400 Brooklands homes go red

18:57, Nov 17 2011
Brooklands suffered severe damage and widespread liquefaction.

More than 400 quake-damaged properties in Christchurch will be bought by the Government, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.

At an announcement in Christchurch this afternoon, Brownlee announced 417 properties in the eastern suburb of Brooklands have been reclassified from orange to red.

Assuming those properties were properly insured, and qualify for Earthquake Commission cover, the owners of those properties will receive Government purchase offers.Today's announcement has divided the Brooklands suburb.

Brooklands Residents' Association chairwoman Annette Buxton said some people would be pleased because the decision would give them certainty.

However, she said personally she was "absolutely gutted". "It's not a happy day at all," she said.

"The people who live out here, live out here for the lifestyle - for the lagoon, and a lot of people are boaties and fisher people, and they just love the walking tracks.

"I guess there will be a few people who probably will be pleased that it's red, for various reasons - some people have been living in houses that have been very badly damaged and at least now there is some certainty."

Buxton, who has lived in Brooklands since 1987, said she would not fight the zoning.

She was considering future options but had not concentrated on any in particular because she was hoping to rebuild in Brooklands.

Buxton was not even sure she would stay in Christchurch, saying: "I haven't had enough time to consider [the decision]."

More confusion has been created in Dallington where a small pocked of orange-zoned homes have been rezoned green.

For some in Dallington Tce it means an uncertain future with their homes are the only green properties in a sea of red.

Dallington resident Christine Mathieson said it was "unbelievable" that her property is now green while her neighbours are red. "We just want to get out... to sell will just be a nightmare" she said. 

The 'right call' for Brooklands

Brownlee said in a statement Brooklands suffered major land damage from the September 4 and subsequent shakes, and area-wide land remediation would have been needed before rebuilding.

"While this decision will be distressing for some, as with all red zone decisions, I'm confident we've made the right call for the residents of Brooklands."

The last red zone offers in Christchurch were based on 2007 rateable valuations, less insurance payments already made.

Brownlee also announced that 341 properties had been reclassified from orange to green-blue.

That means they need site-specific geotechnical investigations and specific engineering foundation design where foundation repairs or rebuilds are needed.

It's possible for those properties to get significant land damage from liquefaction in future quakes.

Today's announcement leaves 908 residential properties on the plains in the orange zone and 3700 residential properties in the Port Hills in the white zone.

"While some people have waited a long time, and a few are still waiting, this is progress," Brownlee said.

More than 8000 non-residential properties across greater Christchurch which were previously in the un-mapped white zone have also been zoned green.
Brownlee said they were a mixture of commercial and industrial properties, Ministry of Education and District Health Board land, parks and reserves, other community facilities such as halls, churches and child care facilities, and undeveloped private land.


The Press