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Landmarks of Christchurch old and new have been recognised at the 2020 New Zealand Property Industry Awards recently, with other Canterbury projects receiving praise, too.



The restored Christchurch Town Hall and the new Riverside Markets both won best in category for the Naylor Love Heritage and Adaptive Reuses Property Award and Yardi Retail Property Award, respectively.

The Town Hall recognised the work of Hawkins, Christchurch City Council, Octa Associates Limited, Warren and Mahoney, Holmes Consulting, Cosgroves, Tonkin and Taylor and Emily Fryer Conservation, while Riverside Market’s entry was submitted by Riverside Limited.

Judges recognised the on-budget and on-time delivery of the Town Hall’s refurbishment, which was less than building a new facility. Riverside drew attention for not only scooping Auckland’s Westfield Newmarket, but for “providing a benchmark for the ‘new Christchurch’.”

The Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub submitted by AECOM was awarded excellence for the Holmes Group Tourism and Leisure Property Award, and He Puna Taimoana swimming pool complex in New Brighton submitted by the council received a merit in the same category.

For the Greenstone Group Education Property Award, the Beatrice Tinsley Building at the University of Canterbury Christchurch submitted by the University of Canterbury received excellence and Shirley Boys’ & Avonside Girls’ High Schools submitted by ASC Architects took home merit.

The awards, hosted by the Property Council New Zealand celebrate excellence in design and innovation in the built environment.


From paperwork to completion: WD Build x Hardy Projects

You might be thinking you’ve done the easy part – registered before the deadline on the EQC website for on-sold, over-cap properties – but are dreading what comes next: preparing the paperwork, communicating with the Christchurch City Council, and of course coping with the stress and upheaval of the repair itself.



Relax! Mitchell James and Paul Hardy, Directors of WD Build and Hardy Projects have been at the forefront of this programme since its inception.

They help owners with the process from the paperwork at the very beginning, to handing over beautifully finished homes at the completion of the project.

“We have so much experience with the EQC process, as well as bringing our building expertise from engineered foundations to architectural finishes,” says Mitchell.

Client Ben McLean is delighted with the result he received.

“Working with Mitchell and Paul was so easy – they made the process really straightforward when we didn’t have a clue about what was required,” he says.

The house required foundation repair, a partial relevel, new flooring, tiling in the bathroom, internal painting, electrics brought to code, and the underfloor insulation (which had been non-compliant) all replaced. The garage had its foundations dug out and replaced as well as blockwork repaired.

“The house looks amazing,” says Ben. “And the estimate of four to six months work was actually completed in 12 weeks!”

With Mitchell and Paul on the job the work was very well planned, started quickly, ran smoothly and was completed to a very high standard.

“I’d recommend WD Build and Hardy Projects to anyone in a heartbeat,” says Ben.

Paul says: “For home owners who have registered with EQC and now need to engage a contactor to get things moving along, just pick up the phone and talk to us about an initial free assessment of your home and we’ll make a plan from there.”


Rural living in the city: Cashmere Land Developments

It took 20 years for Graeme and Joy McVicar to obtain consent to transform their picturesque Cashmere farm into a residential housing paradise. Thanks to their tenacity and the recent endeavours of the new owners Cashmere Land Developments along with design engineers Inovo Projects and contractor CCL Construction Contracting, Cashmere Estate now awaits.



Nestled into the foot of the inimitable Port Hills, the subdivision offers the tranquillity of rural living with the convenience of city life.

“Just ten minutes from Ballantynes,” is how Cashmere Land Development’s Hamish Wright describes the prime location of the partly sold out premier development.

The 140 hectares of gently elevated and green-bordered land will house approximately 380 sections across its six stages, and is widely regarded as one of the last remaining hill areas set aside for development in the city.

Surrounded by 100 hectares of nature reserves and walking tracks with land packages starting from just $375,000 it is a boutique one-off opportunity.

Stationed below the Christchurch Adventure Park, the gradually sloped sections offer a very rare chance to reap the rewards of the coveted suburb of Cashmere. Favoured for its easy access to the outdoor-lover’s playground, the Port Hills, the leafy suburb is family-friendly and zoned for sought after primary and secondary schools.

Cashmere Estate offers residents the best of both worlds. Not only does it boast an outlook to the hills and nature reserves and have Halswell Quarry and Victoria Park right on the doorstep – it’s close to local hospitality and retail offerings.

Cashmere’s much-loved local hospitality offerings like the Sign of the Kiwi and Sign of the Takahe, The Cup, The Birdwood and Protocol are within walking distance, with the city’s ever-burgeoning café, bar and shopping scene a short drive or bike away.

“This carries appeal not only for families looking to establish themselves in the local community,” says Hamish.

“But also for young professionals who want to be close to both the action of the city and the peacefulness of the Port Hills.

“Empty nesters or retirees will also be choosing a lifestyle location perfect for outdoor pursuits and socialising with friends and family – everyone will want to be invited over for a drink or barbeque here!”

Sections range from 470m2 to 1160m2 in size, with development currently at stage three for an estimated July 2021 completion.

