Addington Brook naturalisation

The first stage of Addington Brook, a spring-fed urban waterway running through Hagley Park, is being naturalised over the next year.


Addington Brook is a spring-fed urban waterway that passes through heavy industrial land before flowing through Hagley Park to join the Ōtākaro-Avon River near the Botanic Gardens.

Work will begin in January 2024 to naturalise and restore this waterway.

Download a high-resolution version of this map [JPG, 714 KB].

Why we're naturalising Addington Brook

Addington Brook was identified as a priority catchment for restoration by ECan due to consistently poor water quality and catchment health.

Most of the timber that once lined the steep banks of the brook has rotted away and there are clear signs of slumping and undercutting following storm events.

These images were taken only a few months apart - before and after a rain event.

Several trees have also grown within the waterway edges which create blockages during storm events.

There are also safety concerns about having an open waterway, with such steep banks in an area heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Opportunities and benefits

The naturalisation of Addington Brook will:

  • Improve the biodiversity and health of the waterway.
  • Restore the waterway to its full drainage conveyance capacity which will reduce peak storm water flows.
  • Provide a diversity of new trees, planting, and instream features with safe access to Addington Brook in select locations.
  • The Addington Brook naturalisation combined with another future upstream stormwater filtration system will improve the water quality and health of the Ōtakaro-Avon River.
  • Positive social, physical and landscape impacts on the wider Hagley Park and an enhanced community asset utilising the Council's six-value approach to waterway management including cultural, drainage, ecological, heritage, landscape and recreation values.

Addington Brook before the start of work.

An artist's impression of Addington Brook naturalisation once plants have matured.


Our aims and values

Mahinga Kai (Natural resources)

To create a healthy ecosystem for community through native biodiversity and habitat that will help to restore the mauri (life-force) of the Addington Brook and the Ōtakaro-Avon River.

Kaitiakitanga (Guardianship)

To create, through an understanding and respect for natural resources once abundant in the area, a restored landscape that shows the deep relationship between people and all elements of the natural systems.

Whanaungatanga (Identity)

To create a landscape that enhances our sense of identity and place and strengthens the community’s health and wellbeing.

Whakapapa (Connection)

To create a place that strengthens the relationships and natural interactions between the community and the landscape through restored natural ecosystem values.

Tree plan

To allow for a range of tree species of various ages and heights around the waterway, the Council intends on retaining and transplanting as many good candidate existing trees as possible, as well as planting over two hundred and fifty new trees in Stage 1. 

Some trees will need to be removed to allow us to balance the cultural, drainage, ecological, heritage, landscape and recreation values of the waterway and Hagley Park.


Over the years, Addington Brook has shifted naturally and for improvements to Hagley Park.


The project has been divided into two stages:

  • Stage 1 construction starts in January 2024 and lasts approximately 9 months.
  • Stage 1a construction will begin shortly after stage 1 starts and will also be completed in around 9 months.

Works will encompass the area north of the netball courts and past the cricket fields to Riccarton Avenue.

Download a high-resolution version of this plan [JPG, 933 KB].

Hagley Park access routes

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