Sunday, 21 July 2013

Here we go again!

You may have seen in The Press yesterday the article (click here) on the Cotton Club & Butchery, a proposed new club that rises from the ashes of Club 22. The item also features some appropriately choice comments from Margaret.

Like many of you, I find this Ground Hog Day experience very disappointing, and if it weren't so serious, I would be laughing at this turn of events. I am hoping that the proposals many groups have made to the CCC on the Local Alcohol Policy have and will continue to apply pressure to the CCC to put some common sense into the licensing process. Unfortunately last week's events have overtaken this process, and further residential action will be required very quickly.

At the end of the article it says that objections to the Cotton Club & Butchery's liquor licence must be filed with the Liquor Licensing Authority by August 7, so we better get cracking!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Chronic blocked gutters?

It is that time of year when the heavens open and we notice that our gutters are not draining as well as they might. The leaves are almost all fallen, but a few stragglers in the gutters require clearing out. However, some of the longer culverts have more significant obstructions deep inside -- the odd plastic bottle or branch that has become jammed -- obstructions that are resistant to the attempts of mere mortals like you and me to clear them.

If you have this issue, contact the CCC Streets Team (click here). They'll  magically appear with their water-blasters and other heavy-duty equipment and hopefully solve your problem (as they did for me recently).

For a full list of contacts for various other problems (graffiti, parking, rubbish, sewers etc) see this page.

Saturday, 25 May 2013


With the CCC about to put in bollards for those of us that have requested them, I thought it would be useful to discuss the pros and cons of having bollards placed outside our residences. The first round of bollard installation will appear in July, but if you miss out this time and change your mind, you will still be able to request these in the future by calling the CCC at 941-8999.

The St James Avenue oak trees are an important part of our identity and we need to preserve them if possible. They are not as healthy as they might be, and part of this seems very likely to be due to the road surface smothering and compressing their roots. This is worsened by the many cars that park close to the trees throughout the week.

If we stopped cars parking between the trees and had them park alongside instead, this would very likely help the trees because there would be a zone over some of their roots where cars could never park and which would be away from the traffic as well. What many of us didn't realise is, it would also add to the available parking spots because trees would no longer take up parking space.

But there will be disadvantages too. Some driveways may be harder to reverse out of because cars on the street will be able to park outside the trees near to driveways, so we will need to take extra care when driving out onto the street. In some places visibility will be reduced, but in some places it will be better, as the line of parked cars will be further out from the property entrance.  Alleyways create a similar issue and are not uncommon in cities throughout NZ (although in downtown Christchurch we seem to have lost a few to the earthquake!) so we know that this is not impossible to cope with.

Then there is the issue of street narrowing which is significant. Cars parked on either side of the road will undoubtedly narrow the street and potentially make 2-way traffic difficult for wide vehicles. However, the CCC have had advice from the experts that says such road narrowing still leaves adequate space for 2-way traffic. Bear in mind that a useful benefit will be the slowing of traffic that often speeds down St James Ave.

Another option I would like you to think about is making St James Ave one way. If there was only one stream of traffic, this would allow a safer pedestrian crossing point at the Harewood Rd end, and cars would no longer cut the corner. Personally I wouldn't mind which direction the traffic flowed in. Possibly, if the Harewood Rd end was the entry point this would stop the burst of 5pm traffic that shoots down the avenue to Harewood Rd each day, but there may be good reasons to go the other way. Perhaps independent traffic flow data should inform this decision.

Any thoughts?

(If you cannot comment here directly, email your comment to me and I'll post it here for you:

Local licensed premises -- Community Board meeting deputation

On Wednesday last week Margaret and I attended the Shirley-Papanui Community Board meeting to present our case opposing any further bars or nightclubs opening in our immediate area. The Board was chaired by Chris Mene who many of you will remember from his support of us during the Club 22 hearing. Also present around the table were Anna Button, Pauline Cotter, Peter Croucher, Kathy Condon, and Ngaire Button, familiar faces to many of us.

After I talked for 5 minutes on what we want out of the new CCC local alcohol policy, Margaret talked for another 5 minutes about our local community concerns about licensed premises, including how the Resource Management Act is applied (or misapplied) to companies like Club 22.

We were one of several deputations there that day, but I was impressed by the attentiveness of our Community Board representatives and their awareness of many of the issues facing us.

They will take our concerns back to the Council.

Agenda and Minutes (when they become available) can be viewed here  -  see 22 May in the table.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Infinity Bar

Many if you have been aware of the attempted resurrection of Club 22 as the Infinity Bar. This weekend I was going to post details of how we should mobilise the street to prevent this unwelcome phoenix from rising from the ashes, but Margaret's email campaign has done the trick and your many responses to the CCC have struck home.

Those of you on our email circulation list will already know that Peter Croucher on the Shirley/Papanui Community Board informed us a few days ago that the lease of 22 Harewood Road is no longer available, and Infinity Bar will not have premises in this area.

Well done everybody!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thanks again!

I have just delivered the last batch of submissions to CCC on their Local Alcohol Policy. That was my last "mail run" so if you still wish to make a submission send it in directly to Alan Bywater, Strategic Policy Unit, CCC, POBox 73012, ChCh 8154. Many thanks for all your responses.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Thanks for your submissions

Thankyou all of you (and your housemates) that signed the form I distributed around St James Ave last week. They have been handed on to Alan Bywater at the Council. A few are still a few coming in, so I shall be delivering those too every couple of days. So if you think you are too late, you are not. Just drop the signed form in my mailbox and it will get to the CCC.

This has been a useful process which has sparked some careful thinking about the issues, at least in my household anyway.

I look forward to seeing what eventuates in the CCC's Local Alcohol Policy.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Community consultation soon over Local Alcohol Policy

With Parliament passing the Alcohol Reform Bill recently, councils are being asked to develop their own Local Alcohol Policies. The CCC currently has this old policy (click here) but is going to canvass community groups like the St James Ave Residents Association for their opinions and suggestions.

A Local Alcohol Policy enables the community to have much more say in where and how licensed premises operate than at present. As you know from the recent battle with Club 22, making the old system work took a lot of effort! The Council's Local Alcohol Policy allows the CCC to regulate opening hours for licensed premises, control the location of licensed premises (the focus of our recent efforts) and make one-way door restrictions (i.e. no-one comes enters the bar after a certain time).

The CCC's Strategic Policy Unit Manager, Alan Bywater, is organising discussion forums at the Hereford Street Civic Offices on Friday 1st February 10.00-12.30 and Tuesday 5th February 1.00-3.30 to start this process, and our association will be invited. So put on your thinking caps and consider what you would like included in the CCC policy and email your thoughts to Margaret. 

