The Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor process

Image of part of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor

Regeneration is about people, place and prosperity.

For Christchurch, it’s about creating a vibrant city that has opportunities for people to grow, connect and thrive.

When you look back on the history of Christchurch, some key decisions have helped shape the very nature of our city. Creating Hagley Park was one of those decisions – as was choosing the location for Cathedral Square, and the airport.


The future of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area is a decision of the same magnitude and importance. It’s a decision that will shape the future of the east of our city for hundreds of years, and will influence how people experience life in Christchurch for generations to come.

Regenerate Christchurch has been tasked with identifying how the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area can make the biggest contribution to Christchurch and New Zealand’s future and achieve the vision and objectives of social wellbeing, ecological restoration and economic activity.

We updated the process in April 2018.

Originally, the Outline and Braid included an Evaluation Panel process which enabled a panel of randomly selected people to provide their views on the plan. Now that we are further through the process and as a result of the Research, Visioning and Design phases, we have developed a more detailed understanding of the options, constraints and opportunities for future use of the land and have revisited our process.

With this information to hand, we have taken the opportunity to maximise the Panel’s contribution to the process by convening it after all of the public feedback on the draft Regeneration Plan has been received and any appropriate amendments have been made.

The Evaluation Panel will therefore now use the Integrated Assessment Criteria to assess the draft plan and provide their feedback to the Board before the plan is submitted to the Minister.

The process so far

The regeneration planning process is a complex one with many steps.

Firstly, there was a research phase. We’ve received more than 5,000 ideas, suggestions and proposals for the future use of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area. We’ve analysed those ideas, and grouped them into themes and land uses. We’ve also collated information from existing sources and commissioned surveys, technical reports and studies to create a solid base of information.

And we’ve been working with communities, the Crown, Christchurch City Council, Ngāi Tahu and Environment Canterbury to understand their needs, responsibilities and aspirations.

We then had a visioning phase. We developed a draft vision and objectives through a series of public engagement activities, including a Community Day on 25 March 2017, a roadshow, and a postcard initiative with schools. There were online activities and information too. We also held a series of 19 targeted stakeholder workshops, conducted a Community Needs Survey and developed community profiles. The vision and objectives play a crucial role in identifying, assessing and evaluating land use options.

We then undertook a design phase. The ideas, suggestions and proposals received, together with the information gathered during the research phase, were used to identify 12 land use types for the area. Combinations of these uses were considered and assessed against the vision, objectives and land use assessment criteria to develop 10 possible combinations of land uses.

Regenerate Christchurch considered all feedback and reduced the 10 possible combinations of land uses into a refined shortlist that includes a Green Spine running the length of the Ōtākaro Avon River from the city to the sea, and three distinct areas or ‘reaches’.

We then sought feedback on this shortlist in May and June 2018 through our Red Zone Futures exhibition. Feedback we received during the exhibition period helped inform our draft Regeneration Plan.

We are now in the delivery phase. We have received and considered feedback from parties outlined in Section 29 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016.

The public now has their final opportunity to provide written comments on the draft Regeneration Plan before it is finalised and provided to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration for consideration.

Acknowledging current and past owners of land in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area

Today, there are 30 privately owned properties in the area. Regenerate Christchurch acknowledges that the draft Regeneration Plan will need to consider the views of all people including private property owners.

The 5,442 former owners of properties that were acquired by the Crown are also acknowledged, along with the strong connection that many former owners have with the area, and their interest in decisions about how it may be used in the future.


Regeneration is about people, place and prosperity.

For Christchurch, it’s about creating a vibrant city that has opportunities for people to grow, connect and thrive.

When you look back on the history of Christchurch, some key decisions have helped shape the very nature of our city. Creating Hagley Park was one of those decisions – as was choosing the location for Cathedral Square, and the airport.


The future of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area is a decision of the same magnitude and importance. It’s a decision that will shape the future of the east of our city for hundreds of years, and will influence how people experience life in Christchurch for generations to come.

