Minister Brownlee today announced that the 30 April 2013 deadline for leaving the older Red Zones has been extended by three months. A great thing to have happened, and much appreciated.
The next task, for very early in the new year, will be to bring scrutiny to bear on the sticking points – in many cases insurance issues.
The Minister’s announcement is here.
The full text of the statement reads:
Release Date: 17 December 2012
A three month extension to the final settlement date for a small group of residential red zone property owners will ease a number of pressures they are facing, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
The extension will apply to those property owners who under initial rules would have needed to settle with the Crown and vacate the red zone by 30 April 2013.
They will now be able to nominate a new settlement date up until 31 July 2013.
Mr Brownlee says the extension will help red zone property owners who have struck logistical difficulties in exiting their properties.
“It is important to note this does not mean the timeframe has changed for accepting the Crown offer, only the date to settle with the Crown and vacate.
“So far 6391 red zoned property owners have signed sale and purchase agreements, and of those 5212 have already settled with the Crown.
“In numerous residential red zone blocks we now have only one or two houses left in private ownership, so it is very clear the vast majority of people have moved swiftly to leave the worst damaged land and get on with their lives,” Mr Brownlee says.
“The aim of this extension is to help those who are finding themselves in difficult situations beyond their control.”
Mr Brownlee says any further extensions are unlikely as the red zone land must be cleared of residential occupation because it cannot easily sustain critical infrastructure.
Property owners who have already nominated a settlement date but who need to change it to a date closer to 31 July 2013 will need to contact their lawyers once the Christmas break is over to arrange an extension.
This settlement extension does not apply to Southshore and South New Brighton or Port Hills property owners, for whom a different process currently applies.