Forty owners of vacant land and uninsured properties in red zones, will file judicial review proceedings in the High Court at Christchurch at 2.15pm, Wednesday 1 May. The owners have formed a group called Quake Outcasts and are bringing the action against the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee, and the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Roger Sutton.
“These property owners have suffered tremendously because of unlawful decisions by the Minister and the Chief Executive”, said Chairman and Communications Coordinator, Ernest Tsao. “We think the evidence will show that the Crown acted with complete disregard for New Zealander’s property rights and human rights” he said.
The case arose after government made offers to purchase owner’s properties for only 50% of their 2007 land value. “The value of any improvements was ignored and owners felt coerced” said Mr Tsao. “We’re very confident the case will establish:
The Minister’s decision to establish ‘red zones’ was unlawful and obliterated the market value of these properties;
His decision as to who was deserving of compensation, was unlawful and not for any proper purpose,
His decision sought to avoid statutory processes and to unlawfully drive down costs regardless of who it hurt in the process.”
“Quake Outcasts believes the case has massive implications for New Zealanders' property rights and is very confident of a positive outcome as we have appointed a high powered legal team including Grant Cameron, Francis Cooke QC and Dr Matthew Palmer” he added.