More residents of earthquake-damaged homes in Christchurch's Port Hills have learned they'll have to abandon their homes and receive purchase offers from the government or council.
Eighteen months after the 6.3 earthquake brought rocks and cliffs tumbling down on houses in the area, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has told the owners of 121 properties that their homes would be red-zoned.
Five properties will be zoned green so their owners can repair and rebuild them, while decisions on another 37 homes are awaited as mitigation measures are investigated.
Friday's announcement lifts to 406 the number of Port Hills homes zoned red.
"I acknowledge it has been a difficult 18 months for homeowners as they have waited for decisions about the land and the impact this would have on their homes and lives," Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said.
"These latest zoning decisions mean only a handful of property owners remain in limbo.
"These remaining property owners can be reassured work is continuing as quickly as possible to confirm a suitable solution to protect their property and enable them to make informed decisions."
He said the council agreed to share equally with the government the cost of buying the red-zoned properties in the Port Hills affected by rockfall. The government is fully funding the red zone properties impacted by cliff collapse.
Mr Parker said the cost to the council was estimated at about $58 million.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the decision to zone 121 properties red is based on the ongoing life risk threat because of potential rock falls.
"While I understand the desire for some people to stay in their homes, we cannot be confident that fences or bunds would offer adequate protection should the worst case scenario of another major earthquake occur," he said.