New Mayor to open this year’s Spring River Festival

Posted 26 Oct 2013 by AvonOtakaro Popular

Newly elected Mayor Lianne Dalziel will officially open the Spring River Festival at Kerr’s Reach on November 2 as one of her first ceremonial duties since taking office.

This is the second year of the festival celebrating the importance of the river in the life of the city.

“The inaugural festival last year was very successful, this year will be simply awesome!”  says one of the organisers, Evan Smith Co-Chair of Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON). AvON is the organisation hoping to turn the Avon River red zone into a city-to-sea recreational eco-park.

The festival will follow the passage downstream of a specially carved festival waka huia or feather chest from the city early in the morning, to finish in New Brighton in the afternoon.

The initial journey will be by foot with the River of Life group walking from O-Tautahi/Cambridge Green before arriving by waka at Kerrs Reach for the mayoral opening at 9:30am.

A multi-code grand regatta will then take place including dragon boats, waka, rowing boats and kayaks, and end with a flotilla carrying the waka huia downstream to Owles Terrace at midday.  From there it will make its way to the New Brighton carnival market accompanied by the Natural Magic Ukulele Pirates.

A family concert attended by the Mayor will then take place on the water front under the colourful spectacle of a kite fest on the beach.

“It will be a very special day that showcases the potential of the east to become the playground of the city,” says Smith.


Notes for editors

Full Programme for the Spring River Festival:

7:30am               Blessing of the waka huia then River Walk – Cambridge Green to Gayhurst Bridge

9:15am               Waka Journey to Kerrs Reach

9:30am               Official Opening and welcoming of the waka huia by the Mayor

9:45am               Flat Water Inter-Code Regatta at Kerrs Reach

10am - 2pm       Carnival Market at New Brighton

From 11am        Kite Fest and Skate Fest on the beach and Sand Painting

11:45am             Flotilla assembles and moves down to Owles Terrace

12:30pm             Journey from Owles Terrace through market to waterfront stage

1pm – 6pm         Family Music Concert, New Brighton waterfront (free). With: Natural Magic Ukulele Pirates, One Drop Nation and Stone Cold Chillers plus more.   

2pm                    Stand Up Paddle Board Race around the pier

8:30pm               Concert at the Pierside (no cover charge)


Sponsored by Canterbury Community Trust, Foodstuffs Community Trust and Flip Design.


AvON is a not-for-profit group. Its vision is to “establish a community-driven science-informed living memorial to rejuvenate and nurture the long-term environmental, economic, community and spiritual wellbeing of the eastern suburbs and of those living throughout greater Christchurch. Our aim is to turn a tragedy into an opportunity, a polluted drain into a vibrant river system, and exhaustion and despair into hope and inspiration.”            


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