16 Apr 2024

The next stage of Christchurch’s Safer Speed Plan has been paused as the Council awaits Government direction on a new Speed Setting Rule.

Today Christchurch City Councillors decided to delay the Hearings Panel due to be held on the Plan which sets out changes to speed limits throughout the district.

The Minister of Transport has indicated a new Rule for the setting of speed limits would be in place by the end of the year.

A Hearings Panel will be held once information on the new Rule has been received, also before the end of the year.

Mayor Phil Mauger said the decision made today isn’t about stopping the process from moving forward, it’s about aligning with what the Government has signalled.

“We’re just taking a moment to wait until we hear about what the new Rule will look like and how it will impact this Plan. That way when people come to the Hearings Panel to speak to us, they can make a fully informed submission and the Council can make a fully informed decision,” he said.

“It also means we reduce the risk that we’ll have to go back and do it all again. We don’t want to waste people’s time or money.”

“We are still committed to holding the Hearings Panel so everyone who made a submission will be heard and it doesn’t impact the work currently going on around school zones,” Mayor Mauger said.

The draft Safer Speed Plan was developed to comply with the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 which introduced a new way of setting speed limits.

The Council consulted the community on the Plan in September and October 2023. More than 1,000 submissions were received by groups and individuals.

The Plan was due to go to a Hearings Panel and then the Council for a decision.

However, a letter from the new Minister of Transport outlined the previous requirement to develop a speed management plan and any deadlines under the Rule were revoked.

The Minister encouraged Councils to wait until the new Rule is in place before developing or submitting new plans and signalled a revised Rule will be in place by the end of 2024.