Government rethinks quake rebuild appointment

6:05 am on 28 March 2011

The Government has apparently changed its mind over the appointment of a former top military officer as interim head of the team to rebuild Christchurch.

The cost of rebuilding the city following the devastating earthquake on 22 February has been put as high as $20 billion.

The office of Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee told Radio New Zealand News last Thursday that former major general and departing Customs boss Martyn Dunne was in line to be given the job on Tuesday.

He would have deferred his arrival as the new high commissioner to Australia by two months to get the authority working.

The appointment was reportedly confirmed in a briefing to MPs by Civil Defence Controller Steve Brazier on Friday.

But on Sunday Mr Brownlee said Mr Dunne would not become head of the authority, blaming media speculation for the earlier information.