King Gerry ripping off the peasants

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, August 6th, 2012 - 22 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags:

The design of the red-zone buy-out puts CERA first, the insurers seconds, and the earthquake victims last. Homeowners could take the 2007 valuation for their property, ignoring subsequent improvements, or the 2007 valuation for their land plus whatever their insurance company would give for the home. That generated a huge incentive for insurers to understate damage to red-zone houses.

That’s been happening with insurers declaring redzone houses inhabitable. Faced with only getting a partial insurance payout for their house if they choose Option 2, homeowners are really left with only Option 1 – sell the land and house at 2007 valuation to CERA.

Now, as it gets hold of redzone homes, CERA is having them revalued for pursuing insurance claims. It stands to make a profit from having not recognised all the improvements made to homes post-2007.

And the insurers will win too. CERA will have thousands of claims to settle and hold ups will delay its plans for the red-zone. They’ll make bulk settlements to expedite things and the insurers will laugh all the way to the bank.

Effectively, the redzoners got ripped off and the insurers and CERA split the profits.

The unanswered question, though, is what will happen to the holdouts who have refused to accept either rip-off option when the offers expire. There’s talk of Brownlee shutting off utilities to these people which would surely trigger lawsuits but, as always with this government, no real thought seems to have been put into the issue.

Also, and I doubt you’ll ever see these words here again, good on the NBR. Journalists were invited to “join the party”in the carefully stage-managed launch of the CBD rebuild plan designed and timed to get uncritical coverage on the 6s. NBR simply refused to be part of the government’s PR machine and broke the embargo. Pity the other journalists allowed themselves to get caught up in the faux party that Brownlee threw.

22 comments on “King Gerry ripping off the peasants”

  1. Dv 1

    This is absolutely DISGRACEFUL.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    The NBR headline read thus:

    NBR stands by coverage of govt’s ‘infotainment stunt’

    and Hickey was his part as a govt stooge:
    “The move prompted Interest managing editor Bernard Hickey to write to the government, requesting that NBR be banned from under-embargo briefings”
    And the lap-dogs at the main networks having had the message delayed till 6pm played along.
    “What I do need to let you know is that the big event, which will come just a few minutes after 6 o’clock when the prime minister will come back on the stage and on cue he’ll have a few things to say and that will be going out live over both TV1 and TV3 in their news ”
    Thanks NBR

  3. Andy-Roo 3

    Yes – this sucks beyond description.

    And Brownlee – well he is missing in action. Did not have the balls to front up on RNZ this morning.

    Gutless, thieving, asshole.

    • Tom Gould 3.1

      You can never call Gerry “gutless”. Spineless, maybe. But not gutless.

      • Andy-Roo 3.1.1

        Good point – after all his arse has to be connected to something…

        I was wrong to assume a direct link to his mouth – when the evidence was right there for me to see.

  4. vto 4

    All everyone needs is an explanation (a just explanation).

    It has been some days now and the explanation has not been made.


    • Dr Terry 4.1

      vto – because they cannot explain the unexplainable!! Least of all a “just” explanation! In other words, business as usual.

  5. Zorr 5

    Thought this might be relevant to the discussion

    Very very detailed and a disturbing read with regards the Christchurch rebuild

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Effectively, the redzoners got ripped off and the insurers and CERA split the profits.

    Well its a good thing that the grateful people of Christchurch voted back in all those faithful Labour MPs who can now continue to fight for them against this unjust system.

    • tc 6.1

      Yup you get the gov’t you deserve and the nat vote in chch/SI in 2011 was quite a shock to some after the initial treatment of chch earthquake victims and Pike River assertions by Shonkey and cohorts lying their arses off for votes.

      Sad but inevitable with this mob…..they only care about money/power driven outcomes. Labour once again caught out playing the wrong type of game and giving Csar Gerry unbridled power….fecking insane.

    • Andy-Roo 6.2

      No explanation for the actions of my fellow citizens there. Suspect that the result would be different now, but that is no bloody good to anybody…

  7. Understand Brownlee has serious Flu. Pity

  8. Rodel 8

    Bernard Hickey.s suggestion that breaking the so called ’embargo’ showed “contempt” for the stage managed PR stunt is absolutely correct. There are times when contempt should be used by real journalists. This was one of them. Thanks again NBR.

  9. Wayne 9

    Zorr, I have read thepoliticalscientist. Is there even one thing he supports? And that is the problem. It is inconceivable that a plan could not have a single redeeming feature. In fact everyone I have spoken to likes the frame. Sure investors are involved, but the plan – actually any plan – needs their support. They are the ones who are going to rebuild the bulk of the downtown.

    And as for the compensation package. It is almost certain the Govt will make a loss on the vast majority of the redzone sections where homeowners have accepted the 2007 valuations. The Govt will not get from the insurers what they have paid, and the land by and large will end up as parkland. Overall the deal for homeowners is pretty good. After all if they don’t like the 2007 package they are able to settle their insurance claim, though I appreciate dealing with insurers has its own set of challenges.

