Either not both – Stand out or fit in.
Not all the time, and never at the same time, but it’s always a choice. Those that choose to fit in should expect to avoid criticism (and be ignored). Those that stand out should expect neither. (Seth Godin)
We have had a good response to our call for people interested in ‘legal action as a group’ from last week and so we thought it was fitting that we use this quote – Stand out or fit in – to see if we could continue to gather support. It has been interesting to see that there are 3 very clear groups so far EQC, Rebuild to Repair (IAG) and having to wait too long. If you want to know more about this then please send us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org . We will keep your contact details confidential and keep you posted. A big thanks to all those who have responded so far.
Also of importance is the news that CCC have sent a letter to our uninhabitable homes asking for confirmation that the house is still uninhabitable and therefore legitimately qualifying for continued 40% rates relief.
Despite this letter being dated 28th May 2012, it only got to the mail box on 13th June 2012. It states that FAILURE to respond by next Friday 22nd June 2012, it will be assumed that you are living back at your respective property, warm fine and dandy!!
Please ensure that you check your old mail box to get this letter back to the CCC in the next 7 days!!
thanks to Nigel, Kerry and Judit for this information.
Finally a big thanks to all the people who made the CanCERN Mid-Winter Xmas Dinner a great event. It was a relaxing fun evening for the kids, partners and members as well as being a reminder of the importance to stop and take a bit of time away from the ongoing earthquake information battles.
Just a wee note to members who take parts from the CanCERN newsletter to use in their own communications with residents – if it’s come from our newsletter, please add a note identifying that.
Leanne and Brian
Minister Gerry Brownlee Media Releases from today:
Minister’s media releases:
(the video of the announcement will be available online later today)
New zoning review page:
It links to this online form: http://cera.govt.nz/webform/zoning-review
New Crown offer to owners of residential properties with dwellings under construction in the residential red zone page:
http://cera.govt.nz/residential-red-zone/crown-offer-to-owners-of-residential-properties-with-dwellings-under-construction (this page is awaiting a fact sheet so I have include media release text meantime).
There’s some good news here, some assumptions and some pressure. The timeline for the review process is very short so if this is an area that concerns you, you will need to register quickly if you have not already done so.
Good news for the not-for-profits in the red zone and those who were part builds. I hope you sleep a little easier with this extension to the offer. If you fit in one of these groups and you haven’t been contacted by CERA please contact them directly on 0800 RING CERA or 0800 7464 2372/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Roger Sutton – CERA CEO one year on
No-one can argue that Roger’s job has been a big one. He’s been accessible and committed to getting in front of residents and has managed to maintain his upbeat optimism which is necessary if we are all to feel like we have a positive future around the corner. However, it is clear from conversations within the CanCERN membership that many feel frustrated that Roger has not been the ‘director’ that we believe is so necessary. So if there is one message we would like to send Roger on his one year anniversary it is to lead. Lead with authority and mandate. Lead with direction and clarity. Lead from the font with the big picture of recovery as the driver. Lead organisations to coordinate and collaborate. Lead them with expectations of coordinated communication. Lead them to meet deadlines. Lead them to step out of their silo thinking. Lead Roger. We need a conductor in this orchestra if we are to make anything great come out of it. At the moment it is sounding like the warm up – a cacophony of noise and none of it good!/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Insurance Methodology Group
We requested a meeting with this group to discuss resident’s experiences of inconsistencies due to suggested methodology strategies and costings. Insurance Council NZ has come back to us with the following response:
We discussed the issue and a number of the insurers indicated they would contact you and assure you of their commitment and I am pleased they have done so. The meeting however decided that despite the high regard Cancern is held in; allowing groups outside of those directly involved in decision making may open the group up to requests from a wider range of other agencies or groups. Some of these may be counter productive to good decisions being made and despite Cancern respected position we would not be able to find a clear basis on which to reject or accept other approaches to join the group. Please be reassured of the high regard your work is held in but the sensitivity of this process means it must be decided by the commercial and government agents on behalf of their clients.
