Christchurch annoucement

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, June 23rd, 2011 - 134 comments
Categories: housing - Tags:

Eddie called it. Christchurch announcement is today. There are very high hopes. Points to watch: how many in the ‘don’t know’ category & are payouts at pre-quake market values? Notable release is this afternoon just before Key leaves. Makes it difficult to get reaction from residents in time for TV news and follow-up with Key.

It’s been so much fun watching the government’s slow strip show over this for the past few weeks. Can only imagine what it must have been like viewed from a munted house in Bexley.

——————————————-

Speculation:

Around 5,000 homes will have the option to be bought out by the Crown. Then Crown pursues payment from EQC and insurers. Pretty obvious solution. The question is the valuations used. Other question is why such an obvious solution has taken so long.

Clue to payouts is that the Government has budgeted $1.5 billion. $300,000 per house. Seems a bit low. Pre-quake market median for Christchurch was  $349,000. A lot of people might have to take it as close enough. Especially if the rest of the street does. Maybe that’s why offer will stand for 9 months. Long enough to break the holdouts.

Lot more than these 5,000 houses in limbo though. Every house will get categorised. Like I suggested. But Brownlee seems to suggest there will be a ‘don’t know’ category. How many will be in it?

Will a package for those on the margin be announced? Brownlee promised no-one would be worse off and equity in houses would be protected. Includes falls in values of houses that survive but are bordering abandoned areas. Getting that right will be tricky.

Where will the 5,000 households go? Will plans for new suburbs to announced?

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Announcement info:

Just waffling and excuse-making so far.

Now the meat. 5100 houses in the ‘red area’. Two options to be bought out – sell land and house, or sell land and get house payout from insurers, advantageous if insured for replacement. Only for insured houses. 8 weeks until options can be taken. Rateable values will be used.

There another 10,000 houses in the ‘don’t know’ orange zone. Also a white zone with no info. Don’t know how many houses.

Go to landcheck.org.nz to find out which zone you’re in. Site built in last 3 days. Sounds like they only did this announcement at the last minute under pressure.

Gerry still hasn’t a plan for uninsured. Unbelievable.

134 comments on “Christchurch annoucement”

  1. freedom 1

    Sincerely hope the speech’s punctuation is clearly marked for Mr Key. All joking aside
    regardless of the dislike for him and the policies he represents, it is an important day and thousands of people are expecting a Prime Minister to step up today.

  2. Anne 2

    Picked up an interesting piece of information yesterday. It may already be widely known, but it seems insurance companies (including EQC no doubt) were instructed to drag their feet paying out to earthquake victim claimants. I presume the plan was to keep ‘the fiscal books’ looking as rosy as possible for as long as possible. Then along came the major shake Monday week ago, and the government knew they couldn’t drag it out any longer.

    Fits in well with what we’ve been hearing on radio and seeing on TV week-in and week-out for months. And I heard Brownlee saying yesterday that “the govt. is being careful not to play politics with earthquake victims”. Well, what was the above if it wasn’t playing politics with them.

    • policywonk 2.1

      Well, what was the above if it wasn’t playing politics with them.

      It would appear to be unsubstantiated speculation. Do you have a citeable source?

      • grumpy 2.1.1

        Source please?

        • policywonk 2.1.1.1

          Dear grumpy repeater – that’s just what I asked…

          • Kevyn 2.1.1.1.1

            Creditable sources for this claim, at least as it pertains to EQC are:
            EQC Act
            EQC annual report
            NZDMO website
            Treasury’s budget forecast document
            Treasuy’s last half year fiscal and economic update

            EQC legally has to invest most surplus premiums in Government securities, Government must buy them back when EQC needs cash. NZDMO approved the first $1.5bn buy back before Christmas. Government budget includes $3bn in next years accounts for the buy back. Till they get that money EQC has to rely on it’s cash reserves and since EQC is the first insurer other insurers wont pay till EQC pays.

          • grumpy 2.1.1.1.2

            Exactly – and with the same level of success. I have seen people threatened with banning for the same thing (not providing a source – not repeating) 🙂

            • policywonk 2.1.1.1.2.1

              yes it’s a tough world for anyone even slightly right of center 😀

    • Mark M 2.2

      Anne you should stop consorting with idiots.
      if you listened to the PM he said any payouts already received would be deducted from payment to householders , so recent payouts make no difference to govt.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        What the PM says and what is in the actual details may have absolutely nothing to do with each other mate.

        • Jim Nald 2.2.1.1

          When you’re dealing with his type, you should always check the fine print first.
          And hope he’ll still be around when you’ve finished reading.

      • Anne 2.2.2

        It came from a source inside the insurance industry and the last people I would entrust with detailed information are a bunch of RWNJs like you and your mates Mark M. Smooth out your twisted knickers now..

  3. Nate 3

    From a press release by ECAN today: “Prestons Road are seeking to include additional land within the UDS urban limit, a number of others, including Mills Hills (Highfield Park) to the east of the Prestons Road development had appealed mainly on the basis of sequencing – i.e. the timing that development in certain areas could occur.”

