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Christchurch offer roundup

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, June 24th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: disaster, housing - Tags: ,

As of last night the most useful practical summary was in The Herald here. The piece leads with the headline that, while many now have a concrete deal in front of them, twice as many do not:

5100 lose homes, 10,500 in limbo

More than 5000 Christchurch homeowners now know their quake-hit homes will not be repaired and will be paid out, but another 10,500 have been left in limbo after the Government outlined today where rebuilding could happen.

At 3 News Duncan Garner notes:

It’s not a bad deal for Christchurch residents, but “more people haven’t been looked after today than have been looked after”. … But while those classed in the ‘red zone’ now have closure, the Government should be wary of the possible backlash from the 10,500 home owners who haven’t been granted that relief. … “Those people may not be happy at the election and try to vote National out.”

Even for those in the red zone, it is going to be up to eight weeks before the formal process gets under way. That’s going to be a long eight weeks in winter.

In other coverage, Stuff highlights an example of the kind of incongruous situation that is going to be commonplace:

Raeann McPherson lives with husband Andrew, son Tyler, 12, and daughter Brook,7, in one of 17 homes in Wattle Drive which have been labelled orange. But across the road, neighbour and friend Janet Beard is in the red zone, while the north end of the street, backing on to QEII Park, is classified green.

McPherson does not understand why she and her neighbours, just metres from the Avon River, are the only ones still in limbo. “I want answers. It’s good that they’ve made an announcement to the definite red zone but how much longer are they going to make us wait?”

I would suggest that the system that is set in place needs to be flexible around the edges of the red zone. Where it is obvious that an orange property is just as stuffed as its red neighbour, offer them the deal. The piece above carried on to note some of the big unanswered questions:

Opposition MPs have said the packaged left issues unresolved. Green MP Kennedy Graham said the Government was yet to clarify if residents would be forced to leave, or would face forced acquisition of their land under the earthquake recovery law, if they did not accept the offer after nine months.

It was also unclear how many in the red zones did not have insurance. Mr Brownlee yesterday said that was an issue that would be addressed later and the first priority was to help those who were insured and had helped themselves.

The government needs to do better on the issue of the uninsured. The cost of the buy out offer is currently estimated to be between $485 million and $635 million. Compare that with $1.6 Billion for the SCF bailout. I don’t see that an uninsured resident of Avonside is any less deserving of government help than an investor in a dodgy finance company.

Summing up, the initial response inside the red zone seems to have been generally positive. Generally, but not universally:

But some are worried the payout will not be enough. Burwood resident Clinton Pasfield said he was not sure it would be able to cover the cost of building a new home “The prices seem to be significantly more than what I expect to be able to get out of this package,” he said.

Ineke Van Ravenstein from Avondale echoed his concerns. “I don’t think we’re going to be winners but there’s nothing much we can do about it is there? “Whatever way we look at this it’s going to cost us.”

In comments on various forums about the place I see some fairly strong anti-Christchurch sentiment emerging. “Stop complaining and take the deal”. “It’s your fault you’re not insured”. That sort of thing. As always the nasty underside of New Zealand society is never very far from the surface. As if the residents of the shattered suburbs didn’t have enough to cope with already…

69 comments on “Christchurch offer roundup”

  1. AR; there’s nothing nasty about those who have taken the sensible precaution of insuring their homes being unhappy if uninsured people get bailed out. What is the point of paying insurance premiums if the government is going to come along and clean up afterwards? To not insure your most significant non-human asset is negligent; probably grossly so.

    • Blighty 1.1

      please explain what the government buy-out has to do with insurance.

      It is not an insurance payout.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        EQC land insurance is only given to those who have housing insurance. Although this government deal is separate from EQC, it is based strongly on that principal.

        • Blighty 1.1.1.1

          this isn’t an EQC buy out. It’s entirely separate.

          I agree though that, in the long term. EQC levies should be compulsory and should be designed to cover this ind of buyout too.

          But that doesn’t solve the current problem of the few percent (ie several hundred households) that are uninsured in the red zone. The government can’t just buy all their neighbours, cut off their utilities and say ‘fuck you, you shouldn’t be low income and own a house’

      • Deadly_NZ 1.1.2

        The govt pays you out, you sign over your insurance policy to he govt

  2. Peter Nickle 2

    Pretty black & white, uninsured = uninsured, so no payout, shit happens and it did in Chch. Uninsured people knew they were taking a risk. Just plain old dumb.

