Flooding enrages Kaiapoi residents

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 16:58 30/04/2014
kaiapoi flooding
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KAIAPOI FLOODING: Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove surveys flooding with a Kaiapoi resident.

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Kaiapoi residents living next to the residential red zone are fed up with continual flooding, vermin and health issues while authorities debate what to do with the earthquake-damaged land. 

Bracebridge St resident Kiri Howlett said her street had flooded about four times since Christmas pushing water that was often laden with sewage under her house.

The repeated flooding had caused mould to grow throughout her home, and her young family to suffer asthma and other health problems. 

Bracebridge St was a low-lying area, but the land had dropped further during Canterbury's earthquakes. 

Howlett's land was green-zoned, but sat directly alongside the red-zoned properties that were causing most of the problems, she said. 

''There's definitely a lot of angry people,'' Howlett said.

''I think everyone's just passing the buck. Everyone's had enough that no one will make a decision.''

Howlett and about 30 other frustrated residents met with Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove and Waimakariri mayor David Ayers yesterday afternoon to air their concerns over the lack of progress in the red zone.

Cosgrove said the Waimakariri District Council and the Government needed to take immediate action in Kaiapoi and other flood-prone areas in the district.

''These people shouldn't have to suffer having properties under a foot or more of water, nor should they have to put up with not being able to use their toilet every time it rains.

''Three and a half years is surely long enough to wait,'' he said.

Ayers acknowledged there were ongoing flooding issues in parts of Kaiapoi and Fernside, near Rangiora, but said the council was waiting for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) to decide what would happen with the red-zone before it could do some of the necessary work. 

''We regard it as a high priority matter. I don't think anybody wants to be scared every time it rains.''

Contractors were already working to repair and improve broken drains and pipes where possible, but the council's longer-term plan of using the residential red zone to improve drainage was on hold until the Government gave its approval. 

''The sooner we can get an agreement from Cera as to the infrastructure we can put into the red zone the better,'' Ayers said. 

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