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Christchurch housing emergency

Christchurch housing emergency

Sustainable Canterbury's June meeting today resolved to commence formal engagement with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA). Spokesman Rik Tindall relays to CERA the following recommendations:

1. Sustainable Canterbury endorses the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS) and urges CERA to fully uphold the UDS as a planning instrument. This in great preference to ‘Auckland-style’ developer free-rein, that could look like a quicker and easier solution here right now. We are concerned to not see lost inappropriate land parcels in the Christchurch green belt.

2. We request, however, a ‘super-charged’ UDS – to rapidly establish a New Christchurch Village (or whatever people may choose to call it) for the rehousing of earthquake-displaced residents – in the south-west UDS area particularly. This area is highly preferred for a number of reasons, mostly infrastructural, but especially because of the more open space for urban development there (to be kept at safe distance from the Greendale Fault). Require purchase of whatever land is needed to continue Christchurch's expansion south-west, on solid and free-draining ground – beyond the aquifer recharge and Christchurch International Airport zones – south and east of Rolleston in the area bounded by Burnham, Springston, Lincoln and Prebbleton.

3. Start creation of frequent rail-passenger transport between this new urban area and Tower Junction in Christchurch, extending that to Rangiora and Lyttelton if this is more economical to do so now, and later if not.

4. Secure Housing Corporation involvement in the rapid development project. Bulk temporary accommodation must feature along with extensive permanent housing. We do not see the currently proposed in-City-park temporary accommodation as adequate for the mammoth housing and resilience task ahead.

5. Building criteria should be: solid framing and minimised use of concrete.

6. CERA is requested to launch its Community Forum quickly. We are expecting to see visionary sustainability advocates like Di Lucas, Colin Meurk, and a representative of Sustainable Otautahi Christchurch (SOC) included there. The nature of our ongoing engagement with CERA depends on these decisions.

"Sustainable Canterbury welcomes any further enquiries," Mr Tindall said.

"Our organisation was recently founded, from the Water Forum series run in east and central Christchurch since mid-2009."


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