Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says today marks a significant step in the regeneration of greater Christchurch, with the introduction of legislation to replace the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.
“The new Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill will enable the Government to work in unique collaboration with local leadership organisations to ensure regeneration of the region beyond emergency response and recovery, with a clear future focus,” Mr Brownlee says.
“It will receive its first reading on Thursday.
“When we passed the CER Act in 2011 we were responding to a national disaster, with significant loss of life and massive damage to houses, commercial buildings and infrastructure.
“As the Government we urgently needed to find ways to help thousands of people who had their lives turned upside down.
“But almost five years on it is time for this form of extraordinary legislation to be replaced, so that we can continue to progress in a new way.
“We are moving on from emergency and recovery to a time of regeneration, and this needs to be appropriately reflected.
“This bill will allow the Government to continue the process of stepping back and enabling local leadership to take more control of planning and decision making required for regeneration.
“The bill allows for the preparation of Regeneration Plans, which will become statutory documents setting out the direction and detail for addressing the regeneration requirements of particular areas of greater Christchurch.
“This bill reflects the draft Transition Recovery Plan released in July, which set out proposals for the new legislation and invited public comment.
“It was developed in consultation with the Advisory Board on Transition, central government agencies and CERA’s strategic partners.
“Their advice is clearly reflected in the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill.
“I also considered the written comments made by the public on the draft Transition Recovery Plan when making decisions about the new legislation.
“The finalised Transition Recovery Plan will be released publicly later this week, and I would like to thank everyone for their carefully considered input.
“The bill will also enable establishment of a new organisation, Regenerate Christchurch, which will focus on the regeneration of specific areas of Christchurch city – initially the central city, the residential red zones, and New Brighton.
“Regenerate Christchurch will be jointly run by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council, and will exist until June 2021, after which time it will transition into a solely Council-owned organisation.
“An independent board of seven will oversee Regenerate Christchurch, with three members each appointed by the Crown and the Council, and one appointed following consultation with Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu.
“We have achieved a significant amount of progress in Christchurch and its outlying areas, progress which would have been impossible without the CER Act.
“Today presents a new opportunity with the introduction of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill.
“This Bill enables collaboration in a form that has not been proposed anywhere else in New Zealand, but which we hope might provide a template for other areas dealing with other challenges.
“I look forward to working with our strategic partners, the Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, Environment Canterbury and Ngai Tahu as we create a vibrant, regenerated greater Christchurch,” Mr Brownlee says.