(Some useful links on this subject are collated on the CCC LAP submission page of this blog)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Alcohol Ban Permanent!

Great news. The CCC have made the alcohol ban permanent in Papanui and also Merivale. These permanent alcohol bans will apply seven nights a week from 6pm to 6am and will come into effect on 9 September 2012. For more details see:

Sunday, 5 August 2012

From: Matthew Walters  
Sent: Friday, 3 August 2012 9:41 AM
Subject: Information for TC3 Meetings.
Hi everyone
CERA is coordinating a series of community meetings for green zone property owners.  These are an opportunity to hear from and talk with representatives from CERA, Building and Housing, insurers, Council and EQC on the latest information, including the issues facing property owners in technical category 3.
The meetings will run from 27 August when more information will be available about flood risk, insurance processes and land damage assessments.
People do not need to register to attend.  More information is available at or by calling 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372).
The meetings will be promoted on the CERA website and through radio and print advertising.  We would also appreciate your help in promoting the meetings to residents. 
Thank you
Matthew Walters
Community Resilience Team
Relationship Manager
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) Private Bag 4999, Christchurch 8140
T: 03 3542764
M: 029 2510194
The Merivale/Papanui meeting will be
Mon October 1, 6-8.30pm, Waimairi School, 1 Tillman Avenue
The full GREEN ZONE MEETING LIST can be viewed at

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Here are the summary paragraphs of the LLA decision on 25 July 2012:
Authority's Decision and Reasons
[28] This application relates to problem premises. Their nature and their proximity to a residential neighbourhood pose real difficulties for any applicant attempting to establish its suitability for an on-licence. The Authority appreciates that it cannot consider matters more properly the province of the Christchurch City Council under the Resource Management Act 1991. Whilst Sergeant Lawn stated that the premises were unsuitable for a night club, that is not the issue for this Authority.

[29] The issue for this Authority is whether or not the applicant is suitable to operate the premises as a night club. For the reasons expressed earlier in this decision, this applicant is well away from establishing its suitability for an on-licence in respect of these premises.

[30] The application is refused.
Well done, everyone.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Our Day In Court

Thankyou all who turned up to yesterday's District Licensing Authority court hearing. This was supposed to be a 10 till noon affair but, because of the large number of objections, it became an all day marathon, which forced postponement of the afternoon hearing that was scheduled to follow ours. Even with the extra afternoon session, in the interests of time those of us that were expecting to read our submissions publicly were asked to let the court take them as read, and most of us felt happy to do this.

It was also wonderful to see community support from organisations such as the Police and the Shirley-Papanui Community Board, adding their considerable weight to our objections.

Despite the rescheduling required, I am sure that Judge Hole was gratified to see so many of us turn up. (So few of us turned up last time he felt obliged to comment on our poor turnout at the time of the hearing.) A credit to Margaret and her many assistants!

The applicants, Olivia Boote, Gary (Olivia's father), John (Olivia's uncle) and their new bar manager (Robert Thompson-Brown) seemed somewhat disorganised and not convincingly able to deflect criticism that Club 22's operation was causing increased crime in the area. However, I'm obviously biased, so fingers crossed for a decision to decline the application.

I'll publish the outcome here when it appears in a few weeks time.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Consultation time again!

    For those of you that missed the mailer that went out to our mailboxes from the CCC, it is reproduced below. This is different from our submissions to the Liquor Licensing Agency about Club 22. 
    You will recall that the temporary ban was extended in February (see earlier blog post). Now this is our chance to make this permanent. Details are below, but for those of us with internet access the easiest way is simply to click on the green button here: HAVE YOUR SAY. So what are you waiting for - make your submission!

Christchurch City Council

Public consultation

on proposed

permanent alcohol

bans for Merivale

and Papanui

Christchurch City Council is proposing permanent bans on drinking in public places for Merivale and Papanui. Temporary bans currently in place will remain until 9 September 2012.

The bans apply from 6pm to 6am on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The temporary bans appear to have been effective and it is going to be some time before the current patterns of drinking and entertainment areas change – hence the proposal for permanent bans.

The Council is very interested in hearing from people as to whether the temporary alcohol bans have been useful or not, and whether they think the proposed bans cover the right locations, days and times.

Written submissions on the amendment to the Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places Bylaw can be made between 4 May to 6 June 2012.

Public submissions on the Merivale and Papanui bylaw proposals have to be made in writing and can be lodged between 4 May and 5 June 2012 through the Council's Have Your Say webpage by emailing or by posting to:

    Freepost 178
    Submissions on proposed Merivale and Papanui Alcohol Bans
    Christchurch City Council
    PO Box 73013
    Christchurch 8154

A full copy of the report to Council on these matters is available on the Council's website at and can be accessed at all open Council Service Centres, Council Libraries and on the Council's website during the consultation period.

A New Threat To Our Precious Oaks

    After all that we have been through this past 18 months, the last thing we want to think about is the plight of our oaks. But think about it we must.
    Some of you have expressed concern about possible root damage causing premature end of Summer leaf loss, and there is some evidence of negative long term effects of the earthquakes of these wonderful trees. Margaret met recently with the CCC to discuss the problem and to look at possible solutions

The issue

    There are two parts to this problem. The first is the ongoing problem of root damage due to cars rutting the berm and directly impacting on the roots and compacting the soil around the roots. Even where seal is present, soil compaction will be still occurring. Parking close to the trunk not only compacts the soil around the roots, but it also increases the likelihood of bark damage and the risk of infection.
    The second problem relates to the earthquakes themselves. We have all seen the effects of liquefaction at the southern end of the avenue. Recent ground radar on Margaret and Dave’s property at the northern end shows the water table has risen substantially and is now only 1.2m below ground level. Silt accumulation in the upper soil layers adds to soil compaction, which starves the roots of water, nutrients and oxygen.
    The area necessary for the trees survival is 1.5m either side of where their main root mass is. The most important requirement right now is to stop cars being parked close to the trees.

What are the options?

How about parking wardens? Yeah right!
    Yellow lines? Better, but a lot of the areas are still in grass or mud now, and there is no desire to pave this as it will be worse for the trees. For yellow lines we will have to apply to the Community Board (according to CCC rules) who will want reports from Roading, Traffic and Street Trees then further meetings – a long process for 6 months or more with no guarantee they will approve this.
    Roadside planting? Roading division would have preferred this to push the cars out from the trees but as the money for any of these options is emergency funding the solution must be cheap and quick. Still, this is a long term option worth keeping in the backs of our minds.
    Are you saying we need to fence our trees in? Well almost. Bollards are a simple and relatively easy solution. Bollards can be put in urgently without a drawn out Community Board approval process, and we have support from the CCC to use emergency rules/funding. They provide a physical barrier, and they don’t go far into the ground and so won’t cause root damage if they are placed carefully.

Won’t the roots be damaged when the bollards are put in place?

    The holes for the bollards will be only 300mm deep and hand dug. If large roots are encountered the bollard will be shifted. They will not be placed necessarily in an ordered symmetrical way, just where they can safely fit between roots. Every endeavour will be made not to cause damage and the work will be done under arborist supervision. We can also be there if we wish.

The downside?

    This will cut down the available parking greatly. Also, for those of you that park in on the street in your driveway, if this is close to a tree, this potentially also damages the roots. Obviously a bollard cannot be placed to protect it, so we will end up relying on community awareness. However, hopefully residents will realise the importance of keeping their tree safe and not park near the tree.

The upside?

    Happy healthy trees, of course! So many mature trees have died due to liquefaction that whole areas of the city will be deforested as a result, making our mature trees and those in the park a real asset worthy of CCC investment.

What do I do next?

    Talk it over amongst your neighbours and fellow residents. Think about the advantages and disadvantages and what the options will mean for you. Have a look at the websites listed below.
    Feel free to email to Margaret ( or myself (

Useful websites

1. Colorado State University fact sheet Healthy Roots and Healthy Trees ( - a succinct easy to read summary.
2. Auckland Transport (Auckland City Council) Code of Practice for Working in the Road - Part 8 ( Good to see the Auckland City Council taking this seriously with decent guidelines. This PDF has an excellent Appendix 1 - Guideline for Working in the Vicinity of Trees.
3. Mississippi State University Preserving Trees in Construction Sites ( - a more detailed look at the issues for the more inquisitive. This site has some formulas for working out what root area is required, and our oaks do not measure up well at all.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Club 22 Developments

Things are getting busy in the avenue with the recent on-licence application by Papanui Car Park Ltd to reopen Club22 with opening hours extended to 3am. Residents are all too aware of the problems associated with this club, the poor noise control, and the young people drinking in their cars before going to the club cars then spilling out of the club into the neighbourhood late at night, drunk and abusive, vandalising property and littering the street with cans and broken bottles.
However, opposition is growing. A few days ago following a submission from your residents association the Papanui-Shirley Community Board announced that they will be opposing the licence application when the hearing occurs, as will the police.
Also Alan Taylor has featured in an informative article in the Christchurch Mail (click here).

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Upcoming Botanic Gardens Events

On matters arboreal you may be interested in the following events. You might also like to read the interesting newsletter of the Friends of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens at and who are organising the Leafy Legends Trail.

Vegetable gardening workshop Saturday 31 March 1.00–4.00pm
Rhys Taylor, sustainability educator will use the Curator's House Garden to inspire new and experienced vegetable gardeners.
Enrol now for a limited place, bookings essential with pre-payment of $20.00 (includes afternoon tea) through the Botanic Gardens Information Centre phone: 941 7590 or email

Leafy legends discovery trail Friday 6 April to Sunday 22 April
Free school holiday activity - Christchurch Botanic Gardens 
Get amongst the Garden's autumn leaves and discover their amazing shapes and forms. Suitable for 4–10 year olds. Pick up the trail booklet from the Botanic Gardens Information Centre 10–4pm daily

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Liquor ban extended!

Well done Margaret and all those who assisted her with the submission to extend the liquor ban. The Council has decided to extend this for another 6 months (see CCC News) until a possible permanent ban has been formally investigated. This now remains in place until 9 August 2012.
I do feel this has been a useful measure, with less shenanigan behaviour on the street. However, I expect that pressure will be put on the CCC to reverse this ban, so we need to continue to collect any information on incidents to make sure this is permanent. Please continue to let Margaret know of any liquor-related problems.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Awards - Nominations

From: "Munro, Sharon" <>
Monday, 12 December 2011 11:14 AM 
Subject: Christchurch Earthquake Awards - Nominations Close 23 December 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Awards
(Please note: The Christchurch Civic Awards 2011 have been replaced by the Christchurch Earthquake Awards)

Who is your Earthquake Hero?

Christchurch City Council would like to honour our earthquake heroes. The Council wishes to recognise the many community acts of kindness, service or heroism during and following the earthquakes of 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011.

Nominations are now open for the Christchurch Earthquake Awards. You can nominate your earthquake hero by completing a nomination form. For details of how to nominate and to download the nomination form please visit our website or pick up a nomination form at any Council Service Centre.

Nominations close on Friday 23 December 2011.

The Awards will be presented by Mayor Bob Parker at a special commemorative event in February 2012.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Upkeep of Roses in St James Park Memorial garden

From: Graeme Hancox
Sent: Wednesday, 16 November 2011 8:17 a.m.
To: ''
Subject: re St James Memorial Park,Papanui

Attention: Parks & Reserves

Good Morning Parks & Reserves,

Could you please re-instate the climbing roses that have not been replanted and grown against the arbor columns in the Memorial area of the park. Six columns in all are each currently in need of a planting. It's also noted that the ties securing all climbing roses to each and every column are not adequate and break very easily in high winds (a very poor quality twine appears to have been used ). At the same time as the climbing roses are re-instated could all the other climbing roses in the arbor please also be securely tied.

Many thanks & regards

Graeme & Judy Hancox

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Club 22

You should all have received leaflets in your mailbox that we distributed last week regarding Club 22 and the noise nuisance and other issues arising from intoxicated clubbers parking in St James Ave. There have already been several very useful responses, but if you have not already done so, please put something down in writing and email it to Margaret ( or put it in her mailbox at 111.

Of course you may need to do something on the night as well. Many of you have put up with a great deal of distress it seems, but it important not to take matters into your own hands when dealing with intoxicated youths. If there is excessive loud music ring City Council Noise Control 942-8999 for immediate action. For clear-cut law breaking, including drinking on the street in a liquor ban area and disorderly behaviour, ring the police: 111 if an emergency, otherwise ring the 363-7400 24-hour number for a less urgent response.

In any event, please document these events so that we can use them as ammunition to prevent renewal of Club 22's license. This is a rare opportunity to do something that will significantly improve the quality of life in our neighbourhood.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Dumping on our doorstep?

