Canterbury researchers launch red zone story app

01 April 2019

University of Canterbury researchers are launching a community storytelling project about the residential red zone.

University of Canterbury researchers are launching a community storytelling project about the residential red zone on Wednesday, 3 April.

The launch of Red Zone Stories introduces a free app that residents can use to record and share impressions and stories about places important to them. The app, and associated website, present the stories on a map-based platform.

Speakers, including Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Avon-Ōtākaro Network co-chair Evan Smith, Coastal Burwood community board member Linda Stewart, and UC’s Head of the School of Humanities and Creative Arts Professor Paul Millar, who is Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the College of Arts, will discuss the importance of telling the stories of the land and communities that connect to it.

The map contains a mana whenua story layer, in which the ūpoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Associate Professor Te Maire Tau, tells the story of key locations in and around the residential red zone.

The app has been developed by the UC Arts Digital Lab. Co-director Associate Professor Donald Matheson says the storytelling project builds both a citizen’s archive of what the red zone means to people and a resource for decision-makers about the red zone.

“The red zone is not empty space, but full of history, stories and personal connections,” Assoc Prof Matheson says.

“As we get further from the time of the quakes and the physical traces of the homes, schools and other places fade, it’s important we record what this land means to people.”

The work is funded by the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge and is supported by Regenerate Christchurch.

Launch: Red Zone Stories, Wednesday 3 April, 5.45pm, in the Spark room, Tūranga Library, 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch

Workshops: Two workshops on how to use the app and website will be held at Tūranga Library, in Ngā Purapura: Activity Room, on Friday 5 April, at 3.30pm and at 6.30pm. No booking is required.

Further detail on the project: or

For further information please contact:

UC Communications

  • All media enquiries are directed to the UC Communications team.
  • Email for media enquiries (business hours, Monday - Friday)
  • Call 03 369 3631 for media enquiries (business hours, Monday - Friday)
  • Call 027 503 0168 for urgent media enquiries (after-hours, Monday - Sunday)

Tweet UC @UCNZ and follow UC on Facebook


NZ business leader in plant-based medicine earns PhD

Since founding natural healthcare company Artemis in 1998, Sandra Clair has played a key role in advocating for plant-based medicines to be recognised ...


Seven UC students and grads to learn how Asia does business

A third of the 21 New Zealand students and recent graduates embarking on internships to learn how Asia does business are from the University of ...