Residents tired of consultation

South New Brighton and Southshore residents are tired of endless consultation to resolve ongoing problems since the earthquakes.

A report has been presented to the city council by the Coastal­Burwood Community Board expressing concern that the communities may not engage effectively in consultation over rising sea level issues.

Regenerate Christchurch opened an engagement hub recently at 82 Estuary Rd.

It comes after residents in Southbridge and South New Brighton were told they are living in a High Flood Management Zone. As a result, many residents are struggling to get resource and building consents to extend their homes or build on empty sections.

The report also said board members are witnessing the social and psychological implications of a lack of action over earthquake-related repairs.

After receiving the report, city councillor Glenn Livingstone said: “To truly understand the experience of those in Southshore and South New Brighton over the last seven years, council has needed to walk in their shoes. I think there is a gap.”

He said the report was received by the city council, but the consultation work is being done by Regenerate.

Board deputy chairman Tim Sintes highlighted the psychological issues residents are facing to show the city council what people are going through.

Mr Sintes said the engagement hub is the “best hope” for Southshore and South New Brighton residents.

Regenerate chief executive Ivan Iafeta acknowledged the past seven years have been a challenging time and it is important residents contribute during consultation.

Southshore Residents’ Association chairwoman Lynda Burdekin said the community has been under stress for eight years since the quakes and now they are facing climate change.

She said residents do not want consultation to keep going for another five years. “There are some old people who are so scared . . . people are thinking is this all going to happen tomorrow? Are we going to have a massive flood? Will we lose our properties? That is pretty sad,” she said.

South New Brighton Residents’ Association secretary Séamus O’Cromtha said what is needed from authorities is prompt decision-making and serious investment.

He said the priorities need to be protecting people and property from tidal flooding and erosion and the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.

•HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think there has been too much consultation and not enough action in South New Brighton and Southshore? Email your views to georgia.oconnor@starmedia.kiwi

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