“Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience”
An interesting quote this week but one that we are always reminded of when we feel we are moving away from our “working inside the tent, solutions based approach’. It’s an approach that we sometimes find difficult, as do our members from time to time, when we know we are constantly repeating the same messages to the same people over and over with seemingly no change and nothing but a good argument would suffice. Needless to say we continue with our approach, as the protection of our connections is incredibly important if we are to be able to present the ‘residents voices’ to those that need to hear it even if it is the same messages.
This week we have met some interesting folk including Roger Sutton. (see report below). A highlight for me was an invite to the Men’s Shed team and hearing that they are continuing to grow with over 20 groups in the greater Canterbury area. A great bunch of elderly who are not ashamed to admit that if they were to put all the pills they consume on a daily basis into a hat that they could start a chemist. Their candid sense of humour was as inspirational as the work they do and Kathryn and I enjoyed listening to their progress. CanCERN continues to find a way to get them, and the many other groups, the materials from the Red Zone that they need. Like rust we will not sleep until we find a way through. Thanks to all who remain patient and positive.
Brian and Leanne
The Deed Of Assignment – signing over an insurance claim.
We believe that Real Estate agents have now been informed about what this means at a professionals breakfast hosted by CERA. The more people that are aware of this, the better as residents buying a house will hopefully be better informed about potential issues throughout the process.
As always though, don’t do anything until you have checked with the insurer AND the lawyer.
If the stories you are getting are different, don’t make any decisions until the differences are resolved. CanCERN is still looking for a way to challenge this interpretation especially for those who have bought or were in the process of buying when this interpretation was put into the public arena in late May. More on this next week.
Department of Building and Housing (DBH) Communications
Chris Payne a consultant for the Department of Building and Housing visited us earlier this week to find out our thoughts on DBH communications. This was a very healthy conversation which spent a lot of time weaving through the different use of the guidelines by the insurers. Naturally we were able to show Chris a number of different unfavourable cases where insurers had interpreted these guidelines in a way that was favourable to the insurer rather than the insured and that there wasn’t a consistency in interpretation across all insurers.
The solutions that were presented by us were along the lines of the following.
Can DBH put in its guidelines a paragraph that acknowledges visible damage caused by the earthquakes as something that may not be in line with insurance policies and need to be rectified even even though they fall within acceptable DBH tolerances? Eg. the slope of a floor, cracks in ring foundation)
Can DBH go further with its information in terms of educating the public on what to expect from repairs? Eg. plaster work and the like so that the public can learn about “benchmarks” of good practice.
Similarly, are they able to produce clear information on ‘light weight’ housing and how this type of housing will not lower the equity of a home. This was put forward because so many of us just don’t know what it means for our equity if we have to move away from tile roofs and brick cladding.
Hugh Green Passes Away
Earlier this week Hugh Green of the Hugh Green Foundation ( one of CanCERN’s funders) passed away. Click here to read more. The Board has sent an appropriate message to the foundation on behalf of CanCERN. We would like to acknowledge that this must be a difficult time for the Foundation and its members.
Please note that without our funders, the Hugh Green Foundation, the Todd Foundation and the Tindall Foundation we certainly would not be able to employ staff and maintain the level of work that we do. We once again thank them for their continued support into 2013./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Graham Jones the Field Officer from the NZEI Southern Region met with us to exchange ideas on – Directions for Education Renewal in Greater Christchurch. A document that discusses ways forward for schools affected by the Earthquakes.
‘No’ it doesn’t tell us where schools will be built OR which ones will merge, be reinvented or disappear. What it does strongly indicate however is that ALL schools in the greater Christchurch will be in for a ‘shake up’. Excuse the pun. The Ministry has a website dedicated to ChCh education – CLICK HERE and somewhere in there are supposed to be some interesting maps of ChCh schools with respect to school sizes. I couldn’t find the maps so if you do please let us know along with any thoughts that you have on this topic.
We did highlight the point though that residents are more likely to want to be engaged when the specifics are being discussed. For that to happen, there will need to be a well planned engagement strategy that aims to inform people about opportunities based on best educational outcomes for the children and their community./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?
Q. Can you dispute apportionment if you know that the damage was different to what EQC says as the home owner?
A. We have had a few people successfully dispute this by providing EQC with professional documentation that supports your claim ie. engineer/builder/insurer assessment reports after the events. The Avondale Hub was the best place to progress this. Without ‘proof’ it is difficult because of all the things they take into account to apportion damage, the homeowners opinion is at the bottom of the considerations list.
Q. What meetings are being setup in areas namely TC3 to brief home owners on update and allow networking among residents?