    Move north-east anyone?

    • NickS 3.1

      North east is drained swamps and former riverbed 😛

      Not the strongest terrain when the alpine fault systems rumble, nor if there’s more rumbles on fault systems associated with the Greendale fault, as they had pretty significant liquefaction iirc

  4. NickS 4

    Gerry still hasn’t a plan for uninsured. Unbelievable.

    Yeah, it sounds like they’re going to do a “case by case” thingy judging by Brownlee’s attempts at dodging, which given the potential PR fallout it’ll likely be a straight buy out.

    Though the slagging off of the uninsured as “not taking care…” is ye olde tory stupidity which fails to notice that insurance is expensive, especially if you’re on the minimum wage, retired, or heavens forbid, an invalids beneficiary that inherited the house like my mum.

    • prism 4.1

      Short of money to pay house insurance – that’s an example of inadequate social security. The government does allow for house insurance in the benefit so people have some security. But of course with a house there are always costs and maintenance chewing up the dollars. The government does not however allow for household and furnishings insurance as beneficiaries don’t deserve to have any possessions. Housing NZ did not believe carpets were needed (in this cold country).

      The benefit is based I believe, on an historical weekly amount that was never priced according to the needs of a household budget. I think it may have been a percentage of the average wage. Which has been reduced, inflation-adjusted etc. but is always on the edge of not enough.

      • NickS 4.1.1

        The government does allow for house insurance in the benefit so people have some security.

        Since when?

    • Tangled up in blue 4.2

      Though the slagging off of the uninsured as “not taking care…” is ye olde tory stupidity which fails to notice that insurance is expensive, especially if you’re on the minimum wage, retired, or heavens forbid, an invalids beneficiary that inherited the house like my mum.

      It will be interesting what happens in the case of uninsured. On one hand these people are in a crappy situation but on the other hand paying them out brings into question the value of taking out insurance.

      • NickS 4.2.1

        Of course the dual-handed thing fails when dealing with the joys of poverty, where house insurance is usually beyond ones grasp 😛

        • DavidW 4.2.1.1

          So given the propensity of many here to take good care of the uninsured, the answer would seem to be blindingly obvious.

          CANCEL YOUR INSURANCE AND VOTE LABOUR all problems will be solved with one stroke of the pen.

          But who can advise me on which sequence to take these two actions? where are my guarantees? I’ve already waited too long for the answer and the delay is stressing the hell out of me, I need answers and I want them now, NOW I tell you.

  5. djg 5

    Great comments from those interviewed after announcements, they seem very happy to be able to plan their next move.

    Over 5000 given certainty should they choose to accept it. 17000 new sections to choose from should also help to stop the developers from hiking the prices.

  6. freedom 6

    SO a fraction of the people affected have to wait another eight weeks before you actually get to know what your options are. For the rest there isn’t even get a glimmer of light and as for finishing the show with a mortgage ad from ANZ. wow! I couldn’t see the Prime Minister but the big guy in glasses was very friendly with a nervous man in a suit who read some words he hadn’t seen before.

  7. Good announcement from the Government, a lot of people in the Orange zone, still have some anxious waiting, some will be happy, and some will be sad, but they said what needed to be said.

  8. Peter Nickle 8

    Seems reasonable to me what is being offered.
    Un insured, bad luck, you took the gamble and lost. Insurance is always affordable. what is $1000 PA if you own a $300K property?
    Just bc SCF was paid out does not make it right.

    • weka 8.1

      Are you stupid? Ability to pay insurance is determined by your income and outgoings not the value of your property.

      • Inventory2 8.1.1

        @ Weka – insurance should be one of the first items budgeted for each week. Failing to protect one’s most significant non-human asset is crass stupidity.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.2

        If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to own the property and you should sell it. Pretty simple.

        • bbfloyd 8.1.2.1

          magnificent oversimplification!

          • Peter Nickle 8.1.2.1.1

            It’s very simple, don’t pay insurance, don’t expect a payout or sympathy if the SHTF. Pretty black & white.
            Pretty good explanation Element 57.

            • weka 8.1.2.1.1.1

              You’re still an idiot. If someone doesn’t have the money to afford insurance, it’s not a ‘gamble’.
               
              This situation is only likely to get worse as insurance premiums are now set to rise. There’s also likely to be situations where people can’t get insurance even if they can afford it.

              • Colonial Viper

                The big uninsured damaged field in the Stadium and the Government decided to give over $4M to the owners for it, just like that.

                I guess a patch of turf is pretty important eh P Nickle? More important than helping out people who have lost their homes and their savings eh buddy?

                You know, better to bail out the corporate sports facility first as the priority eh mate?

        • weka 8.1.2.2

          Sorry but you’re both talking from places of privilege and ignorance.
           
          If a beneficiary sells their house and doesn’t buy another one within 12 months, WINZ count the money from the sale as a cash asset. This makes them ineligible for Accomodation supplement and TAS/SpB. They then have to live off their house money until their assets drop below the threshold ($8,000 for AS ??). There is no way to ‘protect’ one’s assets in that situation.
           
