Papanui-Innes Skate Facilities

This post is a timeline of the engagement and consultations, by the Papanui-Innes Community Board and Council staff, with the communities in the Papanui-Innes Ward, regarding skate path/park facilities in their neighbourhoods/suburbs.

In 2001:
– “Board members will recall that the ‘Shirley Needs Analysis (2001)’ identified a lack of teenage recreational opportunities in central Shirley and recommended the development of skateboard facilities in MacFarlane Park.”

In 2003:
– March 2003: “Shirley Research Update
The purpose of this report is to update Community Board members on the progress in relation to recommendations made in the Shirley research (“It’s a Lot of Little Things Happening That Will Make the Difference”).
Support For Youth: 1. The skateboard facility consultation is almost complete with site and designs ready for construction.”
– “Press Release: Christchurch City Council, Tuesday, 4 March 2003, ‘New skate facility planned for MacFarlane Park’
In response to requests from Shirley residents, a skate path is being planned for MacFarlane Park next to the flying fox on Jebson St. The path and obstacles have been designed with input from local young skateboarders, to provide a recreation asset for the local community.
Parks & Waterways Area Advocate Kirsty Patten said that several sites within the park has been investigated. ‘The Jebson Street site was selected as the best option because it is visible from the road, is co-located with another youth facility, has new toilets and a drinking fountain, and has plenty of space. The area will be landscaped and have seating provided for family and friends to come and watch the skateboarders,’ said Kirsty Patten. Comments on the proposal are currently being sought from local residents before the final plan is approved.”
– August 2003: Parks and Waterways Capital Programme 2003/04 – Shirley/Papanui Board, Recreational Facilities, MacFarlane Park Skateboard Facilities (CFWD), $46,583, Awaiting Consultation Outcome

In 2004:
– “MacFarlane Park – Proposed Skate Path. The purpose of this report is to seek a decision from the Board on the provision of a skate facility in MacFarlane Park.”
“Board members will recall that the ‘Shirley Needs Analysis (2001)’ identified a lack of teenage recreational opportunities in central Shirley and recommended the development of skateboard facilities in MacFarlane Park [Shirley]. The Board has allocated total funding of $45,000 since 2001/02 towards a skate facility.”
“Other parks were also considered but are outside of the community focus area and would not cater for local children unable to travel outside of their [Shirley] neighbourhood.”
“Staff Recommendation: 1. That a skate facility and youth recreation be included alongside wider issues to be investigated within the Acheson Avenue Urban Renewal Action Plan.”

In 2005-2008:
– “Shirley MacFarlane Park Community Concept Plan. Supported by the Shirley Inter-Agency Community Network. This is a community concept plan developed through a community planning process since 2005.
MacFarlane Park and the Acheson Ave shops are in the physical centre of the study area and are the focus of this community concept plan because community feedback from the Shine event 2007 identified this as the main community concern and focus of their suggestions on ways to improve the neighbourhood.”
( 101 Pages, with Skate Park facilities included.

In 2017:
– “Skate Park – Papanui. The purpose of this report is for the Papanui-Innes Community Board to be informed around the possibility of a new skate park in the Papanui Ward area.”
– “Christchurch Skate Park Overview Map, August 2017”
– “Papanui skate park sites identified, but could be years before built. Sites in the Papanui Ward have been identified for a skate park but it could be up to 12 years before anyone gets to use it.
City council staff narrowed the search for the suitable location for a park to Bridgewater Drainage Reserve, Craighead Reserve and Edgar Macintosh Park in Papanui or Owen Mitchell Park and Redwood Park in Redwood.
The Papanui-Innes Community Board is pitching the proposal for inclusion into the city council’s 2019-29 Long Term Plan. The report said Owen Mitchell Park on Grimseys Rd is the most suitable.”
– “Community leaders are pushing for more facilities for young people in the Christchurch suburb of Papanui.
Christchurch City Council’s Papanui ward councillor, Mike Davidson, said the skate park project came from a meeting with a group of young people from Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi, a community youth development agency based in Papanui.
‘Both Papanui and Redwood are missing a good outdoor youth recreational facility and potentially we may need to look at two facilities in the Papanui ward.'”

