The Crown and Christchurch City Council have signalled a new era in central and local government relations with the development of a joint entity to drive the city's regeneration.
The Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee, and the Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel, today outlined plans to establish Regenerate Christchurch - a joint entity tasked with overseeing the long term development and enhancement of the Central City, residential red zone, New Brighton and other potential regeneration zones.
The Council this week agreed to the working scope of the new entity, paving the way for the next steps in its establishment. Mr Brownlee welcomes this as a positive step forward.
“The groundwork has been laid for this regeneration and we are now at a point of being able to take significant steps forward in the development of a truly vibrant region,” he says.
"This is a unique partnership and offers a new way of thinking about how central and local government could operate in the future. Christchurch will be leading the way and the rest of New Zealand will look to this partnership as a new way of working."
Regenerate Christchurch’s functions are likely to include developing plans and strategies to assist with regeneration, monitoring regeneration outcomes and interventions, facilitating seamless investor experience, and providing independent advice to Council and the Minister.
Regenerate Christchurch will be jointly owned and funded by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council. It will have a board which will report to both the Crown and Council. After five years the organisation will transfer to the city as a fully Council Controlled Organisation (CCO).
Appointing an independent Board ensures that Regenerate Christchurch will be managed in a completely different way to the current entities, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Christchurch City Council.
Mayor Dalziel says the new entity is a first for New Zealand and has the potential to provide a new model for Crown and council collaboration beyond Christchurch.
“The establishment of Regenerate Christchurch signals a shift in focus for Christchurch from recovery to regeneration. The structure of the new entity allows for community engagement in the decision-making process, which is crucial to the future prosperity of our city."
Community engagement and participation will be important to the success of Regenerate Christchurch, so residents can expect to hear from the new organisation as work gets underway. The first step will be to jointly appoint a chairperson who will guide the Regenerate Christchurch establishment unit.
The new organisation will work in tandem with the city council’s existing Development Christchurch Limited as well as a Crown-controlled company, which is currently also being developed.
Legislation is required to set up Regenerate Christchurch as there is currently no shared ownership model which meets the objectives of both the Council and the Crown.
This work is underway as part of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, supporting regeneration of greater Christchurch following the expiry of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011. The new bill is expected to be introduced to the House next month.