Christchurch's forgotten residents

  • 20/07/2012

By Annabelle Tukia

Most people have heard of Christchurch's colour-coded earthquake zones: red means residents have to go, green - they can stay.

But thousands of residents say they've been forgotten - they're in a zone called TC3.

TC3 is blue-green, and that means many of their sections must be individually drilled and tested - and they could be waiting up to five years for a new house.

One family living in the zone is the Beddgoods. The back rooms of their blue-green zoned home have been deemed unlivable because the land is slowly sliding into a stream behind their house.

They've been told it could be five years at least until they get a new home.

“We're all sleeping in the front rooms on the floor and the place is almost impossible to keep warm with all the cracks and damage,” says Dan Beddgood.

And they're not alone. There are 28,000 homes in total zoned TC3.

But 11,000 of those houses have foundation damage, meaning individual drilling and site-specific or tailor-made foundations are needed for a new house.

Dale Ogilvie owns one of those properties - he hasn't heard anything from his insurance company since April last year, and he knows of dozens of others in a similar situation.

He has just posted online a letter to the Government, CERA, EQC, and the Insurance Council calling for action and he's been swamped with support.

“A lot of what we're asking for is a reasonable timeframe to that recovery, not three-to-five years to have a house rebuilt, because I've rung up building companies and they are ready to work,” says Mr Ogilvie.

EQC says they have already completed 20,000 claims and stand by their plans to have all repairs finished by the end of 2015.

But EQC may not be the only stumbling block for residents.

“In TC3, the vast majority of those homes - because that's where lots of the damage is - is going to reside with the private insurers, so hence we want to work with the private insurers in getting that analysis done,” says Bruce Emson of EQC.

Mr Emson says EQC is working as fast they can with limited resources, but CERA boss Roger Sutton believes more needs to be done.

”For many people, especially the elderly, five years is going to be too long and the insurance industry and in fact the wider community needs to find a way to ensure those people are fixed up faster than that,” says Mr Sutton.

It seems the Beddgoods’s will have to endure a few more Christchurch winters just yet before they're re-housed.

3 News

source: newshub archive