As you will know the Earthquake Recovery Minister last week announced zoning decisions for properties in the Port Hills with the majority being zoned Green.
I know it has been a long wait and I know people no long want to hear me say how complex this process is. But these are decisions that cannot be made without intense investigation, and that does take a lot of time.
Unlike the flat land decisions, the risk across much of the Port Hills surrounds life safety. That is essentially asking the question – would your life safety risk increase simply by living in your home?
Because it shouldn’t. Your home should be your sanctuary.
Unfortunately it is not always the case, and these large earthquakes we have experienced have made that extremely clear. Especially for the owners of 285 properties who are now zoned Red. Many of those sections have already fallen off the cliff edge. Others have car-size boulders in their living rooms. And many others remain at extreme risk of what could happen should we have another large quake.
On the flip side of that, 1107 properties are now Green Zone which means these folk can get on with having conversations with EQC and insurers about home repairs or rebuilds.
The work the geotechnical engineers have been doing has been intense, identifying boulders and their individual risk to homes and lives. The information they have collected by crawling over the Port Hills and mapping thousands of rocks has been fed into the state of the art modelling system developed by the Milan University. Those models have been run and re-run to ensure the answers are consistent.
So as frustrating as it may be, it just has to be acknowledged that this work is complex. And these decisions have not been made lightly.
There are 158 properties that remain zoned White, and while this was not what I had hoped, it is just not possible to make the absolute decision on the risk to this land as yet.
The answers will be known in the coming months.
Owners of affected properties should have already received letters to inform them of the decision regarding their land.
And CERA is running a series of community meetings which start tonight. The schedule is on our website (http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills/community-meetings) or you can call 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) for more info.
The information about these land decision is online at http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills, and you can check your property’s status at http://cera.govt.nz/my-property
Thank you for your ongoing patience.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority