PM’s Christchurch Speech

Stuff has the speech here. Major aspects are:

  • A Greater Regeneration Bill.  The most directive powers under the current legislation will either expire or be amended to provide explicit roles for councils and, in certain cases, Ngai Tahu. The new legislation will apply to a much smaller area and some core provisions will be updated.  It will expire in five years.
  • CERA to go by April. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will provide overall coordination, monitoring and advice on future use of the red zone. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will lead the residential rebuild, procurement and oversight of the public sector rebuild.The Ministry of Health and Land Information New Zealand will pick up other operational functions.
  • A new entity, which we propose to call Regenerate Christchurch. The Earthquake Recovery Minister will work closely with the Mayor, the City Council and officials on how this new organisation will operate. We expect it will work along the lines of an urban development authority. It will deliver on both the Government’s and City Council’s objectives for the central city. We will work together to establish its objectives, functions, funding and powers – along with the appointment of a board.

Looks like more power going to back to the City Council, CERA to go, and a new urban development agency.

Also announced:

So today I can also confirm that Fletcher Residential has been selected as the Government’s preferred development partner for a new $800 million residential precinct in central Christchurch.

The East and North Frame Residential Precinct will provide around 940 new townhouses and apartments to accommodate up to 2,200 residents.

And there will be space for small-scale commercial activities to support the residential community.

For its part, the Government will sell seven hectares of land between Manchester and Madras Streets, from the river down to Lichfield Street, along with a small block in the North Frame.

Fletchers will progressively purchase blocks of land as the residential development is constructed and sold.

Construction will be spread over eight or nine years, and we expect the first homes to be completed within 18 months of a development agreement being signed.

We anticipate that will happen by the end of November this year.

Fletchers will be responsible for designing, building and selling the completed development, subject to minimum requirements agreed with the Government.

The townhouses and apartments are likely to be priced at between $400,000 and $900,000, but this will be for Fletchers to determine.

Christchurch’s centre was dying even before the earthquake. Getting a vibrant inner city going as a place to live, not just work, is crucial.

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