Christchurch from the air

1430422109708Aerial footage of Christchurch’s central city has been turned into an interactive panorama of the post-earthquake recovery.

Helicam Pro manager Jared Waddams captured the view of Christchurch’s rebuilding CBD in early April and spent three weeks “stitching” the images together to create a website “like a high-definition Google Earth”.

Helicam Pro manager Jared Waddams says drone technology is the way of the future.

Waddams believed drones would eventually become part of everyday life and he completed the Airscapes project to show people what could be done with the technology now.

He received permission to close the airways above central Christchurch for about 15 minutes and take his drone 300 metres above the ground. The normal height allowance for a drone user was only 120m, he said.

The Airscapes website, which went live on Thursday, gives a 360 degree panorama of the Christchurch CBD.

The view is a combination of 37 high resolution images which were taken from a single point.

“You can spend  time just touring the whole city; it’s quite enchanting actually, quite mesmerising,” Waddams said.

He planned to update the images as the city’s post-earthquake rebuild continued.

“We’ve just got such a unique city scape at the moment.”

Go here to view,


  • The Press
  • Photo: Andy Currie

Five-storey block for health precinct


The building will have up to five storeys in a campus environment.

Countrywide, headed by Richard Diver, is already revamping the old Deloitte House next door for the Canterbury District Health Board and has added 10 new office buildings to Victoria St.

Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) acting director Don Miskell said the latest health precinct deal showed investor confidence remained strong in the city.

‘‘Our aim is to establish a firstclass precinct that brings together health-related activity, including education.’’

The precinct will span four blocks between St Asaph and Montreal streets, Hagley Ave and Oxford Tce and Montreal St.

Diver said the building would have health-related tenants on its four office floors, with shops and hospitality outlets at ground level.

‘‘It will be a beautiful building, it will look spectacular. We are talking to tenants now, from both the public and private sectors.’’

The company was doing design work now and hoped to start building later this year, Diver said. The building’s exact size depends on how any tenants are signed.


  • Liz McDonald
  • The Press

New central library unveiled

getimageChristchurch’s new central library will be a beacon that draws people into Cathedral Square and will light up at night like a lantern, one of its designers says…

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$140 million precinct for Christchurch

getimage (5)Plans for a glossy $140 million development in the City Mall have been unveiled.

The precinct will include shops, offices, cafes, bars and car parking around a network of laneways and air bridges.

Christchurch’s wealthiest man, central city landlord Philip Carter, is behind the plan. Construction starts soon and the precinct will occupy new and heritage buildings on over a hectare of land between Cashel, Colombo, Lichfield and High streets. It is due to open in October next year.

Carter promised the development would be ‘‘the cornerstone of a vibrant and world-class retail precinct that will be a drawcard for locals and visitors alike’’.

The hospitality area would be open from daytime to evenings and feature a distinctive glass bubble facade.

‘‘It will give the central city a new heart and pump life back into the retail precinct as a whole,’’ he said.

Tenants have not yet been announced but are likely to include fashion and food and beverage outlets.

Carter said tenant interest had been ‘‘very strong’’.

A leading possibility is British global fashion retailer Topshop, as Carter has taken a shareholding in the company’s New Zealand arm.

Office floors will be at either end of the precinct, with hospitality in the middle.

An existing air bridge will link it to Ballantynes to the west and it will also link to The Crossing car park, which Carter has bought from the Christchurch City Council.

Carter has bought 80 per cent of the site since the earthquakes, expanding his smaller holding that was on the Cashel-Colombo corner under the original Crossing name.

He joins other landlords including Tim Glasson, Nick Hunt and Antony Gough in launching his development under special Christchurch Central Development Unit rules for the city’s retail core. Owners must put together masterplanned developments with pedestrian links.

Carter said this requirement had made planning harder but he was very pleased with the result.

‘‘We’ve spent a lot of time making sure there was plenty of sun and light and shelter. Getting the car parking was key to making it work,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s all going to start happening around here now – this area is really changing quickly.’’


  • Liz McDonald
  • The Press

Christchurch memorial shortlist

11242019_600x400 (4)The six shortlisted designs for the multi-million dollar Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been unveiled.

Associate Earthquake Recovery Minister Nicky Wagner announced the final designs Tuesday afternoon.

  1. Memorial Wall with a reflective pond (see above)

This design is a long curving white “ribbon” wall of different heights and sizes. There are various “rooms” through the wall with the names of earthquake victims placed in lit alcoves in the wall. It includes a reflection pond.

  1. Table and Chairs

A bronzed 55m x 60cm table and 185 chairs would be fixed on the site. Some of the chairs people could sit on, others would structurally support the table.

Names would be embossed on a steel ribbon suspended above the table. The idea was based on the 185 empty white chairs memorial to the earthquake victims, which is opposite the site of the Canterbury Television building.


  1. A Green and Peaceful Landscape

This involves a spiral path with a chestnut tree in the middle. At the centre of the spiral is a shallow pool with the names underneath the water. The design includes a bridge across the Avon River.


  1. Call and Response

A sonic field of memory incorporating sound and engraved stone walls. This design includes a bridge and concave mirrors that reflect sound. Recordings, such as birdsong, would play. Victims names would be placed in alcoves. There would be a grove of Kowhai trees, which flower in February.


  1. Riverside Promenade

A remembrance wall on the Oxford Tce side of the river with a row of cherry trees to honour the Japanese nationals who died in the quake. Pieces of historic facades from buildings would be incorporated in the promenade.


  1. A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall 

Formerly known as the “Veil of Tears”, this design forms a place of contemplation. Water would flow along the top and face of the curved wall over victims’ names carved from greenstone. Stone terraces and an oval lawn could accommodate large numbers for civic events.



The memorial will form part of the Avon River Precinct, between Montreal St and Rhododendron Island, on the corner of Oxford Tce, Lichfield St and Durham St South.

The preferred design will be created using up to $10 million from the Government and $1m from the mayoral relief fund.

Families of those killed in the February 2011 quake and the seriously injured were invited to preview the final six designs on Sunday. About 40 people went along.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) earthquake memorial development director Rob Kerr said the design brief was for both or either side of the Avon River.

Victims’ families wanted the memorial to include water, greenery and honour those who died, the injured and rescuers.

The memorial should provide an experience, rather than simply act as a monument, Kerr said.

The shortlisted designs, which were anonymous, were “powerful”, he said.

“It’s all about the idea, it’s not about the reputation of the designer.

“On its own the site has water and large fantastic trees, which are the things the families wanted to see.

“The designers have really put a lot of heart and soul into it.”

All the designs were within budget and were in a similar cost “ball-park”, Kerr said.

The memorial needed to be durable, not just look pretty in a picture, he said.

The public will be asked for feedback on the finalised designs, which will be viewable online and will soon go on display outside Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave.

After the feedback, a Cera panel will make a recommendation on its preferred design to a memorial leadership group made up of Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Wagner, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barry and Ngai Tahu representatives.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will make the final decision in May.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority hoped to have the memorial built by February 22, 2016 but this would depend which design was selected.


  • Joelle Dally
  • The Press

Breathe Urban Village set to go!

11171360After months of silence, the developer behind an ambitious residential development in central Christchurch is confident the project will go ahead.

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International conference awarded for new convention centre

11088786The first international conference is scheduled for Christchurch’s new convention centre, putting on the pressure for the complex to be finished by its 2017 target.

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Thank You Christchurch

Thank You Christchurch – SCIRT


Backing for Christchurch subdivision

racecourseA plan to build more than 800 homes on the western fringes of Riccarton Racecourse has received conditional public backing.

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Christchurch Council “struggling” to cope

christchurchThe Christchurch City Council admits it is struggling to cope with its rebuild work and wants to hand over responsibility for major development projects to a new commercial entity.

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