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Campaign for a Memorial Reserve Covenant

Campaign for a Memorial Reserve Covenant

In June the government announced that more than 5000 homes would have to be abandoned within a ribbon of residential “red zone” that tracks east from the CBD along the banks of the Avon and some of its tributaries. A further 10,000+ homes lie within orange or white zones: the fate of these homes remains uncertain. The reason for the abandonment of red-zoned land is that it is too damaged to be economically remediated for residential redevelopment at the present time. Although the decision was anticipated to some extent, it was nonetheless devastating for many within and adjoining the zone.

Since the announcement Minister Brownlee has indicated that the land is to be cleared, grassed over and then left “fallow” for some years before a decision is made on its future: with the possibility of some of the land being able to remediated and redeveloped for residential use. However red zone residents are not being offered any right of first refusal if the land should be available again in the future. This effectively turns the red-zone lands into a grey zone of uncertainty, doubt and ambiguity for a period of years and makes it very difficult for those abandoning the land to do so with any sense of peace.


Clarity and confidence for envisioning and planning the rebuild of Christchurch’s eastern suburbs,
Healing and wellbeing for the collective psyche and spirit.

We believe that this must be given priority over any pretense to re-insurers to maintain land valuations or any provision for land-banking to offset costs. The social costs to the communities involved – and thence to the city - far exceed these financial considerations.

We propose that provision be made for the following:
The lands be covenanted to remain in public ownership in perpetuity;
The lands be developed as a permanent Memorial Reserve;
The Memorial Reserve have an appropriate monument to those that lost their lives in 22 February earthquake;
The Memorial Reserve be based around a primary natural corridor of native plantings, with parkland ‘oases’ of exotics (which may include stretches of riverside);
The Memorial Reserve provide continuous cycle and walk ways from the CBD to the coast;
The Memorial Reserve provide land swap opportunities with nearby parklands and golf courses that can support residential housing;
The Memorial Reserve only be used to support buildings of public amenities such as sports, recreational or entertainment facilitates, community meeting facilities, public libraries etc;
The Memorial Reserve lands never be made available for private residential housing or commercial/industrial use, and any discrete parcels of non-contiguous infill land that can be remediated for residential development, be used solely for limited social housing;
That households vacating the red zone lands (whether owners or tenants), each be allowed a small (A5) bronze plaque for a nominal fee, sited on or near the location of their home with a short inscription of their choosing (maximum 250 characters) as a permanent household memorial.
This concept can be expanded to include other red-zone areas in Waimakariri, Hill Suburbs, etc

Please find attached a pdf file with graphics.

Useful links:



Link to Campaign Documentation and Map (PDF).

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