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Minister to charge rental on red zone land

Embargoed until 7 PM Friday April 5

Media Release - Minister to charge rental on red zone land

The Minister has consistently said that "there are to be no obstacles to the recovery in Christchurch." The Minister's latest move, Cr. Glenn Livingstone says, to charge rental on red zone land, will create an obstacle in the recovery from the Christchurch earthquakes.

CERA is going to charge anyone using red zone land rental at $27 + GST per square metre ("pro rata") per annum, with the exception of SCIRT.

"If we take the Avonside/Wainoni Methodist Church, currently sitting on red zone land as an example, where will this leave them?", Livingstone says. This church, through its trust, provides resources and advice for the community, comprising mainly elderly residents. The trust relies on community grants to keep going. Livingstone says that it would have to pass on this red zone rental to elderly people, who are on fixed incomes.

"This is an unusual move by the Minister and I am trying to work out what the agenda is here. The Burwood/Pegasus Community Board heard last Monday that CERA is going to fence off red zone land along New Brighton Road, enabling pedestrian access but preventing vehicular access. We now hear that there will be an exception to that rule for SCIRT, which not only will have unrestricted access but will have unrestricted free access."

The Methodist Church and others like it will no longer be able to hold free public meetings, such as the insurance advice meeting Livingstone organised at the Avonside/Wainoni Church recently.

"This example shows how this move by the Minister, against the advice of his officials, will fly in the face of CERA's own recovery objectives, which are the four well-beings, namely Social, Cultural, Environmental and Economic. I call on the Minister to back down from this proposal and to heed the advice of his officials", Livingstone says.


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