All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.
—John Kenneth Galbraith
There’s been a lot of talk about wellbeing, resiliency, stress, etc in Canterbury. We’re told we’re pretty resilient and that we should look after each after and we have done that incredibly well. They’re hard times though for some in our community and if you are the person trying to hold someone or some community up, these times can get a little overwhelming.
CanCERN is hosting our first workshop of the year on Tuesday 19 March at Wainoni Methodist Church and it’s an open invitation to anyone who actively supports the wellbeing of others in the community. The purpose of the meeting is to explore what we really see happening to individual, families and communities around us, what is already in place to support good wellbeing and what we as community leaders, neighbours and friends might need to help us to help others.
We’ve got guest speakers from CERA, Mental Health Foundation, Health Christchurch and Christchurch City Council to come and tell us about their roles in supporting people in the community and three great workshop conversations planned. Coffee and nibbles are on offer so we need you to rsvp to email@example.com by Friday 15 March.
If you want to check out the finer details of the evening, please click the link CanCERN Wellbeing Workshop Agenda. Feel free to pass this invitation far and wide – we’re all playing a role in supporting someone, somewhere. Let’s be armed with the tools and resources we need to do it well.
There’s a lot in this newsletter but it’s important stuff too so grab a coffee and have a good read.
Brian and Leanne
The University of Canterbury report – Resilience Framework and Guidelines for Practice
Commissioned by Family and Community Services and launched by the University last week on Friday 1 March is now posted on the Family and Community services website. Click on the link here and then on the tab – Resources and Reports/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
What is CERA’s role in the residential rebuild?/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Red Zone Communications – Purpose of the phone calls and letters
We’ve heard complaints from red zoners that some find the phone calls and communication from CERA regarding the red zone settlement process intimidating and threatening. We’ve spent quite some time with CERA trying to fine tune messaging so that the calls and letters come across as helpful which is how they are intended. We recognise (as do CERA) that this can be an extremely stressful time and the settlement issues are often out of the homeowners hands so a phone call which doesn’t make external things happen faster is sometimes not well received.
To clarify things so that red zone homeowners know what to expect:
The purpose of the CERA phone calls is the following:
- to ensure homeowners understand the requirement for vacant possession
- to understand whether there are any obstacles or impediments the property owner may be facing. CERA will offer to talk through any additional information or support required
- to determine whether CERA can assist, provide the property owners with suggestions or connect them to the relevant party to resolve any issues
CERA is escalating issues identified where they can so the more information they have about your situation, the better.
A number of reminder letters are sent to homeowners as reminders. These are not intended as threatening letters. They are sent to ensure the homeowner has every opportunity to meet the deadlines associated with settlement.
Examples of the letters you will receive are:
- Three month reminder letter https://docs.google.com/file/d/1ybiIx9ihEW4ZzR3sKQDA80KEfBcwdkZLTbZ6CL7ec87wV2r6C0RL-OttK-fn/edit?usp=sharing
- Three week reminder letter https://docs.google.com/file/d/1rqiBJNAmwjoW9H7HAQcFQuxv4TlCtxt6kVbnZRBPsOovenh1Ju7A8BV6JsGH/edit?usp=sharing
- Non-return of Consent Form https://docs.google.com/file/d/1t6Qw_a2LjRlusoBVzfSRGDfLu5uH-oNUyzdY-autcrM9mRB0uo0y_l12TWQD/edit?usp=sharing
(If you cannot open the links but would like to see a copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email through copies)./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Cross-leases and Shared-Property – the importance of talking to your neighbours
In addition to dealing with EQC and your insurer, for some residents in Canterbury reaching agreement with their neighbours may be just as essential to settling the insurance claim for their homes. This will be an issue for Cantabrians that own their home as a ‘cross-lease’. Cross-leases are thought to be approximately 10-15% of residential property in Canterbury, so it is worth checking.
Some key information about cross-leases are:
- You should check your Certificate of Title to establish if you are a cross-lease property owner (which depending on the description of the title may describes shares in ownership as – ½ share, 1/3 share, ¼ share etc.)
- All the specific terms of your lease will be recorded in a Memorandum of Lease; the lease records the obligations of all cross-lease residents at the site. The lease terms will include your obligations regarding damage to your home, and if insurance funds are available for the damage, may record how the funds should be applied.
- If you are considering settling your insurance claim for your home by way of cash settlement, you should consult with other residents at your site and make sure you all agree what will happen with your homes. If agreement can’t be reached then you may need to seek legal advice.
- Other parties that may hold an interest in the land and buildings (including banks) may also need to agree what will happen to the homes that they hold an interest in.
- Your cross-lease may require you to repair or rebuild your property to a standard that your neighbours at your site approve of. If you are a new build, any changes to the footprint of your building could require approval of all involved.
