Christchurch deserves a long-term solution

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.

3 Comments Posted

  1. Three years ago we stood at the corner of our damaged street and listened to those whose homes had been broken crying out for help. We whose homes were not affected offered them our support. With an election imminent the government moved swiftly and red zoned our entire area, disregarding the fact that not all of the area was badly damaged. We who were collateral damage now cried out, but were ignored or, even worse, derided. Some 2500 families were forced to leave homes with little or no damage, exacerbating the housing problem in Christchurch and creating untold misery. Please, please, please learn from our recent history and listen to those who want to stay this time. A genuinely voluntary package is a good proposal, if it can be made to work.

    To those who say the Council should take the lead, I believe this has much merit. The mayor was a red zoner, some of the Councillors have worked closely with red zoners and others living in intolerable conditions. Their approach is more likely to be effective because of their experiences. I know it is horrible for those living in terrible conditions to have to wait, but it is vital that you get the best solution you can. Once you are red zoned you cannot go back.

  2. Interesting that the Prime Minister has already said the government is ready to help and is only waiting for the CCC to come up with proposals. I think that is the right move, Christchurch solutions for residents should come primarily from their elected LOCAL representatives and the Government’s role is to assist with funding as appropriate.

    By the sound of it, there has already been dialogue and the ball is firmly in the CCC court, so that is where the Green Party should be lobbying.

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