Thieves target suburb after demolitions publicised

10:17 am on 4 February 2012

The Minister of Earthquake Recovery says burglaries of quake-damaged homes in the Christchurch suburb of Bexley illustrate why officials will not be widely publicising the timing of demolitions.

When the first demolitions of damaged homes purchased by the Government began on 30 January, the minister, Gerry Brownlee, was criticised for not informing the past owners.

Mr Brownlee says following media coverage of the demolitions, burglars stripped some of the houses of their remaining chattels.

"In the end, that's a cost directly to the taxpayer. There are always people who lose in burglaries, but we're not much interested in signalling ahead of time opportunities for the seedy side of society to go and rob these places blind."

Mr Brownlee says recycling of chattels is one way in which the Government expects to be able to recoup the cost of the project.