    SCF was part of the govt scheme (rightly or wrongly is another matter).

    As a tax payer I would be ok if $10k was given per household, but not a cent more and only as a goodwill gesture, nothing more.

    Also, you never know, some people might have invested their $1000PA insurance in a scheme that has returned $400K over the past 10 years, they will be ok then.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Someone could have taken out a new policy on September 3rd, not actually paid a cent, and be covered.

      Someone else could have had their policy lapse on September 3rd, after paying years of premiums, and not be covered.

      • Puddleglum 2.1.1

        Someone on NatRad tonight said that he missed out because, after September 4 he sold his house (which now is in the red zone) and bought another one in the same area (and still in what is now the red zone). Since the deal specifies that the owner has to have been the owner since Sept 3, 2010 he misses out.

        Of course, if he made a noise I’m sure Key would ride in on his charger, flanked by photographers, and personally put it right. But, if the owner and others like him don’t make a noise … 

        Expect, therefore, a lot of ‘noise’ as people try to swallow the offers but end up having to have the fish hooks extracted from their gullets one by one, slowly and painfully.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Pretty black & white, uninsured = uninsured, so no payout, shit happens and it did in Chch. Uninsured people knew they were taking a risk. Just plain old dumb.

      Yes shit happens, so lets shit on our own people, is that the principle you run by Peter Nickle?

      Government is happy to bail out corporate owners of an uninsured stadium sports field but is happy to leave its citizens twisting in the wind?

      Is that the kind of country you are promoting internationally Peter Nickle?

      • Chris 2.2.1

        What stadium are you talking about?

        Because AMI Stadium is owned by the Christchurch City Council? I’m not too angry at the government bailing them out.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Its just Government hypocrisy to treat an uninsured sports field differently to peoples lives and their homes.

          • Crusader 2.2.1.1.1

            It’s a public utility used for sports and music events.

            What’s the problem here CV?

            Just another anti rugby man. Only want to spend public money on property you approve of?

          • Chris 2.2.1.1.2

            I understand that this I’d about the 5th time you’ve brought it up but still I thought you would admit that maybe the owners of ami stadium aren’t actually corporate.

            But you’re right the government should’ve left the council to pay for entire repair if the grounds that wouldve made things better

          • Chris 2.2.1.1.3

            I didn’t realize that uninsured private land should be treated the same as uninsured crown land

            Alternatively you could admit the 5 tomes you brought up ami stadium as owned by a corporate was actually wrong

            • Chris 2.2.1.1.3.1

              Sorry didn’t realise my phone actually posted either of those comments since it told me it didn’t so excuse the spelling I’m a little drunk, but still Viper you’re completely wrong and trying to cover it up is ridiculous

  3. One interesting point is that the land in the red zone that is being ‘abandoned’, actually is not necessarily going to be abandoned. On RNZ this morning the point was raised with Brownlee (asking about a timeline for the remediation). He simply said that while some have estimated that it would be 3 years, others 5 years he thinks it could be a decade.

    When he was pursued on the same point, it was noted that some current residents wanted a first in line ‘buy back’ option. He said it would be ‘cleaner’ just to pay out completely. He then described the process of ripping up streets, infrastructure, adding soil, compacting it and putting the streets and infrastructure back in. He was pointing out that that would take a long time.

    If this is true, then at some point within a 3-10 year timeframe, a lot of taxpayer remediated prime, riverside real estate will be held by the government and, presumably, up for sale to some developer. If you have the patience, watch this space.

    • Blighty 3.1

      nobody who had house insurance bought with it coverage for a government buy out. therefore, why should the buyout be limited to only these people?

      • Peter Nickle 3.1.1

        Exceptional circumstances. However, this offer from the govt. is so that the owner can move on relatively easily and start again, while the govt deals with the insurance co. Individuals that are insured can opt out & deal direct with the insurance co. themselves if they wish.
        I liken this to a Class Action (with the govt taking the action in this case) in law terms.

        Once again, what part of uninsured did the people with no insurance not understand?

