Everyone has a part to play in the recovery. It appears from discussions that most of us would like to take over the recovery in its entirety because we tend to think we can do a more collaborative, more coordinated and more compassionate job. However, we residents don’t run the recovery; we don’t make the insurance decisions and we don’t organise the repair and rebuild of our homes.
We still have a role though and that is to ‘make good things happen’. Some people are doing this by getting involved in the planning of their community space. Others are happy to ignore the earthquake part of their life as best they can and make good things happen in other areas of their life. There are quite a few though who need a reminder that kiwis are good at the ‘number 8 wire’ mentality – we look at a problem, we get creative and we use what we have around us to make things better. This can apply to our situations here and now.
If you are getting bogged down by questions you and your community need answers for – ‘get up and do something’ and use the online form for Community Questions and Issues. This is a community tool so don’t wait for someone else to get the answer – get it yourself.
If you’ve got a home that is just not an ok home while you wait for a permanent fix – ‘get up and do something’ and fill in the Winter Campaign form here. This is a community tool as well so don’t wait in a freezing house with holes in – get the community to fix it.
If you are really stuck and just don’t know how to make some progress – ‘get up and do something’ and make an appointment with the Residential Advisory Service by calling 03 379 7027 or 0800 777 299. They may just be the support you need to take steps ahead.
If you feel like you’re only just holding onto your sanity or perhaps feel it’s quickly slipping away – ‘get up and do something’ and call your GP or the Canterbury Earthquake Support line on 0800 777 846. They’ll either offer you a way to connect with your sanity or head you in the direction of people who can help. Earthquake Support Coordinators are part of this and have helped many, many people navigate their way through decisions.
And when you have done something for yourself, think about getting up and doing something for your neighbour and then your street and your community. Join with the other people around you and start doing something to make some things happen. Tell people about the tools and supports available. Help someone to get their house a little warmer by filling in the form. Organise a small group to do some baking and go and share some love with someone who finds it hard to get out and about on the broken footpaths.
‘Wonderful’ can just be making things a little more bearable. ‘Wonderful’ can be something to help yourself and your neighbour. There’s nothing wonderful about sitting around waiting. Get up and do something with the tools and resources we have available – it will make us feel less helpless, more wonderful and definitely offer some hope.
Kia Kaha Everyone.
The CanCERN Team
CERA Red Zone updated Cabinet Papers and Minutes
CERA yesterday updated its page of Cabinet Papers and Minutes (here). A quick check indicates that the changes fall into four categories.
The first is replacing unsigned documents with signed copies. The second is updated versions with some or all of the information that was withheld in the past. Third is where a larger paper has now been broken down into a separate document, and the fourth new material added to the page.
The papers concerned are (italics for signature only, bold for additional text, standard text where a paper has been split out from a previously available document, and underlined because it looks like a new paper i.e. my record of this CERA page does not show the document to have been present before yesterday).
Changes to CERA’s existing web page headings
- Cabinet Paper: Land Decisions – June 2011 (replaced on 30 July 2013)
- Cabinet Paper: Kaiapoi Orange Zones – August 2011 (replaced on 30 July 2013)
- CAB Min (11) 41/24 – Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: Decisions on Remaining
- Canterbury Orange Zones (replaced on 30 July 2013)
- Memorandum for Cabinet – Decisions on Remaining Canterbury Orange Zones: Associated paper to Cabinet Minute (11) 41/24 (replaced on 30 July 2013) NOTE: originally this Cabinet Memorandum was attached to the proceeding Minute (11) 41/24 as just one document.
- CAB Min (11) 42/9 – Additional Item: Canterbury Earthquake: Orange Zones: Decisions by Ministers with Power to Act (replaced on 30 July 2013) – NOTE: originally this Cabinet Minute was attached to the proceeding Minute (11) 41/24 as just one document
Land Decisions – 31 August 2012
These Cabinet Business Committee Papers record decisions made to extend a purchase offer to owners of properties on the residential red zone flat land that were Leasehold, Vacant, Uninsured, and Commercial/Industrial properties.
- Summary of Paper: CBC (12) 63 – Canterbury Earthquake: Red Zone Purchase Offersfor Residential Leasehold, Vacant, Uninsured, and Commercial/Industrial Properties
- Cabinet Business Committee Paper: CBC (12) 63 – Red Zone Purchase Offers forResidential Leasehold, Vacant, Uninsured, and Commercial/Industrial Properties
Briefing Notes for Minister regarding Red Zone properties
These papers form the basis of the decision-making process towards the final offers that are outlined in the fact sheets above.
- Briefing Note for Minister (3 April 2012) M/12/0314 – Initial thinking regarding red zone property owners not covered by the Crown offer to purchase residential insured properties
- Briefing Note for Minister (23 May 2012) M/12/0387 – Red zone residential properties under construction and non-residential properties owned by not-for-profit organisations
- Briefing Note for Minister (30 August 2012) M/12-13/084 – Revised Cabinet Paper: Red Zone Purchase Offers
Many people are expressing concern about how to accurately calculate the sum they need to insure their house for when their policy renews. CanCERN has discussed this issue with Insurance Council NZ and are trying to come up with some solutions for establishing better support systems, particularly for the most vulnerable who may not be able to access a qualified Quantity Surveyor. Supporting information is due out soon.
CanCERN discussed our concerns in the following article – NZ Herald Article – 27 July 2013
This recent opinion piece written by Janine Starks points out some of the many aspects of a home we should be considering when insuring for ‘sum insured’ – Insurance lessons from Christchurch/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
ICNZ Questions and Answers for Homeowners who are Over the EQC Cap
Some great questions have been posted to this page and the response are here. The questions asked are as follows:
- What can I do if earthquake damage is causing problems for me during the winter months? For instance, there may be a leak in my roof or damage may make it difficult to heat my home?
- What if there is ongoing deterioration to my earthquake damaged property as I wait for repairs?
- What if there is asbestos in my home? Some say it is harmless and others say it is toxic?
- Can I opt out of my insurers’ repair or rebuild queue if I can arrange a quicker rebuild myself?
- I have yet to be advised whether my property is a repair or a rebuild?
- What are the reasons for why claims are not progressing on properties?
- Can I get a second opinion about the cost of repairs?
- I’ve been told important information over the phone but not received anything in writing – what can be done about this?
- Why am I not being told about the results of geotech drilling on my land?
- Are insurers deliberately delaying claims settlements?
- Are insurers rebuilding to meet the new flood zone levels?
- I’m living in the red zone and still have to use a portaloo. My property is uninhabitable, so what can I do?
- Why can’t I have the same insurance person to deal with me right through the claims process to settlement?
- Have communications between EQC and insurers broken down leaving homeowners caught in the middle?
- What is the progress on the rebuild?
- What home insurance is available in Christchurch?
- How long does it take for a home to be built?
- Main reasons for settlement hold-ups now
Fletcher EQR Information Video
EQC Newsletter – EQConnects 30 July 2013
Topics covered in this issue of EQConnects
- Knowing where you stand
- Will the recent Cook Strait quakes affect your claim?
- Information on our more complex land claims
- CHRP: Half way to 2014 completion mark
- Fixing homes faster for our most vulnerable
- Are you still waiting on your contents claim?
Click here to read the full newsletter or any of the links above./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Asbestos – Southern response Update
(Published 01 August 2013) – Original source here
Before your repair work begins the main repair contractor will assess whether they need to test for the presence of asbestos in building materials in your home – based on the age, construction materials used and the nature and location of earthquake damage. If asbestos testing is needed, the main contractor will arrange for inspection of the earthquake damaged areas; This will be done at our cost.
If asbestos is identified in earthquake damaged materials, a competent contractor will be engaged to remove that type of asbestos product that is earthquake damaged.
The main contractor is fully responsible for asbestos identification, testing, removal and disposal as per the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment rules and Health and Safety Act.
We will advise you if asbestos is identified in earthquake damaged areas of your home and can give you a copy of the test results if you request them.
Further information on asbestos can be found on the Ministry of Health website:https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resource/all-about-asbestos
Recent quakes a reminder to quake safe your home – a reminder from EQC
In case you have forgotten
Here are some tips:
- Fasten wall units, bookcases and other tall furniture to wall studs using metal brackets which are available from most hardware stores.
- Store heavy objects on lower shelves or in low cabinets with latches.
- Secure water cylinders with timber blocks fastened to the floor and attach a strap around the top of the cylinder. The straps can be bought as part of a special kit from plumbing supply or hardware stores.
- Replace your chimney with a lighter metal flue.
- Strap down header tanks on the roof or in the roof space. Sunlight can perish the straps so they need to be checked and replaced regularly.
- Check your house is well-fixed to its foundations. Wire, bolt or bracket bearers to piles. Nail strong plywood sheets to the inside of the framing in the sub-floor space. Nail strong plywood sheets to brace and clad the outside piles. Check that any extensions to your home are well tied to the original house foundations. If you are unsure about how to do this a builder can help.
