Waimakariri District Summary [PDF 104MB]

Business as Usual Option

Business as Usual continues current trends of development spreading around the Greater Christchurch area north of the Waimakariri River and southwest into Selwyn, with some housing in urban renewal developments. Rangiora and Woodend would continue to grow and Pegasus (formerly Pegasus Bay) is expected to grow into a town of 1800 households.

Waimakariri District is currently growing very rapidly. Projections of population growth, assuming Business as Usual continues unchanged, indicate the study area population will nearly double over the next 40 years from 30,215 in 2001 to about 56,490 in 2041. The number of households will increase from 11,400 in 2001 to about 23,441 in 2041. Many of these extra people and houses are likely to be in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend / Pegasus and on lifestyle blocks and rural residential sub-divisions between these towns.

With most development spread out around the district, and employment split between Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Christchurch City, people will spend more time travelling from their homes to work, school and shops. Roads leading into Christchurch would become more congested, particularly State Highway 1 across the Waimakariri River. Congestion on the Waimakariri bridges may require the construction of additional lanes on the State Highway 1 bridges. Waimakariri District residents would also experience congestion issues on city roads.

For people living in Rangiora and Kaiapoi walking and cycling to local facilities should be practical alternatives to driving. Public transport services between Christchurch, Rangiora and Kaiapoi should improve with high frequency regular services. People living in rural areas are unlikely to have public transport available, and neither walking nor cycling will be viable choices.

Growth in Rangiora and Kaiapoi will enable the development of more community facilities, such as libraries, recreation and health centres. New developments outside these larger towns will have few facilities, so residents will need to travel to existing facilities.

With growth spreading around Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend and Pegasus and the countryside around Ohoka and Clarkville, there will be fewer opportunities to create regional parks. People will need to travel further to escape the built up areas and find open space for recreation and leisure.

Impact of Business as Usual Option on Waimakariri District

  • Increased development in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Pegasus and around Ohoka and Clarkville
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads to Christchurch
  • Growth enables development of community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rangiora and Kaiapoi, but not elsewhere

Option A

Option A concentrates development within Christchurch and the larger towns such as Rangiora and Kaiapoi.

Around 60% of new housing would be urban renewal (primarily in Christchurch City), and 40% would be in new subdivisions. A green belt would be established to prevent urban areas of Rangiora and Kaiapoi spreading into farmland or each other.

More intense development would occur in Rangiora and Kaiapoi than at present. Townhouses on smaller sections and mixed developments of commercial space on lower floors and residential on upper floors may occur in the retail and social centres of Rangiora and Kaiapoi. Elsewhere development would be limited, to discourage further conversion of farmland and open space to lifestyle and rural-residential developments.

Concentrating development within and around existing urban areas will make some roads more congested. The growth of Rangiora and Kaiapoi will mean the roads connecting to Christchurch and the Waimakariri bridges will need upgrading to avoid the predicted growth in congestion. If employment opportunities develop in Rangiora and Kaiapoi, some people may walk or cycle to work as alternatives to driving their cars, or use improved public transport to travel to employment in Christchurch.

Concentrating development within Rangiora and Kaiapoi increases the potential for new residents to enhance community identity through establishing social, cultural and sporting groups. This should enable the development of additional community amenities such as swimming pools, libraries and schools.

By limiting growth to within and around the existing urban areas, green zones and regional parks can be created around each town to provide for recreational activities. Farmland can continue to be used for primary production, and natural landscapes preserved.

Impact of Option A on Waimakariri District

  • Increased development in Rangiora and Kaiapoi
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads connecting with Christchurch
  • Improved community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rangiora and Kaiapoi, but not elsewhere
  • Rural character retained

Option B

Option B balances future urban development between existing towns / urban centres with some expansion into adjacent areas.

Urban centres or community villages focus around shops and community facilities, including health centres, libraries and cinemas where local residents get many of their day-to-day services, and serve as community meeting places. Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend have been identified as possible urban centres. The planned growth of Pegasus to a settlement of 1,800 households is provided for.

By developing self-sufficient urban centres or villages local residents could be within walking or cycling distance of their workplaces, schools, shops and other facilities. By increasing population around urban centres and villages there could be sufficient demand for improved public transport.

Development of lifestyle blocks and rural-residential sections would continue, but the focus would be on enlarging the existing towns. People living on lifestyle blocks would have few alternatives to driving to employment, schools and shops, so congestion would increase on roads throughout the area.

Development would continue to be concentrated on the main urban centres of Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend, which should strengthen community identity. Existing shopping in these towns would expand, offering greater product ranges and services in response to their local communities' needs. Community facilities such as libraries, swimming pools, health and recreation centres are also likely to be developed attracting people to live within close proximity. This influx of residents will in turn stimulate more economic and social activity at Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Woodend.

With growth restricted to around existing towns, and within the City boundaries, regional parks between Christchurch and neighbouring district towns could be developed. As well as providing valuable space for recreation, these regional parks would enhance eco-systems and habitats for the native species that live in the Greater Christchurch area

Impact of Option B on Waimakariri District

  • Increased housing and employment development in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend and at Pegasus
  • Increased traffic congestion on roads connecting with Christchurch
  • Improved community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend and Pegasus, but not elsewhere
  • Rural character retained, with some loss of farmland around urban centres

Option C

Option C disperses development out around the Greater Christchurch area away from established urban areas.

About 90% of housing development would be in new subdivisions and rural residential developments, such as in areas north of the Waimakariri River around Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Pegasus, Fernside, Ohoka, Mandeville and Clarkville. Low-density residential development at Mandeville / Ohoka offers the opportunity to consolidate development around this locality.

The semi-rural nature of Waimakariri would change as farmland was zoned for lifestyle blocks and rural-residential developments. The separation between town and country would be lost as towns and new sub-divisions grew into one another.

With development spread around Waimakariri District, people will spend more time travelling from their homes to work, school and shops. Roads will become more congested as walking, cycling and using public transport are unlikely to be attractive alternatives to driving for many residents working in Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Christchurch.

There is likely to be a transitional period where existing facilities, sports and cultural groups are either enhanced with the arrival of new residents or replaced by new facilities and groups more in tune with new residents' lifestyles. The character of existing smaller rural communities, such as in Fernside, Ohoka, Swannanoa, Mandeville, Eyreton and Clarkville, will undoubtedly change. New developments would have few community facilities, such as schools, recreation centres and libraries when first developed which may encourage residents to travel to facilities in Rangiora, Kaiapoi or Christchurch preventing communities from developing their own identity.

By encouraging growth to spread outward, the opportunity to create large open spaces and regional parks is reduced. As development moves out into the countryside, productive lands currently used for market gardening and farming would be lost.

Impact of Option C on Waimakariri District

  • Increased development from Rangiora to Pegasus, Woodend to Kaiapoi and through Mandeville, Clarkville, Ohoka and Fernside
  • Increased traffic congestion on district roads and connecting with Christchurch, particularly over the Waimakariri River and northern Christchurch
  • Growth enables development of some community facilities and enhanced public transport in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Pegasus and possibly Mandeville, but not elsewhere
  • Loss of rural character as farmland cut up into lifestyle and rural-residential blocks