31 Jan 2014

Red zone deadline passes

2:31 pm on 31 January 2014

A deadline has been reached for Christchurch homeowners who have accepted the Crown's offer to move out of their red zone properties.

Roger Sutton.

Roger Sutton. Photo: CERA

Since the offer in 2011 almost 7000 home-owners have chosen to sell their homes to the Government and move elsewhere. There are 70 properties whose owners will be given extra time to move out of their homes.

An earlier cut-off point of July last year was extended until Friday for people with nowhere else to go. It applied to all red-zoned properties except those in the Port Hills where the land has taken longer to assess.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) said anyone staying past the deadline would technically have to pay a penalty fee, but it was waiving that for 51 people who have asked for more time.

CERA chief executive Roger Sutton said after that they will be charged a daily penalty which will be deducted from the final setllement payment.

"It's 10 percent of whatever the transaction is here, so if the land was worth $100,000 it works out roughly $200 a week. We're waiving that for the first 14 days for everybody. And, where people have got circumstances, they are very elderly or they've got particular health issues, then we're waiving if for longer periods as well."

Mr Sutton said there were residents who have not accepted the offer and the authority was still working with them.

One resident in a red-zoned property was glad he could stay in his home. Ainsley Quested said construction of his new house had stalled and he had been given until the end of March penalty-free. He said he was pleased the authority was making allowances for people in difficult situations like his.

Leanne Curtis of community group Cancern said she was not aware of anyone stressing about the deadline.

"CERA have talked about waiving penalties for some of those people in those situations, so for the most part it seems there's not a huge amount of stress related to this deadline."