Heath­cote River work pro­posed

The Press - - News - TINA LAW

The Christchurch City Coun­cil plans to re­move 63 trees from a

2.5-kilo­me­tre stretch of the Heath­cote River as it works to sta­bilise the banks to re­duce flood­ing.

The trees will be re­placed by

122 new trees as the work is com­pleted.

The coun­cil has launched public con­sul­ta­tion on its plans to sta­bilise parts of the river­bank from Ash­grove Tce in Cash­mere to Pala­tine and Eastern ter­races in Beckenham.

The con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment shows 35 healthy trees and 28 un­healthy trees will go to al­low the work to pro­ceed. ‘‘The in­ten­tion is to re­tain and pro­tect as many healthy and struc­turally sound trees as pos­si­ble and in­crease the ex­ist­ing tree cover within the area,’’ the doc­u­ment said.

It said tree re­movals would be lim­ited to un­healthy and struc­turally un­sound trees wher­ever pos­si­ble, but in some lo­ca­tions the ex­tent of the work meant healthy and struc­turally sound trees would need to be re­moved.

‘‘Trees pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant land­scape and eco­log­i­cal values to the wa­ter­way and many of the ex­ist­ing trees are pro­vid­ing ben­e­fits to bank sta­bil­ity through their roots.’’

The sta­bil­i­sa­tion work is stage one of two that will even­tu­ally stretch fur­ther down the river. Stage one has been bro­ken down into 16 sec­tions with vary­ing so­lu­tions for each, de­pend­ing on the river­bank.

Most so­lu­tions in­clude a rock edge to pro­tect against bank ero­sion and un­der­cut­ting.

Small pipes would be laid into the rocks to pro­vide habi­tat for aquatic life and ri­par­ian plant­ing would over­hang the rock edge to pro­vide shad­ing and habi­tat for aquatic life and to im­prove sta­bil­ity, the coun­cil said.

A re­port dis­cussed by the coun­cil ear­lier this month said the sta­bil­i­sa­tion work could im­pact upon inanga (white­bait) spawn­ing ar­eas, but aquatic ecol­o­gists con­sid­ered the risk could be mit­i­gated. The sta­bil­i­sa­tion work is part of a $72 mil­lion scheme to re­duce flood­ing along the Heath­cote River.

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