Report from Christchurch Protest 22-24 July 2013


On 10.00AM Monday 22 of July at the High Court in Durham St Christchurch there was scheduled a hearing instigated by approximately 40 property owners of the Christchurch red zone whose property is either repairable or completely undamaged.


Geof's email of intention:

These people are being compelled to leave and as a group, they have found enough cash to test the legality of the red zone order in the courts.

In some cases those who were uninsured will get as little as 14% restitution on their undamaged home and section.

In most cases they border on to green zone properties and there is no just reason that they should lose their properties and equity just because of a bureaucratic decision.

In fact this is a gross abuse of person freedom, democracy and property rights....

I personally think that this is our government clearing the river banks as demanded in Agenda 21, and is what Mr Brownlee really means by his  “unprecedented opportunity” to rebuild Christchurch – he is really saying  (an unprecedented opportunity to build the worlds first Agenda 21 complying eco city).

Why else would they clear everyone, including perfectly good properties, off the riverbanks and wet areas?

However regardless what is behind this and whether you believe Agenda 21 is involved, I believe this COMPULSARY taking of land in our city is infringing our basic human rights as citizens of New Zealand (which is supposed to be a free and equitable country), and we should not stand by idly while it happens.

I will be at the High Court on Monday and I will have a placard. I hope at least some of you will feel fit to meet me there.

Most of all I wish that you will all turn up at about 9:30 outside the High Court on Monday in support of these people. Bring a friend and placards if you can organise some.


Geof's reports:


Dear Friends,

As I promised, I am attempting to keep you all up to date on the Red Zone hearing.

I can only give you impressions as I do not have access to recordings, transcripts or summaries but I did pick up some interesting points.

I stood outside the Courthouse door with two signs. I was joined by one other and one of the red zoners came to chat about Agenda 21 briefly.

Ernest Tsao spoke to me briefly and appeared pleased I was there but of course he was very busy.

I was able to briefly speak to the press. They didn’t know what Agenda 21 was, so I was able to give them a few facts and the suggestion that they google “agenda21” when they got back to the office. One press member even photographed my placards.

I was able to be present in the public seating until 1.00 PM before personal commitments took me away.

Today and, I understand, part of tomorrow morning, the petitioners' counsel had the floor.

First of all the petitioners' first lawyer explored the legislation outlining the legal authority and the limits of this authority in the taking of land. He was certainly thorough in that he spent some time reviewing parts of the CERA Act and the authorities vested therein, the Public Works Act of which the CERA Act has to give recognizance when deciding compensation for taking of land. He also went as far back as the Magna Carta which is the very first document which later gave citizens of Britain basic rights of freedom (of which the freehold of property is one) etc which was “forced” upon King John in year 1215. More recently it has been described by Lord Denning “"the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot” although Lord Denning and the learned counsel for the Red Zone petitioners was probably referring to the 1297 amendment which translates:

NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or

Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed;

nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his

Peers, or by the Law of the land We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to

any man either Justice or Right.”

Well I can go along with that as well.

Next another member of the counsel for the red zoners reviewed the documents supplied by the Crown. It appears the respondents (that’s the government in this case) will be claiming that there is and never has been any coercion for anyone to sell their land to the government. Strange that because it obvious to us that, at present, if they do not “sell” (which is a sobriquet at best), they are presently threatened with the removal of all utilities including presumably the utility of access- i.e. the use of the road to their property. Presumably they will still get rates bills as they do at present, I understand.

The parliamentary discussion papers supplied under the Official Information Act appear, (among many other things) to discuss ways by which the Crown might make savings in the amount of compensation available by sequencing certain events and thus avoiding legislation which governs the amount of compensation payable.

I understood for example that an Urban Land Use Change, which could have been used to clear the red zone areas, would cost the Crown fair and equitable compensation for everyone involved, but if they left the zone change until after the Red Zone had already been cleared, they could mitigate this expense.

Quite disgusting really because lets not forget that the government is, or is

supposed to be, our servant.

