9 Oct 2017

Concerns raised over red zone plans

1:20 pm on 9 October 2017

Proposals to build new homes in an area of Christchurch's quake-hit red zone isn't fair to its old occupants, a former resident says.

23 april 14. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Christchurch. Red Zone houses.

Abandoned housing in Christchurch's red zone. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

On Friday the Crown-led agency, Regenerate Christchurch, released ten options for the Avon-Otakaro red zone. The 602 hectare red zone used to house 9000 people before the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Almost every house is now gone.

The 10 options on the table for the area include scenarios such as establishing a lake, a golf course, and cycle trails.

Half of the options include building houses.

David Miller's family used to live in the red zone, and he said putting in new homes in the area was unfair to its former residents.

"You can hardly take people off the land and then later on, when you have gotten rid off those people, you can hardly go back on what you've proposed to do ... it doesn't make sense," he said.

"It just doesn't seem fair."

The 10 options have come out of about 5000 ideas Regenerate Christchurch got from the community.

Ernest Tsao is still living in the red zone, as the government's offer to buy his property was not enough to cover buying a house elsewhere.

Mr Tsao said he was not against new developments, but he was worried about how he and others may be affected.

Evan Smith, from the Avon-Otakaro Network, with a map of the Red Zone.

The Avon-Otakaro Network Spokesperson Evan Smith Photo: Frank Film

"My interests are to preserve my home and my house," he said.

"It doesn't matter what [Regenerate Christchurch] decide to in the future, as long as they respect the private property rights and the dignity of those who still live here, we have no problem with what they decide to do."

The Avon-Otakaro Network is a local group lobbying for more green areas.

Spokesperson Evan Smith said he understood the opposition to rebuilding in the red zone but argued it gave the city an opportunity to test new ways of building houses.

"There's not a need for housing in Christchurch per se, there is now enough land to meet demand, and probably future demand as well. But there is a need for affordable housing and housing that tests methodology to make them resilient," he said.

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