Far too soon since the last time, residents in Canterbury are again waking up to the realities of flooding in their neighbourhoods. This is the third time in less than two months.
It’s been less than two weeks since Christchurch and Banks Peninsula were last hit with flooding. Over Easter weekend, residents and business owners were left to clean up knee-deep water through their homes and businesses.
And again, residents and business owners are today watching the water levels as roads are flooded and rivers have burst their banks. Streets are closed, there are fears for slips on hillside areas, and water mains have burst.
Sandbags, water pumps, storing belongings up high – these are all temporary solutions to what is an ongoing problem.
What these residents deserve and need is a long-term solution.
That’s why we’re proposing a blue zone – a voluntary package to give hundreds of flood-prone Christchurch residents the choice of moving to higher ground. The Government would offer to purchase the properties hardest hit by repeated flooding, so that home owners can get on with their lives.
No one should have to live with the constant threat of flooding, but that is the reality for so many Christchurch residents since the earthquakes.
We need to take steps now to help out those affected by the floods, and set in place rebuild plans to avoid these events in the future.