The client

Ngāi Tahu Property engaged Eliot Sinclair to plan, design and redevelop land previously owned by Riccarton Racecourse into a mixed density residential community; inclusive of 30% affordable housing and a neighbourhood centre.

They sought master planning and design services for urban design, landscape concepts, civil and infrastructure over several stages; with the ultimate goal of creating a high quality, liveable community that includes interconnected open space areas, best practice stormwater management and a high visual aesthetic to promote maximum liveability and saleability.

The challenge

With such a large development in Christchurch, our primary objective was to integrate Karamū Park into the wider city. This meant the masterplan had to integrate surrounding road networks and intersections, the existing racecourse and farmers market, and natural features such as as protected trees and Paparua Stream.

The Client advised that we had to meet higher-than-normal density requirements, with 30% of the entire development to be available as affordable housing, which pushed the density over the minimum density of 15 allotments per hectare. This required careful decision making about the placement of higher density housing to avoid an over-crowded development that contrasted from its surrounding environment.

The solution

After being approached by the Client, our urban design team put together a quick sketch that communicated our approach to the design. We were then engaged to undertake a full master planning process for the site.

Our urban designers collaborated internally with our specialist engineers, planners and environmental team, and also liaised with external planners RMG and Traffic Design Group to enable a comprehensive design approach. This encompassed all of the density, fill and council requirements for a responsive environment that caters to all future residents; maximizing their views over open space and connecting them to existing neighbourhoods, their new local hub and public transport networks.

Strategic high-density development at this stage ensured that penalties by non provision of affordable house and land packages would not be incurred. To meet the minimum density requirements, we were able to design the first stage with almost half (45%) of all the allotments overlooking some level of open space- a primary aim.

Since beginning Stage 1 (below) in 2016, this project has continued through civil construction to obtaining titles. With our role as engineer to the civil works contract, we established a positive working relationship with contractor Blakely Construction, and collaborated with the Client to meet their objectives and timelines. Future stages will include collaboration with Architects and our internal teams to really bring this subdivision to life.

  • Ngāi Tahu Property
  • Land Development
  • Urban design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Civil and infrastructure engineering
  • Geotech engineering
  • Three waters engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Land surveying
Partner consultants
  • Traffic Design Group
  • Resource Management Group
  • Kamomarsh (detailed landscape design)
ES Karamu V13

Neighbourhood Centre

Karamu Pedestrian circulation 1

Circulation Network

Perspective 2

3D perspective render

Frame 5

- Eliot Sinclair have provided a range of urban design, planning, surveying, engineering and landscape architectural services for many of Ngāi Tahu Property’s developments for more than two decades.

Their work is consistently outstanding. Whether providing excellent project management, engineer design and geotechnical assessments, or supplying high-quality drone footage for marketing purposes, Eliot Sinclair’s services continue to evolve and provide value and insight across many aspects of our projects.

Ngāi Tahu Property looks forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Eliot Sinclair which has been evident in all our projects together -

Ngāi Tahu Property