Archive for March, 2013

Why We Need to Have Strong Town Centres in Kaiapoi and Rangiora

29 March 2013

Follow this link to an article in The Press earlier this month:

Note that GNS Science calculates that there is a 30% chance of an earthquake on the Alpine Fault in the next 50 years.


The New Blackwell’s is Well Under Way

29 March 2013

130320 Blackwell's Dept Store Under Construction (400x300)

The Blackwell’s Department Store rebuild is well under way, about to return to its prominent position overlooking both of Kaiapoi’s main axes, Williams Street and the Kaiapoi River.

Badly damaged in the September 2010 earthquake and unoccupied after that, it was demolished after the February 2011 aftershock, when it sustained more damage and was judged to be not repairable.

It has taken a long time to get to this stage, with the usual negotiations with insurers and a lot of work getting the engineering right.

The new building is designed by prominent Christchurch architects, Sheppard and Rout.

Kaiapoi people can’t wait!

080712 Blackwells' Kaiapoi (400x267)

The former building marked the northern entance to the central shopping area on Williams Street.

Another Habitat for Humanity House Being Built in Kaiapoi

27 March 2013
130212 Habitat for Humanity House in Fuller St, Kaiapoi (300x225)

The Fuller St house shortly after it arrived from Bexley.

Habitat for Humanity are putting in another house in Fuller Street, Kaiapoi. Unlikethe previous two, which are next door, this one has been brought in on the back of a truck from the Bexley Red Zone. A group of volunteers from the USA (+ one from Australia) helped prepare the site. I applaud the recycling of houses in this way. Many of the red zone houses are eminently removable and repairable, and it seems a waste to demolish them. Habitat for Humanity is an international organisation that puts up affordable houses all around the world, using a mixture of volunteers and professionals to build them.  It’s great to see them in Kaiapoi. 

130317 Habitat for Humanity House, Kaiapoi 2 (300x200)

The house down on its piles.

Rangiora Relay for Life Raises Over $20,000 for Cancer Society

27 March 2013
130323 Rangiora Walk for Life 3 (300x225)

The gathering before the start

The Rangiora Relay for Life last weekend raised over $20,000 for the Cancer Society. Last in the District none years ago, teams walked round and round and round a circuit in the Showgrounds arena – in relays of course – for 18 hours right through the night.

As I was walking around (part of the Rangiora Rotary team)  just before 3 a.m., I was timing my rather tired, sore-kneed and erratic circuits at a bit under 4 minutes.  It was also many years since a slept in hard ground!

Anyway, it was real fun and, as usual with community events, people were getting together for a worthwhile cause.

March is Fair Month in Waimakariri!

27 March 2013

The Oxford A&P Show comes at the end of the month, but March is fair month in our District.

130310 Sefton Gala & Sports 1 (300x225)

Sefton Gala and Sports

130310 Sefton Gala & Sports 2 (300x225)

Sefton Gala and Sports – a good old-fashioned sack race!

130317 Kaiapoi Toy Library Community Fun Day (300x200)

Kaiapoi Toy Library’s Community Fun Day

I Think the Kaiapoi-Rangiora Run / Walk is a Great Event!

27 March 2013

I think the annual Kaiapoi to Rangiora (or vice versa!) Fun Run / Walk is a great event. It caters for all ages and abilities, links our two main towns together and gives yet another opportunity for our community to get together.

I enjoyed the slightly changed route this year – along the Main Drain stopbank instead of Skewbridge Road – safer, and the view was much better!

The route alternates its starting point each year – last year, Kaiapoi Borough School, this year Southbrook Park.

Well done to the Lions Clubs of Rangiora and Kaiapoi, the Pakeke Lions and the Lionesses for getting together to organise it – and also thanks to sponsors such as the Rangiora and Kaiapoi New Worlds, the Northern Outlook, Mill Orchard, Enterprise North Canterbury and Thermatech for getting behind it.

130310 Rangiora to Kaiapoi Walk (300x225)

Stephanie Sheehan Exhibition at Chamber Gallery

27 March 2013

130324 Stephanie Sheehan, Chamber Gallery 2 (250x188)The latest exhibition in the Rangiora Library’s Chamber Gallery is by Kaiapoi-raised Stephanie Sheehan. She has exhibited acrpss the length of New Zealand, and the current echibition shows a range of her works from throughout her career as an artist.

As with all exhibtions at the Chamber Gallery, this one is put on by the Waimakariri Community Arts Council.

Public Meeting on the North Canterbury Health Hub

27 March 2013

Rangiora Public meeting Advert FINAL

Waimakariri Building Consents for Dwellings Still Running at Record Levels

7 March 2013

The building consents issued for dwellings in January and February are running at similar levels to last year.


So far this year (January – February), 224 dwelling permits have been issued. For the same time last year, 127 were issued – and that was historically high.

Specifically for those two months this year, they were:

  • Kaiapoi 66
  • Rangiora 41
  • Oxford 11
  • Woodend 2
  • Small towns / beaches 4
  • Rural Residential 4 (e.g. Mandeville, Fernside) 28
  • Pegasus 45
  • Rural 27


Corners of Waimakariri: The River Mouth at Kairaki

7 March 2013

130203 Waimakariri River Mouth at Kairaki (400x300)

The mouth of the Waimakariri is  popular salmon-fishing and whitebaiting spot.

The line of breakers in the distance marks the bar, treacherous for boaties and for the small ships that used to come into Kaiapoi.

Recently the Council and ECan have upgraded the carpark.

As Always, Swannanoa Country Fair was a Huge Event This Year

4 March 2013

130213 Swannanoa Country Fair 1 (400x300)

The Swannanoa Country Fair is held every year on the Swannanoa Domain and is a find-raiser for the Swannanoa School, which is just over the road. It wasn’t the hottest day of summer, but nevertheless a huge crowd turned up.

On another note, it was good to see the variable speed signs in place for the school, placing a slower speed limit (70km/h) on Tram Road at each end of the school day.

Student’s Concept for High St Rangiora Attracts a Lot of Interest

4 March 2013

A concept design for the area where the Lambert Building once stood in Rangiora’s High Street has attracted a lot of attention. Sarah Otway-Howard produced it as a CPIT exercise and it is not too far away from the sort of possibilities the Council is considering.

130211 Concept by Sarah Otway-Howard (400x300)

Keeping a Record of Our Changing District

2 March 2013

The Rangiora Museum is doing a project on the shops on High Street. They would like to see any photos or information anyone may have of shops that are or were on High Street. The contacts are Pam Mackintosh (313 9343), Ann Jelfs (313 7592) or Leith Newell (313 8505).

IMG_0032 (200x133)

The area cleared by CERA in Courtenay Drive, Kaiapoi – before the earthquakes a residential area.

Keeping a photographic record for the future is well worth doing. The central parts of our towns are probably getting well photographed as they change, but I wonder about the residential areas in Kaiapoi, The Pines and Kairaki. The changes are occurring progressively – the scene on the left is as it is now, but was the process of getting to this state photographed?

To give some idea of the scale of the change, Kaiapoi has lost or will lose somewhere between 30 and 40 commercial or community spaces in the town centre since the September quake.

%d bloggers like this: