This section contains other resources on the land in the residential red zone. 

Residential red zone boundaries

Christchurch’s flat land residential red zone includes land along the Ōtākaro/Avon River Corridor (Avon Loop through Burwood and Avondale to New Brighton and Bexley), Brooklands, and Southshore. It covers about 537 hectares (including boundaries, roads, reserves and land not in Crown ownership).  

The Canterbury Maps website administered by Environment Canterbury provides enhanced web mapping tools including a ‘CERA Land Check Zones’ map that shows the extent of the residential red zone. 

Coastal Marine Area

Parts of the residential red zone are near the coastline. The Coastal Marine Area is defined in the Resource Management Act 1991 as the foreshore, seabed, and coastal water, and the air space above the water: 

  • Of which the seaward boundary  is the outer limits of the territorial sea
  • Of which the landward boundary is the line of mean high water springs, except where that line crosses a river, the landward boundary at that point shall be whichever is the lesser of – one kilometre upstream from the mouth of the river
  • The point upstream that is calculated by multiplying the width of the river mouth by five. 

It has a statutory purpose defined in the Resource Management Act and relevant policy statements or plans prepared under its provisions. As definition of the Coastal Marine Area boundary is related to geographic features, its legal position has moved in areas where there has been significant subsidence or uplift of land. It is relevant to note that Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and the Department of Conservation have carried out a review of the definition of the mouth of the Ōtākaro/Avon River and as a consequence, the extent of the Coastal Marine Area at the north end of the estuary has changed.  

For more information:

Environment Canterbury

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet 


Historic heritage

Chapter 9 (Natural and Cultural Heritage) of the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan (and associated planning maps) identifies historic heritage places and settings that represent cultural and historic themes and activities of importance to the district. Significant historic heritage places with a high degree of authenticity and integrity are listed on a schedule and are subject to rules or provisions that protect them from inappropriate subdivision, use and development. 


Sites of Ecological Significance 

Sites of Ecological Significance (SES) have recently been identified by Christchurch City Council in accordance with the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (2013), and these are detailed in the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan. These sites contain areas of significant native vegetation and/or significant habitat for native fauna. Sites can be terrestrial (land) or aquatic (waterways and coastal environments). There are restrictions in the District Plan with regards to certain activities within and adjacent to SES.

A decision on the Chapter 9 natural heritage provisions of the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan has not yet been issued by the Independent Hearings Panel. 


Land clearance

Residential Red Zone Interim Land Clearance Treatment Methodology (PDF 2.12MB) report was prepared for CERA in 2012 to assist with decision making about interim land clearance treatment options on Crown-owned residential red zone properties. 

The report also include appendices and maps:

Maps of interim land clearance treatment options for the Avon River Corridor, Southshore  and Brooklands

Maps of land elevation and changes in land elevation for the Avon River Corridor, Southshore and Brooklands (PDF 4.8MB)

Maps of recorded archaeological sites for the Avon River Corridor, Southshore and Brooklands (PDF 1.1MB)


The revised Residential Red Zone Interim Treatment Area Categories (PDF 4.28MB) report was published in 2013 with further analysis of ‘grassland’ treatment areas.


Retained Vegetation  

Residential Red Zone Vegetation Retention Methodology – Version 2.0 published in November 2012 details the methodology informing post-land clearance vegetation retention in the residential red zone. It was prepared by Land Information New Zealand, CERA and Boffa Miskell Ltd. Vegetation Retention Maps are in an appendix.


Significant Trees 

Chapter 9 (Natural and Cultural Heritage) of the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan and associated maps identify significant trees. 



Waterways in Christchurch are recognised in the Christchurch District Plan where they are described as:

  • Utility Waterways
  • Environmental Asset Waterways
  • Hill Waterways
  • Downstream Rivers
  • Upstream Rivers
  • Coastline

These classifications reflect assessments of a range of amenity and ecological values as well as flooding and geohazard risks identified by Christchurch City Council for each waterway.  

Chapter 6 General Rules and Procedures of the proposed Christchurch Replacement District Plan includes waterway classifications. The Independent Hearings Panel decision has not yet issued a decision on this chapter. 


Parks and Reserves

The Public Open Space Strategy shows many Christchurch City Council parks and reserves. The strategy identifies connections for recreation, walking, cycling and ecological purposes. 


EQC Land reports and land insurance publications

This page includes a directory of land publications and reports into land damage written or commissioned by EQC. They are grouped by topic.