The Council has a three-step approach in dealing with sites that are considered to be barriers to the regeneration of Central City. These sites are referred to as barrier sites.

If left unrepaired they can lead to negative perceptions of the city for visitors and investors and, in some cases, they disrupt the operation of the transport network.

We also want to encourage action to tidy up cleared vacant sites and gravel car parks. Litter, unmanaged vegetation and unmaintained hoardings paint a poor image of the city and undermine perceptions of personal safety, especially at night. 

The Barrier Sites are separated into two categories:

  • sites where intentions are yet to be confirmed or are subject to insurance disputes and
  • sites with a commitment to action

Sites are considered to have a ‘commitment to action’ where plans and intentions for restoration and/or redevelopment are conveyed to the Council or plans to action a site are in motion i.e. project scoping.

Each Barrier Site has its own complex issues and so the decision as to whether it is removed from the Barrier Sites Programme is a judgement of the owner’s current intentions and actions. The types of matters that the Council will take into consideration include whether or not consents have been granted, whether works have commenced and whether the building owner has demonstrated reasonable progress in fulfilling a commitment to action.

The table below shows the way we will work with owners. The emphasis is on providing support and assistance. As a last resort, fees and enforcement action will be considered. 

Action, investment and regeneration

Dialogue, support and incentives
  • Direct contact and dialogue
  • Promoting existing incentives
  • Advisory support
  • Brokering
Adding pressure
  • Apply existing fees and charges
  • Review and adapt incentives, fees and charges
  • low-level enforcement
  • Promotion and engagement
Enforcement and regulation
  • Remediation notices
  • Abatement notices (including the ability to act and recharge cost)
  • Greater CHCH Regeneration Act (Power to undertake works, direct owners and acquire land)
  • Regeneration plans 

We define barrier sites as: 

  • Unoccupied buildings which are in a very poor state of repair.
  • Cordoned sites and/or buildings which encroach into public footpaths or road space that affect traffic and pedestrian movement. Cordoned sites include those where propping or containers are used to support damaged buildings.
  • Sites where foundation work is required and which need to be fenced off for public safety.

This work is currently focused on Central City. An initial list of 30 properties(external link) was identified and, as progress is achieved, sites may be removed or re-categorised. A number of new sites have been added. 

The table below shows current sites and their status as of April 2022. The next update will be in August 2022.  

Key progress during the December 2021 to April 2022 period includes:  

  • 119 Armagh Street (former PWC Building)
    Resource consent has been lodged with Council to establish Stage 1 of the Catholic Cathedral Precinct.
  • 159 Oxford Terrace (Our City)
    The building has been removed from the Barrier Sites Programme as repairs, restoration and refurbishment are now well underway. 
  • 116 Worcester Street (Kaplan/State Insurance Building)
    Building consent has been lodged with Council for seismic strengthening of the building to 34 per cent New Building Standard. 
  • 79 Cambridge Terrace (Bradley Nuttall Building)
    The building has been removed from the Barrier Sites Programme. Strengthening work is complete and Stage 2 work, including an internal fit-out and installation of a new façade, are well underway. The building is intended to be used for guest accommodation. 
  • 210–214 Tuam Street (Laurie and Wilson Building and Odeon Theatre) 
    Work is now underway to strengthen the Laurie and Wilson Building and fit out the interior for office use. Work is expected to be complete by mid-2022. Temporary bracing has been installed on the adjoining Odeon Theatre and options for future use of the building are being investigated.
  • 235 High Street (former Hunters and Collectors) 
    Building work is now underway including reinstatement of the rear façade and an internal fit-out. A resource consent application for works to the front façade has been lodged with Council. The building is intended to be used as a flexible workspace.

Sites with a commitment to action (14) 

Street Number Also known as
Armagh Street  119 Former PWC Building 
Lichfield Street 92 Sargoods
Oxford Terrace 170 Former Rydges Hotel
Tuam Street 179  Sol Square (part) 
Victoria Street 91 Victoria Mansions
Worcester Street 116 Kaplan / State Insurance
Hereford Street 159 Malvern House
Tuam Street 210-214 Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers Building/Odeon Theatre
High Street  141 Duncan's Buildings 
Cashel Street  226-234 Former IRD Premises 
High Street  235 Former Hunters & Collectors
Hereford Street 161 Hereford Suites
Peterborough Street 25  Peterborough Centre / Apartments
Manchester Street 205 Blue Jean Cuisine

Sites where intentions are yet to be confirmed or are subject to insurance dispute (3) 

Street Number Known as
Cambridge Terrace  137 Harley Building
Cashel street 170 Former Holiday Inn
Manchester Street 112–114 2 Fat Indians