Gerry Brownlee may be questioned in court
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 2:19p.m.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee may be called to answer questions in the High Court about the way he has used his emergency powers.
The court in Christchurch is dealing with a judicial review of the way Mr Brownlee fast-tracked a housing development in Kaiapoi, Radio New Zealand reported today.
A group of landowners, led by Independent Fisheries, say they were disadvantaged by the move and Mr Brownlee abused his powers.
So far Mr Brownlee has provided only an affidavit explaining the reasons for his decision, the report said.
Justice Lester Chisholm said it was difficult to hold the hearing without having the opportunity to question submitters.
The hearing has dealt with the contents of Mr Brownlee's affidavit which explains his fears there would be rampant house inflation if more land wasn't made available for new housing, and that wasn't something the region's council would be able to resolve alone.
For Mr Brownlee, lawyer Peter McCarthy said construction had already begun on the subdivision at Kaiapoi as a result of the minister's intervention.
Without it, a start date would have been pushed out by at least another nine months, he said.
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