Those of you that read The Press have probably seen articles on proposed dumping of earthquake waste in Papanui. Here are links to the articles:
Margaret has expressed her concern to Ngaire Button (Deputy Mayor) and has sent the following email to Peter Croucher (Papanui Community Board Advisor): 
To: ""
Sent: Thursday, 15 September 2011 5:54 PM
Hello Peter
   I am making contact so that our concerns regarding the proposal by Ceres to use the site in Cranford Street Papanui are on record.
   The primary concern is that of traffic and the impact that the proposed 600 truck movements per day will have on the area. It is assumed that some of these movements will be by both truck and trailer unit of 40 t weight.
   No proposed routes of the trip for these vehicles from the CBD to the dump site has been mentioned but whether it is by either Papanui Road or Cranford Street it will impact severely on already congested road routes.
   If the 300 movements in to the site were to take place over a 10 hour working day that would mean that one truck would arrive on the site every 2 minutes with one truck leaving in a similar time frame.
   If these trucks were to make their way to the site via Papanui and Main North Roads it would bring these congested roads to near standstill. If the route was to be Cranford Street it would no doubt force other traffic on to Papanui Road having a similar effect.
   There would be little or no hope of public transport maintaining its current scheduled service.
   Both Cranford Street and Papanui Road/Main North Road are already severely congested with early-morning traffic and again at both 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the afternoon.
   The resultant increase in traffic flow on these routes will be to the detriment of not only the residents in the area but also those that try to conduct businesses along these roads.
   There are also concerns over the increase in pollutants left by these vehicles and their loads.  They will increase immeasurably the noise in the area, petrochemical contaminants, dust and contaminants blown by wind from their loads .
   It is suggested that it would be more suitable if a site is found for this operation that can be accessed easily by multilane road.
Yours sincerely
Margaret Howley
St James Avenue Residents' Association

    Saturday, 16 April 2011

    EQC online and SPAM

    I have been noticing a number of emails arriving in my mailbox purporting to be from the EQC, but when you hover your mouse over the blue underlined links, the link address as displayed in the status bar is bogus. e.g. At the top of the email it says "To make sure your New Zealand Earthquake Commission emails are delivered direct to your inbox, follow these simple steps." but if you click on the link it takes you to a direct marketing site.

    This is spam or worse! (Some of these sites may even off-load viruses etc onto your computer and are best avoided.)

    The only true EQC site is as listed in the brochures delivered to your house's mailbox. This is quite a helpful site and lists amongst other things, how to make a claim, and dates when claims need to be in by for particular events e.g. 22 Feb quake closes on 23 May.

    Good luck!

    Thursday, 7 April 2011

    Helpful advice from the street

    And those thoughts from Margaret have been echoed by the news media and by our neighbours. Here are some further useful tips from Michael Hilliard:
    Having lived through similar circumstances, the policy for toilet use needs to be:
    "If it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow."
    Also, wherever possible waste water, such as from cooking etc, should be allowed to cool then poured into your garden (not the storm water drain). 
    Not pleasant but what will be REALLY unpleasant will be standing on the street behind your neighbours on a winter morning waiting to use the portaloo.   
    We really don't want that do we ...
    Back here at 121 I have stuck little FLUSH ONLY IF YOU HAVE TO! notices on our toilet cisterns, covering up the flush handle, to stop inadvertent flushes in the middle of the night. Not a popular move with my other half, but as they say, desperate measures for desperate times!

    Barb Maclean asks:
    I have also been told that the waste products from using the insinkerator goes directly into the sewer. Apparently we should be putting all waste food in the green bins. Maybe someone can confirm this?
    Yes, Barb, this is true. Your bath, shower, sinks, dishwasher and washing machine all drain into a sump that connects to the sewer. So taking a shower instead of a bath is preferable, and it's even better if you have one of those water-conserving shower heads. And do put any compostable kitchen waste into your green bin.

    Tuesday, 5 April 2011

    Time for an update

    Most of us have been talking to each other and helping each other out there in the street, which is really great. As you can tell by the infrequent posts, I have been a little distracted by the 22/2 earthquake and its aftermath, and possibly even a bit lazy! However, this blog may reach some in the street who may be otherwise feel they are in the dark about what is happening so I will try to keep putting up any news that comes my way. (Send anything you hear to me at

    Margaret has passed on the following:
    I hope that this finds you all well.
    You probably noticed the trucks in the street today doing a sewer inspection for the CCC. Dave and I had a chat to the two contractors doing the work. They were very approachable and keen to let us know what they found.
    The long and short of it is that the sewer is cracked and silted up at the Windermere Street end of St James Avenue. Windermere Street's sewer is apparently a mess.
    They suggested that if we want to avoid the street having to use portaloos that we should use the sewers very cautiously keeping the flushing of loos to a minimum. This also applies to grey water use as well.
    Hoping for a more official update but would assume that any work here will be after the hard hit Eastern Suburbs have been helped.

    Thursday, 7 October 2010

    On hold...

    From: "Wormald, Jack"
    To: Margaret Noble
    Cc: "Smith, Tara"
    Sent: Mon, 4 October, 2010 3:13:47 PM
    Subject: Post Earthquake Project Prioritisation

    Hi Margaret,

    I hope you and your family are well after the recent events.

    Im sure you have read about the recent Council meetings and the decisions being made on how to finance the recovery of Christchurch.

    Unfortunately the St James Ave project has been deferred to allow the budget to be used to rebuild those areas severly damaged.

    I do not know when work will be restarted on the St James Ave project as estimates on the amount of recovery work is ever changing but please be assured that the work currently done will not be lost.

    Tara will circulate a leaflet* to all residents soon to explain the situation further.

