Residents deliver verdict on government plan

By NZ Herald staff

Norm Butcher, wife Maree, daughter Jasmine and Cleo, the family cat house at their Avonside home. Photo / Greg Bowker
Norm Butcher, wife Maree, daughter Jasmine and Cleo, the family cat house at their Avonside home. Photo / Greg Bowker

nzherald.co.nz is in Christchurch, talking to residents about what today's decision will mean for them.

"I just don't know what to do"

Tania Eades worked for 20 years to develop her dream home on Waitaki St in Bexley.

The 39-year-old sickness beneficiary doesn't think she has the money or the strength to start again from scratch.

"It doesn't matter which way I look at it - I'm screwed.

"I'd like to stay here with my property. This is the biggest asset I'll ever own. I've got chickens and a dog and cats. The trees I planted 20 years ago are at the right height now.

"I'm not happy."

Ms Eades said her home had a rateable value of about $220,000 in 2007.

But improvements to her bathroom, kitchen and toilet had elevated that to about $340,000 before the September 4 quake struck, she said.

A recent marriage settlement meant she would only receive half of the Government payout on her home.

"I just don't know what to do. I don't think I'd have enough to start over. I'd like to stay here on my property."

She was considering pooling her money together with her grandmother and one of her friends - both of whom were in their 80s - to buy a new house.

"But I don't think I even have the money to do that."

'We've got nine months to organise everything'

Allan Ashwell lives on Arncliff St in Bexley with his wife and three children for 10 years.

He discovered his house was in the red zone while watching the news coverage this afternoon.

Mr Ashwell, 59, said the announcement today was welcoming after a frustrating wait to find out about the area's future.

"Now that it's come, it's a bit of a relief. Just the waiting got to everyone I think. Not knowing what we're going to do next. At least that's all over. We got the options and we've got nine months to organise everything.

"We thought it was a reasonable package. There's probably not much more they can do other then what we've received. It's not too bad. For us it's the land which we will probably be after and go to the insurance company for the house.

"Overall it's not too bad as we would rather leave considering the condition of the land. It's pretty obvious it's not liveable."

"We get liquefaction every time the major earthquakes happen. We've got water coming into the garage, the garage is titled. The house has got cracks all through it, the foundation's cracked, liquefaction coming out the back property. So it's pretty well munted. "

What about the school zones?

Janet Steel has been renting a house at the corner of Breezes Road and Avonside Drive for the past three years. She learnt today that the property is in the red zone.

"It doesn't affect personally but I will have to move."

"My son starts high school next year and he wants to go to Shirley Boys. I don't know if I'll find a house in the [school] zone"

She said she hopes that the school zone will be extended.

"The house hasn't sunk much but it has had a lot of liquefaction.

"I haven't actively been looking [for a new place] but I will be looking."


40 years on Wairoa St

Patrick Kennedy, 79, has lived on Wairoa St for 40 years after emigrating to Bexley with his wife Joy, 76, from England.

He tried to search for his house on www.landcheck.org.nz but had no luck when the site crashed. According to the map it appears his house is inside the red zone with the rest of Wairoa Street.

"We'd like to know but I don't think there's any rush.... We don't know what to do yet but we'll have to talk it over with our insurance company I guess.

"All the walls are cracked. We think there is sewage underneath the house but we're not sure. Just yesterday we had the sewers cleaned out but we don't know how long that will last, maybe until we get another one. But it's liveable until we decide what to do. There is no rush."

Mr Kennedy said it was mixed news and would take some time to decide on his next move.

"It's bad news as far as I'm concerned but good news that we know we can go somewhere, which is what most people are after.

"We've got quite a lot on thinking to do."


Heading to Kaiapoi

Greg Joseph rents on the corner of Breezes Rd and Avonside Drive.

He told nzherald.co.nz he would be looking to find a new place after today's announcement. He's been there since April last year.

"We've got family outside [Christchurch] towards Kaiapoi and Rangiora, so we'll probably move in that sort of direction.

"It's all changed after this announcement."

Home and business affected

Avonside resident Sanda Sinclair found out today that her home on pembroke St and her Star Style hair salon are part of the new red zone.

She has now been running her business from her home with Lisa Fisher for three weeks.

"I don't know what to do now - most of our colleagues are from around here," says Sandra. "Eighty per cent of my clients are red zone."

Sandra says the salon at her home took three or four weeks to fit out.

"Every time there is an earthquake falls over - the stock is blue tacked to the shelves."

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