Candidates and the Red Zone
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.