Red Zone ‘freedom village’ twice told to leave by council

Christchurch City Council said around 12 people left behind in the Christchurch red zone occupation have been asked to leave twice.  (File photo)

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Christchurch City Council said around 12 people left behind in the Christchurch red zone occupation have been asked to leave twice. (File photo)

Occupants of Christchurch’s red zone ‘freedom village’ have twice been told to move out by the city council.

About 12 people stayed at the campsite, between Brooker Ave, Dunair Dr and New Brighton Rd.

Christchurch City Council parks chief Andrew Rutledge said they were asked to leave on Friday last week, and again on Wednesday after claiming they had not seen the first departure instruction.

“We have confirmed that we will not be entering into broader discussions with the group regarding their claims of legitimate occupation of the site.”

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Council staff, backed by police, would continue to meet with the group to expedite a peaceful resolution to the situation, Rutledge said.

The council had received 31 complaints about the occupation as of Thursday.

On Wednesday, a second car was gutted in a suspicious fire near the occupation.

Firefighters were called to Stour Drive, in the Burwood part of the former residential Red Zone, shortly after 9 p.m.

Emergency services were called to a second suspicious car fire on Stour Dr (file photo).

George heard/stuff

Emergency services were called to a second suspicious car fire on Stour Dr (file photo).

Jill Higgison, fire and emergency shift manager, said the fire was definitely present when crews arrived.

He was considered a suspect and had been referred to the police.

On April 9, firefighters were called to the same stretch of road after a suspicious car fire.

Crews arrived to find a car well involved in the fire, which had spread to a nearby tree.

Both were within 100 yards of the campsite, which first appeared earlier this month.

A car was reportedly set on fire on Stour Dr on April 9.  (File photo)

STACY SQUIRES / Stuff

A car was reportedly set on fire on Stour Dr on April 9. (File photo)

Some at the site are believed to have previously been at the Cranmer Square anti-warrant camp in central Christchurch.

The occupation drew the ire of locals and iwi, who accused them of “anti-social” and “aggressive” behavior towards residents, and of making “a clear attack on the authority of Ngāi Tūāhuriri'”, who holds the whenua mana status on earth.

Christchurch City Council declared it in breach of its statutes and around half the group left after being questioned by staff.

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