Special Rebuild Feature (VIDEO): Two Town Centres, One Community Spirit

Published: 13-Jun-2017

We might have been shaken, but we were not stirred. While the earthquake of 2010 broke plenty of things, the spirit of the Waimakariri community was not amongst them. This was perhaps most obviously illustrated by the re-generation of the Kaiapoi and Rangiora town centres.

20170613_TaleOfTwoTownCentresBoth have emerged from the wreckage significantly enhanced, with modern buildings, stylish shop fronts and a retail industry that is pushing ahead.

Far from quitting the district, flagship retailers such as Farmers stayed, expanding their operation.

Long-time businesses such as Blackwells reinforced their commitment, while the arrival of national operations such as Stirling Sports on the local retail scene was a massive vote of confidence in the community and in the redevelopment of the two town centres.   

It’s easy to take for granted now but the busy main streets we see on a daily basis were not guaranteed.

Post-earthquake, Kaiapoi town centre was knacked, with 40% of its floor space destroyed while soldiers patrolled a cordoned off area.

Up the road, Rangiora’s town centre largely survived the initial onslaught, but a combination of aftershocks and an upwards revision of seismic building standards, led to a large number of closures.

And their loss reduced foot traffic for the rest.

The commercial town centres we enjoy now are a celebration of the programme of recovery and regeneration.

They are also a manifestation of our council values - “To make Waimakariri a great place to be in partnership with our communities“   

But while the process was led by council with the strong support of business and property owners, it succeeded because of the engagement of you, the community.

This is your story…