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Starting a brave new quest


Three key Christchurch property developers have joined forces to plan a $90 million precinct for the former convention centre land, between Kilmore and Peterborough streets.



The consortium, comprising the Peebles Group, Mike Greer Homes and Blackcomb Property Group, plans several buildings covering 7000sqm of land opposite the Christchurch Town Hall. These will include townhouses, a hotel, offices, retail and hospitality space.

The project is seen as a major breakthrough for the area, largely undeveloped since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

The Christchurch City Council-owned site has been seen several failed development attempts since the quake-damaged convention centre was demolished in 2012.

Peebles Group director Richard Peebles says the timing is right for this project. “Everyone thought it would be a pipe dream having 20,000 people living in the CBD, now it’s looking likely. People built commercial [buildings] on the understanding residential could come. It was slow – but it’s really catching up now, it’s a tsunami,” he says.

The development has three stages.

Blackcomb Property Group is designing a 43-room apartment hotel to be built on Kilmore St, and has already signed a lease with the Quest hotel chain, while Mike Greer Homes will build about 40 apartments at the rear of the site facing Peterborough St.

Both stages are expected to be completed by the end of next year.  The final stage will include office buildings with hospitality space.



Time to regenerate

The Avon River (Ōtākaro) is a Christchurch local that can be described as the heart of the city. Flowing through the centre of the city, it’s a popular recreational waterway for locals and tourists alike.

Now it’s set to get better than ever before, with three footbridges, a riverside landing and a restored band rotunda set to appear alongside the Avon, with the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust approving more than $14.7 million in funding for Council-led regeneration projects.

The Appeal Trust’s $18 million package of grants to the council and community groups includes a $13,765,500 grant to kick-start infrastructure projects along the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.

The projects in the former residential red zone include three pedestrian/cycle bridges at Medway Street, Snell Place and Aranui and a riverside landing near Dallington, as originally outlined in Regenerate Christchurch’s Regeneration Plan for the area.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the Appeal Trust funding for the Regeneration Area will greatly improve the connectivity of communities and begin transforming the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor into a valuable asset for the community.

“The three pedestrian and cycle bridges mean communities along the river will be more connected to each other, and users will be able to create their own walking and cycling loops as they explore the area,” the Mayor says.

“Installing a landing at Dallington will also enable people to connect and interact with the Ōtākaro Avon River on a much more personal level.”

As outlined in the Regeneration Plan that the Council approved, the footbridges and Dallington landing will form part of a 350-hectare “Green Spine” running the length of the Ōtākaro Avon River from the city to the sea.

It will eventually consist of seven riverside landings, formed and unformed walking and cycle trails, and regenerating native forest.

“With the Global Settlement between the Council and Crown finalised, this grant, together with funding outlined in the Long Term Plan, means we can start the regeneration of the Green Spine in earnest,” the Mayor says.

The Council also received a $1 million Appeal Trust grant for the restoration of the Thomas Edmonds Band Rotunda, along with funding towards many other well-deserving local projects.

Here’s to hoping that the ‘red zone’ turns into a ‘green zone’.


The Influencers: John Bridgman

It’s not just the number of seats in the auditorium that the organisers of international conventions look at when selecting their next venue in a globally competitive sector.

John Bridgman
Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

Transport, hospitality and quality of accommodation are also crucial in the decision-making process. So, it’s great for Christchurch that Ōtākaro recently secured a development agreement with the Carter Group for up to four hotels on the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre site, including one five-star hotel.

A five-star hotel near the venue is a requirement for what are considered marquee international events. These sorts of events will help Te Pae Christchurch stimulate the nearly $100m worth of economic activity each year it’s estimated the city is currently missing out on.

A five-star offering will certainly add a string to the marketing bow of our operator ASM Global, which now has 40 confirmed events and around another 120 interested in coming to Christchurch once Te Pae is open in October.

Our agreement with the Carter Group also enables new developments by the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch to the north of Armagh St, along the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct. This will allow this award-winning Anchor Project to reach its full potential as a place for people.

