Isaacs survives review of Christchurch rebuild team

Warwick Isaacs
Connal Townsend

On its first anniversary the central Christchurch development unit has been restructured and will continue to be led by director Warwick Isaacs.

The National Business Review Print edition reported on July 7 how the Canterbury rebuild is in dire straits and quoted Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend saying that the centrally-planned rebuild plan had failed.

The central Christchurch development unit is a division of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the restructuring announcement was due out tomorrow.

The new rearrangement sees general manager capital investment and insurance recoveries James Hay leaving CCDU “to pursue new opportunities within the public service”.

General manager of project delivery Greg Wilson and general manager of design and planning Don Miskell will become new general managers in the communications and capital investment areas.

Mr Wilson will have delivery responsibility for seven of the 10 anchor projects covered by the cost-sharing agreement with Christchurch city council.

The capital investment and insurance recoveries team has been separated into two new business units – greater Christchurch investment strategy and greater Christchurch commercial strategy, with the insurance recoveries work now reporting to CERA chief financial officer Dave Mills.

The two new teams will be responsible for developing the investment and commercial strategies for the anchor projects, and for seeking private investment in Christchurch.

“CCDU will seek candidates with specialist commercial and procurement skills to lead this work,” according to a prepared statement issued today.

Milestones and timelines for all anchor projects being led by the Crown will be published before September 1, 2013.

The restructure comes one year after the CCDU was set up and announced at a lavish public relations function timed for the Prime Minister John Key to speak on 6pm television news outlets.

Since that time there has been little apparent progress, leading to recent criticisms from the Property Council and also from Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend, who says it has become bogged down.

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5 Comments & Questions

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Central govt has completely duffed this one. I would love to know what CERA has cost the taxpayer since inception, and what they would point to as their "successes" so far.
A board structure with local representatives is urgently needed to get this thing focused on delivering results, not just talk fests.

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Polling indicates that National has lost all its Chch seats at next election, so why bother? Convention centre is a much better project.

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CCDU has failed and moving a few deck chairs will fix little.

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I hear that CCDU as part of their land grab for the new Think Big Convention Centre, have apparently made an extraordinary offer to the Victoria Apartments (100 Armagh St) body corporate of $1.3 million on a piece of land that the owners are collectively paying $8.8 million in rates to the Christchurch City Council.

The apartments apparently had an anticipated replacement value of just under $50 million excluding land prior to the Feb 2011 earthquake. Word is that so far about $25 million of the insurer’s part settlement payment is sitting in some trust account causing much concern to the body corporate who is understandably concerned with the prospect of not knowing what the final payout will be.

And just to add further insult, Warwick Isaac & Roger Sutton think that after paying out a miserly $1.3 million for the land, the body corporate should be only too happy to fund the cost of the demolition, which is likely to be at least $1 million.

I thought this sought of thing would only be allowed to happen in South Africa and not New Zealand!

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One of the interesting dynamics Mr Fisher of the rebuild is that landowners don't have many votes.

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