Climate change  |  16 Aug 2019

A report setting out options for responding to the earthquake legacy issues along the Southshore and South New Brighton estuary edge will be considered by Christchurch City Council next week.

The 2010 and 2011 earthquakes caused the estuary edge land to drop in some places. This has increased erosion and the risk of flooding in some areas and has also meant some trees and plants have died along the estuary edge, which has led to further erosion.

The earthquake legacy issues project came from Council’s decision in May to take over leadership of the work within scope of the Southshore and South New Brighton Regeneration Strategy. This work was previously led by Regenerate Christchurch.

In taking over the work, Council decided to split the project into two: address earthquake legacy issues, and develop an adaptation strategy to address climate change.

After three months of identifying and assessing options to address earthquake legacy issues on the estuary edge, which included two separate periods of community engagement, Council staff have prepared a report which recommends the Council:

  • Provide a continuous walkway/cycleway along the Estuary from Evans Avenue to the south end of the red zone in Southshore. Sections of the existing walkway would be raised, repaired, re-surfaced, widened or re-routed. There are also potential opportunities for community-led enhancement of the Southshore and South New Brighton red zone land with the addition of picnic tables, native plantings, and spaces to learn about and observe nature.
  • Undertake a detailed inspection of the stopbanks between Pages Road and Bridge Street to assess their condition and to identify any areas that might need work done on them.
  • Construct new bunds set back between 25 to 100 metres from the estuary edge in locations from south of Bridge Street to the boardwalk. These new bunds would be combined with a range of hard and soft erosion management methods. The erosion management methods will help reduce further erosion to the estuary edge, while the bund will reduce the risk of flooding to houses and community facilities in South New Brighton, including the campground and tennis club.
  • Investigate immediate and longer term erosion control options in the Southshore area, including the possible positioning of a bund.

High level estimates put the cost of doing the recommended work at between $3.6 million and $4.1 million.

There is also a range of work to respond to earthquake legacy issues that Council staff propose is done anyway and doesn’t require Council decisions. This work includes publishing maintenance schedules for Council parks and reserves, and making information available on topics such as groundwater, stormwater, flooding, and planning and consenting.

The Council will consider the staff’s recommendations when it meets on Thursday. You can follow the meeting on the Council’s live-stream.

Read the Council report on the Southshore South New Brighton Earthquake Legacy Project.