Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Night Market in Kaiapoi

15 July 2017

Big crowd tonight enjoyed food stalls, fire dancing and this afternoon’s ice sculptures.


Ice Sculpture in Kaiapoi

15 July 2017

Check out @AyersDavidL’s Tweet:

The Sefton Tug of War Pulls in the Crowds – Again

21 May 2017

Sefton Remembers ANZAC

24 April 2017

2017 Poppy Day

21 April 2017

New Library and Service Centre Replaces Earthquake-prone Building

21 April 2017

Oxford is Full of People Springing In!

2 October 2016

Classic cars have poured into #Oxford for Spring into Oxford – all ages, all makes. The town is buzzing with markets too!

Buskers in #Rangiora

21 January 2016


A good crowd on a lovely day in Victoria Park!

David Ayers, Mayor, Waimakariri

Conway Lane Development Impresses | Waimakariri District Council

17 November 2015

World War I Horses Remembered at Glentui

15 February 2015

World War I Horses Remembered at the Birch Hill Cemetery

Check out @AyersDavidL’s Tweet:

Trousselot Park’s new Mouse House!

7 February 2015

Check out @AyersDavidL’s Tweet:

Have a Great Christmas Everyone!

25 December 2012


The Passing of Time …

4 January 2011

North Canterbury Business Awards

28 August 2010

When Is It Ever Going to Stop Raining?

26 May 2010

Retention Basin, Acacia Avenue, Rangiora, 26 May 2010

We’ve had a lot of rain in the last three days, and some parts of the District, like Oxford, are feeling the effects.  It’s still not a Civil Defence level event, but Council staff and contractors are being kept very busy.

There are parts of our District, for instance the lower-lying parts of Kaiapoi and southern Rangiora, which are historically swampy.  When we get a lot of rain, they tend to revert to their natural state.

The retention basin on the left is an example of what is supposed to happen – and the basin over the road was more-or-less empty when I took this photo this morning.  Part of the problem with this part of Rangiora is that water comes down from the rural parts of Johns Road and ends up here. The Council is working on this, but the work id not yet complete.

Obviously, with the area out to Lehmans Road within the designated urban limits, stormwater is an issue that will occupy the minds of the Council, residents and developers for some time to come.

Railway Drain culvert under Kowhai Avenue, Rangiora 26 May 2010

Even relatively new drainage works have the potential to come under pressure.  The cuklvert at the right has caused problems several times in the last couple of years and the Council has budgeted money in the coming year to investigate ways of alleviating what happens in heavy rain events.

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.

The Dudley Pool 5km Rating Zone is Gone!

14 May 2010

The 5km targeted rate on those properties within 5km (as the crow flies) of the Dudley Park Aquatic Centre is gone.

The Council has finally accepted that a District facility should be entirely funded across the District.

It has taken several years, but the final area of controversy around the new pool is now behind us. This issue has been constantly raised with me – never the actual amount, but the principle of it.  People have been repeatedly saying to me that the whole District is able to use it and that it isn;t fair that one section of the community should have to pay more.  The people saying this have been from both inside and outside the zone.

Those who voted to remove it (on my motion) were Councillors Robbie Brine, Kevin Felstead, Dan Gordon, Neil Cruickshank, Peter Farrant, Elaine Cole – and, of course, me.

Attempt to Change Uniform Annual General Charge Fails

14 May 2010

The Council is currently making its decsions on the 2010-2011 Annual Plan and Budget.

It had already received strong submissions from the farming community requesting that the Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) be restored from its current $20 to its former $70.  It went down to $20 only last year.

The UAGC is a charge that all properties pay in their rates.  Raising it has the effect of lowering the general rates for high-value properties and raising them for low-value properties.  This sounds like it is unfair on low-value, usuaully urban, properties, but it needs to be remembered that general rates form a much smaller proportion of total rates for urban properties than they do for rural.  A lot of urban rates are for water, sewer, rubbish collection, etc, which rural properties don’t pay (they pay for their own water, etc).

Lowering the UAGC last year meant that many farms had rate rises in the thousands of dollars for no change in service.  Farmers are saying that this is unfair.

Yesterday an attempt to put the uniform charge back to $70 failed by one vote.  Five voted for (Crs Dan Gordon, Kevin Felstead, Peter Farrant, Elaine Cole and myself) and five against.  In the council’s standing orders, a draw means the motion is lost.  The mayor (who opposed) doesn’t have a casting vote.

