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Where are Nats’ answers to Chch fishhooks?

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, June 25th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee - Tags: ,

I don’t proclaim to be an expert on insurance. Weaknesses in govt’s Christchurch buyout plan were pretty obvious who thought about it for a couple of minutes. Option 1: GV for land & property, would not be enough to buy replacement for most. Option 2: GV for land – activate replacement clause in insurance contract for house, would only work if insurer agreed house was a complete write-off. Option 2 failing already.

Over at Public Address, David Haywood is in exactly this situation. Neither Option 1 or Option 2 will get a replacement house and property for his family. Not unless he borrows another $200K:

“Naturally, when we eventually found the right place, we were very careful to insure it properly.  I am a great believer in insurance – and, being a very old house (100 years old next year), I made sure that we purchased total replacement cover.  For old houses the book value is usually much less than the total replacement cost; high ceilings and double-hung windows have become expensive in the modern world.

Indeed it was one of the things that has consoled us through three massive earthquakes; through the times we lived without sewerage, water, and electricity; through the six weeks when we were evacuated from the city with a young baby and a three-year-old.  At least, we thought, we had total replacement insurance – if the worst came to the worst we would be able to rebuild a house of the same quality and size as we had before.

And yesterday, of course, the worst (as regards to the house) happened.  A man called Liam phoned us to say that we had nine months to leave the property.  Although our house was repairable and the land comparatively undamaged, the state of the surrounding houses meant that we had to go.  Fair enough – and, of course, at least we had total replacement insurance.

But when I phoned Tower Insurance this morning to initiate a claim – guess what?  They found a loophole.

Tower Insurance maintain that the house is not a write-off.  They maintain that they are only obliged to repair the house – not to honour our insurance policy for total replacement.  They say that just because we won’t be allowed to live on the land, and that the house will be bulldozed, doesn’t mean that the house is an insurance write-off.  Sorry, they say, but what the government mandates with regard to land is nothing to do with them.

Tower say that they will only pay the book value on the property – the very thing that we have been paying insurance for years to avoid.  And by Tower’s own numbers this leaves us nearly $200,000 short of the money required to replace our house.”


Haywood will be one example of many. Safe to assume not everyone in Haywood’s position has a major blog to tell their story on.

Like I said the other day, Option 1 was so obvious that it could have been thought of in minutes, and should have been thought of months ago.

Option 2 addresses obvious weakness in Option 1: that GV isn’t the same or anywhere near replacement cost for many, even most because GV on the land is done on an area by area basis and is well below market, and building a new building is going to be very expensive in NZ in coming years.

Shouldn’t have taken long to come up with Option 2 either. But Option 2 wouldn’t work for many because insurers would refuse to activate replacement clauses (don’t get to be multi-billion companies by paying out claims you don’t absolutely have to).

Again, obvious. Again, an easy solution.

Govt says to insurers – you will treat every home in red zone as a complete write-off and activate replacement clauses, the Crown will pay you back the difference when replacement exceeds actual insured damage.

OK. One fishhook dealt to. Next.

Govt should buy out any uninsured. The govt writing off your street is not an event insurance will pay you out for anyway. Govt can’t have a couple of dozen houses still standing, still privately owned scattered around the red zones when they’re trying to do major remedial work. They’ll face law suits for withdrawing utilities from private properties in govt-declared red zones. Govt should make it easier on themselves. Fix the uninsured problem for the future by making EQC part of rates and big enough to cover land buyouts. Deal with the current problem by just buying them out.

One more:

Address the problem that land GVs are too low to buy replacement land out of red zones by scaling them up by an appropriate % of current land prices in new suburbs vs land prices in red zone before September quake.

These are the simple solutions to what actually aren’t very complicated problems from a confessed non-expert. You might see weaknesses in them. Good. There will be fixes for those too. That’s meant to be what Gerry has been doing for the past nine months: coming up with a basic solution, then plugging all the gaps.

More expensive? Yes. But it is the govt’s decision to abandon these suburbs. Ultimately, the govt/council’s decision that the land could be built on in the first place. It should wear the cost. Not to mention both Brownlee and Key promised that no-one would be worse off. Call me old-fashioned, but promises matter.

It’s jaw-dropping that Brownlee hasn’t managed to come up with the answers to these fishhooks. He should be sacked. But he won’t be because his real job is to take the punches while Key stays out of the way.

61 comments on “Where are Nats’ answers to Chch fishhooks? ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Good of you to help out with these commonsense suggestions. Hopefully National is listening and willing to act on them.

  2. Descendant Of Smith 2

    Though as someone has pointed out elsewhere the LIM reports for those areas apparently pointed out they would be subject to liquefaction in an earthquake.

    Presumably therefore the land was less expensive than areas not subject to this in the LIM reports?

    Would it not therefore be logical to expect that if you built on cheaper land then the cost wouldn’t be sufficient for you to buy more expensive land.

    There has to be some element of caveat emptor in all this somewhere.

    Personally if I got hit by an earthquake, flood, natural disaster as long as I could buy another house, apartment, etc I’d be happy. If I couldn’t get quite the same size house or quite the same square footage of land well that’s life. I just got hit by an earthquake for goodness sake.

    The insurance aspect above is pretty much about what you would expect. I don’t think it’s a loophole.

    It’s like when you have a leaking pipe the damage caused by the leak is claimable the damage caused to tear open the wall to repair the leak is not.

    I actually think the government offer for insured people is quite fair – if they are underinsured, or didn’t quite understand their insurance policy or can’t quite afford what they had before then so be it.

    Any assistance above what is currently offered should be by loan with a caveat on the new property and paid out immediately if property is sold or from estate. This would mean that only those who actually were faced with the difficulty buying a new home got assisted.

    It should also only apply to those for whom it is the property they live in (I would also argue in their own name but that’s because I have a beef with people who put their houses in trusts and LAQC’s in order to reduce their tax and now want the tax payer to bail them out. You shouldn’t be able to have it both ways.)

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Presumably therefore the land was less expensive than areas not subject to this in the LIM reports?

      Would it not therefore be logical to expect that if you built on cheaper land then the cost wouldn’t be sufficient for you to buy more expensive land.

      There has to be some element of caveat emptor in all this somewhere.

      Yeah, I have to agree with this.

      It doesn’t seem fair to me that someone could pay $400k to buy a nice house on the west side of the city. Then someone on the east side has their $275k house munted in an earthquake, and so the government tops up the payout to $400k to allow them to buy a comparable house in the west side of the city? That doesn’t really seem fair.

      I think the proposed government payout is fair and actually quite generous. But I also think something needs to be done about option #2 where the insurance says “government declarations of land are nothing to do with us”, because the insurance companies *do* take land and location into account when you pay your premiums. Eg if you’re in a flood zone, you pay extra for flood protection as it is expected that you’re more likely to suffer loss. Obviously houses are made to be lived in, and if you can’t live in your house because the government has declared the land unfit for purpose (and indeed they won’t be building services any time soon) then I don’t really see that as being different than your house being flooded and growing hazardous-to-health mold forcing the house to be abandoned, which insurance would (should?) also cover.

      • tsmithfield 2.1.1

        See my post below.

        I think the government has essentially put people in the same circumstance with their insurance company that they would have been if their house was in the green zone in equivalent circumstances. This is fair enough. Otherwise, those in the red zone would be better off than those in the green zone with equivalent damage.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      My understanding is that the liquefaction problem in detail has been identified fairly recently, and while it may be on the LIM , doesnt mean it was there when the place was built.
      As well even those who knew of the word ,’ liquefaction’ before September would have thought it would occur to such a great extent. Or that there would be 3 big quakes

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Dude don’t forget this 1996 TV documentary on the damage an earthquake could do to Christchurch.

        Plenty has been known about the dangers of liquefaction in Christchurch for years now.

        • Puddleglum

          Plenty has been known about the dangers of liquefaction in Christchurch for years now.

          Not sure if you’re talking about the general population of Christchurch or not. Perhaps some small fraction of the educated middle-classes knew about this but to most ordinary people, a LIM report is what they get their lawyer to ‘ok’. See my comment below.

          How many people watched that doco? I don’t remember the queues at Hoyts (if those horror houses were around then).

          Having said all of that, you’re right. Successive councils and governments have known about the ‘badlands’ out east for decades and decades (not to mention the first settlers). You should check out the official to-ing and fro-ing over establishing Aranui (from what I hear).

