The week of 13 February 2017 will be long remembered for the devastating Port Hills Fire. Our hearts are with the family of Steven Askin the helicopter pilot who died fighting the fires, and with the families whose houses were destroyed. A great deal of the vegetation on the hills was also destroyed, raising significant ecological worries about the future of the Port Hills and the impact on our waterways.
At the 24 February Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board meeting, Karen Whitla and Alisdair Hutchison representing the Opāwaho Heathcote River Network, and Ken Rouse, Chair Cashmere Stream Care Group made a deputation informing the board of the need for the establishment of a multidisciplinary task force to deal with the effects of the fires on the Port Hills.
On the 24 March the Spreydon-Cashmere Community Board passed a resolution proposed by board member Helene Mautner that investigations are urgently needed to determine any immediate measure that can be taken to prevent sediment form the fire damaged hills from entering our waterways, and that the Cashmere Stream Care Group be involved in the consultation process. At the same meeting, OHRN representatives were heartened to learn that the Christchurch City Council had passed a resolution the day beforehand to fund such investigations.