As Christchurch Rebuilds…

23 Jun

Many of you know that we immediately reached out to the citizens of Christchurch, after the terrible earthquake that devastated their region.

Today I was contacted by a coalition of Christchurch homeowners…

… that want to pioneer a small ISBU community within the Christchurch area, outside the “red zone”.

After the quake, Christchurch was divided into 4 sections, with the RED zone being the worst.

Based on the Cordon Maps, there are places within the RED Zone that NO ONE is even allowed to go  any longer. That’s how unsafe it is.

Credit: Google Images

After the quake and aftershocks, flooding complicated the matters by turning the ground into a black, oozing horror that basically made rebuilding impossible for decades.

Can you say liquefaction? I knew you could. They’ll basically have to abandon this ground until “a stabilization remedy” is researched, tested and then applied. No easy task.

And, we’re talking about decades before that can happen.

The New Zealand Gov’t is now negotiating with homeowners in the RED zone, to actually purchase their homes and property from them, at values set before the quake.

This will allow residents to raise funds to being anew, by building in another part of the city.

They sent me this news report to fill in the blanks;

(Note: Although provided to me, I’m not sure of the” source” yet, I’ll post it as a credit – asap.)

WELLINGTON—The New Zealand government on Thursday offered to purchase 5,000 properties in the worst-hit area of earthquake-devastated Christchurch, at a cost of up to 635 million New Zealand dollars (US$518.7 million).

Prime Minister John Key said around 10,000 homes still need to be assessed after a series of earthquakes caused upwards of NZ$25 billion of damages, including a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 4, and two 6.3-magnitude quakes on Feb. 22 and June 13. Several of the worst-hit suburbs have been rendered uninhabitable by the quakes and subsequent flooding, and ruined by liquefaction, which has turned the ground into a thick black quagmire in some areas.

The government had come under increasing pressure to provide homeowners with a solution, as insurance claims threatened to drag on for years.

“Based on conservative assumptions, Treasury has estimated the net costs to the government to purchase all of the around 5,000 properties currently in the residential red zone to be between NZ$485 million and NZ$635 million,” Mr. Key said in a press conference.

Mr. Key said the government is seeking to provide certainty to residents as land in the so-called “red zone” is “unlikely to be able to be rebuilt on for a considerable period of time.” He underscored “we are talking decades, not years.”

Under the government’s scheme, homeowners have two options. They can sell the entire property to the government, based on its value prior to the Sept. 4 earthquake, or they can sell the land to the government and continue to deal with their own insurer about their homes.

Mr. Key said homeowners would have offer documents in eight weeks and then would have nine months to consider the offer.

Christchurch has been divided into four zones, including the red or most heavily damaged zone. Around 10,000 homes in the orange zone will be assessed as soon as possible and Mr. Key said it is highly likely that many of those homes will move into the red zone.

Mr. Key said owners of 100,000 properties in the green zone have been told to go ahead with the repair and rebuilding of their homes. They no longer have to wait for the results of any area-wide land assessment, as their land has been deemed fit. A final zone, the white zone, is still being mapped.

The cost of purchasing the properties would come out of the government’s NZ$5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund.


This may very well open the door to ISBU home builds (be they ISBU/Modular/Hybrid), as thousands of homeowners seek to build homes and return to “normal life”.

Time will tell…


3 Responses to “As Christchurch Rebuilds…”

  1. Madrigorne June 24, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Liquefaction gives me nightmares, how oozy is the ground there? Quicksand?is it safe to build a park on? Plant grass but not to drive? Is it like La Brea Tar Pits? I’m terrified just thinking about it.

    • Renaissance Ronin June 24, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      From what I’m hearing from people on the ground, the area is so unstable that they’re even thinking about building walls around it.
      It will literally take decades to stabilize. It’s going to give engineers nightmares for many years to come.

      In the meantime, new communities will spring up, like Phoenixes from the ash and rubble.

      Let’s hope that some of them are “Corten Clad”… 🙂

      • Madrigorne June 27, 2011 at 5:37 am #

        I would put a bigass dome over the whole works and let the evil below settle down for a hundred years

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