These new developments will use a third of the vacant private land in Christchurch’s CBD east of the Avon River and serve as a fantastic example of how Ōtākaro can meet its dual objectives of delivering both commercial and regenerative outcomes for the city.


What’s in that building?

What’s in that building?

The CBD is buzzing. Even two years ago that could not be said with confidence and the fear was it may never be said again. But those fears are officially unfounded.


What’s in that building?


Sure, there are some large holes to still be filled, and a few spaces and broken facades to be decided on and reinvigorated. And, while some of the city’s most iconic buildings sit in ruin with many gone forever, all but the most pessimistic can take heart that some have been and are being restored, with some beautiful new buildings being erected to replace them.

In October, Turanga officially opened; five floors of knowledge, cutting edge digital technology, modern design features and displays of art and culture. The bus interchange on Colombo Street has already become an important feature of the new cityscape. Stylish and user friendly, as the city has come alive around it, it has become the central hub it was intended to be.

As more retail outlets, cafes, restaurants, and nightlife venues open, and with some very high profile projects scheduled to open in the next few years, the already buzzing city is set to erupt! With so many changes, however, navigating the city can be tricky. If you venture into The Crossing – a “diverse yet intimate, one hectare precinct of heritage facades… enticing laneways and open public spaces” and, of course, shops, shops and more shops – be sure to take some breadcrumbs because getting lost is a real possibility. It is however, a pretty nice place to be lost in for a couple of hours.



Plymouth Lane is a retail space, conveniently located under a multi-storey parking building with a huge cycle lock-up area and individual lockers. At the river end of Cashel Street there are cafés and eateries, including a Black & White Coffee Cartel, a Metromart and The General Store, popular with tourists and locals, for gifts and homewares.

If you have driven or walked along any of the main city routes and wondered what is in that shiny new building, you are not alone. Naming rights offers some indication, but more often than not, there are gems inside that may not be so obvious.
For example, Grant Thornton House on Oxford Terrace is not only the striking new home of the global accounting giant, it also houses Amaterrace Teppanyaki Japanese Steak House and, on the street level, the newly opened (early Jan) Chiwahwah Mexican Cantina and Bar.

Across the river is 93 Cambridge Terrace, a four-storey black-glass, nondescript building called Iwikau. Inside are Aurecon and EY. On the ground floor, West End Pharmacy, West End Expressmart, and West End Stories Café. But Iwikau’s surprise lies on the opposite side of the building, invisible from the busy thoroughfare. It is Ngā Mara a Te Wera, The Gardens of Te Wera.

Te Wera was a Ngāi Tahu warrior chief and had a long association with the area that came also to be occupied by the King Edward Barracks. It is a beautiful, quiet, shared seating space that respects its deep Maori and European histories. You can read more about it on the storyboard in the garden.



Priority Projects

Taking Priority: Priority Projects

Since 2009, one name has gained a firm foothold in the fiercely competitive world of local design-build, fit-out and construction.


Priority Projects


Priority Projects, founded by Director Steve Brownie, offers comprehensive solutions for commercial fit-outs, design-build, earthquake repairs, rebuilds and new construction projects from the ground up. With the combination of being Canterbury owned and operated, and the years of industry technical experience and know-how gained by Steve and his tightly-knit team, you have complete peace of mind. There is no middle man, you deal directly with Steve and the team.

The latest achievements by Priority Projects can be seen at Deloitte House on 151 Cambridge Terrace in the CBD. Five fitouts across three floors, for prominent businesses Fusion5, Learning People, South by South East Architects and Horncastle Group.  Every fitout has been completed in the highest possible standard with no shortcuts taken. Steve and his team have worked closely with the building owner, Stephen Collins, from start to finish.

Priority Projects has been working as one for nearly a decade, bringing hundreds of building projects to life for countless satisfied Cantabrians.


For more information visit or to chat with Steve personally, call 027 488 8305.


Talk of the Town

Talk of the town: Entertainment Central

There is no question the Canterbury quakes were a game-changer. They took from Christchurch an iconic identity, one it had been building and nurturing since the Canterbury Association settled the surrounding province of Canterbury and gave the city its name in 1848.


