November 19, 2011
Canterburians unite- Show Your Colour Crusade Rally. Support quake-affected fellow
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Current Concerns
Homeowner Rights in the Aftermath of Canterbury Quake 

Homeowner Rights in the Aftermath of Canterbury Quake

Why You Should Be Concerned-

No matter how well-intended current policies may be, there are serious encroachments on our rights:

1. The very notion of zoning which areas are allowed to rebuild/repair is a violation of our civil rights. Every New Zealander has the basic freedom of choosing where and how to live, as long as we do not impact on the public's health and safety. 

2. The action of zoning an area red and not allowing rebuild/repair interferes with the private contractual rights of home insurance. Homeowners in these areas cannot exercise their full contractual rights because of the zoning imposed on their property by government.

3. The supposedly 'voluntary' buyout offer is structured in such a way that it is in effect, compulsory, conveniently bypassing existing laws that regulate taking of private land by government.

What Are the Facts-

Some residential 'red zone' homeowners do not wish to be bought out.

Some residential 'red zone' homeowners are not being offered a buyout. (These are uninsured, vacant land, recently bought (after Sept. quake), and in process of building.)

Government buyout offers come with a gentle warning of compulsory nature- that if a homeowner does not accept the offer a compulsory acquisiton will be made at a lower price.

Many 'red zone' homes are relatively undamaged and can be repaired.

All 'red zone' land are not damaged, and can be repaired if they are.

The 'red zoning' action by government is not an act of God, which an earthquake is. 

There are existing laws regulating the taking of private land by government, and these laws guarantee fair compensation to the land owner. 

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 contravenes existing laws and gave government unprecedented powers.

How Are People Affected-

Many homeowners are worried about where to live because their homes are comdemned by 'red zoning'

Insured homeowners whose homes are now 'red zoned' cannot commence repairs because their insurance companies won't allow 'red zoned' houses to be repaired

Uninsured homeowners whose homes are 'red zoned' can repair at their own cost, but have to worry about their houses being demolished by government

Howeowners who are happy to stay in their homes are worried that government will force them to leave

Many homeowners who are considering moving have to take on extra debt to buy a new home with government's current buyout price

Many people who do take the government offer have to live in a smaller house, or relocated to a less desirable area

What Is the Right Thing to Do- (for government)

The right thing to do for government is to listen to the people and respect their rights, by adopting sensible, democratic policies in the treatment of quake affected people.

Specifically these are:

1. Extend buyout offers to people who are interested without bothering people who aren't interested.

2. Set up a fair mechanism for negotiating purchase prices of buyouts.

3. If a total clearing of the 'red zone' is required by government, a fair buyout offer be made to all affected property owners.

What You Can Do to Help-

Read up on news articles to understand the pain and suffering of others.

Talk to your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers about this issue and tell them that you think an injustice is happening.

Write to your represnetatives in parliament and tell them that you are very concerned about this issue and they should do the right thing.