The Christchurch CBD rebuild

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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