Brooklands cleanup three years on

8:56 pm on 4 September 2013

Residents of the red zoned Brooklands area near Christchurch have been cleaning up their damaged neighbourhood, three years to the day after the first big earthquake.

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit at 4.35am on 4 September 2010. North-eastern areas suffered extreme liquefaction and flooding.

About 20 Brooklands residents, many of whom have declined the Government offer to buy their properties, are spending Wednesday afternoon clearing pathways and gutters in an attempt to beautify the area.

Brooklands residents take part in the cleanup.

Brooklands residents take part in the cleanup. Photo: RNZ

Resident Christine Prebble, who is among those staying in the area, says the cleanup has included clearing trees overhanging the footpaths, which are still in use.

"It makes us feel good to make it look good," she says.

Olly Ohlson unveiled the memorial plaque on the Brooklands Stayers Boulder, marking residents' solidarity, on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Ohlson, who plans to stay in his home, says it is a memorial to those who've been forced to leave and to those who are staying.

He is planning to take his insurer to the High Court next month to dispute its payment offer, saying he wants to rebuild his home.

Selwyn district booming

The Selwyn District, by contrast, is growing faster than ever. Mayor Kelvin Coe says as a result of people leaving Christchurch, the district is growing at an unprecedented rate.

"It has certainly accelerated our growth. We're growing at levels that we never anticipated but we were fortunate that before the earthquake we had been part of the urban development strategy which was the greater Christchurch growth planning for out to 2041 so a lot of the planning was in place ... where we wanted the growth to occur."

Mr Coe says most repairs to council property in Selwyn have been completed.

The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team, a council unit charged with rebuilding road, water and sewerage networks across the city, says three years on it has completed 284 repair projects totalling $154.2 million.

It says it still has $1.6 billion of work to complete. More than 263,000sq m of pavement has been laid, just 20% of the damage.