Pressure on Brownlee over Port Hills

Posted 28 Jun 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
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Pressure on Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee to meet a much-publicised deadline for deciding the fate of Christchurch's Port Hills is mounting.

Brownlee and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority boss Roger Sutton had hoped to finalise the zoning of 1679 properties in the white zone by June 30.

However, Brownlee was yesterday unable to confirm an announcement would be made tomorrow.

Sumner resident Phil Elmey, whose house is also red-stickered because of rockfall risk, said white-zoned homeowners would be ''very upset'' if no decision was made this month.

He thought Brownlee would want to ''get it done''.

''There is an expectation it's going to happen. We have been told up until the beginning of this week pretty much that it was going to happen.

''In the last couple of days [authorities] have started perhaps back-tracking on that.''

Elmey was nervous about the looming deadline, but expected to be zoned green.

Red-stickered property owners would still have to wait for land remediation or rock protection work, he said.

''At least we'll have the clarity that it is going to happen, but we won't have an immediate let up. The lobbying will turn from wanting to go green to 'Hey guys, let's get on with it so we can get back into our homes','' Elmey said.

Avoca Valley resident Gary Rochford said he wanted the saga, which has dragged on more than 580 days, to end this week.

''It's very difficult to concentrate,'' he said.

''My patience, to a degree, is going to run out [tomorrow] if that's the day and that'll be true for a lot of us. They've got to give us a workable solution.''


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