Find out how we clear Crown-owned land, maintain vegetation, and stabilise the land in the residential red zones.

The property clearance process begins once Crown-owned properties are vacated, settlement is finalised, and EQC and insurance assessments are complete.

We work with private insurers to demolish or relocate dwellings, and to clear other built structures such as sheds, garages, driveways, fences and paths. 

After these structures have been removed, we clear any residual debris, assess remaining vegetation, and apply an appropriate land treatment. This treatment helps stabilise the land and makes it easier and safer to maintain until decisions are made about the land’s future use.

Properties that are being cleared, or have been earmarked for this work, are considered dangerous sites. There are risks from damaged buildings collapsing, and from the heavy machinery used to clear the properties. There is also the risk of cliff collapse or inundation, or rock fall on Port Hills properties.

Restrictions on access to properties or areas 

For security and safety reasons, we sometimes need to restrict public access to certain areas and buildings. 

Access to all Crown owned property is by written permission only. 

Access to any fenced off property is strictly prohibited. 

Vegetation on Crown-owned Residential Red Zone properties

Wherever practical, we retain indigenous trees and shrubs, and established healthy trees. This can be  particularly important in the Port Hills residential red zone, since established root systems can help reduce erosion. Any vegetation that can’t be kept is removed during the land clearance stage.

This approach only applies to Crown-owned properties. It doesn’t apply to privately-owned property and Council-managed areas such as parks or river banks. 

Download the policy on removing vegetation on residential red zone properties at the end of this page.

Interim land treatment

Interim land treatment is the final stage of the clearance process. 

Different areas may have different interim land treatments. This depends on the natural and ecological characteristics of the land, including soil type, water table, and proximity to waterways, biodiversity, access, topography, and public visibility.

Most Crown-owned land in the residential red zones is grassed. In wetland areas, we sometimes apply a wetland treatment, which involves removing invasive species to allow wetland species to regenerate naturally. In areas close to the beach, we plant dune plants.

Download the interim land clearance treatment plan at the end of this page.

Last Updated: 16 October 2019