Single quake reconstruction agency makes sense - mayor

10:46 am on 24 March 2011

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says it makes sense that a single authority is being set up to lead the city's reconstruction instead of the commission put in place after the September earthquake.

The agency will oversee the rebuild in conjunction with local government.

Mr Parker told Morning Report that although the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Commission worked hard, its officials were spread too thinly in the outlying areas to get ahead.

He said the intention was good, but in the end, the commission did not perform in the way that was needed and a single entity with a clear line of responsibility is very important.

The new agency will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

A senior Wellington public servant is reported to be its head. Martyn Dunne of the Customs Service is believed to have been selected.

Mr Dunne served over 20 years in the army, leading New Zealand forces into East Timor after its bloody referendum on independence in 1999.

He ended up with the rank of Major General.

He then headed the customs service before being appointed High Commissioner to Australia.

His term there will be delayed so he can set up the earthquake authority and get it running.

Mr Mr Dunne's appointment will be announced on Tuesday, along with the structure of the new agency.