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Canterbury’s market: A vibrant, exciting hub

Have you been to Riverside Market yet? Given its meteoric popularity and the numbers already through the doors, you could be forgiven for thinking you are in a minority if you haven’t.




Following a ‘soft’ opening in late September, on 5 October this extraordinary new feature of the CBD was officially opened. Richard Peebles, along with co-investors Mike Percasky and Kris Inglis, and guest speakers, MP for Wigram Dr. Megan Woods and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, declared the five-year-long project open for business.

Riverside Market, overlooking The Avon and The Bridge of Remembrance, is a chic collection of eateries, retail outlets, and with the vibrancy of farmer’s market stalls, brings to you the freshest local produce, meats, seafood, baked goods and so much more!

“We want this to be Canterbury’s market,” says Riverside General Manager Mike Fisher. “It will be a community gathering place, a hive of activity, and a celebration of the diversity of Christchurch.”


A hive of activity it is! From the moment you step inside you feel the buzz of a busy street market and smell the aromas of freshly baked, cooked, and prepared foods of every type imaginable.

Inside, the design leads you through a rustic network of stalls featuring the warmth of natural timbers and the strength of iron, elegantly intertwined to produce an industrial heritage vibe. The use of recycled materials – rimu, bricks, salvaged windows, even 100-year-old wallpaper – culminates with the installation of two faces of the now iconic Christchurch Railway Station clock that froze in time at 4.36am on September 4, 2010.


There are three levels of activity, with multiple entry points from Cashel Street, Oxford Terrace, and Lichfield Street. With more to come, the ground floor is a cornucopia of delicacies, treats, meals, beverages and foods, cheeses, sauces and more and more and more!

Dining space is provided on three levels, including outdoors, with even more eateries to open.

More than 70 market stalls, food outlets, retail boutiques, bars and restaurants bring you the best of the best. Small business owners – micro artisan producers – have the opportunity so sell their products via The Riverside Collective – a space shared by those who may not be able, financially or time-wise, to rent full time in the permanent stalls.


“It’s an incredibly amazing idea,” says Sarah Page, owner of Vegan Deli Diva ( Her artisan cheeses and deli products – handmade, organic, dairy, plant based, and wheat and GMO free – are available alongside other local producers such as The Brothers Green, Spicy Boys, Kākāriki Kitchen and more.

On the street level outside (on Oxford Terrace), there is al fresco eating with many retailers having open frontages, including Le Panier, Dimitri’s, and summertime favourite Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!

See all the new additions at The dream of Riverside Market as a vibrant, exciting hub has already come true. From fresh produce, fish and cured meats to donuts, crêpes, a sushi train and even a kitchen school, Riverside Market will be the place to go in the CBD this summer!



John Bridgman

John Bridgman: The Influencers

Many of us have spent much of the past few weeks staring at rugby fields as the World Cup rolls on.


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

Put two of these fields side by side and you’ve got an area similar to that covered by the Metro Sports Facility, which we currently have under construction.

We’re now into the thick of the foundation concrete pours on the site that will support the nine indoor courts and the competition, diving and leisure pools.

In total, the project will require around 16,000m3 of concrete and 3700 tonnes of structural steel to build. That’s only slightly less than our other major project, Te Pae, which everyone can clearly see is a substantial central city building.

Once all the foundations are poured for the Metro Sports Facility, people travelling along Moorhouse Avenue and St Asaph Street will start seeing the structural steel going up early next year.

We know that thousands of people will visit, and dozens of events will be held at the Metro Sports Facility each year once the doors are open, providing an economic boost for the city. But it’s worth remembering the build itself is also doing that, with over 300 people expected to be working on the site at the height of construction.

That’s a big team, doing an important job, but I appreciate it’s not the main sporting fixture we’re all focused on at the moment.






Dr Megan Woods: The Influencers

One of the most exciting projects for the city right now is the Metro Sports Facility and it’s really ramping up, with the first major concrete pour for the site carried out recently.


Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister

Ōtākaro have poured around 1100m3 of concrete for the foundations of the site. This is the first of around a half a dozen large concrete pours that will create the foundation for the largest sport and recreation venue of its kind in New Zealand. It was great to see to a procession of around 200 truckloads of concrete arriving on site.

The Metro Sports Facility will cover an area about the size of two rugby fields and require around 16,000m3 of concrete and 3700 tonnes of structural steel to build, making it one of the largest projects in central Christchurch.

Once all of the foundations are poured, people travelling along Moorhouse Avenue and St Asaph Street will start seeing the structural steel going up early next year. This is just another of the visible signs of increased momentum in the recovery, with the opening of wonderful new projects like the city library.

This is also great news for the local economy. Over 300 people are expected to be working on the Metro Sports Facility at the height of construction, so it will be a hive of activity before the doors even open to sport and recreation enthusiasts. That’s 300 people with good, high-paying jobs, not to mention the economic boost to the central city once the project is complete.







Iconic building stands strong

In the heart of the new city, overlooking the renewed Ōtākaro Avon River precinct, The Public Trust Building is being restored to its former glory and strengthened for future generations.



Box 112 is preserving the iconic building which has graced the Canterbury streetscape for almost 95 years. The team at Box 112 is renowned for restoring heritage buildings with all the respect they deserve – the Public Trust Building stands as a fine example. Every historic detail of this landmark has been considered and respected, enhancing the architecture and feel of the Canterbury icon that encapsulates the roaring twenties.

Built in 1925 for the Public Trust, 152 Oxford Terrace was designed by one of Christchurch’s most celebrated architects, Cecil Wood. Wood drew international inspiration for this bold and grand design after a trip to New York during the skyscraper boom of the 1920s.

With such inspiration, it’s not surprising that the building’s entrance is a masterpiece, and will have steps leading into what could easily be the middle of the Manhattan, via its stunning timber revolving door (saved from the original 1919 PGG building) and into the grand 6m high marble lobby. The impressively oversized steel-framed windows, the original steel-caged elevator, cornice detailing and its feature façade – soon to be restored to its original colour – express a timeless architectural masterpiece.

Property developer Box 112 spokesperson James Stringer says, “Christchurch City Council have shown tremendous civic leadership in their joint desire to support these important projects. In a time where they are being called on for funds from many angles, it is deeply encouraging to see them acknowledge the importance of these structures in telling the story of Ōtākaro to the world and to Canterbury’s future generations.”

Awarded in 2017, The Landmark Heritage Grant of $1.9m enabled immediate strengthening works and protection of key heritage features to be undertaken. The building’s strengthening project is now complete. Box 112 has now commenced the second stage of construction, involving the carpentry, fit-out and aesthetic refurbishment. Completion and the opening are scheduled for early 2020.

“We want the people of Christchurch to have a chance to appreciate the beauty of this historic building,” James says.

The Public Trust Building was designed to portray strength and stability to the people of Christchurch. At the time of its original completion, almost 100 years ago, another local and celebrated architect Hurst Seager said of its design “it strikes a new note in Christchurch”. It’s seemingly fitting, and the same can be said of the city’s icon, entering the new ‘20s – almost a century on.

Vibrant hospitality and professional services are set make this iconic site home. Francesca Voza will bring the basement to life with a Rome-inspired jazz and cocktail bar, adorned with the original 1920s safety deposit boxes. Professional recruitment firm Graham Consulting and award-winning strategic advertising and brand agency Novo will both have headquarters here.

And for the cherry on the top, a world-class tapas bar created by Jeremy Stevens will overlook the city – ensuring the building is one for the public to call their own.




Ivan Iafeta: The Influencers

The recent announcement of the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration’s decision to approve the Regeneration Plan for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor is a significant milestone for Christchurch.


Regenerate Christchurch CEO

It is an exciting time for the city as the plan will guide long-term investment and commitment from multiple parties over the coming decades. Its vision of the river connecting us together – with each other, with nature and with new possibilities –reflects the community’s priorities for the area.

