The process to clear the residential red zone – flat lands
Once settlement is finalised and the properties are vacated CERA will undertake the clearance process. The first part of this is the property clearance where the building will be removed. After that the vegetation will be either removed or retained prior to the larger scale block clearances.
On this page:
CERA-coordinated work to clear Crown-owned properties in the residential red zone is underway. Property clearances include demolishing or relocating buildings and structures, salvaging materials and tidying the site. Not all property clearances in the residential red zone are being undertaken by CERA. Some property clearances will be undertaken by insurers directly.
Communicating where and when property clearances will be beginning
Before work starts CERA, or contractors commissioned by the insurers, will provide information to people living close to areas where property clearances are due to begin. When work is commissioned by CERA an information book will be delivered to properties where the Crown is not the owner. When it is warranted community meetings will be held for people still living in the immediate area.
Here are some things you should know
- Properties being cleared will become busy worksites with hazards such as noise, dust and heavy vehicles.
- Please talk to your children about the importance of keeping away from the properties being cleared.
- CERA is working with other agencies to identify and manage hazards and to maintain safety and security for residents and properties.
- The police will maintain an ongoing presence and are encouraging residents to report suspicious activity.
- CERA has employed ADT Armourguard to patrol the area.
- Heavy vehicles will be travelling on the roads so please avoid driving in these areas where possible.
- Please respect the privacy of the people still living in the areas.
- Each CERA worksite will have a sign advising the site manager’s name and contact details. If you have a concern with a specific worksite, please contact the site manager in the first instance.
Information for property owners
Information for property owners booklet [PDF 645KB]
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 from here
- a moving out checklist
- frequently asked questions
- how to access information and assistance
Information for neighbours
Information for neighbours booklet [PDF 636KB]
A number of properties in your neighbourhood have now been sold to the Crown. As a result, CERA-coordinated work to clear properties will begin in your area shortly. This booklet has been developed to provide you with information about the clearance process. It includes:
- safety and general information about operations in your area
- frequently asked questions
- support and assistance information
Safety and security in the residential red zone
CERA's Brenden Winder and CanCERN's Brian Parker discuss commonly asked questions about safety and security in the residential red zone.
On the move in the residential red zone
This video features an interview between CERA General Manager: Operations Warwick Isaacs and CanCERN's Brian Parker.
Residential red zone property clearances
This video features CERA General Manager: Operations Warwick Isaacs and CBD Red Zone Cordon & Access Manager Brenden Winder discussing commonly asked questions regarding residential red zone property clearances.
The property clearances process in the residential red zone is a two stage process. First we took down the damaged houses, now we are starting the second stage called block clearances, where we scope the remaining structures, vegetation and improvements on each section, formulate a plan and strategy of what we retain and what we need to remove and then engage our contractors to complete each task. This will involve removing fences, paths driveways, clothes lines and even the garden shed, all whilst retaining vegetation with significant aesthetic value.
Caring for cleared land
In this video Tim Pow explains the process of block clearances to ensure land in the residential red zone is left in a tidy, presentable state once it is cleared.
What happens to the plants and trees in the residential red zone?
Property owners may have special trees or plants that they would like to take with them when they leave their property, and are able to do so until their settlement date with the Crown. After that it is up to CERA, representing the Crown, to make decisions around the retention of any vegetation.
CERA supports keeping specific indigenous trees and shrubs, and established healthy trees throughout the residential red zone, where practical and cost effective to do so.
To help with this, CERA has developed a framework (see below) which sets criteria on what vegetation is kept, removed or transplanted. Information and professional advice from ecologists, landscape architects, Christchurch and Waimakariri councils, Environment Canterbury and Ngai Tahu were taken into account when developing the framework.
Vegetation that is not being retained will be removed during the property clearance. Smaller plants and trees suitable for viable relocation will be professionally removed,and then there may be opportunities for community groups to apply for permission to remove and transplant small shrubs and other garden plants. Finally, weeds and any residual unwanted vegetation will be removed as blocks are cleared and returned to open space.
The framework only applies to flat land areas in the residential red zone land purchased by the Crown, and excludes Council managed areas like parks or river banks. For the Port Hills Red Zone areas, generally established trees and indigenous vegetation will be retained. Established root systems provide erosion protection for hill areas. It is unlikely community groups would have access to remove plants and shrubs due to the life risk in this area.