The estate’s main road and access to Christchurch Adventure Park was recently paved and named McVicar Drive to pay homage to the family which farmed the land and first saw the potential to give hundreds of Cantabrians the opportunity to live in this idyllic location.

Lucky purchasers can follow the development’s progress on a dedicated Facebook page, as well as regular email updates from Cashmere Land Developments.

“So far, we’ve seen the reserve land be established and existing residents of Cashmere and Worsley’s valleys are enjoying the new flora and fauna in the area,” says Hamish.

Enquire about Cashmere Estate online, via, by calling Chris on 0277304050, or visit the on-site office at 225 Worsleys Road.


Awards find homes in Canterbury, Southern Lakes

A former state house transformed to a modern family home steeped in cultural significance, the showroom of a sustainable timber brand, a farm cottage conversion and an impressive public restroom are the four Canterbury and Southern Lakes projects recognised with prestigious New Zealand Architecture Awards recently.

Photography: Patrick Reynolds


The 2020 ceremony held at the Christchurch Town Hall and beamed to mini-ceremonies in Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Whanganui saw 27 projects by Kiwi architects take home awards as part of the annual Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects awards programme.

Winners were whittled down from 46 finalists, which in turn resulted from hundreds of regional winners. All 46 finalists were visited by jury convenor Auckland architect Michael Thomson and fellow judges, Auckland architect Lynda Simmons, Christchurch architect Fiona Short, and University of Auckland architecture professor Anthony Hoete.

“The jury was impressed by the standard of work presented to us,” says Michael. “Many of the projects we visited seem particularly relevant in a year in which we’ve all had time to consider what’s important in our own lives, what matters in our communities, and what is special about our country.”

Photography: Simon Devitt

On awards night, the esteemed Sir Ian Athfield Award for Housing went to Toto Whare, a Lyttelton state house re-designed by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture and re-constructed by its builder-owner, Alistair Toto of Browntown Builders.

The former state house above Lyttelton Harbour underwent a dramatic transformation to become a modern family home which combines elements of Maori culture with modern design principals and reclaimed native timbers.

Canterbury architects Architype also won a Commerical Architecture award for Bathroom Pavilion in Ashburton. Further south, Lake Hayes Cottage by Anna-Marie Chin Architects won a Housing Alterations and Additions award and the Abodo Showcase in Cardrona by Assembly Architects won a Small Projects Architecture award.

Photography: Marina Matthews


Intelligently designed for independence: HQ Construction x WindsorCare

Eight new architecturally designed villas in Shirley offer would-be buyers the chance to live independently, while still being connected to the services of WindsorCare. The 100 square metre north-facing single storey dwellings are constructed from durable materials chosen with long-term maintenance in mind.



Opposite The Palms shopping centre and near the Shirley Golf Club – the two bedroom and 1.5 bathroom villas are a tempting offering for those aged 65-plus with time on their hands and who wish to be close to care services.

WindsorCare is a charitable trust which provides independent living and care options for resident through their retirement years, and Sales and Marketing Manager Alison Fleming says the brand-new villas are custom built to accommodate older residents.

Level entry into the units and the showers, means safe and easy access for the residents.

Wider doors and hallways allow for wheelchairs and walkers, and lower, shallow cupboards ensure easy accessibility.

Fully insulated, double-glazed, and fitted with medical call bells and heat pump – the sunny homes have intelligent landscaping to offer aesthetic appeal, with no lawn mowing or laborious gardening.

“They are directly opposite The Palms shopping centre, so it is just a quick walk across the road to do the shopping, see a movie or have a coffee,” Alison says.

HQ Construction founder Huntley Quinn says the build was initially disrupted by Covid-19, but his team made up the time since – handing the project over three weeks earlier than expected.

“There was really good collaboration between the board, the GM the architect and the builder. It’s been a transparent and open relationship right through.”

Huntley says the aluminium windows, Rockcote cladding and iron long run roofing make for easy maintenance, and interior features like tiled bathrooms make it easy clean and sleek looking.

“They are all maximised on the north facing site so the sun is shining into the living areas. The internal access garages with in-built laundries also adds extra convenience.”

Visit an open home on Saturday November 28 or Sunday December 5 from 1pm to 5pm at 16 Golf Links Road, Shirley. Call 022 6200 839 or 03 385 3179 for more information.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

With August 2020 spending in the central city down 4 percent compared to the same month last year and tourism related industries showing a greater decrease, it’s more important than ever to support local.

Major events play an essential role in supporting social and economic prosperity and help create a vibrant atmosphere.
BLOOM is our spring celebration – packed with festivals, gigs, art and entertainment. As we head down the home straight of the season, things only get bigger in November as we finish with a flourish.

SCAPE Public Art, Riccarton Park and Addington Cup Weeks, Hazletts City Farmyard, Mitre 10 Canterbury versus Auckland game and Go Live! Festival are just some of the events packed into the November BLOOM schedule.

Other ways we continue to stimulate the economy include working with local businesses through the Canterbury Regional Business Partner Network – the team have supported 3500 businesses in the six months since the start of lockdown, over five times their annual volume.

