18 Jul 2017

Chairlift may have spread Port Hills fire, Christchurch man says

From Checkpoint, 5:08 pm on 18 July 2017

A Christchurch resident is blaming a burning chairlift from the Adventure Park for the loss of his home in this year's Port Hills Fire.

Two separate fires, several kilometres apart, started on 13 February - one of which began on Marleys Hill, near the adventure park.

Kieran Grace was one of 11 people whose homes were destroyed in the blazes.

He believes the park's chairlift, which was initially left running, caused new fires to start and spread.

"As I understand it, they left it running to limit the damage to the main line, but they left the chairs on the line, which eventually caught fire and then brought the fire closer to our properties," he said.

Mr Grace said a group of affected residents were now considering legal action against the park.

The Adventure Park said it was waiting on the findings of an investigation into the cause of the fires.

Mr Grace said he was also frustrated with the Selwyn District Council for not being forthcoming with information about their response to the fires.

*The audio version of this story incorrectly states Kieran Grace is considering legal action against Selwyn District Council. He is instead considering legal action against the Adventure Park.