Gerry Brownlee aware of concerns Regenerate Christchurch has 'not achieved a great deal'
Gerry Brownlee says he is aware of concerns Regenerate Christchurch has "not achieved a great deal" during its first year.
The organisation was established after the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill passed unanimously in March last year and took over some functions of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
It has begun the early stages of a draft regeneration plan for the 535-hectare red zone along the Avon River corridor.
Brownlee, the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister, on Friday acknowledged worries about the agency's progress.
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"I will say I am cognisant of the concern that some have expressed that Regenerate have not achieved a great deal in their first 12 months of existence," he said.
Under the legislation, the Minister must review the operation and effectiveness of the Act annually.
"I think, as we do that, we'll be assessing how effective the powers that Regenerate have have been in moving things forward in the city," Brownlee said.
In a statement, Regenerate Christchurch chief executive Ivan Iafeta said his organisation was "very conscious of moving forward as quickly as possible" and that the community was looking forward to progress.
"We also recognise that it is important to balance this against the need to ensure we are including the community in the process as much as possible and to establish a response to the opportunities in the Otakaro Avon River corridor that will bring multi-generational benefits to the city and region.
"Over the past year, Regenerate Christchurch has undertaken a wide range of planning and public engagement work as part of the overall planning process.
"It is worth noting that we have started with two of the most complex areas identified in our letter of expectations – the central city and the Otakaro Avon River corridor."
Regenerate Christchurch's statement of intent, released in November, set out its planned activities for 2017.
All milestones had been met and work was on track, Iafeta said.
"This work led to the preparation and publication of the draft outline for the Otakaro Avon River corridor in December 2016, it is currently with Otakaro Ltd for consent.
"It is worth noting there was a significant amount of public feedback on the draft outline that a longer timeframe is needed to develop and engage on the draft [regeneration] plan."
Regenerate Christchurch had begun the early stages of the draft plan, which included technical and community research and activities, such as Community Day on March 25.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel in a statement said she was "not aware of any concerns about what Regenerate Christchurch has achieved since they were established".
"They are only just coming up to their full complement of staff – numbering around 25 – and they are not the only agency with the ability to develop regeneration plans under the Act," she said.
"It's not over to Regenerate Christchurch to do all the heavy lifting alone is what I'm saying."
The council had completed an outline plan for the Cranford area, which was heading for sign off next week.
"Regenerate Christchurch has started the community engagement on the outline regeneration plan for the Otakaro-Avon River corridor and their community engagement approach is exemplary and exactly what our communities have been asking for.
"It is an enormous area and offers many opportunities for regeneration."
Regenerate Christchurch had also announced work in the central city, which was an "exciting opportunity to get fresh eyes" on Cathedral Square and to "understand the ambitions" of surrounding property owners.