Archive for September, 2013

Ford Rally Tours Waimakariri

30 September 2013

_MG_1416 (300x200)

If you were in Kaiapoi, Tuahiwi, Loburn, White Rock or Rangiora yesterday, and saw a huge variety of vehicles of varying going past and wondered what was going on, a closer look would have told you they were Fords. Fords come from a variety of places, of course: USA, Britain, Australia, even Japan.

Yours truely was therein our 1968 Corsair, but the variet was huge, from a Model ‘T’ and a number of Model ‘A’s, to Cortinas, Mustangs and Thunderbirds. The car pictured is a 1955 Ford Popular.

The annual Henry Ford Rally always starts in New Brighton and often finishes north of the Waimakariri. For many years it has been run by Trevor and Lorraine Stanley, recently of Christchurch but now of Amberley. At right is a 1955 Ford Popular at the finishing point, Rossburn, near Rangiora.

Women’s Suffrage 120th Anniversary Was Worth Celebrating

30 September 2013

Thanks to Lois McGirr of Amberley, a series of women’s suffrage commemorations were held in Amberley, Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend on 19 September, the 120th anniversary of the passage of the Act that gave New Zealand women the vote.

130919 Women's Suffrage 120th Anniversary 12 (300x225)Speakers paid tribute to the work of local North Canterbury women who fought for the vote and the role played by the Women’s Christian Temperance movement.  They also rolled out a long purple ribbon that many locals had signed, the ribbon being the same length as the petition that Sir John Hall took into Parliament in 1893 in support of women’s suffrage. The photo shows the ribbon being signed by Maxine Palmer of Rangiora.

A local historical footnote: New Zealand’s first woman MP, Elizabeth McCombs, was born in Kaiapoi.

Paper Pigment Wax – Arts in Oxford Opens New Show

30 September 2013

paperpigmentwax invite

The Arts in Oxford Gallery has opened a new show by Celia Wilson, Casey Macaulay, Jane Thorne and Jo Campbell – Celia and Casey are Oxford locals.

It’s well worth a visit -and it costs nothing to get in! Have a look at Casey’s amazing paper sails using a diary one of her19th Century forbears wrote travelling by ship from Britain to Australia.  Celia works with the clays of the Oxford area.

Arts in Oxford is between Jo Seagar’s and the museum and has regular changes of exhibition. A visit to one of the local cafes in the weekend isn’t complete without popping in to have a look.

New to the Waimakariri?

24 September 2013


Drop-in Lunchtimes

Are you new to the region?

Not sure where to go for information or advice?


Come to the Rangiora Library (by the New Zealand section) 141 Percival Street, Rangiora

Thursdays from 12noon – 1.30pm


Spring Day Out in Kaiapoi – Saturday 5 October

19 September 2013


Warning About Storm-Damaged Trees: They Are Dangerous – Media Statement From WDC

17 September 2013

Waimakariri District Council staff and contractors are mounting a campaign to advise people of the high risk attached in going into or near any treed areas, following an assessment this week of the scope and extent of damage after last Tuesday’s windstorm across Canterbury.

The beach access areas at Waikuku, Woodend and Pines Beach/Kairaki have been assessed as areas of extreme risk and the public is being asked to stay well away from any treed or forested areas. Contractors are currently working to mitigate the overhead risk by bringing broken branches to the ground. Following that work will start on exposed holes in the ground from trees being uprooted by the wind and also on exposed roots.

The gathering of firewood from tree damage by members of the public is strictly prohibited and presents an increased level of risk. The Council’s Rural Fire Officer Tim Sheppard says that a lot of the trees and branches are under strong tension and are likely to snap without warning. “Anyone going near these with a chainsaw is literally taking their life in their hands”, he said. “It might look like a fairly innocent fallen branch but if it breaks under tension it acts like a loaded spring

– the chances of very serious injury to anyone near these branches are very high”. Contractors are taping off risk areas this week and, until that work is complete, the public is advised to treat all treed parts of the area as extremely dangerous. Signage at entry and exit points is also being organised and the signs should be erected by the end of this week.

People with damage to fences from fallen branches and trees area are also advised against trying to clear up themselves. “There is also a risk of injury with that”, says Sheppard “and, while we need to work through the most at risk areas first, we will be attending to those as soon as possible”.

