Revamped design for Christchurch's Cathedral Square 'visionary' say business leaders

Regenerate Christchurch's revamped design for Cathedral Square has been labelled "visionary" by business leaders. 

The design shows a series of interconnected green spaces and paved areas, with the focus being an architecturally designed pavilion for the north-east corner. 

Regenerate Christchurch CEO Ivan Iafeta says the pavilions are flexible in their design. 

"They're stunning and elegant, but also lightweight and can be there for as long as the community want them there. So they can be relocated at any point," he said. 

Crown-led anchor projects like Turanga, the central library, and the Convention Centre are already part-way through construction, and will form the north-edges of the Square. The library is expected to open by the end of this year. 

Paul Lonsdale of the Central City Business Association said he's impressed with the design. 

"I just think it's visionary. It's exciting. It has aspects that reflect our culture and heritage. It has an element of big vision. The only thing that's missing is the funding, and the timeline of when they're going to do it." 

He said locking in public investment like this would encourage private development. 

$9.2 million has been set aside for the Square revamp project, half from council and half from the Government. The next step is for council to form an implementation plan, and finalise funding arrangements. 

Meanwhile the Anglican Cathedral itself is facing its own political issues. The joint venture agreement required to begin work is waiting for final sign-off from the church. Some have criticised the time it has taken the church to sign the agreement. 

Philip Burdon of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, which has donated $13 million to the restoration of the church, says the church leadership has a responsibility to enable progress. 

"The delay is deeply antagonising to the broader community," he said. 

Greenery, paved public spaces and potential pavilion are in the plans, but progress on the Cathedral itself is stalled. Source: 1 NEWS

Christchurch City Council identifies 29 buildings with same cladding as London's Grenfell Tower

The Christchurch City Council's identified 29 buildings with the highly combustible polyethylene cladding, found to be a fault of London’s deadly Grenfell tower fire.

It comes after Auckland Council yesterday named 25 buildings with the panels, and Wellington City Council revealed it had 18 buildings in the same position.

The Christchurch City Council says most of the buildings it's identified met the expectations in place at the time they were built, but seven buildings had records indicating their cladding did not comply with acceptable solutions.

"We have sent letters to the owners of these buildings for them to seek expert advice," says Robert Wright, head of building consenting.

"None of these buildings have a ‘sleeping use’ so are not considered unsafe," he said.

Mr Wright says one other building has been identified as over seven metres, with no sprinkler system and using ‘FR panels’ to meet the acceptable solutions.

Seventeen buildings in Christchurch were identified with semi-combustible FR panels.

PWC, Spark, TVNZ, certain Auckland Hospital buildings, and Waitakere Stadium are among those found to have the cladding with a flammable polyethylene core in Auckland.

A number of apartments have also been identified.

Auckland Council ensures the buildings aren’t dangerous.

Neither Wellington nor Christchurch Council have publicly named their affected buildings.

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 14, 2017 file photo, smoke rises from Grenfell Tower in London. An inquiry into last year's devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in west London is set to begin on Monday May 21, 2018, with two weeks of tributes to the 71 people who died. The statements from friends and family members are meant to keep the victims at the center of the inquiry. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)
Grenfell Tower. Source: Associated Press


Governance of 90 Mile Beach in limbo due to 'embarrassing' tribal stoush

Four Far North iwi are at loggerheads with one another over the territorial rights of 90 Mile Beach.

The famous coastline was handed back to Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kuri and Ngāi Takoto as part of the Waitangi Settlement deal to co-govern with local government in 2015.

Three years on and with the exception of setting up governance board - iwi and local government haven't been able to make progress.

Te Rarawa leader and chair of the board, Haami Piripi, says it's embarrassing.

"It was a big coup for us, It meant we could converge all our entities and all of our authorities into a single entity which would then take the beach's consideration into a top priority," Mr Piripi said.

The board had agreed to meet regularly, but out seven meetings, Ngāti Kuri representatives have attended three and Ngāi Takoto, just one.

Far North District Councillor and Deputy Board Chair Mate Radich, tried to pass a motion to stop the meetings until the iwi sort out their problems.

"It's a complete shambles, it's the four iwi involved they just don't trust each other they just don't like each other and they just don't like either iwi telling them what to do," he said.

At the signing in 2015, the partnership was labelled a milestone, and iwi leaders said it set a precedent for indigenous and crown relations.

Ngāti Kuri chief executive Harry Burkhardt says the they haven’t been attending the meetings because they need to resolve their differences around the manu whenua of the beach first.

Ngāi Tatoko has not returned calls from 1 NEWS.

The crown gave each iwi $137,500 for Māori translation signage and regeneration activities. The governance board was given $400,000.

Consultants had been brought in and failed leaving the board with a $28,000 bill. Other funds have been spent on transporting board members to what is being described as "useless meetings".

"What worries me is we are gonna keep on going having these meetings and that money is going to be eroded all for nothing," says Mr Radich.

The board has approached Treaty Minister Andrew Little for help who has referred them to Te Tai Tokerau MP and deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis.

"I've received an invitation from them to come and see them and I'm happy to do that but reality is it's a matter between iwi and it's not appropriate for the crown to interfere in iwi affairs like that," he said.

Mr Davis is meeting with the board on Friday.

Treaty settlement money has been spent on consultants trying to bring the parties together. Source: 1 NEWS