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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kaiapoi left in limbo following announcement

Kaiapoi left in limbo following announcement

Thu, 23 Jun 2011 6:18p.m.

By Hamish Clark

While today's announcement brings a degree of certainty for those whose homes are in the red zone, many other Christchurch residents are still waiting.

Their houses stand empty awaiting demolition and they feel left out.

"We were the first in trouble," says Kaiapoi resident Peternella Ceelen. "We are devastated."

There was anger on the streets of Kaiapoi.

"We are getting zip absolutely zilch," says Lindsay Fergusson.

Residents are feeling ignored and forgotten.

"Mr Brownlee has put it all on hold," says Camilla Cottle.

Ms Cottle lives in Courtney Dr, where work was to begin on their ruined neighbourhood. Residents were mailed a map setting out where and when the work would start. Now it won't be.

"We just want to get out of here do something," says Ms Cottle. "We are sick and tired of sitting around and waiting, what we are going to do with our lives?"

Judith Driver isn't waiting  - she's packing up and moving out.

"We thought we might be in our house at the end of next year and now Mr Brownlee says it all has to go on hold, and it has not been mentioned once about Kaiapoi. We are just forgotten about."

Courtney Dr is a ghost town, and all along one side the houses are all going to be demolished. The problem for the owners is that they are going to have to wait for years - some say six - before they can be rebuilt and move back in.

Work on fixing Kaiapoi was set to start within days.

Waimakariri labour mp

"The recovery work was five or six days away from getting off the ground," says Waimakariri Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove. "Mr Crownlee called a halt to it and never gave us a reason."

"We need some action out and we need to make it happen today," says Neville Atkinson, Waimakariri District councillor. "There needs to be some lines in the sand."

As houses sit empty and broken and others disappear, Courtney Dr residents say it's way past time for action.

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