My personal view is that the rating structure of this district needs a thorough review.  Rates are not a particularly fair way of taxing people, but ours can be more fairly distributed than they are.

Rangiora Town Centre Consultation Report Nearly Ready

14 May 2010

The former Northern A & P Building, Ivory Street

The report of the council, the three citizens and business groups and the consultants on the Rangiora Town Centre is close to being completed.  It will go before a Council committee on Tuesday 18 May (i.e. next week) and hopefully released to the public shortly after that.

This will not be a final report .  It will be a discussion of issues and options and will be open for public consultation.

Countdown Hearing Opposed

14 May 2010

The hearing for the proposed Countdown supermarket in Ivory Street, Rangiora, has been postponed until, I think, July.  This is at the request of Progressive Enterprises (i.e. Countdown / Woolworths) who want to study the Council’s planning officer’s report.

The planning officer in his report opposes the building of a supermarket on this site.  His main reasons centre around its inappropriateness in a Residential 1 zone and the negative impact it would have on the Town Centre.

In addition there is opposition from residential neighbours and the adjacent Kohanga Reo pre-school.  As well as the above, they cite traffic and noise issues.

How I Sometimes Occupy My Days … Resource Consent Hearings!

10 May 2010

Actually, I haven’t had to do it too often, but I do find myself on a lot of hearings for new by-laws, District Plan changes, swimming pool fencing exemption hearings and even appeals against menacing dog classifications.

Resource consent hearings occur when someone wants to do something that is contrary to the District Plan and the council staff deem it to be a major-enough matter for the public to be notified and for people to be given a chance to be heard.  Often they are heard by a panel of three councillors but if the matter is really high-stakes, an outside commissioner will be appointed.

An example of an outside commissioner being used is for the forthcoming Countdown Supermarket hearing for Ivory Street, Rangiora.  This is supposed to have been heard by now, but the supermarket people have asked for a delay because the council planning officer has recommended against it being approved and they want to think a bit more about this.

In the last two days, I have been on hearing panels considering an application for a child-care centre in Woodend (with Dan Gordon and Roger Blair) and for approval to build a house on a lot of less than 4 hectares in Okuku (with Robbie Brine and Dan Gordon).  The former isn’t finished yet.

Often these decisions are not easy. There are a few things worth remembering, however.

  • The decision has to consider the Waimakariri District Plan and the Resource Management Act.
  • It’s not a numbers game.  The quality of the submissions and their relevance to the District Plan and the Act are more important than the number of people on one side or the other.
  • The first duty of a council planning officer is to consider the District Plan and the RMA. The panel or the commissioner will not necessarlity follow his or her advice.
  • The panel or the commissioner may have to consider whether granting consent will create a precedent elsewhere in the District.
  • Once a decision is made, it becomes the council’s decision.

There’s a lot more, but that will do for now!

“Superstar” is Great!

8 May 2010

We went to North Canterbury Musical Society’s Jesus Christ Superstar and it was a fantastic performance.  I can highly recommend it and urge you to get your tickets. Be quick – I hear they’re going fast.  Tickets are available at Harrington’s Jewellers in Rangiora, at the Visitor Centre in Kaiapoi and at the Court Theatre in Christchurch.

Consultation: We Can do Better

6 May 2010

The recent consultation on the District Plan Change and By-Law regarding access to the beaches for motor vehicles and horses showed that there can be a major problem with processes under the Local Government Act.

Take this scenario.

The Council puts out a draft bylaw for consultation.  People submit on it.  Some assume that “A” is going to take place because it is in the draft bylaw.  A whole swag of submitters, however, demand that “A” be changed to “B”.  In the light of all the submissions, the Council adopts “B”.  Those who assumed “A” was going to happen, and wanted it to happen, are up in arms because they didn’t realise that there would be a demand for “B”, so they didn’t say they opposed “B”.

I believe that there should be a two-stage submision process, where the first round of submissions are open to public scrutiny and people then can make submissions on the first submissions.  This is a process that sometimes happens under the Resource Management Act.

It might sound cumbersome, and would take longer, but at least it would be fairer – and the Council would have better handle on community views.

Great Book Sale on the Southbrook Horizon!

5 May 2010

Better Beaches – Access to Ours

4 May 2010

For a number of years, probably at least ten, the Waimakariri Council has been trying to find a solution to competing views on access to our beaches.  These include the mouth of the Waimakariri at Kairaki, Pines Beach, Woodend Beach, Waikuku Beach, the estuary and mouth of the Ashley-Rakahuri and Asworths Spit north of the Ashley mouth.  In addition, a swimming beach is proposed for Pegasus.

