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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Information for AMI policy holders

AMI have released an earthquake information update, setting out what is happening in each of the zones, along with more detailed information for those in the Red Zone.

The information is in PDF form, and can be downloaded from here.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Some questions for insurance companies

As a residents' group we have tried to assess the issues we face with our respective insurance companies, and what might arise as we go through either the repair or rebuild process. Looking at the experiences of others, especially in Kaiapoi, it is clear that we cannot expect the process to be easy.

To canvas the likely issues there has been an e-mail survey and an ongoing exchange of views. The following list of questions and issues covers most of what has arisen. The list has been sent to those who might be able to work with insurance companies to produce answers, and is blogged here just in case it can help other groups or individuals. It is not a complete list but enough to get started with.

Those going down the EQC and Fletchers/EQR may also find some of the questions useful.

The list is lengthy so only the first part is visible. Click on the link at the end of the text below to read the rest. As usual: please let me know of any errors, omissions or confusion.

Some Questions for Insurance Companies

Note: XYZ is used as a generic acronym for insurance companies in general. PMO stands as a generic term for each insurance company's project manager.

1 Assessments
  • Assessments in the Red Zone have become a matter of utmost importance for both parties. Will XYZ allow full participation of the home-owners in the assessment?
  • If a house has already been deemed uneconomic to repair will re-assessments be made and, if so, why?
  • Will all issues identified be pointed out, described, and any significance explained, at the time of assessment? If not, when will they be?
  • Will home-owners be permitted to submit their own list of issues, and will this be added to the inspection file and form part of the decision making process?
  • Will XYZ/PMO agree that at the end of the inspection there will be no obligation, or pressure, to sign any agreement, acceptance or consent and that any agreement, acceptance or consent that is signed at the end of the inspection will be subject to a 7 day cooling-off period?
  • Does XYZ agree that where formal acceptance is required,  the process must be governed by the concept of informed consent i.e. home-owners can only be expected to sign a formal acceptance once the contents and ramifications are fully understood?
  • Does XYZ agree to make available a full copy of the assessment, along with any and all associated documents, before XYZ or PMO ask for consent to a project plan, to demolish, or to proceed with any other activity? 
  • Does XYZ agree that time will be allowed for home-owners to seek advice on the content of any agreement, acceptance, consent, or other document to be signed? (this process may include, but not be limited to,  obtaining advice from building specialists, geotechnical engineers, insurance companies, lawyers, mortgage holders.)
  • What process will XYZ provide for questioning or challenging  an assessment, the conclusions drawn from an assessment, or the recommended solution(s)?
  • Where the Repair/Rebuild outcome of an assessment is a matter of comparative cost, will XYZ provide the claimant with details of their costings? If not, why not?
2 Repairs
  • What engineering resources will XYZ use to assess the state of the ground prior to repairs on land that incurred damage? [Note: this is an insurance company responsibility]
  • Will the results of, and the recommendations arising from, these tests be made available to claimants before any agreements are entered into? If not, why not?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

CERA - recovery consultation using your computer

CERA is keen to have as many people as possible involved in the recovery consultation process. The meetings have been mentioned previously.

Those who have difficulty getting around the city in the evenings, or getting time off on weekends, can use CERA's website to make a submission online, or download a form to fill out and post back to them.

Online submissions can be made here, and the submission form can be downloaded here. The main Recovery Strategy page is here.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Earthquakes for kids.

Not sure how I managed to miss this earlier - the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a series of web pages dedicated to explaining earthquakes to kids. One page (here), has interesting little animations to demonstrate what is happening in different types of earthquakes. There are also resources for teachers.

Although aimed at kids it is pretty good stuff for adults too. The main page of the website is here.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

CERA - Seeking community ideas for recovery

CERA is about to start a series of community meetings to get ideas from sector groups and communities. The intentions, in the words of Roger Sutton:
This month we’re going to be asking the community for your ideas to help shape the recovery strategy that will provide a comprehensive road map for greater Christchurch.
CERA’s role is to lead and coordinate the recovery effort from September and February’s earthquakes, and at the moment we’re developing a draft recovery strategy that underpins that work.
From Thursday, eight community workshops will be held where we’ll be asking for input across a range of areas affecting your lives and communities.
We’ve identified five key areas for the recovery strategy:
    Community wellbeing (housing, employment, education and health)
    Economy (investment, business and the labour market)
    Culture and heritage (arts, taonga, recreation, sport and heritage values)
    Built environment (features of the environment built by people)
    Natural environment (air, land, water, coasts and biodiversity)
Meetings will be held:

    Thursday 14         July7-9pm Addington Events Centre, Jack Hinton Drive
    Friday 15 July       7-9pm Nga Hau e Wha Marae, Pages Road
    Saturday 16 July   10am-midday Nga Hau e Wha Marae, Pages Road
    Saturday 16 July   2-4pm Lyttelton Recreation Centre, Winchester Street
    Sunday 17 July     11am-1pm Lincoln Event Centre, North Belt, Lincoln
    Sunday 17 July     3-5pm Addington Events Centre, Jack Hinton Drive
    Monday 18 July    3-5pm Chervier Centre, Victoria Street, Rangiora
    Monday 18 July    7-9pm Kaiapoi North School, Williams Street, Kaiapoi.

The whole of Roger Sutton's media release is here.

Infrastructure rebuild - whats happening where?

The Council have set up a web page with a map of the city. Click on a neighbourhood and a page will open showing what works are underway, or going to happen soon, in that area.

Clicking on Avonside we get:
  • 7 Jul 2011 Birchfield Ave - Gayhurst Road - Avonside Drive - Sewer Main Replacement
  • 3 Jul 2011 Fitzgerald Avenue - Avonside - Bridge Repair
  • 1 Jul 2011 Avonside Drive - repair work on sewer main
  • 28 Jun 2011 Avonside Drive - repair work on sewer main
  • 20 Jun 2011 Avonside Drive - Sewer manhole repair work.
Click on any of the entries and full information and a map come up. Providing it is kept up to date this is a pretty neat idea.

The web page is here.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Residential Red Zones - Lianne Dalziel's newsletter

Lianne Dalziel, Labour electorate MP for Christchurch East, issues occasional newsletters on electorate and earthquake matters. The latest issue (No. 17) takes a very detailed look at issues arising from the government's payout package.

The topics covered in the newsletter are:
  • Preserving Equity (including negative equity)
  • EQC Cover for Land
  • Whichever is the least
  • Green Zone Bordering on the Red Zone
  • Timelines
  • Boundaries between Zones (raises some extremely good points)
You can find a copy of the newsletter here. Lianne doesn't have a website however she has a page on the Labour Party website here.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

EQC - interactive maps of earthquake information.

EQC have published interactive maps on-line that allow users to check out city and suburb level information on damage to contents, properties and land. Individual streets are identifiable but the map does not zoom in to allow a particular street, or group of streets to be analysed.

Some of the definitions are unclear e.g. what is the difference between severe and moderate levels of liquefaction? All of Retreat Road is shown as moderate liquefaction while the western end of Robson Ave is shown as having experienced severe liquefaction. That doesn't accord with my recollection.

Perhaps the most interesting map is that which shows land displacement after the February 22 earthquake. According to that, our whole suburb, along with large parts of the city, has sunk 30cm (a fraction under 12 inches).

The on-line maps are a good introductory overview of what happened but provide no hard information. They are not a substitute for substantive printed reports of maps, descriptions and analysis. Hopefully these will be available soon.

Using the maps requires a bit of computer skill and confidence. They can be found here.