Right from square one, the Re:START mall was an out of the box response to the urgent post-quake need for retail space in the city’s heart. And, although only ever intended as a temporary solution, the ‘container mall’ concept’s 2011 opening struck a local chord.
The brightly coloured containers quickly became an internationally-recognisable symbol of post-quake innovation before they were removed to make way for the Riverside Farmers’ Market due to open early next year.
Now upcycled shipping containers from the popular mall have found a new home in Kaikōura’s main street. Known as Uplift Kaikōura, the container mall’s northern incarnation is the brainchild of local business owners whose buildings were damaged in the Kaikōura quake in 2016.
The precinct opened at the end of last year on an empty site in the centre of town and is home to Gecko Gearz, Paper Plus and Ocean Arts, with a fourth business joining in soon.
Gecko Gearz owner Penny Betts says Uplift stands on the site where the grand Adelphi Hotel stood for 96 years before being demolished after the 2016 quake.
“We are so fortunate to have these containers in Kaikōura,” Penny says.
“A good mix of travellers are shopping at the site and we’ve had very positive feedback and support from locals and Kiwis travelling through.”
Much like its former incarnation, feedback has been extremely positive. “People are constantly telling me it has given the town life, a really good vibe and shows we are moving forward and staying positive albeit challenging times,” she says.
“There’s a lovely green area in the centre, which has some picnic tables and a giant Connect Four game. It is great to see people relaxing in the area and quite a few of the local teens come and play the Connect Four.”
Uplift was predominantly privately-funded with some public donations from a Givealittle fundraising page.
Meanwhile in Christchurch, the Riverside Farmers’ Market is expected to be made up of five low-rise buildings with more than 80 market stalls, with 10,000 square metres of floor space and balconies overlooking three new laneways.
Inspired by European markets in cities like Copenhagen, the $80 million plan headed by developer Richard Peebles includes restaurants, food stalls and shops, fashion stores and offices, and is expected to be a breakthrough for the western end of Christchurch’s retail precinct.
“Farmers’ markets are the heart and soul of a city,” Peebles said when he unveiled plans for the development. “It’s where people naturally congregate and come together as a community.”
Building commenced earlier this year, with the complex earmarked for completion by 1 November 2018. The quick build time aims to minimise disruption for central city retailers.
If a stunning peninsula town encircled by majestic mountains and life-filled craggy coastlines takes your fancy, a weekend getaway to Kaikoura is pure paradise – for all senses in all seasons.
A $1.3 billion-dollar rebuild after the 2016 quakes returned its infrastructure and accessibility. However, the community’s vibrancy never really faded. Visitors are its life blood.
Kaikoura boasts world-class close encounters of the sea-life kind. Lonely Planet sites our fur seal community as second to none. Basking or frolicking, they are the cutest most fascinating creatures to watch. And swimming with smart, inquisitive dolphins has been life changing for many.
Sperm whale and dolphin viewing, by boat or air, astonishes millions of tourists and is the bucket list on many a travel itinerary. Its only 2.5 hour’s drive from Christchurch – how lucky are we!
Kaikoura translates ‘to eat crayfish’. Seafood lovers will be in heaven. Restaurants and cafés serve abundant fresh local fare, while accommodation ranges from hospitable B&Bs, to luxury beachfront hotels.
Kaikoura Museum, resembling a crayfish basket, houses collections of whaling history – and even antique telephones. While Fyffe House, home of the first settlers, has foundations built from whale backbones. Stunning walks now show a slightly different landscape, measuring in parts a coastal uplift of over a metre. There’s a lavender farm, a Maori tour, scuba diving, snorkelling, eco tours – the list is as endless as the panorama.
Literally breathtaking, by deeply inhaling both the bracing mountain air and the energising scent of sea spray, a trip to Kaikoura can renew jaded souls, rekindle romance, or offer the ultimate adventure explosion.
Enjoying the landmark of 20 years in business in Christchurch, David Whyte, Director of Whyte Construction is reflecting on achievements past, plus looking forward enthusiastically to the next score of years.
Post-earthquakes, David is proud to have thousands of satisfied customers. While residual earthquake repairs are now more complex and the team continues helping Kaikoura clients, the company is also ‘full steam ahead’ on client projects, driven by passion rather than need. Original and repeat clients have been waiting patiently for the peak of earthquake work to pass, so they can carry out alterations, extensions and new builds.
Residential projects are core, from entry level, to large scale hillside architectural homes such as Kiteroa Terrace, pictured. But at any one time the company will be deeply involved in a great diversity of work, with current projects including recladding a university hostel and alterations to a funeral home. Weathertight homes are also a specialty. “We are excellent at solutions,” David says. “We are not into mass housing, but we are competitive with them.”
There are no packages. “It’s bespoke to your needs, from end to end.”
Your single point of contact is a trade qualified project manager who is experienced, personable, and both quality and service-driven. Low staff turnover is a source of pride – the team is highly skilled and dynamic, and loves new ventures and problem solving.
“We assist and guide clients in a way that enables them to come out of their comfort zones.”
The team loves “the delight in people’s faces, when they see what they have achieved”.