Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says
suggestions of a "doughnut" effect in inner city Christchurch -
with new developments on the fringes but few in the centre -
are wide of the mark.
Mr Brownlee today confirmed 1100 staff from 13 government
agencies would return to offices in three new privately owned
buildings in the central business district by 2016.
"This is in addition to 200 Inland Revenue staff already
working in the Mid City Building above Ballantynes, and will
soon be followed by another 400 Government staff moving into
another new building in the city," Mr Brownlee said.
The leases to accommodate 1100 staff announced today
represented a $170 million investment in Christchurch over
the next 20 years, "so this is a significant commitment to
the city's prosperity".
"These buildings are in or on the edge of the Retail
Precinct, meaning an influx of 1100 people into shops and
food outlets in the city each day… the notion of a doughnut
effect in the Christchurch CBD – with new developments on the
fringes but few buildings in the centre – is being rapidly
Many of the public servants to return to the CBD are to be
accommodated in the yet to built Cashel Square development.
BNZ bank today also announced it would accommodate 200 of its
staff in the complex.
BNZ Chief Executive Anthony Healy said the bank made a
commitment in 2011 to the city and its customers to "to get
back into the heart of the Christchurch central business
district as soon as it was possible".
"The announcement today of this significant investment for
BNZ is a fulfilment of that promise."
Meanwhile, Labour's state services spokeswoman Maryan Street
said the Government's programme for relocating public
services in the CBD "raises concerns about what will be cut
to pay for it".
While the plan to move staff back into the CBD was a good
idea, Ms Street said State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman
had recently confirmed there would be no new money to fund
the move and agencies would have to take the costs out of
their baseline budgets by reprioritising money.
"We all know that reprioritising means cutting. So what will
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald