$40m to rebuild community, heritage facilities in Chch

Four years on from the first Christchurch quake, the council is committing $40 million to the rebuild of community and heritage facilities across the city and Banks Peninsula.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel announced today the council would fast-track the repair of these facilities.

Ms Dalziel said work would begin immediately, with a focus on repairing buildings closed due to earthquake damage, and rebuilding facilities demolished after the quakes.

The council had set aside almost $29.1m for the repair and rebuild of community facilities, and $11.7m for heritage facilities.

Decisions on which facilities to prioritise for funding was based on feedback from Christchurch residents, Ms Dalziel said.

"This is a very real signal that we are committed to continuing to repair and rebuilding the facilities that matter the most to our residents."

Funding would come from the council's Facilities and Infrastructure Improvement New Borrowing Allowance, ahead of insurance discussions being finalised.

The proceeds of any insurance claims would be returned to the allowance, she said.

Repair work was expected to take a year, and priority facilities would be rebuilt within two years, she said.

The announcement was made at today's earthquake recovery committee hearing, which was moved from its city HQ out to the New Brighton Community Centre in the east.

"September 4, 2010 is a significant date in our city's history so it is poignant that this meeting is held in the east of Christchurch, an area that suffered extensive damage following the earthquake," Ms Dalziel said.

At the meeting it was also announced that QEII Park, which was damaged in the quakes, was the preferred site for a new Eastern Recreation and Sport Centre in northeast Christchurch.

"We're delighted to make this announcement about a new recreation and sport centre that will be used by residents of all ages in one of the very neighbourhoods that will benefit from the facility," Ms Dalziel said.

A budget of $30.5m was previously allocated to the sport centre in the 2012/13 annual plan.

Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission Gerry Brownlee said the fourth anniversary has coincided with the Earthquake Commission (EQC) reaching two significant milestones.

The Canterbury Home Repair Programme has reached $2 billion in net payments to contractors since the repair of earthquake damage began in the city in 2010.

The programme has also completed 60,000 repairs, with just under 10,000 repairs to go.

"These milestones illustrate the scale of the programme, which has made it easily the largest employer of residential construction skills and resources in New Zealand's history," Mr Brownlee said.

A five-part documentary, featuring Christchurch residents discussing progress of the rebuild to date, was released today.

The series, Christchurch – The Ever Evolving City, was produced by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) over the past four months.

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said it showed progress across all aspects of the rebuild.

"We wanted to show the good news stories we constantly hear. These are local people talking about their own achievements and goals as our recovery evolves."

Mr Sutton said the series cost around $90,000 to produce, and more than 400 DVD copies will be delivered to retirement complexes, schools, cafes, businesses and malls around Christchurch.

 

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