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Chch demolitions done without owners' knowledge

Published: 7:56PM Wednesday March 23, 2011 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

More than 10% of buildings demolished in Christchurch following last month's quake have been done without the knowledge of their owners.

Civil Defence Minister John Carter has given details on demolition orders in the city in parliament this afternoon.

He says 139 buildings in Christchurch's CBD have been taken down, and of them 17 occurred without the owners being informed.

"Of the 17, it is worthwhile noting 12 of them were authorised before the 8th of March, when the search for survivors and body recovery was the primary focus," Carter said.

He says thorough efforts were made to contact the owners of the buildings concerned.

Carter cast doubt on a claim by a Christchurch property owner Antony Gough that one of his quake damaged buildings in the city's CBD was demolished without his knowledge.

Gough claimed last week one of his Hereford Street properties had been demolished without his permission.

But Carter say Gough was notified early on the building was severely damaged and was threatening neighbouring properties.

Meanwhile, Civil Defence national controller Steve Brazier says he is adamant demolition companies cannot take property from earthquake damaged buildings.

Following the September 4 earthquake there were complaints from business owners demolition workers were taking their property with no authorisation.

However Brazier says that is not the case this time round and that Civil Defence has specifically told demolition companies that nothing is to be removed from sites.

Twenty-three demolition companies have now been accredited to work in the city.

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