Innovation Precinct update… “why are we waiting?…

Innovation precinct Plan Due:  September,  October,  November, December 2013, January, February, March, April, May?? Nope it’s today the 3rd June 2014 at 4.33pm

The rumours about Vodafone in the innovation precinct have been bubbling away for months and all the while CERA/CCDU/MBIE has been delaying the release of the “Innovation Precinct plans” until they could “find, bribe, con, secure” – take your pick, an anchor tenant. Looks like Vodafone is to be the “anchor tenant” they have so desperately wanted. Why they needed an anchor tenant is a bit of a moot point, but it was the only way they could stick with the “Innovation Precinct” moniker.

Is it not ironical that CERA/CCDU/MBIE have the power to hold up all the other building owners in this precinct for over 3.5 years while they mess around trying to prove that they know what they are doing. While they have been stalling they have been playing with people’s livelihoods.  It looks like an orchestrated manipulation of the market designed to force the building owners into selling out (as we pay rates and expenses etc on useless un-tenantable buildings.)  It seems to me that this was not the way to get progress in this zone.  They have deliberately slowed progress.  Is this really the function of central government? I think not.

And then they wonder why the land owners are refusing to rebuild and co-operate!  Amazing stupidity really.  They are still playing some mysterious game.  It is called selling the land off to the rich landowners in the city and forcing the small ones out. The same game they have played across the city for 3 plus years.

It appears that a developer has finally managed to get Vodafone’s signature on paper. I have not seen cast iron confirmation of this.  I bet there was a sweetener! I believe that the owner of the land has sold to a “middle man” who has on sold to Vodafone.

Look at the great glass structure that we are going to get.  Thank my lucky stars that we are not opposite this monstrosity! Link here:

Now you tell me why we had to wait 3.5 years for CERA to release the Innovation Precinct plans?  Waiting for one anchor tenant and holding up all progress until it was signed sealed and delivered makes no sense to me at all.  The silence has been deafening.

So presumably, this deal should be confirmed today. Link here:[  

Based on this we should get the Innovation Precinct details released this week. Make a bet on Thursday/Friday.  CERA/CCDU always releases information late in the week. It stops protests.

Now while you peeps in other parts of the country may think that this is all a Christchurch problem, I need to point out that you need to remember, that this is a NATIONAL government orchestrating all this.  The actions that they have taken here will be used as a blueprint for any other disaster that will occur in any of our main cities. This scenario is easily transferred to Wellington or Dunedin, both of which have a large number of buildings that are unreinforced masonry ie brick and are on small land parcels.  It is not just the buildings that the government wants down it is the amalgamation of small land parcels.  This is not good for small land owners. It is also about a re distribution of wealth.

My guess is that many building owners in Christchurch will never vote for national again.

Christchurch is a NATIONAL DISGRACE

Just remember:

Southern NO response – owned by the government

EQC  owned by the government

CERA owned by the government

CCDU owned by the government

MBIE owned by the government

All organisations tasked to help us, but who have failed us miserably.

The sun is shining, it is freezing. And we are still above ground!

8.30pm update: 

Well wonders do never cease. Vodafone is confirmed as an anchor tenant and within hours (4.33pm) of this confirmation the long awaited Spatial Document for the “Innovation Precinct” has been released. Along with an accompanying email. My guess about the release of this document was out by 2 days! My bad!

A quick peruse of the document shows lots of pretty pictures and “spatial” concepts.  At first glance it is short on detail. I still can not work out what sort of access we get to our building from the proposed rear lane way.   Until this detail is clarified I can not proceed with repairs in this part of the building.

ho humm, think of all those high paid CERA/CCDU/MBIE planners spending years on preparing this document….. on high wages!

Good afternoon
The purpose of this email is to provide you, as an owner of a property within that part of the South Frame bordered by Montreal, Tuam, Manchester and St Asaph Streets, with an update on progress within the Innovation Precinct.
Today Minister’s Brownlee and Joyce released the Spatial Framework for the Innovation Precinct, the following link will take you to the document  In addition to the release of the Spatial Framework, the government announced its support for the development of an innovation hub within the precinct.  Start-ups are significant idea generators within innovation precincts but often can’t afford the high rental cost of new builds.  The innovation hub offers the opportunity for lower rentals.  Support such as this, in a knowledge rich environment among other innovators will  help start-ups flourish and ultimately see the innovative ecosystem grow.
Also announced today was the news that the Innovation Precinct is going to be home for the Government’s new Information Communications Technology (ICT) Graduate School programme, a programme that will also be rolled out to other main centres in the country.  This programme will deliver industry – focused education and research and will connect tertiary education providers and graduates with key ICT firms.
In addition to the Government’s commitment to the Precinct, Vodafone also announced their new South Island headquarters, along with the international incubator hub ‘Xone’, will be based in the Innovation Precinct.   The ‘Xone’ incubator hub is one of only six in the world and will be a first for New Zealand.  The ‘Xone’ incubator offers advice, support and assistance to technology start-ups with a focus on mobile platforms, consumer electronics, smart charging etc.
Christchurch Central Development Unit
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)
Private Bag 4999, Christchurch 8140


