Government announces new red zone payment

The Government will pay former residential red zone owners 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for uninsured homes, Minister Megan Woods has announced today.

This payment is for those property owners who have not already received a payment for their uninsured improvements.

“The plight of people who were uninsured at the time of the quakes has been one of the difficult legacies of the earthquakes.

“The previous Government’s offer of nothing for uninsured homes left many people significantly out of pocket.

“As many of the people involved have tested their claims in court, we’ve been given clear rulings that an area-wide approach to red zoning suggested that an area-wide response was required to support recovery – one that did not differentiate on the basis of insurance status. 

“It’s time to resolve this longstanding issue and provide certainty for everyone involved, so I am implementing this decision immediately.

“Ex gratia payments will be made to the former owners of 103 uninsured and underinsured red zone properties over the next few weeks. The total cost of the payments is forecast to be around $12 million,” says Megan Woods.

The former owners will not need to do anything. Land Information New Zealand can arrange the ex gratia payments, using the contact details provided when accepting the Crown offer.

The Minister says that the Government had carefully considered a host of different factors in response to the Court of Appeal’s 2017 judgment in the Quake Outcasts litigation.

“It took some time to make this decision because we wanted to make sure it was the right one. We had to consider fairness and consistency, the precedent this decision may set, and the need to be fiscally responsible,”

The Minister also announced that the Crown is willing to purchase privately-owned red zone properties, if the owners are interested in selling their property.

The new Crown offer would be on the basis of 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for land and improvements, regardless of insurance status.

“We need to stress this offer is voluntary. It is not a blanket or compulsory offer.

“This Government is committed to helping greater Christchurch recover from the earthquakes. We are making good by paying an amount for these red zone properties which will assist people in moving forwards with their lives,” says Megan Woods