Development in Canterbury is to be fast tracked through changes to a local government plan.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement will be updated and modified to take into account the effect of the earthquakes in the past year.
Mr Brownlee says the changes will speed up the consents process for new subdivisions and require more intensive use of land in some urban areas.
"There is a significant amount of land that is effectively consented for subdivision but will still need appropriate subdivision consents that mean testing of the land for its seismic suitability and for all the other aspects of a subdivision."
Mr Brownlee says the changes will help accommodate displaced residents and allow for population growth.
The intervention is the second significant use of special powers given to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
A restriction on land development near Christchurch Airport was overruled under the powers.