Local Councillors feature prominently in key events of the inaugural Spring River Festival this weekend.
The festival will be officially opened on Saturday by Councillor Peter Beck at the Owles Terrace riverside pontoon at 9:45am. The ceremony involves a waka leading a flotilla downstream to the pontoon where a representative from Ngai Tuahuriri will disembark and address the gathering. He will be carrying a ceremonial wakahuia (feather chest) bearing the feathers of the karoro (black backed gull) and pass these over to Rev Beck.
Following the opening ceremony the flat water regatta will begin between Pages Road bridge and the Owles Terrace pontoon (a change of venue from Kerrs Reach which is closed due to incompletion of the rebuilding works).
"I am honoured to be opening the inaugural Spring River Festival" says Councillor Beck.
"This is a fantastic grassroots community initiative with many groups working together to make it happen! It will become an annual iconic event for the whole city, in our aquatic heartland where the city comes to play."
"People are having a really tough time, and we need festivals like this to celebrate our human spirit and our determination not to be overwhelmed by the sense of powerlessness and frustration so many feel", says Councillor Beck.
At 2pm on Saturday afternoon Councillor Glenn Livingstone will be a lead rider in the "Grand Bum-buster Stopbank Bike-a-thon", a rough-terrain bike tour of the river stopbanks starting from the corner of Retreat Road and Avonside Drive. The circuit will follow the river from Avonside to Pages Road bridge then back again on the other bank.
"The Spring River Festival is a great initiative by Evan Smith and his team for the community", says Councillor Livingstone.
"While life is difficult and will remain that way for residents for some time yet in the Burwood/Pegasus ward, events like this give us hope that we will move from survival to significance as a community at some point in the future."
"The river itself represents that journey, one of winding and twisting and, while the earthquakes have affected it and in turn affected the homes in our community, it is to be respected, cared for and cherished as a central place in our community's life."
"As it evolves, so will we as a community, taking our place again in relation to it", says Councillor Livingstone.
Meanwhile on Saturday afternoon, Councillor Beck will exchange his dog collar for more casual attire and MC the JUMP JAM Jamboree starting at 1pm in Windsor School Hall - a must for energetic youngsters of all ages!
"Eastern Visions: Share an Idea for the East" stalls will be running at these events. Councillor Beck is right behind this initiative, "Please take a chance to share your vision for the future at the Eastern Visions stalls. It is the wisdom of our local communities which needs to drive the recovery and new life of our city."
"'Share an Idea' set the framework for the central city. Now we the people of Christchurch must make sure that we take control of the wider future of our city, and not just let it be done to us. So join in the fun of the weekend and dream your dream for the future!"
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