Also the learned counsel for the Red Zoners expressed some dismay that some of the discussion papers, emails etc appeared to be missing and the respondents had even claimed that some papers, that were conspicuous by their absence, had never existed.

Other parliamentary discussion papers listed the possible uses of the land once the

previous owners and their dwellings had been cleared away.

Yes “improving water quality of the water ways” or words to that effect was among them.

I can’t say that I am impressed by our government in this matter at all!

So this is a very rough summary of what I heard this morning. I used no notes, transcripts or summaries and as things moved reasonable quickly I cannot guarantee every thing I have written here is correctly construed or accurate. However I hope it gives you all an idea of what is going on.

One thing is obvious though – and that is that the court is unlikely to go into the reasons why the government is being so heavy handed. After all it seems to me that the most face saving method of dealing with this matter would be to state that “yes the offer of the “buy out” is truly voluntary and of course redzoners who have undamaged or repairable properties may simply opt to stay where they are – end of story-no expense to government and everyone is happy”.

But of course it appears that the government is hell bent on clearing these areas no

matter what.

Of course where my concern and I suspect where the most climate realists have their concerns is what is driving the government? I say its Agenda 21 of course but even then there must be more incentive than that. Is the government facing pressure from agencies outside NZ or is it just over enthusiastic parliamentarians (public servants) who have lost the plot?

I will be at the courthouse again tomorrow morning with my placards and will try and get you all a commentary on what goes on in the morning session of the hearing.

Thank you all for reading my humble words.






Dear Friends

Once again I was outside the High Court in Christchurch before 9:30 am with my placards.

Not so many press today, although the cameraman appeared in time for the respondent opening in the mid morning.

I got a visit from the court security guard who told me I couldn’t leave my placards on Court property while I was inside attending the hearing, (I wasn’t allowed to take them inside either surprise surprise), but he gave his consent for me to leave them in a niche to one side of the entrance, which was no problem for me as people could read them quite clearly through the glass.

This morning the counsel for the plaintiffs discussed possible remedies. There were a number of suggestions including the removal the red zoning from undamaged or repairable homes and properties.

Re-zoning or removing properties from the red zone seems to me the most sensible option as it costs basically nothing, the properties regain their market value and the owners are free to stay put or sell on as they see fit

All the other remedies discussed appeared to concern the amount of remuneration necessary to enable the plaintiffs to setup elsewhere.

Later in the morning it was the turn of the respondent. That is the solicitor for the government.

He basically started by decrying all the analysis of the parliamentary decision process by saying it was the end result that mattered. He did not address, as far as I could tell, whether the parliamentary decisions were actually legal or not (a point that the plaintiffs spent some time over)

Then he spent some time saying that there was no compulsion for anyone in the red zone to accept the government’s generous offer. The offer was given in good faith and there was and is no compulsion to accept it. (He didn’t mention the notice recently received by  the red zoners informing them that Postal Services would soon cease for them, the fact that the properties were now valueless because of the zoning and the almost certain likelihood that the Christchurch City Council would soon cease supplying utilities to these people.)

Good try for him anyway, but the judge took him up on the fact that the zoning had effectively killed the properties (damaged or not) and there was a minor interchange over that subject.

However the crown solicitor stuck to his guns. 

Well anyway the judge’s opinion at least is clear with regard to the effect of the red zone so let’s hope he does not change his mind!

Once again I had to leave at 1.00 PM so I didn’t hear the respondent’s analysis which was going to show why the government's offer was in good faith.

At lunch time, I did chat to several of the plaintiffs though and they all had no problem with having the zoning of their properties restored although I accept it may not be appropriate in all cases.

I do know that many of the plaintiffs simply do not want to leave their homes, and if their homes and properties are only slightly damaged or have suffered no damage at all I cannot for the life of me see why they need to be thrown out! (Unless Mr. Brownlee really needs to clear the river banks and wetlands), but I have belabored that point already.

