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

A Significant Milestone- guest post by Empowered Christchurch


Empowered Christchurch has reached an agreement with the City Council on a process to protect the rights of ratepayers.Empowered Christchurch
One of the Building Consent Authority’s roles should be to protect ratepayers from dangerous building practices.
The Council has now agreed with us on the wording of a notification letter to protect the rights of residents.
The letter instructs the insurance company to consult with the homeowner before exercising any rights that may result in substandard repairs or dangerous practices. These restrictions can help ensure you achieve a sustainable and equitable settlement of your insurance claim.
If you are in the process of trying to settle an insurance claim, we recommend that you complete this form and forward it to the Council to protect yourself and ensure a sustainable outcome to your rebuild or repair. As the owner of the property, you can lift these restrictions at any time when you are satisfied that you will not suffer any negative consequences.
There is no cost involved.
As none of the authorities or organisations involved in the recovery has pointed out these pitfalls, please make sure that your neighbour is also aware of this option.
 Here is the letter:

Attn :  Christchurch Building Consent Authority.

Notification of restrictions to the building consent requirements for my property located at: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As the owner of this property, which is subject to reinstatement under an insurance contract, I hereby make the following declaration:

If an application for building consent or exemption from building consent has been submitted for my property, please notify the applicant and agent of the following restrictions.

The reinstatement should be conducted by a third party without any significant involvement by myself, since I am not a qualified builder, will not oversee the project, and am in no way qualified to determine if my reinstatement will meet the building consent and Building Code requirements.

If my area has suffered from lateral spreading, liquefaction or settlement, I expect the current legal boundaries to be established and a full survey carried out before any work commences.

As a ratepayer, I choose to use the services of the Building Consent Authority to ensure that the building work complies with the building consent and Building Code and that the intended life of the building is not less than 50 years.

I expressly decline to permit any third party to seek an exemption from requiring a building consent pursuant to section 14c of the building act.

Also, any proposed variation to a building consent and approved documentation requires my prior written approval.

I also decline to permit any third party the use of existing use rights under the Resource Management Act if this would result in any risk or liability or obligations being transferred to me as the owner of the building, or if this would result in any way in non-compliance with the current district plan. Otherwise, I would require an existing use rights certificate to be issued.

I request a full building consent, including all producer statements signed by certified, qualified personnel and full inspection records. At the conclusion of the building work, I will require a signed Code of Compliance Certificate, PIM, a clean LIM report and a building location certificate if required.

Further, should the subject application for building consent be in relation to altering my existing building, with reference to Building Act section 112(1)(b)(i & ii), continued compliance shall be deemed “pre-earthquake sequence” and complies with the Building Code and District plan requirements.

Please confirm acceptance of this notification.

Name of property owner: XXXXX

Contact address:

Contact phone:


Insurance company: xxx

Claims handler: xxx

Claims handler email: xxx

Claims handler phone: xxx

Dear Sir Madam2

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 Significant Milestone- guest post by Empowered Christchurch

  1. Hi Blair,
    That of course depends on which City council you your needing to contact – Christchurch, Selwyn or Waimakariri. If you ring the appropriate council and ask for the building consent department they will direct you to the appropriate person. In this way you can make sure that you’re dealing with the correct individual. The Waimak contact is Warren.Taylor(AT) . The Christchurch City Council contact is . But I would check these out yourself to be sure you are dealing with the right person.


  2. Hi Sarah
    What is the building consents authority email address for us to send the letter to?


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