All ours now

The award-winning Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct is now under the exclusive stewardship of Christchurch City Council, with the transfer of its final feature – the North Frame pedestrian bridge – from the Crown to the city’s ownership.

Stretching alongside the Avon River from Christchurch Hospital to Fitzgerald Avenue, the Avon River Precinct boasts an array of attractions, including the beloved Margaret Mahy Family Playground, City Promenade, Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial and the Avon Loop.

Spanning around 48,000m2, New Zealand’s largest public realm transformation has seen over 500 trees, 45,000 plants and 34 artworks and installations added to the central city.

Rau Paenga Director of Programme Delivery, Greg Wilson, says the $120 million public space has become a significant part of the city’s landscape. “Whether it’s the many sunny spots to sit for lunch, its versatility as an events space for occasions such as the Tirama Mai light festival, or its convenience as a route for Te Pae delegates to access shops and restaurants, the Avon River Precinct enhances the central city experience for both locals and visitors.”

Mr Wilson says the North Frame pedestrian bridge has become a well-used connection for people on the northern side of the city to the Avon River Precinct since opening in 2021. “While the transfer of the bridge to the Council marks the end of our work along the river, I look forward to seeing how the river corridor continues to evolve with future private developments.

“The many people that have contributed to the creation of Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct should take immense pride in their work and in reaching this significant milestone today.”

Christchurch City Council Interim Chief Executive Mary Richardson says this is an important milestone. “With the completion of the bridge, the last piece of Te Papa Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct has now been handed to the council. “Te Papa Ōtākaro Avon River Precinct makes our city a more vibrant and enjoyable place for people to spend time, and the bridge creates a connection locals and visitors can use when exploring our city. “We look forward to continuing in our role as kaitiakitanga (guardian) of this important place.”

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