    • I’ve bought a few houses in the East and other affected areas in my time (we’ve shifted a lot) – Richmond (twice), St Albans, Sydenham-Beckenham (twice). Every one of them had ‘liquefaction’ clauses in them.

      I asked my lawyer about them once and he said words to the effect ‘Over half the houses in Christchurch have that on the LIM. The council puts them on just to cover itself but nobody has ever had a problem with it.’

      In his view, it wasn’t anything to get fussed about. That was the general attitude – in hindsight you could say that was a ‘foolish’ attitude, but just about every house purchaser in Christchurch pretty much ignored those clauses (including those from ‘the West’ who bought plenty of investment properties out that way).

      The difference in house prices in Christchurch pre-earthquake had next to nothing to do with the ‘danger’ of liquefaction and everything to do with status and ‘amenity’.  To try to rewrite history and claim that differences in land values had something to do with that ‘danger’ is far fetched (to put it politely).

      To then use that as some post hoc justification for why some people will be left unable to have their own home after being forced to leave their own is just plain peculiar. (BTW, Hornby is in ‘the West’ with its ‘high quality, stable land’ yet I think you’ll find, oddly enough, that its land values were lower than most places in Avonside/Dallington.)

  3. Trevor Mallard 3

    No liquefaction risk on the Avonside Red Zone lim report I’m looking at now. The deal just doesn’t work – some of the people involved lifted mortgage payments as a way of getting clear, doing extra saving for a new house, and Brownlee’s arrangement move them to negative equity. If their damage was worse they would have been better off. Weird.

    • Mark M 3.1


      your flogging a dead horse as usual.
      The deal is fair .
      Weve had a disaster down here and we are all worse off.

      Our lives will never be the same.
      It would be helpful if you guys stopped seeing our plight as a political opportunity.

      • Eddie 3.1.1

        can you explain how the deal is fair to David Haywood?

        It’s not politicising to point out the government’s solution doesn’t work for many, or even most. There are fixes for the problems with National’s package. Again, it is responsible, not political, to talk about those fixes.

        What would you have the people of Christchurch and NZ do, silently and gratefully accept whatever the government comes up with just because it happens to be a tory government?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Thats right , while the zone process is a positive step forward, the details seem otherwise to be presented as a fait accompli for the residents, except for the insurance companies who got to know earlier and could influence the outcome.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          It seems fair because he gets the value of the house based on his G.V.

          would be more useful if he stated what his G.V. was.

          He knew exactly what he was buying:

          “For old houses the book value is usually much less than the total replacement cost”

          My first house was the same – low G.V., almost 100 years old, 12 foot stud, lots of heart rimu, 2200 square feet.

          I had taken out replacement cover too but knew it was never going to be able to be replaced with heart rimu if something happened to it. The replacement was for superior building materials as opposed to standard.

          I suspect his policy will say the same. The insurance company was quite clear it could never offer a policy to rebuild with the same high ceilings and heart rimu and stained glass windows imported from Italy. I at least had those sorts of discussions with them so I knew what was realistic in terms of my expectation.

          I’m not sure if he has been arguing for an increase in his G.V. over the last few years because he felt it undervalued his house but I suspect not.

          If he has a beef it’s with the insurance company over his policy interpretation not with the government.

          I well support the welfare state but it’s role is not to put people back in the same position as they were previously e.g. ACC is only 80% of your earnings, benefits are set at lower than the minimum wage ( still not high enough they should be at least $30-00 per week more) but to put them back into a reasonable position.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yeah the social welfare state is there to make sure that people can get going again and keep going in their lives without any undue hardship and with adequate and quality support; it’s not there to give you your old life back however.

          • Eddie

            I’m not sure how you missed point but here it is: he is insured for replacement but can’t get replacement because his house, despite being in red zone, is not an insurance write-off.

            under the government’s options he can a) take QV which won’t get a replacement for that house b) get inadequate QV on the land and get the assessed damage on his house. In either situation, he’s $200K out of pocket.

          • Eddie

            Key and Brownlee promised to protect the value in people’s homes. Clearly, this isn’t happening under the inadequate plan they’ve some up with.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              I’m not sure how you missed the point that QV will get him a replacement house – to the value of his QV.

