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Minister’s decision on red zone properties condemned

Quake Outcasts condemns Minister’s decision on red zone properties

The revelation that the Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee ignored CERA’s recommendation to extend the same purchase terms to all red zoned property owners, “has come as a huge shock and disappointment to our members” says Ernest Tsao, a spokesperson for Quake Outcasts, a group of over 50 owners of vacant land and uninsured properties in red zones.

Christchurch newspaper The Press, has reported that CERA’s original recommendation, that all red-zoned property owners be paid the full 2007 Rating Value, was rejected by the Minister. Instead, he opted to offer the remaining property owners only 50% of the 2007 RV and then, only for the land value. The value of all improvements would be ignored.

“The government has sought to pitch this as a debate about insurance fairness, when the real issue is Kiwi’s property rights”, said Mr Tsao. “The government needs vacant possession of all red zone land but it has decided to save a few bucks by dispossessing many owners without fair compensation. This is just a shabby and dishonest land grab” said Mr Tsao.
Mr Tsao said his members were furious because the government’s actions were “contrary to long principle in international law that where a state acquires land from a private owner, it must pay fair compensation” he said.

“If the Minister persists in his declared path, the government will breach a number of its international treaty obligations which will be very embarrassing for the government. Quake Outcasts will shortly call the government to account” he said.


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