Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Earthquake Minister must accept judicial review on Red Zone


Earthquake Minister, please accept the judicial review on the Red Zone


…and look for a creative solution to help affected people move forward.

The Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network (WeCan) is calling on Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee to accept the judgment of High Court Judge, Justice Pankhurst.

WeCan spokesman, Rev. Mike Coleman, says the decision is clear, and he and his team would be extremely disappointed if Mr Brownlee attempted to put people crippled by his original decision in 2011, through another distressing court proceeding.

“The Government offer to affected people in the area of the red zone has been judged as being unfair; going against the basic human rights of those seriously affected in the Canterbury earthquakes,” he says. “Ordinary Cantabrians, represented by the Outcasts Group, stood to lose much of their properties equity and it would be a further slap in the face should Mr Brownlee decide to appeal this decision and continue the stress and pain even longer,” he says.

Coleman adds that the Minister could show a real sense of justice and a sincere focus on the recovery by accepting the court’s decision.

“In doing so, Mr Brownlee would enable the families, elderly and others who have been through a living hell over the last two and half years, to finally move on with their lives,” he says.

WeCan adds that there is clear legislation included within the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act designed to bring about effective and timely recovery for the people of Canterbury.

“The decision by Justice Pankhurst states clearly that the Earthquake Minister refused to use the powers of the Act that could have assisted this community, so he could make unfair offers for land. WeCan believes the offers amounted to coercion as people had no choice but to sell their properties,” says Coleman.

“It was clear from the beginning the Government wanted people off these areas. Even the words at the bottom of the ‘offer’ stated, ‘if you do not accept this offer we can compulsorily acquire you’. The threat by the Prime Minister stating, there would be no infrastructural services available in these areas which created a fear among the community. In the end people felt they had no choice but to leave, and in the porocess lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the stress and extreme upset it caused,” says Rev. Coleman.

WeCan have continued to challenge the Red Zoning of land since the announcement on the 23 June 2011. Rateable Value was used by CERA and the Earthquake Minister to set values and as an assessment of equity despite Property Valuers writing to Mr Brownlee stating this would be inaccurate by up to 40% in one in three cases.

“In the end, the Minister would only pay out 50% of the value of both sections and homes. This has now been judged to be illegal,” says Coleman.

WeCan is repeating its calls for the Earthquake Minister to accept the finding of Justice Pankhurst and to start a conversation with affected people to find a new solution which will result in a fair payment to those affected in the areas of the red zone.

“The solution must honour the full equity people had in their properties at the time of the earthquakes,” says Rev. Mike Coleman.

WeCan, therefore affirms Justice Pankhurst’s statement that the Minister and the Chief Executive “reconsider and reach a new decision to purchase the applicants properties, such decisions to be made in accordance with the Law.” In this regard he requires the “purposes and principles of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to be applied when they make such decision.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news