Archive for December, 2008

Corners of Waimakariri: Kaiapoi’s Mandeville Bridge

31 December 2008

081217-kaiapoi-mandeville-bridge-pubThe Mandeville Bridge is easily seen from the road bridge – but why not try walking and lingering on it?  The historic Mandeville Hotel is at one end (see picture) and at the other you can walk down into the Scott Rose Garden .

Swimming in the Ashley This Summer

21 December 2008

ECan has issued a list of likely swimming holes in the Ashley this summer – and how to get to them.

You can find their full media statement by clicking on the page Ashley River / Rakahuri Swimming Holes 2008-09 to the right of your screen.

Please note their warnings about flooding, water quality, nesting birds, etc.

The map of the area is below.

Have a safe holiday season!


Breaking News: Portacom Site Selected!

19 December 2008

The site for Waimakariri’s latest Portacom has been selected.  Designed to complement the Rangiora Town Hall’s neo-classical design, the Portacom is intended to provide dressing rooms and toilets for performers.

Given the speed at which successive councils have made progress on the long-overdue upgrade of the Town Hall, the Portacom is expected to attract the interest of future archaeologists.


The site for the Portacom - views will be excellent from King Street

Another Controversy Bubbles Away

18 December 2008

Many in the Woodend community are unhappy with the way their Community Centre is being run by the Council.

This week, the Woodend Action Group, represented by Kirstyn Barnett and Colleen Fuller, presented a petition that complained, amongst other things, of  bonds that are beyond affordability for bona fide community groups and of unreasonable restrictions on usage.

The Council could only receive the petition, not discuss it, because it the matter was not on the publicly-notified agenda.  The Community and Recreation Committee will consider the matter early in the new year.

You can read more about it at .

Woodend Market Coming


You will also be able to see on the above website that the Action Group is planning to run a market day, initially monthly, at the Methodist Church on Main North Road.


Rangiora’s Alfred Street to Remain Closed Outside Subway – in the meantime, at least

17 December 2008
Alfred Street, looking towards Victoria Street

Alfred Street, looking east towards Victoria Street

The controversial closure of Alfred Street at Victoria Street, on the western side, is to remain in place in the meantime. The closure already in place was confirmed, but the Council has also asked for an assessment to be made of the impact of the closure – although no time was set for this.

The Council had received a petition from businessman and lawyer Lindsay Bain and a large number of Rangiora business people asking that the decision be reversed.  They argued that circulation around the town centre had been made difficult by the closure, that access to the rear of some High Street businesses had been compromised and that some vehicles were using the carpark by the Victoria Street liquor store as a through-route.  They also argued that the suggested sitting-out area outside Monteith’s was unattractive and unsuitable for that sort of use.

The original reason for the closure was based on the belief that Alfred Street between Victoria and Percival Streets had become unsafe with increased trafiic caused by High Street being made one-way.  There had also been the view that the area would be an ideal sitting-out area for the restaurant and takeaway establishments on the south side.

A number of councillors argued that the matter had gone through a robust and proper process.  Submissions had been called for and received (about 70 or 80, from memory), a hearing had been held and a decision made on the basis of the evidence.  The decision had been appealed to the Environment Court which had concluded that there was no overwhelming argument either way and that the matter was up to the Council.  On that basis, the street had now been legally closed.

My own view is that I have strong doubts about the desirability of the closure – a position that is different to what I felt 18 months ago.  However, although I have read all the written submissions, I was not present at or part of the hearing panel so I am not in a position to question their thinking.  I accept that the process was sound.  I therefore support a review of the impact of the closure taking place.  I wanted that to happen in about a year, by which time traffic patterns would have settled down.  Unfortunately, I was not supported in this and so the timing of the review is up in the air.

The Pool: A Big Step Forward and a Sideways Shuffle

16 December 2008

Pool Tender Accepted

The building of the Dudley Park Pool leapt its last hurdle at a special Council meeting on Tuesday this week.

A tenderer was approved to build a new pool to replace the now-demolished one in Church Street, Rangiora.  Designed by Warren and Mahoney, the pool will be built by Naylor Love.  It is expected that construction will be completed by early 2010.

That’s the Big Step Forward, but the sideways shuffle?

The 5km Circle Still Hangs Over Rangiora and Southbrook – and unlucky bits of Ashley, Loburn, Tuahiwi, Fernside and Flaxton

At the same time, the Council failed to nail down the last piece of the funding formula.  One third of the total cost cost was to come from a combination of fund-raising and a targeted rate on the “Rangiora area”.  The Council’s Audit Committee had previously defined this area as a 5km radius circle, as the crow flies, around Dudley Park.  You can find this map fairly easily by clicking on Dudley Park Aquatic Centre in the category list on the right.

For a number of reasons, everybody I have talked to  regard this proposal as at best stupid and at worst iniquitous. The obvious issue is that those Waimakariri human beings who will be travelling to the pool will be stuck to the land, most likely on roads. It is also probable that crows will be denied admission to the Pool.

Another issue is that for most of the District, Dudley Park will be, for most of the year, their nearest public swimming pool.

The Council’s three Ward Advisory Boards (Woodend-Ashley, Oxford-Eyre and Rangiora) had all recommended a District-wide rate for this part of the funding formula.  The Kaiapoi Community Board had only said that the Kaiapoi Ward should be excluded from this part of the funding.

