CERA is currently surveying all who were Red Zoned and accepted the Government’s (Crown) offer. Research company Neilsen are conducting the survey and invitations to take part started going out via e-mail on the 14th (last week).
If you were Red Zoned, and took the offer, you should have received a survey invitation by now. If not it is likely to be the result of a change of e-mail address since the Crown offer process started. Whatever the reason, you can participate by ringing Neilsen on 0800 400 402.
If you are cautious about taking part in case it resurrects stresses and demons best left buried, Neilsen offer the following advice in the first part of the survey:
We hope that you will find the survey experience positive, but we understand that many former property owners may find the issues it covers difficult and taking part may bring back mixed emotions. If you find this to be the case we encourage you to consider calling the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 or to contact a trusted friend. You are free to stop the survey at any time.
Should your caution be motivated by cynicism or mistrust you won’t be alone. Never the less give thought to at least looking at the survey. If you don’t have your say, your views won’t be in the mix.
The survey is structured in an unusual way that may, or may not, fully and accurately capture the issues and experiences of Red Zoners. There are two parts for some participants to fill in, and one for others. Each part has a wide range of questions. It may be you will find the questions don’t address issues that were, or still are, important. This can be saved up for the final part of the survey where there is (at least in the draft I have seen courtesy of Neilsen and CERA) an open-ended question:
Finally, please add any comments or suggestions you would like to make, particularly any suggestions about what more could be done to help people in the future if their properties are in the worst affected areas following a natural disaster.
Take the opportunity to say what you have to say, there may never be another chance. Were there stresses that the survey overlooks (e.g. being in the limbo of an Orange zoning, having to relocate while the Ministry of Education was restructuring schools)? Were there services that just weren’t up to it and so you didn’t use them (e.g. a medical centre or other health service you thought incapable or unwilling to give the help needed?) Anything else? Mention it now; include the things that worked, as knowing what worked is as important as knowing what failed.
Unfortunately for some, the survey is designed to be completed on-line (another example of not acknowledging the electronic world is inaccessible or alien to many?). Even those with computers and the skills to use them may have difficulties – many of us were brought up as part of a paper based and reflective culture where time was available and drafts were used to ensure we said as clearly as we could exactly what we meant. If you know anyone who would struggle to do this perhaps you could help them, or maybe ring Neilsen and see what support they can offer. The Human Rights Commission and others may have something to contribute here.
The following is CERA’s release intended for those who haven’t been contacted about the survey:
CERA is conducting a voluntary, confidential online survey of former residential red zone property owners who accepted Crown offers for purchase of their properties. The survey is intended to help the Government, local authorities and communities in responding to any similar situations that might come up in the future.
CERA has contacted former property owners (or people who acted on their behalf) directly, but some people's contact details have changed in the past couple of years. If you're a former residential red zone property owner who accepted a Crown offer for purchase of your property and haven't received your invitation to participate, please contact Nielsen, the independent research company carrying out the survey on CERA's behalf: 0800 400 402.