Tag: Christchurch City Council

Historic Places Canterbury Submission on the Draft Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2022-2023

This is a submission on the Draft Annual Plan which is a financial plan.

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2022-2023 


From Historic Places Canterbury

Mayor and Councillors,

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) wishes to acknowledge the work and professionalism of the Council's Heritage Team and requests the Councillors to pass on our appreciation of their work.

HPC in addition wishes to draw the attention of the Councillors to the Canterbury Stories web site initiative. HPC commends the Council for funding work on this project.

Our initial contacts with them has been very positive and HPC is sure the project will have strong community support. Our contacts outside Christchurch have expressed real interest in this initiative.

HPC requests this projects funding be continued.

HPC considers the continual restoration of its (CCC) earthquake damaged Heritage buildings to be a real success. HPC requests the Council pass on our appreciation to those staff involved.

Specifically, HPC requests the Councillors adjust the Draft Annual Plan for the following:

Christchurch City Council Heritage Team

HPC requests the Council Heritage Team be restored to its pre-COVID staffing levels and make an adjustment to the funding accordingly.

The CCC deferred from filling a Team Heritage vacant position due to the financial influence of COVID. 

HPC is requesting this vacant position be filled as it has been our experience the Heritage Team's expertise is required both internally and externally. 

Councillors will recall our recent Public Forum presentations where we noted the lack of Heritage Team input and advice in CCC Reports.

The Heritage Team's work will increase as the Government's intention to intensify our City will place additional strain on the preserving our Heritage. Due to the Government measures we face the real prospect of significant loss of Heritage that would qualify but has not yet been assessed for protection by the Heritage Team.

HPC considers the District Plan is not as representative of our Heritage and extra effort needs to made to rectify this. HPC would like to remind the Councillors a couple of years ago we found that scheduled Heritage Buildings were just (if I recall correctly) just 0.25% of the total building stock) so Heritage is rare.

Heritage Incentive Grants- The Tangible Fund

HPC requests at minimum, the full reinstatement of the grant to its highest previous levels (between $800,000-900,00).

Reinstating it to its previous levels will bring operational parity with the Intangible Fund. 

HPC considers there is an imbalance as applications for built heritage are generally more cash intensive so the funding for the Tangible Fund should reflect this and needs to be raised. "Our Heritage Our Taonga" Heritage Strategy commits the Council to supporting and partnering with the Community in the retention of our Heritage and the funding must reflect this. 

HPC argues BOTH the Tangible and Intangible Funds should be well supported to be effective. 

This is not a case of one or another but both together.

CCC Cemeteries

HPC requests the Cemetery Repair Fund be reinstated. 

The CCC is to be commended for having a specialist Cemetery Team. (HPC has complimented their work in a past Public Forum presentation.) The systematic repair of these Heritage Objects will supplement their work and will enjoy public support. 

In addition there is a Bill before Parliament that will very likely direct the Council to take responsibility for cemetery maintenance. Setting aside funds for repair is the CCC preparing for the inevitable.

Robert McDougall Gallery- Deferment of work on Weathertightness

HPC requests the Councillors give an assurance that delaying the work in making the Gallery weathertight will not cause (further?) damage to its heritage material. 

HPC is asking for this as we can find no reference in the Draft Plan to any report stating that the proposed delay will not materially affect the heritage material of the building. 

If no report exists HPC requests the Councillors seek one before making the final decision.

The Provincial Council Buildings

HPC supports that funds have set aside for work on the complex.

HPC requests the CCC actively seek a lasting solution on the future of these important and much loved Heritage buildings.

HPC understands this is a complex situation however we are sure Christchurch residents and yourselves agree a solution is long overdue.

Vacant Land Rate Differential

HPC requests that for the proposed Vacate Land Rate Differential a provision allowing for discretion for Heritage and Character buildings be added. 

HPC is concerned the proposed new Rate in its application should not become a contributing factor in a buildings demise.

HPC considers that an increased funding of the Tangible Fund (HIG grants etc) empowers the CCC Heritage Team to be more proactive and achieve more positive outcomes..

General Comments

Aside from the above requests, HPC endorses the Draft Plan in relation to what is proposed for Heritage.

HPC is pleased the repair of the Cunningham House renewal is on the budget. The Botanical Gardens are one of Christchurch jewels and Cunningham House is an integral part of the Parks experience.

Barbadoes Street Cemetery Sextons House Renewal

HPC is pleased work is planned for this building, as it is long overdue. However if the renewal is to be delayed as proposed, HPC requests an assurance the building will made very secure. HPC has knowledge of other CCC buildings where this has not happened.


HPC has seen the initial installations and looks forward to the continued rollout of the program.

"Our Heritage Our Taonga" CCC Heritage Strategy

"Kia kōmiroa, kia whiria ngā weu kia ū, Kia roa, kia pītonga ai te taura

we lengthen and strengthen the essence within

As we weave together new strands into our rope,

We work together to recognise, protect and celebrate our heritage, which weaves our stories and places together, and is vital to the identity and wellbeing of our communities and the district."

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Presentation To The Waipuna Hallswell Hornby Riccarton Community Board (29:03:2022)

Public Forum Presentation to the 
Waipuna Hallswell Hornby Riccarton Community Board

From Historic Places Canterbury (HPC)

Tuesday 29th March 2022

Chair, Councillors and Community Board Members,

"Thank You" for allowing me to make this Public Forum presentation.

My name is Mark Gerrard and I am Chair of the heritage NGO Historic Places Canterbury. This presentation is to inform you of Historic Places Canterbury's reservations about a report recently presented to the Council and presumably passed by the Board, on the proposed demolition of the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library.

Our concerns about the report are the following:

HPC could not find a Heritage Assessment from the Council Heritage Team

HPC found no mention of the Council Heritage Strategy “Our Heritage Our Taonga”

No public Engagement.

Very recently, I made a personal Deputation expressing the same concerns on a report to the Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board on the proposed demolition of Woodham Park Caretaker's Residence. 

That Board chose to have the report lay on the table whilst:

A Heritage Assessment of the Woodham Park Caretaker's Residence was conducted and 

Public Engagement for possible future community use was carried out.

Those of you with longer memories will recall we almost lost the Yaldhurst Memorial Hall in similar circumstances. Responding to a HPC presentation, assurances were given then, there would be a change in management procedures ensuring the Heritage Team would be brought in earlier in the CCC decision making process, to advise and assess.

HPC considers the Community Boards as often, having the best appreciation of your Heritage. As the local guardians of your heritage, HPC asks that you be vigilant in this your role.

HPC recognises that often the Board can only make recommends to the full Council. HPC is of the belief that where there is a possibility Heritage may be involved, you require any report that is to be received:

Address the Council Heritage Policy “Our Heritage Our Taonga”

Ask/ensure the Council Heritage Team’s input/advice be sought

On a more broader issue HPC considers when it comes to the future of a Council owned building with a social history, the default setting should be Public Engagement to ascertain if there is a community use for it. This should occur before any decisions and reports about its future eg sale or demolition, are written. 

The Council's Heritage Strategy has been broadened and includes social history, it recognises, as we all should, the importance of "Our Heritage, Our Taonga".

Thank You for listening to this Presentation.

Mark Gerrard

Chair Historic Places Canterbury

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Presentation to Christchurch City Council (30:03:2022)

30th March 2022

Chair, Mayor and Councillors, Thank you for allowing 

Historic Places Canterbury to make this Public Forum presentation.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) as you will be aware has expressed our concerns with the report on the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library.

They were briefly the following:

HPC could not find a Heritage Assessment from the Heritage Team.

We could find no reference to the CCC Strategy “Our Heritage Our Taonga”.

Lack of Public Engagement.

Recently, I made a personal Deputation to the Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board concerning the recommended demolition of the Woodham Park Caretaker's Residence. My Deputation raised the same three criticisms as HPC raised on the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library report. The Community Board resolved for the report to lay on the table whilst a Heritage Assessment is done and Public Engagement on the future of the building is sought.

HPC is very concerned there may be a pattern that if a building is not listed or scheduled then “Our Heritage Our Taonga” does not apply nor should advice or input from the CCC Heritage Team be sought.

