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Library Subject Guides

Ōtautahi - Christchurch: Transitional Ōtautahi - Christchurch


This section highlights resources looking at responses to the earthquakes and at other long term plans for the area.

​For a discussion of the myths of Christchurch history and suggestions for future development, see Katie Pickles' Christchurch Ruptures​.

Community Initiatives Post-Quake


There are two 'standout' books on transitional Christchurch, both by Freerange Press:

and a wonderful video on the creative projects that breathed life and joy into post-quake Christchurch: 


The film When a city rises documents the rebuild of the city including the political and democratic issues. This is from the makers of When a city falls which chronicles the effects of the earthquake on Christchurch and its communities.

Organisations continuing the community initiatives begun after the quakes:

  • Gapfiller ​"Making places more memorable, fun, participatory, surprising, equitable and social."
  • Greening the Red Zone. Promoting an "economically viable, community-focused, and environmentally sound future for the Avon River Red Zone and our city"
  • The Green Lab  "Creates urban green spaces that ... enable community building and connect people with nature in the urban environment".

Council and Government Plans and Organisations

After the earthquakes, the Christchurch City Council led a series of 'Share an Idea' sessions which generated 106,000 ideas from the public, then followed this with a 'Tell Us What You Think' review of a draft pan which generated a further 4704 comments. From this consultative process the City Council produced the Central City Plan: Draft Central City recovery plan for ministerial approval... in December 2011 (no longer available on the Council's website).

As a result of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011, control of the recovery process shifted towards Central Government and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), and the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan was produced by Cera in 2012 using a 'blueprint' produced under the '100 day plan'. This process involved a small "professional consortium working with CERA's Christchurch Central Development Unit" over 100 days to produce the blueprint plan for the central area.

Two post-quake government organisations are still active in Christchurch:

  • Otakaro Ltd  "Delivering Crown-led anchor projects and precincts in Christchurch." 
  • Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU). This was the government agency initially responsible for rebuilding Christchurch after the earthquakes. It ceased in 2016 but its website has been archived by the National Library.

The Urban Development Strategy


There is also a long term strategy for Christchurch and surrounds, the Urban Development Strategy, developed since 2003 by the Greater Christchurch Partnership, a body incorporating local councils, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and government agencies. They have produced a range of other plans including the Land Use Recovery Plan, Resilient Greater Christchurch and more.

Contact me for help

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Caroline Syddall
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Macmillan Brown Library.

My hours of work are Monday-Thursday 8.30-5.00
03 3693883 or x93883