Halswell Domain

Halswell Domain
View from the Model Engineers' site in the Halswell Domain

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Timebanking: What about it in Halswell?

Timebanking is catching on around New Zealand and around Christchurch.  What is it?  Well it is a kind of barter system but it is one that helps people get to know their community and the skills available within it.  As such it is also a way to build community.

In timebanking, you register and then you can then advertise your services – and these might include anything from cleaning, gardening, woodworking, handyman skills, fixing electronic stuff, sewing, mending clothes, cooking, helping others with their computer, babysitting, driving someone somewhere, or anything you can think of!  You can also advertise for someone with skills. 

The beauty of a timebank is you might garden for Bob but then you might not need Bob’s skills in return.  Instead, you can use the skills of Felicity who might build you a bookshelf.  Bob might then deliver leaflets for a community group (yes community groups can join the time bank too!) and Felicity might get someone to help her with her computer.  This broad marketplace makes easy to swap skills across the community. 

People can accrue time or they can gift some of their time to a community group of their choice or to the community chest.  The community chest might be used to help out people who need assistance but who may not be well enough (for example) to pay back the time.    

At the Halswell community Project, we are starting to think about starting up a timebank.  We see it as a long term project and are interested in talking and meeting with anyone who thinks this might be a good idea and who might be prepared to start trying this out in Halswell.  We’d like to start small and try things out so we can iron out the kinks before we build into something big.  

What do you think about this?  Is it of interest?   Comment below or get in touch with us through our website at  www.halswellcommunity.net.nz.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why is it taking so long to set up a market?

I’ve talked to a lot of people about setting up the market and people are always surprised that it is not as easy as they thought!  Why is it taking us so long to get going?  Here's a couple of reasons:

  1.  We need consent from the City Council.  This process is going to cost us in the region of $10,000 (and no that is not a mistake!) in council fees and planning costs.  Clearly, we are not going to make enough money out of the market as is is currently running to pay for that, so we need to convince any potential funders that this market is a going concern.
    Applying for funding takes a lot of time – not so much for writing the applications, but for waiting until decisions are made.  It usually takes a couple of months for these decisions to come out and if you miss out (as we have recently), then you have to start again and find another suitable funder, make an application and wait to hear a decision.  Until we have the money, we can’t really get going because a large part of the money is needed to pay the planners who can help us put our application together.
  2. Before we can even apply for consent we need to find a long term home – and we need to be sure about it because consent is granted for a site, and if we need to shift sites, then we need to get another consent.
    St Luke’s Church cannot be that home because, as many of you will know, the parking around there is terrible, and there is no way that we would get consent to do a weekly market on any site on State Highway 1.
    The CCC consent team have told us to avoid CCC public land because doing so means a lot more hoops to jump through, and the costs go up as well. They recommend a school site or something similar.
    So we are interested in using one of the schools in the area as a site for the market. At this stage, we are waiting until Halswell School can be in the running because we think that perhaps this would be our best bet, if they are up for it. At the moment, they are not, because of the building that is still going on there.

Having run a few markets last year, we now know that we can run a market, although we are not getting the numbers that might make us thinkg we could do it weekly at this stage.  To be convinced we need to see good numbers turning up this year.  Good numbers also would encourage us to continue putting in the work and energy needed to do this.
So please, do make the effort to come along and to tell your friends about it and get them along too.  The more people that come, the better the range of vendors will be which will make the market more varied and fun.  If we are to pull this off, your active support is critical!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Business Mentoring talk to the Halswell Business Network

On Monday 15th Jill Taiaroa from the Canterbury Development Corporation came and spoke to our Halswell business network. Jill has been involved with business mentoring since It started in 1991 and gave us a useful overview of the service.  She gave us a brief history and outline of the business mentoring services which was started in 1991 and has been very successful in helping many businesses right across New Zealand. 

