5 September, 2011
Most of Port Hills land now zoned green
More than 9700 residential properties in the Christchurch Port Hills area have been rezoned from white to green, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.
"This means these homeowners can now get on with the process of repairing or rebuilding their homes if they were damaged by the earthquakes," Mr Brownlee said.
Cabinet met today in Christchurch and approved the rezoning of the majority of land in the Port Hills into the green zone. About 3700 properties remain in the white zone as further investigation is needed.
"The issues in the Port Hills are different to those in the low lying plains areas where there has generally been widespread land damage from liquefaction and lateral spreading," Mr Brownlee said.
"In the Port Hills, the issues have largely involved potential rock fall, cliff collapse, land slips and risks of that nature."
Mr Brownlee said extensive geotechnical assessment supported the decision to rezone most of the Port Hills to green as it had shown a low geotechnical hazard risk.
"There will be some cases in these newly classified green zone areas where properties have land damage which may require further geotechnical assessment before building or rebuilding can occur. This will be dealt with by EQC and insurance companies under normal insurance processes."
Mr Brownlee said more Port Hills land would be rezoned green soon, once further investigation and assessment was completed.
"For some others in the Port Hills it will take a bit longer while some complex issues involving life safety risks and geotechnical hazards are worked through with the Christchurch City Council.
"I understand it’s frustrating for people having to wait, but we’ve got to make sure we fully understand the risks and options around this land. Everything possible is being done to give people certainty as soon as we can."
The special Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) website www.landcheck.org.nz is being updated to reflect the new zoning and the changes will be live later today.
A letter from CERA will also be posted to the Port Hills area homeowners with further information tomorrow.
CERA is responsible for rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information visit www.cera.govt.nz