St Albans News for July out now

The community board is considering an alcohol ban for Edgeware Village while councillors are looking at the wider picture through a Local Alcohol Policy. We find out what you can buy at the Nurse Maude Mobility shop (two representative spoke at the Cafe Chat in June) and pop our heads through the community centre doors to sample the goodies at the Edgeware winter market. Local historian Brian Spear recalls his uncle Vernon Griffiths, who lived his later years in Bishop St in St Albans. Dr Griffiths played a big part in the growth of school and community choirs from 1940s to 1980s. And it’s residents with wooden traps v rats on the back page. St Albans News’July edition is being delivered over the next week to letterboxes but you can download the digital file by clicking on the image to the right.

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St Albans News June edition

A little known artist with a unique style, Eldred Wisdom lived in St Albans in the 60s and 70s. He now lives in a retirement village in Papanui. St Albans News for June 2024 also manages to fit in a few other stories about road safety around two schools and what’s happening with the bus lane trial on Cranford St – the city council is expecting to make a decision on what type of traffic gets priority in the section between Innes Rd and Berwick St later in the year. St Albans News’June edition is being delivered this week to letterboxes but you can download the digital file by clicking on the image to the right.

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May 2024 edition St Albans News

St Albans News’ May edition takes a walk down memory lane (Edgeware Rd) with a kiwi lad who grew up in St Albans but made a name as a rugby writer in France for French newspapers. Ian Borthwick, son of the late Basil and Natalie, also took some eerie photos with no people in them during the lockdown in Paris several years ago and these have been on display in Christchurch. Daph Parkins, now in her mid 90s and still going strong, talks about her childhood in 1930s St Albans. Click on the image to the right to download and catch up with the latest news from Christchurch’s golden suburb.

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Furniture shop closes and other news for April

Garry Moore talks to furniture maker Peter Davey who has closed the Ambrose Heal custom-made furniture store in Barbadoes St. The Edgeware Pool rebuild could start as early as October after the Pool group is granted some Better Off community funding for consents and other paperwork. Click the image to the right to download and read the April edition of St Albans News. StAN will be delivered to most St Albans letterboxes on March 28. It can also be obtained now from the community centre and the supermarket.

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Heritage and more in March edition St Albans News

Some residents living in a residential heritage area are concerned that the special status granted to their street is being eroded by a council that allows buildings to conform to little more than the roof line shape and not heritage features to be built. Most of the residents have spent money repairing quake damaged homes and modernise behind the scenes. Download the pdf by clicking on the image.

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St Albans News for February 2024

The main feature of our smaller, eight page issue this month is Yolanda Soryl, St Albans resident and phonics teacher honoured in the New Year’s Honours List. And there’s a roundup of bits and pieces of news about what the city council has been up to and goings on in the suburb while some people were away in the mountains or lazing on an island in the Pacific. Download the pdf by clicking on the image.

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December 2023/January 2024 St Albans News

It is looking like the Christchurch City Council might try to sell some city assets after all to reduce rates or to help pay for things like the Te Kaha sports stadium. However, some Christchurch citizens made their objections known at a recent meeting. The 16 page December/January edition, the last for 2023, also features a couple of Christmas pages, a followup story about Nurse Duncan who was midwife and mother to Ina, who we featured earlier in the year and more. We also celebrate 30 years of St Albans News with a brief update of the past five years and recap the 2018 story of the St Albans Neighbourhood News which first appeared in letterboxes in December 1993.

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Elections feature in November edition of St Albans News

It’s a slim edition and mostly a preliminary report about the recent general election. National won the party vote in the Christchurch Central electorate while Duncan Webb retained the electorate seat on the night. Things might change when the special votes are counted and included in the total. The new Government is likely to be a combination of ACT and National and possibly one other party. And in Te Tai Tonga, Te Pati Maori candidate Tukata Ferris unseated Labour’s Rino Tirakatene. A few smaller pieces fill a couple of remaining pages. Click on the image to the right to download the November edition of St Albans News.

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School reunion features in October’s St Albans News

St Albans News October 2023 St Albans School reunion and election candidates feature in the October edition of St Albans News.The primary school is 150 years old, having started in 1873, and celebrated with photos, speeches, cake cutting, singing and sack racing. Many different generations of school children have passed through its doors. With the general elections on October 14 we take provide a brief view of 11 candidates standing for Christchurch Central and Te Tai Tonga.

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Tane Norton, political parties feature in September’s St Albans News

St Albans News September 2023 St Albans says farewell to local identity (rugby legend and tomato grower) Tane Norton who died in early August, with a focus on tomatoes that provided his family with a good living before they took over operations at Bailies and the Cranford Ale House. There is also a rough guide to political party views and policies in the centre pages given that there is an election in mid-October. It is not intended as a comprehensive view but more of a starter kit on where to find out more about the party policies behind the rhetoric.

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St Albans News August 2023 edition

August 2023 St Albans News

St Albans Primary School is celebrating 150 years in September and St Albans News has dedicated a 4 page spread to the jubilee. We have a look at the Shirley Community Centre, one of the first to be set up in Christchurch in 1977 but looking like the last badly damaged centre to be replaced, if it is. Council has been consulting the community on the topic for three years in a search for alternatives. And a roadshow travelling the country pushing the line that co-governance is a plot by Maori elites faces protest action in Caledonian Rd. All this and more in the August edition of St Albans News. Click on the image to the tight to download and read.

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July 2023 edition of St Albans News

Lots of stories in St Albans News in July, including one about the urban forest (we are losing trees and not replacing them fast enough in the city) and the possibility that the Edgeware Pool when built could become a refuge in a hotter climate. Ada Wells, the local teacher who became the city’s first woman councillor and helped install public playgrounds also features in a piece that looks back 150 years. StAN is being delivered to letterboxes on July 6.

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Packing the stories into June’s St Albans News

Parking in Edgeware Village could cost you if you don’t know how to beat the time limits (talk to the owner) and we take a first look at some expensive new homes going up on the Orion block. June’s St Albans News is packed with long stories and short bites, from litter on a street corner to the prospect of transport corridors lined with six storey houses. Find out how you can trap rats in your backyard and contribute toward New Zealand becoming pest-free by 2050 We even have space to bring back the letters’page.

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May 2023 edition of St Albans News

St Albans News talks to a 95 year old who has spent most of her life in St Albans and there’s a piece about the author of a book called “Fear” who is concerned about links between local operators and international activists behind the protest in Parliament in March 2022. No one solution will solve the city’s flooding problems but things like installing swales and storage tanks might make a difference as the city intensifies housing. Click on the image to download and read the May issue.

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A barbecue for St Albans Park?

St Albans News April 2023 It has been suggested by some St Albans residents that a public barbecue should be placed in St Albans Park but apparently it needs public support as well as intensive enough use of the park to justify it. The city council has installed and maintains a number of public barbecues, mostly in places like Hagley Park and around the city edges. St Albans Park is well used for sports activities and an area near the children’s playground popular with picnickers has been suggested for placement. The April edition of St Albans News is also a slim one due to lower ad revenue but it’s packed inside with plenty of small stories. Click on the image to download and read.

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March 2023 edition of St Albans News

The March edition of St Albans News may be slimmer than usual but it’s packed inside with plenty of small stories. The main feature has been given over to the tale of how the St Albans Residents Association (SARA) was reborn to fight the government’s first attempt at running a motorway through St Albans. It involved a former mayor and a newly-minted dame. The Kohinga Mara pantry has been completed and is now on the St Albans Community Centre forecourt in Colombo St where passersby can find fresh fruit and vegetables from the centre’s garden or donated from other St Albans gardens. SARA is beginning a journey to make the centre zero waste by partnering with Para Kore.

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First issue of St Albans News for 2023

February 2023 issue St Albans News

A couple of people associated with St Albans over the past few decades have been granted awards in the New Year’s Honours List: Maggy Tai Rakena and Jan Wright. Three pages of St Albans News focus on the current by-election in the Innes Ward (being held as a result of one of the successful candidates resigning). New planting has been recommended for St Albans Stream where it passes through Abberley Park to stabilise the riverbanks. At this stage it is just a recommendation with suggested trees and plantings drawn from a city council-hosted database of native plants suited to the ecosystem. All this and more. Print versions are being delivered late January, early February.

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December issue St Albans News

St Albans News December 2022
St Albans and Christchurch lost kaumātua Terry Ryan when he died in October. With the help of others in Otautahi who knew him, we recall his life’s work. Looks like there will be a long and expensive wait for a solution to the flooding in the lowest parts of St Albans and there’s likely to be a queue for such work given the city sinking after the quakes and seas rising with climate change. The St Albans community centre won a national architecture award for its building, mainly for the way it sequesters carbon, a building for the future and lots more. Click on the image to the right to download and view the December/January pdf pages.

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November issue St Albans News

Ali Jones thought she had won the election for the Innes councillor by 46 votes only to find out a day later that Pauline Cotter had won, based on special votes during the official and final count, by 16 votes. [After we went to print Ali Jones was granted a recount] We take a closer look at a quake-damaged villa that is not being pulled down and replaced with townhouses to check what can be done to upgrade it, in keeping with its 1920s style, for the 21st century. Printed copies are available at the community centre and supermarket and will be delivered to letterboxes on Thursday, November 3. Click on the image to the right to download and view the pdf pages.

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Proposed planning change could rob city of daylight

Christchurch City Councillors are being asked to approve changes to the district plan on September 13 without an evaluation being done on the plan that could allow up to 5 million people to live in a much shadier Christchurch.

Residents’ groups research shows the new one-size-fits-all urban planning rules could impose 79 per cent more shade on properties in Christchurch, compared with homes in Auckland.

According to the groups (and St Albans Residents Association is one of these) the three to 10 (or more) storey residential buildings proposed will block sunlight to a far greater extent in Christchurch than in any other major city in the country. The sun is lower in Christchurch than it is in Auckland and this dramatic difference has never been acknowledged or considered by the government.

The most significant planning change ever seen in Christchurch will enable housing to accommodate up to 5 million people, despite the Council’s own projections showing a population increase of just 125,000 is likely by 2050.

The Associations say the law requires plan changes of this magnitude to have gone through an evaluation. They say the Resource Management Act states the Council must not notify such a plan change without sufficient evaluation, something that has never been done or provided to councillors.

Council staff acknowledged the need for this in the Council’s agenda (4.9 CCC Meeting Agenda 8 September 2022) for PC14 which stated: “Staff recommend against the Council notifying changes to the District Plan that are unsupported by the evaluation that is required by the RMA.”

The Victoria Neighbourhood Association (VNA) deputation asked, at the meeting on September 8, if such an evaluation had been seen by councillors. The answer given was, no. Councillors are being asked to notify these planning changes at the meeting on 13 September (adjourned from last week) without a social impact evaluation being done.

VNA spokesperson Geoff Banks says the people of Christchurch need to understand that the Councillors are about to vote on a significant plan change without knowing the impacts. He says the government’s “one size fits all” approach to intensification will enable uncontrolled damaging development in our city, as well as create inequality.

(edited version of a media release from the residents associations)

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St Albans News local elections edition

The September issue (being delivered to letterboxes on September 1) is largely devoted to local body elections. It features mayoral candidates, councillors, community board member candidates and Environment Canterbury candidates. In some non-election news Residents associations are banding together to ask the council to give greater emphasis to things like greenery and green space when deciding what will be prioritised in the new district plan. To find out more, download and read the September issue of St Albans News, just click the image to the right.

