The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Dr Megan Woods announced on 23 August 2019 that she had approved the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan (Regeneration Plan) under section 38 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 (GCR Act).
Developed by Regenerate Christchurch, the Regeneration Plan is intended to support the regeneration of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor, providing a vision and objectives for short, medium and long-term future land uses and opportunities for the 602-hectare area in the heart of east Christchurch.
The Regeneration Plan is a milestone in the City’s regeneration and a further step in the return to local leadership. It took effect on 30 August 2019.
Overview of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan (the Plan)
- The Plan provides a vision and short, medium and long-term objectives for future land uses and opportunities for the area.
- It emphasises the connection between people, communities, the river, the land and new possibilities.
- There is provision for walking tracks, footbridges, stormwater management areas as well as potential recreational activities and food destinations.
- The Green Spine is the core of the area. At about 11 kilometres long, it extends up to 150 metres on both sides of the river and with proposed seating, picnic and BBQ areas would allow people to catch up with each other and enjoy the river.
- The Plan proposes a new city to sea path – for walking and biking - and cultural trial, celebrating the area’s heritage along the river.
- Eight areas called landings have been identified along the Green Spine and depending on their location, could include bike and kayak hire, toilets, carparks, cafes and retail.
- It is an intergenerational Plan, and will be staged /phased over many years.
Decision to approve the Regeneration Plan
In making her decision whether to approve the draft Regeneration Plan, the Minister considered the draft Regeneration Plan in line with the requirements of the GCR Act.
These include, among other matters, considering the feedback provided by key partners and the community and how these views have been addressed, the public interest, and financial implications.
About the land - Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor area (the area)
- The area covers 602-hectares.
- It stretches from central Christchurch to Bexley in the heart of east Christchurch.
- More than 5000 households once lived in the area.
- It experienced some of the worst effects of the Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010-2011.
- Much of the land was so badly damaged that it was unlikely residential properties could be rebuilt on it for a very long time, if ever.
- The land was classified residential red zone where there was:
- significant and extensive area-wide damage
- uncertainty about the success of any potential engineering solution given ongoing seismic activity and
- where repairs would be disruptive and protracted for property owners, impacting on their health and wellbeing.
- Within the red zone around the area, the owners of almost 5,500 properties accepted Crown offers to purchase their properties.
Partial Revocation of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan
Regenerate Christchurch also prepared a proposal for the partial revocation of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan for the Minister to consider. If the partial revocation was not approved part of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and part of the Regeneration Plan would have applied to the same area of the OARC. The partial revocation of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan avoids this potential for inconsistencies and confusion. The partial revocation was also approved by the Minister.
Reference copies of both the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan and the addendum to the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan (resulting from the approval of the Partial Revocation of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan) are available at Christchurch City Council service centres and libraries, and at the main office of Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils.
Overview of the draft Regeneration Plan Process
The draft Regeneration Plan began with the release of an Outline for the Plan, by Regenerate Christchurch, which was gazetted on 6 April 2017.
Regenerate Christchurch used ideas, suggestions and proposals received together with information gathered during 2017 to identify 10 possible combinations of land uses.
Feedback on these land use combinations was used to develop a shortlist of options that included a Green Spine running through the length of the Ōtākaro Avon River from the city to the sea and three distinct areas or ‘reaches’.
Regenerate Christchurch sought feedback on this shortlist from 26 May and 30 June 2018 through the Red Zone Futures exhibition.
Feedback received during the exhibition period helped to inform the draft Regeneration Plan.
On 13 September 2018, Regenerate Christchurch sought the views of Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Regional Council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Ōtākaro Limited and the chief executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on a draft Regeneration Plan. They had 30 working days to provide their views.
The public were then invited to make written comments on the subsequent draft Regeneration Plan from 14 November to 19 December 2018.
Following the written comment period, Regenerate Christchurch considered the comments in finalising the draft Regeneration Plan.
Regenerate Christchurch then obtained the consent of Ōtākaro Limited before submitting the finalised draft Regeneration Plan to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration for consideration.