Reserves Act Hearings Panel

Halswell Domain Miniature Railway & Pond –

New Lease




Notice of Meeting:

A Reserves Act Hearings Panel meeting will be held on:


Date:                                    Monday 4 April 2022

Time:                                   11am

Venue:                                 Via Audio-Video Link

                                                               Under the current provisions of the Covid-19 Protection Framework (the Traffic Alert system) meeting attendance is only possible via an Audio/Visual link. Please request access details from





Councillor Anne Galloway

Community Board Member Helen Broughton

Community Board Member Mike Mora



30 March 2022






Liz Ryley

Committee and Hearings Advisor

941 8153

Note:  The reports contained within this agenda are for consideration and should not be construed as Council policy unless and until adopted.  If you require further information relating to any reports, please contact the person named on the report.
To view copies of Agendas and Minutes, visit:


Reserves Act Hearings Panel

04 April 2022



Reserves Act Hearings Panel

04 April 2022




1.        Apologies Ngā Whakapāha................................................................................. 4  

2.        Election of a Chairperson Te Whakatū Poumua...................................................... 4

3.        Declarations of Interest Ngā Whakapuaki Aronga.................................................. 4 

Staff Reports

4.        Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineering, New Lease at Halswell Domain............................................................................................................ 5

5.        Volumes of Submissions................................................................................... 19   

6.        Hearing of Submissions Ngā Tāpaetanga............................................................ 40

7.        Consideration and Deliberation Ngā Whaiwhakaaro me Ngā Taukume o Ngā Kōrero. 40

8.        Hearings Panel Recommendations Ngā Tūtohu o Te Tira Tauaki............................. 40



Reserves Act Hearings Panel

04 April 2022



1.   Apologies Ngā Whakapāha

At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.

2.   Election of a Chairperson Te Whakatū Poumua

         At the start of the meeting a Chairperson will be elected.

3.   Declarations of Interest Ngā Whakapuaki Aronga

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant and to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as an elected representative and any private or other external interest they might have.

Reserves Act Hearings Panel

04 April 2022



4.     Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineering, New Lease at Halswell Domain

Reference Te Tohutoro:


Report of Te Pou Matua:

Peter Barnes, Senior Planner: Open Space,

General Manager Pouwhakarae:

Mary Richardson, General Manager Citizens and Community,



1.   Purpose of the Report Te Pūtake Pūrongo

1.1       The purpose of this report is for the Reserves Act Hearings Panel to: 

1.1.1   Consider the submissions received through the public consultation process and all other relevant information presented for a new ground lease requested by the Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Incorporated (CSMEE) over part of Halswell Domain (refer Attachment A); and

1.1.2   Deliberate and make a recommendation to the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, as the decision-maker, to determine whether a new lease for CSMEE existing and proposed rail track, buildings, other supporting infrastructure and structures, and pond area/jetty, should proceed or not.  

1.2       This report has been written as a result of:

1.2.1   The CSMEE submitting an application for a new lease; and

1.2.2   A number of submitters on the proposed new lease indicating they wish to be heard by a Reserves Act Hearings Panel in support of their submission. 

1.3       The decision in this report is of low significance in relation to the Christchurch City Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.  The level of significance was determined by the low level of city wide interest and the likely impact on those people affected with regard to a long term existing occupation. 


2.   Proposed Officer Recommendations  Ngā Tūtohu

2.1       That the Reserves Act Hearings Panel recommends that the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board:

2.1.1   Receive and consider the information in the report, the submissions, and all other relevant information received on the proposed new ground lease to Canterbury Society of Model Experimental Engineering for an extension to the existing lease area.

2.1.2   Subject to approval of the new lease, approve the surrender of the existing lease and licence plus variations for part of Halswell Domain (refer legal description below), Recreation Reserve under the Reserves Act 1977.

