Flockton Basin red zone ruled out

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014

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The Government appears to have ruled out red-zoning the flood-prone Flockton Basin area, dashing the hopes of some hard-hit residents.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said yesterday further red-zoning was out of the question "at this stage".

"The criteria for red-zoning was not based on flooding. It was based on the potential of the land to support a building," he said.

"In the Flockton area, that's not an issue to the extent it was in the red zones."

Brownlee said both he and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel had "expressed the desire that we get something done in the next couple of years".

"It seems like a long time, but two years for engineering works is quite fast. Internationally, there are all sorts of places that have flood-prone geology that is successfully dealt with . . . and that is what we want here."

Brownlee's comments came as a shock to Francis Ave resident Alison Naylor, whose house flooded two weeks ago.

"I sort of thought the land might be red-zoned, because it might be becoming too hard and too expensive. What I would like is a guarantee as to how long [the engineering work will take]," she said.

Naylor has been living at the Diana Isaac Retirement Village, where she works, since her home flooded. She is moving in with friends soon.

"I intended to spend the rest of my life in one spot - not constantly packing up and shifting. I don't think much of [Brownlee's] decision at all. He's not listening to the people who are affected," she said.

"We can't keep living out of plastic containers. It's stressful enough, even just now."

Carrick St resident Jo Byrne agreed the land in the Flockton Basin was different to red-zoned land, but said some people wanted to leave, and she believed they should have an option.

Byrne, whose family abandoned their flood-damaged Carrick St home two weeks ago, said unlike red-zoned areas, the Flockton Basin still had a future.

"Once the flood mitigation is there, and people can live there safely, it will be a lovely area again.

"There are a lot of people in the area who want the community to survive."

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- The Press

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