Talk of the Town


With the brunt of Mother’s Nature’s force concentrated in our central business district, it was our city’s commercial heart which took the biggest hit. For many of the businesses that had made their commercial homes within the cleverly confined quadrant of Christchurch’s central city, it became survival of the fittest; a test of our innate fight or flight responses. Thankfully, for a select group of developers, that response was to fight, in a commercial capacity that is. Richard Peebles, Antony Gough, Phillip Carter, Max Bremner, Tim Glasson and Nick Hunt are just some of the city’s brave legacy leaders. Daring to dream big, they have delivered handsomely. And, on the back of their dogged determination, the central city has got its groove back.

This is perhaps best exemplified by the opening of a world-class venture by Calder Stewart that welcomed a very unique entertainment and dining experience into the CBD when it opened earlier this month. Entertainment Central (EntX) is Calder Stewart’s latest central city development and it’s one that is the talk of the town. With three levels of entertainment, we’ll get to enjoy seven cinemas and 18 eateries in the heart of the CBD. Those confirmed are Cleaver and Co, Joe’s Garage, Two Fat Indians, Infinito, Habitual Fix, Hanoi Old Quarter, Leemo, Nando’s, Nourish Pod, Ottoman Turkish Kebabs, Shanghai Dumplings, Roll and Bowl, and Pad Thai Pan.

Under construction for a year and a half between Colombo, Lichfield and Tuam Streets, the $50 million new Hoyts EntX multiplex replaces the eight-screen Moorhouse Ave complex which the cinema chain lost in the earthquakes. A first for New Zealand, the development incorporates more than 900 electric reclining seats across seven luxury cinemas – two extreme screens with Dolby surround take cinema to an exhilarating new level.

It will be the company’s third multiplex in Christchurch and 11th in New Zealand, and the second in the country with large “xtremescreens”, recliner seats and in-cinema dining.
The opening will bring the number of movie screens in the city to 39. Since the earthquakes the only central city cinema has been the boutique two-screen Alice Cinematique with 74 seats. The Arts Centre plans to open a double-screen arthouse cinema next year.

The development is expected to play an important role in the central city’s reinvigoration. The population of the central city is currently a third lower than before the earthquakes, with the New Zealand Property Council calling the council’s target of 20,000 residents by 2024 unrealistic in a recent report. However, a Christchurch City Council committee is considering a newly announced three-year plan aimed at accelerating the repopulation of the space.

Labelled ‘Project 8011’ after the central city postcode and the estimated number of homes needed to house the 20,000 people, it recommends boosting resident numbers through more housing options, through development incentives including low equity loans, rebates on development contributions and investment from the NZ Super Fund.
But in the meantime, developments such as EntX are heading in the right direction to draw the people in.




CBD a Culinary Hotspot: The CBD is emerging as a space that packs a culinary punch

Amid the concrete and glass of Christchurch’s sparkling new city, the CBD is emerging as a space that packs a culinary punch. Because, although deciding where to have dinner can be a tough decision, the central city has become a hotspot for the hungry with all types of foods and cuisines including Thai, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Japanese and everything in between.

The central city has become a hotspot for the hungry

The city doesn’t just have a plethora of cuisines to offer hungry people, it also has unique options that give customers a different dining experience. For instance, The Little High Eatery, located on Saint Asaph Street, is a classy food court that houses eight local and family-run businesses. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for filling your mouth with tasty food – Thai, sushi, pizza, burgers and more!
Just around the corner on High Street, The Monday Room is another eatery that has made a splash in the central city dining space. You’ll feast your eyes on a range of elegantly prepared, meat and seafood-focused dishes such as braised lamb shoulder served with a mouth-pleasing mixture of orange, watercress, mint and pomegranate.

