Orange zone decisions are top priority

  • Gerry Brownlee
Earthquake Recovery

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today convened meetings in the residential orange zone with geotechnical engineers and officials in order to get clarity around the myriad of complexities that need to be sorted before rezoning can occur.

Mr Brownlee said he understood the growing frustration of those in residential orange zones, but despite a huge effort to date by hundreds of engineers and officials to find workable solutions the rezoning decisions were proving extremely complex.

“All involved have been under great pressure to deliver land decisions and working hard since we announced the zoning to get these issues sorted,” Mr Brownlee said.

“I hope today’s field discussions will lead to a resolution of complex issues.”

Mr Brownlee said many of the zoning decisions to date had been reasonably self-evident, but the remaining orange zone land was a very different proposition.

“In some earlier cases the land damage was so great the vast majority of residents had already been forced from their homes.

“What we’re dealing with now are areas where the majority of residents are still in their homes, and whether cost and time effective remediation solutions exist to enable them to safely stay.

“I’m aware that people in suburbs like Spencerville, Brooklands, Southshore and some other parts of Christchurch were expecting decisions by now, and I’m sorry we haven’t met those deadlines, but I ask that they hang on for a while longer as we evaluate all the options with their best interests in mind.

"I expect the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to provide an update to all orange zone homeowners on what's happening within the next two weeks," Mr Brownlee said.