Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Quake Outcasts going back to court

Red zoned houses in Burwood, Christchurch.
Red zoned houses in Burwood, Christchurch.

The Quake Outcasts group is heading back to court, more than five years after the Canterbury earthquakes sequence began.

The group of uninsured and commercial red-zoners took the Government all the way to the Supreme Court to challenge their offer of 50 per cent of their property's rateable value.

After the court found in the group's favour, the Government last year raised their offer to 100 per cent of the RV, but of the land value only, not the building's value.

Lawyer for Quake Outcasts, Grant Cameron, says that is still discriminatory and the group this afternoon filed new proceedings in the High Court at Christchurch against the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee and the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

"Given that the Supreme Court expressly noted the pitiful plight of the many residents still trapped in red zones, or otherwise being unable to properly recover from the earthquakes, it is very concerning that further legal proceedings are required to correct this injustice," Mr Cameron said.

"We believe there are continuing human rights breaches and that the Government is acting unlawfully in a number of respects."

Labour's Canterbury earthquakes spokeswoman Megan Woods urged the Government to "pay all red zone property owners a fair rate for the property it has acquired from them".

"The court was clear in its ruling and the Government's offer to only settle on land is a contemptuous disregard for a decision of the Supreme Court," she said.

"Five years on, it's time for the Government to admit they got it wrong, and offer red-zoned Cantabrians the full value of their properties. It's time the Government let these people get on with their lives."

- NZ Herald

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