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St Albans News August issue features a growing problem

Family violence is unfortunately increasing in Christchurch and particularly in St Albans and nearby Papanui and Fendalton. To combined forces a public meeting on the topic about to be held at the community centre to see what residents can do to assist police and groups working in the sector. To find out more download and read the August issue of St Albans News, just click the image to the right.

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Here’s St Albans News for July 2022

Fans of the Edgeware Pool are celebrating the council allocation of extra funding for the Edgeware Pool that will reduce the amount the pool group still needs to raise to construct the pool. It could even be operating in 18 months, so it will be a year of full-on fundraising to raise the final million dollars. The Government is getting serious about organising recycling and waste management on a nationwide basis. We take a quick look at a few more places closer to home that specialise in finding new uses for particular items. Find more local news stories, such some of the rhododendrons in Abberley Park turning brown and dying in the latest St Albans News edition – just click the image to the right.

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St Albans News June edition available

Residents of Christchurch inner green suburbs, like St Albans and Richmond are sick of houses being demolished and replaced with ugly concrete blocks, tarseal and shrubs. One Christchurch resident, who has organised a petition, thinks we should demand the council ditch the district plan proposal and rewrite it so that the inner city is developed first and when vacant land in the CBD runs out then start looking at inner suburbs.There is plenty of time to incorporate plans to allow 4-6 or more storeys in a later plan review. And while they are gradually disappearing in St Albans there’s a feature on trees in centre pages. Read all this and more in the latest St Albans News edition- just click the image to the right.

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May edition of St Albans News

The plan that determines building heights and what you can do with your property is seeking public feedback. Asbestos has been found in city water pipes in tiny amounts but the council is very gradually replacing concrete asbestos pipes that supply water to the city. St Albans News takes a walk down Geraldine St, the only living street in St Albans. The installations, which are nearly 20 years old now, were designed more with pedestrians in mind. The street is not car-free though.Decorated pou (poles), mosaics and seating line its length from Edgeware Rd to Bealey Ave. Click on the image to the right to locate the May edition online. Printed copies are being delivered on May 3 and 4.

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St Albans News April 2022: Postal service saved

St Albans News April 2022

Good news – the post shop has found a new home in the supermarket as Stephen Anderson steps up to keep it in the Edgeware Village area Hard to believe that a few decades ago there were 3-4 post offices in St Albans. Local government has been busy prepping budgets and plans for public consultation over the autumn months. The Edgeware Pool group is getting ready for a big push to obtain extra funding in a few months, when the grant to build the pool should get a healthy boost. Take a walk in the eastern part of St Albans and feast your eyes on street furniture and decorations near Edward Ave. There’s a youth perspective on Innes Rd and an architect’s plea for better urban design to read.

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St Albans News March 2022

March St Albans News
In the latest St Albans News the bookshop/postshop/bank in Edgeware Village is closing (or will it reappear somewhere else in the village). There’s also a couple of profiles of St Albans residents: swimmer Sophie Pascoe and heritage specialist Dave Hinman feature because they won New Year’s honours: Sophie as a Dame Companion and Dave as a QSM. We take a look at a couple of activities that happened at the centre and now staff are back at work the city council is gearing up for a busy year.

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St Albans News February 2022

St Albans News February 2022
Another thing the city council has no plans to fix is the flooding after heavy rain that hits Edgeware Village shopping area on average once a year, entering shops uninvited. Cost would be too much and of limited benefit they say. The December 2021 flood also caused problems around Champion St where it meets Edgeware Rd, prompting residents to ask for an investigation into what could be done. The area was part of the post-quake investigation into Dudley Creek but Flockton Basin was the only flood work to get the green light. We also say goodbye to Jan MacKenzie, legendary gardener and preserver, who died on New Year’s Day. Click on the image to the right to access February’s News.

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Safety features in December 2021/January 2022 issue

December 2021 St Albans News
The Christchurch City Council says it has no plans to replace the fence alongside the toddlers’ play equipment in St Albans Park, which was removed during drainage work at the park. Are they doing enough to make things safe for toddlers and their caregivers at the St Albans Park playground – removal of the fence leaves it open for kids to do a runner and the fence removal has left behind some metal plates that could be tripped over. Meanwhile a shared pathway in Cranford St near Placemakers has been linked to some recent collisions between cyclists and car drivers and residents fear it could be involved in more accidents. All this and more in a bumper 20 page Christmas edition. Click on the image to the right to download and read.

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November issue of St Albans News

Houses in cities like Christchurch will get taller in the next 30 years and that could start happening from 2022 onwards, even if the city council and residents oppose it. And don’t wait till the Government changes as National has joined Labour in a bid to increase the number of homes in the city by changing the height up to three levels (even six in some places). It is also going to allow developers to pretty much ignore off street parking requirements and bypass the resource consent process if no more than three homes are planned to be built on one property. The residents’ association wants to find out what you think about the topic and to see if there is anything SARA can do to make sure St Albans remains a pleasant place to live in. All this and more. Click on the image to the right to download and read.

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St Albans News returns (October edition)

The community housing in Coles Place may be taller than what was there a year ago but the rebuild is an opportunity to include a few more units and all will be warm and safe. The trust which is looking after the units is including a communal area at the centre and landscaping with a mixture of natives and productive trees and better for the tenants. But the neighbours aren’t so sure. Meanwhile the tennis club in Dover St has started the new season with resurfaced and colourful courts. All this and more in the October issue of the (now back again monthly) St Albans News, being delivered to letterboxes this week.

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September 2021 edition of St Albans News

cover of August St Albans News
Thanks to an outbreak of the delta variant of Covid19 the first monthly issue of St Albans News is currently only available online. This edition includes some useful tips on coping with Covid and has a bit to say about housing over-intensification. It won’t be distributed to letterboxes by our army of volunteers but do keep an eye on the supermarket in case we manage a short print run. To download the 16 page document click on the image to the right.

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A glimpse of the future in latest St Albans News

cover of August St Albans News
Mass rapid transit in the form of double decker buses or trams could come down Cranford St and Sherborne St, but not for a few decades (and only if population increases and that option is chosen). A new service has started at the community centre for situations where you just don’t know where to start dealing with them. Neighbours of the residential, anti-violence programme for men proposed for Bristol St have not been appeased by concessions offered by Corrections. All this and more in the August issue of St Albans News. Click on the image to the right to download.

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June news: New community centre opens

The new St Albans Community Centre is finally open. Ten and a half years ago the first big quake made the 90 year old brick building a no go area. Corrections plans for a prison rehab centre in Bristol St are causing anxiety amongst nearby residents who are fearful of the consequences of 16 violent men living in a built-up urban area. Meanwhile residents of Flockton St want street traffic plans reviewed as, following the northern arterial opening, rat-running traffic has shifted to streets parallel with Cranford St that have not been graced with a cul de sac. Click on the image to the right to download.

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What matters to Christchurch residents

Christchurch city council is getting in early and asking residents what they would like the council to focus on when it produces the longterm plan next year.

It takes the form of a survey called What Matters Most, a discussion forum and a weekly poll. Everyone gets 100 points they can use to comment on one or more topics such as climate change, community facilities, events, wastewater and enabling development to name a few in What Matters Most but can say more in the discussion area.

Start here:

A recent poll topic asked about the central business district and most people agreed it needed more work.

The site also asks people what they think the council’s main focus should be for spending and service delivery, how to balance the needs of today’s residents with those of tomorrow’s residents (today’s children) and whether infrastructure such as footpaths and community facilities is keeping pace witb developments in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. Comments can be read on the webs

The survey is in English but also in a number of other languages like Te Reo, Chinese, Korean and Spanish.

Continue reading

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