Rebuild behind schedule - Labour MPs

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 08:59 29/07/2014

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The residential rebuild has been "painfully slow" in the hands of Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, two Labour MPs say.

Christchurch City Council figures show 2160 code compliance certificates have been issued from July 2012 to last month in comparison to 4996 building consents.

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said with so few rebuilds and new homes being completed it was "easy to see why rents and house prices continue to go through the roof". "The Government likes to crow about projected consent figures, but code compliance certificates for new dwellings are a much better indicator as they are issued after building work is completed," he said.

"Gerry Brownlee's rebuild has fallen way behind schedule."

Budget 2014 documents show the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) forecasts 25,000 new homes will be required by 2020.

"At this rate it will take 25 years to meet Cera's target."

EQC spokesman Clayton Cosgrove was concerned about the amount of new homes being built.

"And now we've got lawyers in Christchurch warning of shoddy repair jobs, and saying it could be as big as the leaky buildings crisis."

Insurance lawyer Duncan Webb told Radio New Zealand that because there was no auditing process in place, substandard repairs were being signed off.

Cosgrove said Brownlee should have put quality control measures in place at the beginning of the rebuild to "get it right first time".

Brownlee said the 25,000 figure was a projection of the total housing need out to 2021 and included the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts, not just Christchurch City.

Consent and compliance figures for the regions were not readily available yesterday, he said, but there had been "substantial growth" in the districts.

It was estimated that 1500 new homes were needed in Christchurch City between 2012 and 2016, he said.

"Mr Twyford is upset that only 2160 [compliances] have been issued when we're actually running 660 ahead of what the demand was estimated to be out to 2016 and we've still got two years left."

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