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Christchurch landowner loses quake battle

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Fri, 26 Aug 2022, 2:55pm
Steven Young wants to rebuild his Redcliffs property after the 2011 earthquake caused 30,000 tonnes of debris to rain from above. Photo / Star News
Steven Young wants to rebuild his Redcliffs property after the 2011 earthquake caused 30,000 tonnes of debris to rain from above. Photo / Star News

Christchurch landowner loses quake battle

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Fri, 26 Aug 2022, 2:55pm

A Redcliffs man has failed in his latest bid to make the Crown pay for damage to his land during the earthquakes and fix the cliff wall that still threatens his property.

In a judgement given by Justice Kós this week, Kós said Steven Young had owned the land since 1979 and spent about 35 years developing it.

When the February 22, 2011, quake struck, more than 30,000 tonnes of rock and debris fell from the cliffs behind him, deeming three of five dwellings uninhabitable.

Though the neighbouring cliff-top properties were acquired by the Crown soon after they were red-zoned, Young rejected all offers to buy his land, even though it was red-zoned for the continued cliff instability. In 2017, Young brought an action against the Crown, claiming they had an obligation to remove the rockfall and remediate the risk.

Alternatively, he sought an award of damages for the value of the property he lost.

His claim was dismissed by Justice Dunningham, but he appealed her decision in front of Justices Kós, Cooper and Dobson in April.

They ultimately found that the justice did not err in her judgement and that the Crown was not liable for damage done by the quakes as it did not own the neighbouring properties in 2010/11.

Dunningham also did not err in ordering Young to pay the Crown costs, they found.

The appeal was dismissed, and Young's application was granted to file a further appeal against the costs.

Tina Grumball, starnews.co.nz

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