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


1 Comment


On behalf of the Wider Earthquake Canterbury Communities, WeCan are submitting the attached power point presentation to you, which clearly shows that the ‘Land Information’ pertaining to vertical and horizontal land movement caused by the earthquakes, has been incorrectly presented to the Citizens of Canterbury.
The repercussions of such ill-informed / misrepresented information is catastrophic to home and land owners who have suffered damage to their home and land assets during the Canterbury series of seismic events.
The attached presentation /information proves that:
1. Houses have moved horizontally during the quakes. In some areas, structures / land has moved laterally as much as 1m, resulting in homes now remaining situated on neighbouring properties. Residents will/may at their own cost have to move their home back to where it was pre-quakes. This information was not the information presented to homeowners.
2. The Insurance industry, Christchurch City Council and CERA were aware of this horizontal (lateral) movement, yet the repair/ rebuild of homes onto their post-quake positioning has been allowed to continue, without remedy of the geographical positioning of these residences.
3. Many areas have dropped markedly (up to 1.8 metres as quoted by Minister Brownlee), with the most affected areas now residing below high tide level. The repair / rebuild of these homes too, have been allowed to continue, at a post-earthquake lowered height that will leave homes uninsurable as they remain at high flood risk.
Many of these now sunken homes, are in areas protected by insufficient ‘temporary flood blanks’, where water at high tide continues to egress onto the road and properties. Information presented to homeowners showed ‘much
lesser’ land sinking and movement, and did not disclose the details of their properties now being ‘below the high tide levels’.
4. A large proportion of this land is ‘unrepairable’, as the water tables have risen, and in many areas, the water table exists a mere 800mm below ground level. These home owners’ earthquake claims remain unresolved (4.5 years after the earthquakes), as a direct result of the Government / CERA and EQC withholding the ‘correct’ land information from home owners, in an effort to minimise claims.
In areas where water tables have risen above high tide mark.
WeCan propose you seek urgent resolve, and a ‘managed retreat’ of these properties, appears to be the only feasible and fair resolve for earthquake victims who have been living in damp, flooded unsanitary and unhealthy conditions for a now extended period of time.
The mental anguish caused by this unacceptable extensive post-trauma timeframe and the physical effects of living in unsanitary conditions has taken a cruel toll on earthquake victims.
Under the Earthquake Commissions Act 1993, the Government has a legal and binding duty to resolve such claims in a fair and reasonable timeframe.
The attached documentation proves that the Earthquake Minister and CERA have
misrepresented the land damage in these areas in what ‘appears’ to be a purposeful attempt to down-play and consequently minimise these home owners’ claims.
This has resulted in Earthquake victims, being forcibly hog-tied to their damaged homes for 4.5 years postearthquakes, with no immediate site of resolve and no finances to move out and sought a healthier living environment.
5. Houses within Canterbury which have undergone Fletchers ‘repair’:
Much of this ‘repair’ is unconsented / exempt works falling within the MBIE guidance standard of remediation as presently accepted by the Christchurch City Council.
The Christchurch City Council presently accept the MBIE Guidance documents as an ‘acceptable remediation solution standard’. The guidelines are merely ‘guidelines’ and the majority of their remediation standards are a much lesser guarantee-able structural value than those standards required by the NZ Building Code.
Please note: The Building Code is the standard of repair / remediation required to be achieved by the Building Act 2004, by which all structural amendments / work is required to be consented and comply to the NZ Building Standards.
The MBIE Guidance documents are written in a form where ‘damage’ is referred to in general terms only, and therefore not automatically applicable for all damage to properties and requires assessment of appropriate application on a case by case basis.
The MBIE guidance documents are being used as an acceptable standard of remediation in areas where horizontal or vertical movement has been most severe, without reinstating structures to their pre-quake position and without appropriate consents and building standards being achieved.
The Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network (WeCan) are aware:
6. Legislation was changed post-earthquakes, which now allows EQC to not settle
claims within a year of a claims being lodged.
This results in cost saving to the EQC by means of deferring claim payments. This has caused extreme suffering for those having to wait for claims to be settled, while the financial benefactors are the insurance industry and the government.
7. The decision to Red Zone many homes was a ‘political’ decision, and these decisions were not based on data. These decisions appear to have been made merely to save the insurance industry money from omitting the ground remediation costs.
Expelling victims from their homes ‘Red Zoning’ (many homes with very little structural damage) has been at great cost to the home owners both mentally, physically and financially.
Many of these residents, were paid the cost of their land (as per the 2007 valuations), but ‘repair value’ to their homes only, leaving vulnerable victims
unable to afford to purchase new homes. Many of these people are elderly, now
homeless and having to rent substandard dwellings.
8. Insurance and EQC land payments for the 7400+ Red Zoned homes are still owed.
The Government will now receive this money, as home owners were forced to give up their homes and land. The costs to purchase the ‘red zoned properties’ will be fully covered when these payments are paid to the Government. Therefore, there will have been no cost to the tax payer. However the crown now has the ability to sell this confiscated land which will result in the New Zealand Government making a financial profit from forcibly removing earthquake victims from their homes.
On behalf of the citizens of the wider Canterbury Communities, who remain 4.5 years after the earthquakes, with unresolved claims, WeCan ask:
You view the attached documentation / power point presentation.
You present this presentation to your ministerial colleagues in Parliament.
A public apology be made and a public acknowledgement be printed in the newspapers acknowledging and identifying the misrepresentation of land damage data to the people of Christchurch.
The correct ‘true’ land data be published and available to the public for viewing.
An immediate ‘plan of action’ to help these victims find healthy sanitary housing over the coming winter, and until resolve to their earthquake claims is completed.
Assurance from the Government that these victims’ land and earthquake claim resolve is a priority.
WeCan officially request a full investigation into this actions by the Earthquake Minister, Cera and Tonkin & Taylor to identify:
1/. Who was responsible for withholding vital land damage to the people of Christchurch.
2/. Who was responsible for presenting / publishing this falsified land damage information.
3/. What were the instructions given to Tonkin & Taylor, and by whom?
4/. What were the instructions given by the Earthquake Minister and / or CERA, and by whom, regarding Land damage information.
5/. What reasons / benefits were presented to justify such wrong-doings, in what appears to be an orchestrated attempt to mis-lead land owners and earthquake victims?
Under the Privacy Act 1993, The Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network request:
1. All written, recorded and electronic information stored or collected by the Earthquake Minister, CERA, EQC, Tonkin & Taylor or the Christchurch City  Council pertaining to the horizontal or vertical land damage incurred during the 2010 to 2012 earthquake events.
2. All electronic, recorded and stored information pertaining to the  withholding of this information and the misrepresentation / altering of the  land damage information in Christchurch subsequent to the 2010 to 2012 earthquake events.
We look forward to your response.
Yours sincerely,
Hugo Kristinsson,
Brent Cairns (Spokesperson WeCan)
Sarah O’Brien (Spokesperson WeCan)  and the Wider Earthquake Communities’ Action Network Team.

Click on this Facebook link below for the full detail:

<div id=”fb-root”></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = “//″;  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));</script><div class=”fb-post” data-href=”;type=1″ data-width=”466″><div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><a href=”;type=1″>Post</a> by <a href=””>Empowered Christchurch</a>.</div></div>

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'.


  1. Pingback: How not to repair a heritage building in the Christchurch CBD | ShakyTown Blues

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