Ecological restoration - findings

In all the engagement Regenerate Christchurch has done to date, ecological restoration is consistently highlighted as one of, if not the most important consideration for the area.

It was one of the top themes to emerge from the community engagement in March-May 2017 when we conducted research to understand the needs of Christchurch communities and seek ideas for how the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor could meet these needs. It also underpins the vision and objectives for the area.


During this engagement, ecological restoration received the most comments and support – 48.6% (906).

Of these who supported ecological restoration, 40.9% (371) regarded ecological restoration as a priority, while 7.4% (67) believed the area should be exclusively for ecological restoration. Those that regarded it as a priority also often supported uses such as recreation, visitor attractions and productive uses, but with an ecological focus and not at the expense of ecological values. Eco sanctuaries and predator-free environments were identified as sympathetic visitor attractions, while the 2.2 km in river lake was identified as the most ecologically friendly lake option.

Horseshoe Lake and Bexley were two areas that were specifically mentioned as having high ecological importance – Bexley for its salt marsh (250 comments – 13.4% of all respondents) and Horseshoe Lake for the opportunity to manage stormwater and mitigate flooding via wetlands (207 comments - 11.1% of all respondents).

There was also support for the concept of an open space corridor running the length of the river, with 16.9% (316) of all respondents mentioning it, though many of them wanted it referred to as the ‘green spine’ in order to highlight the importance of ecological restoration as its defining feature.


“One of the outstanding aspects of all the options is that we, as a wider community, are considering ecological restoration in all of the options.”

“I believe that the emphasis should be on green spaces and ecological restoration - it is the opportunity of a lifetime - in fact opportunity of a century or more.”

“My vision is for the maximum area possible of ecological restoration to be the final decision. With cycle and walk ways and other appropriate peaceful attractions included. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for ChCh to regain our natural flora and fauna and to be close enough for all to enjoy including attracting tourists. The area needs to be restored to the maximum as native birds need a very large area to thrive and breed.”

See all findings from engagement on 10 possible combinations of land uses.

In all the engagement Regenerate Christchurch has done to date, ecological restoration is consistently highlighted as one of, if not the most important consideration for the area.

It was one of the top themes to emerge from the community engagement in March-May 2017 when we conducted research to understand the needs of Christchurch communities and seek ideas for how the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor could meet these needs. It also underpins the vision and objectives for the area.


During this engagement, ecological restoration received the most comments and support – 48.6% (906).

Of these who supported ecological restoration, 40.9% (371) regarded ecological restoration as a priority, while 7.4% (67) believed the area should be exclusively for ecological restoration. Those that regarded it as a priority also often supported uses such as recreation, visitor attractions and productive uses, but with an ecological focus and not at the expense of ecological values. Eco sanctuaries and predator-free environments were identified as sympathetic visitor attractions, while the 2.2 km in river lake was identified as the most ecologically friendly lake option.

Horseshoe Lake and Bexley were two areas that were specifically mentioned as having high ecological importance – Bexley for its salt marsh (250 comments – 13.4% of all respondents) and Horseshoe Lake for the opportunity to manage stormwater and mitigate flooding via wetlands (207 comments - 11.1% of all respondents).

There was also support for the concept of an open space corridor running the length of the river, with 16.9% (316) of all respondents mentioning it, though many of them wanted it referred to as the ‘green spine’ in order to highlight the importance of ecological restoration as its defining feature.


“One of the outstanding aspects of all the options is that we, as a wider community, are considering ecological restoration in all of the options.”

“I believe that the emphasis should be on green spaces and ecological restoration - it is the opportunity of a lifetime - in fact opportunity of a century or more.”

“My vision is for the maximum area possible of ecological restoration to be the final decision. With cycle and walk ways and other appropriate peaceful attractions included. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for ChCh to regain our natural flora and fauna and to be close enough for all to enjoy including attracting tourists. The area needs to be restored to the maximum as native birds need a very large area to thrive and breed.”

See all findings from engagement on 10 possible combinations of land uses.