Survey of former residential red zone owners who accepted Crown offers

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.

Residential Red Zone offer feedback sought

CERA is seeking feedback on their Preliminary Draft Residential Red Zone Offer Recovery Plan. Comments must be submitted by 5.00pm on the 19th of May. The Draft plan starts off by explaining the “why?”.

The purpose of developing the ‘Residential Red Zone Offer Recovery Plan’ is to assist the Crown (through the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (“CERA”)) to determine whether it should make new offers to buy vacant, commercial and uninsured properties in the residential red zone and, if so, how such offers should be structured.

However, before the plan there has to be a draft plan.

This is the Preliminary Draft Recovery Plan, notified for public consultation on 5 May 2015. This Preliminary Draft is the first opportunity for everyone to provide their views. You do not have to be an affected property owner or live in greater Christchurch to have a say. This public consultation is an important first step. The Preliminary Draft is in essence a discussion document, which sets out the key contextual information and developments. It focuses on the key questions the Crown will need to consider about the vacant, commercial and uninsured red zone properties, and it asks for your views. It does not predetermine what any final Crown offer will

A copy of the draft plan is available here and you can make an online submission part way down the page here. There are two pages of information designed to explain what is happening and why. Click on the page name shown in red to go to that page.

  1. Public to have say on red zone offers – background to the court case over payments to some living in the Red Zones, the court ruling, how this process is designed to ensure all who are affected (directly or indirectly) and how to have your say.
  2. Questions and Answers – a series of questions, with supporting answers, to help clarify what is going on. The questions are:
    • What was the decision made by the Supreme Court?
    • What is a ‘Recovery Plan’?
    • What is the Residential Red Zone Offer
    • Recovery Plan – Preliminary Draft?
    • Why do you need me to comment?
    • Will this Recovery Plan decide what the offer will be?
    • What happens next?

The Cabinet Paper setting up this exercise is here. .

CERA – updated Cabinet Papers and Minutes

CERA yesterday updated its page of Cabinet Papers and Minutes (here). A quick check indicates that the changes fall into four categories.

The first is replacing unsigned documents with signed copies. The second is updated versions with some or all of the information that was withheld in the past. Third is where a larger paper has now been broken down into a separate document, and the fourth new material added to the page.

The papers concerned are (italics for signature only, bold for additional text, standard text where a paper has been split out from a previously available document, and  underlined because it looks like a new paper i.e. my record of this CERA page does not show the document to have been present before yesterday).

Changes to CERA’s existing web page headings

  • Cabinet Paper: Land Decisions – June 2011 (replaced on 30 July 2013)
  • Cabinet Paper: Kaiapoi Orange Zones – August 2011 (replaced on 30 July 2013)
  • CAB Min (11) 41/24 – Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: Decisions on Remaining Canterbury Orange Zones (replaced on 30 July 2013)
  • Memorandum for Cabinet – Decisions on Remaining Canterbury Orange Zones: Associated paper to Cabinet Minute (11) 41/24 (replaced on 30 July 2013)  NOTE: originally this Cabinet Memorandum was attached to the proceeding Minute (11) 41/24 as just one document.
  • CAB Min (11) 42/9 – Additional Item: Canterbury Earthquake: Orange Zones: Decisions by Ministers with Power to Act (replaced on 30 July 2013) – NOTE: originally this Cabinet Minute was attached to the proceeding Minute (11) 41/24 as just one document

New headings

Land Decisions – 31 August 2012

These Cabinet Business Committee Papers record decisions made to extend a purchase offer to owners of properties on the residential red zone flat land that were Leasehold, Vacant, Uninsured, and Commercial/Industrial properties.

  • Summary of Paper: CBC (12) 63 – Canterbury Earthquake: Red Zone Purchase Offers for Residential Leasehold, Vacant, Uninsured, and Commercial/Industrial Properties

  • Cabinet Business Committee Paper:  CBC (12) 63 – Red Zone Purchase Offers for Residential Leasehold, Vacant, Uninsured, and Commercial/Industrial Properties


Briefing Notes for Minister regarding Red Zone properties

These papers form the basis of the decision-making process towards the final offers that are outlined in the fact sheets above.

  • Briefing Note for Minister (3 April 2012) M/12/0314 – Initial thinking regarding red zone property owners not covered by the Crown offer to purchase residential insured properties
  • Briefing Note for Minister (23 May 2012) M/12/0387 – Red zone residential properties under construction and non-residential properties owned by not-for-profit organisations
  • Briefing Note for Minister (30 August 2012) M/12-13/084 – Revised Cabinet Paper: Red Zone Purchase Offers



In November 2011 there was a blog entry Photographing the loss of Avonside (here) about a project to record a number of post-earthquake personal experiences. The purpose was to record, over a period of years, the lives of some Avonside residents as they and the suburb experienced the after-effects of the earthquakes.


The first phase of the project is more or less complete and those of you who took part may have noticed that part of it is to form a centre piece of next month’s Arts Festival.

Under the heading THX 4 THE MEMORIES, it will be an outdoor poster display of pictures and words and will run along Worcester Boulevard from the museum to the Square. There is information on the exhibition on the Arts Festival website here. Sadly there is no sneak preview of the images. It will be necessary to wait until the festival which starts on the 22nd of August.

For those who don’t know about this project, it was a long and arduous piece of work (still not finished) undertaken by Tim Veling, Bridgit Anderson and Glenn Busch from the Place in Time project. Tim has prepared a video back-grounding the project and you can see it on YouTube here. In the video Tim talks about how it came together. I would like to add to his words by thanking the people at CERA who lent a quiet hand behind the scenes to help with access to Red Zone properties.


CERA update – Community Issues and Questions

CERA have updated their Community Issues and Questions page by adding three new questions (at the bottom of the page here). One of the questions is relevant to those who are still in the Red Zone. At this stage there are no answers available.

The problems/issues/questions are:

22. People believe that they have been advised that garages can no longer be attached to the dwelling when they are a TC3 rebuild. Is this correct? And if it is, why? What does this mean for the property owner should they wish to have an attached garage?

23. Can people who are still in the RRZ, either intending to stay or have yet to leave, get their EQC land claim processed and completed as soon as possible. If not what would be the reasons that these land claims would not be processed?

Additional to question: what would the process be?

24. Under what circumstances will EQC, Fletcher EQR and/or the private insurers take an independent assessment report into account if it challenges their own assessment? How will the outcome of any consideration be communicated to the homeowner?