Central City Announcement

Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the Government's response to the redevelopment of the Christchurch Central City.

Since December 2011, the Minister has been considering the draft Central City Plan prepared by the Christchurch City Council. The Minister supports the Plan as the basis of the way forward, but has determined that a greater focus is needed on how to bring the Plan to life.

With this in mind, a new entity has been established known as the Christchurch Central Development Unit. Led by Warwick Isaacs and working in collaboration with the Christchurch City Council, this Unit which will be responsible for implementing the Central City Plan.

The key task given to the Unit is to prepare a redevelopment blueprint for the Central City within 100 days. This blueprint will identify the location of anchor projects such as public buildings and strategic city blocks, and is intended to stimulate demand and increase investor confidence in the rebuild.

Other functions of the Unit include:

  • Identify how to streamline consent processes;

  • Identify location options and land amalgamation requirements to support anchor projects and other developments;

  • Undertake development and investment promotion and attraction; and

  • Schedule and coordinate construction.

In relation to the Plan itself, Volume 1 (which sets the overall vision for the Central City) has been largely accepted by the Minister. The main exception to this is the transport aspects of the Plan (including one-way streets and light rail), which have been put on hold pending more detailed assessments. The Minister has also emphasised that no commitment has been made to funding all of the projects in the Plan, which will be determined through the Council's Annual Plan process. In relation to Volume 2 of the Plan (which contains detailed changes to the existing City Plan), the Minister has decided that this should be put on hold while the implementation blueprint is developed.

To read the Minister's full speech, please click here

To read a more detailed commentary on the announcement and its potential implications, please click here.

Posted on Wednesday 18th April, 2012 at 02:56 pm