        • Blighty 3.1.1.1

          I don’t get why you say this is exceptional circumstances and then say that a buyout should only apply to people who were insured for normal circumstances.

          The buyout is not an insurance payment. There is no link. The government is paying QV regardless of the insured damage to people with insurance, why would it be any different for those without?

          And you have no idea what circumstances may have caused people to be uninsured when the quake struck. It’s hardly likely to have been a lifestyle choice. This is kicking those who are already down, probably the elderly or the recently unemployed who were holding a large capital asset but had very low incomes and had not been able to sell up yet.

        • Puddleglum 3.1.1.2

          I agree with Blighty. In the red zone, this is not about insurance or even EQC. It goes beyond all of those contingencies, as Bill English said the other day (you know, something about how the ‘black letter’ of insurance arrangements don’t apply because no-one was thinking of this situation).

          The decisions of sovereign governments that gather to themselves a monopoly on force (which is what this take it or leave it option is – let’s not beat around the bush) override all contracts, assumptions and, in this case because of the CERA legislation, most other laws. In fact, you could argue that the unusual step of fully compensating uninsured people would be just the kind of decision that the CERA legislation anticipated.

          In the green zone, I presume those uninsured remain in the schtuck – hence the much feared ‘moral hazard’ (a hugely simplistic notion) won’t occur (unless New Zealand homeowners in the future want to gamble that, post some other natural disaster, they will end up in that disaster’s ‘red zone’).

      • Puddleglum 3.1.2

        Yep – though I’m not sure how it links to my comment above, which was on a completely separate point (not that that bothers me, I just can’t see the connection).

  4. Uninsured people are NOT being bailed out.

    The vicious anti-Christchurch sentiment that appears in the comments sections of some articles on Stuff and The Herald is, fortunately, the exception rather than the rule, but it is nonetheless disturbing.

  5. millsy 5

    I think the uninsured should at least be given some advise on what they can do to try and get themselves out of the shit.

    Anyway, I think the nastiness towards to uninsured is pretty uncalled for. There are plenty of reasons why people dont have insurance, ie, the resession, bad credit ratings, etc.

    • Blighty 5.1

      considering the government buy out is not an insurance payment, why should it be linked in any way to your insurance?

      It’s like saying the government will buy everyone new tyres for their car but only if it’s blue.

      And you’re right. Nearly everyone has home insurance. If you didn’t it’s probably because you had suffered a catastrophic loss of income recently. Say you had been laid off and are now on the dole and hadn’t, yet, been forced sell your house or hadn’t been able to sell it yet.

      Should we really be punishing again people who are obviously already in dire financial straits? Especially as the buyout is nothing to do with insurance.

      • millsy 5.1.1

        I think the government plans to buy the houses and then take the money of the insurance companies later.

        Essentially its a loan to the insurance companies,.

        • Blighty 5.1.1.1

          your buyout is not linked to what the government gets from the insurance companies.

          If your house is only moderately damaged but is red zone, you will get the full QV value, even though the insurance payout the government gets will be much less. Plus, the land is only insured by EQC and only up to $100,000 for land and house combined, so the government is paying out for that too.

          This is a significant outlay by the government and is not tied to how much they expect to get back from the insurance companies.

          • Peter Nickle 5.1.1.1.1

            The way I see it, the buy out is linked to insurance. You are cherry picking with the above example. The govt have taken on the role of getting the money back for this which is a very noble idea from the insurance cos, (EQC for land & others for the rest) so people can move on. The uninsured have no redress because of this.

            Do you think people who drive in uninsured cars should get a payout if the car is nicked? Same scenario in effect.

            • Blighty 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “Do you think people who drive in uninsured cars should get a payout if the car is nicked? Same scenario in effect.”

              That’s not the same at all. That’s an insurance issue. The government is not paying an insurance payment to red zones houses, it is buying them.

              More analogous is that the government says because of some disaster they’re closing the petrol stations but will buy everyone’s cars so they won’t be left with a useless asset, but only as long as they’re insured.

              If you’re not insured and you’re in the red zone, the government is not going to restore your utilities, and it’s going to bowl all your neighbours.

              Key promised to leave no-one worse off. I didn’t hear him say ‘only if you had insurance on the day of the quake’

              • Sam

                “More analogous is that the government says because of some disaster they’re closing the petrol stations but will buy everyone’s cars so they won’t be left with a useless asset, but only as long as they’re insured”

                No. In your analogy, the insurance companys would not be subject to a payout. A correct analogy would be if due to said disaster, everyones cars were damaged, most irreparably, but some that are borderline. If the government then offered to buy everyones cars and then fight it out with the insurance companys, would you then expect them to also buy the uninsureds cars straight away?

                I would expect that the government in this scenario would not, and that they would then look at the uninsured at a later date. This, in effect is what the government are doing now.

                Where’s the problem? Part of car ownership is to be insured. This is doubly true for property ownership. Its quite simply about protecting your own ass. I understand that there will be people who because of extenuating circumstances have been caught out with this, but i do think it entirely fair that these people should be at the back of the queue for handouts.

                • McFlock

                  Not back of the queue – they’ve been kicked out of the queue.

                  Call it what it is. People who aren’t hand-to-mouth with bills so can afford insurance get to be in the handout queue, property developers who own land west of chch will have massive demand for their developments (not to mention CERA assistance with resource consent, no doubt), but if they couldn’t pay their insurance bill on time, they’re stuck with a broken house on property nobody wants.

                  But I’m sure it applies to only those people Gerry doesn’t think should live in Chch.

  6. Peter Nickle 6

    Somehow I doubt anyone will buy this land and who would insure it? Also, I would assume it will have some rather strong wording in the LIM files.
    Would you buy it or want to move back to it after you have moved on?
    This is like a messy divorce, you eventually move on but you never go back.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      The point of the ground compaction is to make it less prone to earthquake damage than it was before it had the compaction.

      The new Pegasus township for people in the top 10% of incomes out by Woodend purposefully compacted all the land before construction started. Apparently there was very little liquefaction after the September 4th quake, whereas Kaiapoi which is only 5 minutes south got munted.

      • Peter Nickle 6.1.1

        Fair enough, but this was b4 the EQ. This has changed things somewhat. The top 10% can afford this, so I do not see this as an issue. I assume this is not becoming a class issue?

        If this did happen and the land was then sold off I do not have a problem with it as long as I don’t pay for the extra remediation required. If current owners want to stay and pay for the extra solid foundations they can do, however, I think this will be a huge cost that they may not be able to afford.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          “If this did happen and the land was then sold off I do not have a problem with it as long as I don’t pay for the extra remediation required.”

          Eh? The government is going to own the land. Therefore any improvements done to the land will be paid for by the government. The government will eventually sell the land. If the government puts in land remediation, they will get a much better sale price when they come to sell it, which means the buyers are effectively paying for the remediation that is done.

          Now, it may be the case where the government pays $500m for remediation but only realises $300m extra when they come to sell the land. But the alternative is that the government sits on the land forever and does nothing with it.

          • Puddleglum 6.1.1.1.1

            You’re right Lanthanide, but the devil is in the detail. Given the track record of property development ‘deals’ in Christchurch (e.g., the buy up of land that became Aranui, the Blair Block, Bexley subdivision, Henderson, etc.) I’m wary of what future ‘deals’ might be made over this land (in fact, I imagine discussions are already underway between ‘interested parties’).

            I’m a cynic when past history suggests it’s wise to be.

            • grumpy 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Hint – Ngai Tahu…..

              • Quite possibly.

                But, given that there will be plenty of milk and honey flowing (at least for the moneyed ‘big boys’), there are other possibilities too. 

                The Carters – and/or others like them – might wish to ‘hedge’ against potential losses in the inner city. After all, they’re certainly a family that appreciates the efficiencies that accrue at the interface of property development, local body politics and national government.

                I can’t see them – and those in a similar position – just ‘sitting on their hands’ while billions of dollars flows into the city and potentially passes them by.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    I think this post is missing another crucial outcome of this process.

    If your house has now been declared green, the insurance companies can’t stuff around saying “we have to wait for geotech reports”.

    • lprent 7.1

      Yes they can. They still have to get them for the foundations of the house rather than for the area.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Yes, but in that case the insurance company actually has to do something. They have to organise more testing, they can’t just sit back and say “it’s out of our hands!” like they have been.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    I agree with Blighty to an extent.

