Pocket Forest and EV Chargers Approved for Kaiapoi

A pocket forest and new EV charging stations could be on the way for Kaiapoi following the Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community Board’s April meeting.

Meridian 22kw AC charging stations were installed in Rangiora earlier this year. An identical charger is planned for Kaiapoi.

The Kaiapoi East Residents Association (KERA) gained the Board’s approval to plant a strip of trees and shrubs in the Kaiapoi East Regeneration Area to form a buffer between existing homes and any future development. The land in question is currently leased to the WHoW Charitable Trust who have proposed building an Aqua Park on the land, however they do not intend to build within 50m of existing residents.

KERA are hoping to plant this area with natives and create a pocket forest that would form a 20 metre ecological corridor. The group would be responsible for all the costs and labour associated with establishing the pocket forest and have already received strong support from local residents, Rymans and the Kaiapoi Food Forest.

“It’s heartening to see people so passionate about making our communities greener and more inviting,” said Board Chair, Chris Greengrass. “We think the concept of pocket forests fits perfectly into what the community wishes to see as part of Kaiapoi’s ongoing regeneration.”

Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers will be installed in the public car park behind the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre as part of an ongoing agreement between the Waimakariri District Council and Meridian.

They will be fully owned and operated by Meridian who will also cover the full cost of the equipment and installation, in return the Council will license access to the land and adjust a nearby pedestrian walkway to make the area suitable for the stations.

The dual-socketed 22kw AC charging stations can deliver up to 120km of travel per hour of charging, depending on the vehicle make and model. This type of charger is typically installed at locations where drivers will be parked for longer durations such as cafes, libraries, community facilities and retail areas.

Identical chargers have already been installed in Rangiora are proposed for Council-owned car parks in Oxford and Woodend.

Finally the Board approved a grant of $500 to The Pines Kairaki Beach Association to help host a barbeque for their volunteer firefighters and wider community.

The Association wanted to express appreciation of the many hours of extremely difficult work the local volunteer fire brigades undertook over the summer and celebrate the way the community supported each other through difficult times.

The next Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community Board meeting will be held on Monday 17 May at 5pm.