Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Tower Insurance Have Some Bad News For You

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  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to David Haywood,

    2. In due course, the government will onsell our land to property developers. Given that it’s a prime riverfront section, given that the land isn’t significantly damaged, and given that all the state and council houses will be gone – then the government could well make a profit on this also.

    I suggest that people check out last month's Metro story about a Government selling Crown owned land in Albany, North Auckland to err "property developers" (Singaporean/Malay 'developers') at a fire sale price who then onsold a few years later at a hefty profit margin.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 635 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Sacha,

    Snipped from Fran O'Sullivan and reposted by Sacha

    Cabinet Ministers would have been well aware that more than one international reinsurer has been contemplating legal action against the Christchurch City Council over why developments took place on land which could obviously be compromised by a significant earthquake.

    Wearing my elected rep hat:

    It's a shame that a court case hasn't occurred. It certainly would give much needed spine to planners and hearing commissioners who apparently cannot seem to put the letters N and O together in any emphatic fashion.

    Blaming a shonky District Plan is wearing thin.

    Doffing said hat.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 635 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    David, I've been watching this thread and feeling increasingly enraged and hopeless; this loophole trickery is just awful. I don't know how these people look at themselves in the mirror, knowing that they are ruining the lives of people caught in a disaster, just to earn their annual bonus. I hope they suffer sleepless nights wrestling with their consciences, though I have my doubts.

    On our River Road side of the river, we have houses that are nearly intact, but which will be removed because they are in the red zone. They will no doubt be in your situation as well, if the insurers keep to this legal trick. And even for people like us, who've got emails saying "your house is unable to be repaired", we could now find that insurers are suddenly discovering that houses are repairable after all - then they won't have to pay any red zone valuations in full. This is turning into a national disgrace, so much for Brownlee and Key's "preserving owners' equity" mantra.

    One possible avenue of assistance, besides the insurance ombudsman which has already been mentioned, is your neighbourhood group which is part of CanCERN. We had a Richmond-Shirley CanCERN meeting at Shirley Intermediate yesterday and were told they have pro-bono assistance from a law firm (Mortlock McCormack) to help with these issues. See http://cancern.org.nz/ for neighbourhood reps and contact addresses, and to join their email networks.

    I can't speak highly enough of the work being done by this group, who also have several members on the community forum announced a few days ago. Best wishes, keep your flag waving.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gregor Ronald,

    Brownlee and Key's "preserving owners' equity" mantra

    Might be wisest to read that as owners of shares in property development and international reinsurance companies.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Arbor1,

    Davis, you (or Tower more correctly) are confusing two separate issues . You hold a policy with Tower for full replacement cost in the event of a catastrophe . Item 1.
    Catastrophe occurs , house is munted liability falls on Tower to replace said insured house
    THEN

    Item 2. Government enacts RedZone and sats to Tower , you cannot rebuild on this site . As I see this , not your problem but Towers as they are obliged to complete their contractual liability and rebuild/replace your house Now evidently somewhere else . You may have to fork out for the land as that was not insured by Tower but that si a separate issue and one that is covered under Gerry Brownlees scheme I believe

    Do NOT let these bastards wear your down!!!

    Tauranga • Since Jun 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    t is unlikely the Government will deem any area so badly damaged it must be abandoned.

    Mr Brownlee said yesterday that no area was too damaged to be fixed.

    “All land can be repaired,” he said.

    And there I see it all in a nutshell, Throughout this process, Demolition have been given the scavenging rights, Certain developers will be given contracts too I bet, with the reasoning that the land is worthless so the need for the fire sale. Then, the land will be deemed repairable at lightening speed and we will see rows of ticky,tacky mcmansions (no state housing) on the River Avon. And we will see more editorials about how lucky all the Cantabrians are because the city is better than it ever was. There will even be enough space in one of the red zones now ready for a stadium. The Rugby World cup will prove the need for one. Rates will go up, insurance is up, real estate will skyrocket.
    People and their feelings do not play a part in any of these solutions. They, never did. This is almost psychosocial manipulation or somesuch. They do not care,because you are not a dollar bill. you are now merely an inconvenience. You have become part of the fire sale.
    Jesus Christ on a stick!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5699 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5699 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    What's the council gonna do?

    Interesting.

    Another earthquake in Christchurch could prove the most costly yet, with the city's insurance policies expiring on Thursday and no commercial insurers willing to touch Canterbury.

