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Waimakariri District land decisions released

Waimakariri District land decisions released

Following careful consideration the government will be making offers to purchase a further 940 properties in Kaiapoi and Pines Beach north of Christchurch, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced today.

Of the 1230 residential properties zoned orange for further investigation on 23 June, 860 in Kaiapoi and 80 in Pines Beach have now been zoned red, 220 in the northern part of Kaiapoi have been zoned green and a further 70 in the western part of Kaiapoi will remain in the orange zone for the time being for further investigative work.

Mr Brownlee said today's decision was not an easy one, given the size of the town and the incredible patience shown by its residents since September.

"Many options have been exhaustively considered; however, in full evaluation of the facts today's decision was also clear cut.

"Just as we did when we announced the first residential red zone on 23 June we considered a huge amount of geotechnical engineering advice and a range of other factors.

"One inescapable fact was that the land and critical infrastructure beneath the hardest hit parts of Kaiapoi and Pines Beach was so badly damaged that any remediation solution would have required the complete removal of all homes we're zoning red today.

"Repair in all the red areas would not only require raising the height of the land but also a complete replacement of essential infrastructure like sewer, water, electricity and roading.

"This, like other areas we've zoned red, would have meant residents would have been forced off their land for a period of years.

"There were also no guarantees that the remediation solutions available, regardless of cost, would have worked," Mr Brownlee said.

While significant government funded land remediation works were due to begin in the Waimakariri District at the end of June, these were put on hold so assessment could take place of how the many earthquakes subsequent to last September's big shake had impacted on the land.

"That impact was significant," Mr Brownlee said.

"Whether the perimeter works agreed on last October still stacked up needed to be evaluated, and the clear answer for most of Kaiapoi and all of Pines Beach was they didn't."

A decision on the 70 orange zoned properties should be made within the next few weeks.

All residents whose properties have been zoned red today will receive offers from the government to purchase their property, and all will be subject to the same support, financial or otherwise, as those residents zoned red on 23 June.

It has been determined that the most appropriate rating valuation to inform the government's offers is the 2008 valuation, as that was the rating valuation in place on 3 September 2010.

Waimakariri residents zoned orange before today can begin checking the www.landcheck.org.nz website or phone 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) to learn of their new zone.

Personalised packs informing residents of the decision and what it means for them will arrive in the mail over the next few days.

"We had hoped to have those packs arrive in conjunction with this announcement, but with postal services severely disrupted this week that can't happen.

"However we thought it was important we release this information as soon as possible. I know the Waimakariri District Council is undertaking significant outreach for affected residents from today and I'd like to thank them for that.

"Today's news will be difficult for many people who've bravely hung on for nearly a year in the hope their property could be built on.

"While the news will disappoint some it also provides a clear, and we believe fair path ahead for the hardest hit residents of the Waimakariri District," Mr Brownlee said.

CERA is responsible for rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information on the announcement, including an extensive Q&A, footage, maps and technical slides which supported today's presentation, visit www.cera.govt.nz

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