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Friday, August 3, 2012

EQC update – drilling and repairs

EQC updated their website today with information on the number and location of substantive repairs (complete with map) plus what is happening with the drilling programme.

The web page is here.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

TC3 residential rebuild

CERA have released a booklet called TC3 residential rebuild: Information about the Canterbury residential rebuild for homeowners.

The contents of the booklet cover:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Who does what land assessments?
  • What do Building & Housing guidance and geotechnical drilling programmes mean for homeowners?
  • What do EQC land damage reports mean for homeowners?
  • The process – diagram
  • What do flood management areas mean for landowners?
  • Eight key questions on technical categories

The booklet can be downloaded from here.

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Dealing with hard bargainers

Everyone with a damaged house or in the residential Red Zone has found, or one day will find, themselves negotiating with EQC, their insurance companies and those who work for them (Fletcher EQR, Arrow, Hawkins and the like).

As occurs in some of the professions, those doing the negotiating have a set of commercial requirements and professional ethics that bind them to behave in a certain way.  Which is fine for them, but a cause of disquiet for many who come up against them. Why? Because sometimes professional ethics seem to exclude what the lay person would consider fairness, decency, openness and honesty.

Some of this disquiet arises because homeowners don’t have a full appreciation of the way their insurance policy is being interpreted. What seemed to be clear at the beginning becomes increasingly less clear and confidence fades away.

In some cases it is because of the stance being taken by the insurer or their agent: e.g. unless you specifically ask about a policy entitlement some companies do not volunteer the information. Many with a knowledge of WINZ will understand this tactic. Sometimes the approach of the agent is hurried, unfriendly, or incoherent which creates a difficult discussion environment.

Nigel Dunlop, an Auckland barrister, is an accomplished mediator with many years of experience. On his website (here) are a number of articles based on the mediation work he has done. Of particular interest are articles about the bargaining ploys and tactics used by experienced  practitioners, people similar to those you may come across when dealing with insurance issues, or the council, CERA and some politicians.

A few starting points would be (click on the title to go to the article):

Reading them can be hard work, and may not make you better at putting your case, but you will have an insight into what approaches some on the “other side” may use. None of the articles will solve the puzzle of why the conduct is considered to be ethical in the first place.

What reading Mr Dunlop’s articles does reinforce is the necessity for an advocacy service. All the tribunals in the world will not redress the power and skills imbalance that exist between individuals, and those that seek to delay, minimise and deny legal entitlements. Could it be that Minister Brownlee, in agreeing to look at a tribunal system, knows he can appear to be doing good (making a concession) while not changing the imbalance in any material way (a misleading concession)?

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Demolition of QE II to begin soon

The Christchurch City Council released this media statement today (here):

Demolition of most of the QEII Park Recreation and Sport is to begin soon and will take about 18 weeks.

The contractor will be on site this week, fencing will be erected, some retrievals actioned and then the demolition will begin. This preliminary process will take two to three weeks.

In April Christchurch City Council received a Notice of Demolition under Section 38(4) of the CER Act from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA). The Council has since agreed to the demolition and CERA has awarded the contract for demolition to Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited.

Buildings to be demolished are the main stadium building, the covered stand, the north and south open stands and the athletics track. At this stage, the 50-metre pool is not being demolished but the Council is continuing to identify whether any additional buildings at the site will be included in the demolition process. Any further demolition decisions will be made by elected members of Council.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More background information on the new central city

The CCDU (Christchurch Central Development Unit) have added an FAQ page to their website (here).

The contents of the page so far are:

    • General
    • The Recovery Plan
    • Planning and Consents
    • Designation of land
    • Land Acquisition
    • Government as a tenant and employer
    • Roles
    • Delivery of the Anchor Projects
    • Economy
    • The Blueprint 100 Consortium
    • Virtual Data Room

Red Cross Canterbury Earthquakes Recovery Update July 2012

The New Zealand Red Cross have published their July 2012 update.

Over 24 pages the recovery update summarises work in Christchurch and across the country including distribution of grants, outreach programmes, 22 February anniversary and our work with Australian Red Cross. It reports on the grants paid out, information on some of the beneficiaries, and gives a full accounting of money received and how it has been used. The report is here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The plan for a new central city

Lots of information has been released on the design for the new CBD. Here are a few links to both general and specific information from the main players. Click on the topic name to open it in another tab or window.

Media releases

Impressive projects anchor a compact, green city (Ministerial release)

Striking a balance between between investment and community (Mayor)

Fancy stuff with pictures

The Plan for a new central city (Christchurch Central Development Unit or CCDU)

Introducing the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan (Video – CCDU)

This is what we will build (CCDU)

The Plan

A copy can be downloaded from here.

Finance and investment

New unit will facilitate CBD investment (Ministerial release)

Property acquisition

Discussion to begin on securing city land (Ministerial release)

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