31 Aug 2015

Ngai Tahu elder slams coastal hazard zones

1:36 pm on 31 August 2015

A New Brighton resident and Ngai Tahu elder says proposed coastal hazard zones in Christchurch are a profound misuse of special earthquake recovery legislation.

New Brighton Beach

New Brighton Beach Photo: Supplied

The Christchurch City Council identified more than 18,000 properties as being in coastal erosion and coastal inundation zones, as part of its district plan review.

The process is being fast-tracked under earthquake recovery laws, meaning appeal rights will not apply once decisions are finalised.

Hundreds of residents fear the zones will devalue their homes and affect their future insurability.

Sir Tipene O'Regan said his Marine Parade property in New Brighton was "an island" surrounded by hazard zones and said the council's decisions were "completely illogical".

"You're getting something rushed through, it's half-baked, it's done on inadequate research," he said.

"Essentially, [it is a] thoroughly flawed process and a misuse of the earthquake recovery legislation's intention."

He said a national approach to managing coastal hazards was needed, instead of "off-loading" the issue to local authorities to deal with "block by block".

Sir Tipene said both central and local government had handled the earthquake recovery "remarkably well".

"But in this case, they've got it wrong."

Residents received 30 days to make submissions on the coastal hazards chapter of the district plan review.

Redcliffs and Sumner suffered major damage in the Canterbury earthquakes.

Redcliffs and Sumner suffered major damage in the Canterbury earthquakes. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The newly-formed Christchurch Coastal Residents United group has vowed to fight the decisions and urged the council to extend for the public consultation period, which is due to close on Friday.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said only the Government could extend the timeframe.

She has written to the earthquake recovery and environment ministers to ask for an extension.

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