Council to set up dedicated quake recovery team

6:11 pm on 10 February 2011

The Christchurch City Council has set up a dedicated earthquake recovery group to oversee the reconstruction of the South Island city.

The council met on Thursday to discuss what progress has been made since the 7.1 quake hit Canterbury on 4 September causing widespread damage.

Business owners and residents have lobbied the council for a specialised committee to deal with the quake relief in a coherent manner.

The Canterbury Business Recovery Group says the lack of progress has been frustrating.

A spokesperson says the establishment of additional, dedicated council meetings is a step forward but the group fears the agenda will be bound by what the council wants, not what the community needs.

CanCERN, which is made up of people volunteering their time to support locals after the quake, says setting up a specialised quake recovery group within the council is crucial.

Spokesperson Mark Hau told the meeting on Thursday people are running around like headless chickens because of a lack of information and they need to be given certainty and hope.

At a national level, the Earthquake Recovery Commission has changed tack so that it is now more inclusive of groups such as CanCERN.

Mr Hau says that is a good step in the right direction.