Christchurch rebuild: Transforming the residential red zone

Clearing residential red zone areas unsuitable for rebuilding and providing for the retention of amenity and ecological values until decisions are made about the lands future.

After the 2010 / 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, when residential red zones of areas unsuited for rebuilding were defined, decisions were required as to how the ‘red zoned’ land would be cleared and then managed until decisions are made about the future use of that land.

CERA (the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) engaged Boffa Miskell in 2011 to assist with the preparation of management options for the properties where owners in the Christchurch, Brooklands and Waimakariri areas had accepted the Crown offer to purchase.

Boffa Miskell brought to the task its expertise in ecology, landscape architecture, mapping / spatial analysis, cultural advice and biosecurity. Working with key stakeholders, the team gathered and analysed various layers of information to ascertain appropriate clearance treatment options and management techniques.

The options needed to address CERA’s key objectives. Clearance methods had to be practicable and provide for the retention of amenity and ecological values where practical. Then, safe, cost effective land treatment was needed to establish secure, easily maintained areas in such a way that future land use would not be impinged.

Due to the fragmented insurance settlement process, implementation of the preferred interim treatment options is only now gaining momentum.

“Until the end of 2013 there were very few large tracts of red zone land available for interim treatment and that was challenging,” says Boffa Miskell landscape architect, Mark Brown. “However, we’re now starting to see recommended outcomes achieved.”

Those outcomes include the retention of indigenous and valued amenity vegetation and recognition of known historical and cultural features, as well as treatment options that are appropriate to the new ground conditions and to the surrounding communities.

So far, the interim treatment approach has been well received by stakeholders and the general public. Implementation will continue throughout 2014.

Anchor projects

Boffa Miskell urban designers, landscape architects and planners are being kept very busy with several of the ‘anchor projects’ identified in the Blueprint for the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.

  • Te Papa Ōtākaro / Avon River Precinct, in conjunction with Opus.
  • Metro Sports facility, in conjunction with Warren & Mahoney Architects and Peddlethorpe Architects.
  • Justice and Emergency Service Precinct, in conjunction with Warren & Mahoney.
Find out more

Avon River Precinct >

For further information please contact Mark Brown or Nik Kneale

10 June 2014