    Please give me a call if you have any queries



    Jack Wormald
    Project Manager
    Capital Programme Group
    DDI: 03 941-8876Email:
    Christchurch City Council

    * [To see Tara Smith's letter 7/10/10 click here]

    Wednesday, 22 September 2010

    Local Body Elections

    As a distraction from earthquake damage and aftershocks, you will see a new page on this website that asks the Papanui-Shirley candidates in the October local body elections their opinions about trees in Christchurch. All but three have emails available on the web or were contactable through websites. A number have not yet responded, but I shall add their responses if and when I get them.
    As you will see, most of their attitudes seem in agreement with our own, which is nice to see. I also think it is important that they form an opinion, make their opinion a matter of public record (on this website), and if they are elected they should stick to that opinion when tree issues arise. In a small way, we are putting some pressure on these politicians to be accountable.
    Happy reading! (And don't forget to hug a tree before bedtime.)
    (click here to read)

    Wednesday, 8 September 2010


    0437hrs Saturday morning was quite a moment in our heritage history. When our terror had finally subsided and the dust had settled, we could see that some of us had been lucky and had suffered little damage, while others had significant structural repairs to be done. However, it was great to see so many of you checking on your neighbours and helping each other out.
    Jacqui and I walked around Victoria and Peterborough Streets on Sunday. There is such a lot of damage out there. Not just the odd chimney pot, but shifted foundations, bowed and cracked brick walls, and caved in roofs. And that was just the low rise stuff. The old Normal School has copped some serious damage as has the Repertory Theatre. Almost every church has something fallen away, with some seemingly beyond repair. Looking at these buildings I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach as if a close relative has fallen ill and been admitted to hospital.
    Although some properties have already been demolished, I hope that heritage values are being properly considered. There is a real risk that overhasty decisions will cause the unnecessary loss of important parts of old Christchurch. I was pleased to hear the architect Peter Beaven on TV pleading the case for preserving damaged buildings and not simply writing them off.
    Coming back to local issues, don't forget to photograph your wall cracks and toppled chimneys, if you haven't already done so, to document things for insurance claims.
    Above all, don't forget that we all have such a lot to be grateful for. Astonishingly no-one was killed! Our cup is truly half full - not half empty. As Bob Parker says "Everybody has lost something, but nobody has lost someone." The aftershocks day and night may be frazzling our nerves, but we are all still here. I feel that St James Ave has done quite well, and perhaps all those tree roots in the avenue and in the park have somehow softened the quake's impact. Keep talking to each other and stay safe!


    PS: If you are interested in seeing the live seismology recordings, go to the Geonet site.

    Saturday, 14 August 2010

    Let's start again.

    On Wednesday evening Margaret arranged for several of us, including Graham Ford (tree surgeon), to have a preliminary meeting with Jack Wormald, the new CCC Manager for the St James Ave Kerb and Channel Renewal Project. We had a useful and wide-ranging discussion about the history of the avenue, the heritage nature of the trees, the need for deep-dish gutter replacement, the various tree reports, the unsatisfactory nature of the previous CCC consultation meeting, the range of street options (including their effects on the trees), and the overall process to be followed.

    While Jack is careful to remain neutral, he is keen to understand where we are coming from and to understand the various points of view of the residents. So he will be convening a larger meeting with all of us at some stage, perhaps late September or early October. Although the format is yet to be finalised, basic components rather than finalised plans will be up for discussion e.g. the design choices for the Harewood Road entrance; tree retention options; road safety issues (traffic speed, the bend); the design options for the Dalriada-to-bend segment.

    Several plans incorporating ideas from the meeting will then be drawn up and a second meeting set up for consideration of these plans, hopefully to come up with a preferred option. Once a plan is agreed upon, there are still quite a few steps to be followed: it goes to the Community Board for approval, then formal community consultation/feedback, further Community Board approval, and finally through the resource consent process.

    So we have quite a way to go yet, but if this preliminary meeting was anything to go by, there are encouraging signs.

    Thursday, 5 August 2010

    Good news

    • This has been a busy and productive few days. Margaret has successfully obtained permission from the Community Board to put a park bench in the rose garden of St James Park (assuming there are no objections from our community). The minutes of the meeting are not available yet, but the tone of the meeting papers (click here) was not supportive, so this was no mean feat! Well done.
    • The meeting also decided after some vigorous debate that our Residents' Association is now formally recognised by the Board. This will be very helpful when we need to apply for assistance for various heritage projects that we can't do on our own, such as St Paul's churchyard cemetery preservation work. Good job.
    • Jack Wormald, our new CCC project manager, seems to be rapidly getting up to speed on the project. He will be meeting with a few of us soon just to get the basic principles sorted out before starting work on plans for the avenue. I have not met him yet but I understand that he agrees that no healthy trees should be removed, which is a great start.  
    • Graeme Hancox has alerted us to the approaching centennial of World War I (1914-18) which will make 2014 a special year for our ANZAC Day Parade, perhaps in a beautifully refurbished St James Ave. The History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is developing a series of projects to commemorate this centennial: a website covering NZ’s experience of the war will be hosted on the NZ History Online website together with a highly illustrated book that will include facsimiles of war diaries etc; and in development is a Guide to First World War heritage sites in New Zealand such as drill halls, embarkation points, training facilities, hospitals etc. For more information about these projects click here

    Happy Hugging!

    Wednesday, 28 July 2010

    Meeting with CCC?

    You will be wondering what has happened with the meeting between the Residents' Association and CCC tentatively scheduled for late this month. This has been put on hold since Jack Wormald has taken over the street renewal project, and no doubt a new meeting time will be arranged in due course. Mr Wormald spent several years working with the Lyttelton residents helping establish the Lyttelton Historic Area. Hopefully he will bring his heritage skills to our little patch of green.

    Which reminds me, rumour has it that St James Park has been restored to Category 1 heritage status. Although this sounds very encouraging, I am not sure exactly what the implications of this are yet, but will keep you informed when more information is available.

    Nice to see the days starting to lengthen again. Keep hugging them trees!

    Thursday, 15 July 2010

    Assorted news

    1. Philip Crossland is leaving the project at the end of the week, and Jack Wormald will be taking over the project, which is an interesting development to say the least.

    2. I have done a bit of reshuffling of the blog material. This blog is hosted for free by Blogger, so there is a limit of 10 separate pages in addition to the Posts page where we put announcements (like this one). Things tend to grow "like Topsy", so to keep things manageable and logical I have done a little pruning, and re-organised some material e.g. the history stuff has been put together on the History page, rather than split between the Contacts/Links and History pages. Any suggestions are welcomed.

    3. You may not realise it, but getting the blog recognised by search engines like Google and Yahoo! is not straight forward. Up till now we have been invisible on the internet (unless you knew our web address), but through some blog tinkering and some good luck we are now on Google. However Yahoo! still draws a blank. As we add links to other websites, our chances improve, so watch this space.

    4. You probably already realise that you have to login to post stuff on the Home page or leave comments. Alternatively if it seems too complicated, just send it to me and I'll post it on your behalf.

    Happy Tree Hugging,

    Monday, 12 July 2010


    In my enthusiasm for positive news (see Two pieces of positive news below) I implied that all residents have been asked to meet with Philip Crossland. In fact it will be the Residents' Association Committee along with Alex (with his surveyor knowledge) who will be attending this meeting. I apologise for any misunderstanding I may have inadvertently caused. It's hard to be the perfect "journo"!