    The great advantage of the 2007 valuation package is that it lets people move on. Thereafter the Govt takes all the risk, mostly downside, in dealing with the insurers.

    You need to ask why the Nats did so well in CHCH in the election. People have, by and large, seen the govt dealing with the situation with a package that generally errs in favor of the homeowners. The 2007 valuations were pretty much at the peak, and that is widely understood.

    And Gerry gets on and does things.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Sure investors are involved, but the plan – actually any plan – needs their support. They are the ones who are going to REBUILD the bulk of the downtown.

      sure, they will do the rebuild, with government money.

      designing a livable town where people and the community comes first doesnt even occur to these guys. ROI comes first for them.

      btw the government is stumping up the majority of the money one way or another, the private sector is getting (another) huge free ride.

      And this is going to blow up in their faces big time.

    • Hi Wayne,

      I have read thepoliticalscientist. Is there even one thing he supports?


      I support those who put signs up to ‘Save our High Street’; I support those who are against demolishing the Ng building; I support those who believe selling assets to pay for outsized ‘civic facilities’ is inappropriate; I support those who believe that the glitz and glamour around the launch of the Recovery Plan shows the government prioritises (big) business over people; I support those who have put real effort into rebuilding and strengthening their buildings only to have their property fall victim to an arbitrary ‘frame’ that had to be super-wide to shore up the property values of others.

      In short, I support many people. Do you support any of these people or are you one of those ‘naysayers’ who can’t see anyone that they support no matter how long the list of people to support? Are you just trying to get in the way of a people-led recovery out of sheer pugnacity? You see, two can play the “he’s just being negative” card.

      This is about debate and argument. Characterising one side in a debate as ‘negative’ is, in effect, saying that those with the power to say how things will be (i.e., CERA in this case) have to be characterised as being ‘positive’ and those without power have to be characterised as ‘negative’. It’s a neat, discursive trick but it is neither in the spirit of democracy nor fair.


      It is inconceivable that a plan could not have a single redeeming feature. In fact everyone I have spoken to likes the frame.

      It is inconceivable.

      I like trees (all the artists’ impressions show little trees everywhere); and green technologies being encouraged (despite the complete lack of detail about how that would happen, given the possible extra costs that might impose on property owners planning a rebuild); and height restrictions; and making the Avon a ‘park’ (though no-one was going to build within 30m of it in any case – more a necessity than a brilliant ‘idea’).

      But my main concern, Wayne, is the fundamental motivation behind the plan. The plan is actually very clear on this point and you seem to acknowledge it: It’s about providing a central city that is ‘friendly’ to investors (especially big ones).

      It seems that the belief is that if you make a city small enough so that its rental returns make it friendly to big investors (the only ones who will be able to afford land in the new core) it will therefore become a place for all the citizens of Christchurch to enjoy. I think that is simply wrong, and fatally so.

      As for the frame, if everyone you have talked to likes it will they be disappointed when it is increasingly developed for commercial and residential purposes as is prefigured in the Recovery Plan? (You know, the bit where it explicitly states that the frame will allow for the expansion of the core, given demand (i.e., when sufficient profit can come from it)?).

      Are they keen on it being allowed to dissolve and disappear over the next decades? That would seem odd if they actually do like it. Shouldn’t they – dare I say it – oppose that part of the Recovery Plan, and make their opposition clear?

      Or would that just be being negative?

    • mike e 9.3

      Wayne kerr the only reason national did well in CHCH was that all the labour voters left to Australia mainly but to other parts of the country as well come next election the residents left will turn agaist nactuf.

      • tracey 9.3.1

        And the earthquake prompted them to to put parker back in…. Clearly these poor folks have suffered greatly to have done that. The folks I know in chchch regret their decision to vote for him.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          This shabby little media stunt gets worse and involves a big favour for Parker

          Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker has narrowly missed having his home gobbled up by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).

          Parker’s home is in the large central-city block the CCDU has chosen as the site for the proposed metro sports facility, but his house and a couple of neighbouring commercial properties have been left sitting just outside the footprint of the planned facility.

          That means Parker and wife Jo Nicholls-Parker will be spared the designation notices that other properties owners in the block are set to receive.

          So its within the block but misses out ! How convenient

    • Andy-Roo 9.4

      In all of this I don’t see an answer to the question “Why is it OK for CERA to get independent valuations of properties when dealing with insurance companies, when it was not OK for the original owners of the properties to get valuations when dealing with CERA?”

      It is a pretty straight forward question. And one to which we have yet to see a satisfactory answer.

      And before you say that it would have been impractical, or too hard, just remember that you are talking about a large amount of financial loss, for a large number of people, many of whom will be facing considerable hardship as a result.

      Arguments of expediency do not stack up here. Nothing about this process has been convenient or easy for anyone involved.

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