The future residents of Christchurch took centre stage today to present their ideas for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.
The event, a joint project between Regenerate Christchurch and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner is part of the wider public engagement to develop a Regeneration Plan for the area by March – June 2018.
The Children’s Commissioner met with 30 children to hear the views of some of the 5-12 year olds who took part.
“Christchurch’s regeneration is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the future of the city, so it is really important to hear from the future residents and leaders of Christchurch,” says Ivan Iafeta, Chief Executive of Regenerate Christchurch.
Regenerate Christchurch have engaged extensively with the local communities, including talking with children at seven primary schools, a scout group, and at a Community Day and other events.
The children presenting today are from Waitakiri School, Banks Avenue School, Haeata Community Campus and Bromley School.
The engagement at schools was designed to respect the needs of children and young people and linked to the New Zealand curriculum. Children were enthusiastic and interested in the topic, and felt that their ideas were being valued.
“Children have a right to have a say in issues that affect them”, says the Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, “and I understand they have produced some of the most compelling and inspiring ideas of the whole project.
“Today we celebrate the work that these children have put into thinking about the future of the area, and we also want to applaud the effort that organisations around the country make to involve children and young people in meaningful discussions about the future of our communities.”