Karamū is the latest Ngāi Tahu Property development and is located in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch. When completed, Karamū will be home to around 1,600 people close to the energy and community of urban life but with a rural outlook and the sense of space that brings.
Once home to the trees, shrubs, and birds that the local Māori (Ngāi Tūāhuriri) used and protected, the development is named after the Karamū tree. This tree’s bright berries are a signal that harvest time is here. A favourite with native birds including tui and korimako (bellbirds), it’s also beloved by gardeners. The welcome shade of the leaves and branches remember a time when the Karamū flourished in the area and were valued as a source of infusions and essences, and for use in ceremonies including baptisms. For birds, the area was an easy flight to Pūtarikamotu (Riccarton Bush) with its awe-inspiring ancient kahikatea, tōtara and mātai trees.
The respect for sustainability and regeneration that were so vital to life then are rekindled in Karamū today. Enlightened planning encourages walking, cycling and allows for shared social spaces, and generous planting.
A sense of place is also evoked by the iconic racecourse. Established in 1865, it was an early hub of community activity for the newborn Canterbury province and a worthy successor to Plumpton Park – where Wigram Skies is now situated.
Karamū is also in an area where young minds are nurtured. Surrounded by pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education it is in a pre-eminent position where intellectual achievement and the ability to flourish among peers is valued.
As Karamū begins a new chapter in its story, it welcomes young and old from far and wide, in a community that encourages everyone to enjoy the fruits of their labour and embrace a promising future.