Tag Archives: Rebuild

New plans submitted for red-zone water facility

Christchurch Red Zone Lake



Jack Fletcher at Stuff.co.nz reports:

The group behind a proposal to build a new lake in Christchurch’s residential red zone has released an indicative design of the flat water facility aimed to transform the city’s east.
The East Lake Trust, chaired by David Goodman, released the plans on Monday. He said trustees were “thrilled with the new design”, which reinstates an original bend in the Avon River around the back of Porritt Park.

Goodman said the trustees feel they are “now on the home straight” towards the lake becoming a reality. Bringing back the original bend had the added advantage of allowing the lake to join up to the Kerrs Reach rowing sheds, while remaining separate from the Avon River.

Aquifer-sourced water would make the lake swimmable, meaning it could be used for triathlons alongside canoeing, waka ama, dragon boating and rowing.

Goodman previously said the lake would be an place where people could swim, walk and picnic. It was also planned to be part of the City to the Sea walk and cycle way running from central Christchurch to New Brighton.

The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee had previously said he wanted to make the city’s red zone the “sporting capital of New Zealand”.

He said building a water course could attract global attention and solve the area’s flooding problems.

Once again I find myself putting pen to paper on the positive plans that continue to roll out for eastern Christchurch. A lake of this calibre would again be a real asset for the bordering suburbs and help put these locations back on the map. I take my hat off to the visionaries of the city, their initiatives and forward thinking is inspiring in itself. I think most of us will agree, that while we miss the “old” there is no doubt that the new is going to be far superior. Largely with affordable real estate, a new city and many new facilities emerging, Christchurch unquestionably has a positive future and certainly will be a great place to live for many years to come.

Big year ahead for Christchurch rebuild


Insurers are on track to settle the vast majority of Canterbury earthquake claims by the end of this year, the Insurance Council says.

Figures released by the council show that nearly $16.7 billion had been paid out by December 2015.

That figure included 139,858 domestic claims, to a total of $7.8 billion – less than half the total.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said the figure reflected a 21 percent rise in the settlement rate last year, compared to 2014.

“That’s just absolutely massive in New Zealand history – as we know its been the biggest event this country has ever known in terms of damage.”

He said 5400 major repairs and rebuilds were settled last year.

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Canterbury construction at record levels

Construction ChristchurchLiz McDonald at The Press reports:

Construction in Canterbury is at record levels with the peak yet to come.

Nearly $4 billion worth of construction work was done in the region last year – a record high and 38 per cent more than in 2013.
The Statistics New Zealand figures include more than $2.5b worth of home building, up from $1.6b the previous year.

Anthony Leighs, head of Christchurch’s Leighs Construction and chairman of the New Zealand Master Builders Federation, said the industry was “very, very busy” and would remain so until at least 2016.

“We haven’t peaked yet. I think that will happen towards the end of this year and into the next year, when some really significant projects will be ramping up.”

The last three months of 2014 were the busiest on record for construction in Canterbury. The region is the second-busiest for building work in New Zealand, behind Auckland.

And it’s certainly noticeable! Almost everyday, I’m seeing new houses being built, new buildings in the central city, roads repaired and infrastructure being laid. While momentarily disruptive, there’s solace in the fact that soon our surrounds will be much improved.

Statistics New Zealand said Canterbury’s construction spend had been rising steadily since the earthquakes, and was almost two-and-a-half times what it was before the start of the quakes in 2010. The rate of increase now appeared to be flattening, it said.

A total of 7300 new homes and 5200 alterations got consent. Ninety eight per cent of house building approved was private.

Major Canterbury building projects under way include $650m of work at Burwood and Christchurch hospitals, the central Christchurch bus interchange and emergency services and justice precinct, and school and university builds. Yet to start are the convention centre, performing arts precinct, metro sports facility and central library, and a new school for the north-east suburbs.

Nationally, more than $15 billion worth of building work was carried out in 2014, up almost a quarter from 2013. Together, Auckland and Canterbury accounted for $9.7b of this.

With all that our city has been through over the past few years, it’s definitely exciting to see that things are on the up.

QEII site for Shirley Boys, Avonside Girls?


At last! The north-east might be getting what they’ve long asked for – a local secondary school. The Press reports:

QEII Park is one of two sites the Ministry of Education is considering for the rebuild of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ high schools. The other site is Burwood Park.

The Ministry has yet to finalise how the schools would be located on either site but according to a statement released by Shirley Boys’ High, the northern section of Burwood Park and an eastern section of QEII Park were being considered.

About 10 hectares of land is needed to accommodate the schools.

I may be biased, but my preference is definitely for the QEII site. This could be a real boost to the north-eastern suburbs, especially with the proposed new housing developments in Prestons and Highfield Park. For some time, the lack of a local secondary school in the Parklands/Queenspark suburbs has been somewhat of a drawback for prospective purchasers. I think it’s also a great use of the former QEII site, especially if a sports/recreation centre can be constructed alongside (similar to the Graham Condon centre adjacent to Papanui

The Ministry of Education is expected to announce the preferred site for the rebuild of Avonside Girls’ and Shirley Boys’ next year.

It anticipates work starting on the school buildings in 2016 and being completed for the 2018 school year.

Although the two schools will share a site, they will operate independently.

Of course this is likely to go through a lengthy consultation process (and I’m sure there’s a range of varying opinions on the issue), I believe this could be a real positive for the local community and do a lot to bring families into the north-east. If this recreational haven of ours can be more family-friendly – let’s do it!

Insurance rebuilds sell well

SOLD: 31 Queenspark Drive, an insurance rebuild, went under offer in its first week on the market for $475,000.

SOLD: 31 Queenspark Drive, an insurance rebuild, went under offer in its first week on the market for $475,000.

Demand strong
This Thursday will see the settlement of our third insurance replacement/new build home that clients have asked us to sell. The demand for these new homes has been strong with two of the three selling prior to marketing, and the third after just one week on the market. The appeal of these properties is being recognised by locals, and when considering them amongst their peers, buyers need little convincing that they are a wise choice. Brand new always has appeal, not to mention future-proofed foundation systems, quality insulation factors and the like.

Values higher than their peers
Our experience is that purchasers are happy to pay more for these homes on the basis of the perceived value for money and the quality and peace of mind of a seismically-proofed home is not hard to justify. Besides these homes are still considerably more affordable than their counterparts in new subdivisions where land and building costs are looking to be recouped by a speculator, building company or owner.

Locals like to live local
These homes have appeal for locals as they like to live within the community that they are familiar with and these areas often provide the amenities and services needed nearby. Besides older communities and suburbs have soul and it’s nice to have that assurance that you will fit into a community, especially so if you already know the locals.

Rebuilding a good choice
Not only for the reasons above, but I often find myself encouraging clients to consider rebuilding when tossing up their insurance options. With so many rebuilds emerging on the horizon and new homes replacing just about every home that is demolished, the vibe is very positive. In fact I would say this is one of the biggest confidence boosters for the eastern suburbs – a very clear message that says “there is life after such a devastating event” – so good on those who have made the choice to rebuild. You won’t regret it and you will stand to get rewarded handsomely when you do choose to sell which has already been proven by the sales to date.

Have a good week and continue to enjoy the upsides of our post-quake rebuild!

Harcourts Parklands to host ‘TC Mythbuster’ info evening


Click here to RSVP

Next Thursday, 25 September, our local Parklands office is hosting an information evening for the public and we would like to invite you to come along and hear several speakers give their update and thoughts as to their current take on geotechnical and local housing issues.

We believe this will be an excellent forum to hear some local keynote speakers.

  • Nigel Dixon, Canterbury Geotest
    After a 27-year tenure at the University of Canterbury’s Civil Engineering Department, Nigel has established his own geotechnical engineering firm, Canterbury Geotest, providing property owners with high quality, accurate geotechnical information.
  • Taviri Ono, Westpac Mobile Mortgage Manager
    Taviri will be joining us to provide some insight on Westpac’s ‘Beagle’ system, a tool to simplify how Westpac approaches lending against different categories of residential properties. By matching geotechnical data with information from insurance companies, Beagle enables Westpac to make lending decisions based on the costs of repair and rebuild, rather than being driven by a property’s technical category classification. This has moved to reduce the stigma attached to TC3 properties and has provided sellers and buyers alike with some much sought-after certainty.
  • Ken Pope, RAS Project Manager
    The Residential Advisory Service (RAS) provides free, impartial help to residential property owners who are facing challenges in getting their home repaired or rebuilt. The service helps you to understand the process you are going through and to make progress in your repairs or rebuild.