Obviously this is not the response we were after and we would question their reasons although they are reasons that have been used consistently throughout earthquake recovery as to why engagement is in the ‘too hard’ basket. We have appreciated meeting individually with the insurers and their openness but it leaves us in the position where we still do not have the overall consistent response. We will be putting our concerns about inconsistencies on paper and following up this way with the group requesting a joint response./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
EQC Land Meeting – 10 May 2012
EQC Meeting Notes – 10 May 2012
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss land issues as they relate to EQC’s responsibilities and the interrelationship between land information and insurance settlement. The topics discussed were the Port Hills, TC3, the EQC Drilling Programme, land claim settlements, floodplain zones and possible remediation methodologies. We also mentioned the confusion over the contents pay out of drapes and carpets.
EQC are still awaiting the flood plain zone information from Christchurch City Council. This information relates to the designations for 1/50, 1/100 and 1/300 year flood risk. The flood plain zones information is part of what is needed to progress work in some TC3 properties as EQC are responsible for the land damage if it as a result of the quakes and falls within their liability. EQC’s responsibility relates to them returning the level of the land to position x if it falls within their liability (8 metres from a residential dwelling) or compensating for the land damage. It is still unknown what EQC’s liability will be if there is a difference between the 3 September 2010 land levels and the new floodplain level. (Click here to see what EQC covers for land claims.)
Those properties with creeks and streams running through their properties have been affected in the most part by lateral spreading rather than flooding (although a number of properties have suffered both). EQC will only compensate for the lateral spreading if it fits within their liability (8 metres from a dwelling – to measure this, measure 8 metres from the soffit of the dwelling – house, shed, etc closest to the creek and walk in an arc. EQC is only responsible for the damage within this area.) Anything outside of this area will be the homeowners responsibility.
If homes have flooded as a result of rivers or creeks flooding, any related insurance claim goes to the private insurer. However, if the land has been damaged as a result of the flooding, EQC again has a responsibility.
Decisions still need to be made about what remediation may look like – area wide or individual remediation. We understand that CCC will make these decisions as the risk mitigation is their responsibility. It appears that CCC at this stage do not have all of the information they need to complete the floodplain designations and are waiting for Tonkin and Taylor to provide the outstanding data. It is CCC’s role to mitigate the risks of flood.
Note: We have since been informed by Council staff that floodplain zone designations as they relate to building consents will only affect people whose houses are being rebuilt or where the entire foundation is being rebuilt so it does not impact on those who have foundation REPAIRS only.
(EQC is currently building a programme around settling land which will include a communications plan aiming to provide more clarity on this and other aspects of EQC land liability, compensation/remediation, etc. It is likely to be phased communications plan rather than have all information come out at once.)
TC3 is a result of the DBH Guidelines and designation that requires a specific geotech report and engineering solution to foundations IF you have foundation damage. (Note that this requirement is not new and is common across New Zealand now – they’re just not called TC3). There are approximately 10000 of the 28000 homes in TC3 that need some level of foundation work. That means that effectively, 18000 homes in TC3 can be repaired now. These homes will be subject to the same requirements if they want to extend in the future.
The process for consenting is as follows:
Geotechnical test (drilling) – raw data
Geotechnical analysis – layers (mapping the underground part of the property)
Structural engineer to design and sign off the foundation design – part of the PMOs
Local authority to consent
The Drilling Programme
EQC and insurers are talking about doing a joint drilling programme. This has not yet been agreed to. One of the reasons for having a joint drilling programme is to make the process more efficient – it is quicker to drill the entire street than it is to identify EQC customer properties and just drill those which will not necessarily meet the Local Authorities agreement of a density equivalent to 1:3 properties. There are also efficiencies regarding signage and traffic management processes.
DBH and the three Local Authorities have agreed that not every home will have to be drilled for design and consenting purposes. Some properties have been identified as being necessary to drill due to the makeup of their land so it will not necessarily follow the 1:3 drill – it is actually based on a number of drill holes per hectare. There is a logic based on previous information gathered about land damage that dictates where the drill holes will go. For example, people who have culverts running through their property are likely to be drilled because the structural engineer will want to know what impact this had had in relation to land damage. LIM information is also used to determine where the most appropriate drill sites are. There may be occasions where EQC will go back and drill other properties because they identify different risks for that property.
