Strong take-up of offer to buy red-zone properties

1:15 pm on 6 August 2011

The Government says there has been an extremely good take-up of its offer to buy the properties of people in Canterbury's residential red zones.

In June, the Government announced that about 5000 houses in Christchurch and Kaiapoi would have to be abandoned.

It offered to purchase each entire property and take over Earthquake Commission and insurance claims, or buy the land only, leaving homeowners to deal with their insurance company over their house.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says that in the past fortnight just over 3500 returns have been received, out of a possible 5000.

"That's an extremely good response rate," he says, "and indicates I think that people are preparing to make decisions and move on with their lives."

The Government says homeowners who have not returned a consent form have not missed out on the offer, but it may take longer.