Boarded-up shops on 'NZ's most beautiful street' frustrate neighbours

New Regent St business owners are frustrated that five units on the historic street still remain boarded up, nearly eight years after the tourist attraction reopened following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.
Those owned by Helen Thacker were not part of the group restoration and strengthening project for the street in 2013 and have sat empty since.

Thacker, who declined to comment on her plans, has also turned down offers from local businesses to buy the boarded up units, Stuff understands.

The street is famous for its Spanish Mission-style pastel-coloured buildings and has been described as the countrys most beautiful street.

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A local business owner, who did not want to be named, said Thacker had received multiple offers for her units over the last few years.

It is really frustrating for people in New Regent St and the Christchurch public, he said.

I dont understand why she doesnt want to get them finished and start getting rent revenue.

A broken window at the back of one of the boarded up units has attracted pigeons, Hazeldine says.

He called for the Christchurch City Council to intervene and get the properties open as they had with other vacant buildings in the CBD.

New Regent St ambassador Betty Hazeldine said one of Thackers vacant properties had a broken window and had already attracted pigeons.

It is quite a mess, she said.

It has been a while and it is about time she got her act together.

Iain McGregor/Stuff
The historic street reopened in 2013 after most of the properties were restored and strengthened as a group.

Hazeldine said Thacker would not talk to her about what was happening with the boarded up units.

I saw her recently and she backed off and said, Im not talking about New Regent St.

Beadz Unlimited owner Rowena Watson said the properties need to be sorted.

Everybody is so caught up with what is going on with the lockdowns that nobody is really paying attention to it.

Christchurch's Bread and Circus Backyard Buskers Festival was launched with a spectacular extravaganza on New Regent St, drawing hundreds of people.

Polished Diamonds owner Daniel Joines said New Regent St businesses had learned to live with the boarded-up properties.

It is a special place, but its a shame that the street is not complete.

A council spokeswoman said there had been no recent complaints about the state of the vacant properties.

Joseph Johnson/Stuff
Dog walkers on New Regent St walk past one of the boarded up units on Sunday.

They could only take action if the state of the properties led to a problem covered by legislation enforced by council, like the Building Act, Health Act or Litter Act.

Whether a property is tenanted is not a matter that the regulatory compliance unit addresses.

Thacker completed external strengthening work on her five units in 2016, but they remain untenanted.


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