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Showing posts from May 20, 2012

Human Rights Commission - Canterbury Earthquakes: review and appeal rights

The Human Rights Commission have launched three web pages for those affected by earthquakes.

The first,Canterbury Earthquakes: review and appeal rights, ishere. The introduction to the web page states:
This information collects in one place the review or appeal rights for common situations people face arising out of the earthquakes in Canterbury. It does not claim to be a comprehensive review of all the appeal and or appeal rights. If you would like legal advice you should consult a lawyer. This information comes from the websites of the Christchurch City Council, CERA, Fletcher Earthquake Recovery, the Office of the Ombudsmen and from research by the Human Rights Commission. Some review and or appeal rights relate to a particular issue and others apply in most, if not all, situations. The issues covered by the page are: The review of red stickered notices Obtaining reasons for decisions made by a council about you Zoning decisions Declining the government’s offer Obtaining re…

IAG – bad at playing nicely, or just misunderstood? Part 1

According to various news reports on Wednesday IAG Insurance was "genuinely surprised" to learn some of its customers (via State Insurance, an IAG company) are in the process of taking legal action against them. See the Press article here. It is true, as the IAG spokesperson said, there are talks going on in the background aimed at resolving some issues. But who are the agencies involved, what is being discussed, and what do they hope to achieve? As always there is no openness, just another one-sided Minister Brownlee sideshow. Is IAG involved? Could they make any meaningful contribution if they genuinely don't know what concerns their clients' have?In this part of the world it is hard to imagine anything genuine about IAG and it's subsidiaries. Yes, where an assessment is blindingly obvious, they will be sweetness and light - there is no alternative. The moment there is a situation that can in any way be deemed unclear, the behaviour changes. In our area, as in …

Ansvar insurance update

A news item on the insuranceNEWS.com.au web site provides an update on what is being arranged for Ansvar’s clients (here).The following are excerpts from the article:Church-based insurer ACS (NZ) Ltd, the former Ansvar New Zealand, has written to policyholders to inform them of a June 12 meeting in Christchurch. The New Zealand High Court has directed ACS to hold the meeting to discuss a scheme of arrangement with its creditors – the claimants – so they may vote on approving the scheme and, if necessary, determine the members of an initial creditors’ committee. Ansvar CEO Andrew Moon said previously that the scheme would only be triggered if ACS directors determine that liabilities exceed assets, or if creditors’ claims can no longer be met in full. If the scheme is not approved, ACS says it will continue to manage claims, but could be “vulnerable to increasing claims” and other factors that may endanger its solvency..

Post-earthquake stress

We are all aware of the difficulties of living through and after a disastrous event. There are also the difficulties of trying to understand what is happening to and within us, and others. Some very good online articles have been published dealing with the effect of stress on Japanese earthquake and tsunami survivors. The articles are based upon research published this week in the journal Nature, Molecular Psychiatry.Perhaps most significant for my understanding was the descriptions of physical changes to the brain (shrinkage) that were measured. Those who are predisposed towards post traumatic stress disorder (and without a brain scan, no one knows this in advance) are particularly vulnerable to changes caused by stress.  For them, shrinkage caused by stress in a particular region of the brain doesn’t have to be great to affect their responses to fear and anxiety. Symptoms will include some or all of flashbacks, emotional numbness, sleeplessness and hyper-vigilance. Good information …

EQC topping up reinsurance

According to insurance website InsuranceNEWS.com.au EQC is increasing its reinsurance cover to $NZ5 billion ($3.9 billion).The gist of the news is that the cost of reinsurance is going up and the reinsurance periods may be getting shorter. Probably not really news however, for those who like figures, the report is here..

Help coming soon from the Human Rights Commission?

The following web pages are on the HRC site, but password protected for now. Apparently they are still under development and will soon be accessible to the public.Canterbury Earthquakes: review and appeal rights  http://www.hrc.co.nz/human-rights-environment/canterbury-earthquakesWhat complaints processes are available if I am unhappy with the Fletcher Earthquake Recovery or building contractor repairs/service provision?  http://www.hrc.co.nz/human-rights-environment/canterbury-earthquakes/complaints-processes

NZ Human Rights Commission on the Christchurch Earthquakes

The NZ Human Rights Commission (HRC) produced a submission in March this year as part of it’s implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)From the HRC web site:This submission focuses on the Christchurch recovery, and three key enduring challenges for New Zealand identified in New Zealand’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), other treaty body recommendations, and highlighted in the Commission’s 2010 review of human rights in New Zealand: violence inequality the full and effective incorporation of international human rights obligations. A copy of the report can be downloaded from here.

Red Zone legal issues

On Saturday I received an e-mail from a Linwood lawyer who has a Red Zone client in the process of taking his insurance company to court. The lawyer wondered whether there were other Red Zone residents who might be interested in joining forces. The text of the e-mail is below. If you Know someone who may be interested please forward it to them. Hello, I stumbled across your blog and email address while doing some research for a client.I am instructed by my client to bring proceedings against an insurance company in respect to significant damage to a red zoned home. The insurer is claiming that it can resolve my client’s insurance claim by paying the nominal cost of repairs as if the home were situated on a solid building platform. You will be familiar no doubt with the insurer’s tactics.The case will no doubt be a test case and given the costs likely to be involved my client is interested in knowing if any parties were interested in joining in proceedings or contributing to the fund…