Wigram


Wigram is a suburb in the southwest of Christchurch, New Zealand. The suburb lies close to the industrial estates of Sockburn and the satellite retail and residential zone of Hornby, and has undergone significant growth in recent years due to housing developments. It is seven kilometres to the west of the city centre.

Wigram
Suburb
The former Wigram Aerodrome, which has since been converted into the Wigram Skies development
Wigram
Wigram
Coordinates: 43.5496°S 172.5472°E / -43.5496; 172.5472
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityChristchurch
Electoral wardHalswell[1]
Area
  Land1,940 ha (4,790 acres)
Population
 (2018)[2]
  Total4,707
Airport(s)Wigram Aerodrome (former)
Hei Hei Sockburn Upper Riccarton
Hornby
Wigram
Middleton
Aidanfield Hillmorton

Etymology


Named after Sir Henry Wigram, Mayor of Christchurch from 1902-1903 [3] who established a flying school there in 1916.[4]

Sir Henry Wigram kept the aviation school going until March 1923, when the government decided to take over the company and run the airbase under a military umbrella. The final purchase price was £31,012.

In June 1923 the base was officially handed over and renamed Wigram Aerodrome. Sir Henry Wigram continued to support the base, gifting a further 81 acres of land in 1932.[5]

History


Until 1995, Wigram was home to RNZAF Wigram, one of the main bases of the Royal New Zealand Air Force , but this was closed in 1995 after cutbacks in military spending.[6] The majority of Wigram Aerodrome was purchased by Ngāi Tahu in 1997, and continued to be used as a private airfield until it was finally closed on 1 March 2009.[7] The RNZAF retained the original portion of the aerodrome which had been first gifted to the Crown for the purpose of an Air Force base in 1923, an area which includes the Air Force Museum of New Zealand. The remainder of the former airfield was subdivided by Ngāi Tahu Property into the Wigram Skies development following its closure. Street names in the new development reflect the area's aviation heritage, with names such as Corsair Drive, Kittyhawk Avenue and Skyhawk Road alongside The Runway - a road which follows the route of the former runway.[8]

The recent development of the Wigram Aerodrome into housing has resulted in the suburb growing significantly in recent years. At the 2013 census, the area had a population of just 432 - roughly one tenth of the 2018 population.[2] This has made Wigram one of the fastest growing suburbs in post-earthquake Christchurch.[9]

Geography


Wigram is north of Aidanfield, separated by the Christchurch Southern Motorway. Wigram also borders several other suburbs:

Middleton to the east, separated by Curletts Road.

Hornby to the west and northwest separated by Awatea Road (properties on Awatea road are not part of Wigram except a small number of properties on the east side of Awatea Road (numbers 65-135 inclusive)[10], Springs Road and Main South Road (properties located on these roads are not part of Wigram)[11]

Sockburn to the north separated by the Main South Line Railway

Hillmorton to the southeast separated by Curletts Road and the Heathcote River (Ōpāwaho)

Demographics


According to the 2018 census,[12] Wigram is one of Christchurch's more affluent suburbs with residents earning, on average, over 10% more than the average Christchurch resident.[13]

Over 50% of people living in Wigram identify as Asian whilst 46.5% identify as European. Wigram has a significantly lower percentage of people identifying as Maori or Pacific Islanders compared to Christchurch City as a whole.

People living in Wigram compared to Christchurch City are 10% more likely to be Managers and 16% more likely to be Professionals. They are also 32% less likely to be Machinery Operators and Drivers and 27% less likely to be Labourers.

Economy


The Landing, located at the heart of Wigram Skies, provides a convenient and modern retail and mixed use space for Wigram Skies residents and greater south west Christchurch.[14] Stage one of The Landing, which was completed in mid-2015, has a 8975 sqm site area, including 2000 sqm of retail and office space spread across three buildings and a 2600 sqm New World supermarket.[15]

Stage Two, which was completed in 2017 boasts a 3509sq m site area, including 1800sq m of retail, 600sq m of office space, and 451sq m of hospitality spread across three buildings.[16]

The latest development, a new Cimena Complex with eight cinema screens, each seating 48 people, is set to Open in July 2021[17]

Parks, sports and recreation


Wigram has several large recreational parks plus local neighbourhood parks.

  • Parera Park on Kittyhawk Avenue, featuring a natural playground. [18]
  • Kahuku Park between The Runway and Limbrick Crescent, featuring a rock climbing sculpture.
  • Marama Park on the corner of Skyhawk Road and Kittyhawk Avenue, featuring a basketball court.
  • Harvard Park on Corsair Drive
  • Tautoru Park on Kittyhawk Avenue, featuring a tennis court as well as playground.[19]
  • Raukura Park bound by The Runway, Keene Street and Corsair Drive
  • Te Kāhu Park bound by The Runway, Curtis Street, Dalwood Drive and Porter Street - boasts a children’s playground and three sports pitches within walking distance of all residences.[20]
  • Mackinder Reserve bound by Skyhawk Road, Mackinder Drive, Valiant Street and Wigram Road.
  • Ngā Puna Wai Opened on 8th March 2019[21] and compromising 32 hectares of recreation, esplanade reserve and other park land as well as a new $53.65 million multi-sports facility.[22]. Future plans include a new $20 million indoor sports centre.[23]
  • Canterbury Agricultural Park A large open space of around 130 hectares[24], famous for the Canterbury A&P Show[25]
  • Motorway Park Playground on Highpeak Place featuring a tennis court as well as playground.
  • Bendrose Reserve on Bendrose Crescent, which includes Broken Run Playground
  • West Broken Run Reserve on Wigram Road, which has the upper limits of the Ōpawaho Heathcote River running through it[26]

Elderly housing and care


Wigram has two modern retirement villages.

  • Lady Wigram Village[27] which opened in 2015[28]
  • Summerset at Wigram[29] which opened in 2016[30]

Education


Wigram Primary School

Wigram Primary School - Te Piki Kāhu relocated to The Runway, Wigram, in January 2019, teaching children from years 1 to 6.[31]

References


  1. "Wards, Councillors and Community Boards map". ccc.govt.nz. Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  2. The population and area are the sum of the population and area in statistical areas of Wigram North, Wigram East, Wigram South, Broken Run and Wigram West.
  3. "Christchurch Place Names: N - Z" (PDF). Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  4. "North and west Christchurch". Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  5. "Wigram Air Base". Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  6. "Wigram Airbase Timeline". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  7. "Historic Wigram Aerodrome closed". RNZ. Radio New Zealand. 28 February 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  8. "About Wigram Skies". wigramskies.co.nz. Ngai Tahu Property. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  9. Canterbury: the rebuild by the numbers (PDF). Wellington, New Zealand: Statistics New Zealand. February 2018. ISBN 978-1-98-852858-8.
  10. "Address and Postcode Finder". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  11. "Address and Postcode Finder". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  12. The demographic details are the sum of the population and area in statistical areas of Wigram North, Wigram East, Wigram South, Wigram West and Broken Run.
  13. "Place Summaries Christchurch City". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  14. "The Landing". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  15. "The Landing at Wigram moves ahead". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  16. "Christchurch's Landing takes shape". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  17. "New Zealand-owned cinema to open in Christchurch in July". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  18. "Parera Park". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  19. "Tautoru Park - Wigram Skies". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  20. "Wigram Skies". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  21. "Opening of Nga Puna Wai a milestone - Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  22. "Sport Canterbury - Ngā Puna Wai Events". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  23. "New indoor Christchurch netball, futsul centre to go at Ngā Puna Wai". Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  24. "CANTERBURY AGRICULTURAL PARK". Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  25. "The Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association Show". Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  26. "West Broken Run Reserve planting days". Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  27. "Lady Wigram Village". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  28. "Unique model of retirement living: Lady Wigram Retirement Village". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  29. "Summerset at Wigram". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  30. "Summerset opens $80m retirement village in Christchurch". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  31. "About - Wigram Te Piki Kāhu". Retrieved 3 June 2021.