2.1.3   Approve the granting of a ground lease pursuant to section 54 of the Reserves Act 1977 over approximately 8904m2, being part of Halswell Domain (RS40337, CB646/79, Sec 2 SO494103, RT740889, Lot 81774, CB47B/42, Recreation Reserve as shown in Attachment A), for a period of 33 years in 3 terms of 11 years, at an annual rental set in accordance with the Council’s Sports Lease Charges Policy.

2.1.4   Authorise the Property Consultancy Manager to conclude and administer the terms of the new lease. 

3.   Background Te Horopaki

Halswell Domain

3.1       The legal description for Halswell Domain is RS40337, CB646/79, Sec 2 SO494103, RT740889, Lot 81774, CB47B/42. Halswell Domain is classified as Recreation Reserve pursuant to the Reserves Act 1977, and has a total area of 14.2875 ha.

3.2       The wider Halswell Domain area includes two playgrounds, a skatepark, playing fields, tennis and netball courts, bowling greens, several clubroom buildings, swimming pool, library and two public toilet buildings. Halswell Domain and its surrounds can be seen below in Figure 1.


                                  Figure 1: Halswell Domain and surrounds.


CSMEE operation at Halswell Domain

3.3       CSMEE started operating at Halswell Domain in 2003.   In addition to the model train operation, they also constructed an artificial pond with a jetty to use for model boats, while also allowing the public use of the pond.  CSMEE has maintained the train operation and pond to a very high standard, continuously, since 2003.


Figure 2:  Part of the CSMEE station facility.



Figure 3: Visitors picnic and stand close to the CSMEE station facility. Looking south west.


3.4       CSMEE activities include operating a model railway, model boat testing and operations on the pond, and model and experimental engineering.

3.5       CSMEE utilise a large number of members to organise and operate public open days, as well as for maintenance of the area.

3.6       The trains typically operate for the public each Sunday afternoon 1-4pm. CSMEE pride themselves on providing low cost entertainment for family groups. The model railway operation is particularly popular, and is a City wide attraction.

3.7       CSMEE currently use the pond periodically, and do not oppose public access. The pond is utilised by smaller member groups, and for short periods of time (1-2 hours, several days a week).


Figure 4: Model boats utilising the Pond. Looking south east.


Figure 5: The pond, with jetty area in the distance. Looking south.


CSMEE New Lease Proposal

3.8       Staff worked with CSMEE during 2021 to guide them with the preparation of a proposal for an additional track and formalising their existing use of the pond.

3.9       CSMEE have agreed this is the final proposed track extension and do not intend to apply for any further track extensions.

3.10    An overview of the CSMEE new lease area (highlighted in red) is provided in Figure 6 below.


Figure 6:  Overview of CSMEE new lease area. Existing lease area is in yellow. Proposed new lease area is in red. Points of interest are 1= Pond, 2= new set of stairs, 3= New steaming bay area, 4= new rail and pedestrian bridge, and 5= new landscape planting.


Rail Track Extension

3.11    An additional 720m length of rail track will form a new ‘loop’ which will allow CSMEE to provide driver training and/or engine testing, while at the same time being able to provide rides for the public on a separate loop.

3.12    As seen in Figure 6, shown in red, the new loop goes around the pond, and in doing so, utilises a bridge to cross the low lying, often wet, area of the Domain. The bridge will provide for pedestrian crossing and access to the Domain (refer Figure 7 below).

3.13    The new rail track incorporates nine path crossings using concrete pads to allow easy public pedestrian access over the track. The access pads are the same design as used on the existing track (1.5 m wide x 1.9 m long).  

3.14    A new set of stairs is proposed that will provide improved access for passengers to and from the train station, and approximately 25m2 of extra lease area is required in the steaming bay area which will allow room for a locomotive turntable.

3.15    The new track will require the removal of approximately 15m2 of existing vegetation. The 15m2 of lost vegetation will be replaced with 35m2 of new vegetation, immediately adjacent to the area. The new plants will be maintained by CSMEE and will enhance the landscape values in the area as well as forming a barrier between the new rail track and existing path.

