No early release of red zone land data

9:24 pm on 7 September 2011

A Canterbury red zone resident says questions have to be asked why the Government is withholding information from homeowners wanting to challenge their designation.

Some 6000 homeowners affected by recent quakes have been named as being in the red zone, but only a handful have so far accepted the Government's offer to buy their land or property, or both.

The Government is refusing to budge on releasing data on individual properties to owners or introducing a review process. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says neither of these steps is a priority.

Residents unhappy about their designation are asking for copies of the reports for their properties so they can judge for themselves whether they have been zoned fairly.

They are also upset about the lack of a review process to challenge the decision. Some are calling for a rally on Sunday, while others are considering legal action.

Kairaki resident Ann Stephenson is fighting her red classification and says the refusal to provide reports to homeowners leaves her wondering what information, if any, the Government based its decision on.

Ms Stephenson has had an Official Information Act request for the report on her home turned down and is waiting on a reply from an Ombudsman explaining why she can't have the information.

Another resident, Andrew Breward, says he and his wife are shocked at the decision to red-zone their Kairaki property. He believes the Government carried out only limited testing, and that is why it will not release the information.

But Mr Brownlee says those in the residential red zone will only be given access to geotechnical data on their homes once all properties in the region have been assessed.

The minister says the process for about 10,000 households should not be halted for a few people who can not come to terms with the devastation that has occurred on their property.

Experts will be available to answer residents queries once they have finished the properties, he says.