Section 6: Phases of Recovery and Milestones

Ngā Wāhanga me ngā Tohu o te Whakaara

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Many actions are needed to support the community early in the recovery; other activities can be undertaken only after investigation and planning. Recovery activities can be organised into typical phases that indicate what to expect as the community moves from the emergency response to short-term recovery and then medium- to longer-term recovery.

As seismic activity continues in greater Christchurch, progress through these recovery phases may be complex. If there is another earthquake, it may be necessary to return to a previous phase to deal with immediate recovery needs.

The following table outlines typical recovery phases and some key milestones for greater Christchurch. For more information about the timeline and achievements to date, see the CERA website.

Please note:

  • Section 6 has statutory effect pursuant to s.15 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.
  • Ongoing seismic activity in greater Christchurch may mean return to a previous phase to deal with immediate recovery needs.

Typical phases of recovery

Immediate: Repair, patch and plan

  • Provide basic human needs and support services.
  • Address health and safety issues.
  • Make safe or demolish unsafe and damaged buildings and structures.
  • Investigate, scope and initiate recovery programmes and initiatives.
  • Plan for land use and settlement patterns so land can be made available for displaced residents.
  • Conduct ongoing programme of investigation and research to understand the geotechnical issues and seismic conditions. Use this information to guide recovery activities and decisions on land suitability for rebuilding.

Short term: Begin to rebuild, replace and reconstruct

  • Engage both established and new communities and inform them about rebuilding and future planning.
  • Establish new social and health support and service delivery models.
  • Continue demolition of damaged buildings.
  • Continue repair and rebuild.
  • Deliver early projects to instil confidence.
  • Planning and supporting community resilience.
  • Begin replacement activity.
  • Begin restoration and adaptive reuse of heritage features.
  • Continue, monitor and review recovery.

Medium to longer term: Construct, restore and improve

  • Continue to build resilient communities.
  • Continue reconstruction.
  • Major construction projects are underway.
  • Complete restoration and adaptive reuse of heritage features.
  • Phase out recovery organisations.
  • Economy is growing and businesses are sustainable.
  • Labour market is active and attracting employees.

Indicative recovery milestones for greater Christchurch

September 2010 to December 2011: Repair, patch and plan

  • Support, assist and provide information to communities and individuals.
  • Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) Alliance assesses damage and starts repairs to infrastructure.
  • Restore non-chlorinated water supply to residents and declare beaches safe for swimming.
  • Decide on suitability of land for rebuilding. Establish green and red residential zones.
  • Government makes offer to purchase residential red zone properties and settlements begin.
  • Begin to demolish dangerous buildings.
  • New Building Act Guidelines establish new standards for buildings.
  • Earthquake Commission (EQC) and insurance companies undertake damage assessments and payouts are underway.
  • Greater Christchurch residents engage with government and local government on the future of the central city and the nature and coordination of recovery
    activities (draft Recovery Plan for the CBD and draft Recovery Strategy).
  • Facilitate the release of land for new subdivisions.

2012 to 2014: Begin to rebuild, replace and reconstruct

  • Approve Recovery Strategy to direct and coordinate recovery activities and agencies involved in recovery.
  • Restore access to and transportation networks in central city.
  • Establishment of the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).
  • Finalisation of the Recovery Plan for the CBD.
  • Rebuilding of the CBD starts.
  • Complete decisions on land zones and geotechnical issues.
  • Continue repair of infrastructure and make decisions about long-term repair and provision of infrastructure.
  • Finish demolition of larger commercial buildings.
  • Government and statutory partners undertake recovery programmes.
  • Complete settlements and land clearance for residential red zone properties.
  • EQC and insurers undertake residential repairs and rebuilds.
  • Establish new residential subdivisions.
  • Find facilities for sporting and cultural activities.
  • Construct temporary buildings for entertainment and retail in greater Christchurch.

2015 to 2020 and beyond: Construct, restore and improve

  • Government and strategic partners continue to implement recovery programmes.
  • Continue rebuilding and construction.
  • EQC and insurers complete residential repairs and rebuilds.
  • Major sporting and cultural facilities are under construction.
  • Recovery responsibilities are transferred when necessary. Put new arrangements in place.