Posts Tagged ‘North Canterbury’

FUnd-Raising Breakfast for Karanga Mai

4 October 2016



Kaiapoi Art Expo is on This Weekend

22 July 2016

One of the main arts events of the year in Waimakariri is on this weekend in Kaiapoi. A great range of talent is on display, including work from schools across the Waimakariri District.

Super City?

12 June 2015


Street sign not too far from the centre of the 4 million urban conglomeration known as Melbourne. No sign of a super city there!

Farmers Announces Plans for Return to Rangiora

5 February 2014

The following is from a media statement released by The Farmers today.

Rangiora’s Farmers department store, closed for nearly two years, will be rebuilt despite an unsettled insurance dispute.  

    The store’s lengthy closure has been blamed for the town centre’s slow recovery following the earthquakes.  

    However, in an announcement today Farmers chief financial officer Michael Power said the company and property owner Mandeville Properties were working together to build a new store on the same site.  

    The new store of approximately 5000 square metres would include up to five speciality shops.   

    The current building suffered extensive damage in the earthquakes and has been the subject of a protracted dispute between Mandeville Properties and ACE Insurance Ltd.   

    Power said Farmers would continue to facilitate discussions between the insurer and the owners on a settlement of the claim.  

    “We understand how difficult this has been for our customers and the wider business community. While the question of insurance has yet to be settled we want to get things moving again as quickly as possible for the benefit of everyone,” Power said.   

    He could not say when construction on the new store would begin.  

    “We’re hopeful of getting things started very soon but because the details are yet to be worked out I really can’t say when a new store will open.” 

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.

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.



Public Meeting on the North Canterbury Health Hub

27 March 2013

Rangiora Public meeting Advert FINAL

Alison Erickson and Sam Mahon Exhibition at Chamber Gallery, Rangiora

21 February 2013
130217 Sam Mahon - Southern Man (300x400)

Sam Mahon – Southern Man

The latest exhibition at the Chamber Gallery in the Rangiora Library is “Endangered Species”, sculptures by Alison Erickson and drawings and scultures by Sam Mahon.

Exhibitions at the Chamber Gallery are organised by the Waimakariri Community Arts Council.

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.

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!

How About a Super Waimakariri? – Watch out Christchurch!

10 September 2012

Back in the 1960s, Ghanaian one-party ruler Kwame Nkrumah went to China on a state visit and while he was away the army overthrew him.  He couldn’t even get back to his own country.

I go to Aussie on grandad duty for 5 days, and the Minister of Local Government announces a review of Canterbury local government in 2014. People start talking amalgamations.  I should have paid closer attention to history.

So should we look forward to a super-city? Some points to consider …

  1. Auckland city and district councils had a history of poor co-operation.  Canterbury city and district councils have cooperated well since the 1989 reorganisation.  Examples include the Greater Christchurch Development Strategy and the shared landfill at Kate Valley.
  2. Before the recent organisation, urban Auckland was run by 6 or 7 cities and districts. Urban Wellington has four. Urban Christchurch already has only one.
  3. Canterbury is not a city.  It’s a region or province stretching from beyond Kaikoura to beyond the Waitaki River.  It takes five or six hours to drive from one end to the other.
  4. A question for those who think Waimakariri and Selwyn, or parts of them, should be absorbed into Christchurch. What are their proposals for the rest of Canterbury?
  5. Waimakariri and Christchurch share one, repeat one, piece of infrastructure: the old Waimakariri Bridge on the Main North Road. No pipes, no other roads, connect the two areas.

Of course, the other option is for Waimakariri to absorb Christchurch.  Perhaps we could put that to a vote in the city.


North Canterbury Business Awards 2012

1 September 2012


Last night saw Enterprise North Canterbury’s Business Awards evening at the Mud House, Waipara.  It was a great night in a marquee and with catering from Continental.

The winners were:

Continental Exceptional Niche Marketing Winner: Mill Orchard Ltd.

Heller’s Exceptional New Emerging Business Winner: Vogue Kaiapoi Hair Spa

Hamner Springs Thermal Pool and Spa Tourism Business Winner: High Country Explorer Tours Ltd

Department of Labour Exceptional Employer Business Winner: Hurunui Recycling

Community College North Canterbury Exceptional Service Winner: Men at Work Ltd

Northern Outlook Exceptional Retail Winner: Paper Plus and Toyworld Rangiora

Westpac Exceptional Sustainable Business Winner: Community Colleges NZ Ltd

And the supreme winner was ….. Community Colleges NZ Ltd

Congratulations to the winners, but also to all the finalists … indeed, all who entered. North Canterbury Business deserves celebration and last night was a great night.

