Zoning Decisions

The government will zone all properties affected by the earthquake as either red zone or green zone. Green zoned land can be rebuilt on. Red zoned properties can not be rebuilt on. The government will offer landowners either:

  • A price for their land only
  • A price for their land and home including improvements 

The government’s offer to purchase a property and appealing zoning decisions

Q:      If I am unhappy with the government’s offer for their property how do I get  this reviewed?

A:      You can only ask for a review of the government’s price offer in cases where:

  • The land area is incorrect.
  • The floor area is incorrect by more than five per cent.
  • Work has been done on the house, (which you have got building consent for) and these new improvements haven’t been taken into consideration in deciding on the rating valuation.
Cycle Powered cinema 250x166 Zoning Decisions

Cycle-powered cinema: The outdoor cinema on the corner of Manchester and Dundas St offers films to patrons willing to pedal special bicycle powered generators. Get fit and catch a flick. Credit: Gapfiller project

If you are not happy with the government’s offer:

  • CERA will appoint a rating valuer to review the decision
  • This compares the price offered with similar homes
  • You have 10 days to review the offer. The fee is $100.00
  • You must provide information to support your appeal

If you ask for a review, CERA will appoint a rating valuer who will reconsider the purchase price and how this amount was arrived at.

The review will compare your home/building with the rating values of similar properties, and will decide if it is necessary to change the purchase price. Owners need to be aware that sometimes this may result in a lower purchase price or no change in the purchase price.  Unless it is challenged, the reviewed purchase price will then become the new purchase price for the property (minus any costs that are outlined in the Agreement for Sale and Purchase).

You have the right to appeal the reviewed purchase price.  The owner has 10 working days from the date of notification of the new reviewed purchase price to make an appeal.  To lodge an appeal costs $100 and this is not refundable. This fee will be taken from the purchase price when the agreement is settled.

You will be asked to provide information to support your appeal.  The appeal will be looked at by an independent team of experts.  The team of experts will make a final decision that will be based on both the information you supplied and the information supplied by the rating valuer who did the review of the purchase price. The panel of experts’ decision is binding for the owner and the government.

Although no decisions have been made on the final future of the land in the residential red zones, CERA does have the power under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to require you to sell your property to CERA for its market value at that time. It is important to remember that if a decision is made in the future to use these powers to compulsorily acquire your property, the market value could be much less than the amount offered to you by the government.

The land in the residential red zone is not likely to be suitable for continued residential living for a long period of time.  It generally suffers from thin crust issues and/or lateral sideways spreading which makes the land too weak or unstable to support residential dwellings, without major area-wide land repairs which would take years to design and put in place and involve massive costs and disruption.  This means permanent repairs to the infrastructure (such as roading, power and water supplies) in these areas can also not go ahead.

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