Divided verdict on red zoning of more Chch properties

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority will hold community meetings with all residents affected by today's announcement. Photo / Christchurch Star
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority will hold community meetings with all residents affected by today's announcement. Photo / Christchurch Star

The Government's land announcement for the communities of Southshore in Christchurch today is a divided verdict, said Labour's Earthquake Recovery spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee delivered the news this morning in the last of eight announcements about the rezoning of more than 150,000 houses on flat land in greater Christchurch.

The owners of 198 properties found out today their homes were red-zoned, meaning they are not fit for habitation, and the owners are eligible for a Government offer of purchase.

"News that 198 of 401 properties in Southshore are now zoned red will be devastating to some but a welcome relief to others,'' Ms Dalziel said.

203 homes have been zoned green in Department of Building and Housing (DBH) Technical Category 3.

Ms Dalziel said Southshore residents had been expecting an answer four to six weeks after the first announcement in June last year, but it had become at least a nine month wait.

"That means they have had nine months in limbo, expecting to be included in each of the announcements as they have occurred.

"This has caused considerable anguish that could have been avoided by proper community engagement in the decision-making.

"No wonder 87 per cent of newspaper readers are feeling that more should be done to help Canterbury. On the ground, whole communities are reliant on the whims of the Government's scheduling.

The Parklands East announcement, which confirms the community will remain green zoned, will be devastating to those who have had to shovel tonnes of silt from their properties time and time again, she said.

"For Parklands residents, there will be a lack of trust in the Government's decision making process. This will be shared by those in Southshore, who, having watched from a distance, will now take their turn negotiating with the Government and their insurers,'' said Ms Dalziel.

"I hope the Government is thorough in its meetings with residents in coming days, and hope CERA representatives address any community concerns with respect, and timely responses.''

- APNZ

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