    As I see it, the government buyout is effectively for the land. At the moment, EQC covers only up to 57k (including GST) for the land and $115k (inc GST) for the buildings. Most of those in the red zone would have significant damage to the extent that the value of the repairs plus the capital value of the land would equal or exceed the GV for their property. For instance, my parents in Horseshoe lake have a CV of $196000 on their land and $94000 for the improvements. The damage to the house far exceeds the $94000. So, as I see it, in most cases, the Government will effectively be topping up the difference between the 57k entitlement from EQC for the land and the actual land value.

    So far as my parents go, they have full replacement insurance and have a section secured in a good subdivision. They are going to end up approx $130k better off out of the deal by taking the land only option.

    I think it is fair that the government compensates for the land value because various councils etc in the past have approved people to build on the land, even though it has been a major earthquake risk. People have bought the land in good faith. Thus, I think it is fair that both the insured and uninsured should be fully compensated for the land. I hope the government comes up with this sort of outcome for the uninsured on a natural justice basis. However, I don’t think the uninsured should be compensated for their houses because that is the risk they took with their eyes open.

    Brownlee has suggested that charitable organisations such as Habitat for Humanity may help with houses for the very few uninsured people. So, hopefully the will get a home in the end.

  9. Zorr 9

    urg… RWNJs out in force today…

    A few quick points:
    What happens to the uninsured family living in their disaster-ridden home in the classified red zone? Will they be forcefully evicted if they don’t leave?

    What happens to communities where, as outlined, part are in red, some in orange and others green? Is their going to be any recompense for these people for the massively decreased land values, gutted local economy and costs of rebuilding?

    Under normal insurance, wouldn’t the value of the insurance be paid and the house remain in possession of the original owner? This stinks more like a bailout of insurance companies (who are under-reinsured) than that of offering a concrete solution. Some of these houses will be constructed from native timber which is worth a small fortune and the land, once the quakes stop, will have value again in a few years time.

    How will we provide law and order for those living close to these, soon to be, ghost towns/streets? Once the people are gone it is going to be difficult to prevent the salvaging of anything left behind by the advantageous as it seems to take a while for demolition to get under way. Will there be additional funding provided to support the remaining communities feel secure or will they be left to blow in the wind?

  10. erentz 10

    “I don’t see that an uninsured resident of Avonside is any less deserving of government help than an investor in a dodgy finance company”

    Okay, I somewhat agree — but this creates a dilemma that surely does need to be addressed and not ignored doesn’t it? Clearly governments have to step in after such major disasters as this. But if they do then it’s unfair on those who’ve been paying for insurance against such events. Clearly we need a compulsory insurance system for such major events (earthquakes, floods, cyclones, volcanoes), e.g. everyone is insured through EQC and that comes out of your rates. Then if you want extra insurance for fire/theft/etc. that’s something you go private for.

    • Peter Nickle 10.1

      You mean ACC for insurance, yahoo, another tax.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        More taxes please. Because people like Peter Nickle would prefer that NZ go into debt and have to borrow money from the Chinese instead of raising money from ther wealthy.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      But if they do then it’s unfair on those who’ve been paying for insurance against such events.

      Only if that’s the way you think i.e. “if the uninsured also get something, even though I am not any worse off I won’t be further ahead of them which is where I should be.”

      • Peter Nickle 10.2.1

        The people who were insured would be worse off as they had to outlay their premiums while the uninsured get off scot free. Over say 10 years this is about $10. Do you think this is fair?
        Personal responsibility is what it comes down to.
        The cold hard facts are that the uninsured will have to live with the decisions they made.

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1

          The cold hard facts are that the uninsured will have to live with the decisions they made.

          As if not being able to keep up with your premiums because youa re eyeballs in debt or laid off after the first earthquake is some kind of “decision” or “choice” lol

          The people who were insured would be worse off as they had to outlay their premiums while the uninsured get off scot free. Over say 10 years this is about $10. Do you think this is fair?

          No one is getting off scot free from this!!!! No one set out to game the system in anticipation of a massive earthquake! And should we let those uninsured families rot, put them into homeless shelters, let the tens of thousands of equity they have created through hard work and savings go to waste, because we refuse to shoulder the burden for an extra one in one hundred citizens. A rounding error of the total earthquake bill.

