ECan appeals Brownlee court ruling

MICHAEL BERRY
Last updated 10:51 26/07/2012
Brownlee
DEAN KOZANIC
OUT OF BOUNDS: Justice Chisholm has ordered a judicial review of the process Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee took in rearranging Canterbury housing boundaries.

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Environment Canterbury has appealed the High Court's decision to set aside changes Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made to the housing boundaries of greater Christchurch.

The High Court ruling, released on Tuesday, set aside changes Brownlee had made to the 1998 regional policy statement, the blueprint for where residential growth of greater Christchurch should go.

It said he used his special powers for the wrong reasons when rearranging the boundaries.

Brownlee has not ruled out his own appeal.

The case was expected to head to the Environment Court, the next stage in the Resource Management Act framework and where it was going before Brownlee stepped in.

However, in a statement yesterday, ECan commissioner Peter Skelton said the regional council has applied for a stay of the High Court's orders and challenged it at the Court of Appeal.

ECan is one of the Urban Design Strategy (UDS) partners that first wrote up the boundaries strategy, along with Christchurch City Council, the Waimakiri and Selwyn district councils and NZ Transport Agency.

If the appeal is granted, Brownlee's changes would be reinstated until the appeal is resolved.

"The greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy partners remain united in their view of the need for an overarching planning instrument to guide urban development in greater Christchurch," Skelton said.

"The partners consider this need is critical to earthquake recovery where resources are stretched and focused on the community's recovery over time."

A functional regional policy statement gave development in Christchurch the direction and certainty it needed after an earthquake, he said.

He anticipated the other UDS partners would also lodge appeals to the Court of Appeal.

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- The Press

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