8 Nov 2017

Council committee ticks off flood-prone-home buyback

8:21 pm on 8 November 2017

Fixing the problem of repeated flooding along Christchurch's Heathcote River has come a step closer.

The Heathcote River, which flooded in July, is again running high after heavy rain on 14 August 2017.

The Heathcote River running high after heavy rain in August. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

Flooding first hit in 2014, followed by further inundation in July this year, largely due to land having sunk following the 2011 earthquakes.

Residents have accused the council of years of inaction.

Today, a Christchurch City Council committee voted to spend $16.5 million buying up to 35 of the worst affected properties.

It also approved more water storage basins, stabilising stop banks and dredging the river.

All of the measures would now go to the full council for final sign-off.

Councillor Phil Clearwater said Heathcote River residents would be relieved.

"I've just been really impressed how incredibly patient the people ... along the river have been.

"Especially for the people whose houses have been flooded, particularly above floor level. There is a huge psychological and psychosocial cost for those people."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs