Archive for October, 2012

The Ashley Bridge Looks Interesting from Underneath!

25 October 2012

This photo of the Cones Road Bridge over the Ashley near Rangiora, with a fair bit of water going under it a couple of weeks ago (no, it wasn’t closed!) shows the fix-it job done when it was found that the river was scouring out under the piles. The little bit of weed you can see beside the bridge is caught on one of the piles left from the pre-1910 “cart” bridge.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Monument in Victoria Park

22 October 2012

Thousands of people have walked past it without reading what it is all about, but the little monument has a dual purpose.

One one side it commorates the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 (he had succeeded his mother Queen Victoria the previous year).

The other side, however, is a memorial to two Rangiora soldiers who died in the South African War of 1899-1902, Sergeant H R Rule and Trooper J W Sansom.

And there is actually a third purpose: a sundial on the top!

Rangiora A&P Show Once Again Brought Town and Country Together

21 October 2012

A&P shows throughout the country bring country and town together and the Northern A&P Association’s Rangiora Show is a very good example. It helps to remind everyone of the economic interdependence of our towns with the rural economy – and that what is good for the country is good for the towns, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get away from the earthquakes, with the  grandstand off-limits because it has been assessed as earthquake-prone.

And after some ominous weather forecasts earlier in the week, the Show once again happened under a sunny sky on a warm day!

New Waikuku Paddling Pool Opened: Another Step on the Way to Recovery

20 October 2012

A beautiful day, a crowd of kids and the new whale pool in Waikuku is open!  I did the honours with a little boy called Tom.

The pool was up for a major upgrade in 2010 when the September quake finished it off.

It wasn’t well publicised, but Waikuku Beach sustained quite a lot of damage in that quake: to dwellings, underground pipes, the hall and, of course, the paddling pool.

Infrastructure Repairs Continue in Kaiapoi

19 October 2012

City Care and Gemmell contractors at work in Charles Street. The whole works are being done: sewer, water mains, stormwater, roads, footpaths. When the Stage One parts of Charles and Davie Streets are finished, the contractors will move into Williams Street north of the bridge.  There is a lot of disruption for locals and traffic, but then, we’ve had an earthquake or two!

Note for Christchurch folk: Waimakariri does not come under SCIRT – we are doing our own thing.

Pegasus Three Years Ago

19 October 2012

Pegasus in September 2009. It is easy to forget how much it has grown.

In the Rangiora Library: Canterbury Museum Tells Its Story About Repairing Exhibits

18 October 2012

The Canterbury Museum came out of the earthquakes surprisingly well.  Although some of the newer parts of the buildings aren’t up to current building standard, the early neo-gothic part, strengthened in the 1980s & ’90s, came through very well.  They are the only part of Christchurch’s Victorian Gothic heritage to survive relatively undamaged.

The collection also suffered little damage, although some items obviously didn’t.  In the Rangiora Library there is currently a video display showing how repairs are being carried out.



Men’s Sheds Are Arriving in Waimakariri -Two Open and One Working On It!

17 October 2012

The Men’s Shed Movement started in Australia and is spreading rapidly through New Zealand.  The idea is to provide a place for  usually, but not always, older men to get together and practice practical skills of woodworking and metal working while at the same time talking about anything they like. Machinery such as lathes is obtained by donation.  Men can work on their own projects or do stuff for the community.

There is a strong emphasis on men’s health in this approach. It is also possible that mentoring of teenagers could take place.

The Rangiora Men’s Shed has been operating out of the Show Grounds for several months, but this month has seen a shed also opened in Oxford, officially known as the McIver’s Oxford Community Men’s Shed after the sponsor who provided the shed.  The photo shows it in the process of it being officially opened by Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson.  The Council provided the land in Pearson Park.

A Kaiapoi group is looking at getting a couple of red-zoned garages to shift out.

The Kaiapoi and Rangiora groups have been assisting the Kaiapoi Rubble Rousers and the Rangiora Community Board in filling earthquaked gaps and decorating safety fences.

North Canterbury Soroptomists’ Craft Fair is Always a Big Event …

17 October 2012

 … and this year at the A&P Showgrounds was no exception. Not only were there the stalls you can see in the photo, but the rugby club rooms and the big tin shed were full of crafts for sale – and with big crowds.

A great fund-raiser for a very active service group in our community!

The New Ashley River-Rakahuri Regional Park is Great!

17 October 2012

Congratulations to ECan and their staff for inaugurating the new Ashley River-Rakahuri Regional Park.

It is early days, but there is now a new mountain-bike track, beyond the Mike Keen Walkway established some years ago by the Ashley-Rakahuri Rivercare Group. The best place to start them both is over the stopbank from the Ashley Picnic Area in Millton Avenue, Rangiora.

The photo shows the first group of “official” cyclists leaving after ECan Commissioner Rex Williams had cut the ribbon.

I have to confess that the picture of me with a bike in today’s Northern Outlook was a bit of a pose – it’s been a couple of years since I actually got on one!

October is a Busy Month for Waimakariri Community Events

17 October 2012

The weather starts to pick up and so do local community events;

A couple of weekends ago, the Rangiora Soapbox Derby (run by Our Town Rangiora), the Woodend Flower Show and the Pegasus Fun Run and Walk were all on.

Passchendaele Remembered

12 October 2012

New Zealand and Belgian flags fly at half-mast in Rangiora in memory of those who died at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.


Troops from 2nd Brigade and 3rd (Rifle) Brigade advanced at 5.25 a.m. in drizzle that soon turned to driving rain. As they struggled towards the ridge in front of them, they found their way blocked by the uncut barbed wire. Exposed to raking German machine-gun fire from both the front and flank, the New Zealanders were pinned down in shell craters in front of the wire. A few determined individuals tried to get through the barrier, but they were quickly killed.

Orders came for another push at 3 p.m., but this was mercifully postponed and then cancelled. The troops eventually fell back to positions close to their start line. For badly wounded soldiers lying in the mud, the aftermath of the battle was a private hell; many died before they could be rescued.

The toll was horrendous. There were more than 2700 New Zealand casualties, of which 45 officers and 800 men were either dead or lying mortally wounded between the lines. In terms of lives lost in a single day, this remains the blackest day in New Zealand’s post-1840 existence.

“Market Forces” Looks Like a Great Show!

8 October 2012

Habitat for Humanity Looking for a Billet for a few Days

3 October 2012

Not my ususal sort of blog-post, but ….

Habitat for Humanity are in urgent need of billet hosting for a visiting worker. Habitat worker Mike is coming down from Auckland tomorrow to help us out at Kaiapoi. He needs a host from Thursday night through to Monday morning. To fit in with daily travel arrangements, we would be looking for a host location that could reasonably fit in with a Halswell to Kaiapoi commuting route. 

Please phone the office on 420 4342 if you can assist for part or all of the period of Mike’s stay.

The Ashley Bridge (Cones Road, Rangiora): the Good News and the Maybe Bad News

2 October 2012


The Ashley Bridge is 100 years old this year: it was opened by the Governor on the same day as he visited the Rangiora Show.

The photo above shows it under construction, but now, as most of us believe, it has passed its use-by date.  It is too narrow and there is scouring occurring under the piles.

The Waimakariri Council has budgeted for its replacement over the next 2-3 years, with the first year being for design work.  But doing it depends on obtaining NZ Transport Agency (i.e. Government) subsidy, which would be 60% of the cost.

NZTA has approved subsidy for the design work.  That’s the Good News, so that will go ahead over the coming year.

They haven’t, however, promised to fund the building of the bridge.  That will depend on the cost that emerges from the design work, the availability of money and government priorities. St that’s Not Particularly Good News.  We, the community, had wanted greater surety than that.  It’s not a “no”, but it’s not a “yes” either.

But at least we are going to get a start.

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