16 Nov 2015

Franz Josef red zone put on hold

8:57 pm on 16 November 2015

An earthquake red zone for West Coast town Franz Josef has been put on hold while the local council investigates its viability.

The Westland District Council proposed the zone, which would be up to 200 metres wide, to minimise the risk to people if there was an earthquake on the Alpine Fault.

In May, independent commissioners adopted the plan, which meant businesses inside the red zone could continue to operate but not expand.

Five businesses appealed against the decision to the Environment Court but mediation was unsuccessful.

The lawyer for the businesses, Graeme Todd, said both parties had agreed to an adjournment for 12 months so the council could investigate the red zone decision.