When Leianne O’Brien’s home in Burwood was red-zoned following the Canterbury earthquakes she knew two things: she wanted to remain on the east side of Christchurch and on the city side of the Waimakariri River.

The answer was closer than she dared hope – just down the road in the new Prestons subdivision.

At a CERA-run expo in 2011 Leianne, who is of Ngāi Tahu descent, put her name down on a Ngāi Tahu Property register of interest and subsequently became the first purchaser within the new subdivision.

By mid-2014 she and her family expect to be settled in their new home within the Korowai neighbourhood.

“When we found we were red-zoned, I’ve got to say it was a wee bit of a shock. We had bad liquefaction in our area, but the house itself didn’t seem too bad,” she said.

At the Red Zone Expo she saw a Ngāi Tahu Property stand advertising new housing developments, had a chat to the property team, and signed up for Prestons.

“I wasn’t interested in Wigram Skies or Te Whāriki in Lincoln, although they both look nice places to live. I mainly chose Prestons because it is nice and close to Burwood, it’s in town and I wanted to be able to live in the community where I work,” says Leianne, a partner in Shoreline Midwives.

When Ngāi Tahu Property emailed her in September 2012 to say that sections were available within Korowai, the first neighbourhood, she didn’t hesitate getting in touch.

“They said ‘take your pick.’ We chose a smaller section, 450sqm, not on the main road – a lovely section with a park boundary at the end of a row of about eight sections, at the northern end of the subdivision.

“Ours will be a single storey insurance rebuild with Benchmark Homes and hopefully by mid-next year we will be in our new four-bedroom home.”

Titles on the sections come out at the end of this year and Leianne says meanwhile she will be working on the design plan.

“It will be completely different from our existing house. I want to go as green as possible, depending on cost, of course. We’ll be building in brick and linear and there will definitely be solar panels.”

The prospect of a brand new home for the family of two adults and two children, in a brand new subdivision is very exciting, she says.

“We’ll be able to stay in our existing home until 31 July and then go into rental accommodation; but the time will pass quickly and we’ll soon be at Prestons.

“Eventually there will be shops and a medical centre, and it will become its own little community. In a few years it will be established and thriving. I can’t thank Ngāi Tahu Property enough for giving us this chance to relocate so well. It is a marvellous outcome.”

If you would like further information on Prestons you can contact the sales manager, John Almao on 0508 773 786 or visit the website: www.prestons.co.nz.

There is also a Prestons sales office located at 441 Prestons Road and this is open Wednesday – Sunday 12-4pm.

Left to right, Tahnika White, Leianne O’Brien, Eva Rose Everse, Sharian White, Kiernan White.