Contractors will be working along the 100 metre wide ‘protection forest’ down the coast from Waikuku to Kairaki, reducing the risk hazard as they go. Te Kohaka O Tuhaitara Reserve is closed to the public until further notice, although contractors are currently clearing a fire track through there to allow fire crews and equipment access to the reserve in case of fire.

While fire danger currently is not high, Rural Fire Officer Tim Sheppard says that situation could change with the onset of summer and drier, warmer conditions. “It therefore becomes vital that we attend to excess fallen wood urgently. We need to restore the forest areas to a state where they present the least fire risk during the summer”.

The Council is mounting a comprehensive public warning campaign about the risks of fallen trees in local newspapers, on radio, online and in a maildrop campaign, targeting neighbouring residents.

For more information contact: Rory Christie Communications Adviser Phone: 03 311 8900 or 03 327 6834 Email:

Anyone going near these trees with a chainsaw is literally taking their life in their hands.

Another Heritage Building Demolished: the Ashley Masonic Lodge in Rangiora

17 September 2013

130917 Ashley Masonic Lodge Being Demolished (300x225)The Ashley Masonic Lodge has been demolished this week. It was damaged in the September 2010 earthquake and hasn’t been used since then.  It was a Category II building listed with the NZ Historic Places Trust and was on the Waimakariri District Council’s heritage list in the District Plan.

As with all heritage buildings, a lot of work went into seeing if it was practicable to save it, but the cost of doing so was simply beyond the means of the Lodge.

You can read a bit about the building at

Healthy Community Day, 24 September

17 September 2013

Healthy Community Day


  • ·        Find it hard to fit Health into your week – but want to learn more? 
  • ·        Listen to our brilliant speakers over a coffee.
  • ·        Want to meet new people and connect in the community? 


Join us on:        Tuesday 24 September 2013

                             10.00am until 12.00pm

Where:                Rangiora Baptist Church Youth Hall

111 East Belt   Rangiora


Guest speakers:

                        10.15am  ‘Helping our kids on the Street’

Anni Watkin  – Youth and Cultural Development


10.45am Suicide – what are we doing in Waimakariri?’

                        Sarah Lodge – Injury Prevention WDC


11.15am ‘What is Funky Farmer’s Food’  

Kerry Miles and Leanne Liddell


A coin donation to Rangiora Baptist Church (if you can)


Our last Healthy Community Day for the year is:  Tuesday 29 October 2013


Enquiries to Leanne Liddell 021 849 950

Kaiapoi Rubble Rousers Doing a Great Job Filling Gaps

16 September 2013

130810 Rubble Rousers in Kaiapoi 6 (300x225)The Kaiapoi Rubble Rousers are doing a great job filling the gaps in the town centre.

Here they are working on the empty site south of the ANZ Bank. The Kaiapoi Community Garden provided some stuff and the Rangiora Men’s Shed built the boxes. McAlpines Mega Mitre 10 in Southbrook also helped.

All-in-all, a Waimakariri community effort!

Two Good-News Housing Stories

15 September 2013
130914 Site of Kaiapoi Pensioner Units (400x300)

Site preparation for housing-for-the-elderly units in Kaiapoi

There has been a lot going on in Williams Street in Kaiapoi, just north of Ohoka Road, recently.  A couple of old houses have been demolished and there has been earth-moving and compaction.

This is the site for Kaiapoi’s new housing for the elderly that will replace the units between Hilton Street and Raven Quay, west of the town centre. These units were red-zoned by the Government in 2011 and for a long time the Council was looking for available land that was close to the town centre so that residents could get to the shops easily and which was large enough to contain about 25 units.

This was about all there was and fortunately it was made available to the Council.

On another tack, people have been pointing out that many of the red-zoned houses in Kaiapoi and Christchurch are perfectly sound and are able to be shifted away from their suspect land and reused elsewhere.  There has been a bit of such removal going on, but the availability of land has often been an issue.

In a welcome move, however, the Department of Corrections and Housing New Zealand have joined forces to bring houses out of the red zones and refurbish them at Rolleston Prison. The prisoners will learn skills that should be able to get them jobs when they are released and the houses will be taken over by Housing New Zealand for rental.

130910 Rolleston Prison House Refurbishment (400x300)

Relocated houses being refurbished at Rolleston Prison

As everybody knows, housing supply is a real issue in Waimakariri and Christchurch. These are small steps along the way.

