Our two main areas of focus in 2015...
... were to continue our advocacy and to implement whatever we could on the ground to exemplify both the what and how of our vision for the Avon-Ōtākaro RRZ.
Hence we spent much of the year supporting Eastern Vision in the production of the Eyes East TV series on the recovery of the eastern flatland suburbs and in progressing the Mahinga Kai Exemplar Project at Anzac Drive Reserve.
Eyes East was a collaboration of three parties – Eastern Vision, CTV and Rebuild Christchurch to inform and engage communities about ideas for the recovery of the east Christchurch flat land suburbs - including many ideas that fall within the AvON vision for the Avon-Ōtākaro RRZ.
It comprised seven 30-minute episodes covering the impacts of the earthquakes on communities, community values and guiding principles for the recovery of the east, and a look at many of the the most popular proposals for the regeneration of the east and how they might all fit together into the big picture.
The series was broadcast on CTV and published on-line as a series of 21 short clips. These video clips will remain on the Rebuild Christchurch website as a permanent resource and archive. To view these, click here.
In addition the EVO::SPACE website was reactivated and reconfigured to follow the Eyes East format, to enable people to continue to input their feedback on the proposals - this site also remains active. So if you have not yet provided or updated your feedback - you still can do so here.
DVDs of the series are being made to be given away free to local schools as a teaching resource.
AvON has also been successful in using the series to leverage a number of media articles and interviews directly related to the AvON vision with regard to both future use of the RRZ lands and the current health of the river east of Fitzgerald Ave.
The Mahinga Kai Exemplar (MKE) Project at Anzac Drive Reserve is the only on-the-ground project that AvON is directly involved in implementing.
To this end we have contracted: an MKE Project Manager, Kathryn Bates; a volunteer Takatatiaki (caretaker); Teoti Jardine; a Biodiversity Baseline Survey by Shane Orchard, a UC PhD research student; and a Learning Environments Outside the Classroom LEOTC) Coordinator, Sian Carvell, to work with local schools. Sian has also been contracted direct by Ngāi Tahu to create educational resources unique to the MKE site.
In addition we continue to work with UC Geography graduate students and Engineers without Borders on research projects particularly relating to the MKE waterway systems.
This project is a collaboration of a number of key partners including Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga, CCC, DOC and ECan.
Over the course of the past 18 months we have planted almost 4000 seedlings worth more than $11k in six planting events involving community and corporate volunteers, local schools, Limited Service Volunteers, Conservation NZ volunteers and American students with AUIP. Sustainable Coastlines /Love Your Water were also key partners.
We view the MKE as an exemplar of both what we hope to see throughout the Avon-Ōtākaro RRZ and also how we hope to achieve it through collaborative partnerships.
We were also instrumental in successfully advocating for the restoration of the Poppies over Gallipoli sculpture.
A special note of thanks is due to Alan McDonald, DOC Partnership Ranger, and Kenny Rose and John Skilton, CCC Park Rangers.
Changes in our leadership
It is with regret that we accept the resignation for Mark Gibson as Co-Chair and member of our Strategic Steering Group (SSG).
Mark was one of our key founding members and will be greatly missed - however he will still be actively involved in community earthquake recovery in his new roles. And he hasn't hung up his walking boots - he'll still be leading the Great Avon-Ōtākaro River Walk - catch him if you can!
We welcome Sarah Butterfield as our new Co-Chair. Sarah is a long-term member of the AvON SSG who has worked tirelessly in a variety of community roles in New Brighton and for organisations such as Soil & Health.