Flat Land

Decision on uninsured, vacant and commercial land to wait for Supreme Court ruling

4 June 2014

A decision about the Crown offer made to owners of uninsured, insured commercial or vacant land of the residential red zone in the flat land will not be made until pending Supreme Court action is completed, says Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton.

Read the media release for more information »

Community to have say on red zone’s future

17 April 2014

Prime Minister John Key and the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Hon Gerry Brownlee have announced that a community engagement process will be designed for the public to have a say on the future use of land in the residential red zones.

There will be many opportunities for people and communities to contribute their aspirations and ideas to guide the future use of this land.

Read the media release for more information »

Details for the offer to eligible property owners in the Port Hills residential red zone are available on the Port Hills crown offer page.

On this page:

Final settlement information

The majority of property owners who accepted an offer by the Crown to purchase their property have settled and moved out of the flat land residential red zone. There were 348 property owners who were given an extension by the CERA Chief Executive, on request and based on individual circumstances, to their settlement date.

The final possible date for settlement for property owners who were granted an extension to their Crown offer in the flat land residential red zone is 31 January 2014. There will be no further extensions after that date.

If property owners are unable to settle with the Crown on the agreed settlement date they will be in default of their obligations under the sale and purchase Agreement. One of the implications of being in default is that the property owner could be charged penalty interest on the purchase price at a rate of 10 per cent per annum, accruing daily from the agreed settlement date until such time as settlement is completed. We suggest property owners seek independent legal advice on the implications of being in default.

For property owners who do not settle on the agreed date but are able to settle within 14 days of this date, no penalty interest will be charged.

All property owners who were granted an extension in July will be contacted and, where appropriate, offered support and assistance to enable them to provide vacant possession on their agreed settlement date. CERA has a property broker available to assist households to secure alternative accommodation if this is required. For more information on this or if you have any questions or concerns regarding settlement, please contact us on 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372).

On settlement the property owner needs to have all arrangements in place to move out of the property by the agreed date including:

  • having alternative accommodation to move to by the settlement date
  • organising assistance to remove all belongings and chattels, and
  • arranging for a final electricity reading and the disconnection of the phone.

Read more about the Crown offer background information »

Residential red zone settlement data maps

The maps below present information about the status of Crown offer settlements in the residential red zones of greater Christchurch. Previously released information about settlements can be found here.


Residential red zone settlement process

This video, featuring CERA's Wendy Rabbidge, outlines the residential red zone settlement process.

On the move in the residential red zone

This video features an interview between CERA's Warwick Isaacs and CanCERN's Brian Parker.

Questions and answers about the Crown offer to vacant land, insured improved properties and insured commercial/industrial properties

Which property owners does the reconsideration of the offer apply to?

It applies to the owners of vacant land, uninsured improved properties and insured commercial/industrial properties in the flat land residential red zone.

Why was the Crown reconsidering the original offer to owners of uninsured, vacant, and commercial properties?

The Quake Outcasts and Fowler Developments Ltd asked the High Court to review the original Crown offer. The decision of the High Court was appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal declared that the decision in relation to the offer to uninsured improved, vacant and insured commercial properties in the flat land residential red zone was not lawfully made because it was not made in accordance with the statuary framework of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.

During the Court of Appeal hearing the Crown agreed to reconsider the original offer, if the Court decided that initial offer had been unlawful. Note – the Quake Outcasts and Fowler Development Ltd are appealing the Court of Appeal decision to the Supreme Court. This case will be heard on 29 – 30 July 2014.

Why has the final decision regarding any new offer been delayed?

The Crown is waiting for the Supreme Court's decision.

The Supreme Court will be considering a number of issues including whether it is open to the Crown to take into account the insurance status of the properties, and whether the Crown has the ability to exercise its common law powers to offer payments to those who have already accepted the offer. The answers to these questions may affect any further offer.

The appeal is scheduled to be heard on 29 and 30 July 2014.

As these issues will be considered by the Supreme Court in July, it has been decided to defer a final decision until the legal position has been clarified by the Supreme Court.

The Crown remains committed to responding to the declarations by the Court of Appeal, and will do so promptly once the Supreme Court has delivered its decision, with the benefit of the guidance provided by that Court.

How long will we have to wait for the outcome of the case before the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court will hear the case on 29 and 30 July 2014. The timing of the release of the judgment is a matter for the Supreme Court.

What if I own this type of land in the Port Hills?

Until there is clarification from the Supreme Court no decision will be made on the vacant, uninsured improved and insured commercial properties in the Port Hills.