Parker wants to move Canterbury University

November 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Olivia Carville at The Press reports:

Combining the ageing population and the unprecedented number of young people leaving Christchurch, in about 20 years more than half of the city would be over the age of 65, Parker said.

“We are on a direct path at the moment to become New Zealand’s most modern and attractive new rebuilt resthome.”

One possible solution to the “age group crisis” was to relocate the University of Canterbury back inside the four avenues.

Despite the university’s reluctance to shift, this was the most “grievously undercooked” opportunity in the rebuild.

I don’t know what it would cost to move the university, but imagine it would be a nine figure sum. In reality you would be building a brand new university. Looking at the UC annual report this would be a capital outlay of around $700 million less what you would get for the existing land and buildings.

Having the university more central isn’t a bad idea by itself, but money doesn’t grow on trees (except for the Greens). If really thinks it is essential, than maybe he can identify what projects he would can to pay for it.

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27 Responses to “Parker wants to move Canterbury University”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    Bob Parker has been pushing for moving UC to the central city for years, only now he has an (arguably) legitimate reason to argue for it

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  2. dave (988 comments) says:

    Why not encourage older people to study? Or do what Hekia is doing to schools and and either merge lincoln and canterbury or close one of them. That`ll save that nine figure sum.

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  3. RRM (9,916 comments) says:

    One possible solution to the “age group crisis” was to relocate the University of Canterbury back inside the four avenues.

    What??

    UCs location in the suburbs, surrounded by housing and away from inner-city congestion and rents, is a feature of the University not a problem.

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  4. Nigel (514 comments) says:

    Utter madness, the University has affordable accommodation within easy access, it has room to expand & it’s in a “safe” location. Bob Parker is a bit of a loose cannon sometimes.
    Now if he really wants to shift the age-group, the answer would be affordable accommodation inside the inner-city for university students along with entertainment ( which is sorely lacking in chch @ the moment ), along with regular public transport ( preferably free ) to the University, maybe even expand the Tram Line. But moving the University itself is a bizarre idea.

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  5. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    dont worry about having an older population. we will just ship a shit ton of ethnic migrants down :) christchurch will love it :D

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  6. tas (625 comments) says:

    That’s complete madness. I don’t see the benefit and the university is broke as it is.

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  7. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    ChinaChurch

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  8. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Peter – :D

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  9. iMP (2,383 comments) says:

    This is a crazy idea. Ilam campus is already close enough to the city, with a mall inbetween for all student needs. You can walk there across Hagley park and up Ricc Rd. And do we want all that dead-all-day parking in the CBD?

    Rather, I’d pack levels 2 upward in Cathedral Square with student apartments and managed boarding houses (shops and cafes on ground level and NO real estate agencies or banks) and run one simple 15 min. light rail loop or tram between Ilam and Cathedral Square. That way students live and love in the CBD (hello vitality, its all about people) and Ilam is where they study.

    Half the journey is alongside Hagley Park anyway (nice ride).

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  10. Chi Hsu (101 comments) says:

    RRM (5,812) Says:
    November 26th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    What??

    UCs location in the suburbs, surrounded by housing and away from inner-city congestion and rents, is a feature of the University not a problem.

    Yes, but the rationale is to make the crappy old CBD appear more young and modern. The convenience of the students themselves is obviously not taken into account in such a proposal.

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  11. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    What I think is particularly interesting about this story is how it came about. Everyone knows Bob has long held the view that Canterbury University would be good for the city if it was in the city, and not in the suburbs, and he’d also like light rail to too (which would be another $1 billion harvest off the money trees).

    So that’s not really news – his views are well known. The interesting bit is that Bob doesn’t appear to have made these comments after a speech, or in the course of a wider conversation, he appears to have picked up the phone to the Christchurch Press, on a quiet Sunday, and done a massive u-turn from having been a vocal supporter of the CBD blueprint to a harsh critic.

    Remember this is the same Bob Parker who only 10 weeks ago called the CBD blueprint a splendid distillation of the Christchurch City Council’s ‘Share and Idea’ consultation process. Now he says it’s the opposite – he says it’s a dilution of that process.

    For me this was very calculated – I’m just not sure what his end game is.

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  12. David in Chch (516 comments) says:

    Nigel at 11.29 am got it in one. I work at the uni, and it needs to be able to grow in facilities and numbers. The old site will simply not do that – quite the opposite.

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  13. E. Campbell (91 comments) says:

    Crazy idea! Mayor Parker needs to take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and have a long lie down…

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  14. way (1 comment) says:

    Moving the university into the city is a great idea. It’s human nature to hate change but the Christchurch CBD before the earthquakes was far from great as hardly anyone wanted to live there. The blueprint planners are dreaming if they think that after the completion of the plan that there will be a sudden influx of people wanting to live in the CBD.

