FAQ - The Recovery Plan

1. What is the Blueprint Plan? Is it the same as the Recovery Plan?

The Blueprint Plan is a map of the central city showing where the “anchor” projects and other key facilities will be located. It is part of the final Recovery Plan. See also The Blueprint Team FAQs

2. What happened to all the projects in the CCC’s draft Central City Plan?

Most of the projects in the draft Central City Plan have been carried over into the final Recovery Plan, although some are no longer described as projects. A table summarising the decisions made about the projects, and how they are being progressed if they are not included in the Recovery Plan, is available in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan which can be downloaded from the Plan page.

3. Will the public have a further opportunity to comment on the projects in the Recovery Plan?

Some additional consultation will occur on a case by case basis: for example, on the design of the Earthquake Memorial.

4. I can’t understand why you have chosen the sites you have – what’s the logic?

The sites for the anchor projects have been chosen after careful analysis of factors such as ground conditions, the benefits of co-location of activities, developing distinct precincts within the city centre, urban design principles and spreading the benefits of land value uplift as much as possible.

5. The Recovery Plan includes images of the anchor projects. Has the exact design for these projects already been decided?

As part of the 100-day design process, the Blueprint 100 Consortium that was contracted to CCDU prepared a functional brief that captures the strategic functions, capacity, site area and costs for each project. Concept plans were developed to help inform thinking about the best location for the projects.

The Recovery Plan includes these concept plans to help people understand what is envisaged, but the actual design, and the detailed specifications of the facilities, are still to be developed. The Blueprint team’s functional briefs will provide the basis for this detailed design process.

6. When will projects get underway? What will be built first?

The indicative schedule for delivery of the projects is shown in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. Land for all the anchor projects will be designated when the changes to the District Plan are given effect (requested by 7 August 2012). More detailed design for the following projects is expected to begin soon after the 30 July announcement:

  • Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct
  • The Frame
  • The Convention Centre
  • The Metro Sports Facility.

Most projects will be delivered within 3-5 years.

The Frame

7. What is the purpose of the Frame?

The Frame serves two main functions. First, it helps to define and direct redevelopment to the new city core, soaking up land that is not yet needed for development. Secondly, it provides high-quality open space in areas of the central city that lacked this before the earthquakes. This will encourage commercial, retail and residential development both within and adjacent to the Frame. The Frame provides flexibility for the Core to expand over time, if there is sufficient demand for land.

8. Is the Frame just a big park?

Each section of the Frame will have its own character. The South Frame will be a campus-style development with a pedestrian and cycling corridor running through it; the East Frame will include a range of public green spaces as well as compatible commercial, retail and residential development; and the North Frame will be an extension of the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct, with new residential and commercial development along its edges.

9. How will activities be managed in the Frame?

The Frame is designated by the Minister of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery as a Requiring Authority. As with any designation, no activity can be undertaken within the Frame that is inconsistent with the designation without the approval of the Requiring Authority.

The Core

10. What is the Core?

The Core, bounded by Tuam, Manchester, Kilmore and Montreal Streets, will be the location of the most concentrated commercial and retail development. The pre-quake central city commercial area was too large for a modern city with Christchurch’s population; the more compact Core will be more attractive for businesses, investors, shoppers, and the wider community.
The Core will be bringing significant numbers of businesses back to the central city quickly, making the city more efficient. It will promote higher numbers of workers in a smaller area and therefore result in better connections and interactions between people and organisations. It will create a more walkable city which is easier to get around.

11. How much business land is there in the central city now?

The former Central City Zone included 92 hectares of land. The new Central City Business Zone comprises 43 hectares. This area has been developed taking into account the likely demand, the positioning of the anchor projects, including the Frame, and the desire to create a compact and walkable centre.

12. What if I want to establish my business somewhere else in the central city?

There will be numerous opportunities for businesses to establish themselves both within the compact core and outside of the compact core in the Mixed Use Zones.

13. What’s happening with the Square? I thought it was going to become a green space?

The Square will become an even more important and workable public space with the Convention Centre and Central Library sites opening onto it and with relevant roads being stopped. The best advice we received was that the volume and type of pedestrian use would make large scale greening of the Square difficult and not suitable for the space. There will still be green areas within the Square.

The Anglican Church will continue to have the lead role with the Cathedral implementation.

14. Will the Central Library be replaced before the Convention Centre is built?

The building of a new Central Library is likely to start and be completed in a similar timeframe to the Convention Centre. The programme details are outlined in the Recovery Plan.

