Brownlee still taking advice on legal reverse

4:30 pm on 26 July 2012

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister says he is still taking legal advice over whether to appeal against a High Court ruling that he acted outside the law in trying to fast-track new housing developments in Christchurch.

The ruling is the first legal challenge to the special powers Gerry Brownlee was granted as part of the earthquake recovery legislation.

Speaking to media in Christchurch on Thursday afternoon, Mr Brownlee said he would consider his legal options over the next 24 hours.

He added, however, that if the ruling stands it will further drag out a process that had already been running for seven years when he became involved.

Earlier, the Canterbury Regional Council - one of the Urban Design Strategy partners that designed the boundaries of greater Christchurch - said it would appeal against the ruling.

The 1998 regional policy statement sets out where the residential growth of greater Christchurch should go and Tuesday's ruling set aside the changes made to that blueprint by Mr Brownlee.

The case had been due to be heard at the Environment Court before he stepped in.

The council's commissioner, Peter Skelton, says the partners, which include Christchurch City Council, are united in their view of the critical need for an overarching planning instrument to guide urban development and earthquake recovery, and he expects other partners to lodge appeals.