The service is available to small businesses in Canterbury.  Businesses pay a $150 + GST registration fee which provides access for to free business mentoring for two years. This is possible because business mentors work completely voluntarily.  They are usually retired businesspeople that come from a range of backgrounds who make themselves available to the business mentoring service.  They are people who step forward to pass on some of the things that they have learned working in their own businesses.  They provide a CV and are checked by the teams of people who administrate the service around the country.

Jill and her small team at CDC field enquiries, find out what a business most needs and then matches them with a mentor according to their needs. Over the two years some businesses may have a few different mentors who can each help them with different aspects of their business. 

You can find out more at  http://www.businessmentors.org.nz/ and you can also apply for mentoring from that website.

Jill’s talk elicited many questions and quite a bit of discussion amongst the businesspeople that attended that went on for some time after she left.  Overall it was a pleasant meeting – thanks to Kate for providing food and drink and to all who helped make this meeting happen. Thanks also to Jill for coming to speak. 

Any others who were there - please add something that you found very useful or interesting from the meeting in the comments below (it might also be useful and interesting to other business people who could not make it to the meeting)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Markets starting up again

It’s spring and we are working to get our community markets off the ground again.  So grab a bag and a sunhat, and come on down to St Luke’s Church Grounds and have some fun.

Our vision for these markets is that they are for the community and as much as possible by the community.  What does that mean? 

The Halswell Community Project has the goal of supporting other community organisations, local businesses and all Halswell residents.  We already do this with our Website (Halswellcommunity.net.nz), community E Newsletter and Halswell Community Facebook Page.
The markets are another step.  At a recent meeting, some of our young people commented that there is nowhere in Halswell that is central where people can hang out and bump into other people.  This is something that the HCP Committee have noted for some time, and one of the reasons why we are setting up the market.  It is one way of providing a regular place for local people to get together and bump into other people.  We were really pleased to see people chatting to others and having their kids playing together out the back while they did so. 
A local family business and their stall at the Market in early 2014

We also see it as a way to support local businesses and clubs.  Quite a number of local groups clubs and businesses were vendors at our markets last year, and it is shaping up that way this year.   For clubs, having a stall at the market is a good way to both fundraise and raise awareness of their activities.  For businesses it is mostly a good way to raise awareness of their goods and services.  This is what makes our market quite different to most of the other markets around Christchurch and the reason why we call this a community market.   

We want to find ways to make it even more useful for the local community.  We are, for example planning to have a notice board on site where people can put up their notices.  If you have suggestions then let us know below.

We DO need more stalls that sell food – cheese, fruit and veges, bread and even meats.  If you know anyone who might be interested in selling any of these things then let us (and them) know!  

And do come down to St Luke’s (where the playcentre is) in Halswell Road, meet some of your neighbours and support the vendors that are there.  We‘d like to see this market grow  into a weekly market but it needs more people coming to it before that can happen.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Many people have contacted us regarding the proposed changes to the local bus services.  Below is an outline of the changes.   Have a read and put in your submission by Monday 16th June at the link at the bottom of this post. 

Planned changes to bus services across the city are now out for comment.  You can find details including maps and an outlined of all changes at http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/news/Pages/Metro-Bus-Services-Review-May-2014.aspx#plan

Of particular interest to Halswell People are changes to the current #7 Halswell Queenspark and the #60 Hillmorton – Parklands services.   The Metrostar will be replaced by the #100 service and the Comet

What is planned?

The #7: Halswell-Queenspark
This will run from Halswell West to the supermarket hub and then straight up Halswell Road and Lincoln Road, past the hospital and into the central city before heading out to the Palms and Burwood Hospital.
The services will go every 10 mins during peak times and 15 mins during off peak (about the same as now)
The #60
Will travel between Halswell, central city and the Palms via Halswell Road through Hoon Hay, Barrington Mall and then down Selwyn St to Hagley Ave. This service is largely unchanged at the Halswell end, but will extend to cover Halswell on the Park subdivision.  From the Central City there will be a new route out to the The Palms and New Brighton and the #60 will no longer travel via Burwood Hospital.
The service will go every 15 mins peak time and 30 mins off peak
 The #100
This service will travel from Halswell School past the Supermarket,down Oakridge to Wales St then down Checketts Ave, through Westlake to Dunbars Rd, Awatea Rd before turning right and travelling through Wigram Skies and coming out onto Birmingham Drive (once the new roading and overbridge is put into that area). From Birmingham Drive it travels to Riccarton Mall.  From there it will go down Riccarton Rd to Staven Rd, then through to Heaton Street, Merivale Mall and then the Palms via St Albans.
This service will go every 15 mins peak time and 30 mins off peak