          I also think it’s unreasonable to expect people to pay for insurance in their weekly budget when they regularly don’t have enough money for food or power.
           
          I’ve known people on Invalid’s Benefit who were too ill to manage selling their house and shifting.
           
          It’s very easy to make judgements when you have adequate income and other resources in your life. But it’s not that hard to find examples of valid reasons why some people might not have insurance,  if you take the time to talk with the people in those situations.
           
           
           

          • Lanthanide 8.1.2.2.1

            I didn’t say that if you didn’t have insurance, you shouldn’t own a property.

            I simply said that if you can’t afford insurance, then you can’t afford the property. Based on the assumption if you can’t afford insurance, then you logically can’t afford to “self-insure” yourself either. And if you can’t afford to “self-insure”, then you can’t afford the property.

            I think most uninsured property owners would be best served selling the property and taking the proceeds to do whatever with, because there’s always a risk that your house will burn down and then you’ll have nothing (or worse than nothing – demolition costs). Even if you sold the house and ended up with $150k in the bank and no immediate ability to buy a new house or rent, you’d still have more choices in life than if you had a section with burnt-out shell on it and no money in the bank.

            • Shaz47 8.1.2.2.1.1

              The people that I know who didn’t have insurance had just been laid off and had missed 2 payments. Just plane simple bad luck and the plan was to catch up ASAP. I just feel for them, like one thing after another, and on top of that the chimney fall onto the car, which was behind in payments as well. They have 5 kids to feed, what do you do???
              As for being on the invalids benefit, which I am, and luckily I rent and do have content insurance. There would be no way I would be able to afford content and house insurance as well, that’s if I owned my house. For once in my life I am happy to have been renting and lucky to have had little damage. My bank talked me into getting content insurance some years ago (something I thought I could not afford) and I pay it fortnightly so don’t notice it too much. For some it just not possible and insurance companies are pricks, late with payments no cover.

        • Inventory2 8.1.2.3

          Agree wholeheartedly Lanthanide. And yes; it IS as simple as that. Failing to insure a home is a gamble, and if you lose, you lose.

          • weka 8.1.2.3.1

            It’s only a gamble if you can afford it and choose to not buy insurance. If you can’t afford it then you’re not in a position to gamble.
             
             

            • queenstfarmer 8.1.2.3.1.1

              Rubbish. If you own a $300k house, and can’t afford a $1k insurance policy, but want to, then you’re gambling (not to mention silly) by not buying a $280k house and insuring it.

              • weka

                Ok, this is really stupid. I’m just going to assume that you either possess no imagination, and/or you know nothing about the conditions under which very low income people own houses.
                 
                Or read my points above about why some people might not fit into your fantasy about homeowning.
                 

                Christchurch annoucement

              • Shaz47

                Sometimes, I wish something little might just happen to people like you, nothing big, but just enough to bring you back to the real world. Not everyone is as lucky or prepared for life’s lesson as you seem to be.

            • burt 8.1.2.3.1.2

              If you can afford to gamble with $300,000 then you don’t need govt assistance.

        • burt 8.1.2.4

          If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to own the property and you should sell it. Pretty simple.

          Exactly. It’s probably the last thing some people want to hear but it’s the truth.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.4.1

            Let homeless New Zealanders and their children rot, that’s the truth.

            Maybe make a reality show out of it and sell it overseas so that our tourist markets can see how a modern NZ treats its people after a major natural disaster. After saving money from having these workers lose their life savings in their house, we might even make a bit more money off them by denigrating them to a world wide audience!

            Let’s see that good old fashioned Kiwi vindictiveness and punitive kicking of the down and out come to the fore and give prospective visitors a true taste of Kiwi culture.

            We can package in free DVDs of Once Were Warriors as a bonus.

  9. Adolf Fiinkensein 9

    Perhaps the author of this post forgot about the amount the gummint expects to recover from
    insurers? Perhaps the author of this post doesn’t realise that insurers don’t cover land value?

    I’d suggest that if a figure of $300k per property is budgeted as the cost of the project then it is possible the average property value might well exceed $400k.

    The uninsured deserve to be paid something but they can wait while those who took personal responsibility are dealt with first.

    I certainly cannot see anyone rushing off to vote Labour as a result of today’s announcement.

    • weka 9.1

      Isn’t land value covered by EQ?

      • Adolf Fiinkensein 9.1.1

        I’m not sure whether in theory it is. However, with a cap of $100k, the vast majority of cases will run out of EQC funds before the structural repairs are complete so effectively they will have lost their land value. This is why the gummint offer is so generous and I have no problem at all with being generous to these people.

  10. Cadwallader 10

    We live in unique times. Hats off to the government as they are leading us through this terrible disaster in a balanced and decent manner. The government, whether it chooses to be or not, is subject to the mighty clout of the insurers. Just once, try not to politicise this event…please!

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The government, whether it chooses to be or not, is subject to the mighty clout of the insurers. Just once, try not to politicise this event…please!

