Learning From History To Regenerate The Ōtākaro/Avon River
Christchurch water advocacy group, Drinkable Rivers, recently collaborated with Royster Productions to spend a day capturing the very best of the Ōtākaro/Avon River. Inspired by the informal Avon River history tours of local groundwater scientist, Hugh Thorpe, the Drinkable Rivers team arranged to meet some local experts and historians and learn more about the history of Christchurch’s arterial river.
The film begins with Hugh at the springs near the headwaters of the Ōtākaro in Corfe Reserve where Drinkable Rivers sited their prototype real-time water quality measuring device, Oracle 1, in July of last year. Hugh then leads the group through a curated selection of points of interest along the river including Mona Vale, Deans Cottage, Riccarton House, Oxford Terrace, Cambridge Green, Horseshoe Lake, Travis Wetland and the Avon Heathcote Estuary.
Joined by Joseph Hullen of Ngai Tūāhuriri and Evan Smith of the Avon-Ōtākaro Network, the group learns about the historical value of the river as a source of mahinga kai as well as some of the impacts of the Christchurch earthquakes on its waterways.
The result is a heartfelt short film with a gentle approach to a clear message: the challenges facing our waterways are everyone’s responsibility and the future of this great, historical river is still being written by all of us.