Quake residents promised some answers

10:07 pm on 22 June 2011

The wait will be over for some Christchurch households on Thursday, when they find out whether the earthquake-damaged land their houses are on will be abandoned.

But others on marginal land will have to wait for a decision about whether they can stay where they are or have to move.

The Prime Minister says the announcement should give people in the worst-hit areas greater clarity about whether or not they can remain on their land.

The Government has been under increasing pressure to reveal which parts of Christchurch are now too unsafe to build on.

The region has been hit by three big quakes: on 4 September 2010, on 22 February this year which killed 181 people and devastated much of central Christchurch, and on 13 June causing more damage and one death. Aftershocks continue to be felt.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee told a parliamentary select committee some information will be revealed when Prime Minister John Key visits the city on Thursday.

He says the home owners on the worst-affected land who have insurance will be provided with a range of options about what they can do. However, Mr Brownlee says it will not provide all answers to all residents and there will be regular updates over coming weeks.

The Minister says Kaiapoi is an example of the need to wait, following last week's earthquakes.

"There was a suspicion that some parts of Kaiapoi will have shifted again. Now to commit to a remediation programme that may eventually have no effect I think would be irresponsible.

"And it would be unfair to people to try and convince them that that might work," he said.

New land available - mayor

The mayor of Christchurch says the city will have the capacity to house people who can't rebuild their houses because of damage to land from the recent earthquakes.

Bob Parker says the city's urban development strategy has plenty of new land, which can be made available for people who are forced to move.

He says some areas that were not planned to be built on for the next 10 to 20 years will be brought forward to provide extra space for resettlement.