Brownlee's office admits error over Port Hills homes

7:41 pm on 3 July 2012

An error by the Earthquake Recovery Minister's office has caused ructions within the Christchurch City Council.

Last week, Gerry Brownlee revealed that the Government would contribute 50% of the $205 million bill to buy out the 285 red-zoned properties on the Port Hills.

The minister said in a statement the council would pay the remaining 50%, but some councillors complained to media on Tuesday that they knew nothing about this.

Mr Brownlee's office has since retracted its statement, with a spokesperson saying it was an internal drafting error that was not picked up.

The spokesperson said because some properties are still zoned white, no one knows the final cost or the payment split.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said Mr Brownlee phoned him on Monday night to apologise for publicising the cost-share deal before it had been confirmed.

However, Mr Parker said while nothing has been finalised, a cost share has been budgeted for in the annual plan and has been widely discussed amongst council members.

The mayor says if councillors are not aware of this, they only have themselves to blame.