Laws in place for next Chch recovery stage

  • 31/03/2016

Parliament has settled its squabbles over the next stage of the Canterbury earthquake rebuild and passed the law to establish the body which will oversee it.

The Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill got unanimous support during its third and final reading in Parliament today.

More than five years after the destructive February 22 quake which killed 185 people, the Bill will allow the establishment of Regenerate Christchurch, which will next month take over from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says it will transition over the years from 50:50 government-Christchurch City Council organisation to be fully controlled by the council.

The Government was still committed to anchor projects in the central city, via its company named Otakaro. Announcements would be made in near future around the Metro Sports facility and a convention centre, he said.

Mr Brownlee said Land Information NZ was acting as the manager for red-zoned residential areas the Government owned in Christchurch.

"The decisions about what its future use might be will be led by Regenerate Christchurch."

Mr Brownlee used his speech in parliament to have a crack at the local paper, The Press, which ran a piece this morning saying he would cede some power but still have the power of veto.

The paper had a "generally negative approach that that paper has taken to anything that is progressive in Christchurch", he said.

However, he went on to defend the "back-stop position" which would be held by a minister for when other laws were involved.

Labour's Wigram MP Megan Woods said the revised Bill would deliver the kind of locally led recovery that the people of Christchurch wanted.

Labour and the Greens last month withdrew their support for the bill because they thought it gave the government too much power. That led to the parties renegotiating the Bill.