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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Southern Response progress information

Southern Response have created a web page to make public their performance as measured against KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) they have set for themselves.

The following is from the page (here):

Southern Response has identified some key indicators which we will use to record our progress in settling over cap claims (claims which exceed EQC cover and have been passed to the private insurer to manage).

Each month, these figures will be updated, creating a record of Southern Response's progress as Canterbury moves through its rebuild.

We currently estimate our total claim exposure is $2.789b before EQC contributions; $1.934b after EQC contributions. 

We welcome suggestions for other data that customers may require to track our progress.  If this data is available and useful in a general sense, we will seek to supply it in future months.

The figures are broken down for the Red, White and Green zones and, within the Green Zone for TC1, TC2, and TC3.

The main information is provided in table form, with graphs below that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission – CTV enquiry: closing submissions on behalf of bereaved families and those injured

The Royal Commission has published an index of URL links to the published documents referenced in the closing submissions on behalf of bereaved families and those injured. The index is in PDF format and can be downloaded from here.

The submissions on behalf of bereaved families and those injured were read by Marcus Elliott, counsel assisting the Royal Commission, at the hearings today.  These submissions are here. The issues covered by Mr Elliott were:

  • Introduction
  • The Collapse
  • A history of missed opportunity
  • The Permit
  • Construction
  • The retrofit
  • Change of use
  • Post earthquake assessments
    • Christchurch City Council
    • John Drew
    • David Coatsworth
    • Dr Reay and Madras Equities Ltd
    • The demolition
    • Summary of missed opportunities
  • The fire
  • Dr Reay
  • Lessons
    • Codes
    • Peer review
    • Education
    • The design approach used
    • Post earthquake assessment
    • Building information
    • Design philosophy
  • Conclusion

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission–CTV enquiry, closing submissions

The Royal Commission has published the closing submissions of counsel assisting the Royal Commission. A copy can be downloaded from here.

The introduction to the submissions is a very concise and precise statement of the questions that arose as a result of the enquiry, and the possible roles played by individuals in the private sector, officers of the Christchurch City Council, and the building codes in place at the time.

The following is from the introduction:

11.     The evidence has revealed failings and weaknesses at a number of levels.  This includes the CCC regulatory processes in place at the time and the inadequacies of the post earthquake assessment processes carried out by the CCC.  However, the principal and critical failings occurred during the structural design work carried out by Dr Alan Reay’s firm.  For this both Mr David Harding and Dr Alan Reay must carry the responsibility.  The decisions they made about the structural design of the building are the primary cause of the CTV Building collapse.  In critical respects the Building they designed was not Code compliant and was dangerously vulnerable to any earthquake that took the Building any distance beyond its elastic response state and into an inelastic range.  There was no margin of safety provided for in the event that this occurred.

The above, and the whole of the document, needs to be read with the following in mind:

34.   In order that there is no confusion over the role that Counsel Assisting is playing at this stage of the Inquiry, it needs to be emphasised that the submissions of Counsel  Assisting are no more than that.  They set out the views that Counsel Assisting have reached on the evidence.  However, they play no greater role in this Inquiry than this.  It is entirely a matter for the Royal Commission as to whether they are accepted or rejected, in whole or in part.  The final decisions reached on the questions the ToR ask  about the CTV Building are solely within the province of the Royal Commission itself.

The submissions cover the following:

  • The Design Issues
  • The building permit
  • The collapse causes: ARCL’s theories
  • Code Compliance and Best Practice
    • Part 1: Legal Requirements at the time the permit was issued
    • Part 2: Non-Compliance with By-law 105
    • Part 3: Best Practice
  • Building Assessments
  • Construction Issues
  • Drag Bar Retrofit: the 1990 HCG report

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

CERA - Survey to gauge Cantabrians’ wellbeing

CERA are setting up an biannual survey, over a three year period, to investigate the many ways people have been affected by the earthquakes. That includes looking at the prevalence and causes of stress, quality of life, social connectedness, satisfaction with the recovery and any positive impacts people may be experiencing.

The survey is in two parts. The first is based on random selections from the electoral role – problematic in the eastern suburbs where significant enrolment issues were identified during last year’s election process. The second, which starts in early October, is a web based survey where anyone can take part.

The following are extracts from the CERA media release (here).

The Wellbeing Survey be undertaken in two parts.

  • First, Nielson is surveying a randomly selected representative sample of 2,500 residents.
  • Second, is an online survey available to all residents in October.

