Better streets & spaces  |  17 Dec 2019

One of Christchurch’s busiest areas is celebrating the opening of a new community hub – Rārākau: Riccarton Centre.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has officially opened the $4.5 million multi-use facility today.

“Rārākau: Riccarton Centre has been purpose-built to serve the local area for generations to come,” the Mayor says.

“It builds on the strengths of the local community, reinforcing connections and ties in a shared space,” she says.

“As we celebrate the rebuilding of this core community facility, we can take in the wonderful design inspired by nearby Pūtaringamotu-Riccarton Bush.

“The name, Rārākau – specially gifted by Ngāi Tuahuriri – also reflects the local native bush and rākau (trees), further uniting the new centre with the area.”

The two-storey centre – with a floor area of 760 square metres – in Clarence Street replaces the earthquake-damaged building on the former Christchurch City Council site next door.

It includes community spaces, Council customer services areas, and a meeting venue for the Waipuna/Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, along with space for support staff.

The towering Kahikatea trees – and their berries – of Riccarton Bush have inspired the tall exterior feature columns and the building’s colours.

A forest pattern on exterior walls further cements the local influence.

Sustainability has also been central to the project, with roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels powering the energy supply.

The fully accessible centre includes a ramp at the entrance, while a deck opens off the main hall on the ground floor.

The Rārākau: Riccarton Centre Customer Services area will be open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. Community spaces can be booked in person at the Service Desk, by contacting the Council on 941 8999 or by emailing

Spaces will be available from Monday, 6 January 2020.