If I didn't live in Lyttelton, I’d probably choose New Brighton (though I would be worried long-term about the threat of sea level rise and tsunamis). New Brighton has a fabulous long sandy beach and a cool modern pier that stretches out into the Pacific. The council had to do a lot of work to repair it after the earthquake and it is due to open to the public again tomorrow.
New Brighton also has one of the new electric car charging points that are springing up around Christchurch.
But the thing I like best about new Brighton is the library. You can sit and work in a chair that looks out over the ocean and there is a cafe below whenever you need a break from that.