I don’t regard many of the views I have heard as extreme, but there is a point where compromise becomes unlikely.  Many of those who swim at our beaches or walk along them do not want motor vehicles and/or horses on the beaches.  Horse riders and trainers want to have access, as do whitebaiters with motor vehicles in the season.  Fishers want to be able to take the vehicles out to the Waimakariri mouth.  A lot of people are concerned about the damage motor vehicles do to the dunes and to wildlife and plant life, especially in the Ashley-Rakahuri estuary.  This estuary is of national importance for its birdlife.

Over the last few months, the Council has been trying to bring all the talk to a conclusion with a change to the District Plan and a By-Law.  In a very long session this afternoon, it did just that.

As a result of decisions this afternoon:

  • Motor vehicles are banned in the inter-tidal zone between Woodend Beach and the Ashley mouth, except that in the whitebait season they may access the river mouth through a locked gate (keys will be issued) at Waikuku.  The access of the latter must be along the inter-tidal zone on the seaward side of the spit.
  • Motor vehicles are permitted in the inter-tidal zone from Kairaki to a point 400m south of Woodend Beach.  Their only access is at Kairaki.
  • Motor vehicles are permitted in the inter-tidal zone on Ashworths spit.
  • Horses are permitted in the inter-tidal zone.
  • Further consultation will be undertaken to find a horse-unloading area and an access track for horses at Waikuku.
  • A horse unloading area and access track has been confirmed for Woodend Beach at the southern end of Ferry Road.
  • Tangata whenua access to reserves in their ownership is protected.

Note that motor vehicles are already banned from dunes (except along a marked route at Waikuku in the whitebaiting season) and on the soft-sand areas of the beaches.

I think this is only one stage along the way.  We will hear a lot more community discussion about our beaches for some years to come!

Celia Wilson Exhibition at the Chamber Gallery

3 May 2010

Oxford’s Celia Wilson is the latest artist to be featured in the Chamber Gallery in the Rangiora Library.

For the last few years she has been exploring the pigments to be found in the soils (and some of the plants) of Canterbury, including the road where she lives on the outskirts of Oxford.

As she says, … I have deliberately kept gesture and mark making to a minimum when applying the paint.  Then I have allowed the pigment, of its own accord, to diffuse and settle on the paper support.

The exhibition, organised by the Waimakariri Community Arts Council,  lasts until 2 June.

The View that Tourists Get

3 May 2010

One of the features of railways all round the world is that their routes into cities and towns often give passengers the worst possible view of those towns and cities – reflecting the fact that railway lines have historically attracted industry.  The Keep Rangiora Beautiful group is working to change that.  A lot of their plantings have been along the railway so that the passengers on the TranzCoastal get a better impression of Rangiora.  Below you can see them hard at work alongside Rangiora Bakery’s new building.

Cut off from the World …

3 May 2010

Obviously it didn’t hit everyone, because there were quite a few hits on the blog, but yesterday I couldn’t get on the internet. The guy on the end of the phone at Xtra said there was a problem at the local exchange and they were working on it. I wonder how many in North Canterbury were affected?

It’s amazing how dependant some of us have got on the net and email.

More Input from the Public

29 April 2010

The Council concluded its draft Annual Plan hearings this afternoon.

The themes previously mentioned came out again.  Submisisons ranged from a problem drain in Kaiapoi to more general submisions covering a range of matters from the Kaiapoi Community Board, the Woodend-Ashley and Rangiora Ward Advisory Boards and the Pines-Kairaki Association.

We also had a submision from Te Ngai Tuahuriri regarding the new marae buildings they are to construct at Tuahiwi and from the Kaiapoi Rugby Football Club about a new development they have started.

And that wasn’t all.  As always, a great variety!

Kirstyn Barnett Announces her Candidacy for the Woodend-Ashley Ward

28 April 2010

Prominent Woodend community leader, Kirstyn Barnett, has anounced her candidacy for the Woodend-Ashley Ward at this year’s Waimakariri District Council elections.

She is well-known for her role in the Woodend Action Group, which has now merged with the Woodend Residents’ Association to form the Woodend Community Association.

She was the instigator of the two large murals recently painted on two walls near the Community Centre and of the walking bus project to take children safely to the Woodend School.

She has been an exemplary voice for Woodend and shown with it a capacity for taking action.

The full text of her announcement can be read in the pages to the right of your screen under the heading Kirstyn Barnett Announcement of Candidacy .

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