The Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS) Partnership has been working collaboratively for over a decade to tackle urban issues and manage the growth of the City and its surrounding towns.
The Canterbury earthquake series of 2010 and 2011 heightened the need for councils in the Greater Christchurch area to work alonside Government, iwi and others to coordinate and facilitate recovery activity.
Thankfully the extensive strategic planning and engagement that helped develop the UDS provided the foundation for recovery plans and programmes to quickly respond to these new circumstances.
As we move into the next phase of recovery, regeneration and planning for the long-term well-being of the community the UDS Partnership continues to demonstrate the collaborative leadership necessary to help deliver the UDS vision for a vibrant, prosperous, thriving and diverse community in the beautiful environment of Greater Christchurch.
The UDS Partnership comprises the councils in the Greater Christchurch area (Christchurch City, Environment Canterbury - the regional council, Selwyn and Waimakariri Districts), Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and includes participation from NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), the Canterbury District Health Board and the Greater Christchurch Group from within the Department of the Prime MInister and Cabinet (DPMC).
The Greater Christchurch Group has assumed overall responsibility for coordinating the work of the Crown in ongoing recovery and regeneration activity. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), including the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU), ceased in conjunction with the expiry of the CER Act in April 2016.
The UDS Partnership also has a close relationship with Regenerate Christchurch, Ōtākaro Ltd and Development Christchurch Ltd as the work of these new agencies complements the objectives of the UDS in relation to the central city and suburban regeneration.
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The important role of UDS partner councils and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu was recognised through their identification as strategic partners within the CER Act. To reflect this role, in March 2012, CERA established a local advisory committee, mirroring the UDS governance structure, to support advice being provided by CERA to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.
Immediately after the earthquakes councils, CERA and the Minister responded to the need for additional housing for people relocating from the red-zones by accelerating development of areas already identified for growth.
These initial responses were then integrated within a Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP) that provides greater certainty and direction for ongoing rebuild and recovery activities. It supports and complements the measures for the central city in the Christcuhrch Central Recovery Plan and advances many of the key principles set out in the UDS.
Recovering from the earthquakes has entailed hard decisions and its impacts have not been bourne equally. Repair and rebuilding work continues to disrupt our everyday lives. However it has also presented Greater Christchurch with opportunities to advance positive changes that will leave a lasting legacy for our city and our communities and leave us better prepared for the future.