      Frak off its the other way around. “Mighty insurers” my ass

      Any insurer who does not wish to co-operate with the NZ Government fairly and quickly during this time of national emergency and distress can find their business unexpectedly put under statutory control.

      How’s that for “mighty clout”?

      • grumpy 10.1.1

        Correct CV, with the Govt effectively becoming “the insured” for the red zoners, it would be a brave insurance co. that tries it on.

      • queenstfarmer 10.1.2

        The Govt will have a lot of clout with the insurers, and should use it, but the trick is that the insurance companies themselves aren’t actually the ones who pay most of the money. It’s the reinsurers.

        These are huge multinational firms that are “the man behind the man behind the man” of global industry (their power is actually quite scary). They could potentially withhold money and/or future reinsurance to the NZ industry if the Govt gets too extreme and/or acts unlawfully (these contracts are governed mainly by UK courts where King Gerry’s powers are useless).

        NZ simply doesn’t have anywhere near enough resources to self-insure. Losing reinsurance is an extreme outcome, but it is already certain that reinsurance rates (and consequently retail insurance rates) will rise significantly in the short term.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1

          NZ will need the assistance of international reinsurers, yes.

          I’m quite sure that finding a couple of preferred co-operative ones who want billions worth of premiums annually won’t be hard.

      • U 4 United 10.1.3

        And: Do you really think a multi-national insurer would give a stuff about sanctions from the NZ government? I don’t think so.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1

          You don’t think so because you spent your life kowtowing to big corporates.

          And you are a bad Right Winger because you have forgotten that the reinsurers don’t make the final call. Their major shareholders do. And a few billion in premiums a year talks pretty loud to shareholders 🙂

          • grumpy 10.1.3.1.1

            It’s not the premiums they worry about – it’s the payouts!

            Insurance is a bloody good business until you have to pay out.

  11. ianmac 11

    Probably a bit biased but try not to be. Key read from script. When later he spoke off the cuff it was rambling and repetitive. I wasn’t always sure just what he meant. Had a feeling that he was not so happy to share the platform? Body talk.
    Must admit that Jerry spoke well without notes, and was succinct and informative. Pleasantly surprised.
    Looked up my cousin’s red stickered section on Avonside Drive. Easy to find but it will be the detail that will make or break her.

    • Inventory2 11.1

      I’m no fan of Gerry Brownlee, but he actually looks quite poorly. It’s hard to imagine the amount of stress that he and others have been under over the last few months.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        He said in an interview on Morning Report last week that he’s been losing sleep. I think it’d be churlish not to take him at his word on that.

        • Inventory2 11.1.1.1

          It says a lot for him that he has repeatedly refused to discuss the fate of his own home in the September earthquake. It’s not far from where my in-laws live, and they tell me it was munted.

          • grumpy 11.1.1.1.1

            Correct, Jerry’s house is totally ‘ted.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I’d have genuine sympathy for the guy but he seems really short of genuine sympathy for everyone else badly affected. Has he simply been in over his head the last 6 months?

        • bbfloyd 11.1.1.2

          my heart bleeds for him.poor dear boy losing sleep and all… can’t have gerry having to resort to comfort food to ease the hurt can we. it’s bad enough that we already have a large proportion of the population losing sleep on a regular basis over insignificant details involving trying to figure how they are going to eat, or whether they can have electricity… for gerry to be losing sleep as well is a national disgrace!

          • Jim Nald 11.1.1.2.1

            Poor Gerry. From the latest videos, he does look like a shadow of his old self.

  12. Portion Control 12

    Why is a plan for the uninsured a high priority? If you are own a home and you are uninsured then you don’t have a mortgage since it’s a requirement for having a mortgage that you have insurance. Of all the thousands of people who have lost their homes in the disaster, the people who are wealthy enough not to be insured shouldn’t be the first priority. What it does raise is why you want wealthy people to come first in line rather than the thousands left homeless.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Apparently the funding of repairs to an uninsured rugby field to the tune of ~$4M was a top Government priority though 😀

      If you are own a home and you are uninsured then you don’t have a mortgage since it’s a requirement for having a mortgage that you have insurance.

      Portion Control’s convoluted logic neatly misses the fact that you only need insurance to get a mortgage, not keep one (since the banks very rarely check if your policy is kept up to date).

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        Actually, you are wrong there. We overlooked paying an insurance premium for our house once, and we had a letter from the insurance company telling us they were going to write to our bank if we didn’t get it sorted straight away.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Wrong in your case, however not all policies allow an insurance company to share your details carte blanche with other financial providers, especially as an insurance company may not know who you have loans/revolving credit out with.

          All I am saying is that it is rich of Portion Control = Damage Control to claim that all uninsured home owners are “Rich”.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.1

            I think something will happen for the uninsured. However, it won’t be full compensation, neither should it be. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any point in insuring at all if the government was going to bail you out.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1.1

              False application of the moral hazard, there.

