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Port Hills Representatives

10 September 2013

Are you Green zoned and with a section 124 notice?

Dear Green Zoned and Section 124 Notice holders, 

I, Manfred Friedrich, am interested to meet with property owners who have been issued a section 124 notice and have been green zoned by CERA. My intention is to form a group to join forces to apply legal action. I have already consulted a lawyer associated with Chen Palmer to research my case (green/s124). The result is that there is a very good chance to hold the CCC accountable since - at least in my case - the threat comes from CCC land. If you are interested in forming a group to pursue joint legal steps than please contact me ( manfred.friedrich@gmail.com ). 

Please bear in mind I am looking primarily for property owners which are: CERA Green Zoned, and Section 124 Notice based on land issues like rockfall hazards from CCC land.if you are red zoned with a s124 notice than I still would love to hear from you there is an overlapping interest. There is a possibility to address the issue based on 'Private Nuisance' and this might be applicable for you too.

Hills zoning announcement meetings mid 2012 - sound and pictures

1 Feb Update

Gerry Brownlee is again going against advice from his policy people and instead of compensating for undamaged vacant sections in the Port Hills, CERA will only compensate 50% of the 2007 GV on the basis that the land wasn't insured.  You cannot insure land in NZ and virtually all of the 100 families involved own other land with houses on that are insured.  Please sign this petition in support for red zoned properties on the Port Hills and pass it on if you wish.

20 August Update

Not happy with your recent land zoning decisions (still white or just gone Red)? Join a group!

Simon Langer has put together a group of either white or red zone Port Hills residents wanting to go Green with mitigation. He is working in with other groups from Heathcote, Lyttleton and Avoca Valley. If you wish to be part of this email Simon on  thelangers@xtra.co.nz  

2 August Update

Join the following groups coordinated by the following people:

20 July Update

CERA are planning a one off HUB in Sumner for anyone effected by the 29th June Zoning Decision. This will be a similar situation to the meetings earlier this month, where stations are set up around the hall. These stations will be manned by industry experts that can address your questions. Residents will be able to come along to Old Sumner School Hall on Wednesday 1 August any time between 3.30pm – 7.00pm to speak with these representatives. There will no presentation, just dialogue.

They plan to have representatives from the following agencies available:
CERA  -  CCC  -  EQC  -  CETAS  -  Insurance Companies  -  Community Law  -  SCIRT  -  Geotechnical experts with localised knowledge. They hope that this HUB approach best serves the information needs of your community.  

If you are unable to attend on Wednesday 1 August, there is an opportunity to talk face to face with a CERA representative for advice and guidance, temporarily at the Beckenham Service Centre, 66 Colombo Street, between 1.00 – 5.00pm Tuesday 24th, Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th July; and at the Avondale Hub, 141 Breezes Road from Monday – Friday 10am - 6.30pm. 

Staff from Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS), Earthquake Commission (EQC), Community Law Canterbury, some insurance firms and CERA are present at the Centre. Not all agencies will be there at all times, so it is best to ring first to arrange an appointment, please call 0800 Ring CERA 0800 74642372.  

1 July Update by Simon Langer

Yesterdays announcement for the rezoning of the remaining white zone Port Hills residents will have brought relief for a lot, but left many confused and frustrated.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday announced 285 Port Hills properties at risk of or destroyed by cliff collapse, rockfall or land slip had been zoned red. Relief came for the owners of 1107 properties zoned green but answers for 166 requiring further assessment would not known before August 17.
After the announcement Karen Theobald and myself attended a debrief at the Beckenham Service Centre. Phil Clearwater chaired the meeting, amongst many there to name a few we had Roger Sutton, Michelle Mitchell, Jan Kupec, Mike Shatford, Di Keenan, Harley Thorpe plus three Relationship Managers, all from CERA, Ruth Dyson, Ethan Stetson, Yani Johannsen, Claudia Reed, Andrew Turner representing Lyttelton Residents plus many more from Community Boards and Council.
Roger Sutton kicked off saying they really wanted to get to everyone and didn't want to leave the remaining white zone residents in limbo however no engineer was willing to sign off the life risk on these homes at this stage. He feels for these people who are still living with uncertainty under extreme stress. The political process is hard to get past, not that it is that sophisticated. He said people are suspicious of remediation.
We asked if Cabinet where given a choice to decide between options A or B, or white, which was confirmed hence the areas zoned white being left so 'they can understand it better'. The decision on these areas is left with the  decision makers, being the Ministers, who will now ask for more information, the geotechs are now two steps back in this process.
The alternative to the white zone announcement would have been going red which may not have pleased everyone.
It is planned that there will be a series of public meetings starting from this Monday in the new Sumner School Hall, followed by three more over the following nights in various other locations. Roger Sutton will speak, along with Bruce Emerson from EQC, Ethan Stetson, plus there will be a large number of Geotechs who will be available to give transparent information on the issues confronting your property. It was mentioned that Bob Parker and Tony Marryott will also attend these meetings.
The zoning appeal process that Gerry Brownlee announced a fortnight ago still needs to be signed off in Cabinet.
There has been a letter sent out by CERA on our zoning which will have arrived in the letter boxes of those still using their home address. Those that moved and have changed address and have advised CERA of the new address can hope to have a letter today or Monday.
The CERA resilience teams have been out in the community calling on those most effected. This is to addresses effected by the zoning announcement, not to your rental address! Please phone CERA 0800RING CERA if you need any assistance or advice. They have the support of 72 non Government organisations behind them.
It was Gerry Brownlee's aim to keep as many people in their homes.