Text Alerts on Bridge Closures – Ashley and Old Waimakariri

20 August 2012

If you would like to be on the list to receive text alerts about bridge closures and re-openings, email your name and cellphone number to Please put ‘Bridge Closure Text Alerts’ as the subject of your email.

Note: The text alerts are for both the Ashley and Old Waimakariri Bridges. There isn’t an option to just receive alerts for just one of the bridges.

Riding for the Disabled Launched in North Canterbury

27 March 2012

Riding for the Disabled was officially launched in North Canterbury on Sunday with an enjoyable opening by Hon Kate Wilkinson MP.

The location is behind the North Canterbury Community College on Rangiora High School land. Des Moore and his team have done an impressive amount of work in getting to this point and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the riders. Also outstanding was the long list of sponsors and commercial and community supporters who have helped to make this a reality. Once again, this community has shown its ability to get behind a worthwhile cause.

Blood Brothers is Coming Soon …

6 March 2012

The North Canterbury Musical Society’s Blood Brothers is opening soon at the Chervier Centre in Rangiora.  You can book on-line at or at Harringtons Jewellers.


Compass FM is About to Launch!!!

19 May 2011

Compass FM is launching –

Queen’s Birthday, Monday 6 June!

You can hear it now on 104.9, broadcasting 24 hours a day.

During the day you will hear that we are hosting the Radio School of the Aoraki Polytech – forced out of their Christchurch home by the February earthquake.

Compass FM is North Canterbury’s new Community Access radio station, broadcasting from Kaiapoi to Hanmer.

North Canterbury Business Awards

15 September 2010

It seems a long time ago now (the night before the Earthquake) – but congratulations to Karen and Karl Upston of Envirocomp for winning the supreme North Canterbury Business Award this year.

To find out more about them, go 

Congats too to all  the other winners.  They provide ample evidence that business innovation and enterprise are alive and kicking in North Canterbury – the kind of enterprise that will see Kaiapoi and Pines-Kairaki emerge from the silt.

North Canterbury Business Awards

28 August 2010

Doctors After-Hours

6 August 2010

This issue has generated a lot of heat for those areas of the District that see Rangiora is their service centre.

It is clear that many are fearful: they worry about preliminary diagnoses over the telephone and the difficulties of transport late at night or in the weekends.

It is not enough to say that the new arrangements have “worked for Kaiapoi.”  For a start, not all seem to agree with that, and secondly we need to remember that Kaiapoi is only 20 minutes form Christchurch.  Parts of this District, like Whiterock and Okuku, are up to an hour away.  What is the Canterbury District Health Board going to do about the transport issues of the elderly and the child care issues of families with two or more young children?

Nevertheless, we have to accept that GP recruitment is an issue that has to be dealt with.  Our doctors are hard-working and the wider community needs to be working with them.

It is clear, however, that the current arrangement is not a long-term solution.  This is a fast-growing District of 46,000 people.  Surely we can get a locally-based after-hours service?

The Ashley Bridge – What’s Happening – and what of the Future?

6 August 2010

The current situation is that when the Ashley is in flood the bridge is at a high risk from a public safety perspective – 5 to 7 of the peirs may need to be strengthened in the short term.  The piles are embedded only 2-3m on average and only 1-2m in the main channel.

Compare these two photos:

The Cones Road bridge over the Ashley - unknown date. (Te Papa)

Note the difference in the bed levels.  Note also that some repair work appears to have been done on the nearest pier in the recent photo.  The pier causing the biggest problem is the second one from the camera.  Daniel Smith contractors are lined up to start work soon.

Even with strengthening, the bridge will have to be closed on occasions – perhaps up to 10 times per year. There may be weight restrictions in the future – at present, the bridge is just OK for Class 1.

The cost of annual maintenance and a programme of pier strengthening may cost something in the order of $2 million over the next 20 years – which may be all the life that is left in the bridge.

We all know that the bridge isn’t wide enough and that the southern approach has poor visibility.

