Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Tower Insurance Have Some Bad News For You

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  • Joe Wylie,

    Yesterday Mayor Bob declared himself to be proud of the draft plan for the rebuild of central Christchurch that Council has spent the past three months developing. "The most powerful thing about this piece of work is that it draws on that 106,000 ideas [from Share an Idea]."

    Today the Press reveals that the Council's decision to withhold the plan in order to best suit its own communications efforts probably breaches the Local Government Act.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It’s not just science, there are a lot of emotional and scared engineers out there. Not to mention Fletchers er I mean Cera who are paid on tonnage and time.

    Then those are the problems to fix, not allowing some sort of false "signed a waiver so can put myself in danger" option in.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Hay,

    Many days worth of phone calls later, here are a few updates.

    The insurance company values our house repairs at over $300,000. This isn’t ‘written off’, mind you (even though the RV on the house is barely half this number) – the house has been declared repairable. Though if we decide to take the cash from the insurance company instead of having them repair the house, they claim they’d just be liable for ‘current market value’, probably about ~$30,000. Market value around here isn’t that high anymore – there was an earthquake, you see.

    They *will* fix the house on new land, though. Yay!. As long as we pay for the moving costs (estimate from one company ~$85,000).

    But it turns out nearly all land available for sale has covenants on it, saying you can’t move an old house onto the property. Boo.

    If we did find some affordable land without covenants, the bank is apparently reluctant to issue us a mortgage under this scenario because the house is difficult to insure on the truck. (We can’t properly insure the house on the truck because it can only be insured for ‘current value’ – which is approx $30,000 minus $300,000 – i.e. negative $270,000).

    The government offers, in the meantime are coming out over the next few days. I have just read the offer letter. They allow absolutely no grounds for contesting RV if you think it is wrong (unless the recorded floor area is wrong). And no improvements will be taken into account.

    Summary: we’re a bit exhausted. And – it’s now certain – very much poorer than we used to be.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    So now I suspect you need to enquire about lifting covenants between two parties on a property deal. Or can new foundations (earthquake safe) be considered a new building for covenant conditions. Also is the house damage cost disputable because the less damage the more CERA should offer right?. Can you get a separate insurer for the truck move. It must be possible because houses get moved all the time and they are in bits and pieces when moved which effectively is the same as damaged.
    Lianne Dalziel had a few issues with this offer in Parliament on Thursday. Didn't catch it but Hansard did so might want to check that out and make your issue with her.
    If you guys can get your house moved to other land, it may have less value etc but you wont be poorer ,just richer for the experience and using a different insurance company for some peace of mind. Don't let them wear you down. That's what they want
    xox

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Jen Hay,

    A private land sale will be the way around the convenants. And would you really want to live in Stepford subdivision even in your beautiful house? If it were me, I would identify areas I wanted to live in and put 'land wanted' ads in the local gathering places like supermarkets, newspaper, or even better the butcher's window if they will allow it. If it's country you're after, an ad in the local CRT newsletter or Fed Farmers mag. Or even Older and Bolder. All cheap and may turn up something.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Hebe,

    Yes, farm land may be the answer for the heritage houses group. There has to be a way to do this.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I have no words, Jen, just really really big love for your lovely family.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jen Hay,

    Though if we decide to take the cash from the insurance company instead of having them repair the house, they claim they’d just be liable for ‘current market value’

    Do you have a legal opinion on that part of the agreement?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman,

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Fooman,

    Good to see some actual costs compared. Doesn't mention the core "replacement value" scam, however.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    From the Letter:

    You may also wish to talk with a financial adviser. The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Fund is supporting a project to ensure information and advice is available to help you make your financial decisions. This information will be available in the coming weeks. For more details please visit the www.christchurchappealtrust.org.nz website, and refer to the special section called 'My financial decisions'.

    So THATS what I gave to the fund for huh? Hmm......I am having great difficulty figuring out if this is a spend the fund should have the gall to "offer" to pay for, or a cunning govt rort.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    If owners of damaged properties are tied to the 2007 local authority valuations then surely those that have to replace that property. i.e,. land, should be able to buy land at 2007 valuations. Any increase in value deemed not to be created by the consequences of the earthquake, for instance, improvements to land such as supply services, drains and sewers, roading, etc. could be valued separately.
    There should be no-one, individual, company or Government Department, profiting from the increases in land value solely created by the earthquake.
    A bright line has to be drawn.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    An arrangement where a group of people with old houses "create" their own subdivision and relocate the houses to the land?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs, in reply to Fooman,

    Some media traction:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5480019/Offer-to-red-zone-owners-a-disgrace

    Reading through the comments on that article... Jesus wept. What have we become, a country of psychotic looneytarians? Just have to hang on to the knowledge (hope?) that people in the comments sections of Stuff articles are not representative of the NZ population as a whole.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Hay, in reply to Biobbs,

    I know - I really wished I hadn't read through those comments!

    Thanks everyone. We're still trying - we're not quite *completely* worn down just yet. Getting pretty close though.

    Sacha: there are so many elements of this whole thing which on the face of it seem to be yelling out for a legal opinion. It's hard to know where to start. Or, frankly, whether to. When this all started unfolding we were all stridently "there's no WAY they can get away with that" - but, it turned out, they could. I think, on balance, we need to just find a fast and tolerable way through all of this, just to preserve our sanity.

    And keeping things in perspective - we're feeling frustrated, and have lost a bunch of $$, but at least we had the $$ to lose. We'll still be able to get a place - albeit on a smaller property, or with fewer bedrooms, or further out of town. There are lots of people who simply won't be able afford to get another place at all.

    thanks, all.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jen Hay,

    there are so many elements of this whole thing which on the face of it seem to be yelling out for a legal opinion. It's hard to know where to start.

    I trust you both to narrow it down to the key issues that could greatly affect your success and the cost. You'll need to involve the pesky creatures somewhere in the process anyway.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Jen Hay,

    Perhaps start with a Citizens Advice Bureau to establish which type of Lawyer would be best , as I could imagine property ones from rural and residential could advise interesting viable alternative options. Bear in mind too, there has to be many Lawyers in a similar boat to you so a quick phone call could eliminate those you don't want and offer ones you might.

    And keeping things in perspective

    Yes, do that and you will get through with all your hair on, not sure about David's though ;)
    Have you ever considered converting an old building further out? Could be a way to retain a big space with lots of rooms. I know, one thing at a time. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Jen Hay,

    I believe the Canterbury Law Society is offering some post-quake help, not sure to whom and how much; you could check out them.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Biobbs,

    Reading through the comments on that article... Jesus wept. What have we become, a country of psychotic looneytarians? Just have to hang on to the knowledge (hope?) that people in the comments sections of Stuff articles are not representative of the NZ population as a whole.

    It can be depressing, so many miserable self-absorbed bastards. Howevah, from the comments on this recent piece on Arie Smith-Voorkamp, you'd be forgiven for assuming that his case was hopeless. Short memories, short attention spans and, courtesy of Stuff's comment facility, always a new bucket to vomit into.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    The Haywood / Hay family are front page news on Stuff today.

    Losers and winners in Govt offer

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson, in reply to Deborah,

    It's a pity that there isn't a mechanism to even out the unders and overs. What looked like a good idea at the time on average (the 2007 Rate valuations) is now showing up to create too many winners, and hurt others that are on the wrong side of valuations. Seanne James certainly seems happy with the outcome!

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Deborah,

    The Haywood / Hay family are front page news on Stuff today

    Another story that doesn't mention the "full replacement" scam (though I fully understand David and Jen wanting to focus on getting a deal sorted out). Brownlee must be dead proud.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    For want of a better place to post this: I was interested in Jordan Carter's proposal.

    A Canterbury Housing Development Authority could be set up as part of CERA, and it could have the job of acquiring land and building new suburbs.

    It could sell these down slowly over time only meeting its cost of capital, so in the long run it would be fiscally neutral.

    Developing new suburbs on that scale must, inevitably & surely, mean that per-dwelling costs are lower. Especially if a bit of low-rise apartment accommodation is included as a new choice for Canterbury residents to consider.

    Private developers can't do that. They have a legal responsibility to make money for their shareholders as their prime imperative. They have moderately short time horizons. They would be logically insane to pass up the opportunities that very high demand presents to them.

    It is time for the people, working together through the public authorities, to take matters into their own hands and to plan and deliver new housing options that work for everyone.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman,

    Brownlee is thinking of the affected people in Chch, and avoiding further delays in the rebuild process by not releasing information with regards to the decisions to red zone land, until after the elections:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5502953/Brownlee-refuses-to-release-papers

    FM

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    ...words fail.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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