Quake outcasts win against Brownlee
"The fraud and incompetence that is EQC is written all over this. Some judicial common sense has prevailed."Featured comment
The High Court in Christchurch has ruled in favour of an earthquake-affected group of landowners who say they were unfairly treated in a government offer.
Lawyer Grant Cameron filed for a judicial review on behalf of the “Quake Outcasts” against the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
Members of the 40-strong group own vacant and uninsured land in the areas made “red zones” by the government after the Canterbury earthquakes.
The government singled them out for different treatment from other owners of red zoned land. Many of the Quake Outcasts owned land they were planning to build on or acquired them for investment purposes but they were treated differently because bare land cannot be insured and the government/CERA beleived this would create a moral dilemma by treating them the same as other insured landowners.
They were offered just half of the 2007 rateable value of their land.
Justice Graham Panckhurst ruled that the decision to offer to purchase the properties of the applicants on the terms announced by the Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was not made according to law and is set aside, “as are the offers subsequently made to the applicants by the chief executive”.
Justice Panckhurst has ordered Mr Brownlee and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton to reconsider and reach a new decision.
Read Chris Hutchings' full analysis of the decision on NBR ONLINE Tuesday morning.