- There may be situations your cross-lease neighbour is uninsured, so communications between cross lease owners on a site regarding expected contributions for repair/rebuild strategies for any adjoined buildings and common property will be vital.
CanCERN’s spin on things:
There has been a rising alarm in the community about cross-lease dwellings and a call for CERA to step in and fix the issue. This is not a CERA issue, nor an insurer delay tactic. This is a legal issue due to the terms of cross leases. Insurers are leading the charge on addressing the issues as they relate to earthquake damage and reinstatement of properties but be aware, the issues are national. Hopefully the solution which people are working hard to address are local.
Understanding the CERA Wellbeing Survey
The CERA Wellbeing Survey is only one aspect of monitoring and reporting on the wellbeing of Canterbury residents. Pre-existing wellbeing measurement tools and other social data from departments like Ministry of Education and the Canterbury District Health Board are also taken into account as well as the less formal monitors which occur – feedback from community meetings, stakeholder groups, etc.
The issue with some of these pre-existing measurement tools (NCEA results, etc) is that they don’t necessarily track how people are feeling and that is why the CERA Wellbeing Survey was designed and implemented.
There are a few reasons why the methodology of the survey was chosen:
- It is designed to track the wellbeing of all residents of greater CHCH, not just those who believe they are most affected.
- Geographic targeting is at Territorial Authority level (Christchurch City, Waimakariri District and Selwyn District) – any smaller areas are problematic because of the movement of the residents and small sample sizes in some areas.
- The Opt In survey was established to allow all residents who wanted to participate to do so, but this also means that the Opt In sample is biased – the representative sample which has already been released provides a more accurate picture of the wellbeing of the whole region.
- Focus groups are a more appropriate way of monitoring the wellbeing of some of the smaller groups – red zoners etc.
- The Opt In survey does play an important role though in acknowledging those who identify as having a decreased sense of wellbeing. It can inform actions but not as a viable representation across the region.
- The survey random sample methodology is designed to make sure more granular information can be extrapolated – ethnicity, age, income, temporary accommodation, etc. The Opt In sample group does not provide large enough groups of each to make clear statements.
Things to note:
- The results from the last Opt In Survey will be released soon. The analysis has been slower because the survey was started after the random sample and was extended.
- The random sample Wellbeing Survey is conducted every six months and the next round is from March – May 2013. The Opt In sample Wellbeing Survey is conducted annually and runs from August – October 2013
- The random sample will use different people from the region rather than go back to the original residents surveyed.
The stated purpose of the Survey is to provide CERA and partner agencies with information about emerging trends and issues. It was developed with input from multiple agencies to ensure that the Survey asked questions that would help plug information gaps and enable better decision making.
The outstanding question for me is what we will see CERA and other partner agencies action as a result of the Wellbeing Survey findings which are relatively damning in some areas when you read the entire document? At this stage we understand that CERA has made recommendations to organisations such as Insurance Council NZ, EQC and CCC based on the fact that issues with insurance was a lead cause of stress for the majority of participants. Are recommendations enough though? How much can CERA actually direct these organisations to implement change and to take an active role in monitoring the success of any such changes? Food for thought./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
EQC Customer Advocates Group Update
Key points from the latest meeting 5 March:
Land Settlement Communications
- It was advised that a booklet is currently in production which includes information on flat land with descriptions on what is being assessed.
- The first phase of advertorials is about to start in various media publications which will explain what
- land cover EQC offers based on the Earthquake Act.
- The group were asked for feedback on the level of information to be included in the land settlement packs. Initial indication was that the preference would be to summarise the settlement in the cover letter also including an outline of information booklets included in the pack to refer to for more detailed information, a section outlining what steps the customer should be looking to take once they have received their settlement, and reference to contact the Call Centre to discuss further or make an appointment to discuss face-to-face with the Community Contact Team.
- It was further discussed that it would be helpful to include a list of other agencies, such as
- Christchurch City Council, where customers can seek further clarification on what they need to be
- aware of as they progress with repairs.
Vulnerable Prioritisation Communication
- It was confirmed that an information booklet is being produced outlining the Community Contact
- Team and the service they provide.
CHRP Management of the Most Vulnerable Customers
- 26,211 vulnerable customers have been identified via the database from external agencies. When this data was matched with EQC’s database, 15,023 customers remained, of these 7,270 either have been or remain to be cash settled, 7,540 to be repaired through the Canterbury Home Repair Programme and to date 3,134 of these have been completed. Of the remaining 4,406 to be completed, 1,234 of these are underway, i.e., have either been contacted by EQR to scope for repairs, or the repair is currently in progress.
