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Friday, April 15, 2011

Quake village 'will be safe'

Quake village 'will be safe'

BEN HEATHER AND OLIVIA BELL
Last updated 05:00 16/04/2011
 
Homes in Christchurch's temporary earthquake villages will be comfortable and safe, contractors say.

The Department of Building and Housing announced on Thursday that 300 temporary homes would be placed in Linwood Park and Rawhiti Domain in New Brighton for people left homeless by the February quake.

Linwood resident Rose Castree said people would be disappointed when the temporary accommodation filled the park, but she realised that "wherever you put them someone will complain".

"Even 100 people is a heck of lot to put on there," she said.

Part of the park often turned into a swamp in winter, making it a questionable place to build houses, Castree said.

Several rugby and rugby league teams used the park and would have nowhere else to go if the village took over, she said.

Nathan Daniels, 15, Ben Paterson, 14, and Jesse Pihama, 14, were unsure about the park being converted into a village.

The three teenagers use the park for recreation and said losing the park would disappoint the community.

Des Smith, who walks through Linwood Park every day, said it was positive that the site was being used for temporary housing.

"They have got to have somewhere to go and wherever you set them up somebody is going to moan," he said. "It's just one of those things you have got to get on and do."

Mark Saunders, who has walked his dog Ronnie in Rawhiti Domain for the past six years, said he was disappointed there had been no public consultation about the temporary village.

"I'm not overly happy. There was no warning and no consultation, but I guess they have got to go somewhere."

He said it was a "bit upsetting" to lose the park.

Hawkins South Island manager Quin Henderson met the department and other village contractors yesterday to discuss the villages.

Hawkins, with Spanbild and Fulton Hogan, will build and install about 200 homes in Linwood, New Brighton and Kaiapoi.

Henderson said they would be safe and comfortable.

"I think there is some fear that these are going to be refugee camps," he said.

The first show home would be built in Linwood Park early next month, with homes being ready a few weeks later, he said.

"If we can get the show home up and running, then people can see it and get some more confidence."

The department had told contractors that homes would not be built on sports grounds, he said.

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