Rebuilding Programme

The Rebuilding Programme relates to the safe demolition and rebuilding of residential, commercial and community buildings.

Buildings can be designed and placed to provide safe and high quality spaces to live and work. With the amount of new buildings and community assets that will be constructed as a result of the rebuild, there are significant opportunities to ensure buildings meet the demands of communities and businesses, complement the geography and natural assets of the land, and work well with infrastructure such as transportation networks and public facilities. To guarantee the rebuilding of an urban form that meets the Recovery Strategy vision, planning must take account of where, when and how our key assets are rebuilt.

Building safety standards have already been strengthened for higher safety and resilience for the seismic hazards. MBIE, Building and Housing Group has provided engineering solutions for repairing and rebuilding houses in the Canterbury region following the earthquake sequence. The guidance is helping decision-makers and developers understand how to design and engineer homes so they are more resilient to future natural hazard events. 

As a consequence of structural damage to buildings a significant number are being demolished or partially demolished. CERA is responsible for overseeing or actively managing:

  • All demolitions within the CBD
  • All non-residential earthquake demolitions outside the CBD
  • All demolitions of residential buildings that are 4 stories or more
  • Demolitions of heritage residential buildings on a case by case basis

All remaining residential buildings outside the CBD are the responsibility of the Council and/or the building owners.

Housing is needed to accommodate the additional workforce required for the recovery as well as provide temporary accommodation for those people whose houses are being repaired. Temporary accommodation is already hard to find. People getting their homes repaired are competing for accommodation with the housing demand of temporary workers. There is a risk that rental prices increase and construction is constrained by insufficient accommodation. Council and government agencies need to ensure social housing is meeting the needs of low income families. There are also opportunities to better coordinate housing supply so it does not limit the pace of the recovery.

Objectives of the programme

  • Understand the risks and opportunities related to the delivery of above ground rebuild programmes to inform recovery activities;
  • Improve residential and commercial building safety to better meet the seismic performance requirements;
  • Plan and rebuild buildings community assets so as to restore community facilities and improve government service delivery, economic productivity and cultural vitality.

Key projects

Key projects related to rebuilding include:

Demolition and operations programme

The demolition and operations programme is undertaking detailed engineering evaluations of all commercial and multi-unit residential buildings, and the demolition of dangerous buildings to enable the rebuild of greater Christchurch.

The programme sets out the works for demolition work and business restart projects overseen by CERA, and the reduction of the cordoned area of the inner city.

The programme covers buildings within the cordon and other buildings of significance such as those over five storeys in the central city, commercial buildings outside of the city, foundations and basements left after the national emergency and removal of debris from certain demolition sites.

CERA requires detailed engineering assessments to enable a clear view of the structural integrity of commercial and public buildings, and to provide people with a level of confidence about the buildings they work in or enter. Urgent demolitions take priority over less urgent work and may therefore disrupt planned work. The plan is to remove large areas of the central city cordon by July 2012.

For up-to date information on demolitions and partial demolitions view the building updates.

Housing Recovery programme

The Housing Recovery programme is considering the market’s response to the housing issues arising from the recovery; the opportunity to co-ordinate the range of central and local government housing activities; and the pace of the residential rebuild. For example, CERA, EQC, private insurers, MBIE, Building and Housing Group and local government are working to identify and resolve issues to progress the green zone rebuild.

Workers’ Temporary Accommodation

CERA has worked with the councils and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to simplify regulation of temporary accommodation for workers. There will be a substantial demand for temporary accommodation for workers coming to greater Christchurch for the rebuild. A range of accommodation options will be needed to meet this demand. District plans, design guidelines and regulatory standards did not provide for this type and scale of temporary accommodation. CERA and MBIE have:

  • Made district plan changes to provide certainty for councils, developers and communities on possible locations for workers’ temporary accommodation and the matters relevant to the consenting process. Read the public notice about the district plan changes with links to full district plan changes on the councils’ websites.
  • Confirmed in district plans that all temporary buildings for workers’ accommodation must be removed no later than 31 December 2022.
  • Prepared guidance to help accommodation providers understand relevant Building Act and Building Code requirements. The guidance indicates areas where discretion in the Code requirements may be appropriate for this type of temporary building. Read the guidance on the MBIE website.
  • Streamlined the Resource Management Act and Building Act consenting process through the district plan changes and Building Act guidance.

An information sheet on the regulatory requirements for workers’ temporary accommodation summarising the district plan changes, Building Act guidance and other regulatory considerations is available.

Information sheet: Regulatory requirements for workers’ temporary accommodation [PDF 650KB]

Building quality

Building quality is improving the understanding of building issues and available solutions for both residential and commercial buildings to better meet the seismic performance requirements of the Building Act.

Led by the Department of Building and Housing, guidance has been developed to provide robust and well-balanced engineering solutions for repairing and rebuilding houses following the earthquakes. This guidance is issued under section 175 of the Building Act. It includes useful information on:

  • repairs to foundations and new foundations in TC1 and TC2
  • assessments of retaining walls for hillside properties
  • chimney repairs
  • repairs to house superstructures, pole frame houses and masonry walls.

Find out the difference between the technical categories in the green zone.

Community Assets

Community Assets relates to the planning and rebuilding community network assets open to the public. This includes public service buildings such as schools, hospitals and courts as well as community facilities for sport and recreation, arts, culture and heritage. CERA will liaise with councils, across government and with the private sector on this programme.

Significant Rebuilding Procurements

Significant Rebuilding Procurements include the Residential Rebuild Programme, Commercial Rebuild, Public Buildings (including Community Facilities Rebuild Programmes) and buildings of strategic significance.

An example of this work includes the Ministerial use of CER Act powers to rezone land in Addington to provide for a temporary multi-use sports and events stadium. View the public notice.