6 thoughts on “Innovation Precinct update… “why are we waiting?…

  1. Kiwibank is also owned by the government. As mortgagor it has served property law notices on building owners in the Innovation Precinct. Owners were still waiting on Insurance settlements so now under the threat of winding up procedures some have been forced to sell. Litchfield Lanes come to mind.

    • Yes, this was very orchestrated. Actually Kiwibank was a little silly if they had hung on a little longer the prices would have been better. CERA/CCDU basically tried to force the building owners in the area to go broke in this precinct. They have been waiting for us to fall over as well. Just goes to show that they don’t know much about us eh! The situation on the Vodafone site is sad, not only are the standing buildings now going to be demolished, we get a concrete/glass monster as well! I find it amusing that its Vodafone. When I tried to get a high speed phone line into my building, 40 metres away they could not supply it. I am on old copper wire!

  2. After reading the document released today I am on the floor pissing myself laughing at the sheer gall of the likes of Brownlee, Isaacs and the landscape gardener with the OBE over his fireplace. Having destroyed every bit of individuality both built and human, in the CBD, they now wish to “embrace heritage”

    These people are akin to something stuck on the sole of my shoe

    • Hi Bruce,
      I too have been rolling on the floor laughing. Now 2 wines and a box of tissues later, I have just finished my first glance at the spatial document. Very Pretty! And Utterly useless to me. I have learnt nothing. You will love the irony of the fact that CERA is now planning to do repairs to the Duncans Buildings before they on sell. It is the height of hypocrisy. Bet you they announce it just before the bulldozing of the CHCH cathedral. I can see it now “Look aren’t we a good little government, we care about our heritage! We SAVE Heritage.”
      Damm- I see another wine is needed!

  3. correction: they “destroyed every bit of human individuality” is not quite accurate

    they certainly attempted to achieve that, by bullying and bankrupting everyone who lacked the resources and/or sheer persistence to stand up to the power of National, but some of us are still going to be around for just a little longer yet. Long enough to hold them to account!

    What have we left, though, in the way of individuals in the CBD?

    Tony Gough in his pantomine suits, as red-necked and old-money as they come, but still trotted out as the Uncle Tom poster-boy for CCDU at any opportunity, and Sam from C-One (the stoner’s cafe’, hence the name) who has now slid so far into early middle-aged conservatism that he hopes his early years have been quietly forgotten about as he clings to the apron strings of Mommy-Gerry

    Oh yes; a really individual precinct is the Chch CBD of the future

    Still, they will all go bust from high rents, and in 20 years it might all come right again, if anyone can then work out how to take 20 year old glass monstrosities and imbue them with some warmth and character in order that they might become fit for any sort of interesting purpose?

    • I agree with your assessment of the poster boy, it is rather obvious what is happening here. But really they did not have any other options. The new builds are painfully slow and according to my calculations we will be only the 3rd heritage building re opened in the city. (225 High St, Alices, us, than David Collins and Hunters and collectables- more or less in this order.) so there has rather been a shortage of poster buildings and land owners happy to appear to appear greasing in front of a camera saying nice things about the rebuild. lol
      You are right about the rents, this is an argument I have been having for 3 plus years. Even the repaired buildings are not going to be immune from this problem as the costs of strengthening have to be factored in.
      My only thought is that sooner or later we will be rid of CCDU/MBIE and than the real fun and work will start as the precincts find their own balance. My guess is that the Innovation precinct will than become a tourist mecca as we are the last 1905 block left standing in the city. The other buildings and tenants in the area will begin to reflect this.
      As to the vodafone building, with a bit of luck some clever designer will plant some shrubs in front of it. At least it will bring in some life and staff to the zone, I have got to celebrate that. It is progress of a sort.

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