Budget 2012: Recovery of Canterbury on track

  • Gerry Brownlee
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Budget 2012

The recovery of Canterbury is on track and is starting to hit its stride, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

In a pre-Budget announcement with Prime Minister John Key in Christchurch today, Mr Brownlee said the Government will have spent $2.45 billion of the $5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund by 30 June this year on important rebuild and recovery initiatives in the wider region.

“We are forecast to spend another $2.17 billion from the Fund in the coming financial year as the repair and replacement of damaged horizontal infrastructure – drinking water, waste water, storm water, and roading – ramps up and we build new infrastructure to support the growth of greater Christchurch,” Mr Brownlee said.

Supporting the rebuild of Christchurch is one of the National-led Government’s four priorities for this term.

Mr Key and Mr Brownlee today visited the Longhurst and Knights Stream Park subdivisions in Halswell, which will comprise of 1400 sections, to view progress of bringing new land to market in greater Christchurch.

“The Government pulled out all the stops to get this subdivision moving, including fast-tracking consent approval and supporting the development of infrastructure to service it, such as the $40 million Western Interceptor sewer upgrade.

“Already 150 sections have been sold and house construction will begin in July.

“With a price tag of some $2.5 billion, the Crown’s share of horizontal infrastructure repair and replacement is the biggest component of the Government’s $5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund, announced in Budget 2011,” Mr Brownlee said.

Undertaking the massive task is an alliance of private companies and central and local government agencies known as the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), which is employing around 950 people.

“In the next few months, the infrastructure rebuild will ramp up to $40 million work being completed each month and an estimated 120 to 150 work sites underway throughout the city at any one time, involving a workforce of 2500,” Mr Brownlee said.

The SCIRT alliance has three funding partners, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), Christchurch City Council (CCC), and New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), and five delivery members – City Care, Downer, Fulton Hogan, MacDow, and Fletcher Construction.

Mr Brownlee said the SCIRT team had wasted no time identifying what needed to be done and getting on with the job of getting Cantabrians’ lives back to normal.

“Already 59 projects valued at $90 million are being constructed across Christchurch.

“Another 168 projects valued at $65 million are in the process of being handed back to Christchurch City Council, while 121 projects worth $667 million are in the design process,” Mr Brownlee said.

Work already completed has seen 12,000 square metres of road repaired, 12.6km of wastewater pipe installed, and another 9.5km of drinking water pipe installed.