Performing Arts Precinct (Anchor Project – CCRP)

Lead Agency – Christchurch City Council / Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

The new Performing Arts Precinct is planned to provide a permanent home for the Court Theatre, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Music Centre of Christchurch.   

In June 2014 the Music Centre of Christchurch announced it would soon begin construction of a new facility ($14 million) which will include a 350-seat concert hall.  Negotiations are continuing with Court Theatre and the CSO.

The new performing arts facilities will be connected by public open space and serviced by a new, privately-built car parking building.  Areas of public open space between the buildings will also provide a venue for performance art, as well as a general gathering place.

The location of the Performing Arts Precinct recognises the restoration of the Isaac Theatre Royal which re-opened in November 2014.  Nearby is the Christchurch Town Hall (including the Douglas Lilburn auditorium and James Hay Theatre).  CCC is overseeing the restoration of this building.

In close proximity will also be the new Christchurch Convention Centre Precinct and the New Central Library connecting with the Square.  Together with the Performing Arts Precinct, these anchor projects, with a mix of hotels and retail, will attract business and events to the city centre.

The Performing Arts Precinct is a jointly led project and will be delivered by CERA and the CCC

Proposed time and process

The Music Centre of Christchurch will commence construction in early 2015 and construction of the rest of the Precinct is likely to commence in early 2016.

Kaiapoi Library / Service Centre

Lead Agency – Waimakariri District Council

The Kaiapoi Library and the Kaiapoi Service Centre are currently operating out of temporary premises (separate buildings).

The Kaiapoi Museum building has been demolished and the collection is currently stored at the Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre at Wigram.

WDC will replace the Kaiapoi Service Centre, Library and Museum with a new purpose-designed service centre and library with museum and art gallery space. 

Design work commenced in 2012.

Cost and funding commitments are estimated to be $13 million.  Costs are included in the Council’s 2012-22 Ten Year Plan.

For earthquake recovery updates on projects see –

Proposed time and process

The building is expected to open in January 2015.

Rangiora Town Hall

Lead Agency – Waimakariri District Council

WDC will extend the Rangiora Town Hall to make it a performing arts centre for the district.  The building is also being earthquake strengthened.

The plans include a refurbished auditorium, a new 150 seat theatre, dressing rooms, a function foyer, music studios and two cinemas.

The cost of the projects is budgeted at $10.7 million (plus $1 million fit-out) and features in the 2012-22 Waimakariri District Council’s Ten Year Plan.

For earthquake recovery updates on projects see –

Proposed time and process

Work commenced in mid-2012 and the building will reopen in February 2015.

Oxford Town Hall

Lead Agency – Waimakariri District Council

WDC has approved final plans for redevelopment of the Oxford Town Hall.  The concept plans were drawn up after consultation with the Oxford community and users of the hall. 

The Town Hall building will be partially demolished, retaining the auditorium but removing the old A & P room, kitchen and store room.  The auditorium will be strengthened and its heating, lighting and ventilation upgraded.  The addition will include a new A & P room, back-of-house storage and changing facilities, multipurpose atrium, and a new kitchen and toilet facilities.  

For earthquake recovery updates on projects see –

The cost of the projects is budgeted at $2.5 million (plus $350,000 fit-out)

Proposed time and process

The building is expected to open in February 2015.

Community Centres and Halls Strategic Plan for Selwyn District

Lead Agency – Selwyn District Council

SDC has recently adopted a Strategic Plan for its community centres and halls within the district.  The Strategic Plan provides guidance to Council and stakeholders on the future provision and management of these important community facilities and is focussed on ensuring its network of community centres and halls deliver appropriate services in a sustainable manner.

The Plan recommends that Council staff provide professional advice and support to volunteer committees managing some of the smaller under-utilised facilities.  This could include support in programming and promoting arts, community and recreation events and activities.  There is also scope to tour arts events and performances around a number of the centres.

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o wai Whetū

Lead Agency – Christchurch City Council

The Christchurch Art Gallery holds a collection of national significance with well over 6,000 works of art acquired since its foundation in 1932.

The Art Gallery is currently closed due to earthquake damage but continues to exhibit art with its 'Outer Spaces' projects. The art collection can also be accessed online through the Gallery’s website.

CCC has commenced work on its repair and enhancement plan for the Art Gallery.  The re-levelling work has been completed and the seismic improvement work is now underway.

Proposed time and process

The Gallery is expected to re-open by the end of 2015.

Canterbury Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waitaha

Lead Agency – Canterbury Museum Trust Board

Over the past 130 years the Canterbury Museum has been building its collection of national and international significance.  The Museum holds over 2.1 million items focussing on the human and natural history of the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Canterbury regions.

Since the earthquakes Canterbury Museum has re-opened to the public, however, some of the collection stores remain inaccessible due to earthquake damage. 

MCH is working with Canterbury Museum and other agencies to investigate the feasibility of its plan to redevelop the museum, advise on funding availability and to investigate opportunities to address the Museum’s long-standing building, storage and access issues so that it can sustainably provide a full range of services to the public. 

From a recovery perspective, MCH will work with the Museum to focus on damaged collection items and restoring access to the collections by public and private researchers.

February earthquake recovery of artefacts

February earthquake recovery of artefacts from an endangered portion of Lyttelton Museum. Darren Hammond (left) and Flight Sergeant Shayne Harris (right) take a model ship from the volunteer firefighters who entered the building. 4 March 2011 

Future Storage Options for Cultural Collections

Lead Agency – Ministry for Culture and Heritage (facilitator)

The Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre at Wigram provides a temporary service until 2016. Long-term solutions are still to be determined.

The earthquakes presented the sector with a unique opportunity to establish a more connected approach to future housing of and access to cultural heritage collections, documentary heritage and archives in greater Christchurch.   There are opportunities for new collaborations, infrastructure configuration and governance models.

MCH will work with stakeholders to help determine needs for permanent re-housing of cultural heritage collections and archives, exploring options for future joint storage.  This includes liaising with:

  • CERA and the CERA partner agencies: CCC, SDC, WDC and Te Runanga Ngāi Tahu
  • Canterbury Museum
  • Department of Internal Affairs (Archives New Zealand, National Library)
  • Ngā Taonga  Sound and Vision
  • Te Papa (National Services)
  • Air Force Museum, Wigram
  • Small regional museums and libraries

Proposed time and process

This work will progress in 2015/16.

Updated on 23rd July 2015