          When an uninsured sports field that no one lives in gets a $4M bail out from the Goverment.

          Is that fair mate?

          Personal responsibility is what it comes down to.

          Yes it does. I’m not saying that the uninsured should receive the 100% deal that everyone fully insured does either.

          Societal responsibility is what it comes down to.

  11. …another 10,500 have been left in limbo after the Government outlined today where rebuilding could happen

    Actually it’s a lot more than that. Here in the Green Zone we, like 200,000+ others, are also in limbo – unable to repair, move or rebuild until EQC assesses our houses. As assessors concentrate on the worst affected classifying the Orange and White sections the position of everyone else in Christchurch with a damaged home is being underplayed.

    What about those like me who have never seen an EQC assessor?  We had hoped to see them by September, a year after the original quake, but this is not now likely. After that will come the months of trying to get EQC to actually pay out the money!

    I am very pleased that something is finally being done for (some of the) worst affected – although with the 2007 land figures it is clear people will be forced to move out of Canterbury to rebuild due to section costs – and don’t want to take away from the terrible deprivations suffered, but am annoyed that the impression is being given that we in the Green Zone are now able to rebuild.

    Yes we know we can stay where we are but without an assessment by EQC we are stuck in limbo, unable to do anything to fix up our homes through the winter, unable to move, powerless and waiting at the mercy of Brownlee.

  12. Mark M 12

    The uninsured have no insurance on their house, so they should not get the proposed Government deal ,as they took the risk on themselves for whatever reason.

    but they are given no real choice to stay on their land and rebuild at their cost, as the government has decided that services wont be provided.
    In this circumstance it would be fair and reasonable for them to be compensated for the land value.

    They can then gp somewhere else and pay for their own building, which would be the case, if they could stay on their land.

    They are no better or worse off than before, which is the basis of the government proposal

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The uninsured have no insurance on their house, so they should not get the proposed Government deal ,as they took the risk on themselves for whatever reason.

      Yeah I agree, they should have owned an uninsured stadium sports field instead, then the Government would have given them a $4M bail out even though they made the choice to be uninsured.

      They are no better or worse off than before, which is the basis of the government proposal

      Well this is a lie for those who had out hard worked for equity in a house which is now destroyed.

      • MarkM 12.1.1

        “Well this is a lie for those who had out hard worked for equity in a house which is now destroyed.”

        If their house is destroyed and they have no insurance then all they have is the land.
        If the Government buys their land they are no worse off.

        Think about first CV before you respond

        • ropata 12.1.1.1

          Yeah screw those suckers. How dare they not buy insurance, thanks MarkM for straightening that one out. They are LUCKY that their house fell down and they can live in an igloo

  13. vto 13

    Some great new residencies will be able to be built on the abandoned land. Bring back the wetlands and the whitebait.

    • Inventory2 13.1

      Whitebait; now you’re talking!

    • weka 13.2

      They’re dumb fucks if they ever building human habitats on that land again. Creating natural habitats sounds a fantastic idea.
       
      I haven’t seen this point made in a while. Wasn’t there a geologist after the Sept quake who said we told you not to build those suburbs there (because in the unlikely even of a quake there will be significant problems)? Is there no accountability from the developers and council who approved development?

      • davidc 13.2.1

        Developers ask Councils if they may…Councils approve or not as they see fit….and chage huge fees…

        Accountability for Councils?? are you high?

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1

          Accountability for Councils with Rodney High-ed in charge? You are correct its not likely.

  14. grumpy 14

    I’m sure you guys will get a laugh out of this………

  15. weka 15

    But some are worried the payout will not be enough. Burwood resident Clinton Pasfield said he was not sure it would be able to cover the cost of building a new home “The prices seem to be significantly more than what I expect to be able to get out of this package,” he said.

    There needs to be a general shift in attitude about this. I’m not sure that it’s valid for people to assume they will get back exactly what they had in terms of house and land size. NZ increasingly builds houses that are much bigger than what is needed, and there are significant enironmental and social costs to the country. It also costs the homeowner. If you don’t have enough money to replace your house then build a smaller one. There’s some innovative work already being done on smaller housing and quality of life, and a good opportunity for Chch to lead the way on this.

