Press Release – Quake Outcasts
Christchurch – While the buy-out offers for Red-zoned Christchurch homes are being touted as unparalleled in the world and “very fair”, some in the Red Zone are being excluded intentionally from such offers. Condemnation without Compensation by Govt Irresponsible and Unethical
Christchurch – While the buy-out offers for Red-zoned Christchurch homes are being touted as unparalleled in the world and “very fair”, some in the Red Zone are being excluded intentionally from such offers. The decision by government to colour-zone all of Christchurch and surrounding areas came months after the earthquakes when residents have more or less got on with life. Depending on the colour assigned, residents are dictated whether they are allowed to repair and rebuild. Only insured homeowners whose homes are red-zoned (condemned) are eligible for a buy-out offer. Uninsured homeowners, commercial building owners and bare land owners unfortunate enough to be red-zoned are left in limbo with their equities essentially frozen by the half-baked zoning policy. Though the zoning decision came as an indirect result of earthquakes, it was ultimately a man-made decision to condemn more than 6,500 homes.
Many of these homes have only minor damage and are easily repairable. Some uninsured homeowners have used their own funds for repairs. The decision to condemn uninsured homes or land without a compensation scheme was both irresponsible and unethical. All New Zealanders expect to be treated fairly by their elected government and not be trampled on as outcasts. Repeated appeals to the authorities for fair treatment have been met with scorn and contempt. The attitude of the authorities seems to be consistent with the opinions iterated in the Cabinet Papers- that somehow uninsured homeowners deserve to have their homes condemned without compensation. A good zoning and compensation scheme should cover every property red-zoned and allow for variations in market value for each property when determining the price. What we have instead is a half-baked, make-up-as-we-go piece of hastily drafted plan which creates inequities and undue stress upon a quake ravaged people.