Brownlee rejects claims he has too much power

8:15 pm on 26 July 2012

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister is dismissing a claim the emergency powers he was granted following the region's quakes give him too much power.

The High Court in Christchurch on Tuesday found Gerry Brownlee acted outside the law in trying to fast-track new housing developments in Christchurch.

The ruling is the first legal challenge to the minister's special powers as part of the earthquake recovery legislation.

The Green Party says they need to be reviewed, with the ruling proving Mr Brownlee has too much power.

However, Mr Brownlee says it proves the opposite - that there are restrictions to his powers.

He says he has yet to read the first annual review of the legislation and the powers it granted him, but expects it to be tabled in the House in the next few days.

Saying he is not embarrassed by the decision, Mr Brownlee told Morning Report the judge - whose decision halted some developments while allowing others to proceed - said there are processes that could have been used instead.

The minister says his staff will look at the decision on Wednesday, but the subdivisions involved will go ahead, while others seeking to build can now take the matter to the Environment Court.