As an indicator of the shortage, the Waimakariri Council usually has about 30 on its waiting list for the 100+ elderly persons’ units it has in Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Oxford and Woodend. Since the earthquakes, that list has about trebled.


It’s School Fair Season – Today it was Woodend

15 September 2013

It’s school fair season.  Today Woodend’s drew a large crowd at the Woodend recreation Ground next door to the School. Humiliating the principal is always popular, so the kids (and others) enjoyed firing paint bombs at Graeme Barber – all in a good cause, of course. He lived to turn up to work tomorrow.130915 Woodend School Fair 2B

A Chief Executive – the Waimakariri Story

14 September 2013

While some council chief executives get into the headlines for unfortunate reasons, it needs to be remembered that most don’t – and for good reasons. The Hurunui District Council has just appointed a new one after their previous CE, Andrew Dalziel moved to the CE position at Ashburton District Council, and I am sure that all in North Canterbury will wish Hamish Dobbie well as he takes up his new post.

Meanwhile, you will probably have seen that the Waimakariri District Council has been pleased to reappoint Jim Palmer for a further five years. This will be his third five-year contract (the maximum allowable under the Local Government Act). Over the last three years he has worked with three mayors and the usual changes that occur amongst elected members and has done an outstanding job.

I can comment on the last three years particularly. This District has faced unprecedented challenges a result of the earthquakes. Christchurch and Waimakariri are the two Districts easily most badly affected, which is not to downplay what other Canterbury districts and Environment Canterbury have had to deal with. Jim led a Council team which responded magnificently in the immediate aftermath and which has also had to deal with the all the tasks and changed circumstances that have arisen in the recovery.

That recovery is by no means finished yet and we are very lucky that Jim will be at the helm over  few years.



Kaiapoi Railway Station & i-Site Now a “Landmark”

12 September 2013

130902 Kaiapoi Railway Station 2 (400x267)

The Kaiapoi Railway Station is now on its third site in its lifetime. Originally on the railway line (of course!) near where the Countdown now is, it was moved to its second site on top of the stopbank near the Tuhoe wharf. The September 2010 earthquake put it on a spectacular lean, so it is now temporarily not far away on Charles Street. With the District’s i-Site now back in residence, it is performing its previous function.

Last month the Prime Minister unveiled the District’s latest Landmarks plaque on it.130902 Kaiapoi Railway Station 7 (200x133)

Big Plant Sale Coming to Woodend-Pegasus

12 September 2013

St Barnabas Plant Sale

Rangiora’s Soapbox Derby is Returning! – to Southbrook This Year

12 September 2013

Soap Box Derby Come to event Poster 2013 FINAL

Rangiora High School Exhibition at the Chamber Gallery – Amazing Young Talent

11 September 2013
130825 Rangiora HS in Chamber Gallery - work by Kieran Straw Y13 (400x300)

Work by Kieran Straw, Year 13

The latest exhibition at the Chamber Gallery in the Rangiora Library displays work by Rangiora High School students.  The talent of these young people is certainly impressive.

You check out the programme, including more on this exhibition at


Rangiora Town Hall Contract Let – and Other Major Projects Getting Under Way

10 September 2013

100102 Rangiora Town Hall001A

The contract for the strengthening and expansion of the Rangiora Town Hall has been let to Naylor Love. There is no specific start date, but expect it to be soon.  Site clearance has been carried out in preparation.

The tender was below budget, as was that of the new Kaiapoi Library, Museum and Service Centre.

The additions to the hall will assist in the strengthening of the existing part.

Other major projects are making good progress:

  • Work has started on the Kaiapoi library, service centre and museum.  This is the biggest of the post-earthquake projects.
  • Underground replacements and street works around the Kaiapoi bridge are progressing well.
  • The Oxford Town Hall strengthening and the rebuild of the A&P “hall” (part of the Town Hall) will go out to tender soon.
  • Design work is progressing well on the Cones Road Ashley Bridge (the only job here that is not earthquake related).
  • A Kaiapoi Community Board / Council working party has started work on the Kaiapoi riverbanks, including the wharf area.
  • Demolition of the Kaiapoi War Memorial building has commenced.  This will enable work to start on what will be the town’s central playground next to Trousselot Park.

Rangiora Players’ “Le Sud” is Coming!

8 September 2013

le_sud (3)

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