Ministerial Foreword

He Kōrero Whakataki

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The recovery of greater Christchurch from the Canterbury earthquakes provides both challenges and opportunities of a scale and complexity unprecedented in our history. Meeting the challenges and realising the opportunities is the Government’s number one priority.

It is no small task ahead of us and it is critical to New Zealand’s future wellbeing that we succeed. Success means making the most of the opportunities resulting from the terrible events that have happened.

I am heartened that Cantabrians are already doing this. The way people have responded and the enormous efforts already made mean that as time has passed since 22 February 2011, the recovery is making solid progress.

The Recovery Strategy set out in these pages will guide not just the Government, but also individuals, groups, clubs, communities, politicians, councils, iwi, charities, businesses, the public and private sector, and government agencies that have a role in recovery. Success will be measured by how we work together and maximise the opportunities to restore, renew and revitalise greater Christchurch.

The impacts of the earthquakes are well documented. The economic cost is likely to exceed $20 billion. The social costs – the lives lost, injuries suffered, grief, stress, disruption, lost heritage and lost opportunities – are beyond measure. It is important to remember and learn from these losses.

Already progress is clear. Around greater Christchurch workers are fixing roads, and sewer, water and wastewater mains. The city has normal reticulated water supplies. There are hundreds of workers in the CBD red zone every day repairing and demolishing what is necessary to make the central city safe.

CERA continues to work hard to provide property owners in greater Christchurch certainty about the future of their properties. More than 180,000 home owners have been confirmed in the residential green zone. More than 6,000 home owners have been zoned red and can progress Crown offers to buy their properties and re-establish their lives.

Economic indicators show economic activity in Canterbury is building. Recent successive growth statistics for Canterbury are clear evidence of recovery. They will continue to improve as reconstruction gains momentum.

Recovery will be a long journey with hard work ahead. Future generations of Cantabrians and New Zealanders will reap the rewards of the decisions we make now. We must work together as quickly and as positively as we can, putting people and greater Christchurch first.

Together we will make greater Christchurch even greater.

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery