Search This Blog

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Southern Response - additional customer meeting

Southern response recently advertised a customer meeting for the evening of Tuesday the 12th of February.

An additional meeting will now be held from 2.30-4.30pm on the same day. For more information the Southern Response meeting web page is here.


Friday, 1 February 2013

Red Zone Settlements for Port Hills homes affected by Section 124 notices and insured with IAG

The following information is from CanCERN. It is a report on their discussions with IAG regarding the situation of hill residents who have been Red Zoned

We met with IAG to clarify settlements for Port Hills Red Zoners with Section 124 notices. It is complex and case-by-case so if you have any further questions, please contact your IAG claims case manager.

IAG deems a home a ‘constructive total loss’ IF it is a Port Hills Red Zone property with a Section 124 notice that unequivocally will not be removed, meaning there is no available mitigation that would result in the removal of the Section 124 notice.

The reason the house is deemed a constructive total loss (regardless of actual damage to the home) is that the homeowner has legally lost the access to their home based on the rules of the S124 notice (in which the Council can enforce vacation of property). There are some properties with S124 notices that this may not apply. The key factor is the permanency of the S124 notice. This may be affected by factors including the Council initiated Rock Fall Protection Fund. Under this scheme if mitigation is possible Council will perform a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) to determine whether or not the Whole of Life Cost Threshold (50% of Red Zone Funding) is met. (This is a lengthy and complex process which can be researched here).

Homes that are red zoned and have S124 notices because of cliff collapse and cliff inundation are likely to be the first settled. The area of rock-fall needs more analysis because it is feasible in some circumstances to remediate and therefore the S124 notice can be removed.

If your home is deemed a constructive total loss, all the same settlement choices are available to you and need to be discussed with the claims case manager.

At this stage, IAG is the only insurer we know of that is interpreting policy liability this way. We will keep you informed if there are updates.

Obviously this will raise questions from flat land red zoners and the impact on policy liability IF the Crown brings in compulsory acquisition in the residential red zone after the deadline has expired. We are exploring this question but in the meantime, make sure you know what your policy says you are entitled to under terms of compulsory acquisition. We believe it is not a financially positive situation to be in so check with your insurer.

Revised guidelines for repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE, and, in part,  formerly the Department of Building and Housing) has updated guidance on repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes. The guidance covers foundation repairs and rebuilds in the various Canterbury green zone categories. The methods or solutions proposed in the document are not mandatory. The media release is here.

A major irritation, carried over from similar previous material, is the specification that the key audience is: engineers, designers, builders, Building Consent Authorities (BCAs), insurance companies. Once again, those with the most at stake are talked over rather than with.

In the Foreword (p.4) MBIE state that “ (the Guide) gives robust and well-balanced engineering solutions that will reduce the risk of injury to people and damage to homes in future earthquakes.” Fine – so how about making the intended beneficiaries part of the key audience? Why not keep them fully informed about what is an essential health, safety, wellbeing, and family investment matter? For the last two years the credibility of the above-mentioned key audience has been very low based on a widespread recognition of their low levels of competence. More transparency is needed so approaches and competencies can be better monitored.

If the MBIE genuinely feel that the document is not suitable for home owners then how about some effort to produce a parallel and substantive version making clear what is thought to be technically challenging?

The basics and basis of the changes are:

MBIE guidance: Repairing and rebuilding houses affected by the Canterbury earthquakes

In January 2013 the Ministry updated and republished guidance on house repairs and reconstruction in Canterbury.

The updated guidance reflects new scientific and geotechnical information and knowledge about the impact of earthquakes and the effects of liquefaction on residential dwellings.

It brings together three separate documents into a single document, colour-coded for easy navigation.

Updates in this version include:

  • appropriate geotechnical investigations
  • repairs to foundations and new foundations in TC1 and TC2
  • assessments of retaining walls for hillside properties
  • chimney repairs
  • repairs to house superstructures, pole frame houses and masonry walls
  • information about repairing and rebuilding foundations in TC3
  • guidelines for the geotechnical investigation and assessment of subdivisions in the Canterbury region.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

An earthquake and its effect on children

Researchers from the University of Toronto, University of Chicago, and Liaoning Normal University conducted research into the effects of a severe earthquake in China (2008) on children aged 9 and 6. The results show that older children tend to have an increase in altruistic behaviour with the reverse in the younger group. Eventually both groups returned to normal behaviour for their age groups.

A crucial difference between the two age groups emerged one month after the disaster. The 6-year-olds’ willingness to share in a test measuring altruism dropped by a third, while among 9-year-olds, willingness to give to others nearly tripled. Three years later, children in the age groups returned to pre-earthquake levels of altruism.

“The study provides the first evidence to suggest that experiencing a natural disaster affects children’s altruistic giving significantly,” said Kang Lee, university distinguished professor at the University of Toronto.

“The immediate negative effect of the earthquake on 6–year-olds suggests that altruism at that age is still fragile,” Lee said.

More information on the study, which is to be published in the journal Psychological Science, is available on Science Daily here and Newswise here.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Quake Outcasts on the Government offer to uninsured red Zoners

Quake Outcasts is a residents' group formed to advocate and protect the rights of red zoned home owners in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes.

In the wake of the media showing the Government had ignored CERA’s pay-out recommendations for those who were uninsured in the residential Red Zones they have released a statement of their views (here).


Monday, 28 January 2013

Holy Trinity Community Funday - Sunday 10th February

Holy Trinity Avonside Community Fun day

Sunday 10 February

4 – 6 pm

168 Stanmore Road







All Welcome!