All going well, 650 of Christchurch’s youngins will be working together to regenerate sites left desolated by the Christchurch earthquake. Two schools— Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti and Discovery 1—are on the hunt for empty earthquake sites they can transform into green spaces.
“We’ve got some money, a heap of labour and the businesses we’ve spoken to in the central city are really keen to assist in many ways. What we really need is a site,” says Tanja Grzeta of Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti’s school.
The schools have their eye on a local site on Manchester street, a site Grzeta says is currently “looking really sad”. But getting consent from the council to temporarily tarnsfrom the site is perhaps unsurprisingly becoming a task in and of itself.
“Our enquiries to officials at City Council have told us it can’t be a temporary greenspace and that it must be used for car parking. We are struggling to understand that because there is ample car parking in the nearby Tuam St carpark now that the Council has moved to its new premises,” says Grzeta.
But she says the schools would be happy to work on any site offered to them. “We are happy to create the greenspace in a way that it can be easily shifted when buildings reoccupy the site. We totally understand that these sites need to be available for redevelopment, but we also understand that may take months or even a year or two.”
If you’ve got a space you’d like to offer, you can contact Tanja Grzeta on (03)374 1067.