Press Release – Christchurch City Council
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker is facilitating the establishment of an independent Central City advisory group. This group will represent a cross section of key influencers in the central city community to support the implementation of the Central City Plan.Monday 12 December 2011
Central City advisory group to be established
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker is facilitating the establishment of an independent Central City advisory group. This group will represent a cross section of key influencers in the central city community to support the implementation of the Central City Plan.
He has asked Sir John Hansen, a retired High Court Judge, to chair and determine the members of the independent body. Sir John has enthusiastically embraced the challenge.
“We are now beginning to move from the development of the plan, having completed hearings and deliberations, to the implementation phase. We need to move beyond bureaucrats to the actual groups in the private sector whose investments, vision and hard work will ultimately define the success of this unprecedented opportunity to rebuild our City,” Mr Parker says.
“I imagine this group will have about 15 members, all key influencers in the city, and will include representatives from Ngai Tahu, retail, business and property owners and the arts, sport and educational sectors,” Mr Parker says. It will also include representatives from Council and CERA.
Their focus will be on the Central City’s Compact core, the surrounding commercial fringe, and the new mixed residential zone in the South of the Central City area. They will not be focusing on the existing residential zones inside the four avenues.
“It is just so good for the city that a person of Sir John’s ability is involved in creating this group.”
He says next week the Council will hand over the Central City Plan, a crucial piece of work developed from the vision and ideas of thousands of residents, to the Minister of Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee.
“It’s so important that we sustain the progress that we have made and as we enter the next phase engage the various groups, particularly the private sector, to ensure that we end up with a well designed, quality city with the vision of a low rise city for people enhanced,” Mr Parker says.
Mr Parker says the private sector has a huge task ahead of it in rebuilding Christchurch’s Central City.
“While the Government and the Council will have a role to play with institutional investment such as building a convention centre and ensuring Government Departments return to the central city, the success of rebuilding our Central City relies heavily on the private sector. We have to recognise that it’s going to be private capital that funds most of the rebuild,” Mr Parker says.
“This independent body will be there to encourage and help bring together property owners, investors and the business sector with other important groups representing the arts, sports and entertainment as well as education.
“Our new Central City Plan contains a lot of flexibility for developers and landowners who can pool land and resources for better quality outcomes. Our goal is to encourage high quality comprehensive developments.
“Encouraging separate land owners in a city block to work together to create more integrated and exiting outcomes will make an important contribution to the future landscape of the Central City. There are a number of initiatives happening out there already and we believe this group can complement and add value to those endeavours.”
The group will have a direct connection to the Mayor’s office, and like other similar groups such as those in the suburban centre redevelopment projects, also have direct support from staff.