Archive for the ‘Corners of Waimakariri’ Category

The Fences have gone from the Junction: an Earthquake Survivor in #Rangiora.

23 July 2016

The facade of the former Junction Hotel  (later Robbies) has been saved and the construction fences have now gone. Great to have the old lady back! 

Great News for Kaiapoi

16 August 2015


The former BNZ in Kaiapoi is now vertical,  having been on a lean since the September 2010 quake. Well done to the new owner,  John Shivas, for rescuing this Category 1 heritage building. Canterbury has lost a lot of its heritage, so it’s great to have this one survive.

The building is now being strengthened.

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.

Hunnibell’s (now Capone’s) is a Waimakariri “Landmark”.

1 January 2013

121218 Capone's, Rangiora (640x480)


Capone’s Restaurant, which started life as Hunnibell’s Boot Shop in the early 1870s, is a well-known building in Rangiora – in fact it is the oldest commercial building in the High Street.

At various times (after a long time as a boot shop), it has been an accountant’s office, a beauty salon and a bike shop – and the rooms upstairs, where the Hunnibells once lived, were let as a flat for a time.

Apart from the brick chimney which goes up the middle, the building appears to have survived the earthquakes well.

The Landmarks programme recognises heritage buildings in the town centres of Rangiora and Kaiapoi. Buildings that are being considered have to be well maintained and research is done into their history before they are approved. As much information as possible is put on to the plaque, but further information is also put on the Council website at .

121203 Hunnibell's (Capone's) Landmarks Plaque 2 (640x480)

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!

Pegasus Three Years Ago

19 October 2012

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

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



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.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Oxford War Memorial

25 February 2012

The Oxford War Memorial is on Main Street in a part of Pearson Park that is often used for community events.


Corners of Waimakariri: St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Fernside

1 January 2011

Since 1874, St Matthew’s has been a centre for the Fernside community.  It is one of several in the District designed by the notable colonial Church architect, Benjamin Mountfort.  Bishop Harper laid the foundation stone and within 6 months the church had been built and was debt-free, because he was able to return and consecrate it.

The church can be found on the corner of Mount Thomas and Mairaki Roads.

A Grand Old Lady Gets a Landmarks Plaque

27 May 2010

The Rangiora Town Hall received a “Landmarks” Plaque today – 84 years to the day after it was opened.  Somewhat controversial at the time (what’s new?) it now generates a lot of enthusiasm amongst many locals. It is one of the very few theatres of its type left in New Zealand.

The plaque was unveiled by Malcolm McIntosh (left), great nephew of the mayor of the time, Robert McIntosh (his wife Robina performed the actual opening in 1926). Robert was one of the two McIntosh brothers who were mayors of Rangiora and Kaiapoi at the same time.

As you can see, the plaque has yet to be fixed.  The wet weather has meant that the necessary adhesives might not work!

The unveiling featured songs from the 1920s sung by the North Canterbury Musical Society Singers (conducted by Gail Fox), speeches from Dave Sanderson of the Musical Society and from the current and former movie theatre operators, Patrick Walsh and Fred Read.  Yours truly added a few historical details.

Outside, there were a couple of Model A Fords supplied by Peter Bayler and Alan Hill. 

The grand old lady holds lots of stories and some were relayed by people present today.  It was a good way to celebrate one of the District’s notable buildings.

Another Kaiapoi Landmark Commemorated

15 May 2010

The former BNZ building in Kaiapoi – now housing John Rhind Funeral Directors – was given a “Landmarks” plaque this morning.  Now owned by the M E Ayres Trust, the restored building is a credit to Pat Peoples and her son Paul Ayres.

The BNZ is the second building on the site and reflects the way 19th Century banks liked to present themselves to the public: solid and safe.

The Landmarks programmes in Kaiapoi and Rangiora are slowly but surely commemorating with plaques the notable historic buildings of the towns.  It is my strong belief that increasing communities’ knowledge of the their histories helps make those communities stronger. 