Individuals can get their own geotechnical assessment done but EQC will only reimburse them for the amount it would have costed EQC to do it themselves. Obviously EQC can carry this work out cheaper due to economies of scale. It will cost the individual approximately $10K.
If you are one of the people that has foundation damage and you are not drilled, the data gathered for foundation design will still be accepted. The way the drilling will take place is considered typical of the area. The issue with drilling every property is a time and money issue. Carrying it out this way means the drilling is likely to take 9 months in the eastern suburbs. After that the drilling will move to other TC3 areas. EQC has already dropped 2000 drills. There are approximately 14000 left. EQC has committed to doing whatever is needed to give confidence to the homeowner and the structural engineer. It’s important to note that the consequence of drilling more often will be time.
We mentioned the lack of confidence some residents have in the ‘walk around’ which happened many months ago and was part of determining individual land damage. EQC noted that the walk around was only one aspect of the data gathering and other things included the lidar and aerial photos which were taken immediately after the events and identified liquefaction extent, etc. EQC had announced they would start releasing the land damage reports to homeowners in mid April. They have since pulled back on this because they were not satisfied the reports were formatted in such a way as to be understandable or that the call centre staff could talk to. This is being reformatted as part of the greater communications plan and reports will come out at a later date.
We briefly discussed some hold ups on decisions regarding someone being under or over-cap. For some people, the decision relies on the engineering design for the foundations as different methodologies will incur lesser or greater costs. It’s a chicken and egg scenario.
EQC is NOT reassessing every TC3 property. After the drilling data has come through and the foundation designs have been done, in some cases EQC and the private insurer will have to jointly re-look at the claim. This will in most cases be done as a ‘desktop’ assessment rather than them physically coming to your property and will determine whether you are under or over cap. Drilling information will be actioned progressively as it comes to hand. That means work in some areas will begin before the 9 month drilling programme is completed. EQC is not reassessing houses because of apportionment.
In terms of drilling prioritisation, the order of work is based on worst land and density of EQC customers first. However, it’s also not worth EQC going to look at floodplain properties until they have the flooding information. Click here to see the order of suburbs in the Drilling Programme. The order may or may not change if the insurers join the drilling programme – based on the greatest number of house affected.
EQC needs to determine how many types of land damage there are, how it’s costed and the process that will need to be put in place to address everything. Reinsurers are a part of this process as well and it is a difficult concept for them because NZ is the only place that insures land. The decisions that need to be made are critical and complex and therefore EQC is not ready to make definitive statements on what remediation entails.
EQC said the reason why there is not a definitive statement on what potential land remediation may actually entail is because it’s part of a larger programme of which all of the necessary information has not been gathered.
There may be a very few houses which cannot be rebuilt on the land due to the status of the land underneath which will not lend itself to an engineering solution. This does not mean the land will go red because red is a government decision on an area wide basis. In these circumstances, EQCs position is that the homeowner will be paid out the minimum lot amount (which is different for different areas). This amount is calculated via a registered valuer – market valuation of 450m2 of your property as it would’ve been at 3 September 2010. You would then discuss the value of your dwelling with your insurer. Note that this situation is likely to be the exception and it is expected that the vast majority of land will be able to be on with engineering solutions.
A question for CanCERN to investigate was raised at this meeting. Apparently at the last lot of CERA public meetings, several of the insurers were noted as saying any house in this situation would be deemed a total loss regardless of the damage. Whilst this seems like a sensible idea, it does raise questions about insurers deeming some houses repairable in the red zone.
Carpets and Drapes
This statement is what we took from the meeting which is what we reported in newsletter #37.
Carpets and Drapes – the latest on carpets and drapes for Red Zoners. If you relocate your house you will not be paid out for carpets and drapes. If you leave your house behind and it is for the demolition machines you will be paid for carpets and drapes. You will need to fill in an EQC contents form and apply for this if you haven’t been paid or made a claim for this already.
We have since been sent a copy of EQCs policy position on carpets and drapes which you will see says something different.
EQC Policy Position – CLICK HERE for EQC’s official policy position.
EQC believe they are making good progress. They are still working with insurers to identify where there are retaining wall issues which are prohibiting progress.