Owners of properties in Christchurch's red zones, who have either not received a Crown Offer to purchase their land, or who did not accept the offer that they received, have now learnt the new process that will be followed for Crown Offers to be made to them.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, has announced that a Recovery Plan will be developed by the chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA).

The Recovery Plan is a process established under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act (CER Act). The Supreme Court's decision in the court proceedings brought by the Quake Outcasts group indicated that a Recovery Plan was an appropriate way to make an offer to property owners in the red zone (see our summary of that decision, here).

This process will allow everyone to have a say on the Crown Offers that will be made to owners of vacant, commercial, and uninsured properties in the red zone. Anyone who owns land in that part of the red zone affected by this decision should seriously consider making a submission on the Recovery Plan.

The Government has confirmed that owners of properties in the Port Hills red zone who are yet to receive any offer will receive an offer, and this will not be less than the offer already made to those in the flat land red zones. They have also confirmed that if the Recovery Plan process results in a larger revised Crown Offer from that which has expired, then those owners who accepted the original offer will be eligible for a top up of their payments.

The process for making submissions on the Recovery Plan will be released soon. The Recovery Plan is expected to be finalised and decisions made in relation to the Crown Offer by the middle of this year. The further delay will be disappointing to these landowners who have already waited so long for an outcome.

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