Christchurch nightlife making a comeback after years of rebuilding

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It's been years in the rebuild, but Christchurch's nightlife is making a comeback.

A fresh wave of bars and restaurants are opening this month.
Source: 1 NEWS

Christchurch's next big challenge is how to turn a dormant city into one that never sleeps.

Nightlife is on the rise in the city. Two new bars have just opened on the once popular Oxford Terrace, with more new venues set to follow in the next few months.

"It's going to be the hub of hospitality in Christchurch. This is where it will really happen," said Antony Gough, property developer.

Nightlife and hospitality is a multi-billion dollar industry in New Zealand, but for the last few years Christchurch has been missing out. Now with the advent of 17 new bars opening on the terrace, it could be the boost the city needs to bring its night back to life.

"It's critical, absolutely critical. And it's something we shouldn't underestimate. Hey, we all like to party," Mr Gough said.

It has some calling for a so-called night mayor, a role established in major cities like Amsterdam and New York to promote and manage their nightlife.

"There's the interface between the night-time economy and the residential element which is trying to sleep, and trying to get it to the point where one actually works with the other to find the best outcome for the city," said Paul Lonsdale of the Central City Business Association.

Larger cities like Sydney and Auckland are already grappling with the consequences of a nightlife that's almost been too popular, leading to street fights.

"It is quite a controversial topic, the whole liqour licensing. But it doesn't have to be all bad. I think rather than a nightmare it could be a pleasant dream," Mr Lonsdale said.

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