1 Apr 2018

Kennedy's bush track reopens in Christchurch

3:59 pm on 1 April 2018

More than a year after the Port Hills fires forced its closure, Kennedy's bush track in Christchurch will be reopened to the public today.

Port Hills one year on from the devastating fires.

Port Hills one year on from the devastating fires. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

The track has remained closed for months longer than expected because the council said it was waiting for a private landowner to clear some fire-damaged trees that posed a safety risk.

The track leads up from the suburb of Halswell to the top of the Port Hills and has been well used by mountain bikers and walkers.

It crosses through private and council land, mostly along a legal unformed road, which winds up the hill.

It used to cover 5.3km but until now only the first 700m had been open.

The delay prompted Christchurch resident Chrys Horn to form the Kennedy's Bush Track Network, a Facebook community group for locals who want the track reopened.

"I am really, really pleased. It's awesome. It's really good to have the group there to make it clear to the council that we are really keen to have it open and that there are other stake-holders involved other than them and the landowner," said Chrys Horn.

Firefighters try to save a house from fire on Port Hills in Christchurch. The fires destroyed nine houses and one helicopter pilot died fighting the blaze.

Firefighters try to save a house from fire on Port Hills in Christchurch. The fires destroyed nine houses and one helicopter pilot died fighting the blaze. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

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