Shops pop up again in central Christchurch

8:15 pm on 29 October 2011

Thousands of people have flocked to the new shipping container precinct in Cashel St, central Christchurch.

It is the first time the public have been able to go into the City Mall since the February earthquake in which 182 people died, including four people in Cashel St. Threequarters of the mall's buildings have been demolished.


As a "pop-up mall" - 27 shops operating out of 70 containers - it was reopened by the Prime Minister, John Key, on Saturday afternoon after contractors had worked all night putting the final touches to it.

Mr Key said getting the mall ready in such a short time was a testament to the hard work and dedication of those behind the Restart project - one of the first built to the city's new earthquake standards.

He says it's a critical step towards recovery for Christchurch and a great way to reintroduce people to the central city.

Mayor inspired by enthusiasm

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says the day has given people a chance to reclaim part of their city. He says it's inspiring to see the enthusiasm and it convinces him the city has a great future.

The Ballantynes department store on Cashel St has reopened as well.

The container shops, which will be there for at least six months, have been described by organisers as probably the world's first pop-up mall.

This week, however, the British company Boxpark, which plans to open a shipping container mall in London, accused the Restart project of infringing on its intellectual property rights by using the phrase "pop-up mall".