Section 11: Implementing the Recovery Strategy

Ngā ara hei whakatutuki i te Mahere Haumanutanga

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The rest of this document provides additional detail about how the Recovery Strategy is being implemented. Sections 12–17 discuss the rationale, goals and projects or programmes associated with the six recovery programmes.

As many programmes are still in the planning stages, CERA will give updates on its website when more details are available about the specific projects, who is involved and key milestones. Visit to remain up-to-date on the Recovery Strategy and recovery programmes.

11.1 Collaboration and engagement

No one agency or group will be able to achieve recovery alone. Collaboration is essential to connect those who have a role in recovery, including those in the government, iwi, business, cultural and other nongovernment sectors. By establishing and maintaining constructive relationships, agencies will be able to take initiatives that are coordinated, timely and enduring.

CERA has been engaging with Christchurch residents since it was established. This includes information sessions and workshops for those affected by the zoning decisions as well as business and social recovery support.

Engaging communities extends well beyond the development of this Recovery Strategy. If the Strategy is to be implemented successfully, they must continue to be engaged in the recovery. Communities may be engaged in different ways during the development of the recovery programmes and plans. How they are involved will depend on what issues are being addressed and who is involved. The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum of Public Participation describes various tools for engaging the community, such as website information, written submissions, public meetings, stakeholder workshops and community forums. The Community Forum established under the CER Act provides information and advice to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.

In many instances communities, non-governmental organisations and neighbourhood groups have welldeveloped networks, initiatives or ideas which can inform recovery. Some communities organised themselves quickly to respond to the disaster, plan for the future and care for each other. Some community groups have developed neighbourhood plans which are useful for the community and can inform council-led planning processes such as master planning or emergency responses.

CERA has developed its Community Engagement Strategy in consultation with strategic partners and community stakeholders. The strategy commits CERA to work with people and communities to rebuild and revitalise greater Canterbury. It is available on the CERA website.

A range of communication tools are in place to provide more information about CERA’s work programmes and progress on recovery. These include monthly updates distributed to households, information brochures and leaflets, media releases, public notices, email updates and the CERA website.

11.2 Relationship with existing strategies and plans

The Recovery Strategy sets the overall direction for the rebuild and recovery of greater Christchurch. It also inserts provisions necessary for the recovery into specific planning documents and instruments (sections 15 and 26 of the CER Act), as shown in the following diagram.

Strategies that were developed before the earthquakes to guide planning and growth in greater Christchurch will need to be re-evaluated in the light of recovery needs. The most significant of these is the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS).

This non-statutory strategy was developed under the Local Government Act 2002 by Environment Canterbury, the Christchurch City Council, Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils and the New Zealand Transport Agency. The UDS is implemented primarily through a range of statutory planning processes—in particular, the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement, District Plans, Councils’ Long Term Plans, and the Canterbury Regional Land Transport Programme. As all of these are required to be consistent with the Recovery Strategy, the Strategy will also influence any re-evaluation of the UDS.

Using the CER Act powers, the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery has fast-tracked changes to the Regional Policy Statement. These changes are set out in chapters 12A and 22 of the Regional Policy Statement. Further changes are possible as a result of any re-evaluation of the UDS.

The relationship between the Recovery Strategy and other strategies, policies and plans for greater Christchurch

Table showing the relationship between the Recovery Strategy and other strategies, policies and plans for greater Christchurch.

11.3 Governance

The New Zealand Government established the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 as the legislative framework to enable a faster recovery in greater Christchurch.

The CER Act requires accountability to the Parliament as the elected representatives of the New Zealand public. The Recovery Strategy is an important document in signalling the intentions of the Government and partners involved in recovery.

The role of the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery was appointed by the Prime Minister to coordinate the recovery effort at the executive government level. This role reports to Cabinet Committee on Canterbury Earthquake Recovery (CER), which was tasked to oversee and coordinate the government’s response to support the recovery and reconstruction following the earthquakes.

The Minister works closely with CERA as the primary agency for recovery, however virtually all government departments are contributing to the recovery efforts. Other government agencies and departments are coordinated through a Senior Officials Group, chaired by the Chief Executive of CERA.

The Recovery Strategy is the primary document to coordinate action amongst government and strategic partners. A clear governance framework is supporting the work related to the Recovery Strategy and recovery programmes.

The framework provides for input and alignment at the political, advisory, strategic and technical levels.


  • establishes clear accountability to the elected government and the Parliament;
  • reflects both the greater Christchurch context, including existing frameworks (such as the UDS);
  • establishes clear relationships both at the local government level and with central government agencies;
  • reflects a collaborative and integrated approach to the development of recovery programmes through the establishment of effective working relationships; and
  • enables a smooth transition in April 2016 when CERA is no longer an established entity.

The resulting framework covers all levels of governance (political, central government, local government and stakeholder/community).

Elected members, commissioners and leaders of the strategic partners are engaged through the Recovery Strategy Advisory Committee (RSAC). This committee will ensure an aligned approach amongst partners to the implementation of the Recovery Strategy.

This committee is supported by the Recovery Strategy Chief Executive Advisory Group (RSCEAG) which includes the Chief Executives of strategic partners and NZTA. Officials of all groups involved in the Recovery Strategy will work at management and technical levels to coordinate and align recovery programmes.

11.4 Transition

The State Sector (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) Order 2011 established CERA on 29 March 2011. On 19 April 2011 the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 came into force. It gave CERA the functions and powers to assist in the recovery and required the development of a Recovery Strategy. The CER Act expires five years after the day it commenced (i.e. on 19 April 2016).

A transition plan is required to deal with the time when CERA ceases to exist. Transition will not override or compromise existing processes resulting from other legislation. This transition plan will be developed in collaboration with strategic partners by April 2015. The aim will be to make a smooth transfer of responsibilities and maintain the recovery effort.