Government to pay for failed repairs to earthquake-hit Canterbury homes

The Press, Michael Hayward, Aug 15 2019

Repairs to up to 1000 poorly repaired or assessed earthquake-damaged Canterbury homes will be funded by the Government, costing about $300 million.

The Government has announced it will pay for repairs to "on-sold" homes – those bought since the quakes and later found to have missed or poorly repaired quake damage that exceeds the Earthquake Commission's (EQC) liability cap.

The Press:

From Checkpoint, 6:08 pm on 15 August 2019

No duty of care for Canterbury on-sold homeowners - EQC boss

It's been described by the government as an absolute nightmare for some Cantabrians. And now it's hoping that will come to an end - courtesy of a $300 million fix-it fund.

The government has unveiled the fund that will be a handed out by EQC to help those who've ended up with onsold quake damaged houses.

Up to 1000 quake damaged houses are believed to have been onsold with unscoped damage or faulty repairs, exceeding $100,000 and they aren't covered by private insurance.

The government also revealed it's already spent $450 million patching up houses with defective repairs that EQC signed off on.

EQC chief executive Sid Miller talks to Lisa Owen.

Radio New Zealand, Aug 15 2019

Cantabrians who have unwittingly bought severely quake damaged homes are now eligible for government grant to fix them.

EQC Minister Grant Robertson and Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods revealed a payout scheme this afternoon, estimating it could bring relief to about 1000 homeowners left in limbo.

The scheme won't stop any contractors or builders from being held liable for any poor or faulty workmanship or supervision, as under the agreements between EQC and homeowners, the homeowner will assign their right to sue third parties.

It also won't relieve private insurers from their obligations to owners, as payments made under the support package will take into account other available payment entitlements.

Insurance Council warning

The Insurance Council is urging Canterbury property buyers not to take the payout scheme as a green light to buy houses, without due care.

It said people still need to do thorough due diligence before buying a property, and current owners needed to put any government payouts towards properly fixing their homes.

Chief executive Tim Grafton said insurers would always expect properties to be properly repaired before taking on the risk of insuring them.

Radio New Zealand:

Simon Darby