1 Aug 2023

Park benches, picnic tables, bike stands and loungers made of reclaimed or recycled materials could soon grace Christchurch’s parks network, including the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor (OARC).

Christchurch City Council will shortly be going out to tender for a supplier to design and fabricate the furniture, with a heavy emphasis on sustainable construction practices and materials.

Red Zone Manager, David Little, says the OARC Regeneration Plan describes the area as a ‘living laboratory’ - for this reason his team is leading the project, which will be rolled out across the Parks network over time. 

“It was envisaged that the land could be used to test and trial new ways of doing things, and we’re keen to use the project’s scale to drive more sustainable construction practices and materials,” says Mr Little.

“We see a great opportunity to reduce our city’s reliance on imported hardwood timber and steel, by investigating the local use of reclaimed or recycled materials.

Example of recycled, innovative furniture.

“For instance, much of Christchurch’s plastic recycling is either shipped to Asia or landfilled, meaning we pay to import it, then pay to get rid of it. We also have a large supply of recycled hardwood available. If we think creatively, we can reduce our emissions, keep money in the local economy and create an attractive and inspiring suite.”

Mr Little says the Council is keen for potential suppliers to explore other creative, low-carbon alternatives to traditional furniture, which could scale up into other end uses and products. This could include using waterjets to machine reclaimed timber, or even 3D printing or injection moulding of recycled plastics.

“The tender will be published on the Government Electronic Tendering Service (GETS) website in mid- to late-August, and we want to find out if there are companies out there who either have the capacity – or are keen to explore – different, sustainable ways of doing things,” says Mr Little. 

Organisations who do not currently use GETS, but would be interested in submitting a tender proposal, should make sure they register on the GETS website (www.gets.co.nz) as soon as possible.

For more information on the OARC, visit ccc.govt.nz/oarc.