In the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, the government red-zoned a huge swathe of the city and used coercive buyouts to depopulate and demolish it on “safety” grounds. Now, having snapped up those properties cheaply due to the red-zoning, causing enormous losses to the victims, it now plans to re-offer them for residential development at a profit:
New housing has been confirmed as a possibility for Christchurch’s red zoned river corridor, after close to 7000 households were cleared off it following the earthquakes.
Crown-council agency Regenerate Christchurch on Friday included residential development on five out of 10 land use options it announced for the 602 hectares.
Regenerate chief executive Ivan Iafeta said their goal was to find out how to make “the biggest contribution to Christchurch and New Zealand’s future”.
As one former red-zone resident points out, this is unfair. It looks like they’ve been cleared away for government profit. If the government had acquired this land under the Public Works Act, the former residents would have a right to buy it back. The same should apply to former red zone residents if their land has been deemed safe enough for people to live on.