Four key issues to be addressed at last EQCfix Meeting for 2017
- Buying or selling? Understand assignment of claims.
- Worried you’ve been underscoped / under assessed by EQC?
- Was your claim discharged by Southern Response?
- It’s time to demystify land claims.
More than 7 years after the first Canterbury earthquake sequence started in September 2010, several significant issues continue to confound claimants.
A meeting at the Transitional Cathedral has already attracted around 180 inquiries and many more are expected before the meeting on Monday 27th November, 7:00pm to 8:30pm.
Lawyer John Goddard who is an Associate at Wellington’s Morrison Kent lawyers, is returning to Christchurch for the meeting. Mr Goddard was the Residential Advisory Service (RAS) Supervising Solicitor between 2014 and 2016, and will address issues regarding land claims.
“There is no private insurance cover for land claims so these are solely the domain of EQC,” says John Goddard. “Under the Act, EQC is required to pay its customers the value of the area of land that is lost or damaged and the indemnity value of bridges, culverts and retaining walls. It’s a complex system, one that I believe has left a number of people short of their full entitlements, especially when it comes to the remediation of their land.”
Other experts will cover Assignment of Claims, situations where a property has been under or incorrectly assessed by EQC and the discharging of claims by Southern Response (especially before June 2015).
John Goddard (Associate at Morrison Kent Lawyers). After more than three years at Community Law in Christchurch, working with claimants using the Residential Advisory Service, John is returning to Christchurch to talk about land claims. He will explain how EQC has relied on its ILV policy instead of legislation, and will outline what you can do to receive your full entitlements for remediation of EQ damage. John was the Supervising Solicitor of the Residential Advisory Service (RAS) between 2014 and 2016.
Grant Shand (Partner at Grant Shand Lawyers). Grant will update you on the issue of Southern Response's approach to discharging claims up to mid-2015, and Southern Response’s possible breach of the Fair Trading Act and good faith obligations by concealing DRA’s that had professional fees, demolition and contingency on them. Some owners may be entitled to significantly more money as part of their settlement from Southern Response.
Peter Woods (Partner at Anthony Harper Lawyers). Peter will address the very topical issue of assignment of claims when buying and selling homes, the process to follow if you are concerned your home has been underscoped or incorrectly assessed by EQC, as well as what to do if you find repairs are now failing.
WHY KNOWING ABOUT LAND IS SO IMPORTANT
After the earthquake sequence in Canterbury, EQC had what it saw as expensive obligations to pay for land claims under the EQC Act. It is our view that EQC sought a way, by developing alternative internal policies, to significantly reduce its obligation to Canterbury homeowners. and therefore, its liability. However, EQC is obliged to follow the EQC Act; the Act is the obligation, not its internal policies.
WE BELIEVE YOU CAN SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGE EQC
If you want to hear what EQC has done, how experts believe your rights may have been undermined come along. We want to support you to ensure EQC is held fully accountable.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
Any person who owns, or is thinking of buying property in Christchurch. Any person with a home or land impacted by the Kaikoura 2016 Quake. Any person who has bought a property that they thought was repaired by EQC but that repair is failing. Anyone who believes the land claim related to their property was not assessed correctly. Any person with a Southern Response claim settled before mid-2015.
The meeting is FREE, however booking tickets is recommended. Book here. There will be time for questions and a number of homeowner focused lawyers will be in attendance.
Additional information on the EQCfix website (www.eqcfix.nz) here.
EQCfix.NZ is an independent public justice project whose overarching goal, in a post disaster environment, is to:
Ensure that EQC meets its obligations under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 (the Act).
The project intends to achieve its goal by working with central and local body representatives such as legal, insurance, land, engineering, surveying, and quantity surveying professionals; as well as building-industry practitioners and tradespeople, all of whom are demonstrably motivated to ensure that the interests of the homeowner are protected.
Our aims are:
- to provide information, and if appropriate education programmes, for homeowners that better enables them to navigate, understand, and manage the EQC process(es) from claim to reinstatement,
- to co-ordinate and support groups of homeowners to work collectively to address EQC's failures to meet its statutory obligations, when a potential EQC performance issue is identified by interested groups / individuals,
- to investigate and, if possible, to provide homeowners with access to a group solution which is affordable and realistic to advocate for an independent inquiry into EQC’s performance, handling and management of Canterbury earthquake claim and reinstatement processes,
- to review and monitor EQC procedures and processes to better ensure that EQC learns from past experience and changes accordingly.