22 Aug 2017

Christchurch City Council will take ownership of the Margaret Mahy Family Playground, the Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and the Bus Interchange as part of a proposed update of the Crown/Council Cost Sharing Agreement.

People enjoying the Margaret Mahy playground.

Christchurch City Council looks likely to take ownership of the Margaret Mahy Playground.

It is also proposed the Council takes ownership of all the residential red zone land purchased by the Crown on the Port Hills and in Brooklands and Southshore.

The Cabinet agreed to the refresh yesterday. The proposal is outlined in a report which will be considered by the Council at its meeting on Thursday.

“When the Council and the Crown signed the Cost Sharing Agreement in 2013 there was always an expectation that some arrangements in the agreement would be revisited as progress was made on the infrastructure rebuild programme and the anchor projects,’’ Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.

“These proposed new arrangements give us certainty and is another positive step forward for local leadership,’’ Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.

The refreshed Cost Sharing Agreement provides for:

  • The Crown transferring ownership of the Bus Interchange to the Council for $23 million (the Council’s contribution under the CSA).
  • The Crown transferring ownership of all Port Hills residential red zone land to the Council for $39 million. The original Cost Sharing Agreement provided for the Council taking ownership of half the land, adjacent to Council reserves.
  • The Crown transferring the ownership of residential red zone land in Brooklands and Southshore to the Council at no cost.
  • The Crown transferring the Margaret Mahy Playground and the Otakaro/Avon River Precinct to the Council for $13 million as per the CSA

The proposed changes to the Cost Sharing Agreement has implications for the Council in terms of maintaining the residential red zone land but it had already made allowances in its budget for the capital costs so it would not further impact ratepayers.

It had also factored into its budgets operating costs for the Margaret Mahy Playground, the Otakaro/Avon River Precinct and the Bus Interchange.

“We will need to look at developing operating budgets for the cost of maintaining the residential red zone land as part of 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

“It is possible that we will be able to offset some of the costs by selling some of the red zone land on the Port Hills where the hazard risk has been mitigated,’’ Ms Dalziel said.

Detail, including an agreed timing for the transfer of land and assets, is expected to be determined in the coming weeks.

This concludes any discussions on refreshing the Crown/Council Cost Sharing Agreement until after the central government elections.

Read the Council report.(external link)