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The creation of yet another layer of bureaucracy for the Christchurch rebuild will come as cold comfort for a city that expected its vision to be realised by the government, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel.
“A ‘blueprint for action’ is proof that the model the government chose from the outset has failed,” Lianne Dalziel said.
“The people of Christchurch needed to hear about a vision for the central city that reflected the ideas that the community expressed through the Share an Idea campaign. They needed timelines and milestones, not more stalling tactics.
“Ironically, the announcement of the Christchurch Central Development Unit coincides with the anniversary of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act which received the Royal Assent on the 18th April 2011.
“The Government has wasted almost an entire year with ill-thought out processes. Now it has actually come up with a unit which has the potential to deliver the visionary master plan our city needs, but we have to wait 100 days to find out whether it lives up to that potential.
“The truth is that the CERA model was flawed from the outset.
“Gerry Brownlee is now trying to market this as a collaboration - wasn’t that what the existing model is supposed to be?
“This so-called partnership with the city council is disingenuous. The reality is there has been no collaboration between councillors and the government about the proposal.
“The fact that the Mayor and the members of the Christchurch City Council learned the fate of their proposal at 4pm yesterday is a travesty of process and substance.
“Papering over the cracks created by putting a single Minister in charge fools no one. Without a layer of governance between the Minister and the recovery authority we have decisions being made by Cabinet, implemented by bureaucrats and undermining the last remaining democratic institution in Christchurch – our city council.
“Today’s announcement is little more than a patch-up job – something Christchurch is unfortunately used to,” Lianne Dalziel said.