There are also some easy steps you can take to protect your ornaments, pictures/mirrors and appliances and prevent them from becoming projectiles in a quake:
- Place plastic putty (Blu Tack) and non-slip mats under ornaments and glassware.
- Push hooks closed after hanging pictures/mirrors or squeeze filler material into the gap so the cord cannot jump out.
- Place non-slip mats under small appliances. Larger appliances such as televisions can be secured using strap restraints available from specialist safety or hardware stores.
These are just some of the helpful tips included in EQC’s free guide to making your home quake safe called:Easy Ways to Quake Safe your Home which is available online at www.eqc.govt.nz/be-prepared/earthquake or you can phone EQC on 0800 326 243 and request a copy be sent to you. The booklet is available in eight languages./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
EQC’s Lower Standards Cuts Costs
OPINION: The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has been accused of inaccurately assessing the floor levels of thousands of houses after hiring unqualified surveyors using inadequate measuring methods.
In response, EQC has defended the assessments and said they complied with all building and housing guidelines.
While it is true that floor levels out by 50 millimetres or less meet the standard in the latest guidelines, EQC’s statement raises the question of whether it is entitled merely to meet this minimum standard.
Simon Munro is a senior associate and John Goddard a solicitor at law firm Anthony Harper in Christchurch./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
CanCERN Winter Campaign
(in conjunction with ‘Make it Right’)
Do you know of friends who are living in a home that feels unsafe? Do you know of a neighbour who lives in a home that is unhealthy? Do you live in a home that you just can’t warm up?
To get this started you can fill out the CanCERN form – FOUND HERE – Enter your details, or the details of someone who may need help ( please note that you need their permission ) and with this information we can make contact with you and talk about the next step.
We also want you, the community and community leaders to become involved to make sure we get to as many people as we can. This campaign invites participation from many areas of the community. Its purpose – to identify and practically support people who are still living in poor housing conditions as a result of the earthquakes. And just one of the objectives states – enable friends, family, neighbours and groups to support residents with warm clothing, blankets, food and company to make everyone feel connected and a part of the wider community.
The process is simple – from the connections intentionally made with neighbours, the poor housing conditions lived in can be identified. Record these on our form or on our web form FOUND HERE. Our team will then refer the emergency/temporary house repair work to ‘Make it Right’ with CEA or to community groups who have said they will see to the need. Our team is not only the us in CanCERN’s office but is the community groups/persons who participate in this support network – to help identify, to refer, to follow up and to fix.
Come and join in whatever place you can and see the objectives achieved. Specifically volunteers can help as residents identify the unsafe, unhealthy and/or cold houses. Help with house calls, in street gatherings and other meetings to record where the issues surface … that follow up can happen. We will bake for our neighbourly calls and gatherings …… a start of neighbourhood sharing.
Contact your neighbourhood group or Bob Henderson if you’re interested in helping or need some support to set something up in your community at firstname.lastname@example.org
CanCERN Winter Campaign Progress Update
(This campaign works in conjunction with the CERA-led ‘Make it Right’ Campaign)
Referred to CEA
‘Make it Right’
Referred onto Support Service
CanCERN / Community Fixed or Processed
Week 1 & 2
Week 3 & 4
CanCERN’s involvement in this campaign is made possible because of support from the Tindall Foundation and Family and Community – Anglican Care, NZ Sharp Corporation.
CERA is also working with others in the ‘Make it Right’ Campaign. You can go to the CERA website to see what services are available or check out the flyer here – http://cera.govt.nz/support-and-assistance/winter-help or you can call the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 between 9am and 11pm 7 days a week and they’ll put you through to the relevant organisation that may be able to address your need/s./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
EQC Board Chair Meeting Update
Sir Maarten Wevers, EQC Board Chair, has followed up after our meeting last Friday and assured me that the appropriate staff have been directed to make good on commitments made at that meeting.
Yesterday, following up on one of the commitments, we met with EQC Communications staff to discuss communication around the clarity of the EQC process (assessment through to handover to Fletcher EQC or private insurer) and the general readability of the website.
These are the points that CanCERN made:
- Fletcher website has good transparency – contractor alerts, etc. Information on this site is generally easy to access and is useful.
- EQC website needs to be more resident-centric – clarity designed to address the reader’s information needs. Readers can get lost on pages as they click to different information
- Homeowners need help understanding roles and responsibilities – clarity about when a decision is EQC’s and when it is EQR’s.
