Can­di­dates and the Red Zone

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ASH­LEY CAMP­BELL

How will your vote affect the fu­ture of the Avon River red zone?

Green­ing the Red Zone is putting that ques­tion cen­tre stage at a po­lit­i­cal panel dis­cus­sion and Q&A on Septem­ber 11.

We asked can­di­dates for their views.

‘‘TOP con­sid­ers de­ci­sions re­gard­ing the red zone’s fu­ture should re­flect the wishes of the af­fected peo­ple, tan­gata whenua and the peo­ple of wider Christchurch,’’ says TOP’s Nicky Snoyink.

But it’s clear where she hopes that will lead. ‘‘Restor­ing the red zone to na­ture will pro­vide the nec­es­sary flood pro­tec­tion, en­cour­age na­tive wet­land species back to town, re­store kai gath­er­ing po­ten­tial and pro­vide a unique op­por­tu­nity for com­mu­nity well­be­ing and ac­tive na­ture tourism.’’

NZ First’s De­nis O’Rourke favours mixed use, in­clud­ing na­tive plant­ing along the river ‘‘while other ar­eas should be de­voted to ac­tive recre­ation, in­clud­ing a flat water recre­ation course… Yet other ar­eas should be de­voted pas­sive recre­ation and for com­mu­nity gar­dens’’.

This mix­ture is im­por­tant, he says, ‘‘so it tells fu­ture gen­er­a­tions how we felt about our city fol­low­ing the earth­quake dis­as­ter’’.

Labour’s Poto Wil­liams sees the red zone as ‘‘a space for recre­ation, re­flec­tion, restora­tion, har­vest­ing and shar­ing’’. She em­pha­sises ‘‘part­ner­ship, col­lab­o­ra­tion, innovative think­ing and modern tech­nol­ogy’’ to ‘‘en­hance the en­vi­ron­ment and pro­tect the flora and fauna, pro­tect us from fu­ture cli­mate events, and re­con­nect the city and its peo­ple with the natural beauty of the east’’.

Raf Manji, In­de­pen­dent can­di­date for Ilam says ‘‘a fund must be es­tab­lished to give cer­tainty to the peo­ple of Christchurch that the wound caused by the mass de­par­ture of res­i­dents from their homes will be healed’’.

Us­ing ‘‘an ecosys­tem ser­vices frame­work’’ – work­ing out the fi­nan­cial value of a re­turn to na­ture – will al­low us to ‘‘cre­ate a natural liv­ing sys­tem that sup­ports the well­be­ing of the whole city’’, he says.

These four will be joined by Nicky Wag­ner (Na­tional), Eu­ge­nie Sage (Greens), and Toni Sev­erin (Act), so ask what their par­ties will do about the red zone.

Par­ties on the Red Zone is on Mon­day, Septem­ber 11, start­ing at 7:30pm, in the Tran­si­tional Cathe­dral. Come along and ask you red zone ques­tions. En­try by gold coin do­na­tion.

Ash­ley Camp­bell is co-chair of Green­ing the Red Zone.

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