              If the government was going to bail everyone out of earthquakes or other major disasters that kick an entire region in the nuts, that’s not a problem. Insurance companies would only go under if the government routinely bailed out every householder who had a fire / water damage from a bust pipe / tree fell on their garage /…/ etc.

              The fact is that if everyone gets paid out it makes regional reconstruction easier and boosts ChCH back into being a regional economic hub. And if the govt has to do it every 80 years or so, who would begrudge that? Besides randian superheroes, of course.

              Nobody’s talking about destroying insurance companies (in this case, anyway 🙂 ). The issue is getting Canterbury back on its feet as quickly as possible after the shaking stops.

              • Colonial Viper

                Indeed, why would co-operative insurance companies who understand our time of national need have anything adverse happen to them? 🙂

                And of course, if the insurance companies finally can’t cut the deals with the reinsurers that the country needs and needs soon, one has to ask the question why do we need to keep them around as they are as useless as tits on a bull?

          • Portion Control 12.1.1.1.2

            You’re making shit up as you go along. Such is your hatred for John Key’s very successful government that you want to play politics with this. Name one person with a mortgage on a home in Christchurch who was uninsured. Tell me how many uninsured people in Christchurch are in financial strife because of the earthquake.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Hey Portion Control how the fuck am I supposed to have that god like meta-knowledge you are asking for?

              Ask Brownlee, he will know.

              Apparently though, you know for sure that all uninsured people are “Rich”

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.2.2

              You’re making shit up as you go along. Such is your hatred for John Key’s very successful government

              Lol.

              At least try to avoid making your hypocrisy so obvious, Poverty Chief.

            • Bazar 12.1.1.1.2.3

              i expect there will be oddball cases of peopel caught out of place, where they’ll have desperate need for funds but not be insured.

              Such is life.

              But that doesn’t change the logistics.
              Wait till they have a plan for everyone OR priotirize people who have the hardest insurance details to work out.

              Those without insurance have a pretty much just one option, accept whatever the goverment offers.
              Those who do have insurance, have choices, hard choices, and these choices are copounded by what their insurance companies want to do.

              It’ll not be over in a day for them as they, and their insurance companies need to work out a plan on action. Which couldn’t happen untill the goverment annoucned their plan.

              To get everyone sorted out the fastest, its only logical and logistical to work on those with insurance first.
              To treat everyone fairly, means to ignore that aspect, and leave those with insurance in deep deep limbo.

              Isn’t that part of the socialist mantra, “…to each according to their need”?
              I guess with Christchurch under national its “… to each equally”.

              • Colonial Viper

                Just remember that the uninsured are people who don’t have insurance, they are not second class citizens.

        • weka 12.1.1.2

          I’ve had that happen with a late payment too, but if you cancel your insurance then it’s not going to happen.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.2.1

            If you cancel your insurance you are a moron. There are ways to make insurance more affordable such as raising the excess etc so you take the risk for the smaller claims. Also, insurance companies usually provide payment plans. So, there is no excuse for not being insured for the big events.

            Its a big bad world my friend, and people need to cover their risks. If the government was going to offer the same deal for the insured and uninsured, then there is absolutely no point in insuring at all.

            • millsy 12.1.1.2.1.1

              To be honest, I dont think the uninsured would be expecting anything anyway, as the right said they knew the risks, etc, so I am guessing that they would be trying to cut their losses and start again.

              I will probably expect a surge in the number of bankruptcy/NAP proceedings in the Christchurch area.

        • millsy 12.1.1.3

          Interesting.

          Hypothetically, if you didnt ‘get it sorted’, what would have happened when your insurance company wrote to your bank?

          Sorry, but I may find this useful in future, if/when I get around to buying a house.

          • Portion Control 12.1.1.3.1

            Once your insurer had written to your bank millsy you would get a call from the bank pointing out that it is a term of your mortgage agreement that the property is insured, and they will offer to either charge you for the insurance that they offer or put you in default on your mortgage. Right now people cannot get finance on houses in christchurch because no insurance company is offering new or extended cover.

            • millsy 12.1.1.3.1.1

              I thought as much.

            • Lanthanide 12.1.1.3.1.2

              People in Christchurch can get new policies. Or they can roll policies over from the existing householder. My friend’s house purchase just went unconditional, after last Monday’s aftershocks put the insurance in doubt.

      • Lanthanide 12.1.2

        “Portion Control’s convoluted logic neatly misses the fact that you only need insurance to get a mortgage, not keep one (since the banks very rarely check if your policy is kept up to date).”

        I’m sure that if you fail to keep your house insured, and the bank finds out, you would very surely not have the mortgage for much longer. Or the house. Or, worst case, you wouldn’t have the house, and still owe them money (mortgagee sale).

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      pc, I’d guess that the people who have a free hold home that is uninsured would mostly be retired folk on the super with no other income. Fucking wastrels, obvs.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    My parents have done well. They have a house in Horseshoe lake that has been written off.

