Christchurch Renewal

H & M Store and The Crossing Retail Precinct

September 9, 2017
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Long queues for most of the day to get into the H & M store

Welcome to your new city. If you have not been into the central city for a few months, you are in for a very big surprise. It feels like a different place. And today, with the opening of the H & M store, the central city was buzzing with people and energy. It’s like a real city again. There was even a real risk of bumping into people! I personally didn’t fancy queuing to get into the H & M store, so just have photos of everyone else queuing instead. I might make it there tomorrow perhaps.

I instead, explored the buildings that make up The Crossing retail area.

What looks like a parking meter is currently in the Cathedral Square. Instead of issuing parking tickets it gives you a free thing to do within the central city area. It’s part of a wider campaign to promote well-being in Christchurch. You can see the rest of the ideas online at And learn more about the project at the Gap Filler website.

For quite a while I’ve been also thinking of doing a long blog post or blog series about things to do and see around Christchurch – as I’ve taken quite a few visitors on walks around the city and they really enjoy learning about some of the quirkier things you might not pick up as a visitor. Just have to find the time to sit down and write it!


The South Frame

July 18, 2017
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View from St Asaph Street

The South Frame of Christchurch is slowly taking shape. The goal of the south frame is to connect parts of the city centre with pedestrian and cycle access. 

Kakapo cloak by artist Lonnie Hutchinson

The image above is a close up of the stunning cloak design that is on the side of the carpark building for the Justice and Emergency Precinct.

This section is Mollet Street – which will have a vertical garden once the plants start to make their way up – is part of the Greenway which will have distinctive gardens.

For more a more information on the South Frame, check out the Otakaro fact sheet at


With the opening of the ANZ Centre building on Cashel Street (in the Mall) this area is suddenly a lot busier and it’s starting to feel a lot more like a central city again. There have been several new shops open up, including Glassons, Hallenstein Brothers and the super busy makeup store Mecca Maxima.


The clock tower of the Arts Centre is looking wonderful – like it was only just built (check out those dark slate roofing tiles!). The Arts Centre was a cultural hub for Christchurch and a fun place to while away an hour or so browsing the market and checking out the different artists and crafts people in residence. It also had a bustling hospitality aspect with popular cafes. So it’s great to see that the clock tower will be opening up early in 2016 (that’s this year!). See more information at the official website –—college-hall.html


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