    I think it’s important that red zone people get enough support to set themselves up again in comfortable homes.  But I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that everyone will get their equity or their ideal house back. Shit happens, and our willingness as a nation to help each other out should be about making sure people are ok, not that everything is made exactly how it was. Shit happens and we do the best we can. I’m sure that Chch people know this  more than most currently, and I’m not in any way supportive of the ‘stop whining’ brigade. I do think that Chch people should be given good advice/support about how to think in terms of creative solutions, and unfortunately that’s not what most of the building industry will be doing.

    • davidc 15.1

      also…if you had a 150 m2 house (stucco, uninsulated, log fire, well used carpets and drapes) that was 40 years old you cant expect to get enough $$ to rebuild a same sized, well insulated, double glazed, heat pump airconditioned, new kitchen, tiled 2 bathroom house.
      Your 40 year old house is propbably half way thru its lifespan…
      so assuming $300K QV , land at $150K , improvements at $150K it may cost you an additional $150K on top of your payout to rebuild the same size new on a decent section.
      $1800 / m2 to build a reasonable house on a flat site excluding drapes. Drapes can be $$15K easy.

  16. davidc 16

    If you choose to drive a car without insurance and by chance you (its clearly your fault) crash into a nice new Maserati and you also happen to own a nice house freehold you are very likley going to have to sell your nice home to buy a nice new italian rollerskate to replace the one you trashed.
    You have made a choice, gambled and lost.

    • weka 16.1

      I don’t follow how that’s relevant to Chch.

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      You have made a choice, gambled and lost.

      Exactly. That person, their family, their partner, also their kids now need to be consigned to the scrap heap of davidc’s capitalist-run casino game of life. In fact, the children need to be put into indentured servitude to the insurance company and the Maserati owner to insure that all damages on the vehicle are properly repaid.

      Fuck off mate.

      • davidc 16.2.1

        what is the other choice?
        The maserati owner pays $300000 for you? because you choose not to have $200 third party insurance?
        it would be a sad country without enforcement of personal responsibility.

        and please keep it civil.

        I havent seen your followup on the other thread telling me how wrong you were with 5000 cashed up families and how that will change the property market.

        • ropata 16.2.1.1

          yes all those cantabs are personally responsible for buying a house in east chch when they KNEW it would be struck by half a dozen earthquakes and buried in mud. they should not be admitted to hospital either when their roof falls in because they didn’t bother to wear a helmet, the fools.

  17. ChCher@heart 17

    I think people all in ‘zones’ are caught up in a complex and dreadfully stressful situation, and it’s not unnatural that it’s easier to look back, mourning the city and the individual homes that have been lost, than forward, considering how ChCh is going to be changed long term and how people are going to build themselves new communities and fit themselves into new homes. There are valid points being made all through this line of discussion. For what it’s worth, here’s my perspective:
    1) Stop dumping on the uninsured. Very few people choose not to have insurance, and it’s a pre-requisite for a mortgage. A household that’s uninsured is almost always overwhelmed by hardship; and let’s remember that they will not have access to contents’ insurance through EQC and will probably not have private contents’ insurance either.
    2) The points about building sizes and replacing an aged house with a new one are reasonable, to an extent, but how about we cut the people of ChCh (and Canterbury more widely) a bit of slack? If there are people who end up as ‘winners’ after going through all this shit, to be honest, I can’t say I’m unhappy with that.
    3) I’m surprised that I haven’t seen any real discussion about the position of Housing New Zealand tenants. What is being done to help them to find new accommodation? And what about other tenants? Not everybody owns their home, and this will be a city with a lot of pressure for rental accommodation for a long time. Prices are likely to skyrocket.
    4) Don’t let’s get too smug, sitting outside of Christchurch and feeling secure in our own places. When I was growing up in ChCh, we felt secure, too.

    And of course, while it’s not what this discussion line has been about, let’s remember that we’re talking about a series of events that has already killed a number of our country-folk. They were killed suddenly, in shocking circumstances. It would be equally shocking, though, if more were to die because of a combination of substandard living conditions and long-term stress. Anything we can do to make this less like, we should be doing. And yes, I do include the uninsured in this.

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    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
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    13 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
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    16 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
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    17 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
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    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    5 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    5 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    5 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    6 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    7 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago