Canterbury Museum application for easements

Canterbury Museum has applied for permanent and temporary easements over the Botanic Gardens reserve for the redevelopment of its Rolleston Avenue buildings.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 2 September 2022 to 3 October 2022

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Consultation has now closed

Consultation on Canterbury Museum’s application for easements has now closed. People were able to provide feedback from 2 September 2022 to 3 October 2022.

During this time we heard from 42 individuals. You can read their feedback [PDF, 132 KB] and also find out how this influenced the Council decision. 

You can read the meeting minutes(external link) which include the formal resolutions. You can also watch the decision being made.(external link)

Canterbury Museum will begin the redevelopment in 2023. You can find out more about the redevelopment on their website(external link).


Canterbury Museum is planning a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of its Rolleston Avenue buildings(external link) and intends to base isolate Robert McDougall Gallery and the Roger Duff wing, which adjoins the 19th century Mountfort building.

As these buildings sit against the boundary of the Botanic Gardens, the underground base isolation retaining wall and ‘rattle space’ – the space for the building to move in an earthquake – will need to be built underground in Botanic Gardens reserve land.

The Museum has applied for permanent and temporary easements for this work:

  • Three permanent easements for the underground base isolation of Robert McDougall Gallery and Roger Duff wing, underground services and the existing overhang of the Roger Duff wing.
  • A temporary easement for five years over the public path in Botanic Gardens, adjacent to the Museum, from Rolleston Avenue to Robert McDougall Gallery, for the construction works.

Download the plan for the permanent easement application [JPG, 701 KB]

Download the plan for the temporary easement application [JPG, 1.1 MB]


What is an easement?

An easement is a right agreed between a landowner and another party to use a property for a particular purpose and can be registered against the property's title. We often grant easements over our land for pipelines, electricity supply transmission lines, or to establish rights of way.

Easement details

Three Permanent Easements:

  1. Permanent Right of Support easement for base isolation over Botanic Gardens Reserve for the Robert McDougall Gallery and the Roger Duff wing.
  2. Permanent Right of Way easement for underground services from Rolleston Avenue through Botanic Gardens (alongside the Museum),  to the Robert McDougall Gallery/Roger Duff end of the Museum (including an underground water storage tank for Fire Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) use).
  3. Permanent Right of Support easement for an existing overhang of the Roger Duff building into Botanic Gardens airspace (historic issue).

Temporary Easement:

Temporary Right of Way easement (5 years) for truck access from Rolleston Avenue, through Botanic Gardens to Robert McDougall Gallery, for construction works (including the Museum frontage along Rolleston Ave).

Impact on trees

The trees and plants to the west of the Robert McDougall Gallery were identified for removal in the 2017 Botanic Gardens Spatial Plan(external link). Two lime trees at the front of the Museum on Rolleston Ave will be removed and the Museum will replace these with four new trees once work on-site is complete.

Access from Rolleston Avenue

The temporary easement would reduce the width of the well-used shared path on Rolleston Avenue. If the Museum’s easements application is approved, a separate transport project will be trialled during the construction period to improve safety for people travelling along Rolleston Avenue, particularly for those who walk, scoot and cycle. 

We still need to complete the details of the design and complete further internal and external engagement but conceptually this would include:

  • Moving cyclists from the existing shared path to a two-way on-road cycleway on the western side of Rolleston Avenue to reduce the demands on the remaining path width for pedestrian safety.
  • Providing a new crossing point south of the Museum as the existing zebra crossing will be closed and the markings removed.
  • Using traffic calming methods to support lower speeds where there are lots of people travelling on many different modes.
  • Relocating tour coaches from outside the Museum and Botanic Gardens to the north side of Hereford Street. The space used to accommodate this move was previously construction zones for the Arts Centre improvements, so no parking will be lost.  The current tour coach parking on Rolleston Avenue will be converted to parking spaces.
  • Creating P3 school parking on the south side of Gloucester Street to increase the number of spaces available for pick-up and drop-off as the parking spaces on the west side of Rolleston Avenue outside the school will be removed.


New entrance gates to the east of Peacock Fountain are included in the 2017 Botanic Gardens Spatial Plan(external link). We aim to have this new entrance open before works begin.

Next steps

Public hearings are expected to be held in November 2022, subject to change. The hearings panel will then provide a recommendation to Council who will make the final decision on approval of the easements.

If approved, the Museum will start redevelopment works in 2023. The full extent of the temporary easement won’t be needed until the end of 2023 and will be in place for approximately five years.


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Who to contact

Krystle Anderson,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Decision made

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