3.16    Included in the 15m2 of vegetation required to be removed, is one established tī kōuka (cabbage tree), near the toilet block. Arborist advice has been sought on the viability of shifting the tree, and this can be undertaken.


Figure 7: The site of proposed rail and pedestrian bridge over part of low lying area to the south east of the pond. Photograph looking south.



Figure 8: View south, with William Brittan Ave on left.  The proposed rail track comes towards camera mid photo, and then goes to the right, travelling behind the flax in foreground, and continues to travel right, between existing path and pond.



Figure 9: View looking east towards toilet block in mid photo. The proposed track follows from left to right, then in between the flax in the foreground and the pond, and continues to the left of toilet block before linking up with the existing CSMEE track network.


CSMEE Use of Pond Area

3.17    Small groups of CSMEE members currently use the pond and jetty at a variety of times each week to hold events and undertake boat testing.

3.18    CSMEE would like to formalise their existing use of the pond and jetty, while at the same time encourage public use of the pond at other times. This is to provide certainty for all, and to try and eliminate any conflict, or busy periods, between the public and CSMEE.

3.19    CSMEE would like to use the pond for regular member gatherings or events at the following times: Thursdays 10am – 2pm, Saturdays 1pm - 4pm and Sundays 12pm – 4pm.  The public will still be encouraged to use and enjoy the pond and jetty outside these hours.

3.20    CSMEE will continue to take responsibility for jetty and pond maintenance (including aquatic weed control), including a one metre land buffer around the perimeter of the pond.


Proposed New Lease

3.21    Existing documentation includes a lease plus variation and a licence plus variation.  Legal advice is to rationalise existing documentation and incorporate the proposed new area into one lease.  This will involve surrendering existing lease and licences.

3.22    Key Lease Terms:

·    33 year term

·    Rent set in accordance with policy for sports clubs and community groups

·    Exclusive use of areas A-D

·    Exclusive use of tracks and pond for CSMEE organised activities at specified hours and times

·    Maintenance of Pond by CSMEE

4.   Community Views and Preferences Ngā mariu ā-Hāpori

Public Consultation Te Tukanga Kōrerorero



4.1       Public consultation on the proposed new lease was open from 16 December 2021 to 14 February 2022 on the Council website and Have Your Say page.

4.2       Approximately 35 stakeholder organisations were emailed.

4.3       Approximately 30 letters including a copy of the plan were delivered to adjacent residents and sent to absentee landowners to introduce the proposal and invite questions or feedback.

4.4       In addition, a Newsline article and social media coverage supported the consultation process, and three corflute signs advertising the consultation were erected within Halswell Domain.

4.5       A public drop-in information session was held on 19 January 2022 between 4:00pm and 5:30pm.


Feedback received

4.6       The drop-in information session on site between 4.00pm and 5.30pm on 19 January was attended by the public, including several local residents, and the CSMEE project manager.  One resident from William Brittan Avenue, opposite the proposed rail track, raised concerns about other issues in this area of the Domain, but all those attending were strongly supportive of the proposal and the work being done by the CSMEE.

4.7       Social media feedback on both the Council and Halswell Community Group Facebook pages during the consultation period was very positive. For Council it was the most popular post for December, reaching more than 80,000 people with 837 likes 140 comments and 52 shares with most comments in support.

4.8       Over December 2021 and January 2022 the Halswell Community Hub group received 71 Likes and 18 comments, all positive.

4.9       Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu was approached early to discuss the proposal and seek feedback. A Ngāi Tahu representative advised they have no concerns to raise and did not wish to make a submission.

4.10    Of the 261 submissions received, 258 indicated support for the new lease proposal and three did not approve. 122 gave Halswell addresses, with the majority of the remainder from wider Christchurch suburbs. Two submitters living immediately across William Brittan Avenue from the miniature railway supported the proposal.

