Examples of local community-led and Council partnership place-making to inspire you and help you plan your own project.

This initiative came about in response to some discord, between new students moving into the Riccarton west area and the permanent residents, regarding student parties, vandalism and litter.

The event brought together over 200 university students and permanent residents to Harrington Park, to share a day of fun activities to help connect people and build local partnerships and community coalitions. The success of this event helped to instill the belief from the participants that they could become involved in their community, which has led to involvement in a variety of other projects.

Project led by Steve Jones (Sergeant, Neighbourhood Policing Team) and Carol Renouf (Oak Development Trust)
Helpers 6
Project duration February 2015 to February 2016
Cost $1,200
Funded by Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board's Discretionary Response Fund and donations from local organisations
Time to organise Approximately 4 months
Supported by
  • University of Canterbury.
  • Oak Development Trust.
  • Riccarton West Neighbourhood Support Group.
  • Council's Parks Unit and Community Support and Governance Unit.
  • Bunnings Warehouse.
  • NZ Institute of Sport. 


A donated Antarctic bulldozer saw several years of loving use, so the community got together to restore it to its previous glory.

Herrington Bulldozer restoration, before and after photos

A bulldozer had been donated to the community and placed at Harrington Park, Riccarton, in the early 1980s by Riccarton Rotary and the US Navy. 

The bulldozer had been based at McMurdo Station in the Antarctic and came back to Christchurch as part of a repair programme with Goughs, which put it back together as a non-operational machine. 

After many years of use the much-loved piece of play equipment was sorely overdue for restoration. 

Two retired local residents considered a paint and panel job was needed to restore it to its previous glory. They set about organising the restoration of it by gaining permission through Council's Parks Unit, engaging with the local community and contacting local businesses for assistance. 

Although the original plan was to repair it on site, with labour coming from local community members, the use of lead-based paint on the bulldozer meant that it had to be taken off site.

Wayne and Ken organised for a panel beating company to undertake the work, free of charge, using it as a teaching experience for young apprentices. They also negotiated for a crane to come and lift it off site and then return it to site.

Project led by Wayne Chaney and Ken Twemlow (local Riccarton residents)
Helpers 25
Project duration November 2016 to February 2017
Cost $645 for the crane and approximately $250 for a plaque and a celebration event
Funded by Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board's Ward Enhancement allocation
Time to organise Approximately 12 months
Supported by
  • Commercial Blast and Paint.
  • NZ Coating Supplies.
  • Riccarton West Neighbourhood Support Group.
  • Council's Parks Unit and Community Support and Governance Unit.
  • Riccarton Rotary.


Taonga means treasure in Māori and during the research and development for this community walking tour, many hidden taonga were discovered and explored.

Group involved with runing the walking tour Hidden Taonga

In mid 2017 while on a visit to our inner city we wondered where all the people were. About the same time, we were sad to hear and read in the media, that locals, new migrants and tourists had an impression that Ōtautahi was a boring city. We wanted to change impressions!

We are also passionate about whānau moving more and doing physical activities together. We combined these passions and our idea for a guided-treasure hunt was born.

Our first treasure hunt was held in October 2017, a two hour walking tour, weaving around the CBD, learning and exploring our rich Māori and European heritage. Our next series of treasure hunts will be released in 2018 exploring the Port Hills and the Lyttelton Harbour.

Project led by Grace Training NZ
Helpers Over 100 people, from eight nationalities and aged from 2 months to 87 years old
Project duration 14 to 15 October 2017
Cost Approximately $2,200
Funded by Social Enterprise Profit and a Council grant
Time to organise 3 months
Supported by
  • Active Canterbury Network.
  • Ōtākaro Limited.
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.
  • Christchurch City Council.


A local business teams up with their community to provide new public exercise equipment.

Photos from the launch of the Burnside trail exercise equipment

A local business wanted to enhance the nearby park by adding some exercise equipment that residents had expressed an interest in getting. 

The business approached a member of the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board with a donation to fund the first station.

Burnside Park now has four stations, which has added a great resource for the community to use. 

Project led by Commodore Hotel, Memorial Avenue.
Helpers 3
Project duration Launched in October 2017.
Cost $50,000
Funded by
  • The Commodore Hotel.
  • Rotary Clubs of Avonhead, Bishopdale-Burnside and Riccarton.
  • Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board.
Time to organise Approximately 4 years.
Supported by
  • Rotary Clubs of Avonhead, Bishopdale-Burnside and Riccarton.
  • Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board.


This is a planning process led by the community and facilitated and enabled by the Council. It gives a very active community a focus for the things it wants to do for itself, and strengthens the networks that will enable them to happen.

Project led by Little River Issues Working Party
Helpers 8 people were in the working party
Project duration February to November 2016
Cost Approximately $2,000 and significant working party contributions.
Funded by Council funding of $15,000, the remainder of which was converted to a grant for the Wairewa and Little River Community Trust for implementation.
Time to organise As above.
Supported by
  • Stakeholders, including the local Wairewa Rūnanga.
  • Council staff from the Community Governance and Urban Regeneration Teams.
  • Environment Canterbury.
  • Canterbury District Health Board.
  • New Zealand Transport Agency.
  • Department of Conservation.
  • New Zealand Police.

