26 May - Port Hills Update
26 May Update
Port Hills mass movement reports – update
The Council was hoping to release GNS Science’s Stage Two and Three Mass Movement Reports in April. The reports will look further into Class I mass movement areas in the Port Hills to understand more about the mass movement hazard and determine the risk it poses to people.
Blasting at Gondola Bluffs East
Source rock risk mitigation work continues at the Gondola Bluffs (East) site above the Summit Road, in the Mount Pleasant Scenic Reserve. This work is addressing the most imminent risks from the bluffs to recreation users in this area. It involves the use of rock drilling equipment, explosives and the scaling of loose rock, so some residual noise can be heard in the area.
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Please note that the area of Summit Road (in the map above right) is within the CERA S46 road closure zone and is currently closed to the public. The road will remain closed for the duration of these works, as is Scott’s Valley Track, which remains closed since the February earthquake. There is no public access due to the multiple hazards that are present on this site.|
If you have any queries about this work, please contact the Council’s Customer Call Centre on phone 941 8999 or email email@example.com
Over the past week CERA has received several questions about the clearance of Crown-owned properties in the Port Hills. As well as sharing the questions and the answers here in this newsletter CERA are looking at Facebook chats and can arrange public meetings if the interest is there.
Why are the Crown-owned property clearances in the Port Hills taking so long?
Can the nice things inside the homes be saved?
Why can’t the insurance companies work together to speed demolition up?
When will Crown-owned properties on Richmond Hill be cleared?
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed today’s announcement of a community participation process to gather ideas about future use of the region’s residential red zones.
In total more than 7300 flat land properties in Christchurch and Kaiapoi were zoned red due to the degree of land damage caused by the earthquakes. Eligible property owners in the Port Hills have to 31 August 2014 to accept the voluntary Crown offer.
With over half of the homes in the flat land red zone already cleared, and the vast majority of former homeowners accepting a Crown offer and moving from the area, Mr Brownlee says the time is right to start discussing how the land might be used in the future.
“This land is severely damaged, but that does not mean we cannot use it in other ways, and we’re talking about an area around four times the size of Hagley Park just on the flat land red zones alone, so the possibilities are numerous.
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today that once infrastructure requirements are decided, I will work with the Mayors of Christchurch and Waimakariri, Ngāi Tahu, and other relevant agencies and organisations, to design processes for wider community participation in determining the future of this land.
“There are a number of community groups which have already started thinking about potential future uses. I would expect that they would want to participate fully in this process.”
Mr Brownlee says before the participation process starts, infrastructure issues, like road layout, existing drinking water, waste water and sewerage pipes, will have to be dealt with. Those matters will be determined by CERA and council engineers in the coming months.
“It is important that communities in both Christchurch and Kaiapoi are engaged in a meaningful process to guide future development of this land.
“I would hope to be able to announce more details about the process towards the middle of the year.”
8 MARCH 2014 UPDATE
Updates by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. T: 0800 7464 2372 W: www.cera.govt.nz
To check a property’s zone visit http://cera.govt.nz/maps/port-hills-land-zone-map/
10 June 2013 Update
The Crown offer expiry date for property owners in the Port Hills residential red zone has been extended. This extension will now give Port Hills property owners until 31 January 2014 to accept the Crown's offer.
Work is continuing as quickly as possible on the zoning review for Port Hills properties and an announcement regarding the final zoning decisions is expected in the coming weeks.
Once the outcome of the zoning review has been finalised, CERA will attempt to contact all property owners affected by zoning changes individually. This will ensure as much as possible that you find out from CERA directly, before the media announcement is made.
A number of Port Hills property owners have contacted CERA and expressed their concern regarding the on-going delays to the zoning review and the reducing amount of time remaining before the Crown offer expires.
We sincerely apologise for the on-going delay but hope that the extension to the offer period will give you the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding any offer you receive from the Crown.
If you, your family or friends need support, the Canterbury Support Line offers free and confidential services. The helpline can help you with your questions, give information, and connect you with free counselling services or organisations that can offer you practical support, information or advice. You can also be connected with an Earthquake Support Coordinator by calling 0800 777 846.
In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns please contact us at 0800 7464 2372 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CERA Communications, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), Private Bag 4999 Christchurch 8140
17 May 2013 Update
Re (property address)
I am aware that there are some property owners who are concerned that they will not be able to meet their selected settlement date.
For this reason we are hosting workshops for residential red zone property owners to discuss their concerns and possible solutions which may include working with other agencies.
The workshops are for property owners who have agreed to sell their property to the Crown but are yet to settle, and for those who have not yet accepted a Crown offer and would like to learn more about the offer process.
The workshops are being held on Monday 20 May at 1pm or 6..30pm and Wednesday 22 May at 1pm or 6.30pm. Please call 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) to register to attend. Registration is essential.
If you are unable to attend one of the workshops and you are concerned that you many not be able to meet your settelment date, you can call 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) to discuss your concerns with us.
15 May 2013 Update
Residential Advisory Service going live
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Residential Advisory Service available from tomorrow to all property owners having difficulty with insurance and other repair or rebuilding challenges will play an important role in recovery.
“We know some people are struggling through complex issues and we believe the Residential Advisory Service is the best way to navigate their way through them and achieve positive resolution,” Mr Brownlee says.
“This service has been designed using real case studies and consulted on extensively with community groups, insurers and the legal fraternity to deliver results..
“It will work by linking residents with the correct people for their particular issue, ensuring those needing help are given detailed, specific advice and guidance by independent advisors.”
Mr Brownlee says he expects some cases will be simpler than others, but the service will offer everything from straightforward advice on exactly who residents need to speak to, to independently facilitated multi-party meetings.
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel and cut across the options that already exist through the office of the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman, legal and organisation-specific resolution services.
“But the Residential Advisory Service will play a key role in helping people find their way through their issues.
“Obviously a key party in this process is the insurers – both EQC and private insurance companies.
“Insurers have helped design the service, and are helping resource the service, and I hope all insurers understand the importance of properly and positively engaging in the process of resolving property owners’ issues.
“Because this event unfolded over a long period it’s understandable that complex issues have arisen, especially around liability, but insurers need to be solutions focused and have a heightened awareness of the physical and mental harm caused by delays.
“Frankly, some Cantabrians have gone too long living in uncomfortable, and in some cases unhealthy houses, and it’s time to put that right as quickly as possible,” Mr Brownlee says.
The Residential Advisory Service will be available from tomorrow at 8am. Call centre staff will immediately begin setting up appointments with independent advisors. Meetings will be held in various locations across Canterbury to make access as easy as possible for residents. More information can be found at www.advisory.org.nz
Media contact: Nick Bryant 021 245 8272
Questions and answers
What’s the free calling number?
0800 777 299
What hours will the call centre operate?
8am to 5pm
When will meetings with independent advisors begin occurring?
Cases will be triaged by the call centre and placed with advisors based on the specific nature of issues, with the first advisor/property owner meetings beginning on Monday 20 May.
Where will meetings take place?
The Residential Advisory Service has secured space in 15 locations around greater Christchurch so meetings can occur in convenient places for property owners.
Who are the independent advisors?
They’re professional people working in the field in greater Christchurch across the areas of engineering, building, geo-technical expertise, real estate and insurance.
Residential red zone demolition full steam ahead
Clearances of Crown-owned residential red zone properties have picked up the pace with 2074 now completed and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority on target to complete 3000 demolitions by the end of September, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
“With 6059 properties in the red zone now sold to the Crown, work is now progressing more quickly,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Over the past 18 months our focus has been firmly on letting red zoned residents make decisions about the Crown offer.
“We can now put more effort into speeding up the clearance process.
“It’s important these areas are made safe, kept tidy and are maintained until a future use of the wider red zone is decided.
“With so many purchases and insurance assessments complete we now have large areas of activity,” Mr Brownlee says.
Two such areas in New Brighton and Dallington are currently going through different stages of area-wide clearance – one with demolitions getting underway and the other with most of the houses cleared and grass-planting about to begin.
On opposite sides of New Brighton Road, 65 properties will be demolished providing an area of almost 50,000 m sq that will be fenced and grassed, similar to a trial completed in Kaiapoi over the summer.
“Planting will begin in early June and will be completed by the end of the month,” Mr Brownlee says.
An area in nearby Dallington, where 18 properties have already been demolished, is having superfluous vegetation removed, fences erected and grass planted by early June.
