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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’.


Hot new spots

The CBD is still pumping out hot new spots for us to head to, so we’ve checked out some of the new kids on the block.




  1. Popular little pop-up
    This popular little pop-up theatre has returned, this time with an indoor venue rather than a large tent so you can check out all the hottest shows with no risk of anything raining on your parade! The 100-seat Little Andromeda theatre will opened early this month on The Terrace and is expected to run until the end of November, hosting dozens of local performers, with ticket prices ranging from $3 to $25.

  2. Thrifty threads
    Op-shopping is even cooler than ever before when you consider it from a sustainability lens! Right in the heart of the city, I Heart Thrifting is a champion of sustainable fashion and the BNZ Centre’s newest thrift store aims to make a positive impact on the environment with recycled goods and less waste. Find it down the laneway off Colombo Street.

  3. Must-try menu
    One of the Gentle Giant’s biggest fans? Then we’ve got a new fave for your list… its sister café, Child Sister! With a unique must-try menu, along with a beautiful panoramic view of Manchester Street and Margaret Mahy playground, it’s time to head along for lunch. Try the banana jam waffles or the number one bestseller – classic eggs bene – at 277 Manchester Street.
    Facebook @childsistercafe



Scott Thelning: The Influencers

The new face of Christchurch city has prompted many of us to look at the CBD afresh and appreciate all it now has to offer.


Principal Cathedral Grammar

I’m certainly aware that my own family and I spend much more time in the city on the weekends than previously to take advantage of the rapidly improving facilities and the ever-increasing array of shops and cafés.

The re-energised city has also made me appreciate anew the foresight of the founders of Cathedral Grammar. Our school truly is part of the fabric of Christchurch’s central city. As our roll grows, many parents tell us that the CBD location is a key part of the appeal.

Far from being closeted behind school gates, our boys and girls are out in the city, enjoying the wonderful nearby resources.

The fantastic new central library, Tūranga, where some students are involved in an Enrichment Programme, is a focal point, together with our art offering at the Museum and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Students also head to Ara Institute for Engineering and Food Technology, and Christ’s College to study Hard Materials.

Whether it be training for a duathlon, having rugby practice, going for a run or playing bullrush, we too, like so many people in the CBD, enjoy the wonderful resource that is Hagley Park.

These are all exciting opportunities to enrich and extend our current learning programmes inside and outside the classroom. Better still, they’re all within walking distance.

We love introducing a new generation to the new generation Christchurch.




Archibalds Motors

A high-performance rebuild: Archibalds Motors

One of the most highly respected vehicle brands globally, Porsche has long represented luxury in its high-performance sports cars.


Archibalds Motors


So not surprising then that Archibalds Motors would seek to capture these same elements in its new Porsche showroom in the city, the delivery of which was tasked to award-winning Map Architects and construction company Hanham & Philp.They have definitely delivered on that. The luxury vehicles that come under the Porsche marquee are certainly at home in their new flagship dealership on the corner of Tuam and Antigua Streets, where the floor space covers some 1500 square metres and is framed by steel and floor to ceiling glass.

Plans for the new development – which opened in November – have been on the drawing board for 10 years, with the post-quake need to rebuild its site and the area around it being rezoned as the Health Precinct ramping up a long-held vision for an innovative mixed-use building. Today the exceptional two-level high curved façade stands just 200 metres from where Alex Archibald founded his family’s Christchurch motor company a century ago.


Topped with three floors of medical tenancies, including the Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust on the top floor, the building covers a total of some 6700 square metres.  Much like the top of the range vehicles are right at home in the new surroundings, the exceptional space of the new Archibalds Porsche showroom is right at home in the rebuilding city. After all, what better fit than a world-leading marquee in a world-leading CBD?



Serious Entertainment destination

Serious Entertainment destination

Peter Walker heads into the city to check out the new flagship cinema complex and all its delicious offerings.


Serious Entertainment destination


Hoyts has returned to the CBD. Since the demolition of the Moorhouse Avenue cinema building, the city has waited patiently for a replacement. The wait has been well rewarded. EntX, on the corner of Lichfield and Colombo Streets, is the entertainment company’s flagship cinema complex, certainly something unique and exciting in a city longing for, and demanding, serious entertainment.

