Chch zoning announcement leaves questions
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 6:03p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
Today was supposed to be a watershed for Christchurch - with the final land zoning announcement to be released.
Instead, nearly two years after the first earthquake, 37 property owners on the Port Hills are still waiting for information.
Arran and Milli Graham's home on the Port Hills is stuffed.
They’re in the white zone, and after almost two years they still don't know if they can live at their hillside paradise.
Ms Graham says the delays are exhausting.
“It's unacceptable to expect us to be able to survive within this constant unknown turmoil that we are in, where we have no control. We are constantly treading water. It's exhausting.”
Today’s latest zoning announcement had none of the usual fanfare. Some homeowners didn't even receive an email from the Government notifying them of their land status.
CERA chief executive Roger Sutton has apologised for the communication breakdown.
“Unbeknown to us our email provider turned part of the server off, to do some maintenance, we didn't know about that. As a result the emails to all those residents didn't go last night,” he says.
“We were ringing people. So we had rung about half of the people last night what happened. I rang some people but some people didn't find out. They found out in the newspaper this morning and that's really upsetting and we are very, very sorry about this.”
One hundred and twenty-one houses were zoned red - bringing the number to be demolished on the Port Hills to over 400.
Mayor Bob Parker says the cost of $250 million is to be shared by the Government and the Christchurch City Council.
“We put $55 million in the budget, looks like we will find $59 million, so the costs to our rate payers is effectively zero,” he says.
Five homes have been green zoned but even they don't feel safe here on the hills.
“We thought if we had a cluster of green. This would be great. We'd move on,” says Sumner homeowner Bev Mills.
“But to be the only single property on this side of the street green, it's totally – it's blown us away. We just need some answers.”
The future of 37 homeowners still remains up in the air, the last to find out whether they can stay or go.
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