Support for Avon River reserve plan

18:49, Nov 09 2011

A proposal to turn the Avon River residential red zone in the east of Christchurch into a park and reserve continues to gain support.

The Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON) began the campaign and launched a petition which was signed by the Green Party this week.

The petition calls for the Government "to work with the people and local authorities of Christchurch to turn the Avon River red zone into a reserve and river park when the homeowners have to leave the area".

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the land should be allowed to return to nature.

"If we honour this land, letting it be what nature wants it to be, while also creating a place of beauty and joy for all of Christchurch, we also honour those who have lost their homes.

"We take sadness, and from it create joy.

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"And we allow Christchurch to reap the many economic benefits that will come from bringing nature back into the city, for generations to come."

AvON spokesman Evan Smith said the Avon-Otakaro Park had support across the political spectrum.

The National Party also agreed with the idea "in principle", Smith said, but had reservations because of the uncertainty surrounding the land.

About 1000 people have now signed the petition.

"What we're finding is nine out of 10 people support what we're doing," Smith said.

The group planned to continue collecting signatures until January and present the petition to Parliament next year.

The Press