Archive for March, 2012

And Now the Barriers Go Up in Central Kaiapoi

29 March 2012

Safety fencing went up in Kaiapoi today closing off an alleyway between the ANZ and former Westpac Banks and also the footpath outside.  Fortunately. there is still room for a footpath and two lanes of traffic.  The Westpac has already found new quarters by Countdown and the ANZ is hoping to move back once their Williams Street building has been strengthened.

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More Parking Spaces Appear in Rangiora High Street

28 March 2012

Because quite a few parking spaces have been lost with the various barriers, new spaces were created this morning to help make it easier for people to shop locally.

In another move, the Rangiora Community Board has approved a range of shorter time limits on parking spaces in the town cente to help circulate their use more rapidly.

Riding for the Disabled Launched in North Canterbury

27 March 2012

Riding for the Disabled was officially launched in North Canterbury on Sunday with an enjoyable opening by Hon Kate Wilkinson MP.

The location is behind the North Canterbury Community College on Rangiora High School land. Des Moore and his team have done an impressive amount of work in getting to this point and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the riders. Also outstanding was the long list of sponsors and commercial and community supporters who have helped to make this a reality. Once again, this community has shown its ability to get behind a worthwhile cause.

Rugby World Cup Comes to Kaiapoi Rugby Club – just as they are having to deal with temporary facilities

27 March 2012

The Rugby World Cup came to the Kaiapoi Rugby Club yesterday – along with the rest of the NZ Rugby Union’s silverware, like the Bledisloe Cup, the Womens RWC, the Sevens Trophy and the trophies against South Africa and England.

Lots of kids around – a good crowd.  Thanks to the the NZRU and the Canterbury Rugby Union for doing it.

Meanwhile, the Kaiapoi club has had to close its changing rooms because of earthquake risk.  They have a containerised shower unit already in place, and the Council is arranging for portaloos.

If it’s not one thing, its another!

The Kaiapoi ANZ Bank: Better Than a Campervan!

25 March 2012

The Kaiapoi ANZ Bank, operating out of a campervan since the company decided their Williams Street building was unsafe to occupy, is now moving into a portacom.  They may have yet another shift before they can get back into their building, once strengthened.

Meanwhile, the Kaiapoi Westpac has moved into their new permanent quarters by the Countdown supermarket.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Horrellville Church

25 March 2012

The older building dates from the 19th Century and is a Category 2 Historic Place.  It is the orginal church, replaced by the 1950s building seen on the left – a scaled-down version of Trinity Methodist Church in Rangiora. The Horrellville church is now part of the Oxford District Union Parish.

Canterbury has lost so much heritage, it is good to see some surviving.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in Kaiapoi and Rangiora Town Centres

22 March 2012

The extent of strengthening work in the new ASB Bank building (formerly Gibsons’ appliances) was revealed a bit today.  Major corporates do want to come to North Canterbury and the photo shows that at least some of our buildings, while needing work, do not necessarily have to be demolished.

Unfortunately, as we all know, there is a lot of immediate pain.

Paul’s Cycles and Mowers shop in Kaiapoi was closed down by CERA at the end of last week. Proprietor Paul Kirk has managed to find alternative accommodation in the former G.A.S. station not far away on the other side of the railway line – probably not a bad position for him but it still means another empty shop in one of our town centres.

Rangiora suffered another body blow today. Conway’s PaperPlus and Toyworld did not open today, having been declared a dangerous building. Street Legal next door is in the fall zone.  The PaperPlus must have been one of the town’s busiest shops, so that means that th eloss of another drawcard makes life that much harder for the remaining businesses – who still constitute the substantial majority.

Our towns are open! Shop Kaiapoi! Shop Rangiora!

It Ain’t Great Architecture, But at Least the Traffic Can Get Down High Street

19 March 2012

Strengthening of Chamber Gallery (Former Rangiora Council Building) Proceeds

19 March 2012

You can see photos of the strengthening of the Chamber Gallery at:

http://libraries.waimakariri.govt.nz/community/chamber_gallery_strengthening.aspx

This building was the office and chamber of the Rangiora Borough Council and is now part of the Library, housing an arts space (i.e. the Chamber Gallery) and the Citizens Advice Bureau.  A small meeting room displays World War I memorial boards.

