Government was now seeking submissions on the proposals, before introducing a bill to Parliament in early 2016.
### NZ Herald Online 11:31 AM Monday Jul 6, 2015 Reforms to Earthquake Commission Act outlined
By Isaac Davison
Government has outlined the changes it wants to make to insurance cover after natural disasters, including a doubling of the cap on building cover to $200,000.
Earthquake Commission Minister Gerry Brownlee said the reforms would ensure the EQC remained focused on rebuilding homes and would resolve the difficulties experienced in Christchurch with regard to land and building cover. The changes would also better integrate EQC and private insurers’ claim handling processes and ensure the natural disaster insurance scheme remained sustainable. Among the key proposals was increasing the cap on EQC building cover from $100,000 to $200,000. Read more
### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:09, April 21 2015 Christchurch Convention Centre location a ‘mistake’
By Lois Cairns
Putting a convention centre in the middle of Christchurch’s city centre is a mistake, Canadian urban experimentalist Charles Montgomery says.
“If your interest is in creating rich, social, connected environments in your core you should be very wary of plans to drop mega structures into that fabric. Convention centres are notorious, because of their architectural requirements, for killing street life around their edges,” Montgomery said.
“We need to be very wary of renderings of mega structures like convention centres that are filled with cartoon people because frequently those cartoon people don’t actually appear after the structures are built.” Read more
Christchurch – January 2014
The familiar sound of Christchurch’s trams are back in the CBD, it was a glorious day, and I wanted to test out my new GoPro! Cue time lapses, wide angles, and gratuitous slow motion shots…
Photography: Dan Heuston
Music: ‘Rise’ by Ultravox (Google Play • iTunes)
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, January 10 2015 Tougher conditions expected
By Tim Fulton – The Press
CHRISTCHURCH—Commercial construction firms are waiting to see how busy they will be this year as big jobs come together. The city’s commercial construction will get tougher, as the “greater rebuild” starts to wind down, Anthony Leighs says. “I have a bit of a fear that some will just react a bit too slowly and that will be painful and financially costly,” Leighs, the managing director of Leighs Construction, says.
The key to doing well in the rebuild is growing strategically, he says. Some companies are already caught between “scale-up” mode and planning for the time when work falls away. “Anecdotally, I know there are construction organisations who are finding the going, pretty bloody tough. And from this point onwards it’s not going to get easier – it’s going to get harder.”
Large projects for Leighs in the next 24 months will include Burwood Hospital overhaul and the Westpac and ASB buildings.
Commercial builders are also developing Christchurch Public Hospital, the Convention Centre, the Justice Precinct and “supposedly the Metro Sports Centre”. It is adding to the national strain on labour and construction materials, Leighs says. “The demand on resourcing is already pretty acute and it’s going to become far more significant.”
Hawkins chief executive Jim Boult says subcontractors to Canterbury’s commercial rebuild may soon look to the residential sector to ease staff shortages.
Christchurch has “adequate work for all good commercial construction companies at the moment” but companies will have to be nimble, Boult says. Most commercial firms are waiting to see how busy they will be, if and when some large government and private sector jobs come together. “If they all come out one-after-another, no problem. But if they all come out at the same time, then that could cause some constraints,” Boult says.
Contractors will probably need more migrants and imported, pre-fabricated materials from overseas to get the work done. They will also need to be careful not to be too large once their workload falls away. Read more
### 3news.co.nz Wednesday 5 Nov 2014 11:27 a.m. Rebuild companies breaching employment law – MBIE
Labour inspectors say they’re disappointed how many staff working on the Christchurch rebuild are not being treated fairly by their bosses. Sixteen labour hire and construction companies have been found to have breached employment laws following audits by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate. Inspectors audited 40 Canterbury companies in the last six months and of the 23 audits now complete, 16 have breached employment laws. Most of the breaches related to incomplete employment agreements, unlawful deductions from wages and insufficient records, Labour Inspectorate southern region manager Steve Watson says. NZN Read more
Back then (2012)….
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 19:46 30/07/2012 Rebuild plan for Christchurch unveiled
By Lois Cairns
As many as 840 properties will need to be purchased to turn the Government’s plans for rebuilding Christchurch’s city centre into reality. The 100-day blueprint released by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) today outlines a bold plan to significantly shrink the size of the CBD by designating two strips of land – one in the east of the city and one in the south – as open spaces. These open spaces, along with the Avon River, which will be widened in stretches and developed into a riverside park, will serve to frame the new CBD, ensuring that all new development is concentrated within a tight geographic area. Read more | Interpretive Location Map
AJ Funnell Published on Jul 7, 2014
Christchurch’s new look city… The video says up to 10,000 people could be working within 300 metres of the city centre. Animation Research Ltd (ARL).
Come back Ean Higgins, too true — ALL IS FORGIVEN !!!!!
