6430 orange zone properties turned green

  • Gerry Brownlee
Earthquake Recovery

Nearly 80 per cent of the remaining 8096 properties in the residential orange zone in Canterbury have been rezoned to green, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.

"This confirms that a further 6430 residential properties can be either built on as is or built on with individual remediation to damaged parts of their land.  

"Property owners will now need to work with EQC to repair their land, if required, and with their insurer or EQC to repair and rebuild their homes," Mr Brownlee said.

"When the Government announced the zoning of residential land damage on 23 June, properties were zoned orange because they had experienced area-wide land damage or they were damaged in the 13 June earthquakes and had not yet been adequately assessed.

"Following extensive geotechnical land damage assessment and investigation in the orange zone areas, it has been determined that most properties can be repaired on an individual basis, which is why they have been rezoned green.

"Even though land damage may be present on some properties in the newly classified green zone, most can be repaired on an individual basis as part of normal insurance processes.

"In some areas, small area-wide or coordinated land repair works may be more cost effective and it would make sense for property owners to work together.

"A plan also needs to be developed for the hydrology of the Avon River, which will likely see some riverbank protection work undertaken," he said.

Mr Brownlee said identifying foundation solutions for rebuilding earthquake damaged homes had also been important in making decisions on the orange zone areas.

"The Department of Building and Housing has developed three new technical categories for residential foundation design as part of its guidance for repairing and rebuilding earthquake damaged homes in Canterbury. These new categories apply to liquefaction prone flat land in the green zone in the greater Christchurch urban area."

Most of the properties rezoned from orange to green will be in Technical Category 3 as they will require site-specific geotechnical investigation and specific engineering foundation design. Further information about the new technical categories for residential foundation design is available on the CERA website at: www.cera.govt.nz

Mr Brownlee said the total number of properties in Canterbury that had been zoned green was now more than 180,000.

"There are 1666 residential properties that remain in the orange zone because further work is required before any decisions can be made about their land.

"I appreciate the incredible frustration these homeowners will be experiencing and I would like to assure them we are working hard to get some certainty for them.

"I ask that they hang on for a while longer as we still need to do further investigation and evaluate all the options available with their best interests in mind."

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) website www.landcheck.org.nz has been updated to reflect the new zoning. A map of the rezoned area can be viewed on the CERA website at www.cera.govt.nz

A letter from CERA will also be posted to all orange zone area homeowners with further information on Monday.

CERA is responsible for coordinating and leading the rebuild of Canterbury and supporting the welfare of its residents.  For more information visit www.cera.govt.nz