Quake residents 'desperate' for timeframe on land

1:07 pm on 20 June 2011

A group representing Christchurch people in earthquake damaged homes say they are desperate for the Government to put some timeframe on when the decision about rebuilding on land will be announced.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is refusing to give an indication of when an announcement will be made on which properties must be abandoned.

A spokesperson for CanCern, which represents those in damaged homes, says she understands why Mr Brownlee is reluctant to raise people's hopes about a date.

But Leanne Curtis says people are desperate to get some indication of how long they will have to wait.

Ms Curtis says it would be good if the Government at least confirmed that the decision is only weeks away - not months.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the number of homes to be demolished as a result of the quakes in September last year and February could be in the realm of 12,000.

The Government is working to assess which properties are damaged beyond repair, but Mr Brownlee told Morning Report on Monday he won't be drawn on when that information will be released, saying he can't tell people what isn't known.

"You can't tell people what you don't know and in the end while there is a clamour for many commentators to get an answer, I'm critically conscious that we're talking about the lifetime equity that people have in their homes.

"I'm not going to just simply put that into a position where they might be less well treated than they should be."

Prime Minister John Key, who is in Australia on an official visit, said on Monday the Government hopes to give Cantabrians more information as soon as it can.

Mr Key says he anticipates meeting with ministers when he returns on Tuesday.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says it is unfair of the Government to make the people of Christchurch wait much longer.