Flying start to another busy year for Canterbury’s regeneration
The year is off to a flying start with major developments across iconic Canterbury sites showing the rebuild is continuing at pace.
Last year was a busy one for the region with a long list of projects either completed or close to completion - the Bus Interchange, Margaret Mahy Family Playground, Earthquake Memorial, as well as the Retail, Innovation, Avon River and Justice and Emergency Services Precincts.
The Government has backed the Canterbury community throughout the rebuild. I’m happy to say one of the icons of the rebuild, the Re:START Mall, will continue operating on its current site for the time being after its lease on Crown-owned land was extended.
As planned, some of that privately owned land is now earmarked for new developments in the Retail Precinct, and over time retailers will be migrating from Re:START Mall to new buildings. The Mall’s lease will be extended to 31 January next year, so this very popular attraction can continue while new developments progress around it.
This month the Cashin Quay 2 Wharf, an $85 million expansion of Lyttelton Port, was opened, increasing the Port’s ability to grow trade in the coming decades. The Port is another step in securing Canterbury’s future growth and prosperity by boosting jobs and trade.
Lyttelton Port accounts for 56 per cent of imports coming into the South Island. In the last year, the Port serviced 406 container ships from 94 international ports in 39 countries. The redevelopment doubles the Port’s container capacity, cementing Canterbury as the driving force behind New Zealand’s economic prosperity.
With the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team’s (SCIRT) work 85 per cent complete, thanks to $2.69 billion funding from central and local Government, I expect 2016 to be the year we complete repairs to quake-damaged roads, bridges and underground pipes. These projects will give Cantabrians networks they can count on moving forward.
Looking ahead, new legislation will be passed before April making regeneration the focus of central and local government’s investment in Christchurch. You will soon see a new Retail Precinct complemented by great new public areas around the Avon River, and a number of exciting possibilities in the newly cleared Residential Red Zone.
Christchurch city is humming with activity and I’m excited about the year ahead.