Roger Davidson, GM Property & Retail Development, Foodstuffs South Island Ltd.

Foodstuffs South Island is planning to build a supermarket next to its Christchurch HQ that will include facilities which could help save lives in the event of a future earthquake.

The disaster response facilities are included in the company’s application for resource consent to build the new PAK’nSAVE on its north Christchurch property, on Main North Rd in Redwood.

The supermarket would include a generator, pumps to refuel emergency vehicles, six 30,000 litre tanks for fresh and waste water, and rooms for Civil Defence to use during their response.

If necessary, it could serve as a hub for the distribution of essential supplies such as food  and drinking water, until services return to normal.

Roger Davidson, GM Property & Retail Development, Foodstuffs South Island Ltd, says it is “fitting” to create a store with such capabilities right beside the cooperative’s head office.

“Our people have seen first-hand the confusion that follows disasters, here in Christchurch in 2010 and 2011, then again in Kaikoura in 2016,” says Davidson.

“Being a key part of the grocery supply chain means we wanted to prepare now to ensure supplies can get through if disaster strikes again.”

“This plan makes that preparation more holistic, so it’s about continuity of supply as well as helping emergency services and the wider public with their other needs.”

Indeed, on the site is a stark reminder of 2010/11 events: brick buildings that were quake-damaged and have been vacant since, meaning they will be demolished if the supermarket is approved.

Davidson says it was always intended the site would eventually have a supermarket built on it and also be retained for Foodstuffs South Island’s head office.

“If the new store goes ahead it’s likely we’ll close the existing PAK’nSAVE at nearby Northlands Mall.”

The new PAK’nSAVE would have a 6890 square-metre footprint including 278 car parks and a petrol station.

It will link to a block of shops on the corner of Main North and Northcote Rds, necessitating a new intersection with traffic lights on Main North Road.

Davidson says Foodstuffs’ previous application to have the site rezoned for commercial use had been affected by uncertainty at the time about construction of the Northern Arterial motorway, which is now due to be completed in 2021.

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