Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 ("CER Act") was repealed on 19 April 2016 by the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 ("Regeneration Act"), which is now the relevant Act following the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Canterbury has moved from recovery to regeneration.  

Most of the Orders in Council made under the CER Act were revoked with the repealing of that Act however amongst a small number, the Christchurch Replacement District Plan Order 2014 remains in force and will continue until 2021 (unless specifically revoked earlier).   This Order prevents the Council from initiating a change to its district plan, and also in effect prevents any private plan changes from being sought.

The purposes of the Regeneration Act are:

  • enabling a focused and expedited regeneration process;
  • facilitating the ongoing planning and regeneration of greater Christchurch;
  • enabling community input into decisions on the exercise of powers under s71 and the development of Regeneration Plans;
  • recognising the local leadership of Canterbury Regional Council, Christchurch City Council, Regenerate Christchurch, Selwyn District Council, Te Rūnanaga o Ngāi Tahu, and Waimakariri District Council and providing them with a role in decision making under this Act; and
  • enabling the Crown to efficiently and effectively manage, hold, and dispose of land acquired by the Crown under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 or this Act.

The Regeneration Act establishes a new entity, Regenerate Christchurch, which is run by the Council and the Crown until 2021.  Its main objectives are to:

  • leave regeneration in the Christchurch district;
  • engage and advocate effectively with communities, stakeholders, and decision makers to achieve its purpose; and
  • collaboratively work with others in achieving regeneration.

In order to achieve its objectives, Regenerate Christchurch has six functions:

  • developing Regeneration Plans;
  • making recommendations to the Minister;
  • facilitating investment;
  • providing advice to Ōtākaro Limited, Development Christchurch Limited, and others;
  • commenting on regeneration outcomes and interventions; and
  • providing independent advice on regeneration activities.

The Act allows the development of Regeneration Plans, the process for which differs substantially from the Schedule 1 process under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).  There are additional steps including that Regeneration Plans begin with a draft outline requiring approval and section 32 of the RMA does not apply.  There is also no ability to appeal a decision on a Plan, only judicial review.   A Regeneration Plan may direct changes to a district plan.


The Regeneration Act is the next chapter in Greater Christchurch's story following the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquakes.  The Act bypasses normal RMA processes with the aim of more efficiently regenerating from the earthquakes. 

Last updated at 2:37PM on November 17, 2017