Major rebuild milestone as planning powers returned to Christchurch

A major milestone has been achieved in the Canterbury recovery, with Christchurch City Council being given back control over their district planning process years ahead of schedule, Minister Megan Woods has announced.

“I’m a strong believer that the best future for Christchurch is one where we return to local leadership over the future of our city.

“Following the earthquakes, special emergency planning processes were implemented that suspended certain RMA processes in the interest of speed and certainty during the rebuild.

“Today I am proud to announce that we are returning the planning powers to the Council, marking a real return to local leadership.

“This is a sign of how far we have come in Canterbury. As we approach the eighth anniversary of the February 22nd earthquake, we are now able to return to the same planning processes that other cities use. It’s a powerful signal that Christchurch is moving out of its rebuild phase and looking to its future as New Zealand’s thriving second city.

“This change is achieved through the revocation of the Canterbury Earthquake (Christchurch Replacement District Plan) Order 2014 which will take effect from 18 March 2019. The Order was due to expire on 30 June 2021 on the expiry of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016.

“We’ve been able to meet that milestone over two years ahead of schedule. This is a great sign of momentum in our regeneration.

“The Christchurch City Council can now revert to normal planning processes to manage its District Plan, marking a significant step in the transition back to local leadership.

“This means that people, along with the Council, will be able to initiate changes to the District Plan. They will be able to submit on proposed changes, attend hearings and participate in proposing amendments," says Megan Woods.