A major fire at a heritage-listed Christchurch mansion that had been sitting derelict for years has been deemed suspicious.
Firefighters spent hours trying to save Antonio Hall, on Riccarton Rd, after the fire erupted about 5.20pm on Friday.
At its peak, more than 50 firefighters were involved in putting out the "significant" blaze, and about 50 neighbouring properties were evacuated for several hours. Residents were able to return home about 8.30pm and all road closures had since been lifted.
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It will be the first fully democratic Environment Canterbury (ECan) election for 12 years but only one councillor sacked by the National government in 2010 is keen to stand again.
Nominations for candidates for the seven regional constituencies closed on Friday yesterday at midday, with 39 received for the 14 positions at the council table.
Six of the 12 current councillors are standing again, but Rik Tindall is the only member of the regional council dismissed more than nine years ago willing to have another go.