Crown offer background information

New process for red zone Crown offers

21 April 2015

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone.

Owners of properties in these categories in the Port Hills red zones have not yet received an offer. An offer will be made to them on the basis of the outcome of the Recovery Plan but will not be less than the offer already made to those in the flat land red zones. Consideration will also need to be given to those who did not accept the earlier offer and those who had a reduced offer as a result of significant underinsurance.

Read the media release for more information »

Information for property owners booklet [PDF 645KB] (This information is currently being reviewed in light of the Minister’s Recovery Plan announcement. Read more about the Recovery Plan » )

This booklet provides information for residential property owners who have accepted the Crown's offer to purchase their property, to assist them as they prepare to move. It includes:

  • information about the process
  • a moving out checklist
  • frequently asked questions
  • how to access information and assistance

Insured residential properties

  • Purchase offer supporting information [PDF 734KB] (This information is currently being reviewed in light of the Minister’s Recovery Plan announcement. Read more about the Recovery Plan » )
  • Purchase offer supporting information: South New Brighton and Southshore [PDF 730KB] (This information is currently being reviewed in light of the Minister’s Recovery Plan announcement. Read more about the Recovery Plan » )

Not for profit organisations

Dwellings under construction

Vacant land

Insured commercial/industrial properties

Uninsured commercial/industrial and residential properties

Insured residential leasehold properties – Waimakariri District

Questions and Answers

Read the Minister's announcement about the new process for Crown offers »

What was the decision made by the Supreme Court?

The full decision is available on line

In summary, the Supreme Court ruled that the red zone measures should have been made under a Recovery Plan. However, the Court did not declare them to be unlawful as it would not serve any useful purpose to do so.

The Court did find that the offer to owners of Vacant, Commercial or Uninsured properties in the red zone was unlawful and directed that the offer be reconsidered in light of the judgment. To this end, a Recovery Plan will be developed, with the opportunity for affected communities and the public to comment, to inform the Chief Executive when he undertakes the reconsideration of the offer.

Why doesn’t the CERA Chief Executive offer 100% to uninsured, vacant and commercial property owners in the red zone?

The Supreme Court directed that the Minister and the Chief Executive reconsider the vacant, commercial and uninsured decisions in light of the judgment. There are multiple factors that need to be considered and decisions about the amount of the offer will be made by the Chief Executive within the framework of the Recovery Plan process.

What is a 'Recovery Plan'?

Under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act, the Minister may direct that a Recovery Plan be developed for all or part of greater Christchurch. Recovery Plans can deal with any social, economic, cultural or environmental matter; or any particular infrastructure, work or activity. A recovery plan must be consistent with the Recovery Strategy for Greater Christchurch. There are currently three other active recovery plans – the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, the Land Use Recovery Plan and the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan.

What happens next?

A preliminary draft Recovery Plan will be developed and comments and any additional information will be sought from the public. This information will inform the development of a draft Recovery Plan, which will also be notified for public comment. Following receipt of those comments, the Minister may make any changes to the draft plan and decide whether to approve the plan.

When will we know the outcome of the Recovery Plan?

We want to progress this as quickly as possible for all involved. The Minister’s decision on the Recovery Plan is expected at the end of June 2015.

How can I have my say?

The public will be able to provide written comments on the preliminary draft Recovery Plan and the draft Recovery Plan.

What if I am not a red zone property owner?  Am I allowed to comment?

Yes. There will be an opportunity for any member of the public to provide written comments and any additional information on both the preliminary draft Recovery Plan, and the draft Recovery Plan.

What if I have already accepted an offer for 50% and sold my property to the Crown?

If the offer is adjusted above 50% as a result of the Recovery Plan process, then you will receive an adjustment/top up to the amount you initially received.

Isn’t this prolonged process just making me and my family suffer more?

The Supreme Court noted the length of time it has taken for owners of vacant, commercial and uninsured properties to receive an offer. It also emphasised the need for community input into decision-making. We intend to ensure this process moves along as quickly as possible while still ensuring the community has sufficient time to participate in the process.  If you or your family are in need of assistance please contact us at 0800 RING CERA so we can discuss with you the services that may be available.

Will the Crown compensate me for all the costs I have incurred over the period?

No. It is important to remember that the Crown offer is an offer to purchase a property.  It is not compensation for the damage ultimately caused by the earthquakes.

When will I receive a new Crown offer?

The primary purpose of the Recovery Plan process is to determine whether the Crown should make offers to the owners of vacant, commercial and uninsured properties, and what form such offers should take. Any offer cannot be made until the plan is finalised. The Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery will make a final decision on the Recovery Plan by the end of June 2015. Any Crown offers will be made after this date.

How long will I be given to consider this offer?

At this stage we cannot say how long property owners will be given to consider any new offer, should one be made. However, if a further offer is made, CERA will ensure property owners have adequate time to consider the offer.

What if I am a residential red zone resident, but not of the vacant, commercial and uninsured category – can I still have my say?

Yes. CERA is seeking feedback from everyone, including but not limited to: any affected property owners, any interested member of the community (including all residents of greater Christchurch and New Zealand) and any organisation.

If I am a former or current red zone property owner, but not vacant, commercial and uninsured, will I also get a new Crown offer?

At this stage we cannot determine whether or not a new Crown offer will be made to any property owners / former property owners in the residential red zone.

If the Crown does decide to make an offer to the owners of vacant, commercial and uninsured properties based on the outcome of the Recovery Plan, there may be other property owners directly affected by this decision.



Agreement for Sale and Purchase - the agreement that you and the Crown will sign to record the terms on which you have agreed to sell your property to the Crown.

CERA - Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

Cross lease - where, on one land title, there are several flats/houses that are each owned by a different person and together all those different persons own the land that the flats/houses are on; and they each lease the land that their own flat/house is on from all the other owners.

Crown - The Government

EQC - Earthquake Commission

Insurer - the insurance company that your house is insured with.

Settlement date - the date under Option 1 and Option 2 on which: You or your tenants must be out of the property. The Crown will make the final payment to you for your property. The Crown will become the owner of your property.

Tenancies - where people have a right to occupy a property (whether exclusively or otherwise) and pay some form of rent.

Unit title - where a dwelling owned by an individual that is part of a community of individuals (known as a body corporate) where each individual owns a unit and the community together owns the common property.