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What red and yellow stickers mean on properties

Monday 20 February, 2023

Having your home red or yellow stickered is traumatic but there is support available to guide people through it all. Red or yellow stickers indicate that a house has suffered severe (red) or moderate (yellow) damage.

The effects of Cyclone Gabrielle have seen Council red sticker nine homes with a further 149 yellow stickered.

A red sticker means entry is prohibited. Your building may pose a significant risk to you, the public, health and wellbeing. The risk could be from the building itself, from adjacent buildings or from land instability.

A yellow sticker means that access to your building is restricted, and it cannot be used, or you cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time or on essential business. This is to allow the owner to recover valuables, expensive items like TVs, medicines, and memorabilia.

It also means part or all of the building may have sustained moderate damage, or some areas of the building, neighbouring buildings, or land instability pose a significant risk.

During an event like Cyclone Gabrielle inspectors conduct a rapid assessment which will shortly be peer-reviewed.

Council’s Building Service Manager Ian Petty says the safety and health of people is always the priority.

“That means we would always err on the side of caution when applying stickers.”

Those who own homes that have been stickered are advised to take photos of the damage where possible and to contact their insurance companies to get the process underway.

“The lack of connectivity due to the loss of data and cellular networks has made this particularly challenging. It is a difficult conversation anyway without these layers of complexity.”

Those with significant damage are urged to contact Council if you have e-mail or phone. If not come and see Council staff.

“For some homeowners, issues such as doors that can’t close, cracks in walls or windows and perhaps even cracks or sagging in your property, are the things we need to hear about.”

Mr Petty says staff from either EQC or the Insurance Council will be in the city next week so people can chat face-to-face with them, and get information and advice.

“You may have insurance bills due but are unable to pay due to lack of banking connectivity, however, insurance companies are aware of the problem and working through how best to address it.”

“Some areas have more damage than others in the region. If you have damage take photos and don’t attempt any work to repair it unless you’ve spoken to your insurer first. If unsure seek advice.”

The Residential Advisory Service (RAS) within the Ministry of Business, Industry and Employment (MBIE) provides advocacy services and advice to homeowners who are navigating insurance claims to fix damage suffered due to the event.

For more information you can find information on the Council website or contact: [email protected] or phone 0800 777 299 or 03 379 7027