Red-zoners stay close to home

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 31/01/2014
Jen Haywood
Joseph Johnson/Fairfax NZ

SET TO GO: David and Jen Haywood's house being readied to move to its new location in early 2012.

Kent Neilson
Daniel Tobin/Fairfax NZ
RISKY MOVE: Brooklands red-zoner Kent Neilson has not strayed too far from home, having bought one of the few green-zoned plots up for sale in the semi-rural settlement in north Christchurch.

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About 60 per cent of Christchurch red-zoners have relocated to within 5 kilometres of their former homes.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has released data showing the movements of thousands of Cantabrians who sold their quake-damaged properties to the Government.

Just two per cent of flat-land red-zoned residents relocated more than 30km while 60 per cent stayed within 5km of their former homes and 13 per cent moved less than 1km away from their old homes.

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said he was not surprised to see so many people had stayed close to their former homes.

"People wanted to stay in their communities because it's where their baby-sitters are, where their mother lives and where their local schools are," he said.

While some people had chose to move to "radically different locations", 47 per cent had stayed within 4km of their former homes.

"I think that's pretty cool," Sutton said.

Figures revealed 20 per cent of residents had lived in their homes less than a year before they were red-zoned; 19 per cent had lived in their homes for five to nine years, and five per cent of residents had lived in their homes for more than 30 years.

Sutton said some red-zoned residents had been put in "very sad situations" as a result of the earthquakes.

"People bought fantastic houses in great locations for bargain prices and they were never going to get that again," he said.

"They've had to move to places that are not nearly as interesting because many interesting areas in Christchurch now have difficult land issues."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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