Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says she’s delighted that ChristChurch Cathedral will be reinstated.
The Anglican Synod today voted in favour of the Government’s offer to support reinstatement.
“This is the best possible outcome for Christchurch. We finally have an agreed decision to reinstate the heart of our city,” Ms Wagner says.
“For many years the Cathedral has sat broken and neglected, detracting from all the amazing work taking place in Christchurch.
“This decision gives the Church, the community, businesses and tourism bodies the certainty they’ve been looking for.”
The 225 member Synod considered three options:Option A — reinstatement as per the Government offer, supported by Christchurch City Council; Option B — constructing a new cathedral on the existing site; and Option C — gifting the Cathedral building to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand.
“Option A has always been our best shot at moving forward so I’m absolutely delighted it has Synod’s support,” Ms Wagner says.
“Now we can focus on appointing members to an independent trust and setting up a joint venture to manage the project.
“More details will be released in the coming weeks and months, but whether or not you’re interested in seeing ChristChurch Cathedral reinstated, this is a breakthrough for Christchurch and will have positive flow-on effects for the rest of the country.”
For more information on the Government offer and reinstatement, visit: http://www.ccwg.org.nz
Abel Tasman and Kahurangi national parks are now connected by a 169-hectare block of land purchased by the Nature Heritage Fund, Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner announced today.
The land, purchased for $275,000, has high ecological value and will be added to Abel Tasman National Park.
“The purchase of this land completes a chain of legally-protected natural areas linking Abel Tasman National Park with Kahurangi National Park. These protected areas form a scenic skyline of continuous native forest on the crest of the Pikikiruna Range and Takaka Hill,” Ms Wagner says.
“The Nature Heritage Fund is also purchasing an adjoining 43-hectare block from the same landowner. This block needs to be surveyed before being transferred to the Department of Conservation (DOC), but it too will be added to Abel Tasman National Park.
“These parcels of land contain diverse and rare ecosystems. Nearly half the land is covered in original forest and vegetation, and more than 200 native plant species grow there, including species only found locally or in the wider north-west Nelson area.
“Birdlife on the land includes the threatened bush falcon/kārearea, and populations of tūī, kererū and bellbird.”
The 169-hectare block borders Abel Tasman National Park to its north and its southern boundary adjoins Takaka Hill Scenic Reserve. It is being managed by DOC as scenic reserve while the process of adding it to Abel Tasman National Park is completed.
Since 1990 the Nature Heritage Fund has protected over 341,880 hectares of indigenous ecosystem through legal and physical protection.
The Crown will settle litigation with a group known as the Quake Outcasts, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.
The Quake Outcasts challenged the Government’s offer for their uninsured properties in Greater Christchurch's Residential Red Zones. The Court of Appeal released an interim decision in the group’s favour last month.
“As soon as we had the Court’s decision, we moved swiftly to provide certainty,” Ms Wagner says.
“In saying that, the decision to settle was not taken lightly. The Government carefully considered a range of factors, including fairness, financial responsibility, protecting the value of insurance and the litigants’ wellbeing.
“Cabinet has agreed to pay each of the 16 litigants 80 per cent of the pre-earthquake (2007/08) rateable value of uninsured property improvements, as well as a one-off payment to account for the Court’s decision and extra uncertainties and costs.”
Each of the former property owners has already been paid 100 per cent of the pre-earthquake value of their land.
“The Christchurch quakes were like nothing we’ve ever experienced. The Crown purchased over 7700 properties, based on their pre-earthquake value, to help people move on with their lives. All decisions were made in good faith, with the best available information at the time,” Ms Wagner says.
Any other decisions in response to the Court of Appeal’s judgment will be made by the Government after the general election.
Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming the updated Faiva Ora — National Pasifika Disability Plan.
“This update will help reduce stigma, enhance access and improve the quality of services for Pasifika disabled people,” Ms Wagner says.
“It sets out priority outcomes and actions that will contribute to achieving the plan’s vision — that Pasifika disabled people and their families can live in their homes and take part in their communities just as other New Zealanders do.”
Research into New Zealand’s disability population shows Pasifika disabled people are historically low users of disability support services. They often access services late and present with high support needs.
“Faiva Ora is designed to ensure Pasifika people are aware of, understand and know how to access disability services,” Ms Wagner says.
“It aims to improve the cultural responsiveness of disability support services used by Pasifika people, and ensure family members and carers are adequately supported.”