Personally I think that the whole idea of blanket zoning is showing its worthlessness.

There are properties that are not re-buildable for sure and others that are. However to choose a convenient area on a map and disenfranchise all those properties just because many are terminally damaged, - to omit the undamaged properties because they would create a checkerboard effect on the map -, is simply bureaucracy gone mad.

Even in the green zone many properties need engineering inspections. Why not leave it to the home owner’s engineer to decide whether the property is tenable or not and offer the tax payer’s largess on that basis?

Oh well, I will be at the courthouse again tomorrow morning (Wednesday) and will share with you all my thoughts on the summing up.

Hope you are all enjoying my dissertations.

Once again the content of these commentaries are all compiled without access to court recordings and/or transcripts and all the opinions are my own.

Will write once again on tomorrows proceedings as  I saw them and after that all we can do is hope for a good decision!



Geof. Mead



Dear Friends,


Today once again I was outside the High Court in Christchurch.

Interestingly the TV 1 crew, a cameraman and an attractive reporter, turned up, as it turned out, to shoot scenes of the solicitors approaching and entering the building.

At first I thought he was shooting my signs but unfortunately he was just using them to adjust the white balance:(

So he filmed the plaintiffs or applicants lawyers, and then later a few more who appear to be the juniors for the applicants.

The crown lawyers (respondents ) turned up a little later and acknowledged me as they passed. Didn’t sneer at the “Agenda 21?” on my placard this time or maybe its just because they couldn’t do both in the short space of time.

The TV One reporter started to enter the courtroom but I collared her briefly by asking if she knew what Agenda 21 was. As I explained it a little, incredibly she answered that she hadn’t even realized that I was there on behalf of the Red Zone case! I don’t know what she thought my other placard was about “SECURE PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE FUNDAMENTAL TO A FREE SOCIETY” was all about!

Well check out her report at  I guess, after three days listening to the hearing, she never caught on about the red zone declaration destroying values on perfectly good properties and all the other effects that it created!

Ernest Tsao got filmed as he crossed the road.  As we went in together he assured me that the Red Zone revocation option was number three on the list of proposed remedies. Don’t know how I missed that yesterday as I was listening carefully for them!

I chatted with some of the red zoners before entering the courtroom. I heard the statement from at least one of them who said “its like they just want us off the land at all costs!”

Well as you all have gathered by now, that’s exactly what I think it is. Part of Gerry Brownlee’s “unprecedented opportunity to build a “better” Christchurch

It was still the respondent counsel’s turn on the floor and he spent considerable time arguing that the crown and its officers had a “third power” of authority to establish the red zones and make the purchase offers to the owners. This third power – that is a power that the government has that is outside and in addition to the power of a cabinet minister and statute. One example of this power he gave was the way the Ministry of Justice hired/leased or purchased land and facilities in order to carry on the functions of justice whilst the very building we were in was being repaired. No statute or ministerial consent was needed. This is this third power. (He didn’t say much at that time whether the finance came from the Justice annual finance vote or they had to apply for extra in order to cope.)

Anyway  because the red zone and the government offer occurred before the CERA act became law, it was this power that was used and therefore was quite legal. Not sure how the billion dollar expense for the red zone offer fitted in here though.

My impression that the judge didn’t think much of that either.

The respondent’s counsel then went on to assure the judge that the zoning of, what we now know as the red zone, was merely an administrative means to identify the land that was impractical to rebuild upon and thereby allow the government to make the buy out offers in a systematic way.

Of course he failed to mention that if the zoning had been changed using existing legislation, as perhaps under the resource management act, the crown would have had to pay each property owner a sum which would enable him to relocate to a property of equal standard of the one he left- insured or not! (whether there could or would be a discount for earthquake damage is not known)

He emphasized that a red zone resident need not leave, could repair his house and do all normal things a house or property owner could do, including applying for a building permit and rebuilding if he so desired. (I kid you not!)

