Further red zone properties addressed

Release Date: 13 September 2012

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced the basis of Government offers to owners of vacant and commercial/industrial land within the flat land residential red zone, as well as residential properties that are uninsured.

Similar properties in the Port Hills will be addressed at a later date.

To date the Government has sent offer letters to 6479 insured residential properties on the flat land in greater Christchurch; 15 insured residential properties under construction; and five insured properties owned by not-for-profit organisations.

Today’s announcement affects four categories of land and ownership within the residential red zone:

  • 65 parcels of vacant land
  • 50 properties that were occupied at the time of last February’s quake but which are uninsured
  • 22 insured commercial/industrial buildings
  • 6 insured houses on leasehold land

The 65 known parcels of vacant land within the areas zoned red since June last year are uninsured and therefore not eligible for the Crown’s original residential red zone offer.

“We have decided to assist the owners of these properties by giving them the option to sell their land to the Crown at half the most recent rateable value,” Mr Brownlee says.

The owners of 50 properties in the flat land residential red zone which do not comply with the Crown’s insurance requirements will also receive offers.

“In these instances the Government’s considerations were similar to those for owners of vacant land, and therefore the same offer of 50 per cent of the rateable value of their land will be made,” Mr Brownlee says.

“If owners decide to take this offer, the land and any buildings on it will become property of the Crown from the settlement date.

“What the owner chooses to do with any buildings on the land up until that day is entirely up to them.”

There are also 22 insured commercial/industrial buildings in the residential red zone. The land these buildings sit on is not covered by Earthquake Commission (EQC) insurance as it is not residential.

“The ongoing value of the land is significantly reduced due to earthquake damage,” Mr Brownlee says.

“In order to aid recovery and support the objectives of the residential red zone process, it has been decided to also make an offer to the owners of these properties.

“This offer will entitle the owners of the 22 insured commercial/industrial properties to a similar choice as those owning insured residential properties. The price offered for these properties will be the most recent rating valuation for the improvements and half the most recent rating valuation for the land under Option 1, or half the most recent rating valuation for the land under Option 2.”

The other category in the flat land zoning process addresses six insured homes on lease-hold land. These are all in the Waimakariri District.

The standard Crown residential offer will be made for these properties but the offer will be conditional on the lessee entering into an agreement with the Waimakariri District Council for the purchase of the freehold interest in the land.

Vacant land owners will be required to settle within six weeks of accepting the Crown offer or 30 April 2013 (or 30 June 2013 if the property is located in Southshore), whichever occurs first.

The final settlement date for all other categories of properties will be 30 April 2013 for most areas, with the Southshore red zone being 30 June 2013.

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