Kaiapoi has a notable built heritage and around the Charles Street – Williams Street corner provides a very good example.  The former BNZ is a very important part of that precinct.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Kaiapoi Woollen Mill

16 March 2010

Kaiapoi played an important part in the early settler economy of North Canterbury.  The region’s agricultural products moved there to the port, the freezing works or the woollen mill.

The Kaiapoi Woollen Mill and the “Kaiapoi” brand were famous and probably many homes still have Kaiapoi rugs to be brought out on cold days.

Today the mill still has an important function, housing a variety of businesses and is a sprawling, low-rise presence on the Cam River.

Corners of Waimakariri: Rangiora’s First Post Office

1 February 2010

Although it has had a bit added on to it and has been shifted from its original High Street site, this house in King Street is Rangiora’s “first” Post Office.

It was originally on High Street close to the current site.  Prior to that, postal facilities had been provided in Wilson’s store by the railway line, followed by Blackett’s store, more central on the north side of the street.

It wasn’t, therefore the first post office, but it was the first building dedicated to that purpose.

Change comes to Southbrook: St Mary’s Anglican Church

22 January 2010

A landmark in Southbrook Road since the early days (the foundation stone says 1879, but I’m not sure if that was for the current building), St Mary’s was an adjunct to St John the Baptist Church in Rangiora.

The site is now subject to a resource consent application from the business that operates Rangiora Mazda, on the other side of the road.  They are being forced to relocate because their current site is part of where Foodstuffs have applied for planning permission for a new Pak n’ Save supermarket. 

The application for the St Mary’s site says that the church will be incorporated into the design of the site that will need to be developed.

Quite clearly, and assuming consent is given,  the site will look very different.

This is a further example of how Southbrook is growing into an ever-more-important business node for the District.

The Colour of the Rangiora Town Hall

15 January 2010

Confession: I like it!

Admittedly, the colour of the Town Hall polarises locals: people either love it or hate it.  There don’t seem to be many who are neutral!  This means that to go back to the previous cream colour or something like that would probably be equally polarising.

One thing is for sure: more than anything else, the Town Hall since it went to red and blue, has become Rangiora’s signature building.

In the words of one of the committee that originally chose the colour: “She’s a grand old lady and we’re going to dress her up!”

Corners of Waimakariri – Summerhill

28 December 2009

The downlands are never far away in Waimakariri – Summerhill, for instance, is just across the valley from Cust.

Corners of Waimakariri: the former BNZ, Kaiapoi

16 June 2009

081217 Kaiapoi - former BNZKaiapoi’s former BNZ buikding occupies a prominent place on the corner of Williams and Charles Streets and is listed with the Historic Places Trust.

It is currently covered by scaffolding, so I thought I had better publish this photo before the building changes!

Kaiapoi’s Rialto Theatre Gets Landmarks Plaque

9 June 2009

Arguably the finest Art Deco building in the District, Kaiapoi’s Rialto Theatre, now the Riverside Christian Fellowship, has been awarded a “Landmarks” plaque.  The Fellowship are to be commended for the way they have maintained the building in accordance with its architectural style.

090531 Rialto Plaque007090531 Rialto Plaque006081217 Kaiapoi - former Rialto Theatre

Corners of Waimakariri: Kaiapoi Pa

25 May 2009

080712 Kaiapoi Pa #1

Kaiapoi Pa, in Preeces Road, Waikuku, is an important site for the Ngai Tuahuriri hapu of Ngai Tahu.

Given the name as the place where food was brought from afar (as the poi swings around the hand), the local area was rich in resources in its own right: the sea, the Rakahuri (Ashley River), forests and wetlands were all close by, all with their own kinds of food resources.  Pounanmu was brought here from the West Coast for working.

In the early 1830s, conflict with Te Rauparaha’s Ngati Toa iwi brought Te Rauparaha here on two occasions.  On the second, he managed to breach the pallisades and Kaiapoi was razed.