Road Crash in Rangiora

18 March 2012

Rangiora High School Year 11 students took part in their annual Road Crash programme on Friday. It starts with a simulated road crash with the rest of the day’s road safety programme following on. Kaiapoi High School and Oxford Area School have also had Road Crash days recently.

A Tale of Two Kaiapoi Banks

16 March 2012

In Kaiapoi, both the Westpac and the ANZ have moved out of their buildings because their companies have assessed their buildings as unsafe.

 

 

The Westpac until today has been in Dr Kaye Buchan’s garage, opening on to the Council carpark.  On Monday they will be in their new building near the Countdown supermarket.

 

The ANZ, currently operating out of a campervan, will have a portacom soon, and then it too will probably use Dr Buchan’s garage.  It this stage it is thought that their Williams Street building is repairable.

Rangiora’s High Street Now has a Facebook Page

16 March 2012

It’s at:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/360041567369428/

Rangiora High Street to be Opened to Vehicles Early Next Week

16 March 2012

Rangiora’s High Street should be open again to through traffic as early as this coming Monday afternoon.

The intention is to put containers three-high in front of the Lambert Building (Graeme Smith Unichem, etc) with the bottom containers full of concrete. This barrier will be able to be placed nearer to the building than the current fences, thus allowing more space between there and the fences in front of the Farmers.

This was announced publicly last evening at a well-attended meeting of business and building owners in the Council Chamber.

Plans are going ahead for a Re-Start Village in front of the Council building.  Some businesses are keen to get into it, although it could be six weeks before the first are open.  Council staff have sourced the most economic option.

Councillors and staff are totally focused on getting busines going in High Street again.

 

“Blood Brothers” Has a Great Opening Night

16 March 2012

The Blood Brothers opening night got a stand-up ovation from a very full Chervier Centre in Rangiora last night.  I have to confess that we knew nothing about the show beforehand (even although there is a billboard on my fence!) but Marilyn and I throroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The production was professional and fast-paced.

Well done, too, to the North Canterbury Musical Society for going ahead with the show despite the closure of the Rangiora Town Hall.  The Chervier Centre works well, although there must be a lot of constraints.

Public Meeting On Future of Oxford Town Hall

14 March 2012

A public meeting was held tonight on the future of the Oxford Town Hall and the Pearson Park Pavilion.

Both have been assessed at less than 33% of New Building Standard.

The estimate for bringing the Town Hall to at least 67% is about $2m and the pavilion $125,000.

It has been suggested that  it would be better to combine these two amounts and put a new building serving the functions of both in a suitable place in Pearson Park.

At the meeting, concern was expressed that $2.125m would provide a building that was too small for the purpose.  Nevertheless, the meeting agreed that investigations into the feasibilty of a new building should be proceeded with to enable the community to make an informed choice.

This is certainly not a final decision to go one way other the other.

Like all community buildings, the Town Hall is funded by rating across the whole District.  In this case the work, whatever is done, would be paid for out of an earthquake loan.

Temporary Shops Take Another Step Forward

13 March 2012

Council staff met Rangiora business owners that have been dislocated by the two north-side building closures this evening, outlining more definitive plans about what can be offered for the area in front of the Council.  (The Robbies and Farmers closures have not affected other buildings, apart from causing Greg Knight Chemist and Devlin Real Estate to move away from walls.) The number of buusinesses there will depend on how much space each wants.

We want to move quickly on this, because it will take about 8 weeks for the buildings to get into place.  The Council will only build to order: we need a commitment before we order units.

In Kaiapoi, the situation is status quo.  While retailing in Kaiapoi has been affected by the loss of many shops since the September quake, there have been no closures of buildings recently.  We do have contingency plans for Kaiapoi, however, should the need arise.

