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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Call to turn abandoned land green

Call to turn abandoned land green

DAVID WILLIAMS

Last updated 12:03 24/06/2011
 
The Government should honour Christchurch residents whose earthquake-damaged properties will not be rebuilt by turning riverside land into green spaces, a Green Party MP says.

About 5000 Christchurch homeowners will have their land bought by the Government in a package announced yesterday. The future of the land, which will be owned by the Crown, is unclear, however.

Christchurch Green MP Kennedy Graham, a former diplomat, said Christchurch people and urban design experts were yearning for green spaces.

"What New Zealanders seem to want and need now is interestingly enough found in Europe, which is they want green spaces inside their cities," he said.

"They don't want a concrete jungle and then need to escape from the concrete jungle to get out into the countryside.''

Prime Minister John Key has not ruled out the land becoming residential suburbs.

However, Graham said just "slapping up" homes again in those worst-hit areas was a bad response in terms of continued seismic activity, sustainability and sea level rise.

"It would honour those residents if the land were turned into green spaces ... at least the area of the red zone that contours the river."

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