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.