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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news