Draft OARC Regeneration Plan - 4: Phase 1: Create the platform

A concert in the Regeneration Area

SHORT TERM

Purpose of this phase

This initial phase will focus on creating a robust platform to provide confidence and certainty that the regeneration of this land will deliver maximum benefits as the area develops.


What can you expect?

Much of the activity in this phase will involve decision-making by local and central government rather than works on the ground. However, transitional uses will increasingly provide opportunities for community involvement and will draw visitors into the area. Already, the hundreds of people who attended the 2018 Meet in the Middle event and the growing numbers exploring the transitional Te Ara Ōtākaro Avon River Trail have demonstrated the potential of transitional initiatives.


What needs to be done?

Encourage transitional uses
Given the long-term nature of this project, transitional uses of the land will be critical to increasing activity in the area and offsetting the costs of maintaining the land over the short to medium term. Transitional uses provide a diverse range of opportunities for all sectors of the community, focusing on reconnecting communities, attracting visitors or taking care of the environment.

The following principles set the overall direction for transitional land uses:

  • Compatibility – Transitional projects should be ‘stepping stones’ to achieve the long-term Vision for the area.
  • Activation – Well-designed and suitably located projects and activities will encourage people to visit and engage with this land.
  • Innovation – Transitional projects provide a unique opportunity to test fresh ideas.

Transitional uses are already permitted on Crown-owned land for a maximum of five years through an application process managed by Land Information New Zealand. Once the Implementation Plan has established greater certainty about the sequencing of activities in the Regeneration Area, a decision may be made to permit longer-term transitional uses in areas that will not be developed for many years, where these uses contribute to the principles listed above.

Gain approval for the draft Regeneration Plan
Subject to consent by Ōtākaro Limited, Regenerate Christchurch will submit the final draft Regeneration Plan to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration for consideration under section 38 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016. The Minister may decide to approve or decline the draft Plan.

Agree on land ownership
The ownership structure will need to be agreed by Crown and Council and should create pathways to enable community influence over the land ownership decisions.

Finalise governance
Establishing a governance structure with overarching responsibility for leading regeneration of the area is a vital step to realising the Vision and Objectives of this Plan.

The Council and Crown need to formalise a shared vision of the city’s recovery and regeneration, finalise the funding arrangements and timelines for completing key projects and infrastructure, and establish future decision-making arrangements between local and central government. Once finalised, these decisions will provide greater certainty about the future governance arrangements for the area.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūāhuriri as manawhenua have an expectation that planning for regeneration within Ōtautahi/Christchurch will incorporate the Treaty relationship and enable a full expression of that relationship with Ngāi Tahu. Direction about how the governance arrangements will incorporate the Treaty relationship will be provided by the Crown and Council.

Another important step will be to confirm the ways that the community can participate in decision-making.

Once established, the governance structure would oversee the development of the Implementation Plan.

Develop an Implementation Plan
An Implementation Plan will provide certainty about the funding, sequencing and delivery of the Regeneration Plan and must be developed before any future-focused activities such as the granting of long-term leases or ground works can begin.

An Implementation Plan is likely to set out:

  • The sequencing and delivery of infrastructure and projects.
  • The approach to leasing and/or divesting land.
  • A funding strategy.
  • A consenting strategy.
  • A community engagement strategy.
  • A market engagement strategy.
  • An activation strategy.
  • Design guidelines.
  • The establishment of a monitoring framework to measure progress towards achieving the Vision and Objectives of the Regeneration Plan over the full implementation period.

The design guidelines contained in the Implementation Plan would inform the design, location and form of buildings, structures and landscaping, and the way in which development would respond to and be absorbed into the surrounding environment.

The guidelines would be additional and complementary to the planning provisions contained in the Christchurch District Plan and would be managed and applied by the governance structure on a project by project basis, as required. The governance structure could be expected to establish a process outlining how, and under what circumstances, the guidelines would be applied. The guidelines would cover such matters as:

  • Landscaping, amenity, and vegetation management.
  • Built form.
  • Cultural design and mahinga kai principles.
  • Biodiversity and ecological restoration.
  • Lighting standards that include consideration of light-spill.
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
  • Universal design for accessibility.

