Skip to content.
25 May - 10:50 am NZ
Updated at 10:30 pm on 2 July 2012
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has been accused in the High Court in Christchurch of abusing his special powers to free up land near Kaiapoi for new housing.
A group of land owners, including Independent Fisheries, is seeking a judicial review of Mr Brownlee's decision on the basis that it disadvantaged them and property developments they planned.
Land owners say Mr Brownlee has abused his position and gone beyond what Parliament intended when it gave him the emergency powers.
The plans the region's councils had for urban growth were stalled in the Environment Court at the time of the earthquakes in 2010 and last year.
To fast-track the freeing up of land, Mr Brownlee used his emergency powers to take the plan out of the court and enact it straight away. The minister changed zoning rules to allow housing to be built inside Christchurch airport's noise corridor.
Independent Fisheries says the change precluded residential development on land it owns and Mr Brownlee acted unreasonably.
The company says the extraordinary powers given to the minister following the quakes were to respond to issues thrown up by the quakes, but that the changes in this case went beyond that.
It says councils lobbied Mr Brownlee to use his powers to bring in the changes so they could over-ride challenges from land owners and get what they wanted regarding urban planning rules.
An affidavit from Gerry Brownlee says the move was necessary because of the looming shortage of houses in Christchurch.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
Audio is categorised based on the frequency of the programme it was heard in. Click on the headings below to access the programmes. For the most recently published audio, go to the latest audio page.
Streams are in Windows Media format. Mac and Linux users may need to install additional software. Get help with audio
A selection of music interviews, reviews, videos, concerts, sessions, and performances.
Downloads and podcasts are available for selected programmes. Our podcast page has a complete list of feeds.
Help on using online audio: formats, software, podcasts, downloading, and troubleshooting.