Quake recovery agencies transitioned back to local leadership?

STREAMLINE: Megan Woods is considering streamlining organisations like Regenerate Christchurch, which is in charge of plans for the red zone.

Government earthquake agencies could be streamlined and transitioned back to local leadership.

Since the earthquake, agencies such as Otakaro Ltd, Regenerate Christchurch and Development Christchurch Ltd have played a role in the region’s redevelopment.

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods said yesterday she is considering working towards a transition back to local leadership.

“The Crown and city council will need to work together to consider what the best arrangements for local leadership are. We are yet to have this conversation with city council,” she said.

“This means moving from central government continuing to play extraordinary role in greater Christchurch, towards a locally-led and sustainable economy.”

No time line has been given for when discussions could take place.

Previously, city councillor Raf Manji suggested merging the three agencies, something Mayor Lianne Dalziel also said city council has queried, which could help create “a more streamlined structure for less money.”

Regenerate Christchurch has come under fire for working too slowly, as well as its spending.

It missed deadlines for submitting its plans for the Avon Otakaro River Corridor and Cathedral Square last year and The Star revealed it spent nearly $500,000 on the Red Zone Futures Exhibition to gather public feedback.

It comes as Regenerate is working on its long-term vision for a “prosperous” and “vibrant” city, chief executive Ivan Iafeta said.

“Regenerate Christchurch is now increasing its focus on actualising Christchurch’s vision to be a prosperous, vibrant city. Best practice regeneration requires a long-term vision and collective efforts from the public, private and community sectors.”

MrIafeta said conversations around the forward work programme would happen with stakeholders in March after the plan was submitted to the city council and Dr Woods.

“Regenerate Christchurch’s forward work programme is based around the letter of expectations, set by the minister and mayor, and Regenerate Christchurch’s statement of performance expectations,” MrIafeta said.

“[It] will focus on agile, high-impact projects, and unlocking regeneration outcomes for Christchurch . . . Regenerate Christchurch will build on its leadership role to unblock hurdles, create new opportunities and leverage opportunities for both the public and private sectors.”