The Government’s shift in position to support a locally led Canterbury recovery is welcome, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.
“We pulled our support for the Bill as it was reported back from Select Committee for the simple reason that it was a continuation of the top-down approach to the recovery that has delayed progress in Christchurch for years.
“It is good that National have recognised that this approach was inadequate and have instead embraced the alternative plan for a locally-led recovery that Labour has been championing. After robust negotiations, we are pleased to see a model that will speed up the Canterbury recovery.
“We have worked with the Government and other parties to produce changes that will: transfer critical decision making powers from the Minister to locals; reduce the emergency powers the Government has assumed over Christchurch through CERA legislation; and ensure greater local input into decisions about the future of our city.
“With these changes, smart local people will be able to take charge of the recovery and get the progress that has been missing. We drew a clear line in the stand when we stated that it was time for a locally led recovery.
“The Minister has listened to our views and made significant changes. On this basis, Labour will be supporting the Bill through its final stages.
“From here, we need the Government to not only change the law but to change their approach. We will be holding them to account to make sure Cantabrians get the progress they deserve,” says Megan Woods.