History

Achievements and Activities:

The Trust (established in 1965) is proud of its past achievements, some notable examples of which are:

  • promotion of initial concepts for the creation of the Arts Centre, using the grounds and buildings of the former university in central Christchurch;
  • facilitating the retention of the former Girls High School building at Cranmer Square, now used for other community activities;
  • campaigning successfully for many years to save the old Normal School buildings at Cranmer Square , which were converted for apartments and a restaurant;
  • the raising of substantial funds to enable the purchase of land for the Mt. Vernon Park overlooking the City;
  • launching a vigorous fund-raising campaign for the acquisition of the Mona Vale property for the city, now a very popular place for visitors to Christchurch and local residents; and
  • leading a successful appeal in the Environment Court to safeguard the iconic heritage buildings of the Canterbury Museum against major redevelopment proposals that could have been substantially at odds with the neo-gothic character of such buildings.

Apart from the above initiatives, which have been variously time-consuming and costly, the Trust has for many years also endeavored to cultivate a wider public awareness of the importance of good planning, imaginative urban design and prudent heritage conservation by such means as:

  • the holding of an annual Awards event to recognise both individuals and corporate bodies for bringing various projects of merit to fruition ;
  • the launching of workshop seminars on key topical matters;
  • close liaison with both the Christchurch City Council and community groups in search of new initiatives for the revitalisation of the Central City;
  • the regular issue of Newsletters focusing on a broad range of current planning, urban design and environmental issues;
  • the publication, in 2005, of a book under the title of “City Pride, Civic Trust” covering the extensive work of the Christchurch Civic Trust over the period 1965 – 2005; and
  • the joint publication by the Christchurch and Akaroa Civic Trusts in 2007 of the carefully researched and well illustrated book “City and Peninsula”, focusing on the unique inventory of heritage assets of the City and the Banks Peninsula. This book was initially produced to support a UNESCO congress of the World Heritage Committee, held in Christchurch in June 2007. Returns from sales of the book are deployed to help sustain the work of the two Trusts.