His Honor then asked dryly if the respondent counsel had any idea of the numbers of building permits applied for and/or granted in the red zone.  The counsel replied that he had no such figures – whereupon the judge said that it was very likely that the number was zero.

After the respondent had completed his “defence” one of the counsel for the applicants was given the floor and summarised using newspaper articles which mentioned that insurance was not possible in the red zone (it's not even possible outside the red zone either in many cases actually), reports that registered valuers and such experts were reporting that red zone properties of any sort had practically no value and other reports which discussed the intention that red zone utilities were expected to cease and banks were not allowing mortgages etc.

I have to say that brought the proceedings down to earth again.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the afternoon when the applicant’s counsel was scheduled to do a final summing up.

My own conclusion is that the judge is willing to stand on his head to help the red zoners and there is cause to be optimistic, but this is tempered by the fact that the judge himself is under the law and one can hope he can find an equitable solution to this administrative and legal morass.

The more I think about the zoning concept as applied in Christchurch, I have to say it looks more and more like a land grab to me. I mentioned above that some at least of the red zoners think that way as well.

To me of course, it points to Agenda 21 as being the driving force behind this debacle and to be honest, I believe if its not Agenda 21, it simply has to be the biggest governmental and bureaucratic stuff up in New Zealand history!

Let’s leave the river banks aside for the time being and contrast the zoning idea with the alternatives.

A zone is a blunt tool. Not everyone in the zone is going to need help. From what I hear and see for myself, in many cases, the red zone damage is less than in many TC3 graded properties.

Therefore there appears to be a considerable overlap in terms of damage and vulnerability to potential future events between the red zone and the green zone.

This means that there are at least some green zoner’s that need the tax payer’s largess as much as the worst victims in the red zone.

Conversely we know there are at least a significant number of red zone properties that are absolutely fine.

Therefore the government, if it was intending to help property owners in genuine need, simply had to evaluate each property on its own merits.

Ah you cry, that would be far too time consuming and difficult given the numbers!

Well I don’t think so. 

For a start every insured house that is damaged will attract an inspection from EQC. This is happening anyway as even the current red zone properties will need to be assessed for their EQC payout entitlement, regardless of who owns them. (That is if we are to believe the respondent’s lawyer).

Therefore naturally, reasonably promptly, the government would be in possession of data for all the damaged houses in Christchurch, (except those which were uninsured), and would be in a position to offer compensation to those most in need.  (Although it’s difficult to see why a fully insured property owner would need a lot of compensation).

Uninsured properties of course would take a little more time and would need expert assessors other than EQC but presumably consisting of a small minority, it seems not an over whelming task.

Thus the government would in due course have a file on each earthquake affected property and be in a position to actively distribute it’s largess on each individual properties demerits.

Of course this would make a red and green zone map of Christchurch look quite untidy, but best of all it would avoid the bogey of the nullification of value of perfectly good and serviceable properties which is the problem we have at this moment.

Well just my thoughts, but of course if they were targeting particular zones on the river banks and wetlands ….

By the way, if you are wondering about all this Agenda 21 business, here is a link to a copy of the original script.

Try looking up Section 18.12 (b) or searching for “freshwater”.

Agenda 21 is a vague document but there are actually thousands of ancillary publications dealing with every part of it.

I know it looks a good and sensible document at first read but it exposes its darker side as you think about what it is doing to the whole world and realize there are hidden motives.

Try searching “demographic” for instance.

Also if you google “agenda21 you are sure to get many opinions about it.

Try and find some of the ancillary Agenda 21 documents that deal with the detail. There are thousands of them around on the net.

At the very least, if the riverbanks and wetlands of Christchurch are to be restored, it is not unreasonable and in fact essential that we the people of Christchurch and New Zealand are consulted! Especially if we are the ones expected to bear the changes AND the costs!

Good luck red zoners – We are all hoping for a good result of your brave efforts!


Once again please be reminded that the impressions I record here from the courtroom are simply what I have heard. I have no access to recordings or transcripts and only relied on my memory.  All opinions are my own.


Keep eyes peeled for the verdict.

Humbly yours



PS. When I came out of the courthouse today I found that one of my placards had been stolen. It was the one that said “Secure Property Rights are Fundamental to a Free Society”.


I guess I will never know whether the offender liked or disapproved of the sentiment or just had a use for the plywood!


Extra Links:

Here are a few of links to newspaper etc. online articles on the case.
and of course TV One's similar poor effort:-
Quite abysmal reporting, as you will no doubt agree, as all the reporters could deduct from three days of hearings is that the greedy uninsured owners want a full payout when they haven't paid any insurance premiums. (One would at least hope they could have grasped the fact that most of these red zoners don't want a payout, all they want is the value of their largely undamaged properties back so they can continue to live in their homes etc.)
The Redzone people have a website on which they can receive donations for the hearing costs:




September 2013 update:

Dear Friends,


As you have probably heard by now, the “Quake Outcasts” the people who recently applied for a judicial review of Gerry Brownlee’s “offer” for their uninsured properties have had some success.


Congratulations to the red zoners who have stood their ground! New Zealand needs more people like you!


I have managed to acquire a copy of the decision and after digesting it for a few days, here is my take on it.


First of all the decision.


Accordingly, I make:

A declaration that the decision to create the red zone announced on 23 June 2011 did not lawfully affect the property rights of the property owner applicants in the proceeding CIV-2013-409-000843 (the ‘Outcasts’).



                        (a) A declaration that the decision to offer to purchase the properties of the applicants on the terms announced by the Minister on 13 September 2012 was not made according to law and is set aside, as are the offers subsequently made to the applicants by the chief executive.

                        (b) A direction that the Minister and the chief executive reconsider and reach a new decision to purchase the applicants’ properties, such decision to be made in accordance with law:

                        (i) as required by the purposes and principles of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011, and

                        (ii) with regard paid to the reasons contained in this judgment.


In spite of a raft of advice from governmental sources about what will happen to these unfortunate people should they refuse to accept the governmental “offer” such as the inclusion of this information from the CERA office -


What will happen to my property if I decide that I do not want to accept the Crown’s offer?

If you decide that you do not want to accept the Crown’s offer you should be aware that:

The Council will not be installing new services in the residential red zone.

If only a few people remain in a street and/or area, the Council and other utility providers may reach the view that it is no longer feasible or practical to continue to maintain services to the remaining properties.

Insurers may cancel or refuse to renew insurance policies for properties in the residential red zones.

While no decisions have been made on the ultimate future of the land in the residential red zones, CERA does have powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to require you to sell your property to CERA for its market value at that time. If a decision is made in the future to use these powers to acquire your property, the market value could be substantially lower than the amount that you would receive under the Crown’s offer. “,

(The CERA website has since been modified with the omission of the last sentence)


the fact that all rights of the property owners still remain intact was not disputed in the High Court.

Because of the apparent assumption that these had been extinguished, understandably because of the above advice from CERA and similar from other sources, the judge found it necessary to make the following declaration.


Accordingly, I make:

A declaration that the decision to create the red zone announced on 23 June 2011 did not lawfully affect the property rights of the property owner applicants in the proceeding CIV-2013-409-000843 (the ‘Outcasts’).


I take it from this that the property owners (who are applicants in this judicial review) have every right to remain on the property if they wish and have the right to expect to be able to carry out the normal process of living there if they so wish.

However to me, it is not clear whether this includes the right to expect utilities from the Christchurch City Council or other services one would generally expect.

I wonder if other red zoners, such as those in the Port Hills, will apply to have their rights (including the fundamental one of dwelling in ones own property) after reading this.


I think this because the good judge was unable to declare that the red zoning in general  was unlawful - because Hence, regardless of the decision-making process [which led to the creation of the red zone] and my conclusion that the decision was not made according to law, the fact remains that the present situation is essentially a fait accompli.”


