ADDING WEIGHT: Labour leader David Shearer has signed a petition calling for red-zoned Avon River areas to be turned into a park.
Labour leader David Shearer is backing a petition calling for red-zoned parts of the Avon River to be turned into a park.
The Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON) petition 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.
Shearer, along with former leader Phil Goff and MPs Ruth Dyson, Clayton Cosgrove and Rino Tirikatene signed the petition on February 22.
The park would be a ''peaceful haven'' where people could remember those whose lives had been changed forever by the earthquakes, he said.
''Avon-Otakaro Park would give the people of Christchurch and visitors to the region a nature reserve they can treasure and enjoy forever.''
AvON spokesman Evan Smith said the group were passionate about creating an environmental, social and economic asset for the city that generations could enjoy.
He said the group was delighted to get support from politicians of any party.
Last year, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman and several other MPs signed the petition.
Smith said did not know the exact number of signatures on the petition, as many forms were still out in the community.
However, there were more than 13,000 signatures on the forms in the group's possession.
The deadline to sign the petition is March 31.