    Wednesday, 7 July 2010

    Greetings to you all

    It has been a while since we all made contact so it is probably time for an update.
    The morning marking out the street with cones was one well spent in many ways. It was just a shame that the weather was so appalling. Alex did a great job in surveying our efforts and has, through asking for the CCC measurements, begun a dialogue with Phil Crossland that is to result in a meeting between Phil Crossland and the Residents Association. This is very good, we now have a real chance to work towards getting the street that we want.
    Today I had a conversation with Amanda Ohs, Heritage Planner for the CCC. She has acted on the messages that I have left on her answer phone of late and made contact with Phil Crossland and made it clear that the trees in St James Avenue are to remain and that ways should be found to work around them.
    Sounds just like us!
    So when we go to the meeting later this month we go knowing that part of the CCC backs what we have been trying to achieve, the retention of the trees. So, many many thanks to those residents that kicked up such a fuss that the CCC left the street alone in 2006, as Heritage knew nothing about earlier attempts at street renewal, in fact they knew nothing about this one until I made contact.
    We marked out a pedestrian island at the Harewood Road end of the street and this worked well, both for crossing the road and slowing the vehicles entering the street.
    Please send any other wants for the upgrade, so we have them in email to take with us to the meeting with Phil Crossland. Graeme Hancox has done a great job on the tight bend outside his house. Many of you will have seen his ideas and plans. If you have not and are interested please make contact with him (
    Amanda Ohs keenly pointed out today that when we turn our efforts to help with the restoration of the St Paul's Cemetery, that there are substantial Heritage grants available through the CCC and that they will work with us to obtain Corporate funding in any way that they can.
    Wroxton Terrace have accepted their final plan: all trees are to be retained and some new ones planted. Good news for those that use the cycle-way is the light controlled crossing that is to go in as part of the upgrade as it crosses Wroxton Terrace alongside the main trunk line.

    Saturday, 3 July 2010

    Two pieces of positive news

    1. Margaret tells me that our surveyor, Alex, has contacted the CCC to obtain some CCC survey data, and that Philip Crossland has responded by politely requested that the residents meet with him at the CCC. We will bring our survey readings with us, and these will be plotted and discussed with a view to getting a final plan drawn up that meets both our requirements and theirs. There seems to be a genuine desire to work with us to this end - we have been invited as a group. It would be a good thing if we could all go and bring with us open minds and see what can be worked out.
    Although this is quite a turn-about, Alex believes that this is a genuine offer and the CCC don't want to get into the situation of their plan versus ours. And if all goes well, this has the potential to get the best compromise that we can for our street.
    The meeting with Philip has yet to be arranged but will most probably be on a Wednesday afternoon towards the end of the month (to ensure Alex can attend).   

    2. Our website Links/Contacts page now includes in the City Council/Community Board section a link to the 27-7-2001 CCC minutes reiterating the CCC Heritage Planning Group policy on Papanui War Memorial streets. In particular, the 2001 minutes state:
    It is important that the plaques and the trees are well maintained and looked after in a manner appropriate for a War Memorial. It is particularly important that the trees are maintained and renewed and gaps filled in as appropriate, to ensure the avenue effects are retained.
    Surprisingly, this CCC statement is completely in agreement with the St James Ave Residents' Association view. So Margaret checked this with the Heritage Planning Group of the CCC who stated that this policy remains unchanged from 2001. In fact, they were very surprised to learn that major works have been undertaken in many of the 15 Memorial Avenues without Heritage Group consultation. It seems the CCC are in breach of their own policy! 

    Thursday, 1 July 2010

    Community Board minutes now published

    Here is an extract from the Shirley-Papanui Community Board minutes:
    Ivan Lauder introduced Nigel Hampton and Michael Hurrell who outlined the St James Avenue Residents Association’s proposed function in the area and requested that the Board acknowledge and recognise the association, as well as assist with information to enable the inclusion of Neighbourhood Support in their area.
    The Chairperson thanked Nigel Hampton and Michael Hurrell for their deputation.
    The Board agreed:
    (a) That staff be requested to bring a report to the Community Board on the possibility of formal recognition by the Board of the St James Avenue Residents Association.
    (b) That, subject to the report on the possibility of recognising St James Ave as a residents’ association, the Board consider revoking their previous decision of the boundaries of the South Papanui Residents’ Association.

    Sunday, 27 June 2010

    "Tree Bee" A Success!

    Despite wet weather and many cold hands, the working bee was very successful. Thankyou to all of you who donned your winter woollies to brave the elements. The aim was to mark out potential changes to the street using traffic cones so that we could get a real-life appreciation of the possible changes being suggested by various residents.
    Three locations were worked on: the Harewood Road entrance where a stop sign and pedestrian island have been suggested; the avenue adjacent to the north-west entrance to St James Park where a pedestrian island is proposed in the centre of the road; and at the bend where it was felt a 7m wide road was appropriate.
    The photos show how these suggestions use the street space. The most noticeable effect was the dramatic slowing of traffic going through these marked areas (see bottom photo), probably due to a combination of road narrowing to 7m, the bright "witches hats" traffic cones, and the officious looking residents wearing fluorescent safety vests!

    Friday, 18 June 2010


    111 St  James Avenue
    Christchurch 8053
    15 June 2010

    Dear Fellow Residents


    We have organised some necessary expert helpers to assist us to work out our street design, and have it measured and draughted into a line drawing that we can present to the Christchurch City Council. They are all available on the above date, so all that is needed for a complete design team is for us to join them. A start of 10am will mean that there should be plenty of daylight hours after we have completed our design for our plan to be accurately recorded by the survey team.

    It will be great to see as many of you as possible out on the street, running out string, banging in pegs, working out parking spaces, crossing islands, traffic calming and talking and having a laugh with your fellow neighbours and residents.

    Working together towards a common goal we should be able to come up with an awesome street to live in, for us and for future residents.

    If you have youngsters in your household please invite them to join in. Who knows, being involved in design at its most basic level and seeing it take shape, and being able to talk to a surveyor, may influence a future career choice. It would be great to have their input as well.

    This is a truly wonderful opportunity to work out what we want, what works and what will not, so please accept the invite to join the day under the trees.


    Looking forward to seeing you there.

    Margaret and Dave Howley

    Wednesday, 16 June 2010

    Community Board Meeting

    The Community Board meeting went reasonably well, as much as one can tell. After I had spoken about my personal perspective on coming to the Avenue, Nigel gave his own perspective, and clarified a few issues. We then answered questions from the Board, including who we are representing, and what area should be covered by the association.
    At this stage the Board is requesting a report from the CCC to look at the feasibility of dismantling the existing South Papanui Residents' Association, and allowing our own association to get formal recognition. They will then decide whether or not to give us the go-ahead. So now we just wait.

    Tuesday, 15 June 2010

    Meeting with Community Board

    As many of you will be aware, at 4.00pm on Wednesday afternoon (June 16) Nigel and I shall be presenting on your behalf to the Community Board, to get our Residents' Association formally recognised by the CCC. While it is not essential for our association to have this recognition to achieve its goals, it is certainly worth trying to get this status.
    The meeting is at the Board Room of the Papanui Library/Service Centre (entrance at rear down Restell Street). Although only two of us are allowed to speak, you are all welcome to be part of this deputation.

    Saturday, 5 June 2010


    Those of you that read The Press this morning will have seen an excellent opinion piece from Mike Yardley. (see Newspaper blog page) Fantastic exposure. Mike was clearly well-informed!
    You may have also noticed photos, on our Street examples page, of the Idris-Jeffreys Rd corner to illustrate the pedestrian "pause way" or crossing island concept. Note the landscaped island extension running up the street, which acts as a useful barrier to stop cars cutting the corner as they enter the street as well as preventing u-turns in the street close to the corner.

    Saturday, 29 May 2010

    Further Thoughts

    To view the CCC Tree Report see CCC Tree Report (Kenny 3-12-09) in Documents section.

    I think the CCC has not understood how to approach this problem at all. They have put the cart before the horse, by coming up with "solutions" before they know what they are trying to solve. Now we are being asked to rate options that do not even begin to meet the heritage requirements. In our feedback to the CCC think we need to tell the CCC what guiding principles they need to use when redrawing the options.

    My priorities and principles?

    1. Replace trees only as they die or become hazardous.
    2. Driveways should be exempted from CCC policy where policy adherence jeopardises a tree.
    3. The avenue should be narrowed rather than widened.
    4. Angle parking is preferable, especially near the Park entrances. If there is not enough room, then have this on one side of the avenue only. Parallel parking elsewhere. (Acquire the old cool stores site for Park parking.)
    5. There is no shortage of good ideas for speed bumps, pedestrian crossings, signage, bed plantings etc but this should be after items 1-4 are solved. Let's get the big picture stuff right first.

    Thursday, 27 May 2010

    Wednesday's CCC Meeting

    I found last night's meeting had a mixture of negatives and positives.

    Some negatives were that the CCC is starting, not from a position of preserving the trees, but rather from the kerb and channel point of view and these are the consequences for the trees. There is an undercurrent that the long term view is best served by the original plan of replacing all the trees. There is little recognition of the historical symbolism of the avenue, with a suggestion that the types of replacement tree would be open for debate. Debate was rushed, probably another 30-45 minutes should have been set aside.

    On the plus side, it was good to see members of the Community Board there who understand the heritage nature of the oaks, and the local and wider Christchurch value. It was freely acknowledged by the CCC that if trees would be damaged by widening driveways to current 4.1m standards, then narrower driveways would be an acceptable alternative. The tree report (see separate blog page) recognises that many trees are healthy, which makes a nonsense of the original plan. While the report includes estimated life expectancy for the trees, CCC staff acknowledged there could be an error of at least 10 years, hugely important when decisions about removal are being based on these numbers. I also think they listened when we suggested using local government powers to obtain the cool stores land, to priovide parking for St James Park.

    Here is my interpretation of the 7 draft option plans put up for debate.
    Road humps/platforms or narrowings present on many options, but not listed below as these are less important. Note on figures given: (a) Currently 75 parks (b) Tree removals generally have fewer replacement trees e.g. 11 replaced by 7 in #3. 
    #1: "Do nothing" but in fact this means "review in 5-10 years" i.e. yet another battle.
    #2: Narrow 7m road width from Harewood Rd to corner, 10 trees removed (mostly due to driveway policy), no parking on this section of road (23 carparks Dalriada St to bend).
    #3: Narrow 7m road width from Harewood Rd to corner, 11 trees removed (mostly due to driveway policy), 36 carparks (bays), kerb back of trees, then berm, then road.
    #4: 7m road width to corner then 9m to Dalriada, 24 trees near driveways or with <10 year life expectancy removed, 45 carparks.
    #4a: 7m road width to corner then 9m to Dalriada, 37 trees near driveways or with <10 year life expectancy removed, 51 carparks.
    #5: 9m road width to corner then 10m to Dalriada, 17 trees lost - especially at Harewood Rd entrance, 61 carparks. Significant loss of street identity.
    #6: 9m road width (10m from Harewood Rd to St James Park), all trees removed, 61 carparks. Dieter's original plan I suspect - pity this was even suggested. Nice kerb and channel though!

    Saturday, 22 May 2010

    Workshop background information

    Important background information for this Wednesday's workshop is included below. This is the same as was included in your CCC Workshop packs, and has been reproduced here to encourage debate. Please bear in mind that the actual options themselves are yet to be presented and debated at the workshop. The CCC emphasises that this project is in its early stages and they are keen to get our input on the key issues in order to help develop a range of options.

    Attachment 2: Background Information
    St James Avenue Street Renewal Project (Harewood Road to Dalriada Street)
    There are several factors that need to be taken into account when considering any proposed road designs and design options. Due to the amount of physical road space in a street, several of these factors conflict with each other. This document presents these factors so residents can understand the types of considerations and the impact that different road designs can have. By considering all these factors with an open mind and by getting the local residents views on what is important in this street, the project design staff will work to achieve the appropriate balance between these competing demands.

    This project covers the 480m section of St James Avenue between Harewood Road and Dalriada Street. This section of St James Avenue is made up of a straight section that is approximately 330m long at the Harewood Road end, then there is an approximate 120 degree bend and another straight section that is approximately 150m long between the bend and Dalriada Street. 

    Factors to Consider
    St James Avenue is a local road. The primary purpose of local roads is to provide access to properties and local streets.

    Traffic volume and speed surveys were undertaken in July 2008. Data was gathered outside number 14 and number 121 St James Avenue. The 7 day average results from outside number 121 showed that there was an average volume of 1,462 vehicles per day. The 85th% speed was 55.4km/hr, the 95th% speed was 60.5km/hr and the mean speed was 48.3km/hr.

