Saturday, June 15, 2024

Green light for Christchurch path network

Routes for the remaining network of paths and boardwalks to be constructed as part of the 10.3 kilometre-long Pūharakekenui-Styx Source to Sea walkway have been given the green light.

About 3.5 kilometres of the walkway has been completed and 16 new sections were approved by the Waimāero Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board yesterday, which will cover the final two thirds.

The walkway is being built progressively and will form an important part of the 2000-2040 Styx Vision, aimed at restoring and establishing a spring-fed ecosystem throughout the length of the river and its tributaries.

“It is being constructed in sections as funding becomes available, however we wanted to get approval for the remainder of the walkway to avoid case-by-case site approval,” says Christchurch City Council Biodiversity Team Leader, Antony Shadbolt.

“This will help to streamline the process and avoid staff needing to come back to the Board for approval as opportunities to construct different sections arise.”

More than 81% of the waterway is now in public ownership and significant land protection and restoration activities have been completed or are underway.

“Once complete, the Source to Sea Walkway will allow the public to access the diverse natural environments which exist alongside the river corridor, for recreational activities and the enjoyment of nature,” says Mr Shadbolt.

A section linking the NZTA shared path with Ouruhia Domain has been prioritised for construction this financial year, completing a strategic link in the walkway.

Sections constructed thus far are in Styx Mill Conservation Reserve, Redwood Springs, Te Waoku Kahikatea Reserve, Te Waoku Kapuka Reserve, Kā Pūtahi Confluence Conservation Reserve, Janet Stewart Reserve, Kā Pūtahi Community Orchard, and a short section in a new subdivision on Styx Mill Road. 

“It’s exciting to see the walkway coming together,” says Board Chairperson, Bridget Williams.

“It will be a wonderful asset to connect people to nature. I know there will be many people who will enjoy and benefit from it once it’s complete.”

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