City rebuild will take 15 to 20 years

Posted 04 Jul 2011 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Rebuild , Media
This post was added to the Stuff.co.nz website - click here to view this item

The rebuilding of Christchurch will take 15 to 20 years, say experts.

The man who led the recovery of Manchester after an IRA bombing in 1996 said it took 15 years for the city to recover.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said he wanted to be part of Christchurch City Council efforts to find international inspiration.

Leese spoke via videolink on Friday to competitors in the 48 Hour Design Challenge held in Christchurch, telling competitors it took 15 years for the English city to recover from the bombing.

He also told a British newspaper that he was keen to help the Christchurch recovery. "They've got a pretty horrendous job there and clearly anything we can do using our experience of the last 15 years to help with that process, we want to," he said.

"There are similarities in the tasks that have faced both cities.

"We had to get the city centre functioning again, particularly commercially, and get people back into work as quickly as possible."

The Christchurch City Council plans to consult politicians, officials and e

xperts who have dealt with disasters, and bring some leaders to Christchurch.

Council strategy and planning general manager Mike Theelen said staff could consult with the leaders, who could also deliver a public lecture.

"We want to pick their brains," he said. "We want to start bringing out a number of key speakers who have experienced various types of disaster and its consequences. It is another step along the way of reconstruction.

"We are looking to Europe and possibly the United States, where they have had natural disasters. We want to find out where things have gone right and where things have gone wrong."

Theelen said he would like to bring the Manchester leader to Christchurch as part of a lecture series.

Theelen said Leese's comments were a reminder that the Christchurch recovery would take time.

"We have often said it is going to be a long, slow process," he said.

"We are talking about 15 to 20 years. It is always on that sort of scale. The face of Christchurch has changed irrevocably. There will never be a quick fix."

Theelen said the lecture series would be funded from the $11.8 million central-city plan development budget.

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