The Nielson survey of the representative sample began on 29 August and will continue until 14 October 2012. The 2,500 residents surveyed live in greater Christchurch (1,250 in Christchurch, plus 625 each in the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts) and are selected randomly from the electoral roll.

“We want to understand people’s wellbeing and recovery better. We need more information about how people are feeling in different parts of town and in the greater Christchurch area. From this, we can see what trends are emerging in different places in terms of wellbeing and identify where best to target resources.”

“The survey is not just for those who are worst affected by the quakes, it’s for all residents. It will allow all people in greater Christchurch to engage in dialogue about the progress of recovery.”

The data will be incorporated into the Canterbury Wellbeing Index which is designed to track the progress of recovery using indicators in areas such as housing, health and education.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index will be available on the CERA website later this year.

Action recommended on the Council’s Communications Audit

From a CCC media statement released yesterday (here):

Christchurch City Council’s Community, Recreation and Culture Committee today recommended the Council take a range of actions in response to the Communications Audit Review.

Committee Chair Yani Johanson says: “These issues are critical for our city in normal times, and even more so as we recover and rebuild after the earthquakes.

“The Communication Audit Report commissioned by the Mayor and Chief Executive raised a number of areas that needed improvement. Good communications, engagement and transparency are essential for a good recovery. I am hopeful that a number of actions today recommended by the Committee to Council will help change the culture of the organisation to serve our citizens better than before.”

The Committee’s recommendations include (some interesting bits highlighted):

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Greater Christchurch Recovery Update - Issue 13

CERA have published the September edition of the Greater Christchurch Recovery Update. An online version is here.

Issues covered are:

  • Support for a new Christchurch central city
  • Welcoming New Zealand's Olympians
  • Christchurch Central Recovery Plan
    • Land acquisition
    • Papa o Otakaro/Avon River Precinct
    • Invest Christchurch
  • Survey to gauge Cantabrians’ wellbeing
  • Residential red zone homeowners meet an important deadline
  • New start for long-time Southshore couple
  • "Cathedral Conversations"
  • Southshore residents take the lead in their own recovery
  • Central city punting returns
  • And updates from:
    • Gerry Brownlee, Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
    • Roger Sutton, CERA Chief Executive
    • Ngāi Tahu
    • SCIRT
    • EQC
    • Environment Canterbury
    • Christchurch City Council
    • Selwyn District Council
    • Waimakariri District Council

Insurance news

insuranceNEWS.com.au has published an analysis on how the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes has forced changes on New Zealand insurance companies.  It is interesting reading and pushes the boundaries of our understanding quite a bit:

The saviours of New Zealand policyholders and the country’s credit rating have been the Australian insurers which dominate the New Zealand industry – IAG, Suncorp, QBE and Lumley.

The analysis, Christchurch forces new realities on New Zealand insurance, is here.

Also on insuranceNEWS.com.au is an article Australian ownership saved top NZ insurers (here). It is quite probably true as there is also a short article, using Statistics New Zealand figures, Quakes sent NZ insurers into deficit in 2011 (here).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Earthquake Royal Commission – Building Management after Earthquakes

Today the Earthquake Royal Commission heard the first of two days of presentations from a number of specialists on building management after earthquakes.

The following are extracts from the opening address from Mark Zarifeh, counsel assisting the Royal Commission.

The hearing set down for the next two days will address the Terms of Reference requirement of the Royal Commission to inquire into the legal and best-practice requirements for the assessments and remedial work on buildings after an earthquake having regard to lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes and how those requirements compare to similar matters in other countries.

This hearing is an opportunity to consider the issues that were raised in those hearings and other issues in order to determine how we can ensure we have a post-earthquake building management system that meets legal and best-practice requirements.

Those submissions cover a wide range of issues, including:

  • the “trigger” to require a building assessment process
  • the test to be applied by engineers/inspectors to determine re-occupancy
  • the publics understanding of that test and the issue of “risk”
  • whether different considerations should apply to different types of buildings, such as URM buildings, multi-storey buildings or heritage buildings
  • the placarding system, in particular the green placards.
  • the transition from the emergency period to the recovery period and the legislative framework that provides for that.
  • the capabilities and training of engineers and building inspectors involved on the process.
  • Communication between engineers and the public over concepts such as “safe to occupy”

All of the presentations and other material can be found by going to the document library (here) and under Subject selecting “Building assessments after earthquakes”.