              It won’t get him more than that seems quite clear.

              Put another way:

              Pre earthquake house G.V. $350,000 rebuild value $550,000

              Post Earthquake house rebuild $350,000

              Value maintained

              Post earthquake rebuild $550,000 value increased by $200,000

              Which one of these things is not like the other?

              • Eddie

                to the value of 2007 QV is the problem. There’s the issue that the QV undervalued a lot of the land in question and wasn’t in line with the market.

                The fact that Option 2 exists is an acknowledgement that many people will be worse off if they take Option 1. The problem is that insurers won’t pay out replacement on these homes, so Option 2 doesn’t work either.

                There are people who have mortgages on red zone properties that are larger than 2007 QV.

                And you’re dreaming if you think that QV on a Bexley property is going to be enough to build anything like the same quality house out west during a major skills and materials shortage.

                Allowance for these factors needs to be made. It is not the fault of these people that their houses were ruined. It could have been you or me. I doubt your QV would get a house like yours built. Mine certainly wouldn’t.

                Key promised people wouldn’t be worse off. There’s no reason for him to break that promise.

                • Lanthanide

                  Eddie, see my 2.1.

                  Why should someone who bought a cheaper house out east, end up with a section/house as valuable as someone who bought one outright out west to begin with, just because the house out east got broke?

                  IMO the government deal is right. The problem is the insurers claiming that land being marked as uninhabitable doesn’t make the house on that land unrepairable.

                  • Zetetic

                    Lanth. Problem is the insurance companies are right. They can argue a) you sold the land b) force majeure. They have no legal obligation to pay replacement on a house that isn’t a total write-off. You can’t expect them to act out of the goodness of their hearts in our capitalist paradigm.

                    This is why the govt should have done what I suggested:

                    “say to insurers, you will treat every home in red zone as a complete write-off and activate replacement clauses, the Crown will pay you back the difference when replacement exceeds actual insured damage.”

              • Zetetic

                if 2007 GV was the final answer that works for everyone, there would be no option 2

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        It would be helpful if you guys stopped seeing our plight as a political opportunity.

        It would be even more helpful if Brownlee communicated more clearly and quickly to the people of Christchurch what the next steps are.

        And if he doesn’t, don’t expect LAB to be quiet about his failures.

      • Puddleglum 3.1.3

        Mark M, please stop trying to claim to speak for ‘all of us’.

        • Mark M

          sorry puddlegum , you are obviously one who is better off because of the quake.
          good luck to you

  4. tsmithfield 4

    I think the solution is fair and workable for most.

    Firstly, lets assume the land wasn’t red zoned. In that case, those who had complete write-offs would get a new house under a full replacement policy on their existing section. Those who had repairable damage would get their existing house repaired. So some would end up far better off just on the basis of the terms of their insurance policy. This is the position that the government has essentially put people into. Those who have write-offs can go and by land somewhere else, rebuild and get a new house. Those with repairable damage can purchase an equivalent house somewhere else. As would be the case whether the land was written off or not, those with a totalled house are potentially in a very favourable situation long-term.

    Secondly, the assumption that there are not affordable houses or sections is incorrect. Firstly, most of the city, including many eastern areas has been zoned green. Those who take the house and land settlement package will be able to purchase similar houses in equivalent locations in the east where prices have become very depressed, and where there are plenty of people who are likely to list their houses due to the uncertainty of zoning having prevented them from doing so until late. It may well be that those getting a settlement at 2007 valuations can by a property in the east for much cheaper now. So far as section prices go, my parents have a CV for the land on their Horseshoe lake property at $196000. They have purchased a section in a really nice subdivision at Wigram Skies for $180000.

    Thirdly, the assumption some are making that 2007 valuations are not a good benchmark is wrong. My wife is a real-estate agent, and has often been selling houses at below the 2007 GV due to the depressed property market. Those considering their options shouldn’t be looking at the asking prices on properties. My wife has been finding that properties often sell for $20k-$30k below the asking price.

    Fourthly, the criticism in the article above that the GV solution was easy and should have been announced much earlier misses the point. The main areas of difficulty that has taken the time is deciding the boundaries for the red zone that have been extending with each major quake, and also the protracted negotiations with the insurance companies and reinsurers to come on board with the solution and continue offering insurance. The government would have to get the insurance companies to agree to contribute to damaged repairable houses even though the damage may never actually be repaired.

