Earthquake Recovery: January to January – What’s Changed?

Our community is in a very different earthquake recovery scene from what it was a year ago. In January 2010, the Council was project-managing the Government’s intention to remediate land in Kaiapoi to stop the lateral spread of the crust towards lower ground, mainly the Kaiapoi River and the Coutenay Stream.  This would have been a major project, taking 2-3 years.

Hilton Street and Kaiapoi Fire Station, September 2010
Now, of course, residents in defined “red” zones are being made two offers to enable them to shift out and buy or build elsewhere.  The Government is offering to buy their land at 2008 rateable values (Waimakariri) and giving residents a choice between selling their houses to the Government or settling with insurance companies.

Homeowners in Green Zones can repair or rebuild their houses on their own land – although there are also now three grades of foundation requirements, depending on location.  Most of Kaiapoi, the northern end of Pines Beach and the rest of Waimakariri are green-zoned.

This has been exactly what many people wanted – but by no means everyone.  The differences of view in Kaiapoi, Pines-Kairaki, Brooklands and Christchurch hve been well-reported.

There are also a number of unanswered questions, such as what is the long-term future of the red zones?  The Council is unsure about uninsured houses – is it intended that they stay?  Will the Council get the same offers as other homeowners for its red-zoned pensioner houses?  Will we get insurance for underground infrastructure that will have to pass through red-zoned areas to get to green zones, as in Courtenay Drive and Pines Beach? And there are a number of others.
I am confident, however, that 2012 will see a lot of clarification – hopefully soon.

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