The group campaigning to create a reserve and river park in the Avon River red zone has welcomed Roger Sutton’s comments that some houses could be saved as memorials.
The CERA boss was quoted in The Press on Saturday saying CERA was looking at saving some houses to tell the stories of the residents who have left.
“This fits perfectly with the Lower Avon Heritage Trail Group’s proposal to save a selection of houses and gardens along the Avon-Otakaro, revealing the pattern of Christchurch’s development from pre-European times to the present day,” says AvON co-chair Evan Smith.
“The effect of the earthquakes on riverside communities is now an integral part of that heritage.”
The Lower Avon Heritage Trail Group is a member of AvON. Last year it produced a detailed document outlining the significant sites and gardens along the river (attached).
“These sites tell not only the stories of the last residents, but of all the residents before,” says Mr Smith. “They also tell the story of Christchurch.”
But he also said it was very important that CERA consult former residents of the red zone about any plans to keep some houses.
“Including memorials to the lost communities of the Avon River red zone has always been part of AvON’s vision. But those memorials must be developed with the communities concerned – as it is their story the memorials will be telling. This is one of several community proposals for commemorative sites we hope CERA will consider.”
Notes for editors
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.”
www.avon.org.nz www.facebook.com/avonriverpark www.twitter.com/Avon_Otakaro