Update from Roger Sutton, Chief Executive: 21 December 2011

Posted 22 Dec 2011 by GovtCera Popular
Posted in CERA/Govt

Release Date: 22 December 2011

Mr Roger Sutton. We announced this week that a further 1600 homes in the Port Hills area in Christchurch have been rezoned from white to green which brings the total number of properties in the Port Hills area zoned green to more than 11,300.

Another 2100 or so homes remain in the white zone and we are working hard with Christchurch City Council and EQC to rezone those properties and the around 900 properties still in the orange zone.

Factsheets on the different types of land issues in the Port Hills can be viewed atwww.ccc.govt.nz/porthillsgeotech and newly green zoned homeowners can check their zoning by going to www.landcheck.org.nz

Properties that remain white in the Port Hills are still being assessed for rock fall or rock roll risk, cliff collapse, debris inundation and land movement slipping and cracking. We need to ensure the decisions made are well considered and robust, and appreciate how frustrating it is for those who are still waiting.

We have a total of 6,592 red zone properties recorded in the database and offer letters have now been sent to 5352 property owners. To date, 834 property owners have selected Option 1 and 2210 have selected Option 2. Last week settlement for 1521 properties was successfully completed.

We appreciate this is a stressful time. There are a number of support services available, ranging from counselling services to assistance with temporary accommodation for those whose homes are not currently habitable. Information on these services can be found on the CERA website www.cera.govt.nz/support-and-assistance

The Cathedral Square walkway will be open for one last pedestrian opportunity this Saturday, Christmas Eve between 9am and 3pm. Around 80,000 people have already walked into Cathedral Square over the past four weekends. While the walkway follows the lowest risk route in the area, our advice is still for people to wear sturdy shoes and carry ID on their body rather than in a bag. The public bus visits have now finished.

The cordon around the CBD red zone was reduced last Friday opening up Latimer Square. This was the first of a series of incremental reductions that are anticipated in over the next few weeks and months as more areas open up and infrastructure such as power and water services are reconnected. We are working with service providers from Council, Orion, Telecom and others as well as property owners to ensure these areas are safe as the reopen to the public. The latest CBD red zone cordon map can be found at www.cera.govt.nz/red-zone-cordon-map

The CBD Red Zone is closed for non-essential work from Christmas through to January 4th. Anyone wanting to enter the cordon during that time must have a valid pass AND must have their name on an authorised list held by our Project Management Office. Hundreds of contractors have been working extremely hard to clear damaged buildings in the CBD and help bring our city back to the public and we appreciate their dedication and huge efforts. We know that some contractors will be working during that period as well as the usual security team, police and members of the Defence Force who have done a wonderful job of keeping the CBD safe and secure this year.

The CERA office will be closed over Christmas.

Staff at the Earthquake Hub in Kaiapoi and Avondale Earthquake Assistance Centre will be taking a well earned break over the Christmas period with all offices reopening on 4 January.

It has been a difficult year for a number of people living in greater Christchurch.  The earthquakes have changed lives for many people. Christmas time often adds more stress to families and this is the time to take even more care of ourselves and our families and to access the support that is available.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my team here at CERA and all the individuals and organisations who have worked so tirelessly over the past year to try to improve the lives of the people of greater Christchurch and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday period.

Roger Sutton
Chief Executive
CanterburyEarthquake Recovery Authority


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