Lonely Planet and the New York Times didn't talk about the traditional Christchurch when they said people should come here – they talked about the creativity and innovation that was literally popping up in unexpected places. They talked about the people and the projects that were inspiring the rebirth of our city.
They talked about the energy that was infecting those around us.
Not everyone will love it all – what was that saying about not pleasing all the people all the time – but it will get people talking.
Stories about the traffic sheep have already gone viral and visitors will have photos sitting on them and these will be on social media to be viewed across the world.
And for those of us that are still grieving the loss of what was here, the story of the
historical significance of High St and some of the businesses which made the street
popular is told through the art installation along the former Holiday Inn site. My
dad worked in High Street – at the former KP building which is now the CPIT
School of Jazz. I spent many school holidays working there so High Street is
Ensuring people have places to meet and gather is more important than ever in
post-earthquake Christchurch. Reinstating street trees, providing seating and
planters at regular intervals allows people to relax and provide a stopping point
along High St.
Planters are also a welcome development for businesses and students here on High
St, as they provide a place to meet, as well as reintroducing native plants to the
The traffic sheep actually provide an important safety function in separating cars
and pedestrians as well as introducing a fun element into the city centre. They are
based on a concept by European designer Christophe Machet.
The introduction of the Department of Conservation Urban Oasis and Visitor
information centre has been the result of a partnership between DoC and Council.
We are looking forward to an ongoing partnership with DoC as the information
centre is installed later this year. The centre will be a modern take on the traditional
DoC Hut and will offer information and education.
The new 2.5m bronze sculpture located on the corner of High and Cashel was
created by one of NZ's leading Iwi artists Lewis Tamihana Gardiner, whose
contemporary Maori artwork has received international acclaim and has featured in
Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. The "Te Kiheru wai o Tahu" or the
'Bailer of Tahu' can be associated with transport as well as acknowledging the city
overcoming the adversity of the earthquakes. It encourages interaction as well as
appreciation of it beauty.
There are fantastic food options on offer - from the iconic C1 cafe to exciting new
destinations in Stranges Lane and Brick Farm.
Meanwhile at this end of High St the Avonmore College 'Our Place' Café and Su Ra
Sushi keeps the students and workers nourished on a daily basis. We would like to
acknowledge the support provided by these two businesses today.
The various elements that make up the Transitional Project have transformed the
empty area of High St into a vibrant and welcoming space that local people and
visitors will want to return to over and over again.