The Christchurch CBD rebuild

April 18th, 2012 at 10:44 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A new Central Development Unit has 100 days to prepare a ”Blueprint for Action”.

The unit will be headed by Warwick Isaacs, currently the general manager of operations for , the Canterbury Recovery Authority.

The new unit was announced today by the Minister for Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee. He said it was time for action and the city needed a clear direction for the centre’s rebuild.

The unit has been created as part of Cera because of the authority’s wide-ranging powers, which include compulsory acquisition of land for major projects.

Brownlee said the Government had largely adopted the ’s draft plan for the centre.

He said the unit would second staff from the city council and Environment Canterbury, but it would collaborate with the City Council and it was not a takeover.

The council will remain the consenting authority, but Brownlee made a commitment that building consents for the central city would be approved within 14 days.

Isaacs has an extensive record in local government. He was the chief executive officer of the Timaru District Council for 10 years before coming to Christchurch after the February 22 quake as part of Civil Defence’s emergency response team.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker welcomed the unit and said he was delighted that the Government had essentially accepted the community’s vision for its city.

He told a business leaders’ briefing this morning that the unit’s ability to develop and implement a plan showed that the Resource Management Act could not deliver the ”speed, direction and outcomes that we need”.

Seems pretty sensible to me. We await the condemnation from the Labour Party Mayoral candidate.

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12 Responses to “The Christchurch CBD rebuild”

  1. Nookin (3,263 comments) says:

    “Seems pretty sensible to me. We await the condemnation from the Labour Party Mayoral candidate.”

    She already condemned it in advance this morning. Once you got around the contradictions she basically said that nothing that Brownlee produced could possibly work — not because of the content but because of the way she thought he might go about it. She went on about the need for decisive, certain action on the one hand, the need to involve the people on the other, the fact that CCC was about to be emasculated and the fact that CCC was useless anyway. Someone should give her a happy pill and tell her to go play in a sandpit somewhere.

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  2. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    ‘building consents for the central city would be approved within 14 days’

    So pretty much a rubber stamping process then.

    How are we going to avoid ending up with a city that is full of cheap and nasty tilt slab buildings?

    [DPF: Do you advocate the normal consenting process, which would see a new CBD oh around 2025?]

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  3. Lindsay Addie (1,325 comments) says:

    Afaik the less decision making on the big issues by the CCC the better. Organising a piss up in a brewery would overtax them mightily.

    I do agree with YesWeDid about how the CBD will look re the architecture. Unless there are very good looking buildings it’s not going to be a successfual rebuild in the longterm. Also I think just putting a whole heap of shops back there isn’t a goer for me either. It’s time for some imagination. Retailing in the CBD was very overexposed before the quakes started.

    Time for some foreign investment methinks, even Chinese money wouldn’t hurt!

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  4. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    [DPF: Do you advocate the normal consenting process, which would see a new CBD oh around 2025?]

    So the only two options are 14 days or 14 years?

    I would advocate a consenting process that was timely but took into account wider planning requirements, if these planning requirements are probably communicated then the consent process should be straightforward, 4-6 weeks would not seem unreasonable. It’s taken nearly 18 months to get the first new CBD buildings almost completed after the initial September shake and that would seem a reasonable time period.

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  5. lastmanstanding (1,278 comments) says:

    Looking on from north of the Bombays its seems two fifths of FA has happened in CCh. Talk about the wheels moving slowly. And I do feel for the citizens who have lost their homes and been dicked about by the Gumint and its agencies and the insurance companies.

    I really feel for them. Poor sods. We seem to have a desensitised beauracracy in NZ. The muppets who appear on TV radio etc show absoluetly no empathy for the victims.

    As for the CCH Council.. Spare me. They would have to be the worst example of Local Government and thats saying something given the dumbnuts we have trying to run Auckland and failing miserably.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,864 comments) says:

    i just hope the architecture of new Christchurch is going to be good.

    An group of talented artists should design the overlook and feel. I trust a talented artist to get the design right over a christchurch bureaucrat or boring kiwi trained architect any day.

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  7. RRM (9,770 comments) says:

    YesWeDid (638) Says:
    April 18th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    ‘building consents for the central city would be approved within 14 days’

    So pretty much a rubber stamping process then.

    How are we going to avoid ending up with a city that is full of cheap and nasty tilt slab buildings?

    [DPF: Do you advocate the normal consenting process, which would see a new CBD oh around 2025?]

    You might like to re-think that statement DPF.

    There would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if a “fast-tracked” building consent process was instigated, and then in say December 2012 there was a strong aftershock that collapsed a brand-new building with loss of life, and it turned out that the building had been the subject of a “fast-tracked” consent process and contained design flaws. It would be everybody’s fault, and nobody’s fault, and “the system’s fault”. You would probably write a post about it.

    “Normal” building consent applications only take 20 working days to be turned around. Supposedly…

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  8. tvb (4,315 comments) says:

    Parker is not providing the necessary leadership. Like dolly patrons tits the job is just too big for him. In ordinary times Parker would be an adequate mayor. I hate to admit this but Anderton would have made a better fist of this but he would have some problems too with his autocratic style.

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  9. Richard Hurst (830 comments) says:

    Considering the large of big buildings in the CBD yet to be taken down, let alone start building ones, I think 2025 is beginning to look realistic.

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  10. Joseph Carpenter (213 comments) says:

    What an eff’n joke. As RRM states by law the Council MUST issue or refuse a Building Consent within 20 working days after application (or 10 days for a national pre-approved multi-use design). Well if Gerry Brownlee got off his bloody fat arse and actually went into the Christchurch City Council building consent unit he would have seen a little sign on the counter stating the average waiting time for Building Consent approval was 60 DAYS, thats right they were blatantly advertising their illegal actions!

    And YesWeDid this for BUILDING consents not Resource consents you idiot.

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  11. freethinker (688 comments) says:

    Whilst councilors have some responsibility they are primarily there to decide policy, management is the responsibility of the town clerk (AKA CEO) so all Gerry has to do is keep the pressure on Marriott, wait for him to fail, which he likely will do, 3 warnings & bye bye. Dismissing the councillors & invoking new elections would give ratepayers the opportunity to decide who will provide the necessary leadership &transparency of decision making to represent their best interests and if any of the plans for venues and consequent rate increases are so important to all ratepayers that they should be a greater priority than returning citizens homes & essential facilities to a fit state.Will key & Co do this – certainly when Christmas day falls on good Friday, in the meantime the exodus of people & cash will continue.

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  12. martin english (40 comments) says:

    The effects of Red Tape, from the WSJ

    Tornado Recovery: How Joplin Is Beating Tuscaloosa
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577309220933715082.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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