Statement on Gerry Brownlee’s suggestion of a “less bendy” Avon River
AvON welcomes Gerry Brownlee’s comment that decisions on future recreational uses of red zone land are for the wider community to make. As an organisation with more than 200 individual members and 50 member organisations, and having gathered more than 18,500 signatures on its petition to Parliament, AvON is pleased to have the support of a very large part of that community.
AvON’s aim is to “turn a tragedy into an opportunity, a polluted drain into a vibrant river system, and exhaustion and despair into hope and inspiration.”
All over the world, vibrant river systems follow their own course. Interfering with that natural courseS can have profound effects on the ecology and sustainability of the entire river system. Therefore, any plan to significantly straighten or alter the course of the Avon River, would be contrary to our aim and we would strongly oppose it.
As we have stated in our charter, in our submission to the Christchurch City Council draft annual plan and in the submission we have prepared for Parliament’s local government and environment select committee, there is potential in the AvON vision for a flat water facility that works in harmony with the natural state of the river and its environment.
We are pleased to be working with our sporting members to investigate what is possible within the broad AvON vision, in a way that works with the river and its natural ecosystem, rather than against it.