25 Sep 2015

Future of Christchurch rebuild revealed

12:40 pm on 25 September 2015

The future of the Christchurch rebuild has been revealed, with a new agency - called Regenerate Christchurch - overseeing the next phase of the reconstruction.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel  and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee at the announcement of the next phase in the rebuild of Christchurch.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee at today's announcement. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel have unveiled details of the new plan in Christchurch this morning, which is designed to replace the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act before it expires in April next year.

Regenerate Christchurch will be a joint entity tasked with overseeing the long term development and enhancement of the central city, residential red zone, New Brighton and other potential regeneration zones. It will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Mr Brownlee described it as a unique partnership that offered a new way of thinking about how central and local government could operate in the future.

"Christchurch will be leading the way and the rest of New Zealand will look to this partnership as a new way of working."

Regenerate Christchurch will be jointly owned and funded by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council and will have an independent board, which will report to both the Crown and Council.

Christchurch art.

Regenerate Christchurch will take charge of the quake-hit city's ongoing rebuilding efforts Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Its functions are likely to include developing plans and strategies to assist with regeneration, monitoring regeneration outcomes and interventions, facilitating investor experience, and providing independent advice to Council and the Minister.

An independent board will be appointed to ensure the new agency will be managed in a completely different way to the current entities - the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Christchurch City Council.

Ms Dalziel said the the new entity was a first for New Zealand and had the potential to provide a new model for Crown and council collaboration beyond Christchurch.

"The establishment of Regenerate Christchurch signals a shift in focus for Christchurch from recovery to regeneration. The structure of the new entity allows for community engagement in the decision-making process, which is crucial to the future prosperity of our city."

The new organisation will work in tandem with the city council's existing Development Christchurch Limited as well as a Crown-controlled company, which is currently also being developed.

Legislation is required to set up Regenerate Christchurch and the new bill is expected to be introduced to the House next month.

Ruth Dyson, Labour's earthquake recovery spokesperson, said the announcement heralded a return of decision-making roles to the community.

She said it provided the much-needed certainty that local and international investors had been calling for, and would give them the confidence to look at the region as a place to invest in and do business.

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