Red zone unease

The Press reports:

Disenchanted Christchurch red-zone residents are gearing up to fight for their land.

Some, not all, I presume.

Kairaki resident Tim Stephenson said he and a group of neighbours planned to challenge their red-zoning after he unsuccessfully sought geotechnical data through the Official Information Act.

I’m not sure why it was refused, and whether the Ombudsman has ruled. On the face of it I would have thought all data would be made available.

Kaiapoi resident Brent Cairns did not believe accepting the government offer was compulsory.

“All of the documentation clearly shows that there are only two options available to the families in the red zone. Both included, without exception, that you had to move. You have a third option, and that is to stay,” he said.

If those residents feel the taxpayer has not been generous enough by buying their houses at the 2007 valuation rating (most houses are currently selling for below GV), then I’d say let them be martyrs and stay.

Brownlee said on Friday that he did not believe anyone would choose to remain in the red zone beyond April 2013.

Remaining residents would be left with unreliable or non-existent services on land that was uninsurable and worth almost nothing, he said.

It would be a stupid decision to stay on, but I’d let them rather than compulsorily acquire their land. Wait a couple of years and you’ll be able to acquire it for a few dollars.

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