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More Christchurch properties red zoned

The Government has today offered to buy an additional 940 earthquake affected properties in Kaiapoi and Pines Beach north of Christchurch.

Thursday, August 18th 2011, 12:42PM

by The Landlord

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the decision was not easy given the size of the town and the patience shown by residents since September.

"Many options have been exhaustively considered; however, in full evaluation of the facts today's decision was clear cut."

He said the government had taken a "huge amount" of geotechnical engineering advice before deciding to red zone the additional properties.

"One inescapable fact was that the land and critical infrastructure beneath the hardest hit parts of Kaiapoi and Pines Beach was so badly damaged that any remediation solution would have required the complete removal of all homes we're zoning red today," Brownlee said.

"This, like other areas we've red zoned, would have meant residents would have been forced off their land for a period of years."

All residents whose properties have been zoned red today will receive offers from the government to purchase their property, and will be subject to the same support, financial or otherwise, as those residents red zoned on June 23.

Personalised packs informing residents of the decision and what it means for them will arrive in the mail over the next few days.

Brownlee said the intention had been for the packs to arrive in conjunction with the announcement, but disruption to postal services made that impossible.

"Today's news will be difficult for many people who've bravely hung on for nearly a year in the hope that their property could be built on," Brownlee said.

"While the news will disappoint some it also provides a clear, and we believe fair path ahead for the hardest hit residents of the Waimakariri District."

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