Activity In Other Streets

  • The Weekend Press, May 15-16, 2010
Neighbourhood support: John Veitch, right, and Andrew Groom keep in touch with their Condell Ave neighbours via email.     Photo.- DON SCOTT
Online list puts street in touch
Charlie Gates

Neighbourly goodwill is being kept alive in the Christchurch suburbs by special online communities.
Residents of Condell Ave in Papanui have come together online to share excess vegetables, borrow ladders, find babysitters and even stop parties from getting out of control.
The online street list, thought to be one of the first in New Zealand, was set up by market researcher John Veitch as a way to revive community spirit.
"We know each other so much better now and that is the important thing. You get to know the names of people more than two doors away from you because their problem is on the list. It brings a big long street like ours together," he said.
The forum helped residents deal with an out-of-control party on the night of Friday, May 7, when cars were doing burnouts, loud music filled the street and 60 young people came outside for "a small drunken riot".
"The street responded to the problem both on the street - with over 20 residents cleaning up the glass at midnight with brooms and wheelie bins - and the incident was later discussed in detail onIine. The two young men involved were very surprised at the united reaction they got," Veitch said.
The online discussion made residents aware of how the party got out of hand and helped prevent further problems, he said.
Veitch has helped three more Christchurch streets set up their own online forums in the last week.
The street list for Condell Ave has about 80 members and more than 50 topics have been discussed since it was established a year ago.
The idea was welcomed by Inspector John Price, policing development manager for Canterbury.
"The police support anything where neighbours are talking to each other because we would like to see villages set up in cities," Price said.
"If you have a village environment people know each other and look out for each other."

  • Concrete piles to give away
  • Letterbox damage
  • Keeping chickens!
  • Autumn harvest get-together
  • Babysitting
  • Worm farm - HELP
  • Tools - Can I borrow a ladder?
  • Vandalism of trees
  • Set up a group on
  • Leaflet every house on your street telling people about the group.
  • Go door-to-door collecting email addresses from neighbours.
  • Email everyone in the group asking them to join.
  • Post a welcome message in the group and encourage people to post. 

    • Nor'West News, April 28, 2010 
    Agreement being reached over trees
    Chris Tobin
    Christchurch City Council staff and residents of Wroxton Terrace in Fendalton are coming to agreement regarding the future of plane trees in the street.
    "We're moving in the right direction," Wroxton Terrace resident Jock Muir said.
    "The council is looking at options regarding the retention of the trees and we're very keen to work with them. We're going to meet again to get some significant measure of agreement."
    Underground wiring was also being discussed.
    The fate of the trees has come into focus as part of the council's planned $2.8 million upgrade of Wroxton Terrace, Clifford Avenue and Jacksons Road. Council staff had earlier advised that the plan should not go ahead if many of the plane trees were retained. A council arborist advised that 17 of 19 plane trees had a "useful" life expectancy of less than 10 years.
    This claim was rejected by many residents of Wroxton Terrace and they gained two expert opinions supporting their case.