Christchurch council prepared to sell land

Last updated 05:00 06/08/2014

Relevant offers

The Christchurch City Council will consider selling land as it grapples with post-earthquake financial pressures.

"We will look at [land sales] in the same way we will look at our whole balance sheet, and anything that we don't need, and serves no strategic purpose, is up for disposal," finance committee chairman Raf Manji said.

A Press analysis of council-owned land within the central business district showed that the bulk was reserves and cemeteries, but that the 14,000 square metres of land beneath the Town Hall, for example, was estimated to be worth $27.95 million at November 1, 2013. The empty 5700sqm Crowne Plaza site next door was said to be worth $16.1m.

If council decided not to repair the Town Hall, it would save $127m in repair costs and perhaps get $28m by selling the land.

The Town Hall land valuation was done by Quotable Value last year as part of revaluation of all of Christchurch for rates and tax purposes. A QV spokeswoman said the valuations were "market-based and assessed in line with land sales".

"It's a good valuation that's meant to reflect market value at November 1, 2013," valuer-general Neill Sullivan said.

Last week's Cameron Partners report, which analysed asset-sale options for the council, did not consider land.

Under a category called "surplus assets" it found "about $40m ‘redundant' land currently being assessed".

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend has said the council is the second largest landowner in the country and should dispose of land to relieve ratepayers.

"Council has made clear that everything is on the table," he said yesterday.

"We think council is taking a very responsible approach."

The council still planned to repair the Town Hall, Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck said, and the only commercial land she would take off the table was social housing.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee declined to comment on land sales.

Another valuable council landholding in central Christchurch was the Art Gallery site, estimated to be worth $19.5m.

At November 1, the Botanic Gardens were worth $12m, made up of $9.6m for land and $2.4m for improvements.

Some council-owned land has already been transferred to Cera for anchor projects.

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

Which memorial design do you like most?

Memorial Wall with a reflective pond

Table and Chairs

A Green and Peaceful Landscape

Call and Response

Riverside Promenade

A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall

Vote Result

Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Contact Us Press

• Newsroom 03-943 2827 or email
• Classified Ads: 03-3778778 or email
• Display and Online Ads: 03-3648285 or email
• General inquiries: 03 379 0940
Subscribe to The Press
• Deliveries, subscriptions, holiday stop/starts: 03 364 8464, or email:
• No paper or holiday stop/starts: action online
• Buy a photo
• Newspaper subscribers - register for the digital edition
• Make your homepage

Press supplements

At Home, I Do, Avenues, Winter Style

Read Press extras for Avenues, fashion, home design and weddings



Births, weddings, engagements

Death notices

Death notices

Death notices and in memoriam