Christchurch businesses unhappy at council 'inaction'

9:22 am on 5 November 2010

Some businesses in the Christchurch suburb of Sydenham say the city council's lack of action in dealing with debris and earthquake-damaged buildings has risked their livelihoods.

The council has only just started to clear some areas affected by debris and cordoned off after the 7.1 magnitude quake on 4 September.

Some businesses say it took significant pressure from them and MPs for the council to take any action.

The owner of Butler Auto Mart, Tony Butler, says his trade has dropped significantly as a result of the council's inaction, and some companies have moved out.

Peter Mitchell of Christchurch City Council says it wanted to give building owners time to work through problems with fallen masonry and insurance before it stepped in.

The council says it is looking at putting bracing on a number of unsound buildings in the area so the cordons can be reduced even further.