15. How big will the Convention Centre be?

The Convention Centre Precinct offers flexible convention facilities for up to 2,000 people, and thus complements other convention centres in Auckland and Queenstown and allows Christchurch to participate in the emerging Asia-Pacific convention market. It is not just a traditional convention centre but a civic facility that provides a range of indoor and outdoor spaces for the public to enjoy.

The Convention Centre will connect Papa o Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct to the Square and increases activity at the ground floor level in surrounding areas. The early development of the Convention Centre Precinct will provide opportunities for complementary hotel, retail, and food and beverage development located close to the river, and thus for the early completion and reopening of this part of the central city.

The Arts

16. Why is the Town Hall not shown on the Blueprint Plan?

There are still some decisions to be made as to whether all or parts of the Town Hall can be repaired by CCC. If it is not able to be repaired, a performing arts centre containing two auditoria of 500 and 1500 seats respectively will be built in the Performing Arts Precinct as shown on the Blueprint Plan.

17. How come it’s just the traditional arts that are the anchor projects; what about the contemporary arts and other art forms?

The Blueprint 100 Consortium identified three areas defined as an art or cultural precinct. This includes the transitional contemporary arts projects in the south east of the central city. Many of the contemporary art forms are within the Transitional City projects and are being progressed by CCC in collaboration with CERA. The Recovery Plan identifies that many other arts and culture projects will be part of the recovery of the city.

18. Why aren’t the Museum/Art Gallery/Arts Centre anchor projects?

These facilities currently exist within the Cultural Precinct. They did not require relocating. Each of them currently has repairs and restoration underway.

19. Why does the Arts Centre not have a relationship with the other features in the Blueprint Plan?

The Arts Centre is an existing facility that has been taken into account in developing the Blueprint Plan. It forms an important attractor to the west of the central city and helps to balance the new anchor projects to the east. It continues to have a relationship to the new business zone (which has moved westwards across the river) and to the Art Gallery, Hagley Park and Museum.

20. Arts Circus was seen as a key revitalisation project; why is it not featured?

The Blueprint 100 Consortium’s report identified the Arts Circus as one of the transitional contemporary arts projects. It is not included in the plan but CCC is already leading work on the transitional city projects in collaboration with CERA and will continue to progress these projects.

21. Arts Circus wanted the Tuam St car park site – now it’s been taken for something else [The Frame]. What happens now?

CCC is leading work on the transitional city projects in collaboration with CERA so will continue to progress these projects. This includes finding a suitable location.

22. Why has The Court Theatre been located where it is?

The proposed location is close to the Convention Centre, Isaac Theatre Royal and the new performing arts auditoria.

23. If the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra is sharing a building, will this allow for the movement of large musical instruments or other specialised needs? How will that work?

These considerations would need to be factored in at the stage of developing a design brief for this building.

24. When will ArtBox and BeatBox know what they can do and when?

The Blueprint identified ArtBox and BeatBox as one of the transitional contemporary arts projects. Artbox/Beatbox already has an allocated temporary site which is unaffected by the placement of anchor projects. CCC is leading work on the transitional city projects in collaboration with CERA so will continue to progress these projects.


25. Is Ngāi Tahu heritage part of the new city?

As a strategic partner under the CER Act, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has participated in the development of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. It is expected that the central city will include a Ngāi Tahu historical and contemporary narrative.

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan includes provision for Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre, an anchor project, to be set up on Victoria Square. Te Puna Ahurea is a cultural centre that will reflect and celebrate Ngāi Tahu and Māori culture, and acknowledge Christchurch’s place in and connections with the Pacific. Te Puna Ahurea will sit within Te Papa Ōtākaro / Avon River Precinct, and will complement the Convention Centre, Central Library, Performing Arts Centre and Arts Precinct, and the North Frame.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu will explore the proposal to develop Te Puna Ahurea further with CCC, CCDU and other potential stakeholders.

26. What considerations have there been for our heritage buildings?

Heritage buildings are acknowledged as existing assets and important features of the city landscape. The amended District Plan provisions recognise the need to strengthen, and repair remaining buildings and consider new uses in order for these to continue as landmarks.

27. Will any more heritage buildings be demolished?

The future for remaining heritage buildings lies with the owners and insurers. Owners will continue to work with their insurers and professional advisers to assess building options.

