Recently we reached a major milestone in the Canterbury recovery, with Christchurch City Council being given back control over their district planning process years ahead of schedule.
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 and that’s why I was incredibly proud to announce the return of the planning powers to the council.
Following the earthquakes, special emergency planning processes were implemented that suspended certain RMA processes in the interest of speed and certainty during the rebuild. Eight years on, 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.
Putting this change in place meant revocation of the Canterbury Earthquake (Christchurch Replacement District Plan) Order 2014 which took effect from 18 March 2019. The council can now revert to normal planning processes to manage its District Plan and it also means that the people of Christchurch, along with the council, will be able to initiate changes to the District Plan. They’ll be able to submit on proposed changes, attend hearings and participate in proposing amendments.
I’m delighted that we have been able to meet this milestone more than two years ahead of schedule. It’s a significant step in the transition back to local leadership and a great sign of momentum in our regeneration.