In 2018:
– “Shannon’s question was ‘Do you want a Scooter, Skate and Bike Park for Shirley? We want to ask the Christchurch City Council if we can put one in at MacFarlane Park.'”
“6.11 [Option 1 Shirley Community Reserve, 10 Shirley Road, Richmond] The location of the pump track allows space for a potential community centre rebuild onsite.”
(“If the base is 209m2, and the modular design needs a 40m separation from residents houses, there won’t be room for both the pump track and the new community centre to be built on this site at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond.
The modular pump track would then have to be moved out of Richmond to another suburb in the Papanui Ward, as there are no other suitable parks (due to size/restrictions) in Shirley or Richmond.” [Joanna Gould])
“6.16.1 Skateboarding, inline skating, and BMX cycling strategy 2004 (
The strategy mentions that demand was likely to be greatest in a few suburbs in Christchurch including Richmond-Shirley and that the construction of St Albans Skate facility has met much of the need.”
“6.7 [Option 1 Shirley Community Reserve, 10 Shirley Road, Richmond] There is no toilet on site.”
“7.2 There is a flying fox, toilet and the Shirley Community Garden located near Jebson Street.”
“7.9 Note: A location near Jebson Street beside the flying fox, toilets and Shirley Community Gardens was also considered, however, this has a separation of 25m between residents and the pump track. Further noise information would be required if this site was preferred over the site near Emmett Street.”
(“If the path around the flying fox was made into a permanent pump track similar to the Gap Filler project #detour in Manchester Street, the design wouldn’t have the same noise problems/required setback from residents houses, that the proposed modular pump track design has due to the joins in the pump track.” Joanna Gould)
“8.11 There is a risk that if the Community Board decide to do nothing that the [Shirley] community will continue to demand this type of facility.”
– “Shannon said he has ridden on temporary tracks in the past and “it wasn’t smooth and wasn’t that nice to ride on.”
(, Page 11)

In 2019:
– “School kids take lead in St Albans skate park upgrade. Creative local school children are carving out a welcome role in Christchurch City Council’s skate park revamp plans.
A group of 16 children from St Albans School presented their design ideas for a planned extension to the St Albans skate park to Council staff members who were invited to attend a meeting at the school.
St Albans School Teacher Niamh O’Connor says the kids are motivated and enjoying being part of a real-life design project.
‘The whole process is a fantastic opportunity for them. They’ve experienced how the Council consults with the public and to allow our student leaders to have a voice in the community is quite empowering.’
The Council hopes another local school will be keen to get involved and contribute ideas for Bishopdale Park’s skate area which is nearing the end of its lifespan. The skate area, which is part of Bishopdale Park, off Harewood Rd, is due for a full renewal.”
– Christchurch City Council, Agenda, Thursday 28 March 2019
2018/19 Capital Endowment Fund Applications: Living Springs, Shirley Pump Track, Botanic Delights
Capital Endowment Fund Decision Matrix – Shirley Pump Track
– “As a community we need to ask ourselves whether we want temporary facilities as part of our children’s childhood memories? Or whether we should be investing in building permanent facilities?
Facilities that enliven our community, and rise up a sense of identity and well-being through the memories created, when our children connect with our community spaces.” [Joanna Gould]

Shirley Centre Q & A

Below are some of the commonly asked questions I’ve been asked over the last year:

