Reverend sees red in the zone

Coleman addresses a crowd during the row over Tony Marryatt's pay rise

PROPERTY

The government and Christchurch City Council seem oblivious to the plight of red zoned residents.

That’s the view of Christcommunity leader and minister Mike Coleman.

About 3000 of the 7000 red zoned homeowners have accepted a government compensation offer based on 2007 rateable values. Some with higher values have done well. Others unable to afford replacement properties are in limbo.

Mr Coleman said the council wanted to build stadiums before helping people who were down.

Councillors this week rejected a request to buy land for displaced residents at Spencerville in case it created a precedent.

"How on earth could you create a precedent in these bizarre conditions? Precedents were never mentioned when the council spent $18 million buying properties from Dave Henderson.

"There are funds in the Mayoral Earthquake Fund and the government’s Christchurch Earthquake Fund has $30 million. But they won’t use any of it to help re-house residents.

I’m dealing with displaced red zoned homeowners who still have no idea of where they are going. They are leaving in droves for outer suburbs or places like Rangiora if they can afford the small sections on offer.”

Mr Coleman said he despaired of effective leadership that had thrown red zoned residents into a skewed market where demand had dramatically outstripped supply.

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