    Fifthly, the idea that the property market will be flooded and push up prices is incorrect. There are a lot of subdivisions coming online, including the Prestons one that has just been given the green light. This is a huge subdivision for 6000 houses. Considering that there are only 5000 houses in the red zone, that some of these may not be total write-offs, that some will take the money and leave the city, and that the official advice is that most of the orange zone will end up as green, it is unlikely that there will be a demand for houses that will overwhelm the supply. Most rebuilding will take place on existing sections rather than new ones. Also, as mentioned earlier, the housing market has been depressed and falling. The increase in demand for second-hand properties will probably help stabalise values rather than increase them IMO.

    Sixthly, consider what the situation would have been if the government hadn’t come up with this solution. The maximum payout for land from EQC was 50000 (plus GST). For those in the red zone with no damage all they would have got would have been $50000 (plus GST). Those with some damage might have got the cash in hand for the value for the repair of the house as well if their policy allowed for this or if their insurance company was feeling generous. So, the solution is much much better than the previous situation.

    • Eddie 4.1

      “I think the solution is fair and workable for most.”

      well, that’ll depend. Everyone seems to be saying they’ll be somewhat worse off. Anyway, the issue isn’t whether you can make it work for most, it’s making it work for all. Making it work for most is the easy part. Making it work for all is why Brownlee has had 9 months at quarter of a million dollars a year and wartime power.

      “Firstly, lets assume the land wasn’t red zoned”

      Let’s not. The alternative to Brownlee’s plan isn’t ‘do nothing’ it’s ‘do better’

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        “Anyway, the issue isn’t whether you can make it work for most, it’s making it work for all.”

        You’re dreaming if you think you can get a solution that works for everyone. Anyway, there is scope for people to negotiate where they think the CV doesn’t accurately reflect true value, so CV is not necessarily fixed in stone. I just helped my Dad at his place in Horseshoe Lake. I was talking to the neighbours across the road. Their CV is $341000 for a 60 year old red brick house. They could get a near new house in Belfast for that sort of money these days.

        “Let’s not. The alternative to Brownlee’s plan isn’t ‘do nothing’ it’s ‘do better’”

        No. The governments job is to ensure that people in the red zone are on equal footing with those in the green zone. The solution the government has come up with effectively does this. To go any further would be to advantage them over those in the green zone, which would be unfair to those in the green zone.

        • Eddie

          the government promised that people would not be left worse off. You can’t go shifting the goal posts on them now.

          • Lanthanide

            “You can’t go shifting the goal posts on them now.”

            But Key always does. “North of $50 a week tax cuts”, “We’d love to see wages drop”, “This mine has as high safety standards as Australia”.

          • tsmithfield

            Nah. They said they would preserve their equity. They have done that. 2007 GV is pretty good because houses have been selling for less than that. No way would I pay $341k for the house I mentioned in my last post.

            If people have entered into financial arrangements that were stupid from the start, in that they paid too much, then they may not have any equity to preserve, or may be negatively geared. However, that’s not the government’s fault.

          • Puddleglum

            Key already has shifted the goal posts.

            Key said the deal would allow people to buy another home and “hopefully” restore their equity.

            Promise – then ‘hope’.

    • Chris 4.2

      The dodgy aspect to the Preston sub- division being given the green light is that it is not entirely true. The truth is that the council withdrew it’s opposition to the resource consents the day after the announcement. What happened to cause this sudden reversal. Was there a full council meeting to come up with this “flip flop” or was it bob and tony up to their old tricks. Furthermore it’s a fact of life that tories are only fair and generous when there is is something in it for them.

      • Zetetic 4.2.1

        there’s already suggestion the govt might spin a profit out of this, getting to build up and sell remediated land in ten years time, most of the cost now netted out by EQC and insurers. Meanwhile, homeowners are left tens of thousands short of being able to afford to replace their homes.

        • tsmithfield

          “Meanwhile, homeowners are left tens of thousands short of being able to afford to replace their homes.”

          Wrong. They’re not. Most of the east side is green zone. There are plenty of properties over there in the price range people will be able to afford.

          • Zetetic

            same quality houses for same price as their GV?

