FAQ - General

1.    What legislation are these decisions being made under?

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act (CER Act) was put in place in 2011 after the February earthquakes. That legislation provides the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) with a range of powers to enable a focused, timely, and expedited recovery of greater Christchurch.

2.    Why have we got a Christchurch Central Recovery Plan?

The CER Act required Christchurch City Council (CCC) to develop a draft Recovery Plan for the Central Business District (CBD) and provide that to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery within nine months of the legislation being enacted. The task of designing, rebuilding and renewing the city centre was considered important and complex enough to warrant a dedicated plan.  

The Minister reviewed the CCC’s draft Recovery Plan, taking into account its impact, effect and funding implications, and came to the view that it could not be approved without amendment.  In particular there was insufficient information in the draft on how the Recovery Plan would be implemented, and it proposed changes to the District Plan that were unnecessarily complex.  

The Minister therefore announced on 18 April the establishment of a special unit within CERA, the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU), which would lead and facilitate the finalisation and implementation of a Recovery Plan working in close collaboration with the CCC, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and other key stakeholders.  CCDU were given a timeframe of 100 days to provide a finalised document to the Minister for approval.

3.    Why has the community not been involved in the 100-day process?

The community was extensively involved in the development of the draft Central City Plan—the CCC’s draft Recovery Plan for the CBD.  The community provided over 106,000 suggestions for the central city through the CCC’s ‘Share an Idea’ campaign, and there was further opportunity for public comment in late 2011 and early 2012 after the draft Plan was delivered to the Minister.  CCDU was then tasked with finalising the Recovery Plan, based on the CCC’s draft Recovery Plan but with a strong focus on implementation.

4.    What is the effect of a Recovery Plan?

The approved Recovery Plan is a critical document which has statutory effect from the day it is publically notified in the Gazette.  From that time all people making decisions on Resource Management Act (RMA) matters (and related statutes) must not act inconsistently with the Recovery Plan.  This relates to decisions on resource consent applications, applications to amend CCC’s District Plan, applications for designations etc.  Where there is any inconsistency between the Recovery Plan and any other RMA document, the Recovery Plan prevails.

5.    How can I get printed copies of the Recovery Plan?

Printable electronic copies of the Recovery Plan can be downloaded from the Plan page.

6.    Will there be a printed summary of the Recovery Plan?

A 16 page executive summary can be downloaded from the Plan page.

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