4.11    Two organisations provided feedback: The Halswell Residents’ Association strongly supports the proposal noting that it was due to their efforts that the CSMEE originally established on the site. The Halswell Residents’ Association requested more cycle parking. A submission from SPOKES highlighted the need for cycleway access and expansion.

4.12    Five submitters indicated they wish to speak to a hearings panel, three in full support, one in support with suggestion, and one in opposition.

Summary of supportive submissions

4.13    The overwhelmingly strong support for the proposal included 80 submitters who made no further comment. The remaining 179 in support expressed appreciation for the CSMEE’s activities, self- resourcing and management of their space for use by the community.

4.14    More than a quarter commented on the value in extending the rail track, and there was specific support from 11 submitters for the proposal for a more structured use of the pond. The society members provide a positive atmosphere in a suitable environment to attract all ages, especially families and young children, as noted by half the submitters. This affordable activity complements other domain uses and does not restrict other activities.  Feedback also noted family groups make use of the CSMEE operation, and surrounding area, for other family activities such as birthday parties.

4.15    More than a quarter of submitters noted the CSMEE operation as real asset to the Halswell community, and nearly as many commented that the miniature trains are also an attraction for wider Christchurch and beyond. There were also a number of comments praising the education and experiential value of this outdoor engineering activity, and two submitters commented specifically in appreciation of the CSMEE’s value to the disabled.

Summary of opposing submissions, and project team responses

4.16    Suggestions and concerns raised by 16 submitters in support of the new lease including vegetation and planting ideas. There were requests to ensure the track extension has adequate resourcing and facilities including public walking and cycle access to the wider domain.

4.17    Two of the three submissions opposing the proposal came from local residents, one of whom lives next to Halswell Domain. Both are concerned that the changes that have happened over time affect their quality of life as residents. They both consider the CSMEE operation is intrusive and noisy (especially the tooting from the trains). These two residents are concerned about the new track’s proximity to houses and the footpath. The adjacent resident is also concerned about the loss of amenity from the change in outlook from their property, and would like to see the track go deeper into the reserve instead of closer to William Brittan Drive.

4.18    The other resident indicating opposition to the proposal is from a nearby suburb. However, they stated in their submission that they support the lease if the proposal is amended to mitigate the impact on existing vegetation including mature trees, and plantings are only eco-sourced natives.

4.19    See table below for details and project team response to suggestions and concerns raised above.

Submitter suggestions and concerns 

Number of comments

Project team response

Try and save the tī kōuka cabbage tree proposed to be removed   eg. Council support /funding to relocate.


The tī kōuka cabbage tree can be shifted out of the path of the new track, this will be done as part of the proposal. Council arborist staff will oversee the shift.

Support qualified by strong concern about removal of 15m2 of trees, and request to amend the proposal to account for harm done to existing mature trees.


The landscape and vegetation value of the existing 15m2 of shrubs proposed to be removed is to be off-set and enhanced by proposed 35m2 of new planting close by.

New vegetation plantings should only be eco-sourced natives


Eco sourced native plantings will be used.

Trust CSMEE will carry out planning improvements as promised


If the new lease is approved, CSMEE will be required to carry out all proposed planting.

Ensure extension is attractively presented – expect sensible and creative planting to compensate for extra space taken up


The proposed track extension, including associated structures and public access/crossing points, will be required to be constructed in a presentable manner, consistent with the existing operation. There will be an overall -increase in planted area.

Protect wildlife on pond


Council’s Ecologist advises that pond wildlife will not be effected by the proposal.

Don’t obstruct the cycle way and allow for widening as use increases


The track extension won’t affect the use of cycleway. There is space and scope for any future cycleway expansion. 

Provide two sets of cycle parking  - near the toilets and near the Halswell entrance to the railway


Cycle parking requirements will be considered as part of the consent applications CSMEE will be required to apply for.

Cycle access needed over the bridge


The proposed bridge will provide for pedestrian access only.  Cycle access to and through the Domain is via the nearby Quarryman’s Cycle Trail.

