Avon petition heads to Parliament

02:31, Apr 13 2012

A petition calling for red-zoned parts of Christchurch's Avon River to be turned into a park will be presented to Parliament next month.

More than 18,500 people signed the petition that asks Parliament to work with Christchurch people and local authorities to ensure the land becomes a river park and reserve, rather than being remediated and rebuilt on.

The petition, organised by the Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON), closed on March 31 and its official count of 18,647 signatures was released yesterday.

AvON spokesman Evan Smith said the petition would be presented to MPs Lianne Dalziel (Labour) and Eugenie Sage (Greens) by AvON supporters on the steps of Parliament on May 2.

Dalziel, who is a red-zone resident, would sponsor the petition into Parliament, Smith said.

He said the group had been "overwhelmed" by the response to the petition.

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"They [Christchurch people] also want to return nature to the heart of Christchurch, and they want to create an ecological and economic asset that will breathe life and prosperity back into this damaged land and the communities surrounding it for years to come," he said.

Last year, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the campaign had his "wholehearted support".

He said the park would be "an utterly stunning contribution to the fabric of our city".

Several MPs have signed the petition, including Labour leader David Shearer and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman.

The Press