Christchurch’s new urban waterfront is beginning to take shape with the official opening of the first stage of The Terraces.
The first stage of The Terraces, from Cashel Street to Hereford Street, is the second project to be completed under Ōtākaro, the new Crown-company established to deliver the City’s key anchor projects, in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council.
The Terraces is one of many features that make up Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct.
When completed, 50,000m2 of paved shared space will form a lighted city promenade running along the Oxford Terrace side of the river from the hospital to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. It’s an area where people can gather, play, shop and dine, and where central city business can flourish. The Cambridge Terrace side of the river will be a green space with walking and cycling paths running alongside the river.
Ōtākaro Chief Executive Albert Brantley says, “The Terraces is an example of how the city’s regeneration objectives can go hand-in-hand with good commercial outcomes. People will be drawn to this waterside location and the options nearby. They can get close to the river, go for a walk to the playground, then enjoy a meal or a drink in one of the central city’s bars or eateries.”
Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct highlights Ngāi Tahu and early European historical sites along its path, particularly through art. This includes the literary steps, one of the 15 literary sculptures that will be installed down the length of Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct’s promenade. The panels display words by prominent authors Apirana Taylor, John Deans, Wiremu Te Uki and David Eggleton. Each of the panels will be located at sites relevant to their texts, for example, poems which refer to particular locations will appear in their vicinity and Ngāi Tahu texts will appear at culturally significant sites.
The promenade also incorporates the Ngā Whāriki Manaaki (stone weaving patterns). Three of 13 panels have now been completed. The concept of Ngā Whāriki Manaaki weaving designs is to depict the protocols of welcome on the marae. They represent the value of caring for manuhiri or visitors and the Whāriki will welcome everyone who is visiting Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct. The Whāriki were designed by Ngāi Tahu weaving artists Reihana Parata and Morehu Flutey-Henare. A group of He Toki civil skills students were invited by Ōtākaro to pave the Whāriki located in the Park of Remembrance. They placed 3557 ceramic pieces across five days to finish the job.