Crown told to consult on rebuild

GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 05:00 31/03/2014
ruth dyson
DON SCOTT/ Fairfax NZ
CHRISTCHURCH MP: Ruth Dyson.

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The Government needs to take a leaf out of the Christchurch City Council's book and consult widely on its anchor projects before residents feel they are not part of the city, a local MP has warned.

Ruth Dyson, Port Hills MP and Labour's earthquake recovery spokeswoman, said the council's extensive consultation around the new central library was a great example of involving the wider community but she was concerned the public might get limited chances to have their say on anchor projects led by the Crown.

Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) director Warwick Isaacs said its consultation differed, depending on the project "and in the context of the need to ensure there is progress in the central city rebuild".

Dyson said that meant the Crown would rush through some projects with little or no consultation.

"I think Gerry [Brownlee] and Cera (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) seem to think consultation means delay. I don't agree with that."

The council would not comment on the Government's consultation plans but The Press understands it is unhappy about some projects potentially having little or no public feedback.

Isaacs said the anchor projects were developed from the "highly successful" Share An Idea campaign and the CCDU had also run a public feedback campaign for the Avon River precinct that was "in a similar vein" to the present central library consultation.

For other Crown-led projects, it would use a "more targeted consultation and engagement" approach.

He cited the bus interchange project, where bus and coach companies, business groups, police and public transport user groups had been approached.

Potential users of the Metro Sports Facility were asked for their feedback and suggestions, Isaacs said.

"On top of this, there has been widespread public engagement and consultation and opportunities for the public to have their say on all projects at events such as the Canterbury A and P Show."

Dyson said the Government risked losing any "buy-in" from the public.

"If people aren't part of the decision making, they will start feeling as if it's not their city anymore."

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- The Press

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