Dismay as review date shifts

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012

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Port Hills homeowners are "extremely disappointed" with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's (Cera) announcement their zoning review will not be completed until February.

The review was announced by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee in October to look into Port Hills zoning decisions.

Work was supposed to be completed and residents advised of the Government's decision by Christmas.

More than 130 people from 14 suburbs across the Port Hills applied to be part of the review.

Sumner resident John Cook said the announcement was "extremely disappointing".

"It just puts the whole process back," he said. "It seems like the process is already predetermined, and it [the delay] just drags it out even further."

His Oceanview Tce home had been red-zoned, and he was hoping to go green.

He said the delay "just adds to people's anxiety".

"We're all embarking on summer holidays and Christmas, still with that big question mark."

Heathcote resident Karen Theobald said she was disappointed to hear of the delay, "especially after the patience Port Hills residents have shown towards Cera and council's ongoing decision delays".

"We know the zoning review parameters are very narrow and unlikely to affect changes, making the delay even harder to accept.

"This protracted process has a major ripple effect on insurance claims, rental costs and the pressure of the Crown offer deadline, not to mention stress on families at this time of year."

Theobald said she would consider requesting an extension to the Crown offer deadline as a result of the delay.

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said the analysis cannot be rushed, as it had to be "methodical and deliberate".

"There are many people who have applied to be part of the process because they do not believe the original decision was correct," Sutton said.

"So we must make absolutely certain that this review covers off every aspect of the process to confirm a final outcome."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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