Christchurch red zone makeover approved by Government

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Image: Sam Minnell

A once-in-a-lifetime makeover of the eastern areas of Christchurch that were shattered by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes has been approved by the Government.

The long-awaited blueprint will redevelop the massive 602ha area which once housed 5000 properties devastated in the earthquakes.

Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods confirmed the 30-year Otakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan.

“How often does a city have the opportunity to consider the development of an area of 602ha so close to its centre? This is a once in a lifetime chance,” Ms Woods said.

The plan will see the red zone divided into four areas and include a 345ha “green spine” running from central Christchurch to the beach suburb of New Brighton and three Reaches — the Otakaro Loop Reach, Horseshoe Lake Reach and the Eastern Reaches.

It has space for recreation projects, including the widening of the Avon River for water sports, environmental restoration projects, the planting of 200,000 trees, 80ha of wetlands, adaptable housing trial areas, four footbridges, and visitor attractions.

Developed by Regenerate Christchurch, the plan supports the regeneration of the Otakaro Avon River Corridor, providing a vision and objectives for short, medium and long-term future land uses and opportunities for the area in east Christchurch.

“This area is special for many reasons but mostly because it was once home to more than 5000 households,” Ms Woods said.

“It’s so important that the future use of this land reflects its value and is a fitting tribute to what Christchurch has been through.”

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) welcomed the significant landmark for the people of Christchurch.

“Eight years since the Canterbury earthquakes left this land red-zoned due to significant damage, the approval of this plan provides certainty for the community about how this taonga will be used in the future,” LINZ chief executive Gaye Searancke said.