What is Waitākiri Sanctuary?
Waitākiri Sanctuary would be a fenced ecologically-restored enclosure. Free of introduced predators and pests. For the reintroduction and conservation of native species that have been lost from the locality. A mix of wetland and lowland habitats encompassing Travis Wetland and the west Burwood residential red zone, 150ha area, 8km fence.
Waitākiri Sanctuary is currently a community project still in the making. So the ecosanctuary is not physically here yet. Therefore is something the community is working towards.
What did Waitākiri Sanctuary used to look like?
Before the Canterbury earthquakes, over 5000 households lived along the Ōtākaro Avon river corridor. Unfortunately, the liquefaction caused bad land damage during the quakes. As a result, was unsuitable for housing. It became the residential red zone (RRZ) with the Crown buying most of the properties. Ecosanctuary.
Therefore the houses were demolished in 2012 and most of the roads closed. So to shape future uses of the area, Regenerate Christchurch developed the Ōtākaro Avon River Regeneration Plan, based on extensive public consultation between 2016 and 2018. This allows for about half of the area to be a ‘green spine’, guaranteeing public access to the river, and allowing for native forest and wetland regeneration. The rest of the RRZ s set aside for projects, such as the Waitākiri ecosanctuary. This will about the green spine, and complement it in both ecological and recreational terms. Ecosanctuary.
The below photos are of the nearby Waygreen Ave, demonstrating how the area went from a suburb to its current state of disrepair.
How is it improving?
The Eco-sanctuary charitable trust is actively working to bring this project to life. By focusing on their strong purposes and collaborating with the Travis Wetland, Mana whenua and the Christchurch Council. So, we look forward to seeing further action on the ground soon.