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Community to have say on red zone’s future

Community to have say on red zone’s future

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed today’s announcement of a community participation process to gather ideas about future use of the region’s residential red zones.

In total more than 7300 flat land properties in Christchurch and Kaiapoi were zoned red due to the degree of land damage caused by the earthquakes. Eligible property owners in the Port Hills have to 31 August 2014 to accept the voluntary Crown offer.

With over half of the homes in the flat land red zone already cleared, and the vast majority of former homeowners accepting a Crown offer and moving from the area, Mr Brownlee says the time is right to start discussing how the land might be used in the future.

“This land is severely damaged, but that does not mean we cannot use it in other ways, and we’re talking about an area around four times the size of Hagley Park just on the flat land red zones alone, so the possibilities are numerous.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today that once infrastructure requirements are decided, I will work with the Mayors of Christchurch and Waimakariri, Ngāi Tahu, and other relevant agencies and organisations, to design processes for wider community participation in determining the future of this land.

“There are a number of community groups which have already started thinking about potential future uses. I would expect that they would want to participate fully in this process.”

Mr Brownlee says before the participation process starts, infrastructure issues, like road layout, existing drinking water, waste water and sewerage pipes, will have to be dealt with. Those matters will be determined by CERA and council engineers in the coming months.

“It is important that communities in both Christchurch and Kaiapoi are engaged in a meaningful process to guide future development of this land.

“I would hope to be able to announce more details about the process towards the middle of the year.”
Ends

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