If this is the case, HPC believes this is contrary to Our Heritage Our Taonga. HPC considers it should be the CCC default setting, and the Staff should be proactive on this, that if there is a decision to be made on a building which has a social history or heritage, no matter how minor, whatever its District Plan status, Our Heritage Our Taonga applies and Heritage Team advice and input should be sought. This advice/ input should be sought very early in the CCC processes.

HPC seeks your support for this.

HPC is concerned Public Engagement priority is determined by the early decision making made leading up to the final report. HPC considers where practical Public Engagement should occur early on in the CCC processes to determine if there is community interest in the future of a building. 

HPC seeks your support for this.

The greenest buildings is the one that already exists. (Publication:"There's No Place like Old Homes. Re-use and recycle to reduce carbon" Historic England.)

HPC respectfully requests the CCC and its entities should adopt Whole of Life Carbon Cycle Costs when costing its buildings. Any comparison between refurbishment of an existing and demolishing / building new should include these costs. (The demolition costs should include end of life costings.)

HPC has an interest in the future of the Barnett Avenue Pensioner Cottages, the Council's first and New Zealand's first Council elderly housing. HPC has the expectation the Heritage Team should be consulted on their Heritage significance.

HPC seeks your support that for any financial calculations relating to any decisions on the future of the Barnett Ave Cottages include Whole of Life Carbon Cycle Costs for both refurbishment and demolition/new build (the demolition costs the include end of life costings).

Thank you for listening to this Public Forum presentation.

Mark Gerrard

Chair Historic Places Canterbury

“Temporary reprieve for 103-year-old war memorial” The Press on line article (10:03:2022)

Temporary reprieve for 103-year-old war memorial - The press


HPC Chair Mark Gerrard quote along with Christchurch Civic Trust Chair Ross Grey

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Presentation to the Christchurch City Council 10.03.2022

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Presentation to the Christchurch City Council

Thursday, 10th March 2022

Mayor and Councillors,

Thank You for allowing me to make this presentation.

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) has concerns about the processes leading up to and the decision to demolish the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library. 

Our major concerns are the following:

Lack of Extensive Community Engagement.

HPC considers the community and stakeholders should have had a say in the future of this iconic building, on site since 1919.

After HPC raised its concerns publicly; a Christchurch RSA has been in touch expressing an interest. For myself, within a minute of finishing my live interview with Radio New Zealand’s Jessie Mulligan, a property developer rang asking about strengthening costs. There is interest in the community. 

HPC has received an usually large number of emails expressing opposition to the proposed demolition.

HPC has been told that regular ANZAC services were held at the Library with an attendance of 200 odd people, chairs were lent by the adjacent Spagalimis and a local bakery opening up early to supply food.

Why will the CCC not work with the community to retain and determine a future for this building?

No Heritage Assessment included in the Report to Council.

The CCC Heritage Team did not provide a formal heritage assessment of the building. The question needs to be raised, why were they not asked? A 1919 building called the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library, any reasonable Christchurch Resident would conclude it should have been assessed by the CCC Heritage Team before a recommendation to demolish.

Surely the CCC should be leading by example? This is a case where Leadership was required.

Some of the Councillors may recall similar circumstances occurred with the Yaldhurst Memorial Hall. We were given assurances then, it would not happen again.

Stating the building was not listed with the HNZPT or scheduled in the District Plan so it has little heritage relevance, the cost, no economic use (as assessed by CCC Staff) are similar arguments used regularly by Property Developers when they plan to demolish. Surely the CCC can do better and lead by example?

CCC Heritage Strategy- Our Heritage Out Taonga

I could find no reference to this Strategy in the report to Council. 

The question is being asked what is the value of this much consulted and supported strategy that a 1919 War Memorial Library Building does not warrant an assessment yet alone a reference to the Strategy in a CCC Report?

Jock Philips in his book “To the Memory” observed there was a transition from Sculptural Monuments (South African/WW1) to Living Memorials (like the WW 2 Memorial Halls). This Library Building, a Living WW1 Memorial, the first of severn, could be significant. It awaits the CCC Heritage Team to make this assessment.

