I am proud to have been Ilam's MP since 1996. Ilam is a great electorate and still an enjoyable place to live study and work. As a city we face challenges but we are working hard on a local and national level to make good progress.
This Government is working hard to rebuild and strengthen the country to give New Zealander's a brighter future. Re-creating Christchurch is a top priority and we are totally committed to the reconstruction of Canterbury and are determined to see that momentum is maintained.
My Ministerial responsibilities and role as Leader of the House means I do have to spend a lot of time in Wellington. However, if you live in the Ilam Electorate and have an issue I can help with or something that you think I should know about please get in touch – my office and I are here to help.
Electorate Office; 283 Greers Road, Bryndwr, Christchurch 8053
Phone: 359 0582
Land Use Recovery Plan;A For more information about the LURP visit www.cera.govt.nz/lurp.
The earthquake sequence in Canterbury that began on 4 September 2010 caused massive damage to housing, commercial buildings, underground infrastructure and transport networks.
Over 7000 dwellings will need to be demolished or re-located in the residential red zone and as many as 9000 other houses may need demolition.
Population dispersal and changes to business locations have impacted on economic activity, transport patterns, proximity to employment, entertainment and recreation.
The current Regional Policy Statement and Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn district plans do not address the demands that now exist.
The current Regional Policy Statement and Christchurch district plans are relatively prescriptive regarding where development can occur and under what rules.
Existing Resource Management Act planning processes could take 3-5 years (excluding appeals) to amend current plans to reflect the changed circumstances arising from the earthquakes.
Similarly, related land transport planning and local government planning documents are now in serious need of revision.
In general, the inability to amend the planning framework quickly enough to meet predicted rebuild peaks (from late 2014) and uncertainty about how amended plans would address recovery issues has impaired recovery; new planning rules are needed quickly.
The Government recognised this need for change early and the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery used his powers under section 27 of the CER Act to amend the planning framework in 2012, to make more land immediately available for residential and commercial development.
In doing so the Minister took guidance from the decade-long and widely consulted process undertaken by all the local authorities in the greater Christchurch area, known as the Urban Development Strategy.
This was essentially an agreed position by all local authorities – the Urban Development Strategy partners – on where Christchurch and its neighbours should grow in the years to 2040, based on expected population growth.
Then the earthquakes hit and much more residential land was needed much sooner.
However, the Minister’s decision to bring more land to market by adding a chapter to the Regional Policy Statement was judicially reviewed by landowners unhappy that their land hadn’t been included in areas opened up for greenfields residential development, in particular inside the Christchurch International Airport 50 decibel noise contour.
The High Court and then the Court of Appeal decided the Minister should have used either the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Strategy and/or a Recovery Plan to put in place these measures.
So in October 2012 Environment Canterbury, working with Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District Councils, and Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu (collectively, the Urban Development Strategy strategic partners), and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) requested they be directed to develop a Land Use Recovery Plan to address land use planning and related transport and infrastructure issues for the greater Christchurch area.
In November 2012 the Minister used his powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to direct Environment Canterbury to lead Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District Councils, Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu, NZTA and CERA to develop a Land Use Recovery Plan.
A draft Land Use Recovery Plan was delivered to the Minister by Environment Canterbury in July 2013.
The Minister asked for public comments on the draft plan, and received 149 substantial submissions which have now been summarised and analysed.
The Minister has now received a final plan which will do four things:
· Help address housing supply issues in greater Christchurch
· Support business and industry recovery through zoning and land supply
· Lower development hurdles and speed recovery
· Clarify where and when development will occur
The plan was approved by the Minister on 6 December 2013.
Launch of New Website of Rest Home Audits in New Zealand
The Government has just launched a new website that will make it easier for New Zealanders to find rest home information, including audit reports.
The website www.health.govt.nz/resthomes offers easy-to-access information on more than 650 aged care providers nationwide. This includes the types of rest home care, number of beds and length of time the provider is certified for.
Where available, current and previous audit summaries are also provided. In the future the website will show corrective actions as identified in their most recent audit and tracking of progress against these actions.
This new enhanced website will, over time, provide a much clearer picture of how rest homes operate and the care provided to residents. Full rest home audits are also being made available online at www.health.govt.nz/fullaudits as part of a six-month trial. Nearly 90 recently completed full audit reports are now online. Further full audits will be added as rest homes undergo their certification audits, with around 250 audits expected to be online by the end of the trial.
These changes contribute to ensuring that we are able to provide the highest quality care and support for older New Zealanders.
The ballot is open for New Zealanders who want to attend the 100th Anniversary of Anzac Day in Gallipoli in 2015. The ballot is open until 31 January 2014 and will be randomly drawn.
I urge anyone who is interested in attending to visit www.Gallipoli2015.govt.nz for more information.
Education Achievement Information to support your child’s education
The Education Ministry has released information providing a clear picture of how all parts of the pre-school and school system are performing and supporting each other throughout New Zealand at a local level.
The information released includes a new ‘Know Your Region’ section of the Ministry’s Education Counts website. It includes demographic and education data available by regional council and territorial authority. There are 84 territorial authority infographics, which provide snapshots of key statistics from early childhood education (ECE), through to 18 years of age for the locality.
The Ministry of Education is progressively uploading the new data on its website : http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/know-your-region
I’m pleased to announce the changes to the Warrant of Fitness inspection system. These will be introduced in two stages and will save New Zealanders $1.8 billion over 30 years. From next January light vehicles first registered anywhere between 2004 and 2008 will be required to have an annual, rather than the current six-monthly warrant of fitness inspection; and then from 1 July 2014, annual inspections will be extended to include all light vehicles first registered anywhere on or after 1 January 2000.
There are a few other changes as outlined on www.nzta.govt.nz/wof
Crown and Council investment in Christchurch
The Crown and the Christchurch City Council have reached agreement on cost sharing arrangements for the anchor projects in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, and the repair and replacement of the city’s essential horizontal infrastructure.
It is an investment of about $4.8 billion – $2.9 billion of it coming from the Crown, and $1.9 billion committed by the Christchurch City Council.
What’s on in Ilam, Christchurch…
- Christchurch Farmers Market on every Saturday –at Riccarton House from 9am -1pm.
- Christchurch Artisan Market - every Sunday morning at Riccarton House
Residential Advisory Service is available to all property owners having difficulty with insurance and other repair or rebuilding challenges. The free phone number is 0800 777 299, and will be available Mon - Fri 8am to 5pm
Call centre staff willset up appointments with independent advisors but cases will be triaged by the call centre and placed with advisors based on the specific nature of issues. This service uses Community Law Canterbury to deliver results.
More information can be found at www.advisory.org.nz