Gerry Brownlee says he is not embarrassed by a High Court decision that found he overstepped the legal limits of his special earthquake recovery powers.
Yesterday, Justice Chisholm ruled that Brownlee did not act lawfully when he used his wide-ranging powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act in a land zoning decision last year.
"I don't think it is embarrassing. The first point is that while the High Court judge has said that the process was wrong, he hasn't overturned some of the decisions that were made possible by that earlier decision," Brownlee told TV ONE's Breakfast this morning.
Justice Chisholm granted the application for a judicial review of Brownlee's decision in October last year, after an alliance of property developers complained about the re-zoning.
In particular, Chisholm overturned Brownlee's decisions which ruled out a housing development on land near Christchurch Airport owned by Independent Fisheries, supermarket operator Progressive Enterprises and other property developers.
Despite the decision, Brownlee says that the important elements of his earlier decisions still stand.
"Justice Chisholm has specifically said that the subdivision at Prestons Rd and in Kaiapoi can go ahead - there is nothing wrong with these approvals."
Brownlee told Breakfast that he rearranged housing boundaries as he felt it would free-up Canterbury land for quicker development.
"The reality is that we have been under pressure to ensure that a lot more land came through development pretty quickly because of the situation in Christchurch," he said.
But Brownlee is insisting that the ruling will not delay the rebuild because important elements of his decisions still stand.
"What he [Justice Chisolm] did say is the process used to change the regional policy statement was the wrong process, and he's actually suggested how we might of done it, and we'll go back and have a look at that."
This is the first legal challenge to Brownlee's special