Today you can see a memorial erected since that time, but, more importantly, the uneveness of the ground indicating the sites of pallisades and buildings.  Willows in the distance mark the edge of the wetlands that once surrounded the pa on three sides.

The pa is located on the northern edge of Pegasus.  Exacavating for the new town has revealed further evidence that this was an important area of occupation before the arrival of Pakeha.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Riverside Fellowship (former Rialto Cinema), Kaiapoi

14 May 2009

An art deco gem, Kaiapoi’s former Rialto Cinema has been kept in wonderfully appropriate style by its current owners, the Kaiapoi Riverside Fellowship.  It will soon have a “Landmarks” plaque mounted on it, the second Kaiapoi building to receive one – although this is a programme just getting under way, so there will be more!

081217 Kaiapoi - former Rialto Theatre

Corners of Waimakariri: Oxford Town Hall

12 February 2009


Local halls and community centres like the Oxford Town Hall, are focal points for their communities.  They are dotted all over our District and are very much valued by locals.  We have two Town Halls, the other being in Rangiora, of course.  A pity Kaiapoi hasn’t got one.

Corners of Waimakariri: the Pou at Pegasus

29 January 2009

080607-pegasus-pou-unveiling-3aThe six pou at the entrance to Pegasus make an impressive statement: linking a new town with the rich Maori heritage of this area. The location is close to Kaiapoi Pa, Ngai Tahu’s central pa in this part of the South Island.

Corners of Waimakariri: Kaiapoi’s Mandeville Bridge

31 December 2008

081217-kaiapoi-mandeville-bridge-pubThe Mandeville Bridge is easily seen from the road bridge – but why not try walking and lingering on it?  The historic Mandeville Hotel is at one end (see picture) and at the other you can walk down into the Scott Rose Garden .

Corners of Waimakariri: the Cust Museum

30 November 2008


The Waimakariri-Ashley stock-water race system, which takes water from the Waimakariri at Brown’s Rock, is over 100 years old.  The Water Supply Board operated from this office for much of its life and only formally came to an end with the 1989 local government reorganisation.

These days the building houses the Cust Museum.

The water races continue to fulfill their function but are now administered by the Waimakariri District Council.  Some of the water flows along the channels widened by Waimakariri Irrigation Ltd.

Corners of Waimakariri – Rangiora’s Matawai Park

29 October 2008

Matawai Park is a much-appreciated asset to the southern part of Rangiora.  Located between King, William and Percival Streets, it was previously waste land, piled with spoil from the excavations produced by the reconstruction of Percival Street.

About thirty years ago, former Borough Councillor Dudley Franklin had the vision and energy to get this park started.

What we find now is a microcosm of Canterbury’s flora from the mountains to the sea, with plant communities including tussock grassland, beech forest, wetlands, podocarp forests and coastal communities.  Logically, the mountain communities are at the western, King Street, entrance and the lowland and coastal communities at the Percival Street end.

It has multiple entrances so it is is easy to pass through it in the course of a walk and the Matawai Park Advisory Group has worked with the Council to provide information boards, picnic tables and a barbecue.

Corners of Waimakariri: Kaiapoi Pa

12 October 2008

Kaiapoi Pa, these days near the corner of Kaiapoi Pa and Preeces Roads, between Woodend and Waikuku, was a very important pa for Ngai Tahu. 

The name is testament to the food resources of the area: from the sea, from the surrounding wetlands, from the bush near Woodend and Rangiora, from local rivers like the Rakahuri (Ashley).  Think of a hand holding a poi with the kai coming into the central point.

Kaiapoi Pa was also an important pounamu working place, the pounamu being brought in, of course, from the West Coast.

The monument at at Kaiapoi (shown in part on the left) commemorates this importance, as well as memorialising those who lost their lives in the early 1830s to a raid by Ngati Toa (led by Te Rauparaha) and their allies.

Corners of Waimakariri – the Kaiapoi War Memorial

23 September 2008


A place for quiet reflection beside the Kaiapoi River.

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