    They had the foresight to put a deposit on a section in Wigram Skies, which is about as stable as land can get in Christchurch. The section cost is $180000. The CV on their section in Horseshoe lake is $196000 (2007 being at the peak of the property market). So they end up cashflow positive out of the land deal, and their insurance company builds them a brand new house, for approx $220k, plus paths, drives, and fences at over $20k. The CV on their property and house (approx 60 years old) was $290000. So they should come out of it over 100k better off.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Nice one, good to hear the positive stories.

      • tsmithfield 13.1.1

        Yeah. Under the deal that is offered you are much better to be written off altogether so long as you have full replacement insurance on your house, especially if your house is old with a relatively low capital value since you can get a brand new house on another section.

        If my parents were to take the option of a buy out of their house and land at capital value they would end up with $290000 compared to over $400000 where they will be with their new house. People in the same street as my parents who are not written off will only qualify for the capital value buy out of the house and section for similar value to my parents house I expect.

      • djg 13.1.2

        CV, I think you owe me a keyboard, I just splurted coffee all over mine when I read your comment above.

        It is nice to hear a positive word from you on what the Government has done, well done.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.2.1

          I think unplugging it, flushing warm water through it and letting it dry upside down for a day or so somewhere warm will sort it out just fine 🙂

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.2

      Sounds ok, what sized house do you get for 220K? Also they will save a lot on maintainence and heating costs getting something new.

      • grumpy 13.2.1

        In this situation $1100 – 1200 per m2

        • IJ 13.2.1.1

          $1200 m2? Unlikely. Most of the rebuild costs coming through are staggeringly high. Haven’t seen many under $1800 per m2 for less than average quality residential. And yes – this is far, far higher than it was a year ago.

          My concern is for those dwellings that are not total losses. The insurer is only liable to pay for what’s damaged. Which means the option to have the property rebuilt by the insurer is not possible and the insured has to take the government option. Which doesn’t include chattels (under insurance policies carpet is deemed as being contents 90% of the time).

          Some people will be better off under the 2007 GV policy. Not everyone will be. I suspect the majority won’t be – although no links to back that up so you can’t take that as a truth. It certainly means Key’s broken his promise to put us back to where we were on September 3. A reasonable approach would be to – like an insurer has to – obtain an after loss market value report from an accredited valuer determining the September 3 market value. Doesn’t cost much (individually they range from $450-550 per report) – and it wouldn’t be hard to negotiate lower rates given 5000 homes (initially) would need to be looked at.

  14. ianmac 14

    My niece’s house in Papanui has been destroyed.(Triple brick two storied.) Noticed that her house is not part of the negotiations. Bit tough if your needs are also desperate?

    • tsmithfield 14.1

      Generally the land over that side has stood up quite well. So she will probably get a new house on her existing section I expect.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Approx 170 sqm including a garage.

    I am pleased for them and that they will get a quick resolution. My parents are elderly now, so I would hate for them to be in a situation where they were in limbo for the next 5 years, and never got to enjoy the new property before they died. As it is, hopefully they should be in by Christmas.

    I do feel sorry for elderly in similar situations who might not be able to get such a quick resolution, because, unlike younger people, they don’t have the time left to reestablish their lives.

  16. Ian; the clamour has been to provide certainty to residents in the eastern suburbs, which were the hardest hit in February. The damage in places like Papanui is far less widespread, and whilst I doubt that it is any comfort for your niece in her situation, they will get to the more randomly affected areas (the white zone) in time.

  17. Kevyn 17

    I might have misunderstood the announcement but it sounded to me like the government are giving the affected residents 9 months to choose between two compensation options after which the government will compulsorily acquire the land at GV. Did the government sidestep the provisions of the Public Works Act when rushed through the CERA Act?
    http://www.linz.govt.nz/crown-property/public-works/guide

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      I was wondering similar thoughts wrt the uninsured. At the moment, as I understand it they are left in limbo. It can be assumed that the govt does not intend to leave isolated properties in the red zone occupied without amenities, so maybe the plan is to use CERA, or something like the PWA, to compulsorily buy them out at current GV (SFA).

      • tsmithfield 17.1.1

        Where my parents’ house is in Horseshoe lake they still haven’t got permanent water on since the September quake. I think the pipes are so badly stuffed through that whole area that it would be a major mission to fix all the problems. I don’t think sewage is on either. So I expect that if the government doesn’t acquire the land, then the people living there will never get water or sewage on again, as it won’t be economical to fix for the few remaining houses.

        • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1.1

          That’s what I’m saying. Staying there is not going to happen, so what is the plan? Buy them out based on GV at what year?

          • tsmithfield 17.1.1.1.1

            2007. Right at the top of the property boom. My wife is a real estate agent here and for the last several years has often been selling houses at below GV. So, basing it on 2007 GV is generally a pretty fair deal.

            • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1.1.1.1

              have they said that’s what they will be using for uninsured houses? If so, then why bother with a delay? AFAIK they are keeping schtum about what they will do, but have said they will do something.

              • tsmithfield

                Sorry, I overlooked the word “uninsured” in your previous comment.

                From what I understand there are an extremely small number of uninsured houses in the red zone. I doubt they will get anything like the settlement that insured people do. IMO that is the way it should be to avoid moral hazard that could result in people not bothering to insure because the government will bail them out.

                IMO they should at least get a piece of land out of it, because I believe the council/government has a moral responsibility in this respect since the land that has become unviable was originally certified as OK to build on by the officials, when it has proved not to be so.

                Brownlee was talking about habitat for humanity maybe getting these people into a home. If the number is actually very small, this could be a realistic possibility.

                • Colonial Viper

                  is the way it should be to avoid moral hazard that could result in people not bothering to insure because the government will bail them out.

                  Yeah but the size and shape of that potential moral hazard should also be assessed to see if it is a real problem or just a hypothetical.

                  Disasters which lead to widespread wiping out of streets at a time requiring Government intervention in the insurance claim process is very rare. One could argue so rare (hmmmm except for this latest period in Christchurch) that almost no one will make the call “lets not insure our house now because the Government will bail us out”

                  (since for 99.9% of damage event which happens to a random NZ house the Government won’t)

                  • tsmithfield

                    But there are a lot of events that could destroy a house. Not insuring leaves someone open to any of those.

                    As I said, I think the land is a different story. I have heard (but haven’t seen) that there is a land map from the 1800’s that identified many of the red zone areas as areas to avoid building on. The councils have disregarded this sage advice, and exposed people to the situations they find themselves in. Therefore, I believe there is responsibility for uninsured residents to be compensated for their land.

                    • McFlock

                      “But there are a lot of events that could destroy a house. Not insuring leaves someone open to any of those.”
                       
                      And that’s their gamble. But a de facto free insurance for massive earthquake that guts a city is not a moral hazard for insuring your house against the hazards that generally only affect one or two houses at a time.
                       
                       

                    • tsmithfield

                      Have to disagree. Earthquakes are a well known hazard in Christchurch. Its not like it should come as a huge surprise that there have been earthquakes.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, now they are.

                      But the extent of the damage shows how “well known” the probability of an earthquake with those characteristics was. Compared with say a house fire.

                      Either way, I don’t begrudge them assistance, insured or not.

  18. killinginthenameof 18

    I am in a hurry to appologies if this has been cover above, but to me this is a govt bail out for insruance companies.

    In my quick scan above I noticed a few people discussing what was happening for people without home instuance, but you are all missing the point.HOUSE INSRUANCE INSURES HOUSES NOT LAND.

    The govt deciding only to buy out those who are insured, may be typical natioanl (F**k the poor ect), but having your house insured is only an abitrary designation which they are using as a measure for responsible owners, and bears no relation to the land underneath it. They may as well have said we will buy out the properties of those who have house insurance on thier house, car insurance on thier car, retirement savings appropriate for thier age, and any one of the following: white skin, 100k+ income, owner of own business.

    Whether a person has thier house insured or not should not in anyway be a deciding factor in the govt offering defacto insurance on the land underneath it.

    In my opinion, this is a bailout for insurance companies, getting thier customers out of high risk areas, because damaging quakes aren’t going to stop coming any time soon, so this corprate friendly government is buying out the problem, on thier behalf, with the tax payers money.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      “Whether a person has thier house insured or not should not in anyway be a deciding factor in the govt offering defacto insurance on the land underneath it.”

      This is the existing EQC legislation at work. If you own land with no structures on it, and it is damaged, EQC doesn’t cover it. If there is a house on it, that is insured, EQC covers it.

      Some people have been caught in a very bad trap where their house was damaged after Sept 4th, and so was demolished. Then in Feb 22nd, the land got really badly damaged and construction may no longer be possible, but because they didn’t have a house on the section at the time, EQC will not cover it under the letter of the legislation.

      I think Gerry/CERA will eventually catch up with these people and put it right, because clearly it’s unfair to suffer financial loss as a result of EQC doing their job fast and efficiently – if they still had an unlivable but insured house standing on the property on Feb 22nd they would have been fine.

  19. dupdedo 19

    Gerry still hasn’t a plan for uninsured. Unbelievable.

    uninsured are idiots?

    • killinginthenameof 19.1

      House insurance is irrelevant, it covers buildings not land. It’s a red herring.

      • Lanthanide 19.1.1

        See 18.1.

        EQC land insurance is based on house insurance.

        • Killinginthenameof 19.1.1.1

          This isnt through EQC though? this is from the canterbury reconstruction fun or what ever brand name they gave it.

          I would also make the point that those who chose not to insure (ie, could afford to, but didnt) were clearly willing to take the risk of their house falling down, they should also be left alone to take the risk of staying on in thier property.

          For those people, it is hypocritical and immoral of the govt to tell them they are not allowed to stay on thier land, if they are not going to buy it off them.

    • grumpy 19.2

      No plan needed, they made the choice.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Because clearly people have choices (and knowledge) when they buy on a swamp or missed a premium payment because they ran out of overdraft.

        And now the Government can make a choice to help or to abandon.

        What will it be?

  20. Adolf Fiinkensein 20

    An examination of median housing prices in 2007 compared with those in the months preceding the first quake is interesting. I reckon the 5,000 have each got themselves about a $20,000 bonus from the tax payer because values had not yet recovered to the levels of 2007.

    And for once I don’t begrudge the poor bastards a penny of it.

    The is much arrant nonsense being written here about insurance and reinsurers.

    As far as international reinsurers are concerned the NZ market is like a pimple on an elephant’s arse. Totally and completely insignificant. Most, if not all, of them don’t even have offices here.

    I’ll conclude by changing the subject and complimenting the people at The Standard on an excellent post and comment thread which has remained unpoliticized in the main.

    Very well done.

    • Herodotus 20.1

      Problem is that many outside the industry are unaware, is that replacement cost is well below govt valuation or market value. But then it is as some think it should be. An existing house has aged and should be below replacement or new. New sub divisions can offer more in the form or infrastructure than existing. e.g.Undergrouded services, greener mgmt systems, better designed communities designed by experts ????, fibre? (But this is a double edged sword, as with copper you can survive on just a $45 phone line. With fibre you need to buy a data package costing far more than $45.)
      I wonder if Chch City council &/or Waimack will be investing in new infrastructure e.g. new sewage mgmt stations, water supply away from potentially EQ proned areas.
      To those regarding uninsured or those that their isurance has lapsed. The EQC does not differentiate between those with or without as to the $20k contents or $100k building ALL are eligible- yet the funding of this was sourced from where ???
      As an aside from someone who stayed in Chch this week. I don’t know how you do it, but I take my hat off to you all. Experienced one 5.3 shake, power cut and many little ones. And it was one of the most unsettled nights sleep (Worse than being a freashfaced parent) !!!

  21. Sam 21

    Still no plan for the uninsured? Well they were uninsured. Why bother with insurance if you’ll just get a handout if anything bad happens. My neighbour’s place was broken into and his tv was stolen, the same happened to my house. He was insured and I wasn’t. I wrote a letter to the govt. and I hope to have the cheque by Monday……………………….

  22. gobsmacked 22

    It’s always easy to see where this government is going, using the John Key Photo-Opometer.

    Back in Feb/March it was John Key in a Crusaders shirt, shovelling and sharing, man of the people. The streets were safe (politically speaking), so he was keen to be seen.

    Now he’s steering clear, and leaving Gerry Brownlee to face the same people that Key was hugging a few months ago. Hence the TV pictures on Close-Up tonight – not pretty, and definitely not going to feature in the election campaign video.

    Key’s not a fool. Cynical, but not dumb. He’s prepared to write off a couple of Christchurch electorates, belonging to Labour MPs, for the greater good … the national (National) party vote.

    Sorry, Kaiapoi, you won’t be getting any more celebrity PM visits before Nov 26. Key wants to be in the picture at the White House, not your broken house.

    Good luck Roger, you’re going to need it. You’re on your own now.

    • Adolf Fiinkensein 22.1

      It was just too good to be true.

    • Jim Nald 22.2

      My father used to say a lot that a banker is someone who lends you an umbrella on a sunny day … and take it back on a rainy day.

      There is probably a name for a condition like that.

      (His brother/my uncle was banker .. we know!)

  23. HC 23

    I it really only a half cooked solution the government presents. Of course those with red stickered houses will more or less be relieved that they will be given the means to move and start anew in a safer area. The main problem lies with those houses in badly affected areas where so many houses will now be bought by the government and demolished. What are those residents and home owners meant to do who cannot benefit from this government offer. They are likely to stay put and live in areas that will largely be wasteland with poor infrastructure and services. Sooner or later many will feel urged to move as well, but they will not be able to sell their houses, because nobody will buy it. Then there is the issue with valuation. Some will naturally feel that they will lose money, because their house was more worth under the market rates.

    It is again a patch work solution, like so many this government comes up with, and slowly people will realise this. So many in orange and white zones will not know what will happen to them for a long time yet.

  24. Brendon O'Connor 24

    Not only is it just another dose of corporate welfare through a bailout of the Ozzie banks using Kiwi taxpayers money, but the landowners who take this slap in the face will still have to cough up and mortgage shortfall to those “Poor” Ozzie banks. See FAQ no 1 on the bailout website. So the government isn’t even buying the mortgages, just gifting probably a large percentage of this $635 Million to the Ozzie banks. And the poor eastern suburb landowners will be left being unable to buy another property as they could still owe the banks the balance of their mortgages. Wow and this is kindness. No wonder Key was a bit shy in delivering this package. I bet it would have been a land swap if the quake hit us here in the western suburbs. Notice how quite the media is on this nail in these poor people’s financial coffins.

    • Jim Nald 24.1

      I can’t help but have trepidation with the ‘deals’ that this government strikes.
      This is the government that has given us Warner Bros, Sky City, overseas train builders, … and now Ozzie banks ???

      What next? Overseas buyers for our farms? American big pharma?

  25. g_man 25

    Ummm … so how exactly is it the Government’s fault, if individuals choose to take out their mortgages with the Aussie banks instead of, say, TSB or Kiwibank?

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