About 160 kids and their families enjoying a lovely #Kaiapoi day. The Kaiapoi Club have been doing this for 33 years!
A new commercial building is arising on the corner of Williams and Charles Streets where the Post Office once was. A corner clock tower is incorporated in the design, a nod to past history. The Post Office originally had a clock tower but this was removed in the 1930s as a safety measure following the Napier earthquake.
Check out @COMPASSFM104_9’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/COMPASSFM104_9/status/575604158524358656?s=09
The Rangiora Town Hall is about to reopen. The hopeless pre-earthquake backstage and foyer facilities are no more and the building has been strengthened to over 67% of New Building Standard. There are now two boutique movie theatres and a performance space that will often be used for movies. The latter will seat 150, although for movies it will be 93.
The auditorium is the same size as before but has been refurbished.
Check out @AyersDavidL’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/AyersDavidL/status/569228675423412224?s=09
All are welcome to the opening of the bridge on Saturday morning. The event starts at 11.00am.
World War I Horses Remembered at the Birch Hill Cemetery
Check out @AyersDavidL’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/AyersDavidL/status/566810542170324993?s=09
At one of the periodic public meetings called by the Pegasus Residents Association tonight, plenty of questions were asked of Todd Properties Ltd and Waimakariri District Council staff.
Strong themes included swale maintenance, Pegasus Lake, the commercial centre, traffic speed and street trees.
From my point of view, it was a very useful meeting. Not all of the town is in Council hands yet but progressively this is coming to pass.
Check out @AyersDavidL’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/AyersDavidL/status/563191290326573057?s=09
Fanfare, by renowned sculptor Neil Dawson, was originally hung from the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a feature of the 2005 New Year Celebrations. It has now been gifted to Christchurch by the City of Sydney and Scape Public Art are raising funds to install it at Chaney’s Corner. It will be an amazing sight – as we in North Canterbury come off the Waimakariri Bridge, it will be right there – it will also be prominent as we drive on the Main North Road from the old bridge.
look on it as a symbol of Canterbury’s revival from the trauma of the last four years.
You can find out more at http://scapebiennial.org.nz/Bring-Fanfare-Home
There will be a number of ways people can have their say on the future of the Residential Red Zones in Kaiapoi, The Pines and Kairaki. The Waimakariri District Council and CERA are leading an ideas programme to hear what you, the community, would like to see.
This is really important for the future of Waimakariri – I believe of historic importance.
One easy way is to put you thoughts on-line – that way your thinking can be seen by others. Anonymous entries are absolutely fine.
It’s simple: just go to …
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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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!