            If so, why does option 2 exist?

            Why are lots of people saying that they’ll be left short?

            Or do you know David Haywood’s situation better than he?

            • tsmithfield

              Option 2 exists for people like my father who’s house has been completely written off in the red zone. He gets 196000 as the CV for his existing house at 2007 values and has purchased a section in a good subdivision for $180000. The insurance company will build him a brand new house to replace his 60 year old one so he ends up approx 130k better off.

              • Colonial Viper

                The insurance company will build him a brand new house to replace his 60 year old one

                I think some problems arise when the insurance company refuses to acknowledge replacement value on a red zone house.

          • Puddleglum

            Wrong. They’re not. Most of the east side is green zone. There are plenty of properties over there in the price range people will be able to afford.”

            Wrong. If someone loses equity and cannot replace that equity in their home they have, as Zetetic argues, ended up “tens of thousands short” from this ‘great deal’. Whether or not they can now afford (depreciated) houses out east is entirely irrelevant to the calculation of what they have lost. If they could buy one of those houses they would not, in doing that, have been able to “replace their homes” (If I can still afford a caravan have I been able to ‘replace my home’?).

  5. Descendant Of Smith 5

    I think there does need to be a government loan aspect though as well. for instance many people will not have paid off their mortgage and may no longer have a job, those who have retired and of course there is the uninsured who I would think once a policy is developed might only have the value of their land paid out possibly.

    As some of these people may not be able to get a loan from a bank (are the banks really going to give a $200,000 mortgage to someone who has lost their job?) and presumably the banks will have first call on their money to pay off their existing mortgage these people may not be able to move back into home ownership without some government support.

    Lending to me is much more equitable than simply paying out. The loans should be by way of printing more money not borrowing as well. If that drops the value of the dollar slightly that’s not a bad thing.

  6. Zetetic 6

    another issue. When will payments on buyouts be made?

    Do people have to leave when they get their money? Where will they go? New houses aren’t built. There’s not 5,000 habitable houses sitting empty.

    They’re going to be stuck in the current houses until the new ones are built. And the government will have to buy now so they have money to pay for the building. Contracts will have to allow for continuing occupation after sale. Has Gerry thought about this? No sign he has. He was talking about people making use of remaining relocation insurance until they can sign the buy out contracts in 8 weeks. As if they can all just leave then.

    If they do have to leave then, they’ll be leaving Christchurch too.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      They’re working on temporary accommodation now. They announced a tender, or the results of the tender, a few weeks ago. The temporary houses are supposed to last 3-5 years and at the end of it can be sold off for us as granny flats in people’s yards etc.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Japan’s had temporary portable housing being built for a month or two now, in response to the March Fukushima disaster.

  7. grumpy 7

    And then again – From The Red Zone. The insurance “Industry” lives up to it’s reputation.

    Building owners are told that full replacement does not mean a building of the same size – apparently that is “betterment”.

    Also, the City Council now wants rebuilds to be “green” – read “more expensive”.

    The upshot is that the building owners will either take the money and build tilt slabs in the suburbs or worse, take the money and shoot through elsewhere – to other cities.

    Either way Christchurch CBD remains a wasteland.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Also, the City Council now wants rebuilds to be “green” – read “more expensive”.

      I have no doubt this means that upfront costs will be more expensive, but there should be good long term returns on investment from this move.

      However, I know that this doesn’t help people who are facing an insurance shortfall right now though.

  8. The biggest fishhook are those who do not have home insurance. I am not sure if this solution has been given for the without insurance group. A housing NZ home with no time limit during the property owners life time with a new category of rent.

    I am left wondering if people without home insurance not residing in Christchurch have purchased insurance?

    Life is not easy and those with money always have more options than those without money in time of crisis.

  9. MrSmith 9

    Gerry doesn’t think, like the rest of the Nac’t he Reacts, (we have a knee-jerk reaction government) when people start jumping up&down, starting fires, or even questioning Gerrys back of the envelope sums, what happens? yes you guessed it, in fly’s Wonkey with the big sticking plaster, cameras rolling, Superman suit on, fake applause, all fixed, Daddy key the hero, on to the next fire! If this lot had to think for even a few minutes I would expect the lights to dim.
    Seriously though; what you do expect after having payed your Insurance or (EQC levies) for years. You expect when the time comes to call on these savings (and thats what they are really), then you should at-least be no worse of financially as a result, thats why I pay my insurance, not so if I crash my car or my house burns down I end up with Half a car or half a house and if these Nitwits can’t sort this out then they should be thrown out of office at the first chance we get, Oh hang on, we get a chance in a few months!

