Former mayor critical of Christchurch rebuild

3:41 pm on 4 September 2012

A former mayor of Christchurch has criticised the management of the city's rebuild following recent earthquakes.

Garry Moore says Cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee dominates the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority - and that needs to change.

He made the comments on the second anniversary of the September quake. The magnitude 7.1 quake occurred at 4.36am, causing widespread damage but no fatalities, unlike the February 2011 quake which devastated much of central Christchurch and killed 185 people.

Mr Moore told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Tuesday that responsibility for the central business district has been moved from the council to the Government, which he says is imposing unwanted and expensive plans such as a roof for the new sports stadium.

He said the Government is also imposing conditions which will stall any rebuild, with fees alone for the central city set to be $100 million.

But Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton says Mr Moore has got it wrong.

Mr Sutton said Mr Brownlee is the Earthquake Recovery Minister and, therefore, has overall accountability, but his own team has strong management also.

With the key decisions, such as land rezoning, he said you can't have a democracy as those sorts of hard decisions can't be made by a vote

Mr Sutton said there 1200 landowners in the CBD whose land the Government needs to buy in order to rebuild the city. He also rejected the idea that it is an old boys network, saying half of his team are women.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said no council would enjoy the way it has had to share responsibilities with the Government, or even be subordinate to it since then, and if he could wave a magic wand he would sort out people's finances, the Earthquake Commission and insurance companies.

Mr Parker said the tangle between households, EQC and insurance companies needs to be fixed.