“Don’t buy the house, buy the neighborhood.”
– Russian Proverb
LEADERSHIP – Ensure the right people are brought together to affect a coordinated, transparent approach that will enhance clear decision-making and planning. – (CanCERN strategic plan Feb 2012)
As much as we would like to continue to rant over the frustration of good community ideas stymied by questionable decision making, this week promoting the Land Use Recovery Plan consultation is much better modelling of good leadership. Take the time; it is a vitally important plan.
Land Use Recovery Plan Community Consultation
Remember when the quakes were still rocking hard and fast and you knew on the weekend you were going to be shovelling silt or fixing the fence to keep the dog in? They’re not days we’d like to have again but there was a certain magic about the conversations we had about how we wanted to live. We spoke of villages and connectedness and communal environs that made supporting everyone in the community easy and a privilege.
Well these conversations are back on the table and if we are not careful we will miss them and miss the opportunity that comes with designing life in post earthquake Canterbury. So if you want to tell planners that you don’t want to live in a sardine can identical to the neighbours (and their neighbours and so forth) or you want to talk about the importance of local village shops, or you have ideas about affordable living solutions, make sure you have a read of the guide we have produced here which hopefully makes it all a little easier.
(Click here to go to the Draft Land Use Recovery Plan document). This plan is an attempt to identify which choices will provide the certainty needed by residents, businesses, developers and investors. Seven consultation workshops are planned in the community for residents to have their say. The schedule for these workshops can be found here. All information can be found here – http://www.developingchoices.org.nz
Have a great weekend people
Sharing Your Information
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Coordination Communications Framework
Updates on responses have been uploaded. http://cera.govt.nz/faq/community-issues-and-questions. They will be available in PDF and hard copy soon.
More detail about each of these questions can be found on the link above. New or updated responses relate to the following questions:
- What kind of information am I entitled to receive about my property?
- Once payment has been determined when can I expect to receive it?
- Residential Rebuild Plans
- Land Remediation – responsibilities
- Property repairs and maintenance – what can be done while we wait?
- Pressurised sewer systems – SCIRT- related questions
- IAG have confirmed that where a permanent S124 notice is present on a property, the claim will be deemed a total constructive loss. What are the positions of the other insurers on permanent S124 notices?
- Apportionment, joint reviews and communication – the numbers, the process, the communication
- If EQC and private insurer/s go to court regarding land remediation versus increased foundation costs, what is the financial and timing impact on the resident?
- Have the CCC responded to the communications audit provided by Felicity Price?
- Is there a legal requirement to follow the guidelines for foundation repair or rebuild on TC3 land?
- Under what circumstances does EQC require a damage assessment to be completed by a structural engineer when determining apportionment of claims or level of damage?
- Does EQC accept independent reports? If there is an independent report which differs from an EQC report, what is the process to resolve the differences? Look at both the damage report and repair strategy.
- If the land is uneconomic to remediate because of the cost of removing the house, what are the obligations of EQC and the insurer? This could include who pays for the removal and reinstatement of the house, costs of the foundation on another site etc. What is the full process and who does what?
EQC Multi-Unit Building Fact Sheet
This sheet has answers to the questions below.
- What is a multi-unit building?
- Why do I have to consult with or agree with my neighbour over the repair strategy?
- My unit has only minor cosmetic damage, why can’t I be repaired now?
- My neighbour has been repaired, is with Fletcher EQR, or has been cash settled. Why haven’t I?
- Is there a hold-up with multi-unit buildings?
- Why are these claims being treated differently from others?
- When will my multi-unit dwelling claim be settled?
- Does being part of a multi-unit building affect my land claim?
EQC Customer Advocacy Group Meeting Notes – 9 April
(Unofficial notes as taken and understood by Carmel Jagger who is a member of the group.)
