Notice Type
Notice Title

Recovery Strategy for Greater Christchurch, Mahere Haumanutanga o Waitaha

This notice, containing the text of the Recovery Strategy for Greater Christchurch, Mahere Haumanutanga o Waitaha, is published in conjunction with the Canterbury Earthquake (Recovery Strategy Approval) Order 2012, as published in the
New Zealand Gazette, 31 May 2012, No. 61, page 1745.
3 What is Recovery? - He aha tenei mea te Whakaara?
The CER Act defines recovery as including both restoration and enhancement. Recovery is inherently future focussed and there will be opportunities to "build back better" when repairing damage caused by the earthquakes.
Opportunities for enhancements should be considered, including where:
- they lead to increased resilience and/or functionality; or
- are cost-effective according to life-cycle analysis
provided that they do not come at the expense of the repair or replacement of essential infrastructure and services elsewhere.
For the purposes of this Strategy, "recovery" does not mean returning greater Christchurch to how it was on 3 September 2010.
Individuals and organisations are likely to view what recovery means in different ways. Their views will be shaped by how the earthquakes have affected them, how they view the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts on the greater Christchurch area, and their hopes for the future.
4 Vision and Goals for the Recovery - Nga Wawata
Greater Christchurch recovers and progresses as a place to be proud of - an attractive and vibrant place to live, work, visit and invest, mo tatou, a, mo ka uri a muri ake nei - for us and our children after us.
Supporting this vision are the following goals, which relate to the six components of recovery.
The community is at the heart of the vision and the success of recovery.
Leadership and Integration
1. CERA, the public and private sector and communities coordinate with each other to contribute to the recovery and future growth of greater Christchurch - by:
1.1 facilitating a timely and efficient recovery, including intervening where necessary to remove impediments, resolve issues and provide certainty;
1.2 considering the effects of ongoing seismic activity;
1.3 reporting and communicating how recovery work programmes are delivering integrated recovery;
1.4 facilitating engagement that will result in constructive and enduring governance, partnerships and relationships for recovery;
1.5 delivering smarter council and government planning and services;
1.6 ensuring that public sector investment and expenditure are transparent;
1.7 identifying opportunities to leverage the significant investment needed for new and upgraded infrastructure; and
1.8 providing research and knowledge that will help to make well-informed decisions for a robust and enduring recovery.
Economic Recovery
2. Revitalise greater Christchurch as the heart of a prosperous region for business, work, education, and increased investment in new activities - by:
2.1 planning for a well-functioning Christchurch central city, thriving suburban centres, flourishing rural towns and a productive rural sector;
2.2 leading and working with strategic partners and both the public and private sector;
2.3 restoring the confidence of the business sector and the insurance and finance markets to enable economic recovery and growth;
2.4 renewing the region’s brand and reputation as a safe, desirable and attractive place to live, study, visit and invest;
2.5 identifying and facilitating increased opportunities for early and substantial local and international investment;
2.6 ensuring a range of employment options to attract and retain a high-calibre, appropriately skilled workforce;
2.7 collaborating with the private sector and government agencies to address obstacles to economic recovery and to match supply with demand for resources;
2.8 enabling a business-friendly environment that retains and attracts business;
2.9 aligning provision of education and training to support long-term economic growth;
2.10 ensuring science, technology and innovation supports recovery and growth; and
2.11 facilitating the recovery and development of the central business district.
Social Recovery
3. Strengthen community resilience, safety and wellbeing, and enhance quality of life for residents and visitors - by:
3.1 enabling and empowering local communities to shape and lead their own recovery;
3.2 growing capacity, knowledge and skills within the community to build resilience;
3.3 delivering community, health, education and social services that are collaborative, accessible, innovative and inclusive;
3.4 supporting people, in particular those facing hardship and uncertainty, by providing quality housing, education and health services; and
3.5 supporting communities as they go through the processes of resettlement.
Cultural Recovery
4. Renew greater Christchurch’s unique identity and its vitality expressed through sport, recreation, art, history, heritage and traditions - by:
4.1 acknowledging and celebrating the rich and diverse Ngai Tahu, colonial and other heritages and connections;
4.2 resuming cultural, community and sports events and activities;
4.3 encouraging participation in a range of entertainment, cultural, recreational and sporting activities;
4.4 restoring historic buildings, where feasible, for the benefit of the community; and
4.5 acknowledging losses and creating spaces to remember, while embracing necessary changes to the city’s character and urban form.
Built Environment Recovery
5. Develop resilient, cost effective, accessible and integrated infrastructure, buildings, housing and transport networks - by:
5.1 coordinating and prioritising infrastructure investment that effectively contributes to the economy and community during recovery and into the future;
5.2 supporting innovative urban design, buildings, technology and infrastructure to redefine greater Christchurch as a safe place built for the future;
5.3 rebuilding infrastructure and buildings in a resilient, cost-effective and energy-efficient manner;
5.4 developing a transport system that meets the changed needs of people and businesses and enables accessible, sustainable, affordable and safe travel choices;
5.5 zoning sufficient land for recovery needs within settlement patterns consistent with an urban form that provides for the future development of greater Christchurch;
5.6 having a range of affordable housing options connected to community and strategic infrastructure that provides for residents participation in social, cultural and economic activities; and
5.7 drawing on sound information about ongoing seismic activity and environmental constraints, including other natural hazards and climate change.
Natural Environment Recovery
6. Restore the natural environment to support biodiversity and economic prosperity and to reconnect people to the rivers, wetlands and Port Hills - by:
6.1 ensuring recovery activities value, protect and sustainably manage the sources of our water;
6.2 ensuring ecosystems are healthy and functioning;
6.3 improving the quality and function of estuaries, waterways and wetlands to support the unique biodiversity that is endemic to Te Waipounamu;
6.4 providing public access to and opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural, social and economic activities;
6.5 enhancing air quality through managing recovery activities that impact on air quality, such as heating, transport, demolition and construction; and
6.6 storing, sorting and processing waste in an environmentally safe and effective manner, including minimising and recycling construction and demolition wastes.
5 Priorities - Nga Whainga tomua
This strategy identifies the following priorities to address and promote social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing.
People’s safety and wellbeing by:
- enabling people, particularly the most vulnerable, to access support;
- addressing the risk to life posed by unsafe buildings and from natural hazards;
- providing options for repairing housing and temporary or replacement housing;
- deciding whether land is suitable for residential use and providing a process for purchasing affected residential property; and
- repairing and maintaining essential services to all homes and businesses until major infrastructure is completed and/or land use decisions are finalised and implemented.
Investment conditions in greater Christchurch to support the rebuild and development of the area.
Permanent repair or rebuild of infrastructure in areas identified for redevelopment and development in the short to medium term. This strategic and horizontal infrastructure includes lifeline utilities, major transport routes, public transport services and electricity and communication networks.
Supply of land for recovery needs through efficient consenting processes and timely provision, restoration or optimisation of infrastructure. This enables developers to provide a mix of quality housing options that are connected to services and infrastructure (for example, schools, communications, shopping and transport networks) and new business developments.
Coordinate work across central government, iwi, local authorities, insurers and the private sector to:
- establish and facilitate clear arrangements for governance and work programming;
- align and sequence work including the early identification of risks and removal of obstacles to the rebuild;
- respond to housing needs; and
- encourage the provision of a variety of accommodation that is sufficient for residents, including temporary construction workers and people displaced due to the rebuild.
Communicate and engage with communities including youth so that they understand and can participate in recovery activities and inform the development of recovery programmes.
Regulation, standards and other information to support the rebuild and repair of housing to a quality that meets the technical requirements for the land categories and building standards. One of these requirements is that:
- when making a resource consent application or a request for a plan change for the subdivision of land, the person proposing the subdivision must address the risk of liquefaction. As a minimum, that person must provide the local authority with a geotechnical assessment in accordance with the Guidelines for the geotechnical investigation and assessment of subdivisions in the Canterbury region (Department of Building and Housing, 14 November 2011).1 [This requirement does not apply where a building will not be permitted as a result of the subdivision of land.]
A functioning Central Business District, suburban areas and rural towns that provide opportunities for local businesses and economic activities to relocate, maintain services and grow.
Opportunities and facilities for sporting, recreational and cultural activities.
6 Phases of recovery and milestones - Nga Wahanga me nga Tohu o te Whakaara
Many actions are needed to support the community early in the recovery; other activities can be undertaken only after investigation and planning. Recovery activities can be organised into typical phases that indicate what to expect as the community moves from the emergency response to short-term recovery and then medium- to longer-term recovery.
As seismic activity continues in greater Christchurch, progress through these recovery phases may be complex. If there is another earthquake, it may be necessary to return to a previous phase to deal with immediate recovery needs.
The following table outlines typical recovery phases and some key milestones for greater Christchurch. For more information about the timeline and achievements to date, see the CERA website at
Typical phases of recovery
Immediate - repair, patch and plan
- Provide basic human needs and support services.
- Address health and safety issues.
- Make safe or demolish unsafe and damaged buildings and structures.
- Investigate, scope and initiate recovery programmes and initiatives.
- Plan for land use and settlement patterns so land can be made available for displaced residents.