Mr Brownlee says the work is another indication of how far Christchurch and its residents have come since the devastating earthquakes.
“Sometimes it’s worth taking a minute to stop and think about the scale of this, and the unprecedented work we have collectively done to enable this community to move on.
“This has been a lot more difficult for some than for others, but the main thing is that we keep moving towards a better and safer future.”
Southern Response making good progress
Data for April has shown that in its first year of operation Southern Response, the government-owned company settling AMI policyholders’ Canterbury earthquake damage claims, has completed a third of the claims in its book.
“Had AMI collapsed it could have severely impacted on the lives of thousands of Canterbury families, leaving them with broken homes and uncertainty over getting them repaired or rebuilt,” Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
“Today we are seeing strong progress in closing claims and rebuilding homes and Southern Response is ramping up its rate of settlement and exploring ways to deliver new houses, faster.”
Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd is the government-owned company responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders for Canterbury earthquake damage that occurred before 5 April 2012, when AMI’s ongoing business was sold to IAG.
Southern Response covers around a third of all major residential earthquake claimants from the Canterbury earthquakes sequence.
Mr Brownlee says it was the Government's judgement that supporting AMI gave certainty to policyholders that their claims would be covered.
Southern Response is handling claims for 6786 earthquake damaged homes and 21,960 properties with earthquake damage to drives, paths, fences, pools etc – which combined with contents, temporary accommodation and loss of rent claims, have a total liability of $2.2 billion.
Reinsurance contracts, AMI’s investment portfolio and the sale of the AMI brand cover $1.9 billion, leaving the Crown with an expected cost of $300 million.
“The Government provided stability to the insurance market at a time it was under stress,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Cover was also maintained for those outside Canterbury and we avoided putting the taxpayer’s money at risk by setting up a state run insurer.”
Southern Response has targeted December 2016 for the completion of its final claim. For more information visit www.southernresponse.co.nz/progress/
Nick Bryant | Press Secretary
Office of Hon Gerry Brownlee
MP for Ilam
Leader of the House
Minister of Transport
Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission
L7.4 The Beehive | Wellington | New Zealand
DDI: +64 4 817 8273 | Cell: +64 21 245 8272
20 Mar 2013 Update
Message from Dr Rob Gordon " more stress to come for quake victims ".
Clinical psychologist Dr Rob Gordon talks of how Cantabrians are set to face the toughest year yet.
5 March 2013 Update
CERA Chief Executive update – 4 March 2013
We have established a set of priorities for CERA in 2013 around the rebuild and recovery of greater Christchurch.
The first is about building and maintaining confidence locally, nationally and internationally in the rebuild and recovery, particularly through our recovery programmes and plans. We are working closely with Ngäi Tahu, government departments, local government, NGOs and the community to coordinate action on the 26 programmes we are developing and leadership around these. And we have to monitor and report on the progress of this recovery.
We want this to be a community-led recovery so another major priority is assisting our communities in their ability to manage. CERA has engaged 24/7 security patrols for the residential red zone and part of their role is to keep in touch with residents still living there to provide some reassurance.
CERA and others have brought in neighbourhood self-help expert Jim Diers for workshops attended by more than 500 people. We have also helped Red Cross bring Australian clinical psychologist Dr Rob Gordon to talk about the trauma of dealing with disasters.
We are encouraging and supporting the youth sector and community organisations and we have supported more than 40 Summer of Fun community events. We’re involved in planning around community facilities and funding community activities.
The remaining priority is about ensuring the timely repair and rebuilding of our residential areas. This involves managing the residential red zone process and clearing these areas. It also involves ensuring adequate land supply, and housing. We are seeing real progress in the suburbs.
We’ve worked hard on communication with the community, with the likes of meetings for residents and multi-disciplinary workshops.
CERA works closely with insurers and EQC on the progress of claim settlements and resolving any remaining blockages. We’re also working with industry to encourage private sector innovation like the Firth-designed “Rib-Raft” foundation systems that can be used in TC3 areas.
Finishing the demolitions in the Christchurch Central Rebuild Zone and beginning the construction phase is well underway. We hope to see the cordon gone by the middle of this year.
And of course, the Anchor Projects are a particularly exciting part of this progress – for instance the Avon River Precinct is an amazing opportunity to develop a 3.2km riverside area which will straddle both sides of the river from Christchurch Hospital to the eastern edge of the central city (Fitzgerald Avenue).
Submissions on the draft Accessible City – Transport Chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan closed on 1 February and there were 170 online submissions and more than 100 written submissions received. These are now being analysed.
CERA is also working on the funding required for this rebuild and the investment opportunities that it creates.
We want this city to be an interesting place to live in and interact with during the rebuild, not just when it has happened. There is a lot of work happening around beautifying the city, providing places for people to visit and use.
I will report back to you regularly. Watch this space!
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
21 Feb 2013 Update
The chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority Roger Sutton, says the team reviewing the Port Hills land zoning is making steady progress, but will not have the work completed by the end of February as hoped.
Mr Sutton says the outcome of the review was initially delayed over the Christmas break with an expectation that it would be finalised by the end of this month.
However the work is still ongoing and won’t be delivered to Cabinet to make recommendations on next week.
“I personally called some of these residents before Christmas to let them know the process was not going to be completed on time, and they were very understanding. No-one – not the residents, or the review team – want the outcome to be anything other than correct.”
“I am disappointed that we have to delay this outcome once again, but the rationale remains. If we did a half-baked job, we’d all be unhappy about that too. We are still some weeks away from finalising the work.”
Mr Sutton says the review takes into consideration the applications from over 100 Port Hills’ property owners, but as with the flat land, also considers other boundary properties.
“It is important that all property owners in the Port Hills who are near the zone boundaries be aware that the review is looking at the entire area.”
He says owners of any property affected in the review will be contacted personally before any public announcement on the process is made.
Enquiries to CERA Media Team 03 3542627 or email@example.com
17 Dec Update
Residential red zone settlement date extended.
A three month extension to the final settlement date for a small group of residential red zone property owners will ease a number of pressures they are facing, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
The extension will apply to those property owners who under initial rules would have needed to settle with the Crown and vacate the red zone by 30 April 2013.
They will now be able to nominate a new settlement date up until 31 July 2013.
Mr Brownlee says the extension will help red zone property owners who have struck logistical difficulties in exiting their properties.
“It is important to note this does not mean the timeframe has changed for accepting the Crown offer, only the date to settle with the Crown and vacate.
“So far 6391 red zoned property owners have signed sale and purchase agreements, and of those 5212 have already settled with the Crown.
“In numerous residential red zone blocks we now have only one or two houses left in private ownership, so it is very clear the vast majority of people have moved swiftly to leave the worst damaged land and get on with their lives,” Mr Brownlee says.
“The aim of this extension is to help those who are finding themselves in difficult situations beyond their control.”
Mr Brownlee says any further extensions are unlikely as the red zone land must be cleared of residential occupation because it cannot easily sustain critical infrastructure.
Property owners who have already nominated a settlement date but who need to change it to a date closer to 31 July 2013 will need to contact their lawyers once the Christmas break is over to arrange an extension.
This settlement extension does not apply to Southshore and South New Brighton or Port Hills property owners, for whom a different process currently applies.
26 Oct Update
CERA commissioned Geovert Ltd to carry out this study and it was used alongside other investigations and work commissioned by the Christchurch City Council to help to give Cabinet the best advice for zoning decisions on the Port Hills, on land affected by rockfall and boulder roll.
The study is available at: http://cera.govt.nz/port-hills-3d-rockfall-modelling-report
Message from Roger Sutton
CERA Chief Executive update – 25 October 2012
Lonely Planet has just announced that Christchurch is number six on its list of ‘Top 10 Cities for 2013’, describing us as ‘rising from the rubble…with a breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair’. What great publicity for the city!
It’s great to see that all the positive work we are doing here is so prominent on the international stage.
As well as being noticed by one of the world’s leading travel guides, we’re also about to host His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. They want to meet survivors and hear how people are doing. Obviously wherever the Royals go, an entourage of media follow. This is a chance to tell the world that we’re on the road to recovery, we’re open for business and we would love people to come and visit to find out for themselves.
