Thousands of Port Hills property owners learn fate

9:01 pm on 29 June 2012

The owners of nearly 300 properties on Christchurch's Port Hills have been told on Friday that their homes will have to be abandoned.

But the owners of another 1107 properties have received good news, with Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee's announcement that they have been re-zoned from white to green, meaning they are safe to occupy.

A further 285 have been re-zoned from white to red, meaning they are uninhabitable and 166 will remain white while further geotechnical assessments are carried out.

Those homeowners face a further eight weeks wait to learn the fate of their properties.

Mr Brownlee says their land is not damaged but is at risk from hazards on neighbouring properties.

Mr Brownlee says people in red-zoned areas have between a 1 in 100 and a 1 in 1000 chance of being killed by rock fall and no way has been found to safely contain the danger zones.

The expected $205 million cost of buying these properties will be shared equally by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council.

Meanwhile, Friday is the last day for Christchurch residents who want to appeal against their land zoning decisions to apply under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority review process.

Patience running out

One of the homeowners whose property is still white-zoned in Christchurch's Port Hills says people's patience is running out after more than 500 days.

Lisa Humphrey, whose Sumner home, is one of those still white-zoned, says homeowners have already been waiting 560 days to find out.

"There are people sleeping in cars, there's people squatting, there's people just banked up with too many people living in a house. It's third world and what's going to happen is, if we don't get a proper pronouncement on the 17th of August, there are protest groups that are quite happy to become quite militant."

Sharple's squatting comments "off the cuff": Brownlee

Meanwhile the Earthquake Recovery Minister says he has moved on from comments made by the Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples that people living in cars should squat in homes that are legally unliveable in Christchurch's red-zone.

Mr Brownlee maintains there is not a serious housing shortage in Christchurch and says the Government is going to monitor the rental property situation rather than intervene.

He says Dr Sharples' comments were off the cuff and inappropriate