So how much will a new bridge cost if it were to be built in the next two years or so?  A preliminary guesstimate for a standard-width bridge is $6 million to $10 million – with a bit more if a cycle and pedestrian lane (or lanes) is added – and that has to happen.  If the benefit/cost ratio meets NZ Transport Agency requirements, which is likely, that cost would be 59% subsidised by them.

Watch this space!  I emphasise that all of the above figures are ball-park estimates that were reported to the Council this week.

More on the Future of (Our!) Local Government

4 August 2010

What might the Auckland super city mean for the rest of us? – from a Local Government NZ Newsletter 

This a constant topic at LGNZ meetings and a number of seminars have been organised by lawyers and consultants to capitalise on the issue.

 Views range from the conspiracy theorists, who see Auckland as the first step in a plot by government to reduce the number of councils significantly – the lowest number I have heard so far is six (not counting the Chathams).

 Then there are the proponents of change who would like to use the momentum created by the Auckland debate to encourage a discussion in their own localities about the optimum shape and number of councils. Wellington and Hawke’s Bay come to mind.

 And then there are the others, who believe that any future change will be led by communities and be a response to preferences expressed by the community.

 The Government is definitely encouraging us to the latter view – the most commonly recollected statement by the Prime Minister at his opening speech to our conference last week on the future reorganisation of local government “Any further changes of that type will be community-led, not central government-led”. He also pledged to using his considerable personal influence to improve public turnout in the local body elections. The Minister for Local Government, who also talks of a “response to calls for change”, in his speech and views elsewhere (see above) has widely decided to set aside the time to have the debate.

 Before any further decisions are made, we will all have the chance to consider and to contribute to a discussion document that will be left for the Government of the next term to act on. But this in no way detracts from the need to start thinking about these issues now. LGNZ will provide the platform and the opportunity for councils across New Zealand to have this discussion, and then to take the outcomes of that discussion outwards and upwards.

Compass FM to hold an Open Day

25 July 2010

Compass FM, North Canterbury’s long hoped-for Community Access radio station is holding an open day on Saturday 31 August from midday to 3.00pm.

The station has studios in Rangiora’s High Street, upstairs in the Manchester Unity Building behind the Lotto Shop.

Visitors will have the opportunity to record station announcements that will be used during the station’s test transmissions.

Currently the station is able to transmit using a lower power transmitter that reaches about 10km from Rangiora.  Only music is being broadcast at present, but when the station is operating on full-power from a transmitter to be located on Mount Grey, it will be a full community-access station offering time to any and all of North Canterbury’s huge number of community groups.

Wellbeing North Canterbury

7 July 2010

Wellbeing North


is the new name for the Waimakariri Community Development Trust.  They’ve been around since at least the 1980s, starting life as the Kaiapoi Community Development Trust.  They do a lot of things – find out more at their new website – .

Garden Bird Survey This Week

29 June 2010


The annual garden bird survey is run from the Waimakariri District, where Rangiora’s Eric Spurr is conducting research on behalf of Landcare Research.  This is the week it has to take place.

You can pick up forms from some local shops, find one in Tuesday’s Press, or go to where you will find a form.

Enterprise North Canterbury’s “Business Gems”

9 June 2010


Enterprise North Canterbury periodically puts out an update called Business Gems.

You can find it at

Riding for the Disabled, North Canterbury

3 May 2010

Yesterday North Canterbury Riding for the Disabled held an open day for the public at the North Canterbury Community College – and a lot turned up.

A very active committee is aiming to build a covered arena for their activities – but also to be put to use by other groups in the community.

This, to me, is another example of the strength of this Waimakariri community: it works together and gets things done.

Local Special Olympian Graeme Moore tries out one of the horses

Envirocomp Opens Nappy-Composting Plant

7 August 2009


Karen and Karl Upston’s Envirocomp plant is now up-and-running in Balcairn.

With funding from Huggies, this is a world-leading initiative to keep disposable nappies out of landfill – and they are a significant part of what goes into the likes of Kate Valley.

This morning, Environment Minister Hon Nick Smith opened the plant and within days the first nappies should be being processed.

IMG_0757The Waimakariri and Kaikoura District Councils are offering a $1 per week subsidy for those users of the service for the first six months of its operation.  The normal weekly cost is $5.

This is a great initiative and we can only hope that success and growth result.  It will be watched by many parties as the world continues to try to reduce the amount of waste it puts into the environment.

New North Canterbury Radio Station Announces Its Name!

22 May 2009


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