Posts Tagged ‘Oxford New Zealand’

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.

 

 

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.

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.

New Houses Still Coming Thick and Fast in Waimakariri

4 July 2013

WAIMAKARIRI DISTRICT: BUILDING CONSENTS FOR NEW DWELLINGS 2013

 

 

Month

Year

Kaiapoi

Rangiora

Oxford

Woodend

Small

Town/

Beach

Residential   4 (Rural

Residential)

Pegasus

Res 6

Rural

Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2013

30

15

6

1

3

12

28

10

105

February 2013

36

26

5

1

1

16

17

17

119

March 2013

27

71

2

0

1

6

18

19

144

April 2013

15

22

2

0

4

8

13

15

79

May 2013

29

31

3

0

1

15

15

13

107

June 2013

20

26

6

0

3

4

8

10

77

157

191

24

2

13

61

99

84

631

 

 

77 consents for new dwellings were issued in June 2013, which is 7 more than for June 2012.  For the year to date 631 consents for new dwellings have been issued compared with 495 for the first 6 months of 2012.

 

In June 9 consents were issued for new dwellings in the Silverstream subdivision as compared with 11 elsewhere in Kaiapoi, principally in the Sovereign Palms subdivisions.

 

The distribution for consents for new dwellings for the Rural Zone for 2013 is:

19       UDS area east of Two Chain Road and South of the Ashley River/Rakahuri

47       West of District

18       North of the Ashley River/Rakahuri

We Had Weather Today in Waimakariri

20 June 2013

The weather has continued to give Waimakariri District problems.

Today a Civil Defence Sector Post was set up at Fernside School after the Cust River went over its banks. Fortunately, no houses were affected.  A close watch is also being kept on the Dockey Creek, which flows through Fernside. Late this afternoon, the Dockey was OK.

Water has entered a few houses since Monday, for example in western Kaiapoi.

It snowed in the Oxford area and other higher parts of the District today.

 

Civil Defence Snowstorm Workshops Coming

5 June 2013

This coming Saturday, 8 June 2013, two workshops will be held in the Waimakariri District as part of Exercise Pandora, an annual Civil Defence Exercise which this year simulates a major snowstorm. One workshop will be held at Ant Dale’s  beef and lamb farm at 211 Ashley Gorge Road from 10.00am to 1.00pm and the other at Geoff Sparks’ dairy farm 1018 Harewood Road (Fonterra Marker 37738) from 1.00pm to 3.oopm.

130608 Exercise Pandora

Waimakariri Building Consents for Dwellings Still Running at Record Levels

7 March 2013

The building consents issued for dwellings in January and February are running at similar levels to last year.

WAIMAKARIRI DISTRICT: BUILDING CONSENTS FOR NEW DWELLINGS 2013

So far this year (January – February), 224 dwelling permits have been issued. For the same time last year, 127 were issued – and that was historically high.

Specifically for those two months this year, they were:

  • Kaiapoi 66
  • Rangiora 41
  • Oxford 11
  • Woodend 2
  • Small towns / beaches 4
  • Rural Residential 4 (e.g. Mandeville, Fernside) 28
  • Pegasus 45
  • Rural 27

 

Oxford and Rangiora No Longer Have Chlorine in Their Water

17 December 2012
The Chlorine meter in Rangiora shows zero.

The Chlorine meter in Rangiora shows zero.

The new water schemes in Oxford and Rangiora no longer have chlorination.  After comsulting with the communities, it was with a lot of pleasure that I personally turned Rangiora’s off!

A few weeks later the Rangiora scheme was officially opened (Oxford’s was opened in 2010).

20121127_110712(0)

The pumps at the Pentecost Road, Rangiora, headworks.

Lots Happening in Waimakariri – a Community in Good Heart!

