Residents feel 'shut out' over plans for Christchurch residential red zone

Locals want a say in what becomes of Christchurch's residential red zone.
David Walker

Locals want a say in what becomes of Christchurch's residential red zone.

Christchurch residents are concerned they're being left out of decision-making on the future of the city's red zoned land. 

More than 80 people showed up to a public meeting at the Wainoni methodist church on Tuesday night to discuss how best to consult with residents on future development. 

The meeting was sparked by last month's announcement that the new agency, Regenerate Christchurch, had been directed by the Government and Christchurch City Council to consider turning part of the red zone into a lake for water sports. 

​Other ideas mooted include a forest park, and a version of Britain's famous Eden Project. 

Forest park vision for Christchurch red zone 
Regenerate to investigate red zone water course 
Eden Project plan to go before Regenerate Christchurch

Meeting organiser Mark Gibson said many locals felt they had been left out of the decision making. He wanted to ensure the process was not led from the "top".  

Regenerate Christchurch chairman Andre Lovatt.
Brendon O'Hagan/The Press

Regenerate Christchurch chairman Andre Lovatt.

Regenerate chairman Andre Lovatt says no decisions have been made.

Gibson said the process should start with asking 'what does good consultation look like'?"

"What surprised me is there were a lot of people there last night who I didn't know, they weren't from groups championing particular projects...there were a lot of people there as individuals."

Gillian Southey, who lives on the edge of the red zone, attended the meeting, and said there was a lot of discussion around people feeling left out. 

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She said it was important that everyone got the chance to have their say, including communities in the east. 

Discussion should everyone, she said, including "the junkies, and the alcoholics".

Southey suggested involving school children in the process. 

Lovatt said the agency was in the very early stages of working out how best to engage with people. No decisions had been made, he said. 

"I'm committed to doing what we can to ensure the hopes and dreams of christchurch  people are reflected in the work that we do."

"I walked out of that meeting thinking people are feeling excited," he said. 

Regenerate Christchurch was formed to replace the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, which expired earlier this year. 

 - Stuff


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