Cr Robbie Brine, following the recommendations of the Boards, moved a District-wide rate excluding the Kaiapoi Ward.  This failed by 5 votes to 6. Those who voted for it were Crs Robbie Brine, Dan Gordon, Kevin Felstead, Neil Cruickshank and me.  Those who voted against it were Mayor Ron Keating and Councillors Sandra Stewart, Elaine Cole, Peter Farrant, Roger Blair and Neville Atkinson.

So the status quo remains – no decision.

“Biffed” at the Chamber Gallery

15 December 2008

081214-jan-robertson-exhibitionA sculpture exhibition that will intrigue and amuse you is now showing at the Chamber Gallery in the Rangiora Library.

Rangiora High School Art teacher Jan Robertson has called her exhibition Biffed because the materials are the sort of stuff you and I might throw out.

They are the sort of works that you look at and get a general feeling, but then when you get close, new details and messages start to emerge. 

At Sunday’s opening, just about everything was sold.

Works sold at Chamber Gallery exhibitions are subject to a commission which goes to the Waimakariri Art Collection Trust to enable it buy works for its District collection.

Christmas Parade a Great Community Event

14 December 2008

Once more, the Rangiora Christmas Parade drew a large crowd of locals and visitors – followed by a friendly gathering in Victoria Park.  The Scouts selling sausages, etc. were very busy, as were the Dudley Covered Pool fundraisers selling jams and preserves (along with T-Shirts and Water Babes Calendars).  It really got quite crowded around the latter table.

Always the Star of the Parade!

Always the Star of the Parade!

The "reindeer" from Room 10, Ashgrove School

The "reindeer" from Room 10, Ashgrove School

10 Reasons Why “Walk for the Planet” is Cool!

9 December 2008

 (Adapted from:


Walking for 30 to 60 minutes each day is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit. It is also a way to be kind to the environment and connect with Planet Earth. Here are ways that you can use walking to reduce, reuse and recycle.



1. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with a Daily Walk

Reduce! If you take a walk for the minimum daily requirement suggested for good health – 60 minutes per day – you will cover about 3 miles. If you use that walk to eliminate a car trip, you have saved 2 kilograms of carbon emissions. Over the course of a year, that’s 730 kg just by doing what you should be doing to keep your body healthy instead of driving. Also, time spent walking is less time spent using electricity, heat and air conditioning, unless you are doing it on a treadmill in front of the TV.



2. Find the Great Walks in Your Neighbourhood

Reduce! If you haven’t explored your own neighbourhood on foot, you may not know how walkable or unwalkable it is. You can use to find, measure and map walking routes right here in Christchurch. You can view your area as a map or satellite view or combo so you can spot the better places to enjoy walking. Don’t drive to the gym – walk there or find a walk in your area to replace that trip to the gym.



3. Use a Refillable Water Bottle

Reuse! Bottled water bottles are a huge strain on the waste management and recycling systems. Don’t use it once and toss it. Buy a good quality water bottle and refill it. Don’t be afraid of tap water – Christchurch has one of the best and freshest city tap water systems; but if you’re still not satisfied, use a water filter.



4. Make Your Own Walking Snacks

Reduce and Reuse! If you make your own trail mix from the bulk foods section of your store, you reduce all of the individual packaging and processing of energy bars and get fewer additives. Carry it in a refillable container rather than disposable plastic bags. You can also make your own sports drinks to put into your refillable water bottle.



5. Walk Off Weight and be Less of a Burden to the Planet

Reduce! Exercise such as walking is an important part of any weight loss program. You must still watch how much you eat in order to lose weight. But walking helps you build healthy lean muscle, lose inches of fat, and pump up your metabolism. If you eat less and weigh less, you cost the planet less energy to support you and transport you.



6. Walking Reduces Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes

Reduce! Study after study has shown that walking and exercise reduces your risk of many major diseases. Preventing a major illness creates significant savings for the environment – you aren’t driving to the clinic or pharmacy or taking up a hospital bed or nursing home bed. You aren’t using up sterile medical supplies or expensively manufactured drugs. Give yourself 30-60 minutes a day of brisk walking as one of the best bets to prevent major illness.



7. Walk Through Your Vacations

Reduce! Why not travel by foot? You can reduce your carbon footprint – no emissions from cars or airplanes. It will allow you to really slow down and unwind after your hectic days at work – no more stress just take your time. Take more time to look around – admire the scenery, connect with nature, and connect with people.



8. Walking Boosts Your Brain Power

Reuse! Many studies are showing that walking and exercise can help keep your mind clear and enhance your thinking abilities as well as your mood. Happy, clear thinking people can make better decisions for the future of the planet. Use and reuse your brain to find ways to help your own health and the health of the planet.



9. Recycle Your Walking Shoes

Walking shoes have a lifespan of about 500 miles, by which time they have lost their cushioning and support. You wear them at your own risk of injury such as plantar fasciitis. Don’t keep more than one old pair around for gardening; but put your old shoes to work as basketball courts and running tracks.



10. Get Started: It’s Easy to Get Started Walking

All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and to get yourself out the door. You can reap the benefits of walking from doing several shorter walks or one longer walk during the day.


Spring is here, and summer is coming – so get outside and Walk for the Planet!

Ward Advisory Boards Vote For District-Wide Dudley Pool Rate

2 December 2008

All three Ward Advisory Boards (Oxford-Eyre, Woodend-Ashley and Rangiora) have voted in favour of the whole District picking up the tab for any short-fall in fund-raising.

In other words, they have voted against the 5km circle rating area the Council proposed.  (See )

These recommendations will go to the Council – to be considered probably on 16 December.

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