City's share of Port Hills cost known next month

19:09, Jul 17 2012

Christchurch City Council should know by August 17 how much of the cost it will bear for the red-zoning of Port Hills properties.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority said last month that 285 Port Hills properties were being zoned red because of the risk of cliff collapse or rockfall.

The Government is offering to buy the properties, at an estimated cost of $205 million, but it has signalled that the council will have to find some of that money, possibly as much as half.

That could put the city council under financial pressure as it has budgeted for a contribution of about $40m.

The council and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee had preliminary talks on how the costs would be split before announcing the zoning decision, but they have yet to reach a formal agreement.

A council spokeswoman said yesterday there had been no further discussions between the council and the Government, but a decision on the costs would be made by August 17.

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