Archive for December, 2009

John Key’s Left Leg

31 December 2009

….. is the title of a whimsical exhibition by Ashley Smith, currently running at the Chamber Gallery in Rangiora’s library.

Having Our Cake ...

Light Rail for Waimakariri?

30 December 2009

Christchurch’s mayor, Bob Parker, is again promoting light rail as part of Greater Christchurch’s transport mix.  I welcome his keeping it in the public eye.

People in Waimakariri often say to me that we should be using rail more than we are and certainly we should be continuously considering it.  My view is that some sort of commuter rail link is likely in the future – but not yet.  As this District continues to grow, particularly around Kaiapoi, Woodend-Pegasus and Rangiora, public transport, both to Christchurch and within the District (linking the three nodes) will become increasingly important.

At present, the effort has been going into improving the bus services, as with the dramatically improved Northern Star service and the creation of bus lanes in Papanui and Main North Roads.  Buses have the advantage of flexibility: it is easy to change their routes to meet changing needs and they can use existing infrastructure (i.e. roads).  One obvious disadvantage is that they tend to get caught up in the very traffic congestion that we are trying to alleviate – although that is a disadvantage for on-road light rail too.

In Waimakariri, it would be possible to run commuter heavy rail into Christchurch (although the Christchurch stations may not be conveniently located).  It would also be possible to run light rail on the heavy rail tracks – although we could have a problem with stability on NZ’s narrow 3ft 6in railway gauge (our trams run on a wider gauge).  I think light rail has a better future for Waimakariri than heavy rail because it would link in better with any future Christchurch network (already started with the historic tram routes in the centre of the city).

Light rail would be very expensive now – in fact, too expensive – but the last thing that Greater Christchurch wants is to put itself in the position of Auckland, where a lack of foresight is now costing them and the country heaps.

So what should we do in Waimakariri?

  • preserve the rail corridor and, where possible, preserve current opportunities for double tracking (probably needed for successful communter services).
  • keep the Rangiora railway station from deteriorating.
  • identify and preserve a site for a new Kaiapoi railway station.
  • identify and preserve other commuter light-rail routes to, particularly, Woodend-Pegasus, and within Kaiapoi and Rangiora.
  • include light rail in our park-and-ride thinking.

There may be more!  – but, whatever we do, let’s think long-term.

December in Waimakariri

30 December 2009

One-day cricket at MainPower Oval. Unfortunately, Canterbury lost to Central Districts - but isn't the venue a great place to watch cricket?



Rangiora Christmas Parade

Kaiapoi River Carnival. Great day, great atmosphere. But how do you get a winning duck?


Police and yours truely conducting random breath checks pre-Christmas. In an hour, we found no-one who had transgressed. Great! Further away, however, a patrol caught someone who did a u-turn when they saw the checkpoint ahead.


Road Crash

30 December 2009

At the end of the school year, the Police and the Community Team at the Council, in conjunction with such community organisations as the Fire Brigade, St Johns, Gulliver and Tyler, Victim Support and ACC, ran the annual Road Crash day for Year 10 students at Rangiora High School.  The Baptist Church site was used and the feedback from the students has been very positive.  A great example of the community working together.

Waimakariri – there’s a lot happening! – November 2009

29 December 2009

Another month of happenings in Waimakariri.  

Ohoka School Fair - run in conjunction with the famous Garden Tour.



Rangiora Early Records Society visits Stratford Grove on the Rangiora-Woodend Road, one of the many grand old homes in our District.

Rangiora Early Records Society visits Stratford Grove on the Rangiora-Woodend Road, one of the many grand old homes in our District.




Southbrook School Fair

Waimakariri – there’s a lot happening! – October 2009

29 December 2009

Woodend Flower Show

Thing’s happen in Waimakariri – here’s an October sampling.

The unveiling of a new mural behind the Kaiapoi Library commemorating 10 years of Waimakariri as a World Health Organisation-accredited Safer Community. It is well worth a visit!

Small Farm Field Day at the Rangiora Racecourse - an event run by Rangiora Rotary.

Kaiapoi RSA President Kevin Brown with Alderman Frankie Bryon of Zonnebeke. Frankie's visit was part of the growing links between our two districts and the Passchendaele link.

The coronation of King Arthur III in Ohoka. Don't ask! - but Alf's Imperial Army and the Wzard of Christchurch had something to do with it.

Antiques Roadshow Waimakariri-style. Another successful community fund-raiser for the Dudley Aquatic Centre.

The running of the sheep at Rangiora Market Day

Rangiora A & P Show

A special Tuhoe voyage on the Kaiapoi and Waimakariri Rivers, commemorating the vessel's 90th anniversary.

Fair put on by the Kaiapoi churches. All the rides were free!

Pegasus is Growing

29 December 2009

Despite the recession, Pegasus is going ahead.  Here is a recent aerial view.

Corners of Waimakariri – Summerhill

28 December 2009

The downlands are never far away in Waimakariri – Summerhill, for instance, is just across the valley from Cust.

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