"Highlighting the inadequacies of the way in which the earthquakes of 2010-2012 were handled by the insurance industry! "

A Response from David Shearer, Leader of the Labour Party


David ShearerShearer p2

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'.

2 thoughts on “A Response from David Shearer, Leader of the Labour Party

  1. My email and invite to David

    It was great to see your response to Sarah Miles and that your commitment to engaging Cantabrians and making sure that their voice is heard.

    Invite: I would like to extend an invite to join my family & I for a cup of tea and chat during one of your up and coming visits to Christchurch.
    We live in what has been labelled a forgotten suburb, Mount Pleasant which is now lovingly referred to as “Munt” Pleasant or Mount “Plywood”, 50-60% of the houses in our immediate area has either been demolished or are vacant awaiting demolition after 2 + years. Most of the houses are Green Zoned and have been for well over a year ½. They just remain in a state of limbo while residents fight it out with their insurance companies/EQC. Tower have locally been labelled the worst followed by the likes of Government owned Southern Response, who is our insurer. Only one insurer seems to have done the right thing and fixed up the local homestead, this was Lumley.

    Residents have lost many facilities. Both local supermarkets, the nearest small supermarket is 6kms and the Dairy is 3-4kms away. There are some small success stories like the church next to my home agreeing to house the Kidsfirst Kindy as their premises along with the Community Centre was destroyed in February. If you pop in for tea I’m sure they would love a visit to recognise their efforts. Lots of small, great looking kids and hardworking teachers surely a photo opportunity that can’t be missed.

    Our story is a very long one, in short AMI were due to start repairs to our home in March last year, DRA signed off, contracts near to signing and we had committed to renting a house for 6 months. As soon as Southern Response took over they decided to revisit the EQC Endorsement, behind the scenes they could not get contracts works insurance until Nov 2011. Then they decided to get the repairs re-quoted, then they wanted a fixed price. At the point the Builder had enough of the work required to re-quote and decided to walk away from the repairs. Now Southern Response have decided to adopt a new untested repair of cutting our home down the middle, lifting half on a crane whilst bracing it, repair the foundations and then attempt to stick it back together. They have chosen to ignore our local Architect who advises that this is very risky given the wind speeds we encounter in the Port Hills. Everyone has been supportive of our plight, Ruth Dysons office, David Carters Office, The Dispute Tribunal, Ombudsman however as Southern Response are accountable to no-one, except Bill English, no one can help us. We have therefore taken the decision to challenge them in the High Court, so far using savings for our children’s higher education fund to pay for lawyers and independent advisors. Our bill is at $10k and we are only lodging our high court claim this week. The bill is sure to grow from there.

    We have never heard the Government challenged on its position with respect to Southern Response, the time it’s taking to address claims, settle claims, rebuild numbers. They are failing in their legal obligation to act in Good Faith, and in their duty of care. They appear to adopt an approach of bullying and stalling so that the Governments Exposure can be reduced by fed up Cantabrians accepting less than is need to repair and replace their homes. Spend 3 winters in a broken home or bad rental and I’m sure you would be tempted by a cash offer of 70% or below.

    Labour must act, if you do you will have thousands of Canterbrian voters behind you.

    We would love to see you in our street soon, if not please review Southern Responses website statics and ask a few tough questions on our behalf.
    Thank you
    Sarah Marsh


  2. This letter just confirms that Shearer hasn’t got a clue. I can’t think of any other politician (ever!) living in such a dreamworld: “an incoming Labour government will not tolerate this uncertainty” – how about Labour just gets out there and does its job as an opposition party, instead of daydreaming about what it will do when it has the keys to the palace.

    Seriously. Rather than endless references to speeches he’s made, how about pushing things up a notch and nailing EQC for having such hopeless processes, Brownlee for his arrogance, CERA for being little more than a foot soldier for developers. How about compiling a casebook of some of the sad stories out there? How about tracking how those cases get resolved (or not)? How about asking why other cities have minor road issues fixed instantly, but people living in Christchurch have to put up with problems two years later? How about finding out how many people have left Christchurch, and why?

    An opposition party’s main weapons should never be its policy manifesto, the speech section on its website, and the leader’s travel schedule.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s