AvON Blog

Official blog of the Avon-Otakaro Network


For quite a while our community have been wondering when public can have real access to the Christchurch Residential Red Zone and what is going to happen with this large tract of damaged land.
As part of the Breeze Walking Festival starting this Saturday, Avon-Ōtākaro Network, the group advocating to the turn the redzone into an eco-reserve and multipurpose city to sea Avon-Ōtākaro River park, is staging six guided Red Zone Treks.
This is the first time that permission has been granted to undertake such events and it gives a sense that things are finally progressing for the Christchurch Red Zone.
Evan Smith from Avon-Ōtākaro Network says the objectives of the treks are to “Re-engage people with the lands so they get an appreciation of their scale and nature and so will be better informed to participate in decision making regarding the lands in the near future”.
“The talks are designed to give people a sense of the cultural and community history of the lands - with talks on the trek from tangata whenua, heritage experts and former residents that were red zoned”.
Advocates from organisations that have proposals for use of the land from city to Southshore will give short talks at their preferred sites as the walks meander through different parts of the empty red zone. Smith says “this will give people an appreciation of the proposals for the specific lands they are walking on and a possible exciting future asset for the city”.
The full Programme of walks takes in Avon Loop, Richmond, Avonside, Dallington, Horseshoe Lake, Burwood, Bexley and Southshore. Come walk in the wild, prepare for rough terrain and a glimpse into a possible future of world leading regeneration.
• Programme:
Walking Festival: Red Zone Treks Avon-Ōtākaro Riverside Heritage
Date of walk: 24/09/2016
Time (start and finish): 2pm - 4:30pm
Start walk location: (physical address) O-Tautahi (by Barbadoes St Bridge)
Approximate distance in kilometres :5-6 km
Description of walk: This walk takes in the Avon Loop Red Zone then crosses Fitzgerald Ave bridge into the Richmond red zone and follows the Avon-Ōtākaro River downstream eventually ending in the heritage garden at 373 Avon-Ōtākaro River Road. A shuttle bus will return walkers to their cars at Barbadoes St at the end of the walk. During the walk we will hear about the pre and post European heritage in the area including ~O-Tautahi, the Bricks, Engelfield Lodge, Avonside Girls High School, Avebury House, and Avon-Ōtākaro River Rd; we will also hear from ex-residents of the area.

Walk: Bexley Past & Future
Date of walk: 28/09/2016
Time (start and finish): 6pm - 8pm
Start walk location: (physical address) SW Corner of Pages Road Bridge
Approximate distance in kilometres: 4-5km
Description of walk:This walk follows the Avon-Ōtākaro River around to Bexley Wetlands then along to Anzac Drive and then back through Pacific Park, Harold Henry Park and through the red zone to Pages Road. This takes in a number of sites of historical/heritage significance to the old Bexley communities. With talks by ex-Bexley residents and Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park that explore the past and potential future of the area.

Walk: Mahinga Kai Sanctuary
Date of walk: 01/10/2016
Time (start and finish): 2pm - 4pm
Start walk location: (physical address) Matariki Gardens, Chimera Crescent
Approximate distance in kilometres: 5-6 km
Description of walk: This walk takes in the Mahinga Kai Exemplar site near QEII where about seven and half thousand native plants have been planted mainly by volunteers over the past 30 months it also includes the west Burwood red zone, site of a proposed Eco-Sanctuary. Talks will include the cultural significance of the site and the meaning of mahinga kai and the project, the importance of the waterways and how they work and the proposal for an eco-sanctuary.

Walk: Avonside Eden
Date of walk: 02/10/2016
Time (start and finish): 2pm - 4pm
Start walk location (physical address): Parklet Corner Retreat Rd and Patten St
Approximate distance in kilometres: 4-5 km
Description of walk: We head north through the red zone taking in the typography of the land to meet the Avon Avon-Ōtākaro River eventually opposite the confluence of Dudley Creek and then head back toward Richmond through the Avonside red zone eventually crossing Retreat Rd and heading through the old 'CowPats' residential area back to Retreat Road. On the journey we will hear from ex-residents, the Water for Life Trust, Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park and other community organisations.

Walk: Southshore Sunset Trek
Date of walk:07/10/2016
Time (start and finish): 6:30pm - 8pm
Start walk location (physical address): Corner of Caspian St and Ebbtide St
Approximate distance in kilometres: 7km
Description of walk: An evening walk along the top of dunes to the Southshore spit then across to the estuary edge, returning via the red zone with the sun setting in the west. Talks about the estuary, it’s wildlife and the impacts of red zoning on the local community.

Walk: Dallington Horseshoe Lake
Date of walk: 08/10/2016
Time (start and finish): 2pm - 4:30pm
Start walk location (physical address): Corner Queensbury St and New Brighton Road
Approximate distance in kilometres: 8-10 km
Description of walk: This walk proceeds through the red zone parallel to the Avon Avon-Ōtākaro River to the Avon-Ōtākaro River bank opposite the Kerrs Reach Rowing Sheds it then turns west and proceeds north back through the red zone to New Brighton Road. We then proceed through the Horseshoe Lake red zone within the inner perimeter of the lake from the west to the east side then back along New Brighton Road. This walk includes talks from Avon-Ōtākaro Network, Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park, East Lake Trust, White Water Society and ex-residents of the area.

Media Release
Thursday, 22 September 2016

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