Section 15: Cultural Recovery

Whakaara Tikanga

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Kia mau ki te kura whero.
Hold fast to the valued treasures.

Cultural activities are an integral part of life in greater Christchurch and of our identity as a region. Cultural activities, including sport, art, recreation, and enjoyment of heritage, attract residents and visitors.

There are many wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga of significance as a consequence of Ngāi Tahu’s long-standing occupation of the region and use of natural resources.

Heritage places, memorials and commemorative sites, museums and archives, performing and visual arts spaces, and sports and recreation facilities were significantly affected by the earthquakes. Iconic sport and recreation facilities are a significant part of the region’s infrastructure and economy as they provide venues for participation and high-performance activities.

By repairing or replacing lost facilities and maintaining events in the cultural sector, the many clubs and societies will continue to exist and bind communities together.

Greater Christchurch has lost much of the heritage that was one of its defining characteristics. Retention and conservation of restorable heritage buildings, places, archaeological sites and places of cultural significance, and restoration of access to heritage collections, will help recreate that distinctive sense of place and identity that has defined the region and contributed to its economic development.

The cultural recovery of greater Christchurch is vital for a functioning and liveable city. There are opportunities to consider cultural, sporting and recreational requirements as a whole. All partners can work together to identify community needs and, where appropriate, consider facilities that offer a range of cultural activities. New opportunities will be sought so cultural activities contribute to community wellbeing and economic growth.

15.1 Cultural goals

4. Renew greater Christchurch’s unique identity and its vitality expressed through sport, recreation, art, history, heritage and traditions - by:

  • 4.1 acknowledging and celebrating the rich and diverse Ngāi Tahu, colonial and other heritages and connections;
  • 4.2 resuming cultural, community and sports events and activities;
  • 4.3 encouraging participation in a range of entertainment, cultural, recreational and sporting activities;
  • 4.4 restoring historic buildings, where feasible, for the benefit of the community; and
  • 4.5 acknowledging losses and creating spaces to remember, while embracing necessary changes to the city’s character and urban form.

15.2 Implementation

Cultural Recovery is led by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, in partnership with sports and arts agencies. They are repairing and rebuilding facilities and events. They are also working to restore participation in activities to at least the level it was at before the earthquakes.

There are three specific programmes.

The Arts, Culture and Heritage Collections Programme aims to ensure that people once again enjoy the full range of arts and cultural activities and have full access to heritage collections of national and local significance. It includes the contribution of cultural institutions to developing formal memorial spaces, as well as collecting and archiving earthquake stories.

The Heritage Buildings and Cultural Places Programme is ensuring heritage buildings and places remain an important part of greater Christchurch’s identity. It considers a broad range of heritage such as buildings, archaeological sites, heritage spaces and landscapes and places of cultural significance to Ngāi Tahu, including wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga areas.

The Sport and Recreation Programme is working to recover the sport and recreation infrastructure so that people can participate in them at least as much as they did before the earthquakes. It will also support and develop the volunteers and paid professionals who deliver sport and recreation activities.