Archive for November, 2008

Corners of Waimakariri: the Cust Museum

30 November 2008


The Waimakariri-Ashley stock-water race system, which takes water from the Waimakariri at Brown’s Rock, is over 100 years old.  The Water Supply Board operated from this office for much of its life and only formally came to an end with the 1989 local government reorganisation.

These days the building houses the Cust Museum.

The water races continue to fulfill their function but are now administered by the Waimakariri District Council.  Some of the water flows along the channels widened by Waimakariri Irrigation Ltd.

The Coming LTCCP Process

29 November 2008

The Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) is the process that the council follows to signal to the community what it plans to do over the next ten years.  There is a new LTCCP drawn up every three years, so the earlier a project in the LTCCP, the greater the commitment to it.  The LTCCP incorporates the Annual Plan for the first 12 months. In the “off” years, the Council issues Annual Plans and as part of them, can amend the current LTCCP.  This means, therefore, that a Council might amend an LTCCP following an election – and there is always an election about 20 months after the issuing of an LTCCP.

All of these (LTCCPs, amendments to LTCCPs and Annual Plans) are subject to consultation with the community.

 This is the process that the Council will follow in the next few months:

 Thu 11 Dec to Mon 15 Dec:  Community Plans Committee considers staff recommendations for the LTCCP and in turn makes recommendations to the Council. This committee has five members: the Mayor and the four committee chairs, who include the Deputy Mayor.  They are, besides the Mayor, Elaine Cole, Peter Farrant, Neville Atkinson and Sandra Stewart.  The rest of us can go but can’t vote.

 Tue 27 Jan & Wed 28 Jan (reserve day 29 Jan): Council considers LTCCP and agrees on a draft that will go out for community consultation.

 Mon 9 Feb: Council votes to send out a Draft LTCCP to the community.  This is usually a perfunctory exercise because the decisions were made on 27-28 Jan.

 Shortly after this, the draft LTCCP is printed and made available to the public, who can then start making written or emailed submissions.  I don’t know what date submissions will close.

 Thu 19 Feb: the three Ward Advisory Boards and the Kaiapoi Community Board hold a joint meeting at which they are briefed on the draft LTCCP by staff.  The three WABs and their chairs are Rangiora (Murray Clarke), Oxford-Eyre (Vic Allen) and Woodend-Ashley (Duncan Lundy).  The chair of the Kaiapoi Community Board is Tom Bayliss.

 Thu 30 Apr, Fri 1 May & Mon 4 May: Council hears oral submissions on the LTCCP.  Thu and Fri are In Rangiora, Mon in Kaiapoi. To make an oral submission, you have to first make a written or emailed one, although that could be very brief.

 Wed 13 May to Fri 15 May: Council considers the submissions and makes decisions on them.

 Thu 11 May: Council adopts the LTCCP.

The Old Dudley Pool is Almost Gone!

27 November 2008


Kids Need Seatbelts!

24 November 2008

Over the last two mornings, the local Police and Injury Prevention Waimakariri with the help of Rangiora Rotary and Lionesses, have been checking child restraints outside Waimakariri primary schools.

I was outside Tuahiwi School and Preschool and it was great to find everybody strapped in as they arrived.


Spot the Wrybill Chick! (and its parent)

24 November 2008

Photo taken by Nick Ledgard, Chair of the Ashley-Rakahuri Rivercare Group about three weeks ago.

Fund-raising for the Pool Is Going Well!

23 November 2008

Fundraising for the new Dudley Park Pool continues to show the enthusiasm of local people for the project.

The weekend saw the Rangiora Lions Club raffle for a play house attracting plenty of attention outside the Rangiora New World and I found myself looking at a Christmas Hamper raffle sitting on the counter at Rangiora Westpac on Thursday.

On Saturday, Ron and Barbara Mackie’s Art in the Garden raised over $2500 from the sale of art works, garden plants, morning teas, etc.  It was a very pleasant morning and thanks heaps to Ron and Barbara, the artists who donated works and the local firms who donated plants.

Art in the Garden at Ron and Barbara Mackies'.

Art in the Garden at Ron and Barbara Mackies'.

Pineacres Corner & the Lineside/Smith Overbridge

20 November 2008

The NZ Transport Agency (including the former Transit NZ), has come up with revised plans for these two intersections, following the consultation they carried out a couple of months ago.

Their proposal for Pineacres now allows a right turn from Williams Street on to the Main North Road.  The new suggested layout appears to follow closely a suggestion from Waimakariri District Council staff.

They have abandoned the idea of allowing northwards movement off Lineside Road but have retained traffic lights on the overbridge.  The reason given is “to address the accident history at this location and also future congestion.”

Note that this is still at the investigation stage and the Transport Agency is still seeking questions and comments.



Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

18 November 2008

clip_image002For those of you interested in promoting walking and cycling in the District, you might like to bookmark the website of Living Streets Aotearoa:


Millton Reserve: DoC Calls for Submissions

16 November 2008

docDoC has called for submissions on the proposal to change the reserve classification of part of the Millton Reserve from Recreation to Government Purposes. 

Whatever your view on this, here is your opportunity!

The Rangiora Railway Station is Looking a Bit Sad …

13 November 2008



The Rangiora Railway Station is the last one left in the District, and it is still used by people who want to catch or get off the TranzCoastal that runs between Christchurch and Picton, daily each way.  Most of the building is now a garden centre, but the platform and the canopy remain as a station.

The building is an Historic Place and, who knows, it might be wanted for commuter rail some time in the future.

But it’s looking a bit sad.  Can we as a community allow this to happen?  Please note that the operators of the garden centre are not the owners of the building.

The gable is staring to rot away - and note the bent spouting.

The gable is starting to rot away - and note the bent spouting.

