Almost 240 homes added to Christchurch red zone

A zoning review in Christchurch's Port Hills has resulted in 237 properties being reclassified from green zone to red zone, and 33 going from red to green.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made the announcement today, saying it would give property owners certainty and provide options for people to move on from areas posing a serious risk to life.

Zoning in the Port Hills is based on life risk from rock roll or cliff collapse. Owners of eligible properties in the Residential Red Zone may decide to accept a Crown offer to purchase the affected properties.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) completed the zoning review following a Court of Appeal judgment released earlier this week in regard to a legal challenge by the Quake Outcasts group.

The Court of Appeal found that CERA's zoning process was lawful, and that the Crown needed to review any offers made to owners of uninsured properties and vacant land to ensure they were consistent with the purpose of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act.

Mr Brownlee conceded he was conscious it had been a long and frustrating wait for Port Hills property owners.

"We had to wait for clarification from the courts about our zoning process, and we needed to make absolutely sure the final zoning decisions are correct, not just for those who live in the area now, but to protect people in the future.

"Some of the property owners had indicated they wanted their land zoning to change from its initial status. But many did not actively seek a review, and it is these people who may be surprised by the outcomes of today's announcement.

"Since last evening, CERA has been endeavouring to call all property owners who asked for a change to their property's zoning, or whose land zoning has changed, to advise them of the outcome, and to provide them with the best possible support and opportunities to attend face to face meetings for more information on their personal situations.''

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