Transition plan 'positive' for Christchurch

Christchurch City councillors have welcomed the Government's draft Transition Recovery Plan as a positive step forward for the city.

The recovery plan, released last week by Prime Minister John Key, outlines the Government's plan to introduce a new law later this year to replace the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery (CER) Act.

Called the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, the new legislation would run for another five years from April, and would formalise the transition of Cera's functions to other government agencies, local councils and Ngai Tahu. It would also establish a new commercial entity, Regenerate Christchurch, that would be responsible for the regeneration of the city.

The Government has committed to working collaboratively with the council on both the legislation and the form and function of Regenerate Christchurch.

"This is is a great opportunity for us to work positively with the Crown to arrive at the best outcomes for Christchurch," the council's transition manager, Brendan Anstiss, told councillors on Thursday.

Cr Paul Lonsdale said the recovery plan highlighted a shift in the Government's thinking on Christchurch.

"I'm really looking forward to this collaborative approach with the Government and the shift in control that will happen in the city over the next five years," Lonsdale said.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the council had an incredible amount of work to do in a relatively short space of time as the bill was likely to have its first reading in September or October.

Council chief executive Karleen Edwards said the challenge would be to ensure the council's objectives for the transition aligned with those of the Government.

Edwards and Cera chief executive John Ombler have been directed to work together to provide advice and information to help the mayor and the Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee in their discussions about how best to achieve the investment and regeneration objectives the Government and the council have. 

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Council staff would also be working with officials from Cera and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Edwards said.

 - Stuff

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