Implementation of the plan is supported by Pacific health provider Le Va.
“With Le Va’s involvement there was a 13 per cent increase in Pasifika people accessing and receiving Ministry of Health funded disability support services from September 2013 to September 2016.
“This updated plan will help ensure more Pasifika disabled people receive the support they need.”
For more information, visit: http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/faiva-ora-2016-2021-national-pasifika-disability-plan
A new National government will contribute an extra $120 million toward the construction of a Multi-Use Arena in Christchurch, taking the Government’s total contribution to $179 million.
“A new stadium will provide Canterbury with a flexible venue that will attract a wide range of sports, entertainment and hosting events to the city and increase the number of visitors to the region,” Greater Christchurch Regeneration spokesperson Nicky Wagner says.
“Our preference is for a 30,000 capacity arena with a fully closed roof – however the configuration is ultimately up to the community and Christchurch City Council.
“The $120 million investment is on top of the Government’s $59 million commitment for land acquisition, demolition and business cases, bringing the total contribution to $179 million.”
Ms Wagner says National’s funding commitment gives Christchurch the assurance it needs to make an informed decision on the best option, and will enable work to start next year.
“This isn’t just any other stadium, it’s a central hub that will be designed to bring together the community and invigorate wider Canterbury. The multi-purpose concept is critical because it will ensure the facility is well used and cost effective, with broader opportunities for events,” Ms Wagner says.
“The Multi-Use Arena is the final anchor project to get underway and National is committed to getting it done.
“When combined with funding the Council has set aside thorough the cost sharing agreement, today’s announcement means there is already sufficient funding committed for a 30,000 capacity stadium with an open roof. The Christchurch community may need to source further funding if they choose a more expensive option.
“This $179 million dollar contribution builds on the National Government’s $17b commitment to the rebuild.
“This year alone we opened three new schools, completed the $2.2 billion horizontal infrastructure repair programme, unveiled the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, announced a contract to complete the design and construction of the Convention Centre, and put forward a strong offer to support the reinstatement of ChristChurch Cathedral.
“Christchurch continues to go from strength to strength, with strong job growth, more visitors returning and the regeneration of the city well underway.
“National remains committed to helping the city back on its feet.”
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner has today released the pre-feasibility report for a Multi-Use Arena in Christchurch.
The report considers the viability of an arena and outlines four options of varying size, functionality and cost.
“This report provides the Government and Christchurch City Council with some direction and clarity. It reinforces the need for a multi-functional and flexible facility capable of hosting everything from a test match through to a cultural festival, food show or concert tour,” Ms Wagner says.
“Any option must be an asset for Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand. That means generating revenue, but it also means embracing innovative trends and new technologies.
“Internationally, venues such as this are much more than stadiums — they can be patronised seven days a week in exciting new ways. If we think about it creatively, we can do something spectacular here too.”
The four options are:A 25,000 permanent seat arena (plus 5000 temporary seats), with 75-80 per cent roof cover for an estimated $368 million. A 25,000 permanent seat arena (plus 5000 temporary seats), with a transparent enclosed roof for an estimated $465 million. A 25,000 permanent seat arena (plus 5000 temporary seats), with a solid roof and retractable pitch for an estimated $496 million. A 30,000 permanent seat arena (plus 5000 temporary seats), with a solid roof and retractable pitch for $584 million.
“The next step is to decide on a preferred option and further develop the business case. I expect this to consider what we can learn from the best international venues,” Ms Wagner says.
More than 50 organisations and individuals were consulted during the pre-feasibility study.
A copy of the pre-feasibility report is available at: https://www.dpmc.govt.nz/publications/multi-use-arena-pre-feasibility-study-christchurch
A proposed refresh of elements of the Cost Sharing Agreement (CSA) between the Crown and Christchurch City Council is another positive step toward increased local ownership and leadership, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel say.
The original CSA, signed in 2013, outlined cost sharing arrangements between the Crown and the Council, which included projects in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. The refresh was approved by Cabinet yesterday and will be considered by Council on Thursday.
“The CSA is an important element of the Government’s long-term commitment to rebuilding Christchurch as a more modern, liveable city with world-class assets,” Ms Wagner says.
“The Government has invested a great deal in these assets and their transfer to the people of Christchurch marks an important point in the regeneration process.”