More details

See the Little River, Big Ideas website for more information.
(external link)


The Shirley Shine event was established when research identified that the community did not feel safe in their park.

The event has helped the community regain ownership of McFarlane Park and changed perceptions, so it is now thought of as a safe park to come and play. 

The event also lets the community connect, share information, create a sense of pride and place through fun, and have the opportunities to celebrate, fundraise or try something new. 

Project led by Shirley Community Trust
Helpers 8 in the organising committee, 60 volunteers on the day
Project duration Annual event in November
Cost $6,000
Funded by
  • Various Trusts, sponsorship and donations
  • Papanui-Innes Community Board grant.
Time to organise 11 months
Supported by
  • Rechurch.
  • St Stephen's Anglican Church.
  • Shirley Intermediate and Primary School.
  • Shirley Rugby League Club.
  • Palms Mall.
  • Te Puna Oraka - Shirley Hub.


A community comes together to repair their local playground that was lost to an arson attack.


The community come together to celebrate the rebuild of their playground

Photograph supplied by Carys Monteath

After the attack it was determined that the Council did not have the necessary funds available to fix the playground, so the community set up a Facebook page. Nearby business Ray Whites also set up a Give a Little Page.

The donations, along with support from the Lions South, Rata Foundation and (then) Spreydon/Heathcote Community Board, raised over half the cost of repairs. The Council then agreed to underwrite the shortfall.

The play equipment was ordered and installed, and a Teddy Bears’ Picnic was organised to celebrate the opening, which was attended by over 200 people.

Project led by Spreydon residents and businesses.
Helpers 8, mixture of community, Council staff and elected members
Project duration April – October 2015.
Cost $40,000
Funded by
  • Crowd funding on Give a Little.
  • Donations from Barrington Mall collection buckets, Lions South Christchurch and Canterbury Community Trust.
  • Spreydon/Heathcote Community Board grant.
  • The Council.
Time to organise

Approximately 8 months.

Supported by
  • Local residents and businesses.
  • Police.
  • Council's Capital Programme, Community Development and Recreation staff.
  • Elected members.


The following community place-making projects were delivered through a partnership with the Council.

Local residents and community groups came together to plan, design and paint an intersection at Shand Crescent and Tara Street, as a community-building and traffic-calming project.

Riccarton West community coming together to paint an intersection

The idea was borrowed from Portland, Oregon, in the United States.

Project led by The Council.
Helpers 8 organised, 90 painted designs and 150 contributed to painting.
Project duration 10 to 4 March 2016.
Cost Approximately $2,500
Funded by
  • Ministry of Justice grant.
  • Donations of traffic management, paint, artist fees and surface preparation.
Time to organise Approximately 7 months.
Supported by
  • Resene.
  • TMG.
  • Fulton Hogan.
  • Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board.


Greening the Rubble teamed up with the community to develop temporary installations on vacant land in Linwood Village.

 Greening the rubble worked with the Linwood community to transform an empty lot

Greening the Rubble, in partnership with the Council and key community members, engaged with the Linwood community to create a social/gathering place and garden on a temporarily vacant section in the Linwood Village.

The project aimed to add a public amenity and improve aesthetics in the village while testing ideas for the future of the village.

Greening the Rubble worked with community members to foster connections, action and pride. Over the course of a year, community ideas became a design, a suitable site was arranged and the project was installed and opened. The project was named Koha Garden by the locals and consists of a performance stage and seating area, creative play equipment, raised planters​ ​with​ ​edible​ ​plants​ ​and​ ​inground​ ​plantings​ ​including​ ​a​ ​wildflower​ ​zone.

Project led by Greening the Rubble.
Helpers 9
Project duration 8 days, following the launched in May 2017.
Cost $35,000 plus community contributions.
Funded by Council's Enliven Places Programme grant.
Time to organise Approximately 1 year.
Supported by
  • Te Whare Roimata Trust.
  • Menzshed New Brighton.
  • City Mission.
  • Life in Vacant Spaces.
  • Local property owner.


The Council worked with the New Brighton community to launch a competition for design ideas for the construction of five small-scale, playful installations – named 'Tiny Huts'.

Children playing around an interactive installation called the MyBrightonHut

The design competition received over 100 entries. The five winning designs were built by the partnering construction companies.

Once the project ended after the summer of 2017, the community voted to keep them around New Brighton, where they have remained.

Project led by The Council.
Helpers 5 community custodians and various Council staff.
Project duration Launched in October 2016.
Cost $60,000
Funded by
  • Council funding.
  • Donations from industry partners.
Time to organise Approximately 7 months.
Supported by
  • Leighs Construction.
  • Southbase Construction.
  • Naylor Love Construction.
  • Arrow International.
  • Miles Construction.