CERA is doing a resilience check with our online Wellbeing Survey (http://survey.acnielsenonline.com/wix1/p1597301740.aspx). This is an opportunity to help us get a picture of what is going on in Greater Christchurch by having your say about how you think the recovery is progressing and how it is affecting you. We’ve spoken to more than 4,600 people at 21 public meetings held in some of the areas that suffered most damage around Greater Christchurch. The meetings gave residents the chance to have some really difficult questions about rebuilding and insurance answered by us here at CERA and our colleagues at EQC, the insurance companies, The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s Building & Housing department, and local councils. People have been really patient in very difficult situations. Overall, I think most people appreciated the chance to talk directly to the different agencies and were overwhelmingly positive about the meetings. We are still keen to hear your feedback, which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org
The infrastructure rebuild is nearly up to full speed. The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) aims to be doing $40 million worth of infrastructure work every month; it’s now at $38 million.
The residential rebuild appears to be gearing up too. The Canterbury rebuild is credited with contributing to a South Island economy growing at 3.3%, the greatest pace of growth seen in eight years. In August, Canterbury had 394 new dwellings consented with a value of $123 million. This is the highest number nationally and the first month in which Canterbury's value exceeded Auckland's ($118 million) since the series began in April 1990.
I know that many of you have been worried about insurance cover. We’ve been working closely with insurance companies because it’s so important that we can ensure our people can get insurance. I was really pleased to see the recent announcements by many of the major banks and insurance companies that as well as maintaining existing insurance cover for most areas of Greater Christchurch, new insurance cover packages are now being offered for both residential properties and the construction of new commercial facilities.
We’ve just had a long Labour Weekend which was mostly kind in terms of weather, with lots on in the city and surrounding districts. Thousands turned out for the opening of the Festa Transitional Architecture Festival, the Spring River Festival’s events and for a bite at the Great West Coast Whitebait Festival.
We’re all in the mood for something fun. The next few weeks will bring us the Student Volunteer Army’s ‘The Concert’, Guy Fawkes celebrations around the region, Hororata Highland Games, New Zealand Cup & Show Week (the Royal couple are planning to attend the 150th Canterbury A & P Show), and later in November the Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park.
These are great opportunities to lift our spirits and I’d urge you to get out there and enjoy the moments!
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
19 Oct Update
Port Hills property owners have until 26 October to request that their zoning is reviewed, with the exception of eight Lucas Lane property owners who are yet to have their zoning confirmed.
Details of the review process are available on CERA’s website at: http://cera.govt.nz/zoning-review/port-hills
If you would like to submit documents to CERA to be considered in the review, in addition to comments provided in the application form, you are very welcome to do this. If you have any documentation that you would like to submit in addition to this application form, there are two options:
Send electronic documents to CERA through email@example.com
Mail printed documents to CERA with the following address:
Port Hills Zoning Review
C/O Contact Centre
Private Bag 4999
Christchurch City Council and CERA have already commissioned a significant amount of geotechnical data. One member of the Advisory Panel carrying out the review will be an independent geotechnical expert, and the Panel will have access to CERA, CCC, Port Hills Geotechnical Group and GNS experts, and can itself commission further work.
If you have any questions with regard to the zoning review process, you may find it helpful to refer to our FAQ sheet (link). Otherwise, please contact CERA at 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372).
We acknowledge that zoning decisions mean that households have important decisions to make about their future that they would not have anticipated prior to the Canterbury earthquakes and subsequent zoning decisions. Given the complexity of some of the issues people are facing and the importance of making informed decisions many people have found it helpful to have support to navigate through the various processes and services. The Earthquake Support Coordinator Service provides support that is available to those who need it.
An Earthquake Support Coordinator can work with you to provide the information and practical support you need to progress forward. Earthquake Support Coordinators are currently working with many people in the Port Hills to support them with issues such as accommodation assistance, financial assistance, support for the wellbeing of your family and information to access services such as legal, EQC and insurance etc. If you would like to access this free and confidential service please call 0800 777 846.
15 Oct Update
Greater Christchurch residents can now go online and share their post-earthquake experiences and perceptions in a survey that will help guide CERA and its partner agencies in their work.
9 Oct 2012 Update
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the parameters of the review of Port Hills land zoning.
As with the flat land, this review will look at the boundaries used to identify residential red and green zones. In the Port Hills zone boundaries have been drawn up to separate areas where life risk is assessed as above or below acceptable levels.
Red zones have been declared where the level of life risk is considered unacceptable based on GNS modelling, and where area wide mitigation is not considered practical for a range of reasons.
This review applies to land that was at any stage zoned white. It does not review the Section 124 notices applied to properties by the Christchurch City Council, or any individual mitigation options.
Decisions in regard to individual mitigation and section 124 notices are controlled by the Christchurch City Council as the consent authority, and all queries with regard to these scenarios should be directed to council.
Property owners will have until 26 October to apply to be part of the review, with the exception of eight Lucas Lane property owners who have yet to have their zones confirmed.
As with the flat land review, the Port Hills’ zoning review panel will be chaired by Dr Keith Turner. It will include public policy and legal experts from CERA, along with an independent geotechnical engineer who has had no involvement in previous zoning decisions. The Christchurch City Council will also have a representative on the panel. The review will be completed in December.
Property owners seeking to be part of the review should apply by
- using our online Port Hills zone review form or
- emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or
- calling 0800 RING CERA.
31 August Update
- Our land
- The Build
- Our City
We’re now just a few days shy of the second anniversary of the first earthquake, when we were so lucky that no one was killed.
I want to provide you with an overview of the recovery process to date and the significant progress that we are making.
But first, I want to thank the rest of New Zealand for the incredible level of support and assistance that the Canterbury region has received over the last two years. From all ends of the country, New Zealanders came to our aid and continue to support us.
And we can all be proud of what we have achieved to recover from this adversity. Everyone has had to make sacrifices, to do things differently and to cope with the strain that these events have caused.
The shared experience since then has come to define the lives of this generation of Cantabrians.
Our challenge is that, in five years’ time, the event that by then defines the lives of this generation of Cantabrians is not so much the earthquakes, but being part of the recreation of the magnificent new Christchurch.
Out of the tragedy comes the opportunity to create the best small city in the world, and there are extraordinary opportunities for anyone who wants to be part of it.
I’d like to consider for a moment how we have got to this point where we can plan to take Christchurch forward.
More than 10,000 earthquakes and aftershocks have been felt in this region since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit early on 4 September 2010.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 22 February 2011 killed 185 people, injured 11,432 and caused widespread building and infrastructure damage. The impact of these earthquakes and further damage caused by events in June and December last year has been internationally unique. Every part of the Canterbury community has been affected.
Following the February 2011 quake it was clear that a timely, focused and expedited recovery process was required. The Government, with broad political support passed legislation – Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 - to ensure we could step in when required to remove barriers to reconstruction.
And we established a dedicated government agency in Christchurch, for Christchurch – the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) - to provide leadership, quick action on urgent priorities and coordinate the recovery efforts of local authorities, businesses and the wider community.
The key task of CERA has been to restore confidence in our physical environment. For householders with broken or destroyed homes, rebuilding their homes has been their key priority.
It has been a big task, but we have now re-zoned almost 190,000 throughout the city and in the CBD. It is an extraordinary achievement. This process has been difficult, requiring the careful consideration of the capacity of the land to be safely rebuilt on. The zoning has restored confidence that we can rebuild Christchurch and restore our homes and neighbourhoods with some comfort, and know that if we had a similar quake in the future, it would not cause the same level of devastation.
And the latest predictions by GNS can give us comfort that the seismicity is abating. Their long term forecast is that in the coming month the probability of a 5.5 to 5.9 shake has declined to 4%. In the coming year, there is a 32% probability in that category. Considering we have had 58 quakes in excess of 5 on the Richter scale, it is a vast improvement and gives us hope that the land will settle.
Those ongoing shakes have been a barrier to obtaining new insurance cover for rebuild projects. I was heartened to read comments on Wednesday by Vero CEO Gary Dransfield that not only will they continue to insure commercial and domestic properties in Christchurch; they are also planning to widen their appetite for risk, beyond existing customers.
Recently major Australian insurer QBE has said that premiums should begin stabilising in the Australasian market, following the rises imposed after the sequence of natural disasters in our region. Affordable insurance cover will be important as our population begins to expand and the reconstruction gathers pace.
Insurers have a far greater understanding of the land we are building on in Christchurch. In addition to the GNS Science work, we have had a comprehensive assessment of the land led by Tonkin and Taylor. I believe we have a better scientific understanding of land than any other place in the world.
In considering that information, we have come to understand that some of our neighbourhoods and suburbs were built on land which is now unfit for further residential occupation. Bluntly, it wasn’t a smart idea to build on that land. The Government considered that we needed to give back to the people in those worst affected suburbs, the choice to rebuild their lives on safe ground.
This led to the voluntary Crown Offer, which was designed to be fair and recognise the value of those properties prior to the earthquakes. This process has seen 7779 properties zoned Red. The Crown Offer has cost the Crown over $915 million to date.
It has been a tremendous success. Today, 5834, or three quarters, have already signed a sale and purchase agreement. 4545, or nearly 60%, have already settled with the Crown.
We are now working to provide an offer for commercial, vacant and uninsured land owners in the residential red zone. Details of that offer will be advised in coming weeks.
For those in the Green Zone, we have signalled that this land can be rebuilt on and homes can be repaired.
The restoration of damaged homes will be largely funded and completed by the EQC. The appointment of Fletcher Construction to develop a project management office was designed to ensure that Cantabrians would receive high quality repairs. Future generations will be able occupy the housing stock knowing that we didn’t cut corners to get those houses repaired. That programme has repaired over 21,500 homes.
The EQC has received 414,148 building claims and 93,337 land claims. They have paid out in excess of $3.3 billion dollars.
Having the EQC cover has meant that through the multiple seismic events, insurance cover has been maintained for existing homes. Our high level of insurance penetration means that the economic burden of the recovery is well funded, largely by offshore reinsurers.
Insurers have been making progress with claim processing for the worst damaged homes. Southern Response, which the Crown has taken over, assuming the earthquake insurance claims from AMI, has completed detailed assessments for 96% of their “over-cap” claims, and customers have been provided with their options and a decision pack for 72% of these claims. Most of the remainder are subject to joint review with EQC as to “repair methodology” differences. These are progressing well with significant resources from both parties involved in resolution.
Vero said this week they are pushing ahead with the start of rebuilds and all Vero domestic customers will have timeframes for their rebuilds or repairs by the end of September.
My officials, insurers and the EQC are working tirelessly to expedite these claims.
Regardless of when insurance is paid, the green-zone residents in the most difficult position are the TC3 owners, who represent around 14% of all the homeowners in the city. CERA is conducting more than 20 public meetings with the 27,000 homeowners in that category to build understanding and knowledge.
TC3 is a performance standard which will ensure that in the event of a major quake, the house will perform as well as a house on TC1 land. This requires stronger foundations to handle the challenges of the land. This is not new to Christchurch but has become more prominent. As an apprentice carpenter many years ago, we quite often put in 8 metre piles in many Christchurch suburbs, some complained back then. But now as a minister, I have to make sure what we do is fair and safe – not just immediately but for the future. Time taken now will protect equity and encourage confidence.
Like Indonesia, China, Japan, California, Mexico and Chile, our country lies on a fault. In the next 100, 200 or 300 years, there could be another major earthquake in Canterbury, just as there could be in Tokyo, San Francisco and Santiago. When that happens, the new homes this generation of Cantabrians build must perform well for our great-grandchildren and beyond.
The residential rebuild is about restoring our lives and the places we live. How and where we work, has also been changed. In the CBD and suburbs, 1600 buildings needed to be partially or completely demolished. Already, over 80% of that job is done. That process has meant that we are not stuck with a dangerous dead zone at the heart of our city.
An ambitious deadline was set to reduce the CBD red zone cordon. In February 2011 the cordon around the four avenues enclosed an area of 387 hectares. Today, this area has reduced to 49 hectares. You will have noticed the increased access to the CBD. We aim to have the city fully open by the middle of next year. By the end of this year, we will see the New Zealand Defence Force off the cordon, returning to their barracks. They’ve done a fantastic job.
I would like to think that the City Red Zone will no longer be “red” meaning danger – it will be “red” because of the high energy activity and building going on there.
We can plan a better and brighter future. The rebuild is gaining momentum. Nearly $1 billion worth of building consents were approved in Canterbury in the first half of 2012, while the amount of ready mixed concrete produced in the Christchurch metropolitan area has more than doubled since March 2011, to 112 thousand cubic metres. Over the same period, the amount of concrete produced in Auckland actually decreased and in Wellington it stayed roughly the same.
As I said at the outset, the challenge I make to you this morning is to ensure in five years’ time, the event that defines the lives of this generation of Cantabrians is no longer the earthquakes, but being part of the recreation of the magnificent new Christchurch.
We have to make it exceptional – we have to have both public and private sectors – focused on creating only the best of facilities.
To be blunt about it, New Zealand has something of a record of doing things a bit half-arsed.
Auckland opened the Harbour Bridge as a four-lane bridge in 1959, but they forgot that would mean more people would want to live on their North Shore. Just 10 years later, they had to make it an eight-lane bridge with the so-called Nippon clip-ons.
Aucklanders didn’t learn from that. In the 1970s and 80s, they took eight years to build a pretty average bridge across their other harbour, to their airport. When they did finish it in 1983, it was soon obvious it was too small, and in the 2000s its capacity also had to be doubled.
In Wellington, money was saved by scrapping the two, two laned tunnels at the end of the motorway, in favour of the three-lane Terrace Tunnel, which was out of date as soon as it was opened. Every morning, cars queue to get through.
The Parliament Building was never completed and when they came to do that in the 70’s they put up a rather dysfunctional round building, which wins awards for being ugly.
I am determined that this is not how we are going to recreate Christchurch.
The policy has to be that everything we decide to do in Christchurch is going to be the best. What’s more, we need to do it quickly and – to use the jargon – it must be future-proofed. And will benefit New Zealand as a whole. We have the opportunity to now make it happen.
Partly as a result of the shared experience over the last two years, I think that people in Christchurch and Canterbury have a new respect for one another, and an easy-goingness and tolerance that wasn’t always here before. We must hold on to that.
We’ve had our scraps and bitter words, of course. We’ve been under pressure but it’s made us stronger.
Despite misgivings by some, there is now a unity around the future of Christchurch that I doubt any other city, anywhere in New Zealand, has ever had in recent history.
The Recovery Strategy was released on 1 June 2012 to provide a vision, goals and a road map for ensuring the success of greater Christchurch. Hundreds of specific suggestions and feedback helped create the Recovery Strategy. The strategy shifts the emphasis of earthquake recovery from disaster response to implementing a shared vision and goals for the long term.
That strategy was developed with our strategic partners, the Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, Waimakariri District Council, ECan and Ngāi Tahu. All of those organisations share the commitment to make Canterbury anew.
The strategy outlines Government’s strong commitment to recovery and is helping to coordinate the efforts of all the organisations and individuals involved in the recreation of greater Christchurch. Implementation of the strategy is in full swing through 26 recovery programmes ranging from Economic Recovery to Cultural Heritage and Education Renewal.
In coming weeks and months, you can expect some exciting announcements as we outline the more specific plans which underpin our recovery strategy.
The Government is committed to rebuilding and restoring the services that it provides in our city. This will require new schools, health facilities, justice buildings to name a few. We need new roads, sewers and water pipes. The shopping list is long!
The cost of our new city is predicted to be $30 billion dollars, this is roughly predicted to be the size of our region’s entire GDP. But it will leave us a highly productive and exciting place to live. We can’t build all this overnight, but we must not delay.
Our level of investment will create an economic boom. According to the National Bank, Canterbury is already the fastest growing region in New Zealand. We also need to attract private investment and industry.
Money, people and ideas are pouring in. But, we need to develop an economy that is built on a fundamentally strong economic base. A good example is the new Fonterra plant that will open at the epicentre of the September 4 quake – Darfield – at the end of this year. Fonterra is investing $500 million and the plant will process 6.6 million litres of milk a day. This highlights the strength of the agricultural base of the Canterbury region.
That economic base is the primary reason why the Central City will be recreated as the CCDU Blueprint lays out. The business community which drives our economy have embraced that vision of a modern CBD which makes doing business easier. More Canterbury businesses want to be based in the new CBD than were based in the old. The people of Christchurch are equally unified around the Blueprint.
According to research used to inform CCDU’s investment strategy, 74% of Christchurch businesspeople, 56% of Christchurch residents and 52% of New Zealanders support the plan, with most others being neutral.
Nearly 80% of Christchurch businesspeople and 61% of Christchurch residents believe things in Christchurch are now heading in the right direction, higher than the benchmark of the 51% of New Zealanders who believe things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction.
