Port Hills properties made safe from landslip

8:42 pm on 31 May 2013

Residents of eight properties in Christchurch's Port Hills have been allowed to return home - but others aren't so happy.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said on Friday that $1 million worth of stabilisation work on the quarry above Lucas Lane means the green-zoned properties are now safe to be occupied.

The old quarry was stabilised at a cost of $1 million.

The old quarry was stabilised at a cost of $1 million. Photo: RNZ

Mr Brownlee says 40,000 cubic metres of loose fill from the earthquake-damaged quarry was removed and the properties are no longer at risk of being hit by a landslip.

All property owners on the Port Hills have been zoned either red - where the land has suffered significant damage and buildings are uneconomic to repair, or green - where there are no significant land issues and properties can be repaired.

However, 132 are still waiting for the results of a review after appealing against the decisions.

An announcement about the review was expected by Friday, but that has been delayed for a third time until an unspecified date.

Phil Elmey, who lives in Sumner, wants to be re-zoned from red to green and says the seven months it has taken the reviewers is unacceptable.

"In general for Port Hills residents it's been a torturous process. I mean, we still have no idea, no certainty around our futures. People want to be able to move on with their lives. It's been two-and- a-half years now - that's a long time."

Tom Bachop owns two green-zoned properties in the suburb and says he's been waiting for the announcement since the 22 February earthquake in 2011.

"It's been hell really, moving gear out, moving gear in. Just been a long ongoing event."

Mr Bachop says it's great news he can move back in and resume a normal life. He will rebuild houses on both sites, one of which he will live in.