East's dramatic press conference last week has served its purpose. It has forced the council's hand to front up to the botch-up over the "omitted policy" and commit to fixing it. Without wishing to fry your head with technical planning parlance, the "policy" gives life to the "rule".
Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel has vowed to hold an independent inquiry into why a vital clause that would have made it easier to build houses in coastal communities was missed out of the city's district plan.
Dalziel promised to "pull out the stops" to ensure the legislation is fixed and said the city council would take urgent action to get to the bottom of why it was overlooked in the first place.
Campaigners fighting for a solution to the resource consents crisis in coastal Christchurch have issued a stern challenge to the prime minister, MP's and the city's leaders – "fix it properly, fix it honestly, fix it fast".
The clause is indeed the root of the problem – 24 words that were left out of Christchurch's new district plan when it came into effect in December.
Buried in a chapter on natural hazards was meant to be a key instruction: In high flood hazard management areas, "provide for development for a residential unit on residentially zoned land where appropriate mitigation can be provided that protects people's safety, wellbeing and property".
Those three lines had a simple purpose – to give leeway to people in specific coastal areas previously deemed at risk of flooding from river surges, so they could build or extend homes.
Estuary edge earthquake legacy issues, Southshore and South Brighton
June 2, 2019
Mayor personally commits to GETTING IT FIXED
September 12, 2018
Estuary Edge Condition Inventory, by Jacobs NZ LTD