Red-zone pensioner needs answers

Quake-hit residents arrive at the first of a series of community meetings in Linwood.
Quake-hit residents arrive at the first of a series of community meetings in Linwood.

A pensioner with no home insurance is among the first to seek answers at community meetings for earthquake-hit residents.

About 60 quake-affected residents turned up to the first of a series of community meetings to discuss their future following the Government's release of its four land zones.

Avonside resident Nicholas Abaffy, 72, was told his home of over 25 years was in the residential red zone.

Nicholas Abaffy, 72, has been told his uninsured home must be abandoned.
Nicholas Abaffy, 72, has been told his uninsured home must be abandoned.

He was worried about his future because he did not have home insurance.

"There didn't seem to be much bloody news about any of that," he said.

"Hopefully I'll get some answers, but I suspect they're just going to pat themselves on the back."

Abaffy's Avonside Drive home was yellow-stickered after the quakes, with one corner resting on a concrete block and large cracks strewn across the path and driveway.

Despite the obvious damage to the house and land, he still felt safe, saying aftershocks were "not too bad".

He asked earthquake authorities at today's meeting at Linwood North School about what would happen to him now, but no one was able to answer his question.

"I haven't got house insurance so I can't afford to shift."

Abaffy had been hoping that a plan announced after September's quake to build underground concrete dams along the Avon River would go ahead.

"According to that I was going to be able to stay, but now that's gone out the window."

He did not know what he would do now.

"It depends on what sort of help I'm going to get."

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief Roger Sutton started with a joke before telling the crowd this would not be the only time they saw him.

He explained the offers presented to homeowners by the Government yesterday but conceded they would not be enough for some people.

"We acknowledge we have some serious issues to work through."

Other community meetings will be held in Dallington, Avonside, New Brighton, Parklands and Shirley from today.

Sutton said the meetings would give people a chance to get "information about their land and future options".

"I plan to be at every meeting, along with my staff, to cover the main issues and next steps," Sutton said.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker will also be at the meetings.

Community hubs would be set up where people could talk to key agencies and be linked with support services.

"There's a long way to go . . . Residents will have plenty of time to absorb information, get answers to questions and plan their next steps."

The meetings would include presentations from geotechnical firm Tonkin & Taylor and the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service.

Cera has asked residents not to simply turn up to the meetings but to book. Cera staff would contact residents to offer meeting locations and times. Residents can also ring 0800 779 997.

Meetings on Friday, June 24:

 -

Linwood North School, Woodham Rd, Linwood, at noon and 5pm.

- Chisnallwood Intermediate, Breezes Rd, Aranui, at 6pm.

- Roy Stokes Hall, Seaview Rd, New Brighton, at 2pm and 7pm.

- Parklands Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queenspark Drive, at 3pm and 8pm.

- St Albans Baptist Church Hall, 3 Anfield St, at 4pm.

Meetings on Saturday, June 25:

- Linwood North School, Woodham Rd, Linwood, at 9am and 2pm.

- Chisnallwood Intermediate, Breezes Rd, Aranui, at 10am and 3pm.

- Roy Stokes Hall, Seaview Road, New Brighton at 11am.

- Parklands Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queenspark Drive, at noon.

- St Albans Baptist Church Hall, 3 Anfield St, at 1pm.

Meetings on Sunday, June 26:

 - Linwood North School, Woodham Rd, Linwood, at 2pm and 7pm.

- Chisnallwood Intermediate, Breezes Rd, Aranui, at 10am and 3pm.

- Roy Stokes Hall, Seaview Rd, New Brighton, at 11am and 4pm.

Meetings on Monday, June 27: 

- Linwood North School, Woodham Rd, Linwood, at 9am, 2pm, and 7pm.

- Roy Stokes Hall, Seaview Rd, New Brighton, at 11am and 4pm.

- Parklands Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queenspark Drive, at noon and 5pm.

- St Albans Baptist Church Hall, 3 Anfield St, 6pm.

Meetings on Tuesday, June 28:

- Brooklands Community Hall, 3 Anfield St, at 3.30pm and 5.30pm.

- Kaiapoi High School Hall, Ohoka Rd, at 7.30pm.

 

The Press