If you subscribe to the CERA “Invest Christchurch” newsletter – and you should, it’s  free and informative – you may have seen this from the CCDU director Warwick Isaacs. I’m going to quote it at length, because it’s quite extraordinary:

The Rebuild Zone cordon should not be seen as a barrier to development. Quite the opposite. Though our goal is to scale back the area inside the cordon, we’re not in a rush to remove it altogether. This isn’t just about providing a safe and efficient work environment for the demolition process; it’s because we want to provide the right environment for development as well. So to be completely clear on this point: if you’re a land owner, tenant or developer with a genuine need to be inside the cordon, we will endeavour to get you there.

So, the central city cordon isn’t there to keep us safe, it’s there because it’s convenient for developers. They could remove it faster, but they aren’t in a rush. I mean, what’s the hurry? The longer they keep the fences up, the longer it is before nosey citizens can get their prying eyes in their. The longer it is until former residents – like myself – will be able to go in and see the sites where they used to live.

This statement makes it absolutely clear: the cordon isn’t about safety, it’s about development. It’s about ensuring that that development can proceed without scrutiny, without any checks except for the minimal provisions of the emergency legislation. The CCDU and the government could not prostrate themselves any further to developers – and that’s the “right environment” for the rebuild; by developers, for developers. 

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