Questions must be asked about why the proposed East Lake seems to have been removed from the Residential Red Zone regeneration exhibition, and some answers are needed as to the reasons for its exclusion, National’s spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.

“The East Lake project is a hugely popular proposal that would provide the city with a flatwater facility for kayaking, rowing, waka ama, dragon boating, yachting, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming, cycling and walking in the Residential Red Zone,” Ms Wagner says.

“It has been included in many of the different proposals put out for consultation so I’m extremely surprised and concerned see it excluded from the final exhibition.

“The proposal has been developed by the East Lake Trust, a community-led project, in conjunction with other community and sports groups after Regenerate Christchurch was specifically asked by the Council and the Government to assess the feasibility of a water sports facility in the area.

“In April this year they reported that such a facility was not feasible because of the lack of a water supply, the impact on storm water and concerns around flooding.

“But at a recent meeting with representatives of flatwater sports, the agency is reported to have said that these were not the real reasons for excluding the facility, but were simply given because people could understand them.

“This project has been anticipated for several years now and many people in Christchurch were excited by the opportunities a facility like this would offer.

“To see the hard work of these community groups now excluded from the exhibition is disappointing in itself. To now have doubt cast on the reasons for this is a source of understandable frustration and confusion.

““For any decision to be credible it must be evidenced-based, and accepted and understood by everyone concerned, even if they disagree with the outcome. This decision has failed that test.

“I’d expect the Minister responsible, Meagan Woods to come out and give a clear, honest explanation as to why the project has been excluded – and I’ll be asking that of her,” Ms Wagner says.

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