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Good afternoon. Thank you for the invitation to be here with you as we remember the destructive and terrifying earthquake that struck this city and the surrounding areas two years ago today.

It claimed the lives of 185 people and because of that, February 22nd will always be a poignant day for the people of Canterbury.

I would like to acknowledge and welcome here the family and friends of those who lost their lives.

I know this is a difficult day for you.

Your grief is still raw and only time can help to numb the pain of your loss.

  • John Key
  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
  • Prime Minister

Thank you all for being here today, inside the CBD cordon.

Rather than being known as the Red Zone – which denoted dangerous buildings and subsequent demolition – this will now be known by the CERA team as the Rebuild Zone, because frankly, that’s what’s going on.

I want to talk to you today about what’s happening in the city and what will happen over the coming years. First I’ll spend a little time reminding you why we’ve done some of the things we’ve done.

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Today’s launch of the Economic Recovery Programme is an opportunity to reflect on how far Canterbury has come since the earthquakes, and the many reasons we have to be optimistic about the region’s future.

It’s an incredible testament to the resilience of the business community that based on recent estimates regional GDP for Canterbury has bounced back to pre-earthquake levels.

Economic activity data has shown Canterbury to be the fastest growing region in New Zealand over the past 18 months, and the rebuild proper is only just beginning.

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

We’re now just a few days shy of the second anniversary of the first earthquake, when we were so lucky that no one was killed.

I want to provide you with an overview of the recovery process to date and the significant progress that we are making.

But first, I want to thank the rest of New Zealand for the incredible level of support and assistance that the Canterbury region has received over the last two years. From all ends of the country, New Zealanders came to our aid and continue to support us.

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

Good morning everyone.

First let me introduce who is here this morning for this announcement.

I would like to very warmly welcome Mayor Bob Parker.

Also with me are CERA Chief Executive Roger Sutton and CERA Operations Manager Warwick Isaacs.

The reason we’re here today is because the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act required the Christchurch City Council to prepare a draft CBD plan, which was presented to me as Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery on the 21st of December 2011.

  • Gerry Brownlee
  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery