Brooklands, Canterbury

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Brooklands just after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake
Brooklands just after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake
Brooklands is located in New Zealand Christchurch
Coordinates: 43°23′59″S 172°41′45″E / 43.39972°S 172.69583°E / -43.39972; 172.69583Coordinates: 43°23′59″S 172°41′45″E / 43.39972°S 172.69583°E / -43.39972; 172.69583
Country New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Territorial authority Christchurch City
Ward Shirley-Papanui

Brooklands is the northernmost suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand. The settlement was built on former swamp land adjacent to Brooklands Lagoon, which forms part of the Waimakariri River mouth. The land damage sustained in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake and the 2011 Christchurch earthquake has resulted in the National Government offering to buy up land and houses, effectively wiping the suburb off the map.


Damage in Brooklands from the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, where buoyancy caused by soil liquefaction pushed up an underground service including this manhole

To the north, the Waimakariri River is the boundary. Brooklands Lagoon is the eastern part of the suburb, facing Pegasus Bay and forming part of the Waimakariri River mouth.[1] The Styx River flows through Brooklands and into Brooklands Lagoon.[2] Kainga is the semi-rural suburb to the west. Bottle Lake Forest is located to the south of Brooklands.


In the 1960s, Brooklands was a "ramshackle settlement of fibrolite houses", and well-built dwellings were "almost a talking point". Fifty years on, houses were much more substantial.[3]

2010/11 earthquakes[edit]

The suburb was badly affected by the 2010 Canterbury earthquake and the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, resulting in land subsidence and liquefaction. As part of the ongoing earthquake recovery, the government announced on 17 November 2011 that the vast majority of Brooklands has been zoned red, meaning that those residential properties that have insurance would receive an offer for a government buyout of house and land.[4] The land is deemed uneconomic to repair whilst houses are on it and will thus be bought. Some of the properties now condemned were built in 2011, and at least one house got its building consent from Christchurch City Council only after the February 2011 earthquake.[5] The red zone classification means that Brooklands will effectively be wiped off the map,[1][5] however the red zone declaration was ruled as unlawful by the High Court in August 2013.[6] Olly Ohlson, known as the first Māori presenter to anchor a children's show, After School, and one of the strongest opponents of having the land red zoned, moved to Otago Peninsula at the end of 2013.[7]


  1. ^ a b Wright, Michael (18 November 2011). "Brooklands off the map". The Press. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Brooklands". The Styx. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Samson, Alan (26 November 2011). "Memories of a [sic] idyllic childhood". The Press. p. C9. 
  4. ^ Williams, David (17 November 2011). "400 Brooklands homes go red". The Press. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Heather, Ben (19 November 2011). "Shock as new homes erased". The Press. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "NZHC 2173". New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 20 Feb 2014. 
  7. ^ "Olly Ohlson: Why I’m voting Green". Green Party Dunedin. Retrieved 14 September 2014.