We’ve launched a domestic tourism campaign #ExploreCHC to drive both local and visitor spending.

We’ve invested into the creation of a city-wide innovation ecosystem to create valuable and sustainable jobs.

Already, we’ve seen the emergence of success stories like Pyper Vision and Zincovery gaining national and international recognition.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, we continue to work in partnership across the city to support social and economic recovery and showcase what makes Ōtautahi Christchurch a fantastic place to live and work.


The Influencers: Peter Townsend

Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

The events of this year have brought the value of health into sharp focus.

They also placed unprecedented pressure on already stretched health, education and research resources.

In Canterbury, our health board is fighting to balance growing demand with financial constraints.

Organisations training our future health workers are facing, among other challenges, a large drop in international students.

Funding for life-saving research is harder to get. I am very proud of how our local health system has responded to extraordinary recent challenges.

When Covid-19 threatened New Zealanders, all parts of the system from laboratory workers to researchers joined the fight.

We were fortunate that key players in Canterbury’s health system already collaborate through the unique-in-New Zealand Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct.

It brings health-related organisations together to foster innovation and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, members run regular simulation exercises where students and working professionals practice different medical scenarios together to improve their performance when encountering them in real life.

They are working together to ensure the next generation of nurses are ready to meet changing patient needs and deliver more care in the community.

Today’s challenges are not going to disappear. New ones will undoubtedly emerge.

It just makes sense to work together to address them and improve outcomes for everyone. In Canterbury we are well positioned to do just that.


The Influencers: John Bridgman

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

From many parts of the city, and even from the Port Hills, you can now clearly make out the white steel skeleton of what will be the Metro Sports Facility.

Some very big bones were added recently, in the form of the roof trusses for the 2500-seat show court.

The roof is made up of four sections, each of which weighs as much as about 33 cars and has a span close to half the length of a rugby field.

Unsurprisingly, getting these giant steel sections into place to the millimetre was a delicate operation, and it’s just a taste of what’s to come as we create the largest sports and recreation facility of its kind in New Zealand.

These roof sections required one of the big cranes to lift them into place.

The spans over the ten pools will require two cranes to work in tandem.

The 12 metre ceiling height of the show court space is to meet the requirements for hosting the likes of top-level basketball and netball fixtures at the facility.

The grandstand seats will be retractable, to reveal two more courts that can then be used for community competitions.

That’s alongside the six other indoor courts at the southern end of the site, near Moorhouse Avenue.

The sheer size and adaptability of this anchor project we’re delivering are key elements in allowing a wide range of people to reap the benefits of being active.


The Influencers: Marian Johnson

Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

For the last few days, I have been helping eight finalists of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge prepare their five-minute presentations for the upcoming final Demo Night where they will compete for $340,000 of in-kind and cash prizes.

It’s been pretty interesting work hearing about the healthtech innovations of our future and meeting the researchers, students, and startup founders who are responsible for them.

From virtual reality that could repair brain damage, to artificial intelligence that detects disease, 22 of the country’s most innovative and life changing healthcare innovations were whittled down to this final eight.

The whole point of the challenge is to accelerate the future of healthcare and cement Ōtautahi Christchurch as a hotbed of healthtech innovation in New Zealand.

Sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet, and Ryman Healthcare, the challenge aimed to identify commercially viable solutions that address real healthcare problems.

Why does Canterbury care about becoming a hotbed of health tech innovation?

At present, New Zealand’s current healthtech companies represent $1.9 billion revenue and the average wage – at $85,000 annually, is 40 percent higher than the average across other sectors.

We have proven capability in Christchurch to innovate in this sector and proudly headquarter healthtech powerhouses such as Aranz, Orion, and Taska Prosthetics to name a few.

Congratulations to the winners of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge. Their innovations could spawn the Cantabrian healthtech powerhouses of the future.


A glimpse into Hornby’s future

The concept designs for Hornby’s new $37.5 million community centre have been unveiled and show the multi-use facility will include a library, a number of pools and a spa.



The designs show a lane pool, a learn-to-swim pool, a toddlers’ wet play area, spa pool and a customer service area, as well as the modern library.

The centre also includes an espresso bar, a creative activities room, and multi-purpose rooms available for meetings and study.

The architectural renders show multiple indoor and outdoor areas, including a lush garden courtyard and sleek decking complete with bean bags.

Christchurch City Council Recreation, Sports and Events Head Nigel Cox says the designs strongly reflect the community’s views, and that the concept design has been informed by discussions with community groups, including the adjacent schools and accessibility groups.


“With all our new facilities, we focus on strengthening the local community,” he says.

“The Hornby community’s input has been integral to this project, from the look of the centre to the exact site and the many opportunities on offer.

“It is very exciting to see the centre take shape, and this first glimpse will drive even greater interest.”

Following Waipuna/Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board and Christchurch City Council approval of the concept designs, the detailed design will be developed, and the project will go out to tender for a building contractor early in 2021.

Construction is due to start by mid-2021, with the centre set to open in late 2022.