Caring for the environment  |  7 Jul 2022

A guidance plan outlining the future focus of work to improve the Ōpāwaho Lower Heathcote River was today endorsed by the Christchurch City Council.

The lower Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Guidance Plan provides a framework for decision-making and action along the river corridor to restore and enhance it.  

It recognises that it is a valuable taonga and that improvements will be made by working collaboratively across Council and in partnership with the Community.  

The plan covers the area from the Opawa Road bridge to the Ferrymead bridge. 

“I welcome the Council’s endorsement of the Guidance Plan which is recognition of a collective community effort to improve the lower Ōpāwaho Heathcote River,” says Ōpāwaho Lower Heathcote Working Party Chair and Councillor for the Linwood Ward, Yani Johanson. 

“The Guidance Plan provides a clear vision for strengthening the river’s natural ecosystem and corridor aligned with a cultural framework. It aims to get greater synergy across Council activities with communities to improve the ecology and water quality of the river while providing environmental and recreational benefits for generations to come.

"I'd like to acknowledge with appreciation the contribution of the working party members, Council staff and the community board in developing the plan."

The plan gives present and future Community Boards, Council and community groups a ‘big picture’ framework from which to advocate for projects and funding over time.

It has been developed over the past four years by the Ōpāwaho Lower Heathcote Working Party of the Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board, which included members of the community and organisations with an interest in the waterway, alongside Council staff.