Archive for March, 2008

Historic Woodend Home Under Threat

30 March 2008

The route of the proposed Transit New Zealand Woodend eastern bypass threatens one of Waimakariri’s historic homesteads.

Mairangi, at the end of Parsonage Road, was an early Anglican parsonage (we’d probably say vicarage today), hence the name of the road. 

The house was designed by Benjamin Mountfort, probably the most notable of Canterbury’s early architects.  He designed the University (now the Arts Centre), the Canterbury Museum, the spire of the Christchurch Cathedral and, in Waimakariri, St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Kaiapoi, St John the Baptist Anglican Church in Rangiora and the former Anglican church of St Simon & St Jude in Ashley village. There was much more than these, as can be seen at .

Mairangi has a Category II classification with the Historic Places Trust (the category that most historic places carry) and is listed as a heritage building in the Waimakariri District Plan.


Mountfort in the 1870s

Jazz in the Park – a great Event

30 March 2008

A section of the crowd.

The Waimakariri Community Arts Council’s Jazz in the Park in Victoria Park, Rangiora, on Sunday 30 March was a great success.  A good crowd sat in the sun (although the southerly got a bit fresh towards the end!) and listened to three groups, including Rangiora’s own Toot n’ Croon.

As Bevan Rogers of Toot n’Croon said, let’s hope it can be an annual event.


Toot n’ Croon perform

Rangiora Anglican Church Recognised as Landmark

30 March 2008

The Anglican Church of St John the Baptist has been recognised as a “Landmark” by the community committee that uses a small amount of Council funding to identify important Rangiora heritage buildings with brass plaques.  A similar programme is just getting under way in Kaiapoi.


In the photo above, Rev Andrew Allan-Johns, Peter Allen (convenor of fund-raising committee), Helen Stanley (Landmarks, Council staff) and yours truly pose beside the newly-unveiled plaque.

Other Rangiora Landmarks include the Johnston Building, Victoria Park Band Rotunda, the Masonic Lodge, the Junction Hotel, Turvey House (King Street), the Farmers, the Courthouse and the Post Office.

The Lights Go On at Kendall Park – Kaiapoi Town AFC

30 March 2008


The Kaiapoi Town Association Football Club have turned on the new lights at their headquarters at Kendall Park, Island Road.  They will now be able to practice on into the evenings, giving them the extra time need they need for their membership of over 600.

The cost was in the area of $30,000 but it would have been a lot higher without a huge amount of voluntary labour.  Congratulations to those people and all those who have been raising funds.

If you want to find out more about the club, go to

Annual Plan Submissions – Deadline Looms

26 March 2008

The deadline for submissions to the Draft Annual Plan is Friday 28 March.  Have your say now!

You can do it on-line at

Summerhill Gusher!

26 March 2008

It looks like the well being drilled on Terrace Road has plenty of water.  Great news for Summerhill – and congratulations to Dave McKay and the Advisory Group for their advocacy on behalf of their community. 

While the quality has yet to be confirmed, the future looks bright at this stage

“Les Misérables”

20 March 2008


Tickets for the North Canterbury Musical Society’s Les Misérables are selling fast.  Be in!

They can be bought from Harringtons’ Jewellers in Rangiora, the Kaiapoi Visitor Centre (in the old station) or at the Court Theatre in Christchurch.

Oxford Water

16 March 2008

It looks like Oxford township will get a new water source, provided that the community gives final approval.

The Ministry of Health has granted a subsidy of $1.25m, provided that it is taken up immediately.

The Northern Outlook has reported that the subsidy came through after “the council” had voted to defer the scheme.  This is true, but the Council was told at the time that the application to the Ministry had been made and that word had come back that it would almost certainly succeed.  That is why Kevin Felstead, Dan Gordon, Robbie Brine and I voted not to defer.

We are now pleased the scheme is back on track.

A Great Day

16 March 2008

Yesterday the children’s Duathlon, raising funds for the new Aquatic centre, took place.  Despite the cold weather, it was a magnficent day for the community and it was great to see the hundreds of children, parents and grandparents there.

The day was a credit to local primary and early childhood teachers, led by Margaret Tudehope of Woodend School, and to the Dudley Park Action Group, especially Judith Hoult and a large number of businesses from Rangiora and beyond.  The latter included Continental, Rangiora Bakery, Rangiora New World, McAlpines,  Raeward Fresh, the Northern Outlook – and there were others.

And, as usual with a Rangiora event, there was a huge number of volunteers.

Well done!

The Future of Woodend

16 March 2008

In my view, determining in what direction Woodend should grow and where State Highway 1 should go are easily the most difficult, and the most important, decisions that have faced the Council since the elections.

State Highway 1

Transit New Zealand says there are two choices for the highway:

  1. Widen the current route on Main North Road to four lanes.
  2. Build a new two-lane 100km/h road to the east, between Woodend and Pegasus.

Some locals are advocating a route to the west.  Transit says this is not practical.  I’m not so sure.

There are arguments for and against all three options and they are being strongly debated within the community.

Future Directions for Growth

Woodend is currently triangular in shape, sort of.  Current plans are for growth to the east. But where should growth occur beyond that?

  1. Further to the east and into the south-east?
  2. North beyond Chinnerys road?
  3. South-west across the Rangiora-Woodend Road?
  4. A mixture of any of these?

Some Questions to be Faced

  1. How much growth is sustainable in Woodend?
  2. Should Woodend and Pegasus grow closer together?
  3. What is the safest, quietest and most efficient way of dealing with through-traffic?
  4. What is the best way for local traffic to gain access to State Highway 1?
  5. What highway alignment would be best for local businesses?
  6. How can Pegasus traffic be dealt with in a way that doesn’t disadvantage Woodend?
  7. Does the presence of multiple-ownership Maori land to the south-west present particular issues for both growth and roading?
  8. What challenges are presented by Infinity’s proposal to develop Ravenswood (to the north) for housing ? – and what opportunities?

And there are more!

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