Governance, Ownership, Funding, Implementation 

This project focuses on an exploration of options for the future governance, ownership, funding and implementation of the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor (OARC) and its regeneration.



The draft Regeneration Plan for the OARC was published on 14 November 2018. However, it is essentially a spatial plan that says little about governance, ownership, funding or implementation, despite these being key to its success. It is important that options for this are fully explored and debated, and that your views are heard, otherwise by default these roles are all likely to transfer to Christchurch City Council.

But Council already has its hands full with significant anchor projects and does not have the singular focus to take this on effectively. International experience shows that urban regeneration is most successful when undertaken by an agency INDEPENDENT of the municipal authority and political and bureaucratic interference. It is also much easier to attract international investment when such independence is established.

Some suggested background reading

OARC Governance Case Studies.JPG

OARC_Governance_Case_Studies.pdf, University of Canterbury, 2019

Re-imagining the City: Climate Change Adaptation and Governance in Christchurch’s Residential Red Zone, Visiting Oxford Students, 2018

Waimakariri Casebook: Moving Regeneration Forward in WaimakaririLaurie Johnson, 2016

Best Practice in Establishing Urban Regeneration Companies in Scotland, Scottish Government, 2007

The Changing Face of Cogovernance in New Zealand, Rachael Harris, 2015

Our Current Thinking: An Option that we Like


The more we explored this, the more we came to realsie that there are two types of governance required here: one is long-term governance of the corridor to protect its values and interests and the other goverence of the corridor's regeneration.  These require two very different sets of skills in our view.  For convenience, we have called the two governance entities the Kaitiaki Trust and the Regeneration Board

  • Establish an independent KAIATIAKI TRUST with a guardianship/kaitiaki role based on the Vision, Values and Objectives of the OARC Regeneration Plan with provision for Iwi/Community co-governance, informed by advisory groups.
  • To ensure the appropriate set of competencies are included in governance of the delivery of regeneration, we propose a REGENERATION BOARD, based on a Statement of Competencies, to deliver the Plan with provision for a representative from Crown and Council. This would be accountable to the Trust.


  • Members of the Trust could be APPOINTED, ELECTED, or a combination of these but the Regeneration Board members need to be APPOINTED according to the competency criteria, by Crown, Council and Trust Chair.  [It is almost impossible to recruit a complete set of high quality comptencies to govern a programme of capital regeneration projects via an election process].


  • Consolidate the OARC Regeneration Area under SINGLE TITLE as one integral entity by Act of Parliament and transfer it to one public owner for $1.
  • Options for OWNERSHIP include Council, Crown, the Kaitiaki Trust, co-ownership with iwi, or invoke Legal Personality on the OARC lands / waterways so the corridor owns itself.
  • Whoever the owner, transfer all CONTROL and responsibilities for the OARC (including waterways) to the Trust via lease or deed.
  • Components of the corridor - including any residential housing projects - would be leasehold only, not on-sold, so that the integrity of the corridor's ownership is maintained.


  • Long-term FUNDING AGREEMENTS need to be secured with Crown/CCC before any land is transferred, committing public funding at specified times for specific elements eg infrastructure, greenspace and operational maintenance budgets.
  • Such public funding must include but not be limited to:
    • Operational budget to run the Regeneration Agency 

    • Operational land and river management and maintenance budgets based on existing Crown budgets and municipal urban greenspace management and maintenance budgets. This must take account of the impacts of the upper catchment on lower catchment waterways management;

    • Capital infrastructure budgets for transport (major cycleways, roads, bridges, etc), land drainage, flood protection and stormwater remediation, etc that would normally be expected to be the responsibility of CCC (or NZTA) in the OARC area;

    • The $40M (less administration cost of up to $1.5M) Capital Acceleration Fund allocated for ‘unfunded projects in the green spine’ (subject to business case);

    • The $15M + accrued interest from Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Fund for ‘projects on the ground that connect communities in the east’, primarily along the OARC, that are not otherwise the responsibility of authorities.

    • Funding from the Billion Trees Fund, if eligible, for 200,000 trees proposed for the OARC in the Regeneration Plan

  • PRIVATE and PHILANTHROPIC investment needs to be secured.


  • A new lean, non-bureaucratic AGENCY accountable to the Regeneration Board is established to secure, finance and manage a programme of contracts and subleases to deliver regeneration according to an agreed implementation plan Including short, medium and long term uses.

You can download a half page Press advert highlighting hte above points here