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Labour completely wrong on pace of recovery

Hon Gerry Brownlee

Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

29 July 2014 Media Statement

Labour completely wrong on pace of recovery

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says he’s saddened to see Labour MPs Clayton Cosgrove and Phil Twyford talking down the region’s recovery, when evidence directly contradicts their claims it has been slow.

“Mr Cosgrove and Mr Twyford yesterday issued a statement saying the completion of 2160 new houses in Christchurch over the past two years was evidence of recovery being ‘painfully slow,’” Mr Brownlee says.

“Their evidence for this was that 2160 was a relatively small number when compared to the 25,000 houses the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority believes will be required by 2021.

“Were that a correct comparison the Labour MPs may have had a point.

“But the 25,000 number projected out to 2021 isn’t only for houses in Christchurch; it’s for houses in the Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts too.

“Had Mr Cosgrove and Mr Twyford gone to the source of the 25,000 figure – the Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP) which came into force in December 2013 – they’d have seen that in the four years from 2012 to 2016 Christchurch was projected to need an extra 1500 new houses, and a further 9200 houses in the five years from 2016 to 2021.

“But two years ahead of 2016 the 2160 houses completed has already exceeded the projected demand for the period by 44 per cent.

“Even more compelling is the numbers of houses within Christchurch City’s boundaries which will be completed by 2016, given that in the two years to May this year 5205 new houses were consented.

“LURP projections of housing demand in the Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts over the 2012 to 2016 period were 7,750 and 2,250 respectively, taking projected housing demand across the three jurisdictions over the four years to 2016 to 11,800 (including Christchurch’s 1500).

“But already we know at least half of that 11,800 figure is going to be delivered by Christchurch, and anyone familiar with subdivision activity on the outskirts of Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Rolleston knows thousands of houses are being built there too.

“Quite simply, greater Christchurch is booming, the population is growing, and the recovery is proceeding as quickly as anyone could have practically expected.

“Unemployment is 3.2 per cent and median gross weekly household income increased by in the region by 16.6 per cent between 2008 and 2013.

“Mr Cosgrove and Mr Twyford should really have been praising the pace of recovery rather than sticking the boot in.

“In their haste to be negative they’ve missed the real story.

“What was it David Cunliffe said about this being a positive election campaign?”


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