Rangiora Town Centre

The Rangiora Town Strategy is a framework for the ongoing development, growth and success of Rangiora’s Town Centre over the next 10 years and beyond.

It introduces a vision for what the Centre could look and feel like by 2030:  Rangiora Town Centre: Charismatic and Contemporary.

The Council adopted the final Rangiora Town Centre Strategy – Blueprint to 2030+ in July 2020, following extensive community engagement and formal public consultation earlier in the year. Inside the Strategy, you’ll find information about the 10 major projects we’ve identified that will help turn our vision into reality and attract further investment to the Town Centre.

This Strategy was largely developed prior to the COVID-19 health pandemic, and the Council, together with our community and central Government, are still working through the various impacts this has had and will continue to have on our people and economy. While the Strategy remains valid in light of the economic impacts of this disaster, we have signalled a strong link to the COVID Recovery Plan that the Council is developing in response.

An introduction from the Mayor

It's my pleasure to introduce the Rangiora Town Centre Strategy. In this document we describe an exciting vision of how the Town Centre could look and feel in the future. The success of the Rangiora Town Centre is vital in ensuring Waimakariri’s economy continues to thrive. It’s a major service centre for the District and a hub for commerce, employment and recreation. Over 20 years of sustained population growth has seen Rangiora expand past its traditional boundaries and by 2048 it is estimated that more than 30,000 people will call Rangiora home. This growth presents challenges, but also opportunities.

We are not starting with a blank canvas, much has already been achieved through the successful implementation of the previous Rangiora Town Centre Strategy and our task now is to build upon this momentum. Local businesses tell me that visitors enjoy our town’s friendly atmosphere and charm. They are often surprised with how much the Town Centre has to offer and we have an opportunity to further enhance our unique character and showcase Rangiora as a destination.

Rangiora’s retail trends are improving. We’ve attracted major national retailers to complement our local, boutique stores and increasingly our residents are shopping locally. As we find ways to encourage this further, it will strengthen our local economy and create more jobs. However, this Strategy is not just about businesses. We want to develop a vibrant town centre where people enjoy spending time and create public areas that promote our residents’ health, happiness, and wellbeing.

Ultimately, the future of the Rangiora Town Centre will rest on the support and investment of the private sector, Council and the community. We’ve seen what we can achieve when we work together and I’m confident that the Rangiora Town Centre will continue to thrive.

Why do we need a Strategy?

The previous Rangiora Town Centre Strategy (RTC2020) has proven successful in bringing about exciting developments and greater vitality in the Town Centre. However with the vast majority of the key projects identified in the RTC2020 completed, it was time to stretch our aspirations further into the future.

Over 60% of Waimakariri residents view Rangiora as their primary destination for shopping and services. This population continues to increase following more than 20 years of sustained growth, with Rangiora itself expected to grow from around 18,000 people to approximately 30,000 by 2048.

Some 4,500 new households are planned on the edge of existing residential zones. Around 500 metres as the crow flies is all that separates the north-eastern residential growth area from the heart of High Street; this will create unique opportunities for a vibrant and practical connection between the two.

If Rangiora is to meet the needs of an increasing number of people, it will need to accommodate a substantial increase in floor space for retail, business and community services, and do so well. It’s vital that we strategically plan for this growth and ensure our Town Centre is vibrant, prosperous and retains its unique character in the coming decades.

What makes a good town centre?

The concept of ‘towns for shopping’ is becoming outdated. Changing trends, including a growing move to online shopping, has resulted in a higher turnover of tenants, introduction of pop-up formats and centres more oriented towards events and activities.

There is now a greater emphasis on town centre experiences, which means providing a mix of activities, well designed public spaces and an attractive environment are increasingly important.

We need to ensure that the Town Centre has:

  • An inviting outdoor setting that incorporates the character of the town, appealing landscaping, historic buildings and enjoyable public spaces.
  • Buildings that provide for attractive and inviting ground floor uses.
  • Good parking and accessibility from all directions by various modes of travel; including public transport and cycling.
  • A pleasant pedestrian environment that encourages people to walk alongside stores, shop and linger in cafés and other public spaces.
  • Opportunities and spaces set aside for public art.
  • A wide range of facilities, activities and services that bring people together and add to the vitality and vibrancy of the Town Centre

Read the full Strategy

How was the Strategy developed?

Jim GerardThe draft Strategy was developed with the help of specialist urban design and transport consultants, and guided by a Reference Group that includes community groups, businesses, developers, Enterprise North Canterbury, the Rangiora-Ashley Community Board and Council members. Through three ‘Inquiry by Design’ workshops, this group shaped and refined the concepts presented in this document.

A survey relating to the future of Rangiora was also opened to the public and the responses were used as a ‘sound check’ to make sure we were on the right track.

The draft Strategy was released for a formal public consultation over February and March 2020. We received 42 formal submissions along with hundreds of other ideas and pieces of feedback and we thank everyone who got involved. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an online hearing was held on 20 April 2020 during which 4 submitters presented to the hearing panel via Zoom. The hearing was live streamed and can be viewed here. Minutes of the hearing can be viewed here.

Following deliberations and recommendations by the Hearing Panel, the final Rangiora Town Centre Strategy – Blueprint to 2030+ was developed and officially adopted by the Waimakariri District Council on 7 July 2020.

This work builds upon the now superseded Rangiora Town Centre Strategy (RTC2020) adopted by the Council in 2010, which proved successful in bringing about exciting developments and greater vitality in the Town Centre. Archived updates and information about RTC2020 are available here.