Meanwhile in Oxford, there is a public meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday) in the GP Hall to discuss future options around the Town Hall, closed because it is earthquake prone.

Rangiora IS Open!

12 March 2012

The Council has closed three buildings, affecting 6 shops, 2 travel agents, 1 restaurant and three non-retail businesses.  Farmers have closed themselves.  That’s all.

One of the shops is still operating in the rear of its building and two others have relocated. Both of the travel agents have relocated. High Street east of Victoria Street and west of Percival Street are unaffected by closures.

Graeme Smith Unichem Pharmacy is at the rear of his building – access off Blake Street

  • Jaks are above Coffee Culture with Essence.
  • Rangiora Digital Photography is sharing with Wilson Print.
  • Flight Centre are in Waimak Real Estate.
  • House of Travel are in Gables Arcade.
  • Farm-to-Farm Tours are with Compass FM upstairs behind the Lotto Shop

Rangiora is Open!

Our Two Largest Towns Linked by People Having Fun

11 March 2012

Today was the day for the thirteenth Kaiapoi to Rangiora Fun-Run and Walk. To be exact, this year, from the Mafeking Bridge in Kaiapoi to Southbrook Park.  On alternate years it runs in the opposite direction – downhill!

Thanks for the Lions Clubs of Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Woodend, plus the Pakeke Lions and the Rangiora Lionesses, who along with Visit Waimakariri organised the event – also to major sponsors, the Northern Outlook and Kaiapoi & Rangiora New Worlds – plus a number of others.

It was good weather – warm but overcast.

I walked!

Believe It or Not, This is Good News …

9 March 2012

Parapets being removed in High Street, Rangiora. The shops underneath have remained open - like most shops in the central area.

In this case, the street is being made safer through the actions of the building owners.  The shops concerned are Country Lane, Rangiora Fish Supply, The Accessory Shop and Cream & Clover.

For those who are wondering, the Farmers building will require more detailed engineering assessment. This will occur in a few weeks. With the closure of the Pulley’s building, several businesses have relocated.  Jaks is now over the road and upstairs sharing with Essence. House of Travel has moved upstairs in the Gables Arcade and Ross McMillan Farm Tours is in with Compass FM, upstairs behind the Lotto Shop.

Three Important Council Decisions This Week – all for Earthquake Recovery

8 March 2012

It has been a busy start to the week for the Council and three important decisions have been made that all relate to earthquake recovery, two for Kaiapoi, one for Rangiora.

The Vacant Land at the Corner of Williams and Charles Streets, Kaiapoi

The Council has decided to put this on the market, with the condition that it must approve any proposed development.

This is the site once occupied by the Museum (i.e. Courthouse) and the former Post Office.  Now that the Council is proposing to include the Museum in the new Library (and I have yet to encounter anyone who thinks that is a bad idea) the site is no longer needed for that. 

The Council bought the former Post Office after the earthquake so that it could control what happens there.  It is a very important site in central Kaiapoi, so it needs to have a decent building on it.

“Container” shops in Rangiora

In a special meeting called at 24 hours notice, the Council approved further funding to enable this to happen.  It is obvious to everyone  that something needs to happen – fast.  The new units can’t happen overnight – it will be weeks rather than days, but we will move as fast as is humanly possible.

Kaiapoi i-Site

This has been in a portacom on Raven Quay since the September quake – it used to be in the old Railway Station on the riverbank near theTuhoewharf.  The station itself is owned by a trust. This will now be moved to a temporary position on the carpark next to the Post Shop and the i-Site put back in it.  This will get the portacom off the area adjacent ot the War Memorial.

Blood Brothers is Coming Soon …

6 March 2012

The North Canterbury Musical Society’s Blood Brothers is opening soon at the Chervier Centre in Rangiora.  You can book on-line at www.ncms.co.nz or at Harringtons Jewellers.

 

Why Is the Council Proposing to Put Shops on the Council Lawn?

5 March 2012

A number of people have commented that it is a shame to cover the Council lawn in Rangiora with temporary shops.