CCC need to place additional rubbish bins, or the placement of a big bin that CSMEE have locked access to dispose of additional rubbish, when they are operating.


Signage encourages all parks users to take home any rubbish. The need for provision of rubbish bins will continue to be monitored by Parks Advisors.

Need to provide for foot traffic on the rail bridge over the creek to continue to allow for access to wider area


 The proposal provides for pedestrian access over the bridge.

Ensure there is public access to the pond outside specified CSMEE times


Public access to the pond will remain open to all, outside the three specified CSMEE pond activity times.

Need to increase the opening hours to justify the proposal


The CSMEE public train times are proposed to remain the same (typically Sunday’s 1-4pm). The additional track loop is primarily for driver training and train testing, while the public can use the train on the other track loop.

Make the lease affordable or free to CSMEE


A lease will be consistent with Council’s Sports Lease Charges Policy.

Opposing comments



Tracks operation are intrusive to the neighbourhood, noisy (trains constantly tooting)  and too close to houses in William Brittan Drive


The model track, located in a Recreation Reserve, has operated successfully since 2003.   CSMEE are obliged to operate within District Plan noise limits for the site, and it is understood the horn or other train noise does not breach the set limits. Despite being within noise limits, as a gesture of good will in 2021, CSMEE halved the amount of times they used the train horns (restricting the use of the horn to pedestrian crossing points and in the wooded area). It is noted the new lease proposal has received supportive submissions from adjacent landowners, including a resident living opposite the proposed new track.

Have already had outlook spoilt by increased activity in the reserve 


Halswell Domain provides for activities with a primary purpose consistent with its status as Recreation Reserve, which includes the model railway.  Much of Halswell Domain remains without structures and activity allowing for a variety of visitor experiences. A number of submitters stated that the train activity complements existing activities and provides a positive atmosphere. 

Adjacent resident would support a proposal for the extension to go deeper into the domain


A range of track extensions and alignment routes were considered and the proposed alignment is considered the most appropriate. A track extension further into the domain could cause conflict with existing sports fields, users and access.

Concern about loss of green space


Overall, the proposal will provide a net increase in native vegetation (using eco-sourced plantings). All areas of the Domain greenspace will continue to remain accessible for all users, via flat concrete accessibility pads (as per the existing CSMEE operation). While narrow strips of grass will be removed when the track itself is constructed, this is considered a minor effect.


4.20    Following submitter feedback, there are two amendments to the proposal for consultation, resulting in the proposal for approval:

·   The mature tī kōuka cabbage tree will be relocated out of the path of the proposed rail track, and be re-planted close by.

·   Eco sourced native plantings will be used.

4.21    Submitters have been sent a summary of consultation and details of the hearing. Those requesting to be heard have been contacted separately.

5.   Details

Decision Making Authority Te Mana Whakatau

5.1       The Delegations Register (3 June 2021) states the following powers:

5.1.1   Part D –Sub-Part 1 – Community Boards Section - s54 Reserves Act 1977 – “To grant leases of recreation reserves in accordance with this section.” “Excludes the hearing and determining of submissions/objections (refer Delegations Register Part D Sub-Part 4 Council Hearings Panels)”

5.2       Part D – Sub-Part 4 – Council Hearings Panels -  s54 Reserves Act 1977 - “To hear and determine submissions and objections, and to make recommendations in relation to the granting of leases or licences of reserves. “

Legal Implications Ngā Hīraunga ā-Ture

5.3       The existing lease/licence, together with the proposed new track and pond use, have no legal implications. The Society will be responsible for obtaining all necessary building and resource consents.

Risks Ngā Tūraru

5.4       There are minimal risks to Council, if any. The Society is long established on this site, has a strong membership, and a very good track record of managing and maintaining their operations and lease area.

5.5       The proposed lease is compliant with the Reserves Act 1977, and the consultation process has complied with the Reserves Act 1977 and the Local Government Act 2002.

Next Steps Ngā Mahinga ā-muri

5.6       The Reserves Act Hearings Panel will present its recommendations to the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board to determine if the lease should be approved.

5.7       If the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board approves the new lease, the Property Consultancy Manager will conclude the terms of the lease with CSMEE.

Attachments Ngā Tāpirihanga





CSMEE Halswell Domain new lease plan 2022




Confirmation of Statutory Compliance Te Whakatūturutanga ā-Ture

Compliance with Statutory Decision-making Requirements (ss 76 - 81 Local Government Act 2002).

(a) This report contains:

(i)  sufficient information about all reasonably practicable options identified and assessed in terms of their advantages and disadvantages; and

(ii) adequate consideration of the views and preferences of affected and interested persons bearing in mind any proposed or previous community engagement.

(b) The information reflects the level of significance of the matters covered by the report, as determined in accordance with the Council's significance and engagement policy.




Signatories Ngā Kaiwaitohu


Peter Barnes - Senior Planner Open Space

Approved By

Kelly Hansen - Manager Parks Planning & Asset Management

Al Hardy - Manager Community Parks

Andrew Rutledge - Head of Parks

Mary Richardson - General Manager Citizens & Community


Reserves Act Hearings Panel

04 April 2022


Reserves Act Hearings Panel

04 April 2022



5.     Volumes of Submissions

Reference / Te Tohutoro:


Report of / Te Pou Matua:

Liz Ryley, Committee & Hearings Advisor –

General Manager / Pouwhakarae:

Mary Richardson, General Manager Citizens and Community,



1.   Purpose Te Pūtake Pūrongo 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to collate, for the consideration of the Hearings Panel, the timetable of submitters to speak at the hearing, submissions received and further information received from submitters in response to the consultation on the Halswell Domain Miniature Railway and Pond – New Lease.

1.2       The items are as follows:

1.2.1   Attachment A – Timetable of Submitters Who Wish to be Heard/No Longer Wish to be Heard on 4 April 2022.

1.2.2   Attachment B – Table of heard submissions – Submitters who have asked to be heard in person by the Hearings Panel and submitters who no longer wish to be heard.

1.2.3   Attachment C – Table of not heard submissions – Submitters who did not indicate that they wished to be heard by the Hearings Panel.

1.3       Note, that the Local Government Act 2002 requires, as one of the principles of consultation, that “the views presented to the local authority should be received by the local authority with an open mind and should be given by the local authority, in making a decision, due consideration” (section 82(1)(e)).


2.   Officer Recommendations Ngā Tūtohu

That the Reserves Act Hearings Panel:

1.         Accepts the written submissions, including any late submissions, received on the Halswell Domain Miniature Railway and Pond - New Lease.


Attachments Ngā Tāpirihanga





Timetable of Submitters - 4 April 2022



Halswell Domain Miniature Railway & Pond Hearings Panel - 4 April 2022 - Submissions to be Heard



Halswell Domain Miniature Railway & Pond Hearings Panel - 4 April 2022 - Submissions Not Heard




Reserves Act Hearings Panel

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Reserves Act Hearings Panel

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Reserves Act Hearings Panel

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Reserves Act Hearings Panel

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6.      Hearing of Submissions Ngā Tāpaetanga


Submitters who indicated that they wished to be heard in person will present to the Hearings Panel. A schedule of presenters can be found at the beginning of the Volume of “Heard Submissions”.


7.      Consideration and Deliberations Ngā Whaiwhakaaro me Ngā Taukume o Ngā Kōrero


At the conclusion of submitters being heard, the Hearings Panel will consider all submissions received on the proposal, and any additional information provided by submitters and Council Officers.

The Hearings Panel will then deliberate on the proposal.


8.      Hearings Panel Recommendations Ngā Tūtohu o Te Tira Tauaki


At the conclusion of deliberations the Hearings Panel will make a recommendation on the Halswell Domain Miniature Railway & Pond –New Lease, to the Waipuna Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board.