Christchurch CBD rebuild blueprint unveiled

  • John Key
Prime Minister Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Prime Minister John Key says the new and innovative central city design unveiled in Christchurch today is an exciting next step in the rebuild and recovery of New Zealand’s second-largest city.

Today’s announcement marks the completion of the Christchurch Central Development Unit’s work over the past 100 days, which culminated in the Recovery Plan being released today after being approved by Cabinet.

Mr Key says the redevelopment and rebuild of Christchurch is important not just for residents and businesses, but to the rest of the country.

“Many lives were tragically lost and thousands of homes and buildings destroyed in the earthquake on 22 February last year.

“This redevelopment of the city will be testament to the past as well as an important step into the future.

“The new-look city centre will be home to a variety of attractions. Its central focus will be on the core of the city – it will be an area that will once again be a vibrant hub with business, retail, and residential development as well as relaxation spaces,” Mr Key says.

Christchurch’s CBD will be smaller and bordered by a unique green frame on its eastern boundary, which will connect through to green spaces in the north and south, and linked by a walkway and cycleway to Hagley Park.

A state-of-the art stadium, a metro sports facility and a new convention centre – all within the boundaries of the new and compact CBD – will ensure Christchurch regains its place on the map as an entertaining and attractive city that caters to all.

“We are announcing these anchor projects to provide certainty to the private sector, which is interested in investing in other projects around them such as hotels, restaurants and retail developments,” Mr Key says.

“For those anchor projects where the Government has the primary responsibility such as the hospital redevelopment, justice and emergency precinct and education facilities, we will get on and get them done for the good of the city.”

The funding for the other anchor projects, which are more in the nature of civic assets, such as the stadium, convention centre and metro sports facility, will need to be worked out between the Christchurch City Council and the private sector.

Mr Key says the ideas from the wider community prompted the design of the Papa o Otakaro/Avon River Park, which will see a pedestrian and cycle-focused corridor developed through the city along the banks of the Avon River.

“As a former Cantabrian I am delighted to see this plan for new development and to know construction will soon be underway to rebuild my old hometown.”

Mr Key says the end result will be a new Christchurch, built on the foundation of ideas provided by those who live, work and play there, and adapted to ensure the city can be accessed and enjoyed by all who visit.