Red zone decision 'not for riverside park'

6:21 am on 24 March 2012

The office of the Earthquake Recovery Minister has dismissed suggestions that properties along the Avon River in Christchurch have been red zoned to make way for a new park.

On Friday, the minister announced that 251 homes, previously in the orange zone, would be re-zoned red. The Government will offer to purchase all insured sections.

Some owners of affected homes say their properties only have minor earthquake damage and they suspect the land they live on has been red-zoned so it can be used for a new park along the riverbank.

A spokesperson for Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says that isn't the case, and the minister has no knowledge of a proposal for a park.

Mr Brownlee says the decision to red zone the homes was made after engineers said the work to remediate the land along the Avon would be long, costly and disruptive.

In making the zoning announcement on Friday, Mr Brownlee said the properties had suffered significant liquefaction and permanent land movement as a result of the earthquake on 22 February last year.