Importantly, to get our plan underway and create jobs, 97% of Christchurch businesspeople plan to keep living in the city, and three-quarters of them believe this is a good time to invest.
But a real city will not feel like a business park. The Blueprint is designed to be a place that people will want to live in. It must have the social and cultural fabric that people enjoy being part of.
The Avon River Precinct is a key anchor project. It will become our waterfront, our green space running through the city. The CCDU anticipate expressions of interest for design of that park will be launched in early October. Construction will begin this summer, and is likely to start in the area of the river to the east of Colombo Street.
Not only will the Avon River Precinct attract local and visitor use, it will support the core commercial, retail and cultural activities and become a destination in its own right with cultural, art and historic references.
I want to make it clear we must all agree that these projects and facilities must be the best to be found in any small city in the world. We should not entertain proposals that fall short of that objective. There are going to be no repeats of the four-lane harbour bridges.
And we need to act quickly to achieve the vision.
Our city’s children who are five today, were barely three in February 2011 and they will not have full access to their central city until they are perhaps 10. One important part of the Frame – in the north-east – will be the new children’s playground. We will build them a playground from where they can view the rebirth of their city, through their childhood years. It will be the best playground in the world. Not a fun park, but a playground.
Later in the month, I will announce with the Minister of Education a competition for the children themselves to help envision what that playground will be like and begin to understand what a great place Christchurch will become.
Our goal should be that within a decade, Christchurch is clearly recognised as the best small city in the world in which to bring up kids, open a business, go to an art gallery, study at university, watch the All Blacks, make money, create jobs, build a home.
My officials, and those in the council, have made strong commitments to make all this happen fast. The longer we take, the more opportunities will be missed.
Last year, Christchurch was unable to host part of the Rugby World Cup 2011 and 2011 Festival. In the home of the Crusaders, we missed out on what will be remembered as the biggest cultural and sporting event that New Zealand has ever held. In 2015, New Zealand will host part of the Cricket World Cup. The people of Christchurch can’t miss out again. We need to all go into bat for Christchurch and ensure that not only do we take part - we take a leading role in that event.
Beyond that, our new Blueprint will give us the facilities to be the leading events destination in New Zealand.
My message to the businesspeople and investors of New Zealand; and to the philanthropists who might want to become involved in our new parks, our new arts centres or our new sports stadia is this: Christchurch is the place to be. Everything we do here will be the best.
We have always been a beautiful city, in the most beautiful part of New Zealand; the best part of New Zealand to bring up a family; and the main support centre for the South Island’s most important industries, past and present, including agriculture, tourism, mining and oil, education, the high-tech industries and logistics.
We have a fabulous new airport, a restored port and are building superior roads, connecting us better than ever before with the rest of the South Island and the world.
If we can’t make something extraordinary about the newly recreated Christchurch off the back of such opportunities and such overwhelming public, political and business support, there is something wrong with us.
And we’ve proven this last two years there is nothing wrong with us. We have proven we are among the best and most resilient people in the world, and we can do things fast.
15 August Update
If you’re a green zone property owner, CERA is coordinating community meetings where you can get the latest information, including the issues facing property owners in technical category 3.
You can hear from, and talk with, representatives from CERA, Building and Housing, insurers, Councils and EQC. The meetings begin from 27 August, when more information will be available about flood risk, insurance processes and land damage assessments, and will be held at the following locations:
Click to see venues http://cera.govt.nz/news/2012/green-zone-community-meetings-7-august-2012
30 July Update -
Based on feedback CERA are organising an open forum for the whole community in which people can discuss their individual property issues (across all zones).
Similar to the set up prior to the larger public meetings earlier this month, this will work like a hub 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 Sumner Old School Hall on Wednesday 1 August any time between 3.30pm – 7.00pm to speak with these representatives.
25 July Updated
If you have a geo-technical-related question, it is highly suggested you arrive early to ask questions for other issues first and schedule your time for geo-technical questions last.
Available from 3:30 - 7pm
- Insurance Companies
- Community Law
Available from 5 - 6pm
- Geotechnical experts with localised knowledge
CERA 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 24, Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 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.
13 July Update
CERA Outreach Service at Beckenham CCC Service Centre, 66 Colombo Street
CERA staff will be available to meet with you to provide assistance and advice – come through the main door of the Service Centre and follow the CERA sign:
- Monday 16th July – 1 to 5pm
- Tuesday 17th July - 1 to 5pm
- Wednesday 18th July – 1 to 5pm
- Tuesday 24th July – 1 to 5pm
- Wednesday 25th July – 1 to 5pm
- Thursday 26th July – 1 to 5pm
Earthquake Support Coordinators and EQC are located at the same location at the Fletchers Hub (near the South Library and Beckenham Service Centre). We will arrange for more outreach service sessions if there is demand from the community.
July 11 Update
DVDs are now available of the community meetings held on 02, 03 & 06 July12. Please contact Katie Chapman on Katie.email@example.com or 354 2793 to advise what zone or zones DVD/s you would like so we can send you the most relevant meeting DVD/s.
July 9 Update
The recent land decisions on the Port Hills have been followed up with community meetings in various locations, and last week we saw over 600 people at afternoon and evening events.
There is another meeting tonight but this type of engagement is not the only way those recently zoned Red, White or Green can find out more information about their land decision.
You’ll see that we have Dr Jan Kupec and Mayor Bob Parker explaining the decisions and the next steps forwards for you.
Jan has also been taking the time before and after these meetings to talk to people individually about their land decision and help them understand more about why their land is now zoned Red or Green, and what has yet to be assessed before the remaining 166 properties get their new zoning.
CERA’s community wellbeing deputy general manager Ivan Iafeta also attends with his team to talk about the Red Zone offer process and the options that the Earthquake Support Co-ordinators offer if you need any kind of housing assistance or support.
We have also recorded three of the meetings, each once with a different emphasis on the particular zone, but all with the main information about the next steps for you. The three videos can be watched online by following the links below.
Video: Port Hills community meeting, Monday 2 July 2012: http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills/community-meetings#video-2-july-2012
Video: Port Hills community meeting, Tuesday 3 July 2012: http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills/community-meetings#video-3-july-2012
Video: Port Hills community meeting, Friday 6 July 2012: http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills/community-meetings#video-6-july-2012
And we also have had DVDs made of these meetings which we can send out to you if you would like to watch in in a format other than on your computer.
We are trying to make as much information available as possible so we have been live streaming the big announcements as well as recording them to keep. We also recorded meetings like the Port Hills series and upload these to our site, as well as a raft of other informational videos.
I am always intrigued to check up on the website statistics and see if we are reaching people as well as we can.
On any given day we get about 4500 visits to our website and that tells us we are being viewed by over 2000 people. On the day of the Port Hill land zoning announcement we had 25,500 visits which apparently equates to over 15,000 people.
On that day we had a midday peak of about 2000 people watching the livestreaming and 2000 looking at other things on the site. So it does seem as we are reaching a fair chunk of the community – but as always, you can let us know what more we can do to ensure you are receiving the information that you need by calling 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372).
6 July Update
- Cliff collapse, landslide, rockfall fact sheets CCC Porthills website
- Estimating risk for porthills properties CERA website
- Frequently asked questions CERA website
- Land information map for Sumner CERA website
- Support and assistance CERA website
2 July Update
Listen to announcement on Port Hills zoning www.cera.govt.nz
Email from Roger Sutton
CERA Chief Executive update – 2 July 2012
As you will know the Earthquake Recovery Minister last week announced zoning decisions for properties in the Port Hills with the majority being zoned Green.
I know it has been a long wait and I know people no long want to hear me say how complex this process is. But these are decisions that cannot be made without intense investigation, and that does take a lot of time.
Unlike the flat land decisions, the risk across much of the Port Hills surrounds life safety. That is essentially asking the question – would your life safety risk increase simply by living in your home?
Because it shouldn’t. Your home should be your sanctuary.
Unfortunately it is not always the case, and these large earthquakes we have experienced have made that extremely clear. Especially for the owners of 285 properties who are now zoned Red. Many of those sections have already fallen off the cliff edge. Others have car-size boulders in their living rooms. And many others remain at extreme risk of what could happen should we have another large quake.
On the flip side of that, 1107 properties are now Green Zone which means these folk can get on with having conversations with EQC and insurers about home repairs or rebuilds.
The work the geotechnical engineers have been doing has been intense, identifying boulders and their individual risk to homes and lives. The information they have collected by crawling over the Port Hills and mapping thousands of rocks has been fed into the state of the art modelling system developed by the Milan University. Those models have been run and re-run to ensure the answers are consistent.
