The Recovery Plan's history

A team effort

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan reflects the aspirations, expertise, and hard work of thousands of people. 

The 'Share an Idea’ campaign drew over 100,000 suggestions from the Christchurch community and professional groups. Six main themes emerged from this:

Green city
  • A revitalised Ōtākaro/Avon River corridor.
  • New street trees, improved surface stormwater treatment and a new network of parks that encourage outdoor activities.
  • A greener, more attractive central Christchurch, which includes measures against climate change.
Stronger built identity
  • A lower-rise city with safe, sustainable buildings that look good and function well.
  • Use of strong urban design principles.
  • Strengthened heritage buildings that can be used for contemporary purposes.
  • An urban building fabric that speaks to our sense of place, our identity, our shared cultural heritage.
Compact core
  • A more compact central city core.
  • Well-designed streetscapes, redeveloped civic buildings, ultra-fast broadband and free Wi-Fi.
  • Car parking buildings and bus routes around the Core.
Live, work, play, learn and visit
  • High-quality inner city housing.
  • New metropolitan sporting facilities.
  • A new central library.
  • New public art and performing arts venues.
  • Playgrounds.
Accessible city
  • A city that is easy to get to and around for all age groups.
  • Excellent walking and cycling paths and high-quality public transport.
Embrace cultural values
  • A city for all people and cultures.
  • Recognise Ngāi Tahu heritage and places of significance.
  • A commitment to enhance an urban environment for future generations.
  • Cultural revitalisation as a catalyst for urban regeneration and prosperity.

Steps toward development

After the initial earthquakes Christchurch City Council was tasked with developing a draft recovery plan for the central city. It began by working with:

  • the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
  • Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd
  • the wider Christchurch community, who provided more than 100,000 ideas in the ‘Share an Idea’ campaign.

The first draft document was released in August 2011. Nearly 3000 people then made comments during the ‘Tell Us What You Think’ process.

The revised ‘draft Central City Plan’ was presented to the Minister in December 2011. The public were invited to make written comments to the Minister by 3 February 2012.

On receiving the comments, the Minister asked CERA to work on the document further. The Christchurch Central Development Unit was established within CERA to provide clearer leadership for the central city rebuild. Its first task was to prepare a final draft Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, including a blueprint plan.

The 100 days of the Blueprint

A professional group worked with CCDU to produce the Blueprint in 100 days. Key goals for the Blueprint were to:

  • identify anchor projects based on those in the Christchurch City Council's draft
  • locate those anchor projects and consider how they would integrate with each other as part of the new central city
  • provide guidelines for areas surrounding anchor projects including precincts.

This team also worked with planning and design professionals from Te Awheawhe Rū Whenua, Ngāi Tahu historians and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. It was crucial to make sure a Ngāi Tahu narrative continued to be part of the rebuild.

The Blueprint Report was provided to the Director of CCDU and material from it, including the Blueprint Plan, were incorporated into the revised Recovery Plan.

After the Minister considered the finalised Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, the final Recovery Plan was given effect by a Gazette notice on 31 July 2012.