President & CEO Visit Canterbury/Westcoast

Both the CEO and I got a sense of what the people of Canterbury are experiencing as we touched down at Christchurch airport on Wednesday just minutes after yet another tremor. The state of high alert is palpable and will continue as the region is rocked by aftershocks.  The
intensity and frequency of the aftershocks has led to the state of emergency being extended for another seven days.

NZPI has offered local recovery efforts its support and on behalf of the wider membership  offered words of support to the many NZPI members that live within the region.  We will  continue to monitor the situation in Canterbury and to communicate with our members there to determine how best NZPI can support the region.  I am advised that the Government is onsidering legislation to help shorten timeframes for construction efforts and this includes the spectre of retrospective building and planning consents.  While it is laudable that emergency provisions are put in place we will be endeavouring to ensure that provisions of this nature do not thwart good urban planning principles and practice.

Central Government has also launched a website specifically to inform and advise on the latest earthquake news.  That website can be accessed here www.canterburyearthquake.govt.nz/

You can help to support those affected by this natural disaster by making a donation to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal, here’s a few options:

  • The Red Cross has launched an 0900 Appeal, you can make an automatic $20 donation byphoning 0900 33 200. Donations can also be made online or through any branch of Kiwibank, ANZ, BNZ, ASB, or National Bank - please visit the Red Cross website for full
    details.
  • Vodafone TXT 'QUAKE' to 555 to donate $5 to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal or if you'd like to donate $3, TXT 'QUAKE' to 333.  100% of your donation will go to the Red Cross; the donation will be charged to your Vodafone account or deducted from your Prepay balance

 

Visit to West Coast

Our next stop on Wednesday was Hokitika and Greymouth where we spent a stimulating day with members of NZPI, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Department of Conservation, Ngai Tahu, Ngati Waewae,  local and regional councils and planning consultants.  A particular
thank you goes to Kim Seaton, the Canterbury/Westland Branch Chair, who drove from
Christchurch to attend the forum.

The content of the presentations throughout the day was rich and leads me to highlight the following for your information:

  • NZHPT is being proactive in undertaking a review of its Sustainable Management of Historic Heritage Guidance Series
  • The Department of Conservation is busy rolling out its new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Concessions - The new SOP is well aligned with local and regional consent application processes.  The Westland Region has also completed its first Conservation
    Management Strategy and it is now operative.
  • Ngati Waewae (a Ngai Tahu runanga) has launched "Totally Environment Limited" – the new company will provide the interface between the enterprise arms of the runanga and consenting authorities.  Totally Environment Limited will have its website up and running within days, so watch this space.

A warm thanks to the organisers and participants of the West Coast Forum – it was a great initiative and provided us with a good insight into local and regional planning issues.

Jane Douglas
NZPI President