People will be able to enjoy four kilometres of new walking track when Christchurch City Council’s award winning stormwater basin in Hoon Hay opens to the public on Friday.
The stormwater basin is part of a 109-hectare network of basins and wetlands which the Council has been working on in the upper catchment of the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River. The facility as a whole has been named Te Kuru and includes the Eastman Wetlands.
The Council is investing more than $50 million in the project and last month picked up a national award for it.
Council Head of Three Waters Helen Beaumont says this section of the project is now complete and ready for the public to use. It has four kilometres of walking track and large areas of wetland and native planting for people to enjoy.
It will eventually link to three other stormwater storage and filtration basins that will collectively be able to store more than one million cubic metres of flood water in big rain events, reducing the risk of flooding downstream.
In total, the area will provide around 14 kilometres of walking tracks, cycle tracks and bridges as well as large swathes of native plantings. About 110,000 trees and 600,000 native plants are going in the ground as part of the revegetation effort.
“Improving our floodplain and stormwater management was obviously the catalyst for this project but a lot of effort has gone into ensuring this area also delivers long-term ecological and recreational benefits for the city,’’ Ms Beaumont says.
“When the stormwater basins aren’t being used to store flood water, we want people to be able to enjoy this area and for it to be habitat for birds and other wildlife, including lizards.
“Friday’s opening of Te Kuru is a taste of what is in store for the rest of this area. When the other stormwater basins are completed, this entire area will become a recreational and ecological asset for the city."
The name Te Kuru ‘the blow with the fist’ was recommended to the Council by Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Mana whenua have historically used it to reference the area.
*A public opening event is being held at Te Kuru on Friday 18 November between 10.30am and 12.30pm. The event is an opportunity for people to come along and learn more about the area and the wider project and to take a walking tour of the site. The best entry point to Te Kuru is from the new carpark located at 600 Cashmere Road.