    The Waimakariri and Christchurch councils have been told they won't get new earthquake cover, leaving the councils - or the Government - having to pay if assets such as AMI Stadium, the Town Hall, the convention centre, all council buildings and even underground infrastructure are further damaged.

    Councils have been forced to go cap-in-hand to the Government.

    In Christchurch's case, the above-ground assets it owns are worth $1.85 billion.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Arbor1,

    Whilst I think your argument is fair and possibly worth pursuing, after watching the leaky home saga up this end of the long white cloud, these corporations and I include the Council and the Government here have shown the spiralling hole one has to be prepared to deal with, in order to be apeased. My one fear is that, that hole must be lined with gold wrapped in what would become bought silence, which at the end of the day won't help the situation as a whole which this needs to be.Shitty situation.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5699 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Who would be liable: elected officials, council staff, the council itself?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • andrew gunn,

    David I'm afraid I have nothing constructive to add. But it has occurred to me that this is twice now that you have managed to turn out a compelling earthquake-related piece in extreme circumstances where the bottom is falling out of your world (and quite possibly the world is falling out of your bottom). So massive non-seismic ups to you on that score. Have you considered becoming a war correspondent?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2009 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    From a past president of the South Island branch of the Property Council

    “Obviously the developers couldn’t buy the local politicians and public officials off fast enough in Dallas Fort Worth to overcome the zoning impediment – but they have been trying as this article Fed Up: Texas Monthly November 2007 illustrates. It goes on pretty much everywhere of course – but only illustrates how zoning tends to assist in inflating prices and stalling supply responses.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0711/S00303.htm

    Since May 2007 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sofie, re leaky homes, my sister has been working on a documentary on that issue (for years) which will be screened on TV1 on Wed 6 July, 9.30. Even the making of the doco has been an endless saga.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the (Light)house always wins...

    It’s like insurance companies have no responsibility at all to do any kind of research into the risks they are taking with the things they insure. If not, how do they ever justify being paid a premium?

    That's right, as I understand it they (Insurance Companies) employ highly paid, and trained, actuaries to analyse all the angles -
    they surely must have run these future scenarios, and you'd think they'd have arrived at this particular reality in one of them - I mean, they have been collecting EQC levies as part of Insurance policies for quite some time now, what did they think that was for?

    So they would have had to come to the conclusion that this might impact on them and the finer points of their cover, or were they thinking that as heavy gamblers they could load the dice in their own favour - or maybe it's more that they are like Casino owners who think they have the odds covered (and the table rigged) with us hapless punters going, cap in hand, to the only game in town...
    I suspect they knew all about this possible outcome a long time ago and have not so much lied, as committed sins of commission, er omission by not being upfront and allowing people to believe they might one day win!

    Tom Waits sings the Insurance Signature Tune:
    Step Right Up... everyone's a winner...

    Just remember that the large print giveth,
    and the small print taketh away...


    Psychic Sofie...

    And we will see more editorials about how lucky all the Cantabrians are because the city is better than it ever was. There will even be enough space in one of the red zones now ready for a stadium.

    ...and here they come... where some nameless twit goes all over the place in The Press.

    Much of the red-zoned residential areas are close to the Avon River, Horseshoe Lake and the Estuary. This creates the chance for Christchurch to adopt an ambitious plan for this land.

    Especially if subdivisions push out the boundaries of urban development, the land has potential to become a valuable and accessible recreational facility. Developed and replanted well, it would appeal to walkers, joggers and cyclists, while an increase in habitat for birdlife would also be welcome.

    The land could also be the basis of a world-class marathon route and if Christchurch decided it wanted to host a V8 supercar race, the riverside could provide a stunning circuit.

    Although these are issues for the future, consideration of them must begin now as the city prepares to move forward to respond to the earthquake disaster by taking a bold and visionary approach to all aspects of the recovery.

    I especially like the bit where we could have increased habitat for bird life and a stunning V8 supercar circuit or circus on the same land...