Culinary Hotspot
The establishment encourages its patrons to have a social dining experience while they savor shareable-sized meals. Its distinguished ‘Trust the Chef’ menu, where the chef crafts special dishes for each customer, sets it apart from other establishments in the area.
Meanwhile, a couple of blocks down, Welles Street too is making its culinary mark after local firm Box 112 repurposed six former industrial buildings, including a former blacksmith’s workshop, transforming them into a complex of artisan businesses known as The Welder after a former tenant.

Culinary Hotspot
Interesting, quirky and raw, the spaces in The Welder are engaging and authentic, headed by operators who have a shared vision for raising the standard of healthy, locally produced food in the city.
New Regent Street too is a culinary destination worthy of its prestige, with cafés, bars and restaurants making their commercial homes here, including 27 Steps, Moko Café, Caffeine Lab, Sushi Sachi, Shop Eight Food and Wine, Coffee Lovers and The Last Word.
Keep in mind that these are just some of the examples of the many eateries around the central city. Christchurch’s inner circle has a lot to offer, you just have to be willing to experience it. So the next time your stomach starts rumbling, step out of your comfort zone and into the CBD to try something new.

Maureen Taane

A Triumphant Return: Q&A with Maureen Taane

Maureen Taane is the head of a creative empire – more than 200 artists, craftspeople and businesses behind design store, HAPA. On the executive board of the Central City Business Association, she is a fierce advocate of the space that makes up our CBD. Metropol talks to Maureen about HAPA’s triumphant return to its central city roots.

Maureen Taane

At the heart of HAPA is the desire to showcase local creative talent, how did you come up with the concept?

did you come up with the concept?
I’ve been part of the local creative industry for more than two decades and in the aftermath of the earthquakes I was mourning the fact that we had lost many of our showcase spaces, galleries, retailers and exhibition spaces; yet another issue to overcome in the complex myriad of issues we all faced at that time.
There was a palpable desire to ‘support local’ as Cantabrians understood that we needed to reach out to each other and the rest of the country looked for ways to support our recovering city. Showcasing local talent started out as a business case, a necessity and a personal passion. It’s now the core focus of our offering as we support more than 200 local businesses.
Internationally the craft/local design movement and appreciation grows stronger as people react negatively to mass produced and imported goods and increasingly value handmade, handcrafted, and locally produced quality items. That is our HAPA happy place!

One of the early adopters of the Container Mall concept, how did it feel to take a leap and get on board with something so unique and innovative?

I had a strong feeling it would be a success because we were all so desperate to reclaim the heart of our city after eight months of being locked out and there were numerous successful examples of this style of project internationally. It sure felt crazy to be building a colourful container mall in the dust and debris of the fallen CBD, under army cordon and in the shadow of buildings that were still to come down.The day Re:Start opened was the first time that the people of Christchurch were able to see what was left of the CBD and I’ll never forget it… 25,000 people came through that weekend. We felt a little bit like pioneers on a frontier… a tiny oasis in the middle of utter chaos. The Re:Start mall outlasted the critics and become a force in its own right; a destination for tourists and locals alike, and was eventually demolished in January 2018 to make way for the new Riverside Farmers Market.

You’re on the executive board for the Central City Business Association, how important is the central city to you?

I’ve been on the board since its inception more than 10 years ago, because I believe a strong central city heart benefits the wider city as a whole. I have lived in and worked in the CBD for more than two decades and our daughter went to school right here in the heart of the city too. It is indelibly etched in my heart as a tūrangawaewae.
It’s an unprecedented time in the CBD right now – the changes are coming quickly as the retail precinct takes shape; workers are returning to the central city, new apartments are underway and Ao Tawhiti (Discovery Unlimited School) is returning… the buzz is building. It’s joyful and infectious!

Tell us about your new store open in the BNZ Centre?

We opened on the 11th of May, with a beautiful, sustainable fitout by local duo Frontal Lobe! It’s wonderful to be back in the heart of the city, in the busy bustling space that is the BNZ Centre. We feel very lucky to have secured a space in this quality precinct with some of our Re:Start friends too (Scorpio Books, COSMIC and Simply NZ are our neighbour friends). We are also super lucky to be right opposite the most amazing café Little Brews Espresso – best coffee and banter in town!

