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Council supports first step on path to river corridor regeneration

Thursday, February 09, 2017   Posted in: Earthquake By: Administrator With tags: planning, earthquake recovery, water

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 9th February 2017

Regenerate Christchurch is taking the first steps on the path to regenerating the land along the Ōtākaro/Avon River.

Part of the Avon-Otakaro river corridor.The area known as the Ōtākaro/Avon River Corridor, comprises the river and adjacent land from Avon Loop to the river mouth in Bexley.

Councillors considered their response to the Draft Outline for the Ōtākaro/Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan at their meeting today.

“We are very pleased to see this important first step in the regeneration of Christchurch’s Ōtākaro/Avon River Corridor land," said Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

This is a significant area – about 530 hectares – of land in the city’s east that was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake, and was subsequently 'red-zoned' by the Government.

“The fact that this huge area of Christchurch will be available for a range of uses offers us an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine its future as a vital part of our new city," Ms Dalziel said.

Planning for the future use of the area is in its early stages, and the draft outline is a crucial first step in the process.

“This is extremely important work," Ms Dalziel said. “It lays the foundation for all our future planning for the Ōtākaro/Avon River Corridor, and it is vital that we get it right.

“This is a project close to the hearts of many Christchurch people and I hope people will take the opportunity to give their feedback during the public consultation phase," she said.

The Council wants to work to take into account the river’s natural functions, especially for carrying high water flow and providing for habitat for native plants and animals.

“It’s critical that while we are planning for the restoration of the river’s ecology and for recreational activities we don’t lose sight of the fact that the river and surrounding areas have an important role in flood management for Christchurch, so it’s essential that we plan now for hazard mitigation, community resilience and water quality," Ms Dalziel said. “This will be even more important in future as we face the increasing pressure of climate change."

Ms Dalziel said the Council also wants to ensure that the regeneration of the river corridor connects with the regeneration of New Brighton.

“The journey from the river to the sea must see New Brighton become a wonderful destination once more."

The Draft Outline explained

The outline will set out what the plan is to achieve under the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 (GRC Act) and how these objectives will be met. It will determine the scope of the draft plan and the processes and timeframes for its implementation. 

Regenerate Christchurch is leading the work, but Christchurch City Council has a key role. Other interested parties are also involved including Ngāi Tahu, Environment Canterbury, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Ōtākaro Limited.

Regenerate Christchurch is also funding the work with support from other agencies, including the Christchurch City Council providing support on issues such as planning and infrastructure.

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