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Red Zone options miss the mark

31 October 2017

Red Zone options miss the mark

An essential option is missing from Regenerate Christchurch’s 10 proposals for the Avon River red zone, says community group Greening the Red Zone.

In its submission to Regenerate Christchurch, Greening the Red Zone says there should be an option that treats the area as an integrated ecological, recreational, and visitor attraction – and the people of Christchurch should be given the chance to say if this is what they want.

“The primary use of the red zone should be based on ecological restoration,” Greening the Red Zone says in its submission.

“In our view the red zone can encompass ecologically appropriate recreation, visitor attractions, and appropriate productive land use as well.”

While a lot of work has obviously gone into preparing the options, Greening the Red Zone says they don’t fully represent the views that have been put to Regenerate Christchurch.

“One option is purely for ecological restoration, and nothing else,” says Greening the Red Zone co-chair Ashley Campbell.

“But those of us wanting ecological restoration want it to include ecologically appropriate recreation, productive land use, and even businesses.

“We all also accept other community-driven uses, such as community gardens, and food forests, on the outside of the red zone, along with small-footprint visitor attractions such as a white water park, outdoor events space, and a dog park.

“The people of Christchurch need a chance to consider such an option, and say if that is what they want.”

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Greening the Red Zone’s submission strongly advocates for the central corridor to be devoted to native riparian planting. It says this is the best option for cleaning up the Ōtākaro-Avon River – which Regenerate Christchurch identified as one of the community’s highest priorities. It is also the cheapest.

It strongly opposes the land-swap that would see a golf course built on Bexley, saying it “completely undercuts the ecological restoration of an area that can be easily, and cheaply, restored to a premier salt marsh/estuarine wetland”, which would “be a natural recreational area and visitor attraction in its own right”.

Ashley Campbell said it was extremely important that people made their views known to Regenerate Christchurch, before submissions close at 5pm next Monday (November 6). They can do so by using Greening the Red Zone’s standard submission, on its website at www.greeningtheredzone.nz/submission-form, or through Regenerate Christchurch’s website.

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