A new Christchurch rebuild agency has been launched to oversee the multi-billion redevelopment of the earthquake-ravaged city centre and red zones.
Regenerate Christchurch is a joint entity between the Government and Christchurch City Council designed to drive the city's $40 billion rebuild.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel today outlined the plans for Canterbury's post-CERA structures.
Its functions are likely to include developing plans to assist with regeneration, monitoring regeneration outcomes and interventions, "facilitating seamless investor experience", and providing independent advice to council and the minister.
An independent board will ensure it will be managed in a completely different way to the current entities, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Christchurch City Council, they said.
After five years, the organisation will transfer to the city as a fully Council Controlled Organisation (CCO).
Ms Dalziel said the new entity is a first for New Zealand and can provide a new model for Crown and council collaboration beyond Christchurch.
The move was welcomed by Labour's Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokeswoman, Ruth Dyson.
The announcement heralds a return of decision making roles to the community, she said.
"Agencies will have to work in a strong partnership with central government to make this transition successful," Ms Dyson said.
"Everyone wants it to work so Canterbury is able to deliver on the big challenges ahead.
"This plan provides the much needed certainty which local and international investors have been calling for, and will give them the confidence to look at the region as a place to invest in and to do business."
The first step will be to jointly appoint a chairperson to guide the Regenerate Christchurch establishment unit.
The new organisation will work with the city council's existing Development Christchurch Limited and a Crown-controlled company, which is also being developed.
Legislation is required to set up Regenerate Christchurch as there is currently no shared ownership model which meets the objectives of both council and Crown.
The work is underway as part of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, supporting regeneration of greater Christchurch following the expiry of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011. The new bill is expected to be introduced to the House next month.