Rebuilding Christchurch - Budget 2012 Speech

Posted 29 May 2012 by Swiggs Popular

 

Mr Speaker, the Government's final priority is rebuilding Christchurch.

The Government remains absolutely committed to supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch, our second largest city.

The total cost of the damage is estimated at more than $20 billion, so it is without doubt the largest - and most complex - economic project in New Zealand's history.

I want to pay tribute to the work of my colleague the Honourable Gerry Brownlee and the many public servants, community organisations, and families who have worked so hard to help each other through this disaster.

Considerable progress is being made.

Work on about three quarters of the 1,000 buildings required to be partially or fully demolished in the Christchurch CBD has been completed. Some 13,000 repair jobs are under way across greater Christchurch.

A significant number of infrastructure repair projects, worth about $820 million, have been completed, are under way or in the design stage.

And nearly 5,000 of the 7,000 property owners in the residential red zone have formally accepted the Government's offer to purchase their properties.

About half of these owners have already settled, allowing them to move on and restart their lives.

Mr Speaker,

The Government is providing considerable resources for the Canterbury rebuild.

We set aside $5.5 billion in Budget 2011 for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund.

We established the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

And we passed special legislation so the Government can step in where required to remove structural barriers to reconstruction.

Looking ahead, the Government is developing a blueprint for the central city to take forward the draft Central City Plan prepared by Christchurch City Council in consultation with the people of the region.

That blueprint will focus on anchor projects and precincts, and provide sufficient direction to encourage the investment needed for rebuilding.

The Government has assisted with land supply for housing by using special earthquake-recovery powers to amend land-use rules to allow rezoning of residential subdivisions.

There is now a significant amount of residential land available in greater Christchurch - potentially 26,000 sections over the next five years.

About 6,600 greenfields sections are expected to be released to the market within the next two years.

The Government is determined that residents can rebuild and move into their new or repaired homes as soon as possible.

Finalising the remaining residential land zoning decisions and the settlement of outstanding insurance claims is therefore a priority.

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