Human Environment

The natural environment, the sense of community, the recreational opportunities and access to open spaces are all reasons given for why Southshore and South New Brighton are such great places to live.

It is also an area of cultural significance for Ngāi Tahu and has a history of Māori settlement.

However, living in this location comes with challenges for the built environment:

  • Coastal processes and proximity to the coast, Avon Heathcote Estuary /Ihutai and the Ōtākaro/Avon River put pressure on infrastructure and development.
  • There is a history of the natural environment impacting development patterns.


The communities of Southshore and South New Brighton

The 2013 census recorded 4,830 people living in Southshore and South New Brighton in 2,019 dwellings. Updated data from the 2018 census will be available in late 2018.

Southshore and South New Brighton have a very strong sense of community, with a wide network of existing groups and support networks.

Feedback from submissions on a range of Christchurch City Council plans and projects from members of the Southshore and South New Brighton communities following the earthquakes highlight the strong sense of community in these areas, along with a feeling of disconnection from the rest of Christchurch. Trends in submissions between 2011 and 2017 show that residents and community representatives are becoming increasingly involved in participatory processes, and that they want faster responses from agencies.

Read more.


Settlement and development

History of settlement and development

As with many other coastal areas in Christchurch, Southshore and South New Brighton have a history of Māori settlement and use. European settlement began in Christchurch in the 19th century, but residential development of Southshore and South New Brighton was slow to start, gaining momentum in the 1950s. Associated services, such as power and wastewater, took a long time to extend to the southern end of the Spit.

Currently, the area is predominantly privately owned residential development. The area has seen two key stages of residential development – the first from the 1940s-1980s and the second since 2010. Those houses constructed since 2010 after the earthquakes are likely to have been built to the latest building standards, with higher floor levels.

The land bordering the open coast and edge of the Estuary/Ihutai and Ōtākaro/Avon River is mostly public open space. It comprises land used for flood protection and scenic and recreation reserves. These open spaces provide locals, and the wider Christchurch population, with a wide range of recreational opportunities, and has created an almost continuous setback from the river and coastal environments. The residential red zone land is mostly Crown owned and has public access.


Housing market

Property values in the Regeneration Strategy project area dropped slightly following the earthquakes, consistent with city-wide trends, but have since stabilised and properties are still being bought and sold. The average property value (land and improvement value) at March 2018 was $377,876 for South New Brighton and $449,354 for Southshore. The total value of residential properties and assets in the Regeneration Strategy project area is $790 million.


Changes in settlement patterns following the Canterbury earthquakes

The Canterbury earthquakes caused significant damage to land and buildings in the Regeneration Strategy project area. The Crown adopted a social policy response to help people in the worst affected areas where land was not recommended for continued residential development in the short term. This land was categorised as ‘residential red zone’ and voluntary offers to purchase were made to property owners. As a result of this process, 192 private properties were purchased by the Crown, and subsequently demolished. Only three properties in the red zone remain in private ownership.

Read more.


Infrastructure

The Regeneration Strategy provides an opportunity to take a strategic and adaptive approach to infrastructure management and investment that recognises future uncertainties, and the impacts of climate change.


River and Estuary edge structures

A range of formal and informal structures along the margin of the Estuary/Ihutai and the east bank of the lower Ōtākaro/Avon River provide some short-term protection to infrastructure and development from inundation and erosion. These include temporary stopbanks along the edge of the lower Ōtākaro/Avon River designed to protect the surrounding area from a 1 in 50-year flood, a mix of natural edge, Council-owned structures, old sea walls and an informal landscaping bund along the edge of the Estuary/Ihutai.


Three waters infrastructure

The stormwater pipe network is designed to deal with a 1 in 5-year flood and can manage around a 1 in 10-year flood through secondary flow paths including flooding on roads. The proximity of the stormwater system to the coast means capacity is restricted with high tides, which can lead to water flowing back through the system. When heavy rain coincides with a high tide, temporary pumps are required.

Following damage in the earthquakes, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) programme introduced the innovative use of pressure and vacuum sewer systems to the area to improve resilience of the wastewater system in areas with high risk of liquefaction.

The water supply for the Regeneration Strategy project area is fed from groundwater sources beneath Christchurch, and for Southshore and South New Brighton is no longer subject to temporary chlorination. Current estimates suggest there is sufficient groundwater to supply the growing population until 2051.


Transport

Estuary Road, Union Street, Marine Parade (north of Bridge Street), and Rockinghorse Road (to the south of Bridge Street) provide the main transport routes up and down the length of the Spit. Bridge Street, including the bridge, is classified as a minor arterial route in the Christchurch Transport Strategic Plan.


All infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The stormwater system discharge points are often at the lowest elevation near the coast, which means if a storm occurs at high tide rainfall flooding is unable to drain away immediately. Infrastructure is likely to experience increased failures and decreases in levels of service over the coming decades with the effects of climate change, including sea level rise.

