A final post-quake settlement deal between the Crown and Christchurch City Council has been reached more than nine years after the devastating earthquake sequence began.
Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods today said the finalised Global Settlement Agreement marks a major milestone in the battered city's rebuild and means the return of "a normalised relationship" between the council and the Crown.
The flattened residential red zone land in Christchurch, and the ownership of several central Christchurch anchor projects, including the Bus Interchange, Metro Sports Facility, Margaret Mahy Family Playground, the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct, and Performing Arts Precinct Land, will transfer to the city council under the deal.
The agreement ties off years of uncertainty around just who pays for what in Christchurch's multi-billion post-quake rebuild.
Two years after the February 22, 2011 jolt that claimed 185 lives and devastated the city, Christchurch City Council and the Crown signed a "milestone" $4.8 billion cost-sharing deal.
Then-mayor Sir Bob Parker's council and the National Government's Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee agreed the Crown would cough up $2.9b to the city's big-ticket blueprint projects, including $284m for a new convention centre, and the council would contribute $1.9b.
Over this year, senior council and Crown officials have been back around the negotiation table, working on a Global Settlement to resolve all the outstanding issues from the 2013 agreement.
"The Canterbury earthquakes resulted in an unprecedented level of damage to greater Christchurch," Woods said today.
"An extraordinary amount of involvement from the Government was required to rebuild and start the regeneration of the city and support its people.
"Nine years on from the first earthquakes, it is time to return the regeneration of Christchurch to full local leadership and for the Crown to step back from its extraordinary responsibilities.
"This was signalled when the GCR Act 2016 was passed, where the Crown's functions would be wound down and the GCR Act revoked by 2021."
"Christchurch is now well placed for this and the global settlement is a significant opportunity for a positive transition and to create a solid foundation for the council to successfully coordinate locally-led regeneration."
She added: "This agreement is about supporting Christchurch to thrive, while at the same time appropriately managing the cost pressures that are unique to the city following the earthquakes.
Ownership of Te Pae, the Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre which is currently under construction, will remain with the Crown.