Drive 'ugly' developers out, says Gough

Posted 24 Oct 2012 by MediaStuff Popular


Christchurch developers who are building ''ugly glass boxes'' to cut costs should be driven out of town, a councillor says.

Speaking to the Central City Business Association tonight, Fendalton-Waimairi councillor Jamie Gough urged the city's residents to put more pressure on developers.

Gough told The Press the city had ''one shot'' to get the rebuild right, and property developers had to be held to account for approving poorly designed buildings.

Many developers were focusing on the bottom line instead of Christchurch's legacy when building new properties, he said.

''I spoke to a developer not too long ago who talked me through his building, saying, 'We cut back here, we scaled back here,'' and he actually beamed as if it was a good thing.

''I thought, 'yeah, no kidding, it looks it too'.''

Gough said more regulation would not solve the problem, and believed residents needed to ''draw a line in the sand'' to stop bad developments being built.

''The council and Cera can make rules here and there, but the people of Christchurch define it because they govern the market.

''No-one is going to build something if the market won't buy it.''

Developers who were ''squeezing every last dollar'' from their projects rather than focusing on what was best for the city needed to be publicly shamed, he said.

''We should drive them out of town or shame them out of town ... either you add value, or don't do it at all.''

Gough urged residents to let him and other officials know which new buildings they valued and which were not up to standard.

''Other than the creation of our city, this is the most important time for Christchurch. We are creating the iconic buildings of tomorrow, so we need to be really clear about what we want.''

What do you think of the new buildings going up in Christchurch? Are you dismayed by the architecture, or pleased to see the rebuild is underway? Comment here, or email

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