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  15. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    I’m just not sure what his end game is

    A return to private life, I suspect, if he intends campaigning on this. (Along with the ‘central govt bullies’ line – I think John Key has more credibility with the public than him.)

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  16. Nigel (514 comments) says:

    @David in Chch, thanks, my youngest daughter is at Chch Uni second year so I have more than a passing interest in the University doing well. I think Bob Carr has more than enough issues with deal with at the moment, without Bob Parker throwing a spanner in the works.

    It would be an interesting viability study to examine whether you could take a tram line from the CBD through hagley park to the Uni, across to Riccarton & back past the Hospital, it would be one very nice asset to the city linking three of the major city elements ( four if you count Hagley park ). Not to mention quite a tourist attraction.

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  17. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Idiotic. I was at the University when it moved to Ilam. Suddenly there was parking, decent student accommodation, beautiful staff and student clubs, lecture theatres big enough for classes, and eight story science building instead of doing chemistry in an attic with no windows and three fume hoods for 20 grad students, a library that didn’t flood in a basement when it rained, …

    Has Parker tried to get to an early evening seminar at Auckland University? Utter madness.

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  18. Daniel (6 comments) says:

    Surely the sane option is to open a new satellite campus. Something that can be relatively independent of the main campus (ie. majority of students not having to commute between the two for different classes), that will be expected to expand in future years. Engineering, computer science, etc. These two alone could be quite relevant in the CBD.

    Look at Victoria as an example: main campus, teachers campus, architecture campus, law campus.

    Move the university. Ha ha.

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  19. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    Some elements of the idea are nice in theory:

    1) bring young people into the CBD – to live, and commute by simply walking or cycling everywhere. Young people are happy to live in apartments and don’t need a back yard for kiddies to run around in.

    2) bring outside funding (i.e. central government via the tax payer) in to rejuvenate some damaged buildings more quickly – e.g. return the Arts Centre to a working part of the University – while getting those buildings off the Councils headache list. This would also raise the prestige of the University by having some nice looking historical buildings again instead of the 1960’s concrete towers.

    That’s about it. Could some of these desires be realised by moving some or all of the Arts faculty into the Arts Centre over the next decade? Let’s face it arts students have plenty of time on their hands for shopping, and partying and would enjoy the CBD more than the rest of the students in the university. They would also be able to work part time in the retail sector to help pay for their educations.

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  20. 103PapPap (131 comments) says:

    Well we already have the Christchurch Polytech in the City with approx five and a half thousand EFTS (Equivalent Full Time Students).

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  21. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    More Canterbury insanity.

    Rebuild the Cathedral
    rebuild Latimer Court
    Rebuild the town hall
    Move the University.

    it all about living in the past. I wonder if the people if Christchurch havent contracted the maori disease- ie: lets live in the past, and someone else has to pay for it.

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  22. Than (472 comments) says:

    How will moving the location of the university bring more young people to Christchurch? All this would do is change which suburbs the students live in, not actually bring more students.

    The reason young people are leaving Christchurch is simple – the nightlife is dead. The city center is gone, and the police seem intent on closing down as many suburban bars as they can. Christchurch still has places to work, places to study, but right now it lacks places to have fun. Once a few clubs open up in the CBD again (and I understand there are lots of licence applications) students and young people will start coming back.

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  23. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    barry, there will always be nutters who get publicity. Probably rebuilding the town hall is a reasonable option. The rest are not serious possibilities for taxpayer or ratepayer funding. Heavens knows what Parker is dreaming about.

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  24. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Why not – its only public money?

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  25. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    Does it even occur to any of these people that maybe they should just get out of the way and let the free market rebuild the city? Or is there too much money and power at stake?

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  26. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    Farrar “money doesn’t grow on trees ”

    Are you serious Farrar? What planet have you been on for the last few decades and especially the last couple of years? Ever had a look at the Federal Reserve’s orchard?
    Or the Bank of England’s orchard?
    Or the European Central Bank’s orchard?
    Or ….. on it goes

    Money does most definitely grow on trees and it is exactly this fact combined with your clear idealism that it should not in fact grow on trees that is leading the world to where it is going next…

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  27. BBells (1 comment) says:

    Has anybody considered the idea about a Multi-Campus university? Along the lines of Victoria University, with their Law and Architecture campuses, but better. If we were to move say the STEM courses into an area of the CBD, this would create a number of positive outcomes.

    1. More space for Ilam Campus to grow/have more green area
    2. The engineering sector would be closer linked to the CBD/Rebuild and CPIT
    3. Entice more reason for a light rail system running from Ilam Campus down Ricc Road through Hagley and into the new campus
    4. Could invigorate the eastern side of the CBD

    plus more

    There has been many examples around the world of multi-campus universities being succesful.
    Could this not be a solution to both the economic? congestion? accomodation? re-vitalisation issues?

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