Future of Greater Christchurch important to residents

More than 7000 people provided feedback on how to accommodate future growth in Greater Christchurch through the Huihui Mai engagement.

The Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti (Urban Growth Partnership for Greater Christchurch) asked residents in Christchurch City, Selwyn and Waimakariri for their views on how to tackle important issues related with growth, including a suggested turn up and go public transport service (Mass Rapid Transit) route during the engagement which ran for six weeks from 23 February 2023.

Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti Chair Jim Palmer says he is delighted with the response from the community and also the wide representation of participants from Greater Christchurch.

“As part of our engagement we have been keen to hear the views of young people as well as reaching the under-represented groups in our community. Over 1,300 youth under 25 took part in the survey and workshops.” he says.

“We also heard from people across the Greater Christchurch area – of the over 7,000 people who completed the survey, 5,048 lived in Christchurch city or Banks Peninsula, 1,396 people lived in the Selwyn District and 493 people lived in the Waimakariri District.”

By 2050 more than 700,000 people are projected to be living in the Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts – 30 per cent more than there are today, with the population potentially doubling to 1 million people within the next 60 years, if not earlier.

Jim Palmer says the survey responses show that residents care about the future of their city, towns and neighbourhoods, including how they will develop in the future to accommodate a larger population and respond to other challenges including housing affordability and responding to climate change.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 86% agreed with the direction to focus growth around key urban and town centres and along public transport routes. The younger people were, the more likely they were to agree.
  • 53% agreed with the suggested ‘turn up and go’ route. Respondents who lived in suburbs along the proposed route were most supportive (75%), as were younger people. For those respondents who were not supportive, extending the route to Rolleston, Eastern Christchurch, Rangiora and South Christchurch were all identified.
  • 56% of people are open to higher density living, however it needs to be planned and designed to meet their different needs and provide quality of life for people.

The feedback received through the community engagement is informing the development of the draft Greater Christchurch Spatial Plan, a blueprint for our future growth, and the turn up and go public transport service investigation (Mass Rapid Transit Indicative Business Case).

In May 2023, the Whakawhanake Kāinga Komiti will receive the full engagement report and consider approving the Draft Spatial Plan for consultation in mid-2023. Alongside this they will consider endorsement of the turn up and go public transport service investigation, which is then expected to go to the Waka Kotahi Board for consideration.  If it is approved and funding is confirmed, the next step will be to investigate in more detail the design of the corridor and stations along the route.

Link to the Engagement Summary