Galbraith Ave sign in the Regeneration Area

Amalgamate land titles
Land within the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor is currently in mixed ownership. The Crown owns 58% (titles are held by Land Information New Zealand on behalf of the Crown) and the Council 35%, while the remainder is in private ownership. In addition, private, Crown and Council entities own infrastructure and hold easements in the Regeneration Area.

This diversity of land ownership and legal status creates transactional difficulties that may constrain regeneration activities. For example, where an activity crosses multiple titles, work on it may not be able to proceed before closing roads, surveying and amalgamating land, and discharging easements as part of the building consent process.

Before the land can be transformed for regeneration purposes, these titles may need to be amalgamated, potentially using the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016. Land Information New Zealand has indicated that it could begin this work in early 2019. Permanent access to roads and services for private property owners would also be addressed during this process.

Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the Ihutai Ahu Whenua Trust collectively represent manawhenua, and have property rights and interests that are established by the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998. Manawhenua interests in land will need to be taken into account as part of the disposal or amalgamation of land within the Regeneration Area.

Clear infrastructure – decommission roads, services and infrastructure
The Regeneration Area still has a significant amount of infrastructure, including roads, electricity lines, underground cables, and pipe networks for water supply and sewerage. These can only be decommissioned through negotiation with the infrastructure owners after agreeing on land ownership and an Implementation Plan. A plan for decomissioning on an ‘area-by-area’ basis will need to be developed as part of the Implementation Plan.

Remediate contaminated land
Demolition and other activities are likely to have left behind contaminants in the soil. However, the extent of this contamination and therefore the scope of any remediation will require site-specific investigations. Where remediation is required, it can progress ‘area by area’ as each project is developed.

Establish the Living Laboratory Partnership
The establishment of the Ōtākaro Living Laboratory Partnership could provide a structure for agencies, communities, manawhenua, researchers and businesses to develop a programme of research within the Regeneration Area that maximises the opportunities created by this land. See the Living Laboratory section for more information.

Develop a transport plan
An improved transport network will support the regeneration of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor through enhancing connection and access for neighbouring communities, New Brighton and the wider city. Improved access is a long-term endeavour to stimulate activation and enhance the appeal of the area to private investors. Confirming the transport network will allow other spatial planning decisions to be made.

A diagram outlining key transport projects for the short term

SHORT TERM

Purpose of this phase

This initial phase will focus on creating a robust platform to provide confidence and certainty that the regeneration of this land will deliver maximum benefits as the area develops.


What can you expect?

Much of the activity in this phase will involve decision-making by local and central government rather than works on the ground. However, transitional uses will increasingly provide opportunities for community involvement and will draw visitors into the area. Already, the hundreds of people who attended the 2018 Meet in the Middle event and the growing numbers exploring the transitional Te Ara Ōtākaro Avon River Trail have demonstrated the potential of transitional initiatives.


What needs to be done?

Encourage transitional uses
Given the long-term nature of this project, transitional uses of the land will be critical to increasing activity in the area and offsetting the costs of maintaining the land over the short to medium term. Transitional uses provide a diverse range of opportunities for all sectors of the community, focusing on reconnecting communities, attracting visitors or taking care of the environment.

The following principles set the overall direction for transitional land uses:

  • Compatibility – Transitional projects should be ‘stepping stones’ to achieve the long-term Vision for the area.
  • Activation – Well-designed and suitably located projects and activities will encourage people to visit and engage with this land.
  • Innovation – Transitional projects provide a unique opportunity to test fresh ideas.

Transitional uses are already permitted on Crown-owned land for a maximum of five years through an application process managed by Land Information New Zealand. Once the Implementation Plan has established greater certainty about the sequencing of activities in the Regeneration Area, a decision may be made to permit longer-term transitional uses in areas that will not be developed for many years, where these uses contribute to the principles listed above.

Gain approval for the draft Regeneration Plan
Subject to consent by Ōtākaro Limited, Regenerate Christchurch will submit the final draft Regeneration Plan to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration for consideration under section 38 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016. The Minister may decide to approve or decline the draft Plan.

Agree on land ownership
The ownership structure will need to be agreed by Crown and Council and should create pathways to enable community influence over the land ownership decisions.

Finalise governance
Establishing a governance structure with overarching responsibility for leading regeneration of the area is a vital step to realising the Vision and Objectives of this Plan.

