BusinessDesk: CERA unit to take control of Christchurch CBD rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says

BusinessDesk: CERA unit to take control of Christchurch CBD rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has directed the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to set up a new unit tasked with implementing the Christchurch CBD rebuild plan.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit has 100 days to come up with a blueprint that will deliver on Christchurch City Council’s draft plan to rebuild the city’s central business district, Brownlee told an audience in Christchurch today.

The plan will identify the location of anchor projects such as public buildings and strategic city blocks, and will examine how to streamline consent processes and what land amalgamation needs to be done to support developments.

“International experience suggests we have a three-year window of opportunity to get the rebuild and recovery framework underway,” Brownlee said. “The scale of the development of central Christchurch and the scale of reinvestment requires us to put in place extraordinary functions so that construction can take place in a coordinated manner.”

Brownlee shelved transport plans flagged in the first volume of the council plan, saying those options need to be considered “in relation to greater Christchurch” and that any commuter rail service would need to fit a wider strategy.

Last month, CERA boss Roger Sutton told Parliament’s finance and expenditure committee his organisation is working through some $2.5 billion of infrastructure reconstruction, with water, sewage, electricity and telecommunications networks at the front of the queue before new roading.

Brownlee said he has accepted most of volume one of the plan, which deals with the vision for the city, its precincts, distinctiveness, heritage and green spaces. A decision on volume two, which focuses on changes to the district plan, have been put on ice until the CERA unit prepares its blueprint.

“Today’s announcement is not a commitment to financing all the projects presented in the central city plan,” he said.

The new CERA unit will be headed up by Warwick Isaacs, who has been CERA’s general manager of operations and responsible for the CBD cordon, security and demolition of buildings.

The unit will also take responsibility to undertake development and investment promotion, and will schedule and coordinate construction once it gets underway.

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God help us! Now we are totally stuffed!!!!!!!!!

Chuckle.  You were stuffed before the earthquakes.
 
Not surprising Brownlee choked on light rail - anathema to his kind.
 
Makes a mockery of the Nanny State bleating, though. This is Central Planning with a capital P.

I am no fan of Brownlee or of many aspects of the Government's (central and local) responses to the earthquakes here, however, I give Gerry credit for sidestepping any endorsement of light rail for Chch or of abandoning the one way system around the central city.As a resident here for 30+ years I have encountered very little public support for either of those proposals.
I note with some apprehension the reference to compulsory acquisition of land and feel that may all end very badly for some landowners. Also, I wonder if our elected leaders actually have the talent to create something workable, economic and aesthetic on this scale. On the evidence of the decisions I have seen in the last 18 months, I'd have to agree with Chris J and say NO.

Yes, there's a debate to be had with the socialist/altruistic/green-instinctively types.
 
Their understanding of the need to abandon the motor car is correct, and the irony is that it will abandon us first.
 
The problem - and those folk aren't there in great numbers, yet - is that the plug-pull will also reduce the need for a CBD, and by implication, the need to commute thence.
 
A lot of folk are beginning to talk 'sustainability', and the smarter end know something is wrong, but not many are contemplating what it will really do to their 'work' or their 'income'. Too many sequential generations brought up believing that money just buys stuff (presumably therefore if you want more stuff, you just need more money).
 
That powerdown was already going to end badly for many who believed their purchasing power was what it has traditionally been.

Chris_J ,
When have you ever known ANY NZ government to get anything right?