The Comet
The Comet is Halswell’s link to Hornby, and the Airport.  It will go from the Supermarket Hub round the Nichols Junction Halswell Triangle then along to Dunbars Rd, McMahon Dr, Aidanfield Drive then through Wigram Skies to Springs Road, Amyes Road.  From there it goes through the Hub at Hornby before going down Carmen Road, and Russley Rd to the Aiport and then on through to Northlands via Memorial Ave, Roydvale Ave and Harewood Rd. The route between Northlands and Redwood will remain the same as current route.
This service will go every 15 mins during peak times and every 30 mins during off peak times.

Possible Issues 

1) A lack of services to schools from different parts of Halswell. 
Children bussing into Halswell to go to Aidanfield, or Discovery schools will have to get off the bus and cross Halswell Road in an 80km zone where there are no refuges or other ways to safely cross.
Highschool children will not now be able to easily get over to schools in the Riccarton/ Middleton area.  Depending on where you live in Halswell, it could also take two buses to get to Hillmorten High.

2) All services up to Kennedys Bush will stop.

3) There is no mention of park and ride facilities or even places to lock up bicycles safely for the day.

4) At peak times the services might not run often enough to offset the need that many will have to change buses in Halswell, depending on where they want to go.  Changes that don't work well can make the difference between a trip taking 1/2 an hour or 1.5 hours to get from A to B.

How will these changes affect you?  Please let Environment Canterbury know by going to http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/Pages/Metro-Bus-Services-Review-Feedback-form.aspx  and filling in your feedback.  

Read the outline from David Hawke of the Halswell Residents Association below to see what they think about the proposed changes.  Feel free to pick and choose from these and add to them depending on your own opinions and concerns

What do you like about the proposed services?.

  • Increased coverage, to Halswell on the Park and to the new subdivisions in Halswell West. Coverage of the Halswell West subdivisions will decrease their isolation from the rest of Halswell.
  • Link from Halswell to the Airport (the Comet). Getting the bus to the airport from Halswell is presently too hard to be of any use.
  • More direct route to central city for no. 7 bus, which should make the transit time more acceptable. Currently in rush hour this is 45 min or more.
  • Increased frequency for no. 7 bus will be hugely helpful (although the times of the day the service runs will be critical - see below).

What would you change?

  • Matching bus routes to primary school zones would facitate use by children travelling to school. Particular examples are:

1.      Bus coverage to Halswell School from its enrolment zone is limited;

2.      Oaklands & Aidanfield lose their bus route to Halswell's local (in-zone) secondary school (Hillmorton High School)

The provision of dedicated school buses as part of the Metrostar replacement does not address the above examples.

  • The loss of coverage for Aidanfield reinforces that suburb's isolation from any cultural facilities, whether in Halswell (the pool, library, sports fields, local shops, bars/cafes) or wider Christchurch (sports stadiums, events venues). .

Would you like to make any further comments?

  • A good bus service (frequent, reliable, comfortable, clean) should decrease congestion and (if people choose to live car-free or car-lite) make life less expensive and more civilised.
  • Service times must allow for shift workers 7 days a week. This includes shift change times at Christchurch Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital in paticular.
  • Buses need somewhere to park while waiting for their next run, so provision of some sort of bus interchange in or near Halswell should be accelerated.
  • The implementation of the bus priority lane along Halswell Rd (and associated four-laning) needs to be accelerated to make the most of the increased frequency of the no. 7 bus.