Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan

The Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan promotes a vision of a vibrant Town Centre that embraces the river, attracts visitors and new businesses and creates enjoyable public spaces.

For the first time, it also includes Masterplans for the Mixed-Use Business Areas which provide us with an exciting opportunity to shape the future of the Town Centre.

We believe Kaiapoi will become a destination; a place to live, shop, dine and relax.

The plan was adopted by the Council in 2018.

The Waimakariri District Council is pleased to present the Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan. This Plan presents a renewed vision for the future of Kaiapoi as ‘New Zealand’s Best Rivertown’ and provides our community, the council and other stakeholders with a framework that will cultivate positive growth over the next 10 years and beyond.

It represents the culmination of significant work that has gone into planning for the future of the Kaiapoi town centre and we are grateful to everyone who has contributed, both during the development phase and through the consultation process. Our task is to maintain the regeneration momentum by building on the successful and unique elements that already exist in the heart of Kaiapoi, including projects that were completed as part the previous 2011 Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan.

For the first time, we can include master plans for the Mixed-Use Business Areas that were established following the Canterbury earthquakes. Given their location, they provide a unique opportunity to support the town centre and we know residents will be excited to see a vision for the future of these spaces.

In the Plan, we’ve outlined 26 projects that will help achieve that renewed vision for Kaiapoi.

Ideas are easy; implementation is everything and together with the community, businesses, developers and key stakeholders, we look forward to making it happen.

The Waimakariri District has enjoyed sustained population growth for more than 20 years, and this trend is expected to continue. As the second largest centre in the district, Kaiapoi has the opportunity to capitalise on this growth through enhanced commercial and retail offerings which draw on the strengths of the town, namely its location on the banks of the Kaiapoi River and its historic rivertown values.

Iconic stores such as Blakeleys Fine Furniture and Blackwell’s Department Store already attract shoppers from outside the Kaiapoi area and there’s opportunity to build on these examples and establish Kaiapoi as a destination for those seeking to live, relax, shop and dine.

There has been community concern regarding the ongoing prosperity of the town centre, for example a significant amount of spending by residents is currently occurring outside of Kaiapoi in areas such as northern Christchurch.

The 2011 Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan provided a response to these concerns, but now that the majority of that plan has been implemented, we need to find new projects that will build on that success and ensure Kaiapoi’s ongoing prosperity.

A good town centre is not just a place to shop; it has many functions. When business activities such as shops and offices are co-located with community, recreational and entertainment facilities, they create a place where people like to spend time.

It requires a distinctive look and feel, with well-designed buildings that support local character, physical attractions such as parks and reserves and the provision of high quality public spaces for walking, sitting, enjoying art and community events. Kaiapoi’s point of difference is the river - we need to ensure we promote and make the most of our town’s iconic river setting.

This plan is underpinned by a desire to ensure that Kaiapoi survives economically and therefore good urban design is crucial. Making the town centre more attractive for both residents and visitors will also benefit businesses and Kaiapoi as a whole.

Kaiapoi Town Centre Strategy

This Plan presents a renewed vision for the future of Kaiapoi as ‘New Zealand’s Best Rivertown’ and provides a framework that will cultivate positive growth over the next 10 years and beyond.

The Town Centre Plan was open for public consultation throughout August 2018. Community feedback and submissions were considered, revisions made, and the final plan was adopted in November 2018.

To learn more about the background documents and information that informed this strategy please contact the Business and Centres team via office@wmk.govt.nz or by calling 0800 965 468 (0800 WMK GOV).

Last reviewed date: 03 Aug 2023