28. What is happening to the Cathedral?

The fate of the current Cathedral is still uncertain. A cathedral site is shown in the Blueprint Plan in its current location on the Square. The Anglican Church will continue to have the lead role in rebuilding a Cathedral.


29. What will the Metro Sports Facility offer?

The Metro Sports Facility, an anchor project, is a multi-sports hub providing for the recreational needs of residents and offering high-performance training facilities and the ability to host national and international high-performance sporting events.

30. What sports will be played within the Metro Sports Facility?

Sports will include swimming, diving, water polo, volleyball, netball, basketball, indoor soccer. This is not an exclusive list. A movement centre is also being considered.

31. Why is the Metro Sports Facility in this location?

The facility is close to Hagley Park and the South Frame, making for easy access by sports people and recreational users from across greater Christchurch. There are clear synergies with the Health Precinct, Hagley Park open space and the South Frame.

32. Does the Metro Sports Facility replace QEII?

The Metro Sports Facility replaces the swimming pool facilities and indoor sports facility that QEII offered. It does not replace track and field activities.

33. What will happen to QEII Park?

This asset is owned by CCC. CCC will go through a process of determining its future outcome.

34. Where will athletics be?

This is not yet confirmed. CCC is currently studying options for track and field activities.

35. What will happen to AMI Stadium/Lancaster Park?

CCC will make decisions on the best use for this asset and site.

36. Why do we need a roof on the new stadium?

A decision on whether the stadium will have a roof or not has yet to be made. A roof would provide greater spectator and performer comfort, and provide certainty when hosting weather-sensitive events. It would also make the venue more attractive for non-sporting events (e.g. concerts). The Recovery Plan contains options of a stadium with and without a roof. The business case for a roof will need to be made in the design phase of the stadium complex.

37. What will happen to cricket games?

An enhanced Cricket Oval is proposed in Hagley Park to host cricket games, up to international level.

38. What other sites were considered for the Cricket Oval?

A number of sites were considered and their relative merits assessed. These included Canterbury Park, AMI Stadium, Addington, Lincoln, the East Frame, Ilam, and QEII.

39. Will the Cricket Oval be open to the public?

The oval and embankments will be open for public use between events. The Pavilion will not be open to the public. However, it may be available to rent for specific events.

Earthquake Memorial

40. How will a location be decided for the Earthquake Memorial?

A community consultation process will be undertaken as part of the development of plans for the Earthquake Memorial to ensure that the voices and ideas of the affected families and the community are captured in the design process for the Memorial.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Christchurch City Council and Te Rünanga o Ngāi Tahu will work together to identify the site and begin the community consultation and design process.

41. How will a design be decided for the Earthquake Memorial?

A design competition will be undertaken to attract the best ideas. International teams may participate but they must include local personnel.

42. How long will it take to create the Earthquake Memorial?

If we look at similar projects overseas, it is clear that the process to create a permanent, high quality memorial should not be rushed. The memorial will be developed in consultation with the community and affected families.

43. Will there be a temporary Earthquake Memorial in the interim period?

There will be a single Earthquake Memorial. It is acknowledged, however, that the community may wish to use existing gathering places and spaces to remember the traumatic events in the interim period.


44. Are the streets changing?

The Blueprint Plan identifies some street closures, such as Oxford Terrace and Gloucester Street. An Accessible City, the transport chapter developed after the Blueprint, proposes the transport system to make the central city a great place to work, live, play and visit. This is out for public consultation until 1 February 2013.

45. Will it be easier to walk and cycle around the central city?

New pedestrian and cycle routes will be created within the Frame and the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and will connect with the wider network. An Accessible City shows how these will make the central city even more attractive and safe for pedestrians and cyclists. The amended District Plan provisions will control parking and vehicle access ways to ensure pedestrian safety.

46. Where will I catch the bus now?

There will be no immediate changes to the current bus routes as a result of the Recovery Plan. Environment Canterbury is, however, implementing the new Regional Public Transport Plan that makes amendments to the bus routes. All routes will pass through the proposed bus interchange. An Accessible City shows how these will be combined with super-stops and priority bus routes to provide an effective and reliable public transport system.

47. Will there be a tram service again?

It is anticipated that the tram will be reinstated in future although the route may change given the change in the status and location of various places of interest.

48. Who is responsible for transport planning?

Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and the New Zealand Transport Agency are jointly responsible for transport planning. They work closely with CERA, CCDU and other transport partners to deliver the best possible transport outcomes for people and businesses of Greater Christchurch.

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