    • Treetop 9.1

      What I want to know is how much each of the main player insurance companies are worth? Oh they thought the big one would not happen. Will the next big one is going to be insurance companies going under just like finance companies. And what is the government going to do? Probably panic because there is an election in five months and/or blame the insurance companies.

  10. Don 10

    Paul “lots of ” Homes once again gently sucks the balls of his National party masters and tells us this weekend that it’s all kind of Labours fault, fuck you idiot man, go away and look after your family

    • MrSmith 10.1

      Hear you Don, unfortunately his immediate family is a $200 a day Crystal meth user, but I here he still finds the time to go around taking about the evil P epidemic, to ease his conscience no doubt. Classic homes, blame someone else for your shortcoming!

  11. MrSmith 11

    P/S If you have no insurance and someone (the Government) says the land that your uninsured house is sitting on is now unfit for habitation, then I would expect to be compensated fully by the someone (the Government) thats making the said decision.
    When you are in the position of making decisions about peoples life savings, then there are consequences from these decisions, this involves sitting down and thinking about these consequences, but thinking is something Gerry has little time for, unless it’s between an “up size or a regular?”.

    • grumpy 11.1

      If someone is uninsured, then a number of possible scenarios exist:

      1. If the house is munted, then the Govt should pay out for the land.


      • grumpy 11.1.1

        I give up……not even the edit button……….can someone take down the couple of previous uncompleted comments?

        [lprent: Done – left the last one in since it had a reply. ]

  12. Exactly.

    I have no special insurance on my teeth (unlike Ken Dodd – is he still alive?). If Gerry were to decree that I have to have them all pulled out, I’d expect to get compensation from him for their loss. (Frighteningly, he probably does have the power to make that decree … you know, to make sure they won’t be damaged in any future aftershocks and be a drain on the provision of health infrastructure.)

    More seriously, if some people have made the ‘choice’ not to insure their house; their house was not damaged; the house was then ‘red zoned’ (and so no insurer, even if they had been insured, would have paid them anything); why should they miss out on the compensation? They made a choice (not to insure) and that ‘bet’ actually was a winner (they had no damage). Why should we begrudge them the logical consequence of their win (compensation)? Should we begrudge it just because we are morally outraged (or, perhaps, envious) that they got away without insuring themselves? I thought right wingers would laud them for their successful ‘risk taking’/gambling.

    Think about it.

    • Treetop 12.1

      Should we begrudge it just because we are morally outraged (or, perhaps, envious) that they got away with insuring themselves?

      This weekend no doubt people got into their car under the influence of alcohol and drove and had an accident which resulted in being admitted to hospital. People who smoke and end up with lung cancer are also not refused hospital treatment. Even though a person self inflicts damage apon themself it is inhuman to treat them with disdain.

      The number without home insurance is about 50.

  13. ZeeBop 13

    The west is on a winner, since less housing stock means higher demand. Unless the people take the money and walk, with broadband many small towns start becoming very viable, what happens when only the wealthy can afford to live in ChCh? And then there’s Australia, its not like National want people to stay in NZ. There are a lot of very pleasant places in NZ and Australia. And what about the Eastern suburbs? That Art gallery, with all the glass is still standing, why? because is ‘floats’ instead of sinking in liquidified soils. So how easy would it be to create a cheap foundation for ChCh circumstances, the infrastructure is mapped out, the sewage and water, etc, all connected, seems a waste not to rebuild. But the additional cost of the higher standard foundations and buildings might only be justified if the buildings were 3 or four stories. And the you get a whole different 21st living experience, a better ChCh.
    So as a NI taxpayer sure, there are options for people and opportunities for ChCh, there are also risks, and poor choices.

  14. ropata 14

    I lived on Rocking Horse Rd for a few years, on the New Brighton sandspit. It’s a wonderful affordable seaside location. Demand could pick up again given a few years of stability

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