It’s a couple of days away from the quake anniversary, and the Press has been publishing a number of worthwhile pieces about aspects of the recovery. I should mention them in more detail, but this is more of a quick heads-up.

Former National Cabinet Minister Philip Burdon wrote a pretty scathing opinion piece on the state of the rebuild, and the emerging “doughnut city”:

The role of central government has by virtue of legislative dictate totally subordinated the role of local government. Having said that, the Cera (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) structure has been agreed by all as conceptually appropriate and correct and the expectations of decisive leadership were high. Three years later it is universally seen as having failed to deliver and it is necessary to reflect on why.

Its primary mandate was to streamline bureaucracy and accelerate decision-making. Three years later it has become the antithesis of exactly that. Its most conspicuous failure has been its well-intended ambition to kick-start and accelerate the revival of the CBD.

Lianne Dalziel gave a “State of the City” address, and the response to it from Brownlee and Parker wasn’t popular:

Dalziel said the Parker-led council had left ”a tragic legacy” and a potentially serious financial predicament after inking the cost-sharing agreement. That council had “committed to projects that we cannot afford. They created expectations of levels of service that we cannot deliver. We have inherited this situation but we are taking responsibility.” Parker denied Dalziel’s claims and said her council “turned their backs on knowledge” by not having a full debrief with former chief executive Tony Marryatt, who was still employed by the council until November 30 last year.

Finally, Vicki Anderson has written a pretty comprehensive survey of what’s happened in the arts since the quakes.

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