thechristchurchfiasco

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

Dear Mr. John Key (Prime Minister of New Zealand) – Guest Post by Darla Hutt

11 Comments

Dear Sir,

I write to you today as an every day Kiwi, a New Zealand Maori, a proud Cantabrian and as person who passionately cares about what happens to the people of Christchurch. To yourself I maybe nothing, I may not be rich, I may not articulate myself nor write with the distinction your people who will reply to this, will display. But what I can say, is I will do all I can to help those still suffering in this City.

Mr Key I watched you speaking on Campbell Live on Thursday the 16th of May 2013; where you stated that National had stepped up for the people of Christchurch by providing 15 billion of the 40 billion + debt the disaster will accumulate. That is great, though I must make note before I continue that as that money has come from tax payers pockets, in truth it is NOT National that has stepped up, but tax paying New Zealanders like my husband. So I would appreciate a correction to that statement.

Now going back to where you stated National has stepped up – what I would like to bring to your attention – you may believe National has stepped up, but can you confirm when exactly yourself, Gerry Brownlee or any member of your Party have ever stood up for any non business related home owner in Christchurch?

When exactly have you stood up and made it clear to Insurance Companies and EQC that enough is enough, that the way the rebuilding or repairs of homes is proceeding,  is unacceptable and needs to be done in a more acceptable and transparent manner?

When have you or Gerry ever not sent a reply that states the same words we hear from Insurance and EQC “It is a complex situation” –  we know that it is an event that no-one expected let alone wanted. But when Sir have you legitimately stood up publically and shown you even cared? Both yourself and Gerry appear very cold and uncouth regarding the real victims of the Christchurch Earthquakes; THE PEOPLE!!

Yes you are in Christchurch every week or every other week sir but have you once stepped into a home with toxic mould growing in it, have you reached out and visited homes in the communities whilst in Christchurch? Or shall we expect that next year – so you can pretend to care in election year just to win votes??

I encourage you sir to step into some Christchurch homes if you are in the City this winter, see for yourself what 3rd World conditions some people are being forced to live in. Instruct Gerry that there is a Rental Crisis in Christchurch, where many landlords are taking advantage of the crisis and making renting unaffordable for many. It is very concerning that Gerry is so blind to the crisis or is choosing to ignore it.

Also Sir I ask you to personally reply to this email, and not pass it on to Gerry as you have done on more than one occasion, ultimately Gerry might be the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake, but Sir his work is substandard to say the least, the fact that he presents himself as rude and unapproachable makes me much prefer that the reply to this email comes from yourself. Not to mention the majority of the email is regarding yourself and statements you made on Campbell Live.

My family to a point, have found our peace, though in the process we have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in an asset that was once a family home, but Sir unlike yourself (in election year) my fight for the people does not stop after our battle to be heard is almost over, my fight remains until each and every person is heard!

So sir I say instead of saying you have stepped up for the people, how about you STAND UP for the people of Christchurch!!

Kindest Regards

Darla Hutt

Born and breed Cantabrian of Ngāti Maniapoto descent

Author: Sarah Miles

Trained as a lawyer, psychotherapist and mediator. My goal is to make my voice heard for the causes in which I believe so as to improve and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society. I believe in the enormous power of the human spirit and the power within each of us to effect major change. "The only triumph over evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing". https://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/

11 thoughts on “Dear Mr. John Key (Prime Minister of New Zealand) – Guest Post by Darla Hutt

  1. Instead of “More talk is cheap” from our budget Prime Minister, it time for him and characters like Brownlee and Sutton to get down and deliver their hollow talk directlly to these people of Christchurch.

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  2. Darla it’s people like you that make me proud to be a Kiwi and justify my huge respect for the people of Canterbury. John Key? Meh – not so much! Johns speech of February 23rd, 2011 (quoted above by Sarah) was a great source of comfort for me as I sat amidst the wreckage of my Avonside home – sadly I now feel that comfort was premature and misplaced.

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  3. Articulate and passionate article Darla – well done honey x

    As for Key’s original statement – even then he uses the word “you” rather than “we” – he was never in this with us. After spending millions training Australians to do the initial assessments he sent them home as a knee-jerk reaction to criticism. The decision to use foreigners in the first place was to avoid the nepotism (that we subsequently saw) and reduce the risk of corruption (which we have come to suspect). American loss adjusters (those used to events of this scale) went home as a result of the unclear processes and I understand from one a “lack of adherence to international best practice”, interestingly the British loss adjusters I know couldn’t get clearance from the NZ Govt to come.

    Looking at the situation from this side of the planet, the world really doesn’t realise the situation is on-going. The press here (UK) cares little as its old news – I know because I’ve tried to raise awareness. At least here though we have an ombudsman that is completely independent and can assist in any circumstance, and a sector that is rigorously regulated.

    As for the insurance companies – I joke to folks here that they are better off if they don’t let me step up onto that particular soapbox. For whatever reason (ignorance, incompetence, personal gain/interest, naivety) the insurance industry has the power. Perhaps National are terrified that they will leave and NZ will appear uninsurable? Perhaps they are simply in cahoots? Who know’s?. The reality is though that in a country still suffering seismic activity, building regulations have been reduced simply to enable cost effective solutions for the Govt and Insurance companies – not for client satisfaction or public safety, impacting negatively on those in fact. For many, the fact is that we are significantly worse off financially and emotional despite us having purchased products that were sold to ensure our risk was covered – this is bad faith, a civil contract law crime.

    Finally, I do wish I had enough faith to turn the other cheek. To forgive and move on. I don’t. I have become resentful and bitter, and I resent that the situation I have been put in by National and the insurance companies has made me this way – it is not my natural character. As a result though, and as a lack of belief that we will ever be appropriately compensated, I find myself wishing with all my heart that all those involved, all those that have touched our lives and been disregarding of it are, at some stage in theirs able to fully empathise with us. I hope that they have cause to stand looking on as everything they have worked for is taken from them, that they have cause to worry repeatedly for the physical and mental wellbeing of their loved ones, and that they feel as we have, completely powerless to change what they perceive to be the immoral and exploitative situation in which they find themselves. I’m not proud of feeling this way, I’m actually somewhat ashamed, it is though nonetheless a reaction to the actions of others – not Mother Nature.

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  4. I was a staunch conservative, so naturally voted National. I have been appalled at what this Government has let EQC and Southern Response get away with. My street has many houses with broken walls, roofs, windows with curtains blowing about in the wind. This is over 2 1/2 years on and disgraceful. In this time my own home has had 14 Assessments, it needs all its structural piles replaced. All the assessors, project managers and southern response case managers have been paid 10’s of thousands of dollars to assess with no expectation that they need to deliver or do anything. This government don’t care as long as they are being paid interest on the rebuild/repair cost that they delay in paying out. I feel for the elderly in my street who are living in homes with broken walls, foundations and boarded up windows. This is no way to spend a retirement, fighting insurance companies for a fair settlement. Drive up our hill John Key , it’s the first turning over the ferrymead bridge. The only thing my local National MP can suggest is litigation if we aren’t happy to accept a sub standard repair strategy. Thanks for all your help National. I walk this path alone , something you committed wouldn’t happen in your speech to commemorate the Feb EQ anniversary. Well done Darla for writing such a great letter after being totally screwed by her Govt owned Insurance company.

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  5. It is so saddening that a man that has so much power cares so very little for the people of the country he “runs”. I know he see’s the issues as individual and the stories as micro, but as the leader of a country isn’t he meant to publically express compassion for each and every individual of that country? Some thing we are yet to see.

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    • Perhaps John Key has forgotten that he once said this (on February 23rd, 2011):

      “…On behalf of New Zealand let me say to all of you: We feel your pain, as only a small nation can, for none of us feel removed from this event.
      I am a proud son of Christchurch. I was raised there, I got my first job there, my sister lives there, my mother died there, I know what a wonderful place it is.
      But my connection to Christchurch is no rare thing.
      All New Zealanders have a piece of our heart in Christchurch.
      All of our lives are touched by this event.
      A friend or family member who lives there. A time spent studying there or a memorable experience had there.
      We feel connected to your suffering. Your tragedy is our tragedy.
      Today I want Christchurch to hear this message:
      You will get through this.
      This proud country is right behind you and we are backing you with all our might.
      The world is with us.
      Our Australian neighbours, our British and American friends, the great countries of this world, all are putting their shoulder to your wheel. They are sending their support, their expertise, their people to help us.
      Christchurch, today is the day your great comeback begins.
      Though your buildings are broken, your streets awash, and your hearts are aching, your great spirit will overcome.
      While nature has taken much from you, it can not take your survivor’s spirit.
      This devastating event marks the beginning of a long journey for your city.
      It will be a journey that leads us from ruins and despair to hope and new opportunities. From great hardship will come great strength.
      It will be a difficult journey, but progress is certain, things will get better, Christchurch will rise again.
      On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone.
      New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.
      Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test.
      I promise we will meet this test.”

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  6. Well said Darla!. I felt outraged at John Key’s comments on Campbell Live following the item on the Christchurch family with a highly stressed autistic child, who had shifted three times and were facing a winter in a caravan. He referred to “hard luck stories, and some are genuine.” Then he said “We have asked New Zealanders all over the country to go without so that money can go to Christchurch.” It seemed to me a cynical, self-serving, dog whistling commentary especially after a budget which clearly showed that people living in difficult conditions, many unemployed, or living in overcrowded conditions, and children in poverty were of no concern whatsoever!

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  7. Great letter! Just one question … isn’t that 40 BILLION dollars?
    We have a minute inkling of how bad this is for our neighbours in Christchurch … we’ve been waiting for compensation assessment of structural damage to our home in Dunedin (caused by the September and June shocks). Been told we can’t even redecorate a room as that will invalidate the total claim! It must be absolutely devastating for those waiting in Chch to be waiting… and waiting … and not even be able to make homes basically functional without risking a cruel denial of their repairs/replacement/compensation.

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  8. Thank you Sarah, for such an eloquent and passionate posting. When I meet people who talk about the Chch rebuild I say there isn’t one. I know no one in Chch who has had their house rebuilt, we are one of the many who is still waiting on a decision. Eqc now is acting like a private insurance firm and delaying all decisions.

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  9. Well said Darla. This government has become so removed from the day to day realities of life for most people in NZ (as opposed to life for their rich mates) that the have become arrogant. The only positive in that is that this will eventually be their undoing – hopefully sooner rather than later!!
    More evidence of this remote/arrogant attitude? I am regularly visited by our labour MP at work, but have never been visited by a National MP. The only time National MPs contact me is when they are trying to promote some more of their flawed policies!!

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