Port Hills residents still waiting for a decision on the fate of their homes are appealing to the city council to use its influence to help save their properties.
They are concerned the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) will take a broad-brush approach to the rezoning of the 158 properties still zoned white because of rockfall risk, rather than assessing each property individually and deciding whether mitigation measures could make them safe.
They voiced their concerns yesterday to the council's corporate and financial committee and next week aim to speak to the full council in the hope it can persuade Cera to change its approach.
Cera says it will decide by August 17 whether the remaining white-zoned hill properties will go green or red. If they are zoned red, the council will have to meet some of the costs - possibly as much as half - of the Government's buyout offer.
Sumner resident Phil Elmy told councillors yesterday that residents had little confidence in the Cera process and believed authorities were not giving enough consideration to what protection measures could be taken to safeguard the properties.
"Engineers tell us that anything in the white zone can be protected; it's just a matter of cost," Elmy said.
Heathcote Valley resident Karen Theobald said expert advice she and others had received suggested that rockfall protection could be put in place for about 10 per cent of the cost of their properties, which made remediation a far more cost-effective option than red-zoning them.
Another Port Hills resident, Kim Preston, questioned the rationale behind some of Cera's recent zoning decisions. About 10 Port Hills properties zoned green in June had since received section 124 prohibited-access notices from the city council.
A senior council manager said the properties had been judged unsafe to occupy and Cera was reviewing their green zoning.
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