27 May 2012 Update by Simon Langer

Containers along Shag Rock Reserve (also known as Peacocks Gallop):

I asked Jan Kupec about the containers along Shag Rock Reserve (also known as Peacocks Gallop) as we had read in the Press that the reason for the additional fencing was because there was a concern that the containers may topple in another big event.  Jan explained that the top ones are tied to the bottom ones which each have 20 tonnes of ballast in them. They are designed to shuffle not fall.

Fight to stay in this Community:

Simon Langer  in conjunction with Phil Elmey  from Awaroa Lane have a email group called the Sumner Reds. They invite anyone who is Red Stickered on the Port Hills who wish to fight to stay in this Community to contact them thelangers@xtra.co.nz. The zoning announcement at the end of June can still go either way.  They say not to be complacent as once the zoning has been announced there will be no legal comeback. No matter how many letters you write to the Ombudsman, the Earthquake Ministers office or the Prime Minister' office no one will have the to question them. Now is the time to speak out. Please keep your email breif!

Skateboard ramp:

Can you also thank all those concerned who helped build the skateboard ramp. I would like to mention Michael Hill from Southshore Marine who donated the chain. Phil Elmey will know the other sponsors and helpers!

27 February 2012 Update

Last night I attended the first of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) white zone community meetings, supported by Christchurch City Council.  The aim of the meetings was to provide information to owners of properties in the Port Hills area that are zoned white. Please note everything written here is from my interpretation, so there maybe areas I have missed.  Presenting were: Roger Sutton CEO for CERA, Jan Kupec Head Geotech for CERA, Ivan Lafeta, Community Well Being - CERA, Ethan Stetson CCC  Attending: Ruth Dyson MP, Yani Johanson, CCC Councillor, Islay McLeod, Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board member   Terry O’Leary kindly chaired this meeting which was held in the New Sumner School Hall. In Terry’s opening, he cited there is a lot of frustration, economic issues, stress related illness and jobs on the line. CERA and CCC are working closer together.. Roger Sutton has taken a much greater interest in our situation.  Roger Sutton then spoke of the need for community well-being; we’ve all been through a lot. He appreciates that CERA have not communicated with us well till now. He then discussed the organisations roles and responsibilities:  

  • CCC apply and manage the S124a’s and co-ordinate the emergency works on roading and infrastructure
  • CERA responsibility is the co-ordinating and leading the recovery.  Also responsible for Port Hills Zoning decisions  
  • EQC and Insurance Companies handle all insurance related issues.
  • Cabinet make the final decisions, and do not want to make decisions they will regret. 

Roger said they will be working through the white zoning as information comes to hand, preferably by the end of June. He hopes a lot of properties will go green. What will happen by the end of June is some of you will still not know whether you can return home. Those that are in an extreme situation (unacceptable life risk) should be offered a compensation package (policy yet to be written). Others will not be able to return home till remediation work is completed unless temporary measures are utilised. It is also unsure who will pay for the remediation work (cabinet must decide this). Why is it taking so long? It’s a big geographical area, June set things back, largest earthquake zone ever in the world, they want to get it right, their decisions need to stand the test of time.What is considered a reasonable time frame before we know our fates? June 2012 is when most will know, some maybe before.   Why can’t we see the GNS reports? They are not finished, they keep evolving. If the they fall into the wrong hands such as insurance companies there could be far reaching issues for us all down the track.Which houses are priority? Possibly the elderly, but definitely those who cannot live in their own homes. There is no current policy written (yet) for compensation should vacant land be zoned ‘retreat’. We now have greater support from CERA.  Ivan Lafeta who looks after community well-being for CERA talked of financial assistance and information. There is a Port Hills page on their website. Also there is an office within the Avondale Golf Course where you will find representatives from CERA, CCC, EQC and various insurance companies. Phone first as the insurance companies aren’t there everyday. Jan Kupec, then spoke with the help of visual images of the CERA 3D modelling software package. Monday evenings meeting was on rock fall only, versus cliff collapse or land slide. The GNS reports on cliff collapse or land slide have yet to be received by Council/CERA. CCC had commissioned GNS to do a life risk analysis so they are now combining this with the ground truthing  to assess the social and community impact. The first slide was a bird’s eye view of Clifton showing the cracking back from the cliff.  He then showed a proof of a Pilot Study down on Wakefield Ave. They chose Wakefield Ave as it has a lot of variables that some up the Port Hills in one small area. The imagery takes in account of rock type, size and shape. It then shows then the variables of bounce, projection, run out, impact energy, etc so they can determine the risk on a suburb, the cost and time frame for remediation. From the data gathered so far it is estimated in some areas of the Pilot Study a 3-4 m high fence will be needed. Other areas would receive bunds. The photo’s Jan displayed were from his recent trip to Europe-they included earth bunds (a bit like we see on main roads to cut down noise for subdivisions). Capital costs plus on-going maintenance of fences/bunds need to be considered. Ethan Stetson advised you will need a consent for most works such as a complete re line (e.g. gib board) due to bracing issues within a home. Even if your home/section is white zoned you can still get a consent. Most consents are being processed in 20 days. When asked ‘we were told we would be hearing the results of the ground truthing by now’ Jan cited the need for the councils geotechs to travel to Nelson to assist with the s124 process for their pre-Christmas floods.  The 23 December events and the need to give the PH geotechs a few days, leave added up to the total 4 week delay. It will now be the end of March before the ground truthing is finished. There were then question and answers from the floor. It was a good meeting, but probably just a month too early based on what will be gathered by then.There is the reassurance though that there is a focus now on the Port Hills. Lets work together as a community and find way ways to help CERA and CCC get us the answers we are all waiting for.  Please feel free to comment on what I have written. I ‘m a red stickered white zoner who thinks they have got our situation wrong! There are four other meetings, of which you may attend any.  Go to  www.cera.govt.nz  and look on the Port Hills Page for dates and locations.  All meetings are from 6-8pm.

Update 17 Oct

The first Port Hills Street level meeting was held at Redcliffs on Thursday 13th October at Taupata street in Redcliffs.

It was well attended by about 40 residents.  The meeting was adressed by Doctor Mark Yetton Geotechnical Engineer and Ethan Stetson EQ building support services manager for CCC.Mark Yetton gave a presentation to the residents outdoors under the rocks(but in a safe place).  He was able to go into some detail regarding the geology and possible solutions for the problems that exist locally. He answered specific questions from residents.Ethan Stetson described the process of assessment which is still going on in the Port Hills.  First the science, which is then presented to Council who make sense of it and decide along with CERA and central Government how best to address remediation and retreat issues. The time scale is not known on how long this process will take. It will not be quick given that the scientific analysis is still underway. Ethan also answered specific questions from residents. He also disclosed that it is hoped that half of the current white zoned area can be declared green by Christmas.Residents were asked by Ethan if they were happy with the meeting and if they found it useful.The answer was an overwhelming yes.  Residents were also asked privately by Ruth Dyson MP if they were happy . They responded in the affirmative.Its early days with this programme. Two experienced council employees have been appointed to action the communications around this process and they will be getting in touch with you in the near future. Email philippa.upton@ccc.govt.nz if your group has significant red sticker/section 124  issues and is ready to roll.They anticipate running a couple of meetings a week once everything is up and running.  They will prioritise meetings with the most badly affected (red stickered/section 124s being prioritised).Thanks again to Sue Stubenvoll for her help and support.  She has passed on her observations and residents suggestions for improvements to the meeting process.  Just a personal note...I have spent much of the first week of the school holidays working on this and it looks like some of next week will be taken up too. I don't mind but if you are emailing me/phoning me please bear in mind that we are in the middle of a disaster zone and we are not going to make things perfect any time soon.  Also when dealing with officials best results come from a diplomatic approach.  Bear in mind that you are talking to a person.  This is not just good manners it leads to better results as the person is not afraid to deal with you again in the future. Remember to ask for names and record the time and date and details of the conversation. And no, you don't have to smile all the time. This situation is bloody stressful. Most of you know this already!

Update 26 Sep by Terry O'Leary

Following consultation with Roger Sutton and CERA Port Hills representatives are meeting with CCC and geotechnical engineers on Wednesday 28 Sept to formulate an improved system of communication.The idea is to put in place a process whereby groups of residents will be able to meet engineers and council officials face to face on a regular basis. We will be reporting fully on this as soon as it happens.