    There is a high parking demand at the Harewood Road of the street end as workers from nearby areas park in this street. At times there is high parking demand at the entrances to the park and there is low to moderate parking demand along the rest of the street from the residential properties.

    St James Avenue is in the Shirley-Papanui community board area. The project area is residential but does include two entrances to St James Park.

    It is one of the memorial streets in the area. The section between the bend and Harewood Road contains 42 mature oaks. The section between the bend and Dalriada Street contains 17 trees made up of a mixture of prunus and oaks.

    Design life - the design life of the Street Renewal project is for 80-100 years. The decisions made now around roadway widths, the location of kerb and channel, drainage layout etc... will be in place for the next 80 plus years. Given the length of the design life, this reinforces the need for a well considered design to be adopted now that all parties will be happy with for the next 80 plus years.

    Engineering design standards - there are several engineering design standards that need to be considered. Some of the significant standards that impact the development of designs for St James Ave include:
    •    Traffic lanes must be at least 2.5m wide
    •    Parking lanes must be at least 2.0m wide, and in certain cases they should be 2.5m wide.
    •    Footpaths should be at least 1.5m wide
    •    Excavation depths and widths are required to certain standards beneath the kerbs, driveways, footpaths and grass berm areas. To provide some context for this, typical excavation depths for carriageways in this area are approximately 40Omm deep and these extend at least 30Omm past the outside edge of the new kerb; new driveways are typically 4.1m wide and excavated to approximately 150mm deep; footpaths are excavated to approximately 10Omm deep; landscaping beds are excavated to approximately 350mm deep; new grass berm areas are excavated to approximately 75mm deep and the depth of under channel drainage pipes varies depending on the slope of the street.
    •    The road width for a local road in the City Plan with traffic greater than 250vpd should be between 9.0 and 14.0m wide - any variations to these widths may require a resource consent.
    •    Overhead and underground service conflicts. Careful planning is required to ensure that new kerb lines or trees are not overtop of underneath existing services in the street e.g. water pipes, sewer pipes, power, phone wires etc.... There are minimum offsets for different services that have to be achieved.

    Traffic calming measures can be included to lower the speed environment of the street. These measures can include narrowing the street, creating localised narrowings, adding speed humps or raised platforms, utilising existing curves and/or intersections to encourage reduced speed and using street trees and/or landscaping to emphasise narrowings. The types of traffic calming measures that are recommended depend on the existing speed environment, the type of road, the traffic volume using the road and the desired speed environment for the street.

    Road related stormwater runoff and drainage. Stormwater initially flows over the road and ground surface and along the kerbs, until it enters an underground stormwater system via sumps. The natural gradient of the street and the street and kerb design levels dictate how stormwater can be managed and where it flows. This needs careful design to ensure the construction and ongoing maintenance costs of the stormwater system are appropriate. It also needs to be carefully planned so it is free from other underground services e.g. sewer or water pipes. If new underground piping is required, this requires excavation to install it. This becomes an important consideration in a street like St James Ave, if for example a kerb build out is added to protect a tree. If, in this situation underground piping is required to manage the stormwater around that kerb buildout, then the amount and location of excavation required to install the underground piping may damage the roots of the tree, which may negate the reason for installing the buildout in the first place.

    The financial cost of the Street Renewal project. There is a defined budget allowed to complete this street renewal project and one of the objectives is to complete the project within budget. The types of designs considered and extent of work to be done will need to able to be achieved within the allocated budget. This budget has been set in conjunction with the works approved in the LTCCP, and is defined to be affordable and keep rates rises within the bounds stated by Council.

    The impact of any design needs to be appropriate for the classification of the street and the road users. Road users include vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and people parking on the street. Many of the road users may not necessarily live on this section of St James Avenue, however the proposed design needs to cater for their needs within the requirements of the local road classification.

    The impact on parking is an example where local residents may have different views and needs from many of the current road users who park on the street. E.g. A residents view may be that they want some on street parking for visitors, tradesmen, a spare car etc... Or maybe they don't need any on street parking as they have plenty of off street parking available on their place. They may also not want people parking all day outside their house as it takes up the available parks for their visitors, tradesmen etc... A commuter who parks there all day may want free unrestricted parking. A person who visits the park may want free unrestricted parking by the park entrance so it is easy and convenient for them to park close to where they want to go.

    The project team has completed some parking surveys to understand the demand for parking along this street. An initial observation is that a number of people park close to trees and driveways. The current design standards and arboriculture advice suggest that vehicles should not be parking within 1.0m of a driveway or within approximately 2 to 3.0m of a tree. If these standards were applied to the current situation, the downside is that there would be a significant reduction to the amount of available parking on St James Avenue, whilst the upside is that there would be less damage to the trees, through less trunk damage from cars hitting the trees and less soil compaction over the tree roots, and there would be improved entry and exit to properties, with improved visibility and reduced obstructions near driveways.

    Trees - the project team arranged for an independent arborist report on the trees in St James Avenue. This was completed by Paul Kenny, from Paul Kenny Contracting in Tauranga. Mr Kenny holds a diploma in Arboriculture from the Waikato Institute of Technology. This qualification specialises in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of hazard trees including tree health and tree structure, tree maintenance and management. Mr Kenny is specialised in the inspection and analysis of hazard trees and tree biology. This report recorded the condition of the trees at the time the assessment was completed. Copies of this report will be available at the workshop.

    Potential construction issues to trees/tree roots. The main issue when working around existing trees is to understand the amount of excavation required in the vicinity of the trees, the likely impact this can have on the root systems and the ability for the trees to recover given the required excavation/disturbance to the root systems.

    There are various construction techniques that can be used to minimise the amount of potential damage to trees when excavating around tree roots. These include ensuring arborist supervision of works, hand digging, caring for exposed roots, careful excavation and/or removal of existing kerbs and/or surfaces, reducing soil compaction, etc.... The Council staff involved with this project have recent experience with many of these techniques and, as part of the development of this project, will consider how they can be best applied to potential design options for St James Avenue.

    Overhead services. Advice on the overhead services i.e. power wires, phone lines etc... has been sought and the options discussed for the existing overhead services. Undergrounding is not being considered as there is no funding available for undergrounding. Other options like cable bundling were also investigated. The initial comments are that the existing overhead services should remain, as any changes may cause more damage to the existing trees, and there are no benefits to change from the existing overhead services. In saying that, some minor alterations to the existing overhead services may be required to meet the regulations for separation distances between wires and trees. This could include a combination of some alterations to the wires e.g. using wider spreader bars and some tree pruning.