29 June, 2012
285 Port Hills properties zoned red
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the Government’s red zone offer will be extended to the owners of 285 severely at-risk or largely destroyed residential properties in the Port Hills.
This land has been subject to severe cliff collapse or rock roll, or is in grave danger of being so. Of these properties 191 relate to cliff collapse and 94 to rock roll.
A further 158 properties will stay in the white zone but may go red, depending on further work required to determine the possibility of life threatening rock roll in future seismic events. A decision on these properties is expected in around six weeks.
The cost of buying the 285 red zoned properties will be shared equally by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council and is expected to be around $205 million, taking into account purchase price and transaction costs.
Mr Brownlee says some of the land zoned red today has already been quite obviously destroyed by the earthquakes, but adjoining land had to be correctly assessed for its ongoing risk.
“We have now reached a point where we can accurately say which land is most at risk, and this land we are now zoning red.
“Further modelling and exploration of possible rock roll prevention solutions will be required before we can announce the future of the remaining 158 properties with the same degree of accuracy and certainty,” Mr Brownlee said.
Mr Brownlee said today’s announcement would come as a shock to a number of residents, especially those who have been living in houses which have not previously been subject to Section 124 notices.
“We’re acting on information, which has only recently been finalised through state-of-the-art geotechnical analysis.
“The team has been working non-stop in recent months to collect and analyse information to give us the most accurate and up-to-date picture possible.
“Now that we know exactly what the risks are for particular properties we can act accordingly.
“All residents required to leave will be eligible to receive the Government’s Temporary Accommodation Assistance rental subsidy and the Canterbury Earthquakes Temporary Accommodation Service will be in contact to offer help finding alternative accommodation,” Mr Brownlee said.
Those properties owners whose properties have been zoned red today will have two options to consider:
Option 1 – the Crown will pay the most recent rating valuation (in this case 2007) for land, buildings and fixtures and take over all insurance claims for damage to the property.
Option 2 – the Crown will pay the most recent rating valuation for the land and take over the owner’s EQC claim for land damage only. The property owner retains the benefit of all other insurance claims and will continue to deal with EQC and their insurer to settle those claims.
Property-specific letters will be delivered to affected property owners today and individual property zoning information will be available on the CERA website.
To check a property’s zone visit www.cera.govt.nz/myproperty
CERA will also hold community meetings to help all affected residents understand what the announcement means and their options.