However the conclusion that the decision was “not made according to law” is significant because - although the judge did not term it as such – it illustrates that our government attempted to use its powers to such an extent it went beyond its authority - or to put it bluntly our Government more than simply abused its powersit was ready to break the law in order to do so.


Anyway the offer to the applicants has been set aside “is set aside, as are the offers subsequently made to the applicants by the chief executive.”

and the government is ordered to renew the offer according to the CERA Act.


                       “ (b) A direction that the Minister and the chief executive reconsider and reach a new decision to purchase the applicants’ properties, such decision to be made in accordance with law:

                        (i) as required by the purposes and principles of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011, and

                        (ii) with regard paid to the reasons contained in this judgment.”


The CERA Act itself refers to Part 5 of the Public Works Act which outlines the level and type of compensation that the government must offer if private property owners are compelled to relocate. This includes compensation enough to repurchase an equivalent property elsewhere (Sec 65).

This to me is perfectly just but to me has two hooks.

1. Does equivalent property mean “Another earthquake damaged property” or another property similar to the pre-earthquake property.

2. If it means the latter there will be some dissatisfaction among the people who have already sold to the government at 2007 valuation.


One can see that this may be just the start of some extensive litigation in Christchurch.


First of all the most important conclusion we can reach from this is that the Judge correctly saw no relevance to the differing treatment of the residents of the red zone based on whether they had insurance or not.

The insurance red herring has been belabored by the Christchurch Press in their somewhat abysmal reports and other publications. It has even been reported that the Prime Minister has mentioned the insurance verses no insurance question recently.


This is an absolute red herring because so long as there are undamaged or repairable properties in the red zone, the governments offer is a compulsory land grab offer - reinforced by threats of dire consequences should one not accept.


As one red zoner said in my presence “Its like they want our land at all costs” – a statement that is rapidly in my mind, becoming a fact.


I do believe that this debacle is a result of an underhand attempt to carry out United Nations Agenda 21 taking advantage of the confusion and upheaval of the Christchurch earthquakes.

If our government wants to install United Nations Agenda 21 in our city  (p 41 of the Christchurch Recovery Plan spills the beans on this somewhat [and they do not seem to have much of a strategy in the plan for the mentioned sea level rise]),

 at the very least they need to come up front and consult us – the people of New Zealand – who are going to pay for this and then be brave enough to withstand the political storm that will most likely follow.


Some recipients of these updates commented that this did not seem to have very much to do with Global Warming which is why they attended the Lord Christopher Monckton meeting.


It is therefore important to be aware that Agenda 21 is, if you like, the executive arm of the UN Global Warming effort.  The IPCC provides the theoretical “facts” (although if you have read Donna Lambrosie’s book

you may develop serious doubts about the IPCC’s conclusion after reading it).


Agenda 21, and its ancillary documents, describes to world governments in great detail of what to do become “sustainable”.

 New Zealand is a signatory.

You may be surprised to know that the New Zealand Government funds research into “sustainability” through Universities here.  E.g. the Fart Tax

Through Local Initiatives.

Through Education

Through our legislation www_mfe_govt_nz_laws_meas

I’m not sure where funding for ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) comes from- possibly directly from the UN

Christchurch used to be a member until recently. A number of other cities in NZ are current members.

The point is that our tax money is being used for all these things, which, if the UN has its way, will affect more than significantly our lives and worse still, our children’s lives and yet we are generally unaware of this irresponsible use of our taxes.


We need to be aware of Agenda 21. We still have the power in our hands to change things but we must be careful about who we vote for and make sure we grill every candidate, both local and government, before we decide where to cast our vote.



Thanks for reading.  This letter is obviously the last in this series but if there is an appeal, I intend to take a keen interest.

As always the opinions on the judicial review are my own. I do have a copy of the decision from hence I lifted the quotes though.

The opinions on Agenda 21 are shared by many world-wide.



If any one wishes to make a comment of any kind about what you read here, please feel welcome to email me at

Humbly Yours,

Geof. A. Mead