What’s the most fulfilling aspect of what you do?

I feel immensely proud that we showcase beautiful, functional, well-made items that mostly have a very small footprint. One example is dear Keith Partridge who is in his 80s – a master craftsman who makes native wood products that he brings in while driving his electric car! Or the lovely Nadia from Shakey Smiles who makes a range of wonderful creatures from recycled woollen blankets. People love to see the maker’s mark and feel the warmth that exudes from items that are handmade, locally designed and a little bit different to mainstream gift ranges. I also design some products for HAPA that are only available instore, with a Te Reo Māori focus, in a push to ‘normalise’ Māori language in the retail gift environment.

Total Food Equipment

The craft of cookware: local culinary experts Total Food Equipment share their passions

The season for hygge is well and truly here and, if you’re a foodie, or just someone who likes to get cosy with the family and a bowl of homemade soup, then a visit Total Food Equipment is a must-do before you hunker down.

Total Food Equipment

The store is a gorgeous trove of all things cooking and baking. From oyster forks to cinnamon oyster tins, whatever is on your wish list, you will find it here and more besides. The baking section alone is extensive – a home baker’s heaven of tins and moulds to dream of, including friand, mini madeleines and, of the moment, donut tins.
A range of cast iron cookware made in France by Staub comes in red, orange, black, grey, and blue. It’s a lifetime gift to yourself or a friend and its strength and beauty goes from stove to table. You can braise, roast, cook, stew or fry with the range, in-oven or on the stove top with the frying pans, rib grills and mussel pots. The cocottes are round and oval, and the divine pumpkin and tomato shaped casseroles will redefine your batterie de cuisine goals forever.
Are you picturing a warm candlelit scene, the table alive with family and friends, good conversation and wine set off with a tasty display of tapas and sharing plates? At Total Food Equipment, the ranges available mean you’ll find a set to match your flair and flavours.

Total Food EquipmentThere is the versatile and ever-stylish cast iron option: small dishes in different sizes and in round and oval. Or bring colourful artisan élan to your table with the Regas range, made in Spain since 1821 from high quality fire proof terracotta clay. The cazuela is one of the oldest cooking vessels, used since pre-Roman times and still in use today in every Spanish kitchen.
It is used as a frying pan over direct heat on the hob, an open fire or barbeque. It is also oven-proof and makes a great baker and roasting dish for sweet or savoury. The organic nature of terracotta adds flavour to the food and the dishes go from oven to table. Choose from round, oval, rectangle, bowls and handled bowls, there is a choice of exterior colours too.
If the lashing rain and wind outside means mulled wine to you, take yours to the next level with The Herb and Spice Mill sachets of all-natural ingredients. The range of food safe presentation dishes of all types is huge at Total Food Equipment, so make it your first stop for themed parties or catering this winter too. Total Food Equipment is at 218 Moorhouse Avenue, with parking outside the door.


Homewares homecoming: Ballantynes welcomes back their beautiful homewares departments

Ballantynes has long been the haven for everything beautiful, across fashion, lifestyles and homewares. But as the main store began its rebuild along Lichfield Street post-quake, its homewares departments were temporarily relocated into new premises.


A temporary building opposite the South City Mall at 520 Colombo Street was set up to house most of these offerings for the past seven years. Now the department store is celebrating the homecoming of its homewares departments, on their return to the city mall store, with the Home Edit store at 520 Colombo Street now closed.
Recognising its customers wanted all the store’s departments under one roof while the rebuild project is underway, Ballantynes made the decision to bring them home and they have made room within the existing footprint to house the different homewares departments.
You’ll now find the Stationery, Home & Living, French Country, NZ Gifts, Bed & Bath, and Childrenswear & Toys departments on the lower ground floor of Ballantynes in the city, with the Cook & Dining department on the ground floor.
Ballantynes is also celebrating its annual home event. On Wednesday 27 June, there will be an evening of home inspiration, food tastings, entertainment, giveaways and exclusive deals. To secure a place, phone
0800 656 400.