3 Sep 2015

Decision on Waimakariri red zones to come in 2016

1:08 pm on 3 September 2015

The future use of Waimakariri's earthquake red zones will not be decided for at least another year.

Children dash through a red zone property in Kairaki, north of Christchurch.

Children dash through a red zone property in Kairaki, north of Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has asked for a Recovery Plan for the Canterbury district's red zones to be prepared, 14 months after initial public consultation began.

The announcement comes a day before the fifth anniversary of the September 2010 quake, which badly affected the Waimakariri district.

More than 1000 properties in Kaiapoi, Kairaki and Pines Beach were eventually red zoned as a result of liquefaction and subsequent land damage.

National MP, Gerry Brownlee.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Brownlee said initial ideas submitted by the public showed people wanted green, open spaces to enjoy, particularly for recreational and community uses.

He said following a Supreme Court judgement - which criticised the Government's red-zoning process - a Recovery Plan was the "appropriate mechanism" to identify options for the future use of this land.

"As well as future use, the draft Recovery Plan will also address matters such as how ownership, funding, and management of different spaces will be determined," he said.

Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers said it was "very satisfying" to be able to take a "significant step forward" in deciding the future use of the red zoned land.

The district council would take the lead role in developing the Recovery Plan, alongside the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Environment Canterbury and Ngaui Tahu, Mr Ayers said.

"The process still has some way to go - the most important aspect being that we reflect the community views on the future of residential red zone land and relate that to the practical and technical limitations that the land presents."

He said he was hopeful that by the middle of next year the district would begin to "see actions arising".

Mr Brownlee expected a draft recovery plan will be provided to him by June next year.

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