17 December 2012
121031 Kaiapoi Light Party 3 (300x225)

Kaiapoi Light Party

121026 Tree Planting at RHS (300x225)

Tree Planting at Rangiora High

121027 Plunket Stalls in Victoria Park (300x225)

Plunket Stalls in Rangiora

121028 Morris Dancers at Ashley School Fete 1 (300x225)

Morris Dancers at Ashley School Fete

121028 Sovereign Palms Family Fun Day (300x225)

Sovereign Palms Family Fun Day, Kaiapoi

121030 Historic Rangiora pictures 1 (300x200)

Murals on Rangiora “Pop-Up” Shops

121101 Kaiapoi HS Opening of Library Space 1 (300x225)

Opening of Kaiapoi High’s Library Space

121030 W-A Lifeboat 3 (300x200)

Driving Waimakariri-Ashley Lifeboat, near Kairaki

121101 Kaiapoi HS Road Crash (300x225) (300x225)

Road Crash Day at Kaiapoi High

121102 Kaiapoi Garden Club 90th 2 (300x225)

Kaiapoi Garden Club’s 90th Birthday

121102 WACT Exhibition in Chamber 1 (300x225)

Waimakariri Art Collection Trust Exhibition in Rangiora

121103 Oxford Fete 4 (300x225)

Oxford Garden Fete

121111 West Eyreton Garden Tour 2 (300x225)

West Eyreton School Garden Tour

121201 Maahunui II Opening, Tuahiwi Marae - Copy (216x300)

Opening of Maahunui II at Tuahiwi

121209 Oxford Gym Opening 1 (300x225)

Oening of Oxford Health & Fitness Centre

121209 Rangiora Christmas Parade 13 (300x225)

Rangiora Christms Parade

121216 Oxford Christmas Parade 1 (300x225)

Oxford Christmas Parade

 

Men’s Sheds Are Arriving in Waimakariri -Two Open and One Working On It!

17 October 2012

The Men’s Shed Movement started in Australia and is spreading rapidly through New Zealand.  The idea is to provide a place for  usually, but not always, older men to get together and practice practical skills of woodworking and metal working while at the same time talking about anything they like. Machinery such as lathes is obtained by donation.  Men can work on their own projects or do stuff for the community.

There is a strong emphasis on men’s health in this approach. It is also possible that mentoring of teenagers could take place.

The Rangiora Men’s Shed has been operating out of the Show Grounds for several months, but this month has seen a shed also opened in Oxford, officially known as the McIver’s Oxford Community Men’s Shed after the sponsor who provided the shed.  The photo shows it in the process of it being officially opened by Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson.  The Council provided the land in Pearson Park.

A Kaiapoi group is looking at getting a couple of red-zoned garages to shift out.

The Kaiapoi and Rangiora groups have been assisting the Kaiapoi Rubble Rousers and the Rangiora Community Board in filling earthquaked gaps and decorating safety fences.

Rangiora and Oxford: Send Those Chlorination Forms In!

22 September 2012

All of you who are ratepayers on the Rangiora and Oxford Urban water supplies should have received a consultation leaflet asking whether you want chlorination continued in your water supplies.

Most public water supplies around the world (and NZ) are chlorinated, but some are not.  The new supplies in Oxford and Rangiora come from very secure (i.e. safe) sources and do not have to be chlorinated – although they would be safer if they were.

Chlorination removes bacteria (e.g. E-coli) and viruses, although not protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium.

The choice is one of better taste versus greater safety.

Note that the Christchurch, Kaiapoi and Woodend supplies are not chlorinated.

Community Buildings Under Construction All Over the District

18 September 2012

There are are a number of community buildings under construction across our District – some photos from last Sunday …

Wharenui at Tuahiwi

Oxford Men’s Shed

Oxford Gym

Woodend Community Centre Extension

Water is Basic

5 September 2012

The problems we have been having with contamination in the Mandeville water supply just brings home how important good water supplies are.

They come, however, at a cost. Oxford and Rangiora ratepayers have had to bear sharp increases in rates to pay for new supplies that now, unlike their previous supplies, meet national drinking water standards.  These are high standards, and it is one thing for a relatively large community like Rangiora to meet those standards, quite another for more rural councils with much smaller communities.

Most water supplies around the world are chlorinated to add to their safety. In our part of Canterbury, however, neither the Kaiapoi nor Christchurch are chlorinated because their sources are judged to be relatively risk-free.

Rangiora and Oxford residents are soon to be asked if they want chlorination to remain in their water supplies. Rangiora’s water now comes from Kaiapoi from wells beside the motorway and Oxford has a new well to the south of the town.

There are good arguments on both sides of the chlorination issue.  It will be interesting to see what the two communities say.

The Kaiapoi Library & Museum Replacement Has Started

20 August 2012

The demolition of the “old” Kaiapoi Library is now well under way.  It has been closed since the 4 September quake and is being replaced so that it can meet the future needs of that part of the our District. The library was getting cramped and had been badly damaged.

The new library will incorporate the Museum, which had to be demolished immediately after the September quake. A former court house (of similar design and age to the Rangiora court house), it was left barely standing by the earthquake.  The Council owned the building and the Kaiapoi District Historical Society the collection.

The Council also owns the Oxford and Cust Museum buildings, but not the Rangiora one (although it is on Council land).

As well as in Kaiapoi, there are, of course, libraries in Rangiora and Oxford.  The Kaiapoi Library is currently operating out of temporary quarters in the Kaiapoi Swim Club building, next to the Aquatic Centre.

Te Whai Ao at the Chamber Gallery – which is open again!

18 August 2012

The Chamber Gallery at the Rangiora Library is open again after extensive earthquake repairs to the building (which is a former Rangiora Borough Council Building). The North Canterbury Citizens’ Advice Bureau are also back in.

The first exhibition is called Te Whai Ao which in its own way acknowledges the importance of the  manaakitanga (support) and whanaungatanga (relationships) that have been so important in our District since 4 September 2010.

The artist who did a lot to bring this group exhibition together, along with Waimakariri Community Arts Council Chair Brian Hoult, was Areta Wilkinson, wh0 lives in Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANZAC Day at Tuahiwi …

25 April 2012

The blog has been a bit quiet for a few days because I have been in Australia doing a bit of grandad duty (our only grandchild, Imogen, is now 11 months old).  We got back yesterday, in time for ANZAC Day.

I was involved in three services today: in Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Tuahiwi. Each was different but all were impressive in their own ways. There were very big crowds in the two main towns and a much smaller gathering, as one would expect, at Tuahiwi. There were other services in Oxford, Cust-West Eyreton and Fernside and at Rangiora High School. As has become the practice, an Ohoka service took place yesterday.

The memorial at Tuahiwi exemplifies what goes on all over the country and in Australia.

The Oxford A&P Show was Great!

3 April 2012

A sunny day, a large crowd, a huge number of stalls – and, of course, lots of stock and produce competing – plus the events in the show ring – what better place could there be to be last Saturday?

Corners of Waimakariri: the Horrellville Church

25 March 2012

The older building dates from the 19th Century and is a Category 2 Historic Place.  It is the orginal church, replaced by the 1950s building seen on the left – a scaled-down version of Trinity Methodist Church in Rangiora. The Horrellville church is now part of the Oxford District Union Parish.

Canterbury has lost so much heritage, it is good to see some surviving.

Public Meeting On Future of Oxford Town Hall

14 March 2012

A public meeting was held tonight on the future of the Oxford Town Hall and the Pearson Park Pavilion.

Both have been assessed at less than 33% of New Building Standard.

The estimate for bringing the Town Hall to at least 67% is about $2m and the pavilion $125,000.

It has been suggested that  it would be better to combine these two amounts and put a new building serving the functions of both in a suitable place in Pearson Park.

At the meeting, concern was expressed that $2.125m would provide a building that was too small for the purpose.  Nevertheless, the meeting agreed that investigations into the feasibilty of a new building should be proceeded with to enable the community to make an informed choice.

This is certainly not a final decision to go one way other the other.

Like all community buildings, the Town Hall is funded by rating across the whole District.  In this case the work, whatever is done, would be paid for out of an earthquake loan.

Temporary Shops Take Another Step Forward

13 March 2012

Council staff met Rangiora business owners that have been dislocated by the two north-side building closures this evening, outlining more definitive plans about what can be offered for the area in front of the Council.  (The Robbies and Farmers closures have not affected other buildings, apart from causing Greg Knight Chemist and Devlin Real Estate to move away from walls.) The number of buusinesses there will depend on how much space each wants.

We want to move quickly on this, because it will take about 8 weeks for the buildings to get into place.  The Council will only build to order: we need a commitment before we order units.

In Kaiapoi, the situation is status quo.  While retailing in Kaiapoi has been affected by the loss of many shops since the September quake, there have been no closures of buildings recently.  We do have contingency plans for Kaiapoi, however, should the need arise.

Meanwhile in Oxford, there is a public meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) in the GP Hall to discuss future options around the Town Hall, closed because it is earthquake prone.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Oxford War Memorial

25 February 2012

The Oxford War Memorial is on Main Street in a part of Pearson Park that is often used for community events.

Image

22 February, 12.51pm.

21 February 2012

Many people will be observing two minutes’ silence at that time.

Two minutes silence will be observed by Council  staff at the following places at 12.51 on Wednesday 22 February to honour those lost in the 22 February earthquake.  You are welcome to join them.

  • The lawn at the Waimakariri District Council Service Centre, Rangiora 
  • The lawn at the Waimakariri Districy Council Service Centre, Oxford
  • Darnley Square, Kaiapoi by the playground

The memorial service being held at North Hagley Park is screening live at the Kaiapoi Baptist Church, Kaiapoi Club and Oxford Working Men’s Club from midday to 1.30pm.

Marilyn and I will be at the service in Christchurch.

The Prime Minister has asked that flags be flown at half-mast tomorrow.

Waimakariri Gorge Bridge Deck Renewal to Start 29 February

16 February 2012

The long-awaited replacement of the deck on the Waimakariri Gorge bridge is planned to start on 29 February.  Most of the work will be done at night-time, so the bridge will be open during the day. At night, there will be certain times that traffic will be able to pass.  It will be at the same times every night and these will be well-advertised.

This is a joint project of the Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils.

Art Deco Still Lives in Waimakariri

5 February 2012

The earthquake loss of Kaiapoi’s Riverside church (formerly the Rialto Theatre) was very sad.  Fortunately we still have some art deco left in the District, such as the former Salvation Army building in Oxford, now Emma’s Bookshop – open this morning for Oxford’s Day in the Country.

Men’s Sheds Are Coming!

31 January 2012

The Men’s Shed movement is spreading to Waimakariri.

Men’s Sheds are places where (usually) retired (usually) men can get together, use some of the skills they have gathered over the years and chew the fat. They are normally set up like workshops with the kind of equipment like lathes that people usually don’t have at home.  They can make stuff for themselves and their families or do small community projects like making park seating.

An Oxford group has been going for some time, fund-raising.  They have a brand new garage promised by a sponsor and a site identified in Pearson Park.  A Kaiapoi group  has also been looking at where they can go.

Another group in Rangiora has obtained a spot at the Showgrounds and is already open.  You can find out about it at http://users.actrix.co.nz/cornelius/Menz/index.htm

They will be open for visitors at the Boys’ Toys / Gear for Girls weekend at the Showgrounds on the weekend of 25-26 February.

Oxford Town Hall Proposal for Public Consultation

26 January 2012

As part of its Long Term Plan, the Waimakariri District Council is to consult with the wider community on the future of the earthquake-prone Oxford Town Hall.

One idea that will be discussed is whether to build a new one that would include the functions of the Pearson Park Pavilion, also earthquake prone. 

Relocated to the Pearson Park area, it would then be possible to combine the funding that it is proposed to allocate for earthquake-strengthening of both buildings: $2m for the Town Hall and $150,000 for the pavilion.

A Triple Whammy – or is it a Quadruple?

25 January 2012

When it comes to big community facilities projects, we normally do one at a time – as happened with the Dudley Pool.

This time, the earthquake and the justified heightened sensitivity to earthquake-prone buildings, has left us with three big ones all at once:

  • The Kaiapoi Library/Museum
  • The Rangiora Town Hall
  • The Oxford Town Hall

These are amongst the problems facing the Council for its Long Term (10 Year) Plan.

But wait there’s more …

                … a new bridge over the Ashley north of Rangiora.

Should the Oxford Town Hall be Replaced?

12 January 2012

The Oxford Town Hall will cost a lot to bring it up to an earthquake rating of 67% of new building standard.  It is currently closed because it is rating is about 25%.

Some in the community are saying that it would be better to build a more modern building, possibly somewhere else.

You will be hearing more about this!

Update on Bridges

8 January 2012

I’m often asked about some of our bridges.

Williams Street Bridge, Kaiapoi

This came out of the earthquakes quite well – it’s the approach on the nothern side that is now rubbish, and getting worse. As for the bridge itself, the Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan proposes that parking be removed and the footpaths made wider to allow people to linger and look up and down the river.  There will be seating on it as well.

Ashley River Bridge at Cones Road, Rangiora

The Council is endeavouring to get a replacement put on to the Canterbury Regional Transport Plan and the chances are very good.  It is intended that this will be wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to cross it in safety.   The total cost is likely to be in the area of $10m, but it will attract a 60% subsidy from the NZ Transport Agency if the project it approved.

Old Waimakariri Cycle & Pedestrian Clipons

Not much joy here, I’m afraid. The bridge is jointly owned by Waimakariri and Christchurch and neither Council is very keen on doing the work without NZTA subsidy.  To get this will require a change in Government policy direction towards pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Waimakariri Gorge Bridge

This bridge, jointly owned by Waimakariri and Selwyn, is to get a new deck very soon.  Both councils have budgeted for it.  The common claim that the two councils have been arguing over it is urban myth.

The Waimakariri Gorge Bridge with a train about to cross it, ca.1921

The “Kaiapoi” Fault – What’s the Story?

7 January 2012

I went to the GNS Science briefing yesterday to hear about the latest flurry of aftershocks.  And yes, the 5.2 at 1.21 a.m. this morning did wake me up.

The “Kaiapoi” Fault is the new name for the one they’ve discovered under the sea off the Waimakariri mouth.  It does not pass underneath Kaiapoi.

Most of the recent aftershocks have been out to sea and although they are trending north-east, they aren’t affecting this fault.  The seismologists told us that the Kaiapoi Fault has been active periodically in geological time which means that there has been a progressive release of stress along it.  That should be good news for us in North Canterbury because that release of stress means that it is less likely to be a big one if the fault ruptures.

We are likely to continue to get aftershocks in this part of Canterbury for many years, although as time goes on they will become imperceptible.  Aftershocks from the 1968 Inangahua quake are still going on.

The aftershocks experienced in the Oxford area after the September earthquake were not unexpected.  Apparently the Mount Oxford area is quite seismologically active and, once again, the periodic release of stress is a good thing.

None of this, of course, takes away the very real threat to the region of the Alpine Fault, which is on the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.


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