- Conduct ongoing programme of investigation and research to understand the geotechnical issues and seismic conditions. Use this information to guide recovery activities and decisions on land suitability for rebuilding.
Short term - begin to rebuild, replace and reconstruct
- Engage both established and new communities and inform them about rebuilding and future planning.
- Establish new social and health support and service delivery models.
- Continue demolition of damaged buildings.
- Continue repair and rebuild.
- Deliver early projects to instil confidence.
- Planning and supporting community resilience.
- Begin replacement activity.
- Begin restoration and adaptive reuse of heritage features.
- Continue, monitor and review recovery.
Medium to longer term - construct, restore and improve
- Continue to build resilient communities.
- Continue reconstruction.
- Major construction projects are underway.
- Complete restoration and adaptive reuse of heritage features.
- Phase out recovery organisations.
- Economy is growing and businesses are sustainable.
- Labour market is active and attracting employees.
Indicative recovery milestones for greater Christchurch
September 2010 to December 2011
Repair, patch and plan
- Support, assist and provide information to communities and individuals.
- Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) Alliance assesses damage and starts repairs to infrastructure.
- Restore non-chlorinated water supply to residents and declare beaches safe for swimming.
- Decide on suitability of land for rebuilding. Establish green and red residential zones.
- Government makes offer to purchase residential red zone properties and settlements begin.
- Begin to demolish dangerous buildings.
- New Building Act Guidelines establish new standards for buildings.
- Earthquake Commission (EQC) and insurance companies undertake damage assessments and payouts are underway.
- Greater Christchurch residents engage with government and local government on the future of the central city and the nature and coordination of recovery activities (draft Recovery Plan for the CBD and draft Recovery Strategy).
- Facilitate the release of land for new subdivisions.
2012 to 2014
Begin to rebuild, replace and reconstruct
- Approve Recovery Strategy to direct and coordinate recovery activities and agencies involved in recovery.
- Restore access to and transportation networks in central city.
- Establishment of the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).
- Finalisation of the Recovery Plan for the CBD.
- Rebuilding of the CBD starts.
- Complete decisions on land zones and geotechnical issues.
- Continue repair of infrastructure and make decisions about long-term repair and provision of infrastructure.
- Finish demolition of larger commercial buildings.
- Government and statutory partners undertake recovery programmes.
- Complete settlements and land clearance for residential red zone properties.
- EQC and insurers undertake residential repairs and rebuilds.
- Establish new residential subdivisions.
- Find facilities for sporting and cultural activities.
- Construct temporary buildings for entertainment and retail in greater Christchurch.
2015 to 2020 and beyond
Construct, restore and improve
- Government and strategic partners continue to implement recovery programmes.
- Continue rebuilding and construction.
- EQC and insurers complete residential repairs and rebuilds.
- Major sporting and cultural facilities are under construction.
- Recovery responsibilities are transferred when necessary. Put new business arrangements in place.
Note: Ongoing seismic activity in greater Christchurch may mean return to a previous phase to deal with immediate recovery needs.
7 Recovery programmes - Te Huanui Angitu
CERA has worked across government and with strategic partners to develop programmes to implement the Recovery Strategy. These programmes deal with each of the six components of recovery and are interconnected. They include activities, projects and larger programmes of work and will seek to achieve multiple goals where appropriate.
Government-led recovery programmes should:
- be consistent with the Recovery Strategy, particularly the goals and principles;
- integrate activities to achieve multiple goals of the Recovery Strategy where possible;
- investigate opportunities for risk reduction and enhancement to build a stronger and more resilient community and region;
- use appropriate impact assessment methodologies and tools;
- identify programme targets and objectives; and
- identify pre-earthquake baselines and expectations for the components of recovery (social, economic, natural environment, cultural and built environment). These baselines can then be used when measuring the success of the recovery programmes.
Recovery programmes will be implemented in a number of ways. For example, some agencies will coordinate with each other on new initiatives and others will reorient or adapt business-as-usual work. Some programmes may use the statutory tools provided by the CER Act (such as Recovery Plans and Orders in Council) or other Acts such as the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Local Government Act 2002.
7.1 Recovery Plans
In some cases a programme of work may need a Recovery Plan. Recovery Plans can be developed under the CER Act. This Act also identifies the need for the Recovery Plan for the CBD (known as the Central City Plan). Recovery Plans impact on other regulatory plans created under other laws. They need to be carefully considered and consulted on before they are finalised.
Why might a Recovery Plan be developed?
- A Recovery Plan is appropriate if statutory intervention is needed to undertake a particular programme of work. Sections 23 and 26 of the CER Act provide for this intervention.
