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Red Zone Residents Reject Government Buyout Options

7 September 2011

Red Zone Residents Reject Government Buyout Options

Residents of the Riverside Community Group in Richmond have voted en masse to reject the CERA and Insurance offers for their red zone homes until “very significant” issues are resolved.

Community spokesperson Mike Coleman says that there are four areas of contention for home owners.

Firstly Insurance companies are not honouring Full Replacement policies for homes that are due for demolition in the red zone. “This is an issue that affects all of us, red zone, green zone, Christchurch, Kaiapoi and New Zealand as a whole. If the Insurance companies get away with this here, they will do so everywhere” says Coleman.

There is a need to review Rateable Values where there is “significant and demonstrable undervaluation”. These determine the value of the CERA offers.

The group also demands that the government takes more active measures to improve the availability and affordability of sections for new homes. “Red zone home owners need relocation options without losing equity or increasing their debt burden.” says Coleman.

The fourth issue concerns the need for certainty and clarity regarding the future use of the red zone land. “We would like to see the lands become a permanent public reserve – this would give some peace to those having to leave the land, confidence for those in adjoining green zones and real impetus to the rebuild of the eastern suburbs.”

Riverside is holding a rally to highlight their case at 2pm on Sunday 11 September on the west bank of the Avon just south of the Medway Street bridge. “We need a collective response to highlight the issues – we’re not looking for a bail out, we want fair play for red zone residents.”

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Riverside Community Group was established following the September earthquake and includes households on the south eastern strip of Richmond along the banks of the Avon from the Fitzgerald Bridge to Banks Avenue. About 50% of the community lies within the residential red zone.

Avon-Otakaro Network is a collaboration of community-driven science-informed initiatives advocating for the residential red zone lands to be set aside as a permanent public ecological and recreational reserve.


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