© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Children forced to 'walk on water' to school

Daniel Perese
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The Kiwirail Bridge, which spans across Heathcote River from Richardson Tce to Clarendon Tce is undergoing work.   Daniel Perese

Residents and city councillors call for flood mitigation on Richardson Tce and Clarendon Tce.

Resident Kirsty Birds said the recurring flooding was dangerous for children, who were removing their shoes and socks to walk through water on their way to school.

Birds has taken the issue to the Waikura (Linwood-Central-Heathcote) Community Board.  

She said flooding occurred whenever rained heavily and during King Tides. It had been getting steadily worse since the 2011 earthquakes.

Birds said now was the time to fix the problem as the roads were closed due to work being done on Kiwirail Bridge, which spans across Heathcote River.

Residents were eager for flood mitigation work to be done before "we miss the boat", Birds said.

She said the flooding wasn't just a risk to people, but property and cars, which got stuck in the water.

Christchurch City Councillor Yani Johanson said the community board had agreed in 2018 to make a plan to solve the Heathcote River flooding issue. No plan eventuated, however, much to the frustration of residents in the area.

Johanson said the city council had received a memo from staff with a plan to solve the flooding issues. The plan involved raising the footpath.

City councillor Sara Templeton said the plan ought to go ahead and probably did not the approval of elected members.

She hoped the footpath was fixed as soon as possible, so the children had a dry and safe walk to school. 

Flooding on Richardson Tce (Supplied: Kirsty Birds)