Ms Dalziel says the proposed new arrangements are a positive step toward local leadership and provide certainty going forward.
“The Council has already made allowances for the capital costs in its budget, and operating costs for the Margaret Mahy Playground, Otakaro/Avon River Precinct and the Bus Interchange have been factored in, so they will not further impact rate payers.
“Operating budgets for residential red zone maintenance will need to looked at as part of 2018-28 Long Term Plan. It’s possible that we will be able to offset some of the costs by selling some of the red-zoned land on the Port Hills where the hazard risk has been mitigated,” Ms Dalziel says.
The proposed divestment of assets and land under the CSA involves:The Crown transferring ownership of the Bus Interchange to the Council for $23 million (the Council’s contribution under the CSA). The Crown transferring ownership of Port Hills residential red zone (RRZ) land to the Council for $39 million (the Council’s contribution towards the cost of purchasing some Port Hills RRZ land). The Crown transferring the ownership of residential red zone land in Brooklands, Southshore and South New Brighton to the Council at no cost. The Council paying the Crown $6.6 million for the transfer of Margaret Mahy Family Playground, and $6.4 million as a contribution to Te Papa Ōtākaro/ Avon River Precinct project, as per the CSA.
Detail, including timing of the land transfers, is expected to be determined in the coming weeks.
Christchurch’s Retail Precinct continues to grow and attract more people to the central city, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner.
The Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Retail Precinct looks at the main developments in the Retail Precinct and how the Christchurch Integrated Government Accommodation (CIGA) programme complements this growth.
“Both the ANZ and BNZ centres are now up and running, making the Retail Precinct a much more vibrant, lively place,” Ms Wagner says.
“The hustle and bustle is set to increase with the opening of the new FreshChoice City Market in The Crossing tomorrow.
“The Crossing, which is opening in stages, is an extensive project offering retail, hospitality, commercial space and car parking. It will also host a number of retailers new to Christchurch, including Swedish clothing company H&M and British fashion brand Topshop.
“These new offerings are completely changing the retail landscape and establishing central Christchurch as a modern and exciting shopping destination.
“The CIGA programme was a catalyst for the central city’s revitalisation, moving 1500 workers from government departments and agencies into four new buildings in and around the Retail Precinct.
The last building in the initiative, the Pita Te Hori Centre (formerly the King Edward Barracks site), was officially opened last week.
“All this development shows the Government and the private sector have real confidence in the future of Christchurch as a fantastic place to live, work and play.”
Note: The Greater Christchurch Dashboard — Retail Precinct is attached.
An annual review confirms the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 is working appropriately and flexibly, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.
The review, presented to the House today, does not recommend any amendments.
“While we don’t need to make any changes, the review does identify opportunities for statutory parties to better use the legislation to improve and accelerate planning practices,” Ms Wagner says.
“The Government is absolutely committed to Christchurch, and that includes ensuring we have a suitable legislative framework, now and into the future.
“I’m confident all parties involved will take this review on board and look at how they can better work together, improve processes and make the best possible use of the Act’s planning provisions.”
The review of the operation and effectiveness of the Greater Regeneration Act 2016 is an annual requirement under section 150 of the Act.
The review is available at: https://www.dpmc.govt.nz/publications/annual-review-greater-christchurch-regeneration-act-2016
A free and independent advisory service to assist North Canterbury residents with quake-related insurance claims is being extended, Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner and Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith say.
The announcement follows the success of a pilot programme — set up in April — to help manage claims relating to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on 14 November 2016.
“The Government recognises that many people in Hurunui, Kaikoura, and Marlborough may still be struggling with the complexities of their insurance claims,” Ms Wager says.
“It’s therefore important that the advisory service remains available. It will be extended to December 2017 and rolled into the Residential Advisory Service (RAS), which has successfully assisted thousands of Christchurch residents with their insurance claims following the 2010 and 2011 quakes.”
Mr Smith says Community Law will continue to act as the independent advisor to home owners in North Canterbury who require advice on their insurance or EQC settlements.
“This is a free, one-on-one and independent legal advisory service and I encourage home owners to contact RAS before engaging with other costly services offered in the area,” Mr Smith says.
“We know people are under a lot of stress and that’s why we continue to be very focused on providing ongoing support.”
Home owners can get in touch via their local authority or directly on 0800 777 299.
Since its launch in 2013, RAS has provided advice to about 17,000 Christchurch residents.