- Be clear about Roles, responsibilities and decision making. Who has the final say on eg: repair methodology, joint assessment, who informs, who initiates, and what is the homeowner’s role in each activity?
- Be clear about what all the filters are. If homeowners have more information about the different steps they have to go through before they are handed over and what is happening in each ‘queue’ or filter they will have a better idea of their own progress, why there are some areas of hold ups and what they are waiting for.
- Upload policies and procedures or processes where they will help the homeowner understand their claim and settlement. (CanCERN has previously requested this from Michael Wintringham, past EQC Chair but been told there are too many to be practicable).
Fletcher EQR and CHRP related:
- When customers are with Fletcher EQR, they need to be clear about all of the people they may come across and what their roles are in relation to the homeowner and decision making. This information is included in website and written communication but you have to search for it – make it easy by putting it on a page like a glossary.
- Need greater clarity about the distinction of decision making between EQC and EQR with regard to final repair methodology.
- Due to the fact that a lot of work is exempt from consent requirements, homeowners should be made aware of what documentation pertaining to their repair will be available. Homeowners need a written record of the all documents which explain what was done, who did it, who signed it off, etc. These documents will protect homeowners in the future if there are issues or future buyers want to understand what was done to the house.
Community Questions and Issues
What questions are your community struggling with?
The updates found here on the Canterbury Residential Rebuild website will show you that we are up to question 24. If you are a leader in your community and you know that an important question needs to be answered please use the online form.
We are presently discussing a separate web page for this process along with a promotion about its use. Until then please use the good old fashioned word of mouth to let your friends, family and neighbours know of its existence.
Rotary Neighbourhood Project
Do you have a great idea for your community? Well, get your neighbours together, tell Rotary about your project so they can try and give you a hand to make it happen.
• Cultural Events • Community Barbecue • Street Party • Book Club Launch • Welcome Packs for the Neighbourhood • Neighbourhood film Night • Neighbourhood Market • Art Exhibition • Clean up Campaign • Beautification & Landscaping Project • Neighbourhood Sports Day • Small Business Workshop • Adopt-a-Grandparent Programme • Community Fair…
The Neighbourhood Project Fund has been established to support locally initiated projects that contribute towards improving wellbeing and building resilient communities and neighbourhoods. Read more at the link – http://www.rotaryneighbourhood.org.nz/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
MEDIA RELEASE – EQC Assessments for the Seddon Earthquakes (Adrian Cowie 2 August 2013)
It would appear from comments made by Bruce Emson (EQC) in the media 1 August 2013, that EQC has not learnt the lessons from the Canterbury Earthquakes. (See http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough– express/news/8989302/Quake-judgments-could-take-months )
His comments indicate that EQC will, in assessing homes affected by the Seddon earthquakes, use inspection teams consisting of a ‘Trade Certified Builder’ and ‘Estimator’.
EQC’s use of a ‘Trade Certified Builder’ and ‘Estimator’ in assessing Canterbury homes has been a spectacular failure. Major structural damage has routinely been overlooked by EQC’s Canterbury assessors, either by lack of expertise, or a desire to minimise repair costs. Homes that required major structural repairs were assessed in Canterbury as having only ‘cosmetic’ damage.
This new earthquake event near Seddon gives EQC a chance to instigate a more rigorous assessment procedure that provides accuracy, transparency and truth for the homeowner.
The lessons learnt in Canterbury have been that damage can be difficult to determine visually, and that qualified people should be engaged to assess buildings in the first instance.
It should be remembered that it is EQC’s responsibility to repair all earthquake damage in terms of the Earthquake Commission Act. The first part of this repair is to obtain accurate assessments from those that have the required expertise.
With respect, we have seen in Canterbury that a ‘Trade Qualified Builder’ does not have the expertise to do these assessments accurately.
Adrian Cowie, Registered Professional Surveyor Topografo Ltd/************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Residential Advisory Service
The presentation link we gave last week had the presenters notes with it. This is a revised version if you would like to share it with your community. Promoting services such as RAS is an ongoing need – people won’t hear it until it becomes relevant and we are all moving at different paces. Please make sure you keep spreading the word./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>
Availability of Insurance in Canterbury
Many people have asked us to get some definitive information about which insurers are offering insurance, to whom and for what. Unfortunately there are variable that make this not such an easy task. However, Insurance Council NZ have provided an overview on their website here. I have checked and this is still an accurate summary as of August 2013./************ get tags and categories ****************/ ?>