It's hard to spot, but some of the ironwork is missing.

It is hard to spot, but some of the ironwork is missing.

Ninety Years On

11 November 2008

NZ Troops on the Western Front in World War I

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month:  today is the 90th anniversary of the Armistice on the Western Front that brought an end to World War I.  Here at home, as well as over the rest of New Zealand and of the world, soldiers’ and sailors’ families started to breathe easier.

Council at Odds with Its Own Rangiora Board over Millton Reserve

6 November 2008

This week the Waimakariri District Council consented to the Department of Conservation changing the classification of a piece of land at the corner of River Road and Cones Road, Rangiora from Recreation Reserve to Government Purposes Reserve.  This will allow DoC to build an office and depot on this site.

The above was a process under the Reserves Act.  DoC had previously obtained resource consent under the Resource Management Act.  Questions on whether the community should give up a piece of reserve for an office could not be considered under this latter Act.

The Rangiora Ward Advisory Board and many locals have been strongly opposed to this change of status, but the Council, in making its decision, barely acknowledged the Board’s views.  By a vote of 5 to 3, they consented to a change of status.  The three opponents were Mayor Ron Keating, Roger Blair and me.  Elaine Cole and Sandra Stewart were absent and Kevin Felstead declared a conflict of interest and took no part in the discussion or decision.

The Rangiora Ward Advisory Board has been appointed by the Council to advise it on matters pertaining to Rangiora and is seen as the voice of the Rangiora community.  For the Council to ignore a Ward Advisory Board on a matter that involves no expenditure is highly unusual, possibly unprecedented.

The piece of land is part of a triangle bounded by River Road, Cones Road and Millton Avenue and is known as the Millton Memorial Reserve.  It is Crown Land and was originally vested in the Rangiora Borough Council.  It has never been developed for recreation for two main reasons: (1) uncertainties around the roading in the area associated with the approaches to the Ashley Bridge, and (2) it’s former distance from Rangiora – now no longer the case.

Many locals see a tremendous potential for this reserve.  It links Rangiora with the Ashley Picnic ground and the Ashley River itself, long a favourite Rangiora playground  and also an area of great potential.  ECan is currently considering proposals to develop a River Park there.

While putting the DoC building there will not destroy the potential of the reserve, it is the view of many that it seriously compromises it.  One can only hope that the Council has not set a precedent for other government departments to move in on classified recreational reserves in this way.

Talented Local Returns for North Canterbury Academy of Music Anniversary

6 November 2008

enigma-quartetLast night an appreciative audience in Rangiora’s Anglican Church listened to the Enigma String Quartet from Sydney.  One of them is Rangiora’s own Kerry Martin (that’s her at top left) who received her initial violin tuition through the North Canterbury Academy of Music.

After leaving Rangiora High School and gaining a Bachelor of Music at the University of Canterbury, Kerry went to Sydney to further her education and pursue her career as a full-time musician.  She is a previous winner of the New Zealand National Concerto Competition and recently gained a contract with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

The North Canterbury Academy of Music is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week with a series of concerts and master classes.

The Enigma Quartet will be performing again in Rangiora as part of the Academy’s Gala Concert in the Rangiora Town Hall this Saturday evening (7.00pm, 8 November)  at  the Rangiora Town Hall.  Tickets can be obtained at Harcourts Rangiora.

You can find out more about the Enigma Quartet at

Eyre County History

5 November 2008


Pauline Wood’s new history of Eyre County can now be purchased at the District libraries.

Eyre County, centred on Ohoka, was one of the District’s predecessor authorities. It actually disappeared slightly earlier than the October 1989 reorganisation, having merged with Rangiora District in March of that year.  A small part of Eyre County, in the Coutts Island area, is now in Christchurch City.

Pauline Wood’s comprehensive history covers all aspects of the County’s life – the people, the economic growth, the governance, and so on – from Maori times to 1989.

Pauline Wood (nee Farra) has previously written histories of Kaiapoi Borough and the Ashley / Mount Grey Downs Schools, as well as editing Women of the Waimakariri.  She is currently Head of  Social Studies at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland.

The Council: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

5 November 2008

As we head into straightened times, pressure goes on to the arms of government (central and local) to tighten their belts and spend less.

This seems logical: taxpayers and ratepayers have less money because businesses and farms are not doing as well, there is more unemployment and there is less overtime available.

There is, however, another way of looking at this.  If central and local government spend less, the businesses they deal with will be even worse off.  The result is that there is even less money in the community and the result is even more unemployment, business failure, etc.  In other words, by cutting back on spending, local and central government are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

In the 1930s, governments, including New Zealand’s, eventually came to the realisation that increased government spending was the way out of the great Depression.  Hitler, unfortunately, put much of Germany’s increased government spending into armaments.  In New Zealand, the spending went into, amongst other things, state housing and decent wages for relief workers.

If this sounds like Keynesian economics, my response is that Keynes seems to be back in fashion in Washington, London and Berlin.

Does a Rise in Land Value Mean a Rates Rise?

2 November 2008

Not necessarily.

It all depends on how the value of your property has moved relative to the property values in the rest of the District.  If your property has risen less than the District average, your rates will be favourably affected.

Note that this year’s rates have already been struck.  The new valuations can’t come into effect until after 30 June next year. 

For a fuller explanation click on the page Rates and Valuations in the column on the right of your screen.

A Cautionary Tale from the Past

2 November 2008

Ninety years ago this month, we (and the most of the rest of the world) were in the throes of the notorious 1918 influenza epidemic.

You can read more about it at

We know now  that it was a bird flu – remember bird flu?  – and it serves to remind us that the threat has not gone away.  There are still cases happening in Asia and the dangers of the virus changing so that it will infect person-to-person are still with us.

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