Budget 2014: Additional $50 million for earthquake recovery

By Brendan Manning

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

An additional $50 million in funding has been allocated for the Canterbury Earthquake recovery in the Budget 2014.

In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Bill English said of the estimated $40 billion cost of the Canterbury rebuild, the Government had now allocated $15.4 billion.

The funding boost will be allocated over the next two years through the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA).

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The funding boost was needed to meet updated core Crown costs associated with the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme, housing projects and the new Canterbury hospitals.

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The Government was paying an estimated $9 million every working day in rebuild invoices, Mr English said.

To date, 53,000 home repairs had been completed by the EQC and infrastructure repairs in the central city were on track to be 90 per cent completed by the end of the year, he said.

The Government's $1 billion education renewal programme was also on track to deliver new and rebuild classrooms across the city, Mr English said.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said recovering from the Canterbury earthquakes was one of the Government's four priorities for this term, and no resource was being spared to ensure Canterbury would be appropriately rebuilt.

"The additional funding for CERA, in addition to the $19.5 million funded from contingencies established in Budget 2013, will ensure it can deliver on its key priorities.

"In the residential red zone, 8062 property owners have been given the certainty required to move from severely damaged or dangerous land and make a new start for their families.

Herald economics editor Brian Fallow's Budget 2014 analysis:

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"Over half those red-zoned properties have now been cleared, with all demolitions on the flat land scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

"Budget 2014 also confirms funding for settlement with residential red zone property owners, clearances, site management and consideration of how the area will be used in the future.

"This package confirms multi-year commitments of $313.8 million operating funding over the next four years and $150 million in capital funding to continue land acquisitions in the CBD and to deliver the anchor projects outlined in the Christchurch central-city recovery plan."

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Support for Christchurch:

* $50 million over two years to support the work of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
* $14 million extra for the Canterbury Social Support Fund.
* $75 million from the Future Investment Fund for Canterbury housing development.

Net earthquake-related expenses:

* $7.8 billion - EQC and other Crown entities
* $2 billion - Crown assets
* $1.8 billion - Local infrastructure
* $1 billion - Land zoning
* $1 billion - Christchurch central rebuild
* $1.7 billion - other

- NZ Herald

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