Red zone exodus 'only way'

Posted 01 Oct 2011 by MediaStuff Popular
Posted in Land Information , Media
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The government says exceptions are impossible.

Sparing individual homes within Kaiapoi's condemned red zone is not an option because fixing the land requires an area-wide solution, the government says.

Last week Kaiapoi couple Brent and Shirley Cairns spoke to theSunday Star-Times about their battle to save their home and business, which has been condemned by the government because it sits in the middle of a residential red-zone. They believe their land, which shows no visible signs of damage, can be rebuilt on and therefore they should be allowed to stay put.

A week ago a protest rally they organised in Kaiapoi attracted around 200 people who are also upset by the prospect of having to walk away from their homes.

But the government said a mass exodus was the only viable option.

Commenting on the Cairns' situation, a spokesman for Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said regardless of what the couple believed about their land, it was in an area prone to liquefaction and which had suffered significant damage.

"The Cairns might feel their land is not badly damaged but the geo-tech engineers say otherwise," the spokesman said.

If the government had decided to spend money on fixing the land, the Cairns and others in their situation would have had to move out of their homes for at least five years while the work was done.

Advice from geo-tech engineers was that, with modern foundations and building techniques, a property required at least 1.5m of firm ground, known as the crust, over any liquefiable material to be able to adequately support a residential dwelling. In Kaiapoi North, where the Cairns live, the crust thickness ranged from 20cm at its thinnest to 1m at its thickest.

"The majority of the land in the area ranges from 40cm to 70cm. None of the land in the Kaiapoi North is the required 1.5m thick, which means remediation of that land would require the removal of all houses followed by repeated addition and compaction of soil and stone, among other treatments," the spokesman said. Water and waste pipes would have to be removed and replaced.

"The cost of this far exceeded the cost of buying every house and section in the area at 2008 rating valuation ... and the work would have taken at least five years."

The government buy-out package, which gives people in the red zone the choice of either selling their land and house to the government (known as Option 1) or of selling the land to the government and negotiating a price for the house with their insurer (known as Option 2), were the only viable alternatives and gave people the chance to move on, the spokesman said.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton said about 378 property owners had indicated they wanted to chose Option 1 and 563 had chosen to go with option two.Those in the red zone have nine months from the date they receive their offer letter to chose an option; so far only around 900 have made a decision.

At the same time around 300 property owners had requested to have their land re-zoned.

"There's 286 people who are currently green, who want to be orange or red, and there's 26 who are red who want to be orange or green," Sutton said.

Under the zoning system, areas that are red are condemned, areas that are orange require further evaluation, and areas that are green are safe to rebuild on.

- Sunday Star Times

J   #8   05:55 pm Oct 02 2011


It is very understandable that many people are still in denial #4. Every morning I wake up and feel hit once again by the true reality of these earthquakes. I still can't believe it's happened, that our lives have being turned upside down so much and that never again will I see 'old Christchurch.'I can't believe I nearly died, nearly lost my family and no longer feel safe. I jump when the wind creaks my home, I shake when a large truck goes passed outside and I give thanks my house is not ruined. Denial? You bet and I can only imagine what it is like for the poor folk who have also lost their homes. 'Kia Kaha - be strong' our thoughts are with you all making these hard decisions and I hope that in time you know peace again.


john   #7   05:41 pm Oct 02 2011


to those who wish they were red as it offers certainty, when redzoned you lose your land title, land insurance ((EQC) in most cases 100% as land deemed uninsurable), building replacement insurance, all for RV. This is a rip off and confiscation of contractual and land title rights. Normally when EQC pay out for land damage the property owner is left with the title and any residual/development potential. For non redzone people making comments, how would you feel if contracts and property you had paid for were confiscated by government? There is alot of ignorant comment on this by misinformed people who have bought the spin from government that redzoning is a favour from govt and a burden on the taxpayer...rubbish, it is quite the opposite is true.


Tired   #6   02:30 pm Oct 02 2011


For goodness sakes, stop wasting EQCs time having to deal with ongoing discussions over people who don't want to move when the reality is they have to. Noone wants to move. None of us wanted these earthquakes. But it happened. Take the over inflated payout you're being offered and go somewhere else. Then some of us in green with unliveable houses might start to get some action.


catherine - wish I was red!   #5   02:00 pm Oct 02 2011


Take the offer and move on. Wish I could instead of facing years of "discussions" with insurance companies about my severely listing building on so-called green land. Maybe I could swap with you.


greg_chch   #4   01:29 pm Oct 02 2011


The earthquakes have revealed some serious reasoning and common sense flaws in what appears to be a large portion of the Canterbrian population. The on going denial of realities is one of them!


D   #3   12:47 pm Oct 02 2011


If you read the article they don't say it can't be done, it can be but will take at least 5 years and more money than th value of the houses and land. Simple economics and who will pay for them to move for the 5 years? we are in the red zone and plan on taking one of the offers to move on. Far easier to move on now than waiting another 12+ months dealing with the stress of no toilets, broken roads and houses


Hmmm   #2   11:12 am Oct 02 2011


Makes me laugh when some one can say "looks alright to me " No wonder the rest of NZ thinks Kaiapoi is full of hillbilly's . Wake up ,move on, you just make your self look stupid .


Sick of the run around   #1   10:29 am Oct 02 2011


Was pegasus towns land vibrated solid sureley it could be done to this land?


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