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Government Compensation Offer Amounts to Legalised Fraud

Denis O’Rourke MP
Christchurch Earthquake Issues spokesperson

1 February 2013

Government Compensation Offer Amounts to Legalised Fraud

New Zealand First supports the online petition calling for the Government to stop taking advantage of a natural disaster and give red zoned home owners in Christchurch a fair deal in their fight for home and section compensation.

Currently the Government is offering red-zoners half the rating value of their vacant sections and for the land component of uninsured homes.

Christchurch Earthquake Issues spokesperson Denis O’Rourke says it has always been accepted that if the Government compulsorily seizes land, especially residential land, then it must pay the fair market price.

“It is also a matter of simple fairness that the Government will not take advantage of disaster situations to acquire land at unfair value.

“The Government’s offer of only 50 per cent of the rating value for the section where it has no home built on it or where the home is uninsured, is outrageous, and in the circumstances amounts to a legalised fraud.

“The owners affected could not sell their land except to the Government and could not build a house or live there because services are withdrawn.”

Mr O’Rourke says a red-zoned bare section owner or uninsured home owner would get only 50 per cent for the section while neighbour with an insured home gets 100 per cent.

“That is illogical, inexplicable, and unfair.

“Minister Gerry Brownlee said that the offer was justified because there would have been land damage. This is poppycock. There was land damage for both bare sections and those with homes built on them.”

Mr O’Rourke says that now it’s been revealed that Government officials advised that it is appropriate for all red-zoners to receive full compensation, the Minister must review his decision.

“The Minister dumped good advice and substituted his own guess of 50 per cent of the land value. That is a substantial abuse of power and is unsustainable.

“The land owners concerned would be justified in seeking redress through the Human Rights Commission upon the grounds of unjustifiable discrimination.”

ENDS

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