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Christchurch regains normal planning powers following earthquake rebuild

21 Feb The process of rebuilding Christchurch in New Zealand has reached a major milestone with the return of planning powers to the city council eight years after the 2011 earthquake.

Projects in the rebuild of Christchurch have include a new convention centre
Projects in the rebuild of Christchurch have include a new convention centre

The earthquake on 22 February 2011 killed 185 people and caused extensive damage.

Following the earthquakes, special emergency planning processes had been implemented that suspended certain processes in the interest of speed and certainty during the rebuild. Christchurch City Council is now being given back control over its district planning process two years ahead of schedule, said minister Megan Woods. “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,” she said. “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,” she added. “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.”

Woods said that the milestone has been met more than two years ahead of schedule. “This is a great sign of momentum in our regeneration,” she said.

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. People, along with the council, will be able to initiate changes to the plan. They will be able to submit views on proposed changes, attend hearings and participate in proposing amendments.


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