The Calder Stewart design and build project broke ground in 2016, facing issues such as a tight, 100 percent coverage site with extremely limited access due to its central city location. What they have delivered is a contemporary movie theatre complex, with seven screens, recliners and state of the art Dolby sound systems. There are two Extremescreens – biggest and best screens and sounds available – and for the ultimate movie experience, two LUX theatres. As the name suggests, LUX is a premium dine-in cinema experience. “Optimised for luxury over capacity,” it means you get to combine fine wine, premium food and comfort while enjoying the latest blockbusters from the guaranteed best seat in the house.


Serious Entertainment destination

From the top of the escalators you enter two floors of an almost futuristic other-world. Self-serve ticketing terminals, bathed in the flicker of a huge screen showing movie shorts, give way to Treat City, an open plan treat centre. Self-serve popcorn, drinks, frozen drinks, novelty cups, sweets and popcorn buckets, and movie merchandise such as hats, soft toys, mugs, Pop! Vinyl figures and more – all on display for purchase. “We’re all about customer interaction, and them having the time to browse and make selections before the movie,” says Location Manager Michelle McConaghty.

Arties Bar and Café serves hot and cold food that can be taken into the theatres to make for a unique experience in Christchurch. And if all that isn’t already the makings of a funtastic entertainment experience, on the ground floor is an incredible line up of some of the best casual dining in the city. That accounts for the amazing smells as you enter a large atrium with stylised seating areas, including comfy leather lounge seats in front of a fireplace, bar leaners, benches, and tables and chairs.


Serious Entertainment destination

Each of the eateries has its own seating area, too. Cleaver & Co and Joe’s Garage offer all the gastro-pub and breakfast favourites while Two Fat Indians, Nando’s, Ottoman Turkish Kebabs, Roll and Bowl, Hanoi Old Quarter, and Pad Thai Pan make all the ethnic delights you would expect in such a culinary festival. Infinito, Leemo, Nourish Pod, and Habitual Fix also offer quality favourites such a pizza, sandwiches, wraps, desserts, juices and smoothies, and teas. More food outlets are coming.

Whether checking out the latest Oscar hopefuls or meeting friends for a night on the town – the Bus Interchange is just across the road and there are parking buildings close by, making this central city hotspot easily accessible – EntX is the perfect starting point.



Embracing our accessible city

Embracing our accessible city

Architect Craig South takes a look at how Christchurch’s growing cycle and pedestrian infrastructure is poised to transform the city’s future.


Embracing our accessible city


Part of the vision for the Christchurch rebuild was to create a city that would be safer, cleaner and easier to access. Most Cantabrians agree with that in principle, while still commuting to work every day in private motor vehicles that pollute the environment and clog up roads. Maybe it’s time to rethink how we travel in and out of the city. I’m optimistic this will happen as people begin to explore the city’s changing travel network. Christchurch already has many new dedicated cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways linking up different parts of the CBD and connecting with similar developments in the wider city and outlying districts. We may not yet be up there with Copenhagen – the world’s first ‘Bike City’ – but this shift towards sharing our streets more evenly between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians is starting to create a more positive feel for the whole urban environment.

While some of the city’s new cycle ways are still somewhat under-used, they are a resource waiting to be tapped into. All that’s required is a shift in thinking and a willingness to give it a go. Over time, they will grow to be recognised as a real asset for the city not least because fewer cars on the roads will ultimately mean less traffic congestion. Imagine the Riverside farmers’ market once it’s up and running. With most people walking or cycling there on a Saturday rather than driving, it will be an amazing evolution for the central city.

Within our own architectural practice, we are witnessing an interesting shift in commuting habits. Some people have completely switched over to cycling, while others are choosing to drive part way before completing their commute on a bike. Most are thinking about how they travel to and from work and whether it’s time to make some changes. Personally, I’ve been warming to the idea of cycling to work more often.

My cycle route is through Hagley Park and I find that so much more relaxing than the drive. For starters, I have the freedom to think about other things than morning traffic. It takes me 15 minutes to bike to work, compared to 10 minutes by car. When you factor in how long it can take to find a car park, cycling does not add significantly to travel time. Plus, cycling bestows fitness and petrol saving advantages. It’s such an easy, stress free way to build physical activity into the day.

Commuting by bike, bus or foot is definitely more ecologically sustainable than taking the car, unless you happen to own an electric vehicle, of course. Some of our larger civic and commercial organisations are leading the way in supporting all the various green transport alternatives through providing electric car charging stations, secure bike parking and associated shower and locker facilities.


For those who haven’t been on a bike for a while, give it a try one weekend and find out just how easy it is to get around on two-wheels. It really is a fun way to explore the city!