MP seeks eastern renaissance

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 08:26 09/06/2012
Lianne Dalziel
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel

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A strong recovery plan for Christchurch's eastern suburbs could turn the area into the city's biggest attraction, Labour says.

Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel addressed Christchurch City councillors yesterday during the third day of the council's annual plan hearings.

The Labour MP encouraged the council to develop a master plan for the eastern suburbs.

Recovery efforts in the east could lead the way for the rebuild of the city, Dalziel said.

"I'd like the eastern suburbs to be a reason why people come back to Christchurch, why they want to live here and stay here and be part of the rebuild."

Residents in the east felt like they had been "asset- stripped" by the earthquakes, which caused significant damage to important facilities in the area.

Dalziel said a master plan could include plans for a rowing lake, as well as an aquatic theme park to replace the quake-hit Queen Elizabeth II Park facility. "If we could have hydro-slides and a wave pool - all of the reasons why kids actually enjoy it - we could capture that sense of fun, but not to the detriment of the other facilities."

The area's wetlands could also be turned into an international attraction, Dalziel said.

A master plan would allow the city to "stop thinking about lateral spreading and focus on lateral thinking", she said.

Dalziel also backed calls to provide full rates relief for residents who could not live in their homes because of the city's earthquakes.

Providing full relief to rockfall-affected residents, but only a 40 per cent reduction to those forced out of their homes for other reasons, was "both arbitrary and unfair", she said.

"If there's a 100 per cent rates remission for one, there has to be for others. It's simply a matter of equity," Dalziel said.

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