The Green Party would push for almost half a billion spending over five years on public transport in Christchurch.

Announcing her party's policies for the city's quake recovery, Christchurch spokesperson Eugenie Sage also said the party would prioritise the "return of local democracy, and projects that put the needs of Christchurch people first".

The centrepiece of the Greens' plan is $462 million in spending on transport over five years including $250 million on a "future rapid transport network" consisting of commuter rail services utilising existing rail lines between Rolleston, Addington and Rangiora and integrated "feeder bus services".

Until that was established, the Greens' plan sees $10 million a year spent on an interim commuter rail services using those existing lines.


The Greens' plan also sees $90 million over five years spent on cycling and walking projects, $50 on a "bus prioritisation programme" and $22 million to establish a new agency Canterbury Transport to oversee the entire package.

The Greens say the entire $462 million programme would be paid for by reprioritising money from the existing National Land Transport Fund.

The announcement today also includes commitments to "restoring democracy" in Canterbury and also to a more flexible approach to the cost sharing agreement between Christchurch City Council and central government, which put the Greens on the same page as Labour's previously announced policies.

Like Labour, the Greens want elections next year for Environment Canterbury (ECan) councillors.

Elected ECan representatives were removed by the National Government in 2010 following internal turmoil over freshwater usage policy and replaced with Government appointed commissioners.

The Greens also want special powers removed from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and powers returned to the Christchurch City Council.

Ms Sage said the Greens were committed to removing pressure on the city council to sell assets to meet quake recovery costs under the current cost sharing agreement with central government by putting plans for a new stadium on hold. The party was also supportive of "a more flexible approach" to that cost sharing agreement.

Labour has already said it would review the cost-sharing agreement.