton and often finishes north of the Waimakariri. For many years it has been run by Trevor and Lorraine Stanley, recently of Christchurch but now of Amberley. At right is a 1955 Ford Popular at the finishing point, Rossburn, near Rangiora.

Women’s Suffrage 120th Anniversary Was Worth Celebrating

30 September 2013

Thanks to Lois McGirr of Amberley, a series of women’s suffrage commemorations were held in Amberley, Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend on 19 September, the 120th anniversary of the passage of the Act that gave New Zealand women the vote.

130919 Women's Suffrage 120th Anniversary 12 (300x225)Speakers paid tribute to the work of local North Canterbury women who fought for the vote and the role played by the Women’s Christian Temperance movement.  They also rolled out a long purple ribbon that many locals had signed, the ribbon being the same length as the petition that Sir John Hall took into Parliament in 1893 in support of women’s suffrage. The photo shows the ribbon being signed by Maxine Palmer of Rangiora.

A local historical footnote: New Zealand’s first woman MP, Elizabeth McCombs, was born in Kaiapoi.

Paper Pigment Wax – Arts in Oxford Opens New Show

30 September 2013

paperpigmentwax invite

The Arts in Oxford Gallery has opened a new show by Celia Wilson, Casey Macaulay, Jane Thorne and Jo Campbell – Celia and Casey are Oxford locals.

It’s well worth a visit -and it costs nothing to get in! Have a look at Casey’s amazing paper sails using a diary one of her19th Century forbears wrote travelling by ship from Britain to Australia.  Celia works with the clays of the Oxford area.

Arts in Oxford is between Jo Seagar’s and the museum and has regular changes of exhibition. A visit to one of the local cafes in the weekend isn’t complete without popping in to have a look.

New to the Waimakariri?

24 September 2013

Drop-in 

Drop-in Lunchtimes

Are you new to the region?

Not sure where to go for information or advice?

 

Come to the Rangiora Library (by the New Zealand section) 141 Percival Street, Rangiora

Thursdays from 12noon – 1.30pm

 

Spring Day Out in Kaiapoi – Saturday 5 October

19 September 2013

Spring%20Day%20Out%20Poster[1]

Warning About Storm-Damaged Trees: They Are Dangerous – Media Statement From WDC

17 September 2013

Waimakariri District Council staff and contractors are mounting a campaign to advise people of the high risk attached in going into or near any treed areas, following an assessment this week of the scope and extent of damage after last Tuesday’s windstorm across Canterbury.

The beach access areas at Waikuku, Woodend and Pines Beach/Kairaki have been assessed as areas of extreme risk and the public is being asked to stay well away from any treed or forested areas. Contractors are currently working to mitigate the overhead risk by bringing broken branches to the ground. Following that work will start on exposed holes in the ground from trees being uprooted by the wind and also on exposed roots.

The gathering of firewood from tree damage by members of the public is strictly prohibited and presents an increased level of risk. The Council’s Rural Fire Officer Tim Sheppard says that a lot of the trees and branches are under strong tension and are likely to snap without warning. “Anyone going near these with a chainsaw is literally taking their life in their hands”, he said. “It might look like a fairly innocent fallen branch but if it breaks under tension it acts like a loaded spring

- the chances of very serious injury to anyone near these branches are very high”. Contractors are taping off risk areas this week and, until that work is complete, the public is advised to treat all treed parts of the area as extremely dangerous. Signage at entry and exit points is also being organised and the signs should be erected by the end of this week.

People with damage to fences from fallen branches and trees area are also advised against trying to clear up themselves. “There is also a risk of injury with that”, says Sheppard “and, while we need to work through the most at risk areas first, we will be attending to those as soon as possible”.

Contractors will be working along the 100 metre wide ‘protection forest’ down the coast from Waikuku to Kairaki, reducing the risk hazard as they go. Te Kohaka O Tuhaitara Reserve is closed to the public until further notice, although contractors are currently clearing a fire track through there to allow fire crews and equipment access to the reserve in case of fire.

While fire danger currently is not high, Rural Fire Officer Tim Sheppard says that situation could change with the onset of summer and drier, warmer conditions. “It therefore becomes vital that we attend to excess fallen wood urgently. We need to restore the forest areas to a state where they present the least fire risk during the summer”.

The Council is mounting a comprehensive public warning campaign about the risks of fallen trees in local newspapers, on radio, online and in a maildrop campaign, targeting neighbouring residents.

For more information contact: Rory Christie Communications Adviser Phone: 03 311 8900 or 03 327 6834 Email: rory.christie@wmk.govt.nz

Anyone going near these trees with a chainsaw is literally taking their life in their hands.

