New report slams Christchurch rebuild

Treasury says anchor projects in the Christchurch CBD rebuild are at risk. Photo: File
Treasury says anchor projects in the Christchurch CBD rebuild are at risk. Photo: File

Another Treasury report critical of post-quake recovery work in Christchurch has drawn scorn from Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee.

That in turn, has drawn derision from Labour MP Megan Woods.

Treasury is warning that anchor projects in Christchurch's post-quake recovery work are at significant risk as the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's responsibilities are transferred to a new entity.

Labour's Canterbury spokeswoman Megan Woods said it was the third fail grade in a row for the central city recovery and also indicated further delays are likely for the city's convention centre.

She said she was concerned Mr Brownlee does not accept the validity of Treasury's reports, and questioned whether he was putting in the work to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

Ms Woods said Mr Brownlee should be "hugely embarrassed" over the third fail grade.

"The Government's approach to the central city rebuild has been a fiasco," she said.

"The Canterbury recovery has been plagued with mess and delay."

Ms Woods said despite the earlier fail grades from Treasury, nothing had been done.

"All we have heard is puff and bluster from the Minister. The buck stops with him. He's responsible. It's well past time for him to front up and do his job."

Mr Brownlee, however, rubbished the report, saying it did not mean a thing.

"It's the usual sort of rubbish from them. I mean, these guys are so brilliant they look at New Zealand's involvement in the Antarctic, give complete green lights all the way, not recognising we don't have a plane that can fly there safely, nor a ship that can get there. They're brilliant -- brilliant beyond belief."

Meanwhile, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has also hit back at Treasury following its criticisms about a national bowel screening programme.

Treasury, which is monitoring the Government's riskiest projects, gave the programme a red rating, the worst possible.

Despite Treasury's grade of the project, Mr Coleman backed it completely.

"A lot of work has gone in to building up the workforce, making sure that we can deal with all the logistics of running this.

"Treasury give advice in the lead-up to a Budget, and, frankly, I don't always agree with their advice either. And this is something which absolutely needs to be done."

- NZ Herald

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