Labour Govt will ensure 100 per cent buy-out of quake-hit homes

Ruth Dyson. Photo / Glenn Taylor
Ruth Dyson. Photo / Glenn Taylor

A Labour government will ensure that all owners of red-zoned properties in Canterbury receive a buy-out offer of 100 per cent of the 2007 rateable value of their land, says Labour's Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

The Government has offered to buy vacant land and uninsured properties in red zones for just 50 per cent of what they were valued at.

Ms Dyson says a full buy-out offer "is the right thing to do" for people who were unable to obtain insurance cover on bare-land or commercial properties before the earthquakes.

"Too much money has been needlessly wasted by the government forcing this issue through the courts when it was always clear that a full buy-out offer was the right thing to do," she said today.

Labour claims it is an affordable policy - that by increasing the offer for uninsured properties from the Government's 50 per cent to 100 per cent will cost $23.4 million.

"This is a drop in the ocean in the context of the rebuild," said Ms Dyson.

"It will finally allow people like the Quake Outcasts who have been stuck in limbo to move on with their lives."

Labour has also vowed that it will not use compulsory acquisition powers against red-zone property owners.

The Quake Outcasts group today welcome Labour's promise.

Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled last year in favour of the Quake Outcasts and pronounced the Government's 50 per cent land-only RV offer to be unlawful.

"Labour's latest policy announcement shows common sense and spirit of fairness," said group spokesman Ernest Tsao.

"It is fair in the sense that all residents are treated equally, and that given any new government will inherit the red zone mess left behind by the National government, a policy that addresses the discrimination issue is a huge step forward."

The Supreme Court is due to hold a hearing to determine whether the residential "red zone" was lawfully established on July 29-30.

- APNZ

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