Q. Is the 10 Shirley Road site the best place for a community centre?
Yes. The new Shirley centre needs to be on Shirley Road. Our Shirley Library needs to be on Shirley Road.
This is part of our identity as a community. This location has had an “educational” facility here since 1915.
This location is opposite our biggest primary school, Shirley Primary. Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park is to the north, with Kidsfirst Kindergartens Richmond to the south, and Kidsfirst Kindergartens Shirley to the east.
Shirley Playcentre is already part of this location, and there are other preschools/centres on Shirley Road.
Plenty of Off Street Parking: Cnr Hills Road & Shirley Road Shopping Centre, pathway from car park to Slater Street, following Dudley Creek; Shirley Road; Slater Street; Chancellor Street, bridge over Dudley Creek by the Shirley Playcentre; Julius Terrace; and Stapletons Road.
Bus stops are located outside 10 Shirley Road, and across the road, by Shirley Primary School.
– Orange Line: Halswell>Addington>Christchurch Hospital>Bus Interchange>The Palms>Burwood Hospital>Queenspark
– The Orbiter: Eastgate Shopping Centre>St Martins>Barrington Mall>Westfield Riccarton>University of Canterbury>Northlands>The Palms>Eastgate Shopping Centre
– 100 Wigram/The Palms via Riccarton: Halswell>Wigram>Church Corner>University of Canterbury>Westfield Riccarton>Merivale Mall>The Palms (
More Housing NZ developments are being built in Shirley/Richmond. Private/Commercial property developers are building more “higher density” housing in Shirley/Richmond.

Q. Why do we need another community centre?
We don’t. The old school ‘community centre’ model is out dated. The ‘community centre’ model is a ‘one size fits all’ centre. They cater for a specific group of people with targeted activities. They can appear ‘closed’, as they only look ‘open’ when activities are on. They can be intimidating for newcomers. Open hours, activity choices, faith based, personality differences can lead to residents feeling judged/excluded.
Libraries with learning spaces are the new ‘community centre’ model (
“Public places on neutral ground where people can gather and interact. In contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places allow people to put aside their concerns and simply enjoy the company and conversation around them.” “third places are the heart of a community’s social vitality. Providing the foundation for a functioning democracy, these spaces promote social equity by leveling the status of guests, providing a setting for grassroots politics, creating habits of public association, and offering psychological support to individuals and communities.”
Ray Oldenburg (
As part of my feedback on the Draft OARC Regeneration Plan, I created this “Community Needs” post ( which includes:
Why are Identity, Well-being, & Learning important?; How can we “Get Creative Christchurch”?; Shirley Research by Joanna Gould; Richmond Research by Joanna Gould; Dallington Research by Joanna Gould; Social Isolation And Older People In Canterbury; An Inventory of Community-led and Non-governmental Organisations and Initiatives in Post-earthquake Canterbury (to September 2013); Community Needs Profile For East Christchurch for Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan.
My “Community Needs: Community Centres” post ( outlines my research shows the need for two community centres:
– OARC Regeneration Plan Idea for Shirley/Richmond by Joanna Gould: “Shirley/Richmond, new Community Centre at 10 Shirley Road opposite Shirley Primary School, includes Shirley Library, Learning Spaces, Service Centre, sell Shirley Library building at The Palms.”
– OARC Regeneration Plan Idea for Dallington/Burwood/Avondale by Joanna Gould: “Dallington/Burwood/Avondale, new Community Centre at 255 New Brighton Road close to All Saints Church, includes Coastal-Burwood Governance Unit more central to their residents, small Meeting/Learning spaces with kitchen, Service Centre, Volunteer Library similar to Redcliffs Village Library, sell Shirley Library building at The Palms.”
– CCC Shirley The Palms Commercial Centre (2017):

Q. Why are you suggesting we move the Shirley Library to the 10 Shirley Road site?
The Shirley Library was built in 1996 (23 years old). In 2008 it was reported “Future need for more service capability. Space required to develop service for learning services to support need in the community.”
The Land Use Recovery Plan in December 2013 “[Shirley suburb] identified as a key activity centres for business and community which aligns with the planning for new and retention of libraries in these areas.”
Does the current Shirley Library and Service Centre align with the Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan (May 2015)?
– Libraries will foster local communities’ wellbeing by providing accessible meeting places and focal points for the community, learning and leisure activities.
– Library facilities will embrace the cultural diversity of local communities.
– The Plan will reflect Council’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi by reflecting an understanding of and respect for the needs of the Tangata Whenua.
– Architecturally designed buildings will generate community pride and reflect the diversity of local cultures and lifestyles.
– Urban Design Protocol: The value of public buildings such as libraries is emphasised in the Urban Design Protocol (which Christchurch City Council is a signatory to): they protect the cultural identity and heritage of our towns and cities; provide creativity; and add social, environmental and cultural benefits by creating well connected, inclusive and accessible places.
– Library Facilities: Important, central meeting place and focal point in a community; Open, spacious, welcoming environment; warm place to be in winter; vital social contact for many (especially older persons); place to meet (café) and relax with children and friends or family; Outstanding location (e.g. overlooking ocean, park setting), source of community pride, for the building and the resources available; Free learning environment; provider of ‘second chance’ opportunities for adults wanting to learn; Provider of general services, e.g. photocopiers, internet, community/local information.
– Location Preferences: Near local shops/supermarket/mall/bank/medical centre/schools/playground/toy library; malls and aquatic facilities not seen as highly desirable areas for co-location or as adjacent locations; co-location with a Council service centre favoured; On bus route/near transport hubs; handy walking distance from home, easily accessed, free, plentiful car parking adjacent to library; Attractive street visibility. (

Q. Why do we need Learning Spaces in a library?
“Shirley and Parklands Libraries: these do not have dedicated ‘learning’ spaces. They have spaces that are able to be used for programming and events as part of the library footprint.
– Shirley hosted 416 programmes with 9,381 participants, Parklands hosted 260 programmes with 3,800 participants.
– Aranui Library has a dedicated whānau room which is a multi-purpose space. The Library hosted 433 programmes with 5,213 participants. The Programme statistics for Sumner saw 106 sessions hosted with 2,322 participants.”
(LGOIMA request, Library Plans/Learning Space Participants, November 2018)
If “Shirley hosted 416 programmes with 9,381 participants” without dedicated ‘learning’ spaces, what opportunities could they offer the communities if they did?
I was first inspired by the open learning spaces ( in the new building at Shirley Primary School. Then after attending the Ministry of Awesome: ‘Coffee & Jam’ sessions at the EPIC Innovation Campus, I thought wouldn’t it be a great opportunity to invite guest speakers from all the different Government agencies, organisations, community groups, support services, community workers to come & ‘introduce’ themselves to the community, in a non-threatening way that was accessible for all, through the learning spaces at the library, so they become more than a name, approachable familiar faces to the residents of our communities.

Q. Why not just leave the 10 Shirley Road site as a park?
The World Health Organisation’s definition of health says that it is ‘more than the absence of disease’; it is ‘a state of complete physical, social and mental wellbeing’.”
In focusing so much on our physical health, we have been neglecting our ‘social and mental wellbeing’.
We already have enough parks in this area with: St Albans Park to the west, Westminster Park to the north-west, MacFarlane Park to the north, Burwood Park to the east, Richmond Park to the south-east, Petrie Park to the south.

Q. What is one word to describe your idea, that represents your “why” this centre is needed?
Inclusive. “The definition of inclusive is something that does not leave any part or group out.”
Libraries are inclusive by design. Every age/stage/race/religion/beliefs/values is catered for, within the words of the books, and the information you find online.
Anyone can go into a library, find a book that they can identity with: who they are, their beliefs, their values & their circumstances in life.
Libraries are not just for books, they empower people. You don’t have to wait on a waiting list for help. You can help yourself by asking a librarian for guidance to find the book/information you need. Librarians show us that it’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to ask questions there. They are a safe place to teach children social skills. And for some they are a second opportunity for education.