So as frustrating as it may be, it just has to be acknowledged that this work is complex. And these decisions have not been made lightly.
There are 158 properties that remain zoned White, and while this was not what I had hoped, it is just not possible to make the absolute decision on the risk to this land as yet.
The answers will be known in the coming months.
Owners of affected properties should have already received letters to inform them of the decision regarding their land.
And CERA is running a series of community meetings which start tonight. The schedule is on our website (http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills/community-meetings) or you can call 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) for more info.
The information about these land decision is online at http://cera.govt.nz/land-information/port-hills, and you can check your property’s status at http://cera.govt.nz/my-property
Thank you for your ongoing patience.
Roger Sutton, Chief Executive, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
29 June Update
Port Hills Community Meetings
Meeting Schedule – Summary
|2 July||6.30pm||8.30pm||Red|| |
15 Colenso St
|3 July||6.30pm||8.30pm||White|| |
15 Colenso St
|3||Wednesday||4 July||6.00pm||8.00pm||Red||Church of St Mary||2 Martindales Rd, Heathcote Valley|
|5 July|| |
23 Dublin St
|5 July||6.00pm||8.00pm||Green|| |
|6 July|| |
|9 July|| |
43 Hargood St
285 Port Hills properties zoned red
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the Government’s red zone offer to will be extended to the owners of 285 severely at-risk or largely destroyed residential properties in the Port Hills.
This land has been subject to severe cliff collapse or rock roll, or is in grave danger of being so. Of these properties191 relate to cliff collapse and 94 to rock roll.
A further 158 properties will stay in the white zone but may go red, depending on further work required to determine the possibility of life threatening rock roll in future seismic events. A decision on these properties is expected in around six weeks.
The cost of buying the 285 red zoned properties will be shared equally by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council and is expected to be around $205 million, taking into account purchase price and transaction costs.
Mr Brownlee says some of the land zoned red today has already been quite obviously destroyed by the earthquakes, but adjoining land had to be correctly assessed for its ongoing risk.
“We have now reached a point where we can accurately say which land is most at risk, and this land we are now zoning red.
“Further modelling and exploration of possible rock roll prevention solutions will be required before we can announce the future of the remaining 158 properties with the same degree of accuracy and certainty,” Mr Brownlee said.
Mr Brownlee said today’s announcement would come as shock to a number of residents, especially those which have living in houses which have not previously been subject to Section 124 notices.
“We’re acting on information which has only recently been finalised through state of the art geotechnical analysis.
“The team has been working non-stop in recent months to collect and analyse information to give us the most accurate and up to date picture possible.
“Now that we know exactly what the risks are for particular properties we can act accordingly.
“All residents required to leave will be eligible to receive the Government’s Temporary Accommodation Assistance rental subsidy and the Canterbury Earthquakes Temporary Accommodation Service will be in contact to offer help finding alternative accommodation,” Mr Brownlee said.
Those properties owners whose properties have been zoned red today will have two options to consider:
Option 1– the Crown will pay the most recent rating valuation (in this case 2007) for land, buildings and fixtures and take over all insurance claims for damage to the property.
Option 2– the Crown will pay the most recent rating valuation for the land and take over the owner’s EQC claim for land damage only. The property owner retains the benefit of all other insurance claims and will continue to deal with EQC and their insurer to settle those claims.
Property-specific letters will be delivered to affected property owners today and individual property zoning information will be available on the CERA website.
CERA will also hold community meetings to help all affected residents understand what the announcement means and their options.
Over 1100 Port Hills properties zoned green
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the re-zoning of 1107 residential properties on the Port Hills from white to green, meaning the houses are safe for residential occupation and their owners can begin discussions with their private insurers and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) about repairs.
Mr Brownlee says comprehensive ground truthing analysis and complimentary work by geotechnical engineers has been as site-specific as possible and has mapped areas where risk of rock fall and cliff collapse is most severe.
“We can now say with a high degree of certainty that 1107 properties can be rezoned as safe for ongoing residential occupation.”
Mr Brownlee says the geotechnical analysis that led to today’s announcement is the most specific of its kind ever done.
“The unique situation we have found ourselves in means the rest of the world can now look to the Christchurch modelling for guidance on what can be done to assess land risks as a result of seismic activity.
“I’m aware this work has taken a long time to complete and I am grateful to the Port Hills residents we’ve been able to rezone today for their patience.”
Parts of the newly green-zoned area will be monitored by the council for any future risk of susceptibility to cliff collapse or landslide.
There will be some cases in the green zone where properties have severe land damage and further individual geotechnical assessment may be required before a decision on repair or rebuilding work can be made. As with previously zoned areas on the flat land, this will be dealt with by EQC and insurance companies under normal insurance processes.
Those Port Hills residents zoned green today will be invited to a CERA-hosted community meeting in the coming week where representatives of insurance companies and EQC will outline the next steps in the rebuild and repair process for their properties.
Property-specific letters will be delivered to affected property owners today and individual property zoning information will be available on the CERA website.
Small number of properties remain white zoned
Of the 1558 Port Hills properties being zoned today 166 need further assessment before a decision can be made, and will stay zoned white, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
The land in question is potentially at risk of landslip and rock roll.
In particular this involves eight properties in Lucas Lane where the ground is at risk of land slip and requires further work. It is expected this information will be available and assessed by the end of October.
The remaining 158 properties are at risk of rock roll, and before a final decision can be made, further discussion is needed between CERA officials, geotechnical engineers, the Port Hills Geotechnical Group and the Christchurch City Council.
A decision for this group of properties will be made by 17 August 2012.
“I know that this will be a huge disappointment to those land owners, as it is to me and the team that is working hard to find answers for everyone affected by the earthquakes. But in these instances there are varying degrees of damage to the land and we really need more time to ensure each area is zoned correctly,” Mr Brownlee said.
“We are doing this out of fairness to the residents involved, so that they can be confident and secure in the knowledge that the science provides. It is in the best interests of these people that we take more time to look at the land and ensure we are getting the right answer.”
Mr Brownlee says geotechnical engineers have been working up until early this week to assess these areas in question, but there is still too much work to be done to provide a decision at this time.
“I know a lot of people will be feeling disheartened by this announcement, and we would give an answer if we possibly could. The issues faced in these particular areas are extremely complex and only time is going to ensure that the science is sound.”
Homes on the land that will remain zoned white may already be subject to a Section 124 notice from the Christchurch City Council, and if so this will remain in place.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) will be holding community meetings next week to outline the ongoing work in this area.
Media contact:Nick Bryant 021 245 8272
28 June Update
An announcement on Port Hills zoning tomorrow.It will live streamed on the CERA website from 11.30am. www.cera.govt.nz
18 May Update
White Zone Announcements for the Porthills
The announcement has been live-streamed on the CERA website, www.cera.govt.nz
Press release today from Gerry Brownlee
17 May Update -
White Zone Announcements for the Porthills
There will be a land announcement affecting thePort Hillstomorrow (Friday 18 May).
The announcement will be made by the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Hon Gerry Brownlee, from 11am.
The announcement will be live-streamed on the CERA website, www.cera.govt.nz
5 March Update
- CERA Porthills White Zone Information book for property owners .
- Cliff Collapse public meeting held at Sumner New School Hall on Thursday - 15 March 6 - 8 pm
Update 2 March 2012
CERA and its partner organisations have prepared a book that outlines the latest information about the process for making land decisions in the Port Hills white zones. Link to publication White Zone Information book for property owners .
Update 16 Feb
CERA meeting to provide information to owners of properties in the Port Hills area that are zoned white. Held at Sumner New School Hall.
Monday - 27 February 6 - 8 pm Link to meeting notes
Monday - 5 March 6 - 8 pm
Update 5 Jan 2012
Staff are back at work in the CERA office today after CERA engineers inspected the building in Worcester Boulevard following the recent aftershocks and cleared it safe for occupation.
The earthquakes that shook Canterbury on 23 December 2011, and over the Christmas period, did not result in major damage. Liquefaction, rock fall and a loss of some infrastructural services occurred in some areas. There was also some limited damage sustained to buildings in the CBD Red Zone. The CBD Red Zone has been assessed and is now accessible for those working on buildings in the area.
Christchurch City Council will be holding a briefing on Friday (6 January) with GNS, CERA and the Minister to provide an update following the recent earthquakes.