Regenerate Christchurch has been tasked with identifying how the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area can make the biggest contribution to Christchurch and New Zealand’s future and achieve the vision and objectives of social wellbeing, ecological restoration and economic activity.

We updated the process in April 2018.

Originally, the Outline and Braid included an Evaluation Panel process which enabled a panel of randomly selected people to provide their views on the plan. Now that we are further through the process and as a result of the Research, Visioning and Design phases, we have developed a more detailed understanding of the options, constraints and opportunities for future use of the land and have revisited our process.

With this information to hand, we have taken the opportunity to maximise the Panel’s contribution to the process by convening it after all of the public feedback on the draft Regeneration Plan has been received and any appropriate amendments have been made.

The Evaluation Panel will therefore now use the Integrated Assessment Criteria to assess the draft plan and provide their feedback to the Board before the plan is submitted to the Minister.

The process so far

The regeneration planning process is a complex one with many steps.

Firstly, there was a research phase. We’ve received more than 5,000 ideas, suggestions and proposals for the future use of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area. We’ve analysed those ideas, and grouped them into themes and land uses. We’ve also collated information from existing sources and commissioned surveys, technical reports and studies to create a solid base of information.

And we’ve been working with communities, the Crown, Christchurch City Council, Ngāi Tahu and Environment Canterbury to understand their needs, responsibilities and aspirations.

We then had a visioning phase. We developed a draft vision and objectives through a series of public engagement activities, including a Community Day on 25 March 2017, a roadshow, and a postcard initiative with schools. There were online activities and information too. We also held a series of 19 targeted stakeholder workshops, conducted a Community Needs Survey and developed community profiles. The vision and objectives play a crucial role in identifying, assessing and evaluating land use options.

We then undertook a design phase. The ideas, suggestions and proposals received, together with the information gathered during the research phase, were used to identify 12 land use types for the area. Combinations of these uses were considered and assessed against the vision, objectives and land use assessment criteria to develop 10 possible combinations of land uses.

Regenerate Christchurch considered all feedback and reduced the 10 possible combinations of land uses into a refined shortlist that includes a Green Spine running the length of the Ōtākaro Avon River from the city to the sea, and three distinct areas or ‘reaches’.

We then sought feedback on this shortlist in May and June 2018 through our Red Zone Futures exhibition. Feedback we received during the exhibition period helped inform our draft Regeneration Plan.

We are now in the delivery phase. We have received and considered feedback from parties outlined in Section 29 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016.

The public now has their final opportunity to provide written comments on the draft Regeneration Plan before it is finalised and provided to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration for consideration.

Acknowledging current and past owners of land in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area

Today, there are 30 privately owned properties in the area. Regenerate Christchurch acknowledges that the draft Regeneration Plan will need to consider the views of all people including private property owners.

The 5,442 former owners of properties that were acquired by the Crown are also acknowledged, along with the strong connection that many former owners have with the area, and their interest in decisions about how it may be used in the future.


  • DESIGN: Engagement findings from the Red Zone Futures exhibition

    3 months ago
    Forest

    A report on the findings of Regenerate Christchurch’s public engagement on the shortlist of land use options for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area is now available.

    Read more.

    A report on the findings of Regenerate Christchurch’s public engagement on the shortlist of land use options for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area is now available.

    Read more.

  • Explore the Red Zone Futures exhibition online

    30 days ago
    Low boardwalk cropped

    This is the online version of the Red Zone Futures exhibition that was presented to the public for feedback in May and June 2018, and it outlines some of the incredible opportunities that the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area presents.

    Note: These online Story Maps are best viewed using Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You can also view them on tablets and mobile devices.

    Read more


    This is the online version of the Red Zone Futures exhibition that was presented to the public for feedback in May and June 2018, and it outlines some of the incredible opportunities that the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area presents.

    Note: These online Story Maps are best viewed using Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You can also view them on tablets and mobile devices.

