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Big on Boutique

by Kelly Stock, Media and Communications Manager, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

30 April 2014

Boutique.  Sophisticated.  Exclusive.  Words that seem to describe the majority of the new establishments in the city.  Now don’t get me wrong, I truly love what’s happening around Christchurch.  The quality of retail and hospitality options that are opening are gorgeous, but is it just me or does everything seems to be tailoring itself to the high end, almost elite side of the market.  Yes, I love to enjoy a night out somewhere that makes me feel a bit special, especially after a long week, and what girl doesn’t love a bit of a splurge on that gorgeous designer dress, but where are the options for just everyday?

The city is alive with tradies, and the younger, backpacker market is one of the first to really bounce back (leaving aside the accommodation options!) so what kind of options do we have in the central city for these guys?  Yes we have suburban malls that give the option of cheaper and cheerful chain stores and local pubs selling $5 pints but this doesn’t help bring life to our central city.

How do we ensure that we get the right balance for the future of Christchurch?

Kelly Stock, Media and Communications Manager

Research shows that some visitors still don’t feel that our city is really ready for visitors, and we all know it’ll take many years of hard work to have our city looking polished again.  I’m sure you’ve been into the city on a nice sunny day when there are lots of people out and about.  It feels more welcoming than when it’s empty and feels a bit like a ghost town.  Humans are funny creatures, and for some reason people attract people.  Would more affordable options bring locals into the city too?

I think we need both ends of the spectrum to really make a city work.  I love that we’ve trendy and stylish bars and restaurants, and niche little stores that you could spend hours in just picking out the exact right piece, but I need the other side too for everyday life.  I commend the entrepreneurs and business people that have taken the risk and invested back into Christchurch – they’re giving back colour and life to the central city.  However I do have to admit I look forward to opening the paper one morning and reading about a new pub or shop that’s opened, which caters for the general public, and not just the ultimately desirable “sophisticated clientele”.

With all these new buildings being purpose built and demanding such high cost leases, how do we ensure that we get the right balance for the future of Christchurch?  I don’t know the answers, but it’s something we need to think about to ensure our city remains colourful, creative and inspiring for all.



**Disclaimer. This is a personal voice from the author of the blog, and does not necessarily represent the official position of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism.

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