Rezoning of orange and white properties
Whilst the December 2011 earthquakes have created an additional work stream, rezoning of orange and white areas will not be delayed and remains a high priority. The Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Hon Gerry Brownlee, said just days before the last major quakes, that orange zone residents will likely have an answer in the New Year.
CERA is continuing to work hard to rezone these areas as quickly as it can.
Update 24 December
Update 23 December
CERA summner program events
Update 25 Oct
Recovery Strategy Youth Jam this Thursday, October 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. Click here to find out more
Update 21 December
Update 17 Oct
Have you filled in your comment form for the Draft Recovery Strategy for Greater ChCh? Get a hard copy from the Sumner Community Group noticeboard or to find out more go online http://cera.govt.nz/recovery-strategy . Your comments need to be lodged by 30th October.
Update 13 Sep
Dr Jan Kupec (CERA chief geotechnical engineer) explains rockfalls.
Update 5 Sep
CERA Port Hills announcement,
Memo to Mayor and Councillors from Peter Mitchell
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) this afternoon announced that 9700 properties in the Port Hills white zone will be changed to green zone.
Christchurch City Council, CERA and EQC have been working closely on land issues in the Port Hills and will continue their work on geotechnical assessments.
We have welcomed this decision as a positive step forward for residents in these areas and have released a statement to media on the issue this afternoon.
We are also supporting CERA at a series of community meetings being set up this week to talk to residents about the issues. Councillors and Community Board Members are invited to attend these meetings as key stakeholders in their local communities. The meetings will be held at the following times:
- Wednesday 7 September – Sumner School, Colenso Street, Sumner at 7.30pm
- Thursday 8 September – Cashmere High School, McComb Performing Arts Centre, Barrington Street, at 7.30pm
- Friday 9 September – Lyttelton Recreation Centre, Lyttelton, at 7.30pm
- Saturday 10 September – Little River, Community Centre, Western Valley Road at 11am
- Saturday 10 September – Diamond Harbour Community Hall, at 2.30pm
The meetings will include presentations from CERA and the Council covering the geotechnical information and details about consents and the process regarding properties that are currently red stickered due to hazards. EQC and Fletchers will be available to respond to questions about next steps.
Today’s announcement of new green zones is a separate issue to the work being carried out by geotechnical engineers contracted to the Council to assess danger from rockfall and land movement. Notices issued to houses in the hills prohibiting entry because of the danger from rockfall or other geotechnical hazard in the area remain in place.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Update 5 September - Land announcement
More than 9700 residential properties in the Christchurch Port Hills area have been rezoned from white to green. About 3700 properties remain in the white zone as further investigation is needed.
The issues in the Port Hills are different to those in the low lying plains areas where there has generally been widespread land damage from liquefaction and lateral spreading. In the Port Hills, the issues have largely involved potential rock fall, cliff collapse, land slips and risks of that nature.
Extensive geotechnical assessment supported the decision to rezone most of the Port Hills to green as it had shown a low geotechnical hazard risk.
More Port Hills land will be rezoned green soon, once further investigation and assessment is completed.
website has been updated to reflect the new zoning.
A letter from CERA will also be posted to the Port Hills area homeowners with further information on Tuesday 6 September 2011.
CERA will hold four community meetings this week in the Port Hills area in Sumner, Lyttelton, Cashmere, and Diamond Harbour starting this Wednesday.
Map of affected areas
Map showing the affected Port Hills areas as at 5 September 2011.
- Port Hills zones [PDF 1MB]
CERA is co-hosting community meetings with Christchurch City Council for Port Hills residents.
The meetings will include presentations from CERA and CCC covering the geotechnical information and details about consents and the process regarding properties that are currently red stickered due to hazards.
EQC/Fletchers will be available to respond to questions about next steps.
- Wednesday 7 September 2011 - Sumner School, Colenso Street, Sumner at 7.30pm
For residents from Sumner, Redcliffs, Mt Pleasant and Ferrymead
- Thursday 8 September 2011 - Cashmere High School, McComb Performing Arts Centre, Barrington Street, at 7.30pm
For residents from Heathcote, Hillsborough, Cashmere, Westmorland and Kennedy's Bush
- Friday 9 September 2011 - Lyttelton Recreation Centre, Lyttelton, at 7.30pm
For residents from Lyttelton and around the bays to Governor's Bay
- Saturday 10 September 2011 - Little River Community Centre, Western Valley Road at 11am
For residents from the Little River area and around to, and including Akaroa
Diamond Harbour community meeting to be advised.
- Around 9,700 residential properties zoned green from white
Properties still to be assessed
- Around 3,700 residential properties still in the white zone
Port Hills is affected by:
- Rock fall risk
- Cliff collapse
- Debris inundation
- Land movement (slipping)
Port Hills assessment
The Port Hills did not suffer the same type of area-wide damage (namely liquefaction and subsequent lateral spreading) as the Canterbury Plains area. Assessment of the area was carried out by the Port Hills Geotechnical Group (PHGG), comprising six geotechnical engineering companies and was led by the Christchurch City Council to collect and review data from geotechnical hazards arising from the earthquakes of 22 February and 13 June.
The primary objective of the PHGG was to assess existing damage to properties, lifelines and infrastructure from recent earthquakes and their aftershocks. The secondary objective was to identify areas that are at heightened risk from large scale geotechnical hazards and to prepare mitigation measures to deal with those hazards.
Rapid site specific assessments were undertaken by the EQC Land Damage Assessment Team (LDAT). Where LDAT observed any life-safety issues, these were notified to the Christchurch City Council. The land damage categories applied to every property were:
- Major cliff collapse resulting in land inundation
- Minor to severe land movement
- Land inundation from failed slopes
- Retaining wall failures
- No observed land damage.
The land damage map from PHGG (marco-scale hazards) was combined with the site-specific EQC LDAT land damage map by Tonkin & Taylor to produce one coherent and consistent map to allow decisions to be made regarding zoning.
- Green zoning means that repair and rebuild process can begin.
- Remaining white zone properties means that more information and assessment is required.
- Non-residential properties (those properties used for commercial purposes, schools, hospitals, council facilities, parks and reserves) are not included in the residential mapping work undertaken by PHGG and T&T for EQC and, therefore, remain white on the map.
- At this stage rural residential properties are zoned white as there is no rapid way of identifying them in the land use databases. They will typically be zoned green as they are identified
- The greater Banks Peninsula area from south of Governors Bay, including Diamond Harbour, is not included in this zoning. Ongoing mapping will continue in this area. At this stage it is considered that there will be only a few pockets of significant land damage present across the greater Banks Peninsula, however, this is yet to be confirmed.
- Mapping of the southern side of Lyttelton Harbour is currently being completed.
- Some properties in the green zone may require specific engineering design to comply with the Building Act and Building Code and local council consent requirements.
- Within the initial green zone for Port Hills there are properties with Section 124 notices issued to prohibit entry. They have been issued because they have localised geotechnical hazards, the building poses a risk due to structural reasons, or the property is at risk from failure of other property or infrastructure. The change from white zone to green zone does not change that status of these individual properties and does not remove those “red sticker” notices.
Update 27 August
Update 20 August - video footage: Dr Jan Kupec on liquefaction.
To see this a bit bigger click the link.
New pages about the redefined CDB red zone are now on the CERA website. By later today this will also include the ability to upload structural assessment reports. http://cera.govt.nz/cbd-red-zone http://cera.govt.nz/cbd-red-zone/red-zone-access-programme http://cera.govt.nz/cbd-red-zone/red-zone-cordon-map There is also information regarding s51 and s29 notices at http://cera.govt.nz/structural-assessments
Update 20 August
video on geotechnical work underway on the Port Hills, but this video actually explains ground issues such as lateral spread and liquifaction.
Update 18 August - Roger Sutton
On 1 July 2011, I wrote to you to on behalf of the Government to let you know your property at the above address was in the residential white zone in the Port Hills. This zoning means this area is still being mapped. The Port Hills sustained extensive damage from rock fall and landslides in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 22 February 2011. This damage was further exacerbated by the 5.7 and 6.3 aftershocks on Monday 13 June 2011. This meant mapping and assessments in these areas had to start again. You can find out more about the zones on the CERA website – www.cera.govt.nz.
In my 1 July letter, I undertook to write to you again in August with an update on progress on damage mapping in the Port Hills.
