By Hamish Clark
A meeting's underway in Christchurch of 200 property owners concerned about the Government’s buy-up of their land in the central city.
More than 800 properties have to be sold to the Government in the next three months, but at what price?
Property owners worried about the latest land grab met with lawyers concerned about getting a fair deal from the Government.
“High on the list is insurance issues and the impact that compulsory acquisitions will have on insurance claims,” says lawyer Michael Wolfe.
Eight-hundred-and-fifty properties in the CBD have to be sold to CERA under the new blueprint, including the newest building inside the red-zone.
Richard Peebles lost the Manchester Courts building in the September quake. He has spent hundreds of thousands on new plans for six sites in the central city.
“The act actually excludes compensation for resource consents for existing use rights for insurance loss for business interruption,” says Mr Peebles. “You know, it is not really full compensation.”
Some affected land owners 3 News contacted didn't want to be interviewed, saying they were scared to speak out, fearing it would put their negotiations at risk.
CERA has prioritised acquiring land set down for the Frame; seven blocks of park land stretching more than 1km, and land needed for the convention centre near the square.
“If there is one message, they need to take advice from others lawyers, valuers,” says Mr Wolfe.
“I would like to think that offers will be fair and reasonable at a fair level of value,” says Terry Naylor, president of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers.
Landowners have been given three months to reach a deal with the Government. If no agreement can be reached, the Government will simply take the land and argue about compensation later.