The main reason we are doing this is to revive foot-traffic in High Street.  Many shops depend on foot-traffic going past their windows, so putting temporary shops out the back in one of the carparks would not be helpful.  There needs to be a natural flow from one shop to the next and using the Council lawn helps that to happen.

We can’t get that many on the lawn itself, so we will have to look at other adjacent places if we need more.

Retailing is certainly difficult in Rangiora at the moment, but there was one positive thing today: contractors have started to remove a dodgy-looking parapet above the Accessory Shop and Rangiora Fish Supply.

And a boring statistic: this is the 500th post on this blog!

Three Events Yesterday – and the weather finally came right

5 March 2012

There was a bit on yesterday: the Swannanoa School fair, the Kaiapoi and Rangiora Brass Bands performing in Victoria Park Rangiora and the Main Event / Retro Rangiora at MainPower Oval.

Swannanoa School Fair

Swannanoa School Fair

Kaiapoi Brass in Victoria Park

Kaiapoi High School Band at Retro Rangiora

Aftershock Map

4 March 2012

The map is from GNS Science and is as published on 26 January.

The inaccurately-named “Kaiapoi” Fault is out to sea, off the Waimakariri mouth.

The pink circles indicate the aftershocks that had been set off by the 23 December quake at that stage.

Rangiora Farmers Closes

2 March 2012

Rangiora Farmers closed at 10.00am this morning after their engineers considered the building too dangerous for their staff and customers.  The building, previously classified by the Council as potentially earthquake-prone, was also given a detailed examination at by an engineer retained by the Council this afternoon.  He confirmed that there are parapets in danger of falling in a moderate earthquake.  I do not know the results of any other assessments that the Farmers and the building owners may have carried out on other parts of the building.

The Council is therefore fencing off the building.  Unfortunately, this means that with the Lambert Building over the road also fenced off, it is no longer possible for traffic to move down that part of High Street.  There will, fortunately, still be pedestrian access down the middle of the street.  Cars will still be able to move past the Percival and Alfred Streets frontages of the Farmers.

It is not known when the shop will be able to reopen.

Unfortunately, it also means that all of the area of High Street between Percival and Victoria Streets will have to be closed to traffic.  Imagine cars trying to go both ways between the parked cars and doing U-turns at the end.

This has all come very suddenly, although we have, of course, been doing a bit of worse-case-scenario thinking before today. Planning for temporary retail accommodation is proceeding and we will do what ever else is in the Council’s power and resources to help businesses that remain – wherever they are in the District.

The retail hearts of towns are very important for the economic health of the entire Waimakariri District and the council remains committed to earthquake recovery as its number one priority.

Ten-Year Plan out for Consultation this Weekend

1 March 2012

The Draft 2012-22 Ten Year Plan will be out for consultation this weekend – in hard copy and on the Council website, www.waimakariri.govt.nz . These plans are revised every three years and outline what the Council intends to do over that period of time and how it is going to pay for it.  So it affects rates!

Submissions close on 3 April and can be made on-line, by email or by hard copy.  People who wish to appear before the Council to be heard can do so.

Councils up and down the country are doing this, so there’ll be a bit of publicity about proposed rates levels and so on.  It is important to realise that the proposed 5% rise in each of the next three years (largely driven by the earthquakes and earthquake-prone buildings) is a very coarse average.  There will be considerable variation from area to area.  An example is for Tuahiwi, where in addition to the District-wide matters, a new water supply is to get under way.  Rangiora will also be experiencing the last rate rise associated with its new water supply.

Kaiapoi and Rangiora Town Centre Strategies

1 March 2012

There has been quite a correspondence in the Northern Outlook about the future of the Rangiora Town Centre. 

We already have strategies in place for the two town centres – and they are quite recent. If you want to see them, you can find them on the Council website at:

http://www.waimakariri.govt.nz/Libraries/Public_Documents/Kaiapoi_Town_Centre_Plan_2011_-_final.sflb.ashx

http://www.waimakariri.govt.nz/Libraries/Public_Documents/Rangiora_Town_Centre_Strategy_2010.sflb.ashx


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