Plans for business, technology campus

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012

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A leading hi-tech company wants more than 10 hectares of rural land near Christchurch Airport rezoned so that it can build a business and technology campus.

Tait Ltd (formerly Tait Electronics) operates from several sites in the Harewood area. However, with its international customer base growing, it wants to bring its operations together at one purpose-built site.

It has bought 10ha of rural land off Wooldridge Rd, opposite Nunweek Park, on which to build a new campus. It wants the Christchurch City Council's approval for a private plan change so it can proceed.

There would be eight buildings on the campus, all of them low-rise.

In documents supplied to the council, the company says having a purpose-designed work environment is essential if it is to attract and retain employees who are part of the global services, research and technology employment market.

Tait Ltd started in 1962 as an electronics company specialising in mobile radio communications. It has grown into a global communications solution provider with more than 5000 customers in 100 countries worldwide.

It plans to significantly increase its work force and says its existing premises are too small to cater for the projected growth.

Council policy planner Anita Hansbury, in a report prepared for today's planning committee meeting, is recommending the council accept Tait's private plan change request and proceed with publicly notifying it.

The land Tait bought had been used for horticultural activities.

The tomato-growing glasshouses that covered a substantial part of the land were badly damaged in the earthquakes and had to be demolished, Hansbury said. Use of the land for rural purposes was no longer considered economic so Tait, seeing the opportunity to consolidate its operations at one site, bought the land.

Tait is one of largest private employers in the region. The consolidation of its business operations would provide additional employment opportunities in the area and potentially increase the country's export earnings.

"Tait's ambition is to create an exemplary world-class campus work environment, using a range of sustainable building techniques and renewable energy sources, which will attract top talent from around the world and contribute further to the region's economic growth," Hansbury said.

Other benefits included the creation of a public pedestrian and cycle link from Wooldridge Rd and Nunweek Park to Stanleys Rd and Tait's offer to make the car park on the site available to sports park users at weekends.

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- The Press

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