Labour says the Government has sneaked out an announcement that it will only offer half the rateable value of some red-zone land while most people in Canterbury were focussed on the fate of their local schools.
Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel says Gerry Brownlee has "cynically used this opportunity to sneak out his announcement that owners of uninsured houses or vacant land in the red zone will only get an offer of half the rateable value of the land".
Brownlee today announced the basis of offers to owners of vacant and commercial/industrial land within the flat land residential red zone, as well as residential properties that are uninsured.
The announcement affects 65 parcels of vacant land; 50 properties that were occupied at the time of last February's quake but which are uninsured; 22 insured commercial/industrial buildings and six insured houses on leasehold land.
Dalziel says the full rateable value for other land owners in the red zone was nowhere near the market or replacement value and offering just half the rateable value for land "adds insult to injury".
"This is very bad news for people who have been hung out to dry by a government who promised to preserve people's equity in their property."
But Brownlee says the 65 known parcels of vacant land within the areas zoned red since June last year are uninsured and not eligible for the Crown's original residential red zone offer.
"We have decided to assist the owners of these properties by giving them the option to sell their land to the Crown at half the most recent rateable value," he said.