Some Christchurch leaders think Govt planning takeover

7:41 pm on 5 April 2012

Some Christchurch city leaders say they believe Labour Party claims that the Government is poised to step in and take over the rebuilding of the central city.

Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel says Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is planning to strip the council of its planning authority, and hand it over to the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Mr Brownlee has rejected the claim.

But a city councillor who did not want to be named told Radio New Zealand he believes the suspicion is justified.

And a spokesperson for the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network Reverend Mike Coleman also thinks it is likely to be true.

Mike Coleman says the city council and earthquake recovery authority have not worked well together.

Mr Brownlee has not ruled out the quake recovery agency taking a lead role in the planning of Christchurch's central city rebuild.

But he rejects opposition claims that that could amount to a takeover by central government.

Christchurch City Council can not proceed with rebuilding the CBD until its draft plan has been signed off by the minister.

Mr Brownlee says there are high level discussions and, as the minister, he is closely involved.

But he says there is no move to undermine the city council and any proposals being discussed are contained in the council's own draft plan.