WHEN  Thursday 25 September, 7pm
WHERE  Waimairi Beach Golf Club, 460 Bower Avenue, Parklands
Click here to RSVP

Feel free to just show up on the night – it’d be great to see you there!

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Christchurch’s graffiti house draws a crowd

A last hurrah: 38 Cranford Street gets covered in street art before its impending demolition.

A last hurrah: 38 Cranford Street gets covered in street art before its impending demolition.

One of the things I love the most about our city’s rebuild is this new burst of creativity that we see all around town – Gap Filler’s quirky installations in CBD, the stunning wall murals by local artists, the clever work by Scape Public Art, the list goes on… There’s just something incredibly refreshing about it all, and it gets me rather hopeful of what our re-engergised and redeveloped city is soon going to look like.

In a similar vein, St Albans homeowner Ren Bell has had his soon to be demolished bungalow made over completely in street art.

Upwards of 25,000 people have toured the house, with a local band even filming their debut music video there.

The home is to be demolished at the end of the week, but plans are already underway for another graffiti house.

While I wouldn’t recommend this type of interior/exterior design if you’re looking to sell, it’s certainly a clever way to see off your old property before it’s reduced to a pile of rubble!

The TC3 home solution

Over the weekend I made a point of checking out ‘The Cantabrian’ – a concept home with foundations specifically engineered to perform during seismic activity. Definitely appealing and well worth checking out! It’s on display at 81 Cranford Street, 12 noon – 2.00pm Monday through to Saturday.

Via Rebuild Christchurch:

In the same vein, last week I had the honour of selling my first post-quake rebuild in North New Brighton – may it be the first of many more!

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Rebuilding Christchurch’s future

RebuildPersonally for me, living amongst it in a city in the rebuild is quite invigorating. In the weekend after returning from a bike ride in Bottle Lake Forest (right on our doorstep) and taking a quick ride around our local neighbourhood I counted nine properties being rebuilt within 300 metres of our own home.

This for me says it all, there is life after an earthquake! With so many new homes being built this simply reinforces that people’s confidence is returning and I think it is the most positive message any community can have following such a devastating event.

It would be fair to say now, that this is a city-wide trend as we move from the more basic EQC/EQR repairs into the more substantial remediation program and new builds. The city is abuzz of tradies and contractors working tirelessly to see our neighbourhoods restored to normality. Prior to daybreak a week or two ago there were 6 concrete mixers lined up in our street to pour the new floor slab for one of my neighbour’s houses – apparently there were another two after that as well. And just last week after returning home from attending the national Harcourts conference (where I am pleased to report that both Harcourts Gold and several of the Gold team collected national awards) the framework of the house on the corner seemed to appear almost overnight.

Living, working and daily witnessing the positivity of the city moving forward into a restorative mode is something that I am really enjoying being a part of – growth is good!

So I say good on you Canterbury, we can fix it and the future is bright for us all.

Enjoy the week and keep warm – I’ll certainly be wrapping up well for my bike ride these coming mornings.

Parklands rebuild ramps up

Parklands RebuildDriving to work this morning (a mere 3km with no traffic – bliss apart from the pot holes), I counted five new rebuilds at a quick count. The extent of this rebuild locally is really beginning to gain momentum. The sense of community “in the fix” and being rejuvenated is both exciting and confidence-building. Three years on, the fact that there is life after such a massive event – and what’s more, a life after for Parklands – is such a positive message in itself. To actually witness the reality of it happening is a huge morale booster for us all.

After all, we live here because of the lifestyle it provides – there’s not too many places in town where you have the beach, a forest and multiple golf courses virtually on your back doorstep!

Witnessing the transition from the demolition and investigative phases into the repair/rebuilding phase is great in itself and personally I’d rather see concrete mixers and Place Makers trucks in the neighbourhood rather than excavators and geotechnical drilling rigs – new plus growth is good!

On a real estate note, the market has also moved to the next gear with the New Year market tracking positively, open homes well attended and local sale prices on the rise. With the city spring-boarding forward following a strong 2013 after the best part of 13 per cent capital growth. The list to sell period remains relatively short at 35 days.

Clearly life is going on in our buzzy community and I don’t know about you but I’m loving the can-do and “we can fix it” attitude that is reverberating throughout our streets and neighbourhoods. Bring it on!