A. CERA are planning community meetings now in the TC3 areas. We will update as we have further details about when they will roll out but we believe it is likely to happen sooner rather than later. CERA Relationship Managers are already meeting with community leaders to ascertain the specific issues and communication needs for the area and this will also feed into the planning of the meeting so they are relevant to the locals. There are many TC3 Facebook pages popping up, some of which have great information sharing happening. This is an informal way to network. If you are looking for a CanCERN community group in your area, flick Kathryn, our Community Liaison Manager an email on email@example.com and she’ll either put you in contact with a local group or support you to kick one off if that’s a good option.
Q. What assurance have you got that EQR Fletcher will repair to the building code and
approved methods etc? Can you ask for documentation to prove this?
A. A lot of Fletcher EQR repair work won’t need building consents so this makes it a little trickier for people to know what to expect from their repair. We have seen a few dubious cases where code has not been reached and have asked DBH to put together a education pack which will explain to residents what to expect from a repair and what your rights are with respect to repairs and the building code. We are also planning to go back to Fletcher EQR management to discuss this further as they have shown a keenness in the past to make sure their quality control is working.
Our suggestion would also be not to sign off any repairs if you are unsure about them. We have seen a few questionable cases where you would only pick them up if you went under the house and knew what to look for. We believe there is a need for an independent checking service and will raise this issue as we go./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Roger Sutton Meeting
An chance cup of coffee with Roger this week led to a conversation about the 8 year rebuild rumour. Cheers to Roger for listening and seeking some clarity on time frames!
Summary points of our far more formal meeting with Roger today is below:
- Information that is coming out needs to be co-ordinated – joint communications which demonstrate that EQC and insurers agree on the statement and will give the public the same information. In the case of communications like the TC3 Drilling Programme, all insurers and EQC need to explain their position in a joint communication.
- Residents need to have their concerns represented when communications are being planned. In the example of the flood zones, information about the status of your land is not enough. The implications for ongoing insurance, mortgages, homeowner liability, etc need to be explained.
- CERA appears to represent the decision makers during public meetings and speaking opportunities because they are relaying the public messages instead of hearing the messages people are being told privately. CERA needs to be more of an advocate for the people who are very vulnerable to confusing messaging and contradictory information.
- Residents need a flow chart of the steps involved from making a claim to having a house repaired or rebuilt that acknowledges all of the steps that need to be ticked off, the agencies involved, the information that is outstanding and when decisions are likely to be made. Time frames are important and need to be adhered to or publicly discussed and justified.
This was a positive meeting and Roger was challenged to be an active leader in the residential rebuild./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Organising a Community Group
Below is an example of how one community group organises itself which may be of use to others. Click here to see an example of the contents that Addington Action have in their leader folders. Obviously each community has different needs for both information and resource or support. However, the concept of how they do things is a great example that can be picked up and altered to reflect what your community group needs to focus on. It makes leadership very transferable and sustainable and encourages more people to be involved. If you’d like to know more about what Addington Action does, email
Earthquake Recovery Resource Kit
1 Your Resource Kit
1.2 Using Your Resource Kit
1.3 About This Kit
2 Addington Action
2.1 What is Addington Action
2.3 Staying in Touch
2.4 Committee Members
2.5 Committee Nomination Form
2.6 Local Depot
3 Your area
3.2 Personal Information Needed
3.3 Personal Information Form
4 What to do about
4.1 Assistance Available
4.2 Food Parcel
4.3 Vegetable Garden
4.4 Budgeting Advice
4.5 Legal Advice
4.6 Tenancy Advice
4.7 Benefit Advice
4.8 Mental Health
4.9 Social Worker Visit
4.10 Employment Advice
4.11 EQC Claim
4.12 Mayor’s Welfare Fund
4.14 Emergency Repair
4.15 Free Repairs for Uninsured Home
5 Forms + Leaflets
6 Benefit Fact File
Published by Addington Action – Section 1.1 – Version 71 – Updated 23/10/11/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Zoning Review Article
This Press Article (20.7.12) talks about the numbers in each suburb of who has asked under the review to go red or green. The table is interesting./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
CERA COMMUNITY WELLBEING
Demolition Communication – We have asked CERA to explain the different phases of demolition in the residential red zone. To ate the communications explain 2 phases after settlement. They are:
Phase 1: Built structures such as houses and garages will be cleared.
Phase 2: Remaining fences, vegetation, driveways and paths will be cleared. Established trees may be left because they might help stabilise the soil. However, the long-term use of the land is still to be determined. People may remove trees and plants before settlement. Giving them to family or friends may be a good option.
We have asked for clarification around the removal of infrastructure and hat will happen to the overall land in red zones BEFORE a decision is made about the permanent use of red zone land.