    Read more


  • Process for deciding the refined shortlist of land use options

    7 months ago

    The refined shortlist for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor comprises the Green Spine and the Reaches. The Green Spine is a corridor of land alongside the river which is significantly more prone to liquefaction and lateral spread than other land in the area. The Reaches are sub-areas outside of the Green Spine: Horseshoe Lake Reach, Ōtākaro Loop Reach and Eastern Reaches.

    The process has been comprehensive and rigorous to ensure we make the best decision. We’ve followed a series of methodical steps, in accordance with the Outline for the Ōtākaro Avon river Corridor Regeneration Plan.

    Read more



    The refined shortlist for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor comprises the Green Spine and the Reaches. The Green Spine is a corridor of land alongside the river which is significantly more prone to liquefaction and lateral spread than other land in the area. The Reaches are sub-areas outside of the Green Spine: Horseshoe Lake Reach, Ōtākaro Loop Reach and Eastern Reaches.

    The process has been comprehensive and rigorous to ensure we make the best decision. We’ve followed a series of methodical steps, in accordance with the Outline for the Ōtākaro Avon river Corridor Regeneration Plan.

    Read more



  • DESIGN: Findings from engagement on land uses

    12 months ago
    Ecology resize

    On Friday 6 October Regenerate Christchurch published for feedback 10 possible combinations of land uses for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area. We also invited feedback on all the information we’d considered, including technical reports, surveys and studies.

    This engagement was an opportunity to ‘check in’. Feedback from this engagement will help to refine a shortlist of options for the Area, ahead of a major exhibition and more extensive public engagement on the proposed options in 2018.

    The four-week feedback period ran until Monday 6 November and during that time Regenerate Christchurch received comments from 1,882 individuals and groups.

    Read more



    On Friday 6 October Regenerate Christchurch published for feedback 10 possible combinations of land uses for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area. We also invited feedback on all the information we’d considered, including technical reports, surveys and studies.

    This engagement was an opportunity to ‘check in’. Feedback from this engagement will help to refine a shortlist of options for the Area, ahead of a major exhibition and more extensive public engagement on the proposed options in 2018.

    The four-week feedback period ran until Monday 6 November and during that time Regenerate Christchurch received comments from 1,882 individuals and groups.

    Read more



  • DESIGN: Possible combinations of land uses

    about 1 year ago
    Common elements a5

    Regenerate Christchurch has been considering everyone’s ideas and how they can contribute to this amazing opportunity Christchurch has to transform our city.

    We’ve gathered, obtained and considered information about the area, and developed land use assessment criteria based on the vision and objectives for the future use of the area. We've also considered a range of possible options for investment and financial return to contribute to the city and New Zealand.

    This ‘information base’ has helped us to come up with some possible combinations of uses and activities for the area. Note: no decisions have been made about uses and activities for the area, and no funding has been allocated.

    Read more


    Regenerate Christchurch has been considering everyone’s ideas and how they can contribute to this amazing opportunity Christchurch has to transform our city.

    We’ve gathered, obtained and considered information about the area, and developed land use assessment criteria based on the vision and objectives for the future use of the area. We've also considered a range of possible options for investment and financial return to contribute to the city and New Zealand.

    This ‘information base’ has helped us to come up with some possible combinations of uses and activities for the area. Note: no decisions have been made about uses and activities for the area, and no funding has been allocated.

    Read more


  • Integrated Assessment process

    over 1 year ago

    Integrated Assessment is an internationally recognised process to help assess and inform the preparation of plans and strategies. It normally involves a workshop or series of workshops with a diverse group of people who have relevant knowledge about the resources, communities, location or objectives, together with professionals from a range of disciplines, and those involved in producing the plan.

    As part of the Integrated Assessment process, an assessment criteria based on the plan’s vision and objectives, is created and confirmed or amended by Integrated Assessment participants. Read more

    Integrated Assessment is an internationally recognised process to help assess and inform the preparation of plans and strategies. It normally involves a workshop or series of workshops with a diverse group of people who have relevant knowledge about the resources, communities, location or objectives, together with professionals from a range of disciplines, and those involved in producing the plan.

    As part of the Integrated Assessment process, an assessment criteria based on the plan’s vision and objectives, is created and confirmed or amended by Integrated Assessment participants. Read more

  • VISIONING: Vision and objectives for the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor

    over 1 year ago
    Red zone in autumn resized

    The draft vision for the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor has been shaped by thousands of ideas from Christchurch people about how the area can be transformed into an attractive and exciting legacy for our community.

    The draft vision and objectives identify the contribution the 602 hectare Ōtākaro Avon River corridor will make to the future of Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand. It will be the foundation for all future use decisions. Read more



    The draft vision for the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor has been shaped by thousands of ideas from Christchurch people about how the area can be transformed into an attractive and exciting legacy for our community.

    The draft vision and objectives identify the contribution the 602 hectare Ōtākaro Avon River corridor will make to the future of Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand. It will be the foundation for all future use decisions. Read more



  • RESEARCH: Documents, studies and reports October 2017 - August 2018

    12 months ago
    Documents and reports

    We’ve analysed the ideas, suggestions and proposals received, and grouped them into themes and land uses. Reports have been prepared that consider how each of the uses could contribute to achieving the area's vision and objectives, and identify the reasons, benefits and key considerations for each use.

    We’ve also collated information from existing sources and commissioned surveys, technical reports and studies to create a solid base of information. Read more

    We’ve analysed the ideas, suggestions and proposals received, and grouped them into themes and land uses. Reports have been prepared that consider how each of the uses could contribute to achieving the area's vision and objectives, and identify the reasons, benefits and key considerations for each use.

    We’ve also collated information from existing sources and commissioned surveys, technical reports and studies to create a solid base of information. Read more

  • RESEARCH: Your ideas for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor

    over 1 year ago
    Kids putting up ideas

    Thanks for all the ideas!

    Between March and May 2017 Regenerate Christchurch conducted community engagement to understand the needs of Christchurch communities and seek ideas for how the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor could meet these needs.

    Ideas were gathered online, from an Open Day at Haeata Campus, through a range of stakeholder engagements and a roadshow across Christchurch libraries and the civic offices. Ideas and proposals received since 2013 by Regenerate Christchurch and other agencies were also collated.

    All this information was included in a thematic analysis report. In total there were 5,569 distinctive ideas. Read more


    Thanks for all the ideas!

    Between March and May 2017 Regenerate Christchurch conducted community engagement to understand the needs of Christchurch communities and seek ideas for how the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor could meet these needs.

    Ideas were gathered online, from an Open Day at Haeata Campus, through a range of stakeholder engagements and a roadshow across Christchurch libraries and the civic offices. Ideas and proposals received since 2013 by Regenerate Christchurch and other agencies were also collated.

    All this information was included in a thematic analysis report. In total there were 5,569 distinctive ideas. Read more


  • RESEARCH: Community Needs Assessment

    over 1 year ago
    Community needs research

    As part of our regeneration planning for the Ōtākaro Avon Rivercorridor, we need to develop a Community Needs Assessment.

    The Community Needs Assessment helps us understand what the community thinks is important for the regeneration of the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor. We want to make sure that we understand community needs, so that regeneration planning for the river corridor helps meet these needs.

    We surveyed Christchurch residents to ask them which community needs are most important and should be prioritised. Read more


    As part of our regeneration planning for the Ōtākaro Avon Rivercorridor, we need to develop a Community Needs Assessment.

    The Community Needs Assessment helps us understand what the community thinks is important for the regeneration of the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor. We want to make sure that we understand community needs, so that regeneration planning for the river corridor helps meet these needs.

    We surveyed Christchurch residents to ask them which community needs are most important and should be prioritised. Read more