Brownlee labeled ‘fascist’ over rezoning
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 6:57a.m.
The future of 126 more earthquake-damaged properties in Christchurch's Port Hills has been decided, with most to receive a Government purchase offer.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says 121 of the remaining 163 white zone properties, awaiting decisions, will be rezoned red and the owners will receive a residential red zone offer.
A further five properties will be rezoned green so their owners can repair and rebuild.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority told property owners of the decisions on Thursday evening.
Residents had hoped the Government would opt for constructing rock fences rather than demolish homes, however, Mr Brownlee says he can't be confident fences would protect residents if there was another major earthquake.
Mr Brownlee says he believes the decision is in the best interests of safety.
“Some this morning have described me as a fascist and said the rule of law has gone out the window etc, they’re understandable emotions but in the end you have to make a decision that’s going to be in the best interests for the largest number of people caught in this situation,” says Mr Brownlee.
"While I understand the desire for some people to stay in their homes, we cannot be confident that fences or bunds would offer adequate protection should the worst case scenario of another major earthquake occur."
Mr Brownlee says the five green zoned properties have been carefully assessed and geotechnical experts have deemed the life safety risk acceptable.
The Port Hills houses have been rated severely at risk or have been largely destroyed by cliff collapses.
Thirty-seven properties will remain zoned white in Port Hills, while mitigation analysis continues, and Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says homeowners should find out the fate of their houses relatively soon.
"It shouldn't be too far away and we're still looking at some mitigating factors," says Mr Parker.
The estimated cost of buying all 406 red-zoned properties in the Port Hills is $250 million.
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18/08/2012 4:08:30 p.m.
For resale to overseas investors, like everything else?
17/08/2012 5:32:24 p.m.
For christ sake, let the people stay in their homes, if they get crushed by falling rocks its their own stupid fault, no one can say they werent warned.
17/08/2012 12:27:45 p.m.
Beverley Roberts wrote:
Good on Gerrie Brownlie for his stand on the fate of the houses on the port hills. It had to be the only decision as this land is obviously very unstable and people that live there just have to realise that it is their safety the issue here. I live out at Riverlands holiday park the south side of Kaiapoi and was only affected initally by the flood bank having a big crack in and of course we felt all the shakes especially the first one on September 4th 2010 where the roadway was chopped up and not easy to negoate due to a lot of bumps and some flooding, although the shakes still give me a fright It has been easier to live with them. Thank goodness time is a great healer and im sure if we had another like the 22feb 2011 the Port Hills people would be the first to complain if their properties had not been deemed unsafe.
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