Archive for April, 2012

Earthquake Grant helps with Temporary Shops

27 April 2012

It won’t be all tin sheds … the Council has secured a grant to help with landscaping, lighting, etc around the temporary Rangiora shopping hub.  You can read about it at:

Meanwhile, the council is negotiating for the building of a temporary shop in Kaiapoi.

ANZAC Day at Tuahiwi …

25 April 2012

The blog has been a bit quiet for a few days because I have been in Australia doing a bit of grandad duty (our only grandchild, Imogen, is now 11 months old).  We got back yesterday, in time for ANZAC Day.

I was involved in three services today: in Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Tuahiwi. Each was different but all were impressive in their own ways. There were very big crowds in the two main towns and a much smaller gathering, as one would expect, at Tuahiwi. There were other services in Oxford, Cust-West Eyreton and Fernside and at Rangiora High School. As has become the practice, an Ohoka service took place yesterday.

The memorial at Tuahiwi exemplifies what goes on all over the country and in Australia.

Who’s Going Into the Temporary Rangiora Shops?

21 April 2012

It didn’t take long: the shops are moving up Durham Street.  PaperPlus are going there, with their Toyworld business going on the Council Lawn.

In the long term, Durham Street is a good move as it is in the best direction for the High Street shopping environment to expand to as The north is the area to where there is the most room.  It is zoned for business up as far as Blackett Street.

Unusual Building Emerges in Southbrook

17 April 2012

One of these buildings is a church!

Actually, as most locals know, it is the one on the left that is St Mary’s Anglican Church.  It is still used by a small group of parishioners, even although the building is no longer owned by the Anglican Church.

The new one on the right is part of the new Rangiora Mazda complex, owned by Hanish Hide.  He has decided to keep the church on his property and work his new workshop and administration area around it.  Good on him!

Rangiora Mazda has to move from across the road because that site is now owned by Foodstuffs and will be the site of a Pak n Save supermarket.

Rangiora Bowling Club Pavilion Recognised as Landmark

15 April 2012

The Rangiora Bowling Club Pavilion has been recognised as a “Landmark”. At a short reception last Thursday, Annette Golding, a grand-daughter of one of the original builders, unveiled the plaque.  This follows the refurbishment of the building by the Club to turn the lower storey into a more usable lounge for members.  The work included earthquake-strengthening to bring the 100-year-old building up to code.  The pavilion is a Category II historic place

I can think of few buildings in Rangiora that are more worthy of the the term “landmark” than this one.  It occupies a prominent place on the corner of Blackett and Good Streets, which would be one of the town’s busier intersections.

The Landmarks project has been ongoing over a number of years, starting as an inititaive of Our Town Rangiora, the Rangiora and Districts Early Records Society and the Council. The aim is to recognise the work of owners to preserve their heritage buildings in the centre of the town  and to inform people of the history of those buildings. The programme has been more recently extended to Kaiapoi. Other recent plaques have gone on the Kaiapoi Band Rotunda and the the former Parrott’s grocery store in Rangiora (now Rangiora Eyecare).

We have lost a number of heritage buildings in the District because of the earthquakes and others have been closed to the public because they have been assessed as dangerous.  It is great, therefore, to have a good-news story!

You can



Work Starts on Temporary Rangiora Shops

12 April 2012

Work started in earnest today on the temporary shops to go into High Street Rangiora.  Currently four are under construction.

The 1953 Ashley Flood at Waikuku

9 April 2012

In January 1953, the Ashley broke out north of Rangiora and headed across country.  Old-timers (defined as people who have lived here a long time and are at least 10 years older than me) often use that as the bench-mark of the Ashley’s capabilities.  I recently came across these photos of my mother’s – at the time she  was a young widow with two small boys in tow.

I was a five-year-old at the time, on holiday in Waikuku (in Pine Avenue on the south side from the Lagoon) from Christchurch. The water headed towards Waikuku and broke the bridge that used to cross the lagoon.  The water filled up the low ground to the south for a considerable distance and was eventually released by bulldozing out the sandhills where the surf club now sits.

Those of us on the south side were trapped, although not in any danger. As a little boy, I found it quite exciting!  I can well remember the churning water heading out to sea once it was released.  I can also remember air-drops of food being made to the store on the other bank – very few helicopters in those days!

Once the water had subsided the men set to work building a footbridge across the remains of the road bridge.  This gave us access to the store.

Eventually those on the south side got their cars out by driving in convoy along the beach to Kairaki.  We were third in line but my mother’s little Austin 7 couldn’t keep up with the first two, so the rest of the convoy had to go out our pace! The photo below shows our arrival at Kairaki.

Waimakariri Rates & Debt – Both Low by National Standards

5 April 2012

The Government’s Better Local Government reform programme contains a table listing all NZ’s councils with figures relating to their rates and debt.  There are 67 District and City Councils in New Zealand and in terms of population, Waimakariri is the 19th largest.

The figures relate to the financial year ending 30 June 2010.

The table shows Waimakariri’s rates-per-capita at that time  ($663) as the fifth-lowest in the country.  The average rate increase over the the period 2002-2010 was 7%, right on the national average.

The debt level per capita  was $485, which was 15th-lowest in the country.  The increase of debt, however, was 1115% – obviously that had started from a very low base.

During those ten years, the Council had built the ocean sewerage outfall for something like $35m, which impacted those ratepayers in Kaiapoi, Woodend, Rangiora, Waikuku Beach, Woodend Beach and Tuahiwi who are in the Eastern Districts Sewer Scheme.  The othe second-largest project was the new Rangiora water supply, of which some of the rates impact had had not finished by 2009-10.  This is a $16m project which affects only Rangiora ratepayers.

The effects of major projects, therefore, can affect some ratepayers considerably, and others not at all.  However, they do affect the Council’s overall debt level.

The Council is proposing a 5% increase in rates on average for the coming year.  Debt levels will double because of the major capital projects ahead of us, notably the Kaiapoi Library, Rangiora Town Hall and Ashley Bridge.

As implied above, Waimakariri has a lot of rates that are targeted to specific areas. This means that the impacts of increases in the total rate take vary considerably from area to area.

The Government programme can be found at

Rangiora Parking Times Shortened

3 April 2012

The Waimakariri Council tonight confirmed a recommendation that came out of the Rangiora Community Board to shorten the time limits in many parts of central Rangiora.

While this will doubtless be unpopular with some people, the aim is to increase the circulation of those parking spaces at a time when a large number of parks have been lost in the CBD.

The Council does not control all the off-street parking in the town.  Council off-street parks are most, but not all, of the area behind the Council building, most of the Blake Street carpark and the area between New World and Ashley Street.  In the carpark between Alfred Street and Countdown Central, only the area behind the fire station is Council-owned.

The Oxford A&P Show was Great!

3 April 2012

A sunny day, a large crowd, a huge number of stalls – and, of course, lots of stock and produce competing – plus the events in the show ring – what better place could there be to be last Saturday?

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