Court upholds challenge to minister's zoning decision

1:05 pm on 20 December 2012

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has lost an attempt to appeal against a court ruling that he acted outside the law in fast-tracking a new housing development near Christchurch.

The ruling by the High Court in Christchurch in July was the first legal challenge to special powers the minister, Gerry Brownlee, was given as part of the earthquake recovery legislation.

Mr Brownlee was attempting to overturn the decision which said he failed to follow the Earthquake Recovery Act in using his emergency powers to push through a housing development in Kaiapoi.

The Court of Appeal released its decision on Thursday, upholding the earlier ruling.

The Appeal Court judges said Mr Brownlee had failed to consult with the public, as he is required to do under the Act.

While they disagreed with the way he went about things, the judges agreed with the ultimate aim of Mr Brownlee's actions which was to provide certainty for future land development in Canterbury.