Timeframes affected by EQC systems lockdown:
Apportionment, payment schedules (including those under 15K), joint assessments. There are approximately 40,000 cash settlement claims waiting for verification of insurance cover from ICs. All of the above are affected as no attachments can be made to emails and therefore communication with third parties are impacted. There is no indication at present what the full extent of the impact will be on time frames but a public announcement is expected shortly.
EQC are revisiting the location and structure of their hubs. Looking for more consistency across all the hubs. They are also considering how they can make the hubs more public ‘friendly’.
They have approximately 80,000 repairs of which they have completed 35,000. This is on schedule with their timeframe for completion by end 2015.
EQC will soon be advertising what we can expect to receive in our land settlement packs. If the settlement is going directly to the mortgagee your bank will also receive a land settlement pack. These packs will contain detailed information on damage, assessment, costs, and remedial work required. EQC will also highlight that landowners should make enquiries of experts as to other potential strategies for remedial works.
Dispute of Land settlement:
via 0800 damage you can request copies of all documents/reports associated with your land claim. If you are with your IC their PMO geotechs are able to access drilling data upon your request if this is needed to support your ‘dispute’.
Land Assessment progress:
All Port Hills assessments will be completed by the end of today (9.4.13). Some Port Hills residents have already received settlement of their claims (where settlement was holding up progress). These residents did not receive the land packs (above). It was requested that this be revisited and full land packs be sent to these residents retrospective of settlement.
There are in total approximately 70,000 assessments (including 7000 in the red zone – these will be last on the list). 20,000 have been completed to date and includes rural, TC3 and mixed use.
Drilling for land settlement has now been completed but now needs to be analysed. This relates to the two new categories of land damage being liquefaction and flood (land drop).
Multi Unit Dwellings:
EQC have a M.U. Building Team working on the assessment and settlement of these claims. There is a FAQ on their web page which explains how these claims are impacted and what is being done.
Additional to that information EQC have a pilot programme running which is looking at joint protocols where by a single IC (liable for the most damage in a multi-unit situation) will take charge by agreement with other ICs. Most of the multi-unit claims are in TC3 and overcap (approx 5000).
For multi-unit claims sitting with EQC resolution as to how to approach these claims has been reached. Approximately 1000 multi-unit claims are sitting with EQC.
And finally T&T and the EQC Land Team have run a series of workshops with banks, valuers, realtors, lawyers and insurers to explain land damage and settlement with the aim of getting everyone on the same page with their understanding./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Mai Chen: Homeowners can use OIA to get EQC Info
This article outlines how the information can be used in litigation./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Tower vs O’Loughlin Case – Insurer Must Replace Red Zone House
The Judgement did not find there is an issue with injecting grout into concrete slabs, but that TOWER’s evidence in this particular case at this particular site was not sufficient to prove that a building consent was assured. However, we have requested that each insurer come back to us with their position on the use of injecting grout into concrete slabs in light of the ruling. We will update as we receive more responses.
We have read the judgement carefully and it seems that many of Justice Asher’s findings are specific to the facts and circumstances of this case.
In regard to the judgement relating to Tower Insurance’s evidence about the use of Low Mobility Grout (LMG) to re-level the concrete base, AA Insurance is not using the LMG method in the reinstatement of any of our customers’ properties.
A key finding does appear to be that the ‘red zoning’ of the property does not constitute physical loss and that therefore, properties that would have been repairable do not automatically become full rebuilds as a result of the zoning decision. We are working with our customers in the Red Zone and handling their claims on an individual basis to ensure they all receive their full entitlement under their home insurance policy with us.