Journalist Ean Higgins of The Australian newspaper asks a question during a media briefing [zimbio.com]
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:47 27/07/2014 Brownlee lashes ‘tosspot’ journalist
By Steve Kilgallon and Neil Reid
The Australian journalist who fled New Zealand after being labelled a “boorish tosspot” by National minister Gerry Brownlee for his insensitive approach to the Pike River mine disaster has declared it the finest moment of his career. Brownlee, however, has told the Sunday Star-Times that Ean Higgins remained a tosser, but had also proven himself a fantasist and an “obnoxious twerp”.
[…] Higgins’ self-congratulatory essay about his brief Pike River coverage was certainly inflammatory.
He called New Zealand “a small, meek and mild democracy” and said: “The New Zealand journalists didn’t ask any uncomfortable questions, being happy to accept whatever the police, the company and the miners’ rescue people told them . . . the Australian journalists, coming from a more robust tradition . . . did ask the tough questions”.
He describes the two groups of journalists dining separately in “the only good restaurant” in Greymouth and the Aussies deciding “we were really going to get stuck into the company and the authorities and show the Kiwis real journalism and workshopped a few really brutal questions”. Read more
BACKWARD STEP: Our environment is at risk if the Resource Management act is watered down.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013 Gutting the RMA – it’s time to be concerned
By Anton Oliver
Source: Sunday Star-Times
OPINION | The Resource Management Act (RMA) has sadly become a much maligned and misunderstood piece of legislation: a kind of universal public punching bag – if mentioned in conversation, it is almost obligatory to put the slipper in. To most Kiwis it represents bureaucracy and inefficiency – pen-pushing do-gooders and paper shufflers who engage us in excessively long and costly processes that get in the way of us Kiwis doing stuff.
In fact the RMA – passed in 1991 – was a means of rectifying mistakes and providing at least some environmental and social integrity to development and planning process. It was recognised by legal minds to be a world-leading piece of legislation. It protected our environment and our economy based on the premise of sustainable resource management. What’s more, it was politically robust in that it received the blessing of both major parties.
It also gave New Zealanders a chance to be heard and it facilitated local decisions made by local people. While the country’s environmental indicators such as water quality and biodiversity loss have still gone backwards – the RMA has stemmed what would otherwise have been fatal haemorrhaging.
Similarly, the RMA has protected a set of fundamental Kiwi values: the notion of fairness and equity in regard to everyone having a right to their say; industry and other activities being required to take responsibility for avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental impacts; and developments being required to have regard to effects on such things as recreation, scenic values, private property rights, and the public’s access to rivers, lakes and beaches.
That’s all about to change.
The Government plans to alter the Act to give greater weight to economic development over environmental considerations, granting to itself the right to veto any issue. You don’t have to be legal-minded to see the impact of subtle word changes. While the consideration for the “benefits” of a project remains, gone are any references to the “costs”, making a cost-benefit analysis redundant because environmental “cost” is out of the equation.
Gone, too, are the words: “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”. That’s basically any recreational activity – walking, running, swimming, fishing, kayaking. Who likes doing that stuff anyway? Thankfully the “importance and value of historic heritage” stays. But its cobber, “protection from inappropriate subdivision and development” gets the boot – making the first clause meaningless. And my personal favourite, “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” has been politely asked to leave. Clearly such an unruly clause has no place in a legal act that’s trying to protect the environment.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, has a different interpretation. She thinks the changes “muddy the overwhelming focus of the RMA, to protect the environment, and risk turning it into an Economic Development Act”. Similarly alarmed, the architect of the RMA, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, concludes: “The [proposed changes] will significantly and seriously weaken the ability of the RMA to protect the natural environment and its recreational enjoyment by all New Zealanders.”
The changes also grant considerable new powers to central government, giving it the ability to take individual consent decisions away from local councils and place them in a new national body. The changes go further still, by allowing government the right to insert provisions in local council plans without any consultation. Read more
● Former All Black Anton Oliver is an ambassador for Water Conservation Order NZ.
The Otago Stadium project got a $52.5 million shot in the arm yesterday after an 11th-hour decision by the Government.
• How they voted
In favour: Stephen Cairns, Crs Doug Brown, Duncan Butcher, Sam Neill, Gretchen Robertson, Stephen Woodhead.
Against: Crs Michael Deaker, Gerry Eckhoff, Bryan Scott, David Shepherd.
Absent: Cr Louise Croot.
National television avoids talk of social cost. No community reaction.
### ONE News Tuesday March 03, 2009 3:07 PM Dunedin stadium wins government backing
Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News
The government will support Dunedin’s new stadium but it’s unclear what strings are attached. [our italics] Rugby World Cup Association Minister Gerry Brownlee has pledged a maximum of $15 million to underwrite the construction of the stadium.