Read more.


The natural environment, the sense of community, the recreational opportunities and access to open spaces are all reasons given for why Southshore and South New Brighton are such great places to live.

It is also an area of cultural significance for Ngāi Tahu and has a history of Māori settlement.

However, living in this location comes with challenges for the built environment:

  • Coastal processes and proximity to the coast, Avon Heathcote Estuary /Ihutai and the Ōtākaro/Avon River put pressure on infrastructure and development.
  • There is a history of the natural environment impacting development patterns.


The communities of Southshore and South New Brighton

The 2013 census recorded 4,830 people living in Southshore and South New Brighton in 2,019 dwellings. Updated data from the 2018 census will be available in late 2018.

Southshore and South New Brighton have a very strong sense of community, with a wide network of existing groups and support networks.

Feedback from submissions on a range of Christchurch City Council plans and projects from members of the Southshore and South New Brighton communities following the earthquakes highlight the strong sense of community in these areas, along with a feeling of disconnection from the rest of Christchurch. Trends in submissions between 2011 and 2017 show that residents and community representatives are becoming increasingly involved in participatory processes, and that they want faster responses from agencies.

Read more.


Settlement and development

History of settlement and development

As with many other coastal areas in Christchurch, Southshore and South New Brighton have a history of Māori settlement and use. European settlement began in Christchurch in the 19th century, but residential development of Southshore and South New Brighton was slow to start, gaining momentum in the 1950s. Associated services, such as power and wastewater, took a long time to extend to the southern end of the Spit.

Currently, the area is predominantly privately owned residential development. The area has seen two key stages of residential development – the first from the 1940s-1980s and the second since 2010. Those houses constructed since 2010 after the earthquakes are likely to have been built to the latest building standards, with higher floor levels.

The land bordering the open coast and edge of the Estuary/Ihutai and Ōtākaro/Avon River is mostly public open space. It comprises land used for flood protection and scenic and recreation reserves. These open spaces provide locals, and the wider Christchurch population, with a wide range of recreational opportunities, and has created an almost continuous setback from the river and coastal environments. The residential red zone land is mostly Crown owned and has public access.


Housing market

Property values in the Regeneration Strategy project area dropped slightly following the earthquakes, consistent with city-wide trends, but have since stabilised and properties are still being bought and sold. The average property value (land and improvement value) at March 2018 was $377,876 for South New Brighton and $449,354 for Southshore. The total value of residential properties and assets in the Regeneration Strategy project area is $790 million.


Changes in settlement patterns following the Canterbury earthquakes

The Canterbury earthquakes caused significant damage to land and buildings in the Regeneration Strategy project area. The Crown adopted a social policy response to help people in the worst affected areas where land was not recommended for continued residential development in the short term. This land was categorised as ‘residential red zone’ and voluntary offers to purchase were made to property owners. As a result of this process, 192 private properties were purchased by the Crown, and subsequently demolished. Only three properties in the red zone remain in private ownership.

Read more.


Infrastructure

The Regeneration Strategy provides an opportunity to take a strategic and adaptive approach to infrastructure management and investment that recognises future uncertainties, and the impacts of climate change.


River and Estuary edge structures

A range of formal and informal structures along the margin of the Estuary/Ihutai and the east bank of the lower Ōtākaro/Avon River provide some short-term protection to infrastructure and development from inundation and erosion. These include temporary stopbanks along the edge of the lower Ōtākaro/Avon River designed to protect the surrounding area from a 1 in 50-year flood, a mix of natural edge, Council-owned structures, old sea walls and an informal landscaping bund along the edge of the Estuary/Ihutai.


Three waters infrastructure

The stormwater pipe network is designed to deal with a 1 in 5-year flood and can manage around a 1 in 10-year flood through secondary flow paths including flooding on roads. The proximity of the stormwater system to the coast means capacity is restricted with high tides, which can lead to water flowing back through the system. When heavy rain coincides with a high tide, temporary pumps are required.

Following damage in the earthquakes, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) programme introduced the innovative use of pressure and vacuum sewer systems to the area to improve resilience of the wastewater system in areas with high risk of liquefaction.

The water supply for the Regeneration Strategy project area is fed from groundwater sources beneath Christchurch, and for Southshore and South New Brighton is no longer subject to temporary chlorination. Current estimates suggest there is sufficient groundwater to supply the growing population until 2051.


Transport

Estuary Road, Union Street, Marine Parade (north of Bridge Street), and Rockinghorse Road (to the south of Bridge Street) provide the main transport routes up and down the length of the Spit. Bridge Street, including the bridge, is classified as a minor arterial route in the Christchurch Transport Strategic Plan.


All infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The stormwater system discharge points are often at the lowest elevation near the coast, which means if a storm occurs at high tide rainfall flooding is unable to drain away immediately. Infrastructure is likely to experience increased failures and decreases in levels of service over the coming decades with the effects of climate change, including sea level rise.

Read more.