Legal threat after Port Hills residents ignore deadline

4:17 pm on 18 January 2012

The Christchurch City Council says it is considering legal action against residents who have ignored a deadline to leave their Port Hills homes considered unsafe due to earthquake damage.

Twenty-seven notices were issued under the Building Act in mid-December last year, advising residents that they must not live in the homes which are at risk from geotechnical issues such as cliff collapse and rockfall.

The council's general manager of regulation and democracy services says the notices to leave expired on Wednesday and the council will be checking to see if people are still living in those homes.

Peter Mitchell says if people are still refusing to leave, the council will consider taking court action and residents will have the opportunity to present their case to the court.

"The judge makes the decision at the end of the day and the expectation is then that if the court was to agree with the council ... then the person will obey the court order to leave.

"If the person still refused to do that, that's a contempt of court situation and that's another issue to be resolved."