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Hunger Strike Success and Insurance Competition

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Jerry Larason’s hunger strike (See was successful. He settled with State Insurance this week. In fact he only had to miss breakfast. By early afternoon his claim was on its way to a resolution. (See

A success story!  I spoke with him and he told me that of course they were thrilled with their own personal result but he felt disappointed that so many other Cantabrians were continuing to struggle with the resolution of their claims.  He went on to say that his actions took “10% effort and 90% determination” and once he took the decision that he was no longer prepared to be ignored by State Insurance it was all over.  He went on to describe his tactics. “You have to consider their vulnerabilities – that’s where success can be found, attack their vulnerabilities. The element of surprise is also important. If they had known we were coming they would have done a lot to undermine our actions. The position of the ‘rig’ was also critical, that’s why I was out there at 3.00 am to make sure I had the best spot. And of course timely media exposure is also critical.”

In light of the Larasons’ success with his hunger strike and the many thousands of people still trying to get resolution of their claims, whilst I am not one to trivialise people’s misery,  I suggest a competition to stimulate some action from our friendly insurers. I have received a generous donation of tee-shirts and stickers from Michelle Lang (who also has an unresolved claim). Jerry and his wife Rebecca will judge the overall winner and the prizes will be awarded to the ideas they consider most likely to succeed.

Here are the Rules of the Competition:

  • all ideas must be non violent and within the bounds of public decency and legality;
  • contain the element of surprise;
  • be interesting enough that they are likely to attract media attention;
  • disturbing enough to EQC or the private insurers to be likely to cause an immediate reaction;
  • cost no more than $200-$300 to set-up;
  • ideas must be described in enough detail to be easily replicated.

Ideas should be submitted to and the best ideas will win a ‘futterly ukked’  tee-shirt and stickers (See The idea the Larason’s like most will receive a copy of The Christchurch Fiasco: the Insurance Aftershock and its Implications for New Zealand and Beyond as well.

All entries must adhere to the rules. Those which are deemed to be  feasible will be published in a post for everyone to share. What you do with the ideas from there is entirely up to you. So put your thinking caps on, get creative and let’s see what we can come up with.  Of course all entries will be completely confidential.   And don’t forget – group actions are far more likely to succeed.

Here’s my first suggestion. Though this one would have cost $13,000 if the person involved had had to go through with it.  However normally the threat of exposure for the insurer is enough! This suggestion comes courtesy of someone who knows it works – wink, wink!

Take out a full page ad, in the Christchurch Press or the Auckland Press and describe what your insurer is doing or has done to you – of course the insurers name needs to very visible and you have to be able to show that everything you say is the truth.

Have fun with the ideas and think outside the box!

~Future Proofing for a sustainable, participatory, democratic society.

If you would like to contribute a post on this topic then see Guest Archives.

Author: Sarah-Alice Miles

Love to write, create and watch the clouds move across the sky - these days in the Netherlands. 'Art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time'.

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