Another Heritage Building Demolished: the Ashley Masonic Lodge in Rangiora

17 September 2013

130917 Ashley Masonic Lodge Being Demolished (300x225)The Ashley Masonic Lodge has been demolished this week. It was damaged in the September 2010 earthquake and hasn’t been used since then.  It was a Category II building listed with the NZ Historic Places Trust and was on the Waimakariri District Council’s heritage list in the District Plan.

As with all heritage buildings, a lot of work went into seeing if it was practicable to save it, but the cost of doing so was simply beyond the means of the Lodge.

You can read a bit about the building at http://landmarks.waimakariri.govt.nz/heritageplaces_rangiora/masons_building.aspx

Healthy Community Day, 24 September

17 September 2013

Healthy Community Day

 

  • ·        Find it hard to fit Health into your week – but want to learn more? 
  • ·        Listen to our brilliant speakers over a coffee.
  • ·        Want to meet new people and connect in the community? 

 

Join us on:        Tuesday 24 September 2013

                             10.00am until 12.00pm

Where:                Rangiora Baptist Church Youth Hall

111 East Belt   Rangiora

 

Guest speakers:

                        10.15am  ‘Helping our kids on the Street’

Anni Watkin  – Youth and Cultural Development

 

10.45am Suicide – what are we doing in Waimakariri?’

                        Sarah Lodge – Injury Prevention WDC

 

11.15am ‘What is Funky Farmer’s Food’  

Kerry Miles and Leanne Liddell

 

A coin donation to Rangiora Baptist Church (if you can)

 

Our last Healthy Community Day for the year is:  Tuesday 29 October 2013

 

Enquiries to Leanne Liddell 021 849 950

Kaiapoi Rubble Rousers Doing a Great Job Filling Gaps

16 September 2013

130810 Rubble Rousers in Kaiapoi 6 (300x225)The Kaiapoi Rubble Rousers are doing a great job filling the gaps in the town centre.

Here they are working on the empty site south of the ANZ Bank. The Kaiapoi Community Garden provided some stuff and the Rangiora Men’s Shed built the boxes. McAlpines Mega Mitre 10 in Southbrook also helped.

All-in-all, a Waimakariri community effort!

Two Good-News Housing Stories

15 September 2013
130914 Site of Kaiapoi Pensioner Units (400x300)

Site preparation for housing-for-the-elderly units in Kaiapoi

There has been a lot going on in Williams Street in Kaiapoi, just north of Ohoka Road, recently.  A couple of old houses have been demolished and there has been earth-moving and compaction.

This is the site for Kaiapoi’s new housing for the elderly that will replace the units between Hilton Street and Raven Quay, west of the town centre. These units were red-zoned by the Government in 2011 and for a long time the Council was looking for available land that was close to the town centre so that residents could get to the shops easily and which was large enough to contain about 25 units.

This was about all there was and fortunately it was made available to the Council.

On another tack, people have been pointing out that many of the red-zoned houses in Kaiapoi and Christchurch are perfectly sound and are able to be shifted away from their suspect land and reused elsewhere.  There has been a bit of such removal going on, but the availability of land has often been an issue.

In a welcome move, however, the Department of Corrections and Housing New Zealand have joined forces to bring houses out of the red zones and refurbish them at Rolleston Prison. The prisoners will learn skills that should be able to get them jobs when they are released and the houses will be taken over by Housing New Zealand for rental.

130910 Rolleston Prison House Refurbishment (400x300)

Relocated houses being refurbished at Rolleston Prison

As everybody knows, housing supply is a real issue in Waimakariri and Christchurch. These are small steps along the way.

As an indicator of the shortage, the Waimakariri Council usually has about 30 on its waiting list for the 100+ elderly persons’ units it has in Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Oxford and Woodend. Since the earthquakes, that list has about trebled.

 

It’s School Fair Season – Today it was Woodend

15 September 2013

It’s school fair season.  Today Woodend’s drew a large crowd at the Woodend recreation Ground next door to the School. Humiliating the principal is always popular, so the kids (and others) enjoyed firing paint bombs at Graeme Barber – all in a good cause, of course. He lived to turn up to work tomorrow.130915 Woodend School Fair 2B

A Chief Executive – the Waimakariri Story

14 September 2013

While some council chief executives get into the headlines for unfortunate reasons, it needs to be remembered that most don’t – and for good reasons. The Hurunui District Council has just appointed a new one after their previous CE, Andrew Dalziel moved to the CE position at Ashburton District Council, and I am sure that all in North Canterbury will wish Hamish Dobbie well as he takes up his new post.

