Positive response to Council's residential red zone consultation

Throughout February and for the first week of this month the Waimakariri District Council has been consulting with the district community on proposed land uses for Waimakariri’s residential red zone areas – now known as the ‘regeneration areas’.

Let’s Plan was the culmination of feedback, ideas and suggestions drawn from the community during the Canvas and Let’s Discuss campaigns held in 2014 and 2015 respectively. This, combined with updated geotechnical information and one-to-one discussions with a broad range of interest groups led to the development of a series of broad use plans for the five regeneration areas of Kaiapoi East, Kaiapoi West, Kaiapoi South, Pines Beach and Kairaki. This became the Preliminary Draft Residential Red Zone Plan (Let’s Plan) which was publicly released on 5 February 2016.

The plan was developed in collaboration with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), Environment Canterbury and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Proposed land uses ranged from sport and recreation to business, non-intensive rural use, neighbourhood parks, heritage and mahinga kai cultural areas, a dog park, a food forest, BMX track, playing fields and pavilions, an ashes only cemetery and amalgamation of some of the land with the Tuhaitara Coastal Park.

An intensive communications and engagement campaign was mounted throughout February to ensure a high level of awareness and involvement from the community. A touring three dimensional interactive model proved immensely popular, attracting over 1,700 people throughout the month-long campaign and drawing over 3,000 comments. The consultation had its own website – redzoneplan.nz – complete with flyover videos of the regeneration areas reaching over 2,000 people and the consultation was also advertised in local papers and on commercial radio. The consultation’s Facebook presence had over 3,000clicks, reactions, comments and shares.

The consultation period, which closed on Friday 4 March, drew 138 formal comments. Initial reviews of the comments indicate a broad acceptance of the plan with strong support for a District sports ground and the suggested reserves network but mixed opinions regarding the proposal of an ashes only cemetery in Kaiapoi East. Informal comment received from people attending the three dimensional interactive model display suggests a strong support for the Council in the preparation of the Preliminary Draft Plan itself, the presentation of the various options and the comprehensive level of communications surrounding the consultation.

All feedback and formal comment from Let’s Plan will be considered by a hearing panel on the 6th, 7th and 8th of April who will make recommendations to Council. After consideration of those comments by Council they will, in turn, make recommendations to Government.

Following possible further consultation the Minister for Earthquake Recovery will make a decision on whether to approve the Draft Recovery Plan for implementation. If that approval is given, execution of some elements of the Plan may begin later this year.

Contact: Simon Markham, Manager, Strategy and Engagement

Phone: 03 311 8900 or 03 327 6834