How not to repair a Heritage Precinct in the Christchurch CBD

I had heard whispers that this was happening.  A very interesting article by NICK TRUEBRIDGE    23.6.16

“Christchurch development figures start new company, launch High Court proceedings”

Christchurch at its worst.  A group of wealthy businessmen trying to stop retail development in an area that they do not own.  Are they so afraid that this may be competition?  Do they not have the best interests of the city at heart?   Why do we have to resolve this in court?  This should have been sorted out before hand by arbitration/mediation.  Do we not believe in the open market economy and competition?

“A group of Christchurch’s most powerful development figures have joined forces to mount a legal challenge against the city council and the company behind the $50 million McKenzie and Willis redevelopment.

City Centre Christchurch Limited (CCCL) was incorporated on June 8 and filed High Court proceedings to seek a judicial review against the council and 181 High Limited two days later. 

A who’s who of Christchurch property developers and businessmen are connected to the new company, including, among others, Antony Gough, Tim Carter and Roger Bridge as directors, and Warwick Isaacs, Philip Carter and Michael Ogilvie-Lee as shareholders”.

Link Here:

and Now here:

The real danger is that the public might conclude that they do not want competition to their retail developments in the Cashel Street area.  The public may well ask the question as too why these guys are worried that the smaller Peebles development will take tenants from the larger central city development..  “Gough said CCCL sought a review of resource consents granted for areas that were not intended to be used for retail, but which had been approved for it”.

Everyone in the city knows that the original plan designed by the CCDU, under Warrick Issacs leadership I might add,  for the so-called “Innovation Precinct” was flawed.  At every meeting I ever had with the CCDU, no one could actually tell me what an “Innovation Precinct” was.  I still do not know.

What these gentlemen seem to have forgotten is that it not in the BEST INTERESTS of the city to stop rebuilding and mire redevelopment in legal action.  What about arbitration?  “Asked who came up with the idea for the company, Gough said it was a mutual choice and the company was made up of people “passionate about the centre city”.  yeah right…. There should be some way of dealing with these issues out of court.

Pull your heads in, this looks “anti” any other development but your own.

ps: Richard Peebles’ development is coming together quickly, heaps better than what we had before.  It was retail before the quakes I might add.


the old McKenzie and Willis building.

Below is a photo of the new lane way behind us, starting to be formed.



The new lane way is starting to appear.

grirr-  could make one very grumpy to see the “well-connected land owners” fight competition and try to stall development in other areas.

pps. Our scaffolding is down and the frontage is looking great.


ppps: Is this the outcome that these business owners  really want.  After 6 years????


6 years progress in High St.


9 thoughts on “How not to repair a Heritage Precinct in the Christchurch CBD

  1. These guys are seriously delusional if they think they can put any sort of lipstick on their actions to make this look like anything other than the protectionist cartel that it is. I also think Isaacs should come under investigation for his private affairs to see just how extensively he set himself up for future personal gain while he was holding his position at CERA. That man always had a smell about him, to me, and it has only got worse.

    Right back to the time of early CBD red-zone demolitions I have evidence of fraudulent invoicing (oh, I’m sorry “mistakes”) by red zone contractors who were just coincidentally old school mates of Warwick’s from South Canterbury

  2. Maybe if these old crooks were not so obsessed with building on their pretty swamp by the river, they would be able to erect structures at a cost per metre that made it possible for them to attract tenants. I’m getting a perverse satisfaction at the way this is playing out

    So glad I saved the photos and Powerpoint presentation that show a meeting of the members of this decrepit corrupt cartel, on Roger Ballantyne’s home front lawn. This was the meeting just a few weeks after the February quake, when they got together and divided up the spoils

  3. Press seem to have closed comments very quickly on this one… gotta love Chch!

    I will add this one here, instead:

    As if Gough is not having enough trouble getting the banks to fund his egotistical grand-folly already, he’s going to have a whole lot more trouble now that he has demonstrated so well to them how terrified he is of having to face up to any competition

    • I could not possibly comment about Mr Gough… I could get myself into trouble. ha ha… He seems to be having trouble getting his development under way which is a shame for the CBD. The issue is partly that the tenants are looking for “something funky, different” and they are seeing it in the High St area. Rents will be a wee bit lower too I suspect.
      ( about the press-They eventually posted my comments much to my surprise.)

  4. Pathetic litigation behaviour by vested interests to attempt to block the true dynamics of a city growth. The original precinct designations should always have been seen as researched starting points for re-development but true dynamic development growth for living vital cosmopolitan cities is also sparked by spontaneous combustion of willing parties and the people of the city are crying out for some meaningful heritage qualities ( historical narratives and references such as Arts Centre and Museum) to contrast with the bland and appalling design ‘solutions’ being rebuilt elsewhere – buildings with little or no character or meaning that will date and detail shabbily.
    Richard Farrow ANZIA -Architect

    • Thank you Richard. You have summarised the situation much more succinctly than I can. I also confess to being slightly disappointed by the new concrete and glass buildings in the city, but there are so many cost constraints- we were all under insured, foundation costs have become massive. I guess it does not excuse it but it may explain it. Personally I still feel happier and safer in our old brick building than I do in some of the older concrete multi storey buildings. Maybe we were crazy to repair it, only time will tell. I know it has driven me nuts! 🙂 Progress is so slow. Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

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