Topic: Another city for christchurch

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Commendation and Condemnation Christchurch Press Friday November 30, 1973

 The Government's plan for a new major town between Rolleston and Springston was a well-kept secret, so that few of the affected persons were ready to comment last evening; but it received qualified commendation from several and condemnation from another.

"One could argue against the location, particularly as it is very close to Christchurch, but it does represent a forward move by the Government towards regional development," said Mr D. B. Rich, chairman of the Christchurch Regional Planning Authority."We have often said we want the opportunity to work in partnership with the central government, so this is an opportunity handed to greater Christchurch," he said. 

The scheme should end speculative, development around Christchurch which  had been to the detriment of most people who wanted to own a home. The planning authority had  envisaged a second city being further out of Christchurch, Mr Rich said, but the site chosen by the Government should provide sufficient separation from Christchurch to prevent it becoming merely a dormitory suburb. It was important that it should have an identity of its own. Christchurch had grown large enough, and speculators were trying to break the urban fence, Mr Rich said. The government's plan would stop this.


Mr I. D. Howell, director of the Canterbury Manufacturers' Association, welcomed the announcement but said that if industry was to play a major part in the new area it was important that it be given full incentives such as had been offered in Otago and on the West Coast. The site selected was close to the West Coast rail link, Mr Howell said, and this could be important to timber-based industry, and, looking to the distant future, the petro-chemical industry.

Mr C. C. A. McLachlan, the National member of Parliament for Rakaia, was watching his television set last evening when he saw the Minister of Works (Mr Watt) announcing proposals for the Rolleston city. "This was the first I had ever heard of it," Mr McLachlan said. "I have 200 or more constituents involved and they know nothing about it either, and I cannot help them yet." Mr McLachlan, was angry and talked about "socialistic arrogance," but then made his official comment "despicable" and referred to a remark by the Prime Minister (Mr Kirk) that Parliament must be re-spected. "What a mockery that sounds now." he said. Without full study of the proposal, Mr McLachlan was not ready to comment on the choice of the area, but he said that he would have preferred the settled areas of Leeston, Darfleld or Rakaia where there were already plans and sewerage schemes.


"The Government certainly appears to have chosen the site fairly carefully and kept away from the best agricultural land," Dr H. C, Smith, director of the Crop Research Division of the D.S.I.R. at Lincoln, said yesterday. Dr Smith is a member of a sub-committee of the Canterbury section of the Institute of Agricultural Science which has been active in the last few years in trying to ensure that good agricultural land is retained for food production. He said most of the land for the proposed city would be classed as light, that in the Springston area being medium. The area had a good underground water supply and was at least as suitable as the West Melton area for development.

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Another city for christchurch by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License