Labour backing plan for local led recovery

The Government should speed up the Canterbury recovery by putting smart, local people with a track record of making things happen in charge, instead of trying to micromanage from Wellington, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.

“The Government’s legislation to establish Regenerate Christchurch has been released and proposes a messy, bureaucratic system where by this lead agency and local organisations like City Councils all have to submit different recovery plans to the Minister for sorting and approval. Labour cannot support this as it will mean more mess and delay for Canterbury.

“The future the Government is proposing leaves powers and oversight with the Government that are for an emergency and the immediate aftermath. That time has passed. The idea that any Government would contain emergency powers through to 2021 is unacceptable

“It’s time to look to the future and how to get our city really moving as we enter the next phase of our recovery. So, we will voting against the bill as it stands and will be tabling an amendment to the legislation to reflect a local proposal where, in the case of Christchurch, Regenerate Christchurch would coordinate a unified local plan with oversight from the crown. This was suggested by the Christchurch City Council, and we are disappointed to see it ignored by the Government.

In voting against this legislation, Labour is drawing a line in the sand and making it clear how the next phase of regeneration in Christchurch would be very different under a Labour government.

“The local leadership at Regenerate Christchurch, led by Andre Lovatt who has a stellar track record of making things happen at the Arts Centre, is best placed to get things moving faster. We can’t leave it to a Government which has been dragging the chain on everything from EQC and insurance, to the much delayed anchor projects.

“The Government seems to think that business as usual is good enough for Christchurch and is proposing to carry on with the huge powers the Minister has.

“We know that things need to move faster in Canterbury and our plan for a locally led recovery will get that happening,” says Megan Woods.