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

What have we learned from disaster thus far? Guest Post by Sleazkey


Image found on fence in Christchurch

Image found on fence in Christchurch

I do not consider myself to be a conspiracy theorist but I do think that we can all put two and two together when faced with clear evidence.   So let’s have a brief précis of the evidence which emerged (and continues to emerge) following the Canterbury Earthquakes:

First-up, Government established an almost totalitarian regime for management of the City.  Even the constitutional lawyers were shocked.

One man was given draconian powers and the Bi-partisan opposition appears complicit with the exception of a few locally involved politicians – who were summarily demoted for their efforts.

The People and the suburbs have been largely ignored and left to fend for themselves against both Government and the insurance corporates.

CERA was created to stand between the Government and the people – but in reality, it is just a government department with no checks or balances.  It ignored the wishes of the people in respect of the rebuild of the city.

The other political parties have been (are) largely invisible.

Extensive, possibly deliberate, delay in city decisions and insurance payouts drove many businesses to the wall.   CERA shows a primary focus on grandiose projects such as huge conference centre and sports stadium when several suburbs are still in ruins.

From 10 Sept. 2010, EQC started well in the suburbs, even with only 22 professional employees and appeared to be quite honorable, initially.  After 22 Feb. a drastic change – clearly at a directive from above – nasty tactics to ‘get-back’ moneys they had already paid out.  Transparent dishonesty.  Also clear evidence that the EQC fund was never going to be adequate to manage a major catastrophe.

Government amended the ‘repair standards’ for foundations, easing them severl times – to the detriment of homeowners and advantage of the insurers and EQC.

EQC and private insurers then collude to produce ‘repair estimates’ for homeowners…

After five years, Insurance Corporates and EQC are still engaging in widespread delay, breach of contract and fraud in the suburbs.  Clear support for this by government, which refuses to intervene – ‘leave it to the market’.  Unrealistic figures for ‘repairs/rebuilds completed’ are published in the media.

Insurance Council appoints a new CEO to try to justify an unjustifiable situation – who is he? – turns out that he is Jenny Shipley’s one-time spin doctor who admits that he has little background knowledge of the industry, but he can spin!!

CERA, on behalf of Government, created Red Zones on which ‘it will never be built again’.  Residents told that they will have to leave.  No consideration is taken of the insurance implications. Government offers them payments for their land which is obviously well short of true valuation.  This spells financial hardship for many who are arguably  bullied by the Earthquake Minister to accept low offers for their assets.

CERA does nothing to produce affordable land for new building to assist them.

Insurance corporates then take advantage of the situation and instead of accepting ‘constructive ruin’ of red zone properties, will only pay to owners the cost of repair of their unusable houses.  Owners left to test this decision individually.  First test case dodges the question about ‘constructive ruin’ and the insurance industry.……

Home owners are left with the huge (and for most, unaffordable) cost of High Court litigation with their insurers, individually, if they wish to address the situation  – when it is clear that a collective action should have been taken by CERA, on behalf of the red zone folk, to ask the Courts to declare such homes ‘constructive ruins’.  One concludes a ‘divide and conquer’ policy by Government and support for the insurance corporates, using CERA as the enforcing vehicle.

EQC commits several email privacy blunders – a spreadsheet reaches the public domain which infers that EQC is deliberately and systematically paying the public less than its assessors are valuing repairs.  Often by 50%.   This is major fraud, but the Earthquake Minister bumbles through an unlikely explanation which can easily be proven to be nonsense, simply based on EQC’s costing procedures.  Police threats and bullying are directed at the recipient of the spreadsheet, who rightly maintains that disclosure of the contents is ‘in the public interest’ as EQC is taxpayer funded.

Hints emerge that there is much more to be revealed concerning the (mis)management of EQC.  We shall see…..

Government takes advantage of the earthquake situation to introduce corporate-owned ‘Charter Schools’ to the city.  They had NO mandate to do this.  Your children will be dumbed-down by unqualified teachers and will follow a corporate agenda. But ‘mums and dads’ can buy shares, so it’s OK.…….

And there’s much more – but that will do for a start.

Do you believe that this government, or the opposition for that matter, has any concern for the welfare of the people?  Do you believe the ‘mums and dads’ rubbish, as they sell OUR assets to their corporate mates??  Do you notice how the rich get richer as the costs of living go up and up?  It’s time to wake up folks.  Our democracy is an illusion.  They do what they like and appoint their mates to key positions to run their agendas and none of this is by accident..

True democracy relies on the ‘checks and balances’ between the Legislature (Parliament), the Executive (the party in power and the civil service), and the Judiciary (the Courts).

The Executive is clearly governing neither ‘for the people’ or ‘by the people’.

The Parliament dismays us daily with its inconsequential, childish babble and ineffective banter and is occluded with bi-partisan agreements to ignore the plight of a large proportion of the Nation’s second largest city.  As a check on the Executive, it is arguably non-functional.

And what of the remaining element of ‘check and balance’ – the Judiciary?

Well, the jury is still out on this one. From the perspective of the Christchurch fiasco, it is the untested link which will tell us if any possibility less than direct action by the population exists to alter our situation and address the greedy corporates and their Government sponsors.  The Judiciary is lamentably remote and separated from the general public by both financial and regulatory barriers and it is difficult to perceive to what extent Government actually interferes with Justice.  Perhaps with shoulder-tapping appointments by the Prime Minister which circumvent due-process, who knows? It does happen, nod, nod, wink, wink.

After more than five years of breach of contract, delay, short payment, and deliberate fraud, both by corporate and government entities, Christchurch is now in the ‘legal’ phase, where those who can afford it and who have ‘had enough’ are beginning to take on the corporates and EQC, into the legal setting.  My suggestion is to watch the decisions of our Courts very carefully as these will tell you a great deal about the condition of our so-called ‘democracy’.  A good judgment will always appeal to common sense.  If it transpires that justice has gone the way of the rest of our Nation, then we really are in deep trouble and only we, the People, can fix it.

So have a good think about it.  Am I a conspiracy theorist or is this for real??

(P.S. If the creator of the poster of the “Pillage People’  would like acknowledgment on the site, contact Sarah).

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'.

6 thoughts on “What have we learned from disaster thus far? Guest Post by Sleazkey

  1. Pingback: Property Owners Criticise CERA/CCDU | ShakyTown Blues

  2. This has become war, the elector has the ultimate weapon removal from power, the problem is an alternative political party with the will to change things as Thatcher did in Britain. The Conservatives are a possibility, Act has lost its way and short of Rodney returning is likely consigned to oblivion which leaves the formation of a new party but who will stand up and lead???????????????


  3. NZ is not signatory to the UN anti corruption treaty..not that it would make any difference to ChCh . Deep down we all know it has become a totalitarian, corrupt and downright dishonest system.
    All we can do is battle on, try to make good and stop this madness.
    Corruption stems from conflict of interest which is now clearly evident in Christchurch after observing this debacle ensue for the last 2 years.
    How dare we have third line forcing by having to deal with Fletchers or opt out and receive a reduced pay out figure.
    What a terrible injustice has been perpetrated against us the people of Christchurch. I never thought in my life time I would witness this shambollic system.
    Every day I wake up angrier and tinged with sadness knowing that people are really suffering mentally,feeling of helplessness and not knowing what to do next.
    Even when you get passed the EQC hurdle, then the nightmare continues having to deal with mainstream insurers and knowing that they will cause further delays in the process.


  4. Entirely predictable, in my opinion. If you look at other “disaster” centres worldwide, so many towns and cities have simply been abandoned. Cities take decades to be built, indeed decades just to form policy & direction. Thinking this will be all over in 2-3 years is naive.


  5. Excellent summation of the state’s dictatorship over ChCh and Canterbury. The state has fused around the executive neutering parliament and the bureaucracy. The big test will be if the Supreme Court hears Dotcom’s appeal and finds in his favour. If not that will signify that our polity is totally run from Washington and that time for revolution is nigh.


  6. Well said…Wake up NZ this could happen to you


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