Neighbourhood case study: Aranui

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  • Christchurch
  • lower density, single use, sustainably branded, low cost, suburban retrofit
  • rated a medium sustainability neighbourhood by the Observational Tool but a low sustainability neighbourhood by the Resident Self-Report Tool

Key positives

Key negatives

  • Good walking environment
  • Good range of community services available locally
  • Majority of dwellings address the street well
  • Very functional public space
  • Affordable housing
  • High degree of social interaction among neighbours
  • High level of resident satisfaction with the degree of privacy, the condition of their house, their dwellings out door environment and parking amenities
  • Poor interface between some properties and the neighbourhood park
  • Poor bus stops (no signs, timetables or shelters)
  • The majority of residents report feeling unsafe walking at night
  • Low perception of quality of the neighbourhood and the people who live there


Aranui consists of a large percentage of Housing New Zealand Corporation dwellings, and a smaller number of homes in private ownership. The area is older but has undergone an extensive neighbourhood renewal programme in recent years. As part of this, a new road is being constructed and a number of new dwellings have been constructed.

The housing stock is mixed with older 1960s and onwards state housing alongside some recently built Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) developments. More HNZC dwellings are under construction. The area is dominated by social housing but some privately owned former HNZC dwellings also exist. Overall the area appears well cared for, probably because of regular maintenance by HNZC, rather than an inherently durable housing stock.

Walking and public transport

Aranui seems to be a pleasant, very walkable neighbourhood with good local services. Passive surveillance of roads is excellent and footpaths are functional. There appears to be a lot of interaction among neighbours with people chatting and children playing in the street.

There are reasonable local bus services available; however, most bus stops lack shelter and time table information. One bus stop did not even have a sign and was only identifiable by people waiting for a bus.

Public spaces

Wainoni Park is a largely functional reserve at the centre of the neighbourhood with extensive play equipment for younger and older children, including a full basketball court, playing fields and flying fox. There is some informal seating (on large rocks), but a lack of formal seating. A recreation centre on the park is currently being renovated. The park is lined by fences on two of its four sides. On the north/western edge, a new road has been constructed that will have housing overlooking the reserve, improving the situation considerably. The area behind the shops, along the service lane, was identified as a potentially problematic area because it lacks surveillance. This area is likely to have safety issues at night.

Amenities and services

The row of local shops has a well-stocked dairy, which sells fresh produce as well as the usual items, a bar and a number of community organisations aimed at drug rehabilitation, medical services and other social services. There is a local kindergarten and several churches. Over all most day-to-day needs can clearly be met locally.


There are no significant ecological features present in the neighbourhood. The reserve consists of grassed areas and some exotic trees. There are no contamination issues in the neighbourhood.


Aranui, Christchurch