Buyout offer 'back to front and upside down'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 13/08/2012
Stephen Bourke
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ

FINGERS CROSSED: Brooklands red-zone resident Stephen Bourke has applied to Cera to have his land designation reviewed in the hope of going green.

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Christchurch red-zone resident Stephen Bourke says it is wrong that the Government's first deadline to accept Crown offers will expire before he learns if he will be rezoned green.

Bourke never signed the consent form to receive a Government offer, so the deadline did not apply, but he said he should still have a Crown offer as an option once he knows the future of his Brooklands land.

Bourke is one of 150 red-zoned Canterbury residents who have applied to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) to have their land designation reviewed. He hopes to go green.

The review is still with the Cabinet and is not expected to be released for some weeks.

Most red-zone complaints came from Kaiapoi and Brooklands.

Cera announced on Friday that 66 red-zoned property owners were yet to formally accept the Crown offer, which expires on August 19.

Bourke said it was "all back to front and upside down".

"It seems bizarre they would give a deadline to send a letter in when they are going through a zoning review process."

Bourke said he still held hope his property would be rezoned green.

A Cera spokeswoman said of the 66 property owners who had yet to return the paperwork, 45 had told the authority they intended to accept one of the Crown purchase options before the deadline.

"Of the 21 who have indicated to Cera that they can't or haven't made a decision, none are waiting for the outcome of the zoning review process," she said.

Crown offers were made to 2970 homeowners after the first round of land-zoning decisions, announced in June last year.

Kaiapoi resident Brent Cairns, a founding member of the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network group, was also among the first to have his property zoned red.

He, too, had not signed the original consent form to get a Government offer but had applied to have his zoning reviewed.

"We requested a review process as soon as the red zoning actually occurred," he said.

Cairns said he had "chosen voluntarily" not to accept any of the Government offers for his property.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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