Peter Townsend and Miriam Dean to join Crown company board

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend has been announced as a director of the Crown's ...
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend has been announced as a director of the Crown's new rebuild company.

A prominent Canterbury business leader will join the Crown's new company to help oversee the delivery of Christchurch's major rebuild projects.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the newly-named Otakaro Limited would continue to "build on what we are achieving" when it took over from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority later this year.

Peter Townsend, the chief executive of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce, and Auckland lawyer Miriam Dean QC have been announced as two of the company's directors.

Dean was appointed by the Government to produce an independent report on the damaged Christ Church Cathedral last year.

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She found the cathedral could either be reconstructed to be "indistinguishable" from its pre-quake self or replaced.

Otakaro Limited would manage the Crown's assets in Canterbury and would oversee the delivery of anchor projects, such as the convention centre and metro sports facility. 

"These two directors set a high bar for the governance of Otakaro Limited, and I know this will give everyone with an interest in Canterbury's recovery confidence in the future direction of the city's new key assets," Brownlee said. 

The organisation would work alongside the Christchurch City Council's Development Christchurch and both would work alongside Regenerate Christchurch, the new joint recovery agency. 

"The Government remains committed to the major projects and precincts it has facilitated and begun work on, and we are looking forward to seeing this work move forwards in the hands of Otakaro Limited," the minister said. 

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Ross Butler, the chairman of Government-owned insurer Southern Response, was announced as the organisation's chairman late last year.

Butler said he was confident the recovery transition would be a smooth process.

Recruitment for Otakaro Limited's chief executive had begun.

The name was chosen with the help of Matapopore, an earthquake recovery group within Ngai Tahu, and reflected the city's connection to the Avon River, Brownlee said. 

 - Stuff

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