Development Strategy for the Greater Christchurch region. A comprehensive implementation strategy, overseen by a dedicated committee, was created to realise the outcomes.
Ensuring equal partnerships in delivery
A sub-regional strategy with multiple stakeholder interests calls for specific management of finance and delivery mechanisms. To ensure successful implementation it was equally important to establish partnerships within and between the relevant public organisations as it was to create meaningful partnerships with the private sector.
It was essential that the development contributions, fees and other costs in one district did not undercut those in another. This could potentially distort market participation and 'buy-in' to the preferred growth option.
Balancing ideal growth with market participation
New Zealand does not have a tradition of large-scale public sector involvement in development projects other than state housing and key infrastructure:
- New Zealand Transport Agency is the only major infrastructure provider, receiving central government subsidies for transport projects
- Regional councils do not have the power to manage local waters and roads, (although they do have regulatory approval functions) and tend to manage the passenger transport system
- Local authorities plan and fund their own local infrastructure, using development contributions under local government legislation to recover capital costs from new development.
Most infrastructure occurs in conjunction with planned growth to avoid a rates burden on a community. The Greater Christchurch strategy was based on the same model, with the public sector setting in place the development framework and private developers undertaking most of the actual activity.
The Urban Development Strategy therefore had to balance an ideal spatial growth model with a model most likely to support market participation.
Using the public and private sectors effectively
The public sector's critical role was to build community support for the intensification strategy and build capacity for change to help encourage the private sector to make sustainable development decisions.
Private sector developers took part in several focus groups with technical experts familiar with development projects. This ensured that stakeholders came through the strategy development process with a greater appreciation of each others' pressures and priorities.
The Urban Development Strategy guides strategic investment decisions by all players within the development sector. An action plan was produced which:
- relates project outputs with specific spatial or policy-based actions and tasks
- allows projects to be rolled out in a timely, collaborative and resource-efficient fashion between lead and support agencies
- prioritises 20 actions to get the necessary governance structures and implementation framework in place to realise the strategy (including approval for transport infrastructure funding).