Mark Gerrard 

Chair Historic Places Canterbury

Historic Places Canterbury / Christchurch Civic Trust Media Release “Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library”

Media Release: Demolition of the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library
Monday 14th February 2022

From Historic Places Canterbury and the Christchurch Civic Trust

"Historic Places Canterbury and the Christchurch Civic Trust call upon the Christchurch City Council to abandon its decision to demolish The Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library."

The Christchurch City Council (CCC) decided at the 10th February meeting to take over the ownership and demolish the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library. The Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library dating back to 1919 is the first of seven built to commemorate the fallen of World War One. (The Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library consists of the Library and the Annex.)

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) Chair Mark Gerrard:
"It is a shock the Christchurch City Council (CCC) decided to demolish the Upper Riccarton War Memorial Library, dedicated to the fallen of World War One, without extensive consultation with the community and heritage/interested stakeholders.

"The Report does not contain or refer to any type of heritage assessment of the Memorial Library by the CCC Heritage Team.
"The CCC should have shown leadership and had the Heritage Team formally assess the building(s) suitability to be protected by scheduling on the District Plan.

"The Council's "Our Heritage, Our Taonga" Strategy Executive Summary states "...We work together to recognise, protect and celebrate our heritage, ..." Surely this is a case where the Council and its Staff should have made an effort, to honour its own Heritage Strategy and decided to retain the building.

"A copy of the DEE (Detail Engineering Evaluation) was not attached to the report. For transparency it should have been included so it could be peer reviewed.

"Historic Places Canterbury considers the Upper Riccarton Memorial Library to be a living social link to an extremely significant  event in our past which should be preserved for our future generations.

Christchurch Civic Trust Chair Ross Gray:
"It is distressing the CCC did not actively reach out and seek an alternative for this much loved local iconic building which has a significant social history.

"This Memorial Library has stood for more than 100 years as a symbol to the fallen of World War One.  It was the first of seven such libraries. The CCC should show moral leadership and recognise this building is special by retaining it.

"I cannot find any reference to the CCC "Our Heritage Strategy, Our Taonga" (under Criteria for Retaining Council Property) in the report to the Council Meeting.
"Why was the CCC's Heritage Strategy "Our Heritage ,Our Taonga" not considered in the Report?

"The Residents of Christchurch might question why they spent time and effort submitting on "Our Heritage, Our Taonga" strategy, when in this case, it appears not to have been taken seriously by the Council and its Staff.

Dame Anna Crighton: 
‘What is wrong with the current generation who seem to be hell bent on erasing memories of our past?  This memorial exists to commemorate and honour those Cantabrians who died in World War 1. It is a tangible reminder of that sacrifice. 

‘Whaka- aturia nga mahi a o koutou tupuna hei raukura ma nga uri whaka- tupu.  Bring to light the achievements of your ancestors, gifts handed down through the generations to be handed on to the descendants yet unborn”.

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

Ross Gray
Chair Christchurch Civic Trust

“Christchurch mayor devises plan to pay for heritage buildings” The Press Online Article

Christchurch mayor devises plan to pay for heritage buildings The Press online.
"Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel wants the city to consider paying a targeted rate to help fund the restoration of heritage buildings.
She says her proposal will not increase rates. ..."
... Historic Places Canterbury chairman Mark Gerrard said it was good to see Dalziel thinking about ways to fund the restoration of heritage buildings, including the provincial chambers. ..."


“Two Christchurch heritage buildings share $1.2m in ratepayer funds” The Press (Online Article 27.02.2020)

Two Christchurch heritage buildings share $1.2m in ratepayer funds The Press Online

" ...The former Livingspace building at Sol Square (96 Lichfield St) and the Design and Arts College building at 116 Worcester St have each received $600,000 toward their multimillion-dollar repairs and refurbishments. ...


“Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group” Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Submission to The Social, Community Development and Housing Committee Christchurch City Council

Historic Places Canterbury Public Forum Submission to

The Social, Community Development and Housing Committee 

Christchurch City Council

31 July 2019


Thank You for hearing our Public Forum Submission

Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) wishes to request that the CCC set up what we are provisionally calling a "Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group”.

HPC considers a Reference group with appropriately qualified individuals would be useful for the CCC Staff and Councillors wishing to seek advice from those with heritage expertise.

It could be useful for a number of roles such as:

  1. Advising on the Provincial Council Buildings (replacing its defunct(?) Advisory Group), 
  2. Review of Policies for District Plan Statements of Significance etc.
  3. Peer reviewing the work done for the District Plan,  
  4. Heritage Buildings under EOI. The Reference Group would be useful for providing feedback/comment on the development plans where seeking public comment is precluded under the Tendering Process.
  5. Provide independent advice to the Councillors
  6. Provide commentary where a full Engagement or Consultation is not practical or where expert advice is sought.

HPC wishes to nominate Dr Ian Lochhead,  Dr Anna Crighton,  Dr Lynne Lochhead, Katharine Watson and a Ngai Tahu representative as members of the Heritage Buildings and Sites Reference Group.

Forming such a Group would be an implementation of the much lauded CCC Heritage Strategy where there is recognition of the importance of the heritage expertise held in the community.

HPC notes the success of the Victoria Square Reference Group where the Plan was refined after Consultation and the feedback/comment was sought on the Design decisions etc in the restoration / construction. 

(The CCC you will recall recommended the Group be kept so it could have a role in the restoration work.)

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

Historic Places Submission: Braided Rivers building proposed occupation of legal road in Cathedral Square

Historic Places Canterbury made the following Submission to the CCC.

Historic Places Canterbury is concerned at the impact of the proposed canopy on:

  1. the heritage values of the square and
  2. the effective privatisation of a public space represented by the 6.9 metre encroachment in to the square
  3. as well as the impact of the proposal on the lime trees, which form part of the heritage fabric of the square, .

Although both the heritage consultant for the applicant and the Council's heritage advisor for the Council consider that the impact of the canopy on the heritage of the square is minor. Historic Places Canterbury disagrees.

Although having a building returned to this site is important for re-delinineating the form of the cruciform maltese cross, which is an essential aspect of the heritage of the square, by projecting 6.9 meters beyond the building line, this design effectively muddies the form. The Spark building proposed for the opposite side of Colombo Street adheres to the building line, so the canopy will create a visual anomaly.

It has been argued that there is precedent for verandahs projecting into the space of the square and this is certainly true. However, the height and scale of this design makes it quite different in its impact. The United Services hotel had a verandah projecting immediately above the ground floor. Viewing the building from the Square, the several stories above were what defined the edge of the cross form. The supporting columns for verandahs were also typically fine with limited impact upon the pavement, whereas these, to judge from the plan, are bulky and quite intrusive. Traditional verandah were clearly an add-on to the building and were not read as something which extended the building into the realm of public space, whereas this integrated canopy impinges on public space and by implication privatises it.

This effect is emphasised by the presence of the columns occupying space in the legal road. It will be the perception of members of the public that the space below the canopy is effectively that of the adjacent building.

Historic Places Canterbury is concerned, that not only does this proposal impinge upon the heritage of the Square, but that it will set a precedent for further intrusion into the public space of the Square. While we recognise the desirability of activity around the edges of the Square, this proposal, by creating a permanent structure which is an integral part of the building design, goes well beyond a license to put out tables and chairs.

In fact, Historic Places Canterbury is surprised that a design which intrudes to such an extent into the premier heritage space of the city, was treated as a non-notified resource consent, with the opportunity to comment only arising from the technicality that it intrudes onto a legal road.

The proposed canopy extends right up to the existing tree line of the 3 lime trees adjacent to the building. The Council arborist has indicated that these have not yet reached maturity and could double in size. It is accepted that these will require clearance pruning for construction of the verandah and ongoing maintenance pruning. The beauty of the lime trees lies in its symmetrical form. This will be severely compromised if constant pruning is required on the building side of the tree. Indeed it is not difficult to foresee that the ongoing cost of this work and the problem of leaf litter caused by the trees will before long result in pressure for their removal. Were this to happen it would be a significant loss of public amenity. If consent were to be granted,

Historic Places Canterbury believes that the Council should be responsible for the pruning to ensure that the best possible job is done, with the cost to be borne by the building owner. However, we believe that the impact of this design on the trees is such that at the very least, the canopy needs to be scaled back. Although we consider that building is an attractive addition to the city, we believe that the overhanging canopy element of the design needs to be reconsidered.