Zoning decision tipped for today

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 18/05/2012

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Today could bring the news thousands of residents of Southshore, Parklands and around the Port Hills have been hoping for, or dreading.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will hold a press conference at 11am to announce rezoning in the three parts of Christchurch left in limbo after other quake-damaged suburbs were green- or red-zoned.

About 2100 homes around the edges of the Port Hills remain white-zoned, over 400 Southshore homes have been left orange-zoned while several deadlines passed without news, and last year's green-zoning of 530 Parklands homes has been under review by the Government.

Southshore resident Lee Osborn, who has lived in the neighbourhood all her life, said last night the long wait appeared to be almost over.

"I've rung most of the street – they are just all apprehensive and there won't be a lot of sleep tonight."

Osborn said the year of waiting had been stressful for all, and she dreaded having to leave if the neighbourhood went red.

"It's been nearly a year and there's been so many false promises and so many rumours that turned out not to be true. We just need the facts."

A spokeswoman for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority said no more information could be given before this morning's announcement.

The affected Port Hills properties were left in the white zone after most of the hill and valley suburbs went green just before Christmas. They are considered at risk from rockfalls, landslides, or cliff collapses.

Rezoning has split Southshore in half, with the more-damaged estuary side left orange while and the beach side of the suburb was green-zoned in October.

Parklands properties have been given a green-blue (TC3) classification, meaning they can rebuild or repair with stronger foundations, but concern from residents led to a review.

Damaged homes cannot be repaired or rebuilt unless they are in a green zone.

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- The Press

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