Christchurch Adventure Park stays shut as major fire damage assessed, repairs done

Christchurch's multi-million dollar Adventure Park could remain closed for some time yet, after the Port Hills fires caused serious damage to vegetation and some machinery in the area.

The 358-hectare Christchurch Adventure Park opened in the Port Hills in December last year and holds the first chairlift internationally to be designed for mountain bikes.

The park also contains mountain biking tracks, ziplines and a village with a café and hireage service.

Christchurch Recovery Manager Murray Sinclair said heavy machinery work is likely to take place during the park's repair and tree felling is a possibility.

The chairlift runs 1.8km from Worsleys Valley up through the Cashmere Forest to the top of the Port Hills. Source: 1 NEWS

"We are asking people to stay away from these tracks while the owners assess the repairs they need to do and get on with that work. This could go on for some time," he said.

Mr Sinclair said the public can use tracks to the east of Dyers Pass Rd, including Bowenvale Valley.

Last Thursday, park management wrote in a Facebook post that it was "great" to be able to get laptops and office files from the site earlier in the week under restricted access from the Fire Service.

Park spokesperson Anne Newman said the park remains in the control of fire authorities and its reopening date is unknown.

Once management are able to access the park, a full assessment of damage will be carried out which will give staff an understanding of how long the park is likely to be closed for, she said.

On its Facebook page, park management asked customers to "bear with" them during this time.

Christchurch City Council announced today that Dyers Pass Rd has reopened after being unsafe for access due to the risk posed from fires in the area.

A speed restriction and no-stopping rule still applies while driving on the road.

"We know what a crucial lifeline Dyers Pass Road is and how much people have been wanting to regain access to the much-loved tracks and park spaces," Mr Sinclair said. 

Summit Rd east of Sign of the Kiwi has also reopened while firefighting continues in the west side of the road.

Halswell Quarry Park, where a Fire Service command centre was set up after the Port Hills fires broke out last month, is now open to the public but there remains no access from Kennedy's Bush track onwards.

Tracks that remain closed include:

Christchurch Adventure Park Developer Jay Fry says the potential for the park is unbelievable. Source: 1 NEWS

•         Top of Harry Ell Track
•         Thompsons Track
•         Old Dyers Pass Road Track
•         All of Christchurch Adventure Park
•         Flying Nun
•         Marleys Hill tracks
•         Kennedy's Track (from Halswell To Summit Road)
•         Crater Rim between Kennedys Track and Cass Peak
•         Ohinetahi track network (Summit Road Society)
•         Worsley Road Track

The main road over the summit will open on Saturday, after being cleared of trees that were damaged in the Port Hills fire. Source: 1 NEWS


Disco, Rob Muldoon and a career in labour - was life in New Zealand better in 1978?

It’s only been 40 years but life in New Zealand in 1978 is almost like a foreign country compared to today.

Rob Muldoon was the Prime Minister, disco was at its height in pop culture and the All Blacks became the first rugby nation to achieve a Grand Slam on their tour of Britain and Ireland.

Like the technology, the lifestyle was simpler – but was it better than what we have now?

Seven Sharp’s Julian Lee found a time machine to go back to 1978 and answer that very question.

Julian Lee travels back in time to see what things were like 40 years ago. Source: Seven Sharp



Thousands of Canterbury's important archives have new home, nearly eight years on from earthquakes

With so many buildings lost to the Canterbury earthquakes, the documents that tell the story of the region have become even more important.

Yesterday, their new home was opened, nearly eight years after the original Christchurch Archives building was badly damaged in the quakes.

Chief archivist Richard Foy says the fact thousands of historic documents – ranging from handwritten notes to family records and photographs – all have a single destination is a cause for celebration.

"It feels fantastic because for the first time in seven years we've had all the holdings, all the archives actually in one place."

It took over a month to move all 50,000 boxes into the facility.

"It's about 13 kilometres of linear space so if you got every record and laid it out you would get 13 kilometres."

Access to the area is strictly controlled, but almost every item can be read on request.

With so many buildings lost to the Canterbury earthquakes, the documents which tell the story of the region become even more important. Source: 1 NEWS


Service station staff verbally abused by motorists angry at rising petrol prices

The Motor Trade Association says service station staff are being verbally abused by motorists angry at rising petrol prices and it takes issue with the Prime Minister for suggesting they're "fleecing" drivers.

MTA's members include owners and independent operators of several hundred small service stations around the country. 

It says it's concerned about the abuse operators are being subjected to.

MTA chief executive Craig Pomare says the biggest influences on prices at the pump are the landed refined price of petrol and diesel, taxes and the value of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar.  

Competition also has a big effect in New Zealand, he said.  

"It is well recognised that the deregulation of the market and the emergence of Gull, and other smaller independents such as Challenge and G.A.S. have affected prices in the areas where they operate. So too has the widespread use of discounting.”

Mr Pomare says the independent fuel retailers have minimal control over their daily pump prices.  

“Most of these small businesses have contracts with the oil companies which give them very little wriggle room when it comes to setting their pump price," he said.

“We take issue with the Prime Minister for suggesting that service stations, or oil companies are ‘fleecing’ motorists.  Last year’s review of pricing by MBIE found no evidence of this. Like others in the sector, and the public, we support a further detailed market study to give us all more information on pricing structures.”

Mr Pomare says if the Government is seriously concerned, there's plenty of precedent for reviewing fuel taxes and either lowering them, or holding off on further increases. 

The head of independent fuel company Gull New Zealand has also pushed back against the PM's accusation that the industry is fleecing motorists.

Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the Government is taking steps to look into how and why petrol prices have risen so quickly, jumping by an average of 39 cents between the end of October last year and September 28 this year.

It's rushing through changes to the Commerce Act to give the Commerce Commission stronger powers, including the ability to force companies to provide commercially-sensitive information for studies on market competition.

Analysts say fuel prices are set internationally, and a booming global economy is driving demand. Source: 1 NEWS

Property data expert says Capital Valuations 'irrelevant' in a moving market

Capital Valuations should be dropped as as a way to price a property for the market because they're irrelevant once the market moves, according to a data expert for a valuation website.

Traditionally CVs prepared by councils are used to allocate rates, but they've also been useful starting points for potential purchasers.

However, suddenly a staggering number of houses in Auckland and Christchurch are selling below CV, Seven Sharp reported.

In one third of all Auckland suburbs - that's 50 of them - houses are now worth less than their CV. They're also worth less than the CV in nine Christchurch suburbs.

Tom Lintern, chief data scientist for, said historically we're used to houses selling for well above CV.

"Now we've got to get used to the fact that in some areas houses are selling for less." 

Councils only publicly release CVs every three years. So, in a market that's changing so rapidly, and with some house prices being so unexpected, council valuations fast become out of date. 

Mr Lintern said CVs are "relevant at the time that they're released, but quickly become irrelevant as the market moves".

Asked is this the death of the CV as a way to price the property for market, he said: "I think it should be." 

His advice is to use council CVs as soon as they're released, and after that compare free valuations which are available at a number of places online. 

"The more up to date information, so the value of a home right now, is good for both buyers and sellers. It evens the playing field and the data is transparent for all," Mr Lintern said. 

An increasing number of homes in Auckland and Christchurch are selling below their capital value. Source: Seven Sharp