Money, health and progress worries for TC3 residents

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 12/09/2012
Bryony and Daniel Bedggood, with children Eva and Tom, live and sleep in the central part of their badly damaged TC3-category home.
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
STRESSED: Bryony and Daniel Bedggood, with children Eva and Tom, live and sleep in the central part of their badly damaged TC3-category home.

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Nearly 400 residents in the worst quake-hit areas of the city are living in a house with major damage, with a further 33 doing so despite feeling unsafe.

The figures are among a host of findings to come out of a resident-organised technical category 3 (green-blue) zone survey, released yesterday.

Six-hundred and eighty-nine TC3 residents responded to the online survey, which ran over three weeks and finished on Saturday.

The survey asked residents about their living conditions, financial concerns, health issues attributed to the last two years' events and how they rated the performance of insurers, Earthquake Commission, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and Christchurch City Council.

Fifty-eight per cent of those surveyed said they were living in a house with major damage and a further 5 per cent were doing so despite feeling they "probably shouldn't be".

Sixty-three households (9 per cent) were unable to live in their homes and 15 households (2 per cent) wanted to leave but felt they couldn't because they were concerned they could not find rental accommodation or their insurance accommodation grant would run out.

Nearly half said they were still waiting for their insurer or the Earthquake Commission to confirm if they were a repair or a rebuild, and 61 per cent of those surveyed were waiting on drilling information from EQC.

Among the top concerns were health issues, finances and land damage. For 581 people, health issues were attributed to the events of the last two years. Of those, stress was the top complaint (85 per cent), followed by sleeping disorders (58 per cent) depression (53 per cent), headaches (44 per cent) and asthma and allergies (35 per cent).

Slow progress was the number one cause of money worries for residents, with 84 per cent citing it as a factor. Sixty-four per cent also believed they had lost equity in their property.

Other complaints included the roading and pavements in their neighbourhoods (62 per cent) and land damage to their property that needed fixing (53 per cent). Three hundred respondents were concerned about liquefaction under their home.

Survey organiser Ange Tutt said there were few surprises in the results.

"We knew there were issues around our situation. They just wanted some evidence that we could present to different organisations . . . to say ‘Come on, you are putting us all through a living hell here and you need to pull finger'.

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"It's nice to have the figures as a bit of proof."

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton was not available for comment. However, a spokeswoman said the organisation was "committed to making progress".

"We know that there are people out there still finding it tough on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately there are some issues around the accuracy of the questions asked in this particular survey but we welcome and encourage the people of Canterbury to provide feedback to us on how we can improve our service and provide reliable, clear information to them," she said.

Tutt said she had done her best when formulating the survey questions.

"I'm a primary school teacher. I'm not a statistician. We don't have one in TC3 we know of."

Mayor Bob Parker declined to comment as the survey was "not specific about the council performance those surveyed were not happy with".

- The Press

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