Important Information for Canterbury Landowners

If you signed your land claim over to your private insurer, how much is EQC paying your private insurer to settle that land claim?

Are you undercap but live on TC2 or TC3 land and still want your land fixed?

To answer these questions EQCfix.nz went to the Chief Ombudsman to force EQC to start publicly publishing its reports on land repair costs in Canterbury.

EQCfix.nz feels that EQC has been trying to withhold vital information from Cantabrians while it tries to 'save big' on land claims:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/82612169/Did-EQC-save-big-on-Christchurchs-land-claims)

There were two vital reports that EQC were refusing to release on land repair costs:

1) A'Horizontal Soil Mixing' (HSM) report -  which is the only (and most expensive) method available for fixing the land under houses without demolishing them first; and

2) A Quantity Surveyors report - on land repair 'additional costs'

Remember: EQC has taken a position that it will pay the cash equivalent of the land 'improvement/repair' cost to the land directly under your dwelling. However EQCfix.nz notes that EQC insures a larger area than just that - the  'EQC insured land' (per the EQC Act) is both the land under your dwelling, plus the land under your outbuildings, accessway and within 8 metres of your dwelling.)

The existence of these two mystery reports was referenced when EQC published table of 'construction rates' earlier this year.

However the 'construction costs' for land repairs excluded engineering, consents, design, project management and enabling works - which are significant costs:

Given the 'construction rates' above excluded these additional but substantial costs, EQCfix.nz requested from EQC the Quantity Surveyors report by 'Kingston Partners Limited' that was unavailable in October 2015 because it was "in press":

 

EQC refused.

EQCfix.nz  requested the 'Horizontal Soil Mixing' (HSM) report - which remember is the only method available for fixing the land under houses without demolishing them.

Again EQC refused.

These reports form the cornerstone of EQC's land settlement savings to date.

So we complained to the Chief Ombudsman.

This week EQC were forced to finally release the QS report on additional land repair costs, which can now be found here:

Kingston Partners Quantity Surveying Report on Ground Improvement Costs Prepared for Earthquake Commission 22 June 2015

EQCfix.nz finds it incredible that EQC was able to withhold this report for well over a year, and that EQC started settling ILV land claims using the cheaper DoV method without all information available to it being released publicly.

The QS report shows how high these additional costs for land repair are, even for a small house on a cleared site.

Including engineering, design, project management and consenting the costs easily climb over $100k for just a small house footprint of 146m2.

On top of this are the 'enabling costs' of moving and repairing undamaged elements and it suddenly becomes clear why EQC are hiding these reports and preferring to instead hold meetings and pressure homeowners into accept cheaper 'DoV' payments instead.

EQCfix.nz is continuing to push the Chief Ombudsman ask EQC to release its long overdue report on HSM - which as you can see from the table above is the most expensive land repair, method because it does not involve moving the house first.

As soon as EQCfix.nz gets the HSM report we will publish a link here, but EQC continue to be reluctant to release it.

It is simply not good enough that EQC continue to hide important information from claimants in the hope they will take lower cash payments.

Information is power and EQC continue to try and hold all the information and all the power.

 

Cam Preston