    I hope City CEO Tiny Emirate, er Tony Marryatt doesn't see that idea, I think he helped saddle Hamilton with their V8 white elephant, and I think he's also been pushing for the pointless toy tram set round Chch - oddly we have heard virtually nothing from the city's CEO since the first earthquake to date - apart from the fact that he wants to stay in his cushy job for another 5 years (with more pay increases I'm sure) while ex-tv host Bob Parker and part-time clown and Elvis impersonator Aaron Keown (aka the Clowncillor) threaten to throw their toys out of the cot if their babysitter is replaced - sad times!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4199 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @Ian. Tony Marryatt. Hmm! You don ’t really want him in charge, given the shonky deals he wrangled when he was up this way. Tiny Emirate--great!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Gregor Ronald,

    I don't know how these people look at themselves in the mirror, knowing that they are ruining the lives of people caught in a disaster, just to earn their annual bonus. I hope they suffer sleepless nights wrestling with their consciences, though I have my doubts.

    A culture of studied and furtive contempt for those you profess to serve probably helps. While I don't know, and couldn't really care, what that bizarre Yip Yip does when he/she isn't delivering specious homilies, their gratuitous aside about those awful people who deliberately torched their properties following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake shows something of this creepy mindset.

    Once upon a time a gung-ho used car salesman who'd had a couple of drinks too many told me that he owed his success to a certain "method", formulated by a cult figure in his industry. This method was based on one great tenet, which he declined to reveal. After a couple more drinks and a little coaxing he did. "Look, the public think that used car salesmen are the biggest bunch of crooks and cheats out there, right? Well they're not. It's the bloody PUBLIC that are the biggest crooks and cheats. You should see the crap they try and put across with the trade-ins they bring in."

    Wouldn't surprise me if something of that get-the-bastards-before-they-get-you mindset is practised in certain areas of the insurance industry. It probably helps them sleep at night.

    Regarding Tiny Emirate - this allegation from the group currently trying to prise his fingers from the levers of power is bloody disturbing:

    The group was concerned Marryatt would impede Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton.

    "If Roger tries to get things done, they won't get done, because he [Marryatt] has a record of delaying things or tipping them up."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Kathryn Ryan discussing right now. (With one Dr. Haywood.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Kathryn Ryan discussing

    Ta for heads up.

    Streaming (23 mins) or
    Downloadable MP3 (8 MB)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Affected residents consider legal action; Brownlee confirms government knew about the problem.

    Christchurch lawyer Grant Cameron, who represented the families of those who died in the 1995 Cave Creek disaster, said he had been approached by a group of residents who were "disenchanted" with their insurance companies and the Government package.

    He would meet the residents today to discuss their concerns and determine a course of action.

    He could not go into the specifics of any case until he met them, but said a group action against insurance companies was one option.

    "People can find it very difficult to move ahead with their case without having a group behind them."

    Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said insurance companies had been "quite clear about their position" during several months of discussions with the Government.

    The potential problems around insurance policies were partially responsible for the Government's offer to purchase red-zone residents' homes and land, as well as their land alone, Brownlee said.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Deane Venske,

    --removed--

    Christchurch, New Zealand… • Since Jun 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Tony Marryatt. Hmm! You don ’t really want him in charge, given the shonky deals he wrangled when he was up this way.

    Geoff – any links you can point me at (and then on to reporters at the Press) we’ve already had one ex Hamilton Mayor say he was control freak and then to counter that some other Hamilton councillor say he was the best thing since sliced bread… the truth must lie somewhere between the two…
    Chch needs to know NOW as ostensibly job applications closed today – though all the Local Community Board heads here have asked for it to be halted – just the sort of unhelpful crap we don't need right now - thanks to Bob Perker and Aaron Klown...
    Personally I think I’m over this city and the slow diminishment of life’s joys, the last straw was this morning when I found our hot water cylinder pipe has cracked and has been drippng into our library for quite some time – I now have piles of expensive paper mulch, and sodden walls, enough already…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4199 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    As someone who cleared away similar expensive mulch (after an upstairs roof-leak I didnt discover for some weeks), I truly feel for you Ian-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    enough already…

    Jeez Ian, how awful.
    Meanwhile, does this mean that Tower just might have been shamed into doing the decent thing?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Meanwhile, does this mean that Tower just might have been shamed into doing the decent thing?

    I'd love to think so but isn't it just re-stating their current position?

    In a statement issued this morning Tower Group managing director Rob Flannagan said the company had received queries from a number of concerned customers and reassured red zone residents it would honour contracts.

    He said it would honour them whether customers chose to accept the Government offer of purchase for the entire property at 2007 rating value or to accept an offer for the land only and deal with their insurers about their house.

    "We understand that this is a complex and emotional decision for our customers - especially those who have damage to their homes that we would repair under their policy if the land was not in the red zone," Flannagan said.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    That's my reading of it too.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

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