Meanwhile, you will probably have seen that the Waimakariri District Council has been pleased to reappoint Jim Palmer for a further five years. This will be his third five-year contract (the maximum allowable under the Local Government Act). Over the last three years he has worked with three mayors and the usual changes that occur amongst elected members and has done an outstanding job.

I can comment on the last three years particularly. This District has faced unprecedented challenges a result of the earthquakes. Christchurch and Waimakariri are the two Districts easily most badly affected, which is not to downplay what other Canterbury districts and Environment Canterbury have had to deal with. Jim led a Council team which responded magnificently in the immediate aftermath and which has also had to deal with the all the tasks and changed circumstances that have arisen in the recovery.

That recovery is by no means finished yet and we are very lucky that Jim will be at the helm over  few years.

 

 

Kaiapoi Railway Station & i-Site Now a “Landmark”

12 September 2013

130902 Kaiapoi Railway Station 2 (400x267)

The Kaiapoi Railway Station is now on its third site in its lifetime. Originally on the railway line (of course!) near where the Countdown now is, it was moved to its second site on top of the stopbank near the Tuhoe wharf. The September 2010 earthquake put it on a spectacular lean, so it is now temporarily not far away on Charles Street. With the District’s i-Site now back in residence, it is performing its previous function.

Last month the Prime Minister unveiled the District’s latest Landmarks plaque on it.130902 Kaiapoi Railway Station 7 (200x133)

Big Plant Sale Coming to Woodend-Pegasus

12 September 2013

St Barnabas Plant Sale

Rangiora’s Soapbox Derby is Returning! – to Southbrook This Year

12 September 2013

Soap Box Derby Come to event Poster 2013 FINAL

Rangiora High School Exhibition at the Chamber Gallery – Amazing Young Talent

11 September 2013
130825 Rangiora HS in Chamber Gallery - work by Kieran Straw Y13 (400x300)

Work by Kieran Straw, Year 13

The latest exhibition at the Chamber Gallery in the Rangiora Library displays work by Rangiora High School students.  The talent of these young people is certainly impressive.

You check out the programme, including more on this exhibition at http://libraries.waimakariri.govt.nz/community/chamber_gallery.aspx

WCAC Logo

Rangiora Town Hall Contract Let – and Other Major Projects Getting Under Way

10 September 2013

100102 Rangiora Town Hall001A

The contract for the strengthening and expansion of the Rangiora Town Hall has been let to Naylor Love. There is no specific start date, but expect it to be soon.  Site clearance has been carried out in preparation.

The tender was below budget, as was that of the new Kaiapoi Library, Museum and Service Centre.

The additions to the hall will assist in the strengthening of the existing part.

Other major projects are making good progress:

  • Work has started on the Kaiapoi library, service centre and museum.  This is the biggest of the post-earthquake projects.
  • Underground replacements and street works around the Kaiapoi bridge are progressing well.
  • The Oxford Town Hall strengthening and the rebuild of the A&P “hall” (part of the Town Hall) will go out to tender soon.
  • Design work is progressing well on the Cones Road Ashley Bridge (the only job here that is not earthquake related).
  • A Kaiapoi Community Board / Council working party has started work on the Kaiapoi riverbanks, including the wharf area.
  • Demolition of the Kaiapoi War Memorial building has commenced.  This will enable work to start on what will be the town’s central playground next to Trousselot Park.

Rangiora Players’ “Le Sud” is Coming!

8 September 2013

le_sud (3)

Kaiapoi Farmers’ Market very Saturday morning, (plus others around the District!) – and the reopening of a roundabout!

31 July 2013

130727 Kaiapoi Street Party & Market 1 (400x300)The Kaiapoi Farmers’ Market happens every Saturday morning. Pop in for fresh stuff!

Last week it was part of a street party to celebrate the reopening of the roundabout on the Charles St / Williams St corner. Not a big deal you might have though, but it has actually been part of a very big job. This part of Kaiapoi was badly hit by liquefaction and lateral spread in the earthquakes and so it wasn’t just the road but all the sewers, water mains and stormwater that had to be fixed as well. Fortunately, there was vacant land around it that enabled the traffic to be diverted – but the work was still very disruptive and we appreciate the forbearance of businesses and residents during the construction period.

The photo on the right shows us gathering to do the reopening – all with the traffic flowing around. Jane Seddon and Neill Price of Kaiapoi Promotions did a great job organising the day. Kaiapoi felt good!130727 Kaiapoi Street Party & Market 5 (250x188)

And back to farmers’ markets – remember there are also those at Ohoka on Friday mornings and at Oxford on Sunday mornings.


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