Wednesday 20 March 2013

Day 757: Continued regime uncertainty

Just keep holding that pause button, guys. It'll all be fine. Just like in SimCity.

Christchurch is pretty short on hotel accommodation. A hotel wants to rebuild. The insurance is all sorted out. But, the government will not tell them whether the government will go ahead with its plan for an arts precinct, in which case their land could be taken from them by the government under compulsory acquisition, or whether they can start rebuilding their hotel on their own property without fear of expropriation. While the hotel chain hasn't yet demolished the old building, it takes a while to plan for a site and to get the appropriate consents even without the zoning uncertainty.
CCDU project delivery general manager Greg Wilson said the Copthorne hotel was situated in the area designated for the performing arts precinct, which was a work in progress.
The final makeup of the precinct would be linked to decisions made on the future of the Town Hall, he said.
For anything else to be built on the Copthorne Hotel site, written consent under the Resource Management Act was required from Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, Wilson said.

"The test is whether the proposed use would prevent or hinder the public work - in this case the development of the performing arts precinct."
No hurry. Pause buttons are great. It's only been 757 days since the February 2011 quake.

Hopefully, delays mean good things in this case: Ng Gallery might survive the planned stadium and will not be put under compulsory acquisition.

Insurance delays and uncertainty continue. Campbell Live covered things well last night. The Insurance Council's Tim Grafton correctly notes that there are some complicated cases where it took a while to sort out whether you could rebuild on a property. Then there are the messes between the insurers and the reinsurers, between the insurers/reinsurers and EQC, and between the whole lot of them and the change in building code that ramped up repair costs. But there are other cases where no such uncertainty exists and where there hasn't really been much progress. And the length of time to resolve scraps between insurers, reinsurers, and EQC is endogenous to the legal regime.

757 days of regime uncertainty. Tick tick tick tick....

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