- A Recovery Plan may be appropriate when usual methods of work cannot achieve the required intervention because of the type of work or timeframe involved.
At this stage, several Recovery Plans are being scoped. Part of preparing any Recovery Plan will be to consider any existing Treaty of Waitangi obligations. To integrate activities, connect the components of recovery, and implement the goals of this strategy, the preparation of Recovery Plans will use impact assessment methodologies and tools, such as the Integrated Recovery Planning Guide (June 2011).
8 Monitoring, Reporting and Review of the Recovery Strategy - Te Aroturuki me te Arotake
8.1 Monitoring
CERA will develop a monitoring plan by the end of June 2012, in consultation with the strategic partners and government agencies. This plan will coordinate and outline responsibilities for monitoring and reporting on the recovery’s progress. Monitoring will track recovery over time and make information available to decision-makers and the community. If any recovery activities are not effective, this process will also help identify the required changes.
The plan will address three levels of monitoring and reporting.
1. Monitoring indicators for the Recovery Strategy goals. In collaboration with the strategic partners and other agencies, CERA will develop baseline indicators for the Strategy’s goals. These indicators will be used to measure progress towards recovery, including outcomes for iwi. For example, social recovery indicators may relate to trends in education, health, housing and demography, and may be analysed in terms of age, ethnicity, employment status and gender. A few key indicators, such as for community and economic wellbeing, will be linked to more detailed monitoring that closely tracks progress.
2. Monitoring progress towards the goals. Recovery programmes for the six components of recovery will identify targets and objectives that will be used to measure progress towards the goals.
3. Financial monitoring and reporting by central government and local authorities. Financial reports make the spending of public funds accountable and transparent. They also provide information about future work programmes.
(a) Central government produces quarterly financial reports on Vote appropriations. Information includes programme and activity spend (actual and projected) on the greater Christchurch earthquake recovery.
(b) Local authorities produce financial reports under the Local Government Act 2002 on their programme and actual and projected activity spend.
8.2 Reporting and review
CERA will review and report publicly on the implementation of the Recovery Strategy, recovery programmes and progress towards milestones. Reporting will show where outcomes are, or are not, being achieved and where conditions have changed - for example, because knowledge has changed or there is ongoing seismic activity. Reports will be posted and updated on the CERA website.
CERA provides available research and information (for example, on land decisions and liquefaction, tsunami and rockfall risk) through its website and updates via Facebook and Twitter.
The Recovery Strategy will be reviewed as required to keep it current and relevant.
In particular, a review may be required for any of the following reasons.
- Another significant earthquake or aftershock forces changes to the longer-term approach to recovery.
- Monitoring shows a need to change approach, or to address an ongoing market failure.
- Other influences or risks have a significant impact on recovery activities - for example, there are changes to the availability of finance or to other strategic documents that influence the recovery.
In addition, the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery will review the CER Act in terms of its operation and implementation and will report on it each year (see section 92 of the CER Act).
CBD Central Business District
CCDU Christchurch Central Development Unit
CERA Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
CER Act Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011
Community infrastructure Buildings and infrastructure that benefit and are accessed by the community such as swimming pools, sporting facilities (including sports fields) and community halls
EQC Earthquake Commission
Greater Christchurch The districts of the Christchurch City Council, the Selwyn District Council and the Waimakariri District Council, and includes the coastal marine area adjacent to these districts
Horizontal infrastructure Infrastructure that runs horizontally including roads; storm water, drinking water and sewage pipes; telecommunications; and electricity
Ngai Tahu The iwi of Ngai Tahu consisting of the collective of the individuals who descend from the primary hapu of Waitaha, Ngati Mamoe, and Ngai Tahu, namely, Kati Kuri, Kati Irakehu, Kati Huirapa, Ngai Tuahuriri, and Kai Te Ruahikihiki
SCIRT Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team- comprises of CERA, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Christchurch City Council, Fulton Hogan, Downer Construction, Fletcher Construction, MacDow New Zealand and City Care
Strategic infrastructure
Facilities, services and installations that are of importance beyond a local area and sustain
the community. It includes horizontal infrastructure, strategic transport networks, port, airport, railway, defence facilities, strategic telecommunication facilities and the Electricity Transmission Network
Strategic partners Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, the Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council and Environment Canterbury (TRONT, CCC, SDC, WDC & ECan)
Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu The body corporate known as Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu established by section 6 of the
Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Act 1996
Vulnerable people Vulnerable people include children, the elderly, people with disabilities, Maori and non-English speaking migrants and refugees
1This requirement applies unless the Resource Management Act is changed to address how natural hazards are considered when subdividing land. "Person" has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Resource Management Act.