CERA, the Christchurch City Council and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) are working as fast as possible to provide more clarity for homeowners in the white zone in the Port Hills about the state of the land. We appreciate the length of time it is taking is frustrating and stressful. Remediation work on imminent rock fall hazards which may endanger lives and some residential properties is ongoing and is being managed by the Christchurch City Council.
The ability to repair or rebuild is limited at the moment because of the ongoing seismic activity.
A number of very important strands of work are underway. Specific to the Port Hills, the Christchurch City Council and CERA have combined to form the Port Hills Earthquake Remediation and Recovery Project. Port Hills Geotech Group – a consortium of Christchurch geotechnical consulting firms – provides support to this project. Critical ongoing work includes:
- The mapping of land damage in the white zone.
- Assessing and mapping of hazards - rock roll, rock fall, cliff collapse and debris inundation zones across the Port Hills.
- Detailed technical assessments of land slippage zones.
To do this, we are working closely with the Port Hills Geotech Group, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and CERA's geotechnical engineers – Tonkin & Taylor.
The Port Hills Earthquake Remediation and Recovery Project has also engaged GNS Science to provide three reports. These reports cover the land issues, information about the probability of future events, and exposure to risk for people living in and passing through zones at risk of rock and cliff collapse. This work is large scale and does not take into consideration the detailed shape of the land across the Port Hills. We expect these reports to be completed before the end of September.
Once finalised, these reports will be considered by the Port Hills Geotech Group. Their understanding of the detailed topography will enable them to make specific recommendations for land use. The recommendations will be presented to the Christchurch City Council and CERA for their consideration.
In the meantime, Sumner Road, Evans Pass Road, and Summit Road near Mount Pleasant Scenic Reserve are closed due to risk of ongoing rock fall. Sumner Road options for re-opening are being investigated by the Port Company and the Council. We will write to you again next month with an update on progress on land damage mapping in the white zone in the Port Hills.
There are weekly updates being provided to all residents or property owners who have registered through firstname.lastname@example.org. This address can also be used for submitting access requests and also if you have specific questions about your property. In association with Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, CERA has also begun holding earthquake recovery media briefings every Friday to keep people informed on the latest progress in the recovery. You can view footage of these briefings on our website – www.cera.govt.nz.
You can contact the CERA helpline on 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) or visit our website www.cera.govt.nz for further information. Background information and recent updates are also available on the Port Hills earthquake page at www.ccc.govt.nz. We are working hard to deliver clear and definitive information about your property and area that will allow you to repair or rebuild your property with confidence. Your safety is also paramount.
Update 27July 2011 - Expo Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July 2011
Are you affected by recent land announcements? Are you thinking about buying, renting or building? Where would you like to go? What land is available? What banking / insurance support can you get?
CERA is organising an Expo for Canterbury residents affected by the recently announced land decisions to be held at the Addington Events Centre over the weekend 30/31 July 2011. The Expo will include seminars on what is required with buying or renting another property or building a new house, and the finance, insurance and legal needs.
We have received quite a number of inquiries from people who, for whatever reason, haven’t received their letter with the CERA consent form.
If this is you please let us know via the govt helpline 08007799977 or download the consent form on the CERA website
A copy of the consent form can be downloaded below:
Residential red zone consent form [PDF 60KB]
Please post the completed and signed consent form to:
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
Private Bag 4999
Attention: Consent form returns
Also if your consent form is still sitting on the bench at home in the “things to do pile” please know that not sending this in TODAY may delay the process of your Red Zone information.
Update 23 July 2011
A major expo being organised by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority will provide a wealth of information to people considering their options following land decision announcements.“My Housing Options Expo” is being held at the Addington Events Centre on the weekend of July 30/31 as a type of one-stop shop for residents affected by land decisions. It will be open 12noon-6pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday.CERA chief executive, Roger Sutton, says people in the residential red zone need to make incredibly important decisions and will get as much assistance as possible.“These will be some of the most important decisions facing people in their lifetime, and we want to put as much in place for them to make the best decisions for their individual circumstances.”“The expo is a chance for them to have a whole range of organisations in the one place that they can talk to and consult as they consider their relocation and property decisions.”Mr Sutton says government agencies and local authorities will be there, along with business and private organisations such as insurance companies, the Real Estate Institute, banks and architects, designers and others.“There will also be seminars covering areas such as building a house or renting, buying a property and organising insurance,” he says.“I’d like to see as many people as possible get along to the expo, and they can find out more about it at www.cera.govt.nz ."For more information:Linda Paterson 029 2016913
Update 12 July
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) is developing a Recovery Strategy for greater Christchurch and wants to hear what you think. Go to http://sites.google.com/site/ceragovtnz/recovery-strategy to find out more information.
Update 10 July
Sumner is fortunate to have three representatives who live in the area who have been nominated on the CERA Community Forum. They are Daren Wright, Wendy Gilchrist, and Sally Ainsley. A Sumner CERA Support Group has been formed to help them filter information to and from the community so they can provide feedback to and from the CERA forum meetings.
This month CERA is going to be asking the community for ideas to help shape the recovery strategy. This will provide a comprehensive road map for greater Christchurch.CERA’s role is to lead and coordinate the recovery effort from September and February’s earthquakes, and they currently developing a draft recovery strategy that underpins that work. CERA has identified five key areas for the recovery strategy:
- Community wellbeing
- Culture and heritage
- Built environment
- Natural environment
CEO Roger Sutton has emphasised the importance of input from people right across the community so the draft strategy reflects a broad range of ideas and needs. In turn, this strategy will feed into some detailed recovery plans that will be developed. He says what CERA is doing isn’t in isolation to some other great initiatives already underway. They will be taking into account feedback from the Christchurch City Council’s Share an Idea consultation as well as information from other strategies and plans.
As the recovery strategy is developed, CERA is continuing to work with Ngāi Tahu, the Christchurch City Council, Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils and Environment Canterbury.
Update 24 June
For many weeks now, we’ve been talking about the huge amount of work that’s been going on to provide the certainty we know people have been so anxious to get about their homes and communities.
This week we have been able to take a significant step forward with the announcement by the Prime Minister John Key and our Minister Gerry Brownlee of the results of much of the work that’s been going on. The earthquakes of September and February and the subsequent sizeable aftershocks have taken a huge toll on Canterbury. This has been the largest natural disaster that we have ever faced in New Zealand.
While there’s clearly been very hard and difficult news this week for some residents, for the great majority of people there’s been positive news.
About 100,000 people have been given the green light for repairs and rebuilding of their homes and they can continue working with EQC and their insurers to start doing that immediately.
For around 5000 people in the residential red zone, it has been the confirmation of what many may have already realised – that their land has been extensively damaged and it is not feasible to rebuild there at the moment. Regardless of that, we understand the news is still incredibly difficult for a number of people. While some may be ready to decide quickly that they want to move on, others will find it much harder to come to terms with what is happening.
We’re committed to helping people through this process and providing as much support and assistance as we can. A series of community meetings is underway in the worst affected suburbs to provide people from the red zone with further information. We will keep communicating with people and listening to them in the weeks ahead. We will also be setting up community hubs where people can go to talk to key agencies in one place and be linked to support services. We also have a dedicated helpline in place – 0800779997.
People who want to go online to get information can also go to www.landcheck.org.nz < http://www.landcheck.org.nz >
We know that’s already been enormously popular with more than two million hits in the first hour, and over 522,000 individual property searches.
It is critically important people do not feel rushed in making their decisions. We will be getting letters out to people in the next couple of months, and they’ve got nine months to work out what is best for them. They’re strongly encouraged to talk to their insurers and financial advisers as they consider their options.
We’ve said all along that this is a long journey and that unfortunately we aren’t able to provide all the answers at once. I know that will continue to frustrate people, particularly those who were not left with the certainty they had hoped for yesterday.
I can assure people from the 10,000 properties in the orange zone that teams working on this will continue to bring the same dedication to the task to deliver them the answers they need. We are prioritising the work from those worst affected from September. As with those in the red zone, we must make sure we’ve got the information right so the decisions made are robust. The job has been further complicated unfortunately by the additional damage suffered during the 13 June earthquakes. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the tremendous amount of work that’s gone on to date to provide answers about properties and land. They’ve worked tirelessly across a range of very complex and technical issues and information.
And I want to say to those who have been provided with certainty this week that we’ve appreciated their patience through what we know has been a very tough and frustrating process. To those still waiting, please know we will be doing everything possible to bring the answers to you as soon as we can.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority