Jul 31, 2011: Lyttelton Petanque Club – (#8)

Lyttelton Petanque Club

Cnr London & Canterbury Streets, Lyttelton

Update – October, 2013

Late last year CCC announced a pool of $70 000 available to local artists/craftspeople/designers/folks for works for the LPC site. The task was to create artworks / furniture / lighting installations to trial aspects of what will become Civic Square once the land is developed in early 2014. An important requirement is that the pieces can be relocated to other vacant sites around the township in the future. 7 of 14 submissions were selected – a mandala, a sculpture, an audio installation, some landscaped steps, a Hundertwasser style seat with light and small garden, a stall for sharing community produce and some oversize furniture.

The Gap Filler experiment on this site has been interesting, rewarding and at times challenging. We took on the site for one year from the previous owners back in 2011 (July). It was up for sale, they said, but we could use it til it sold. They were thrilled when the council bought it, feeling it was the best outcome for the community. They’d lost so much in Lyttelton and had to leave, but they felt happier this way. The site passed to CCC as the new owners, but the LPC project stayed on site unchanged with the support of the Council.

As of October, 2013 Gap Filler no longer has the licence for the site – it is back in CCC legal control. Gap Filler’s use of the site was over two years – double the duration we intended. These transitional projects will give the site new energy until redevelopment and hopefully provoke responses that will influence how the future Civic Square s developed when the time comes. It’s a good outcome in our view.

Let’s see what happens on the site, eh?

Update …  5 March 2013

Newsflash! The land that the LPC inhabits was purchased by the City Council in mid 2012 and will be developed in early 2014 into a new Civic Square for Lyttelton. This came as a result of the master plan process that the council underwent where many people submitted their wish for it to remain as a community space on a street that has none! In late Dec 2012 the council also announced a $70K fund for transitional artworks/ furniture or lighting installations for the site. This was to support local artists and craftspeople. These projects will appear on the site in late May 2013. A great result!

Update … 14th August 2012

The Lyttelton Petanque Club site has been bought by the Council to ensure Lyttelton has a ‘Town Square’, yay!

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Sunday 31 July 2011 – ???

The Lyttelton Petanque Club is the new LPC in town! Now open as a multi-purpose public space with a performance stage, community garden, handmade tables and benches – and the best petanque pitch in all of Lyttelton!

Don’t let the name fool you: it’s open to anyone, any time. And petanque balls can be borrowed from Portico (two doors down) or the library across the corner.

Created and maintained in collaboration with Volcano Radio, Project Lyttelton and the mad army of volunteers who turned up, and just kept on turning up…

Many many thanks to the owners of the land, Helen and Tom, who’ve had a terribly tough time and are still contributing to the community.


The lifetime members of the LPC (whatever that means):

Carmel Courtney, Trent Hiles, Ciaran Fox, Richard Humphries, Coralie Winn, Courtenay Stickels, Ryan Reynolds, Emilie Sitzia, Bettina Evans, Brent O’Meagher, Camille O’Donoghue, Sarah van der Burch, Ludovic Romany, Dan Johnson, Jeanelle Beltran, Lauren Brunt, Sacha Healey, Chris Watson, Dave Dangerfield, Caro Allison, Simon Parsons, Helen Greenfield, Richard Hiles, Mikky Pyy, Clara, Ihorangi, Lewis, Maxime, Heath, Obie and a few others who snuck away…


Gap Filler Project Report – Lyttelton Petanque Club

Location: cnr London and Canterbury Streets, Lyttelton
Dates: 31 July – ??? (likely one year)
GF Time: 30 hours approx, May – August, 10 + hours September – Jan 2012
Sponsored materials: discounted lime chip (Urban Paving), sign (Sign Displays), paint (Resene), gifted pallets
1)lime chip $290 + screws and waratahs $110 + fairy lights $200 + electrical materials and labour TBC = $600
2) lime chip $150, fairy lights $80

Volunteers for working bee and event: 35
Ongoing volunteers: 5 +
Media: Mainland Press, Press, NHK,

In May, Gap Filler representatives (2) met with 3 members of the Lyttelton community – Ciaran Fox, Carmel Courtney and Richard Humphries to begin discussing projects for Lyttelton gap sites. Soon after, Trent Hiles was invited to join the group after expressing an interest in activating vacant sites in Lyttelton. This was Gap Filler’s first attempt at facilitating a community project, rather than leading it.

The Albion Hotel (most recently Ground Delicatessen) site was decided upon in June and Coralie negotiated access with the owners on the condition that certain actions to do with security and communication with the neighbours took place.

A working bee was held on August 23, advertised via email, Facebook and a blackboard on the site. Approx 25 people lent a hand to clean up the site, build furniture, clean pallets, build a fence and mark out a petanque pitch. Plants began to be gifted to the site on this day.

On Sunday, 31 July the opening event was held with live music, poetry and petanque as well as shared food and a BBQ. Approximately 70 people attended from Lyttelton and Christchurch and a number of plants were gifted to the site on this day, too. The site has been seeing regular use since its creation. Sets of petanque boules are being held to be borrowed at Portico, the dairy and the library.

The Lyttelton-based members of the the Lyttel Gap Filler will take care of the space on a day to day basis by checking on it and reporting any problems.


Various events have been held on the LPC over the summer such as live music, poetry and a petanque tournament. The space is getting used most days as a place for people to spend time, gather and meet. Kerry – a local – has made a sand pit and some more seating for the site. The garden and site in general is looking good after a long period where no one seemed to weed or care for the site – Trent put up a sign asking people to ‘help care for the site and water the garden!’. Due to the opening of Tommy Chang’s Cafe next door, it gets a lot of use on the weekends as people drink their coffees on site. The Harbour Union has donated $1100 to this and another Lyttelton project. Thus far we have used the money to purchase fairy lights and some more lime chip for the petanque pitch.

The next steps for this space are:
• Exploring locating Volcano Radio to the site in some temporary capacity;
• Securing some funds to pay for fairy lights and the possible installation of a permanent power outlet on site;
• Holding another working bee on August 28;
• Organising a petanque/tournament and event in Spring.

This has been a very positive experience thus far. Lyttelton has been an ideal place for Gap Filler to test out facilitating projects. The success of this project hinges on to what degree the space is adopted and cared for by the community and the level of commitment the Lyttel Gap Filler group have to the project and the site.

November, 2011

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