The Council and Crown need to formalise a shared vision of the city’s recovery and regeneration, finalise the funding arrangements and timelines for completing key projects and infrastructure, and establish future decision-making arrangements between local and central government. Once finalised, these decisions will provide greater certainty about the future governance arrangements for the area.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūāhuriri as manawhenua have an expectation that planning for regeneration within Ōtautahi/Christchurch will incorporate the Treaty relationship and enable a full expression of that relationship with Ngāi Tahu. Direction about how the governance arrangements will incorporate the Treaty relationship will be provided by the Crown and Council.

Another important step will be to confirm the ways that the community can participate in decision-making.

Once established, the governance structure would oversee the development of the Implementation Plan.

Develop an Implementation Plan
An Implementation Plan will provide certainty about the funding, sequencing and delivery of the Regeneration Plan and must be developed before any future-focused activities such as the granting of long-term leases or ground works can begin.

An Implementation Plan is likely to set out:

  • The sequencing and delivery of infrastructure and projects.
  • The approach to leasing and/or divesting land.
  • A funding strategy.
  • A consenting strategy.
  • A community engagement strategy.
  • A market engagement strategy.
  • An activation strategy.
  • Design guidelines.
  • The establishment of a monitoring framework to measure progress towards achieving the Vision and Objectives of the Regeneration Plan over the full implementation period.

The design guidelines contained in the Implementation Plan would inform the design, location and form of buildings, structures and landscaping, and the way in which development would respond to and be absorbed into the surrounding environment.

The guidelines would be additional and complementary to the planning provisions contained in the Christchurch District Plan and would be managed and applied by the governance structure on a project by project basis, as required. The governance structure could be expected to establish a process outlining how, and under what circumstances, the guidelines would be applied. The guidelines would cover such matters as:

  • Landscaping, amenity, and vegetation management.
  • Built form.
  • Cultural design and mahinga kai principles.
  • Biodiversity and ecological restoration.
  • Lighting standards that include consideration of light-spill.
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).
  • Universal design for accessibility.

Galbraith Ave sign in the Regeneration Area

Amalgamate land titles
Land within the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor is currently in mixed ownership. The Crown owns 58% (titles are held by Land Information New Zealand on behalf of the Crown) and the Council 35%, while the remainder is in private ownership. In addition, private, Crown and Council entities own infrastructure and hold easements in the Regeneration Area.

This diversity of land ownership and legal status creates transactional difficulties that may constrain regeneration activities. For example, where an activity crosses multiple titles, work on it may not be able to proceed before closing roads, surveying and amalgamating land, and discharging easements as part of the building consent process.

Before the land can be transformed for regeneration purposes, these titles may need to be amalgamated, potentially using the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016. Land Information New Zealand has indicated that it could begin this work in early 2019. Permanent access to roads and services for private property owners would also be addressed during this process.

Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the Ihutai Ahu Whenua Trust collectively represent manawhenua, and have property rights and interests that are established by the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998. Manawhenua interests in land will need to be taken into account as part of the disposal or amalgamation of land within the Regeneration Area.

Clear infrastructure – decommission roads, services and infrastructure
The Regeneration Area still has a significant amount of infrastructure, including roads, electricity lines, underground cables, and pipe networks for water supply and sewerage. These can only be decommissioned through negotiation with the infrastructure owners after agreeing on land ownership and an Implementation Plan. A plan for decomissioning on an ‘area-by-area’ basis will need to be developed as part of the Implementation Plan.

Remediate contaminated land
Demolition and other activities are likely to have left behind contaminants in the soil. However, the extent of this contamination and therefore the scope of any remediation will require site-specific investigations. Where remediation is required, it can progress ‘area by area’ as each project is developed.

Establish the Living Laboratory Partnership
The establishment of the Ōtākaro Living Laboratory Partnership could provide a structure for agencies, communities, manawhenua, researchers and businesses to develop a programme of research within the Regeneration Area that maximises the opportunities created by this land. See the Living Laboratory section for more information.

Develop a transport plan
An improved transport network will support the regeneration of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor through enhancing connection and access for neighbouring communities, New Brighton and the wider city. Improved access is a long-term endeavour to stimulate activation and enhance the appeal of the area to private investors. Confirming the transport network will allow other spatial planning decisions to be made.

A diagram outlining key transport projects for the short term