A zone called turmoil

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 08:00 06/12/2013
burton family
Cameron Burnell

SHELLSHOCKED: The Burton Family left their red-zoned home in Lyttelton and moved to Kapati Coast. From left to right: Noah, 7, Kathryn Burton with Sophie, 5, on her lap and Kayla, 9.

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Kathryn Burton, her husband and three young children had moved on with their lives. At least they tried to.

After their recently refurbished Lyttelton home was red-zoned, they struggled to find anything affordable in the area. They wanted to stay, if only in the South Island.

Their parents and friends were still in Christchurch and they loved their community.

But they had to be realistic. They found work on the Kapiti Coast and a place to live within their price range.

Then, four days before the settlement went through, there was a call to say a zoning review was under way. They might want to stick around.

By then, though, it was too late. And there was no guarantee their home could be saved.

The family moved to a new place, found new schools for the kids and endured new earthquakes in the bottom of the North Island.

This week Burton spoke to a Cera representative who told them that the life they had tried to leave behind was, in fact, still there. The home had changed to green.

"It's shocking when you hear it," she said. "I just can't believe the way they have been playing around with people's lives without any consideration."

It felt like they had changed their life for no reason. They would never have contemplated moving if they had not been red- zoned.

Worse, she said, there was no apology and no compensation from the Government.

They had just spent $120,000 on their house post-earthquake, although the Government Valuation only went up $40,000. The family had effectively lost $80,000, she said.

"And now they tell us it was all a mistake? God, the emotional torment and anguish we went through leaving all for nothing. The whole thing is a sick joke."

ZONING REVIEW

270 properties rezoned, 95 of which had sought to be reviewed.

237 from green to red.

33 from red to green.

5 remain green, with an S124 notice.

The zoning review was undertaken by a panel led by Dr Keith Turner, who also led the zoning review for flat land.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has produced specific information for the 44 different areas in the Port Hills that have zoning implications to make it easier for property owners to understand their own situation.

Each of the areas are detailed at cera.govt.nz/port-hills, with videos to explain the outcome in each of these areas.

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