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Cera gone, Christchurch moves on

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/04/2016

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is no more but questions remain about the future of Christchurch.

CERA was established as a government department on March 29, 2011 to lead the government's response to the Christchurch earthquakes, which caused significant loss of life and massive damage to houses, commercial buildings and infrastructure.

It ceases to exist on Monday.

Some of its functions have wound down and others have transferred to government departments.

A new outfit called Regenerate Christchurch has been set up.

Critics say it's more bureaucracy and supporters say there'll be more local input.

One of the big questions is what will happen to the red zone in eastern Christchurch where more than 7000 homes have been demolished.

There's talk of building a lake.

One submitter to the bill reorganising Christchurch's recovery agencies questioned a government claim that 3m of compacted fill plus many kilometres of perimeter treatment were needed for there ever to be residential development again in the red zone.

"Kahikatea do not need compacted fill or perimeter treatment. Nor do totara, matai, ake ake, harakeke, kowhai, kanuka, and all the other native trees, bushes, and grasses that would have naturally inhabited this land had we let them," the submission said.

Many submitters called for more local control and said democracy had been lacking in the rebuild so far.

A group called the New Brighton Project asked for the red zone to be turned into a river park and reserve.

They wanted a democratic process that "gives ownership of the city back to the people whom have endured the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes".

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