5 Jun 2024

Two parcels of land will be sold for a new school and fire station in Diamond Harbour.

The Christchurch City Council agreed in principal, at it’s meeting today, to sell two areas of publicly owned land in Diamond Harbour - one piece for a new fire station and one for the development of a new character school. 

The Council has owned a 39.02 hectare block at 27 Hunters Road and 42 Whero Avenue, Diamond Harbour since 1913 but it is now surplus to requirement.

While developing a spatial plan, staff received proposals from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) to buy 0.5 hectares and Nōku Te Ao Charitable Trust (acting on behalf of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke) to buy 8 hectares of the block.

FENZ wants to build a new fire station with a helipad and Nōku Te Ao Charitable Trust, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, wants to establish a special character Māori medium school, Te Pā o Rākaihautū (Te Pā).

Public consultation on the two proposals was held in February 2024. The Council received 428 submissions, from 424 individuals and four organisations, with 85 per cent support for the fire station and 69 per cent support for the school.  

Deputy Mayor Pauline Cotter says this is a great outcome for the surplus land.

“The current fire station at Diamond Harbour is a registered earthquake-prone building and needs a lot of work to bring it up to code,” she says.

“It’s also too small for a modern brigade, with no room for a helipad, the addition of which would greatly assist FENZ. A new build on this site makes sense.”

“The site is of cultural significance to Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, which also makes it an appropriate site for Te Pā,” she says. 

Staff will now prepare a conditional agreement for sale and purchase, reflecting the terms of sale approved by the Council.

“Community concerns regarding increased traffic and the like will be mitigated through the consenting process and staff are still working on the wider spatial plan for the block,” Deputy Mayor Cotter says.

“We’re very mindful of the community’s desire for us to protect the three gullies on the block and to progress native bush regeneration in those areas, which is reflected in the resolution today.”