- The target is to repair 100 vulnerable customers per month; this target is currently being exceeded
- averaging approximately 180 per month.
- Each month external agencies provide an updated list which is data matched with EQC’s database to ensure these customers are being captured.
- EQC is still reliant on customers being identified by others in the community or by self-identification.
Access to Customer Information
- It was advised that customers are able to obtain a range of information via the Call Centre without the need for an OIA such as uncosted SOW’s, claim status, etc. Should a customer wish to submit an OIA request, the Call Centre is able to assist the customer in specifying what information to request in relation to what is being sought. Currently, customers are requesting their entire file via OIA requests which is extremely time consuming to collate and can also include a large amount of information that the customer may not necessarily be interested in receiving.
- Due to the increase of customers assuming they need to submit an OIA request to obtain any
- information, there is approximately a three to four month backlog in responding to these requests.
- It was further stressed that submitting OIA requests will not speed up the claim settlement.
- It was raised that once the Assessor has visited a property, the homeowner is left with a letter to
- advise that the assessment has taken place and advising the next steps in the process.
- It was advised that timelines of how far through the apportionment a claim has progressed is unable to be determined. It was advised that apportionment is progressive and as claims are apportioned, particularly the over $80,000, these are handed over to Private Insurers on a weekly basis. All apportionment will be completed by end of May 2013.
EQC Land Settlement Update on the EQC public website and the EQC Facebook page
EQC is underway assessing flat land damage claims and this assessment process will continue for the rest of this year
There’s a huge number of variables that come into play in settling a land claim that call on quite specialised skills that are in limited supply. These include people capable of undertaking the geotechnical evaluation of the information reported back by the assessment teams and we also need people with good knowledge of the local property market who can help with establishing the value of the land in question.
This doesn’t affect the EQC target of having all assessments of all damaged land completed by the end of the year, but it does mean that it may take longer than first anticipated to begin making payments. EQC will be paying the most straightforward claims sooner than the more complex claims such as those involving increased vulnerability to liquefaction and flooding. It is expecting to pay all land claims by the end of 2014.
We have begun making payments in the Port Hills and expect all these claims to be settled during 2013. From March some customers will receive letters advising them that their land damage falls under the $500 minimum excess for land claims. This is because assessors found only minor earthquake-related damage on these properties.
In total EQC estimates it will pay out a possible $2 billion worth of land claims in Canterbury by the end of 2014./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
CanCERN Land Settlement Questions to EQC (via EQC Customer Advocacy Group):
- What are the 9 categories of land damage defined as?
- What calculations are used to come up with a settlement figure?
- What specifically is classified as being eligible for ‘compensation’?
- What specifically is classified as not being eligible for ‘compensation’? (These questions relate to types of land change rather than the boundary lines of EQC’s land responsibility).
- How will land damage under the dwelling be assessed and calculated?
- What specific information have the insurance companies been given with regard to the questions above?
- How are the land settlement assessments AND payments prioritised?
- Will there be any situations where land damage will need to or be addressed by area wide remediation and if so, how will homeowners be supported/guided through this process. (This question probably relates to riverbank and flood risk areas more than other situations).
- Could there be some homeowners who have a Limitation Notice put on their property due to coming under the 1:50 year flood risk whose homes are deemed a repair and therefore will not necessarily have their home raised or be in a position to mitigate the land to have the Limitation Notice taken off?
- What are the expectations of EQC in these cases?
- Is there likely to be the need for joint review in some land settlement situations?
- If an insurer is ready to start a house but needs the land settlement information (geotech advice may cast doubt on the likelihood of rebuilding on the site without land remediation), will EQC assess that specific property even though it may not be on the EQC schedule of east to west assessments?
- When will red zone land damage assessments be calculated?
We have a briefing with EQC next week to discuss these questions and will update as we have responses./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
SCIRT Pressurised Sewer Systems
We’ve heard the concerns and the positive comments about these systems and have opened up lines of communication with SCIRT to discuss the communication side of things. We can get information if that’s helpful and make suggestions back to SCIRT if that’s helpful too. If there are a couple of real sticking points that need to be explored, let us know and we will see what we can do. Better still, if you have great information or are keen to support others through this process, let us know that too so we can link people together.
From what we understand the major concerns are the costs associated and the fact that the pumps go on private land rather than on the berms. Are there other major issues? Email email@example.com
We note there’s a petition doing the rounds about this.
To Christchurch City Council & SCIRT
As Citizens of Christchurch New Zealand we object to SCIRTS intention to install CCC Infrastructure on our Private Properties namely, Pressurised Wastewater Tanks. We believe that Council Infrastructure should be on Council land NOT our Private Properties
You can view it here./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Map of Innovative Housing Projects in New Zealand/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>