After speaking with Robin from Community Law we understand that the thing about the O’Loughlin v Tower case is that it doesn’t produce any new law as such – it mainly just affirms the principles that lawyers have (hopefully) been applying in their advice. We are meeting with Robin next week to investigate the principles a little more to see if we can give some guidance to others that may be useful. Don’t forget, if you have a complex situation and need good advice, go and see a lawyer.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) issued a media release (dated 5 April) on the interim court decision concerning the Red Zoned Dallington couple. The ICNZ’s view is here http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.icnz.org.nz%2Fnews%2F050413.php&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEP5P1ew76U417qeuzzg_Wmr2Ovzg. To read Lawrence’s corrections of Tim Grafton’s statements, read here http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Favonsideblog.org%2F2013%2F04%2F08%2Fred-zone-court-decisionthe-view-of-the-insurance-council%2F&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFGERxfuh2oAPwdJXWjylIP_sD0oA./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
A memo to Southern response staff regarding the Turvey Trustee Appeal Withdrawal
This memo is here to inform you of how staff understand the situation and therefore, what may be communicated to you via different discussions within the repair or rebuild process. You can read The Press article about the withdrawal here.
The Turvey Trustee has withdrawn its appeal against the decision of Justice Dobson brought down on 11 December 2012. The appeal was against all aspects of the decision.
The Turvey case is an important one for Southern Response and possibly the rest of the industry as its original decision made findings in respect to the following two policy interpretation issues before the Court:
- The first, under clause 1a. What we will pay of the AMI Premier House policy, is the meaning of ‘as new’ standard; that is the application of Southern Response’s obligation to rebuild to an as new condition using building materials and construction methods in common use at the time of rebuilding.
His Honour adopted the approach put for Southern Response. The insurer’s obligation is not to replace absolutely, in the sense of the exact replication of each feature of the original; rather the new structure must be the equivalent measured by size, functionality, relative quality and reasonably recreating the character and appearance of the original. The insurer is not liable for rare materials or outdated construction methods which would now be substantially more expensive to recreate. The insured cannot insist on replicating every item precisely if the original material or build method is no longer recognised as being commonly used in comparable building situations.
On a more specific issue before the Court, if exposed tongue and groove native timber flooring is in a polished and finished state, then the obligation is to replace, using equivalent timber reasonably available, having regard to price and sustainability. The obligation is not to source or price native timber if it is no longer in common use and readily available, eg. totara, matai or similar. If the timber flooring is covered by carpet, then the insurer must still reflect the potential use of the exposed floorboards, particularly if the carpet is covered under a separate contents policy. If the floor is permanently covered by carpet, then chipboard sheet flooring is a suitable replacement, providing the added advantage of functional strength. The same goes for glued tiles or vinyl.
- The second issue before the Court was treatment of the costs of additional work for compliance with the Building Act and Code.
Given the policyholder’s election to build on a different site, the Court confirmed that the compliance costs are calculated by reference to the selected new site, if actually incurred. Compliance costs do not form part of the calculation of full replacement cost under clause 1c.ii. “What we will pay” as was argued by the policyholder in Court./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Making the most of opportunities when repairing and rebuilding – Build Back Smarter Project
We went to a workshop last week which was about a project that is seeking to improve the quality of the housing stock from an energy efficient and health perspective. The opportunities in Canterbury are awesome because so many wall linings will be removed. The folder of documents outlines the project with case studies, the findings to date and best of all, sound and easy advice which you can consider and discuss with the contractor when your repair or rebuild is being done. It may cost a little more but the overall benefits are hard to deny.
(From the documents) – Many houses in Canterbury have been damaged by earthquakes. Recovering from this damage presents a unique opportunity to make houses better for you, better for the environment and cheaper to run. Repairing earthquake damage is the ideal time to consider improving your home and the benefits it can bring:
- A warmer, drier, more comfortable home
- Reduced energy bills and less water use
- Improved health with fewer visits to the doctor
- A more resilient and valuable home
- The purpose of this guide is to help you when talking with builders and in making decisions about repairing your home. It provides tips for repairing your home and gives indicative costs and savings that could be made for an average sized, three to four bedroom home.
- In most cases you, as the homeowner, will have to fund the additional cost of the improvements set out in this guide. The good news is that government grants are available for insulation, clean heating, solar and heat pump hot water, and chimney replacement. Plus, best of all, you can enjoy the benefits of these improvements.