The opportunity to create an exemplar of climate change response that will benefit people and countries around the world will further enhance Christchurch’s national and international point of difference; and an 11-kilometre Green Spine will connect the central city to New Brighton with a mix of recreational, commercial and community uses.

Since delivering the Regeneration Plan for the Minister’s decision-making, Regenerate Christchurch has also provided advice to the Crown and Council on leadership and governance of the area.

We have recommended an independent entity to provide strong governance and independence, and we welcome the inclusion of a governance entity in the Christchurch City Council’s Global Settlement Agreement with the Crown.

The Regeneration Plan supports environmental leadership whilst also providing flexibility to accommodate changing community views and technological advancements that might emerge over the course of the coming decades.

It identifies land uses that are best for achieving the vision while anticipating and accommodating the potential for change over time. This, I believe, will prove to be one of its greatest strengths.




City’s Labour of Love

The Christ Church Cathedral reinstatement will be the city’s labour of love – and preparations are underway for early 2020, when the action starts.


Project Story | Olivia Spencer-Bower


Although nothing appears to be happening at the moment, plenty is going on in the background. Excitement is building at Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project headquarters, where a tight team of up to 10 prepare for the 12 to 18-month initial stabilisation phase. “This is our Notre Dame. It’s not your regular doer-upper,” Project Director Keith Paterson says.

“A complex job always requires more planning. In the heritage world especially, things take time – and this is the crown in Christchurch’s rebuild. We are working through the best ways to make it structurally sound and safe to work in.”
The reinstated Cathedral will look similar – only greatly enhanced for the future. “It will provide more flexibility, be far more comfortable and functional,” he says.

Expect a warmer place of worship with improved acoustics. The main building will be stabilised and repaired first, then comes the visitor’s centre, and finally a new tower – offering the quintessential Christchurch experience of climbing up its stairs once again.

Paterson says waiting this long has its positives, as the industry has had time to develop new techniques and test them throughout the rebuild. “We have to make sure we get it right. It’s not the place to take any risks.”

The concept design is being fronted by Warren and Mahoney and Holmes Consulting Limited partnership, with input from Rawlinsons. Naylor Love Canterbury has been appointed for construction logistics, methodologies and programme advice, which he says is a good fit with other projects they’ve been involved in such as Christ’s College, Isaac Theatre Royal, and currently Wellington Town Hall’s strengthening and base isolation – that the Cathedral also requires.

The required skills of artisanship will be sourced locally as far as possible, and internationally where appropriate. “You could say we are rebuilding the skeleton from the inside. The walls, up to 1.2 metres thick, will be stripped from the inside and the existing rubble fill replaced with steel or reinforced concrete. It’s going to be complex, and it is always harder to retro-fit – especially a Cathedral.

As much heritage as possible will be retained, including items like the recently recovered stained glass angel’s head. He says the reinstatement will be a monumental structural repair of international significance. Likely the most complex Cathedral repair project globally, it will be worth the patience. The team is exploring ways of making the reinstatement accessible to the public using technology like CCTV as part of a temporary visitor experience centre.

“It takes a community to build – or in this case rebuild – a Cathedral and an independent trust has been established to fundraise and oversee the use of public funds,” Paterson says. “A public campaign will be launched next year, but anyone is welcome to donate now online, by post, or in person.”

The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Lawrence Kimberley, is delighted that progress is being made. “It will be a joy to see the Cathedral on its way back to becoming a sacred and welcoming place for all,” he says.

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Basilica: to restore or not to restore? Q&A with Jamie Gough

The future of the earthquake-damaged Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Barbadoes Street is in question, as the Catholic Diocese confirms it is considering building a new cathedral on an empty site.



As Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel steps out of discussions citing a conflict of interest, we caught up with Christchurch City Councillor James Gough about the significance of this architectural icon.



Why is restoration something we should fight for?

We have already lost so much. If at all viable, I support every effort being made to retain significant historic buildings. It would be a rather sad story to tell if our local heritage landscape of the future was nothing more than just tilt slab, glass and K-bracing. The Christchurch Basilica was a stunning building. It was arguably more attractive in an architectural sense than the Anglican Cathedral and certainly one of the finest Renaissance style buildings in the country. Its heritage status is nationally recognised and it will hold special memories for countless people over numerous generations.

How passionate do you think Christchurch is about the preservation of this building?
I think we are fortunate to have passionate people in our community who fight hard for what they believe in but there will be many others who are just ‘battled out’. I would be surprised if the level of push-back, to whatever decision that the Catholic diocese makes, is anywhere near as vehement as to what it was for the Anglican Cathedral in the Square. That divided the community and dragged on for far too long. In the end I was just pleased that a decision was reached so the centre of the city wasn’t being held ransom any longer and we could all move forward. Inaction doesn’t serve anyone.

There’s an election coming up in October – is there a Gough family hat getting thrown in the ring?
There will definitely be a J. Gough name in the mix and that will include seeking re-election for council. Whether that extends to the mayoralty is something that I’m strongly considering but will be determined over the next wee while.

What are some of the critical areas for Christchurch in coming months?
Short term the well-head work needs to be completed so chlorine can be gone from our water as soon as practically possible. Longer term and without question there needs to be a much stronger commercial lens from the council. Some recent decisions have been very poor for business confidence and the central city, which is key to our progress at this critical juncture. The other major focus needs to be on rates. The level of rates increases are completely unsustainable so in my view this needs urgent attention and the spending on pet-projects has to stop.


Celebrating Success

Eight years into the rebuild, Christchurch is continuing to command attention on the global stage for its richly developing urban spaces, a metamorphosis which is palpable, measurable and impressive.



However, the extent to which the commercial backbone of the recovering city can fulfil its potential largely rests on the commercial shoulders of the identities spearheading the change in our built environment. Now it’s time to celebrate them! New Zealand’s foremost Building Industry Awards are designed to celebrate high performing individuals and teams working across the industry.

As the name New Zealand Building Industry Awards suggests, the focus of these awards is to acknowledge and celebrate the practitioners behind New Zealand’s most successful building projects. From the traditional Cost-band categories that have been part of the annual NZIOB awards programme since 1994, through to the more recent Consultants and Interdisciplinary Collaboration categories, the New Zealand Building Industry Awards have categories that all high-performing building practitioners can enter.

The key point of difference with the New Zealand Building Industry Awards is that the finalists are recognised in front of an audience (and by an Institute) that represents the full building supply-chain. The awards celebrate the achievements of the finalists, while promoting the companies that employ them as entities that value and practice high performance.

Entries for the 2019 New Zealand Building Industry Awards close on Friday 10 May. For more information and to enter, visit


New lease on life: Box 112

Work to strengthen and refurbish the grand Public Trust Building is well under way, signalling another step forward in Christchurch’s steady redevelopment.



First completed in 1925 for the Public Trust, the iconic 152 Oxford Terrace landmark was designed by one of Christchurch’s most celebrated architects, Cecil Wood, who is also well known for the ex-State Insurance building on Worcester Boulevard, and the Christ’s College Dining Hall.

Now, investment company, Box 112, is working hard to return the site to its former glory, with major plans in the works that feature a cocktail bar, retail and hospitality premises, along with premium office areas. Meanwhile, strengthening work is being completed by Ruamoko Solutions, which aims to introduce modern facilities and infrastructure that retain the authenticity and style of the original building.

A glimpse inside this stunning space reveals a grand entrance with marble lobby, glass and steel frame elevator and exquisite stairwell. The ground floor – which has a high value hospitality space available – has 6m high ceilings, large north facing windows and stunning authentic character features. The office levels above have been leased by top tier professional services firms and a suite of smaller serviced offices.



James Stringer, of Box 112, says all spaces have heritage features and high-quality finishes that leverage off the authenticity of the building. The top floor features a rooftop bar and the basement will house a speakeasy cocktail bar with the building’s original 1920’s safety deposit boxes.

“Since 1925, this building has been a Christchurch landmark,” he says. “We’re honoured to be able to restore and preserve this important icon for future generations. Its stunning heritage features and authenticity, along with its position overlooking the Avon River, provide businesses and their customers with a truly exceptional environment.”

Julian Ramsay, Managing Director of consulting structural engineers Ruamoko Solutions, says the Public Trust Building project involved earthquake strengthening of the iconic building to a minimum of 80% NBS. “Ruamoko had previously completed seismic strengthening work on this building in 2008 to achieve 33%NBS, which performed very well and ultimately prevented the collapse of this building in the Canterbury earthquakes,” he explains.

“Commissioned in 2018 to provide seismic strengthening to 67%NBS, Ruamoko performed a sophisticated non-linear time history analysis which provided more surety around performance of the 67% scheme. With minor modifications, our analysis resulted in an increase of the buildings strength to 80%NBS, which will allow the building to continue to remain an important part of the built environment in Christchurch.”

Other important contributors to this redevelopment project have been T&A Construction and Dean Cowell at Three Sixty Architecture. The Christchurch City Council has also been instrumental in this project through its landmark heritage grant and the support provided through its experienced and knowledgeable heritage team, led by Brendan Smyth.

With work well under way, Christchurch can once again look forward to the return of a well-known and remembered landmark.


What’s in the building?

In early 2016, Peter Marshall of architectural firm Warren and Mahoney wrote, in ArchitectureNow, that “the new Christchurch will be an overlay of the new upon the old – one that preserves heritage while embracing modernity. The result will be a 21st-century ‘garden city’ that provides a new way of working and living in a city within a contemporary and vibrant environment.”




Three years later that modernity is upon us and Christchurch denizens are indeed embracing it. Take a stroll around the central city and view some of the beautiful examples of the architecture dotting the Christchurch cityscape – the Deloitte Building, Tūranga, The Terrace, EntX, the bus interchange. With still a few significant anchor projects to be completed, notably the convention centre and sports facility, the CBD is a proverbial beehive of construction activity. What will eventually be a key feature on the border of the South Frame is Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery school. After being displaced by the earthquakes, the school – two inner-city schools which merged post-earthquake but have remained on separate campuses in Halswell and Ilam – will return to the new city campus near the Colombo corner of St Asaph Street. With the city as their resource – library, museum, arts precinct – and playground – Margaret Mahy, Botanic Gardens – this fantastic new building will reflect the school’s unique approach to learning. “Our new building allows us the chance to work as we did before the earthquakes in 2011. We will be able to use the city as our resource more effectively,” says Director Steven Mustor.




Leaving the campuses that have been their home for eight years will bring mixed emotions, but Mustor believes that “for most students, parents, and staff, there is great excitement about the possibilities our new facility and location can bring.” Students are set to take back the town in term two. Conveniently, perhaps most for parents doing the school run, right next to the school is The Yard, a series of boutique eateries, plus retail and office space. With more set to open, already operating are J-Bings (Chinese), Mokoji (Korean), Ceylon Kitchen (Sri Lankan) and Maison de Crepes. A repurposed 1950s printing hall, the exposed wood, brick, steel and concrete make for a cosy environment in which to relax, eat and meet. “Buildings,” Peter Marshall also wrote, “will have street frontages as well as communal outdoor space.”

Ao Tawhiti and The Yard, and the south sides of EntX and the Justice Precinct, overlook Matai Common, a communal ‘gathering space’ on Mollett Street that includes seating, kai tables, cycle stands, native plants and trees, a story board, and a special “rain poem” stencilled into the laneway that is revealed only when the area is wet. With these significant projects nearing completion, as well as a host of residential developments, both completed and planned, in the East Frame and elsewhere, the CBD certainly is providing a new way to work and live.