Draft OARC Regeneration Plan: “Tell Our Stories”

This post: http://riseuprichmond.nz/red-zone-futures-otakaro-avon-river-corridor/, from the “Red Zone Futures: Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor” Public Exhibition talks about “Our Six Key Principles”.

4. Memories – Nga Maharatanga
Before the earthquakes, many communities called the Regeneration Area home. Some families had lived there for generations, forging strong local bonds and enjoying a high quality of life.
Sense of place was strong, and residents drew their identity from their connections to the river, parks, estuary and sea.
Countless memories were made in the schools, parks and homes in the area. While the face of the land has changed immeasurably, these stories will always be treasured.”

How can we honour these memories?
– Maintain some original streets and residential plantings.
– Retain landscape elements such as curb cut-downs, street lights and signs.
– Incorporate recycled materials like letterboxes or keys in art.
– Provide opportunities to remember former homeowners’ names in the landscape.
– Investigate repurposing the Medway Street footbridge.
– Establish an information centre or outdoor museum.
– Providing interpretation of pre-European, European and ‘red zoning’ with signs and apps.”

Heritage – Dr Christine Whybrew from Heritage New Zealand
“In the Red Zone here in Avonside we can see a number of established trees and plantings, these would be connected to people’s home, to businesses, to life in this area. So we probably need to think about how we are going to protect these trees and plantings into the future to ensure the stories remain connected to the place, and then the people remain connected to the place.”

Local History, Local People (Post Earthquakes)
Park Benches/Picnic Tables
To honor the families that had a home in the residential Red Zone along River Road, I would like a park bench or picnic table to be installed between the footpath and the road, with a named plaque, to honor what they have lost, and so they can come back to visit and have somewhere to sit and enjoy the Avon River views again.
‘White Picket Fence’ Garden
Keep the remaining garden plants along the front of the residential Red Zone along River Road. Plant native trees/plants behind these garden plants, to create a tiered effect.
Use a white picket paling, to mark the address of each house, with the house number on the paling, and a QR code, to link to a website/street view map, to remember and show visitors to the area the homes along River Road, from the 1900s to pre Christchurch earthquakes.

Think: Christchurch with Hila Oren
“Ms Oren heard about Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions when she was on a leadership programme at Harvard University in the United States.
‘You need to celebrate your links to history and tell the stories of Shackleton, Edmund Hillary, New Zealand’s suffrage leader, Kate Sheppard, and others who have played such a huge part in what your city is today,’ she says.”

Local History, Local People (Pre Earthquakes)
So who are our people from the past, connected to the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor?
– John Deans (Pioneer, Riccarton House & Bush)
“took a whaleboat up the Avon River”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould: http://riseuprichmond.nz/kerrs-reach/
– Richard Bedward Owen (“River Bank” Owen, Businessman, Conservationist, Philanthropist, “a man of great vision”)
“Richard established the River Improvement Fund.”
“developing in his mind a plan ‘to take in hand the river and make up for past neglect.'”
“In a ceremony on 1 September 1929, politicians local and national planted 53 lime trees on the north bank between the Swanns Road bridge and Medway Street. Today the river reserves and the mature trees which overlook the water form mute testament to Richard and his navvies.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould: http://riseuprichmond.nz/river-bank-centre/ & https://www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/river-bank-centre/
– William A. Sutton (Artist, Painter, Craftsman, Teacher)
“built a house in Templar Street in the Christchurch suburb of Richmond.”
“Until his retirement in 1992, he painted most of his works there.”
“Bill Sutton was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes, and a bronze bust of him was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould: http://riseuprichmond.nz/suttons-place/ & https://www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/suttons-place/
– Elsie Locke (Writer, Historian, Activist)
“made a remarkable contribution to New Zealand society”
“Unusually for a Pākehā of her generation, she developed a close relationship with the local iwi in Waiuku, Ngāti Te Ata, and her later research proved vital to their Treaty of Waitangi claim.”
“Locke was probably best known as a children’s writer.”
“Locke realised her lack of knowledge about Māori language, culture, history, and spirituality. This led her to study the language, and incorporate biculturalism as a central feature of her writing long before it was fashionable to do so.”
“Along with Rod Donald, Locke was active in the founding of the Avon Loop Planning Association (ALPA) and in the ongoing development of community in the historic Avon Loop residential area in central Christchurch.”
“The Elsie Locke Park was located on Oxford Terrace in front of the Centennial Pool, but was removed after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake to make way for the Margaret Mahy Playground.”
“Locke was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes, and a bronze bust of her was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre.”
“lived in the same cottage in the Avon Loop for over 40 years.”
“Locke was also a key figure in the restoration, with native plants, of the banks of the Avon as it flowed through the Avon Loop.”
“Elsie researched thoroughly to find out about the time and place the novel was set in, and with her imagination weaves this research into an exciting account of colonial life in Canterbury.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould: http://riseuprichmond.nz/retreat-road-park/ & https://www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/maori-heritage-park/
– Rod Donald (Politician, Green Party co-leader)
“Along with Rod Donald, Locke was active in the founding of the Avon Loop Planning Association (ALPA) and in the ongoing development of community in the historic Avon Loop residential area in central Christchurch.”
“Christchurch-based Green politician who promoted ways of acting and living in an alternative manner, with his involvement in pioneering organisations Ecology Action, Piko Wholefoods and Trade Aid.”
“When he moved to live in Christchurch’s inner city Avon Loop area in the later 1970s he helped develop a loose community of households with a common vision of sustainable living.”
“The ‘Avon Loop’ community of the 1970s brought together Rod Donald and Elsie Locke, to share their vision for sustainable living in the city.”
“The bus signified Mr Donald’s passionate support for public transport facilities and the cyclists honoured his own favourite form of personal transport.”
“Christchurch Cathedral Dean Peter Beck said there was no more appropriate a place to farewell the environmental crusader touted as one of life’s truly nice guys and one of Christchurch’s favourite sons.”
“A Zimbabwean interdenominational group paid tribute to Mr Donald’s support for ethnic minorities through song and dance. He was, they said, their hero.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould:
http://riseuprichmond.nz/retreat-road-park/ & https://www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/maori-heritage-park/
– Alexander William Bickerton (First Professor of Chemistry at Canterbury College, taught Ernest Rutherford, Partial Impact Theory)
“He is best known for teaching and mentoring Ernest Rutherford.”
“He was a natural teacher though an eccentric one, who taught science in an exciting way.”
“His differences weren’t limited to teaching as he formed a socialist community in Christchurch, which he later set up as a theme park.”
“His partial impact theory explaining the appearance of temporary stars was the major work of his lifetime.”
“With inheritance money he set up a wood-working factory using machines that he had invented.”
“To increase interest he held night classes for adults, and basic chemistry classes for school children.”
“The suburb Wainoni is now an eastern suburb in Christchurch, New Zealand – taken from the name of Bickerton’s home translated from Māori meaning ‘the bend in the water.'”
“Bickerton St in Christchurch was named after him, and is in the location of the original Wainoni home.”
“He built a large house (long since demolished) called ‘Wainoni’ on 20 to 30 acres of land in what is now the suburb of Wainoni.”
“turned the gardens of ‘Wainoni’ into a pleasure garden where thousands came to watch the spectacles he created including naval battles with real explosives, shipwrecks and rescues, which were staged on an artificial lake.”
“The year before his death he was made Professor Emeritus of Canterbury College.”
“His ashes are lodged in the wall of the Great Hall of the Arts Centre behind a bronze plaque.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould:
http://riseuprichmond.nz/river-bank-centre/, https://www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/river-bank-centre/ & http://riseuprichmond.nz/kerrs-reach/
– James Arthur Flesher (Mayor of Christchurch (1923-1925), Politician, Solicitor, Barrister)
“He was elected onto the Richmond Ward of Christchurch City Council.”
“He was the mayor of the New Brighton Borough from 1915 to 1917.”
“From 1918 to 1920, he represented Christchurch City Council as a councillor.”
“From 1923 to 1925, Flesher was the elected Mayor of Christchurch.”
“Flesher senior commissioned Avebury House from architect James Glanville. The 4,289 m2 dwelling was completed in 1885.”
“Flesher Avenue, off Eveleyn Couzins Avenue, is named after the Flesher family. Both roads occupy land that was previously part of the Avebury House property.”
“After James’s death it passed to his son Herbert, who in 1945 sold Avebury and eight acres to the crown.”
“In 1951 the house and land were transferred over to the Christchurch City Council and the Citizens of Christchurch for recreational use.”
“The house became the Cora Wilding Youth Hostel, and the land a park.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould:
http://riseuprichmond.nz/avebury-house/ & http://riseuprichmond.nz/river-road-park/
– Cora Wilding (Physiotherapist, Artist)
“best remembered for her advocacy of outdoor activities and children’s health camps in the 1930s.”
“She was instrumental in the founding of The Sunlight League in 1930.”
“and also the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand in 1932.”
“She was made a patron of the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand in 1938 and a life member in 1968.”
“The first Christchurch youth hostel (1965–1997), formerly Avebury House the Flesher home, was called the ‘Cora Wilding Youth Hostel’ in her honour.”
“She was fond of drawing, and in 1907 enrolled at the Canterbury College School of Art to study under Sydney Thompson. In 1910 she joined Margaret Stoddart’s sketching class, then spent the next two years in Europe, studying at the Bushey School of Painting in Hertfordshire, and with Frances Hodgkins and others in Paris.”
“Her most distinctive contribution to the league was as its health camp organiser. The camps emphasised outdoor living, healthy food, daily sunbathing and swimming, appreciation of natural beauty and country life, and service to others. Unlike other camps of the period, drama, music and debating featured, along with elements of Māori culture – considered very advanced at the time.”
“Her private collection of paintings was sold in 1971 for the benefit of Te Wai Pounamu Māori Girls’ College.”
“She opposed rugby tours to South Africa and the Vietnam War, and sold flowers and paintings to raise money for Vietnamese children, Hong Kong refugees, Māori educational groups, the University of the South Pacific, the Cobham Outward Bound School and the Red Cross.”
OARC Regeneration Plan Idea by Joanna Gould:
http://riseuprichmond.nz/avebury-house/ & http://riseuprichmond.nz/river-road-park/

Additional Information