The government should act swiftly and take an individualised approach to each of the families remaining in Christchurch’s Red Zone, says Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ‘Quake Outcasts’ today.
The Supreme Court has found today that the government offers in relation to uninsured properties and vacant land in the Red-Zone was unlawful and has directed the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery to reconsider his decisions.
“The Human Rights Commission’s view is that decisions concerning the Red Zone should have taken into account human rights principles. This could have happened if government had followed the process set out in the CERA Act. The failure to do so has - and continues to - negatively impact on the mental and physical health, housing and property rights of the people affected by the decisions,” says Mr Rutherford.
“These people have suffered long enough, the government must act quickly to enable these people to move on with their lives,” says Mr Rutherford.
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court found that although insurance status was one relevant consideration, other relevant considerations such as the social, economic, cultural and environmental well being of communities, weighed against it being a determinative factor in the government’s offer in relation to owners of uninsured properties and vacant land.
“The government has an opportunity to put things right now. It must ensure that it takes into account all its human rights obligations in reconsidering these and future decisions,” says Mr Rutherford.
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